Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,108 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.

Punkin Ale is named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. Yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business!

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

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Reviews: 2,108 | Ratings: 6,541
Photo of KyleVick4
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Pours a clear light orange color with loads of bubbles ascending the glass. Head is nice which clings to the sides nicely the entire way down.

S: I dont knw why, but I dont like the smell. Well maybe I do. I can smell HINTS of pumpkin, but I might be putting them there because I want to. A very small amount of spice is present in the nose, but actually it smells adjuncty (I know, pumpkin would be an adjunct) and watery. Sorry that this will hurt the overall rating so much, but I hold my breath before I take the next sips.

T: This is easily the best pumpkin beer I have had. But I don't like pumpin beers. Not one to bow down before marketing and the traditional 'pumpkin ales' DFH did a great job. Now I taste a pumpkiny taste filled with a nice subtly sweet maltyness and a zing of autumn spices to balance the malt. Rather than rely on hops to create balance, I think they used spices. Different, but very similiar. Nice work.

M: Very nice, thick and medium heavy, a little syrupy, but then has a high carbonation kick that I find pleasing. Nicely done and again I am very happy that DFH didnt just throw some spices to a watery beer and label it as pumpkin beer (cough Shipyard chough).

D: I cant seem to put this down. Very surprised. Thought I wouldnt like this beer to much, seeing as I have never had a good pumpkin ale. I keep on drinking and the 7% abv? I think thats a myth...

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Photo of Ari_B
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2015 Batch. First time trying this beer. Pumpkin flavor is subtle. First sips had all the flavorings associated with autumn but as I continued to drink those flavors became harder to detect and it tasted like a standard brown ale.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of an off-white head that quickly fades to surface skim, and leaves a small amount of spotty lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - spices fill the nose, and there is a faint hint of toasty malt biscuits.

Taste - a bit more than the nose indicates shows up on the tongue. There are spices over a toasty malt biscuit backbone, with some brown sugar and pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, with a sort of starchy "fluffy" feel.

Drinkability - this is a decent beer, but I'd want something different after two of these in a session, but then maybe this would go better with dessert.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper hue with a thin beige head that dissapates quickly. Aroma is pumpkin, spices, sweet caramel malt, and vanilla. Flavor begins with a light pumpkin and spices flavor followed by a slightly sweet malt character, and a lightly bitter hops profile and a bit of an alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting, but not very pumpkin tasting and overall not impressive. Mouthfeel is crisp with medium body and moderate carbonation. Descent but there are cheaper local pumpkin brews that are superior (Cottonwood).

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Photo of Cavery
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz left over from a social thing, figured I'd give it a scribble.

A: Nice transparent clear brown body that's suggestive of watery maple syrups and vitamin E pills. small ring formation of off white foams that do a decent job of sticking around for a while. Virtually no lacing, but a constant stream of bubbles starts from the bottom of the glass.

S: Lots of cider spice, nutmeg and pinches of cinnamon. Some raw cane sugar sweetness in the nose that definitely makes me think of fall inspired desserts. Much more of a sugary dessert casserole or unusual cinnamon rolls than anything squash or pie like. Some mellow earthy squash notes appear more as the brew warms.

T: Lots of nutmeg, some rustic crisp pumpkin flavor. Mellow but fairly balanced, nothing really pops to give it that dynamic flavor experience that separates okay beers from good ones. Spices coat the tongues after repeat sips in that it becomes all that you can taste. Every sip I take I feel like I'm taking another bite into a cheap microwaveable churro. I like the seasonings and general ingredients, but it just doesn't hit me in a quality fashion.

M: Medium full body, a nice support to hold up slow baked flavors. The carbonation accentuates a spiced up cider softness that elevates the drinking experience just enough to prevent me from shunning this beer. A bit more of a head would certainly elevate the drinkability of this one for me, as it lacks a complimentary creamy feel.

O: Not a terrible beer, it's just not a great pumpkin beer to me. Flavors are really mellow and tame, but the flavors mix well. The nutmeg/cinnamon aspect really dominates the drink for me, while the squashy pumpkin comes off as a secondary flavor via a slight linger. Perhaps I'd try this again on tap, but it really just tastes like another generic pumpkin beer to me. Though I will say despite being very tame/mellow, it's well balanced. A decent beer that is probably quite a bit better super fresh.

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Photo of alohaspicoli
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A transparent orange/brown color. The head dissipated quickly, leaving a nice little foamy coating on the top.

S: Lots of fall spices but not really getting pumpkin.

T: The spices are what's prominent. Cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, ginger. Getting almost no pumpkin. But that's kind of interesting and a nice change of pace.

M: Medium body. Average carbonation. Not overly hoppy but has some bite. Nice finish - pretty clean. Alcohol is there but not it's not over the top.

O: Solid fall beer from Dogfish. It's not my first choice for a pumpkin ale but it's enjoyable. Would buy/drink again.

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Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- golden orange (if that is possible) in color with a a 1 finger head that consists of small bubbles; lacing lasts throughout the beer

S- spicy (allspice and cinnamon) followed by citrus

T- like a spicy pumpkin pie; a little warming from the alcohol; hops seem to build through the end of the beer.

M- crisper than I expected; tight carbonation seems to add to the freshness.

D- good seasonal for a cold fall day; probably a good compliment with Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of callmemickey
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Coppery-amber body and a quick fading bubbly white head.

S: Pumpkin and cinnamon dominate up front. Loads of spices on the surface.

T: Pumpkin flavors come in fairly early and are rounded out with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg tones... towards the end all you get is spice.

M: Solid body and fills out the mouth before fading in the finish with a lingering spice-filled aftertaste.

O: It's a decent pumpkin ale, but I just can't force myself to have more than one in a sitting with all the spice.

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Photo of kajerm
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'll keep this one short, since there's not a whole lot to say about a pumpkin ale. It's brown amber, moderately heady, and has decent lace. Smells like pumpkins and cloves, maybe some cinnamon. Mostly pumpkins. This is, both in flavor and aroma, by far the pumpkiniest pumpkin ale I've ever had.

I like it. For one bottle-- more would be a little grating, but it's great in the fall (and Oktoberfest does nothing for me.) Plus it's from the state of my birth and the name is a reference to Punkin' Chunkin'.

What's not to like?

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Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle of the 2014 release. Poured into an unlabeled snifter 9/18/2014.

A- Clear darker brown-caramel body, one finger white head with moderate retention, drops into a thick collar. A bit of sporadic lacing. [3.75]

S- Spices, pretty much. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. Sweet brown base malt gives a nice bready aroma to things. It also gives a slightly alcoholic, boozy scent to it as well, especially as it warms up. [3.5]

F- Like in the nose, it's pretty much spices. So overall not as interesting. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves up front, sweet base malt intersperses in there, giving it sort of a pie crust breadiness. Kind of nice, actually. The alcohol booze is stronger on the palate, especially on the backend which I suppose makes for a sort of a solid digestif. [3.5]

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Photo of mnj21655
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. Bottled 08/01/07.

Pours a orangish-copper color with a small off-white head that quickly disappears leaving little lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie. The spices that I can pick out are nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Underneath the spices I can detect some faint malt and pumpkin aromas. Tastes much like pumpkin pie. The spices come on a bit strong at first but soon yield to a nice combination of malts, brown sugar, and pumpkin, with malts being dominant. Towards the finish I get just a bit of alcohol astringency coming through, not overwhelming and I can't quite pick it up every time but its definitely there. The more of this I drink the more the spices make a comeback in the finish. Good mouthfeel, nice medium-ish body with low-moderate carbonation. Drinkability is average. I think one of these in a night is enough for me. The dominant spice flavors that only become more intense and ever-present as I drink this beer deter me from having another. I do, however, think this would be perfect for a chilly late autumn evening. So, bottom-line: this is a good beer that I would recommend but in my humble opinion this isn't the best or most drinkable pumpkin ale.

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Photo of sstackho
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Sunset Grill in Allston, MA. Pours a medium copper without much carbonation. Faint pumpkin and spice aroma. But the taste is strong pumpkin pie. This one delivers as promised - it's a straight up pumpkin ale with lots of flavour. Good stuff.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass
Deep amber with a slowly dissapating head of foam
Aroma-Cinnamon, sugar
Taste-pumkin, with lots of malty nutmeg, cinnamon and some spiciness. A sweetish, almost cloying finish.
Although not a big fan of the style, this one seems to be the best of the bunch. For me, though, its one, and done.

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Photo of goldbot
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear coppery amber. Lots of carbonation. Thick, off-white head and good head retention.

Grainy malt aroma. Mild planty, vegetal hops and bits of spice.

Roasted malt and caramel with a touch of bread. Some more spice here but still seems subdued. On the sweet side with a pleasant spicy aftertaste and a some fruity esters.

Sweet, medium body. Nice and creamy feel. Carbonation adds a good balance of crispness.

This was ok out of the bottle, but not much spice or anything going on. This beer was much better when I had it on tap recently; it was more spicy and had a fuller body then.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper with a big, persistent, creamy off-white head that never completely goes away.

Nose is nutmeg and cinnamon, a bit of floral hops underneath.

Taste is heavy on the spices - nutmeg and cinnamon, underlying bed of sweet caramel malt with a hint of brown sugar, a wee bit of floral hops underneath to balance. Spices tend to get a bit bigger towards the finish, where a bit of yeast emerges to complement the whole ensemble. Kind of a hard to sort out beer, pumpkin never really comes out so much as the complementary spices do, but it's always there underneath as well.

Mouthfeel is middle of the road - reserved carbonation and a medium body.

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Photo of Jaycase
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: dark pumpkin orange. thin head.

s: cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, nutmeg.

t: bready flavor up front. Finishes sweet with spicy notes. Not really tasting any pumpkin at all.

m: medium to high carbonation.

o: My first pumpkin ale. A bit disappointed as I wish the pumpkin was more predominant. Not a bad beer in itself but not something I'd go out of my way to try in the future. I'll have to give some other pumpkin ales a try.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with bottled in year date notched (notch was for 2007 which was interesting since it's 2006). Had a l little head that quickly dissapated. Smell was kinda weak. Could smell the pumpkin and other spices but they were barely there. Same thing with the taste. Not bad by any stretch but then again nothing unique. Read some real good reviews on this one so hoping my bottle was off and will try again. (3.5,RB,T,Y)

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Poured into a Riedel tulip glass. The liquid is a clear orange-amber with plenty of bubbles rising slowly to the top. The pour kicks up a nice yellowish head with great staying power.

Aroma is all the pumpkin flavors you'd expect - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and, presumably, pumpkin. Nice bit of light roastiness in there as well, and a bit of a peanut flavor.

Taste follows the nose - basically exactly like pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Nice and sweet without being cloying - the perfect fall dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin, with lots of carbonation.

Overall, super nice, if not particularly surprising.

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Photo of julian89
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -pours a dark orange with a white head that leaves no trace.

Smell-pumpkin spice, clove, cinnamon, ginger, basically fall spice.

Taste -The spices are far more prominent than a pumpkin taste. Cinnamon and clove predominantly. Expected greater pumpkin taste. Bitter aftertaste, typical of a 60 minute though.

Mouthfeel -very full and thick mouthfeel.

Overall: Heavy, not as great as other pumpkin ales but still receives my approval.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Pumpkin flavored beer is not my favorite - that being said everything about this Pumpkin Ale is excellent, less the taste because of the basic spice profile for me. If you like pumpkin flavored beer, get this beer.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good color. Amber with red highlights and a small thin laced crown to cover the pint.
Smelled a little cinnamon, and even less pumpkin but not too bad or disappointed.
Tasted more like a brown ale than a fruit or vegetable beer. I can't say I care for brown ales to much but I'll try and remain fair. Brown sugar, pumpkin, and a hint of maple tasted good but not great.
Would I have this again? Yes but if I had a Rocky River Monster Mash in front of me this would lose badly.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

One of the first pumpkin beers ive had years ago when maybe 5-6 made there way to bars...

Haxy orangey copper in color, i like the tea reference made by another reviewer below, so im gonna steal it, minimal head and ok lacing. Smell is of faint pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinamon) with some vanilla and malty biscuit scents. The taste is a rather mild blend of biscuity malts, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla. Slight pumpkin flavor on the tail. Lighter bodied, slightly high in carbonation, still manages to be slightly creamy. Mild flavor, but unique in its combination.

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Photo of riored4v
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 11/13/08

Poured into a pint glass. Thin off-white head, clear honey colored body.

Smell is nutmeg, malty sweetness, hints of pumpkin and clove.

Taste is spicey with hints of nutmeg, clove and a good bittering finish. Nice maltiness up front and a subtle hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is medium and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability was good. Fairly crisp and mildly bitter.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, with the usual pumpkin pie-toned body and a nice head. Smells lightly hop-floral with undertones of allspice.

Tastes like a spiced brown ale with a smoother, sweeter finish and good malt character. There is maybe possibly some stewed pumpkin taste in there somewhere, but mostly it tastes like a brown ale. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is pretty good owing to no overwhelming spice, carbonation or any other characteristic for that matter. This one is pretty well-rounded minus the pumpkin presence.

Overall it's a nice fall beer. If I'm looking for pumpkin, I won't crack one. If I'm looking for something to enjoy by the fire on a crisp fall evening, this is something I'd go for.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange bronze in color. Head is off-white and retention is decent. Not seeing any lacing.

S - Very malty with some sweetness in the nose. Lots of spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg are very noticeable. Smells like fall. Very seasonal feeling.

T - Not getting a lot of pumpkin but nutmeg and cinnamon are again very pronounced. Also getting maple an caramel flavors. Very flavorful but not complex by any means. Just really good tasting spices. Taste almost like a lightly sweetened pumpkin pie.

M - Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Feels good.

O - Ive only had a few pumpkin beers but this is the better one. Not complex but the flavors and smells seem natural. Unlike the others I have tried. I will continue buying this every season.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,541 ratings.
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