Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
6,560 Ratings
Punkin AlePunkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,560
Reviews:
2,112
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
363
Gots:
1,399
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,560 |  Reviews: 2,112
Photo of Daktyls
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice translucent amber color, very nice coloring with a thin head which leaves a ring around the outside edge of the glass, but also a thin circled in the middle.

S: The majority of the smell comprises of mild spices and bit of pumpkin. There's also a little bit of nuttiness that resembles a traditional brown ale.

T: Tastes just like a pumpkin spice muffin. The pumpkin is definitely present as are the spices, specifically the brown sugar and nutmeg. Overall, the tastes compliment each other very well.

M: A nice full-bodied ale with the right amount of carbonation, which leaves a pleasant but mild aftertaste on the tongue.

D: Quite drinkable as I've come to expect from other Dogfish offerings. I'd definitely have another.

 746 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Punkin' Ale pours a clean, clear rusty brown color with some golden highlights. The head is nice and thick and leaves some good lacing. Lookin' good Punkin' Ale, lookin' good.

The aroma is sweet brown bread, honey, cinnamon, brown sugar (the type you top a coffee cake with) and a touch of tangy citrus. There is in fact a bit of a pumpkin/squash aroma to this beer but it is very faint and subtle, it smells a lot like a warm piece of pumpkin spice cake.

One sip and you know you've got something great in your glass. Its got an incredible sweet malt flavor that combines perfectly with the spices and the subtle pumpkin flavor. Its not an over the top pumpkin pie flavor, instead its a very well balanced beer.

The tangy, spicy, dark sugary sweetness of this beer is really alluring. I wish I had more of this as its very drinkable at 7%. Punkin' Ale is not something you'd want to drink one of and then move on to something else. You could get comfortable with a 4-pack of these. Loved it.

 996 characters

Photo of ilkelma
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a "pint" glass from the bottle.

A: Very nice golden amber color with not even a finger of light colored head (from a bottle).

S: Appealing spice laced scent with more than a hint of yeasty aroma. No overpowering pumpkin smell or even much sweetness to the smell.

T: Tastes like a fall pumpkin beer should, rich almost maple syrup like depth of flavor not too bitter and above all not too sweet. Tastes like pumpkin but not so much that it is overwhelming.

M: Light carbonation, very smooth but a bit heavy (as its ABV belies) just shy of dangerously drinkable really.

O: I'd say this is the best "pumpkin beer" I've ever had but this is in a real class of its own. Whereas nearly everything else we are assaulted with in fall that claims to be "pumpkin" often bears little resemblance to the actual gourd; this beer packs all of that earthy vegetal flavor of the real deal into a beer that is eminently drinkable and a real treat on a cold fall day.

 967 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yummy looking off-white head that settles down to a nice thin film that hides a very clear copper colored brew. Nice even lacing that shimmers iridescent as I tilt the glass back to take a mouthful.
Speaking of mouth, it's pretty good - solid medium body, light carbonation, and just a touch of alcohol in the nose.
The smell is like all-spice and alcohol. There is definitely some "punkin" in there too but it's not overwhelming.
Taste - I think this is where this beer shines. Still a great beer loaded with malt and hops but balanced with a variety of spices. There are some pumpkin undertones but over-all the pumpkin is very mild.
A very drinkable beer. Nice cozy feeling after finishing a couple, sort of like a nice buzz on Thanksgiving.

 749 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

The only pumpkin beer I can compare with is Pumking. I think I like this better, but Pumking smells better.

Pours a golden-amber color with a little head, and maybe a tiny bit of lacing. Smells of spices -- cloves and cinnamon. A little malt.

Taste is interesting -- heavy on the spice, very little hops, noticeable malt. Nutmeg and cinnamon come through strongly. Not much of the pumpkin though.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Pretty darn drinkable beer.

---
2011

I get more of the pumpkin this time. A little sweet, but still pretty good.

 582 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange color with a two finger off white head which leaves a nice lace. Smells like pumpkin pie in a glass. Pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon are present in the smell and the taste. The flavor is sweet and malty. Medium bodied and creamy, with light carbonation, and some hop bitterness at the end. This is a nicely drinkable beer. I could have this again and again.

 382 characters

Photo of qchic
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with an off-white and long lasting head. Visible carbonation. Smells like a pumpkin beer. Not quite sweet enough to smell like the pie, but all the ingredients are present without being overwhelming. The flavor is fairly balanced, with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg coming through (can't speak to the allspice as I don't have much experience isolating it) without eclipsing the more conventional flavors of a good brown ale. There is a nice malty platform and the hops bring some tanginess and bitterness in the finish, keeping it drinkable. Full-bodied and perfect for the season, this pumpkin beer features natural flavors that make this one of the best pumpkin beers out there (used to be THE best, but there is a lot more competition these days)

 762 characters

Photo of JTWILDOATS
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't wait.
This pours into a rich, glowing gold.
Maintains an awesome shaft of carbonation and the whipped egg-white like head settles at half an inch.

The smell reveals hints of pumpkin pie, cinnamon and nutmeg--the spice almost has a warming quality to it, as chilled as this brew may be.

For the most part, the taste lives up to the full-bodied odor that it omits. Dogfish lists this as a brown ale, however, it almost reminds me of a nice sweet lager--not to sound tacky.

As simple as its initial taste is, the spice seems to resonate long after creating a lasting warmth--very enjoyable.

The 7% is well hidden in a balance of spice and sweet malt. On the other hand, this does drink like a heavy brew--something I want to take my time with.

Next time I'm definitely having this with some type of autumn dessert, be it cinnamon crumb cake, apple crisp, or dare I say...pumpkin pie!

 893 characters

Photo of The_Event_Horizon
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of jjboesen
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this at Dogfish Head Ale House in Gaithersburg. It was served cold in a "cheater pint," so there was a 15-minute wait before initial sip. However, while this period occured, there was detected a nose of sweet brown sugar beckoning me. Additionally, this beckoning was enhanced by a faint whiff of pumpkiny goodness.

Initial taste found heavy spice notes with an intense maltiness that makes for something reminiscent of nutmeg - what else would go with pumpkin? The mouthfeel was certainly complex, having a uniform balance of malt and hop, neither of which undertaking to overwhelm the other. Once again, there is the issue of it being served cold.

Though never a fan of so-called spicy beers, DFH usually comes through by crafting such "spicy beers" without them becoming too cloyingly spicy - or sweet. As this style goes, DFH does do it well enough.

 861 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour an orange/red color with nice white head. Decent lacing.

Very much a pumpkin pie aroma. Great raw pumpkin smells with awesome spice notes.

Great flavor.Not over the top on the pumpkin flavor/ Pumpkin provides a nice base for the pie spices to build on. Nutmeg cinnamon and all spice.

Smooth and creamy, wonderfully drinkable. Medium body with appropriate carbonation. The best pumpkin ale I have yet to have.

 419 characters

Photo of garuda
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazed, deep amber/orange with a thick, fluffy white head that retains and laces well.

S/T - Nicely balanced flavors of pumpkin pie spice, mostly nutmeg, with a bit of pumpkin flavor. Slight leafy hop flavors in the finish with minimal bitterness. Works well.

M - Medium body, medium to low carbonation, finishes mostly clean with a little nutmeg spice lingering.

O - My favorite pumpkin ale so far. Drank easily, without being cloyingly sweet or over the top with the spices. I really enjoy how it has some pumpkin flavor in there, and just enough of it.

 561 characters

Photo of BJam
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Punkin' Ale - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4 Pack - $9.99

It was pretty good but I must say, I was expecting a little more from dogfish head on this one. Don't get me wrong, it's a tasty drink, but the problem I have with it is that taste of pumpkin goes away after a few sips and becomes more of just a mildly spiced ale. So it's a little more on the spiced side and a little dryer then most pumpkin ales. Also, not as sweet. I'd say give it a shot but don't expect the crazy dogfish style, this ones a little more on the tamed side.

 533 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a one finger thick head into a tumbler. head is the color of toffee while the body is a very clear amber color. lacing is decent until the last fifth of the beer.
s - sweet with all of the spices (brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) listed on the bottle. they don't falsely advertise! the spices come through more than the pumpkin but it is there.
t - medium hoppiness. it starts out sweet and spiced but the pumpkin really comes through in the finish.
m - slightly creamy with a nice mouthfeel.
d - medium carbonation. this is a well-balanced beer with a lot of nice flavors throughout. great fall beer and one i enjoy.

 639 characters

Photo of ryancl
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of torchedpunk
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Served in a 12 oz bottle dated 08/23/06

The pour left a half inch head, and dissipated to a ring around the glass and maintained through out drinking experience.


Lighter pumpkin taste then other brands, but rich in other more enjoyable flavors.


Average mouth feel, but very smooth.


Great drinkability easily a perfect drink for the fall season. This is the perfect beer before the dark beer season. A great way to give a beer a seasonal novelty, but this one is definitely something that can be drunk on any fall day.

 536 characters

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a pint glass a slightly cloudy light copper color--vigorous carbonation briefly lifting a billowy white head.

The smell is sweet and spicy with hints of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and some alcohol.

Smooth and slightly prickly, this brew tastes of more pumpkin pie spices. Sweet malts are complemented by the gentle warming of alcohol. Medium-bodied and very drinkable.

 377 characters

Photo of ovaltine
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of titosupertramp
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber, copper colored..very clear. Small tan head that fades quicly. Absolutley no head or film. Wonderful color and clarity, but the lack of head/lacing/film dissapoints me.

S: Nice, well balanced smell. Pumpkin isn't the main attraction, buit it's certainly there. Spices, sweet, bready malts.

T: This is delicious. None of the flavors dominate the other. Pumpkin, allspice, biscuit, toast and hop bitterness, but I can't quite make it out...let's just say citrus.

M: Smooth and rich. Alcohol leaves a warming, tingling sensation on the tongue. Also coats the mouth with a nice aftertaste.

O: If this had any head retention whatsoever, I'd score it a 4.5 overall..damn good beer. Also, it's pretty cool to drink a beer that started one of most well respected breweries in America.

 794 characters

Photo of zdk9
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a rich orange ruby color. There's a finger of white creamy head. And the lacing is very impressive- sheets on one side, strong lines on the other of my pint glass.

S- The smell of this beer doesn't tell much of its story. There's a little bit of spice, and some pumpkiny musty notes. What I can't really smell is the malt or hops. I wish the smell was as great as the taste.

T- The taste starts out with delicious malty brown ale flavors- dark rich wheat bread, slight toast. Then comes the addition of a lovely pumpkin flavor- it tastes roasted and rich; sweet but more savory. Spices are there, some nutmeg, cinnimon, perhaps some clove (or allspice as I think I remember from the label). Hops aren't too present but the bitterness is there, and perhaps they are just well blended into the pumpkin/spice flavor profile.

M- Good, a little syrupy, but nothing drastic. The mouthfeel is very appropriate for the taste of the beer.

D- As I was drinking the 3rd of the pack last night I was struck by an intense nostalgia for fall up north- and it's not that there's really anything in this beer that reminds me of specific things like pumpkin pie or mulled cider- just that this beer tastes of fall like nothing else. I am truly happy to have bought it and highly recommend it to all who are looking for a little fall in their lives.

 1,344 characters

Photo of wakeuptothesun
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of geryeb624
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- An auburn-amber color with maybe a finger of white head that recedes fairly quickly into a film of white foam.

S- Big pumpkin aroma with spice notes and roasted malts dominate the nose.

T- Less pumpkin & spice and more roasty bitterness than in the nose, making for a well-balanced flavor. Starts with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg and ends with a roasted, bitter malt flavor.

M- Pretty highly carbonated, but sufficiently smooth and creamy.

D- Pretty high. Doesn't smack you in the face with cloying sweetness or too much spice, instead crafting a nice amber ale with pumpkin and spice flavors.

Another excellent offering from the boys in Milton, though its unfortunate I can only have this for two months a year.

 763 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark gold/orange color with a solid white head.

smells like straight pumpkin, some sweetness and slight tartness as well.

tastes like pumpkin pie but isn't full of spice. sweet pumpkin pie.

mouth is very thin, not a full-bodied pumpkin ale (which is what i like, i'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers but i prefer the thinner bodied pumpkin beers).

overall a good pumpkin beer, one that i would drink again in the midst of cool weather. i have had much worse pumpkin beers but i've only had a few better pumpkin beers, Schlafly Pumpkin comes to mind.

 561 characters

Photo of ugaterrapin
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. It has a clear golden brown color. There was barely half a finger of head that dissipated after about two blinks. I had this when it was in season about 5 months ago so I am not sure if the head retention was different when I had it fresh. The aroma is still fantastic. It has a sweet overriding pumpkin smell with hints of cinnamon and caramel. The taste is very balanced. I is a little subdued compared to the aroma, but all the elements are still there. Strong pumpkin flavor up front that changes to smooth caramel malt notes on the finish. I could have a few of these in a single sitting. I look forward to getting some well in advance of Thanksgiving this year. I tried to pick some up last year the Tuesday before turkey day and they were sold out.

 781 characters

Photo of ojingeo
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,560 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More