Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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2,073 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

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Reviews: 2,073 | Ratings: 6,415
Photo of Jmamay22
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As summer is fading into fall I'm thirsty for some fall brews. I picked up a four pack of this a couple weeks ago in anticipation of the cooling temperature.

Pours a clear amber with a thick collar of lacing. There's some webbed lacing left behind.

Smells of spices such as coriander, allspice, clove, and cinnamon. Lurking in the background is the pumpkin, but pleasantly placed. Neither too much pumpkin nor spice.

Tastes of spice, but not as much pumpkin. Clearly less balanced than was in the nose, but still drinkable and enjoyable. Spices include cardamom, cinnamon, clove and all spice. A bit too over spiced, but certainly better than many pumpkin brews I've had in the past. Finishes with a warming alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and drinkability is hurt by the level of spice. One and done for me. A nice holiday treat that I may or may not pick up again closer to Thanksgiving.

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a nice shade of orange, decent head, decent lacing. The smell is mild pumpkin pie spice. The taste follows-mild cinnamon, mild clove, faint pumpkin. The beer is light bodied, and somewhat heavily carbonated. The beer is pretty drinkable. A solid beer overall, but not my favorite style.

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

Pours a clear, orange, coppery, brown with a small lite tan head with a creamy swirl that remains throughout. Smells amazing, lots of allspice sweetness. Wasn't as impressed with the taste. Wanted more pumpkin flavor. Maybe more cinnamon too. Some hop profile, seems floral. Has a hot flavor from the alcohol level. Almost tastes perfumey and pepperish. Mouthfeel is ok. Average malt body, with ok carbonation. Somewhat spicey on the lips. Warming too. Overall drinkability, I've had better. This is ok, but I think it needs to be pared with something to tone it down, like vanilla ice cream.

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

poured a nice copper color with off white head that stayed around for a little while. aroma nice rich pumpkin pie like grandma use to make. flavors pumpkin cinnamon,nutmeg, nice smooth mouth feel. this is one of the better pumpkin beers I have had so far

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Photo of erz316
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

Im glad I only bought one of these, not only are they expensive but I didnt really find the brew to be all that spiced or pumpkin. the beer was good, dont get me wrong. i just found it to be a lame example of the style for what I understand it to be. it was very balanced and had a good amber orange colour, but there was nothing that shouted out 'pumpkin pie' or even anything more than a simple amber with some spices added.

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Photo of ellisdee97
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a translucent golden brown with a thick one finger off-white head. Decent bubbly ring and good lacing.

S: Pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, light crisp hops and toasted malt.

T: First taste is of alcohol with a nice pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon body and nice use of bittering hops.

M: Light with nice carbonation. Dry and slightly sweet finish.

D: To me this beer is like a Belgian style pumpkin brew, the alcohol comes through as sweet bourbon. A very nice balanced and nicely spiced beer but not my favorite for the style.

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

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... Dark amber colored with small head that recedes and leaves light lacing. Slightly active

S- Not very aromatic. Sweet smelling... obviously pumpkiny. Not a whole lot more going on

T- Not that impressive... for a DFH. Pumpkin flavor with noticeable brown sugar and nutmeg overtones

M- Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Some lingering flavor in your mouth after swallowing

D- I would drink more if it was all that was available, but would much rather be drinking one of DFH's other brews


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

Pours a very nice light pumpkin-orange color with a just-off-white head that is retained for most of the drinking session. Evident lacing, visible carbonation.

Dominant scents of pumpkin, breadiness, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I may be detecting some cloves, even though it's not listed as an ingredient. This may be a mental insertion of a familiar scent associated with these others.

Tastes of malt sweetness that is almost cloying, overwhelming. The alcohol presence is disappointingly detectable, too. Aftertaste is pleasant, a faint pumpkin breadiness laced with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. If the aftertaste were the taste, this would be a much more satisfying ale.

The mouthfeel is overwhelmingly smooth with modest to low carbonation. Features a pleasant, dry finish.

I recall in years prior enjoying this beer much more than the present. Perhaps they've changed the recipe, it's difficult to say. The taste isn't as enjoyable as it once was; I don't understand the sweetness factor present now. I'll still see if I can snag this next year and find if anything has changed, but I'm currently no longer impressed by this offering.

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Photo of rarbring
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is slightly hazy amber, an off-white minimal head, good curtains.

The smell is spicy and somewhat sour, an off-putting combination - to me at least.

The taste is sweet and "christmassy", like "mjuk pepparkaka" (cinnamon muffins). Very odd for a beer.

Medium carbonation, somewhat foamy but soft and very heavy body. A slight dryness.

A very different beer, the spices makes it hard to grasp. But complex and intriguing.

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Photo of Spider889
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Winking Lizard, served in a signature DFH Punkin' Ale glass.

I have heard a lot about this beer, and was eagerly awaiting its arrival this year to try for the first time, but unfortunately due to the ever early releases of seasonal beers these days I had tried numerous other pumpkin beers before this one. I guess I somehow expected this to be much better than most, which it may be - except in flavor.

Nice orange/amber color. Fairly clear and well carbonated.

I didn't get much aroma out of this beer despite trying pretty hard. A little bit of cinnamon and mild hops but that was about it for me.

The flavor was very well balanced, but not very unique either. Lots of the usual spice suspects: cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some clove. Lightly bready malts and very mild earthy hops. I got some of the flavors of pumpkin pie I guess, but not really any real pumpkin flavor.

Ultimately this is an easy drinker, and it is very well balanced - most pumpkin ales are such unbalanced cinnamon bombs that more than one glass can be a chore. I could easily session this all night, but at the going rate: $11/4-pack, I'd rather drink several other more flavorful pumpkin beers (or something better from DFH - Burton Baton has started showing up).

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm.... a full bodied "brown ale"... not so sure about that. Despite the misleading description, it has a remarkably pleasant appearance. It is jubilantly orange, with an inviting glow when it catches the light. In fact, the playful and vibrant orange color is the attribute I enjoyed the most about this beer. Not far behind is the aroma. The spices and pumpkin meat meld in to an alluring symphony. My wife declared that it is "mouth-watering". She's not even a big beer drinker. As for the taste....This is a little bit on the cloying side with an initial sugary sweetness, followed by a harsh spicing regimen that sticks to the palate and never quite meshes coherently. The phenolic clove characteristics seem to override the malt presence and compete with a boozy fusel alcohol that rides through the whole experience. The pumpkin flavor is struggling to come through, as are the bready malts, but they get whacked in to submission by the booze and spice. Although not offensive, it's simply not the best-tasting pumpkin ale I've had. Not by a long shot. That said, the mouthfeel is quite nice. Creamy, perfectly carbonated with medium viscosity. Overall, this is a decent representation. I wonder if this beer would age well, perhaps mellowing some of the sharper edges with the spice and alcohol. Perhaps this one would be better with a slightly lower ABV? It's rare that I would suggest going smaller, but in this case, I feel like the higher gravity detracts from the beer. As with most quality brews, as it warmed and through the middle of the glass, the flavor profiles came together a bit more. Worth a try for sure, especially if you like palate-wrecking spiced beers. A tad overrated in my humble opinion. If you want a big pumpkin beer, try Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin. Of course, there's always Pumking for the over-the-top pumpkin experience. Personally, I recommend Smuttynose if you can get it.

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Photo of SaintPeter
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper color with red highlights, beautiful to admire. Voluminous white head that vanishes quickly. Foam head clears to an amazing color and leaves a clinging shapes on the glass.

Nose of cold fresh cold pumpkin and spice of nutmeg and cinnamon. Smell of unsweetened pumpkin pie right out of the fridge. Caramelized sugar comes through.

Champagne bubbles tingle on the tongue initially. Mild pumpkin pie spiciness of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves Spice is not overdone, as expected by the smell. The alcohol doesn't come through, unfortunately. Expecting more caramelized sugar and pumpkin flavor. Clean aftertaste--well as clean as a gourd beer can be), linger of spices.

Creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied, pleasant.

One is the limit.

Probably the best pumpkin beer I've ever had, which is not saying much as pumpkin beers always taste like farts. A successful attempt at a gourd beer.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color, little head and no lacing. The nose is very appealing, it seems like it has a nice mixture of pumpkin and spices. It looks like there is stuff suspended in the glass. Its not a bad tasting beer, for a pumpkin. There is a bit of an alcohol taste and the taste is not as good as the smell. I will try one of these every year just to check in, but pumpkin beers, no matter how i want to like them, aren't my favorite style.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange/amber with a smallish white that quickly dissipated, leaving a small ring that left a little lacing on each sip. Aroma is very spicey. Almost too spicey as the pumpkin aroma is subtle but it's still there.

Taste is once again frontloaded with spices and sweetness. Much like the aroma, the pumpkin taste gets overloaded and seems barely detectable on some sips. Light hoppiness and more than I care for hotness (especially as it warms) in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and seems fairly thick for a Pumpkin Ale.

The Punkin' Ale seems to be one of those beers that I try and try with each year to love and it just never happens. Just way too over spiced with not enough pumpkin and a unnecessaryly high 7% ABV make this a one time a fall beer for me. If they want to keep the high ABV, they should make this an Imperial style and ramp up the flavor too.

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Photo of peabody
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out amber to orange with a large head of white foam. Lacing here on the glass.
Smell is cinnamon clove and apple pie. A bready aroma here too. I love the smell of this beer.
Taste is spicy and sweet without being overpowering. Can't really taste punkin' but darn the whole puniin' pie is here with all the spices.
Mouthfeel is little sticky but finishes very clean.
I would like to try this in keg form. Best punkin ale I have tried to date!

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Photo of vacax
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber with a big almond colored head. Decent retention and some lacing. Smells of allspice, a bit of nutmeg, and some brown sugar character. No real pumpkin in the nose, essentially dry with a few pie spices.

The taste is at first quite subdued, mostly dry with a moderate bitterness. The brown sugar lends it dryness which emerges in the flavor along with a bit of allspice and maybe a touch of nutmeg. Not too much spice, overall this is an easy drinking version of a pumpkin ale, and a decent alcohol wallop at 7% ABV. Unfortunately, no actual pumpkin flavors I can pinpoint, which for me is a problem. The body is medium to light with relatively high carbonation for the style, it lacks an autumnal richness in body. This is a clean, relatively light pumpkin ale.

While this is quite a drinkable beer, for Dogfish Head this tastes simple and uninspired. I wouldn't call this ale off-centered at all, more like a typical, clean, pumpkin ale that does not stand out in terms of flavors. Way overpriced for what it is as well. Still, a pretty decent pumpkin ale, despite missing the expectations I have for the DFH brand and price tag.

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Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Starts with a promising sweet maltiness and some spice. The cloves and cinnamon conspire with the alcohol to give it a hot taste. Somehow the hops seem overdone as the bitterness does not play well with the sweet spices, I think. Fairly rich tasting, though the body is on the lighter side. Nice carbonation, lovely in the tall tulip glass with the golden amber color. Boozy and spicy smell is rather pleasant.

Tastes better as it warms up, but a little goes a long way. Raspy taste in the back of the throat. Oh, pumpkin? It does have a hint of candied yams.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown amber color with a small head.

Scent of bready malts, warm spices, and pumpkin. The spices in the scent outweigh the other qualities more than they should.

Taste is similar, bready malts and spices warm with the alcohol and pumpkin is noticeable, but overpowered. Alcohol is too apparent for it only being 7% by volume.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

I am glad I tried this one before I bought it, and I will pass this one up in the future in favor of better pumpkin beers.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a pint glass from a 12 oz.bottle, dated "09.06.06". Bought at Whole Foods in Portland, OR.

A: A warm and clear copper/amber with a creamy 1 finger white head, almost no lacing.

S: Smells of mild cinnamon and nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar and caramel malt. A pleasant aroma but not very strong nor lingering.

T: A slightly metallic "brown ale" taste with hints of the spices and a slight sourness. Not as sweet as expected, somewhat bitter with a tangy bite, hinting at citrus.

M: Fairly smooth and slick and with a relatively light body. Moderate carboantion with some earthy bitterness in the aftertaste. Flavor is a little clingy and sticks in a gummy way; some alcohol warming. Generally average and not terribly likable mouthfeel.

D: A decent beer, pumpkin or otherwise, but not one I'd have to drink again. Spices seemed subdued, less than I'd hoped for; I was underwhelmed. Worth a try, I guess...

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Photo of rye726
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good pumpkin ale, but like always, I would like to see more of an actual pumpkin presence. Aber color and a thick tan head. The nose has some sweet malts, spices and subtle pumpkin. The taste is a little lighter. Good spice presence matches well with the malts, but where is the pumpkin. Medium body goes down well.

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Photo of earthboundagain
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From Notes:

A: A mix between amber and copper in color, the head is off white and settled into some slight lacing.

S: Ok smells like pumpkin pie mix, with some brown sugar as well.

T: Hmm, a slight semi sweet pumpkin with the pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, a slight clove flavor as well. A touch of brown sugar in this one as well.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is as well. The beer has a slick felling as well but not overly slick.

D: I could not have more then a few at a time, the pumpkin pie spice rush would be too much for me to take.

Thoughts- This beer is more spice and less pumpkin, but the flavor is not overpowering like some I have had. This beer is a good stab at the style and something to drink around Halloween.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice amber color but the head was lacking. Nose is sweet and sticky with cinnamon, nutmeg and light pumpkin.Taste is not overpowering pumpkin like I wished but cinnamon and nutmeg were there. Mouthfeel is creamy, sordove bland in the taste and lingering. Not one of my favorites from DFH

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tanish golden, With some yellow, 1/2 creamy head.

Smell - Pumkin, nutmeg, malts, hops, sugar and a very bitter, almost pickle aroma also

Taste - Hmm, this is different. Defintley taste the pumkin, hops are present, as usual the alcohol also. Many spices also i taste. Basically its a jacked up brown ale with pumkin spices and added sugar.

Mouthfeel - I enjoyed the first taste, was simular to pumkin pie but after i swallowed, the aftertaste is nutmeg and all spice. Ekk, not liking that at all.

Drinkabilty - Well, im glad this bottle was given to me, so i didnt get stuck buying a 4 or 6 pack. One is fine for me, maybe two if i was eating pumkin pie. I wish the beer had more malts and pumkin and less spices. Ill stick with great lakes or smutteynose octoberfest.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured in a pilsner glass.

Pours a dark amber color with a decent head that fades quick. Smell is as you'd expect. Pumpkin pie, very spicy and pumpkin. Some maltiness to it.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery and light. This beer is on the sweet side. Not bitter, all spicy. Very sharp and carbonated. Really the best Pumpkin beer I've had and the extra abv is a nice addition.

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Photo of RickS95
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little more clear than I'd like, but that's probably the American way. It's a light to medium brown with a thin white head that has no retention.

A bit of spice in the nose, but it seems more savory than sweet. Allspice and nutmeg, but they're both muted. However, the pumpkin is actually prevalent in this beer.

I can get some of the flavors of pumpkin pie, but there needs to be a bit more sweetness. Brown sugar is mentioned on the bottle, but I'm not picking it up.

It's ok in the mouth, nothing dominates or is offensive. A bit spicy, but that's expected. A slightly dry finish.

Not a bad beer for the style, but there are better beers out there. Slightly disappointed coming from Dogfish Head.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.
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