Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
6,560 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,560 |  Reviews: 2,112
Photo of mshallah
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to say right off the start that pumpkin beers never really inspired me. My girlfriend however loves them, and in trying many samples from many breweries, we've come to believe Punkin' Ale from DFH is by far the best. Built on a foundation of a rich brown ale and with 7%abv strength this is serious beer. Some brewers use only pumpkin and others use only pumpkin spices(nutmeg,cinnimon, brown sugar). DFH uses both in great quantity for the ultimate flavor and aroma of pumpkin pie. I also love the bright orange 4-pack. It makes it easy to find this beer as it flies off the shelves at all my local beer shops.

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Photo of JWU
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a curved pint glass.

A- a nice medium amber with orange hues. Not much lacing. The off-white head dissipates kinda quick.

S- some light pumpkin pie scents. A little alcohol as well

T- The show begins. Finally a pumpkin ale with some ACTUAL PUMPKIN FLAVOR. Not just cinnamon or nutmeg. What a concept. Don't get me wrong, the brown sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg spices are still really, really nice accents. A little alcohol comes through. The finish has a very distinctive DFH taste to it, likely from their house yeast.

M- Medium bodied, plenty of carbonation Not a mediocre thin bodied brew as most pumpkin ales are.

O- My favorite pumpkin ale, bar none. While fall brings lots of delicious Octoberfests, I really look forward to this brew. Long live the king.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orangish amber color. A 1-inch off white head that quickly dissipated. No lacing.

S: Lots going on here, lots of bread malts, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, brown sugar, all-spice. A good mixture and combination.

T: The taste is very complex yet it works. Lots of brown sugar and spice. It really gives a spicy pumpkin taste, but not overly spicy.

M: A full bodied beer, which leaves a little spicy and bitter flavor on the palate.

D: A well balanced seasonal beer. If you enjoy pumpkin pie and pumpkin flavors, this is one of the best ale's I have had.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Streaming bubble active body holds up a light tan head that mostly hazes over (into long-lasting drifts) a bold orange body. I thought to myself that it was a good color for a pumpkin ale.

Allspice rocks the nostrils and made me think that this would taste like a particularly spicy pumpkin pie. If there was such a thing as allspice candy, it would taste like this beer smells. Also some dry thickness in the background.

Tastes not nearly as spicy or sweet as the nose portended. Round and excellently mellow. Taste is set up as a combination of sweet and flavorful and dry and hoppy. Full mouth flavor of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice--tinged with sweetness quickly shifts over to a spicy, dry hop aftertaste. Sweet malt medium body. Very balanced brew and the alcohol being mostly imperceptible. Mellow and mild.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold in a nonic at the Rehobeth brewpub.
A - a dark copper/ light caramel brown w/ a cream colored head.. The head is small and leaves a thin film of lace.

S - Potent odors of spice. Pumpkin pie blend of ginger clove and brown sugar scents. A nutmeg and cinnamon aroma that is very aromatic greets the nostrils.

M - Full feel -malty w/ spicy finish. Very dense when held in the mouth, a nice dose of pumpkin vege effect.

T - Great flavors abound w/ sweet pie-like pumpkin. Nutty and spiced w/ a buttery malty flavor. Lots of spice in the taste, cinnamon and ginger seem to be the dominant flavors. Deep malts and brown sugar sweetness mark the taste as it finishes sweet.

D - Very tasty, but a bit much for more than 2 or 3 I would say. The combination of the spices and sweetness make it not something you would want a session of. I enjoyed 2 pints and it was worthy of that in one sitting. A great example of the Pumpkin ale style. Dogfish head doesn't shy away from a true full pumpkin pie like flavor. Not just a spiced ale - this is the real deal. It tastes like I would love to make a pie from the leftover ale-soaked pumpkin meat.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had a few pumpkin brews, and this is by far my favorite. I will look forward to next year's release and will better stock up.

It is a nice dark brown with an orangish hue. It is fairly malty in flavor with hints of pumpkin and the typical spices associated with pumpkin, but it isn't very up front to where it tastes like you are drinking pie, and it is sweet by not overly sweet. It smells as it tastes, so no surprises.

The mouthfeel isn't overly carbonated, and has a slightly creamy feel. I think this is highly drinkable and perfect for fall.

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Photo of kneeland
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm picky about pumpkin ales, and I like most of them. This is one that I liked. It had all of the normal ingredients and tastes (nutmeg, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) None of them were too strong or too weak, a prefect blend.

Beautiful color, as all pumpkin ales are. I wasn't very impressed with the head, seemed a little weak for me. But that's a minor point for an overall great tasting beer.

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Photo of FordBrewing
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this both in a bottle and on-tap, and have also brought it home in a growler from DFH Brewings & Eats.

This fall seasonal pours a orange-brown color with an average sized white head. It shows spare lacing but a sparkling body. Whatever it may lack in appearance in quickly made up with what it brings in aroma. This is a very spicy, earthy beer with hints of brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon that become more evident with every smell. It is medium bodied with an oily, also mineral-like texture and average carbonation with a bitter finish.

This beer is the epitome of all things "fall". The scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar beckon to be slowly taken-in, and elicit thoughts of Halloween, cooler weather and home made pumpkin pie. It is a must have for a fall dinner with friends, sitting around a campfire or watching post-season baseball.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Appears a clear rich dark amber color with around an inch of creamy off white foam. A minimal lacing is left on the glass with each sip. Smells and tastes of pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg (most dominant), cinnamon, allspice, nice nutty roasted pumpkin notes, toasted grain, just the right amount of sweetness from the brown sugar. Maybe a bit more than medium bodied with ample carbonation. If you are a fan of pumpkin ales, this is one of the better ones out there.

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Photo of Adams2U
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of EricHeff
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with about 1 finger of head that did not last too long. It's an orange/brownish color that makes me think of two things: pumpkins and brown ale. Right away you can smell the pumpkins and spice just like it advertises on the label.
The mouthful has a good carbonation to it. In the taste I can pick up some great pumpkin taste as well as some cinnamon and nutmeg. This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers out there.

I have also had it before on draft with brown sugar placed around the rim of the glass. This may seem a little frutie-tootie for a beer, but I have to say the sugar compliments it well.

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Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of SouthernBuckeye
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of coldmeat23
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Dogfish Head Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
BOTTLED: 07-21-09

Pours a clear, burnt orange color. About a finger worth of loose, light tan foam makes the head which quickly dissipates. Lacing is nothing to speak of.
All of these characteristics are fairly true to style, though, with pumpkin ales.

The nose is dominated by pumpkin and nutmeg, with a hint of allspice coming through. Very mild presence of caramel and brown sugar. Light scent of cinnamon.

That's probably as close as I've found to 'pumpkin pie in a glass'. While the pumpkin flavor is a touch to the mild side, it is definitely there. The spices are a little bit more prominent. Nice notes of brown sugar sweetness. An almost pecan-like nuttiness.
Very good.

Solid medium body, which is to style. Carbonation level seems a touch on the high side, but that's probably just me. Nice and crisp.

I'd truly love to drink a case, or two, of this every year. If it were available locally, I most likely would. Very drinkable.
Delicious and worth the wait to track it down.

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Photo of KKB
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Basically looks like carbonated apple juice. Soft brownish white head that goes away almost immediately. Looks clean, relatively clear.

S - Basically smells like a pumpkin pie. You can smell the pumpkin for sure, the cinnamon and the allspice. Smells spicey, pumpkiny and delicious; perhaps some light floral hops in the nose as well.

T - Quite delicious, more of what you get from the smell. Pumpkin right off the bat, with that cinnamon, some spice, and you get the sweetness from the brown sugar. Not quite as good as the nose suggests but still the best fall pumpkin brew that I have had. Alcohol blends in nicely...The brown sugar really started to come through more as it warmed. Nice to start it real cold and sip slowly and luxuriously away at it till it gets pretty cool. At the end the flavors only come out more robustly and leave you with a smile on your face.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, a nice light dry finish. Great mouthfeel.

O - Overall this is a great pumpkin ale, the best one that I have had so far. Just delicious.

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Photo of kwlightner
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of BMoldy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from bottle with "Bottled In:" date on neck.

A- Beautiful deeep orange color. Fine, off-white head took its time going away. My glass might have been dirty, but it seemed to leave more of a formless residue than defined laces.

S- Spice dominates, certainly more so than pumpkin. A slight hint of sweetness from the brown sugar mixes with a noticeable alcohol scent.

T- Being my first pumpkin beer, I was a little unsure of what to expect. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised! Delicious, subtle (but not sweet) pumpkin provides most of the body. Certainly doesn't taste like some artificial pumpkin-pie-in-a-bottle, which was both a surprise and a bit of a relief. The sugar and nutmeg are very delicate and give the tip of the tongue a nice bit of attention. Good balance of malt and hops, with a slightly greater malt presence that adds to the beer's robustness.

M- Full and clean, with no harsh bite from the carbonation.

D- Though I didn't really want to drink a "pumpkin soda," I was hoping for a slightly stronger pumpkin taste. Admittedly, now that I think of it, that's probably not a realistic expectation for a beer. That said, this is an excellent ale that I would gladly pick up again. It's strong but not obnoxious, and goes very well with a hearty fall meal.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice copper color and tons of warm spices as soon as it's poured. Loads of pumpkin pie spice like cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Of course, the pumpkin in present, too. I'm getting more hops here than I have with other pumpkin ales, but they are spicy hops that pair quite nicely with the pie spices. Nice warmth from the 7% ABV, as well.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A clear golden pour, sporting a creamy white, billowing head. Retention is pretty nice, pulling back in quite a uniform manner.

S: This is a nice sniffer. A well balanced scent of toasted malt and pumpkin flavours are blended with the spices that have been added. A lot of others tend to bring out the cinnamon, while I detect much more nutmeg and pumpkin here. It comes across smelling like a pumpkin pie, crust and all.

T + M: A spiciness dominates, but it manages to do so without becoming a negative experience. The big body gives it some weightiness that pulls the flavours over the tongue to a warming finish, where notes of alcohol come through. Much of the flavour is like taking a well-made pie filling and getting a taste before it hits the oven. The body, with that creamy edge complements that very nicely.

D: A little on the bigger side, and that's okay. It's somewhere between gratuitous gulping and mindful sipping, and I can work with that. While I commend DFH for their experimentation and willingness to try unusual things, I find their brews to be rather touch and go to my palate. This is a fine example of an experiment that went the right way. Recommended drinking.

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Photo of Gusler
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The departure from the 12 ounce bottle produces a clear copper color with a stupendous off white creamy head that last longer than the energizer bunny, lacing is a solid sheet, which circumnavigates the glass. Nose is sweet with Pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and ginger and a touch of vanilla, quite a treat for the old schnozzle. Start has a nice pumpkin and malt sweetness, light bitterness at the back, top is light to medium in feel. Finish continues the sweet malt and spicy taste, the acidity plausible, aftertaste sweet and tart, a fine beer.

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Photo of HardyA
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kbanks13
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber color, which is not as dark as I expected since the bottle describes this one as a brown ale. Still, it had a cream colored head that had a nice size and decent retention. Overall it looked about what I would expect a pumpkin beer to look like had it not said brown ale on the bottle. Smells of buttery pumpkins and squash with graham crackers, pie spices and molasses present, but not overpowering. The taste is clearly of pumpkin, with a proper dose of spice as a little bonus rather than the main taste. Sweet and biscuity malt centered beer with just enough hops to make the beer balanced. Feels nice and rich and appropriately carbonated. Tasty and reminds me of a good home-made pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie, not the overly sweet or spiced stuff found most places. This was a great beer, especially for a style that people can be so finicky about, I will seek this one out again.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an orange/amber tone with less than a finger of white head that dissipates somewhat quickly; minimal lacing. nice hue although the head leaves a little to be desired.

the nose is a really nice bouquet of fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, maybe some brown sugar... better than i remember from last year's batch. very pleasing to the olfactory senses. taste follows through nicely; not quite the robustness of flavors as the aroma indicated they might be, but close. definitely a tasty pumpkin brew. pleasant mouthfeel, medium-bodied with medium carbonation. very drinkable, obviously with the caveat that you appreciate pumpkin beers.

i was underwhelmed by this beer last fall; not sure if my palate changed or this has, but IMO it has stepped up its game. not a favorite for best of its class but clearly it's in the discussion.

originally reviewed: 09-05-2010

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Photo of YieldToNothing
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

really enjoying this one. smells lovely...a medley of brown sugar and cinnamon...and i'm feeling a little bit of a marzen smell in there. smells kinda sweet, but definitely not overly so.
tastes great too, not too sweet. the flavors you want out of a pumpkin ale are there, they just don't attack you which happens with a lot of pumpkin beers (which is why i think its such a polarizing genre)

anyway, i'd say even if you don't like pumpkin beers, this one is worth a shot.

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Photo of phnphilly
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured an amber color, very clear, with about a one-inch head in my pint glass that dissipated very quickly

The aroma of this beer is fantastic with clear pumpkin, cinnamon, and many other spices coming through.

I was surprised after the first sip because I was expecting something sweet and this is far from it. I could taste a ton of spices but they were tough to distinguish. There is a pumpkin taste throughout but more in the background.

This beer reminds me a lot of the Raison D Etre but I find this one much more drinkable.

I haven't had many pumpkin ales but after drinking this one I am very eager to try more.

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