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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,070 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,070 | Ratings: 6,407
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look is a light amber color with practically no head.

Lots of spicing right on the nose. Cinnamon and nutmeg with a nice malt balance.

Taste doesn't hold up to aroma. Kinda astringent with spices comes off unbalanced.

Picked this up for 99cents worth it at that price.

 319 characters

Photo of kpoole25
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle (from make your own 6 pack) to glass. Orangy bronze color, the head had a faint orange as well. Didn't really pick up on the pumpkin pie spice on the nose or on the taste, very subtle I thought. Quite sweet, and not much bitter. Some raisin perhaps. I actually got more pumpkin pie spice with New Belgiums Mothership Wit, but maybe that's just me.

 360 characters

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is brownish gold with a white head that lingered for most of the drink. The beer is slightly hazy and there's a fair amount of effervescence. Aroma is very spicy, with nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste consists mainly of spices, and I don't taste the pumpkin. The 7.0% ABV is noticeable, but works well. Body is light, mouth feel is crisp with a fair amount of carbonation.

Dogfish Head's description led me a bit astray, as I expected some sweetness and a heavier body. I didn't get either.

 492 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into an Ithaca pint glass.
Bottled on 7/29/09

A - Pours clear amber-orange with one finger of head

S - Malty (munich?) sweetness, light cinnammon and spice aroma

T - a fairly sweet beer, hint of alcohol burn, light on the spiced flavor

M - Nice, light carbonation, sweetness sticks around but not cloyingly so.

D - the 7% ABV is decently hidden, though a little bit pokes through. Wouldn't go out of my way to get again, but I'd drink another if it was given to me. All in all, a pretty good pumpkin beer - not that I am a big fan of the style.

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Photo of dherling
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color with a thick creamy head. Nose gives off lots of cinnamon, and rotten pumpkin. The taste is of a big amount of clove and nutmeg, with a metallic flavor, and just a tiny bit of pumpkin rounded out by malt and a citrus/spicy hop. A slightly heavy finish with an average mouthfeel.

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Photo of Dibujob
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a clear, deep amber with a 1/4 inch creamy head. Good retention with a steady stream of bubbles.

S - Toasty malt aroma with sugary sweet undertones. The pumpkin is definitely present but not overwhelmingly so.

T - Wow, not what I expected from the smell. Cinnamon and spices are like a slap in the face! Nothing subtle about this beer, but subtle and Dogfish Head seldom go together. The finish is especially "spicy," almost like pouring dried nutmeg powder down your throat. Leaves me wanting a glass of water or something. The more I drink, the worse the aftertaste gets.

M - Mouthfeel is really dry, almost brutally so.

D - I really don't think I could drink more than one of these.

I love Dogfish Head, Sam and Co. make some of my favorite beers and I applaud their creativity and passion for extreme beers, but this isn't going to make it into my regular rotation of fall seasonals.

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Photo of craftaholic
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky amber/golden brew almost like steeped black tea. Has no head after initial pour whatsoever.. kinda off putting.

Smell: Smells like pumpkin spice and cinnamon mixed with the scent of fresh brown sugar and fresh coffee cake topping.

Taste: Kinda watery and light, more spice than pumpkin. Has a bouquet of clove and nutmeg for the palate but really.. wheres the pumpkin? Finishes off with a burnt malt flavor and some residual sweetness that blends with a touch of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Hits all parts of the palate on its way through: some zest, some slickness, quite balanced but leaves a lingering notion on the throat.

Drinkability: Very drinkable at 7abv you can't really tell. The only thing that will stop you grow sick of the spice or your wallet is depleted.

Overall: Kinda wish the name was 'punkin spice' instead of implying you're going to have some pie like characteristics. First pumpkin ale but I already think others will reign over it easily.

 992 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Somewhere between copper and amber in color. Slightly less than a finger of head. The head is smooth and level. It retains very well. Leaves good lacing too.

S-October spices and pumpkin. The nutmeg and pumpkin really makes this one smell just like pumpkin pie. A bit of alcohol. Smells good for the style.

T-More of the October spices. A really blatant, and unattractive taste of metal. Tastes like copper. The metal taste lasts. Not too much real pumpkin flavor. The cinnamon and nutmeg last with the metal.

M-Medium body. Mellow carbonation. A slightly slick feel. The metallic taste won't go away.

O/D-If not for the metallic twang that sticks on the tongue, I would think this was a pretty decent pumpkin beer. That weird taste kinda kills the flavor. Four pack for $10. Not worth it. Pumpkin beers are not my favorite but I thought I would give it a try. One four pack is enough forever.

 899 characters

Photo of whitestag
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While the label calls this a brown ale, I would say that it was more of a copper shading toward reddish amber. Almost no head -- just a single layer of bubbles that vanished within seconds. Pleasant spicy aroma, but heavy alcohol scent and taste -- surprising, considering that this ale is only 7% ABV. Could not detect any pumpkin scent or flavor, and I'm a pretty serious pumpkin pie freak. Less spice flavor than I would have expected from the smell. Fairly pleasant mouthfeel, would have been improved with less alcohol taste. More than adequately drinkable.

Full disclosure: I ordinarily do not drink pumpkin ales. I've tried several over the years and have failed to understand what the big deal is. But I heard a lot of positive comments from several merchants and a few customers about this ale, so I decided to give it a shot.

 836 characters

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with an off-white head that lasted
Notably orange (pumpkin mash color) in the glass

Initial aroma is allspice, but first tasted is confusing and muddled.
There is strong spicing here, that is bitter, almost metallic.

Doesn't work (at least not for me). Harsh mouthfeel, possibly from the spicing.

Tasted alongside O'Fallon and Ichabod, the O'Fallon was the clear pumpkin pie winner. The New Holland Ichabod was mostly harmless (no strong pumpkin profile) and a little hoppy. The dogfish punkin came out as the dog of the three.

Bought at Sam's Marcey St. for 8.99 for 4 12 oz bottles.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium head with below average retention. Aroma is quite spicy (probably some cinnamon and the pumpkin) with some malt also noticeable. Taste is also quite spicy with cinnamon being the most recognisable spices with some pumpkin on the side. Not bad but I wouldn’t drink a whole lot of this either.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle generously shared by MDS! This stuff looks rough. A hazy orange pour with no head, just a very thin halo of creamy being froth. But the aroma is good stuff. Pumplin and spicy bread dominates. Theres some brown sugar too, and some nutmeg, but it's mostly pumpkin, and it smells good. Taste is pumpkin pie too, pretty spicy, and very soft. Very creamy and drinkable. Just wish the taste kept up with the aroma. Thanks Mike for sharing a good beer from DFH!

 461 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper body with a medium cream-colored head that fades into a creamy ring around a stormy weather pattern. The aroma is really more spice than pumpkin, but the spice isn’t overwhelming. There’s a slightly cake-like and caramel malt underneath. The flavor is lightly sweet and mostly balanced except for a bitterness that doesn’t seem to quite fit in with the rest of the flavors. I’ve had better pumpkin ales.

 420 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

um...brown ale? looks like a märzen. the color's not inspiring, but brilliantly clear, and the head is memorable

pumpkin and spice aromas. the pumkin is subtle but there—kinda the theme for this beer. kinda sticky smelling—like a bucket of syrup. the pumpkin flavor is moderate, too; the malts are just as important to the flavor. brown sugar is apparent but the flavor characters are very balanced

it's lively and sticky: slightly spritzy but syrupy. funny aftertaste, too. i think maybe i don't like pumpkin beers. oh yeah, and it doesn't resemble a brown ale in any way

 581 characters

Photo of samie85
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a deep amber color with a one finger, white head.

S-Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a hint of dry malt.

T-Really big on the nutmeg and allspice with a little cinnamon and a really dry, slightly bitter finish.

M-Quite a bit of a prickly carbonation with light to medium body.

D-One of the easier drinking pumpkin beers I've had so far, but the combination of light body and the strong spice tastes are not a very good match.

 447 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a brassy orange, mild haze, with a finger of frothy parchment head.

Smell -- Biscuity malt, grassy hops, some floral notes, spice in moderation, and faint pumpkin.

Taste -- Toasted malts, biscuit dough, grassy and floral hops, cinnamon and allspice. More of the gourd than in the nose, but still muted compared to the hop addition.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with moderate prickly carbonation with a tannic astringency in the finish.

Drinkability -- Not terribly impressed by this one, honestly. Spice and pumpkin are muted, hops are too forward, and there's this strange astringency that made this hard for me to get into. Admittedly, this is one of my least favorite styles, so your mileage may vary.

 727 characters

Photo of jackorain
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my 1st pumpkin ale. It was 2006. I choose DFH because of their over the top approach to most beers. That being said I was a little dissappointed.

A-Copper, chill haze. not much head. what was there settled almost immediately to a thin ring

S-This beer smeeled pretty good. right of the bat I got roasted pumpkin and roasted malt with the pumpkin taking the lead. I didn't get much spice.

T-Alcolhol 1st, mild pumpkin spice, not much hop to speak of. Maybe a little roasted pumpkin flavor but nowhere near what was suggested by the aroma

M-too much carbonation for me, very fizzy almost soda like. Behind this overpowering carbonation, there may have been a creamy, meduim bodied mouthfeel.

D-The fizz bringing the alcohol directly to my plalate/nose really ruined this beer for.

Sorry DFH, love most everything you do but this didn't do it for me. I was thinking maybe, Indian Brown with roasted Pumpkin in the mash wold make a fantastic Pumpkin but that is not with this is.

 1,001 characters

Photo of fromage
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What a strange beer! Probably good with some kind of dessert, but on its own, I get too many strange flavors. Hard to compare with the style since I haven't had any good pumkin beers.

Looks pretty good coming out of the bottle. Not much head or lacing to speak of. Copper brown color with moderate bubbling.

Smell is pumkin (I guess), some brown sugar, and lemon.

Taste gets more into the brown sugar and spices. I can definitely pick out cinnamon and some caramel. Aftertaste is a little plastic and cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly sticky.

I definitely would not drink more than one!

 609 characters

Photo of walshclimb
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I would not normally order a pumpkin beer, but my local bartender pushed it a little, backed up by several patrons. It looks good enough with a decent creamy head and copper color. It smells like pumpkin pie, just what I would expect but not anything out of the ordinary. It tastes not too bad at first with a decent malt base and spicy flavor with pumpkin that is not overwhelming. As I drank it, it got a little more pumpkin flavored, especially in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and maybe a little chewy. I am not really into this kind of beer, but it is definitely more drinkable than others of this variety. If you like the fall pumpkin beer thing, this is certainly one of the better ones.

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Photo of Bernoulli
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber with minimal head (ring around the side of the glass).

Understated pumpkin flavor and minimal beer flavor with little staying power. (You get some on the first drink and if you hold it in your mouth). Slight taste of alcohol and some carbonation for the mouth feel.

Can't imagine someone disliking it... but can't see someone having it as their first choice.

 379 characters

Photo of musicman575
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was sold on this beer last year. It made such an impression. They have it on tap again this year at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City, CA. Another year of experience has changed things for me :( I better quit drinking beer, or no.

The head looked good initially, but something in the body must be antifoam because it didn't want to stick around. Dark amber opaqueness is alright.

Nutmeg and allspice are such a presence in the nose, but are covered up in the taste. Strong booze, molasses, and spruce shadow everything else. It almost tastes like a lighter version of Anchor's 2010 christmas beer. Where's the pumpkin? There's a bit of savory squash in the finish, but herbal, piny hops make their presence known until the taste clears. There's a bit of a lactic acid that shows up at the start and lingers.

Whatever carbonation is left helps the beer to melt over the tongue.

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Photo of PatrickBeebe
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip. Deep amber brown color. Smells of pumpkin. Taste pumpkinish with holiday spice. A bit thin on the mouthfeel. Just a slightly below average pumpkin beer. Not as good as I remember it though. A bit of a letdown frpm DFH.

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Photo of chemmie
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a light orange/amber color with a lot of clarity. A little head appears and leaves a little lacing down the glass which eventually falls.
The smell is not sweet at all. A lot of malt. It smells like a big brown ale with a little bit of pumpkin spice in it. The pumpkin spice is faint.
The sweetness hits first. There's just a little bit of it, though. After that comes the big brown. It has a lot of flavor to it, but the majority of the flavor isn't from the pumpkin spice. A lot of malts with just a bit of the spice. Not too bad.
Overall, I like a pumpkin beer to be a little sweeter. If you don't like the sweetness of a lot of other pumpkin beers, this is for you. It has a lot of carbonation and a nice strong flavor. Not bad, but I prefer some other pumpkin beers to this.

 789 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alas, like with Pizza Port brews you ask me where I had this beer. Well, since it comes in a BOTTLE, I actually had it at home. But alas, thanks for asking.

From a 12 oz. bottle and poured into a large wine glass, this brew pours a clear deep golden copper in color. A half inch of head dissipates quickly. Rather clear and light for a self proclaimed 'brown ale'.

Interesting sweet light caramel nose with a touch of fruit and sugar. Otherwise has a light amber sense to it. Rather nondescript with just a hint of ginger spice and light 'pumpkin'. Allspice and nutmeg? Yeah, Me Talk Pretty One Day. Or not.

Flavor is light, as is the carbonation. Slight amber sense to it, otherwise light in body and rather boring overall. Unimpressive. And from Dogfish Head, at $2.79 for a single, extremely unimpressive. Simple and subtle, yet don't bother.

 848 characters

Photo of Lou22
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

I'm not going to do an in-depth review. I had this beer chill for a little and it was a lot more enjoyable. Definitely a wintery-feel to it. More spice than pumpkin, smooth as ever though. This deserves to be enjoyed.

 217 characters

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.
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