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 ALESwhatCURESya
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to try this one. Poured out a copper, ruby-like color but didn't have anything special for a head on it. I must say that the color is quite impressive. Aroma is pretty much assumed in this style of beer. I thought it was nice and balanced but not a lot of depth to it. The thing I liked about the taste of this beer is that it actually had a pumpkin taste to it and not overloaded with spice. Granted, I love spiced beer, but it was nice to have a pumpkin ale and not have it focused on the spices. Very enjoyable beer and smooth for 7% abv. Glad I bought a 4 pack, but not my favorite pumpkin ale.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A decent shot at a slightly rare style. Low filled bottle, and a copper color to the beer, despite the label saying it was a brown ale. Smells of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg mostly is what I get. Taste is not quite there, and there is a slight oxidized/vegetal/wet cardboard aftertaste. No hops that I can taste are present. Nice creamy mouthfeel, and very clean. A clean beer, but not something I'd search out again, especially at $2.59 a bottle.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A nice clear orange color with very little head and some spotty lacing. The color is very pumpkin and autumn.

S- The nose is pretty weak. It reminds me of Theobroma. Its spicy and sweet.

T- More spice than pumpkin. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate.

M- Smooth mouthfeel is helped by the smooth flavors and medium body. Somewhat drying.

D- Pretty drinkable. Nothing too overpowering. No strong booziness. Just a nice smooth fall sessionable beer.

No complaints but no major raves either.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish orange pour, not a lot of head, just enough to dust the top. Very spicy nose, nutmeg and all spice heavy.

Flavour starts out spicy as well, more of a cinnamon presence in the actual flavour, with a smooth malty underbody and pumpkin aspects present. Not overly aggressive in any of these dimensions.

Mouth: tingles in the right places, not overly thick. Drinkability, about normal for the style, 1 is usually enough.

The bottom line: a fairly standard take on the Fall Pumpkin beer. I don't mind it, but the spice combination used here isn't quite what I'm looking for.

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Photo of donquixote
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied with smooth finish that carries a hint of pumpkin. Not my favorite but not my least favorite either. I recommend it but not raving over it.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I hate to give any DFH a rating below an A but this one mildly disappointed me. It looks good and smells great, but the flavor is far too spiced and not enough pumpkin...its their, don't get me wrong, just needs more. The spiceyness made it a little difficult to drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of smcolw
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange-amber in color, very clear. A light head

Strong pumpkin pie aromas as promised, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Also present are some biscuit-like malt aromas. No discernable hop.

This is a very sweet beer although I now can detect some bitter hop in the swallow. This is a rich ale with a high carbonation--definitely chewy. Strangely lacking flavor (other than sweetness) in the mouth, but the aftertaste is quite complex with the spice and bitterness really coming through.

I'm having this beer in a flight of pumpkin ales (a New England specialty, it appears). I'm not a big fan of sugary beers, like scotch ale. That said, this might be an excellent dessert beer after a hearty meal because it is not sickly sweet. Perhaps a true specialty beer.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, chilled, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear.. well... pumpkin orange color topped by a small beige head that dissipates rather quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice smells are quite prominent. Light caramel malt in the background. A great autumnal smell.

Taste: Aforementioned spices, then a bit of sweetness, followed by bitterness. Most of the flavor is from the non-standard beer ingredients.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a flash in the pan taste, but there is a numbing sensation from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Chew on a cinnamon stick or a clove and you'll know what I mean.

Drinkability: This is kind of a weird beer, as are most pumpkin ales. Worth a try if you consider yourself a beer geek. I picked this up for an impromptu beer tasting for a group of friends. We all found it interesting, but I don't think anyone was overly impressed. I'm finding it hard to finish the bottle. This is definitely one to share.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright orange amber with nice 2 finger, off white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing along the sides of my glass.

S - Very bready malt mostly. A bit of nutmeg, cinnamon is present, and just an ever so faint smell of pumpkin. Honestly a bit of a disappointment in the nose.

T - What it may have lacked in the nose, it seems to make up a bit for it in the taste. A full taste for sure, lots of spice and brown sugar. Some notes of that cinnamon and nutmeg, a slight bit of bitterness from the pumpkin. It's a more subtle taste, but still pretty good.

M - Pretty smooth mouth, a bit sticky, somewhat of an unpleasant aftertaste, but it's pretty weak.

Overall - A decent pumpkin ale here. I've had much better, I've had much worse. I would have liked for the pumpkin to have been a little more pronounced here, it's almost too subtle.

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Photo of EPseja
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Crystal clear and crayola color orange-red with an audible, medium bubbled light-tan head. Retention is minimal, and lacing is almost non-existent.

S - Cinnamon dominates the nose, with nutmeg coming in second. Perhaps some ginger and allspice buried in there as well. A bit perfumey and slightly metallic. Hops are crisp, but fleeting and hard to pick out in the nose.

T - Sweet and malty -- it's easy to pick out the brown sugar up front. That's a nice touch. Tingly cinnamon in the middle with toasty, warming alcohol. Gets only slightly dry in the finish and never really lets any bitter hops through. Spicy cinnamon Tic-Tac and bread aftertaste. Missing the squashy tang of the pumpkin -- which would be hard to retain in a beer of this clarity.

M - Considering the cinnamon already provides a bit of tingle to the mouth, this could have benefited from a bit less carbonation. On the watery side going in, this one instantly puffs up in the mouth, becoming a bit more foamy than creamy. Swallow is slightly gassy.

D - This is a decent pumpkin ale, but not a masterpiece. If I'm going to go after a 7% beer, I want a more pronounced flavor profile that's better rounded. This one seems to be a bit jagged, much as many other DFH beers are, but also unbalanced. Would I have another after this one in my drinking session? Not likely... there are too many other better pumpkin ales out there.

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Photo of BrandonN24
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a very nice beer. I would much more consider this a great harvest ale over a pumpkin. It has almost no pumpkin notes but a lot of nutmeg. I enjoyed it personally but the pumking by southern tier was definitely a better pumpkin.

It is definitely worth a try if you enjoy harvest beers, but if you are looking for a lot of pumpkin flavors then this may not be for you.

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Photo of seydou
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a very festive orange coppery color. I don't get much of a smell off of this one. Taste is immediately very autumn-refreshing. Sweetness with a good dose of the alcohol taste of the 7% coming through. The pumpkin flavor hits midway through the taste and not overpowering or chemically not many pumpkin beers. The pumpkin lingers with a bit of bitterness. It's good, not great.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours an awesome orange color. It's clear with not much head at all. I get a mild spice aroma off this, with malt and maybe some pumpkin, sorry punkin', in the background. The flavor is definitely sweet with a nice toasted malt flavor carrying through to a spice finish. The spices seem more of a mouthfeel than an actual flavor, without any one spice dominating or even coming through at all. It finishes a little warming. Overall this is a decent pumpkin beer.

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Photo of DeepSix
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is on par with an amber ale, not much head retention and pretty much no lacing.

Smell, wow never quite smelled a beer like this before, its spices are overpowering, can for sure smell the pumpkin spices.

The pumkin taste is no where near as overwhelming at the smell, a pretty thin mouthfeel as well, didn't expect much though.

Only one or two of these a night for me, couldn't drink the bar closed on these.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Its a copper color with a head the quickly dissapated.

S - There is some pumkin, and some spices, but they are in the background of some phenolics, and some strong czech sulfur aromas.

T - Some toasted malts are up front, which are followed but a punkin spice flavor melded with some roasted caramel. Its all blended well, but there is not one dominate flavor. Maybe it could age?

M - The mouthfeel is fantastic. It starts of with a little carbination on the fron t but smooths out in the middle and dry out nicely.

D - I wonder if can age, to bring the flavors together....That is what I am hoping.

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Photo of mfunk9786
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love pumpkin ales, and I love Dogfish. For some reason, though, this beer has never jived with me.

A: Pours without all that much head, though what's there has nice lacing throughout. The beer is a copper penny color, looks quite inviting.

S: Pumpkin and spices. A little bit of unusual sweetness, but no sign of what'll follow in that department.

T: The first 3/4 of the experience of tasting this beer makes me very happy. Nice raw pumpkin character with just the right amount of spices. What puts me off is something I've had an issue with with a few Dogfish beers here and there: The aftertaste is cloyingly sweet. It takes away from the rest of the experience and...

M: ...sadly, lingers on the tongue. The techicals of this beer are perfect though. Just the right amount of carbonation and autumnal spice.

D: Having had several over the last three years, I just can't drink more than one in one night. Too sweet for me.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, "packaged in" date on side of bottle not marked.
Assuming it is this years release since DFH is new to AZ this year.

Pours a rich clear amber with a thin tan head.
Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Pumpkin is barley evident.

Pumpkin is more evident in the flavor. Tastes of canned pumpkin pie mix, with lots of cinnamon added.

Finish is heavy on the cinnamon. Not as sweet as I thought it would be, (that's good), But the cinnamon kind of overpowers everything in the end. One is enough for me.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Nice copper color and a fizzy head that retains decently well.

s. Nose of cardamom, nutmeg and allspice. Just a hint of malty pumpkin.

t. A well balanced pumpkin beer. The spice is varied from sweet, spicy, herbal and medicinal. There is a sweet caramel malt character as well. The pumpkin is very subtle but it does make itself known.

m. High level of carbonation, medium bodied.

d. At 7% its a bit heavy, though the alcohol is not really noticable. Easy drinking, and am glad I had the oppurtunity.

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Photo of youngleo
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured to about a one inch head. Head was slightly orangish in color. Head didnt hang around very long but did leave a little lacing. Ale itself was kind of a goldish brown. Had a sweet smell along with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Wasnt as strong as what I had expected. The flavor was actually mild. just of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Then again, nothing overwhelming. All the flavors were on the mild side. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was about right. I wouldnt mind a few of these at Halloween time. I just dont think it would make a good session beer.

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Photo of ark57
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a cloudy orange. It is warming for those cool fall nights and has a pumpkin spice aroma. The taste was of nutmeg and cinnamon finishing off with brown sugar. The alcohol content was too overwhelming. The spices were not well balanced with the maltiness. The aftertaste was great, but the beer itself was just okay.

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Photo of jeffaz02t
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice copper, creamy head that lasts a few minutes. lace remains through entire pint.

S: Sweet, rum, allspice. Yummy.

T: Sweet raisons, spice, malt, sweet and spicy after taste.

M: Creamy as hell.

D: Overall great pumpkin beer, but a little sweet for my taste. However, it is tasty.

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Photo of njmoons
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pumpkin Beers, I like the way they smell...

I can't go to far into the taste here.

Punkin Ale look, tastes, drinks, feel like a very mundane medium ale.

The aroma of this beer is great, with those pumkpin pie spices, but other than a little vegetable flavor the aroma does not transfer into the beer.

I can't 'crush it' because as pumpkin beers go this was solid, but not something I would drink again.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Re-review 10/11/14:

Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale. 7% ABV.

A: Not a lot of head. Half a pinky nails width, if that. Lacing is decent, but does not hold at all. Decent amount of sheeting. Pumpkin-y orange-amber; nice and clear. Pale grey-yellow in the dimple. Bubbles have a nice sparkle.

S: Light pumpkin puree. Pie crust spice. Slight clove, even less cinnamon. Faint pumpkin skin.

T/MF: More pumpkin skin. Mild hop, though it still over powers any spice notes. Maybe, a hint of clove.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Scoring unchanged.

Original Review:

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. A brown ale brewed with pumpkin and pumpkin spices (brown sugar, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg). 7% ABV.

Appearance: Nice haze coming out of the bottle. Almost two fingers of head. Quickly fades to half then slows. Beer has a nice, bright sienna coloring.

Smell: Pumpkin puree. Very faint oakiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Right away, I taste the clove! A bit of bitter pumpkin flavor. Nutmeg towards the finish. A slight cinnamon burn towards the front.

Not bad, but certainly not as good as people's ravings would lead me to believe.

Drinking from a clear beer mug. 12 oz. bottle.

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the beer of the month at my Taco Mac location.

Came to me in a large mug, copper / amber color very clear with an off white head. Bubbles continued to rise from the sides and bottom of the beer.

There was very little aroma at the start and it didn't change from that as the beer warmed up.

The taste was about as impressive as the smell some spice, some pumpkin but very little.

The mouthfeel from the carbonation made the drink very refreshing there was some slight bitterness at the finish. All in all a very good very mild ale.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know we're supposed to review "within the style in mind", but does anyone really enjoy pumpkin beer? I remember enjoying it, but each and every one I had this year (this was the last) tasted like, well, like pumpkin. It just doesn't do it for me.

As far as pumpkin ales go, this was one of the better ones I had. Good cinnamon/nutmeg scent to it. Looked beautiful in the glass, orange-amber color. Taste was pumpkiney, but a good dose of hearty malt along with it. Due to the taste, I doubt anyone is downing a bunch of this all night.

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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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