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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,108 | Ratings: 6,541
Photo of LAMAGS
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has is a coppery orange in color with noticeable carbonation, fluffy head with little retention. Excellent nose on this one, spicy and sweet it does succeed in smelling similar to a pumpkin pie, so well, done. The flavor is similar to the nose, very sweet with a blend of spices. This beer is uncharacteristic of others offered by Dogfish Head due to the noticeable flavor of alcohol; this can be a problem for some although I didn’t really mind it. Despite appearances this brew is not overly carbonated, its got a full body that tickles the palate. Another enjoyable beer by Dogfish.

 597 characters

Photo of jameaterblues
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes

A- Light brown color with hints of orange and copper...no lace and a 1/4inch white/tan head.
S-Brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice(this is overall very light cinnamon, and allspice)), sweet roasted malts, and a light hop-i-ness.
T- A gentle sweetness from the malt(and sugar) on the tip of the tongue, spice and pumpkin are very light in the big malty body....not overwhelming....light hops just before the finish and throughout the finish....and a slightly sweet and spiced finally.
M/D- Med-light body with moderate carbonation, not too sweet and very easy to drink....and overall tastes like you are drinking a big glass of the fall weather.

 687 characters

Photo of BDIMike
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, reddish-orange hue. There is a good amount of carbonation, but it does not create much more than a thin white head that was gone before it developed.
Smell has a lot going on for a brown ale. A strong malty base with hints of pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and other spices.
Taste is very good for a pumpkin beer. The beer has a nice malt base, but is spiced up in great ways. There are tastes of pumpkin, brown sugar, and a really strong nutmeg taste, which goes well with the pumpkin.
Mouthfeel is very good for a brown ale. A nice medium thickness, but very smooth as well.
Drinkability is really nice for a beer with 7% ABV. All kinds of spices and different tastes, but they all go so well together that you don't get hit hard by any one spice. A must try if you like pumpkin ales.

 796 characters

Photo of poppollutesminds
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Older varieties were much tastier. The current seasonal that is being put out is still good but no where near as good as it was when DFH really kicked off distribution.

 169 characters

Photo of JustIPAs
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although the Pumpkin Ale's are not typically my favorite, I have to admit that this took me by surprise. I picked this one up because I fell in love with the Aprihop that I had at the Boston Beer Summit. This beer did not disappoint me either! The nose of the beer is strong but not overwhelming, and leaves enough room for you mouth to make up its own conclusion. The finish was very nice, and not too long. Overall I would consider this ale highly in this category and would be something I look forward to having every fall!

 526 characters

Photo of droomyster
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm rarely outright enthusiastic about a pumpkin - or any other flavored - beer, but this one is exciting. Pours a hazy amber with fine carbonation; not much of a head. Smells of all the pumpkin and spice goodness of many pumpkin ales but surpasses its competitors by using a healthy heap of biscuity and toasty malts. Unlike other pumpkin ales I've tried, the cinnamon and vanilla are not overwhelming - the sweetness is actually balanced by hops. A highly enjoyable beer.

 473 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into wide mouth glass.

Pours with virtually no head (just a persistent ring) over a fairly clear iced tea to orange colored body. Just a touch of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas are sweet, balanced, and inviting. The typical cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove are predominant. A bit of burnt log. Some wheat bread in the back, and some vegetal (pumpkin flesh) aromas as it warms.

Mouthfeel is slightly richer than expected, and flavors carry some roasted pumpkin seeds, cinnamon toast, just a touch of navel orange bitterness, but mostly sweet pie filling. Good level of carbonation keeps the mouthfeel fairly crisp, given the ABV.

Overall, this is a classic in the Pumpkin Ale category - not just because DFH started brewing it over 15 years ago, but also because it represents the style spot on, and is really enjoyable in aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel.

 855 characters

Photo of rpjterp
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am not usually a fan of fruit in my beer but pumpkin is about as savory a fruit as you will find and it is the exception. This is my favorite take so far on a pumpkin beer.

Best described as an above average amber ale but the pumpkin flavors take it to another level.

Bubbles keep it lively and it feels light 7.0% abv.

Smell is just right for a quality amber ale with an overtone of pumpkin.

Perfect at Thanksgiving. Great gift to bring instead of the usual bottle of wine in the Fall.

 497 characters

Photo of montageman
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Living in Michigan and loving to grill and be outside as much as possible, the fall is the last hurrah to be outside before massive amounts of snow set in. Fall also brings with it a plethora of seasonal beers including pumpkin beers. I've had many pumpkin beers and have been disappointed with each of them, however, this one is a different story. The clear pumpkin color of the ale coupled with the intense pumpkin pie aroma is a world apart from other pumpkin brews. The taste is complex - spicy, sweet, and and roasted like a piece of pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and well suited to this style. Easy drinking as a dessert beer or as a reminder of why fall isn't such a bad thing. Highly recommended.

 747 characters

Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a very nice completely clear orange color with a light layer of bubbles on top. The head dissipates quickly into a thin ring around the glass. The lacing is there, but disappears as quickly as the initial head.

Smells good. Lots of spices, from what I can tell there's some nutmeg and cinnamon. Real crisp and nice like.

Tastes great. There's a solid bready malt taste up front shortly followed by the spices. Just like the smell there are nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Very nice, nothing is out of place.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness and the carbonation is what's expected. It goes down easily.

Drinkability for this beer is very good. This goes down so easily, and there's not a hint of the 7% ABV to be found. I could drink a ton of these.

Overall I was very happy with this beer. I was hesitant to spend as much as it cost on a 4-pack when so many other pumpkin ales were out there, but I'm glad I did. Be sure to give this one a try.

 999 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, orange color... almost irredescent. Small head disappears pretty quickly. The aroma is all pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, big-time cinnamon, and a big waft of allspice. Maybe even some spicy hoppiness in there as well. Taste is really great for a pumpkin ale - it's mainly a very spicy tasting brew up front, then some sweet candied pumpkin and then a nice bitter finish that lingers for a while. Like one forum poster said, "pumpkin pie in a glass." No doubt about it. This would sit perfectly against a plate of turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Mouth is medium to full, slightly oily and smooth. It's very drinkable. You're definitely thinking about glass number two right away.

 692 characters

Photo of fank2788
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Coppery brown, somewhat cloudy or at least not entirely clear, nice off white head that laces nicely. Definite nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice in the nose a bit of alcohol too. The taste matches the smell. The nutmeg is quite clear in the taste of this beer followed by a strong caramel malt base. Little to no hop bitterness but at the same time it isn't overly sweet like many other examples of the style. The mouthfeel too is good nice full body with moderate carbonation lead to a pleasant beer. This is my favorite pumpkin ale by far. I feel it does a good job of capturing pumpkin pie taste without being one dimensional and too sweet. Something I look forward to every year.

 714 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not quite as wowed by this beer as I anticipated, but I realize now that I must be partial to the pint-sized-type pumpkin ales, which seem generally slightly stronger and sweeter. This is good for those who like a drier pumpkin ale.

This beer reminded me of the Weyerbacher pumpkin ale I tried last week, but a little more refined.

A: medium orange-brown ale with an ivory head

S: sugary, not as powerful a pumpkin as others I've had (lower abv)

T: a solid good-tasting beer, not too sweet or too strong, satisfying

M: once warmed, very smooth drinking, carbonation apparent, light vegetal/spice aftertaste

O: the anticipation of the release had me expecting the greatest pumpkin ale yet. I got a real good ale for the season.

As I come back to this beer, having been won over by DFH this past year or so, and having tried a greater variety of non-imperial and 12 oz pumpkin ales, I have to improve Punkins marks somewhat, because I appreciate it more than the first time I had some.

 992 characters

Photo of dismal
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still a little early for pumpkin beer or at least I think but at couldn't resist. From the bottle to a pint glass, pours a hazy dark orange/burnt orange color. Has a one finger head that pretty quickly goes to just a small head that is barely there. Leaves some lacing down the glass. Smell is spices and pumpkin right up front. Pretty typical of the other pumpkin beers I've had. Taste is as I was expecting. Pumpkin and spices right up front, and it's followed by that familiar Dogfish Head taste. Really good taste. Has a 7% ABV which isn't high or anything but no alcohol is noticeable in the taste. Really easily drinkable. Of the few pumpkin ales I've had this is up there maybe as the best I've had yet. Overall great stuff, I'll be picking up some more of these and save them for more of a better autumn day.

 816 characters

Photo of Brunite
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear, orangish brown A few fingers of white head. Carbonation is noticable.

S: NIce! The spices are all there as is the flavor of fresh pumpkin. This hits the mark.

T: Bready, spices, pumkin. This is the best I have had of all the pumkin beers.

M: A medium mouthfeel with a nice creaminess.

O: A great pumpkin beer; one of the best that I've had. I have tried many and all except Pumking has dissapointed (SA was pretty good). This is perfectly done...and I am no DFH fan. This on sale at 8 bucksish is a no-brainer for me. One of my 2 top PK beers.

 559 characters

Photo of Liverpool08
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this before, but this year it seems to be much better. A great sweet malty brown ale
made better by the nutmeg, sugar and pumpkin spices. Again this is first a Brown ale, soft and malty, but then you get the nice sugar and nutmeg kiss. Not a super Pumpkin flavor, but it reminds you of all of the spices that make up a great pumpkin pie. Hats off to DFH.

 365 characters

Photo of hchinaski
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to tend bar in a place that has had this beer on tap the last two years.

A: Pours a lovely burnt orangish amber, with a nice 2/3 inch head. Left a bit of a lace and was not in a hurry to leave.

S: More than a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices, but not in a bad way.

T: The spices dont stop with the aroma, as they burst onto the scene to greet you on the first sip. Malt is present on the aftertaste, nearly overpowering the sweet flavor. A nice balance.

M: Left me feeling in want of more upon drinking. The spices, as well as the malts, tended to linger.

D: Im good for 3 or 4 of these in a sitting, until i remember that the ABV is a little higher than normal. Very nice warm, cozy feeling ( last night was the first half-way cool Autumn night, perfect timing).

This years batch seemed to have a heavier, malted taste compared to last. The balance is not quite as evenly matched as '06, but i've actually come to enjoy it more. This is my post-shift beer until the keg blows.

 1,006 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
4.3/5  rDev +10%

Poured bottle into glass. 7% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark orange color and cloudy/hazy in terms of clarity. Two finger white head that dissipates fast.

Smell- Unmistakeable scent of fresh pumpkin interwoven with the pumpkin pie spices and a malty sweetness.

Taste- Starts off quite sweet and sugary, but this quickly turns into some fresh pumpkin flavor. The spices of nutmeg and cinamon are imparted but are not overpowering. The pumpkin taste as well as some light bitterness linger in the back end.

Mouthfeel- Quite light in body for a 7% ale. Actually on the thin side which makes this super drinkable. Slick and lively in the palate.

Overall- A suberb pumpkin ale. Maybe a little on the sweet side but not to the point that it would detract. The fresh taste is there. Not too spicey either but enough spice taste to be appropriate. Definitely lives up to being on the top 5 pumpkin ales.

 897 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Dogfish Head pint glass.

A: Poured a bright orange-amber with a thin coating of tan bubbles that reduced to a fine lace rather quickly. There's some good body and medium carbonation noticeable.

S: Smells like pumpkin mash, some sugary sweetness, and acidic alcohol. Not an overpowering spicy odor, merely faint and intriguing for a pumpkin ale.

T: Tastes of a sweet, molasses based brown ale with some pumpkin flavoring and allspice blended in with it. The hop content is relatively low, but noticeable. The pumpkin taste is more subtle, letting the other sweet flavors and brown ale characteristics to shine through.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied; not necessarily thirst quenching, as I'm assuming the beer was meant to be enjoyed on cool fall evenings or at the witching hour, not chugged down.

D: I could easily sip the whole 4-pack of this stuff over the course of a few hours, that's how smooth and tasty it is as a pumpkin ale.

Another excellent fall installment from the brewers at Dogfish Head. I had a chance to sample some of the first batches this summer at the Milton brewery, but it never tasted better as it does at the end of the line and out of my fridge on this Halloween night. Almost makes me want to sip another and wait for the Great Pumpkin.

 1,284 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliantly clear orange bronze in color. Modest white head with no lacing to speak of.

Aroma is malty and fruity, with brown sugar sharp scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Taste is sweet, malty and fruity. Plenty of spices going on as the nose suggested, offering a pleasant complexity. Hops are rather earthy in nature and bring much needed balance. Finish is peppery and spicy with lingering nutmeg and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

Certainly the tastiest example of the style that I've ever had. Flavor is complex and satisfying. A nice brew for a cool fall day. Would probably match well with a Thanksgiving dinner. Yet again, Dogfish Head proves itself as a great brewery.

 715 characters

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

DFH Punkin ale from 355ml into DFH globe @ 48*. Pours a nice light amber with a 1" off white head that sticks around for a few minutes. Smells of light caramel malts, light cinnamon, a bit of ginger, and a pleasant hint of pumpkin. This brew tastes good, like really good. Light caramel malts up front with a good dose of the pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon, and a little clove. There is a tad of hoppiness to this brew but its really toned down. Overall a really good pumpkin ale with excellent spice notes. Now I wouldn't regularly pick up 4pk for $9.99 but I managed to find these on sale @ a weird package store for $7.99 a 4pk. I went ahead and bought the last 3 they had, and I'm glad that I did! Cheers!!

 706 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber ale that had plenty of orange tones. A substantial head formed atop the beer that was off white and very creamy. I was able to get this to climb above the rim of the glass. About 2 ½ fingers thick. Very good retention. Only slight lacing which surprised me based upon the initial head. Probably due to the 7% ABV.

Aroma was clearly on point with cinnamon, nutmeg coming through. Does pumpkin have an aroma? I don't know, as we always equate cinnamon and nutmeg with it....

Taste was extremely smooth and surprised me for a 7% ABV. I actually convinced myself that I can taste the pumpkin here. Almost a slight squash like flavor that was actually nice. (orange flavor as I call it...)

Spices come through and really make this enjoyable. First sweet up front, then drifts towards the spices.... After this you are left with a slight brown sugar and cinnamon flavor that lingers.

Lighter in body than I expected and the mouth feel was lighter than I thought. A little sticky... Very drinkable. An excellent seasonal for the fall.

I'll get more and I'm upset I only bought one bottle to try.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Scoats
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm...pumpkin pie beer... hmmmm.... "Pumpkin Pie in a glass" is the best way to describe this beer. It is the color of pumpkin pie. It starts with a nice initial taste of pumpkin and ends with a pumpkin pie spiciness - just like real pumpkin pie.

Ignoring the pumpkin pie thing, it is also a very drinkable beer. A great balance between gimmicktry and general beer drinkability. It is indeed a fine drinkable beer.

Personally I like this beer a lot, especially during the late fall/early winter Halloween/Thanksgiving time of the year.

This easily is the most popular beer that we sell at The Grey Lodge Pub due to its shocking word of mouth cross-over appeal with non-beer geeks and its scarcity. Barrels emptied quickly all over the city. A certain amount of scarcity is important with this beer as there is little demand for it after the Halloween/ Thanksgiving season is over.

Each year at The Grey Lodge the anticipation and legend of this beer increases.From what I can tell due to its extreme scarcity, that is true at a lot of places. This beer is everything seasonal beers should be and should be about. And to think two years ago we got a barrel around Thanksgiving because they couldn't get rid of it. This year all were gone before Halloween.

 1,270 characters

Photo of mjw2808
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One finger head, dissapaited quickly. Very nice dark golden brown color. It smells faintly like pumpkin with some nutmeg and cinnomin in there. Taste is very rich, filled with nutmeg and cinnomin initially and a nice pumpkin finish. Very nice beer, one of my favorite fall brews and one of the most nicely crafted beers ive had.

 328 characters

Photo of yesyouam
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Punkin Ale is a very clear amber ale with a small off-white head that vanishes quickly. It's quite sparking. It smells spicy! It's sweet cinnamon rolls with some kind of fruity wooden element, coriander and perhaps cherry. It's a very strong aroma. It's medium-bodied and soft with a large and sparse carbonation. It's syrupy and it leaves the lips and tongue a bit sticky. It boasts a strong and smooth flavor. The flavors are very blended. It's something between garam masala and mole. The malt is a little sweet and a little tart. The aftertaste is alcohol, or black pepper or allspice. It's almost like cake with a spiced liqueur poured on it. This seems like it's in the spirit of Bush de Noel but with an autumn flare. Good stuff. Consider this 4-pack punished!
(rated Oct 16, 2007)

 788 characters

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,541 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.