Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,082 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: 2,082 | Ratings: 6,456
Photo of msolar
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Knowing how DFH likes to push the limits of brewing I was expecting this to rival Southern Tier's ridiculously sweet "Pumking" (which happens to be one of my favorite Halloween beers despite it's moderate drinkability).

The Punkin' Ale, however, was surprisingly well balanced and easy going - it wasn't over the top with spices or flavoring but did make a really nice beer.

Long story short, I ordered a log of it to put on tap at home.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: Pours a light orange color (lighter than I expected) with a medium head that leaves behind great lacing.

Smell: This is the best part of pumpkin ales, and this beer delivers. Pumpkin is placed into moderation by allspice, nutmeg, malt, hops, and alcohol.

Taste: Fantastic. The pumpkin is an ingredient here rather than the whole beer itself, and the other flavors, including the bite from the alcohol, work with it. Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon add just enough spice to compliment the pumpkin and malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth despite being on the thin side. Carbonation is low, allowing the flavors to shine. I wonder as I drink this why so many pumpkin ales drown out the flavor with excessive carbonation.

Overall: There is no consensus as to what is the best pumpkin ale, but there sure are a lot of opinions. This and Pumpking are on the short list of the best in my opinion. This is pricey at $8.99/four, but this truly is excellent. This beer succeeds by doing less of what other pumpkin ales do (others often have too much pumpkin, not enough balance of pumpkin and spice, too much carbonation, or pumpkin that does not taste fresh). This is a must try.

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Photo of generallee
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It had a honey amber color with very good clarity. The head that was produced was light tan in color, average in size and slowly settled down to a thin covering. Lacing was spotty and it quickly slid down the glass.

Smell: The aroma was full of spicy clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste/Mouth feel: It has decent pumpkin flavor up front with a good solid malty body. Hints of sweet brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla notes mix in well and add a good, well balanced complexity. It finishes on the sweet side and slowly with mild spicy hops and mild warmth from its 7%abv. The palate has a slick, smooth texture with medium to full body and lively carbonation.

Notes: Wow this was good. I really enjoyed the balance of flavor and judicious spicing which gives it a great drinkability.

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Photo of rdilauro
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice one fro Dogfish Head!
I always love the beginning of the fall when the Pumpkin beers start to come out. Each you I never know what to expect from each brewery.
One year they may have lots of pumpkin and spices and the next year hardly anything.
This one was just perfect. The nose and aroma after opening the bottle gave you a pleasant pumpkin feel. You could almost taste the spices that were in the air.
The pour was not exceptional, but once you had the glass to your nose, you knew it was going to be good.
The taste was big, smooth, full, just a perfect blend of pumpkin, spices, malt, and hops. Nothing overpowered .
The finish was just as nice as the start.
Loved it.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 release poured into a tulip. Has about a inch of head that dissipates into a film that rests on top throughout. No lacing what so ever.. I nice amber/orange, what you would think of when you think "Pumpkin Beer".

Smell has a nice pumpkin base, with a good spiciness. Strong cinnamon presence, with hints of clove and nutmeg.

The pumpkin flavor is well balanced with the spices, giving a nice caramel smoothness to the beer but still has a good spiciness in the background. Not as spiced as other pumpkin beers which makes this a much pleasant desert beer as it does not overpower.

Medium carbonation and the alcohol is also very well hidden, definitely a great finisher to Thanksgiving or a nice dessert beer.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At this point, the best pumkin beer I have tasted. I often like the first few sips of a pumpkin, but then I get sick of it. Not this one. Smooth and delicious, it has a nice copper hue with incredible aromas- just like on the bottle- allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. But it is not overpowering. I think this due to the hops. This is not a bitter beer at all, but there is hint of it,which keeps this beer crisp.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a wonderful amber and obviously pumpkin hue. small "floaties" are seen throughout and suspended in the brew. A thin two finger rose and fell quickly to leave a small white ring around the glass. Only one column of beading.

Smell: WOW! Spices galore! Cinammon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin for sure. Spices dominat the malt in the nose. No alcohol detected.

Taste: The reason I gave this a five is because of the accuracy with which Dogfish Head has delivered this liquid pumpkin pie. Very complex yet very balanced and symmetrical flavors. Like the nose the spices really pop out. Cinammon sticks, clove, all spice, ginger, nutmeg, and a most delicious slice of pumpkin pie. Nice bready sweetness as well, slightly herbal.

Mouthfeel: Meduim carbonation at first.A nice slick middle and finish. Very smooth easy drinking kind of beer.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy,could drink this all the time.But who wants to eat a pumkin everyday for dinner?

Overall: Dogfish Head has put out another great beer!


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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Appearance- amber color, thin head, no lacing

Smell- very nice, pumpkin, brown sugar

Taste- delicious, pumpkin, a very fall flavor

Mouthfeel- wonderful, medium bodied

Drinkability- Amazing! I love it. I will drink it again and I'm going to go buy some more of it.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz bottle with a laid paper label and neck label. there is an orange pumpkin on the neck label with the word "punk" printed over the pumpkin. label is a peach color with orange and black printing. the oval logo at the top of the label is again the pumpkin with "punkin ale" under the logo. "a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg". 7%abv displayed. packaged in date on the left side of the label isn't notched.

appearance: pours a clear reddish brick brown with strawberry highlights in a pint glass. nice 2 finger head that drops to an eighth inch capper and then to nothing but a ring around the glass. head is a fluffy off-white. retention and lacing are just decent. bubbles rise sparatically throughout the brew.

smell: very spicy. you can definitely smell the nutmeg and cinnamon. i have a hard time pinpointing the pumpkin, but i can definitely smell pumpkin pie. wierd, huh? aromas very reminiscent of fall, harvest and thanksgiving.

taste: tastes as spicy as it smells. nutmeg again, and now the allspice. there is a cinnamony sweet bready malt flavor as well. pumpkin is such a mild flavor and i search to find it, but again there's more of a pumpkin pie flavor than just pumpkin. alcohol chimes in and is mildly warming. there is a light hop bitterness that combines with a yeasty flavor at the end of the sip. finishes a touch sweet and spicy with nutmeg and cinnamon begging for the next sip.

mouthfeel: mouthfeel is a light-medium well carbonated crisp sip. rolls nicely and only clunks a tad in the swallow.

drinkability: very good drinkability. alcohol is there and warms a bit, but not a hinderance at all. i can drink these at a good clip as i almost finished the 4 pack last night, but forced myself to leave one to today to review. flavors, finish and aftertaste beg for more.

overall: this is an excellent pumpkin ale. definitely deserves higher ratings. very tasty and drinkable and perfect for the season. i'm not a big octoberfest fan, but this makes me want to search out more pumpkins to sample. excellent must try for the style.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- clear deep Reddish copper with a thick off white head and decent lace

Smell- pleasant pumpkin and spice nice bready malt and some crisp hops to balance. Buttery hazelnut aromas.

Taste- well malted caramel and bread. Perfect pumpkin and spice.

M- medium full body. Great carb. Slight alcohol-warmth.

Drinkability- fantastic for a pumpkin ale. well rounded overall without too much spice. Currently my favorite example of the style.

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Photo of abgba121
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a murky medium amber color, very little head that leaves behind a light lacing down the glass.

S: smells of pumpkin up front, nice and sweet. The cinnamon and spices are present as well though subtle

T: Malty and sweet, a little extra sweetness from the brown sugar, I get some pumpkin at first as well, then the alcohol esters make their presence known with a slight burn and lingering presence. The finish is sweet and spicy.

M: full-bodied, creamy, well carbonated

O: a great pumpkin beer, the best I have had yet, wonderful blend of pumpkin flavor and spices, a great brew.

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Photo of pedrito
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was happy to see this one at the store today. I'm a fan of the pumpkin variety, and this is probably one of my favorites.

Appearance: Golden copper body and minimal head.

Smell: Somewhere between a jar of pennies and brown sugar.

Taste: Rich and buttery initially with heavy brown sugar. After it settles a bit the nutmeg and pumpkin come out. There's a definite metalic aftertaste that makes your tongue tingle along the sides a bit.

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard - bubbly on the tongue, smooth wash down.

Drinkability: With a month to go till Halloween, this one's got some definite mileage.

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Photo of NOOGIE
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Poured 12 oz bottle, half off purchase sale. Nice orange color, what I imagine from a pumpkin beer. Also ring of foam which sticks with the full beer.

Smell: The first thing that comes to my nose is the pumpkin smell, real pumpkin, not like baked pumpkin pie. Really a lot of smells are in this beer. Second of all, is the spices. I can really smell the cinnamon and nutmeg, mixed with the beer.

Taste: Everything really mixes well in the taste department and it actually has a brown ale taste.

Mouthfeel: Just like the taste the mouthfeel mixes all the various ingredients together and it stays wet in your mouth.

Drinkability: Good, this beer is definitely worth a try again. Surprisingly the drinkability is pretty easy, you really can't taste the high alcohol content so the beer hides the alcohol very well.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice transparent amber, a very small head at the top that leaves quickly, leaves a nice coat at the top, almost barely any lacing.

S-Up front cinnamon and brown sugar, very pretty smell, a slight hint of pumpkin on the tail end.

T-Strong hint of nutmeg and cinnamon upfront, almost same as nose, spicy, a subtle taste of pumpkin on the tail end, not to boozy either

M-Medium bodied, mid carbonation

O-One of my favorite pumpkin ales, Dogfish never lets me down, great brew, perfect for the fall, glad I got a 4 pack!

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Photo of Lucklys
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With me being the last person on earth to try this beer, there's nothing left for me to say that hasn't been said.

Poured into my snifter (I'm still really hesitant to pull out my Pilsner glass...is it time yet?), it holds a wonderful polished cherry wood color in the depths with orange accents swirling around the outside. There was a small head of off-white foam, about a finger thick, that quickly dissolved to a bubbly ring with islands in the middle. I was hardly disappointed as the little foam that lingered didn't vanish, but stuck around through the whole drink, keeping it together just right.

The aroma permeated the air around the glass almost immediately. The Punkin left a seductive trail of fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie, banana bread, and cinnamon toast that I continually wafted over myself in ecstasy. Closing my eyes, I imagined myself in a warm, inviting kitchen baking scrumptious desserts in preparation for a family Thanksgiving. Slinking among the amazing eruption of baked goods, I found some caramel malt, allspice, and a dash of spicy nutmeg.

To continue with the perfection of this favorite brown ale, the taste was the complete embodiment of the nose, only with the liquid sustenance. It was lightly spicy right off the bat, keeping my tongue tingling with happiness while cinnamon, pumpkin pie, and a generous amount of caramel washed over it. All of this was accompanied by nutmeg, brown sugar and allspice - all of which are extremely complimenting of each other; no one flavor tries to dominate the others. The mouthfeel was smooth with a medium body, like a heavy silk, and everything is supported by just the right amount of carbonation. It ends slightly dry with very little bitterness, and pulls everything together with a comforting warmth from the 7% ABV...which gives it an A+ in my book.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Review: 09/08/2008

Had a bottle of 2009 release. 7/21/09

Pours a dark amber with some copper highlights, off-white that settles rather quickly to a thin layer.

The aroma is absolutely delicious, brown sugar, pumpkin pie, and some spiciness, allspice and nutmeg really smell great. Nice caramel in back.

Great caramel/brown sugar sweetness up front with a pleasant dose of pumpkin pie spice. Some beers tend to over do it in the spice department but this one is perfect, just like a fresh slice of pumpkin pie, i think I can taste pie crust in there hehe. The beer finishes pretty crisp with a mild spicy bitterness.

I think that this years batch is superb and deserved another review. Delicious, could not put it down. Must get more.


Previous Review: 09/06/2006

12 oz. brown bottle dated 8/18/06 with a white paper label and a orange/brown foil cap. Pours a clear brownish copper with a fizzy white head that settles pretty quick, not much lacing. The aroma of this beer is really great, like home made pumpkin pie, lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Light bodied, moderate carbonation. A light malt sweetness up front, spicy dry middle, and a stinging alcohol finish. The alcohol content and flavor really overpower any real pumpkin flavor. This beer is a bit of a sipper and is quite warming. I wouldn't be able to drink a bunch of these but it does make for a good dessert beer.


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Photo of nriech
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap and bottle in September 05, both tasted the same so DFH has some consistincy on this batch. Bought the 4 pack at Total Wine and Beverage on Midlothian in Richmond, VA.

Poured with about 1/2 inch head, great aroma of the spices. Not overpowering with any of the spices on taste, just enough of each and pumpkin to make it a good seasonal brew.

Would be good with a big dinner served this time of year of Turkey and stuffing.... :-)

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Photo of femALEist
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin ales in general have never beckoned my name. Perhaps it was that keg that my sister got when I went to go visit her in college when I was still in high school. We got a keg of Pumpkin Ale, had a party, and was drinking pumpkin ale for the next 7 days straight. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Pumpkin ales are usually just too much to handle- too pumpkiny, too spicey, too undrinkable. But when I saw that Dogfish Head came out with one called, Punkin Ale, a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and 7%, I decided to try this type of beer again.

The nose has a more sweet caramel nutty nose than pumpkin with a hint of spicy cinnamon. The color is a deep red sienna brown. The first sip revealed a spicy beer with a light pumpkin aftertaste- not too pumpkiny and not too overwhelmingly spicy. There is a lingering allspice taste on the tongue after you drink it a while with a hint of sweet syrupy maple. It is not a super sweet beer- it actually smells sweeter than it tastes. The flavors really seemed to open up and balance more after the beer cooled down a bit. It reminded me of a spicy unsweetened apple cider more than pumpkin beer.

This beer is calling for you to grab it for a picnic on a cool Sunday afternoon with a loved one- it wants to be enjoyed outside. Granted I wouldn't go out and buy a keg of it, but a few glasses had me lingering for the holidays to arrive. Perhaps it is my love of Fall that made this beer warm my senses or the fact that someone actually balanced a pumpkin beer for me to actually enjoy to drink.

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Photo of goblet
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got a four pack and poured one into a standard pint glass.

a slightly hazy deep orange tone almost the color of a pumkin.white frothy head that lasts the entire duration and leaves nice spider web like lace.

a fresh baking pumpkin pie aroma with cinnamon nutmeg spices and brown sugar are all noticeable and delightful also some carmel like malts and hops come through.

the spices call out load and clear and say their here ,the pumpkin flavor mash was add in just the right amount, just what you want in a pumpkin ale.

a medium body feel with the spices and pumpkin flavor litely lingers on the after taste.

one of the best pumpkin ales with good reasons very drinkable ,smooth on the mark pumpkin and spiced just right ..cheers enjoy i did ..

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Photo of Denali
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blind Tiger in New York City.

2002 Vintage.

Appearance: Clear orange with small white head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Very strong cinnamon and nutmeg (so strong that I felt it at the back of my throat!). Brown sugar was evident as well.

Taste: Like apple/pumpkin pie. Wonderful cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mixed with the pumpkin flavor and topped off with a coating of brown sugar that lasted into the aftertaste. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. I could drink this all night.

Comments: I was a bit hesitant to try this because I don't like pumpkin very much, but it was suggested that there are enough other flavors present that I might like it anyway. I did - very much. You just never know. The brown sugar was fantastic. Yum.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - deep amber color with nice lacing and white head 'atop.

S - pumpkin first and foremost, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg. Smells like the fall and winter... dark, cold nights with fireplace smoke in the air.

T - pumpkin is the first flavor on the palate, but it is quickly taken over by the allspice and nutmeg essences. Tingles a bit and goes down easily.

M - perhaps a little bit heavy on the allspice, which dulls the palate.

O - probably the best pumpkin beer I've had yet. It has more body than most, which is a plus for me.

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Photo of Jarod
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2003

This beer poured a crystal clear orange/brown colored and while held to the light the carbonation bubbles danced all over the place. The head that sat on top of the beer was of the color of cream/beige. It was not real lasting, only from first pour was there any density to it. It fell fast to nothing but a rim on the edges of the glass. Surprisingly there was lace produced and it was in the form of sheets. The aromas were pleasant and fresh. It was pumpkin pie just from the oven and more. I nosed sweet malts, spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper), grated nut, hops, just opened can of pumpkin pie mix, and some brown sugar. The tastes were just as fresh as a just baked pie. Flavors of citrus fruit, fruit (apple, pumpkin –obviously), spices (pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon), sweet malts, brown sugar, hops, pumpkin flowers, and wisps of alcohol in the end. It finished with light pumpkin. The aftertastes were of spicy hop/pepper. The body was medium. Overall taste and impression, is that it is well balanced, not too much pumpkin, but really balanced in all its flavors and aromas. I personally would like to have had a tad bit more pumpkin, but if that would not be possible then don’t change a thing.
Note: this beer gets better as it warms. The distinctions of the aromas and tastes become more prominent with each degree increase. I really liked this beer and would get again and again. Great representative of its style.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from 12oz bottle a clear reddish gold with a medium sized head of foam that shrink slowly leaving a fine broken layer with some lacing.

The smell is, wow. Who put a fresh slice of warm pumpkin pie to my nose when I wasn't looking?? I mean it for real. ;^)

The taste is big on the spices with huge notes of biscuit, sweet malt and an authentic Pumpkin flavour that puts a huge ass grin on my face. There's even some hoppiness in the background that adds some nice tartness but doesn't detract a smidgeon from the overall pumpkin flavour. Again I say, Wow! There's also a bit of fruitness there, I can sense some plum and raisin. What a tasty brew!! My gosh, I'm *so* glad I got to taste this one.

Bottom line: Fancy that, a Pumpkin Ale that actually tastes like pumpkin! This one *has* to be the standard bearer for the style, no question about it. I can't recommend this one enough!

My thanks go out to Wasatch for this beauty!

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Photo of cvfish
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a pumpkin orange color that produced a white foamy head that had decent retention and left little lace along the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer I could read off the label, but I really pick them all up, malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar

T - Well, the taste of this beer is subject, those who like the style will love the taste, all of the ingredients mix well together, the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg were a great combination

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - The drinkability of this beer, for me, is very high, this is a great Pumpkin Beer and I wish this was available in New Orleans

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the best fall seasonal out there, this beer simply kicks ass. Double the ABV of a usual pumpkin/fall seasonal and twice the taste. It's full of brown sugar taste and just the right amount of pumpkin taste. I wish this was available all year as it really is just a good well balanced beer. Not just my favorite pumpkin ale, but one of my favorite beers ever.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,456 ratings.
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