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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 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 futaboots
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My favorite pie with my favorite, uh, fermented beverage.

This tastes much better than I remember it tasting last year. I don't know why. Anyway, I liked this beer when I had it last year, I really like it now.

The overall impression here is that this is a beer first and foremost. A tasty and slightly strong brown ale, with some spiciness from the alcohol, and strong malty flavor. Aroma smells faintly like pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin and spices are always creeping around the edge, blending well with the traditional malty beer flavors of raisins, grape juice, chocolate and caramel. This is a sweet beer, but never overwhelmingly so. I can't detect much hop flavor or aroma, but the bittering hops are certainly doing their job to keep the other flavors from getting out of hand.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. Carbonated to perfection I think. I also dig the light brown color of the beer, which seems to have a tinge of orange.

My favorite pumpkin beer. Well, one of two that are distributed in my town, so I guess that's not saying much. But it's still an excellent beer, as far as beers go.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear, ruby-amber color and is topped by a frothy, large bubbled tan colored head. The aroma is lightly spiced with notes of nutmeg, sweet brown sugar and allspice. The beer has a certain satisfying fullness to the palate, a far cry from the thin wan limp body on the Buffalo Bill’s version, which lightly coats the mouth as the beer goes down. The beer is lightly sweet with a brown sugar like note and a bit of caramel. The spices are evident, yet at a bearable level, such that they don’t dominate this beer. I get notes of nutmeg, allspice, perhaps some soft cinnamon, caramel, molasses, slight ginger in the finish, and perhaps a hint of pumpkin-like vegetal flavor. Because of the spices, this beer finishes with a light astringency, and perhaps a bit of hotness.

The spicing level and the fullness of this beer designate this a bit more than a quaffing brew, slow sips seem mandatory, and I would be hard pressed to down a glass of this beer. This is all ok though, as I don’t mind savoring the interplay of spice and caramelized sugar notes. Where is the pumpkin? I am not too sure, as is typical in spiced versions the pumpkin is really not noticeable. This beer is quite enjoyable and is one of the better examples of the style that I have had.

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Photo of hyuga
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty orange colored brew with a not-quite-eggshell head. Head retains pretty well and leaves some lace.

Strong nutmeg aroma with some cinnamon and allspice. Bready malt is noticeable as well.

Lots of spices everywhere on the palate, including hop spiciness. Bready malt takes a backseat to the pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. Hops prevail towards the end with a crisp, spicy bite. Spices don't overpower since the hops keep them in line. Lasting bitterness in the aftertaste.

Good carbonation and hops give this a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

A pretty well-balanced pumpkin beer. I think I like it a little better than the Cottonwood one, which I drank a few of last year at this time before our ABV cap was lifted.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice head however it doesn't last too long. The head fades to a small lace. The color is an orange amber color and is very clear.

Smell: The smell is awesome. Light pumpkin in the nose. A lot of spices are in the aroma which make this awesome. I can really smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. The malt kicks in and mixes with the spiciness of the spices. Fantastic!

Taste: Sweet at first. Spices kick in fast. This beer reminds me more of a Christmas beer. The hops leave a strange bitterness towards the end. The alcohol then kicks in to leave some dry spiciness.

Mouthfeel: A little thin but a decent consitency

Overall a very good beer. The best pumpkin beer I have had.

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Photo of jakester
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper/orange with a 1/2 finger head of cream colored bubbles. The head quickly drops to islands and a ring, with no lacing. Carbonation looks average.

Aroma is very spicy, with notes of nutmeg, cinammon and allspice. Smells sweet, with maybe some pumpkin aroma in there. It's so spicy I can't really determine hop smells.

Flavor is spicy; cinammon, allspice and nutmeg all come through nicely. There is some hop bitterness there, but not much. Nor is there a detectable hop flavor. Not real sure what pumpkin would taste like in a beer, but this tastes different. Pretty much residual sugar, but not cloying; I like this. Pumpkin flavor, (I guess), is subtle. Aftertaste is spicy and sort of sweet.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with decent carbonation. Something is resiny on the tongue; not sure what it is. Finish is sweet and resiny.

This is my first pumpkin ale, and I'd have to say it's pretty good. The spices are pronounced, but not overbearing. The pumpkin is somewhat muted, but present. I'd say this is well balanced, and pretty damn yummy!

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Photo of Stubbie1
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A beer that pours a deep copper color. A slight copper-ish/tan head on top. Fades to a thin lace then spotty patches. So far so good but after the appearance, this beer falls apart. Aroma is of spice, nutmeg cinnamon a bit of malt but very little pumpkin. I found it (the pimpkin) hard to find. Taste matches the aroma. Where is the pumpkin? I was hoping for a gritty earthy tone of the pumpkin to complement the spices but was let down. Medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is great if you’re into spiced beers but as for a pumpkin beer goes…there are better

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Photo of BierManVA
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first ever pumpkin bier. I have been avoiding trying this style for many years. Just seems a little weird to me.

Bier is orange-copper in hue and has little carbonation. The taste is surpisingly crisp with excellent balance of flavors. Clove, nutmeg, anise, white pepper. Light on the nose.

Finishes a little dry though I could have a few of these. Definately a fall bier.


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Photo of LPorter33
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Light golden brown, semi transparent, minimal head and lacing. Pleasant looking but nothing spectacular.

Smell = Very spicy and fruity. Nutmeg is present along with a bit of cinnamon. A nice hop kick comes through too.

Taste = Deliciously spiced and flavored. Not overly sweet yet the cinnamon and nutmeg makes it feel like you're drinking the essence of pumpkin pie. Has enough hops to provide a bitter edge. This is a masterfully crafted pumpkin ale. Hides the 7% well.

Overall = By far the best pumpkin ale I've had. I look forward to soon comparing this one against Smuttynose's version.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper hue with a thin beige head that dissapates quickly. Aroma is pumpkin, spices, sweet caramel malt, and vanilla. Flavor begins with a light pumpkin and spices flavor followed by a slightly sweet malt character, and a lightly bitter hops profile and a bit of an alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting, but not very pumpkin tasting and overall not impressive. Mouthfeel is crisp with medium body and moderate carbonation. Descent but there are cheaper local pumpkin brews that are superior (Cottonwood).

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brilliant coppery orange with a medium white head that quickly fades and a bit of carbonation streaming throughout.

Smell is nicely subdued, but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin all come through pretty clearly on top of a solid malt backbone and against a slightly bitter hop scent.

Flavor is slightly sweet and heavy on the nutmeg and allspice over the pumpkin, but this is often the case in pumpkin ales and doesn't really bother me. It's by no means an overspiced mess. My one real complaint with the taste is that the alcohol is a bit hot and apparent for my liking. Overall, though, this one shows a good amount of restraint and makes a pleasant-drinking pumpkin brew.

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Photo of eveninghawk
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, I need to start off up front on this one... I wish it smelled as good as it tastes, because it is oh so yummy and I wish I were smelling that yumminess.

Pours an orangey-brown, small head, and the sugars really stick here. The beer has a great sweet overtone that's just festive enough to be a good pumkin... and the cinnamon/nutmeg really comes through, maybe a little more than the pumkin does. I need to say again, it tastes oh so yummy if you like the pumkin-pie in a bottle feel that you get from pumkin ales.

Of course, the fact that it tries to be a badass while being a sweet lil' pumpkin only adds to the joy.

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Photo of finepaws
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, orange, coppery, brown with a small lite tan head with a creamy swirl that remains throughout. Smells amazing, lots of allspice sweetness. Wasn't as impressed with the taste. Wanted more pumpkin flavor. Maybe more cinnamon too. Some hop profile, seems floral. Has a hot flavor from the alcohol level. Almost tastes perfumey and pepperish. Mouthfeel is ok. Average malt body, with ok carbonation. Somewhat spicey on the lips. Warming too. Overall drinkability, I've had better. This is ok, but I think it needs to be pared with something to tone it down, like vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of AltTrinker
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 12 oz. brown, freshness dated, bottle.
Appearance: Pours a turbid, orangy-copper color with a thick, white head that slowly dissipates to one-half inch in a few minutes. Lacy patterns remain longingly on the glass.
Smell: Spices predominate. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors mix with a fruity orange / pumpkin essence. As it warms, caramel and fruity overtones make their presence with the pumpkin coming in strongly at the end of the glass.
Taste: The hoppy bitterness and spices predominate over the maltiness and sweetness in a pleasant way. The pumpkin flavor comes at mid mouthfeel, finishing with the spiciness from the nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is clean with subtle lingering hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light body for this 7% alc. by vol. ale.
Drinkability: Although I generally gravitate toward the German brews with their adherence to the restricted ingredients of malt, hops, water, and yeast, this is a pleasant, enjoyable ale typical for the creative brews produced by Dogfish Head.

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Photo of kpantz
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: What a way to ring in fall just a bit early...a wonderfully balanced fruit beer.

Obtained 24-Aug in NJ atop a mound of Punkin' Ale cases. No freshness date on the bottle (year not notched).

Appearance: Pours golden orange and clear. Just LOOKS like autumn. Thin head that all but disappears, but leaves just enough to protect the pumpkiny goodness.

Smell: Never did I think you could actually smell the pumpkin in a pumpkin ale, but it's here. Unmistakable. No hops in the nose, and that's spot on for a pumpkin ale.

Taste: Dogfish does it again. I seem to remember last year's batch being a little sweeter, but this is very nice as well. Good malt backbone, and you can definitely get the spices here, too. Of course, the pumpkin is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Glorious. Perfect thickness to it and just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Are you kidding? I'll drink this until I see the Great Pumpkin. 7% ABV is hidden, and I'm sure I could put away the 4-pack before I knew it.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fruit beers generally taste gimmicky and imbalanced to me, but when they work, they're among my very favorites. Dogfish Head knows the trick. Along with the great Aprihop, Punkin' is one of the best fruit beers out there, and one of my favorite beers overall. Pumpkin is such a nice fruit to blend with beer. It doesn't overwhelm the beer or add cloying sweetness. It mixes perfectly with hops and other beer flavors. Punkin has nice spices, a subtle sweetness, a fantastic smell, and an aftertaste that is complex and endlessly pleasurable. I love this beer. Its use of pumpkin is nuanced enough to allow this to be a session beer. Although it's seasonal, it could be sipped year-round. It's that good, that smooth, and that well-made.

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Photo of kaszeta
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery.

This beer pours with a thin head and an amber body. The aroma is mostly that of the spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice notes, but more subtly applied than is usual for a pumpkin beer. Tastewise, the pumpkin taste itself is very mild, and the spice is applied sparingly enough that it complements the malt flavors of the beer without overpowering them. Similarly, it has a nice smooth mouthfeel, with very little tannic feel from the spices. Very smooth, and pleasant.

I don't usually like novelty beers like pumpkin ales (they tend to hit you upside the head with too much spice), but this one is actually fairly pleasant.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. They put a lot of stuff in it to legitimize it per style. Looks creamy and carbonated coper to orange. Loosely knit carbonation that may fade, yet laces nicely. Smelly sweet fruity and malty albeit ordinary. Spiciness and sharpness give character. Tastes moderately sweet, yet gives extra complexity with allspice, cinnemon, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, and body building malts. Spices give a lot of complexity, yes still conveys hop balance and alcoholic warming through the body. Finishes a dry and harsh in the alcohol--fusal. Utimately a pumpkin flavored beer worth drinking. Dogfish Head is simply incapable of brewing a bad beer.

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Photo of DrJay
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep coppery orange, moderate off-white head. Aromas of cinnamon, pumpkin and malt, maybe a bit of something like nutmeg. Slightly aggressive carbonation, full, slightly viscous body. Pumpkin sweetness to start, some bitterness, blend of spices, very nice. Finishes very balanced, slight spiciness and alcohol warmth. Quite a drinkable brew. Definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I've had.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of orbitalr0x.

Pours a nice pumpkiny orange with a slightly off white cap. Retention is nice, lacing leaves something to be desired though.

Smell is cinnamon, clove, sweet caramel malts, pumpkin, and a little bit of fruit (peaches, pears, some green apple)

Taste is pumpkin, big cinnamon flavors, clove, slight caramel, same fruitiness, and just a hint of spicy hop flavor.

Overall, a great pumpkin beer. DFH really knows their fruit beers, and this is no exception (although technicall a gord beer). Anyway, I've had this one several times and while it's a fine beer to drink on occasion, I just can't see drinking it on a regular basis (which is why the drinkability score is so low). That said, an good beer for the style, but not really up my alley.

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Photo of Chadbrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yummy looking off-white head that settles down to a nice thin film that hides a very clear copper colored brew. Nice even lacing that shimmers iridescent as I tilt the glass back to take a mouthful.
Speaking of mouth, it's pretty good - solid medium body, light carbonation, and just a touch of alcohol in the nose.
The smell is like all-spice and alcohol. There is definitely some "punkin" in there too but it's not overwhelming.
Taste - I think this is where this beer shines. Still a great beer loaded with malt and hops but balanced with a variety of spices. There are some pumpkin undertones but over-all the pumpkin is very mild.
A very drinkable beer. Nice cozy feeling after finishing a couple, sort of like a nice buzz on Thanksgiving.

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

Gave thanks to Samhain with this one on 10/8/2004. 12-0z. bottle poured into a tall cylinder of glass.

Just a shade of filmy carbonation at start. Light brown to amber hue and crystalline. Pumpkin pie sweetness to nose, with all of the spices mentioned on the label – allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. On mouth, less pumpkin than expected, some strong malt character that lends it a medium body while the spices leave a lasting impression on the tongue. Eh, give me a CBC over this one any day of the week.

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Photo of soulfly967
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I finally got around to drinking this one again. It poured a clear copper color with a white head that fell eventually to a ring around the glass. The smell was of cinnamon, nutmeg, and reminded me of pumpkin pie... go figure. The taste was surprisingly sweet, with heavy flavors of the spices and a some hops at the end. The mouthfeel was smooth, medium bodied and nicely carbonated. I couldn't drink more than two of these at one time, but overall, this was a fine example of a pumpkin ale. Next Thanksgiving I will be getting more of this.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique take on the pumpkin ale style. Nice maltyness, but the spicing is a bit different - pronounced emphasis on allspice with a touch of spruce resin in the background. This really struck me as being more like a spiced Christmas ale, and called to mind this year's version of Anchor Our Special Ale (OSA light?). Very nicely done - intriguing. Thanks to far333 for the sample.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a light copper/red with a two finger head that dissapated at a slow/medium rate and left a thin white ring on top of the beer.

The smell was one of the most complex I've ever come across. At the front of the nose was that of Thanksgiving dinner pumpkin pie. The middle of the nose was sweet malt and sugar. The rear of the nose was spicey cinnamon.

The drink started with a swift kick of pumpkin followed by cinnamon and hop spice the finish was a quick wash of carbonation followed by a lingering sweet sugar flavor.

This was one of the most creative beers I've ever encountered. It's almost like liquid pumpkin pie with beer. Hell, what more do you need! Go find this beer if you can.

On a footnote, I'm glad DFH isn't afraid to go out on a limb and be creative with beer, keep up the good work guys.

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