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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,103 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
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Reviews: 2,103 | Ratings: 6,526
Photo of mcarroll10177
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint glass

A- beautiful copper brown with a huge off white head and tons of lacing on the glass. Perfect clarity in the beer.

S- some nutmeg with pumkin and hops

T- good, not great. lots of spice in the begining some hop bitterness with pumkin spsice in the finish

M- balanced, but not to much going on here a bit over carbinated

D- a nice tasting ale, but one that lacks the refreshing characteristic that I look for in my beer.

Notes- a beer to have every once in a while in the fall, but not an everyday drinker by any means. I am a bit disappointed, as this is basicly a brown ale with added pimkin brown sugar and spices.

The problem is that DFH brown ale is one of the great great beers around. This is not as good. Go with the brown ale DFH.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.4/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dogfish Head- Punkin Ale

Appearance- light golden amber with a thick lacing head.
Smell- Light Pumpkin with hazelnut and nutmeg.
Taste- Alcohol is the first thing tasted!? Followed up by a roasted hazelnut, blended with light pumpkin, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Mouthfeel- Alcohol burns at first, Flavors come through in the middle, and more alcohol in the end.

Overall- Not a good 1! I don't know many people who like Pumpkin Ale's, (I personally enjoy them) but this is a huge disappointment. Alcohol is too present and the pumpkin is too weak!
Give me a Post Road!!

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from Spirit Haus in Amherst Massachusetts. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass a nice orange color, and a nicely sized white heading, that quickly faded to a thin lacing. Aroma was pleasing, with some definite pumpkin pie presence, as well as other spices. My only complaint with the smell was there seemed to be a somewhat sopay presence to it, not becoming at all. Taste was about as close as ive seen to a brewery really capturing the pumpkin taste without making it seem too artificial. Mouthfeel was relatively medium in size. As for dinkability, one was enough for me. Even though I have the utmost respect for this breweries attempt at the style, it is simply one that ive never really enjoyed too much. I suppose if you are interested in the style, this might be a good starting point. This is the best example of the style ive tried to date, and even then I wasn't very impressed.

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Photo of Drew966
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Punkin' Ale pours a medium copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The first thing I catch in the smell is clove. I think there is some pumpkin and other spices also noticeable, but clove really dominates to me. The taste also seems dominated by clove. Other pumkin pie spices are also present in the background. Definitely worth a try.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-copper color with a creamy, fluffy, white head that thins to a persistent film, leaving patchy lace on the glass.

Smell: The pumpkin pie aromas are definitely present, but not overpowering. There's a toasty whiff of malts and alcohol and notes of pumpkin pie that become stronger as the beer warms: pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar.

Taste: There's a little bit of malt bready sweetness upfront. Savory pumpkin appears in the center and is followed by the sweet and spicy flavors of pumpkin pie: cinnamon and brown sugar. The finish is sweet with some lingering spiciness as well as a light graininess. The pumpkin pie flavors come out much more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Nice, but I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

Overall: Flavorful and pumpkin pie-ish without being a spice overload. A nicely done Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Pours a clear light orange color with loads of bubbles ascending the glass. Head is nice which clings to the sides nicely the entire way down.

S: I dont knw why, but I dont like the smell. Well maybe I do. I can smell HINTS of pumpkin, but I might be putting them there because I want to. A very small amount of spice is present in the nose, but actually it smells adjuncty (I know, pumpkin would be an adjunct) and watery. Sorry that this will hurt the overall rating so much, but I hold my breath before I take the next sips.

T: This is easily the best pumpkin beer I have had. But I don't like pumpin beers. Not one to bow down before marketing and the traditional 'pumpkin ales' DFH did a great job. Now I taste a pumpkiny taste filled with a nice subtly sweet maltyness and a zing of autumn spices to balance the malt. Rather than rely on hops to create balance, I think they used spices. Different, but very similiar. Nice work.

M: Very nice, thick and medium heavy, a little syrupy, but then has a high carbonation kick that I find pleasing. Nicely done and again I am very happy that DFH didnt just throw some spices to a watery beer and label it as pumpkin beer (cough Shipyard chough).

D: I cant seem to put this down. Very surprised. Thought I wouldnt like this beer to much, seeing as I have never had a good pumpkin ale. I keep on drinking and the 7% abv? I think thats a myth...

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to my 12 oz DFH palm glass. A beautiful crystal clear Pumpkin Amber typical of DFH, with red and orange highlights. The head is 2 finger and lovely.

The small is indicative on DFH. Fruity, hoppy, Pumpkin and nutmeg.

The taste is dry pumpkiny and a hint of spices'. It you have tried this style before and thought it too sweet, then Try this.

The mouth feel is quite nice, good carbonation medium body, easy to swig down.

The drink ability is very good, in fact this is a beer is unsurpassed as an example in this style is.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seeing this beer with a date on bottle of 8/7/06 only means that fall is on the way. Pours a nice amber colored with a fluffy head that leaves some lacing behind. The smell is amazing on this finely crafted brew, let me first say that I'm a big pumpkin fan, any type from seeds to pie to just eating the damn thing while carving it. I can smell a very strong spiced pumpkin smell, like when you first start carving one and sticking your mug directly inside the pumpkin, also smell a bit of clove sweetness in there, I truly love the smell of this crafted beer and whish they would bottle it as a cologne. The taste is awesome what I smell I taste, just with that bit of hop bitterness that we all love from those crafters at Dogfish, awesome. Don't be fooled when you drink that 4 pack and wonder why it went down so smooth, the alcohol is so well hidden that I can't even detect it. Seeing this just makes me smile knowing that summer is over and fall is upon us, simply beautiful.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, deep copper colour. Thin head dissolves into a pillowy ring that lingers on. Light roasty malt hits the nose initially, reminds me of an Oktoberfest lager. Inhaling more deeply the faint pumpkin spice notes become evident, nice and cinnamony. The taste carries a toasted malt flavor with a decent sweetness. The pumpkin spice is again very subtle. The finish has a slight sour/bitter touch to it. Not very alcoholic though. Decent brew overall, better than other pumpkin beers I've tried, although it could have had a little more of that flavor to it. I think I would try it again.

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Photo of bwyker
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours a golden, nearly completely clear, pumpkin-orange, with little to no foam. Very light carbonation. Smells of candy corns dipped in maple syrup. Most of the ‘punkin’ in this beer comes out in the taste. To me, it tastes more like lager yeast than an ale yeast. Starts with a well-balanced, light malt sweetness and ends with everything on the label (pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg). Much more mellow, in a good way, from what I would expect from DFH. Smooth, light (maybe a little too light, believe it or not) and balanced mouthfeel. Definitely easy to drink. Unlike other pumpkin ales that I’ve had, it’s not overwhelmed with pumpkin pie spice to a point where you can’t finish a bottle. Pleasantly surprised, though not super excited.

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

I'm really big into pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest this time of year and always look forward to this beers release.

The appearance is above par for a pumpkin. Nicely colored orange with hints of copper. Somewhat thick and difficult to gaze through. Lots of carbonation in the bubbles in the glass as well as a highly frothy carbonated orange tan head.Thick sticky lace devours the sides of my chalice.

Spicey burnt aromas but very little in way of pumpkin. More centered on all spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Again I remember previous years being better or more balanced and complex. This years had a somewhat watery thin mouthfeel. Things seem slightly discombobulated also. There is slightly more pumpkin than in the nose but it's not complementing the spices as well. The main spice is all spice. There is good amounts of nutmeg on the finish with a semi sweet brown sugar.

However this is still a good beer but may just be a bad batch. Will definitely drink again in the near future and for years to come.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a chilled pint glass.

Gorgeous color, a bright orange-amber with subtle carbonation. Smell is pleasant and strong, lots of nutmeg in the nose. Really enjoy the taste, very sweet, pumpkin flavor really comes through (which is nice for a change in a pumpkin ale), and doesn't overpower any of the other flavors. Mouthfeel is good, light and bubbly. Aftertaste is very pronounced. It's sweet so I wouldn't want to drink a case of it in a row, but it's just an outrageously good beer when you're in the mood to enjoy something complex. Probably the best Autumnal seasonal I have ever had.

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Photo of phisig137
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber orange color, that almost looks artificial. Beautiful color, with a small head that quickly falls.

Aroma is quite spicy. Cloves, Nutmeg and coriander seem to dominate, along with just a hint of sweet brown sugar.

Flavor is again, mostly spicy. Nutmeg fills most of the flavor, backed by cloves, and a nice backgroud pumpkin flavor. Finish is dry, and overall body is full. Tastes like a spicy pumpkin pie. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but coats well, and you're left wanting another sip. Drinkability is very high, considering the moderate ABV.

Once agian, dogfish does not disappoint. Nice pumpkin ale that isn't overly "pumpkin-ey". Balanced well by spice, this is a nice subtle beer from DFH, not the typical in you face monster they are known and loved for. Very nice all around.

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Photo of Schooly
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours clear brown with a thich head the dissipated gradually to a thin ring. Looks like your typical brown ale.
S: Light scent of pumpkin pie spices - cloves & cinnamon, with a light effervescence touching the nostrils.
T: Nice spicy character with just hints of pumpkin in the background, but not overwhelming. Pleasant notes of cloves in the front with dash of alcohol in the back to say hello.
M: Light carbonation with a meduim body given up buy the roasted pumpkin and alcohol.
D: Very easy to drink since the spices and punkin are not too overwhelming. Abv is sensed a little at the end..

Nice easy-to-drink spicy brown ale with a bit of a kick. Good representation of the style.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottle date of 08-08-06.

Appearance: A light coppery orange with yellow hues. Thin bubbles slide to the top. Not much lacing at all, and the head, which is very airy and not extremely sticky, fades fairly quickly.

Smell: Maple, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, breadiness, biscuity, malty, and some hops in there too. More like a beer with added spice and quality flavors instead of pumpkin pie with a shot of beer added to it, thankfully.

Taste: A nice, full-bodied malty flavor with some spices tingling the taste buds. The pumpkin pie-filling flavors are there, but complimentary instead of overly compensating for everything. Some nice peppery spice and nutmeg and clove comes in there too, and some vanilla and maple-like malt flavors. Finishes fairly sweet, with a nice hop-bite tinge to it, which unfortunately doesn't linger as long as I want it too, though the later finish also has some nice spice to it.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy while also remaining pretty crisp, with a nice full tinge of carbonation at the swallow.

Drinkability: One of my favorite styles for the fall, and something I get excited about when the time comes near. This is one of the better styles you can get, and though it's slightly pricey at about $9 a 4-pack, it's a tasty treat, one that you can manage to spread over a few days with the ABV being 7%. Thanks for the first pumpkin beer I've had in anticipation of the fall season. Keep bringin' it, DFH.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle dated 8/7/06. Very fresh!

Pours a clear orange amber, almosy pumpkin color with a creamy white head that thins. Thick lacing on the glass.

The aroma is a fairly dull caramel malt smell with a mild pumpkin pie spiciness to it.

The taste is more pleasing than the smell, a nice caramel malt flavor upfront followed by a mild blend of pumpkin pie spices. The spices are not overdone, and compliment the beer rather well. However, there is a lingering bitter spiciness at the end which caused me to lower the score a bit.

Medium body, creamy texture.

Farily drinkable except for the mildly annoying aftertaste. Although, I'm not a huge fan of spiced ales, so I was suprised that I liked it as well as I did. I could drink this again - probably next year....

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Photo of ggaughan
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The sight of this beer is a good sign that summer is on the way out. I had this years edition at the brewery in Milton last week. The beer poured a hazy dark orange color with a medium tan head and solid lacing. The aroma is spicey. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate the nose but also leave way for a pumpkin aroma. The taste is equally spicey and some really good pumpkin flavor but is it not overwhelming and doesn't taste like a slice of pumpkin pie, it tastes like a pumpkin beer and that is why I enjoy the DFH brew so much. It is well balanced and has a nice mouthfeel and they do a very good job of hiding the 7% abv.

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Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Perfect light amber color with a small whitish head that is gone within the minute leaving nothing. I suppose this isn't surprising given the light and fizzy body. Smells like sweet maple syrup - maybe a touch or coriander thrown in for good measure. Tastes, ah, shucks. Bummer. Well, you know, I read the bottle and I was expecting a horror like the Shipyard. Thankfully, it's not that. The spices are light and easy. Ok, half way through the bottle I now get a whiff of pumpkin pie spice on the nose. But the flavor... It's awfully dry (and crisp) - which I find very surprising. Then there are these Thanksgiving spices floating around, and all, but there is an overwhelming sour note to it all. Is that the hops? Do I have a bad bottle? I don't know! I don't know what it's supposed to taste like! I'll certainly be fair and give this one another go at some point, but, whoa.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Mildly clear, touch of haze. Color of darker canned pumpkin pie. Nice off white head has dropped but left a substantial calling card of foam on top and around the sides of the glass.

S: Nutmeg, allspice, carrot juice, red beets and corn.

T: Good, more subtle than I was expecting. Immediate cinnamon but not sharp and pungent, well rounded. Hints of vanilla, allspice, and carmelized grains. Bittering hops play a small role towards the end of the swallow. Pumpkin flavor is there thru out but never overwhelming. Aftertaste of gentle brown sugar, cinnamon and sweet potatoes.

M: Medium bodied, fairly smooth.

D: With a beer like this, you are always going to have that cinnamon flavor in your mouth for a while, its just par for the course. Take the good with the bad. This would be a great Thanksgiving dinner beer

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear dark orange / amber color with a thin off white head. Smells almost like a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice and slight bready aroma. The taste follows the smell... pumpkin and spices blend nicely. The best tasting pumpkin ale I have had. Creamy mouthfeel but a tad thin. This would be a good beer for a crisp fall evening.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

orangey brown. clear and bubbly. small head. nutmegs and spices and hot pumpkins on the nose. taste is not as terrible as ive anticipated. some cimmamon and nutmeg flavors but mostly pumpkin. kind of like drinking a liquified pumpkin pie. a little thin and i dont need to ever drink another, but its certainly the best pumpkin ale ive tried.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color with nearly no head and no lace.

S: The smell is a strong ginger, pumpkin & brown sugar aroma. You also get the impression from the smell that it’s a very bready beer, in addition to the heavy sweetness.

T: It doesn’t taste as sweet as it smells which I’m going to consider a good thing. There’s little bit more hops and alcohol bite in the taste than you get in the smell.

M: Smooth with a medium body and a bit higher carbonation than I would have expected from a beer in this style. It’s not as bready as the smell indicates and doesn’t leave the stickiness that you would expect from the style either.

D: It goes down easy and there’s almost no hint of the 7.00% ABV. If you don’t find it filling (and I don’t) you could drink a lot more than a 4-pack in one sitting. When I went into the liquor store, I didn’t expect to buy this beer, but it was on special and the price made it irresistible, given the rep of DFH. While I liked the beer and it was more than what I expected from a beer of this style, it’s not something I would want to drink very often. However, if I do decide to drink it, I’d make short work of the 4-pack.

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Photo of alexgash
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark oranger copper body with a finger of loose, slightly fizzy, off-khaki head. Sugar wafer malt and rummy fruit aromas give way to whiffs of pumpkin pie, allspice, cinnamon, and a bit of nutmeg. Smells like the spice rack fell in the pot. Not overpowering though; I think the fruity alcohol helps the spice smell and taste less artificial. Lightly toasted malt flavors combine with sweet pears and pie crust. Spices, especially nutmeg and allspice throughout, and most notably toward the finish. Nice complexity and quite tasty. Medium bodied ale, with a relatively lively feel that helps fight any cloying or spiced-out tendencies. Light toasted malt in the finish and residual spicy sweetness and a maybe some orange peel/marmalade. I can't imagine drinking pint after pint of this, but this is definitely the best pumpkin beer I've had (so far).

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

my favorite pumpkin ale. i love this stuff.
a hazy orange ale, with a medium tan/burnt orange head.
smells of bread, earthy notes and pumpkin.
tastes GREAT. spicy to the end, pumpkin but also cinnamon and ginger. very tasty.
nice carbonation, fits the ale. prickly but medium, a great mouthfeel.
i would drink this till the great pumpkin comes home. a super pumpkin ale.


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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,526 ratings.
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