Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,109 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. As the season cools, this is the perfect beer to warm up with.

Punkin Ale is named after the seriously off-centered southern Delaware extravaganza Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made its debut as it claimed first prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Contest. Yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business!

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

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Reviews: 2,109 | Ratings: 6,548
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this pumpkin ale pours a dark true pumpkin orange with TONS of carbonation moving very fast, with a thin orangey/tan head

S - true honest to goodness pumpkin pie filling aromas, pumpkiny with plenty of the spices to boot, nutmeg-cinnamon great aroma, if my eyes were closed i'd swear i had a slice of pumpkin pie in front of me

T - taste follows the aroma, the pumpkin pie with the spices infused, with the addition of a mild hop profile, a great blend of sweetness/spice/and hop bitterness

M&D - well balanced, great medium body and very smooth, a great representation of the season

there was a lot of talk about how this is a high quality pumpkin ale, while shipyards pumpkinhead was a bad one (Even a bad beer overall) but although i feel this DFH punkin' is better than Shipyard Pumpkinhead, they're close, i like both.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint. Color was slightly lighter than the bottle, with some head that lasted the entire drink. Didn't notice much in the aroma. Had a slight hint of spices, but nothing overwhelming. The flavor was subtle, a nice beer, not quite what I was expecting. Tasted almost roasted pumpkin in the beer. Nothing to blatant, but left plenty of flavor. Very pleasant to drink, coated the mouth nicely. Nice beer overall.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amber color with orange hues. Forhy one finger white head dissipates leaving clusters of bubbly foam on the sides.
S: Pumpkin pie notes with spices in the background--nutmeg and cinnamon. Leafy hop notes can be detected once you work through the nutmeg and cinnamon.
T/M: Smooth and creamy across the palate. Pumpkin pie flavors with nutmeg and cinnamon jumping out. Sugary and sweet (malt) as you smack your lips. Slighly bitter in the aftertaste with a chalkyness to it. Moderate body.
D: High abv is consistent with all DFH brews, but is sufficiently masked. A good seasonl--I'd induldge next year.

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Photo of Liquids
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowingly orangey-amber with a one finger bubbled head and chapagne like carbonation. This claims to be a brown ale? Hard to see. Aroma is rathery pumpkin-like, a bit of hops detected, not much in spice aromas...or maybe the nutmeg and allspice are simply making me think pumkin? Hard to tell. Taste wise its actually a bit pumpkiny, definitely hoppy, and more of a pale ale in style, with yes, a legitimate pumpkin flavor! Spices are subdued and acompany the hops in the finish if any. The 7% is not present in the flavor, which is rather thick. Mouthfeel is medium, and by the now the carbvonation has settled, so okay at this point. Drinabilitywise, It's the best pumpkin beer I've tasted yet by far, though a little less hops could make the pumpkin shine through a bit more, and some might crave more spices. Never knowing the 7% abv here is scary, and the label is the only way we'd know. My favorite brewery does not disapoint, but this beer doesn't make me want to make room for it in the stockpile. Nothing I'll buy in four packs, but I can see grabbing a single or two of this per season for variety.

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Photo of dherling
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color with a thick creamy head. Nose gives off lots of cinnamon, and rotten pumpkin. The taste is of a big amount of clove and nutmeg, with a metallic flavor, and just a tiny bit of pumpkin rounded out by malt and a citrus/spicy hop. A slightly heavy finish with an average mouthfeel.

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Photo of auntfloyd
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Pours a gorgeous copper color with a finger of white head. Fairly dark coloring for this style.

The nose is sweet, with a delightful pumpkin/malt/spice sent. Everything a pumpkin ale should be.

The taste follows up on the promises of the scent. An early pumpkin flavor blends well with an overall note of spice and brown sugar, which is carried onto a midway of maltiness. The taste ends on a distinct alcohol note, perhaps a reminder of the 7 abv. of this ale.

The mouthfeel is very smooth, with low carbonation, and a very high drinkability. That said, this is a stronger ale than you might have imagined; certainly moreso than most of its fellow pumpkin ales.

Dogfish Head brewed up another winner with this ale. I would probably say that of all the pumpkin ales I've had, this one is my absolute favorite: just the right blend of sweetness and spice. If I had a slice of pumpkin pie with it, I think I'd be in heaven.

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Photo of Gedackt16
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought in a four pack. A bit expensive but since I love Pumpkin Ales, well worth it. This was a pretty tough beer. Poured a beautiful dark orange amber colour. The head stuck around much longer than other Pumpkin Ales I've met but still not as long as I'd have liked. Spices (especially Nutmeg!) overpower any pumpkin flavor there is and the alcohol is very tasteable. Also sense somewhat of a toasty flavor in the finish. Very nice beer and is very hearty. 7.0% is a bit of a kicker too. Nice beer but only for the tough among us. I only got through about two before I needed something a tad lighter. Excellent effort by Dogfish but one word of advice (and this is according to MY taste, not everyone else's) turn it down just a tad. This could be very enjoyable on a snowy winter's eve.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I have yet to be impressed by a pumpkin ale; however, I am approaching this one with nothing but optimism.

A: Pours a pumpkin color (surprise). Light coppery orange, with very minimal head. Not much lacing evident, if any. Pretty, but I might have liked to see a bit more of a present head.

S: Smells like fresh pumpkin, biscuit, cinnamon, and cloves. Nice, mild, scent, with just a hint of the spices. Great for a light fall ale.

T: I'm still not the biggest fan of this style, but I definitely like this one. The pumpkin tastes roasty and sweet, mixing with the malt. Cinnamon a bit at the start, but mild. Cloves mixed throughout. Little tiny bit of citric character comes out with successive sips, but again, very subdued. Roasty malt and pumpkin are definitely the commanding flavors here. Just looked at the bottle again, and it's 7% ABV. They did one hell of a job masking it.

M: Thick, just shy of syrupy. Thick on the palate, too, but since the aftertaste is fleeting, it's not a cloying brew. Seems appropriate for the style.

D: This is the only pumpkin ale I've finished with the sense that I'd like another. That's pretty darn impressive to me, and a mark of how well-balanced and subtle the flavors are here. By far the best pumpkin ale I've ever had.

EDIT: I clarified some points of this review about 30 minutes after drinking, as the gravity of my actually enjoying a pumpkin ale really set in.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 4pack of 12oz bottles. No date when packaged. It was an orange color with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated, some decent lacing. It had a sweet, spicy aroma, mostly nutmeg. Pretty sweet taste all the way through, and I thought a fairly sharp spice presence (? allspice). I found it to be a little thin in the mouth, and not a beer I would want a lot of.

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Photo of ellisdee97
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a translucent golden brown with a thick one finger off-white head. Decent bubbly ring and good lacing.

S: Pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, light crisp hops and toasted malt.

T: First taste is of alcohol with a nice pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon body and nice use of bittering hops.

M: Light with nice carbonation. Dry and slightly sweet finish.

D: To me this beer is like a Belgian style pumpkin brew, the alcohol comes through as sweet bourbon. A very nice balanced and nicely spiced beer but not my favorite for the style.

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

Bottled on 8/7/06

A: Pours a carmel hue with a modest foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Malty smell with roasted pumpkin and subtle spice aromas.

T: Sweet with flavors similar to the aroma. The finish is clean and the flavor quickly dies away.

M: The bottle calls this "full-bodied", I see it more on the medium-light side. Slightly watery and highly carbonated.

D: Probably the best pumpkin ale that I've had, but with that said, I'm not a huge fan of this beer. It seems that this is probably what it is supposed to be, but I'll probably pass on buying it again.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 09/07/06

Pours deep copper in color with an off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma is dominated by spice with a bit of pumpkin as well. Medium bodied mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Taste is much like the smell in that the spices immediately grab your attention. Overall, the heavy use of spice is a bit of a detraction for me but nonetheless it is a solid pumpkin ale.

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Photo of joedon
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark gold-amber with a fairly thin ivory head. Lots of lace, too.

Big aroma, mostly of spice and pumpkin.

Complex aroma with lots of layers. Good balance between the sweetness and the hop bite. Lots of spice including clove, cinnamon, nutmeg; everything listed on the label!

Mouthfeel is slightly astringent from the spices (?) but good aftertaste of pumpkin.

I'd like to try this with the pie of the same name. Good sipping beer.

Those DFH guys can really brew some interesting beers.

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

Yeeehaw I'm glad it's fall. I'm loving all the pumpkin ales on the shelves ... including this offering by DFH.

Pours like aged autumn sunshine complete with a creamy half inch of head. I like the nose, but it's almost one dimensional. Aside from the unsweetened pumpkin meat I can only smell a little cinnamon and that's about it. Taste is far more complex.The pumpkin is rich and sweet, followed by cinnamon and rumminess. Is that a hint of vanilla I detect, conjuring images of a whipped cream atop a slice of pie? Finish is very dry.
This is a damn good pumpkin ale. I'll be in a rush to buy more before it's history for another year!

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Photo of Neehan
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful bright copper with a very thin head into a pint glass. Smells slightly accented by the pumpking but highlighted by spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon combined with roasted nuts. Very nice.

The taste is driven again by the spices with the pumpkin as the backbone. Very good and heavy spices make it taste a bit more Christmasy and reminescent more of winter than fall but certainly no complaints. Nice and complex.

The mouthfeel is a nice balance between the mild sweetness, the tingle of the spices and a nice complement of bitterness.

Quite enjoyable and drinkable though i don't know if the spices and sweetness would wear on me after a few of these.

Yet another great craft from DFH.

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

An excellent fall ale from DFH.

Pours a translucent orange color into my pint glass, with a 1.5 finger head that lasts for about 90 seconds or so before dissipating into lacing on the glass.

Aroma is of pumpkins, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and a tinge of alcohol.

Taste is of plum and pumpkin, very crisp rather than creamy. A crisp, clear taste of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon .. some hops are evident. Flavor comes out more as the ale warms, this one should be served a bit warmer, maybe just below room temp.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, very pleasant. 7% alcohol limits drinkability, but still, it is pleasant to consume a 4-pack over the course of an evening.

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with an off-white head that lasted
Notably orange (pumpkin mash color) in the glass

Initial aroma is allspice, but first tasted is confusing and muddled.
There is strong spicing here, that is bitter, almost metallic.

Doesn't work (at least not for me). Harsh mouthfeel, possibly from the spicing.

Tasted alongside O'Fallon and Ichabod, the O'Fallon was the clear pumpkin pie winner. The New Holland Ichabod was mostly harmless (no strong pumpkin profile) and a little hoppy. The dogfish punkin came out as the dog of the three.

Bought at Sam's Marcey St. for 8.99 for 4 12 oz bottles.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper hue. Not much in the way of head. What can you say about the smell and taste? Pumpkin pie pretty much sums it up. I will say that the spices don't go over the top making this the best pumpkin ale i've had. Overall a nice fall beer that is a very good interpretation of the style.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle pours a light amber/orange with a 2 finger head, good longevity and very nice lace. Smells just like pumpkin pie before it gets baked. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar etc. Again lots of pumpkin pie taste - cinnamon etc. Alcohol does come through a bit at the end and leaves a nice brown sugar flavor mixed with some bitterness. Creamy and smooth and one of the best pumpkin ales out there. Unfortunately I still find it hard to drink more than one of these in a sitting - its just a pumpkin ale thing, no matter what the brand.

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Photo of beerphan
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> goblet
bottled on 8/30/ ?? this part of the date is smudged hopefully its an 06

Pours a copper orange with an 1/2 head the settles quickly. Lace is sporadic sheets that stick. Very minimal carbonaton present.

Smells of pumpkin, allspice and cinnamon.

Spice dominates the taste, with cinnamon taking the lead. Pumpkin flavors tickle the taste buds throughout, with little to no bitterness in the spicy aftertaste.

A nice full mouthfeel.

Probably the best pumpkin beer i've ever tried though i've only tried like three.

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

12oz. bottle. Brown ale brewed with pumpkin puree, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Poured a clear dark gold/amber with a moderate white head. Aroma was all about pumpkin, with some spice notes (nutmeg) and sugar. The taste was a quick sensory snapshot where I immediately thought of pumpkin seeds - the kind you make after carving a jack-o-lantern and then roasting them in the oven. Malt was toasted, caramel/toffee in the middle, and a very minor hint of hops at the finish which seemed to increase as the beer warmed. Body was light to medium, carbonation was medium, and it was slightly drying. Of the 4 pumpkin beers I have tried, this was the most subtle. It was a really good brown ale, with hints of pumpkin and spice. Well integrated, and I would be happy to drink it again. As a final note, a dangerous beer, because you don't get a hint of the 7% ABV.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle found at Florian’s Market in Auburn. Orange, almost red body with a half an inch of off white head. Smells vegitable-ish and somewhat hoppy. Very tasty. This is a beer that tastes much better than it smells. Tastes malty and spicy. Pumpkin is also present. Medium body. I like it. Probably will be getting it again if I can find and afford it at the same time...

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Photo of Lupin
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I could not have more than one of these in a sitting without a long break. I think I might even enjoy just smelling this beer as opposed to drinking it, actually.

Pours a pure copper, amber. You could read a book through it, if warm. Not too much of a head, so pour it however you like it. Minimal lacing, as well, a hint at the fact that it doesn't taste too sugary or starchy.

Smells profoundly of pumpkin pie before you've had a sip, although the first sip indoctrinates you. Built on a malty brown ale base, the spices fill this beer out, but all pumpkin ales are inherently unbalanced because of this, IMO. You have a great variety of tastes in the same spectrum competing, and there's just no way to let one win out, even slightly. The finish is great, but there's just something overwhelming about the initial taste that bugs me.

A beer to drink a few times every fall. Get a four pack and introduce some friends to it. It's better than most of the other attempts at pumpkin ale. Maybe the fact that I typically skip the pumpkin pie at thanksgiving has something to do with it. If that's your bag, however, definitely check this one out. This is one case where DH's overattention to detail definitely pays off.

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

Pours copper colored with a frothy white head, leaving some lacing on the glass. Smells like pumpkin pie. Taste is spices and a little bitterness. Light bodied. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've had, I wouldn't want to session with this but its pretty good. I also wish this one wasn't quite so expensive.

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

Pours clear light brownish amber, with a fizzy white head.

Cinnamon dominated smell with a roast background. Some banana like scents there as well.

Sweet spicy up front, huge banana flavors mid tongue. Ends with an assertive bitterness and a burning spice and alcohol in the throat. A hair of cooked squash aftertaste.

Full, silky mouthfeel, a very nice beer for a cool fall evening.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,548 ratings.
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