Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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2,073 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: 2,073 | Ratings: 6,415
Photo of nvsblman
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber color with little head. Aroma is very spicy, full of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little brown sugar. The spices are also prevalent in the taste, but also some pumpkin and a little vanilla. Medium bodied, with the perfect amount of carbonation. I usually enjoy pumpkin beers, this is a favorite of mine!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangey copper with a quarter-inch tan head. Smells spicy. Clove and nutmeg and light cinnamon in the nose. Sweet spice. Tart and fruity underneath, spiced baked apple aromas.

Lots of spicey flavors as mentioned in the smell. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, cinnamon. Some pumpkin flavors in there as well. Fruity malt behind all the above. Some hops in the finish, medium bodied and lightly sour. Pretty easy drinker around the holidays. I have found my new regular for my once-a-year pumkin ale fix!

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Photo of jaluria
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the best, if not the best Pumpkin Ale around. The soft orange color of this beer with it's intense carbonation and mighty head is quite appealing. Aromas of pumpkins, roasted malts, and seasonal spices come out. Together, the aromas remind me of fallen leaves, a cool breeze, and the season of Fall. The taste is smooth and sweet with the pumpkin flavor taking a back seat to various spices. The sweet flavor is never overly dominant or too sweet. The carbonation adds a level or richness that exploits the spicy backbone. A very interesting beer that can be had with mildly sweet fruit-based desserts like tarts and parfaits or with seasonal dishes.

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

12oz. bottle courtesy of ChadBrew and the BIF 24 chain.

Cloudy honey-orange in color. Zesty off-white head lasts and clings to the glass. Aromas chock full of canned pumpkin pie mix, liberally doused with some nutmeg and other spices. Flavor translated well. Pumpkin flavor comes through very nicely, unlike other pumpkin ales I've tried. Sweet malty companion adds to the character. Solid mouthfeel. Not thin at all. Hard to believe this is 7%. Drinkable. Well-done.

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Photo of bditty187
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, muted bronze in hue with a peachy gold infusion; lovely! The head was beige; there were about two fingers of forth before the bubbles quickly faded to a thin, soapy cap. This mini-head stuck around awhile, at least the beer wasn’t left naked. Sadly, the subsequent lacing was minimal, only a few spots here and there. Still, overall, this is an attractive looking beer.

The nose is fleshy… meaty… in a pumpkin kind of way. Sure, there are “pie” spices but the malt and pumpkins really shine in the nose. The nutmeg and cinnamon are second fiddle; this is almost always the opposite. Kudos to DFH for that! I’ve only smelt one Pumpkin Ale meatier (which was from Platte Valley Brewery in Kearney, NE… the beer is not even listed on BA (I only had a few ounces of it)). So, officially this is the best smelling Pumpkin Ale I’ve had. Moderate but firm potency and without a doubt I find the nose inviting. Yummy!

The palate is very tasty. Hearty. The abv plays peek-a-boo, it is hidden but I can feel it. There is great bulk… plenty malty for the style. Plus there are lots of pumpkin flavors. It is earthy in spots. Nutmeg and cinnamon are found in the middle and they last to the finish. But at no time to they outshine the “body” of this beer. This is a very healthy pumpkin ale. It has a spicy finish with a malty residue. I say screw making this a seasonal and go year round! Very tasty! I see why this beer is so highly regarded; it blows away almost every Pumpkin Ale I’ve tried.

The label says, “A full bodied brown ale.” I never believe brewers when they use the word “full bodied.” However, I’d call this beer medium/medium full in body. It is hefty on the tongue. The bulk and abv indicate this beer is a sipper. I say, gladly! I don’t want to see this beer end.

Very drinkable, dangerously so! I could knock back a six-pack on a cool fall day. I am very impressed with this beer. I now want to taste more beers like this… I wonder if any can match it. I’ve heard good things about a couple other Pumpkin Ales; I will try them next fall. I want to thank RedHaze for the bottle. It was lovely stuff, thanks! To nonbelievers… try this Pumpkin Ale. You will convert.

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

This arrived with a huge, fluffy, off-white/light tan head above a slightly cloudy, medium-amber colored beer. The nose was spicy, like a blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, clove, and others. The scent was very evocative of pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel was tingly, tangy, spicy, but not hot. Fizzy? I dislike that term, but it was a refreshingly palate-cleansing beer. The spiciness was evident on the palate, but the finish was where they were really at. As it warmed, the the spices became even more evident. I wrote that it would be perfect for autumn afternoons watching football, the leaves changing colors, gourds flying across the sky ... Bring on the fall!

Today is F, 09 August 2014 and as part of my ongoing campaign to divest myself of these pesky bottles, I came upon one in the basement's Beerfrigerator. I wish that I had noted where I got it on-tap in 2005, or where I scored this one. C'est la guerre! Notched as "Packaged in 2003". Hee hee.

From the bottle: "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg."

I employed a very gentle pour as I was not sure whether any lees were present. I could not see any, but that means nothing. I had no head initially, but I swirled it and got a finger of tawny head that lasted only briefly. Color was Amber to Deep-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had really evolved to the point that the cinnamon and nutmeg stood out like a pair of sore thumbs! Spicy. Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was nothing like I had noted in its on-tap form. I liked this a bit better, actually. The taste was mellow, very spicy, but not as intense as it may have been. This really seemed to have aged well over the decade-plus. It took on a brandy-like quality that I found quite interesting. The label reads "7% Alc. by Vol.", but it was packing some heat. The spices really dried it out to the point that pumpkin and brown sugar were afterthoughts. It was bitingly dry and still slightly hot, reinforcing my brandy idea, but I may revise that to "sherry". Either way, it was different!

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.71/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not particularly a pumpkin ale fan, but this stuff is quite delicious. Pours to a dark orangish amber color with little to no head and a light carbonation. Hardly laces the glass at all.

The smell is great. Smells like a nutty, robust brown ale with all the spices listed on the bottle showing their true colors as well (REAL pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Ever so slightly roasty.

The taste is just as great. A perfect blend of spices with each one quite distinguishable from the others. The finish shows off the nutty, gently roasty flavors with a great accentuating spice flavor. Even has a bit of an herbal hop to it.

The body is fairly big in this beer: nice and thick and velvety smooth. Honestly, I think this is the best Dogfish Head beer I've tried, and I've had almost all of the non-retired, non-uber-special releases. If not the best, it's definitely the most interesting. I would drink more of this stuff if it was available, but I don't think it was quite good enough where I would seek it out in an online purchase again. If I see it in a store, though, it's mine... Keep in mind I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers, and for the most part I think Dogfish is just slightly overrated.

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Photo of clabaugh
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A light bronze color with reddish hues intermixed. The head was mediocre; not even a finger. The head color was a creamy white. The lacing is light, not lasting for more than a few minutes.

Smell: An aromatic masterpiece. This is one of the best smelling beers that I've ever experienced. This beer captures the scent of pumpkin pie. Ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin overtones invigorate one's nostrils.

Taste: A sweet beer in accordance with the style. The pumpkin fades as one tastes the beer, with spices predominating. Ginger and cinnamon, along with hints of nutmeg stand out. The beer definitely has an acidic character, which is difficult to miss. The sweetness masks most evidence of hops.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a powerful sensation in one's mouth. Despite being 7% abv the alcohol presence is notable throughout. Carbonation is evident, as one's tongue tingles while drinking all the way through.

Drinkability: The sweetness, along with a strong presence of carbonation limit the beer's drinkability. I couldn't handle more than two or three consecutively, but overall, a fairly drinkable pumpkin ale. This style is not one to be consumed en masse. Limiting one's consumption of this beer in a sitting leads to maximum enjoyment.

Notes: A good fall seasonal. This style complements salty food very well due to its sweetness. The beer balances the flavors of most meats. Dogfish Head succeeds in producing a quality pumpkin ale that is a truly unique beer experience.

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

Pours a really nice looking, clear bright amber/red color with a 1/4 inch head that quickly fades to a thin ring, with only minimal lacing. Would get a a higher rating here if it had a little more head to it.

Smell; smells of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, pumpkin. There's some other spices in there that I can't put a finger on.

Taste; there's definitely pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe some allspice. Even with all of the spices in this beer it's not as overwhelmingly sweet as some other pumpkin ales I've had. Mouthfeel was a litlle thin, and there's not much carbonation. Kudos to DFH for making a pumpkin beer that actually tastes like it's a beer.

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

Generously bubbled pumpkin orange capped by a pastel orange, whipped creamy head that is a perfect color match for the beer that created it. The three finger cap has a considerable amount of patience, but doesn't look sticky enough to grab and hold onto the glass. A lack of lace is a minor disappointment that doesn't spoil a very nice pumpkin beer look.

The nose is as expected: baked pumpkin flesh and pumpkin pie spices. Perhaps I should go along with Dogfish Head and start writing punkin'. I've smelled pumpkinier versions and I've smelled spicier versions, but this one can hold its own against all but the most aromatic. Amazingly enough, even at a relatively high pumpkin ale ABV of 7%, there's no alcohol evident in the nose.

This is lovely stuff, even if the alcohol is now easily appreciated. This is definitely a different sort of pumpkin ale, a stronger version of the usual gourd beer. It's sweet and malty with a generous amount of caramel flavor. The spices aren't as up-front on the palate. The label indicates that allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were used. They're all identifiable, with none dominating the others.

If I was in charge at the brewery, I'd knock the ABV back a full 2% (or try harder to mask it) and would add more brown sugar and spice. It's their beer, though, so I guess I'll have to take it or leave it. Um... I'll take it. This really is a quality fall seasonal.

The decision to build a sturdier pumpkin ale pays dividends when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's a few notches more full than medium and is as smooth as heavy silk. Too many bubbles on the initial pour become just the right amount before very long at all.

Punkin' Ale is one of the better versions that I've run across. It doesn't seriously challenge my clear favorite (Smuttynose Pumpkin), but it's definitely worthwhile and is deliciously different. If you have any interest in the style whatsoever, I suggest you get Punk'd as soon as possible.

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

Pours a hazed icea tea color with a small head. Served in a large snifter at just over fridge temperature.

Pumpkin and nutmeg are the first aromas, with allspice notes as well. Perfect for the fall season.

Well integrated spices with a pumpkin background, quite tasty compared to others I've tried this year. Full and round.

Prickly, carbonated mouthfeel just short of being too much. Great action that brings out the individual flavor notes. Quite drinkable for a pumpkin ale. The alcohol isn't detracting at all but it certainly does not go uinnoticed.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottled in '05. Pours reddish/amber with a thin tan head that reduces to almost nothing. Smells of cinnamon, allspice, faint pumpkin, sweet malts, and some nutmeg, but it's not as strong as I'd like. It has a medium body that is a a bit tingly and a flavor similar to the aroma but with additions of roasted malts, green/citric hops, some bitterness and alcohol. Above average, but not the best.

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

Pours out of the bottle a reddish brown with a tannish head.
Big aromas coming from this beer. Pumpkin and an explosive cinnamon smell. You can smell this beer from across the room.
Nice maltiness balanced by the spicey notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hoppiness that sneaks itself in there amongst all the other flavors to be enjoyed.
The nuttiness of most brown ales is replaced by the pumkin flavors and complimented well with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and spicey flavors. This isnt a beer I can have more than 1 or 2 of, but a very well crafted beer.

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Photo of tboom29
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must preface this by saying not a huge pumpkin/winter spiced ale fan. I am, however, a DogFish fan. I was not dissappointed with this.
Color was a nice dark amber, looked like any pale ale. The smell was full of a cinnamon smell, spicy but also sweet, like brown sugar.

This beer was very smooth throughout, nice silky full mouthfeel. The nose pretty much confirms the flavor throughout the beer, with spicy and sweet hints. They didn't overdo the pumpkin, but there is enough where a first timer may say "Hmm, Pumpkin Ale. Interesting" I would recommend it to anyone, as it is probably the nicest pumpkin ale I've had. I'm a convert now to this beer style. DogFishHead, nice job once again.

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

Poured from one of the newer bottles which has the "Punk" label on the neck. There is a calendar, but, no packaged on date is marked.

This one pours a clear amber to light orange color with a thick frothy off-white head. The head leaves very nick, thick rings of lace. The aroma is a spicy cinnamon and pepper smell. The taste is medium to high alcohol right from the first, but tames slightly as the beer is drunk. As it goes down, the alcohol tames to a nice warming feeling. The taste is mainly a peppery spiciness with a good tasting pumpkin bread flavor on the backend.

This is the second pumpkin ale I have tried, and, it is the best so far. Highly recommend for its unique flavor.

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

Pours a dark copper with a very thin head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of sweet malt and pumpkin spices. Almost like taking a wiff of pumpking pie.

Tastes of sweet malt and pumpkin right up front. The pumpkin spice flavors balance well with the hop flavor. Finishes with a nice bitterness and the essence of spices remains in the mouth. Carbonation is very present but kept in check.

One of the best pumkin ales I have tried. This one is right up there with Post Road. I would love to try both of them side by side sometime.

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

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler with about 1.5 fingers of tan head. Head retains fairly well and eventually diminishes into a ring around the edge. Very little lacing. Color is dark iced tea with some ruby edges.

Smell is alcohol, then sweet brown sugar, some bready malt and pumpkin spices. Pretty much like pumpkin pie. The first taste is malty and maybe pumpkin (which I guess is pretty neutral when you make beer with it), then a little sweetness and some spiciness. Alcohol is barely detectable. I took the bottle out of my 40 degree-ish fridge about 15 minutes before pouring; I highly recommend doing this; the other three bottles from this four pack I started drinking too cold, which makes it all spices and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is medium-low, a good and almost creamy combination that melds well with the flavor. This beer tastes good for what it is, and I'm glad I tried it, but since I'm not a pumpkin pie fan I'm not sure I'd want more than one of these in a session. Also, as it warms the alcohol really pokes itself through; I think 10 minutes out of the fridge might have been better. I'd rather have one of these than a slice of pie, though!

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

Good color. Amber with red highlights and a small thin laced crown to cover the pint.
Smelled a little cinnamon, and even less pumpkin but not too bad or disappointed.
Tasted more like a brown ale than a fruit or vegetable beer. I can't say I care for brown ales to much but I'll try and remain fair. Brown sugar, pumpkin, and a hint of maple tasted good but not great.
Would I have this again? Yes but if I had a Rocky River Monster Mash in front of me this would lose badly.

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Photo of thegiggy86
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this beer last night at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn.

This is my first experience with a Pumpkin style ale.

The look of this beer reminded me of autumn leaves. The dark orange kind.
This beer produced a pumpkin pie-like aroma.
This beer tasted like a pumpkin pie.

In terms of drinkability, I only had a half pint, but I could definitely have another. Based on my positive experience with this beer, I will be drinking more Pumpkin Ale in the future.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the second best pumpkin, oh excuse me "punkin" ale I've had to date, eclipsed only by Kuhnhenn All Hallows. Pours into my nonic pint a crytalline and shimmering bright amber with trails of carbonation rushing northward. Nose is of pumpkin pie, slightly bready, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Very pleasant and Pavlovian. Taste is fairly rich and full,with a decent body to it. The pumpkin really comes through here quite well unlike many examples. Very similar in taste as in the nose. Mouthfeel is quite nice, neatly carbonated. A very decent brew, but at nearly twice the price as I can get All Hallows I'd have to pass.


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

Poured a golden amber, with a modest tan head of dense bubbles, relaxing to a collar, and leaving modest lacing. Lots of spiciness such as clove, allspice, and nutmeg. There is also malt sweetness and spiky hops. The spice is bold on the tongue, followed by hops. The malt starts to show as well, but it is the hops and other spices that seem to come to the forefront. Nice mouthfeel, mild carbonation, this is a nice pumpkin ale, but I did not find much in the way of pumpkin in the flavor. Nicely balanced, this is a nice beer for those cooler afternoons spent outside around a fire.

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Photo of Joey7F
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: Okay I tried it the 2nd time about two weeks later. It is a much better beer, hence the increase in score. The cinnamon and brown sugar standout, and I couldn't really taste much pumpkin. Either way, great beer and I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Old review:

I went through a fair amount to get this beer, and I got to say, for the first time, I think I am going to be in disagreement with most, in the negative direction.

In fact, I am in disagreement with Dogfish on this one. The bottle reads, "A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg"

Fullbodied, check. Brown ale? I would argue it is an ESB (and a good one at that) but the hops are overpowering. The pumpkin, I am barely detecting which is not uncommon as it has a mild flavor. I am tasting no brown sugar, and just a trace of cinnamon. I was really hoping these flavors would have been more pronounced.

Toward the bottom of the pint glass, I am getting more of the flavor and I am not ruling out that my slightly stuffy nose is stopping me from getting all of the potential from this beer. [Turned out to be the case!] I have another one left, that I will try it another day and see if I feel differently. It could be just an expectations thing, I was expecting more of an Oktoberfest with a pumpkin flavor.

I still recommend it.


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Photo of czechsaaz
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very spicy aroma. Allspice hit right away then a touch of nutmeg. Some malty character, mostly crystal types. Not much in the way of pumpkin, just pie spice.

Orange, crystal clear. Small head and nice rising carbonation. Head dissapates quickly.

Tart and spicy. High hop bitterness. Is there really any pumpkin in here? No pumpkin flavor at all. Again, pie spice and some malt. The level of spice kind of blows everything else away.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

As a spice ale, pretty good.. As Pumpkin, doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of stephendedalus
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the best Pumpkin Ales I have sampled to date. Unlike Blue Moon, Post Road (yes, I know it is brewed by Brooklyn--and I usually really like their products), Dogfish head uses a brown ale base (I'm guessing their Indian Brown), which gives this punkin' a little more complexity and body than some of the competitors. Likewise, the slightly higher ABV (7%) helps cuts a lot of the potentially cloying sweetness created from the allspice, etc., resulting in a tasty seasonal ale. I usually enjoy the punk for about a month, then it is time for it to retire for another year...until the breeze turns crisp and I start to think of Autumn seasonals one more time. Speaking of seasonals...Mad Elf coming soon!

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

2005 offering, fresh from the shelf at my local beer store.

Im glad I waited on reviewing this beer until I finished the 4 pack. After the 1st one, I didnt care much for it and left the other 3 alone for a few days. Then tonight I decided to revisit it with a fresh palate.

Look: Beautiful clear orange. Fluffy head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, but I think the allspice came to the front pretty aggresively. It smelled tasty though. Sweet, a tad of alcohol, subtle pumpkin. Yummy.

Taste: Smooth, sweet. Goes down easy, and a nice candied aftertaste. Does indeed remind me of pumpkin pie, but I didnt detect much cinnamon. Allspice was prevalent to the point where I thought it was a bit over the top. Alcohol shows up a bit as it warms, but just the right amount to warm me up on a cool fall night. Overall, a good beer, but this style just isnt my cup of tea. A good offering for the style though, so no points taken away due to my personal taste.

Mouthfeel: Light, yet big. Just the right amount of carbonation. Feels like dessert.Very easy drinking. Alcohol hidden well. Maybe Im just used to stronger beers, but this didnt feel like a 7% ABV ale.

Drinkability: I guess fans of the style would enjoy it more than I did, but by my 2nd one, I actually started liking it more than when I first started, so I will give it a good drinkability rating. As I said earlier, just not my cup of tea, but its pretty darn good for what it is.

If you enjoy pumpkin ale, give this one a try from one of the best craft breweries in all the land.

Goes excellent with chocolate.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.
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