Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,108 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: 2,108 | Ratings: 6,543
Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle of the 2014 release. Poured into an unlabeled snifter 9/18/2014.

A- Clear darker brown-caramel body, one finger white head with moderate retention, drops into a thick collar. A bit of sporadic lacing. [3.75]

S- Spices, pretty much. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. Sweet brown base malt gives a nice bready aroma to things. It also gives a slightly alcoholic, boozy scent to it as well, especially as it warms up. [3.5]

F- Like in the nose, it's pretty much spices. So overall not as interesting. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves up front, sweet base malt intersperses in there, giving it sort of a pie crust breadiness. Kind of nice, actually. The alcohol booze is stronger on the palate, especially on the backend which I suppose makes for a sort of a solid digestif. [3.5]

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, it pours a copper color with a small off-white head. It smells like pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and some brown sugar. It tastes like pumpkins, spices, cloves, brown sugar, nutmeg and some caramel. This definitely has more pumpkin taste (and taste in general) than the other pumpkin ales I've had. It has a medium body, with a nice, smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. It's pretty drinkable too, you can't tell the 7% ABV when you're drinking it. Overall it's a pretty good beer. Easily the best pumpkin ale I've tried so far.

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Photo of tigg924
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, clear, orange-brown

Smell:like a pumpkin pie, allspice, cinnamon and cloves jump out

Taste: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, malt, sugar, and hops

Mouthfeel: starts sweet and sugary then a hoppy finish. medium body

Drinkability: This is very much like a pumpkin pie. I love how you get the sweet first, then the hops...sort of like eating the filling, then the different taste for the crust. This one definately has a beer feel to it. That said I do not think I could drink more than two in one sitting.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, spicy aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar, and malt.

T: Tasted of pumpkin, malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Spicy, but not in an obvious way. Well-rounded.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: Another well made, drinkable beer from Dogfish Head

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber with a decent haze yet hardly any head to speak of. Mild lacing still proves it's a craft brew.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, and pumpkin all spice. Pretty solid.

T - I remember this ale last year being an ale of amber with spice but now I see it's still pretty true. Slightly bitter almost too much English amber malt that leads to a slight sweetness of cinnamon and pumpkin all-spice but leads more bitter malt. Ehh it's ok for a pumpkin ale but I was told this years version was the best...

M - Overall medium to light bodied with full flavor.

D - Well I still don't like it. I wanted too but it still uses too much bitter English malt that makes it too overbearing to produce the spice I need to really enjoy a pumpkin beer. Still very solid but I will look elsewhere for a good pumpkin beer,

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

I picked up a 4-pack of this at Nutmeg Discount in Bethel, CT.

The appearance is a cloudy amber color with a 1 finger head.
Smell consists of brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, very nice.
Taste has notes of malt, bread, pumpkin and is a bit sweet.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with spice and finishes with those 2 dominant components lingering on my palate. Drinkability is good, but the sweetness will keep you from drinking this quicker than it should be. After all, this is a nice dessert beer, so relax while enjoying yet another great beer from Dogfish Head.

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

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

One of the first pumpkin beers ive had years ago when maybe 5-6 made there way to bars...

Haxy orangey copper in color, i like the tea reference made by another reviewer below, so im gonna steal it, minimal head and ok lacing. Smell is of faint pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinamon) with some vanilla and malty biscuit scents. The taste is a rather mild blend of biscuity malts, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla. Slight pumpkin flavor on the tail. Lighter bodied, slightly high in carbonation, still manages to be slightly creamy. Mild flavor, but unique in its combination.

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

Had on tap at a local pub, served in a pint

Appears a burnt orange color with a tight, foamy one finger light tan head. Good retention but only a smattering of lace here and there.

Cinnamon and allspice dominate the pumpkin, nutmeg and sweet malts. A pretty solid nose though. Not overly sweet.

The sweet malts come to the forefront more on the taste. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and pumpkin all have their place in equal parts. Very nicely balanced.

Medium to full-bodied. Thick and creamy. Adequate carbonation.

With all of the spices in this one, I would have to limit myself to one or two of these. While they are a nice offering, the spices would get to me after a while.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A color shows itself to be reminiscent of amber waves of wheaty grain, and maybe a pumpkin or two. Good bubbles and a little lacing. Two finger head after the pour and a receding foam as the drinking goes on. Plenty of sweet pumpkin pie aromas like nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, and of course the main attraction. The best tasting pumpkin ale I've had so far, untl sometrhing better touches my tastebuds. A little lagery, but still in tune with the fall season. Spicey and sweet with the fruit of the great pumpkin.

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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 Brad007
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with minimal head if at all. Aroma is very strong and pumpkin-like upfront. The spice shows very well. The taste is much of the same except I detect sweetness, brown sugar, pumpkin and a nice aftertaste. A second sip confirms just how malty this beer is. It seems well-balanced when compared to the pumpkin ale I had before it. I'd definitely recommend it over the other example of this style I had.

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

Not surprisingly, a hazed glowing orange appearance. Slight beige head with good retention. Lace is droopy and fairly abundant. This one's got a really nice pumpkin pulp aroma with hardly any spicing noticed on the nose...which is good. A little cinnamon. The mouthfeel has a pleasant feel with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Body seems to be about medium full. The flavors are primarily sweet. Pumpkin pulp, sweet molasses, carmelized sugar. Good stuff. And the spicing is subdued, but nice. Again, the cinnamon comes to the forefront.

This is really a pretty good pumpkin ale, even in April.

I thank Mr. Cokes for the sample.

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Photo of cbutova
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Murky orange-brown with a large off-white, frothy head. Good retention and a ton of fine lace.

S- Smells like typical pumpkin ale spice and a bit sour actually, lacto-esque for sure. "Bottled in 2010 5E" Mostly nutmeg with a little bit of pumpkin behind it.

T- One thing that jumps out at me right away is the alcohol, not hidden at all for 7%. The nutmeg stacks with the alcohol to make a slightly offensive flavor. The cinnamon is also highly present, too spicy. I get some nice pumpkin notes but they seem random, having to get past the spiceahol. The more I drink, the more I get that "wet dog" vibe.

MF- Light creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty warm from alcohol. Huge coat of spice coats the palate.

DB- Between the alcohol and the spices, I would prefer to split even the 12oz. A good pumpkin flavor masked by way too much spice flavor and alcohol. I probably should have been ready for this. I guess unbalanced is most appropriate here.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a becker. Poured a brilliant translucent copper with a 1.5 inch frothy white head; good retention. Some watery lacing, but weak legs. Nose presents with cinnamon and nutmeg on a malty backbone. Pumpkin flavors revealed in the taste. Essentially, this brew is pumpkin pie in a bottle; enough said. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. Some carbonation present, but a pleasant creaminess comes forth in the middle. Good drinkability for the style. Flavors are not overbearing, but not a beer you would want to drink more than one or two of in a sittng.

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Photo of Viggo
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, virtually no head, and no lace. Smell is nutmeg, sweet rich malt, some pumpkin, rich malt, some cinnamon. Taste is sweet malt, lots of spice, little bit of pumpkin and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, medium carbonation, warming. Not bad but disappointing.

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

12oz bottle poured into my HotD Tulip.

Bottle 7.28.09

Appearance - Dark Orange with a lively tan head.

Smell - Pumpkin, spice, cinnamin.

Taste - Spices - Cinnamin, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin.

Drinkability - Verk drinkable. It makes me wish it was Fall.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always wary of Dogfish head, sometimes they like being weird for the sake of being weird, and charging you a pretty penny for it. This is not one of those beers.

Pours like nothing special, wouldn't know this was a pumpkin beer by looking at it. Aromas are delic, a hybrid of pumpkin pie and low alpha acid hops. Taste, one of the better (if not the best) pumpkin ales out there. No progression though, and you probably don't want to drink more than 1 of these per sitting, kind of a desert type beer, but not too sweet.

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Photo of Suds
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve come to really appreciate and anticipate the annual apperance of pumpkin beers. This one’s an outstanding example of the class. Pours a clear, dark-copper color with a thin white head. Brown-sugar, pumpkin, and pie spices compose the aroma. The spiciness is folded nicely into a faint alcohol smell. As you work through the glass, nutmeg seems to stand out as the dominant spice. Pleasing alcohol warming (nice in the Autumn outdoors). The pumpkin taste is present all the way through the taste. Finish is rather hoppy for a pumpkin beer. Overall, this is one of the beer pumpkin beers I’ve had.

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Photo of drpimento
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a milder pumpkin beer. Very nicely done; plenty of character and balance with a deft touch. Poured with a nice off-white head and good lace. Medium amber color. Malty and spicy aroma, but not over done. Ditto the flavor. Body is good too, with good carbonation. Finish is nice and as it should be for this style. Very satisfying. Not a session beer.

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

Appearance: Clear copper color.,Large white head. Good retention with thick lacing.

Aroma: The spices are listed on the bottle so I won't list them here. The smell is of a nice slice of warm pumpkin pie. Delicious.

Taste: Taste like melted pumpkin pie with a bit of caramel and a mild hop finish.

Mouth feel: Medium/heavy body. Decent carponation. Smooth.

Drinkability: Perfect for a nice fall day.

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Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color. A two finger off white head forms and leaves some nice rings of lace behind.
S: Peppery spice and yeast in the nose. Pumpkin spice. Bread and biscuit.
T: Pumpkin pie, just like I expected. Some good spice, that does not overpower. Very malty. Some caramel and bread/biscuit flavors. I like this.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation end. Not watery at all though. Creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink for a high alcohol beer and heavily spiced to boot. I will have no problems putting a few back while watching college football.

This is a very good and flavorful beer. Something that is perfect for fall. I'll take this over any watery and thin American made O'fests any day.

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Photo of claspada
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer looks appropriately amber with a thin head that dissipates to a thinner film. The liquid is fairly translucent and looks oddly like a thin honey amber.
Smells of brown sugar and cinnamon escape from the surface. Dont get any of the other likely spices. It's more sugary cinnamon like a cookie than pumpkin pie, which I do not enjoy as much.
The prevalent brown sugar makes it seem more India Brown like its cousin than Red or Amber like it is supposed to. This beer is just too over the top sweet, "standard Pumpkin" and a bit boozy for me to be impressed. (And I can say this because 2 of my favorite pumpkin beers, Weyerbacher Imp Pumpkin and Southern Tier Pumking are also high in ABV while not tasting like a thick sloopy mess). It's just not quite as pumpkiny as it should be, cinnamon and clove alone do not make it a pumpkin beer.
Overall this is more like cinnamon toast than pumpkin (or even pumpkin pie); this is far from the go-to for the style for me, and this is a style I have had a lot of.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an orange-amber color with a thick two finger off-white head. The head has very good retention, eventually fading to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is a nice blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar/molasses. Like a sweet piece of cold pumpkin pie.

Taste – The taste starts out of pumpkin and some cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg spice. As the flavor moves on, it sweetens some, with flavors of a caramel and a brown sugar taste coming to the tongue. These sweeter flavors when mixed with the pumpkin and spice create a very pleasant taste on the tongue. More toward the end of the taste, the spice and sweet intensify and combined with a light hop taste, to leave a tasty pumpkin pie flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Both were good for the pumpkin, sweet and spicy flavors. A little more creaminess may have given it an enhancement; giving it more of the silky pumpkin pie feel, but regardless, the mouthfeel was good overall.

Overall – Good and tasty pumpkin brew. I wish it was available for more than just one season.

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

Appearance. Deep amber with a light haze and a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Cloves, nutmeg, faint molasses.

Taste. Nutmeg, roasty malt, brown sugar, and pumpkin with just a little hop bitterness. Alcohol well hidden and spices are subtle enough to actually be enjoyed.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. Good, easy drinking, and not overdone with offensive spicing. I actually tasted some pumpkin and enjoyed this.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Clear orange color with white head. Head dissipated into yeasty islands on the top, very appetizing looking.

Aroma was pumpkin pie, just about right for this beer in my opinion. It could have been a little stronger, but no real problems.

The flavor was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and malt. It was good but could have been stronger (again).

Not bad, and I'll drink it again. But so far my top prize for this style of beer stays with Weyerbacher.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,543 ratings.
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