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

I don’t have much experience with pumpkin ale's. I figured if there is a good pumpkin ale out there, DFH would be responsible for crafting one.

The brew presented it self well, with a golden/copper color, but with little head that diminished quickly in my glass. It smelled mostly of malt with some hints of spice and hops. Once enters the mouth a spicy overtone is present with a light presence of the alcohol. The sweetness is noteworthy and the proper balance of carbonation to mouthfeel. One thing I have not mentioned yet is the pumpkin taste...I find it hard to distinguish pumpkin amongst all the other tastes.

Don’t get me wrong, this brew is well balanced and highly drinkable on a cool autumn day!

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Photo of advill88
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden honey-like color with a half inch white head.

Predominant smell is of brown sugar and pumpkin, with some hints of pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is on the heavier side of maltiness, with strong flavors of pumpkin and brown sugar, and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The underlying brown ale character is still present underneath, though.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation on the light side.

This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. It has a sweetness, but it's not too sweet, and the combination of the pumpkin and brown sugar are especially delicious. I could definitely drink several in a row. This would be good with pumpkin pie.

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Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pour- Looks like iced tea with a quick disappearing head. On the bottle it says it's a "Brown Ale"... not very brown in color.

Smell- Pumpkin pie spices, roasted malt, brown sugar.

Taste- very malty,and more pumpkin pie spice than actual pumpkin flavor. A wee bit much carbonation for my taste... I like it but I think this beer is way over hyped... honestly you can taste more pumpkin in Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of monkeybutler
2.36/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5


I have to stop here. I love Dogfish Head. I love their beer. I've been down to their brewpub in Rehoboth, and it's a very long drive from my house. I admire and respect Sam to no end.

Okay. Appearance: poured a flat, almost still red-orange with no head. It really has nothing going for it in the appearance department. If I drink another of the 3 out of the 4-pack and it is carbonated, I'll come back and change this portion of the review. Also, before I get too far. A 4-pack? Really? That's...um...lousy. It's not WWS. It's not even 90 minute. Give me a whole damn 6 pack.

The smell is all spice, with a smidge of sqash/pumpkin, but mostly clove and cinnamon and... allspice, I guess. A slight alco-pop aroma of malt is somewhere in there too.

Taste is okay, really. I'm getting some cinnamon all over my mouth, and a little pumpkin essence, but mostly, it's essentially another pumpkin soda with some alcohol. Except of course for the complete lack of carbonation.

Mouthfeel. Yeah. Whatever that may be. I'm getting some cinnamon grittiness on top of a pile of "punkin". Maybe we've been punkd?

Oh god. I'm not going to drink another one of these. I will crack another one open to see if it's carbonated, but the rest are going to my mom who happens to like alcoholic pumpkin soda.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Goblet

Clear amber in color with a foamy one-finger off-white head.

Smells of your typical seasonal spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, etc are prominent. Smells a little like a heavily-spiced pumpkin pie.

Taste follows the nose. The spices are mixed with a nice pumpkin flavor. Has an organic type flavor. Very seasonal.

Medium-bodied brew with a gentle mouthfeel. Not too watered down, but I like my pumpkins with a lot of body to them.

Overall, not a bad pumpkin by any measure. It doesnt blow me away, but I am a tough customer at times. You could definitely do worse. Not sorry at all I drank it.

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Photo of seydou
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a very festive orange coppery color. I don't get much of a smell off of this one. Taste is immediately very autumn-refreshing. Sweetness with a good dose of the alcohol taste of the 7% coming through. The pumpkin flavor hits midway through the taste and not overpowering or chemically not many pumpkin beers. The pumpkin lingers with a bit of bitterness. It's good, not great.

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Photo of Drogon
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overall great taste not too overpowering but you can tell it's pumpkin. Compared to some other pumpkin ales this is mild. I had Some whole hog pumpkin which is much stronger. after an IPA, don't do that. Pumpkin ales and IPA's don't mix.

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Photo of dankbrew21
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a lot of head on the pour, smells of sweet spicy punkin.

Very good mouth feel, not too thin but not overpowering. Sweet and spicy, alcohol makes itself known for this 7%er. I do enjoy the slight burn. Flavors could be a little more present, kind of muted but still there.

Over all, a very good pumpkin ale, not my favorite, but up there!

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a burnt amber color with no head to speak of...

S - Huge toasty biscuit with not much spice, a little hard to discern individual spices (I know it's on the label)

T - More of the same from the aroma, but I kept getting this impression of burnt... something... I can liken it only to an empty restaurant coffee pot that has yet to be cleaned. It has a firm bitterness that balances well with the sweet and mouthfeel, but also detracts from it's serial consumption score for me.

M - Full-bodied and balanced well by the carbonation that might have otherwise appeared a little high.

D - Overall, a decent beer, (again) well-balanced, but nothing of real excitement to bring me back for more.

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Photo of Likeburning
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium to full bodied and quite spicy, I was apprehensive about the pumpkin flavoring at first, but quickly won over by this seasonal beer. Almost as if you're drinking in the turning of the leaves. I haven't found a Dogfish Head yet that I didn't like.

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Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Red Wine glass (no snifter available)

A- Pours with very light orange, minimal head (.5cm), doesn't linger around too long though. Beer has a gorgeous color to it, glowing orange with slight opacity.

S- Wow. One of the most delicious and complex aromas I've had the pleasure of sticking my nose into. Smells like pumpkin pie on thanksgiving. Definite pumpkin smell, cinnamon and nutmeg become very clear upon a second pass. Very excited to taste.

T- Delicious. Taste matches the smell very closely. Tastes like mild pumpkin, slight cinnamon, and a surprising amount of nutmeg. Fantastic sweetness.

M- Incredibly smooth, almost a milky feel in the mouth

D- Very drinkable, the best pumpkin ale I've had. Definitely recommend picking up a four-pack!

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Photo of jdflyer06
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large tulip.

A: A bright orange with a cloudy body. Good carbonation and very little head that leaves a small bit of lacing around the sides.

S: Sweet, almost like bubblegum. As it warms, picking up nutmeg, cinnamon, some floral hop and other spicy aromas and some earthiness. The smell captures the essence of a cool, fall day and pumpkin is obviously just one of many things going on here.

M: Good carbonation with some slight creaminess. The finish is fairly dry with lingering alcohol.

T: Surprisingly boozy. I thought from the smell that this one would be a flavor monster. Roasted malt dominates with a spicy finish. As it warms, cinnamon and nutmeg shine through. I'm having a hard time picking up the pumpkin at first, but as it lingers, it starts to show up. Let this one warm a bit to get everything it has to offer.

O: Pretty good, but I still think Schlafly makes the best pumpkin beer out there. Still a solid effort and I'd pick up a sixer of this again if I saw it. Pretty drinkable but I think I'd get bored with it after a few.

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

A: Pours a darker orange, cloudy appearance on the bear. Little to no head at all, and only a very minor amount of carbonation is showing. Honey color when looking at it in the light.

S: Pumpkin spice up front on this one with the fruit behind it. A mild smell that is not overpowering by any means. Smells more like the pumpkin filling to me rather than a pumpkin pie that is baked.

T: Bitter taste with a noticeable pumpkin spice on there, finishes with the fruit like it smells. This beer doesn't go down as smooth as some of the other pumpkins I've tried, and keeps the bitter taste throughout. Not a horrible taste, but not the best. *EDIT* I really need to finish the whole beer before submitting. This got better after it sat for awile. Going to take it up to a 4 on this from a 3.5

M: Medium feel on this one, carbonation is there and the bitterness is present. Just not as smooth as I would like.

O: This one is worth a shot if you like it more on the bitter side. This doesn't reflect a great deal of the pumpkin style to me, more of a fall offering. I wouldn't call it terrible, but i'm glad that I didn't get a six pack of this. *EDIT* Got better as it sat, but still not the best pumpkin I've had. Changed from 3.5 to 4

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

On tap at a local restaurant. Served in a weizen glass with a frosting of
sugar/pumpkin pie spices on the rim.

Appearance in glass was an attractive light brown with orange highlights.
Nice head which lasted as long as the beer did and excellent lacing.

Taste (once frosting on rim was brushed away) was a clean malt backbone
with hints of pumpkin. The only pie spices evident were those from the
glass, it seems. No hops noted -- probably this beer was brewed using
bittering hops only and no late additions.

Aroma is similar to taste -- malt with hints of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth.

Overall a very good pumpkin ale.

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Photo of Karl_12welveEyes
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Deep orange in color
Smell: cinnamon and nutmeg come in strong
Taste: an interesting blend of pumpkin spice and malt flavor. I like the brown ale as a back to the pumpkin beer
Feel: smooth like pumpkin pie, perfect feel for the seasonal flavors

One of the better pumpkin beers I have had this season.

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

Appearance: Copper colored with a tannish-white head that dissipates to about 1/8". This beer screams "fall"

Smell: Great flavors and allspice, and caramel, with maybe a hint of nutmeg. Very enjoyable.

Taste: At first, you're hit with a wav of malty caramel goodness, which persists as the spiced pumpkin meat begins to fill your mouth. As you exhale, the back of your mouth is filled with pumpkin pie spices and a slight hoppy bite. A great beer on a crisp autumn day, I feel myself looking around for the hay ride!

Mouthfeel: lightly carbonated, slight hop tingle, and semi-full mouthfeel that is just short of creamy.

Drinkability: Give me a campfire and a sixpack!

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Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Saint Arnold pint glass.

A- Pours an orange-copper color with over a finger of white head that sticks around. Lacing all over.

S- Smells so good. Nutmeg and cinnamon are the main players. It just smells like the kitchen when mom was baking pumpkin pie.

T- Lots of spices. It is peppery and almost has a belgian feel to it. Very interesting. The pumpkin and cinnamon come on later in the taste.

M- Nice and creamy. Carbonation is right on.

O- Pumpkin isn't overwhelming on this and I really like their use of spices. A great fall beer and I highly recommend it to people wanting to try something a little different.

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Photo of Jaysauras
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: What a beauty. Nice bronze color with a two inch thick head. Changes from a lighter gold color to a pure bronze near the top. Excellent lace, foamy, thick. Appetizing.

S: Caramel malt with a toasty hint of holiday sweetness. Brown sugar and nutmeg. Faint floral/piney smell, perhaps coriander.

T: Wow. Absolutely outstanding. You get a very warm spiced flavor right up front, like a warm biscuity alcohol flavor. Then it slowly mellows into a soft yet still spicey blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and, of course, pumpkin. Wraps up with a crisp hint of malt and pine. Very well blended flavor, good drink through with a melange of flavors to enjoy.

F: Unique feel to it. Very warm, sometimes dry and tingly, but also soft, delicate, sweet, and a bit chewy. Complex no question. I usually don't consider feel all too much, but this one stood out.

O: Phenomenal pumpkin ale. I am exceptionally impressed by this one. Pumpkin ales are pretty hit and miss, and this one is definitely a hit. Surprisingly complexity that is well blended. The alcohol taste up front might set a few people down, but when worked in as a whole from bitter, to spicy, to sweet, it makes for a tremendous drink through. Definitely a good seasonal beer to pick up and try if you want a Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of DovGibor
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 Punkin poured into a pint glass. Amber and clear, with almost no head. Nose is roasted pumpkin without any sweetness.

Medium mouthfeel with noticeable carbonation on the palate. Flavor is light malt and rich pumpkin. Spices or pumpkin pie flavors are absent. No discernible hops.

Light on the malt for a brown ale, and not lacks the sweetness of many pumpkin beers. But it's straightforward and enjoyable.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brew with a short-lived head. Very little carbonation. Smell like a spice cabinet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and some lingering malt and a lot of alcohol as it warms. Doesn't sell like pumpkin pie to me though it does remind you of the season.

Taste is nice, a little spicy, a lot of alcohol, doesn't taste like a bear. More like a special mixed drink. Not bad. Great season brew. Has a real nice light mouth taste with just a nip of spice after taste. I might drink two, but no more. Then, I don’t think the folks at Dogfish Head thought they were brewing a session beer.

This is one of the better special flavor beer.

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Photo of Brewlore
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very nice looking orange/light brown color with an off white head. It holds it's head quite well.

The aroma has the spices shining through. Some biscuity malts come in to back up the spices. A bit of the alcohol seems to come through as well.

The taste is decent I was slightly disappointed in it actually Not that it's bad. It kind of bites back when you drink it. The spices come through a bit harsh.

The mouthfeel is pretty smooth. low to Medium bodied with some middle ground carbonation. I expected it to have a bit more body.

Overall an enjoyable brew. Whilst not the best in terms of Autumn beers, it still offers a very solid pint.

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Photo of kevd193213
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle. Amber pour with a thin off white head. Nice lacing despite a somewhat medium to thin mouthfeel. Aroma of nutmeg, other spices and (surprise) pumpkin. Taste of malt and pumpkin with alcohol present. Lingering finish. Not a huge fan of pumpkin ales but this was pretty good.

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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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