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 EricHeff
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with about 1 finger of head that did not last too long. It's an orange/brownish color that makes me think of two things: pumpkins and brown ale. Right away you can smell the pumpkins and spice just like it advertises on the label.
The mouthful has a good carbonation to it. In the taste I can pick up some great pumpkin taste as well as some cinnamon and nutmeg. This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers out there.

I have also had it before on draft with brown sugar placed around the rim of the glass. This may seem a little frutie-tootie for a beer, but I have to say the sugar compliments it well.

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Photo of PDGreenB
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A good mix between a pale ale and a wheat ale. Slightly hoppy, not too dark, has a nice scent remniscent to an Oktoberfest-style beer. The pumpkin is light and very warm, the spices give a nice nose to this drink. Very sessionable, and I'm someone who hates pumpkin spice anything.

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Photo of Dibujob
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a clear, deep amber with a 1/4 inch creamy head. Good retention with a steady stream of bubbles.

S - Toasty malt aroma with sugary sweet undertones. The pumpkin is definitely present but not overwhelmingly so.

T - Wow, not what I expected from the smell. Cinnamon and spices are like a slap in the face! Nothing subtle about this beer, but subtle and Dogfish Head seldom go together. The finish is especially "spicy," almost like pouring dried nutmeg powder down your throat. Leaves me wanting a glass of water or something. The more I drink, the worse the aftertaste gets.

M - Mouthfeel is really dry, almost brutally so.

D - I really don't think I could drink more than one of these.

I love Dogfish Head, Sam and Co. make some of my favorite beers and I applaud their creativity and passion for extreme beers, but this isn't going to make it into my regular rotation of fall seasonals.

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Photo of FredTheSeal
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours with a fizzy tan head with soda-sized bubbles. Head dissipates quickly without lacing. Crystal clear copper color.

S - Smells like a great pumpkin ale. Just enough spice, just enough pumpkin/malt.

T - Spices, pumpkin/malt, caramel, roasted - in that order. Sometimes I get a hint of alcohol at the end. Very bold flavor in general. The caramel and roasted flavors really compliment the spices and pumpkin. A little less spice and a little more sweetness would probably make this beer even better.

M - Medium body, high carbonation.

D - I like this beer but I don't know if I could have more than 3 in a session.

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

The brownish orange ale filled the glass, which included a frothy, pillow layer of head. However, before I could even get a better look at the beer, I got distracted.

Just after pouring it, the aromas filled the air, and I knew that drinking it was going to be enjoyable. The smells are complimented and create a very full flavor of a spice banquet. Simply amazing...

The taste was great as well as the beer is clearly bodied: pumpkin, good ale with some hops, and finally the "banquet" (nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon each distinguishable). Very drinkable and even more enjoyable outside for the autumn effect.

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Photo of OsuJohn
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color is amber to tan. Little carbonation

Smell: Nice pumpkin aroma, with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Taste: pumpkin flavor, Cinnamon and nutmeg, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Heavy but balanced, crisp. Leaves a slight pumpkin after taste.

Drinkability: Good- but its a good thing this is sold in a 4 pack not a six.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of RRoeb1123
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint glass.

Appearance: A coppery orange, with a decent head that hangs around for a while.

Smell: Smells like pumpkin, a bit of allspice, and some very slight sweetness on the nose, hinting on brown sugar. Cloves and cinnamon are also readily detectable.

Taste: The spice notes come through pleasantly, and the pumpkin shows up throughout on the palate. The brown sugar is certainly there, but you do have to look for it.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant, and creamy. The carbonation is very pleasant.

Drinkability: It goes down quite easily, but I believe I may get bored with the beer after a few. Definitely a decent offering.

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

Type: Pumpkin Ale
Color: Amber
Body: Lightly carbonated.
Head: Almost non existent. I poured it and the tiny head just disappeared.
Taste: The lack of a head was made up for by the taste. The first thing you taste is most definitely taste the brown ale first. Robust dry taste led by lots of spices pumpkin being a nice addition.
Aroma: Very robust and dry. You can definitely smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. You almost can't smell the pumpkin until you detect it's slight aroma.

This will be a fine addition to my wall of fall beer. Trying this beer brings me one step closer to trying all of the pumpkin beer out there!

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Photo of liquidnoise
2.2/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A few years ago, a friend got me interested in pumpkin ales after telling me he drank one and it tasted just like pumpkin pie. Since then, out of all the seasonal beer styles I've probably tried more pumpkin ales than any other in search of this mystical liquified pumpkin pie, and each time I am let down.

This one was unique with respect to others I've tried, basically because of the high alcohol content and the prominence of alcohol in the flavor. Hardly any "pumpkin" was recognizable, and the alcohol stood out so much it felt like I was drinking hard liquor at times.

Drinkability was low, I had to take my time.

Not a very enjoyable pumpkin ale, I'll pass on this in the future.

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

Date 9-13-07
bottle was purchased on 9-13-06
aged 1 year in cooler upright.

Appearance: very light hazy orange

Smell: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, slight honey and orange .

Taste: pumpkin pie flavor with a lite scotch whiskey finish (proboly from the aging), also hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel: very light carbonation, medium malt that clings to all corners of your mouth.

Drinkability: Loved the stuff fresh, this however is to be sipped and enjoyed. Could only have a few of these. Overall I think it aged very well. Wish I could have saved more but Can only be purchased around here in 4 packs and too good to try and age more then one bottle a year

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Photo of sweetkness
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the 12 oz. bottle into a brandy snifter. Poured with a fairly small head which settled quickly. Nice clear amber, slight brown color. It definetly had various aromas associated with pumpkin...cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, along with a noticeable yeast aroma. Good flavors but the pumpkin qualities seemed to be clashing with the malt and hop flavors. A real pumpkin flavor was noticed in the aftertaste however. Nice body with adequate carbonation. Quite drinkable, no major complaints.

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Photo of Limberg316
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an excellent pumpkin ale that has very strong and flavorful hints of pumpkin. It is very easy to drink with a strong but somehow not bitter after-taste. It pours beautifully with a dark amber light to it somehow and develops a great head that dissapates fairly quickly. Smells almost like pumpkin pie!

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Photo of timmah427
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Ahhh, so fall begins...

Picked this one up earlier today. Wanted to try a new pumpkin ale now that it is that time of year. I was kind of skeptical about paying $11 for a 4-pack of a style of beer that I'm usually not a big fan of, but I wasn't disappointed.

Pours a rich amber color. Small white head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Taste is much the same. Spicy, with a malty background with a hint of hop bitterness as it finishes. Has a sticky mouthfeel, but little lacing. Really does remind me of pumpkin pie.

Certainly not a session beer, or even something that I would buy many other times of the year if it was available, but quite delicious. I definitely will be buying this one again next year!

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Photo of jbennett1919
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the beer that turned me onto the style of pumpkin ales... one of the best exemplars of the style.

Pours a nice mahogany/amber with very little head.

Smell is of yeast, malt, pumpkin and spices.

The taste is a great balance of malts and spices. The initial flavor is of deep caramel malts but is quickly substituted with tones of pumpkin, cinnamon and other great spices. The alcohol is nicely hidden within this brew as well. The flavors balance each other wonderfully, creating a beer that is not overly spiced or watered down to replicate a pumpkin flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. This beer stands up nicely and is not watered down or overly-carbonated. Very malty.

This beer is very drinkable, but at 7% ABV it packs a nice punch.

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Photo of spike882
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice golden orange color with a relatively nice thick head the disipates fast. A little astringent in taste to me even after pouring into a pint glass. Also had this on tap at one pub and enjoyed it much more. A little to spicey for my tastes but would still reccomend to try it.

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

This beer has is a coppery orange in color with noticeable carbonation, fluffy head with little retention. Excellent nose on this one, spicy and sweet it does succeed in smelling similar to a pumpkin pie, so well, done. The flavor is similar to the nose, very sweet with a blend of spices. This beer is uncharacteristic of others offered by Dogfish Head due to the noticeable flavor of alcohol; this can be a problem for some although I didn’t really mind it. Despite appearances this brew is not overly carbonated, its got a full body that tickles the palate. Another enjoyable beer by Dogfish.

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Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

9/15/15 Poured from a 12oz bottle packaged on ?/?/15. No date given other than 2015 edition, but hopefully recently for the Fall season. I'm primarily judging this beer from comparison to other Pumpkin beers and from DFH's own description on the bottle, which follows:
"A full-bodied brown ale" NOT! It's a light-bodied, overly carbonated at that, pale-amber ale.
"Brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." Tastes like it too - MUDDY.
Why all three spices? There is a lot going on just with the malts, pumpkin and brown sugar...
The Look is brilliantly clear like all other mass produced crap. This is a specialty ale, why filter so?
Smell... I didn't care for it, but maybe it is suppose to smell that way.
I saved the worst for last - the label.. They've changed the look from the traditional, tried and true DFH classic (see this webs pic below) to a half naked nimph covered in ink... The marketing department just jumped the shark on this one!

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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 torchedpunk
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Served in a 12 oz bottle dated 08/23/06

The pour left a half inch head, and dissipated to a ring around the glass and maintained through out drinking experience.

Lighter pumpkin taste then other brands, but rich in other more enjoyable flavors.

Average mouth feel, but very smooth.

Great drinkability easily a perfect drink for the fall season. This is the perfect beer before the dark beer season. A great way to give a beer a seasonal novelty, but this one is definitely something that can be drunk on any fall day.

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Photo of chadmoe1
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this in a pint glass on 9/15/2011, sitting outside and taking in the wonderful crisp start of fall.

A -- copper, 1/4 inch white head that quickly dissipated

S -- spices up front with some malty/bread smells, no hops

T -- good spices up front (nutmeg and cinnamon), a bit of alcohol heat, little/no hops, nice crisp finish with toasty aftertaste

M -- smooth with low/middle carbonation

O -- next to Southern Tier Pumking, this is one of the pumpkin seasonals I anticipate each year. This beer is incredibly balanced for a pumpkin beer; it isn't all spice and alcohol, but has a good balance of sweet and malty flavors. Made all the better by sitting outside and enjoying the awesome fall weather. Another great beer from Dogfish Head!

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Photo of t8s8l8
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look- A pale amber color, very little head retention

Aroma- definitely a pumpkin beer. the spices show themselves right away, no hop presence, a slight chocolaty caramel sweetness hiding. not much alcohol aroma present though seems like the spices would hide it quite well. the spices are more aromatic then other pumpkin style ales.

Taste- cinnamon character hits first and the other spices follow, the alcohol sure doesn't hide in the taste. the alcohol seems to push forward through the maltyness that plays well with the spices. again not much hop presence. the beer cloying in the front but starts to dry out in the middle and end. not sure if its normal in most pumpkins but fits well due to the high ABV.

Overall Experience- This is a great pumpkin beer, I usually will buy early while my store still has it in stock and will hold onto it until it starts to get a little colder out around thanksgiving. the high alcohol keeps you warm as is a solid 4 pack to pick up. With so many pumpkin ales on the market its hard to sort through them all. this is a pretty standard buy every year though.

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Photo of Perrumpo
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a treat to have Punkin on tap. A great looking pumpkin beer. For me, Punkin has the perfect balance of pumpkin spices in a beer. It doesn't even taste like a 7%, either, allowing great drinkability. This beer gets better as you drink it. The first sip might not come off all that well. Further into it, though, I find myself enjoying its array of spice flavors and not wishing for more or less spices. It holds up well over time, too.

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Photo of LikaThaHops
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- Poured an orange/brown color into my goblet, a thick off white head that quickly dissipated into light, frothy bubbles atop the brew.

S- Smells like cinnamon and beer and pumpkin spice.

T- Amazing. Cinnamon, spices and pumpkin! I dreamt it would be this good.

M- it's a light, spicy liquid. The spices definitely stay on the pallet well, so there is no bad after taste. all in all, good.

D- the drinkability of this, for me, isn't too much. Definitely not a session beer, but goes well after work, relaxing on the weekend, etc.

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Photo of HoosierInOhio
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep Amber, barely see through this one

S - Good on the nose, pumpkin, cinnamon, Allspice, vanilla?

T - Rich, nothing really overpowers here, a good balance, alcohol on the back end though, really comes through surprisingly for only a 7% brew

M - alcohol finish, can really feel the burn, strange

O - pretty good pumpkin brew for sure, just need to mellow out the alcohol burn on the back end

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Photo of amidabha
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a moderate pour into a sam adams perfect pint gave this a head all the way to the top, about an inch. beautiful clear amber with very little lacing after it calms down.

smell is just okay. i seem to get a bottled smell from the brew and would love to find a bar with this on tap. i enjoy the feel more than the taste. pretty crisp for an ale and not too spicy or artificial tasting. it has just enough carbonation to give it some character and feels good going back on the tongue.

i think i've decided i'm not much of a pumpkin ale fan in general but i will not turn this beer down if offered. one of my least favorite DFH but this is still saying a lot.

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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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