Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Punkin AlePunkin Ale
BA SCORE
3.93/5
Very Good
6,645 Ratings
Punkin AlePunkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,253
Reviews:
2,140
Ratings:
6,645
pDev:
12.72%
Bros Score:
4.05
 
 
Wants:
370
Gots:
1,438
Trade:
6
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,645 |  Reviews: 2,140
Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with some lighter highlights. Good lacing.

S: Lots of pumpkin flavor along with all the accompanying spices. The brown sugar is a really nice tough.

T: Like the smell, this one is all pumpkin pie, and the sweetness added by the brown sugar is just incredible. The spicing is absolutely perfect. By far the best-tasting pumpkin beer I've ever had.

M: Nice and creamy. Medium body.

D: Everything gets to be a little much to have more than one, but this is a damn fine brew.

 495 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at The Khyber, Philly, PA

Poured hazy burnt orange-brown with a nice foamy white head. Smell of pumpkin, sugar and spice, sweet malts. Pumpkin pie flavor and just a bit of bitter hops for balance. Mellows out a little when it breathes and comes up in temperature a bit. Medium mouthfeel, overall smooth, and very drinkable, depending on how much pumpkin you feel like drinking.

 396 characters

Photo of REVZEB
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of smcolw
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark orange-amber in color, very clear. A light head

Strong pumpkin pie aromas as promised, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Also present are some biscuit-like malt aromas. No discernable hop.

This is a very sweet beer although I now can detect some bitter hop in the swallow. This is a rich ale with a high carbonation--definitely chewy. Strangely lacking flavor (other than sweetness) in the mouth, but the aftertaste is quite complex with the spice and bitterness really coming through.

I'm having this beer in a flight of pumpkin ales (a New England specialty, it appears). I'm not a big fan of sugary beers, like scotch ale. That said, this might be an excellent dessert beer after a hearty meal because it is not sickly sweet. Perhaps a true specialty beer.

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Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange/amber with a smallish white that quickly dissipated, leaving a small ring that left a little lacing on each sip. Aroma is very spicey. Almost too spicey as the pumpkin aroma is subtle but it's still there.

Taste is once again frontloaded with spices and sweetness. Much like the aroma, the pumpkin taste gets overloaded and seems barely detectable on some sips. Light hoppiness and more than I care for hotness (especially as it warms) in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and seems fairly thick for a Pumpkin Ale.

The Punkin' Ale seems to be one of those beers that I try and try with each year to love and it just never happens. Just way too over spiced with not enough pumpkin and a unnecessaryly high 7% ABV make this a one time a fall beer for me. If they want to keep the high ABV, they should make this an Imperial style and ramp up the flavor too.

 918 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.93/5  rDev 0%

Photo of atrocity
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent caramel/copper color & a 2 fingers+ dirty white head. Some lacing & a little head retention

S: Slight cinamon & nutmeg smell up front

T: Malty sweetness, then allspice & slight hop bitterness. Warming alcohol burn, almost brandy-like follows. A slight pumpkin taste, more implied than actual I guess... Finishes spicy & warming

MF: Medium bodied, good carbonation, but a slight pricklyness & pretty good balance

Drinks allright, I'd say this probably if not the best pumpkin ale I've tasted. I usually ain't too wild about them. Maybe because of the way DFH used a brown ale base, it works for me. I can see whipping a few of these out turkey or Christmas day!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

 2,105 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper body topped by a small off-white head with moderate lacing.

Smell: The aroma is plenty spicy, with gobs of nutmeg and allspice present. As for the pumpkin aromawise, it's a no-show.

Taste: Light toffee sweetness upfront with a fair amount of nutmeg and especially cinnamon, which provides a nice spicy bitterness. Where have all the pumpkins gone?

This is a pumpkin ale, if I remember correctly. Sadly, you hardly get a true sense of any pumpkin in this brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with an ample carbonation that comes across as fizzy. Too fizzy, really.

Drinkability: The pumpkin flavor was subtle to the point of being absent. Sure, there's plenty of spices, but the missing pumpkin flavor was a disappointment, and made for an uninteresting beer. I guess $8.99 doesn't get you much pumpkin these days.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter

A: Poured dark copper with a one finger head. Pretty good lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Get a nice aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Also get some biscuity malt on the back end.

T: Again, the cinnamon and nutmeg are present, but the pumpkin is not as central as expected. It is subtle, and well done at that. Also get a heavy dose of doughy malt on the back end.

D/M: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very easy to drink, and the 7% is hidden very well. A really nice pumpkin beer that isn't over the top like some others. It is more "beer-like" than some others I have had in this style.

 652 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 1,963 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 09/06/10 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a transparent dark amber color with 2 fingers of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, pumpkin, and a lot of spices. Some cinnamon and bready malts as well.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bready malts, spices, cinnamon, light pumpkin, and sweet fruity malts.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good pumpkin beer. Not my favorite, but something I would definitely drink again. Heavy on the spices in the smell and taste.

 566 characters

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a packaged on date on the side of the label.

LOOK: Clear, tea color, good lacing

SMELL: Pumpkin pie spice, mild alcoholic esters, sugary, gord meat

TASTE: Smooth, a bit creamy, medium bodied, biscuity, expressive esters, raisins, faint rum, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes sweet and spicy

Hands down this is the best bottled pumpkin brews I have ever had, it is nice to see a brewery have enough courage and inspiration not to brew a pumpkin soda-beer. I would not have expected anything less from Dogfish Head. Thankfully there are pumpkin beers like this that are not one and done.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 6,645 ratings