Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
2,106 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,106
Ratings:
6,536
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
361
Gots:
1,389
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,106 | Ratings: 6,536
Photo of kielykyaa
2.82/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

This years (2015) Punkin Ale is quite disappointing. I was expecting more cloves, spices, and more pumpkin like the previous years. This year it is more of an alcohol heavy (mouth) Brown Ale this year with a roasty flavor and very minimal smell and taste of pumpkin and spices. Somewhat sweet aftertaste. Pours a medium to dark orange color. It isn't bad, but if you call it a Pumpkin Ale it needs to have a little more pumpkin. I would not buy another pack of Punkin Ale this year. There's always next year!

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Photo of justinp444
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip it has a clear amber orange body with a thin half inch off white head. Smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, brown sugar, all-spice, and some bread-y malt. Taste is of brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and pumpkin. You can really individually make out the flavors in this, not just as a round about pumpkin pie flavor. It is much lighter and not as flavorful compared to other pumpkin beers. The flavors dissipate in seconds on your tongue leaving behind a kind of dry pumpkin bread flavor/feel (with no small amount of nutmeg). Small amount of carbonation, slightly sweet, light to moderate body (mostly light), and a moderate mouth feel. Pretty smooth and maybe a tad watery. A pumpkin beer you can drink quite a few of before getting sick of.

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Photo of gchristner
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not as good as it used to be in previous years. Still a decent beer, less of a pumpkin beer. Great color, slight pumpkin smell, mild pumpkin flavor, but more of a brown ale.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this out of a pint glass. Nice rich brown color. Aroma was mostly pumpkin with a touch of molasses. Flavor was mild pumpkin and brown sugar. Mouthfeel was just the right of smooth, very drinkable. Good stuff.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful dark hue of Orange, completely clear. The smell isn't overwhelming, but I can pick up notes of pumpkin, slight clove, and just a little touch of sweetness. The taste is a bit light for my liking, but refreshing. Very light pumpkin, some cinnamon, allspice, and a clove flavor hitting in the finish. Nice light carbonation, good fizz on the first sip. This is a good pumpkin beer, but besides pumking I'm yet to find a pumpkin beer that stands out.

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Photo of DrSchnitzengiggle
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Great orange color. The smell is awesome - reminds me of cool weather, fallen leaves, and Halloween. The taste is very balanced; not too much spice, but enough to give you that pumpkin-pie vibe. This has been my favorite pumpkin beer for a while now, so I may be a little biased. Overall, I recommend this to anyone interested in beer (not just pumpkin beers).

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Photo of JMoney777
2.04/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.25

2015's version out of a bottle doesn't compare at all to older versions. Hardly any pumpkin or spice flavor. Quite bland comparatively. Not a bad beer overall, but it's more like a regular old beer than Punkin Ale. If you want a decent brown ale, it's fine, but since I was expecting the old Punkin Ale, I rated it according to my expectations from the past. I was not paying for a plain old brown ale with a hint of pumpkin and spice, I was paying for a full flavor Dogfish Head Punkin Ale - but all I got was Punk'd. Breweries should not change a beer's character so much that it no longer IS that beer - that's a form of deception. If you change the beer, change the name.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great beer I forgot while drinking this that it was a pumpkin beer don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. The pumpkin taste is there and the spices are not one note and overpowering .

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Photo of rpjterp
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am not usually a fan of fruit in my beer but pumpkin is about as savory a fruit as you will find and it is the exception. This is my favorite take so far on a pumpkin beer.

Best described as an above average amber ale but the pumpkin flavors take it to another level.

Bubbles keep it lively and it feels light 7.0% abv.

Smell is just right for a quality amber ale with an overtone of pumpkin.

Perfect at Thanksgiving. Great gift to bring instead of the usual bottle of wine in the Fall.

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Photo of CHickman
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours speckled orange gold color with a ton of sediment floating around in it and a 1 finger cream off white head that faded on the fast side and left decent lacing.

Smells like pumpkin pie with a mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, bread crust, brown sugar, nutmeg, yeast, bready malt, earthy notes and some more light spices. The ingredients used and listed on the bottle all show up front and center and smell quite good. Really good take on the pumpkin beer style, it smells like a real pie.

Tastes like it smells but the spices are more pronounced as the allspice comes out and joins the cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and brown sugar; seems like coriander and cumin join the party too. Very bready with the pie crust/biscuit/wheat bread and wet cardboard yeast notes following the spices, then shifting to tea leaf, dry flowers and hops which add some balance yet let the spices and malt continue to trick your palate into thinking that this liquid bread is a pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with fizzy carbonation and a body that's a little lighter than average; it hides the ABV completely with the spices and flows down easy, finishing spicy and full of malt and pumpkin.

Overall a really good beer...I found this bottle in the back of my beer fridge, and even though it's over 6 months old it was still very tasty and I don't like most pumpkin beers in general. Dogfish Head nails it with this beer.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2014 Fall bottling. Drank 6.20.15. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Tulip.

A: Pours a hazy, orange tinted amber with a half finger of medium khaki head that quickly fades to a tall halo and transparent cap. Some suspended particulates, but I am guessing that might be from the age. I can't remember what it looked like when I had it fresh.

S: Spiced gingerbread cookies with a dash of brown sugar. Strong malt. Subtle and appropriate for a fall seasonal.

T: A light brown ale with some baked pumpkin, brown sugar, winter spice, and nutmeg. No bitterness whatsoever. Reminds me of brisk fall evenings.

M: Medium bodied, but feels lighter due to the carbonation. This really prickles at your lips and tongue. Has some after stick to it. A touch of alcohol, but not boozy at all.

O: I hate pumpkin beers. They all usually taste over processed, vegetable-y, or have had way too much spice and nutmeg added to them. But Dogfish did none of that, instead finding balance in subtlety. As a result, this is a beer that I actually like, one that come fall time, I routinely grab.

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Photo of Ancalagon
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am a huge pumpkin beer fan, and this is one of my top three. Pours a beautiful hazy orange color with a finger of head. Smell is amazing. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, along with pumpkin, dominate the smell. Tastes almost like it smells. Along with the spices and pumpkin, there is a caramelized vanilla taste. I would have preferred just a little more pumpkin flavor. Ends with some malty hop bitterness to round out. Feel is medium-full with a little carbonation. A very well rounded pumpkin beer. Perfect for fall/autumn.

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Photo of beerme626
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I generally don't like the feel of pumpkin beers, because they are a bit too sticky for me. However, despite that, Punkin is a good drinkable beer, with clear pumpkin without overwhelming pumpkin spice. Some pumpkin beers are too sweet. This doesn't overdo it.

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Photo of poppollutesminds
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Older varieties were much tastier. The current seasonal that is being put out is still good but no where near as good as it was when DFH really kicked off distribution.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decent pumpkin ale. From the bottle, it pours a medium orangy amber color (at least to me) with a small head that dissipates quickly. A bit of pumpkin to the nose and mouth.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 2013 edition poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, hazy, golden/orange color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds of foam that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very pumpkin-y and spicy. Tons of brown sugar, cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg. Strong notes of malt and freshly baked ginger bread too, however, not much in the way of hops.

Taste: Much like the aroma, tons of pumpkin and spice. Brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom. Finished with a little sour flavor that I don’t remember in years past. Finally, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. Some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7%, there is just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: A very good pumpkin beer. Great balance between the traditional malty/hoppy flavors of beer, balanced well with the pumpkin and spices. In years past this has been my favorite, but I’ve since had some excellent pumpkin beers this season that have moved Dogfish Head’s Punk down on my list of favorites. That being said, this beer will always have a place on my shelf in the autumn.

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Photo of Harleydls
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pumpkin beers seem to have lovers and haters with not much in between. Personally, I love them so long as they are not too pumpkiny. This ale fits the bill though the 2014 version is not quite as good as prior vintages. The head and lace are lacking in the latest vintage and this effects the mouthfeel which seems dry. Otherwise a really nice spiciness and flavor. If you like pumpkin ales I don't think this one will disappoint.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice honey orange color. Forms a finger of slightly off-white, medium-dense head.
S - Light touches of pumpkin and nutmeg, lots of beery pilsner notes. Aroma is nothing special.
T - Very good. Warm, sweet pumpkin meat, cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol upfront followed by a malty and hoppy bitterness on the back end to round off the initial upfront sweetness.
O - A very good and well balanced pumpkin ale. Fans of the style will enjoy this brew thoroughly.
V - Medium value, came in a four pack of bottles.

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

Appearance - 3.5/5
Pours a very clear orange-brown. No head. A moderate amount of large carbonation bublles flow upwards at a average rate. Nothing really special about the appearance

Smell - 3.5/5
Nutmeg, pumpkin, a little bit of tartness. Smells okay, I wish the smell was a little bit stronger and that there was more too it than just faint traces of nutmeg and pumpkin.

Taste - 4/5
Moderately sweet, nutmeg, pumpkin, tart fruit, faint alcohol taste. I really like the slight tartness which the beer has. The nutmeg/other fall spices are not overpowering which is nice. The sweetness is at just the right level Overall this is a nice taste for a Fall/pumpkin beer. The taste is perhaps slightly watered down in seems.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Medium-full in body. A light amount of moderate intensity carbonation. A sip starts of crisp, and becomes more creamy near the end of the sip. Though the beer has a medium-full body, at the same time it tastes kind of watery, and feels a little too watery in the mouth

Overall - 4/5
Overall, I thought this was a good fall/pumpkin beer. This is my first of the season, so maybe my thoughts will be different, after I have tried some other similar beers.

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm.... a full bodied "brown ale"... not so sure about that. Despite the misleading description, it has a remarkably pleasant appearance. It is jubilantly orange, with an inviting glow when it catches the light. In fact, the playful and vibrant orange color is the attribute I enjoyed the most about this beer. Not far behind is the aroma. The spices and pumpkin meat meld in to an alluring symphony. My wife declared that it is "mouth-watering". She's not even a big beer drinker. As for the taste....This is a little bit on the cloying side with an initial sugary sweetness, followed by a harsh spicing regimen that sticks to the palate and never quite meshes coherently. The phenolic clove characteristics seem to override the malt presence and compete with a boozy fusel alcohol that rides through the whole experience. The pumpkin flavor is struggling to come through, as are the bready malts, but they get whacked in to submission by the booze and spice. Although not offensive, it's simply not the best-tasting pumpkin ale I've had. Not by a long shot. That said, the mouthfeel is quite nice. Creamy, perfectly carbonated with medium viscosity. Overall, this is a decent representation. I wonder if this beer would age well, perhaps mellowing some of the sharper edges with the spice and alcohol. Perhaps this one would be better with a slightly lower ABV? It's rare that I would suggest going smaller, but in this case, I feel like the higher gravity detracts from the beer. As with most quality brews, as it warmed and through the middle of the glass, the flavor profiles came together a bit more. Worth a try for sure, especially if you like palate-wrecking spiced beers. A tad overrated in my humble opinion. If you want a big pumpkin beer, try Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin. Of course, there's always Pumking for the over-the-top pumpkin experience. Personally, I recommend Smuttynose if you can get it.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pumpkin beer that I (and others, from who I've talked to) will anticipate being released every year. The pumpkin is done perfectly and the beer itself is a perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. With that said, I'm not a big pumpkin beer drinker but I'm willing to try one every once in a while.

L - Dark Orange Color. Very little head that disappears quickly
S - Light Pumpkin smell with a cloves.
T - Pumpkin and cloves. Not too sweet but
M - Medium body, crisp and not overpowering.
O- Not too sweet and a good reminder what good pumpkin beer should be like.

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Photo of Act25
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hard to move the needle in a pumpkin beer. The best of the lot is probably Carton golden squash beer -

A: Clear, orange tea color, decent lacing but a fast fade head (its the pumpkin and the sugar)

S: Good pumpkin pie smell, spice, esters, sugary, gord meat

T: Pie crust, dough, esters, raisins, allspice, cooked pumpkin, caramel, finishes nicely sweet and spicy. Balanced.

F: Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, finish is best part.

Mid pack pumpkin beer.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear orange-brown, bubbles rise slowly, making the body looks pretty thick. White dense head that lasts quite a while. Lacing sticks around for a while. Artwork is pretty sweet.

S: Malt, light pumpkin, maybe clove (boo). The advertised spices are pretty faint, beyond just being subtle, but do provide some complexity.

T: Great combinations of sweet and warm malt, with pumpkin coming in afterwards and a light punch of holiday spices; nutmeg, allspice, fainter cinnamon. There is an unfortunate waft of wet dog every once in a while, but if you use your imagination you can make it seem like another layer of malt.

M: Smooth and thick, almost like melted ice cream.

O: Definitely one of the best beer-pie hybrids. Brought enough of that hedonistic pumpkin/spice theme while still providing real beer character. That wet dog flavor was a major setback, but most everything else was spot on.

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Photo of mick303
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 2014 bottle, this certainly doesn't appear much like a brown ale, it is a crystal cler caramel gold, with a nice cap of cream coloured head with good retention and lacing.

S- aromas of canned pumpkin, pastry spices, nutmeg and allspice, like a pumpkin pie but store bought rather than homemade, lot of spice and played up pumpkin flavour.

T- notes of baked pastry, more roasty pumpkin, caramel, some robust bitterness, mostly earthy with a leathery dryness, herbal pine resins, some cinnamon and nutmeg spice, full bodied flavour through the middle leading to a drying finish with baking spices.

M- moderate body with a fairly heady carbonation, quite a cleansing effervescence, some nice dextrins to the body lending a somewhat creamy pumpkin pie texture, with a nice dry finish.

I was expecting this to be more porterish in style, as is this is much more a straight shooter pumpkin ale with a moderately caramel malt body. Dogfish. Did a good job of keeping this in balance, it's one of the more pleasing and balanced pumpkin ales that actually carries a solid pumpkin profile albeit with a good dose of spice. Well recommended and this was quite satisfying.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,536 ratings.
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