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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,070 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,070 | Ratings: 6,408
Photo of HopBomb515
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange copper color, thin white head fades fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Pumpkin pie spices are subdued. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vegetal pumpkin notes. Taste brings more of that vegetal pumpkin flavors others shy away from. Caramel like malt plays host to cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Seems like two parts with one carrying great vegetal pumpkin then sweet malt and spices but it never comes together. Sharper on the mouthfeel than I'd like here. Higher carbonation and slightly thinner end of medium mouthfeel. Overall it's a decent pumpkin ale, not the best but I enjoy a couple every year.

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Photo of mthomp081
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - tea, copper, dark burnt orange, carbonation bubbles to the top, white head, mild lacing

S - pumpkin pie and spices, dark sugars, some alcohol, hints or cinnamon

T - can definitely taste the pumpkin and spices, dark sugars, finishes malty

M - creamy, mild carbonation

O - the best pumpkin beer I have had to date, very rich flavors that blend excellently together and are greatly complimented by the smell and creaminess in the mouth feel.

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

Found a bottle (2013 vintage, I think) and bought it immediately. I love this beer. Pours a cloudy orange with a coffee colored head. The smell is full of pumpkin and spice. The taste was very delicious with nutmeg and cinnamon up front and then sweet pumpkin flavor in the finish. An amazing beer for pumpkin lovers, one of my favorites.

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Photo of Klebe
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Very tasty this year. Like very few Pumpkin style beers, this one retains its quality as a beer, all awhile bringing on that smooth pumpkin flavor. No pumpkin pie here either. This is a beer, baby.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real Pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." Brewed in the style of a Pumpkin Ale. Bottled in 2012. Dogfish Head's fall seasonal, available in 12 oz. 4 packs and on draft. In this vertical review, I will be comparing a 2013 vintage to a 2012 vintage.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy cream eggnog-white head over a body of medium-hazy copper orange with high clarity. Retention is about average. Lacing is light and spotty but doesn't stick. 3.75

(Smell) I don't often get very pumpkin-forward pumpkin ales so when my first note was sweet roasted pumpkin I was pleasantly surprised. A nearly ripe pumpkin meat with a mild toasted maple syrup and brown sugar sweetness and a light, smooth bready malt backbone. The spice presence is moderate with nods to mild cinnamon, allspice and cloves, it's just enough to accent the pumpkin and malt character without overshadowing the entire concoction. Hops are low in potency by comparison, some herbal notes. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Mellow, ripe pumpkin sweetness with a light bready caramel malt base. Most of the sweetness originates through the pumpkin and a slighter amount from the brown sugar sweetness, although overall it is a bit lighter than the aroma suggested. The spice profile is still quite mild, with allspice and nutmeg the prevailing spice accents, but both very minute compared to more liberally spiced autumn ales. A mildly acidic grain astringency roughens out the dry finish. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, full and mostly clean. Carbonation contributes mildly to a fluffy mouthfeel. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is mildly in favor of sweetness over bitter spice and grainy tones. Alcohol presence is light. 4.25

(Overall) This beer does a fair job at showcasing in-season, full pumpkin flavor and sweet malt character over many other commonly available pumpkin beers. Spice character is very relaxed as well, which I find more preferable over beers that are spiced too aggressively. The balance is favorable to sweetness, although the balance is close, keeping drinkability nearly as high for the style as possible. This is one of the more enjoyable pumpkin ales out there. Recommended as a fall seasonal go-to. 4

2012 vintage (1 year, 6 months aged):

Pours a slightly paler head, retention is the same and body appearance is very similar despite the inclusion of flecked sediment. The age has rounded out the sweetness of this beer somewhat, with a pleasant pumpkin aroma, by now turning a little raw, as well as a clean, simple pale malt profile. Spices are just as potent as before, but perhaps come through a little more intense in comparison with the faded aspects of this vintage. Even more profound an impact is the body of this beer, whereas the fresher vintage has a rather muted sweetness, the maple and brown sugar come through quite strongly in this vintage, generating a pleasant sweetness. The spice profiles are very faint, whereas the pumpkin body and malt bill rounds out in their profiles rather than diminishing. I find the flavor of this vintage on par with the new batch. The texture is similar, perhaps a touch fuller in body and slightly sweeter in balance with no noticeable off-flavors. It would be worth your while to set a single bottle aside and try with a year of age as the results are nearly on par, and in some circumstances preferable to the fresh batch.

Dogfish Head Brewery's
Punkin Ale

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep amber golden hued with a half inch of off white foam on top. Excellent clarity. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma of pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg,allspice,and a faint whiff of clove. I taste pumpkin,brown sugar,amber malt,nutmeg,and allspice. You get a gentle hop bitterness on the fade. The mouth is smooth and moderately carbonated.

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Photo of vcoggins
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly dark orange color with an off white head. Smells like the typical pumpkin spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Also some malty aromas. Taste is pumpkin, spices, sugar, nutty and malty. Mouth feel is smooth with a medium amount of carbonation. I am a fan of pumpkin ale and this is a good pumpkin but not my favorite.

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Photo of Getalegup
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage that was kept in the refrigerator. Yeah, not at its peak anymore. Still has a little pumpkin spice flavor. The original hot booziness has settle down too.

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Photo of BierJager89
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent brownish orange with a mocha ring of head.

S: Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg in the nose.

T: Malty backbone, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Medium bodied and smooth enough.

O: A pretty solid and typical pumpkin ale. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a caramel color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel, nutmeg, all spice, clove, brown sugar, bready malts, brown sugar, and real pumpkin.

Taste: Same as above with lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light to medium bodied, a little chewy, some lingering bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Enjoyed a lot over the years. Still enjoying it through the winter snow too.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: December 23, 2013... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky Tavern pint...OCCASION: it's me (Vernon Davis) and an 18-point lead against Steven Jackson and Tony Gonzalez for the fantasy championship... APPEARANCE: solid, warm amber body; steady effervescence; nice two-finger head; cloudy white and consistent, attractive lacing... AROMA: cinnamon, allspice and hazel nut front and center; a veritable pumpkin pie in a glass, at least by its smell... PALATE: medium-bodied but feisty--not the usual walk-in-the-ho-hum-fall-forest body of a brown; aftertaste is nuanced and bold...TASTE: robust cinnamon overpowers the pumpkin; secondary nutmeg and allspice develop; the cornucopia builds with hazelnut and sugary ginger... OVERALL: I needed a beer big enough to celebrate a win and strong enough to kick in my teeth if I lose--and lose I did with barely a minute to gp in the game. This beer delivers what football so often does, a comfortable yet visceral drinking experience.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My pour yields a finger of cream colored head. Holding the glass up to the light, I notice the body is a burnt orange color. The head shrinks down pretty quickly, leaving a ring and a bit of froth. Lace is noted.

Brown sugar, pumpkin and malt are all noticed. Pumpkin pie spices are also strong.

The flavor is a malty take on pumpkin pie. One can taste musky pumpkin with nutmeg and brown sugar.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It seems like it's going to be refreshing, but actually dries out the tongue rather quickly.

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Photo of JayQue
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice Pumpkin Ale. Pours a hazy orange color with a medium size off white head. Average retention and minimal lacing. Smell is fairly mild, a malty beer with some pumpkin and pumpkin spices.

Flavor is pretty solid. A malty beer, the pumpkin and pumpkin spices complement the beer, not overpower it. All the pumpkin pie flavors allspice , nutmeg and cinnamon are present but are not the main feature.

Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth, Goes down very easily and the 7% abv is not apparent.

One of the better pumpkin ales.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden amber with a thin white head. Head disapates quickly leaving some thin lacing.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, good amount of malt, & some faint pumpkin.

T - Lots of holiday spices. Good amount of pumpkin flavor. Some light malty sweetness. Slight bitterness in the finish.

M - Light body with high carbonation. Very crisp mouthfeel.

O - One of the better pumpkin ales I've had. Not my favorite style but this was quite enjoyable.

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

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, 2013 bottling. Pours slightly cloudy deep orange amber color with a 2 finger moderately dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar, pear, apple, cinnamon, clove, toast, biscuit, nutmeg, herbal, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and balance of pumpkin, spice, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of pumpkin, brown sugar, caramel, pear, apple, biscuit, toast, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, herbal, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, pear, apple, brown sugar, caramel, biscuit, toast, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish. Nice and well balanced pumpkin, malt, and spice flavors; but seems lacking in flavor robustness; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pumpkin ale. Well balanced pumpkin, malt, and spice flavors; but the flavor profile really doesn’t hit all the right notes for me. Still nicely enjoyable and smooth to drink overall.

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Photo of silverking
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- clear amber with lots of active carbonation. Fluffy off white head that fades fast.

S- cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin. Nice toasty malt backbone.

T- brown sugar, pumpkin, nutmeg. The finish is nutty and malty.

M- creamy, rolling carbonation.

O- not bad.

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

Sampled from a tap night special while in addison TX at the Flying Saucer.

A - Amber with good clarity nice head.

S - Pumpkin, Holiday Spice

T - Good Holiday taste without being over the top spicy

M - Good consistancy

O - I liked it a lot.

They sold out both kegs in 1/2 hour!

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker amber orange with a thin layer of off-white foam.

Sweet baking spices the likes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar with definitely sweet pumpkin character.

Pumpkin pie sweetness, fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, spiced, sweet.

Overall, a thoroughly pleasing pumpkin ale. Good for those that don't really enjoy the style.

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Photo of GJ40
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle left behind by my brother in law.

A - Amber with good clarity and a fluffy white head. A steady stream of rising bubbles. Good lacing.

S - Holiday spice and a hint of pumpkin.

T - Nice holiday spices without being over the top. The malt and hop bitterness still play a role. Crisp and refreshing with a hint of sweetness.

M - Moderate consistency and carbonation.

O - I'm not big into pumpkin or spiced beers but I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear medium amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some burnt orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Slightly more than moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) over the top of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with a moderate to significant amount of brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of pumpkin and light to moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and cinnamon). Hints of bitterness that fades almost immediately.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable (probably one of the first pumpkin beers that I decided to try and a long time coming to write the review). The alcohol is well hidden and the beer really reminds me of pumpkin pie.

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Photo of Huffs
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass, nice full head developed with good retention and lacing. Appearance was a clear, maybe slightly hazy, orange / amber color. Aroma had notes of spice and hop with some floral characters. Taste had a strong spice character, nutmeg and some cinnamon, with some toffee and hop notes. Mouthfeel was medium to full with some creamy characteristics. Aftertaste was dry with some lingering spice effects.

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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 BethanyB
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A hazy orange, with a filmy, bubbly, light-gold head that does not persist. In other words, a bit of a warning label, but I usually find such things to be subjective false alarms.

Smell: A magical mix of spices takes me back to holidays at my parents' house. Sappy, but true. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other Christmassy flavors you would find in either warm apple cider or a nice mulled wine. With all the spices, it would be nice to have some malt, hops, melanoidins, or esters on the nose, however.

Taste: Holy smokes! A pumpkin ale that actually tastes like pumpkin! Even a nice pie crust flavor comes through. The aforementioned spices are all present, as is an interesting dull bitterness that seems to come from a high amount of toasted malt as opposed to hops. My guess is that a bit of caramel malt would round things out for me a bit more.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body and medium-high carbonation make this more spritzy than other pumpkin ales. But despite the carbonation and noticeable bitterness, the finish isn't dry. Rather, it's clean and smooth.

Overall: Really, the best pumpkin ale I've had to date, although that isn't saying much since I'm hardly a pumpkin ale fan. Impressed by the well-blended mix of nostalgic spices and the actual presence of pumpkin flavors! However, I do feel there is some room for improvement. As tasty as those spices are, their large presence makes thigs a bit unbalanced.

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Photo of watermelon
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Burnt orange in color with a cream colored head that went away quickly.

S: Lots of sweetness and pumpkin pie spice as well as molasses.

T: Strong in the spices, a little more pumpkin flavor then in the nose but not much.

M: Very creamy but still a bit to watery for my taste. Alcohol is nicely hidden.

O: This is one of the better pumpkin beers Ive had yet. I wasn't super impressed by it, but, I will probably buy this again next year.

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Photo of DrJ
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not having had a chance in the past to taste pumpkin-inspired ales, and given the strong (positive) reviews associated with this product, decided to try.

Color is attractive with good head retention, notes of cinnamon and squash on the nose, palate is very odd to me, with notes of spice and gourd, strangely vegetal hops flavor with unpleasantly sweet malt notes reminiscent of artificial maple-flavored syrup, long aftertaste is also unpleasant, with strange vegetal notes.

Would not recommend, which is disappointing given the excellent products made by Dogfish (I enjoy and recommend both their 60- and 90-minute IPAs).

At issue is whether or not my (unpleasant) experience is style-centric or product-centric; nevertheless, based upon this experience, I will not be tasting any pumpkin-styled seasonal beers for a long time. Perhaps I can exchange the unopened bottles for some strong IPAs or hop-centric Pilsners...

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.
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