Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,073 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

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Reviews: 2,073 | Ratings: 6,415
Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle I bought has a "Bottled on 09/07/06" printed on the neck, so that means I'm drinking this beer less than a month later. Awesome.

It looks good: A light ruby in color with a foamy, off-white head that reduces to a ring of foam with a chunk in the center of my glass.

I smell pumpkin and spices and what seems to be a note of something roasted. Must be my nose playing tricks with me because this beer has a complex aroma.

The flavor is also good. It's sweet, but not cloying. I don't taste a strong flavor of pumpkins, but rather a nice, spiced brew. The flavor is quite delicate, which is good. This beer doesn't bash you on the head with spice and pumpkin flavors, like another pumpkin ale I've had.

The body is smooth and slick. I'm guessing the 7 percent ABV has a role to play in that.

This is the best pumpkin ale I've had. It's balanced enough to drink more than one and isn't just for special occasions.

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong toasted grain presence with elements of coffee and brown sugar. No detectable pumpkin or pumpkin spice.

The taste featured a solid roasted grain bill. A mild caramel sweetness as well.

The mouthfeel was average.

Overall a nice BROWN ALE. I don't really get the whole pumpkin label though.

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

Pours a copper color with a frothy white head that maintains body and leaves some scant lacing. Moderate bubbles. I smell mostly toasty malts, caramelized pumpkin, and spices. No hops to speak of. A malt backbone stands out most in this beer, not letting the flavorings take hold. Some roasted pumpkin and toasted spices come through. Bittering finish, but no real hop flavor to speak of, above the other flavors. Mouthfeel is of moderate and soft body. Really drinkable for what this is.

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Photo of vtfan77
2.87/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear golden orange with a decent but short-lived white head

S- Very spicy, but tough to pick out any individual spices. Some malt and maybe a little pumpkin, but not much.

T- Once again, lots of spices. Allspice and nutmeg are prevalent. Some caramel and toffee malt flavors as well. Pumpkin isn't especially noticeable, only coming into play on the finish. Alcohol is surprisingly noticeable. I know this is 7% abv, but it tastes stronger. Finish is dry and surprisingly bitter. Pretty harsh.

M- Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and pretty nice.

D- Not so good. Flavor and alcohol presence are pretty strong. I wouldn't want more than one, if that.

My first pumpkin ale, and kind of a letdown. The flavor is just not what I was expecting at all. The spices and alcohol were too much, and I didn't really enjoy it. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't get it again. Not recommended.

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Photo of mjc410
2.31/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a one finger creamy light tan head over a clear copper body. It looks thin. Lacing is sudsy but still somewhat substantial. The head falls slowly to a glass ring. The nose is all about the strong pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. The pumpkin scent also comes through strongly, and I can easily pick out the brown sugar, too. There's also a dry toasty aroma that doesn't jive well with the rest of the nose. The taste is fairly dry, and dominated first by bitter toastiness, with the spices and pumpkin flavor in the background. The artertaste is fairly clean, too. There's nothing stand-out about this here. The body is medium, with sharp carbonation. I feel that a smoother and sweeter beer would be much better than this dry mess.

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

It pours a glistening clear orange amber. A finger of light tan head settles soon to a silky froth. Squiggles of lacing wiggle along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there comes a slightly sweet caramel malt earthiness, lightly toasted and crusty. Mild pumpkin and a combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove swirls easily among a trace of alcohol.

Upon tasting, light berry fruitiness and toasted caramel bear a margin of sweetness before autumnal spices crisp up their surroundings with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and clove ringing true. As the spice smooths to a tingly bitterness, a creamy note of pumpkin fills the palate. The finish is dry, roundly bitter, and gently lingering. This is one flavorful fall treat.

Light to medium bodied, it caresses and coats with a savory glow in tow.

While I am not the biggest pumpkin ale fan, this one wins me over. It's beer first, pumpkin and spice second, and overall just quite good. The ABV is notable only in the nose, so it's sneaky, but worth the minor peril. I'd say it's a Thanksgiving treat, but I want it again sooner than that.

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Photo of tekk9
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a short lacey head that disapears quickly. The smell, who doesn't like the smell of punkin and allspice. Their is very little pumpkin flavour, but the subtleness is perfect. It has a light carbonation and not too watery.

I am not a fan of pumpkin beers, but I was really impressed by this one. The flavours are not over powering and meld together well.

A great beer, one I will get again.

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Photo of drotski
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich golden amber color, with a one finger head that quickly faded. Slight lacing on glass.

Aroma of pumpkin pie and malt. Nice, pleasant armoma

Tastes of pumpkin pie with a hint of hops on the finish. You taste the spices more than anything else, since pumpkin itself has very little flavor anyway.

Nice mouthfeel, wasn't too carbonated. Not too thin.

Overall, its the best pumpkin beer I've tried so far.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, well carbonated, clear orange punkin color, white 2 fingure head some lacing. smooth malt taste followed by a punking and spice combination, great balance, alcohol aftertaste. average mouthfeel, overall good drinkability. One of the better punkin ales I have had this year, no over the top spice or punkin flavor, great balance, a little heavy on the alcohol.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having tried this both on tap and bottle i must admit it is my least favorite pumpkin beer of the season. I know i know how can i say such a thing. This was always my favorite but after trying wyerbacher and smuttynose there is just no comparison. There is a small amount of spice smell and scents however nothing compared to the other two. Tastes more like a brown ale than anything else. I could definetly drink more of it than the other two but it is also a lot pricer which knocks it down a peg or two.

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

From the first sniff, this reminded me of one of my favorite fall beverages, the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I do like pumpkin spices, and this has them all over. Cinnamon and nutmeg abound in the aroma, and again in the flavor.
Good finishing hop bitterness to counter the sweet malt and spices. Very nice effort from Dogfish Head.

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Photo of techdiver
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish amber with a very modest head that diddipates quickly. Smell is pretty amazing, strong spices; with a bit heavier pumpkin smeel it would smell like pumpkin pie. Taste reiterates what the smell implies, spice with faint pumpkin. Leaves a tingle in your mouth.

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Photo of cproioi
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The body of this beer was an orangish amber color with an off white head leaving decent lacing. No bubbles present in the body.
The aroma and taste of this beer was loaded with brown sugar, cinnimon, allspice and nutmeg. The pumpkin taste was extremely faint and hiding behind all the other tastes and aromas. The mouthfeel was sort of grainy, with bubbles present on the tounge. There was a slight alcohol feel to it also but rather slight. The finish was loaded with residual sugars that loaded the tounge down. The beer was alright but not really impressive.

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Photo of Iguana
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been craving a pumpkin ale lately, albeit I have never actually had 1 I enjoyed. This one poured a pumpkin orange color with a decent off-white head that went down to a fine foamy layer of head. Smells like artificial pumpkin and spice, not too bad actually. Taste is ok, it starts out with a nice spice and pumpkin and then changes to something I can only describe as wet dog. It just really doesnt do anything for me. Not really too special in my opinion. Mouthfeel is thin and dry. I can see some people liking this beer, but its not for me, think i'll steer clear of pumpkin ales till next year.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this pumpkin ale pours a dark true pumpkin orange with TONS of carbonation moving very fast, with a thin orangey/tan head

S - true honest to goodness pumpkin pie filling aromas, pumpkiny with plenty of the spices to boot, nutmeg-cinnamon great aroma, if my eyes were closed i'd swear i had a slice of pumpkin pie in front of me

T - taste follows the aroma, the pumpkin pie with the spices infused, with the addition of a mild hop profile, a great blend of sweetness/spice/and hop bitterness

M&D - well balanced, great medium body and very smooth, a great representation of the season

there was a lot of talk about how this is a high quality pumpkin ale, while shipyards pumpkinhead was a bad one (Even a bad beer overall) but although i feel this DFH punkin' is better than Shipyard Pumpkinhead, they're close, i like both.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint. Color was slightly lighter than the bottle, with some head that lasted the entire drink. Didn't notice much in the aroma. Had a slight hint of spices, but nothing overwhelming. The flavor was subtle, a nice beer, not quite what I was expecting. Tasted almost roasted pumpkin in the beer. Nothing to blatant, but left plenty of flavor. Very pleasant to drink, coated the mouth nicely. Nice beer overall.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an amber color with orange hues. Forhy one finger white head dissipates leaving clusters of bubbly foam on the sides.
S: Pumpkin pie notes with spices in the background--nutmeg and cinnamon. Leafy hop notes can be detected once you work through the nutmeg and cinnamon.
T/M: Smooth and creamy across the palate. Pumpkin pie flavors with nutmeg and cinnamon jumping out. Sugary and sweet (malt) as you smack your lips. Slighly bitter in the aftertaste with a chalkyness to it. Moderate body.
D: High abv is consistent with all DFH brews, but is sufficiently masked. A good seasonl--I'd induldge next year.

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Photo of Liquids
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a glowingly orangey-amber with a one finger bubbled head and chapagne like carbonation. This claims to be a brown ale? Hard to see. Aroma is rathery pumpkin-like, a bit of hops detected, not much in spice aromas...or maybe the nutmeg and allspice are simply making me think pumkin? Hard to tell. Taste wise its actually a bit pumpkiny, definitely hoppy, and more of a pale ale in style, with yes, a legitimate pumpkin flavor! Spices are subdued and acompany the hops in the finish if any. The 7% is not present in the flavor, which is rather thick. Mouthfeel is medium, and by the now the carbvonation has settled, so okay at this point. Drinabilitywise, It's the best pumpkin beer I've tasted yet by far, though a little less hops could make the pumpkin shine through a bit more, and some might crave more spices. Never knowing the 7% abv here is scary, and the label is the only way we'd know. My favorite brewery does not disapoint, but this beer doesn't make me want to make room for it in the stockpile. Nothing I'll buy in four packs, but I can see grabbing a single or two of this per season for variety.

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Photo of dherling
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color with a thick creamy head. Nose gives off lots of cinnamon, and rotten pumpkin. The taste is of a big amount of clove and nutmeg, with a metallic flavor, and just a tiny bit of pumpkin rounded out by malt and a citrus/spicy hop. A slightly heavy finish with an average mouthfeel.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a gorgeous copper color with a finger of white head. Fairly dark coloring for this style.

The nose is sweet, with a delightful pumpkin/malt/spice sent. Everything a pumpkin ale should be.

The taste follows up on the promises of the scent. An early pumpkin flavor blends well with an overall note of spice and brown sugar, which is carried onto a midway of maltiness. The taste ends on a distinct alcohol note, perhaps a reminder of the 7 abv. of this ale.

The mouthfeel is very smooth, with low carbonation, and a very high drinkability. That said, this is a stronger ale than you might have imagined; certainly moreso than most of its fellow pumpkin ales.

Dogfish Head brewed up another winner with this ale. I would probably say that of all the pumpkin ales I've had, this one is my absolute favorite: just the right blend of sweetness and spice. If I had a slice of pumpkin pie with it, I think I'd be in heaven.

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Photo of Gedackt16
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought in a four pack. A bit expensive but since I love Pumpkin Ales, well worth it. This was a pretty tough beer. Poured a beautiful dark orange amber colour. The head stuck around much longer than other Pumpkin Ales I've met but still not as long as I'd have liked. Spices (especially Nutmeg!) overpower any pumpkin flavor there is and the alcohol is very tasteable. Also sense somewhat of a toasty flavor in the finish. Very nice beer and is very hearty. 7.0% is a bit of a kicker too. Nice beer but only for the tough among us. I only got through about two before I needed something a tad lighter. Excellent effort by Dogfish but one word of advice (and this is according to MY taste, not everyone else's) turn it down just a tad. This could be very enjoyable on a snowy winter's eve.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I have yet to be impressed by a pumpkin ale; however, I am approaching this one with nothing but optimism.

A: Pours a pumpkin color (surprise). Light coppery orange, with very minimal head. Not much lacing evident, if any. Pretty, but I might have liked to see a bit more of a present head.

S: Smells like fresh pumpkin, biscuit, cinnamon, and cloves. Nice, mild, scent, with just a hint of the spices. Great for a light fall ale.

T: I'm still not the biggest fan of this style, but I definitely like this one. The pumpkin tastes roasty and sweet, mixing with the malt. Cinnamon a bit at the start, but mild. Cloves mixed throughout. Little tiny bit of citric character comes out with successive sips, but again, very subdued. Roasty malt and pumpkin are definitely the commanding flavors here. Just looked at the bottle again, and it's 7% ABV. They did one hell of a job masking it.

M: Thick, just shy of syrupy. Thick on the palate, too, but since the aftertaste is fleeting, it's not a cloying brew. Seems appropriate for the style.

D: This is the only pumpkin ale I've finished with the sense that I'd like another. That's pretty darn impressive to me, and a mark of how well-balanced and subtle the flavors are here. By far the best pumpkin ale I've ever had.

EDIT: I clarified some points of this review about 30 minutes after drinking, as the gravity of my actually enjoying a pumpkin ale really set in.

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

A 4pack of 12oz bottles. No date when packaged. It was an orange color with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated, some decent lacing. It had a sweet, spicy aroma, mostly nutmeg. Pretty sweet taste all the way through, and I thought a fairly sharp spice presence (? allspice). I found it to be a little thin in the mouth, and not a beer I would want a lot of.

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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 klewis
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 8/7/06

A: Pours a carmel hue with a modest foamy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Malty smell with roasted pumpkin and subtle spice aromas.

T: Sweet with flavors similar to the aroma. The finish is clean and the flavor quickly dies away.

M: The bottle calls this "full-bodied", I see it more on the medium-light side. Slightly watery and highly carbonated.

D: Probably the best pumpkin ale that I've had, but with that said, I'm not a huge fan of this beer. It seems that this is probably what it is supposed to be, but I'll probably pass on buying it again.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.
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