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 xoqx
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Get your gourd on! This beer pours medium amber colored and does not indicate that there is some tremendous artificial onslaught of pumpkin or spices lurking within this brew. It’s not cloudy. There is mostly yeast and some nutty spices in the nose. The taste is peculiar, even for a pumpkin ale. There are almost meaty spices in the taste, spices I do not associate with beer, but are nonetheless ok. The taste turns midway and sours towards the finish in a way I do not appreciate. The malts are hard to pick out of the spice and hops. Some of the flavors I am reading as spices are probably hops. It’s relatively light bodied, and while sporting a 7% abv, it does not taste very alcoholic, though it does warm a bit. As the brew got above 60° the spices came out more in the nose. On the last drink, I had an actual bite of pumpkin pie. Beer Advocacy is about pairing food and ales, right? Well, this beer goes well with pumpkin pie, believe it or not. I would go so far as to say that might be the right way to enjoy this beer; as a dessert beer accompanying an autumnal slice of homemade pumpkin pie. I’m not a fan of this style, per se, and I respect that this beer tends to be more like beer and less like a pumpkin or a pumpkin pie. That said, it’s not the best beer offered by this superb brewery.

Edit note: I have to disagree with the recommended serving temperature of this beer: 45-50°F. I really feel that it had a decent start at 55° and sort of came into its own at 60-61°. Personally, if I have it again, I'll shoot for the warmer side.

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

Pours a rich amber color, clear with an inch-thick white head. Aroma is a mild but distinctive spiced ale, some clear nutmeg and allspice.

Taste is a good roasty malt, plenty of caramel and spices. Some good doses of cinnamon and cloves, yet not enough to really bowl me over. Flavors are strong and aggressive but not over the top.

Mouthfeel is medium and very clean. Not nearly as powerful as most pumpkin ales, relies much more on the "ale" and less on the "pumpkin." I'm not a big fan of the style but this is by far the best I've had.

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Photo of monkeybutler
2.36/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5


I have to stop here. I love Dogfish Head. I love their beer. I've been down to their brewpub in Rehoboth, and it's a very long drive from my house. I admire and respect Sam to no end.

Okay. Appearance: poured a flat, almost still red-orange with no head. It really has nothing going for it in the appearance department. If I drink another of the 3 out of the 4-pack and it is carbonated, I'll come back and change this portion of the review. Also, before I get too far. A 4-pack? Really? That's...um...lousy. It's not WWS. It's not even 90 minute. Give me a whole damn 6 pack.

The smell is all spice, with a smidge of sqash/pumpkin, but mostly clove and cinnamon and... allspice, I guess. A slight alco-pop aroma of malt is somewhere in there too.

Taste is okay, really. I'm getting some cinnamon all over my mouth, and a little pumpkin essence, but mostly, it's essentially another pumpkin soda with some alcohol. Except of course for the complete lack of carbonation.

Mouthfeel. Yeah. Whatever that may be. I'm getting some cinnamon grittiness on top of a pile of "punkin". Maybe we've been punkd?

Oh god. I'm not going to drink another one of these. I will crack another one open to see if it's carbonated, but the rest are going to my mom who happens to like alcoholic pumpkin soda.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a lighter side of copper color into my Duvel tulip. There was a moderate and fast decreasing head that was easily restarted via twirling. The smell was crisper than expected. It was cinnamon., pumpkin pie spices, rich malt and hop balance. This really grew on me as the glass waned. The finish was as crisp as an apple, with hints of sweetness and flavoring hops.I was not expecting such full bodied quality and hop balance. Such great carbonation and crispness. This beer is a credit to the class; the reason why pumpkin beers deserve attention in the autumn season.

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden, clear, with a nice white head. Head fades to lace quickly.

S - Cinnamon and other spices dominates the aroma.

T - Not a lot of the flavor carries through. Nice malty breadiness, though.

M - A little heavier than I expected. Very nicely carbonated.

D - I could drink this often in the cold months.

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Photo of astronaut888
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came highly recommended at my local shop - pointed out to me on the last 3 visits by 3 different folks. Not too familiar with Pumpkin ales, but liked the idea of a 7% beer, so gave it a shot.

Appearance: Very pretty orange-amber (Like a Pumpkin!). Nice head for maybe 2 minutes - no real lacing to mention.

Smell: Regular "ale" aroma with hints of allspice especially as it warmed.
Not overwhealming pumpkin at all...kind of wanted more of a pumpkin smell

Taste: Decent ale, with maybe a hint of pumpkin spice...wouldn't have detected it if I hadn't known this was a pumpkin ale.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth with no alcohol bite at all for 7%

Drinkability: Very drinkable, if not remarkable....will certainly have no problem finishing this 4 pack - but probably wouldn't buy again....at least not until next fall!

While finishing the 6 pack over a few days, I realized something very odd...this beer REALLY has the aroma of a urinal cake!
Not bashing the beer, but it certainly has an odd aroma that I can only describe as the smell of urinal cake hitting yer nose when you walk into a public restroom...
Am I the only one who thinks this?

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

Pours a nice clear copper color with a weak head that disappears.

Smells like allspice. Can't say I can pick up anything else.

Flavor seems the same as the smell. It starts off as a weak beer, then ends with allspice, pumpkin, and nutmeg. The aftertaste has quite a bit of bitterness. Heavily carbonated.

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin beers. I'm not even a big fan of pumpkin pie, don't shoot! And don't tell grandma.

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Photo of Damian
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Marty's Liquors, Allston, MA

Poured a clear amber orange with a barely-there white head that quickly faded to a film of lace.

Initial smell was of astringent alcohol (similar to model airplane glue) with some faint all spice notes in the background. As the beer settled, some nutmeg aroma was noticeable with a touch of sweet fruitiness as well.

Taste was rich and malty from start to finish with ripe fruits, brown sugar, some spicy/peppery notes and a big alcohol punch (but unfortunately no pumpkin was detectable). Nice, hoppy, bittering bite on the rear of the palate. Sweet, malty, caramel-like aftertaste apparent later.

Mouthfeel was incredible. Rich, full, creamy, lush and pillowy on the palate.

As the beer progressed, the smell seemed to improve greatly (the alcohol settled and all spice, cinnamon, brown sugar and some pumpkin were noticeable), but the alcohol astringency seemed to increase in the taste.

Unlike most pumpkin ales, this is a definitely more of a sipping beer.

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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 nouseforotacon
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Autumn in New England - leaves, football, and of course, pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. As the cold weather finally approaches (it's about time!), brewers are releasing their pumpkin ales amongst other fall seasonals. I've had the pleasure of sampling a number of them this season, but DFH offers one of the best.

Ruby red/amber bottom, clear and transparent with beautiful reflective light, small + thin foam laces the top. Carbonation very visible, head becomes murky and hardly noticeable.

Aroma is bready, hearty, and contains everything a rich slice of pumpkin pie should. Wonderful spices on the nose - strong cinnamon, nutmeg, some cardamom. Sweet and spicy, very fulfilling aroma.

Wonderful pumpkin purée taste, with a noticeable hop biterness. Malts work well with the pumpkin, and spices linger in the background. Some cinnamon and sugar on the tongue, sweet finish. Carbonation is present, not overpowering, but a touch strong. As is the norm with DFH, alcohol is well contained.

If you like pumpkins and want something hearty, spicy, and sweet, then I'd definitely recommend this one from DFH. One of my faves of the pumpkin ales being offered this season. Cheers!

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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 InsolublePancake
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.

 562 characters

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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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,543 ratings.
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