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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,092 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 brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,092 | Ratings: 6,494
Photo of Phatz
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to froggyfrog for the opportunity to try this beer. He brought back a growler from the brewpub for me. Thanks a million bro!

Appearance: Pours a bronzed brown color with a small head.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and of course pumpkin. It is more rich than some pumpkin ales with dark malty/brown sugary aromas and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Starts out easy and sweet with a growing in intensity as it moves across the palate. A few swirls across the tongue reveal; great depths of pumpkin pie flavors. Brown sugar, nutmeg, caramel, cloves, pumpkin a bit of drying alcohol and a little bit of herbs showcased in the finish. The aftertaste is a bit dry leaving the lips smacking and wanting the next sip.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy a bit juicy slick with little carbonation (maybe due to growler or could be built that way). Regardless the beer seems to slip easy down the throat.

Drinkability: This is ridiculously easy to drink. I think this may be the best pumpkin ale I have had yet. It is like holiday punch beer. Super tasty and in as much it may be a fantastic beer I think it was a good thing I didn’t have a full growler or it'd all be in my intoxicated belly.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bottled my homebrew pumpkin ale the same day that I tried this, so I was very curious to see how the sample I had at bottling time compared with this, the first commercial pumpkin beer I've tried.

Appearance: Pours a fairly orange color, clearer than I expected (much clearer than my homebrew pumpkin ale, anyway). Minor white head and lacing.

Smell: Acidic-smelling, if that makes sense, pumpkin and spice are present.

Taste: The flavor profile is surprisingly similar to what I had earlier in the day, which is obviously pleasing. Pumpkin is there, but not in an in-your-face pumpkin pie kind of way. Spices are more present than hops, which are scarcely detectable as far as flavor goes, but balance the sweetness well.

Mouthfeel: light body, good carbonation. I'd like to try a thick pumpkin beer sometime, that's a bit more like "pumpkin pie in a glass"

Drinkability: It's obviously not an every-day beer, but for an off-beat beer it's pretty accessible and there's enough complexity to appeal to serious beer drinkers, as well.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I wish I would have poured this into a glass because if Dogfish Head does anything right, they just look cool. This beer tasted pretty good, I only had one as a result as it was given to me from my boss to try out, but that one I had was above average. It didn't have an overwhelming pumkin taste, in fact it was kind of understated, at least as far as other beer lovers have lead me to expect. The smell was another thing, however. The smell was very very good. A strong aroma yet you weren't knocked over by the alcohol smell.

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Photo of briman
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap into standard pint glass.

Pours a clear medium amber color. Quarter inch off-white head, good retention. Decent lacing.

Aroma is pumpkin, brown sugar, spices.

Flavor is pumpkin, caramel malt, and some nutmeg. Spices come through towards the back and into the finish. Clean, finish...no bitterness or hop presence to speak of.

Medium body, light carbonation. Good balance. I like that the pumpkin isn't overwhelming like some other examples I've had. Nice overall blending of flavors. More of a alcohol kick than I was expecting....but it's hidden pretty well. Drinkability is good, but probably only one in a sitting.

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Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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 GratefulBeerGuy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears clear, orange-hued amber color. 1" foamy head, dissipated rather quickly to a very fine sticky lacing.

smells sweet malty, spices, slight pumpkin with hops.

Taste is a wildly balanced brew with mildly sweet malt, dry feel but crisp and refreshing. Spices and a decent hop flavor rounds it out.

It actually feels much more lively than it appears.

This is a spicey, sweet brew that is really easy to drink. Nice way to get ready for the fall season.

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Photo of rarevos
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass. Has the following info printed via ink jet onto bottle itself: Bottled on 08/07/06.

A: Golden amber with 2 fingers of head. Very moderate carbonation; about five or six lines rising from the bottom.

S: Pumpkin hits first, followed by spices. Spices are a blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. Bottle states allspice is in there, but I don't smell any.

T: Sweet breadiness with hint of pumpkin up front. Nutmeg and cinnamon toward the middle. Finish is sweet and brown sugary with a mildly bitter tail. Has some lingering bitterness as an aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied. A bit sugary.

D: A bit too high in abv for me to consider drinking too many of these at a time, but this was nice. I'll still reach for the Post Road/Brooklyn pumpkin ale first (7 bucks a sixer for the Post Road is FAR cheaper than what six of these would cost in my neck of the woods), but this was pretty good.

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Photo of teg8612
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown with orangish-red highlights. Murky with good lacing.

S- Smells like pumpkin pie mix. Sweet, just a little spicy and uncooked. Slight alcohol nose.

T&M- Ultra smooth and slightly creamy. Medium bodied. Sweet malt hits you first and sticks. Spice takes over and then evens out to leave a balanced finish. Slightly warming as it leaves a pumpkin pie coating on the tongue.

D- I have had few pumpkin style ales before and I could only drink one at most because it was so sweet or didn't seem like beer. This one is different and hits the mark for style in my opinion. I can drink these all night. It is so smooth and doesn't overwhelm the taste buds. This one is a winner.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Its a copper color with a head the quickly dissapated.

S - There is some pumkin, and some spices, but they are in the background of some phenolics, and some strong czech sulfur aromas.

T - Some toasted malts are up front, which are followed but a punkin spice flavor melded with some roasted caramel. Its all blended well, but there is not one dominate flavor. Maybe it could age?

M - The mouthfeel is fantastic. It starts of with a little carbination on the fron t but smooths out in the middle and dry out nicely.

D - I wonder if can age, to bring the flavors together....That is what I am hoping.

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Photo of LvilleIPA
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the 06 release poured into a pint glass.

Poured a brown/mahagony with very little head that disappeared quickly.

It may be the seasonal allergies, but I don't really sense the normal scents associated with pumpkin ales. Doesn't seem to smell overly spiced.

Despite the lack of aroma, the taste is perfect. It's exactly what you're looking for in a pumpkin beer - spices, pumpkin, some cinnamon. Not over the top in the pumpkin department, but you do know it's there.

The mouthfeel doesn't feel as creamy as I would've liked. It actually, in my opinion, feels a bit watery. Seems to be a tad watery until the very end when spice fills the mouth as you swallow.

Typically, I cannot drink more than 2 pumpkin ales, but I can definitely drink the 4 pack this beer came in.

If you're looking for an overly pumpkin, thick desert style beer, this isn't the one. Very drinkable. A very nice "ale", but not a great pumpkin ale. As NJPadrefan said before, I would definitely go for Brooklyn's Post Road over this offering from Dogfish.

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Photo of WonderWoman
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at the Grey Lodge.
It poured a dark golden with a small rim of head that lingered for a short time.
The smell was of chewing gum that you get from the gumball machine for a nickel and some really awkward spices that didn’t mesh well together.
It tasted of light subtle spices with a tangy afterthought followed by hints of bubble gum.
The mouth feel was smooth and it coated my mouth. It also had energetic carbonation.
I don’t think I would order this one again. I didn’t care for it in the bottle and I don’t care for it on tap.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is from the 06 release. This beer was served in a imperial pint glass.

Appearance: The beer has a pleasing color combination of amber/ orange. The beers head is tall and fluffy. The coloration of the head is a orange tinged biege.

Smell: The beer smells like a good spiced tea. This beer is loaded with sugary malty sweetness, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Basically the spice compliment is what you would expect with pumpkin pie. The beer has a vague sort of crusty bread smells. One problem I dont really smell pumpkin in the beer; however, at other times I strongly suspect I smell pumpkin in the beer. I dont know if it is wishful thinking here on my part. The beer works for my on the spiced beer level. The lemony earthy hops work well with beers overall spicy smell.

Taste: The beer is a spicy soup of the above smells. Again this beer works as a spiced ale in my opinion. I cannot pinpoint any pumpkin in the beer. Spicy alcohol plays well with floral earth hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer beer has a creamy medim body. This beer was very easy to drink. I enjoyed the beer in terms of a spiced herbal beer experience. I didnt get any pumpkin smells or flavors to this beer. I will buy it again as a good herb/ spice beer. I had the beer cold and nearing room temperature. The beer seemed to wake up nearing room temperature. I still didnt get any good pumpkinness out of the beer.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.64/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance looks great! A clear crisp and inviting brownish orange with a thin foamy head with a strong lacing. Smell is strange and sour with pumkin flavors. The taste is very sour pumkin rind flavor with the sweeter pumkin aftertaste, I'm not fond of this style I don't think. Mouthfeel is a bit watery and light bodied with much carbonation. Overall this was a bit dissapointing and I don't think I'll ever try this again.

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Photo of bruachan
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

um...brown ale? looks like a märzen. the color's not inspiring, but brilliantly clear, and the head is memorable

pumpkin and spice aromas. the pumkin is subtle but there—kinda the theme for this beer. kinda sticky smelling—like a bucket of syrup. the pumpkin flavor is moderate, too; the malts are just as important to the flavor. brown sugar is apparent but the flavor characters are very balanced

it's lively and sticky: slightly spritzy but syrupy. funny aftertaste, too. i think maybe i don't like pumpkin beers. oh yeah, and it doesn't resemble a brown ale in any way

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Photo of mcarroll10177
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint glass

A- beautiful copper brown with a huge off white head and tons of lacing on the glass. Perfect clarity in the beer.

S- some nutmeg with pumkin and hops

T- good, not great. lots of spice in the begining some hop bitterness with pumkin spsice in the finish

M- balanced, but not to much going on here a bit over carbinated

D- a nice tasting ale, but one that lacks the refreshing characteristic that I look for in my beer.

Notes- a beer to have every once in a while in the fall, but not an everyday drinker by any means. I am a bit disappointed, as this is basicly a brown ale with added pimkin brown sugar and spices.

The problem is that DFH brown ale is one of the great great beers around. This is not as good. Go with the brown ale DFH.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.4/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dogfish Head- Punkin Ale

Appearance- light golden amber with a thick lacing head.
Smell- Light Pumpkin with hazelnut and nutmeg.
Taste- Alcohol is the first thing tasted!? Followed up by a roasted hazelnut, blended with light pumpkin, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Mouthfeel- Alcohol burns at first, Flavors come through in the middle, and more alcohol in the end.

Overall- Not a good 1! I don't know many people who like Pumpkin Ale's, (I personally enjoy them) but this is a huge disappointment. Alcohol is too present and the pumpkin is too weak!
Give me a Post Road!!

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from Spirit Haus in Amherst Massachusetts. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass a nice orange color, and a nicely sized white heading, that quickly faded to a thin lacing. Aroma was pleasing, with some definite pumpkin pie presence, as well as other spices. My only complaint with the smell was there seemed to be a somewhat sopay presence to it, not becoming at all. Taste was about as close as ive seen to a brewery really capturing the pumpkin taste without making it seem too artificial. Mouthfeel was relatively medium in size. As for dinkability, one was enough for me. Even though I have the utmost respect for this breweries attempt at the style, it is simply one that ive never really enjoyed too much. I suppose if you are interested in the style, this might be a good starting point. This is the best example of the style ive tried to date, and even then I wasn't very impressed.

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Photo of Drew966
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Punkin' Ale pours a medium copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The first thing I catch in the smell is clove. I think there is some pumpkin and other spices also noticeable, but clove really dominates to me. The taste also seems dominated by clove. Other pumkin pie spices are also present in the background. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-copper color with a creamy, fluffy, white head that thins to a persistent film, leaving patchy lace on the glass.

Smell: The pumpkin pie aromas are definitely present, but not overpowering. There's a toasty whiff of malts and alcohol and notes of pumpkin pie that become stronger as the beer warms: pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar.

Taste: There's a little bit of malt bready sweetness upfront. Savory pumpkin appears in the center and is followed by the sweet and spicy flavors of pumpkin pie: cinnamon and brown sugar. The finish is sweet with some lingering spiciness as well as a light graininess. The pumpkin pie flavors come out much more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Nice, but I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

Overall: Flavorful and pumpkin pie-ish without being a spice overload. A nicely done Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Pours a clear light orange color with loads of bubbles ascending the glass. Head is nice which clings to the sides nicely the entire way down.

S: I dont knw why, but I dont like the smell. Well maybe I do. I can smell HINTS of pumpkin, but I might be putting them there because I want to. A very small amount of spice is present in the nose, but actually it smells adjuncty (I know, pumpkin would be an adjunct) and watery. Sorry that this will hurt the overall rating so much, but I hold my breath before I take the next sips.

T: This is easily the best pumpkin beer I have had. But I don't like pumpin beers. Not one to bow down before marketing and the traditional 'pumpkin ales' DFH did a great job. Now I taste a pumpkiny taste filled with a nice subtly sweet maltyness and a zing of autumn spices to balance the malt. Rather than rely on hops to create balance, I think they used spices. Different, but very similiar. Nice work.

M: Very nice, thick and medium heavy, a little syrupy, but then has a high carbonation kick that I find pleasing. Nicely done and again I am very happy that DFH didnt just throw some spices to a watery beer and label it as pumpkin beer (cough Shipyard chough).

D: I cant seem to put this down. Very surprised. Thought I wouldnt like this beer to much, seeing as I have never had a good pumpkin ale. I keep on drinking and the 7% abv? I think thats a myth...

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to my 12 oz DFH palm glass. A beautiful crystal clear Pumpkin Amber typical of DFH, with red and orange highlights. The head is 2 finger and lovely.

The small is indicative on DFH. Fruity, hoppy, Pumpkin and nutmeg.

The taste is dry pumpkiny and a hint of spices'. It you have tried this style before and thought it too sweet, then Try this.

The mouth feel is quite nice, good carbonation medium body, easy to swig down.

The drink ability is very good, in fact this is a beer is unsurpassed as an example in this style is.

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

Seeing this beer with a date on bottle of 8/7/06 only means that fall is on the way. Pours a nice amber colored with a fluffy head that leaves some lacing behind. The smell is amazing on this finely crafted brew, let me first say that I'm a big pumpkin fan, any type from seeds to pie to just eating the damn thing while carving it. I can smell a very strong spiced pumpkin smell, like when you first start carving one and sticking your mug directly inside the pumpkin, also smell a bit of clove sweetness in there, I truly love the smell of this crafted beer and whish they would bottle it as a cologne. The taste is awesome what I smell I taste, just with that bit of hop bitterness that we all love from those crafters at Dogfish, awesome. Don't be fooled when you drink that 4 pack and wonder why it went down so smooth, the alcohol is so well hidden that I can't even detect it. Seeing this just makes me smile knowing that summer is over and fall is upon us, simply beautiful.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, deep copper colour. Thin head dissolves into a pillowy ring that lingers on. Light roasty malt hits the nose initially, reminds me of an Oktoberfest lager. Inhaling more deeply the faint pumpkin spice notes become evident, nice and cinnamony. The taste carries a toasted malt flavor with a decent sweetness. The pumpkin spice is again very subtle. The finish has a slight sour/bitter touch to it. Not very alcoholic though. Decent brew overall, better than other pumpkin beers I've tried, although it could have had a little more of that flavor to it. I think I would try it again.

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Photo of bwyker
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours a golden, nearly completely clear, pumpkin-orange, with little to no foam. Very light carbonation. Smells of candy corns dipped in maple syrup. Most of the ‘punkin’ in this beer comes out in the taste. To me, it tastes more like lager yeast than an ale yeast. Starts with a well-balanced, light malt sweetness and ends with everything on the label (pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg). Much more mellow, in a good way, from what I would expect from DFH. Smooth, light (maybe a little too light, believe it or not) and balanced mouthfeel. Definitely easy to drink. Unlike other pumpkin ales that I’ve had, it’s not overwhelmed with pumpkin pie spice to a point where you can’t finish a bottle. Pleasantly surprised, though not super excited.

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

I'm really big into pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest this time of year and always look forward to this beers release.

The appearance is above par for a pumpkin. Nicely colored orange with hints of copper. Somewhat thick and difficult to gaze through. Lots of carbonation in the bubbles in the glass as well as a highly frothy carbonated orange tan head.Thick sticky lace devours the sides of my chalice.

Spicey burnt aromas but very little in way of pumpkin. More centered on all spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Again I remember previous years being better or more balanced and complex. This years had a somewhat watery thin mouthfeel. Things seem slightly discombobulated also. There is slightly more pumpkin than in the nose but it's not complementing the spices as well. The main spice is all spice. There is good amounts of nutmeg on the finish with a semi sweet brown sugar.

However this is still a good beer but may just be a bad batch. Will definitely drink again in the near future and for years to come.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,494 ratings.
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