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

Clear, light orange (of course) in color, with a finger of head that quickly gives way to some very even lacing. A nice looking brew.

In addition to the hops, nutmeg & clove aromas make for some yummy smells.

Not nearly as hoppy as I remember; it's actually a very malt-driven beer. Finishes very clean with faint spice notes. On the second taste I'm still failing to pick up any of the real pumpkin flavor until the aftertaste. In all honesty, I actually prefer this type of pumpkin ale when the theme is more suggested than explicit i.e. I don't care for the overly sweet versions that amount to drinking a pie.

It's a modestly carbonated beverage that is slightly heavy (as the alcohol content would have led me to believe), but is still entirely drinkable. Another solid offering from Delaware, who'd a thunk it?

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Photo of delicious
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

It has a clear amber body, and on top sits a fluffy, cream colored head which releases smells of nutmeg and pumpkin spice with a touch of vanilla.
It's on the hoppy side, starting spicy and ending bitter. The pumpkin and its associated spices come in almost as a second thought, and this increases my sip frequency as I try to seek them out. I'm not picking up much of the 7% alcohol, and this, coupled with the thin mouthfeel and great flavor, really makes for a drinkable beer. Starting out, I was concerned that the pumpkin would be a bit gimmicky, but this is 100% good beer.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with bottled in year date notched (notch was for 2007 which was interesting since it's 2006). Had a l little head that quickly dissapated. Smell was kinda weak. Could smell the pumpkin and other spices but they were barely there. Same thing with the taste. Not bad by any stretch but then again nothing unique. Read some real good reviews on this one so hoping my bottle was off and will try again. (3.5,RB,T,Y)

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

12 oz bottle into mug. Extremely fresh, consumed within three weeks of the bottling date.

Pours a crystal clear dark orange. Thick light tan colored frothy head. Settles to a nice cap. Sticky lacing.

Creamy pumpkin smell along with rich nutmeg. Bits of cinnamon are also present. Very mild alcohol can also be picked up.

Spicy up front, and slowly smoothes out after some mild hop bitterness. Finishes smooth and creamy, with a very pleasant aftertaste.

Light bodied, but not watery. Strong carbonation gives it a good bite. A litle dry toward the end, but finishes smooth.

Rich and spicy, iwth a creamy finish. Good beer for Thanksgiving, may even go will with some pumpkin pie.

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Photo of Gasp100
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a nice, clear copper color with nice rising tan head and mild lacing down the glass. There was some scent that just seemed off to me -- I could get the pumpkin pie smell, but also like burnt rubber or something... weird.
The taste was pretty subdued. Definitely nutmeg, spice, cinnamon bit not nearly as pronounced as I remember it from last year.
I wasn't impressed as much this year; it is ok and I don't mind that it's subdued, but just not enough going on to keep me interested.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, it pours a copper color with a small off-white head. It smells like pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and some brown sugar. It tastes like pumpkins, spices, cloves, brown sugar, nutmeg and some caramel. This definitely has more pumpkin taste (and taste in general) than the other pumpkin ales I've had. It has a medium body, with a nice, smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. It's pretty drinkable too, you can't tell the 7% ABV when you're drinking it. Overall it's a pretty good beer. Easily the best pumpkin ale I've tried so far.

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Photo of bigone4
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a nice strong copper color. This is a very impressive presentation after the pour. Mild creamy white head had some good retention. There was mild lacing around the glass. Smells clean, light, and sweet. There are many different hints of cinnamon, malt, and nutmeg. Very pleasant smelling beer. Light pumpkiny flavors come into the nose on a deep smell. Great first taste with a light malty bouquet. Mild pumpkin flavor not extremely over powering. 7% ABV is hiding quite well. Maybe that’s why it comes in a four pack. Hints of cinnamon and caramel malt flavor. Brown sugary mix on the tongue. Very nice mouth feel and drink ability. Mild after taste of pumpkin pie. Great seasonal offering for the fall. This beer really captures the autumn feeling and a great Birthday this September, 16th 2006! I recommend giving this one a try. Not your ordinary pumpkin brew. Dogfish makes another winner for me!

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Photo of NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle; "Packaged in" year not notched.

Thin, dull copper with flecs of straw. Plenty of noticeable carbonation. Inch-high, foamy white head with pretty good retention. Trails of condensed lacing.

Musty, earthen-floral hop aromas surrounded by an intense powdered cinnamon and allspice. Strong, brown sugar odor with just a hint of pumpkin.

Bright pumpkin and pear flavors met by a sweet, spice profile of allspice, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Slick alcohol presence in the middle with a smooth, creamy malt character. Only a touch of bitterness with an aftertaste of nutmeg, pear, and brown sugar.

Medium in body; creamy and smooth on the palate, and not as powdery as you would think given the heavy dose of spices.

A nice maltiness displayed here, but the pumpkin flavor is merely a detail. Interesting enough to buy a 4pk for the novelty of a 7% abv Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pink. Seriously, it's orangey-pink with a sticky cream-colored head.

Smell: Sweet and spicy--malt and the spices, but I'm not catching much of the pumpkin.

Taste: Really weird when it's cold: hoppy and vaguely sweet, but not really interesting until it gets a little warmer. As it reaches cellar temperature the pumpkin comes through more, as do the spices. It's like pie with hops.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special here, but not at all watery.

Drinkability: Again, nothing special. I guess it might be sessionable, but I'm not sure if I'd want to try it.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours burnt orange in color, with a near amber tint. Frothy large white head encompasses the outer edges of the glass. The carbonation is wicked in my Duvel tulip. Lacing is incredibly sticky as well. Some of the stickiest in a long time. The smell is very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. A large amount of pumpkin, a good bit of cinnamon, and a generous portion of nutmeg. The all-spice and brown sugar are definitely there as well, but more subdued.

This beer has a very strong caramel malt backbone. Slightly earthy, with a hint of roastiness. The malt infuses together with the pumpkin and spices perfectly. What I enjoy about this beer, is that Dogfish Head did not go overboard on the spices. It's balanced to perfection, and is the epitomy of fall beers. Mouthfeel is right on for the style. Semi-creamy, semi-dry, and full-bodied. Drinkability is wonderful for those cool fall nights.

Punkin' Ale definitely nails the head on the style. This is a must have fall beer, and one I highly recommend.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a translucent copper with a small, off-white head. The head quickly dissipated, leaving persistent, silky lacings.

Very spicy aroma. Nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon mix with a surprisingly sweet, buttery poignant brown sugar presence. A malty presence can be sensed underneath the strong spicy scents.

This is the smoothest pumpkin or spice beer that I've ever had. Traditional pumpkin pie spices mingle with a sweet, brown sugar taste to balance the sharp spicy tastes. The body consists of bread, pumpkin and sweet malt with a gentle, sweet finish.

This is a medium bodied, well-carbonated seasonal treat for the mouth. Perhaps the most drinkable spiced beer that I've ever tasted.

Wow! I still can't get over how smooth this is. This easily rivals my favorite pumpkin ale and presents a new benchmark in smooth, spicy flavor.

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Photo of BassAssassin
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

--2006 Vintage--

A: Pours a clear amber. Thick head that settles down quickly. Thin lacing remains until the end of the glass. Appears to have quite a bit of carbonation.

S: The first thing I notice is the spice, followed by a distinct pumpkin pie smell. A tea like hop smell lingers in the background.

T: Biscuit-like malt profile. It's quite sweet and spicy, just like pumpkin pie. Finishes with a definite taste of cloves.

M: Medium body with perfect amount of carbonation. It's actually surprisingly crisp.

D: Very good drinkability. It's usually tough to drink more than one or two pumpkin ales in a row. That's not the case with this beer. Excellent stab at the style.

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Photo of cash22
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Punkin Ale - 'A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, & nutmeg.'

Appearance - golden amber with a small head that dies quickly

Smell - sweet and spicy all together

Taste - subtle pumplin flavors followed by a spicy aftertaste once swallowed

Mouthfeel - Rough and strong, dominant, heavy

Drinkability - Easy to consume and looking forward to another

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Photo of allengarvin
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice reddish mahogany color with a soft white head. Aroma is rather light, though pleasantly spicy. Plenty of malt at first taste, with just enough bitterness to offset it, and a very nice, well-balanced spiciness. The cinnamon is particularly subtle but delightful. This is probably the best-balanced pumpkin beer I've ever tried. Very nice.

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Photo of Xadoor
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber colour in the glass. Big foamy head that settled down quickly. Some lacing in the glass. Nice aroma with nutmeg, cinamon, pumkin and brown sugar noticeable. Flavour is sweet but spicy. Soft malt and pumpkin with a bitter pepper and spicy finish. The pumpkin flavour is subtle and doesn't overpower. Probably the best pumpkin ale I've tried. Makes me think of thanksgiving and cool autumn evenings.

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

Pours a perfectly clear gold-amber with a nice head that retains well. Smell is pretty good. Nice aromas of sugar/spice cookie, cinnamon, nutmeg and obviously pumpkin pie. Taste is a myriad of spices and obviously pumpkin. Subtle notes of citrus perceived. Mouthfeel has a dough-like presence as the beer is full in texture with a medium-full body. The brew finishes in a swath of spice and cooked "punkin". Not too bad, certainly a good spiced beer. To me it gets a little bogged down in it's spiciness. Maybe it's because it isn't fall yet, I don't know. Still enjoyable and recommended.

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