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: 6,541
Photo of aforbes10
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

orangey brown. clear and bubbly. small head. nutmegs and spices and hot pumpkins on the nose. taste is not as terrible as ive anticipated. some cimmamon and nutmeg flavors but mostly pumpkin. kind of like drinking a liquified pumpkin pie. a little thin and i dont need to ever drink another, but its certainly the best pumpkin ale ive tried.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a light copper color with nearly no head and no lace.

S: The smell is a strong ginger, pumpkin & brown sugar aroma. You also get the impression from the smell that it’s a very bready beer, in addition to the heavy sweetness.

T: It doesn’t taste as sweet as it smells which I’m going to consider a good thing. There’s little bit more hops and alcohol bite in the taste than you get in the smell.

M: Smooth with a medium body and a bit higher carbonation than I would have expected from a beer in this style. It’s not as bready as the smell indicates and doesn’t leave the stickiness that you would expect from the style either.

D: It goes down easy and there’s almost no hint of the 7.00% ABV. If you don’t find it filling (and I don’t) you could drink a lot more than a 4-pack in one sitting. When I went into the liquor store, I didn’t expect to buy this beer, but it was on special and the price made it irresistible, given the rep of DFH. While I liked the beer and it was more than what I expected from a beer of this style, it’s not something I would want to drink very often. However, if I do decide to drink it, I’d make short work of the 4-pack.

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Photo of alexgash
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark oranger copper body with a finger of loose, slightly fizzy, off-khaki head. Sugar wafer malt and rummy fruit aromas give way to whiffs of pumpkin pie, allspice, cinnamon, and a bit of nutmeg. Smells like the spice rack fell in the pot. Not overpowering though; I think the fruity alcohol helps the spice smell and taste less artificial. Lightly toasted malt flavors combine with sweet pears and pie crust. Spices, especially nutmeg and allspice throughout, and most notably toward the finish. Nice complexity and quite tasty. Medium bodied ale, with a relatively lively feel that helps fight any cloying or spiced-out tendencies. Light toasted malt in the finish and residual spicy sweetness and a maybe some orange peel/marmalade. I can't imagine drinking pint after pint of this, but this is definitely the best pumpkin beer I've had (so far).

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a wonderful amber and obviously pumpkin hue. small "floaties" are seen throughout and suspended in the brew. A thin two finger rose and fell quickly to leave a small white ring around the glass. Only one column of beading.

Smell: WOW! Spices galore! Cinammon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin for sure. Spices dominat the malt in the nose. No alcohol detected.

Taste: The reason I gave this a five is because of the accuracy with which Dogfish Head has delivered this liquid pumpkin pie. Very complex yet very balanced and symmetrical flavors. Like the nose the spices really pop out. Cinammon sticks, clove, all spice, ginger, nutmeg, and a most delicious slice of pumpkin pie. Nice bready sweetness as well, slightly herbal.

Mouthfeel: Meduim carbonation at first.A nice slick middle and finish. Very smooth easy drinking kind of beer.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy,could drink this all the time.But who wants to eat a pumkin everyday for dinner?

Overall: Dogfish Head has put out another great beer!


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Photo of NClifestyle
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my favorite pumpkin ale. i love this stuff.
a hazy orange ale, with a medium tan/burnt orange head.
smells of bread, earthy notes and pumpkin.
tastes GREAT. spicy to the end, pumpkin but also cinnamon and ginger. very tasty.
nice carbonation, fits the ale. prickly but medium, a great mouthfeel.
i would drink this till the great pumpkin comes home. a super pumpkin ale.


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

small lacey head, orangey. Spicey cinammon, spicey,allspice, nutmeg, some maltness spice chest, chia tea with some hop bitterness. Drying, very vegatable taste. No expiry date. Gourdy taste. This tastes like a beer rather a fruity sweety cooler.Medium to full mouthfeel.

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Photo of fromage
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What a strange beer! Probably good with some kind of dessert, but on its own, I get too many strange flavors. Hard to compare with the style since I haven't had any good pumkin beers.

Looks pretty good coming out of the bottle. Not much head or lacing to speak of. Copper brown color with moderate bubbling.

Smell is pumkin (I guess), some brown sugar, and lemon.

Taste gets more into the brown sugar and spices. I can definitely pick out cinnamon and some caramel. Aftertaste is a little plastic and cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly sticky.

I definitely would not drink more than one!

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Photo of blackie
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a slight, off white head that soon disappears, for the most part. The beer is a bright burnished copper in color.

smell: Nice mix of aromas going on here. Plenty of spice and pumpkin, accompanied by some moderate esters. Nice and sweet smelling, but not cloyingly so, with some caramel and brown sugar. Hop presence is low, as it should be.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body the same.

taste: The taste is a little more subtle in the ester and spice department, which is good. A nice caramel malt backbone blends with flavors of pumpkin pie spice. Hard to pick out the pumpkin, though I feel as if I can...maybe some roasted pumpkin seed too. Just a touch of bitterness at the finish.

drinkability: An above average pumpkin, and a pleasure to drink.

Bottled on date of 08/25/05 is printed on the neck of the bottle.

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Photo of LarryV
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a "packaged in" date on the side which is useless since it wasn't actually marked. Nose is mellow, pumpkin pie spicy. Pours an orange amber color with minimal head. No lacing during consumption. Carbonation is low, mouthfeel on the lighter side of creamy. The taste is spicy, but nicely balanced with the hops. The finish leaves a spicy note on the tongue and ends with a pronounced bitterness. Overall a pretty nice beer.

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

This beer poured a pleasant golden brown with a thick white head. It smelled spicy and fruity. The flavor was spicy like cinnamon or cloves, slightly sweet and mellow with a sharp bitter finish. I really liked the spices and it had a great aroma, but the biterness was a bit more than I prefer in a beer of this type. overall I liked this beer.

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Photo of nvsblman
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich amber color with little head. Aroma is very spicy, full of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little brown sugar. The spices are also prevalent in the taste, but also some pumpkin and a little vanilla. Medium bodied, with the perfect amount of carbonation. I usually enjoy pumpkin beers, this is a favorite of mine!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangey copper with a quarter-inch tan head. Smells spicy. Clove and nutmeg and light cinnamon in the nose. Sweet spice. Tart and fruity underneath, spiced baked apple aromas.

Lots of spicey flavors as mentioned in the smell. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, cinnamon. Some pumpkin flavors in there as well. Fruity malt behind all the above. Some hops in the finish, medium bodied and lightly sour. Pretty easy drinker around the holidays. I have found my new regular for my once-a-year pumkin ale fix!

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Photo of jaluria
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the best, if not the best Pumpkin Ale around. The soft orange color of this beer with it's intense carbonation and mighty head is quite appealing. Aromas of pumpkins, roasted malts, and seasonal spices come out. Together, the aromas remind me of fallen leaves, a cool breeze, and the season of Fall. The taste is smooth and sweet with the pumpkin flavor taking a back seat to various spices. The sweet flavor is never overly dominant or too sweet. The carbonation adds a level or richness that exploits the spicy backbone. A very interesting beer that can be had with mildly sweet fruit-based desserts like tarts and parfaits or with seasonal dishes.

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

12oz. bottle courtesy of ChadBrew and the BIF 24 chain.

Cloudy honey-orange in color. Zesty off-white head lasts and clings to the glass. Aromas chock full of canned pumpkin pie mix, liberally doused with some nutmeg and other spices. Flavor translated well. Pumpkin flavor comes through very nicely, unlike other pumpkin ales I've tried. Sweet malty companion adds to the character. Solid mouthfeel. Not thin at all. Hard to believe this is 7%. Drinkable. Well-done.

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Photo of bditty187
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, muted bronze in hue with a peachy gold infusion; lovely! The head was beige; there were about two fingers of forth before the bubbles quickly faded to a thin, soapy cap. This mini-head stuck around awhile, at least the beer wasn’t left naked. Sadly, the subsequent lacing was minimal, only a few spots here and there. Still, overall, this is an attractive looking beer.

The nose is fleshy… meaty… in a pumpkin kind of way. Sure, there are “pie” spices but the malt and pumpkins really shine in the nose. The nutmeg and cinnamon are second fiddle; this is almost always the opposite. Kudos to DFH for that! I’ve only smelt one Pumpkin Ale meatier (which was from Platte Valley Brewery in Kearney, NE… the beer is not even listed on BA (I only had a few ounces of it)). So, officially this is the best smelling Pumpkin Ale I’ve had. Moderate but firm potency and without a doubt I find the nose inviting. Yummy!

The palate is very tasty. Hearty. The abv plays peek-a-boo, it is hidden but I can feel it. There is great bulk… plenty malty for the style. Plus there are lots of pumpkin flavors. It is earthy in spots. Nutmeg and cinnamon are found in the middle and they last to the finish. But at no time to they outshine the “body” of this beer. This is a very healthy pumpkin ale. It has a spicy finish with a malty residue. I say screw making this a seasonal and go year round! Very tasty! I see why this beer is so highly regarded; it blows away almost every Pumpkin Ale I’ve tried.

The label says, “A full bodied brown ale.” I never believe brewers when they use the word “full bodied.” However, I’d call this beer medium/medium full in body. It is hefty on the tongue. The bulk and abv indicate this beer is a sipper. I say, gladly! I don’t want to see this beer end.

Very drinkable, dangerously so! I could knock back a six-pack on a cool fall day. I am very impressed with this beer. I now want to taste more beers like this… I wonder if any can match it. I’ve heard good things about a couple other Pumpkin Ales; I will try them next fall. I want to thank RedHaze for the bottle. It was lovely stuff, thanks! To nonbelievers… try this Pumpkin Ale. You will convert.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived with a huge, fluffy, off-white/light tan head above a slightly cloudy, medium-amber colored beer. The nose was spicy, like a blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, clove, and others. The scent was very evocative of pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel was tingly, tangy, spicy, but not hot. Fizzy? I dislike that term, but it was a refreshingly palate-cleansing beer. The spiciness was evident on the palate, but the finish was where they were really at. As it warmed, the the spices became even more evident. I wrote that it would be perfect for autumn afternoons watching football, the leaves changing colors, gourds flying across the sky ... Bring on the fall!

Today is F, 09 August 2014 and as part of my ongoing campaign to divest myself of these pesky bottles, I came upon one in the basement's Beerfrigerator. I wish that I had noted where I got it on-tap in 2005, or where I scored this one. C'est la guerre! Notched as "Packaged in 2003". Hee hee.

From the bottle: "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg."

I employed a very gentle pour as I was not sure whether any lees were present. I could not see any, but that means nothing. I had no head initially, but I swirled it and got a finger of tawny head that lasted only briefly. Color was Amber to Deep-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had really evolved to the point that the cinnamon and nutmeg stood out like a pair of sore thumbs! Spicy. Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was nothing like I had noted in its on-tap form. I liked this a bit better, actually. The taste was mellow, very spicy, but not as intense as it may have been. This really seemed to have aged well over the decade-plus. It took on a brandy-like quality that I found quite interesting. The label reads "7% Alc. by Vol.", but it was packing some heat. The spices really dried it out to the point that pumpkin and brown sugar were afterthoughts. It was bitingly dry and still slightly hot, reinforcing my brandy idea, but I may revise that to "sherry". Either way, it was different!

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.71/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not particularly a pumpkin ale fan, but this stuff is quite delicious. Pours to a dark orangish amber color with little to no head and a light carbonation. Hardly laces the glass at all.

The smell is great. Smells like a nutty, robust brown ale with all the spices listed on the bottle showing their true colors as well (REAL pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Ever so slightly roasty.

The taste is just as great. A perfect blend of spices with each one quite distinguishable from the others. The finish shows off the nutty, gently roasty flavors with a great accentuating spice flavor. Even has a bit of an herbal hop to it.

The body is fairly big in this beer: nice and thick and velvety smooth. Honestly, I think this is the best Dogfish Head beer I've tried, and I've had almost all of the non-retired, non-uber-special releases. If not the best, it's definitely the most interesting. I would drink more of this stuff if it was available, but I don't think it was quite good enough where I would seek it out in an online purchase again. If I see it in a store, though, it's mine... Keep in mind I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers, and for the most part I think Dogfish is just slightly overrated.

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Photo of clabaugh
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A light bronze color with reddish hues intermixed. The head was mediocre; not even a finger. The head color was a creamy white. The lacing is light, not lasting for more than a few minutes.

Smell: An aromatic masterpiece. This is one of the best smelling beers that I've ever experienced. This beer captures the scent of pumpkin pie. Ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin overtones invigorate one's nostrils.

Taste: A sweet beer in accordance with the style. The pumpkin fades as one tastes the beer, with spices predominating. Ginger and cinnamon, along with hints of nutmeg stand out. The beer definitely has an acidic character, which is difficult to miss. The sweetness masks most evidence of hops.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a powerful sensation in one's mouth. Despite being 7% abv the alcohol presence is notable throughout. Carbonation is evident, as one's tongue tingles while drinking all the way through.

Drinkability: The sweetness, along with a strong presence of carbonation limit the beer's drinkability. I couldn't handle more than two or three consecutively, but overall, a fairly drinkable pumpkin ale. This style is not one to be consumed en masse. Limiting one's consumption of this beer in a sitting leads to maximum enjoyment.

Notes: A good fall seasonal. This style complements salty food very well due to its sweetness. The beer balances the flavors of most meats. Dogfish Head succeeds in producing a quality pumpkin ale that is a truly unique beer experience.

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

Pours a really nice looking, clear bright amber/red color with a 1/4 inch head that quickly fades to a thin ring, with only minimal lacing. Would get a a higher rating here if it had a little more head to it.

Smell; smells of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, pumpkin. There's some other spices in there that I can't put a finger on.

Taste; there's definitely pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe some allspice. Even with all of the spices in this beer it's not as overwhelmingly sweet as some other pumpkin ales I've had. Mouthfeel was a litlle thin, and there's not much carbonation. Kudos to DFH for making a pumpkin beer that actually tastes like it's a beer.

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

Generously bubbled pumpkin orange capped by a pastel orange, whipped creamy head that is a perfect color match for the beer that created it. The three finger cap has a considerable amount of patience, but doesn't look sticky enough to grab and hold onto the glass. A lack of lace is a minor disappointment that doesn't spoil a very nice pumpkin beer look.

The nose is as expected: baked pumpkin flesh and pumpkin pie spices. Perhaps I should go along with Dogfish Head and start writing punkin'. I've smelled pumpkinier versions and I've smelled spicier versions, but this one can hold its own against all but the most aromatic. Amazingly enough, even at a relatively high pumpkin ale ABV of 7%, there's no alcohol evident in the nose.

This is lovely stuff, even if the alcohol is now easily appreciated. This is definitely a different sort of pumpkin ale, a stronger version of the usual gourd beer. It's sweet and malty with a generous amount of caramel flavor. The spices aren't as up-front on the palate. The label indicates that allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg were used. They're all identifiable, with none dominating the others.

If I was in charge at the brewery, I'd knock the ABV back a full 2% (or try harder to mask it) and would add more brown sugar and spice. It's their beer, though, so I guess I'll have to take it or leave it. Um... I'll take it. This really is a quality fall seasonal.

The decision to build a sturdier pumpkin ale pays dividends when it comes to the mouthfeel. It's a few notches more full than medium and is as smooth as heavy silk. Too many bubbles on the initial pour become just the right amount before very long at all.

Punkin' Ale is one of the better versions that I've run across. It doesn't seriously challenge my clear favorite (Smuttynose Pumpkin), but it's definitely worthwhile and is deliciously different. If you have any interest in the style whatsoever, I suggest you get Punk'd as soon as possible.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed icea tea color with a small head. Served in a large snifter at just over fridge temperature.

Pumpkin and nutmeg are the first aromas, with allspice notes as well. Perfect for the fall season.

Well integrated spices with a pumpkin background, quite tasty compared to others I've tried this year. Full and round.

Prickly, carbonated mouthfeel just short of being too much. Great action that brings out the individual flavor notes. Quite drinkable for a pumpkin ale. The alcohol isn't detracting at all but it certainly does not go uinnoticed.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottled in '05. Pours reddish/amber with a thin tan head that reduces to almost nothing. Smells of cinnamon, allspice, faint pumpkin, sweet malts, and some nutmeg, but it's not as strong as I'd like. It has a medium body that is a a bit tingly and a flavor similar to the aroma but with additions of roasted malts, green/citric hops, some bitterness and alcohol. Above average, but not the best.

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Photo of Matthew
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out of the bottle a reddish brown with a tannish head.
Big aromas coming from this beer. Pumpkin and an explosive cinnamon smell. You can smell this beer from across the room.
Nice maltiness balanced by the spicey notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hoppiness that sneaks itself in there amongst all the other flavors to be enjoyed.
The nuttiness of most brown ales is replaced by the pumkin flavors and complimented well with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and spicey flavors. This isnt a beer I can have more than 1 or 2 of, but a very well crafted beer.

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Photo of tboom29
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must preface this by saying not a huge pumpkin/winter spiced ale fan. I am, however, a DogFish fan. I was not dissappointed with this.
Color was a nice dark amber, looked like any pale ale. The smell was full of a cinnamon smell, spicy but also sweet, like brown sugar.

This beer was very smooth throughout, nice silky full mouthfeel. The nose pretty much confirms the flavor throughout the beer, with spicy and sweet hints. They didn't overdo the pumpkin, but there is enough where a first timer may say "Hmm, Pumpkin Ale. Interesting" I would recommend it to anyone, as it is probably the nicest pumpkin ale I've had. I'm a convert now to this beer style. DogFishHead, nice job once again.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from one of the newer bottles which has the "Punk" label on the neck. There is a calendar, but, no packaged on date is marked.

This one pours a clear amber to light orange color with a thick frothy off-white head. The head leaves very nick, thick rings of lace. The aroma is a spicy cinnamon and pepper smell. The taste is medium to high alcohol right from the first, but tames slightly as the beer is drunk. As it goes down, the alcohol tames to a nice warming feeling. The taste is mainly a peppery spiciness with a good tasting pumpkin bread flavor on the backend.

This is the second pumpkin ale I have tried, and, it is the best so far. Highly recommend for its unique flavor.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,541 ratings.
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