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

Pours a dark copper with a very thin head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of sweet malt and pumpkin spices. Almost like taking a wiff of pumpking pie.

Tastes of sweet malt and pumpkin right up front. The pumpkin spice flavors balance well with the hop flavor. Finishes with a nice bitterness and the essence of spices remains in the mouth. Carbonation is very present but kept in check.

One of the best pumkin ales I have tried. This one is right up there with Post Road. I would love to try both of them side by side sometime.

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Photo of dciskey
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler with about 1.5 fingers of tan head. Head retains fairly well and eventually diminishes into a ring around the edge. Very little lacing. Color is dark iced tea with some ruby edges.

Smell is alcohol, then sweet brown sugar, some bready malt and pumpkin spices. Pretty much like pumpkin pie. The first taste is malty and maybe pumpkin (which I guess is pretty neutral when you make beer with it), then a little sweetness and some spiciness. Alcohol is barely detectable. I took the bottle out of my 40 degree-ish fridge about 15 minutes before pouring; I highly recommend doing this; the other three bottles from this four pack I started drinking too cold, which makes it all spices and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is medium-low, a good and almost creamy combination that melds well with the flavor. This beer tastes good for what it is, and I'm glad I tried it, but since I'm not a pumpkin pie fan I'm not sure I'd want more than one of these in a session. Also, as it warms the alcohol really pokes itself through; I think 10 minutes out of the fridge might have been better. I'd rather have one of these than a slice of pie, though!

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

Good color. Amber with red highlights and a small thin laced crown to cover the pint.
Smelled a little cinnamon, and even less pumpkin but not too bad or disappointed.
Tasted more like a brown ale than a fruit or vegetable beer. I can't say I care for brown ales to much but I'll try and remain fair. Brown sugar, pumpkin, and a hint of maple tasted good but not great.
Would I have this again? Yes but if I had a Rocky River Monster Mash in front of me this would lose badly.

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Photo of thegiggy86
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this beer last night at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn.

This is my first experience with a Pumpkin style ale.

The look of this beer reminded me of autumn leaves. The dark orange kind.
This beer produced a pumpkin pie-like aroma.
This beer tasted like a pumpkin pie.

In terms of drinkability, I only had a half pint, but I could definitely have another. Based on my positive experience with this beer, I will be drinking more Pumpkin Ale in the future.

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

Hands down the second best pumpkin, oh excuse me "punkin" ale I've had to date, eclipsed only by Kuhnhenn All Hallows. Pours into my nonic pint a crytalline and shimmering bright amber with trails of carbonation rushing northward. Nose is of pumpkin pie, slightly bready, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Very pleasant and Pavlovian. Taste is fairly rich and full,with a decent body to it. The pumpkin really comes through here quite well unlike many examples. Very similar in taste as in the nose. Mouthfeel is quite nice, neatly carbonated. A very decent brew, but at nearly twice the price as I can get All Hallows I'd have to pass.

SlĂ inte!

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

Poured a golden amber, with a modest tan head of dense bubbles, relaxing to a collar, and leaving modest lacing. Lots of spiciness such as clove, allspice, and nutmeg. There is also malt sweetness and spiky hops. The spice is bold on the tongue, followed by hops. The malt starts to show as well, but it is the hops and other spices that seem to come to the forefront. Nice mouthfeel, mild carbonation, this is a nice pumpkin ale, but I did not find much in the way of pumpkin in the flavor. Nicely balanced, this is a nice beer for those cooler afternoons spent outside around a fire.

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Photo of Joey7F
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: Okay I tried it the 2nd time about two weeks later. It is a much better beer, hence the increase in score. The cinnamon and brown sugar standout, and I couldn't really taste much pumpkin. Either way, great beer and I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Old review:

I went through a fair amount to get this beer, and I got to say, for the first time, I think I am going to be in disagreement with most, in the negative direction.

In fact, I am in disagreement with Dogfish on this one. The bottle reads, "A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg"

Fullbodied, check. Brown ale? I would argue it is an ESB (and a good one at that) but the hops are overpowering. The pumpkin, I am barely detecting which is not uncommon as it has a mild flavor. I am tasting no brown sugar, and just a trace of cinnamon. I was really hoping these flavors would have been more pronounced.

Toward the bottom of the pint glass, I am getting more of the flavor and I am not ruling out that my slightly stuffy nose is stopping me from getting all of the potential from this beer. [Turned out to be the case!] I have another one left, that I will try it another day and see if I feel differently. It could be just an expectations thing, I was expecting more of an Oktoberfest with a pumpkin flavor.

I still recommend it.


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Photo of czechsaaz
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very spicy aroma. Allspice hit right away then a touch of nutmeg. Some malty character, mostly crystal types. Not much in the way of pumpkin, just pie spice.

Orange, crystal clear. Small head and nice rising carbonation. Head dissapates quickly.

Tart and spicy. High hop bitterness. Is there really any pumpkin in here? No pumpkin flavor at all. Again, pie spice and some malt. The level of spice kind of blows everything else away.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

As a spice ale, pretty good.. As Pumpkin, doesn't do it for me.

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

This is one of the best Pumpkin Ales I have sampled to date. Unlike Blue Moon, Post Road (yes, I know it is brewed by Brooklyn--and I usually really like their products), Dogfish head uses a brown ale base (I'm guessing their Indian Brown), which gives this punkin' a little more complexity and body than some of the competitors. Likewise, the slightly higher ABV (7%) helps cuts a lot of the potentially cloying sweetness created from the allspice, etc., resulting in a tasty seasonal ale. I usually enjoy the punk for about a month, then it is time for it to retire for another year...until the breeze turns crisp and I start to think of Autumn seasonals one more time. Speaking of seasonals...Mad Elf coming soon!

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

2005 offering, fresh from the shelf at my local beer store.

Im glad I waited on reviewing this beer until I finished the 4 pack. After the 1st one, I didnt care much for it and left the other 3 alone for a few days. Then tonight I decided to revisit it with a fresh palate.

Look: Beautiful clear orange. Fluffy head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, but I think the allspice came to the front pretty aggresively. It smelled tasty though. Sweet, a tad of alcohol, subtle pumpkin. Yummy.

Taste: Smooth, sweet. Goes down easy, and a nice candied aftertaste. Does indeed remind me of pumpkin pie, but I didnt detect much cinnamon. Allspice was prevalent to the point where I thought it was a bit over the top. Alcohol shows up a bit as it warms, but just the right amount to warm me up on a cool fall night. Overall, a good beer, but this style just isnt my cup of tea. A good offering for the style though, so no points taken away due to my personal taste.

Mouthfeel: Light, yet big. Just the right amount of carbonation. Feels like dessert.Very easy drinking. Alcohol hidden well. Maybe Im just used to stronger beers, but this didnt feel like a 7% ABV ale.

Drinkability: I guess fans of the style would enjoy it more than I did, but by my 2nd one, I actually started liking it more than when I first started, so I will give it a good drinkability rating. As I said earlier, just not my cup of tea, but its pretty darn good for what it is.

If you enjoy pumpkin ale, give this one a try from one of the best craft breweries in all the land.

Goes excellent with chocolate.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-ish gold with a low filmy beige head, lots of floaters, and low carbonation. Nutmeg and allspice aroma (a bit sharp) with some pumpkin underneath. Sharp biting spice flavor dominates with a bit of pumpkin-ish malt. Medium bodied and smooth with a drying spice finish.

Decent Pumpkin Ale but not quite worth the price in my wallet.

Per label: "Full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg"

Per DHCB website: same as label sans allspice... hmm?
24 IBU, approx. 224 calories, 22 carbs

'5215' lasered on bottle bottom
Tasted: 10/27/05

($7.99 / 4-pack)

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Photo of Zorro
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a good looking chill hazed amber colored ale with a good lasting tan head.

Smell is very malty with a good strong scent of mulling spices. Ginger and allspice are the strongest scents in here. A bit of brown sugar and bread make up the malt part of this beer.

Taste is mild sweetness and bready with a little spice in the first sip. The base flavor of this ale is a good amber ale, on top of which are a candy like extra layer of malts and spices. Flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon, allspice and ginger are present and not so strong that they hide the herbal hops that finish the flavors. Good lingering flavor of ginger and vanilla in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very good example of a pumpkin beer, but it does have one small flaw. Tasty but the alcohol is all too prominent in this one, doesn't bug me but not everyone will tolerate it in a regular beer.

Recommended by me but your girlfriend might not like it as much as a BA will.

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Photo of Redrover
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck. The beer pours a nice brownish orange ( or should I say brownish pumpkin?).

Nice aroma of spice and pumpkin with a bready malt underneath. Yummy!

The taste is similar. I get hints of ginger, all spice and maybe cinnamon. Pumpkin flavor is subdued but present. One thing I like about this beer is that while the pumpkin pie taste is very present, the underlying brown beer is evident and it helps balances the beverage.

A bit to much carbonation may be the only shortcoming (slight) of this beer. Easy enough drinker, but as with most pumpkin beers, two an evening is plenty for me.

Trick or treat? This is one is a treat!

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Photo of granger10
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Dogfish offering poured a bright orange with a golden hue. Head was smallish and lacing was minimal. Aroma consisted of brown sugar, ginger, and some caramel sauce. Taste lacked the pumpkin I was looking for. Lots and lots of brown sugar, way too much for my liking. This is overly sweet. Body is on the thin side, even after it warmed. Finish is a little tart almost and the alcohol gets noticed a bit. This just isn't my cup of tea, I had this along with four other pumpkin ales and it didn't really impress. The Michigan Brewing Co.'s offering was way better.

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Photo of sjum29
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer, and despite the heafty price tag for a college budget, ($9 a four-pack) I will definately be purchasing this again.

Punkin' Ale pours a deep, dark orage, almost a true amber. The head is a tan color but is short lived with a little agitation. Its scent is heavenly, like warm baked pumpkin pie. You can pick out the nutmeg easily. As for taste, this is the Pumpkin Ale champ. The brown sugar and nutmeg really hightens the pumpkin flavor giving an aftertaste just like you remember mom making at this time of year. In my opinion, this beer is a little better after it has been out of the fridge for a few minutes and you can really pick up the intricacies of the flavor.

I like the alcohol content as is (for obvious reasons and others). It is masked well and doesn't detract from the beer in any way that I can tell.

Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. You almost want something this flavorful to be a little thicker. It is more crisp than I anticipated.

Drikability is excellent. I enjoyed 5 of these to myself and still wanted more. You really can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm still looking for the season's signature pumpkin ale and I don't want to put any pressure but for $9 for a 4 pack and the quality rep of the brewery, this had better be it.
Pours a pleasing tawny caramel color with nonexistant head or lacing. A very nice scent, with spices and sugar prominent, particularly cinammon. Definitely reminds me of pumpkin pie, which of course is the idea.
Some of these notes are extant in the flavor but are generally overshadowed by a very strong alcohol taste. If it were me, I'd lower the percentage from seven to five and not strangle the pumpkin flavor as much. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth despite the carbonation, which for an ale seems a bit more than I would like. I do think this beer improved as it warmed and more spice is noticeable as I finish it.
This is a nice try by Dogfish Head but I must regretfully report that I'm still looking for a pumpkin ale I can drink easy and clean all autumn.

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

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date and a blurb about what's in it. typical DFH bottle.

this pours a clear copper with lots of carbonation and a somewhat dopey head that fizzles to nothing within a minute or two. some lacing but not all that much. definately better than an average pumpkin beer though.

the nose is gorgeous!! spices, pumpkin rinds, very much like sticking your nose in a can of pie filling.

this has a great mix of spices, malts and hops! very nice pumpkin taste upfront with a nice hop finish. the bitterness definately does not interfere with the spiciness of the pumpkin. an excellent mix.

this is very smooth medium bodied beer that i would definately get again. however, i would never be interested in drinking this outside of october or november.

another example of a fine brewery!! dogfish head punkin' ale is the best of the pumpkin beers i've had!

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Photo of ikats
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice orange in color with solid off-white head - after all it's a pumpkin ale, so what color other than pumpkin should it be? While I was writing my note, the head subsided to a dense, quarter inch cover. Very good looking.

Aroma is of pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Just like it says on the bottle. It's a bit too sweet for my taste, but spices make it stand out.

Taste is a lot hoppier than I expected. Maybe even a bit too bitter. On second try, maybe not. Bitterness kicks in at just the right moment after initial sweet notes.

Interesting beer. Even though it's not exactly my cup o' tea (or rather my pint o' ale), I find it strangely intriguing. Rich like fall foliage. And the draft I tried a few weeks ago was even better.

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Photo of Naes
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is amber brown in color with hues of orange and has a small white head.
Aroma is of cinnamon and pumpkin.
The flavor is quite bold for a pumpkin brew. The pumpkin is minimal, but the spices and maltyness are quite present. There is also a slight alcohol presence near the finish.
Mouth feel is light to medium bodied and is highly carbonated which hinders the drinkability for me.

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Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ooh.. love the neon orange 4-pack box. What a fine statement of punk! The beer is good too, one of the best of it's kinds actually. A tad sweet for me personally, but I think it should remain high ranked for the pumpkin-ale style of brew. Enjoy it while carving out a demonic little jack-o-lantern, and watch out for the 7.0% ABV!

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz bottle with a laid paper label and neck label. there is an orange pumpkin on the neck label with the word "punk" printed over the pumpkin. label is a peach color with orange and black printing. the oval logo at the top of the label is again the pumpkin with "punkin ale" under the logo. "a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg". 7%abv displayed. packaged in date on the left side of the label isn't notched.

appearance: pours a clear reddish brick brown with strawberry highlights in a pint glass. nice 2 finger head that drops to an eighth inch capper and then to nothing but a ring around the glass. head is a fluffy off-white. retention and lacing are just decent. bubbles rise sparatically throughout the brew.

smell: very spicy. you can definitely smell the nutmeg and cinnamon. i have a hard time pinpointing the pumpkin, but i can definitely smell pumpkin pie. wierd, huh? aromas very reminiscent of fall, harvest and thanksgiving.

taste: tastes as spicy as it smells. nutmeg again, and now the allspice. there is a cinnamony sweet bready malt flavor as well. pumpkin is such a mild flavor and i search to find it, but again there's more of a pumpkin pie flavor than just pumpkin. alcohol chimes in and is mildly warming. there is a light hop bitterness that combines with a yeasty flavor at the end of the sip. finishes a touch sweet and spicy with nutmeg and cinnamon begging for the next sip.

mouthfeel: mouthfeel is a light-medium well carbonated crisp sip. rolls nicely and only clunks a tad in the swallow.

drinkability: very good drinkability. alcohol is there and warms a bit, but not a hinderance at all. i can drink these at a good clip as i almost finished the 4 pack last night, but forced myself to leave one to today to review. flavors, finish and aftertaste beg for more.

overall: this is an excellent pumpkin ale. definitely deserves higher ratings. very tasty and drinkable and perfect for the season. i'm not a big octoberfest fan, but this makes me want to search out more pumpkins to sample. excellent must try for the style.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a genre that I'm not a big fan of.This is a fine dark amber looking beer with a big two finger head.You can really smell the brown sugar,cinnamon,and pumpkin.This tastes exactly like it smells.This is the only pumpkin ale I've had that you can have on a day other than Thanksgiving.This tastes very good and festive,but more importantly,it's not overly spiced.So many of this type are.This has a nice full m/f and it's a beer that I could watch the leaves change and fall with a full pint.

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

Pours an amber/brown color with an off-white head. Smells very nice- like a pumpkin pie or other pumpkin dessert with lots of spices- cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes much like it smells. Nice sweet malt but with substantial spice and pumpkin flavors- very tastey. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with light carbonation. Definitely drinkable and great in autumn and for halloween and thanksgiving.

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Photo of maxpower
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and bright amber-orange color with a small off white head that doesn't last, not much lacing either, aroma of cinnamon and allspice. Pumpkin , ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, not overdone with spices. Very drinkable for 7% alcohol, I will try to get another bottle.

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

This is one of the best Pumpkin Ale I've ever tasted. This ale pours a nice amber color. As I lifted the glass to my nose I smelled some great spicey, nutty, pumpkin essence. The first sip just accentuates all the previous aromas I talked about. Honey, pumpkin, floral, spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, brownsugar). It is very drinkable and smooth a def must try.

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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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