Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,088 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

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Reviews: 2,088 | Ratings: 6,487
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 jmz62565
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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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with packaging date (by year) on left side of label, although without a notch or marking of any kind so it was pretty much useless.

Appearance: Orange-brown in color, clear. Head formed nicely and dissipated quickly into a lace.

Aroma: Like pumpkin pie, with some cinnamon thrown in as well.

Taste: The pumpkin flavor is the most dominant feature along with some spices, an uncanny resemblance to pumpkin pie. The spices, mainly allspice and cinnamon, linger a little in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, carbonation is perfect for this style.

Overall: I have had one or two other pumpkin brews and didn't like them so I almost didn't buy this the other day; then I decided to grab it anyways and am very glad that I did. An excellent brew for those cooler late autumn evenings before the winter beers are released. Well done!

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Photo of pentathlete
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange 'with a rapidly disappearing head. Nose is dominated by a bready malt scent with a touch of cinnamon (sans sugar). Taste is spicy malts, but no discerning traditional pumpkin flavor. Like a Fall Warmer if such a brew existed. Tastes like a nutmeg brew. Medium mouthfeel that is quite satisfying. This is an easy quaffer, dangerously so at 8%. I thought last year's version was much tastier.

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

This is my favorite of all of the pumpkin ales that i have tried. very nice orange, brown color, not much head and little lacing. The smell is great, tones of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice are prevalent. Flavor wise, it could have more pumpkin but the spice is still very much present, nutmeg, cinnamon, even a bit of clove. light to medium bodied, i could drink a few of these and still be loving it. Quite a vast difference between this and say shipyard or blue moon - blah!

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Photo of Marty
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep red amber/orange and transparent. Minimal head, but nice tiny bubble action. Surprisingly not much in the way of aroma, not that I was expecting it to smell like a freshly baked pumpkin pie... but man, would that be sweet.

Strong alcohol backbone, and DOES taste surprisingly like pumpkin pie. No aftertaste to speak of, for better or worse.

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Photo of becktone
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful amber/orange color. It actually looks just a shade lighter than pumpkin pie. It looks very appetizing, except for the issue of the head. It has little to no head, I'm sure that off the tap it is much different. However as I am drinking it from the bottle I can't really vouch for that.

As soon as i opened this beer I could smell the aroma that it gave off. It has a very potent aroma that can be smelled across the room. Definitely can detect the nutmeg and pumpkin smells here, there are also some other spices which add to the aroma of the beer. Really this is one of the best smelling beers I've ever had, espicially since I could smell it all the way across the room.

In addition to the smell this beer also tastes great. Matter of fact, it tastes just like it smells. The pumpkin and nutmeg are apparent in the taste. I think that this beer would really complement pumpkin pie extremely well. I think that I'll save the rest of these I have for Thanksgiving, seems to me that these would really go great with the finest fall feast in the U.S. (Just thinking about all the wonderfull Turkey Day foods is really making me hungry. It also makes me wish that I knew for a fact that I would have some of this beer on Thanksgiving to see how well it pairs with such foods, I'm sure it will be sweet.)

Feels great in the mouth. The level of carbonation is not excessive, yet this beer is not undercarbonated. The flavor of this beer lingers on the back of the tounge long after you have finished a swallow of this ale.

As to the drinkability, I will most definitely buy more of this brew. Hopefully it is still available by the time I go to pick up beer again.

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Photo of Viggo
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, virtually no head, and no lace. Smell is nutmeg, sweet rich malt, some pumpkin, rich malt, some cinnamon. Taste is sweet malt, lots of spice, little bit of pumpkin and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, medium carbonation, warming. Not bad but disappointing.

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Photo of Illinick
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Tea-colored brown with reddish hues, a bit cloudy. A thin off white/tan head dissipates quickly. Impressive lacing throughout the duration of the drinking experience.
S: A cornucopia of pumpkin and fall spice. Pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon, with hints of yeast and sweet bread. Very spicy on the nose.
T: Parallels the smell: spicy pumpkin pie with a good dose of nutmeg and cinnamon. Sweet malts back up the spice with a hint of yeast. Sweet and spicy at the same time-just like pumpkin pie. DFH uses mashed pumpkins in this brew and it really allows the flavor to stand out nicely.
MF: Medium, creamy MF gives way to a spicy, dry ending. Easy to drink, but spicy.
Overall: Possibly the best pumpkin ale out there. I expected nothing less from DFH! Great fall time brew that really is an experience to drink on a nice, cool, late fall day.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle

Appearance: A dark amber brew with a small, off-white head. Head dissipates quickly leaving little to no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt with hints of spices. No discernable pumpkin smell.

Taste: Initial hints of spices giving way to a slightly sweet malty middle that finishes with a somewhat dry, hoppiness, also a bit alcoholic. Aftertaste leaves slight hints of pumkin pie.

Mouthfeel: A little too carbonated for me and rather watery and thin.

Not what I was expecting and not one of the better DFH beers IMO. Didn't have any real pumpkin flavor and smell. Alcohol was fairly well pronouced as I warm up after drinking this brew. An easy drinker but not one that I will seek again.

 732 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Clear orange color with white head. Head dissipated into yeasty islands on the top, very appetizing looking.

Aroma was pumpkin pie, just about right for this beer in my opinion. It could have been a little stronger, but no real problems.

The flavor was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and malt. It was good but could have been stronger (again).

Not bad, and I'll drink it again. But so far my top prize for this style of beer stays with Weyerbacher.

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

My boys love Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving and Christmas for all the reasons that everyone should: candy, time off from school and booty. They also seem to have a rather pronounced fondness for pumpkin pie, and I think they get that from me. So it has always struck me as odd that I don't particularly care for pumpkin beers. It's not that I think they are bad, they just simply aren't my style (kind of like capri pants).

Appearance: A lovely deep brown, almost the color of a pumpkin pie after you've loaded it to the gills with molasses, brown sugar, evaporated milk and sweet, sweet love.

Smell: A malty sweetness runs primary through my nose, and just underneath it, whispering "Look at me!" is the faintest hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Taste: Huh. I expected the spiciness to be far more dominant than it is in this beer. It's actually almost an afterthought. The lable states that they add brown sugar along with the spices, and that's really the predominant flavor. Like the nose, there is a very faint hint of cinnamon, etc. hanging around in the background, but it's just barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: With the added sugar, I would have expected a much fuller textured beer. This is oddly thin in body, much more so than I would have expected.

Drinkability: Well, still not my style. This appears to be an alright beer, but I'm just not converted to the style by it.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had numerous bottles of this autumnal puppy and a few glasses on draught...and thus it's time to review a glass poured from the bottle in the comfort of my home. I already know this is my #2 fave pumpkin ale...when does DFH disappoint?

Pours the color of autumn, falling leaves, a crimson sunset color with a good amount of thick lacing. Bready pumpkin pie, nutmeg and raisins fill the nose. Flavor is reminiscent of Irish soad bread (could be the raisins again) and darker fruits, a hint of anise(?) to go along with a so-unartificial pumpkin flavor and spices. Hops and alcohol are present in the finish; a nice compliment to the chewy malt. Finishes slightly dry, leaving you wanting more, provided you're into the kickass pumpkin ale you're imbibing. Light carbonation, utterly smooth and easy drinking. Being that the Southampton version isn't widely available (my true fave of the style), this is the standard. Great stuff.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. "Packaged in" date unstamped on bottle. Bottle has top label (unlike picture) that says "Punk"... very cool.

A- Orangish golden color and slightly cloudy. Minimal and slightly creamy head that doesn't last long. Gentle carbonation.

S- Roasted pumpkin, gingerbread, cinnamon, a little hoppy

T- Somewhat divergent from the smell. Pumpkin has the staying power and is most evident in latter stages of each sip. there is a tinge of bitterness, and tastes of ginger, all spice and a bit of cinnamon

M- Creamy, pleasant, flavor spreads nicely across palate

D- Very nice, a great fall brew, alcohol shows its legs after an entire bottle

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Photo of battlekow
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Punkin looks pretty average, a clear dark amber with almost no head. Lacing is fleeting.

Smells caramelly with some clove/bubblegum and diacetyl butteriness. Tastes authentically of pumpkin pie, a pumpkin flavor with spices. Countering this, though, is an odd astringency that I don't cotton to, and a dry finish that doesn't go with the flavors. I wanted this beer to be luscious and velvety, like a pie, but it just evaporates in your mouth after the initial good flavor, except for the barest hint of a cinnamon aftertaste.

I really wanted to like this beer so that I could say it was "just like Grandma used to make" and point out how subtley macabre that phrase is--USED to make? Why doesn't she make it anymore? What happened to Grandma?!--but oh well.

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Photo of phishgator
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A unique brew that has a combination of flavors that might be a little too much. The pumpkin and spices are a nice mix but, a bit over the top. The pour is a nice foam and large head. It certainly reminds me of a thanksgiving day with pumkin pie. The taste is probably the best characteristic about this brew.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep amber orange crystal clear body with a very gentle carbonation. A thin layer of foam sits on top.

S- The light hint of banana is mixed with some faint spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. A nice lightly toasted malt backbone give it support.

T-This beer has a good light malt base with spices giving some flavor. A nice spicy hop finish is a good finish to this brown ale.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a bit of fizz in the mouthfeel. A slight alcohol warmth is in the finish also.

D- This is a good solid beer that has some spice added to it. Most beers in this style tend to put the spice before the beer. This also has a good alcohol warmth to support the malt and spices. The smell was a bit of a put-off but faded.

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

Appearence: A bright, clear, but highly carbonated amber body sits beneath a bubble, off-white head.

Smell: The smell is basically just what the bottle says it's going to be: pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice (a little), cinnamon, & nutmug. Also some nice clove presence, and a decent amount of hopping. Well balanced!!

Taste and Mouthfeel: Strong, mouth-puckering cinnamon, spice and clove notes at first, slowly fading into a nutmug.pumpkin flavor, with a nice amount of a malt backbone. Finishes pretty dry, with a nice hop presence. Well balanced, full bodied, and lively.

Drinkability and Overall: For this time of year (especially with it being 50 degrees out right now), this beer is quite nice. God I love fall beers, I just can't wait till winter. Anyways, easily one of the better Pumpkin Ales I've had.

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

Pours a clear amber with a few floaties to remind you that the brewery uses real pumpkins in the mash. Two fingered head that has some persistance. Fresh September 1, 2005 release - the pumpking beer you will love. Purchased from the Sams liquor behind Goose Island's Clyburn BrewPub. ( where the 4 packs of Matilda are $19 less than from the brewer!)

More about a good malty pumpkin brew that is flavored with caramel malt and brown sugar than those over-spiced Pumpkin beers that are hard to down.

A medium full bodied with solid mouthfeel. Subtle flavors from cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

The beer has a well hidden 7.0 % ABV and any caramel sweetness is well countered by the 24 IBU hops.

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

Color is a light amber that resembles maple syrup. The head pours big, but fades quickly.

Abundant citrus notes on the nose with a little bit of all spice and pumpkin. Am I smelling a beer?

Oh yeah. That’s a beer. There’s an initial dry hop flavor along with some currant. There’s a good sour brown ale base and what I believe may be pumpkin. This fades into nutmeg and an odd yeasty sourness.

Very slick mouthfeel. Medium body and light carbonation.

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Photo of phnphilly
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured an amber color, very clear, with about a one-inch head in my pint glass that dissipated very quickly

The aroma of this beer is fantastic with clear pumpkin, cinnamon, and many other spices coming through.

I was surprised after the first sip because I was expecting something sweet and this is far from it. I could taste a ton of spices but they were tough to distinguish. There is a pumpkin taste throughout but more in the background.

This beer reminds me a lot of the Raison D Etre but I find this one much more drinkable.

I haven't had many pumpkin ales but after drinking this one I am very eager to try more.

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

Pours a dark coppery-orange color with a pillowy white head that quickly dissipates into a thin covering. Good carbonation, lotsa bubbles rising forth. I smell a malty pumpkin aroma. Taking a sip, I get a lot of spice (cinnamon & allsipce), malt, pumpkin and a hint of brown sugar. Nice medium mouthfeel. Overall, a nice harbinger of fall, brings on thoughts of football, Thanksgiving dinner, and changing leaves. Dogfish Head goes out on a limb and scores another winner!

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,487 ratings.
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