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

Had this on tap and bottle in September 05, both tasted the same so DFH has some consistincy on this batch. Bought the 4 pack at Total Wine and Beverage on Midlothian in Richmond, VA.

Poured with about 1/2 inch head, great aroma of the spices. Not overpowering with any of the spices on taste, just enough of each and pumpkin to make it a good seasonal brew.

Would be good with a big dinner served this time of year of Turkey and stuffing.... :-)

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Photo of rousee
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This thing blows away the 04 version. There was a recent thread about the best pumpkin beers and I know the longbeach one (darren not snoop) hates them as he has made quite clear. Both Darren and Snoop need to try this one. It is not overly pumpkin-ish or pie spices laden. Clearly the best of the 05 lot locally available here in the bottle. The CBC version is a little too flat and the Smutty is a tad to pumpkinny. The BBW one is real good too. I think this one is better in drinkability.

Tasting notes-- pumpkin color, taste and smell but there is clearly a good amount of those familiar dfh hops. They do a good job with their hops/ malt balance as I believe they use ringwood yeast which I am not a fan of. They do well as far as I am concerned, so no need to fix something thats not broken.

I do believe that DFH is/has expanded too quickly as I think they can be inconsistent. But when you get down to it or not, DFH is a prety good brewer. This pumpkin is very good-excellent for the style.

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

finally found these things in Madison, although I hadnt been the to the beer store in a week and a half so they may have been here since then

appearance: much darker than most of the other pumpkin beers I have had this season...pours a rich dark orange color with minimal head/lacing, pretty clear

smell: not overpowering, mild pumpkin, typical spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar) noted in the nose

taste: pumpkin seed, nice pumpkin pie taste, alcohol definately present in that DFH way, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar balance out the pumpkin quite well, which is usually the downfall of most pumpkin beers

mouthfeel: medium bodied (as opposed to the very light bodied new holland and ofallon), slight alcohol tingle

drinkability: good enough to drink a few, but for the price (8.99 a 4) they need to be spread out

all in all, above average pumpkin brew....had been wanting to try this for a while so I was excited to find it

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

Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale pours a clear redish orange with a thin off-white head. Small bubble rise throughout. Aroma is heavy on the nutmeg, with some cinnamon and allspice as well. Taste is slightly sweet, with more of the above spices and some slight (maybe imagined) pumpkin flavors. Spices are not overwhelming, however. Amazingly, this beer has a hint of hops in the finish - much different from other pumpkin ales I have had. Fuller bodied than most others as well. Quite drinkable, but maybe a bit strong to have more than a couple in an evening.

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

Starting to like pumpkin beers... a lot. Pours a vibrant and glowing brown color. Slim head. Nose is full of pumpkin pie spice. Feel like I am at my momma's Thanksgiving Day table. Flavor is full of the same and quickly followed by some plump pumpkin tones. I am gonna have to put a few bottles of this away for Turky Day and momma's pie. Mouthfeel is light and very pleasant. Very drinkable, nice dessert beer.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an incredibly thin reddish, amber. No head and almost no lacing.

S - I am picking out many spices, but all are mixing pretty well. The allspice and nutmeg are the predominates.

T - A little pumpkin, a lot of spice. Nothing like cinnamon and brown sugar in a beer to make you smile. It has that Spaten Optimator sweet note to it.

M - Very thin and watery for texture, there is very little carbonation, but still lends a tingle on the surfaces. Typical ale as far as mouth feel is concerned.

D - Drinkability is middle of the road, it goes down easy and smooth, but afterwards you won't be amped for another. It is good, but you either need a fall gathering or be really in the mood for it.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a medium copper color with moderate white puffy head that fell to moderate ring. Left some clinginess to the sides of the glass. Smell is a mixture of spiciness and alcohol. Taste is very dissapointing because there seems to be more of the pumpkins spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) prrsent than actual pumpkin taste. Finish is also too dry for my liking with an odd taste present that seems almost like seltzer water?? The taste hides the 7% alcohol very well, but this was not what I was expecting.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Comparing it to O'Fallon's Pumpkin Ale. It's Halloween in September up in here.

Pours an attractive ruddy amber/brown with a short khaki bubbly head. Smells delicious, sweet and spicey, caramel malts maybe a little bubblegum. Taste is much more like genuine pumpkin pie and less like pumpkin puree compared to O'Fallon's offering. Caramel malts lay down the brown ale backbone, with well-integrated infusions of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie filling. This is a desert of a beer. On the sweet side, but does so quite well. Mouthfeel is full for a brown, but still velvety smooth. I could drink a couple more of these no problem, but probably not more than that. This is a damn tasty brew, easily superior to O'Fallon. Just like Grandma used to make. Try it if you can find it.

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

Picked up a four pack thanks to Chadbrew at the Dogfish Brewery in Milton while playing w/ balls at the bocce tourney.
Pours a dark amber color w/ less than a half finger of bright white head...disappears very quickly w/ very little lace.
Aroma is what you may expect from this one...pumpkin spice w/ a nice sweet maltness in the background.
Taste is a nice blend of pumpkin, allspice, and ginger...a hefty dose of malt and a bitter hop finish.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly dry in the finish...no lingering "off" flavors which makes this offering from DFH highly drinkable. I should know b/c I drank this one among others all day and night this past weekend...and it still tastes great.

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Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 edition. 12 oz bottle pours a clear orange/copper amber with a small beige head. Good retention and some patchy lacing. Cinnamon and allspice fronnt a bold array of pie spices that assault the nose. Not at all timid. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and some spicy bite. Tastes like pumpkin pie, with some essence of fresh pumpkin, caramel malt, and aggressive pie spicing. Some mild heat from the 7% abv adds to the fresh baked pumpkin pie effect. Spices dominate all the way through, however, and are a bit overdone. Still, nicely drinkable and always one of the better pumpkin ales to be found.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with a bottled year notched on the side. This one is from last year, but it has been well kept.

Appearance: Pours a red-brown color with a light haze. Head is thin, but resiliant.

Smell: Pumpkin pie in a glass - heavy on the spices, with just a hint of alcohol coming through as well.

Taste: Again - pumpin pie. Starts off with a very creamy mouthfeel and an almost buttery taste. The spices come in and blend well with the malt sweetness.

Overall impression: This one was a Monday morning post-Oktoberfest hair of the dog. Very tasty - great for desert (or breakfast!). Definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I have tried.

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Photo of weeare138
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark amber with some faint bubbles working their way up to the top. Thin off white head drops to a small film and leaves tiny traces of lace.
Smell is of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin, along with a touch of allspice.
Taste is of all the aforementioned aromas in a chewy mix.
Mouthfeel is light-medium carbonation with a mildly sweet and bready feel.
Drinkability is decent. One of the better pumpkin beers out there.

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Photo of ClearDog
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance -- Pumpkin orange. The pour produces little head, that doesn't stay around for long. Very thin lacing.

Smell -- Pumpkin. This is the first pumpkin beer I've actually smelled pumpkin. Weak scent of pumpkin pie spices and cloves.

Taste -- Not bad. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've tried this season (I've also tried Lakefront and New Holland). It faintly reminds me of pumpkin pie. You can definitely taste the pumpkin here.

Mouthfeel -- Medium and slightly astringent. Slight carbonation.

Drinkability -- Of all of the pumpkin beers I've tried this year, this is the most drinkable. I could probably handle three bottles at most in one sitting. The pumpkin style is not one you can stick to all night. There is a slight possibility I may buy another four-pack before the fall is over.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, "packaged in" date on side of bottle not marked.
Assuming it is this years release since DFH is new to AZ this year.

Pours a rich clear amber with a thin tan head.
Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Pumpkin is barley evident.

Pumpkin is more evident in the flavor. Tastes of canned pumpkin pie mix, with lots of cinnamon added.

Finish is heavy on the cinnamon. Not as sweet as I thought it would be, (that's good), But the cinnamon kind of overpowers everything in the end. One is enough for me.

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Photo of futaboots
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My favorite pie with my favorite, uh, fermented beverage.

This tastes much better than I remember it tasting last year. I don't know why. Anyway, I liked this beer when I had it last year, I really like it now.

The overall impression here is that this is a beer first and foremost. A tasty and slightly strong brown ale, with some spiciness from the alcohol, and strong malty flavor. Aroma smells faintly like pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin and spices are always creeping around the edge, blending well with the traditional malty beer flavors of raisins, grape juice, chocolate and caramel. This is a sweet beer, but never overwhelmingly so. I can't detect much hop flavor or aroma, but the bittering hops are certainly doing their job to keep the other flavors from getting out of hand.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. Carbonated to perfection I think. I also dig the light brown color of the beer, which seems to have a tinge of orange.

My favorite pumpkin beer. Well, one of two that are distributed in my town, so I guess that's not saying much. But it's still an excellent beer, as far as beers go.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear, ruby-amber color and is topped by a frothy, large bubbled tan colored head. The aroma is lightly spiced with notes of nutmeg, sweet brown sugar and allspice. The beer has a certain satisfying fullness to the palate, a far cry from the thin wan limp body on the Buffalo Bill’s version, which lightly coats the mouth as the beer goes down. The beer is lightly sweet with a brown sugar like note and a bit of caramel. The spices are evident, yet at a bearable level, such that they don’t dominate this beer. I get notes of nutmeg, allspice, perhaps some soft cinnamon, caramel, molasses, slight ginger in the finish, and perhaps a hint of pumpkin-like vegetal flavor. Because of the spices, this beer finishes with a light astringency, and perhaps a bit of hotness.

The spicing level and the fullness of this beer designate this a bit more than a quaffing brew, slow sips seem mandatory, and I would be hard pressed to down a glass of this beer. This is all ok though, as I don’t mind savoring the interplay of spice and caramelized sugar notes. Where is the pumpkin? I am not too sure, as is typical in spiced versions the pumpkin is really not noticeable. This beer is quite enjoyable and is one of the better examples of the style that I have had.

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Photo of hyuga
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty orange colored brew with a not-quite-eggshell head. Head retains pretty well and leaves some lace.

Strong nutmeg aroma with some cinnamon and allspice. Bready malt is noticeable as well.

Lots of spices everywhere on the palate, including hop spiciness. Bready malt takes a backseat to the pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. Hops prevail towards the end with a crisp, spicy bite. Spices don't overpower since the hops keep them in line. Lasting bitterness in the aftertaste.

Good carbonation and hops give this a nice, crisp mouthfeel.

A pretty well-balanced pumpkin beer. I think I like it a little better than the Cottonwood one, which I drank a few of last year at this time before our ABV cap was lifted.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice head however it doesn't last too long. The head fades to a small lace. The color is an orange amber color and is very clear.

Smell: The smell is awesome. Light pumpkin in the nose. A lot of spices are in the aroma which make this awesome. I can really smell the cinnamon and nutmeg. The malt kicks in and mixes with the spiciness of the spices. Fantastic!

Taste: Sweet at first. Spices kick in fast. This beer reminds me more of a Christmas beer. The hops leave a strange bitterness towards the end. The alcohol then kicks in to leave some dry spiciness.

Mouthfeel: A little thin but a decent consitency

Overall a very good beer. The best pumpkin beer I have had.

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

Pours a hazy copper/orange with a 1/2 finger head of cream colored bubbles. The head quickly drops to islands and a ring, with no lacing. Carbonation looks average.

Aroma is very spicy, with notes of nutmeg, cinammon and allspice. Smells sweet, with maybe some pumpkin aroma in there. It's so spicy I can't really determine hop smells.

Flavor is spicy; cinammon, allspice and nutmeg all come through nicely. There is some hop bitterness there, but not much. Nor is there a detectable hop flavor. Not real sure what pumpkin would taste like in a beer, but this tastes different. Pretty much residual sugar, but not cloying; I like this. Pumpkin flavor, (I guess), is subtle. Aftertaste is spicy and sort of sweet.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with decent carbonation. Something is resiny on the tongue; not sure what it is. Finish is sweet and resiny.

This is my first pumpkin ale, and I'd have to say it's pretty good. The spices are pronounced, but not overbearing. The pumpkin is somewhat muted, but present. I'd say this is well balanced, and pretty damn yummy!

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Photo of Stubbie1
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A beer that pours a deep copper color. A slight copper-ish/tan head on top. Fades to a thin lace then spotty patches. So far so good but after the appearance, this beer falls apart. Aroma is of spice, nutmeg cinnamon a bit of malt but very little pumpkin. I found it (the pimpkin) hard to find. Taste matches the aroma. Where is the pumpkin? I was hoping for a gritty earthy tone of the pumpkin to complement the spices but was let down. Medium body and carbonation. Drinkability is great if you’re into spiced beers but as for a pumpkin beer goes…there are better

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

This is my first ever pumpkin bier. I have been avoiding trying this style for many years. Just seems a little weird to me.

Bier is orange-copper in hue and has little carbonation. The taste is surpisingly crisp with excellent balance of flavors. Clove, nutmeg, anise, white pepper. Light on the nose.

Finishes a little dry though I could have a few of these. Definately a fall bier.


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Photo of LPorter33
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Light golden brown, semi transparent, minimal head and lacing. Pleasant looking but nothing spectacular.

Smell = Very spicy and fruity. Nutmeg is present along with a bit of cinnamon. A nice hop kick comes through too.

Taste = Deliciously spiced and flavored. Not overly sweet yet the cinnamon and nutmeg makes it feel like you're drinking the essence of pumpkin pie. Has enough hops to provide a bitter edge. This is a masterfully crafted pumpkin ale. Hides the 7% well.

Overall = By far the best pumpkin ale I've had. I look forward to soon comparing this one against Smuttynose's version.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper hue with a thin beige head that dissapates quickly. Aroma is pumpkin, spices, sweet caramel malt, and vanilla. Flavor begins with a light pumpkin and spices flavor followed by a slightly sweet malt character, and a lightly bitter hops profile and a bit of an alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting, but not very pumpkin tasting and overall not impressive. Mouthfeel is crisp with medium body and moderate carbonation. Descent but there are cheaper local pumpkin brews that are superior (Cottonwood).

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brilliant coppery orange with a medium white head that quickly fades and a bit of carbonation streaming throughout.

Smell is nicely subdued, but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin all come through pretty clearly on top of a solid malt backbone and against a slightly bitter hop scent.

Flavor is slightly sweet and heavy on the nutmeg and allspice over the pumpkin, but this is often the case in pumpkin ales and doesn't really bother me. It's by no means an overspiced mess. My one real complaint with the taste is that the alcohol is a bit hot and apparent for my liking. Overall, though, this one shows a good amount of restraint and makes a pleasant-drinking pumpkin brew.

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

Ok, I need to start off up front on this one... I wish it smelled as good as it tastes, because it is oh so yummy and I wish I were smelling that yumminess.

Pours an orangey-brown, small head, and the sugars really stick here. The beer has a great sweet overtone that's just festive enough to be a good pumkin... and the cinnamon/nutmeg really comes through, maybe a little more than the pumkin does. I need to say again, it tastes oh so yummy if you like the pumkin-pie in a bottle feel that you get from pumkin ales.

Of course, the fact that it tries to be a badass while being a sweet lil' pumpkin only adds to the joy.

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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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