Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
88
very good
2,106 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,106
Ratings:
6,536
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
361
Gots:
1,389
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,106 | Ratings: 6,536
Photo of kpantz
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: What a way to ring in fall just a bit early...a wonderfully balanced fruit beer.

Obtained 24-Aug in NJ atop a mound of Punkin' Ale cases. No freshness date on the bottle (year not notched).

Appearance: Pours golden orange and clear. Just LOOKS like autumn. Thin head that all but disappears, but leaves just enough to protect the pumpkiny goodness.

Smell: Never did I think you could actually smell the pumpkin in a pumpkin ale, but it's here. Unmistakable. No hops in the nose, and that's spot on for a pumpkin ale.

Taste: Dogfish does it again. I seem to remember last year's batch being a little sweeter, but this is very nice as well. Good malt backbone, and you can definitely get the spices here, too. Of course, the pumpkin is present as well.

Mouthfeel: Glorious. Perfect thickness to it and just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Are you kidding? I'll drink this until I see the Great Pumpkin. 7% ABV is hidden, and I'm sure I could put away the 4-pack before I knew it.

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

Fruit beers generally taste gimmicky and imbalanced to me, but when they work, they're among my very favorites. Dogfish Head knows the trick. Along with the great Aprihop, Punkin' is one of the best fruit beers out there, and one of my favorite beers overall. Pumpkin is such a nice fruit to blend with beer. It doesn't overwhelm the beer or add cloying sweetness. It mixes perfectly with hops and other beer flavors. Punkin has nice spices, a subtle sweetness, a fantastic smell, and an aftertaste that is complex and endlessly pleasurable. I love this beer. Its use of pumpkin is nuanced enough to allow this to be a session beer. Although it's seasonal, it could be sipped year-round. It's that good, that smooth, and that well-made.

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

Sampled at the brewery.

This beer pours with a thin head and an amber body. The aroma is mostly that of the spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice notes, but more subtly applied than is usual for a pumpkin beer. Tastewise, the pumpkin taste itself is very mild, and the spice is applied sparingly enough that it complements the malt flavors of the beer without overpowering them. Similarly, it has a nice smooth mouthfeel, with very little tannic feel from the spices. Very smooth, and pleasant.

I don't usually like novelty beers like pumpkin ales (they tend to hit you upside the head with too much spice), but this one is actually fairly pleasant.

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

Wow. They put a lot of stuff in it to legitimize it per style. Looks creamy and carbonated coper to orange. Loosely knit carbonation that may fade, yet laces nicely. Smelly sweet fruity and malty albeit ordinary. Spiciness and sharpness give character. Tastes moderately sweet, yet gives extra complexity with allspice, cinnemon, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, and body building malts. Spices give a lot of complexity, yes still conveys hop balance and alcoholic warming through the body. Finishes a dry and harsh in the alcohol--fusal. Utimately a pumpkin flavored beer worth drinking. Dogfish Head is simply incapable of brewing a bad beer.

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

Clear deep coppery orange, moderate off-white head. Aromas of cinnamon, pumpkin and malt, maybe a bit of something like nutmeg. Slightly aggressive carbonation, full, slightly viscous body. Pumpkin sweetness to start, some bitterness, blend of spices, very nice. Finishes very balanced, slight spiciness and alcohol warmth. Quite a drinkable brew. Definitely one of the best pumpkin beers I've had.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of orbitalr0x.

Pours a nice pumpkiny orange with a slightly off white cap. Retention is nice, lacing leaves something to be desired though.

Smell is cinnamon, clove, sweet caramel malts, pumpkin, and a little bit of fruit (peaches, pears, some green apple)

Taste is pumpkin, big cinnamon flavors, clove, slight caramel, same fruitiness, and just a hint of spicy hop flavor.

Overall, a great pumpkin beer. DFH really knows their fruit beers, and this is no exception (although technicall a gord beer). Anyway, I've had this one several times and while it's a fine beer to drink on occasion, I just can't see drinking it on a regular basis (which is why the drinkability score is so low). That said, an good beer for the style, but not really up my alley.

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

Yummy looking off-white head that settles down to a nice thin film that hides a very clear copper colored brew. Nice even lacing that shimmers iridescent as I tilt the glass back to take a mouthful.
Speaking of mouth, it's pretty good - solid medium body, light carbonation, and just a touch of alcohol in the nose.
The smell is like all-spice and alcohol. There is definitely some "punkin" in there too but it's not overwhelming.
Taste - I think this is where this beer shines. Still a great beer loaded with malt and hops but balanced with a variety of spices. There are some pumpkin undertones but over-all the pumpkin is very mild.
A very drinkable beer. Nice cozy feeling after finishing a couple, sort of like a nice buzz on Thanksgiving.

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Photo of Truh
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gave thanks to Samhain with this one on 10/8/2004. 12-0z. bottle poured into a tall cylinder of glass.

Just a shade of filmy carbonation at start. Light brown to amber hue and crystalline. Pumpkin pie sweetness to nose, with all of the spices mentioned on the label – allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. On mouth, less pumpkin than expected, some strong malt character that lends it a medium body while the spices leave a lasting impression on the tongue. Eh, give me a CBC over this one any day of the week.

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Photo of soulfly967
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I finally got around to drinking this one again. It poured a clear copper color with a white head that fell eventually to a ring around the glass. The smell was of cinnamon, nutmeg, and reminded me of pumpkin pie... go figure. The taste was surprisingly sweet, with heavy flavors of the spices and a some hops at the end. The mouthfeel was smooth, medium bodied and nicely carbonated. I couldn't drink more than two of these at one time, but overall, this was a fine example of a pumpkin ale. Next Thanksgiving I will be getting more of this.

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

A unique take on the pumpkin ale style. Nice maltyness, but the spicing is a bit different - pronounced emphasis on allspice with a touch of spruce resin in the background. This really struck me as being more like a spiced Christmas ale, and called to mind this year's version of Anchor Our Special Ale (OSA light?). Very nicely done - intriguing. Thanks to far333 for the sample.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was a light copper/red with a two finger head that dissapated at a slow/medium rate and left a thin white ring on top of the beer.

The smell was one of the most complex I've ever come across. At the front of the nose was that of Thanksgiving dinner pumpkin pie. The middle of the nose was sweet malt and sugar. The rear of the nose was spicey cinnamon.

The drink started with a swift kick of pumpkin followed by cinnamon and hop spice the finish was a quick wash of carbonation followed by a lingering sweet sugar flavor.

This was one of the most creative beers I've ever encountered. It's almost like liquid pumpkin pie with beer. Hell, what more do you need! Go find this beer if you can.

On a footnote, I'm glad DFH isn't afraid to go out on a limb and be creative with beer, keep up the good work guys.

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

A decent shot at a slightly rare style. Low filled bottle, and a copper color to the beer, despite the label saying it was a brown ale. Smells of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg mostly is what I get. Taste is not quite there, and there is a slight oxidized/vegetal/wet cardboard aftertaste. No hops that I can taste are present. Nice creamy mouthfeel, and very clean. A clean beer, but not something I'd search out again, especially at $2.59 a bottle.

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Photo of ggroller
4.85/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great bottle label. No frills, here's the beer, drink it.

This bottle was proof that cellaring works. I had my first five, yeah five, Punkin in November 2004 and was not impressed. It was a decent brown ale but not a Pumpkin Ale. This bottle, however, was exceptional. A nice, clear amber beer with a sturdy two finger head that stuck to the glass and laced all the way down. Wonderful cinammon in the nose and on the tongue. Delicate, fruity hops in the finish created the need for another sip. I could have drank this all night but only had two left.

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

Thanks to Prostman for providing me the opportunity to try this one. Consumed Jan 2005 with a bottle date of 2005. Hard pour to get a half-finger light cream head over an orange nearly clear beer. Smells of pumpkin pie spices...what did you expect? Nutmeg, clove, a zing (from ginger perhaps), very mild cinnamon, but no malt character to speak of. Tastes sweet with gentle pumpkin pie spicing and an interesting carmelly fruity (not quite apricot, but something along those lines) that comes in late and hangs around. Very nice...too many pumpkin beers are all spice with nothing underneath to save them. This one is very sweet initially on the front of the tongue followed quickly by delightful clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spicing . Later I get a caramel and yeah, some actual pumpkin. My goodness I'm not sure I've ever tasted pumpkin in a pumpkin beer. Seems like the spicing is always so heavy there's nothing left of my tastebuds to pick out that flavor. Nice job, gentlemen. One downside to this beer is at the very end and partly into the aftertaste, I do get some wet cardboard flavor. The ending is very sweet leaving a wet taste that hangs around on the tongue and makes me happy I'm drinking it. A pumpkin beer. I'm happy I'm drinking it. Dogs and cats living together! Medium thick body with mild carbonation...both of which work to make a creamy character that makes this beer delightful.

The beer has now warmed and I'll dump the last bit in the glass (saved in case there was sediment). Yeah, I think there was sediment, but not alot. Smell is different now that the beer has warmed. The pumpkin character now prevails and, unfortunately, the wet cardboard has reached the smell. The clove is a bit stronger and the nutmeg a bit gentler, but it could be my taste buds acclimating. I'm also getting a faint nutty flavor that goes along with the caramel. This is a really good beer and I'm sad I have just one fine gulp left.

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

Light copperery color, offwhite head. Malty aromatics with heavy pie spices including nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. Sweet flavor of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, roasted malt, caramel, slight hop bitterness. Medium palate, finishes syrupy. Overall, a pretty good brew, worth trying once.

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

Tagged as packaged in 2004. Dark honey golden and unclear. Can barely see through the pint glass to the shadows of my fingers on the other side... No head at all, just a thin white ring at the edges. Wonderfully spicey scents with a ton of raisin coming out. Karo sweetness. Makes me think of eggnog, must be the nutmeg that just wafts out of it. Such a nice smooth mouthfeel, the carbination gives it a bit of bite, but it really is just a perfect feel . This is just the right amount of carbination for me, not too much, just enough for the style. Malty and spicey, almost tastes a bit peppery at times. Caramelly/honey sweeness, but not intensely so. The spices really come out alot in the end, you are left with alot of clovey-nutmeg flavor in your mouth. This has been a longtime favorite of mine since the first try, and I have always described this as being like having a bite of pumpkin pie and following it up with a sip of good ale.

This was a Christmas gift from my Father, who is appreciating all the beer I have been letting him explore with... -My Dad who thought that he was finally a beer snob when he found Molson, but now is obsessed with Double Bastard! My darling Father who must have remembered me saying that I love Dogfish Head, and knows I call people Pumpkin, and gave me this 4pack at Christmas Eve. -Which was the first of the experiments with my beer opener beltbuckle (ask my horrified and wet friends, and ex-friends), and my punkin coated step-brother Ian...! -Well, everything was punkin coated, but hey, what are holidays for!

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

Crystal clear, golden amber color, with an off-white head that sticks around a little while (perhaps surprisingly long lasting given the 7% alcohol). Aroma features a dash of pumpkin spice and malt, and some slight fruity esters. The aroma is a little underwhelming in its intensity, however. The flavor is very nice, featuring a full bodied beer definitely tilted toward malt with complimentary pumpkin spice flavors taking the place of strong hoppy notes. Enough bitterness at the end to balance. A pretty good spiced ale, but I think it would be better if it were more spicy.

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

12 oz bottle.

This ale poured a clear, coppery color with off-white foam that settled quickly. The smell improved as the glass of beer warmed. It was slightly sweet and malty with hints of spices (allspice and cinnamon) and a whiff of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet (brown sugar) up front followed by a tangy maltiness with a touch of spices (allspice and cinnamon?) and hops in the finish. There was a touch of alcohol and the hop bitterness and spices lingered in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and tangy with medium body and moderate carbonation with some pumpkin texture. It was ever so slightly warming as well. This was a decent pumpkin ale, and improved as it warmed up.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium head with below average retention. Aroma is quite spicy (probably some cinnamon and the pumpkin) with some malt also noticeable. Taste is also quite spicy with cinnamon being the most recognisable spices with some pumpkin on the side. Not bad but I wouldn’t drink a whole lot of this either.

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

poured a nice copper color with off white head that stayed around for a little while. aroma nice rich pumpkin pie like grandma use to make. flavors pumpkin cinnamon,nutmeg, nice smooth mouth feel. this is one of the better pumpkin beers I have had so far

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

Hazy amber with a thin white head. Aroma of pumpkin and spice is echoed in the taste. Smooth and not too heavy, which is nice for the style. Instead of a molasses-baked sticky-sweet brew (which wouldn't be bad, either), this is like pumpkin pie light. Pretty easy drinking, but not too complex, with just enough cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices to keep it interesting.

Solid, but not spectacular.

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

Pours a light brown with a nearly non-existent tan head that rings the glass. There is some lace left on the glass.

There is a definite spice aroma to this brew--nutmeg is the most prominent, followed by cinammon and cloves. A sweet caramel malt joins in as well. This is a nice smelling beer.

The taste is sweet and spicy and a bit nutty in the mouth (pardon the Austin Powers reference). The finish is punctuated by a slight touch of alcohol. As it warms, there is an almost roasted malt flavor in the finish. Very nice.

This is a pretty thin beer for a seasonal. However, the flavor counters the lack of "substance" in this beer. You can really sense the hops in the finish--they are not obnoxious but assertive enough to balance the sweetness of this beer.

This is a good Pumkin beer--it is not overwhelmingly sweet but a very nice example of the style. I thought this was a very good beer that was worthy of another sample.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brew with a short-lived head. Very little carbonation. Smell like a spice cabinet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and some lingering malt and a lot of alcohol as it warms. Doesn't sell like pumpkin pie to me though it does remind you of the season.

Taste is nice, a little spicy, a lot of alcohol, doesn't taste like a bear. More like a special mixed drink. Not bad. Great season brew. Has a real nice light mouth taste with just a nip of spice after taste. I might drink two, but no more. Then, I don’t think the folks at Dogfish Head thought they were brewing a session beer.

This is one of the better special flavor beer.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.79/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours out to a sparkingly clear orange(pumpkin)-amber, forming a soapy off-white head with good retention and average lacing. Aroma is spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg, reminding me of a Xmas ale which I brewed many years back (I hated it so all my friends drank it)..no real pumpkin aroma. A touch of smoky ham becomes evident when swirled, and is the best part of this brew. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is soft with a medium-dense body. Taste starts with off-putting herbal hops, followed by the nauseating spices, followed by amber malt husk bitterness, brown sugar alcohol bleh, and nasty Dogfish Head ruddiness. Aftertaste is limited to wet cardboard, diacetyl yuck, a mouthfull of copper pennies and sickening spice.

This beer sucks pumpkin ass.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, packaged in 04. Pours a slight hazy amber liquid with a thick foamy off-white head. A few small bubbles coming off the bottom of the glass. Good head retention, there was a fair amount of lace on the glass. Smells of pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Sweet toasty malt combined with the spices make for an interesting brew. Only slight bitterness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good mouthfeel, not overly carbonated like other pumpkin brews. This is the best of the pumpkin beers that I have tasted. Nice mix of spices with a slightly darker, more flavorful malt character than most. Decent drinkability, but really isn't a session beer. Another hit from DFH.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,536 ratings.
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