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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,108 | Ratings: 6,542
Photo of donquixote
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied with smooth finish that carries a hint of pumpkin. Not my favorite but not my least favorite either. I recommend it but not raving over it.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. It is the 2015 edition.

L - medium dark orange color with a amber hue. Has a clear body with a hint of fog. Not a whole lot of head from the pour.

S - the aroma is difficult to point out, but I would compare it to some of the sours I've had, like a light sour beer scent. No pumpkin, but dried fruit would probably be a culprit.

T - There really isn't a taste to it. It's obviously in my glass and it tastes like a beer, but not a whole lot of flavor in it. The pumpkin is coming through very discreetly, but it does not shine.

F - sessionable beer for being 7% ABV. Very easy to drink and not to harsh on the mouth. Seasoned beer drinker would down a glass of this stuff no problem.

O - Disclaimer: this is my first pumpkin beer. That being said, I've had pumpkin pie, but this is nothing like that. Since it being a beer, this isn't a pumpkin beer that tastes like pumpkin spice. It has sour beer taste but the pumpkin is not there at all, but that could be from the lack of spices in the beer. So, that being said, this could be the anti-pumpkin spice beer for the anti-pumpkin spice person. Cheers!

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Photo of jmasher85
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Comparing 2014 and 2015 bottles here. They pour with medium head and lacing, and obviously, the elder of the two has a hazier dark reddish/brown color than the newer one.

2015 hits all the right notes of a pumpkin spice beer with some nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and of course, some nice, toasted pumpkin pie smell. 2014 is sweeter, richer, and more intense. The pumpkin stands out a little more here, as does the cinnamon. It's also got a hint of bitter, roasted flavor that stands out more than the younger one.

2015 tastes just as I'd have expected from the smell. A hint sweet, nicely and evenly spiced, and silky smooth with a good amount of carbonation that reminds you that it's still a good beer and not just a gimmick. Likewise, 2014's flavor echoes the scent well. Definitely richer, heavier pumpkin flavor. It's as if the fresh beer is for those who might be afraid of a pumpkin-spice beer, and after aging a year or two, this beer turns into the seasonal beast that it seems to truly want to be.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark gold/orange color with a solid white head.

smells like straight pumpkin, some sweetness and slight tartness as well.

tastes like pumpkin pie but isn't full of spice. sweet pumpkin pie.

mouth is very thin, not a full-bodied pumpkin ale (which is what i like, i'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers but i prefer the thinner bodied pumpkin beers).

overall a good pumpkin beer, one that i would drink again in the midst of cool weather. i have had much worse pumpkin beers but i've only had a few better pumpkin beers, Schlafly Pumpkin comes to mind.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Basically a somewhat toned-down / lighter version of DH's brown ale--which I am a fan of--but as something that's being presented as a limited release autumnal brew, I would unfortunately need to label this one a little underwhelming. Again, as a straight brown ale, it presented well both in color and taste, with a gentle upfront sweetness and a slight bitter finish. However, I'm not personally picking up on any of the spice / flavors that are inherently imparted in this style. For this reason, I'd grade it a C- as a fall speciality beer, but would probably upgrade to a B-, as a straight brown ale.

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Photo of TLWalsh
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium amber, not a ton of head. Aroma is somewhat muted, slight pumpkin spice there. Mouthfeel is medium density but then the full well balanced flavor moves right in and is very pleasing . Hints of graham cracker toastiness, semi sweet maltiness with light pumpkin and spice in there. This is about the best of this type I've had. Definitely would recommend it.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is actually a very simple pumpkin beer despite Dogfish Head making complicated ales. The blend of pumpkin and spice is just about perfect but the tone is not heavy enough. This could use a 9% ABV base to take it higher.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Probably one of the better pumpkin beers out there. You taste a bit of pumpkin, a bit of spice, some malt, and some hops, i.e. a nice balance of flavor.

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Photo of Drogon
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Overall great taste not too overpowering but you can tell it's pumpkin. Compared to some other pumpkin ales this is mild. I had Some whole hog pumpkin which is much stronger. after an IPA, don't do that. Pumpkin ales and IPA's don't mix.

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Photo of 303beer
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange color with a thin white head. The nose is pumpkin and spice. It's balanced a little plain but not bad. I have been trying this company's browns for a while and trying to find a version I like. This is one of there better beers but it's not outstanding to me. Also I wouldn't consider this a brown as the label says. it is a pretty light beer with not much body.

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Photo of Dello
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Punkin Ale was poured into a short ribbed glass from a (recently outlawed) can-type-growler from Big Hops in San Antonio, TX.

Appearance: an intriguing bold orange colored body with one-finger head.

Fragrance: extremely mild notes of spices.

Taste: extremely subtle graham cracker and pumpkin spice flavor that evaporates quickly. I also found a chalky, medicinally sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: surprisingly thin yet crisp mouthfeel with a slightly lingering sting.

Overall: a bit disappointing. That being said, I am not the biggest fan of spiced beers and do not have loads of brown ale favorites. However, I was blown away by how drinkable the beer was with such a high ABV. I found the beer very boring while being equally relaxing and drinkable. I would love to try this beer again on draft or bottle to see if my opinion changes. Having a canned growler may have altered some of my experience.

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

Appropriate bottle art (2015). Clear amber body, sparse carbonation, barely a head remaining.
Smells of pumpkin spice/ nutmeg, some lightly sweet brown sugar/ gingerbread/ malts.
Taste like the smell's description, but less like a brown ale and more like a spiced ale. Mineral aspect to this too.
Feels medium crisp, warming and mildly dry. I'm not a pumpkin ale type, and I love all efforts from this great brewery. I just enjoy many of their other seasonals more.
I'd rather like to see them try an imperial brown ale with this pumpkin addition, because I figure if you're going to go all-out on the spice ingredients and pumpkin meat with so much of that flavor, the gravity and richness may as well be elevated as well. Just a preference.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber pour with minimal head and no lacing. Aroma is far milder (a good thing) than some others in this category, though a little more spice would be nice. Again in the flavor, it's mild, and a bit underwhelming, but certainly natural. I'll take this over flavor-added stuff any day. Finish is a little boozy, but otherwise clean. This is okay.

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Photo of bigbutter
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An incredibly delicious pumpkin ale. The use of real pumpkin meat is evident, and elevates this ale above its peers in an over-saturated category. Appearance is appealing, and the taste does not disappoint.

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Photo of LouZ
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle; 2015 edition. Not a lot of head generated in the goblet. Color is a rich, dark brown. This is a very good pumpkin beer. It's not overpowering in aroma, but you get the classic notes of spiced pumpkin and brown sugar, and the taste is not of artificial spices like some other brews. This tastes like a well-made pumpkin beer that uses real pumpkin (because it does). Feel is a little thin, however; adding a little chew to this might propel it into the upper echelon of my book.

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Photo of Tom_O
4.51/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About as near perfect as it gets for me when it comes to a pumpkin beer. Not overly sweet or spicy, perfectly balanced with a taste and smell that just reek of the fall season.

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Photo of SmashAdams
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The smell is very light spices and slightly vegetal. The taste is decent and a bit spicy and boozy. Pretty disappointed with this. I get no brown ale qualities and no brown sugar. Based on the description I was expectiong something closer to Indian Brown with pumpkin and spice. nb

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Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

9/15/15 Poured from a 12oz bottle packaged on ?/?/15. No date given other than 2015 edition, but hopefully recently for the Fall season. I'm primarily judging this beer from comparison to other Pumpkin beers and from DFH's own description on the bottle, which follows:
"A full-bodied brown ale" NOT! It's a light-bodied, overly carbonated at that, pale-amber ale.
"Brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." Tastes like it too - MUDDY.
Why all three spices? There is a lot going on just with the malts, pumpkin and brown sugar...
The Look is brilliantly clear like all other mass produced crap. This is a specialty ale, why filter so?
Smell... I didn't care for it, but maybe it is suppose to smell that way.
I saved the worst for last - the label.. They've changed the look from the traditional, tried and true DFH classic (see this webs pic below) to a half naked nimph covered in ink... The marketing department just jumped the shark on this one!

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Photo of donspublic
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into a pint. Nice 1 1/2 inchcream coloredhead dissipates to a light foam coating on the top. Dark copper gold in color. Pick up a little pumpkin in the nose along with a bit of spice. Like this beer. A toned down pumking. Will be looking for some of this come October

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Photo of JohnnyB
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I feel like Mick Jagger every time I try Dogfish..I try and I try and I try..I can't get no satisfaction..The Punkin ale..has no bite,no sting no wallop. Kind of neutral, not bad not great. Good? Yeah, it was good. So is a hot shower on a cold morning. Nice, but you can have another one anytime you want. I mean no harm to Dogfish,Total hear the wonderful reviews,but,give me something "Un-Middle-of-the-Road.

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Photo of Buck89
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Great looking beer - dark amber orange with a generous tan head. Smell is pumpkin up front, like the smell of a carved jack-o-lantern, followed by subtle spice and caramel notes. Taste is the best part - a not too sweet pumpkin pie flavor with a great malt balance. Big flavor but not cloying. Full bodies with a good feel -moderately carbonated. My favorite pumpkin beer this year (so far).

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Photo of dd43
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is just a straight up good ale from Dogfish Head. The first aromas that hit me were a vegetal smell of the pumpkin, and a baking spice medley (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg). This beer looks great in the glass, nice creamy off white head and a hazy appearance that makes you think you're about to drink a meal. The brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices are nicely attenuated. This beer is not a spice bomb like so many seasonal pumpkin beers are relegated to. The finish is really appealing, mouth coating but not too heavy. That said I think I'd only have one of these in a session. It's a nice thing to start off with as the mercury drops and Halloween approaches.

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Photo of Jaysauras
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: What a beauty. Nice bronze color with a two inch thick head. Changes from a lighter gold color to a pure bronze near the top. Excellent lace, foamy, thick. Appetizing.

S: Caramel malt with a toasty hint of holiday sweetness. Brown sugar and nutmeg. Faint floral/piney smell, perhaps coriander.

T: Wow. Absolutely outstanding. You get a very warm spiced flavor right up front, like a warm biscuity alcohol flavor. Then it slowly mellows into a soft yet still spicey blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and, of course, pumpkin. Wraps up with a crisp hint of malt and pine. Very well blended flavor, good drink through with a melange of flavors to enjoy.

F: Unique feel to it. Very warm, sometimes dry and tingly, but also soft, delicate, sweet, and a bit chewy. Complex no question. I usually don't consider feel all too much, but this one stood out.

O: Phenomenal pumpkin ale. I am exceptionally impressed by this one. Pumpkin ales are pretty hit and miss, and this one is definitely a hit. Surprisingly complexity that is well blended. The alcohol taste up front might set a few people down, but when worked in as a whole from bitter, to spicy, to sweet, it makes for a tremendous drink through. Definitely a good seasonal beer to pick up and try if you want a Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours golden orange amber with a creamy off white head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Toasty bready malt, caramel toffee sweetness, and nice spice notes.

T: Bready toasty malt, caramel toffee sweetness, almost Marzen like, backed with nice spice, nutmeg, clove, a little cinnamon, with a light fruitiness, and a kinda floral note on the back end.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Very nice fall beer, not spiced to death. Though, I remember previous batches having the pumpkin be light but noticeable. I can't say I ever picked that up this year.

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Photo of Ari_B
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2015 Batch. First time trying this beer. Pumpkin flavor is subtle. First sips had all the flavorings associated with autumn but as I continued to drink those flavors became harder to detect and it tasted like a standard brown ale.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,542 ratings.
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