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Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,103 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,103 | Ratings: 6,526
Photo of TrickKnee
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having tried this both on tap and bottle i must admit it is my least favorite pumpkin beer of the season. I know i know how can i say such a thing. This was always my favorite but after trying wyerbacher and smuttynose there is just no comparison. There is a small amount of spice smell and scents however nothing compared to the other two. Tastes more like a brown ale than anything else. I could definetly drink more of it than the other two but it is also a lot pricer which knocks it down a peg or two.

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Photo of eonbluekarma
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma of pumpkin pie spices is unmistakable. Cinnamon, nutmeg and a sweet pumpkin smell are easily distinguished. The head is white and beer, amber. I could use a little more hit of pumpkin on the palate though. The mouth feel is soft with a little carbonation. High alcohol content is a signature of Dogfish Head.

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Photo of ralree
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: VERY clear orange-brown. Fairly light and has great carbonation, but bubbles don't hang out long.

S: Cinnamon and spice and everything nice. Pretty alcoholic, and a little sweet/sour smelling as well.

T: Pretty bitter - has a nice spicy aftertaste and a good alcohol burn. Very sweet. Bitterness is pretty overpowering though.

M: Astringent - and it doesn't go away fast. Does go down smooth and isn't overly carbonated, so bonus points for that.

D: Drinkable, but not something I'll be drinking again.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours a crystal clear deep orange color with a medium to small off white head that has really good retention and ok lacing.

S-The smell of cloves and faint pumpkin come to mind, maybe even some cinnamin.

T-Mainly spices but I do get some pumpkin flavor. Some good amount of soft bitterness to keep it from being too sweet.

M-A medium body, creamy, yet it's kinda thin. And lacks an ending... after the flavor n' stuff, it drops off to nothing...

D-It ok in D but, it's not something I would want one after another. But other spiced beers like Anchor's Christmas Ale I could session all night. It's just kinda plain after it's out of your mouth... But it's not bad.

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Photo of OldeGolde
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A quality brown ale that hints at molasses, spices (nutmeg!) and contains a suggestion of pumpkin (even pie [even cream!]). The pumpkin is mostly in the nose. I have to emphasize that these flavors are subtle- this beer wins points for not going too far in that direction. In a blind test, an amateur would not note the "punkin" flavor, I am sure. Though it's 7% ABV (not bad), you can taste a slight amount of heat. Here's to the heat, though, I've been taking cold showers all week and fall is fast approaching. Wouldn't mind sucking down a few of these on an autumn night with some friends.

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

Poured chilled in short glass at friend's house.

A: good carb action; thin head; slightly reddish copper color, clear
S: the pumpkin is strong up front, then dissolves to malt
T: allspice and nutmeg are very strong, drawn over a very hoppy ale for a base; the pumpkin element is too strong for my taste; had this been more subdued, I would have rated it higher.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I know it’s not really the season for this beer but what the heck. I might have been even more let down if I tried it around Halloween. Pours a luminescent orange/copper color with a medium thin beige head. Head retention is pretty weak, and thin lacing. The aroma is spiced with cinnamon and ginger, as well as malt. The mouthfeel is kind of syrupy and sweet, with malt, cinnamon and brown sugar flavors. It becomes overbearing at times. The finish retains the sweet character and is pumpkiny (?) and malty. This is a decent seasonal, it is just a little too much in the sweet department at times.

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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 bifrojm
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Nice copper color with white head.

Smells lightly spiced of pumpkin pie, nice nutmeg and bits of cinnamon. Smells sweet with malt.

The taste is good, not great for the style. Nice blend of spices for a light pumpkin pie flavor. Very malty sweet and unfortunately I feel the booze shines through. I used to love this pumpkin ale until I had more spiced and quite honestly more balanced versions.

Mouthfeel is fine, nice body, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - I still buy this one, but only because I can't get my favorite in Chicago (Schlafly!). It's kind of boozy (tasting, not just in ABV), so I usually only have one per sitting before moving on to something else. There are two schools on pumpkin ales, and I land firmly in the more spice, the better, and I think this is in the more subtle arena. I alos think the balance is off, especially for the Dogfish guys.

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Photo of 57md
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a bright orangey-copper with a finger of head that sticks around for a while and leaves nice a lacing behind. The pumpkin definitely comes through on the nose. There is a blast of pumpkin upfront in the flavor profile and then the most discernible thing is malt. The finish is dry and more astringent than bitter - the bitterness does not appear to come so much from the hops as from something else that is less than pleasant.

Often I hear this offering described as packed with flavor, including pie spices. I have sampled this beer over the course of several years in bottles and I have now tried the 2013 version on tap. After multiple samples, I can safely say that it is not very flavorful at all and there are much better pumpkin ales available to enjoy during the upcoming fall season.

I love DFH, but this one is not one of their best.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

Finally reviewing this stuff during, like, my twelfth tasting of it. Geez... It pours a clear tawny-amber topped by a half-finger of dirty cream-white foam. The nose comprises apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel. Save the light spicing, there ain't too much pumpkin (pie or otherwise) character going on here so far. The taste holds notes of mandarin orange syrup, cinnamon, green apple skin, brown sugar, nutmeg, and a very light bit of toasted rye bread. The pumpkin character is still pretty nonexistent, but at least the combination tastes good. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, a more-than-decent brew, but not exactly the most pumpkin-y thing out there. Generally enjoyable, though...

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Photo of Fergyx825
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a dark amber ale, with some head on the pour. There remains some head on the edge of the glass, while the beer bubbles furiously from the bottom. A little bit darker than expected from a pumpkin ale.

Smell: my nose is filled with pumpkin and spices upon smelling this beer. It doesn't smell as sweet or promising as the others. I feel as if i can also smell the carbonation of the beer. I can also tell its going to be higher in alcohol content than most.

Taste: A very spice filled taste when it comes to my first few sips. You can most definitely taste the pumpkin in this beer, but its not so sweet as some of the other pumpkin beers. There is alot of spice also noted when tasting. Not what i'd expect when i think pumpkin beer, but i'm not disappointed.

Mouthfeel: A thicker beer, with a medium to light carbonation. Makes for a really good combo. Also i feel that as it goes down my throat that it feels creamy, which i enjoy.

Overall: I have always held dogfish as one of the premier breweries in the states, and i remember this beer from a long time ago. I have been looking forward to it for a while, and i'm not disappointed but i come away wanting more. Good taste with great mouth feel. This is a good beer, it just doesn't do everything other than mouthfeel excellently.

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Photo of deepchills
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12. 0z bottle of Punkin Ale had a nice full amber color when poured into a tulip glass.

A finger of head dissipated after a minute or so. Little to no lacing throughout tasting.

The nose is very light, but cinnamon and brown sugar are present, and maybe some orange peel.You might need to be a bloodhound to smell it, but it very nice once you find it.

Great mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Oddly bitter start, not enough pumpkin flavor to join the spices and brown sugar which are great. Too much alcohol burn in the finish, much more than one would like.
I’m drinking straight out of the fridge, so the beer might be too cold. So I let it sit for 20 minutes before retasting.
The bitter start is still there, maybe even a little sour now. The alcohol burn in the finish has subsided. More pumpkin can also be tasted.

Not what I had hoped for after all the hype. Dogfish Head remain my favorite brewery, but this tasting didn’t go over too well for them.

I still have 2 more of these babies in the fridge, next time I’ll start much closer to room temperature as this ale got better the warmer it got.

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Photo of denflyr
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a mostly clear brown sugar like color with minimal head.

I was not overly impressed with the aromatics, but I did get some clove and maybe cinnamon on the nose. The malts also make an nice appearance as well.

The taste was better than I thought it would be. I was expecting a sweet cloying. This was my first ever pumpkin bear as I had resisted many other for the above perceived reasons. A nice slightly sweet maltiness was there as well as hints of the nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and clove.

The beer had moderate carbonation and a nice easy to drink not heavy mouthfeel.

While I liked the beer, its not once I would drink often even if it was a year round brew. It drank well though overall.

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

small lacey head, orangey. Spicey cinammon, spicey,allspice, nutmeg, some maltness spice chest, chia tea with some hop bitterness. Drying, very vegatable taste. No expiry date. Gourdy taste. This tastes like a beer rather a fruity sweety cooler.Medium to full mouthfeel.

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Photo of dafizzif
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Pours burnt orange with amber accents and a very thin head, cosmic latte in color.

Smell: Pumpkin pie. More specifically: nutmeg, cinnamon, and the like. Followed by vanilla. Pumpkin and sweet malts linger throughout.

Taste: A toned down version of the smell with loads of malt and a good bit of hop bitterness that was not present in the smell. May seem a bit harsh, and it is not meant to be, but kind of tastes like burnt pumpkin pie really.

Mouthfeel: Lots of fizz (maybe a bit too carbonated) and a slightly more than medium body.

Overall: Pretty good, but not as good as other pumpkin ales I have had. I am kind of disappointed, especially in the taste department, but love the smell.

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Photo of Bills453
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass. This is actually a 2011 version of the beer.

Appearance - dark orange, copper color. Off white head that faded very quickly to nothing.

Smell - sugary and cinnamon. Malty as well.

Taste - this brew is lacking some flavor, my guess is because this beer is about a year old, haha. Hints of spice and pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - average mouthfeel.

Overall - average pumpkin offering, no where near my favorite but I am more of a fan of the sweet and spiced pumpkin beers.

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

Pours to a light, reddish-orange color with thin white head that longers awhile and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is fairly mild, but a pleasant mixture of spices and sweet fruit. Mouthfeel is somewhat tingly and full, and the flavor is a nice blend of holdiay tastes....nutmeg, pumpkin and cinnamon to name a few.

I would have rated even higher, but the finish seemed short and a little stale. Overall, though, a nice twist, and even though I’m not much of a fan of Herb-Vegetable beers, this was an enjoyable offering from DFH.

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Photo of taez555
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer poured a small white head that disapeared rather quickly. It had a clear orange/ruby/brown body.

The nose was very pumpkin spicey. Sharp cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, a slight bready quality. Almost a minty, grassy, piney(dare I say toothpaste) type aroma. As weird as it sounds it almost had a marijuana type smell too it. Pot and pumpkin nose.

The taste was much more subdued. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Bready, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Your typical pumpkin taste. What's really surprising is the citrusy hop flavors in this beer. Touches of earth, alcohol, wood. Very soft tasty malt. But yet again this minty, piney, citrus sort of taste. Very uncharectorisic of a pumpkin beer.

It ends with a firm citrus peel bitterness wtih hints of pumpkin spice in the background.

Overall I was a little disapointed by this beer. It had a very interesting nose, but the flavor itself was more along the lines of a middle of the road american pale ale with some pumpkin spice in the background. Not bad by any means, I was just expecting a bit more from such a great brewery.

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Photo of mikel52588
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber-golden hue, finger length head that quick to disappear, thin lacing.

Smell: Im definitely picking up the brown sugar and cinnamon, and like a caramel sweetness

Taste: Sweet and spicy, an almost pumpkin taste is there, key word Almost. It seems like its more just the surrounding flavors that are standing out to me

Mouthfeel: syrupy, sweet, malty, its fairly smooth, hops bitterness in the background

Drinkability: Its not bad, sweet and spicy is what your looking at, as far as pumpkin ales go, this is my first. I could have a few of these, it is kind of syrupy though, and it would be interesting to try it with pumpkin pie.

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Photo of JosiahS
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

glass: sam adams glass

a: Super clear copper color. Lots of bubbles rushing to the top. 2-finger off-white head, very frothy, much like a light lager. Head did dissipate to a thin ring but held throughout.

s: Definite all-spice, nutmeg and a little Cinnamon. The spices give off a mineral quality, almost like copper. Light pumpkin underneath, but not much. As it warms the pumpkin is more present, the alcohol makes an appearance as well. Lots of root spices. Slight bread which really completes that pumpkin pie aroma.

m: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat syrupy in the mouth.

t: Spices seem to really dominate. All the usual spices are there: all-spice, Cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe just out of the combination of spices, coriander. Underneath the spice, a light wheat bread and nuttyness is there. It's a little astringent though, the alcohol is fairly noticeable. The pumpkin is there but among the spices and alcohol, it gets lost in the mix.

d: Not very drinkable. It's a good pumpkin ale but maybe i do not prefer it so spicy. I am enjoying the buzz though.

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Photo of horshack7
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a clear copper color with light foamy off white head. The head disipates rather quick.

Aroma: Nice hints of cinnamon and nutmeg along with pumpkin spice. Not much of a hop aroma.

Taste: Large amounts of nutmeg and cinnamon pack a great punch. Minor hints of clove among other spices. It is full bodied and has a light crisp mouthfeel.

Notes: This is a very drinkable beer a great seasonal beer as well. Cheers

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Photo of aforbes10
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

orangey brown. clear and bubbly. small head. nutmegs and spices and hot pumpkins on the nose. taste is not as terrible as ive anticipated. some cimmamon and nutmeg flavors but mostly pumpkin. kind of like drinking a liquified pumpkin pie. a little thin and i dont need to ever drink another, but its certainly the best pumpkin ale ive tried.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Dark orange/brown body that has a large foamy off-white head. Body is slightly translucent and head settles to a nice 1-finger and has great retention. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-This pumpkin ale has a big whiff of pumpkins upfront-go figure. A nice blend of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg in the background.

T&M- Similar to the smell but the spices are pretty subdued and its just a big taste of pumpkin. Nice malt and brown sugar backing. Finish is somewhat astringent with alcohol but a big pumpkin spice flavor also lingers. Low to medium carbonation and astringency makes this one not too easy to swallow.

D- Decent characteristics but the pumpkin and alcohol become too much to drink too fast. This is only 7% ABV and it has the presence of one 10%+. Still looking foreward to other pumpkin ales but I doubt I will have this one again.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,526 ratings.
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