Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
6,563 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,563 |  Reviews: 2,112
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.

 819 characters

Photo of PHarm
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light colored for a brown ale. Not very fragrant but has a great full bodied flavor. Good overall beer for fall.

112 characters

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

appearance: The pour produces a slight, off white head that soon disappears, for the most part. The beer is a bright burnished copper in color.

smell: Nice mix of aromas going on here. Plenty of spice and pumpkin, accompanied by some moderate esters. Nice and sweet smelling, but not cloyingly so, with some caramel and brown sugar. Hop presence is low, as it should be.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body the same.

taste: The taste is a little more subtle in the ester and spice department, which is good. A nice caramel malt backbone blends with flavors of pumpkin pie spice. Hard to pick out the pumpkin, though I feel as if I can...maybe some roasted pumpkin seed too. Just a touch of bitterness at the finish.

drinkability: An above average pumpkin, and a pleasure to drink.

Bottled on date of 08/25/05 is printed on the neck of the bottle.

 876 characters

Photo of daythree16
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber into a pint glass. Fluffy two finger head that leaves lots of lace as it fades.

The smell is lots of pumpkin and traditional pumpkin pie spices (mostly cinnamon and nutmeg that I can smell). Taste is mostly pumpkin and nutmeg. There is a small alcohol warmth and a little bitterness that creep up on the finish. Both are pleasant.

Medium bodied with a silky mouthfeel. I've only had a few pumpkin beers, none of which have been very impressive, so it's nice to have a pumpkin ale that tastes like...pumpkin. This one strikes a really nice balance between the pumpkin and all the spices. This would be perfect at a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

 669 characters

Photo of TheSeeker61
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say this is the first pumpkin ale that I've truly enjoyed. Most have done nothing for me. The appearance is a copper tan which poured an 1/2 inch head which quickly dissapated. The nose was actually kinda yeasty sour when first poured but when it warmed I could smell the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and brown sugar. I actually liked the taste when it was cold but again as it warmed one could tasted the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and brown sugar and the alocohol was not noticeable. It got beeter. Mouthfeel is kinda medium. Overall at this moment this is my favorite of the style and the first year thus far that I've actually enjoyed drinking on a regular basis. Have always heard all this hype and excitement about pumpkin ales, well the Dogfish Punkin Ale has ushered me in as one who,at least, is enjoying this offering.

 833 characters

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

2005 offering, fresh from the shelf at my local beer store.

Im glad I waited on reviewing this beer until I finished the 4 pack. After the 1st one, I didnt care much for it and left the other 3 alone for a few days. Then tonight I decided to revisit it with a fresh palate.

Look: Beautiful clear orange. Fluffy head. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, but I think the allspice came to the front pretty aggresively. It smelled tasty though. Sweet, a tad of alcohol, subtle pumpkin. Yummy.

Taste: Smooth, sweet. Goes down easy, and a nice candied aftertaste. Does indeed remind me of pumpkin pie, but I didnt detect much cinnamon. Allspice was prevalent to the point where I thought it was a bit over the top. Alcohol shows up a bit as it warms, but just the right amount to warm me up on a cool fall night. Overall, a good beer, but this style just isnt my cup of tea. A good offering for the style though, so no points taken away due to my personal taste.

Mouthfeel: Light, yet big. Just the right amount of carbonation. Feels like dessert.Very easy drinking. Alcohol hidden well. Maybe Im just used to stronger beers, but this didnt feel like a 7% ABV ale.

Drinkability: I guess fans of the style would enjoy it more than I did, but by my 2nd one, I actually started liking it more than when I first started, so I will give it a good drinkability rating. As I said earlier, just not my cup of tea, but its pretty darn good for what it is.

If you enjoy pumpkin ale, give this one a try from one of the best craft breweries in all the land.

Goes excellent with chocolate.

 1,596 characters

Photo of MyGoodness
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh I'm so happy for this as the fall approaches. My favourite season tends to coincide with the release of amazing seasonal brews. Pours a deep, amberish colour with a thick head that disappeared quickly. The smell is the best part. Spicy, cinnamony, warm. It embodies the fall to me. The taste is much the same. Some people trying this with me found it to be too spicy and thought it was an odd flavour for a beer. I think it's great. Regardless of the slight bitterness, it goes down smooth. I recommend this highly , but I will admit that perhaps I am romantacizing a beer too much.

 587 characters

Photo of kurp001
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with gold highlights with about one finger of off-white head that sticks around for a little bit before receding.

A malty pumpkin aroma pulls through first on the smell, along with mild allspice and cinnamon notes.

Rich pumpkin is the first thing that comes through on the taste, with cinnamon and nutmeg pulling through midway. The allspice notes are more evident on the finish, as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with quite lively carbonation.

Overall I'd say this one is very drinkable for a pumpkin ale. The pumpkin flavors or spice notes don't really get tiresome, I could definitely see having more than one of these. Worth seeking out if you're a fan of the style.

 698 characters

Photo of medic25
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. This beer has a clear copper color with a white head that doesn't linger for too long. The aroma is great, full of pumpkin and fall spices. Taste is sweet, a nice biscuity malt flavor along with the (not overwhelming) flavor of pumpkin and cinnamon. Very smooth mouthfeel, with a pleasant lingering aftertaste. One of the best pumpkin ales I've tried.

 375 characters

Photo of zrab11
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a burnt orange color with a small 1 finger foamy white head

S-Has a really nice smell. Your able to pick up on both pumpkin and spices in the nose as well as some malty sweetness. I love the smell of this. And even though i love it, its not overpowering with spices like others are

T-HAs a beautiful marriage of pumpkin flavors and spices, I love the little hints of brown sugar you get as you drink this beer as well. The flavors are all distinguishable but not overpowering.

M-Medium to light bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall this was my favorite pumpkin ale I've had to date. It just had a great nose and a great marriage of flavors. I still think there is room for improvement in pumpkin beers. I want one to blow me away but as for a nice marriage of beautiful flavors and drinkability this beer is it.. Its sucks i have to trade for this beer now but i def. will get a 6er of this every october.

 921 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A thin off-white head quickly turned to a nice lace atop an amber-copper colored brew with light-medium carbonation. It looked quite clean.

S- Definite pumpkin spice and vegetal tones. I initially picked up nutmeg and allspice and something like ginger too. On further sniffs, there were bready/biscuit malt notes.

T- Not as "in your face" as some from the style. It keeps the traditional beer qualities. It had a bready backbone with spice to enhance flavor, not overwhelm it. The light hop finish leaves a clean taste.

M- Medium feel with light carbonation.

D- Due to subtle characteristics, it's an easier drinker than many other pumpkin brews.

Overall- Though I like some overly-spiced versions of the style, this one was a pleasant surprise. It kept the integrity of the base beer while the pumpkin and spice made for additional flavor.

 893 characters

Photo of litheum94
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage.

Amber body with an active, tan-tinged head. Fizzles out quickly, leaving a ring of foam and a mist in the middle.

Spice fills the air: nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar, with fleshy pumpkin. Cola aromas as well.

An all-out spice attack, like sprinkling pumpkin pie spices in the palm of your hand and licking it. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate. Caramel malts with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel, like cola. Sweet, fleshy pumpkin in the background. A little bit of burn on the finish. Not sure if that's from the spices or some alcohol poking through.

If you don't like spiced beers, stay away from this year's Punkin. I for one love this year's batch. The assertive spices really give this one a kick. I'll be drinking this throughout the fall.

 756 characters

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

a clear orange with a pinky worth of slightly off white head.
oh man, a strong pumpkin smell. nutmeg and cinnamon right along with it, caramel and nuts too.
the taste matches the smell, nutmeg being the dominant spice.
mouthfeel is great too, crisp, carbonation is great. no aftertaste.
overall: this is my second pumpkin ale, and its january but it makes my long for the fall again.

 383 characters

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this after trying a couple of other so-called pumpkin ales, and when I first tasted it, I was thinking "Huh? Where's the pumpkin?" But after taking the time to savor a few sips, I realized I was making an unfair comparison. This is not like some others of this style which I had just tried which taste like an alcoholic pumpkin-pie flavored beverage. This is a nice ale with just enough of a suggestion of pumpkin and spice to remind me that it's autumn.

All the flavors that should be there are there... the malt and pumpkin combine to give a warm toasty and slightly sweet & fruity flavor, while the nutmeg and cinnamon compliment rather than overwhelm the very present hops. Definitely not a novelty creation, but a beer that celebrates the season.

 762 characters

Photo of GregStoner
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jacobob10
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange-brownish pour with a little bit of head. Very balanced aroma consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and bread malts. The taste was outstanding. Same as the aroma, nutmeg and cinnamon, but this is where the PUMPKIN really shines through. Perfect for those cool fall evenings. This is a beer that I hope will still be available to me when November and December come rolling around. A must try!

 396 characters

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - copper/topaz hued bod. w/ a modest inch high foam head from the initial pour.

S - smelss like autumn in a cup. i smell everything the label claims. nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin pie, and a tiny bit of cinnamon, on top of all that there is a nice brown sugar, and toasted caramel malt backing. some hops also make their presence known to the nose, and remind me of chai tea.

T - similar to the smell, very yeasty(like spice cake/loaf) lots of nutmeg/allspice/pumpkin pie flavor, there is also a nice coffee and chocolate thing going on, i will go ahead and call it a mocha taste. this pairs incredibly well with the spices from the mentioned ingredients and the spicy yet subtle hops. there is also a nutty flavor that reminds me of pecan pie. this is an insanley good tasting brew. it has all the making of autumn. never is it too sweet or too fillling.

MF - creamy, very much so. medium to full bodied(closer to med.) and a moderate level of carbonation.

D - good given the speciality of the style, now i want some pumpkin chocolate-chip bread, sugar cookies or carrot cake to pair with this amazing "liquid fall"

 1,118 characters

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been stashing this for a couple months, and have now found myself with plenty to share!

A - it's kind of deep golden, or really light brown; certainly not typical brown ale-looking; very small head; unretained lacing

S - brown sugar; nutmeg; pumpkin bread; sweet malt

T - caramel; pumpkin; cinnamon; candy corn; nutmeg; more brown sugar; some bitter hops

M - it's a little sweet up front; cloying pumpkin through and through; a little boozy but well-concealed bc of all the other flavors; pretty smooth but a little bitter on the back end; bitterness stays on the back of the tongue; pleasant carbonation

O - this has for years been my go-to fall beer; I'm not a big fan of Oktoberfests and this beer always makes me welcome fall; it's up there w some of the best pumpkin beers, although I've had better for sure; in terms of balance, flavor, and accessibility...this beer stands strong.

 892 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours orange-amber in color with a small white head that dissipates somewhat slowly and leaves behind spotty lace and a ring of foam floating on top of the beer.

Smell: Smells strongly of cinnamon, with hints of spicy nutmeg, a pumpkin note, and sweet malts.

Taste: Begins with spicy cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of brown sugar, finishing with breadiness and spiced pumpkin notes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with relatively heavy carbonation and a sticky finish.

Drinkability: One of the better pumpkin beers out there, very flavorful and very enjoyable. Definitely something that goes well with fall.

 693 characters

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

Had this one year aged, waitin for this years to come out.

appearance: hazy cloudy copper orange mess as expected

smell: good whiff of pumpkin rind and spices

taste: dry ale with mild pumpkin flavor and tons of pumpkin pie spices. nutmeg was dominat

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: great pumpkin beer, probably one of the best I have had. Great session too. I like smuttys a little better. less spice more pumpkin flavor

 432 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: “A full bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg”. Well, that takes the guessing out of the spice category.
7% abv., packaged in 07, and cap lists a $10.49 price tag from Hall’s.

Aroma: Spices are at a nice firm level, and are all saying “pumpkin pie” and Christmas.

Appearance: A clear orange amber glass holds a scant cover and gives only wisps of lacing.

Flavor: Spices are the main focus, nutmeg being pretty firm, but allspice gives it some range. There is a definite pumpkin aspect to the beer which is what it’s all about, right?

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy texture despite the carbonation being a bit too high, leaving it a bit fizzy. A bit oily in the finish which gives a long finish.

Overall Impression: I was ready for a retro-seasonal; a nice reminder of Fall now that Spring has started. This has wintered nicely in my fridge. This is my go to Pumpkin beer, the only way to spend Halloween. I’ve heard aging makes this even better, it’s a nice one to keep around.

 1,063 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours an orange-amber color with a thick two finger off-white head. The head has very good retention, eventually fading to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is a nice blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar/molasses. Like a sweet piece of cold pumpkin pie.

Taste – The taste starts out of pumpkin and some cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg spice. As the flavor moves on, it sweetens some, with flavors of a caramel and a brown sugar taste coming to the tongue. These sweeter flavors when mixed with the pumpkin and spice create a very pleasant taste on the tongue. More toward the end of the taste, the spice and sweet intensify and combined with a light hop taste, to leave a tasty pumpkin pie flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Both were good for the pumpkin, sweet and spicy flavors. A little more creaminess may have given it an enhancement; giving it more of the silky pumpkin pie feel, but regardless, the mouthfeel was good overall.

Overall – Good and tasty pumpkin brew. I wish it was available for more than just one season.

 1,167 characters

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.

 666 characters

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

12 oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an orange/amber tone with less than a finger of white head that dissipates somewhat quickly; minimal lacing. great color, but the head leaves something to be desired.

the nose is a really nice bouquet of fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, maybe some brown sugar... better than i remember from last year's batch. very pleasing to the olfactory senses.

taste follows through nicely; not quite the robustness of flavors as the aroma indicated they might be. but close. definitely a tasty pumpkin brew. very pleasant mouthfeel; medium-bodied with a nicely paired carbonation. pretty drinkable, assuming you like pumpkin beers.

i was underwhelmed by this beer last fall; not sure if my palate changed or this has, but IMO it has stepped up its game. not a favorite for best of its class but clearly it's in the discussion.

 883 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Room, Miami Beach - a nice surprise that I was not expecting.

Poured to near the top of the pint glass with little head. Very clear pumpkin orange-amber.

Aroma is big on pumpkin pie spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, along with a little alcohol.

On the palate, it comes across as drinking an alcoholic pumpkin pie, with all the spices listed above combined with some good pumpkin and whipped cream. Good strong malty brown ale base as well. I've had this quite a few times in the bottle, and it still remains my favorite pumpkin ale.

Feel is much more robust than your typical pumpkin-soda beer. Nah, this one is a real beer, but you knew that.

It's easy to drink and very sneaky at 7%.

 708 characters

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,563 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.