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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,108 | Ratings: 6,543
Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.79/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review: 09-21-2006


Appearance: Light orange. Creamy head that turns into thick lacing.

The tasting profile included Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. All this was accompanied with a slight hop bitterness and a gentle smokiness after It warmed up a bit.

The ale itself was creamy and full-bodied. The complex aroma includes brown sugar, malts, squash, caramel and a slight butter/biscuit note.

Let it sit out for about 15 minutes after pulling it out of the fridge.

 496 characters

Photo of Jettanbass9
4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I searched everywhere for this damn beer! I finally found the last case at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ while i was there for work. This beer is seriously fall in a bottle. When i first had it and read the label, it claims to be a brown ale, it tasted more like a vienna lager/oktoberfest styled beer. However it was not disappointing at all... just caught me off guard a little. The spices and pumpkin are not overbearing at all... the perfect amount. This beer actually inspired me to brew my own pumpkin ale! Cheers to all who can find it/drink it!!!!

 555 characters

Photo of mempath
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

though it seemed weird to have a pumpkin ale in mid-Spring...my sister-in-law loves it and buys it when she can...but it was a cool rainy day so i had one. pours thick with spices already jumping out and into the nose...laces like a champion, dark color as expected...the label spills the secret...lots of allspice, cinammon...all that jazz, but it is so well-balanced from all levels: mouthfeel, nose, taste all just meld together. i have to get this when autumn rolls around and this is available again.

i have backed off holiday brews for some time...this makes me want to jump back in...this HAS to be the best pumpkin ale i've ever had. i used to love this style a few years ago...orange veggies are a favorite of mine. this is like liquid pumpkin bread with a cheesecake somewhere in the vicinity. worth every penny and drop.

 832 characters

Photo of 00trayn
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, VA (from notes).

A - A dark transparent amber color with a thick white head, slight lacing.

S - It smells like fall in a pint glass. A warm pumpkin scent is mixed with spices and a hint of sweet.

T - Spices definitely come forward in flavor, nutmeg and cinnamon are prominent. Nice malty taste as well with a spicy and sweet finish. The pumpkin is noticeable but not overpowering.

M - Medium body with a good level of carbonation. It has a smooth, creamy texture.

O - Hands down my favorite pumpkin (or should I say punkin') ale. I look forward to this release every year at the Alehouse (and the free pint glass that they give away with it). I made sure to buy two 4-pack to keep in my fridge for when I couldn't get it on tap anymore.

 799 characters

Photo of posbasso
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best of the "punkin'" ales out there that I've tried. Not to mention the good buzz (7% per bottle). The only down is that in my area the cost is $8.99. If it came in a six-pack (it only comes in four; might be because of alcohol content laws in TX) the price would make it easier to have around the house more often.

 328 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this out at The Brewhaus with some non-BA friends while waiting for my fellow beer geeks to show up.

A - Dirty brown with an orange cast. The head is a moderately sized fluffy white cap, and some good lace is left sporadically around the glass.

S - Oh. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. I love me some pumpkin, and this has the aroma down pat. I detect some actual pumpkin innards (the gore that gets all over ya' when scooping out a jack-o-lantern), along with the usual pumpkin pie notes found in beers of this ilk. There is a profound amount of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg in this aroma. On a chilly wet night like tonight, I'm falling in love with this scent.

T - Like the nose, this is full of pumpkin pie goodness and loads of cinnamon. This is more like a big warm pumpkin cookie than anything else. The alcohol is actually very apparent in the flavor, but I quite enjoy some booze with my flavor and this tastes like some nutmeg laden cookies downed with a snifter of cognac.

M - Medium bodied, tight, firm, and attenuated. Many Dogfish Head beers have a similarly tight alcohol-y mouthfeel, and I think that this boozy warmth helps keep the beers lively when they could easily be sweet and cloying.

D - Killer autumn beer. Honestly this is probably the best pumpkin beer that I've ever had. Damn fine stuff from a damn fine brewery.

 1,349 characters

Photo of Dudeletter
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lastly a classic staple of mine for the fall season is Dogfish Head’s Punkin ale, which never disappoints for those pumpkin pie cravings. This offering from Dogfish Head really does a great job at keeping all of the flavors in balance. There is a nice pumpkin pie spice character in the aroma that welcomes you into the beer, while the taste of it has the same character there is also a nice cinnamon and nutmeg aftertaste that is very pleasant.


 476 characters

Photo of logicalparadox
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Perhaps my favorite pumpkin beer. It's a tough call, but Dogfish Head's punkin' is dry, yet not bitter, spicy, but not overbearing, and vegetal, without being astringent. The flavor and aroma of the pumpkin is in the forefront here, with just enough spice to carry and enhance that profile. There's a subtle sweetness, that is not cloying and leaves the brew quite drinkable. This is beer, not a soft drink! Yet, the pumpkin is there and center stage. It's less pumpkin pie and more savory roast pumpkin mash. Fall in a glass!

 526 characters

Photo of sublimesipping
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

I have enjoyed a number of these fine ales. Being somewhat pumpkin obsessed, the fall is not the same without pumpkin pie, soup, bread, coffee, and last but definitely not least, pumpkin beer. So I really enjoy pumpkin, and with pumpkin beer, if it is good I can drink this a my session for the night. throw in the fact that I enjoy hops as well, well I state my case for this beer as the standard punkin for me, the best pumpkin beer out there, hands down, it still outlasts the competion after now five falls of head to head tasting.
So to the beer. Good color, nice dark brown sugar color with decent glass lacing. hints of brown sugar, molassess and cloves in the nose. The beer, folks, is nuanced. It will not give you the pumpkin pie effect, more the effect is a good hoppy ale giving credence to the season and time. The pumpkin taste as well as aroma is subtle and is meant to be subtle to compliment the hops character. I find that this exudes a great balanace to this beer. I wonder what the hops are? still have not been able to figure that out because that is subtle as well but definitely presistant present. Look at this beer as a hopped brown ale with pumpkin overtones that. i feel, are consistenlty present from first sip through taste and finish. If you can approach that way and like hops, you will defintely enjoy this beer. This is the perfect beer to enjoy raking leaves or chopping wood. In my house, this is one of our standard thanksgiving fare. Great beer. Enjoy and thanks to Dogfish for keeping it a bit off center but still wonderfully excellent.

 1,576 characters

Photo of BeerHistoryGuy
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Appearance: A surprise -- very clear with orange to amber color. Little bit of lacing with a thin white head.

Aroma: Terrific mix of spices (fall spices, like nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.)

Taste: I was surprised. It didn't taste like a true pumpkin ale, in that the pumpkin taste was very subtle..comes in afterwards. The hops balanced well with plenty of fall spices, and the subtle pumpkin/fruitiness at the end rounded out the taste very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a good amount -- just right - of carbonation. Very smooth beer, all in all.

Overall: For me, this was a fantastic beer all around. I have very little bad to say about it, other than that I almost wonder if the name should be more like an "autumn beer," or "fall brew," or something like that, rather than a pumpkin beer -- although pumpkin surely comes in at the end. Still, I'm giving it a 4.75/5 so I'm searching for an issue, here. In reality, It's the type of beer that would compliment a heart beef stew and work perfectly on a cold late-autumn day. The spices, hops, and carbonation are all perfect for me in this and the hint of pumpkin makes it that much better. I could go on and on, but this is a beer that ranks very high on my list of "must haves."

 1,241 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
4.74/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark, clear copper. Two fingers of light tan head with moderate retention fall to a thick film, with some moderate to light lacing.

S - Amazing. The spice jumps out at first, mainly cinnamon and nutmeg, but quickly I realize that there's a huge malt backbone, with some toastiness and caramel, and dare I say, I finally smell the actual pumpkin! The multitude of scents are as harmonious and seamless as an actual pumpkin pie.

T - Amazing as well. Initially I'm hit with the spices, again cinnamon and nutmeg (I am trying to identify the allspice though) but there's also a pleasant vanilla flavor backing things up, and it's all tied together with a hefty sweetness from the brown sugar. As the spices subside, the pumpkin itself comes through. Not overly vegetal, or rotten, or disgustingly bitter like some pumpkin ales I've had, but in a beautiful marriage with the strong malt character of the brew. Everything is wrapped up with a long, mellow bitterness and some chalkiness from the spices.

M - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Falls slightly short of perfect; I want it thicker and less carbonated! No real problem here though.

D - Until now I though pumpkin ales were something to have with a meal or start (or end) a night with. This stuff is excellent and I wouldn't mind drinking the entire 4-pack in one sitting, though it is a heavier, slightly intense brew with a healthy ABV.

This is what all pumpkin ales should aspire to be. An absolutely delicious beverage, fit for those who don't even like "beer." I love this stuff.

 1,613 characters

Photo of Buttermaker
4.73/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I used to think Dogfish Head was a little overrated...then I tried their Punkin Ale. It's the best Pumpkin Ale I've ever tasted. It's the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. It's rich but still incredibly drinkable. In fact, I find myself craving more when I'm out, which is rare for pumpkin ales...many of which will I'll still find sitting in my fridge after Christmas. It's got plenty of pumpkin without overdoing it. It's 7.0% ABV but you won't know it until your glass is empty. It's delicious.

The one criticism I guess I would have is that the nose is small, but who cares! Enjoy one while you're carving your pumpkin.

Recommend music paring: Preston School of Industry - All This Sounds Gas

 703 characters

Photo of Hefeweizguy
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this beer from start to finish. Poored very well and had a very nice color. The bottle was plain while the beer was the complete opposite. The beer foamed up nicely and settled perfectly. This beer tasted very sweet and had a nice undertaste. The pumpkin taste wasn't too overbearing. This beer is probably in my top ten for seasonal beers.

 350 characters

Photo of tbase
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a beautiful orange yellow with a head reminiscent of guiness. The smell is wonderful, pumpkin is what stands out most, but you can also pick up some of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Probably the best pumpkin beer Ive tasted so far, there a good amount of complexity but with a good balance of all the flavors. I also feel like they got the drinkibility spot on for the fall season not too thick not too thin.

Seriously drink this beer if you like pumpkins, or if you just like beer it is too delicious to pass up.

 516 characters

Photo of CrystalShipMS3
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect hazy gold. Its the color a fall beer should be.

Smells like ice cold pumpkin juice. Hint of spices. Some mild alcohol.

Tastes like ice cold pumpkin juice. As it warms a bit spices are more noticeable. Light caramel and malt flavors come in last and leave a pleasant aftertaste.

This is the perfect beer for September and October. Its hard to want to drink anything else.

 389 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.71/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not particularly a pumpkin ale fan, but this stuff is quite delicious. Pours to a dark orangish amber color with little to no head and a light carbonation. Hardly laces the glass at all.

The smell is great. Smells like a nutty, robust brown ale with all the spices listed on the bottle showing their true colors as well (REAL pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg). Ever so slightly roasty.

The taste is just as great. A perfect blend of spices with each one quite distinguishable from the others. The finish shows off the nutty, gently roasty flavors with a great accentuating spice flavor. Even has a bit of an herbal hop to it.

The body is fairly big in this beer: nice and thick and velvety smooth. Honestly, I think this is the best Dogfish Head beer I've tried, and I've had almost all of the non-retired, non-uber-special releases. If not the best, it's definitely the most interesting. I would drink more of this stuff if it was available, but I don't think it was quite good enough where I would seek it out in an online purchase again. If I see it in a store, though, it's mine... Keep in mind I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers, and for the most part I think Dogfish is just slightly overrated.

 1,229 characters

Photo of JGam115
4.71/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From my Untappd history. Poured at The Yard House in Yonkers.

A: Kind of a muted brown hue mixed with amber. Off-white head. You would think the beer would be opaque, but this one was rather clear.

S: You're immediately hit with the spice blend - I think cinnamon and allspice. Don't think there's any nutmeg in there. The pumpkin fruit they use is crazy good though because it comes through without being too sweet or overpowered by the spices.

T: This always reminds me of the fall and I also use it to benchmark other pumpkin beers. The alcohol comes through even though it's 7%, but it's a pleasant flavor. The malts work with the organic pumpkins extremely well.

M: Great feeling on the palette and even better finish. I crave cider doughnuts and a campfire immediately after swallowing.

O: This is my quintessential pumpkin/fall beer. It's the perfect mix of fruit and spices.

 887 characters

Photo of PhillyLovesBeer
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. I can't wait until September so I can pick up a case. It has an amber appearance. It had a nice 1/2" white head with good lacing. It has a nice roasted pumpkin and brown sugar scent. It tastes incredible, with the brown sugar and all spice being more relevant than an overwelming pumpkin flavor. I can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg as well, but it's not overbearing. It is a very smooth and drinkable beer, with the alcohol being hard to detect, which is preferential in a beer like this. It lived up to expectations for sure.

 548 characters

Photo of czfreeman
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a whisky-copper toned browned color, capped by a tan cream of whipped cream. This looks like an inviting glass of pumkin pie!
Smells of fresh pumpkins,cloves,fall mustiness, warm cinnamons, nutmeg, this smells like some good stuff.
WOW! just tasted it. You are greeted with a mouthfull of spicy pumpkin pie. Spicy nutmegs, cloves, and cinnamon spiciness add a great finishing balance. The 7% ABV is completly hidden, but adds an almost rum-like note.
The smell, flavor, mouthfeel is the epitamy of anything that is marketed as a "pumpkin ale". This is fantastically flavorfull, balanced and extremely drinkable. Another classic from my favorite American brewery.

 673 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown, orange hue. finger head, amazing lacing.

S: pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg with grainy malt.

T: malt, sweet pumpkin pie goodness/pumpkin, all spice and cloves are in harmony with pumpkin, hint of bitter in finish.

M: medium body, solid carbonation, goes down smoothly.

D: For a pumpkin beer, this one really works, nice amount of flavor, carbonation and you can have a few. I love
this time of year and this is one of my favorites.


 469 characters

Photo of Jerzi20
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The carmel color is exactly what I want to see in a pumpkin ale - not too dark, and not too light. It's the perfect medium.

S - Without taking a sip, in the proper glass you can simply inhale the taste of pumpkin pie. Slightly spicy, the crust hits your palate first but the combination of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon remain. It's almost like inhaling desert without the calories.

T - For my taste buds, this is the ultimate pumpkin beer. Is not too sweet, and once you sit down to relax with one, it's hard to quit. Most pumpkin beers leave me too full or are too heavy to drink pint after pint. I just can't get tired of this one. With a small sip, the dry sweet taste hits your taste buds but disappears just as quickly. The sweetness is counter acted with the spices.

M - Smooth, Sweet, and spicy. It leaves your toungue quickly, leaving you wanting more!

O - I think it's pretty obvious, I ust can't get enough of this!

 932 characters

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last fall, while living in Florida, I was on the search for some Pumpkin Ales for a halloween party I was throwing. I searched everywhere I could trying as many as 10 different Pumpkins Ales. The Punk by Dogfish Head may not only be one of my favorite Pumpkins Ales, but one of my favorite seasonal beers I've ever had. 2 thumbs way up.

I'd buy this in March, or July, or whenever I could.

A must try.

 404 characters

Photo of DonDirkA
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nose is cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, molasses, some caramel malts and nutmeg. The taste is very similar. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, malty backbone, molasses and coming in last is pumpkin. Its not the most pumpkin of the pumpkin ales but its my favorite. Although to be honest I don't experiment with them much because I have been disappointed so often (I'm looking at you Buffalo Bill's and probably some others I've forgotten)

 429 characters

Photo of johnnysky16
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a pint glass. This beer pours an orangish brown color. Finger width head with aggressive pour. Dissipates to a thin layer that lingers throughout the rest of the beer. Of the pumpkin beers I have had this one looks the best.

S - Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg are present. Pleasant aroma.

T - This is where the beer shines. When the label says full bodied brown ale it means it. Unlike many pumpkin beers this one has body to match the taste. Can definitely taste all the spices and slight pumpkin. Very balanced.

M - Light carbonation. Slight alcohol burn on the back end.

O - This review is based on the pumpkin ale genre. Out of the bottle this beer is very good! I have never had it on tap but hope to change that. Of the pumpkin beers I have had this has the most body behind it. Some have the taste but are much too thin. This beer has the body behind it. Perfect for fall to early winter drinking. Great job DFH!

 939 characters

Photo of Nature777
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is God's gift to Pumpkin Ales! This is easily the most natural tasting pumpkin ale that I've ever had. A lot of other pumpkin ales that I've had reeked of artificial flavors, a quality that has turned me off of several of this style.

A- This has a very nice amber color, perfect for the style. Compete with a lasting white head, lacing the glass down to the last sip. Utterly superb.

S- This will give any freshly homemade pumpkin pie right out of the oven a run for its money. The smell is exactly what a pumpkin ale should smell like.

T- Pumpkin! Real pumpkin! Absolutely stellar! Considering the high alcohol content, the alcohol is very well hidden.

M- It's a little heavy, but easy to drink. With the high alcohol content, you really don't need to many of these to be in a good place.

This beer is absolutely worth trying! There will be a 4-pack of these in my fridge ever season!

 899 characters

Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,543 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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