Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
2,109 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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Reviews: 2,109 | Ratings: 6,547
Photo of MiScusi
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- really love the deep burnt reddish orange clear body. Light off-white head builds up and is very thin and falls down very rapidly.

S- Packs a punch of spices. Best smelling pumpkin ale I've had so far in terms of spices. It's hard to say what

T- As far as spices go, Cinnamon comes through, some clove, and a nice backing of malt sweetness. Really no doubt you are drinking a spiced ale here.

M- body isn't watery (like brooklyn pumpkin), and it's not on the heavier side either (like weyerbacher imperial pumpkin).

D- the spices, though bold, don't get in the way of drinkability here. The base of this beer, supposedly a brown ale, really pulls it's weight enough to make you think you're not just drinking perfume the entire time like some other pumpkins.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Left in the fridge after "Becktoberfest" by my daughter-in-law. (Thanks "E." I Owe you one.) Tried it before, but this was like trying it all over again. Gorgeous deep gold to amber in the glass with subtle carbonation and a nice head that fell rather quickly, but left a ring of foam that laced the glass nicely all the way down. Pumpkin spices--cinnamon, nutmeg (I guess)--immediately evident in the nose, but quickly found them to be very well balanced in the flavor. Rich mouthfeel and recognizably buttery malt balanced with a nice hops bitterness, a subtle fruity spice (the pumpkin spices) all blended nicely on the tongue. Unbelievable balance and complexity. Easily (now) my new favorite pumpkin ale. The 7% ABV was a bit of a put off when I saw it on the label, as I assumed that astringency would be noticed as the beer warmed. That wasn't the case. This was incredibly drinkable from start to finish. Fantastic.

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

I made it a point to try every pumpkin ale I could get my hands on this year to rank them all. I am a fan of the style, so I had to make sure I knew when I saw a good one or when I saw a fake.

I probably had 50 different pumpkin ales this year, and this one was the best one.

Terrapin, brooklyn, buffolo bills came close, but they all had somethin that was missing in the clove flavor, that this beer absolutely delivers.

It does not go for the "pumpkin pie in your mouth" angle that williamsburg or southern tier does, This is a great decision for the drinkability of this beer. It is one of the very few that can be drank like a session beer without giving you a sugar shock.

Great use of cloves, allspice and home made "dragon scales" as they would say at the brewery.

This makes a pumpkin ale that is a must have each fall season!! Too bad it can be so hard to find!!

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

The apperance was a calm brown with a small level of head, however that small ammount of head carries a great flavor and aroma, and stuck with the beer until I finished it.
The smell was a deep and enveloping experience (as pretentious as a beer review can get) with a heavy aroma of pumpkin pie, and definitley notes of cinamon. Although the spices used to define this ale as pumpkin commanded the aroma, the alcohol content and fleting level of hops could be detected.

The taste follwed the nose of the beer judiciously with carmel malts blending perfectly with the brown sugar and pumkin that was used in this ale. The 7.0% bite of the alcohol came along with the hops as a faint aftertaste bringing the beer all the way home.
The pumkin taste resided on my pallette long after the beer was done, and alothough it was quite a heavy and layered beer, I would'nt hesitate to have one or two more. It was truly a well done beer in perfect balance and in overall craft.

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

DH's fall seasonal is a wonderfully balanced and full-flavored version of an original American style--a New World beer of the highest order. It is a brownish amber with a fluffy white head. The nose shows a strong pumpkin flavor, but it is offset and balanced by allspice and cinnamon. Despite this brew's obvious pumpkin pie scents, the sweetness is spot on--not cloying or overpowering.

The flavor strikes this same kind of balance with good sweetness across the middle of the palate, and a nice, brown sugar-flavored finish. It has enough of a dry, hoppy (this is DH after all) backbone to give some body to back up the beer's other sweet flavors. A beer that begs to be drunk in the fall months, and possibly the best example of this style in the U.S.

Kudos to the crazy folks at Dogfish Head for putting out a tasty pumpkin ale that's more than just a marketing gimmick.

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Photo of larryi86
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle dated 7/22/09 poured into a snifter

A- A nice burnt orange color with a two finger white head.

S- Spicy pumpkin with hints of brown sugar. Reminds me of a good pumpkin bread.

T- The pumpkin and spice do stand out against a brown ale taste, but do not fight it.

S- Smooth and a little creamy.

D- I could drink this beer everyday and still want more. When it was first released in 2009 I bought up as much as I could and it did not last to 2010. I just happened to go into the beer store by my parents and found a case in there. Hopefully it last because it is easy to drink. Dogfish Head knows what they are doing with this beer.

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Photo of m1ked
4.66/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first pumpkin ale of the season.

A-Perfectly clear light copper amber color with some red hints on there. Minimal head, what is present is totally gone. no bubbles, no lacing.

S- As advertised....this smells like a pumpkin pie. First I get the cinnamon & clove, then a pleasant creamy pumpkin. For this style, smells great.

T-I get the caramel malts that are complemented with the mingling of the clove, not as much cinnamon as the nose. Like the nose I get the creamy pumpkon as if it had a dollop of whip cream on it. Its tasty.

M-Mild body with mild carb. A bit of a lingering tangy flavor.

D- I can drink a pumpkin ale or 2, but not a bunch. For the season, when I'm in the mood for a pumpkin ale, it would be hard for me to go with something other than DFH's offering.

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Photo of dwren89
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: coppery orange/brown with some cloudiness and thin off white head

Aroma: pumpkin heartiness but also a very beer like aroma. Slight nutmeg and cinnamon hints but this beer smells impressively beer like but with pumpkin notes.

Taste: bear perfect blend of pumpkin, spice, and real malt taste. Pumpkin flavor complements bready malt taste rather than overpowers and the nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar additions give the beer a pumpkin pie like flavor. The finish is drying and pleasant.

Mouthfeel: full bodied but drinkable for a pumpkin ale. Medium carbonation

Overall: one of my favorite fall pumpkin ales because it balanced pumpkin and spice flavors with real beer and malt flavors. Sometimes pumpkin ales are overdone and overwhelming to the palate with sweetness and dessert like flavors. I like this one because it is one you can definitely drink a full six pack of and not completely fatigue your palate.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! Just wow! This beer is fantastic.

Pours a beautiful golden orange color with a tiny heady and no lacing. The smell is so potent, but one of those rare good potent smells; lots of pumpkin and lots of nutmeg. The taste is just out of this world. This beer tastes like pumpkin picking, but to make notes, lots of pumpkin taste and lots of nutmeg. The mouthfeel is bright, light, and refreshing with a good amount of carbonation. This is my fall beer for sure. Perfect for autumn!

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Photo of cdrogers
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to a tulip-style glass. Serving temp was about 52F.

It was a very nice golden amber body with creamy smooth head. Very sweet smelling with a little spice. Definitely tasted the brown sugar and for some reason reminded me of fresh sugar cookies. It went down extremely well and I found myself saying how good it was every every sip. The sugars weren't overpowering and I could drink this all-year.


Poured from bottle into Guiness pint glass.

A: Nice amber color with a thin off-white head after pour settled.
S: I can definitely smell some spice, nutmeg, and also some of the cinnamon. Very mellow.
T: In my opinion quite spicy, can bring out the cinnamon in the taste. The "punkin" is definitely in there and melds very well. Perhaps my favorite pumpkin brew by far. Lots of spice but it does not linger in the mouth.
M: As mentioned above the spice hits the mouth but does not linger around. Very bubbly but also has this nice soothing sensation.
D: I love when I see this on the shelf, it's my favorite time of the year in fall. It's a fun hunt trying to find who will stock it this year because of distribution issues etc. It's so good that I love sipping on this on a nice chilly Friday night around a fire. It's so good.

I could recommend this to anyone that likes a little spice with some pumpkin. The pumpkin shines through and I love it. Go out and buy four of them now.

Go on...

What are you waiting for...


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Photo of tuckevalastin
4.64/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer on tap, in the bottle, and from a cask and it's a wonderful all around beer. The aroma is similar to "punkin" pie and is quite noticable. The taste closely matches the aroma and the 7% alcohol is hidden beneath the spiced flavor.

An almost perfect example of a fall beer.

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Photo of righthereisay
4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Although I'm not a fan of vegetable / fruit flavored beers, this was pretty good. I'm not a big fan of Dogfish Brewery, but this one they did right.

The nice medium copper color with a nice foam head. Poured into a tervis tumbler 17 ouncer, the head was about 1/2 inch. Then came some nice lacing.

The smell wasn't as nice as the flavor. Pumpkin, yeah, spices, yeah, brown sugar, sure....

The best part of theis beer was the mouthfeel. It was full bodied, rare from what I've had from Dogfish.

My only issue was the bitterness at the end, which is not rare for Dogfish.

Edit: I now drink this every fall season. It is a great beer that I wish Dogfish would build off with other beers, as opposed to their constant IPA infatuation. I spoke with a beer distributor, who told me the Dogfish Punkin sells out day 1, and the other Punkin beers sit there for a month until they are taken. It is by far, the best Punkin beer out there.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap version:
Clear bright deep orange amber color. Head is a light orange-tinged tan with decent retention and plenty of lacing.
Definite malty pumpkin pie nose. Allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Great balance of pumpkin, spices, and sweet malt.
Taste and mouthfeel: A smooth, silky mouthful of liquid pumpkin pie... subtle, semi-dry, followed by a warm alcohol finish.
Best of the pumpkin ales. Even more enjoyable from draught.

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Photo of tekk9
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a short lacey head that disapears quickly. The smell, who doesn't like the smell of punkin and allspice. Their is very little pumpkin flavour, but the subtleness is perfect. It has a light carbonation and not too watery.

I am not a fan of pumpkin beers, but I was really impressed by this one. The flavours are not over powering and meld together well.

A great beer, one I will get again.

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Photo of knoxtennessee
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Favorite season, perfect reason.

A- great pumkin orange/copper color. Small head that lasts.

S- lots of good stuff. Malt is up front and big. Bready, toffee, gram cracker. Nice balanced spices. No one spice takes the lead. More beer and pumpkin than spice which is a nice change. Like the whole pie, not just spiced fizz.

T- Nice big ale. Real malty, bready, nice pumpkin character. Well spice, cinnamon lingers into finish. Almost a gingerbread appeal. Fantastic big beer flavor married perfectly with real pumpkin pie.

M- Medium body, nice full mouth of bread and bubbles.

O- I could drink a million of these.

Best pumpkin beer ever. Full and rich, tastes like ale and fall, drinkable but one will do. Doesn't taste like a candle, or like a scented budwater. One more perfect beer from DFH.

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Photo of flanmedic51
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, 1" white head lasted for about 30sec, white lacing remained for duration. Dark amber color noted.

Smells of allspice, malt, and kinda floral. No pumpkin. VERY pleasant tho.

Taste altogether different from smell. A malty spiciness really shines through. Nutmeg & cinnamon, maybe a smidge of actual pumpkin gets through. Definately get the warmth of alcohol. (7%ABV).

Perfect to integrate a Brown Ale as a basis for a fall seasonal. It's full of flavor and great spicey/malty flavor. It's extremely enjoyable, and really hard to find much to critisize about. Probably the best Fall seasonal I've had so far.

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Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Red Wine glass (no snifter available)

A- Pours with very light orange, minimal head (.5cm), doesn't linger around too long though. Beer has a gorgeous color to it, glowing orange with slight opacity.

S- Wow. One of the most delicious and complex aromas I've had the pleasure of sticking my nose into. Smells like pumpkin pie on thanksgiving. Definite pumpkin smell, cinnamon and nutmeg become very clear upon a second pass. Very excited to taste.

T- Delicious. Taste matches the smell very closely. Tastes like mild pumpkin, slight cinnamon, and a surprising amount of nutmeg. Fantastic sweetness.

M- Incredibly smooth, almost a milky feel in the mouth

D- Very drinkable, the best pumpkin ale I've had. Definitely recommend picking up a four-pack!

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Photo of circus_cat
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Beautiful, opaque, copper body. Tiny off-white soapy head leaving no lacing.

S: Natural pumpkin flavor, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon. As I continue to smell it, the cinnamon becomes more and more prominent.

T: I absolutely love the taste of this beer. Malts up front. Bigtime cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. In the background you get that raw pumpkin meat taste with some brown sugar. Love it, DFH.

M: Medium-bodied with a pretty clean finish--leaves a little aftertaste, but in just a sweet, subtle way. Not too much carbonation, which lends to its smoothness. It really works.

O: This is my new favorite pumpkin ale. The only points it loses is being a liiiittle too big for this style. I, unlike many other reviewers, cannot really get a lot of alcohol smell, but I certainly taste it.

UPDATE: This afternoon DC is exhibiting some early Fall signs such as that burning smell in the air, and a bit of crispness when one walks in the shade...so I was in the mood to bust out the second DFH Punkin Ale from my 4-pack. And I'm noticing new things this time. A lot more brown sugar in the nose and taste than I noted in my original review. I don't know if I drank the first one too cold or what...but the caramel maltiness, brown sugar, and sweetness is coming out more this time around. Just thought I'd give a few additional thoughts on this one. I normally don't repeat beers very often because I'm on a "try everything you can" kick, but I'm going to make sure I have this in my fridge on a consistent basis this Fall. Bravo, Dogfish!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger head. Nice lace. Clear amber with crimson hues.

S: very nice pumpkin pie and spice aroma.

T: lots of dull pumpkin taste with brown sugar notes.

M: medium body. Moderate to high carbonate.

Overall: this is exactly how I want my pumpkin ales to taste. One of the best.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.61/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The beer is amber with about a finger of smooth with head that leaves behind thin lacing. This one smells really nice. I can smell pumpkin for one, along with all the spices used in the making. I think the nutmeg comes out especially nice and complimented nicely with a touch of spicy cinnamon. This really smells like what I think a pumpkin beer should be; pumpkin followed by Autumn spices. As good as an aroma as a pumpkin beer gets in my opinion. The taste reminds me of pumpkin loaf. You know, the stuff they sell at Starbucks. Take that and add a nice malt backbone and you've got a solid form of this. Rich malts followed by nutmeg flavor finishes nicely with the perfect amount of pumpkin. Possibly my favorite pumpkin beer right here. The mouthfeel is good, the carbonation being nice a subtle to compliment the medium body. This leaves a bit of spiciness on my tongue after a few sips but it still drinks very well. One that I'll certainly buy every season it's available.

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a great seasonal beer! Probably in my top 3 favorites of October beers. Smells of pumpkin, clove, and nutmeg. Tastes great and very smooth easy drinking beer. Tastes follows the nose for a prefect blended beer. I also taste a graham cracker bready maltiness to the beer. Would definitely buy again because your can never go wrong with Dogfish Head!

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Photo of Star80
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich reddish copper color, appears filtered, but knowing all the additives this is not one you'd not want to filter. Has a nice thick tan head. Smells mildy soapy, but yet spicey, and a lot like pumpkin pie. Not detecting much alcohol in the nose for such a strong ale, can detect some maltiness in here as well, as a brown ale should. Now the taste of this beer is where it blows all the other pumpkin ales away, it is like an amped up pumpkin ale and everything else seems like a watery compromise, like a lager with spices and stale pumpkin powder. THIS beer however, is extraordinarily complex. I can taste the cinnamon spice on the tip of my tongue, and at times the spicyness almost feels kinda prickly on the tonque, in a good way, like it is fresh ground. The pumpkin melds together with the malts to give it breadyness that is comforting like, well, a warm slice of pumpkin pie. The malts do have a solid toffy flavor of a brown ale. Not much presence from the hops aside from a backend bitterness and slight whiffs in the cornucupia of aromas in my glass. . Mouthfeel is rich and full. I've been on the lookout for one of these for years, finally tried one (thanks to DiCarlo's Liquors of Mundelein, IL). This is the new standard for a pumpkin ale, everything else is wayy behind. Drinkability is my only concern, wish it was a bit less strong, but then again why mess with perfection?

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Photo of Mavajo
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Taco Mac.

Clear orange/amber color with a one-finger thick white head. The nose is quite distinct - spices were the overwhelming notes. Nutmeg, cinnamon, almost peppermint.

The taste is absolutely impeccable. I enjoyed this beer from the bottle, but was thrilled with it on tap. It's like someone brewed your grandmother's best pumpkin pie. Actually, I think they did - excellent blend of pumpkin and spices. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with light carbonation.

Amazingly drinkable. I could drink this on tap all night long.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. This bottle is a little old. I think I bought it around 9-10 months ago.

4.0 A: Translucent golden brown. Head retains well, but is not thick. Tons of lacing.

5.0 S: Amazingly strong pumpkin pie smell with lots of spice.

4.5 T: Obviously there's some pumpkin and it's in a good proportion. Biscuity, spicy malts big. Very, very well proportioned with hops, though sweetness still dominates as an overiding flavor.

4.5 M: Very smooth and rather creamy for the style.

4.5 D: Well balanced and not too sweet make this beer great for fulfilling a night.

I suggest aging this beer 9-10 months as I had. I really don't remember enjoying it this much when it was fresh.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle (2013 vintage, I think) and bought it immediately. I love this beer. Pours a cloudy orange with a coffee colored head. The smell is full of pumpkin and spice. The taste was very delicious with nutmeg and cinnamon up front and then sweet pumpkin flavor in the finish. An amazing beer for pumpkin lovers, one of my favorites.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 6,547 ratings.
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