Punkin Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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very good
2,073 Reviews
Punkin AlePunkin Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.

28 IBU

Added by NeroFiddled on 09-26-2002

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Reviews: 2,073 | Ratings: 6,415
Photo of RBorsato
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-ish gold with a low filmy beige head, lots of floaters, and low carbonation. Nutmeg and allspice aroma (a bit sharp) with some pumpkin underneath. Sharp biting spice flavor dominates with a bit of pumpkin-ish malt. Medium bodied and smooth with a drying spice finish.

Decent Pumpkin Ale but not quite worth the price in my wallet.

Per label: "Full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg"

Per DHCB website: same as label sans allspice... hmm?
24 IBU, approx. 224 calories, 22 carbs

'5215' lasered on bottle bottom
Tasted: 10/27/05

($7.99 / 4-pack)

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Photo of Zorro
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled due to the efforts of Lackenhauser and The Great Pumpkin BIF.

Pours a good looking chill hazed amber colored ale with a good lasting tan head.

Smell is very malty with a good strong scent of mulling spices. Ginger and allspice are the strongest scents in here. A bit of brown sugar and bread make up the malt part of this beer.

Taste is mild sweetness and bready with a little spice in the first sip. The base flavor of this ale is a good amber ale, on top of which are a candy like extra layer of malts and spices. Flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon, allspice and ginger are present and not so strong that they hide the herbal hops that finish the flavors. Good lingering flavor of ginger and vanilla in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very good example of a pumpkin beer, but it does have one small flaw. Tasty but the alcohol is all too prominent in this one, doesn't bug me but not everyone will tolerate it in a regular beer.

Recommended by me but your girlfriend might not like it as much as a BA will.

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Photo of Redrover
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck. The beer pours a nice brownish orange ( or should I say brownish pumpkin?).

Nice aroma of spice and pumpkin with a bready malt underneath. Yummy!

The taste is similar. I get hints of ginger, all spice and maybe cinnamon. Pumpkin flavor is subdued but present. One thing I like about this beer is that while the pumpkin pie taste is very present, the underlying brown beer is evident and it helps balances the beverage.

A bit to much carbonation may be the only shortcoming (slight) of this beer. Easy enough drinker, but as with most pumpkin beers, two an evening is plenty for me.

Trick or treat? This is one is a treat!

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Photo of granger10
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Dogfish offering poured a bright orange with a golden hue. Head was smallish and lacing was minimal. Aroma consisted of brown sugar, ginger, and some caramel sauce. Taste lacked the pumpkin I was looking for. Lots and lots of brown sugar, way too much for my liking. This is overly sweet. Body is on the thin side, even after it warmed. Finish is a little tart almost and the alcohol gets noticed a bit. This just isn't my cup of tea, I had this along with four other pumpkin ales and it didn't really impress. The Michigan Brewing Co.'s offering was way better.

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Photo of sjum29
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer, and despite the heafty price tag for a college budget, ($9 a four-pack) I will definately be purchasing this again.

Punkin' Ale pours a deep, dark orage, almost a true amber. The head is a tan color but is short lived with a little agitation. Its scent is heavenly, like warm baked pumpkin pie. You can pick out the nutmeg easily. As for taste, this is the Pumpkin Ale champ. The brown sugar and nutmeg really hightens the pumpkin flavor giving an aftertaste just like you remember mom making at this time of year. In my opinion, this beer is a little better after it has been out of the fridge for a few minutes and you can really pick up the intricacies of the flavor.

I like the alcohol content as is (for obvious reasons and others). It is masked well and doesn't detract from the beer in any way that I can tell.

Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. You almost want something this flavorful to be a little thicker. It is more crisp than I anticipated.

Drikability is excellent. I enjoyed 5 of these to myself and still wanted more. You really can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm still looking for the season's signature pumpkin ale and I don't want to put any pressure but for $9 for a 4 pack and the quality rep of the brewery, this had better be it.
Pours a pleasing tawny caramel color with nonexistant head or lacing. A very nice scent, with spices and sugar prominent, particularly cinammon. Definitely reminds me of pumpkin pie, which of course is the idea.
Some of these notes are extant in the flavor but are generally overshadowed by a very strong alcohol taste. If it were me, I'd lower the percentage from seven to five and not strangle the pumpkin flavor as much. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth despite the carbonation, which for an ale seems a bit more than I would like. I do think this beer improved as it warmed and more spice is noticeable as I finish it.
This is a nice try by Dogfish Head but I must regretfully report that I'm still looking for a pumpkin ale I can drink easy and clean all autumn.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date and a blurb about what's in it. typical DFH bottle.

this pours a clear copper with lots of carbonation and a somewhat dopey head that fizzles to nothing within a minute or two. some lacing but not all that much. definately better than an average pumpkin beer though.

the nose is gorgeous!! spices, pumpkin rinds, very much like sticking your nose in a can of pie filling.

this has a great mix of spices, malts and hops! very nice pumpkin taste upfront with a nice hop finish. the bitterness definately does not interfere with the spiciness of the pumpkin. an excellent mix.

this is very smooth medium bodied beer that i would definately get again. however, i would never be interested in drinking this outside of october or november.

another example of a fine brewery!! dogfish head punkin' ale is the best of the pumpkin beers i've had!

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Photo of ikats
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice orange in color with solid off-white head - after all it's a pumpkin ale, so what color other than pumpkin should it be? While I was writing my note, the head subsided to a dense, quarter inch cover. Very good looking.

Aroma is of pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Just like it says on the bottle. It's a bit too sweet for my taste, but spices make it stand out.

Taste is a lot hoppier than I expected. Maybe even a bit too bitter. On second try, maybe not. Bitterness kicks in at just the right moment after initial sweet notes.

Interesting beer. Even though it's not exactly my cup o' tea (or rather my pint o' ale), I find it strangely intriguing. Rich like fall foliage. And the draft I tried a few weeks ago was even better.

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Photo of Naes
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one is amber brown in color with hues of orange and has a small white head.
Aroma is of cinnamon and pumpkin.
The flavor is quite bold for a pumpkin brew. The pumpkin is minimal, but the spices and maltyness are quite present. There is also a slight alcohol presence near the finish.
Mouth feel is light to medium bodied and is highly carbonated which hinders the drinkability for me.

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Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ooh.. love the neon orange 4-pack box. What a fine statement of punk! The beer is good too, one of the best of it's kinds actually. A tad sweet for me personally, but I think it should remain high ranked for the pumpkin-ale style of brew. Enjoy it while carving out a demonic little jack-o-lantern, and watch out for the 7.0% ABV!

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz bottle with a laid paper label and neck label. there is an orange pumpkin on the neck label with the word "punk" printed over the pumpkin. label is a peach color with orange and black printing. the oval logo at the top of the label is again the pumpkin with "punkin ale" under the logo. "a full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg". 7%abv displayed. packaged in date on the left side of the label isn't notched.

appearance: pours a clear reddish brick brown with strawberry highlights in a pint glass. nice 2 finger head that drops to an eighth inch capper and then to nothing but a ring around the glass. head is a fluffy off-white. retention and lacing are just decent. bubbles rise sparatically throughout the brew.

smell: very spicy. you can definitely smell the nutmeg and cinnamon. i have a hard time pinpointing the pumpkin, but i can definitely smell pumpkin pie. wierd, huh? aromas very reminiscent of fall, harvest and thanksgiving.

taste: tastes as spicy as it smells. nutmeg again, and now the allspice. there is a cinnamony sweet bready malt flavor as well. pumpkin is such a mild flavor and i search to find it, but again there's more of a pumpkin pie flavor than just pumpkin. alcohol chimes in and is mildly warming. there is a light hop bitterness that combines with a yeasty flavor at the end of the sip. finishes a touch sweet and spicy with nutmeg and cinnamon begging for the next sip.

mouthfeel: mouthfeel is a light-medium well carbonated crisp sip. rolls nicely and only clunks a tad in the swallow.

drinkability: very good drinkability. alcohol is there and warms a bit, but not a hinderance at all. i can drink these at a good clip as i almost finished the 4 pack last night, but forced myself to leave one to today to review. flavors, finish and aftertaste beg for more.

overall: this is an excellent pumpkin ale. definitely deserves higher ratings. very tasty and drinkable and perfect for the season. i'm not a big octoberfest fan, but this makes me want to search out more pumpkins to sample. excellent must try for the style.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a genre that I'm not a big fan of.This is a fine dark amber looking beer with a big two finger head.You can really smell the brown sugar,cinnamon,and pumpkin.This tastes exactly like it smells.This is the only pumpkin ale I've had that you can have on a day other than Thanksgiving.This tastes very good and festive,but more importantly,it's not overly spiced.So many of this type are.This has a nice full m/f and it's a beer that I could watch the leaves change and fall with a full pint.

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Photo of burnstar
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/brown color with an off-white head. Smells very nice- like a pumpkin pie or other pumpkin dessert with lots of spices- cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes much like it smells. Nice sweet malt but with substantial spice and pumpkin flavors- very tastey. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with light carbonation. Definitely drinkable and great in autumn and for halloween and thanksgiving.

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Photo of maxpower
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and bright amber-orange color with a small off white head that doesn't last, not much lacing either, aroma of cinnamon and allspice. Pumpkin , ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, not overdone with spices. Very drinkable for 7% alcohol, I will try to get another bottle.

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Photo of Franchise
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the best Pumpkin Ale I've ever tasted. This ale pours a nice amber color. As I lifted the glass to my nose I smelled some great spicey, nutty, pumpkin essence. The first sip just accentuates all the previous aromas I talked about. Honey, pumpkin, floral, spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, brownsugar). It is very drinkable and smooth a def must try.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with packaging date (by year) on left side of label, although without a notch or marking of any kind so it was pretty much useless.

Appearance: Orange-brown in color, clear. Head formed nicely and dissipated quickly into a lace.

Aroma: Like pumpkin pie, with some cinnamon thrown in as well.

Taste: The pumpkin flavor is the most dominant feature along with some spices, an uncanny resemblance to pumpkin pie. The spices, mainly allspice and cinnamon, linger a little in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, carbonation is perfect for this style.

Overall: I have had one or two other pumpkin brews and didn't like them so I almost didn't buy this the other day; then I decided to grab it anyways and am very glad that I did. An excellent brew for those cooler late autumn evenings before the winter beers are released. Well done!

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Photo of pentathlete
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange 'with a rapidly disappearing head. Nose is dominated by a bready malt scent with a touch of cinnamon (sans sugar). Taste is spicy malts, but no discerning traditional pumpkin flavor. Like a Fall Warmer if such a brew existed. Tastes like a nutmeg brew. Medium mouthfeel that is quite satisfying. This is an easy quaffer, dangerously so at 8%. I thought last year's version was much tastier.

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Photo of stevemcqueenjr
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite of all of the pumpkin ales that i have tried. very nice orange, brown color, not much head and little lacing. The smell is great, tones of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice are prevalent. Flavor wise, it could have more pumpkin but the spice is still very much present, nutmeg, cinnamon, even a bit of clove. light to medium bodied, i could drink a few of these and still be loving it. Quite a vast difference between this and say shipyard or blue moon - blah!

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Photo of Marty
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep red amber/orange and transparent. Minimal head, but nice tiny bubble action. Surprisingly not much in the way of aroma, not that I was expecting it to smell like a freshly baked pumpkin pie... but man, would that be sweet.

Strong alcohol backbone, and DOES taste surprisingly like pumpkin pie. No aftertaste to speak of, for better or worse.

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Photo of becktone
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful amber/orange color. It actually looks just a shade lighter than pumpkin pie. It looks very appetizing, except for the issue of the head. It has little to no head, I'm sure that off the tap it is much different. However as I am drinking it from the bottle I can't really vouch for that.

As soon as i opened this beer I could smell the aroma that it gave off. It has a very potent aroma that can be smelled across the room. Definitely can detect the nutmeg and pumpkin smells here, there are also some other spices which add to the aroma of the beer. Really this is one of the best smelling beers I've ever had, espicially since I could smell it all the way across the room.

In addition to the smell this beer also tastes great. Matter of fact, it tastes just like it smells. The pumpkin and nutmeg are apparent in the taste. I think that this beer would really complement pumpkin pie extremely well. I think that I'll save the rest of these I have for Thanksgiving, seems to me that these would really go great with the finest fall feast in the U.S. (Just thinking about all the wonderfull Turkey Day foods is really making me hungry. It also makes me wish that I knew for a fact that I would have some of this beer on Thanksgiving to see how well it pairs with such foods, I'm sure it will be sweet.)

Feels great in the mouth. The level of carbonation is not excessive, yet this beer is not undercarbonated. The flavor of this beer lingers on the back of the tounge long after you have finished a swallow of this ale.

As to the drinkability, I will most definitely buy more of this brew. Hopefully it is still available by the time I go to pick up beer again.

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Photo of Viggo
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, virtually no head, and no lace. Smell is nutmeg, sweet rich malt, some pumpkin, rich malt, some cinnamon. Taste is sweet malt, lots of spice, little bit of pumpkin and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, medium carbonation, warming. Not bad but disappointing.

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Photo of Illinick
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Tea-colored brown with reddish hues, a bit cloudy. A thin off white/tan head dissipates quickly. Impressive lacing throughout the duration of the drinking experience.
S: A cornucopia of pumpkin and fall spice. Pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon, with hints of yeast and sweet bread. Very spicy on the nose.
T: Parallels the smell: spicy pumpkin pie with a good dose of nutmeg and cinnamon. Sweet malts back up the spice with a hint of yeast. Sweet and spicy at the same time-just like pumpkin pie. DFH uses mashed pumpkins in this brew and it really allows the flavor to stand out nicely.
MF: Medium, creamy MF gives way to a spicy, dry ending. Easy to drink, but spicy.
Overall: Possibly the best pumpkin ale out there. I expected nothing less from DFH! Great fall time brew that really is an experience to drink on a nice, cool, late fall day.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle

Appearance: A dark amber brew with a small, off-white head. Head dissipates quickly leaving little to no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt with hints of spices. No discernable pumpkin smell.

Taste: Initial hints of spices giving way to a slightly sweet malty middle that finishes with a somewhat dry, hoppiness, also a bit alcoholic. Aftertaste leaves slight hints of pumkin pie.

Mouthfeel: A little too carbonated for me and rather watery and thin.

Not what I was expecting and not one of the better DFH beers IMO. Didn't have any real pumpkin flavor and smell. Alcohol was fairly well pronouced as I warm up after drinking this brew. An easy drinker but not one that I will seek again.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Clear orange color with white head. Head dissipated into yeasty islands on the top, very appetizing looking.

Aroma was pumpkin pie, just about right for this beer in my opinion. It could have been a little stronger, but no real problems.

The flavor was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and malt. It was good but could have been stronger (again).

Not bad, and I'll drink it again. But so far my top prize for this style of beer stays with Weyerbacher.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My boys love Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving and Christmas for all the reasons that everyone should: candy, time off from school and booty. They also seem to have a rather pronounced fondness for pumpkin pie, and I think they get that from me. So it has always struck me as odd that I don't particularly care for pumpkin beers. It's not that I think they are bad, they just simply aren't my style (kind of like capri pants).

Appearance: A lovely deep brown, almost the color of a pumpkin pie after you've loaded it to the gills with molasses, brown sugar, evaporated milk and sweet, sweet love.

Smell: A malty sweetness runs primary through my nose, and just underneath it, whispering "Look at me!" is the faintest hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Taste: Huh. I expected the spiciness to be far more dominant than it is in this beer. It's actually almost an afterthought. The lable states that they add brown sugar along with the spices, and that's really the predominant flavor. Like the nose, there is a very faint hint of cinnamon, etc. hanging around in the background, but it's just barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: With the added sugar, I would have expected a much fuller textured beer. This is oddly thin in body, much more so than I would have expected.

Drinkability: Well, still not my style. This appears to be an alright beer, but I'm just not converted to the style by it.

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Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.
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