Dogfish Head Punkin Ale is a pumpkin flavored beer that I’ve been wanting to try for some time now, but its usually been kind of hard for me to find. This year, Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale seems to be everywhere!
This particular beer review is outside of our regular beer exchange for the simple reason that the DFH Punkin’ only is available in a 4-pack rather than as a traditional 6-pack. So sorry! I keep all four bottles! Too bad other Brew Club people!
Pumpkin flavored beers are kind of hit-or-miss I think. Some, like Jack’s Pumpkin Spice are rather crappy, and others like Brooklyn’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale are not bad. I still haven’t found one that really impresses though. Maybe this entry from Dogfish Head will change that?
If you read the label, you would think this is a 7% ABV pumpkin pie in a bottle. ‘A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.’ To me, this sounds great. I love pumpkin pie and I think conceptually it should make fine beer.
Pouring the Dogfishhead Punkin’ into my glass, it looks very much pumpkin-colored, but its considered a brown-ale I guess. A small but persistent off white foamy head forms that remains in some degree, all the way to the last sip.
Smelling this Pumpkin ale, malts come to the front and there is something of a spicy pumpkin scent that lurks in the background. Pumpkin is in the nose, but its subtle after the malt and spices.
Getting on to the taste, I would say that it closely follows the aroma. Malt seems to be the dominant flavor, and then a little later you get this hit of spices. I don’t know if its the cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg, but this pumpkin pie kind of spice flavoring happens late in the sip, and then stays with you for some time.
All throughout, you can definably pick up on pumpkin flavors, but like in the smell, its very subtle and not in your face at all, yet you know that its there and that you’re unmistakeably drinking a pumpkin ale.
In summary, I think that the Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale is so far, the best of the pumpkin flavored beers I’ve tried to date. Granted I haven’t tried them all, but so far this is the best of the bunch and its the one I would buy again for myself and recommend to someone else. Its good, plain and simple.
It has all of the elements that you would want if you’re into this style of beer, without being too overboard in the spice department like the Post Road Pumpkin Ale seemed to be, and not overly subtle or intense in the pumpkin realm either. I thought it was nicely balanced and quite enjoyable. If you can find it, grab a box! If I could give this beer 3.75 stars I would, but I can’t so I’m rounding it up to 4 stars (on a technicality!).
My 4-pack of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale set me back $9.99 + tax here in Jersey so its not the cheapest, but so far its been the best.
Have you tried the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale? What did you think? Do you have a favorite Pumpkin Ale that you think we should try?