Last year when I checked out Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, I liked it so much that I gave it a rare 4-star rating. Considering that I’m rehashing a few other Pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers that I’ve already tried, I knew I would have to give the DFH Punkin another go-round as well, although it might be off the shelves by the time you read this! 🙁
Unlike most of the other Pumpkin beers I’ve tried, DFH Punkin comes through strong again and in my mind fully deserved the 4-star rating. This 7 % ABV brew is not overly pumpkiny, nor is it overly spicy, which seems to be many of the lesser Pumpkin Ales downfall.
This one is brewed with, and I quote from the label here, “…real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.” If you take enough time sipping this special beer (and I hope you do) you can really pick up on all of those flavors – yet they are so well blended, and so well balanced that nothing stands out as a dominant flavor. Very nice indeed.
I’ll end by saying that the alcohol, a robust 7%, is not that much of a factor in the flavor, and to me is well hidden. Still, you know it’s there because you get a very nice warming sensation in your mouth as you drink it, and you do pick up on it in the aroma. Still, I think it is superior to other Pumpkin Ales like the Southern Tier Pumking that seem to put a premium on the alcohol flavors. I know Pumking weighs in at 9% ABV, but I think it could have been a little more balanced than it was compared to the DFH Punkin.
There you have it! Two years running Dogfish Head Punkin is my favorite Pumkin Beer, although I did think the Sam Adams Pumpkin gave it a good run for its money! If you can find some, it might make a nice addition to the post-Thanksgiving dinner activities!