Chad9976 (887) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 24, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Recently, I criticized a pumpkin-style beer for being too gimmicky since it wasnít quite authentic. Today I might criticize Dogfish Head Punkin Ale for trying too hard to come off as the real deal. Sure, it has a richer formula, but the taste leaves much to be desired.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Beers that are crystal clear and have a color of brown and/or red and/or orange always impress me right out the bottle. Since Punkiní Ale is marketed as a brown ale with pumpkin and other spices, itís no surprise its complexion is a beautiful mixture of those three colors.
The beer pours extremely smooth and forms a very small, off-white, soapy head which quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing on the glass. There is constant action of carbonation present throughout the life of the drink.
The scent is mostly of brown sugar with some cinnamon notes. Itís easy to tell from the aroma this is a very spicy, sweet beer and because it smells so good itís likely to taste good too, right?
Iím not an expert on pumpkin beers but I know what I like, and Punkin Ale disappointed me in that it didnít floor me. Itís a brown ale with pumpkin and other spices added and brown ale is my favorite type of beer, so why arenít I in love with this beer?
The mistake other pumpkin ales make is adding too much cinnamon to the flavoring, but this beer has entirely too much brown sugar. Yes, itís sweet, but the taste is rather dry. Iím noticing the majority of the flavor is brown sugar, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg and just a hint of pumpkin. It all adds up to form a complex palate, but its rather mild.
Initially, I drank the beer fairly cold and wasnít picking up on a great flavor combination, in fact, the taste of alcohol was distinguishable. At a slightly warmer temperature the seasonings are unleashed, but the potency also becomes stronger as well.
For such a strong beer itís actually impressive how smooth Punkin Aleís finish is. It leaves quite a strong aftertaste, but there is definitely no bite or kickback even at warmer temperatures. Itís also surprisingly crisp for a beer of this style which makes it very drinker-friendly for such a potent brew.
As impressed as I am by the smooth finish, I am even more stunned by how light Punkin Aleís body seems considering it weighs in at 230 calories. I was able to drink two bottles within a short time after a meal without feeling the least bit bloated. Of course, the high alcohol content is noticeable not only in the taste, but its effect on my system. I wasnít drunk off two bottles but I certainly was buzzed. I could imagine this being a fantastic choice for a beer connoisseur party.
I feel as if I owe someone an apology for not liking Dogfish Head Punkin Ale as much as I should. But if I find the taste only average and entirely too potent, what am I supposed to do? Special mention should be made to its price of $8.99 for a 4 pack here in upstate New York. I recommend it to the most discriminating of tastes.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
Sperine (172) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Had this out of season, but definitely a tasty pumpkin brew with all of the expected flavors. I'll drink this again when October rolls around.
DougHnut70 (25) - Livermore, California, USA - APR 30, 2013
3.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
From a 12oz bottle (thanks Fernando). Pours clear copper with a thin head. Smells of holidays - allspice, pumpkin, and brown sugar. The aroma is awesome. Tastes of cinnamon, sugar and spices. No hops with a light malt backbone. This is as close to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie as it gets. Medium body, light carbonation, 7%. Raised on Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale (my friends Uncle is Buffalo Bill), this is the best pumpkin ale and one of the finest holiday ales around. Sometimes Dogfish Head gets too complicated with too much going on but not here. Simple and great.
Mittenator (456) - Michigan, USA - MAR 23, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle (from backlog). Orange pour with medium head. Subtle pumpkin aroma dominated by pumpkin pie spices. Thin body.
Ed5388 (522) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - MAR 22, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle. Pours a clear copper color with a thin creamy tan head. Aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, and a bit of nuttiness. Flavor is toasted malts, pumpkin, cinnamon, and some faint floral hops.
OKplus (379) - Oklahoma, USA - MAR 13, 2013
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A - Pours a slightly hazy amber orange. Nice strips of lacing left behind.
S - Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, gingerbread among a bready malt base. Hints of alcohol and toasted sugar coated nuts.
T - Same as the nose. Pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg being the strongest. A toasted maple sugar sweetness. The hops add an interesting orange character to the mix.
All in all, itís pretty balanced. Spices are good and It has more actual pumpkin flavor than most. The alcohol comes through more than I would have liked. One of the better pumpkin beers out there.
Serving type: bottle
shhmoke (32) - North Carolina, USA - FEB 19, 2013
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
amber color, aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices. The flavor matches the aroma and this spiced brown ale shines. My favorite in this style of beer. Some go to sweet, this is perfect, and the alcohol is masked quite well. This is a must have!
Uhlen (173) - Trondheim, NORWAY - FEB 17, 2013
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear golden orange. Minimal head. Alot of spices in the aroma. Alot of cinnamon. Taste is alot of licorice and spicy as hell. Also caramel. Alot more refreshing than expected.
BoringBard (102) - NORWAY - FEB 17, 2013
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Golden amber with tiny white head. Smells of pumpkin and spices. Taste round hoppy and spicy. Thin mouthfeel. Refreshing.
pivnizub (8000) - Bochum, PorķřŪ, GERMANY - FEB 16, 2013
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle(courtesy of Jonas!): Hazy, some floaties visible, light amber coloured, cinnamon, nutmeg -as indicated on the label- in the nose, some fruits, too; moderate sweet-bitter flavour with a light acidity, medium bodied; same flavours as in the aroma plus a tinge of alcohol in the finish. Pretty horribleÖ
rondphoto (983) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - FEB 4, 2013
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Slightly hazy dirty orange amber with a long light tan head, no lace. Taste is caramel malt with spices, the pumpkin is rather reserved. There is on;y a suggestion of bitter at the finish, more from carbonation edge than hops. Not as much body as one might expect from 7%abv, but still reasonable.