Ales, Beer Reviews, Specialty Brews

Review: Punkin Chunkin! Dogfish Head “Punkin” Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin AleLet me preface this review by saying that I’ve always turned my nose up at pumpkin ales. Reason being…I hate pumpkin pie. After many a family gathering, being forced to taste some distant relative’s pumpkin pie – it makes me cringe. So when friends try to get me to drink pumpkin beer, I gag a little at the thought. Until now….

I started down a road of pumpkin beer this fall while on assignment for a beer publication. Keeping an open mind, I tried a variety of pumpkin beers and I have to say that there were a few that I really enjoyed and a few that took me back to pumpkin pie horror.

First up was Dogfish Head’s “Punkin” Ale and I loved it. Yeah, it’s got some pumpkin overtones, but the spiciness helps the pumpkin mellow out.

The ale pours golden amber with lots of foamy head, but the head settled into a thin layer with nice, slight lacing.

It had a VERY pumpkiny armona with a subtle hint of spices, kind of malty and smelled…well…tangy. Is that a characteristic of smell?

The flavor was a nice combination of pumpkin and spices but wasn’t overcome by pumpkin pie. It is a little sweet and has really no bitterness at all. It has very little lingering taste and doesn’t really coat the mouth.

And while I sessioned Punkin one evening, at 7% ABV it makes for a nasty morning after. Don’t let the tangy, spicy taste fool ya – it packs a punch.

While I know some of you will disagree, I think this is a great starter beer for first time pumpkin drinkers. If you are looking for a food pairing, I think Punkin would be great with really beefy burgers or some other red meat like a thick steak.

  • Punkin Ale
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton DE
  • Price: NA
  • Sampled 8/21/10
  • Serving Type:  12oz. bottle
  • IBU:  28
  • ABV:  7.0%
  • Rating:  4
  • http://www.dogfish.com
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3 Comments

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  • Reply Jenni-Firkin October 5, 2010 at 6:59 am

    We’ll just call this a draw. Dogfish Head was probably the start of my pumpkin beer odyssey, but it’s now not on my rotation. Over time, I definitely gravitated to the ones that are more pumpkin-pie like, or else just a solid pumpkin flavor. I just started to think there was too much spice in Dogfish Head, and it overwhelmed the pumpkin. Then again, it has been a few years since I had it last, and maybe they’ve tweaked the recipe . . .

    • Reply Beth "BYOBates" October 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

      Agreed. I still think Weyerbacher is the best! =)

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