While the pumpkin beer market has exploded in recent years, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery started brewing its Punkin Ale way back in 1995.
That means that Punkin Ale is, technically speaking, old enough to drink itself.
Be that as it may, we still felt it necessary — for the sake of our fans — to drink it ourselves. After all, we’re doing this for you.
And you’re welcome.
Punkin Ale has a dark orange-amber appearance consistent with many of its other offerings, like its flagship 60-Minute IPA…albeit darker. Aroma is light, but pumpkin and spice are detectable.
Taste is predominantly malt with light pumpkin and spice notes. This beer definitely puts the beer before the pumpkin. Hops show up as the flavor develops, and our panel generally enjoyed the flavor.
However, aftertaste is where this beer loses points. Our panelists noted a yeasty, somewhat bitter, estery aftertaste. Pumpkin pie spices linger in the aftertaste, however, which the panel found pleasant.
Drinkability was rated fairly well, with most panelists commending Dogfish Head for focusing on the beer first and pumpkin second; and for being less full-bodied than other Dogfish offerings.
However, the lackluster aftertaste and a mouth-drying effect caused our panel some concern that they’d tire quickly of Punkin Ale.
Bottom line…if you’re a fan of Dogfish Head brews and want to dabble in the pumpkin patch, you might like this. But if you really want intense pumpkin flavors, you might find yourself telling this 21-year-old brew to go drink itself.
(Appearance 7, Smell 7.67, Taste 22.83, Aftertaste 12.33, Drinkability 23)