It is definitely the season for pumpkin beers—hell, the Huffington Post is even running an article on them—and this year I finally got to try a pumpkin beer I’ve been waiting ages for: Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. No kidding; we’ve had some of the Dogfish “standbys” available in Oregon for a while now (60/90 Minutes IPA, Indian Brown Ale, Raison d’Etre, for instance), but for some reason Punkin didn’t make the cut until now.
Which suits me just fine. It’s a 7% alcohol beer with the following description:
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices. This is the perfect beer to warm-up with, as the season cools.
Liquid Solutions has it for sale along with a bunch of other Dogfish beers.
I’m a pumpkin beer connoisseur, you know. It’s true.
Appearance: Hazy orange-brown, a thin beige head that doesn’t last.
Smell: Nice pumpkin pie spice aromas, well done. Sweet toffee notes, squashy-vegetal bits.
Taste: Rich with a slightly harsh edge—a kick of cloves perhaps. Cloying sweet character, like molasses that hasn’t fermented out or possibly a very dark candi sugar syrup. A bit of alcohol playing around the mouth too.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied but thicker mouthfeel from the pumpkin, actually finishes a bit alcoholic—cloying and dry at the same time.
Overall: Decent showing, though I think it’s heavy on the spices. Not the best pumpkin beer I’ve had. I’d like to try it on tap to compare.