Dogfish Head Punkin Ale: A subtle fall ale with plenty of “punkin-y” flavor
Each year I anxiously await the return of pumpkin beers. When I see this one on the shelf, I know the time has come. Like many pumpkin beers, this one starts out as a full-bodied brown ale with a mild hop and bitterness signature. Add some of our favorite orange gourd, a little brown sugar and some spices and you have my very favorite brew of this breed.
Pouring out of the bottle in a dark copper hue, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale isn’t as strikingly orange as some of the other examples of this style. Still, it’s an attractive beer with a medium level of carbonation and a nice thick head that sticks to the glass as it is enjoyed. A very slight chill haze is somewhat common with this brew if you have it much below about 40 degrees. The aroma of this one is perfectly toasty, sweet and spicy without being overdone. Unlike many pumpkin beers that go way over the top, this one sidesteps the issue of too much spice perfectly. There is a good amount of caramel at the start that rounds out the subtle spiciness of the nose perfectly. This is a very full-bodied beer that finishes very robustly with some lingering spice notes that quickly fade into an exceptional malty finish.
Don’t miss out on this beer. Even if you don’t particularly like pumpkin beers, it would be very difficult not to enjoy this brew. And luckily the folks at Dogfish Head keep this one flowing well into November, so be sure to pick some up to enjoy with your favorite Thanksgiving desserts. Cheers!