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Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

September 5, 2011

The change of seasons is upon us once again, and with it is the beginning of my favorite beer season: Autumn. No longer do we need the thirst quenching powers of light, or fruity, lagers or hefeweizens, but instead our beer can finally grow darker, rich, and spicy. Of course what truly makes Fall a wonderful time isn’t the Oktoberfest marzens that breweries are now churning out, but instead pumpkin and harvest beers. While I can’t say I particularly like Dogfish Head as a brewer, if there’s one thing I think they do right it is the Punkin Ale. Best on draft, but good in a bottle as well, it is truly one of the better pumpkin flavored ales you can get at this time of year.

The Punkin Ale pours a clear light amber color, with a fluffy white head that will dissipate at a smooth pace. The immediate scents are ones of nutmeg, and brown sugar, with a light hint of cinnamon. Of course, in addition to these standard harvest spices, you can smell just a light hint of the pumpkin itself; reminding me most of pumpkin bread or cake in its scent.

The mouthfeel is thicker than water but not particularly velvety, making it easy to drink and somewhat refreshing. The tastes are of sweet pumpkin, and the standard autumnal spices you put into pumpkin pies and other Fall treats. I found the spice taste to be somewhat stronger than the pumpkin, giving it a little bit more bite than you might expect. Luckily, the nose trick helps to balance out the taste to a delightful pie-like flavor. At the end of the day, this should definitely be the pumpkin beer you reach for this Fall.

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