02 November 2006

Hiding In the Pumpkin Patch

Ok, so here it is at last - the long-promised review of a couple of pumpkin ales. They're brief, but that's okay since you're probably going to have to search to find these on beer store shelves right now. Blame the delay on Halloween, or just look at it as creating anticipation for Thanksgiving.

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
Coming out of Hayward, CA, Buffalo Bill's pumpkin ale is brewed with pumpkin & spices (many "pumpkin" ales are actually only brewed with spices, like cinnamon & nutmeg to "simulate" the pumpkin taste). At 4.9% ABV, it's not that strong, but if you like eating pumpkin raw, this beer is for you. It definitely had a pumpkin nose - no doubt about it. It had a deep orange color, but a fairly thin-bodied taste. I kept getting a fruity aftertaste, which if you've ready any previous reviews of mine, you know I'm not a fan of. I have to give it 2 Mugs. It was okay, but I probably won't try it again.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
As is typical from Dogfish Head, the punkin ale has a decent ABV of 7%. It's made with pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg. I could distinctly pick out the nutmeg in the nose, which I'm ok with. The hops were also pretty obvious in the nose, which made me worry that it would be too hoppy for me, but that wasn't the case. At worst, it was mildly hoppy. It had a light brown color, not overly-carbonated, and was somewhere between medium-to-full-bodied. I have to say, it was a pretty good beer, especially as a seasonal. I'm going to give it 3.5 Mugs. When I got to buy my pumpkin ales next year, I'll probably get less of the Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale, and more of the Punkin Ale.


  1. I agree. I'm a new convert this season to Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, as well. Who knows, maybe something even better will come along next year!

  2. I'm not a big fan of the pumpkin ale genre, but it sounds like the Dogfish Head is worth a shot. I love Dogfish Head's Raison d'Etre, so the brewer already comes with a good rep.

  3. I too am not a big fan of the pumpkin ale genre, but I did try the pumpkin they had on tap at the Rock Bottom downtown. It had some spice to it that I really liked. I'll have to try the Dogfish Head as well.

  4. Christopher - I heard someone say something similar about Dogfish Head's Punkin being a good middle ground between Blue Moon's, which is pretty tame, and Buffalo Bill's, which is pretty bold in flavor

    Jim & Jason - I guess both of you are not a big fan of the pumpkin ale genre, huh?? :) Yeah, I've liked everything I've had by Dogfish Head. I've not tried the Raison d'Etre, but I do like their 60 Minute, and I've got the 90 Minute at home. I hear the 90 Minute is actually more hoppy than the 60 Minute, but it has more malts, as well, so it blends together more smoothly.