Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale
We've written a lot about pumpkin beers this autumn, examining a few early favorites and even sharing a pumpkin ale cookie recipe. With the commercial calendar increasingly calibrated months ahead of the seasonal calendar, we thought we'd take a look at one more fall standard before the winter warmers hit the shelves.
Known for punching holes through the boundaries of conventional flavor combinations, Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery takes a more measured approach with Punkin’ Ale, their entry in the pumpkin ale genre. Based on an English style brown ale, the pumpkin and brown sugar added to the brew result in a subtly spiced beer over a hefty malt backbone. Pouring a glowing burnt sienna that evokes the horizontal rays from the western twilight of mid October, Punkin’ emits a toasty aroma with just a spike of dessert spices intermingled with some hints of booze. The flavor puts the sensations of the season on the tip of your tongue, but the back of the palette is quickly overcome by an abundance of stiff malts that will remind you of chewing on fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.
In our recent blind tasting featuring eleven locally available pumpkin brews, Dogfish Head Punkin’ landed in the upper third. While not the top example of the style, Punkin’ will always have a special place in our heart, if not for the simplistic subtlety of flavor, for the artful balance of an honestly crafted seasonal brew.
About Beer Geek Steve:
Steve spends as much time as his wife will let him tracking down rare beers and trying to analyze the intersection between quality beer, hype, and viral marketing. When he's not reviewing beer for Drink Philly, he writes about his adventures in chasing bottles and taps at his blog, Beer Geek Steve. You can also follow him on Twitter, where he tweets about happenings in the craft beer industry and often locates some of the best barrels in southeast PA.