First, let me express my surprise in seeing the amounts of pumpkin and fall themed beers that are on the shelves already. And they’ve even been there for a couple weeks now! I can’t even buy a pumpkin at the grocery store, how the hell are there so many pumpkin beers available?
That aside, the pumpkin beers are here. Now, I don’t claim to be any sort of pumpkin beer connoisseur, but damn it, Dogfish Head’s Punkin has got to be one of the best pumpkin beers there is. At the very least, it’s got to be the best pumpkin beer available in Las Vegas.
As is the case with most pumpkin beers, Punkin is brewed with not only pumpkin, but also various spices that are traditionally used in making pumpkin pie. While this gives many pumpkin beers an artificial and exaggerated smell of pumpkin pie, Punkin is well balanced and uses real ingredients making the aroma of this beer jump out at you like a real pumpkin pie. The aroma is spicy, sweet, sugary, with a hints of clove and a graham cracker crust. This has such an amazing aroma, I recommend putting this beer in a some sort of tulip or cognac glass to best experience it.
There is a moderate hop bitterness in this beer, but it is only present in the initial taste, fading away to reveal a well balanced brown ale, sweetened with pumpkin and clove flavors. The aftertaste lingers in your mouth the way a bite of pie does, drawing you in to take another sip.
If I had some vanilla ice cream sitting around, I would have made a float out of this beer. Please go out and buy this beer while it’s available, and if you find a better pumpkin beer, let me know!