Dogfish Head does nothing ordinary. They make my signature beer, the 90 Minute IPA, an extremely well-balanced DIPA, and a variety of other beers, some specialties, some unusual takes on ordinary styles. It's this legacy that led me to try their pumpkin beer, the Punkin Ale. I was a bit averse at first. I'm typically not a fan of "seasonal" beers because most of the big brew shops make one, or sponsor one through a smaller label, and the flavors tend to be pretty watered down. The brewers all seem to gravitate toward the same old ideas for what the seasonals should taste like. Moreover, sweet beers are not my favored style either.
DFH's Punkin is a tasteful balance of something accessible yet inspiring. It pours an IPA-like foam head and has an orange brown color. The nose has lots of spice, especially nutmeg. The taste is nothing to get excited about but it has a mild pumpkin flavor that's its namesake, and is firmly grounded with a hop foundation. It's not overly sweet and finishes with a pesky bite. It's very pleasant to drink. It's enough to make me want one or two of these a year, but won't make me forget mom's pumpkin pie.
HOLY WATER, DRINK, OR POUR DOWN THE SINK: This is great for a pumpkin beer, but it's a pumpkin beer, a novelty, so it gets rated on the "Drink" scale. Try a slice.