Tasting: September 9, 2011
Style: Fruit (Pumpkin)
While on a beach vacation in Delaware a few years ago, I noticed some advertisements in Rehoboth for an event called â€œPunkinâ€™ Chunkinâ€™â€. I came to learn that â€œPunkinâ€™ Chunkinâ€™â€ was a pretty big â€œto-doâ€. If you arenâ€™t familiar with the event, it is a competition to hurl a pumpkin as far as possible. There are a number of categories contestants compete: manually thrown; catapulted; air cannoned; centrifugally tossed and more. Apparently, some of these pumpkins can travel nearly a mile via air cannon. Wouldnâ€™t you know that the â€œWorld Championshipsâ€ are held each year in Delaware during the first weekend in November? Itâ€™s turned into a pretty big festival and the event highlights have been made into the highest rated programs on the Science Channel. Last year, even the Mythbusterâ€™s Adam and Jamie hosted a program for Discovery Channel covering the event.
What does Punkinâ€™ Chunkinâ€™ have to do with Dogfish Headâ€™s Punkinâ€™? You may know that Dogfish Head hails from Delaware. Their one and only brewpub is located in Rehoboth. Their Punkinâ€™ Ale is named after this famous event and this beer made its debut at the event in 1994 â€“ claiming first prize in the Punkin Chunkin recipe contest. All of this six months before the brewery opened its doors for business.
From the label – 7% ABV, brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Not sure if they ingredients are listed by quantity — but sounds like the balance of a real pumpkin pie. Not much of a head on this dark amber brew, although I have some volcanic carbonation spewing from the bottom of my perfect pint glass. Aroma lays a little heavy on the allspice and nutmeg. My first sip gives me a pop of pumpkin followed by that allspice and nutmeg. On the plus side, the mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly sticky. If you have a good pumpkin pie – you get pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar. I think we are all brainwashed to think that the combination of all the spices are pumpkin flavoring — it’s not. I’ll give this one 81 points.