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Alimony Ale - Buffalo Bill's Brewery

Not Rated.
Alimony AleAlimony Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

307 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 307
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 6
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Buffalo Bill's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Buffalo Bill's Alimony Ale was originally brewed back in 1987 for a customer going through a divorce. It has gained reputation as one of the most eccentric brews, from reports in the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. No longer one of the bitterest beers in America, just one of the best.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-13-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 307 | Reviews: 129 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bort11


3.4/5  rDev +0.6%

12 oz bottle poured into a standard shaker pint glass. A thin khaki colored head leaves a surprising amount of lacing. I was not expecting as much from the initial pour. Body color is a clear copper. There isn't much in the way of carbonation activity.

Hops are tamped down in the smell. It is there, mild and earthy, but the malts are keeping the bitterness in check. What is restrained in the smell is let loose in the taste. It is a strong earthy green bitterness, a lot of pine needles, grass and dry leaves. The malts come off as mildly toasty.

Mouthfeel is mostly medium bodied, though the strong bitter hops finish adds some density. Paired with food it goes a long way. On its own it would be a little much if you are not used to heavy handed hops. When I first had this beer about six or seven years ago, it may have been the most bitter beer. Since then things have changed, so it doesn't quite live up to the label. Still a good beer.

05-10-2011 01:17:37 | More by bort11
Photo of lechroy


3.35/5  rDev -0.9%

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

A - Nice golden color with 1 finger head that fades quickly.
S - Rich caramel smell with a great malty red aroma feel.
T - Beer tastes like a red. And a good one at that. But not an IPA. I give this a great rating as a mellowed beer, but as an IPA its not up to snuff. I really do like the rich taste of malty.
M - Could use a touch more carbonation.
O - Yummy interesting taste. Really complex, but definitely not an IPA.

05-08-2011 04:29:17 | More by lechroy
Photo of ruppert2p


3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

The ale poured golden amber into a standard pint glass. A vigorous pour yielded a substantial head of white foam. The foam sticks around to the end leaving nice lacing all the way down the glass. As a beer once advertised as “America’s bitterest ale” the not unexpected Northwest hop aroma (think grapefruit) wafts up from the glass. That hop presence dominates the flavor profile—perhaps a little too much for my taste. Mouthfeel is round and bubbly—a solid IPA in the West Coast style.

05-05-2011 16:49:09 | More by ruppert2p
Photo of alleykatking


2.4/5  rDev -29%

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this beer.

A- Poured a coppery brown color. Half finger off white head showed poor retention. No lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- Light citrus hops in the front but barely there in the aroma. Huge bready sweet caramel malts dominate most of the aroma. Earthy hops like the citrus come through but not in any dominate matter. Light sweet alcohol in the ending of the aroma.

T- Sweet malts right off the bat. Caramel bready malts show more than the citrus hops that came in the ending of the front. There was a light earthy hop in the ending with the same semi-sweet malt overtones in the front of the beer. Sweet alcohol in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Lots of malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is light sweet alcohol, bready caramel malts, and hints of earthy hops. Flavors were more malt forward and I didn't think it was balanced for the style. No off flavors were present but a little too sweet which threw me off as an odd flavor. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Nothing at all like a IPA in my personal opinion. Not really anything like an English IPA either. The ABV didn't show really but the sweetness just is a little over the top for me. Not my favorite beer by a long shot but also at the same time not my least favorite.

05-03-2011 02:35:20 | More by alleykatking
Photo of DerekP


3.58/5  rDev +5.9%

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Nonic slash Weizen glass of sorts with a Leinenkugel logo.

Tarnished gold, amber-orange body. Swampy head w/ a thin egg white rim. Cloudy in appearance. Fruity & floral in the nose w/ pineapple coming to mind. Heat from the alcohol. A bit of a bready aroma; buttery. Sweet caramel in the back end.

A malty-bitter jab to the tastebuds. Alcohol is obvious, but not overbearing. An IPA on the maltier side.

Medium to heavy bodied brew w/ a slick feel. A night capper.

04-26-2011 14:05:43 | More by DerekP
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a subdued hops presence comes in and is a bit weak for the style. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, while there are some better IPA’s out there, this beer is still pretty solid.

04-26-2011 04:27:34 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.48/5  rDev +3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear copper with no head and very little lacing. Looks flat except for the edges of the beer.

Smell - Eh. Hop aromas come through, but it's a struggle. Hard to identify exactly which hop aromas are there. More of a bready malt smell.

Taste - Some bitter hops at the front, but a sharp, nutty flavor from the malt immediately follows. The hops don't come through in the flavor. The finish is bitter, but more unclean than appealing.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with sharp carbonation. Much more than I anticipated, given the lack of a head.

Overall - It was easy to drink, for sure. Just not what I'd choose to drink every day. Not terrible, just not great. Very average IPA.

04-23-2011 03:33:41 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of biggred1


3.08/5  rDev -8.9%

Clear light copper with a slight creamy tan head with a few big lazily popping bubbles on the surface. Nice caramel malt and faint minty and citric hop aroma. Plenty of bitterness but not much hoppy flavor just some off estery flavors and enough sweet malt to just balance. Medium bodied and hop oily. A pretty average IPA and certainly the best Buffalo Bill's has to offer.

04-22-2011 23:09:03 | More by biggred1
Photo of silentjay


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%

First Buffalo Bill's product. excited to try, but I don't have exceptionally high hopes.

pours a pretty standard clear copper with an average pure white head that sticks around for a bit and leaves decent enough lacing.

crackery and peppery in the aroma with caramelly malts and some citrus hops with some spiciness, graininess and sweetness that doesn't quite meld well together.

flavor is much more on the malty side, with caramel, buttery crackers, and maybe some nuts. a bit bitter on the finish, as the hops come out to play briefly.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a bit resiny with a syrupy sweetness that lingers a bit.

overall, not too impressed, but, its not terrible. rather smooth, easy drinking, but offers nothing memorable.

04-21-2011 06:34:38 | More by silentjay
Photo of aasher


3.1/5  rDev -8.3%

I tried this last night with a fellow BA. It poured a nice gold in color, light in body, with a light bright white head. It really didn't offer much from the nose. It had light floral bitterness with what could've been sweet pale malt and honey. The flavor was bland, in my opinion at least, as far as American IPAs go. It's a little bready, a little sweet, while offering a light hop bitterness on the backend. It's ok, but just ok. I wouldn't pick this over any other six pack that's for sure. It drinks light and clean and is pretty drinkable for the style. It doesn't dry out your palate. It's drinkable but does it make you want to drink it? Not really. This beer should be considered a mild success considering their Blueberry Stout and Pumpkin ale. Spend your money elsewhere.

04-14-2011 15:29:45 | More by aasher
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +19.8%

Goldish color body with a creamy white head. Looks very bubbly. The main attraction is the head becoming creamier from all the bubbles. Beautiful lacing on the glass.

There's a perfume smell to this mixed in with a bouquet of flowers and mens' cologne. Weird but interesting.

Bread and biscuit malt mixing with citrus hops. The tastes of malts and hoppiness are almost even but a metalic hop flavor at the end wins out. Quite tasty and I don't have a complaint about the taste.

The body on this is real nice. Creaminess from the head makes this feel really good in the mouth. (Wow, does that sound perverted) But it's true. Body and carbonation is light to medium.

I've had one bad experience and one average experience with Buffalo Bill's Brewery. This is definitely a nice one for a change. The creamy head made this have a pleasant mouth feel. The taste was good as well.

04-09-2011 07:19:52 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of TheHoppiest


3.98/5  rDev +17.8%

Poured from a 12 oz squat bottle into a pint glass. The bottle I'm pouring from is different in shape, though similar in appearance than the one pictured on this page. The beer is a golden-amber color, with minimal white head that provides little lacing when swirled.

Has a crisp citrus smell, like oranges and grapefruit, with floral and honey notes.

Has a nice, bitter citric start, that were through mid tongue before ending nicely hoppy bitter. I'm quite pleased with how wellmthe bitterness carries through the taste without being overwhelming. The beer has a leafy, earthy taste underneath the bitterness, with a mild honey sweet to keep it from being too astringent.

Medium bodied with a nice feel, with a touch of dryness in the tongue to finish.

Between the corny name and the 19th century loudmouth barrister graphic on the label, I hadn't harbored high hopes for this beer. I'm glad to say, however that this beer not only survived my motion to dismiss, but I think I will grant it a summary judgment; yes, the verdict is in, and this is a decent IPA I'd gladly have again.

04-09-2011 01:52:30 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of JCaweinstein


3.98/5  rDev +17.8%

Poured from a 12 bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. There was no noticeable bottle date.

Pours a light amber color with a two finger white head, which doesn't last too terribly long. There is a lot of carbonation in this one. A small bit of lacing left at the top of the glass.

I smell oranges and pine. The smell does not seem to be the highlight of this beer as it is not very strong.

This is a very hoppy IPA. I really enjoy the taste of this one. Piney resionous hop flavor. I think I'm getting a hint of carmel from the malts but the hops are on show here.

Medium to light bodied. 6.8% but the alchohol is not detectable. Hops leave a bitter after taste which I do not mind.

This is a very drinkable IPA. On two occasions I drank 2 in a row from my sixer and wanted more. I would pick this one up again.

04-04-2011 02:07:52 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of WankelEngine


3.43/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: This beer is a deep, clear amber color, darker than many other IPAs. There is a moderate sized white head with slowly dissipates, leaving some pretty lacing on the glass.

S: The smell from this beer is pleasant, but very mild. You can certainly smell the hops, as well as a bit of citrus and some of the malt backbone. However, the weakness of the smell somewhat detracts from the flavors.

T: The taste is much stronger than the smell but still relatively light. The bitterness of the hops is more prominent than I expected and light citrus flavors of orange rind are discernable. The malt flavors help balance the hops and lend an almost smoky wood flavor to the aftertaste. This entire beer is decidedly bitter.

M: This is standard fare. The carbonation was very noticeable at first, but seems to have disappeared over that last fifteen minutes.

O: This is relatively good ale. For having selected it as a random 6 pack under 10 dollars at the liquor store, I am pleased. However, the smell is entirely underwhelming and the taste could be better either with some sweeter malts for drinkability or more potent with stronger hop flavor.

04-02-2011 20:16:05 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of rrski198


3.05/5  rDev -9.8%

A: Beautiful orange/amber colored ipa. Love the deep color here. Nice size white head with decent lacing. Well above average.

S: Nice citrus rind scent with a decent malt backbone. Balanced but nothing amazing.

T: Taste follows scent. Bitterness really takes hold as the prevalent form of hops here. The bitterness is similar to the rind of citrus and minor pine flavors. There is a pleasant sweetness but it get lost in the aftertaste. The flavor linger on the sides of the mouth as distinct bitterness.

M: Nice average carbonation with an prominent bitterness that really takes hold in the mouth. The sweet malt is decent but again, nothing that blows me away.

O: Not bad, not great. I like the flavor although i wish it had some more intense flavors from the hops outside of bitterness, but not bad. In the crowded catergory of IPA's, this is average.

03-30-2011 05:19:34 | More by rrski198
Photo of jlindros


3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a light fizzy head of almost 1 finger over clear honey amber pale color.

Nose has some lighter hops, a decent citrus, light spicy hops, light malts.

Taste is lighter as well, some light malts come through, mostly pale with hints of reddish malts, a light bitter almost hop extract flavor, barely any real hop flavor, some earthy bitterness, a weird fruity and minty and spicy feel on the finish, bordering astringent bitterness and slight metallic after flavors.

Mouth is medium to a bit lighter bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall pretty meh, some light hop flavors, more hop extract than anything, light malts, some off flavors, meh.

03-28-2011 01:51:48 | More by jlindros
Photo of skenyon1811

New York

3.4/5  rDev +0.6%

Just got this in at my local Wegman's, the label alone made me get this.

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Nice sticky head, about an inch. It almost overflowed when i poured it. Dark reddish amber color. Looks like it might be slightly cloudy, odd for an IPA. Great retention.

S: Not as much of a scent as I would expect for an IPA. I was hoping for something more floral. It seems like they didn't choose hops with much aroma. Bummer.

T: When I first had this I wasn't impressed with the taste, but having one now I enjoy it more. It has a nice quick hoppy bite but also has this really distinct citrus flavor, almost an orange juice flavor. A very present alcohol flavor, but I like it. Little bit of a strange after taste.

M: Medium body and a very crisp bite. Good carbonation.

O: Overall I think this is a decent IPA with a good price tag. The problem is, I don't see myself buying another sixer of this. However, I would order a pint while I was out.

03-26-2011 19:57:34 | More by skenyon1811
Photo of Knapp85


2.95/5  rDev -12.7%

Loved the artwork on the bottle. That's what made me pick this up in the first place. The pour was nice it didn't overflow with head like some beers do. The aroma is of mostly west coast hops at first that almost switches into more malty aromas after it warms up. The color is a light copper with yellow highlights. The flavor has enough hops to say "yes I am an IPA". The taste is sweet upfront and finished dry which bring you in for another sip. This is a pretty solid brew.

03-25-2011 22:51:17 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwinship83


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%

12oz bottle picked up as a single for $1.49. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent light amber colored body with a small bright white head on top. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i pick up in the nose are piny hops with some earthy smells as well. some sweet caramel malt adds a little bit of balance.

T- the taste starts out with the sweet caramel malts i could smell along with a little bit of toffee. after that i get plenty of piny hops and some earthy/herbal hops also.

M- nicely bitter. on the lighter side of medium bodied. the carbonation level is a little on the high side.

O- meh, this wasnt the best, but it wasnt the worst either. fairly middle of the road. i like the cheap price of this one, but its rather forgettable in a market full of high class IPAs.

03-24-2011 03:07:18 | More by jwinship83
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.48/5  rDev +3%

Poured from a 12oz. twist-off brown bottle into a standard shaker glass. The ale appears a crystal clear light copper color with barely a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavors are of per-fumy cereal grains, sweet cherries, citrus such as lemon and orange, mild mint. Flavors are a bit muted. The ale is medium in both body and carbonation. Decent enough overall and worth trying once.

03-22-2011 04:10:13 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of DefenCorps


3.3/5  rDev -2.4%

Single, $1.99 from the Village Pump in College Park. I was very impressed by their Orange Blossom Cream Ale and was anxious to try their version of an IPA.

A very clear copper with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a disk leaving some lace, this is a rather impressive looking beer. The nose is dominated by a blend of crystal malt and a green, grassy, pine hop character with ripening pineapples and a touch of sulfur. Minty and oily, this is decent.

The palate opens with a rather abrasive and unrefined bitterness, mildly vegetal and moderately pine-like and minty. This is quickly beaten down by a moderate sweetness. Lacking in real hop flavor, this is mostly bitter with a moderate crystal malt character, caramel and sugar water being apparent. The sulfur dissipates, revealing a fairly clean beer. Drying on the finish with some resiny bitterness, this beer shows surprising promise - less crystal malt and more flavor hop additions would do this beer a world of good. A decent East Coast IPA.

03-21-2011 03:28:31 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +8.9%

Transparent golden body with fading white bubbly head that leaves some lacing. Subtle aroma of grass, hop leaves, soap, and lemony mint. Full of hop flavor: grass, evergreen, citrus, slight lime skin, and rides out mint and bitter dry. Medium bodied with zapping carbonation. A dry, grassy hop show with some fruit notes hidden in. It stands in the shadows of the other West Coast IPA's.

03-21-2011 01:51:00 | More by JRed
Photo of Overlord


3.58/5  rDev +5.9%

Pretty innocuous IPA.

Pours a slightly muddled orange-ish amber gold. Big off-white foam head.

Smells faintly of pineapple, more strongly of a sort of husk/rind-ish citrus, and faintly of caramel.

Taste is much more malt forward than expected. Lots of caramel, that somewhat strange husk/rind citrus overtone, a splash of pine (but surprisingly not much bitterness).

Kind of reminds me of a hopped up Sierra Nevada pale, frankly.

Quaffable. Nice fluffy mouthfeel.

03-20-2011 18:07:36 | More by Overlord
Photo of schoolboy


3.65/5  rDev +8%

Here comes an American IPA that has a cool name and label, but a less than over the top aroma, taste, etc. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It is very drinkable, decievingly so. You might not think you are drinking something as strong as it is, thus getting yourself in trouble with the spouse.

It is pretty well balanced, with a bit of a dark, almost Scottish taste. I would drink it again, but won't go out of my way to get more.

03-17-2011 02:03:29 | More by schoolboy
Photo of merlin48


3.9/5  rDev +15.4%

A new arrival at the nefarious Pappy's Beer Store at the entrance of Cumberland Gap National Park. Bottle pours a slightly hazed deep amber body with a small, but lasting, offwhite head. Good sticky lacing is left behind on the glass.

Aroma is orange and pineapple marmalade, waves of caramel, and some aggressive pine hops.

Mouthfeel is nearly full thanks to a chewy maltiness. Medium carbonation.

Taste reminds me of rum raisin icecream, with additions of grapefruit and pine hops, pineapple, and chewy caramel. Solid and filling.

A bit of a headturner for me. Didn't expect such from this brewery, but this ale is bold and aggressive. Nicely done, but I wanted something lighter after this one.

03-11-2011 23:18:17 | More by merlin48
Alimony Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.