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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale - Buffalo Bill's Brewery

Not Rated.
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin AleBuffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,060 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,060
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 22.87%
Wants: 14
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Buffalo Bill's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,060 | Reviews: 613 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ejimhof
2/5  rDev -31.7%

ejimhof, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
1.45/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Halloween is four weeks away, but it's not too early to sample my first pumpkin ale. Said to be the original pumpkin ale, this batch was contract-brewed by Pyramid Breweries. On to the beer:

Very light bodied orange in color with a head that drops quickly into nothing. Lifeless appearance. It smells like autumn with an array of spices and pumpkin with a touch of dextrin. The taste begins with a flavor of seltzer water. A weak pumpkin flavor kicks in with a dizzying dose of more seltzer flavor that provides an astringent bitterness. Malt is detectable, but thin.There's not much else to be found. Feels like seltzer water too. After a few sips, it became hard to swallow. Do I have any takers for the rest of the sample?

The label describes this beer as "ale brewed with real pumpkin and spices". Now that might be true, but to me it tasted like "seltzer water with pumpkin extract and orange coloring". Okay, so this was my first pumpkin beer, but this sample was awful. One of the worst beers I've had the dishonor of trying.

DoubleJ, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a crystal clear body that is warm orangish-brown with a creamy very light tan head. Strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The bold smell of fresh ginger is the first and strongest of the spices. A little allspice and cloves with a hint of cinnamon hidden in the background.

T-The taste of fresh cinnamon bark right off the tree really pops out. Faint notes of cloves and allspice are blended in but much fainter. No real notes of hops or malt can get through the spices.

M-Medium mouthfeel with no astringency or alcohol warmth

D- Even thought the spices are big and bold and out shadow the flavors characteristic of beer, I enjoyed it. The ginger aroma and the cinnamon taste really kind of work together. I don't think I can drink any more of this one but I it makes me want to try a pumpkin beer that has a good balance of pumpkin spice and hops, malt or alcohol. This could be the "gate-way" pumpkin beer.

rhoadsrage, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of BARFLYB
2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass. Thanks for the bottle Ryan.

A- Dead on arrival. I poured this one with vigor and all I get is this lousy dead calm. Some rising bubbles that don't break the surface. No lace. The liquid is a very small shade of light bronze with burnt orange. This beer looks dead to the world though.

S- Well it's a pumpkin beer so it goes in that direction with pumpkin and a little bit of spice, probably nutmeg. It's just that these scents are so minimal that it's apples and oranges compared to other's in the style, in other words very light and fragile. Some morning bread and a bit of cinnamon.

T- Pumpkin with some spices following. Very light, while the malts come through just as much, if not more. Cinnamon and a dash of clove. The malt level is at a point where it outshines the other contenders. Hops really are not in the picture here, more of an after thought, if that. This beer is in no means horrible, it's just light and to the point.

M- A small step up from light with more sweetness than spiciness on the palate. If this had no pumpkin in it I would of guessed this as a bad US version of a golden ale. The carb could of been boosted up a notch, it's almost non-existent. No lingering ingredients here, it just comes and goes.

D- With all the mixed reviews here, I gotta say this is in no means a good beer, but it's far from horrible. Let's face it, there are a lot of fishes in the sea when it comes to US pumpkin beers, with a lot of dead fish as well. If this did not have such a dead look and feel this could be a good contender for a sixer per season, for now i'll stick to my single.

BARFLYB, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of Zorro
3.98/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is a hazy orange/red brew.

This has a pleasant pumpkin pie spice aroma. I can't really smell any pumpkin, but there is a nice malt and caramel smell.

The taste is very much like pumpkin pie. The spices come out very nicely with just a hint of caramelized sugar. Surprisingly this beer isn't really sweet.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable, but this is a specialty brew.

Zorro, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +2.4%

LXIXME, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +53.6%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev +2.4%

brandoman63, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.55/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very flat pour, plain orange in colour, slightly hazy. Aroma super strong in clove especially, with lesser notes of basil, nutmeg, and typical pumpkin pie spices. Mouthfeel a little overly sweet, cloying in many regards. Taste is dominated by cinnamon mostly, again with light pumpkin flavour. Lots of spice but little else behind it, no hops and far too little malt to keep it standing. I coudl still enjoy it but not recommended.

biegaman, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of rab53
2.25/5  rDev -23.2%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a hazy light pumpkin orange with a white quickly dissipating head.

S: typical dry pumpkin spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg and dry pumpkin mash. The nose was dominant and very spicy.

T: much the same with some dry pumpkin mash and big dry cinnamon and nutmeg notes that finished spicy.

M: light, a little watery and very softly carbonated.

D: Ok by style and ok drinkability but much better examples and one I wouldn't bother to have a second.

beerthulhu, May 15, 2008
Photo of sendbeer
2.25/5  rDev -23.2%

sendbeer, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of Bighuge
3.78/5  rDev +29%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden color. Not deep enough though. I expect a deep amber or orange or copper when it comes to Pumpkin ales. A slight off-white head recedes to the thinnist of coatings. The rimming sticks around for a while. I love the aroma of this beer. While spices are present, it's much more. It actually smells like pumpkin pie. The nose consists of clove, nutmeg and cinamon sprinkled atop a pumpkin pulp and caramel malt base. Flavor profile is more of the same, except less of the all important pulp/malt base. Just a tad heavy on the cloves. Also some cinamon and allspice. There's a slight sweet pulp taste. And some caramel malt backing. Just not enough. I used to like this one a lot more. Haven't had it for 2 years now. I still like it...but not quite as much.

Bighuge, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of JohnGalt1
2.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz picked up at the Coop today as part of my drive this year to review the fall seasonals as hey come in. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

1/2" head dies immediately back to nothing.. no collar.. no lacing.. brew is clear orange.

The aroma smells like pumpkin pie but without the sweetness.. who would have guessed? :-)

Flavor is watery.. reminds me of Ginger ale but with allspice and cinnamon.. The spice isn't overpowering like many pumpkin ales.. just there isn't enough other stuff to make it interesting. it needs some toasted malts and a fairly bigger body.. body is very very light.. finish is too dry .. and most importantly it needs some sweetness to tie everything together.. I've had this a few times over the years, but I will probably not buy it again for a few just to see if the recipe changes significantly.


JohnGalt1, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.13/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kind of a dull amber color to it, not much head or lacing. Smell was definitely pumpkin.

Taste, lots of pumpkin, cinammon prolly some other Thanksgiving type of spice, nutmeg, s too. Very season in its feel. Big carbonation throughout. No hops. No bitterness. This is an Octoberfestish style of beer I can tolerate. I like the pumpkin. A little pricey though, I mean, no hops, no malt, pumpkins are dirt cheap . . . why is this 8-10 bucks a sixpack? Because of that, and the fact that its the kind of beer I don't want more than 12 oz of in a day, I docked some drinkability off of it.

Beerandraiderfan, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -6.1%

harpus, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pumpkin, spice (all spice?), and slight grain. Fits the style of a Pumpkin Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pumpkin, slight sweet malt, slight grain, slight pale malt, and spice (all spice). Overall, decent aroma and blend, but the pumpkin is strong and easily discernible.

Tone, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of Gusler
3.1/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Release 2005
As it dispenses from the 12-ounce brown bottle, the beer resides in the glass a clarion amber with a modest semi-creamy light tan head that quickly disappears leaving the lace to surround the glass. Nose is sweet spicy pumpkin, with a nice bit of malt to back it up, start is somewhat sweet with a decent grain presence, top is light to moderate. Finish as a decent acidity, hops light but present, very dry aftertaste, bought two more different pumpkin ales for a small taste-off.

Gusler, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of LiquidAmber
2.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint Pours a slightly hazy medium orange amber. Thin head that fizzes out instantaneously (but made an interesting sound as it did so). No head, lacing or carbonation. Light aroma of sweet malt and pumpkin pie spices. Taste is dry pumpkin, with a distinct earthy note that had a hint of moldiness. Finishes with a slightly sour, dry flavor. Light bodied. Not that good.

LiquidAmber, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
3.2/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz single purchased at Steve's on University in Madison...I've heard only bad things about this but I love pumpkin beer so I held out for a single

appearance: cloudy orange with thick foamy white head that laces nicely

smell: pumpkin with heavy spicy aromas...cinnamon dominated with hints of nutmeg

taste: where did the pumpkin go? this tastes like a weak ale laced with those little red hots candies. the cinnamon is potent. The taste isn't bad but the pumpkin is drowned out by a spicy cinnamon taste. I have no choice but to penalize the taste ranking because the pumpkin is really drowned out

mouthfeel: light bodied, spicy on the tongue

drinkability: who would want a second

Well, this wasn't as bad as I expected, but it's not really a pumpkin ale, by my standards. Still, This thing isn't as bad as I had figured.

dirtylou, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of scruffwhor
2.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A clear pumpkiny amber with light bubbling. Crappy soap foam head. No retention. No lacing. A very soapy, bloody, spicey pumpkin mix greets the nostrils. Plenty of powdery pumpkin pie spices hit the tongue with the first sip. As the beer warms, the more harsh flavors mellow out a little and the malty pumkin-ness inches closer towards center stage on my tongue.

scruffwhor, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of ccrida
2.23/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic, Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale is a slightly hazed copper with all but no head or skim, but active carbonation.

Smell is super strong in the spices, nutmeg mainly. Just too much spice.

Taste is, surprise, all spice! Is there pumpkin in here, or just pumpkin pie spices? Otherwise, a slight bitterness, but that's it. No malt at all, this is like drinking pumpkin pie spiced seltzer.

The mouthfeel is watery.

The drinkability is pretty low if you like beer. As far as a pumpkin pie seltzer, in spite of the heaviness of the spices, the taste vanishes so abruptly that I can't really complain. Wait, I can, and I am. This beer sucks!

ccrida, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.7/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. B2379 (maybe this is a Julian date?) "America's Original Pumpkin Ale"
Thank you Onenote81 for this trade!

A - Fizzy and slightly hazy, the effervescent pour produced an off-white head on top of the yellow-orange body. Loud and short-lived, it retired to a tiny ring with no lacing.

S - It pours with a lively pumpkin aroma that's heavier on the pumpkin than the spices although the spices are still evident. The aroma is a bit thin though. No "beer" aroma as a backbone for the pumpkin and spice.

T - Again, like the aroma there is a lively pumpkin flavor with a good subtle helping of spices that lets the pumpkin really shine but there is no beer backbone to support it. A light kiss of hops is there but no maltiness to speak of.

M - Thin and watery. Lacking a good maltiness. Spicy and crisp with a light bite to the finish. Just lacking in any body.

D - It's certainly an easy drinking pumpkin ale. Much better than I had expected but although they got the pumpkin and spice proportions right, the beer (malt and hops) isn't really there. Way too thin.

BeerFMAndy, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Boone757
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%

Boone757, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3/5  rDev +2.4%

Hopheadjeffery, Dec 22, 2012
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 1,060 ratings.