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

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin AleBuffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale

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946 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 946
Reviews: 610
rAvg: 2.91
pDev: 23.02%

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: 946 | Reviews: 610 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Quaffer


2.28/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer was copper colored with a slight orange glow to it. A fizzy, off-white head rose up to two fingers, but disappeared very quickly. An extremely heavy bead helped to sustain a thin cap of foam on top of the beer for most of the drink. There was no lacing at all.

Smell: Surprising, the aromas that I expected to dominate this brew were very subdued. There were slight hints of nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie. The main component of the nose, however, was an odd, cola-like aroma. Remember that candy that you had as a kid called Bottle Caps, that was shaped like a bottle cap and tasted like different kinds of soda? Well, that is exactly what this smelled like: a cola-flavored Bottle Cap.

Mouthfeel: Extremely thin-bodied but smooth, with just a hint of tingle on the tongue.

Taste: The background flavor was that of a weak American lager. This was just the foundation for the other flavors, though. True to the smell, the overriding flavor was cola. And not good cola, like Coke or Pepsi. It was like that cheap generic crap my Mom used to always buy for 12 for a dollar. The spice and pumpkin were also present, especially on the finish, but they were minor components of the flavor.

Somehow, I was able to finish this beer. But I think it was only because it brought back memories of the cheap-ass cola and Bottle Cap candy of my childhood. As a beer, this offering just sucks.

WTF are they thinking?

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2003 00:10:45 | More by Quaffer
Photo of beerguy101


3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium gold color, medium head. Pumpkin and spicy aroma. A mild tasting ale, flavored with pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. The malts and spices clash a little, but combine for a rather interesting taste. Would not want to drink a lot of this beer, but one once in a while would be OK. Mouthfeel is full and a little flat. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is a little sweet and spicy.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2003 00:26:38 | More by beerguy101
Photo of assurbanipaul


2.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Spicy nose, cinnamon and cloves wafting up throughout the tasting experience, like drinking a pumpkin pie. Other than that, I found very little traditional brew tastes (hops, yeast, malt) that came through. Very much a dessert beer. Not wholly unpleasant, but not what I would describe as "beer."

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2003 20:31:35 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of maxpower


3.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear bright amber-orange color, aroma of cinnamon and pumpkin. Pumpkin , ginger and cinnamon flavors, very spicy. Light body with a watery mouthfeel, has a nice malt balance, this is not bad and very different.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2002 14:26:51 | More by maxpower
Photo of Dogbrick


3.3/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The strong aroma of pumpkin and ginger was really promising on this one, but the flavor really didn't deliver. With a little more pumkpin flavor and a little less carbonation I think it would have been a "must-buy" every year around Halloween. As it stands though it was like a lot of fruit beers I have tried where the bark was better than the bite. I am going to try to hunt down a Pumpkin Stout!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2002 07:11:42 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Morris729


1.88/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a golden orange color with a light and foamy white head. Nose is of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Feels very thin and watery in the mouth with a taste that reminds me a lot of a shot of Goldschlager dumped into a glass of water. I’m sure that there must be better Pumpkin brews out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2002 23:56:51 | More by Morris729
Photo of BitteBier


2.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours mostly clear with an orangish hue between apricot and pumpkin. Head is minimal, though fed by light, persistent carbonation. Smell is that of pumpkin pie spices such as cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Taste is rather monotonous, particularly considering the lively sell. Pie spices again dominate, along with a sweetness that subdues any crispness. Mouthfeel is fine; drinkability is limited by the fact that this seems little more than a novelty beer rather than something I generally would reach for.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2002 12:29:32 | More by BitteBier
Photo of mjohn27603


2.23/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I don't think this style is the favorite for many. However, it usually only offered during a limited time of the year. I usually get it just to be different. This particular pumpkin ale has a lot of cinnamon taste - kinda like a red hot candy. I've had half a six pack sitting around for 4-6 weeks just because I haven't been inclined to drink any more. I think this is less appealing than an average beer. I would seek out another beer of the pumpkin ale variety if looking for this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2002 18:36:40 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of John

New York

2.93/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber appearance, minimal head. Not much nose for a seasonal spiced brew. Some mild flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon. Other would be flavor contributors (malt, hops, etc.) are rather bland. Thin mouthfeel. Relatively dry finish. Not bad to try once, but not one I'd go back to.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2002 09:27:44 | More by John
Photo of RBorsato


2.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 version:
LIttle to no carbonation. Spicy MEDICINAL and almost plastic aroma and flavor. light bodied and hard to drink ...

Nothing like it was a few years ago....

Tasted: 12/03/04


2002 version (old ratings: A 4.0, S 5.0, T 4.5, M 4.0, D 5.0, O 4.5):
Great Orange color with a low lying head but nice carbonation. Big Cinnamon and Nutmeg SPICY aroma a la pumpkin pie. A great SPICY flavor (almost too spicy if possible) on top of the light body make this easily drinkable. Delicious ! I can't drink just one !

Note: this beer was #43 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2002 08:38:53 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Mick

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice deep orange amber color. Perfect tones for fall. The beer pours with a better than average head. Nice aroma, spicy pumpkin scents. Clean and airy. Spicy and pumpkin flavors are all that is available to the taste. Not much beyond that. This is not a complex brew. It is an average beer. Take it or leave it.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2002 07:19:39 | More by Mick
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.7/5  rDev +61.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

All the bad reviews made me sign up just to write an opposing view! I had a 2001 edition of this beer, thought it was outstanding. Got about a half dozen converts inside of a week. I'm not real big on colors, the orangey appearance is neither here nor there. The aroma made me expect a sweeter taste, but happily, you don't get that. However, there's not the pumpkin flavor I was expecting, either. Here's the deal: If you like cinnamon, and you like beer, this is for you. Don't buy the 6-pack if it's un-refrigerated. I could see the spices breaking down in a very short period of time at room temperature.

If you are the type that has to psychoanalyze a beer for every component/ingredient it contains, you may be disappointed. I don't think that's what Buffalo Bill's Brewing intends for this beer. Just drink it, let the fall/holiday memories take you away, smells in the kitchen, the turning of the leaves, childhood Christmas remembrances mingles with the present. This beer was an experience as much as a flavor.

And I promise future reviews won't be so corny. Really. :-)

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2002 13:06:18 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Murph


3.68/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with a decent white head that leaves a nice lace down the glass. Incredible spicy pumpkin pie aroma that is spot on what a pie should smell like. Quick crisp malt flavors jump out at first before the pumkin flavors come out. As the beer progresses it is like drinking pumpkin pie. Great spicy and pumpkin flavors. Rather crisp and not as cloying as you would think with the sweet pumpkin pie tastes. This is definitely a rather drinkable brew that, seems to me, is only slightly overdone on the pumpkin flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2002 23:24:19 | More by Murph
Photo of Pegasus


3.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice almost pumpkin-orange color with a thin white head. Lace is quite decent. Aroma is pumpkin pie spice-like, but also with an odd almost medicinal herbal scent in the background. Tasting yields a slightly sour or tangy malt flavor overlaid with fairly strong, though not overwhelming, pumpkin pie spices. These flavors linger into the aftertaste and become more distinct. All in all, if you like pumpkin pie, this is not bad; if you do not - pass.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2002 20:34:43 | More by Pegasus
Photo of Jordan


2.3/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Artificial cinnamon/nutmeg aromas and flavor. Soda-like peppery & prickly abrasiveness on the tongue. Head-less shortly after pour. Had this last year and it was enjoyed, maybe I was too new at tasting, maybe it was actually a superior brew, probably both. I am not fond of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2002 21:18:37 | More by Jordan
Photo of bditty187


3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear tawny-beige hue, active white head that formed well, fades at a steady pace to a soapy collar. No lace. I could, surprisingly, smell the pumpkin in the nose but it is dominated by spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and some all encompassing spiciness. The sharpness of the bouquet is intriguing, maybe even inviting in a Curious George-type of way. Well, the palate is not as flavorful as I’d hoped, the pumpkin tastes like it came from a can. “Spices Added” is the governing feature on the tongue. More pumpkin and more malt would be ideal. This is not a bad beer; it might be the most widely available pumpkin beer in the United States. It does remind me of fall and that’s nice. The carbonation is firm, medium-light body, okay mouthfeel. The aftertaste is cinnamon; it sticks to your lips. It is more drinkable that you might think… worth quaffing one bottle of this a year.

I’ve seen these going for $10 a 6-pack, way overpriced! I snagged a single for $1.75 in Omaha.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2002 18:56:11 | More by bditty187
Photo of zerk


3.08/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Light amber / peach with a thin head. Highly carbonated, somewhat thin. Aroma of malt and pumpkin pie. Flavor of malt, quite a bit of pumpkin and spice, finishing with a touch of hops bitterness. This wasn't as disappointing as I expected, after having read so many negative reviews on here. Maybe that's because it's the first pumpkin beer I've had, so I'm not sure how it stacks up against others. This wasn't a great beer... or even one that I'll see out again however. Also not something that I could drink more than one of.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2002 20:21:12 | More by zerk
Photo of marc77


2.65/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light amber hue w/ a slight haze. The ivory white large bubbled head settles into a dense, 1/2 cm. head. Respectable lace is left down the glass. The assertive, borderline cloying pumpkin pie spice aroma comprised of cinnamon and nutmeg initially overpowers malt notes, but trace buttery malt and light caramel becomes discernible as the beer breathes. The initial flavor mirrors the aroma and is dominated by cinnamon, but mellow allspice and clove surface and provide some depth in flavor. Malt nuances are completely overpowered by the assertive spicing, but malt backbone makes its presence known in the relative full body for style and smooth mouthfeel. The paltry hop bitterness serves only to offset malt sweetness. Finishes w/ a snap of turpentine like sweetness and light breadiness fading quickly. Although Bill's Pumpkin Ale grew on me as I drank it, it still suffers from the plague of most spiced beers... the malt profile was overshadowed.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2002 19:02:33 | More by marc77
Photo of Suds


2.85/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a cloudy, light-orange color with a puffy white head. Head fades quickly, and produces no lace. Smell is unquestionably pumpkin, but also fruit-like (seemed to smell apricots?). Soft, full mouthfeel. Foretaste is sweet. There are some spice tastes that seem to confuse the overall pumpkin character of the beer. Could have been better, but I always seem to recall pumpkin beer (almost all pumpkin beer) tasting better the previous year....

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2002 20:07:08 | More by Suds
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

1.18/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

this is the worst beer i have ever had. i hate pumpkin pie, and i love beer, but the two were never meant to be together. i absolutely could not finish more than one. i could probably drink a pint of goat piss before i could drink another drop of this insane combo of nasty disasterous shat.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2002 14:41:54 | More by ElGuapo
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 946 ratings.