1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,092
Reviews: 615
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 22.79%
Wants: 14
Gots: 56 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,092 | Reviews: 615 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerHiker
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a small mug.

Always an exciting time of year when the pumpkin beers come out. Picked this one up with a pack of New Hollands Ichabad Pumpkin Ale.

The pour is a nice orangey fall color, leaving a medium-thick bubbly head. A very orange colored beer.

When i smell this beer it makes me think of the fall. very natural spices and pumpkin aroma. Strong notes of nutmeg and all-spice. A decent amount of pumpkin smell is present.

Taking the first sip now... much more pronounced pumpkin flavor than the Ichabod Pumpkin Ale.. not too exciting flavor but it is a solid pumpkin beer. not much hop or malt flavor. A bit bland to me.

I would say so far this is my favorite of the regular pumpkin ales. I have noticed most pumpkin ales are very bland beers, so they don't interfere with the pumpkin flavor. I wish I could find a beer that had a complex ale and pumpkin flavor; making the two work together rather than just showcasing the pumpkin. A very easy drinking beer with good pumpkin and spice notes. Nothing to get too excited about.. yet better than most of it's kind.


BeerHiker, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of Claudius424
3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden brown with a frothy white head that doesn't stick around long. Smells like your usual fare for pumpkin ales (nutmeg, cinnamon). Taste is pretty much the same with the addition of pumpkin and allspice. Overall a decent fall seasonal that doesn't slam you with too much pumpkin pie essence.

Claudius424, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.49 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangy body with a short-lived, fizzled, white head.

Smell: Ever so slightly sweetish, ever so slightly spicy, with a vague impression toasted pumpkin.

Taste: Sweetish sugar-cinnamon flavor over a mild inclusion of pale malts. Modest pumpkin taste, along with mild hints of earthy nutmeg and spicy clove. Nil hop character, bitterness. Remains sweetish, lightly spicy, and with a small amount of vegetal pumpkin quality into the relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation, hinting at fizziness.

Overall: BB's is one of the first pumpkin beers I had years and years ago alongside Post Road. It was a simpler time, really. Years later, it's now one of the more milder, easy drinking of the bunch, with its relatively lighter tastes, particularly the spices, and the effervescent body. While not bad, it seems most are leaning towards the bolder in the growing style, like Pumking or Weyerbacher's version. I can't say I blame them.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange with a 1 inch extremely fizzy off-white head that fades to nothing. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is of some malt, spices, and maybe a vegetable pumpkin-esque aroma. Pretty tame overall. Taste is of spices up front with a pumpkin-like malt flavor on the finish. The aftertaste has hints of pumpkin pie. Way too carbonated however, with a soda-like fizzy feel in the mouth. Overall, not a very good pumpkin beer at all. It may be "America's Original" but that doesn't mean it's anything worth drinking.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First one of this historic Pumpkin beer I have had in a while...fresh bottle poured into pint glass ( a BB glass to boot!) This touts itself as America's first Pumpkin Ale, and I used to drink it a lot when I first got into Pumpkin beers....

Appearance is just ok....orange'ish and clear, virtually no head or lacing, pretty tame overall

Smell is not too bad, typical pumpkin spices, although light....pretty hard to detect much else going on, smell wise

Surprisingly, I enjoyed this, more than I expected from memory....I drank it on a pretty warm August evening, and it went down crisp and light....light pumpkin ale that is very drinkable, does not blow you away with spices or too much sweetness or heaviness...not bad.

Mouthfeel is decent, goes down pretty easily, some bready notes, light spices, light carbonation, and could drink a few of these...

Overall, this is a decent / average Pumpkin ale, and you have to give them points for being the originator of what is now a very popular historic brew style that goes back to our colonial days when our founding fathers brewed with pumpkins to give jolly King George some crap, and tell him where he could shove his English malts! Worth trying...

BeerVikingSailor, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of tykees88
2.9/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- it's a really pretty orange color I will give it that. With an uber aggressive pour I got no head. Retained no lacing. Very disappointed.

S- Smelled like pumpkin pie which is well, pretty much what it should smell like to give it a true pumpkin fall smell.

T- Tastes very sweet. My mouth has to smack together several times to get this one. The spice smell has little to no effect on the taste.

M- A little sticky heavier bodied brew. Not excited about the way it feels in my mouth.

O-It's average to below. There are alot of pumpkin beers out there, alot I am sure that are way better. Sorry Buffalo Bill, your finishing near the bottom of the AFC pumpkin beer division

tykees88, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Chico1985
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin beer in August? Eh, it was free.

Pours hazy pale orange into a pint glass, super fizzy white head is gone in seconds, no ring, no lace, nothing. Sad really.

Smell was a little strange and off, but decent pumpkin and caramely notes coming through.

Taste is not really bad, light pumpkin and spice, some caramel and bready malts, maybe a hint of brown sugar. Not bad and not overdone at least. Mouthfeel however was very watery, felt dull.

Not a bad pumpkin ale, decent flavor going on but the mouthfeel ruins it a bit, that and the fizziness make me wonder if these have carbonation issues. Goes down pretty easily.

Chico1985, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of StBoisterous
3.3/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours light orange.

S- Strong aroma of alcohol and spices.

T- Slightly bitter and acidic, pronounced spice flavor, slight pumpkin taste.

M- Smooth consistency, slightly bitter, an aftertaste of hops and spices can be noted.

D- Very smooth drinking. The presence of pumpkin flavor is not as strong as I had hoped, but still has an okay flavor. I was not fully impressed, but I thought it was good none the less, will have to compare it to other pumpkin ales later in the season.

Serving type: bottle (poured into glass).

StBoisterous, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of zrab11
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a clear orange color with a small white head

S- Has a tiny hint of pumkin and spice

T- Has a acidic flavor up front followed by a little pumking flavor and then ends with a tiny bit of spice

M-Light bodied with ok carbonation

D-Overall this brew was just ok. Wish the pumking came through more and wish it was alittle more complex. Wont try this one again but it was decent to drink once.

zrab11, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured out as a pretty nice looking amber ale, the head was ever pretty thick leaving some lacing down the glass. The smell was overwhelming, I couldn't believe how strong it smelled of pumpkin and spices. This place doesn't mess around when it comes to flavoring beers. The taste is pretty strong as well. There wasn't too much of a balance really found it hard to get anything else out of it. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad but overall this beer is average to say the least.

I would like to try the Imperial Pumpkin from them just to see the difference.

Knapp85, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of mountdew1
2.6/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into imperial pint glass. Poured a very pale straw color, not typical for this style. Thin bubbly head that didn't last long. Small streams of bubbles rose from the bottom. Some times the aroma was like a fake pumpkin pie ice cream, other times it reminded me of cheap cafeteria meatball subs. Very strange combo. Flavor was remarkably like the aroma. A hint of pumpkin flavors, but overwhelmed by a watery ketchup flavor. Just ok in the mouth. A bit thin, and the carbonation definitely overpowered it. Overall not a good beer. Flavor was meh at best, definitely not worth what I paid.

mountdew1, May 20, 2011
Photo of Brunite
2.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is a light orange/gold color, with a short white head.

S: The aromas are very faint. No pumpkin or spice of note.

T: The taste is very bland....aroma missing....taste too.

M: Medium.

O: Bland & disappointing. Maybe this bottle was too old? Is 6 months too long for a pumpkin ale to retain its flavor? One and done.

Brunite, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I remember having this a long time ago, during my Purdue years, so I figured I'd revisit it whilst filling one of my newest mixed sixers. It pours a mostly clear orange-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. Plenty o' particulates float about, suspended in mid-beer. The nose comprises cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, pumpkin pie filling, and honey. I wouldn't mind having a candle with this scent. The taste holds notes of clove, light black pepper, pumpkin seeds, flowers, and some light greens. Not only does this flavor combination not really follow the nose at all, it's decidedly weaker, blander, and mildly bitterer. The body is a straight medium, with a moderate carbonation and a kinda oily feel. Overall, a meek and meager pumpkin beer, one that I really don't feel like having again.

TMoney2591, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a little head and quickly translates to zero head. Very clear orange color. Decent bubbles.

S - Smooth pumpkin scent. Yum, almost smells like a candle.

T - Amazing, nothing like it looks. Very acidic, almost peachy. Mind you the vintage I'm drinking is 9 moths old, so all flavors have faded quite a bit. Almost tastes sour with pumpkin spice

M - Awesome carbonation, perfect. Slight twang buried deep inside. Sour and spicy citrus notes dominate

D - Great drinkability, goes down way fast, and extremely hard to put down.

I love to share this brew with friends, special thanks to my cellar for doing wonderful things to this kind brew over the past 9 months...


chugalug06, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.5/5  rDev +53.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Has an orangish color to it. Smells of pumpkin obviously and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes like pumpkin all spiced up and has a very good smooth feeling in the mouth. So taste and mouthful says it all for the this beer. Not a bad beer, but a good beer if your into an average Joe brand kind of beer.

yuenglingfan101, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a light hazed golden orange color. Half finger white head shows poor retention. Specks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- First and foremost there is a malty undertone to the aroma of the beer. Cinnamon and nutmeg are two of the main spices in the front of the nose. Don't really pick up on any pumpkin at all which was a shame. Hints of clove and light spicy hops in the backend.

T- Muted spicing in the front of the beer showcases nutmeg, and cinnamon with hints of clove. Middle of the beer is malty..caramel bready malts. Light hints of pumpkin in the ending with maybe a light malty ending. Didn't pick up much in the flavor of this beer.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high for the style I thought. Light spicing and malty flavor is left on the palate. Aftertaste has alcohol, caramel malts, and spicing long into the aftertaste with the pumpkin showing up more so when the beer warms. Flavors were muted but were on par for the style. No real off flavors were present but there was a light metallic flavor to it at times. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

D- The ABV is low in this which makes it a easy drinker. The flavor is muted and more pumpkin pie forward than actual pumpkin tasting. A average pumpkin beer at best. Glad I got to try this one out.

alleykatking, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
2/5  rDev -32%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From fall brew tasting notes (2010): Pours a light yellow-orange color with a weird head that fizzles away rapidly like soda, leaving not so much as a single bubble on top. Aroma is extremely strong nutmeg and cinnamon. Cloves come in at the end. No beer aroma, just spices. Taste is offputtingly spicy. No pumpkin character here until late in the aftertaste, but it definitely gets better as it warms. The taste is extremely over-spiced. This one is really rough on the palate.

CuriousMonk, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light orange color featuring gold highlights. Foam head is non-existent except for a few white bubbles at the periphery. No lacing remains on the glass, but a few specks of sediment can be seen.

S: Mildly spicy with cloves and cinnamon, and slightly herbaceous/minty. Acidity is apparent, adding some brightness.

T: Begins dry, faintly tart and toasty, with nuttiness emerging to mark the clean middle. This beer finishes very mild with no bitterness, but it leaves a whiff of cinnamon and squash behind to linger.

M: Thin viscosity, slightly acidic but cleansing on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: I might have never given this beer a second chance, had it not been for a six-pack brought to a family gathering by my cousin. I first tasted this beer on-draft at the brewpub in Hayward around 1999 and I found it to be overpowering in the intensity of pumpkin pie spices at that time. For years after I would turn my nose up at these bottles whenever I'd see them. Presently, it seems that this beer is able to hold its own with other common pumpkin ales. Never mind that years of experience have taught me to lower my expectations when it comes to this style.

beagle75, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of Dodo2step
3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

P- Thanks Ray in Pittsburgh

A- a decent finger and half head but it runs off quickly. Color of the beer is light orange.

S- pungent nutmeg and clove. Cinnamon is there as well but not as prominent. malty as well.

T- a vinegar taste at the front with light hints of nutmeg and the pumpkin spice. Too malty/salty/vinegary.

M- acidic from the vinegar and gassy. it is like eating sour patch kids mixed with alcohol.

D- it was a malty pumpkin beer that wsa one of the bottom 3 i have had. There will not be another purchase but it will do in a bind.

Dodo2step, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of notsoprobeer
2.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Color is golden with an off-white head that dissipated quickly. There's a lot of effervescence. Aroma is spicy, mostly nutmeg. I taste the nutmeg as well as some malts, but don't really taste any pumpkin. Body is light. It's extremely carbonated and the mouth feel is very fizzy--a bit too much for my taste.

Before I sampled this beer, I expected something heavier in body. It's supposed to taste like a pumpkin pie, right? But my biggest issue was that I just couldn't taste the pumpkin. When combined with the high carbonation, I'd pass if I had the chance to drink this again.

notsoprobeer, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of IIKaRuII
2.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well its January and im going to try and enjoy a pumpkin ale. Well that is if its good.
Appearance is a pumpkin orange color but no head at all. doesnt have much going for it there.
smell is a very spicy cinnimon with a nice cool pumpkin at the end. little hops at the end that like to be there.
taste is very spicy. almost over spiced if you ask me. almost like drinking a dark soda really. i almost think faygo taste better then this. Or if faygo would come out with a pumpkin flavored pop this would be it. WAAAYYY over carbonated. not enough good flavor to back it up.
i dont care for this ale really at all. Money well spent.

IIKaRuII, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of dmfrench
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

An over-spiced and over-carbonated, thinnish but drinkable Pumpkin Ale


A: Hazy pumpkin orange body with a one finger fleeting off-white head

S: A ton of spice... allspice, clove, pumpkin. If it weren't for just a hint of alcohol and doughy malt, I might not know it's beer. I'd call it a good nose if a spice assault is what I wanted in a Pumpkin Ale, but it's not.

T: Thankfully, we get some embittering piney hops on the palate, but unfortunately, the malt end is lacking, leaving the beer unbalanced. The spices are definitely still there, but they've calmed down a bit. There's a hint of a BMC-ish metallic taste as well.

M: While there is a certain malt roundness to this beer, it is also, somehow, somewhat thin. I think perhaps the over-carbonation is working against the brews mouthfeel, making it feel cheap.

D: Honestly, even with the low taste score, this beer is fairly drinkable... the aftertase is ok, and the carbonation makes it feel almost like soda, which is always easy to drink.

dmfrench, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of mbrown26
3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange in color. Hazy. Some head that went away quickly and no lacing.

S: Get some cloves, but not a lot of smell.

T: Not a whole lot of flavor. A little bit of pumpkin and a little bit of spice.

M: Right amount of carbonation and right feel for a pumpkin ale.

D: Easy to drink. Some of that may be due to the lack of flavor. Easy to chug.

mbrown26, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of TheBrewo
2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours with a one and a half finger orange tinged head, which dissipates fully almost immediately. The color of the beer itself is golden orange, with medium opacity and active carbonation. The aroma is wrought with pumpkin spice, nutmeg, apple, and cool banana bread masked under wheat. At the front of the sip we notice a muted flash of the spices from the nose. These peek through an overwhelmingly malty middle, to end in a salty, tangy finish, with lingering suggestions of cinnamon. The brew is moderately carbonated and light to medium bodied. The mouth is left wet, but not coated or fully satiated. For a specialty ale, the abv is appropriate, and it is satisfactorily sippable.

Overall, what we liked most about this beer was the spicy and full aroma. The taste, however, predominantly lacked much of the nose, and failed to make up for it in any other aspect of its being.

TheBrewo, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
2.63/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a tulip pint: Light golden-orange, transparent with the tiniest collar fo head & lots of nucleation.

Smell is musty banana, clove, some pumpkin spice -- reminds me of a dunkelweizen but with a damp basement aroma found in a lot of Euro lagers. Good outweighs bad, but just barely.

Taste has a little spiced bite up front, like a mild cinnamon gum, with some nutmeg. Turns kind of metallic toward the finish. The little bit of spice isn't bad, almost redeeming, but weaker than in the nose.

Mouthfeel is thin, with some tingle & a flinty bite.

Overall, some subtle strengths & some significant weaknesses. Definitely at the bottom of the pumpkin ale pile, in my experience.

OneDropSoup, Nov 17, 2010
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
69 out of 100 based on 1,092 ratings.