1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

960 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 960
Reviews: 610
rAvg: 2.91
pDev: 23.02%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 960 | Reviews: 610 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thelagerheads


2.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a beer way out of season to be trying in June but it was on a discount rack and my cohort Trüb (pronounced tr'oob, rhymes with teets) was eager to try it. I had it last fall and was a little bothered by the spice rack perfume masque nailed to the face of a pale ale, but in general I'd drink it for the occasional episodes of spitting fire or washing down a number four combo at McDonalds. I prefer a darker beer with a hint of pumpkin goodness like Blue Moon's Pumpkin Beer, which is far more wholesome and religious and brings down the moon in the autumn to light the Devil's way home sans all the cackling witchery and hobgoblin potpourri spicing.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 00:50:51 | More by thelagerheads
Photo of Dubbercody


3.48/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle. Pours orange/amber color. Scent upon pour is very srongly of pumpkin pie and holiday scents.

The beer has a slight taste of pumpkin. With the smell of the beer I was expecting a much stonger pumpkin presence in the taste. It's probably good as it doesn't overpower the taste. Pumpkin mostly shows in aftertaste, but also develops later in drink.

Very easy to drink beer. It's the 'treat' I give to Trick or Treating Dad's that take their kids trick or treating.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 22:53:49 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of shbobdb


2.63/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Now, I like Weizens. I'm saying this because I don't want anybody to think that I am hating on cloves.

However, this beer tastes like cloves. My tongue is going numb from the lidocaine. Terrible. Almost no other flavours are present -- a touch of nutmeg, maybe, but precious little else to suggest that this beer involves either pumpkins, or beer.

The head is transient, but the body is a clear orange, rather like a maerzen. Nice looking brew, actually.

That's where the fun stops. The smell is cloves, cloves, cloves. I can't knock it too much, simply because that was clearly the brewer's intent, but why?

The mouthfeel is rather thin. Sort of what I've come to expect from a novelty beer: all setup, no punchline. The subtle details kinda fall to the wayside.

This is a terrible, terrible beer.

So, why do I want another?

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 23:06:24 | More by shbobdb
Photo of shererjt


2.2/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a cloudy orange color with a fairly large, beige head. Aroma was pretty interesting: plenty of spice mixed with a fair amount of hops (and rather assertive ones at that) and some malt and pumpkin in the background. Light-to-medium body and, um... wow. The term "train wreck" came to mind. This one was all over the place. Plenty of bitterness and spice but little malt to hold it together. Mouthfeel was thin and watery, and the drinkability was poor.

Looks and smells good, but the illusion falls apart when you taste it. Completely out-of-balance, which is sad because I think if you put the unique spice/hop combination from this one into a nice Märzen or even a malty pale ale using a yeast with low attenuation, it could be quite good. On the positive side, I did pay less than $3 for this six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 02:42:35 | More by shererjt
Photo of ndekke39


4.22/5  rDev +45%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep, rich orange from the bottle, fairly bright and clear. Medium head on it.

S: One of the best smelling pumpkin ales I've tried. Strong aroma of pumpkin pie spices, plenty of notes in it. I kept wanting to stick my nose in the pilsner glass.

T: Continued strength of pumpkin pie spices. Light bitter finish.

M: Medium thickness, although still a crisp ale.

D: Light creaminess goes down well. Rich flavors make it great for sipping.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 18:03:04 | More by ndekke39
Photo of KarlHungus


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

This brew pours a clear reddish-orange color. The head is one-finger in height, creamy and white with orange hues. The aroma is of cinnamon and nothing else. The taste is also dominated by cinnamon to a point where no pumpkin is noticable. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this beer is decent but it would be nice if more pumpkin came through.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 19:54:42 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of timbeer


3.93/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this one to be very enjoyable. It pours a cloudy orange, with a nice full head. The taste is pleasant - the pumpkin flavor and the spices make it reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The speciality flavors blend well with the beer taste, which puts it one up on many novelty beers. It might benefit from a fuller body, and perhaps from a stronger malt presence.

More generally, this beer illustrates that one's preferences are highly individualistic, and that one shouldn't be deterred from trying a beer simply because others have given it poor reviews. You won't know what you think of it until you try it yourself. Once in a while you'll find one that, for you at least, is a hidden gem.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 07:44:15 | More by timbeer
Photo of willgro


3.83/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall an excellent beer. It is a typical pumpkin ale, not too rich or tart. Its pumpkin flavor is not overwhelming. It is available at a ton of different stores, including world market and whole foods. it has an amber, orange color (go figure) and a cinnamon flavor to it, but not too spicy. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 03:22:19 | More by willgro
Photo of atigerlife


2.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my first pumpkin ale, so not much to compare it with.

The appearance was orangy-amber color with a medium head that dissipated quickly. Medium carbonation. So far, nothing alarming.

Things become "curious" after that, as the aroma is cloves, cinnamon, sweet with some nutmeg. I didn't smell any pumpkin, just the spices.
The taste was like a bad, light pumpkin pie. Cloves and cinnamon are aggressive and some light nutmeg. That's about it. Lacking in depth and substance. The one word that kept creaping in my head as I was drinking this "fake." Just didn't taste like it had real ingredients.
Mouthfeel was watery and light. Overall, this was not good but perhaps there are others in this style that have more character. Perhaps someone might like this at Thanksgiving as a curiosity, but not me.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 17:57:29 | More by atigerlife
Photo of aforbes10


1.33/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I've had pumpkin beer before, and i've had spiced beer before, so when i picked this up i had high hopes. These hopes died when i took my first swig.

First of all, i can't taste the pumpkin at all. Well, maybe a little, but isn't pumpkin the whole point? What i can taste is spice. Spice that overwhelms any other flavor that may dwell beneath. Really not enjoyable to drink, unless you really, really like ginger and cinnamon. I couldn't finish the first bottle and gave the rest of the six pack away to unsuspecting friends.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 20:25:56 | More by aforbes10
Photo of Higravity


2.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well this beer was DOA. Looked ok with a yellow copper color and a decent if smallish white head. The smell warned me that I was drinking ginger ale, and when I tasted it I knew I wasn't wrong there was a good does of cinnamon in there too and that actually came through first, but no PUMPKIN flavor and the bland beer beneath this is forgetable.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 14:40:33 | More by Higravity
Photo of chOAKbarrell


2.58/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ginger beer. Ginger ginger ginger. There's some cinnamon underneath the ginger. No pumpkin to be found anywhere, unfortunately.

Much like Shipyard's pumpkin ale is really a cinnamon flavored beer, Buffalo Bill's pumpkin ale is really a ginger flavored beer.

I also get some kind of strange funky aftertaste... kind of smokey.

Um, not good. Not good at all. Better than Shipyard's pumpkin, but that's not saying much.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 03:48:51 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of Brent


1.73/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I was in a holiday beer mood, so this beer followed a Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale. The contrast was astounding - this is perhaps the most lop-sided spiced beer I've ever run across. Gigantic, overpowering clove. This should be designated "clove beer." Some nutmeg struggled to rise above the din, and no other flavor could make much of a dent in the spice onslaught. I happen to like clove, and that was the only reason I could finish the beer as a curiosity. I understand Portland contract brews this. They should be ashamed.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2005 14:26:03 | More by Brent
Photo of falloutsnow


2.3/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours an off-white two finger head that in about thirty seconds dissolves into a light perimeter of bubbles around the glass. The ale is a clear amber-orange full of active carbonation.
S: Powerful aromatic qualities to this one, mainly cinnamon and nutmeg with some pumpkin hints in the background. No noticeable malt or hop characteristics here.
T: There's an overpowering cinnamon flavor, almost similar to the red-disk candies, that forces its way onto the taste buds as soon as this beer is sipped. It's more than a bit cloying as it essentially dominates the entire gustatory aspects of this brew. There were moments where I thought I briefly tasted an essence of pumpkin or malt, but it's incredibly difficult to separate any other distinctive traits from this beer other than the cinnamon flavor.
M: Playful carbonation and a light body give this a good mouthfeel; nothing too heavy or overpowering, unlike the taste. Because the presence of hops seems lacking, the semi-dry finish is rather surprising.
D: Though the smell is pleasing and the mouthfeel good, it would be difficult to drink more than one or two of these, for the cinnamon taste is a bit too overpowering, drowning out this beer's other possibilities and generally burning out the taste to experience more in the drinker. One shouldn't underestimate subtlety.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 17:08:50 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of gmcfarre


1.1/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle, poured into Samuel Smith pint glass. No freshness date.

A - Nice 2 finger head, a bit bubbly and lasts nicely. Wait a second... is this beer actually orange?! It looks like Kool-Aid with a head on it.

S - Chemically-induced pumpkin and cinnamon and other unmentionable spices. Putrid.

T - Terrible amount of spice that attacks the tongue. I've never had a beer taste so unnatural. Could I even pronounce one of the ingredients of this beer?

M - Hard to tell since my mouth is recoiling in fear and disgust. Nothing notable in this category: light yet biting.

D - About the worst thing I have ever put to my lips. Not tolerable in the least. Down the sink it goes.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 01:21:35 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of Brewfan


2.93/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was an '04 bottle that's been in my beer fridge for about a year.
Beer poured a slightly murky orangish-amber color. With a rough pour I got a quick 1/2" head, minimal lace left on the beer after the head dissapeared.
Immediate aroma of malty pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Can't detect any hoppiness through the spices.
A bit sour on the tongue, pumpkin flavor is there prevelant, but not as much as the nose would have you believe. Very slight hoppiness, but is almost non-existant
Light mouthfeel, too crisp. Medium carbonation.
Not the worst pumpkin ale I've had, but nowhere close to the best either.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2005 23:06:32 | More by Brewfan
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good brown orange colour with a foamy two-finger head. Not much of a smell to this beer. There’s a bit of hop grassiness and some spiciness to it. The taste is much fuller than the scent: malts, hops, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin to it. This is savoury with a hint of sweetness to it. Not as sweet or cloying as Steamwork’s Pumpkin Spiced ale, but still enjoyable. Leaves the palate dry, and would serve as a good appetizer. Not quite sweet enough for desert.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 08:29:51 | More by BDTyre
Photo of mmmbeer


3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. with no freshness date - served chilled in a nonic. Pours a honey/golden color with a 1 finger off-white head that doesn't leave much lace. Smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin - kinda like a winter warmer without the beer aromas. The taste is predominantly spices which go away quickly and don't leave much aftertaste. It has a light bitterness and faint malts, along with a medium to light body that is a bit tingly and dry. It's decent, but there's too many spices (mainly clove) and not enough natural beer flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 05:47:43 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of jamesdergen


2.65/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a transparent pumpkin orange with a small fizzy head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: Faint whiffs of pumpkin spice, but not much else.

Taste: Tons of cloves and a bit of pumpkin spice with some hop tanginess. No backbone whatsoever and no complexity. Basically tastes like clove-flavored soda.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated and the intense clove taste leaves the mouth dry and numbs the tastebuds.

Drinkability: I guess this would be good if I was really thirsty, but otherwise very unimpressive. Too carbonated and too much clove taste.

Not impressed by this one. I guess my standards for this style are pretty high after having Town Hall's amazing pumpkin ale. I most likely wont be buying this one, good thing I got this bottle from a friend :)

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 03:01:00 | More by jamesdergen
Photo of xoqx


2.65/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is somewhat like a novelty malt beverage; not much like a beer. It looks like a beer with an orange-amber color and a white very minimal head. It had zero retention and zero lacing. The smell, although nice, it not very beer like. It was pretty darned pumpkiny, if you can imagine that. The taste is sugary, spicy, and sweet with little malt and hop focus. The focus is whatever they have added to make it pumpkiny. It feel watery and I cannot recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2005 23:44:46 | More by xoqx
Photo of hoffman


1.98/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Man it sure looks nice in the glass. A full frothy white/tan head rises to nearly two fingers before disipating and lacing 1/4" above the brew on the glass at all times holding it's way down. The smell is overwhelming, spice, spice, spice, like pumpkin pie filling. The taste on this one is not good, very spicy up front and no hint of a finish at all. The watery finish of nothing feels like ambesol...that stuff that numbs your mouth. The spice coupled with this is terrible. The moutfeel is very watery and oddly flat. Will never buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 01:51:46 | More by hoffman
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a carrot colore body with a nice head and good lacing

Smell: Overwhelming whiff of pumpkin pie spice on the nose

Taste: As was presaged by the aroma, this is all about the spices; very little pumpkin flavor and no hop balance; finishes sweet

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: A bit too sweet and pumpkin pie spicy for my palate

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 23:31:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of beersarang


1.95/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a dark copper color, orange would have been better if they could have pulled it off. No head retention.

Cidery pumpkin aroma followed by huge spices.

Big sweetness, thin pumpkin flavor, heavy spicing with no hops. Spices are not only overdone but not well thought out, the clove and nutmeg don't give the cinnamon a chance and the aftertaste is just bad. Finishes sweet.

Soda like thin body with crisp carbonation, cidery.

I can't say that I'll ever want to drink this again, I'll try next years to see if I am crazy or not.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 18:59:46 | More by beersarang
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild pumpkin scent along with the usual cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The taste is decent. It has a unique flavor that I'm not sure is good or bad. It has a decent pumpkin taste, but the spices are screwed up. There is an intense clove flavor that really sticks out. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a decent drinking pumpkin ale. If they get the spices figured out, this could be something to look forward to each year. As it stands, I'll pass next year.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2005 01:23:05 | More by WesWes
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

2.73/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear coppery color with a very thin fizzy orange-white head that disappears almost instantly. Not a lot going on here.

Smell is heavily spiced...cinnamon, nutmeg, the usual pumpkin pie suspects. Little hints of pumpkin waft out, but not much else. Some clove as well.

The flavor is sweet and really dominated by the spices. Particularly, there's way too much cinnamon in it...it tastes like one of those red hard-candy cinnamon disks has been melted and brewed in a beer. Obviously, this gives the mouthfeel a bit of a bite, but more than that, it hides almost all the other attributes of the beer. You just end up tasting cinnamon and cloves, but a bit of pumpkin and malt sneak out from underneath.

Overall: Not a complete disaster, but close. Probably twice as spiced as it should be, and a bit too sweet to boot. Not a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2005 03:18:52 | More by whartontallboy
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 960 ratings.