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

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

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1,055 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,055
Reviews: 613
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 23.21%
Wants: 14
Gots: 49 | 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: 1,055 | Reviews: 613 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of unklesyd
2.23/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Holy... uh, I don't know.

The big points:
Carbonation was loose and unappealing. Color was orange-rust, very clear.

Picked up notes of cheap pumpkin spices in the nose, pretty astringent.

Again, very astringent spices and not much else on the flavor. Extremely watery.

Drinkability: well, sum it all up, right? Blech!

unklesyd, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of Krist
2.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I've had this beer in past years and to me this year just doesn't measure up to the beer I remember. It still has that great pumpkin pie aroma,but this year the beer tasted much more watery than in years past and definately was not as sweet and pumkin pie-like.
Over all I'd drink it again but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Krist, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of nickss
2.45/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pumpkin orange color with a fizzy white head. The head quickly disappeares, but the beer continues to fizz like a soda... nothing at all remarkable about this one.

Smells of cinnamon and malt with quite a bit of pumpkin as well... about what I'd expect, but once again, nothing special.

Taste is... ehhhh.... alright... very mediocre. Loads of cinnamon heat up the flavor... a bit too much for my taste.

Moutfeel is fizzy and carbonated... not at all what I wanted out of this one... bleh.

All in all... glad I didnt buy a 6-er of this one. Still waiting on a pumpkin brew that makes me happy =(

nickss, Sep 27, 2005
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 bucko
1.78/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: hazy orange, small white head

Smell: Red Hots. No pumpkin, no real spice, just artificial cinnamon

Taste: Again, no pumpkin, no traditional "pumkin spices" (cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg...) just that overbearing artificial-cinnamon Red Hots style flavor. No hop taste or aroma, no malt strength, just sweet and hot with fake cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Red Hots and MGD.

Drinkability: I should have bought a single. Thankfully two friends polished off a few more of these this weekend.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I just can't taste any traditional pumpkin spices, just fake cinnamon. I'd love to see them try again and tone it down a bit.

bucko, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of edmundfitzoil
2.42/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2005: Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: The beer appears a pretty standard deep gold. The head's life was short, and it didn't leave any lacing to really speak of.

S: It smells like cinnamon. I don't get much else besides the strong smell of cinnamon, a few other spices. One could say, with a stretch, that it might smell like a pumpkin pie, but the cinnamon is so overpowering that I could taste it on the back of my tongue when I smelled the beer.

T: The taste was of a sweet variety with a strong cinnamon taste throughout. Some malt was there, but - like dating your good buddy's sister - it just didn't feel right. The mouthfeel was light, and because of the pour taste and other factors the beer really isn't that drinkable. I don't see myself returning to this one after this sixer is finished.

edmundfitzoil, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
1.75/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The first in this year's series of Pumpkin Ale tastings. Fresh batch from Total Wine & More in mid-September 2005.

Appearance- Pours a relatively light amber with a small 1/2" head that quickly vanishes into my tasting glass. Very thin body, little activity in the glass. Looks like iced tea with a ring of foam.

Smell- Cloying sweetness on the nose with a combination of pumpkin and spices, namely cinnamon. Barely a malt note, and not a trace of hops.

Taste- Sugary soda, with an artificially flavored cinnamon spice aftertaste. This drinks more like a carbonated soft drink than a beer, and tastes like it comes from a can at the local deli-mart. Again, there are no hop or malt notes at all; just a horrible sweetness that tastes like a mass market soda.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Watery and thin, the 7UP-like introduction on the tongue is followed by a disappointingly nondescript middle and finish. So boring that I sit here completely flabbergasted that a pumpkin beer I've seen for years could have been crafted so poorly, with nothing interesting or great whatsoever to speak of.

yelterdow, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of IrishRedRock
2.08/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I'd always heard this was pretty bad, and always having better pumpkin ales on hand, this is one I'd never tried. Until now. And I should have kept on without it. Pours a lackluster golden color (where's the orange glow?) Smells of women's perfume and cinnamon hard candy. That latter flavor dominates the brew, making it difficult to pick out anything else. Lots of sugary cinnamon here, and I think I'd actually enjoy it more if it had some heat to it, like those red hot candies, but it doesn't. Can't find the hops. The mouthfeel is lacking any carbonation bite or noticeable body. Yikes. I love this style...but this is just bad.

IrishRedRock, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of Gruntlumber
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I view pumpkin beers as more of a novelty than a serious brew, so I rarely expect to love them. It's nice once per year to change things up a little and get a sixer or two, but if they were available year-round I would seldom buy them. As far as Buffalo Bill's is concerned, this is exactly what I would expect from a Pumpkin Ale. They go a little overboard on the cinnamon/netmeg/clove flavors, but isn't this what you would want in a Pumpkin beer? I like it for what it is, but I won't sit down and drink a sixer in one night. I just like to throw it in the mix.

Gruntlumber, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of granger10
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not a huge pumpkin beer fan but I'll give almost anything a try once and it is the season. Clear copper color with a small fizzy head that soon settles to nothing. Lacing is minimal at most. Aroma is all cinnamon, I can't get past it. Maybe a little sugary sweetness underneath. Flavor brings all spice. Maybe I got this too soon. Cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger, but not really any pumpkin. Fizzy in mouthfeel and watery in consistency. Different and not really my thing, not good even for a pumpkin beer.

granger10, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin is a highly carbonated copper colored brew, with a small, watery head. The aroma is full of sweet spices, cinnamon dominates with something sweeter, like nutmeg, lurking underneath. Taste is more of the same, the cinnamon is strong, almost like an Altoid or some schnapps. A mild malt body tries to keep the cinnamon from running wild. Nothing I can identify as pumpkin is present. Mouthfeel is watery and leaves no finish. This is very one-dimensional, but for some reason I still enjoy the strong cinnamon taste. This is definently a beer that will turn a lot of people off. Even though I like it, I doubt I could drink more than one of these in a session and I definently won't pick this up unless I can get it as a single.

Gagnonsux, Sep 18, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear red amber with a thin, off-white head that quickly settles into a ring, leaving no lace as it goes.

Aroma is sweet caramel malts, and spice. Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg dominate the nose with a vengance.

Flavor shows upfront malt for a second before my palate is brutalized by VERY strong spices:cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, asnd a hint of ginger. Spice flavors are just too strong to make this truley enjoyable. Drinkability suffers.

Body hovers just between light and medium, is softly carbonated, and creamy feeling. The only way I would want this beer is served w/ a warm slice of pumpkin or apple pie a la mode.

AlexJ, Sep 18, 2005
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 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 oelergud
1.75/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Cloudy orange body, moderate carbonation but very little head, gone very quickly and no lace.
Pumpkin and something else in the nose, something sour almost.
Taste... no no no no no, this is not a pumpkin ale, at all. Malt beverage with artificial pumpking flavor added comes to mind.
Sour and bitter.
Thin and watery, never again.
Go back to the drawing board Bill, this was a disaster.


oelergud, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
2.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Undated 12oz poured into a pint glass.

Clear amber with a good sized egg shell colored head that lives a long life over moderate but steady carbonation. Minimal lace.

Smells like a dry, pumpkin and cinnamon infused soda. Blah!

Tastes a lot better than it smells, but it still falls flat. Light, generic malt upfront into a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon followed by a suggestion of pumpkin.

The mouth is a bit watery. Not enough body to give it depth or hold on to any lingering flavors.

Drinkable, but there are better punkin's in the field.

ypsifly, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of UncleFlip
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice, large off-white foamy head. Thre fingers, but seems to be decreasing to two, leaving no lace behind. Very nice copper colour below. Head still decreasing, but seems to be clinging just a bit now.

The smell is spicy and rather sweet- but does not seem to imply pumpkin pie spice at all. It seems a bit soapy and airy.

The flavour seems kind of musty and smoky- nto really at all what I would expect of a pumpkin beer. There's a thck clovy quality which is just too overbearing. It decreases a bit on the finish, but is still just not the most pleasant thing I've ever tasted. Some BMC-like beer flavour comes through at the end, but that heavy smoky clove still overpowers it.

Body is thinner than expected, and the carbonation hits all at once kind of in the middle. It's a medium, loose carbonation.

Not terribly drinakble. One of these is definitely enough.

I don't see myself drinking this one again, unless offered and there's no other beer. :) It was good to try it, but It's not for me.

Be well

UncleFlip, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
2.1/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Very light copper color, with just a small white froth on top of the beer. Not much lacing to account for. Smells like moldy pumpkin pie, or old Chai. Some pumpkin, but still very musty. Very different, but not in a good way, slightly smokey and bitter, bringing it far away from what I would expect a pumpkin beer. Body is far too thin, not a very good pumpkin beer experience.

TastyTaste, Aug 29, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a different pumpkin ale than what I'm used to, but it's still tasty enough to at least marginally recommend.

It pours a typical light amber colour with a decent sized head that quickly dissolves leaving little to no residue on the glass. Eh.

The smell is a weird yet somewhat enticing mix of actual pumpkin, some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc) and some malt, for the most part.

The flavour is more of the same, although the pumpkin flavour dominates the spices, malt and hops overall. This is where it differs from most pumpkin ales, where the spices generally take the lead with some faint pumkin flavour in the background. For me, the pumpkin is a bit too much overall and I would have liked it blended better with the spices, etc, but its still a decent change from the norm. theere is a fiarly noticeable alcohol warmth running through the flavour as well, which, while not distracting, was a bit or a surprise.

The main problem with this one overall is that, while tasty, it's not a repeat brew due to the non-balance between the pumpkin and spice. If that was straghtened out a bit, this one would move from fairly good to very good, methinks.

SixpointJMH, Aug 26, 2005
Photo of karst
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Released to Karst - Fall 2005

Pours hazy amber with less than 1 finger head and a little lace on the pint glass.

Aroma (my my pumpkin pie) of cinnamon and nutmeg overpowers malt and light caramel that eventually emerge.

Flavors similar with some allspice or clove. Malts covered up by spices. Medium full body and smooth but not dextrinous mouthfeel. Weak hops just balances the sweetness of malts but not helping much in the finish.

karst, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of VinylHanger
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label caught my eye so I grabbed it. I was hoping for a nice spiced beer, not that I am a fan of "flavored" beers, but I was in an open mood tonight.

I opened the bottle and the smell of spices was very strong. I became hopeful. Poured it into a Pils glass and got a nice three-fingered head, though it left in about a minute with absolutely no lace, none at all. I really like the color though, it hinted at good things to come. Kind of like a first date, and like most first date's, that was as exciting as it got. The first in-glass smell was pretty pungent, in a bad way. No more spice or pumpkin for that matter. It had no real smell to speak of, though as it warmed in my hand it let out a slight pumpkin spice smell, though faint, very faint.

I took a taste and instantly loathed this beer. No flavor at all, the first thing that came to mind was flat water. No carbonation. Just liquid. I tried to give it a bit of leeway, it is a "pumpkin pie" beer after all. But it was just bad.

I gave the last few drinks to my wife... she loved it, said it had a great pumpkin pie flavor, wants to give it away at Thanksgiving. I can't wait.

Considering how much my wife enjoyed it, I may grudgingly give it another try, probably at Thanksgiving. Like I said, can't wait.

VinylHanger, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of blackie
3.13/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a thin, white head. No freshness dating on the bottle.

The first thing I pick up on is a big dose of pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon), as well as well as some esters. There is a light maltiness that is greatly overshadowed by the spices present. Any pumkin character is hard to pick up on. Slight hop presence.

Carbonation is medium and the body is medium thin.

A big dose of pumpkin pie spices up front. There is some light malt in the background. Finish if of lingering spices and some hop bitterness. Pretty weak in the pumpkin department, and the spices are pretty much the only thing going on here.

Pretty easy drinking, nonetheless.

blackie, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy pinkish amber color with a quick disappearing white head.

Aroma is primarily pumpkin pie spices with a suggestion of pumpkin and mild malt.

Taste is also heavy on the spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves with a definite pumpkin undertone. The light malt taste is pretty much overwhelmed by the spices. Possibly, just a little to heavy on the spice, especially cloves. One or two with thanksgiving foods could be good, but this is not something you would drink all the time.

A little thin, I'd like to try this as a sweet stout. Still, a cool fall night and some cinnamon rolls or apple pie would go well..

whynot44, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of JackTheRipper
1.73/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was expecting much more from a beer with pumpkins, boy was I ever disappointed.
A: Cloudy orange in color. Scant little head with no lacing.
S: Pumpkin smell is barely there, it's literally overwhelmed by smells of ginger and cinnamon. No smells of malts or hops. This smells more like some alcoholic fizzy coffee shop drink.
T: Some pumpkin taste that can only be noticed after letting this one warm past the point I think I should drink this (read: almost room temp). The spices aren't as pronounced as the horrible smells would lead me to believe. Solid malt base. No real hop flavors.
M: Too fizzy, the carbonation carries the smells around the mouth and into the nose. If this beer smelled good, that would be a good thing. It's not. No noticeable alcohol warmth. Leaves a sickly sweet film on my tongue.
D&N: I really wanted to like this one. I can't. I've tried it cold, I let it warm up, all to no avail. I like pumpkins, I think I want to try a DFH before avoiding pumpkin beers from now on. This beer is just too mired down by the overwhelming heaviness of the spices. This is the first beer in a long time I poured into the sink.

JackTheRipper, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of swamiswamu
1.88/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I literally could not give this beer away. It tastes like pumpkin pie. Not a good pumpkin pie, one that was once frozen and then left out on a counter for 3 weeks. It pours orange with a weak head. There are strong hints of nutmeg and cloying malts. There isn't much pumpkin flavor per se, just too sweet pumpkin pie. Try O'Fallon instead,

swamiswamu, Mar 06, 2005
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 1,055 ratings.