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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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1,116 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,116
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 22.37%
Wants: 15
Gots: 61 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,116 | Reviews: 618
Photo of Beertroop
4.17/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 12oz

A- This bottle is simply labeled with a good feel of the fall season. When poured it had a small head which slowly disappeared. Light orange color. Nice looking beer.

S- The smell this beer gave at first was of a smoked wood and then came the spices with a fruit smell. Not an strong smelling beer though.

T- This is the best part of this beer. Super smooth and easy to drink. It has a bold, but light fruity flavor with a good blend of spices.

M- Feels like a light ale would be. Easy on the buds with no bad after taste. A good everyday in the fall beer.

D- Easy to drink, with a clean crisp taste. Overall a good beer.

Photo of rayjay
4.1/5  rDev +39%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After trying it on tap at the brewery, I had to go out and get the bottled version. Bottled by the Portland Brewery in OR, hmmmm, so I wonder if the draft version is the same as the bottled? They taste nearly identical, but I think the draft had more pumpkin essence, less spice, a bigger maltier body, and a hoppier bite. The bottled version isn't bad, but lacks a certain extra punch. All that aside, the marriage of pumkin and hoppy full-bodied ale is made in heaven, truly a perfect pairing. A great way to get into the fall spirit. There are other pumpkin ales out there, some may be better, but this one is still very worthy and would make a great fall tradition in my glass. Cheers!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.99/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a surprisingly dark amber with some light orange creeping in and no head to speak of.

Smells just like pumpkin. Seriously. I think this is the most straightforward pumpkin smell I’ve found in a beer of this style. Very nice. I’m also getting a doughy lager-esque pastiness here too with a dollop of honey and a light dusting of nutmeg and allspice.

The pumpkin comes through in the flavor too, but in an odd medicinal way coupled with some wheat and oats. The spices are here too, but distant. There is also a faint rauch bier smokiness to it in the finish. Intriguing.

The mouthfeel is medium boded with a light carbonation. Although it feels smooth, it leaves behind a sticky film.

Is this pumpkin taste real? I have no idea! Ignorance is bliss… I did a little exploring of thier site and they use real roasted pumpkin, so that changes my perspective a little.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.37/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.29/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Almost clear bronze / orange ale with a nice creamy 1/2 finger head that sticks around.

Home-made pumpkin pie aroma with crust and all! This smells more like pumpkin pie than any other pumpkin ale that I've tried so far. I love the smell of this! I wanna keep sniffing it for a while. Very low on the hop spectrum, but thick and malty in the nose with a big cinnamon candy presence also.

Cinnamon, allspice, and other spices are right up in your face, and a faint hint of pumpkin plays second fiddle. I'm reminded of those red cinnamon hard candies that have the red cellophane wrapper. This cinnamon spice is really quite overdone, and it maskes any pumpkin flavors that might be there. This has a bit of a peppermint flavor also.

Mothfeel is light to medium and drinkability is ok, but the cinnamon really is pretty overpowering. I like cinnamon, but this is overkill.

This isn't bad, but it should be called cinnamon ale, not pumpkin ale. The one thing this brew has going for it is the smell....it smells great, but tastes fake and candy-like as if some syrupy candy additive was added to the brew.

Photo of sleazo
2.31/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12 oz into a pint glass

A- Minimal head which dissapeared fairly quickly. The beer is a pleasing copper-burnt orange hue.

S-Faint spice, not much else. Spice aroma grew stronger as beer warmed

T-Not much pumpkin or spice taste to it. Mildly hopped, not much malt to speak of. There is a vague chemical taste that lingers.

M- Very light on the tongue, over carbonated in my opinion

D- While not overtly offensive, not particularly good either. I bought a six pack and will drink it, but will not be purchasing this again. there are much better pumpkin ales out there.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.8/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It takes a lot for a pumpkin ale to standout because the style is to beer what candy corn is the candy industry: it only comes out in the fall, everybody makes their own non-distinct version, and when it first comes you’re exited because you think “Hmm, haven’t had this in a while, I bet it’ll be good.” And it is, which leads you consume a lot of it during the season, so much in fact that you eventually get sick of it and don’t miss it until it returns en masse next fall. So, as much as I like Pumpkin ales, I find hard to get too exited about them, nor do I usually have any thing really great to say about them, even though I drink loads of the stuff when the season comes around. But this one does stand out and I do have something nice to say about: not only is a smooth, solid example of the style, but unlike so many other pumpkin ales (even the superb ones) its excellent ginger flavor comes trough very nicely. Recommended.

Photo of terrabyte
3.45/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great looking orange beer. The foam was a little short and eventually disappeared completely.

Smell was a slightly weak pumpkin. Nothing wrong with that.

By the time I was half way through the glass, I could really taste a consistent pumpkin flavor. Some allspice, clover, a hint nutmeg. Or maybe it was just allspice.

Carbonation was high, and it is a crisp drink. Easy down the hatch.

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin beers. I can't really tell why one would bother. However, this one was able to hold the distinct flavor while not being annoying in any way.

Photo of BlackAngus
3.57/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy copper, white head that doesn't last.

S - What can I say beyond it smells like a pumpkin pie? Very strong.

T - Very strong pumpkin-pie, but not as strong as the aroma.

M - Very light body, heavily carbed. Cleaner than I would have expected.

D - It's novelty wears off pretty fast...I don't think I could drink a lot of these.

Photo of bluejacket74
2.74/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass the beer pours an orange/amber color, with a good sized white head which goes away very quickly. Very strong smell of cloves, along with pumpkin, nutmeg and other spices. Probably the best smelling, or at least it has the strongest smell of the pumpkin beers I've had lately. However, the taste isn't as strong. The taste is mainly of cloves and other spices with a small bit of pumpkin. The mouthfeel is watery and thin, and it's more soda-like than anything else. The drinkability is OK, but not great. The aroma was definitely the best part of the beer, it all went downhill from there.

Photo of Bluemoonlover
3.85/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass

A-poured a golden orangish color with very little head almost none.

S-pumpkin obviously very present.roasted grain.

T-Again pumpkin very present and other spices.Really spicy grainy taste.

M-Went flat fairly quickly.spicy and kind of dry.

D-Pretty easy to drink.Good beer to drink with baked cakes or pies.

Photo of Onibubba
3.62/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has always been the traditional pumpkin ale for me - The one friends and I wait all year for. In the last few years, I've picked up a pref for the Dogfish Pumpkin, but was in Atlanta when this came out and was given a couple of bottles to take home and revisit.

Poured a light orangey amber with absolutely no head. Nice pumpkin spice smell. The spice is more subtle in the taste than in the smell. Faint spice after taste that does not linger. Nothing truly remarkable in the taste, but absolutely nothing off-putting either. This beer lends itself to big gulps with a nice level of moderate carbonation. That coupled with the fairly mild / neutral taste, makes this an excellent session brew. In fact, I immediately had another.

Photo of xav33
3.64/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
12 oz bottle
Recent brewing, carved into 10/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured a dark orange with a small fizzy quickly diminishing white head.

Smelt of strong sweet clove candies.

Taste was upfront strong sweet cloves followed by a good although light balance of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, with subtle pumpkin hints throughout on a medium length finish. Mouthfeel was light, watery, and fizzy.

Overall, a beer that is tasty and easy to drink, but its mostly a spiced ale with pumpkin than a pumpkin ale.

Photo of goochpunch
2/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a bright orange that looks almost artificially colored. Lots of carbonation results in a thick head. Unfortunately this completely fizzles out into nothing: no lace, no light ring of bubbles. Smells really thin and sweet, almost like a spiced cream soda. Really harsh on the spices. Tastes almost like a Pier One or Cost Plus World Market smells. Really strong cinnamon comes out like chewing on a cinnamon stick. Thin and soda-like mouthfeel with a harsh tannin feel almost as if chewing on a cinnamon stick. Even if I believed in pouring beer down the drain, I still wouldn't consider this a drain pour. I plain don't like it.

Photo of becktone
1.24/5  rDev -58%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Buffalo Bills pours much lighter than I anticipated. It looks yellowish orangish as I gaze at it in my glass. The head pours soapy white and disapperas before my very eyes. You know how on T.V. when there are earthquakes in movies and the fault lines just open up, the ground just caves in as the line gets longer and longer, thats the appearance of this head. Absolutely terrible. I mean this is worse than the heads on BMC porducts. Lacing is non existant.

Aroma of this beer is also quite strange. It is definitely spiced. However this beer does not smell like other pumpkin ales. It has a real sweet, cloyingly sweet aroma that just doesn't seem to fit in. Feels real hot, if you know what I mean. The only thing redeeming about the aroma is that it is strong.

Ohh God, I've got a feeling this is going to be bad, judging from the previous two areas. I don't know how they do Pumpkin Pie out in California, but this is not how the Eastern Coast or the Pilgrims, Puritans and our founding ffathers did it. It is not intended to taste like this. This tastes more like a spiced wassail or something than like a beer. The spices overpower every thing in this beer. This one is just way off the mark. Buffalo Bills Brewery....Get on my level!

As can be expected from my previous 10 minutes of experience with this beer I can say that the mouthfeel is infact bad. This beer is thin, and feels flat. How is this beer still on the market? I mean it is aweful! It doesn't even represent the style of pumpkin ale. If I didn't know better in a blind test I don't even know if I'd be able to tell if this is beer. It is that off the mark. I will not be buying this beer ever again in my life time. Do not buy this beer, you will be dissapointed and find that you have wasted your money. Caveat Emptors!

Edit:Now that I think of it the taste and aroma reminded me of Hot Tamales, I mean seriously what the hell were they thinking? Artistic Interpretation is one thing, but this is just blasphemy.

Photo of theformula
2.13/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What in the name of the beer gods is this? Ummmm....

Pours a nice copper, burnt orange color, but the thin head disappeared instantly w/ no lacing.

It doesn't smell much at all, with a light pumpkin and nutmeg if I had to say so.

Spice and pumpkin are faint, with slightly bitter hops. It feels okay in the mouth, but there's not much to it.

Aftertaste is short and dismal. I've had much better and this is pretty shameful. Unfortunately a lame pumpkin ale that doesn't have much going for it. Even the foundational ale is uninspiring.


Photo of zuccard
1.7/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bought a six-pack just trying to find a pumpkin ale to use as a tool to make one myself.

Could not finish this one...and I tried...color was very weak, and it was like drinking soda water..too much fizz, absolutely no head, and the taste was not anything like I expected. My brewing companion and I tried as I said to get it down...but niether of us liked it.

Did not get a sense of pumpkin at all. Spice was evident, and the overall beer was not strong enough to carry it.

Not recommended

Photo of dgherm
2.88/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium copper color. Small head gone in an instant. No lacing anywhere. Slight odor of pumpkin and spice. Strong taste of spice. Not much else going on tastewise. Mouth feel a tad thin and watery with a fair amount of carbonation. Don't think I'd be able to drink more than one or two in a sitting. Looking forward to trying the other pumpkin brews I purchased along with this one.

Photo of tgbljb
3.48/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliant light copper color with soarse, rapidly dissapearing head. No lacing. Smell is mild of pumpkin spice, but very restrained. Taste also revelas pumpkin spice, but ina very understaed manner. Extremely thin mouthfeel, such as to be almost like flat Seven-up. An OK beer, but not one of the better pumpkin ales.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.39/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly hazed golden orange hue. Very thin head fizzles out to nothing almost instantly and shows minimal lacing. Ginger and allspice nose, with some background cinnamon and vanilla, but not much pumpkin or malt aroma. Mild pale malt sweetness and a hint of vegetal (pumpkin?) flavor upfront. The tongue is struck with the autumn spices described in the aroma, the cinnamon becomes more apparent, assertive clove taste, and another faint peppery spice ...cardamon or licorice? Spices dry-out the aftertaste and drown out any possible hop flavor. Very light and airy body with tons of lively carbonation; while this helps lift the heavy spice character, the mouthfeel would be smoother if less carbonated and not as heavy-handed on the spice. Basically a one-dimentional base malt flavor with no hop character that overcompensates with spices that harshen the finish.

Photo of acrawf6
3.27/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours out slightly hazy orange hue with a small tan head.

Smell. Sweet and cinnamon. Pumkin is quite present.

Taste. Cinnamon is strongest taste i get, small bit of a tart as well. Pumpkin flavor is sweet like pumkin pie. not too bad.

Mouthfeel. A bit too thin still. nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, i'm guessing either they changed the receipe, or i'm really in the mood for this style, but i am enjoying this beer more than i did the last 2 years.

Photo of Foxman
2.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It pours a crystal clear and carbonated ingot gold. A finger of loose white head drops away to bubblye sprinces. Traces of lacing lay sporadically on the inside of the glass. Or the glass was dirty, one or the other.

In the aroma cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove overlay a contrived vegetal earthiness. There might be taunts of malt...maybe.

Upon tasting, there's a quick push of malt sweetness and creamy pumpkin before they're overwhelmed by some autumnal spices as in the aroma, though this time dominated by clove. A feather of spiced pumpkin tries to redeem the morass before a very vague bitterness lingers briefly in the finish. The flavor could be mistaken for pumpkin pie soda, and that's not an endorsement.

Light bodied, the tingle of the spices can't keep the whole from washing away sheepishly.

Apparently there are folks in my area who crave this stuff. Well, they can have it. Pumpkin ale, I believe, should be eber first. This instead seems a gourdy, pie-spiced soft drink. It might be drinkable in spite of it's mediocre indentity, except on second thought, it really isn't. Those people who want this so badly are welcome to every last bottle of it.

Photo of TheBungyo
3.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Exits the bottle in a warm orange pour. No head ... no lacing. Nose is nutmeg and cinnamon, suggesting moreso than imparting "pumpkin". One of the fist things I notice is the huge carbonation ... not really digging that aspect of this beer. There's a really great cinnamon taste to this that I like a lot. It has a weird perfumey taste to it ... not entirely unpleasant but not really desired either. Decent overall but not something I want to buy again.

Photo of BeerSox
2.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a mug

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange. Slight off white head dissapears immediately, no lacing.

Strong spicy notes comprable to allspice. Pumpkin can also be detected throughout.

Starts off with pumpkin like flavors, then quickly becomes stale. Very spicy in the beginning. Finishes with a dry hoppy-ish finish, which tastes slightly metallic.

Watery mouthfeel with high carbonation, almost like a soda. Finishes quickly with light pumpkin flavors lingering.

Decent beer, but somethig seems like it's missing. I'll probably try a different Pumpkin Ale next time.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.54/5  rDev +20%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear orange-amber with a small white head that vanishes. No lacing of any kind.

The aroma is quite inviting, mildly sweet with a nice blend of spices. It smells quite natural, very much like a fresh baked pie.

The taste is just a bit sweet upfront leading into a bonanza of spiciness. Very big on the spices, but doesn't cross the line into being obnoxious. Finish is just a touch sweet with a lingering spiciness that is not unpleasant.

Medium-light body, very low carbonation.

Overall, a decent pumpkin ale. The spices are still used in a big way, but I never found it to be cloying or overbearing. Quite drinkable and a bit surprising after my big disappointment with the Orange Cream.

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
69 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.