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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.

1,015 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,015
Reviews: 611
rAvg: 2.92
pDev: 22.95%
Wants: 11
Gots: 36 | 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: 1,015 | Reviews: 611 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TAMU99
2.6/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Feminine itch? No, just all the yeast in this beer.
Well, Not much to say here, but....yeasty!
Pours a hazy brown/yellow - the haze is probably yeast. The foam is thin (probably too much yeast) and gives off only the aroma of...yes...Yeast!
Taste is a sharp balance of hops and...(see a pattern) doughy yeast flavor. The feel is thin with a heavy aftercoat.
Drinkable? Yes, but I wouldn't order another round.

Overall, fair, try a different pumpkin first.

TAMU99, Nov 05, 2004
Photo of walleye
2.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a light copper with off white head. aroma like thiose red cinnamon candies, along with the nutmeg and cloves. flavor at 1st taste I thoughtthis is nothing like pumpkin but I let it stay in the the month a while and the pumpkin pie taste did come out, with a bit of bitterness. do not know if I would want this for dessert

walleye, Nov 04, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/02/04- Purchased at the brewery in Hayward, CA

Appearance- Pours with a nice thick creamy white head that lasts a bit. A orange amber color tint to the beer with a tad of lacing in the mix/

Smell- Spices all day long. Smells like....hmmm, PUMPKIN! Imagine that. Lots of spicyness to the nose. Ginger and loads of pumpkin. Maybe some woody-malt smell lingers in there also.

Taste- A nice spicy ginger taste to it. Pumpkin with alcohol tossed in. What a novel concept. A nice beer while sitting in the living room with the candles lit and Monday night football on the screen.

Mouthfeel- A nice touch of carbonation. Spicies everywhere sloshing around on your pallet.

Drinkability- Not a beer that you would drink on a daily basis, but a nice beer to consume during the fall/winter months. A very nice pumpkin taste. I enjoyed this beer. This is the only pumpkin style beer I have had, so maybe there are better ones around. Assuming there are since this one doesn't get that great marks. Will search out some others.

GClarkage, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3.78/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I know everyone slams this beer but I'm going against the trend. I guess that's what makes the world go 'round.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper/orange with a thin white head. It looks like the orange you find when the maple leaves have all turned colors. That said, the appearance of this beer is "fall".

Smell: All spices. No hop or malt presence. Mostly aromas of nutmeg, ginger, and maybe even some fruit (apples). A veritable cornucopia of fall-like smells.

Taste: Cinnamon, sugar, and ginger jump of my tongue first and foremost. There is a malt presence that comes through as the beer warms and maybe just a slight hop bitterness finish. But spices are the name of the game for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. It is complex enough that it doesn't feel like you're drinking water. But it's definitely toward the lighter end of the scale.

Drinkability and overall: I really dug this. It's a festive beer and I like pumpkin pie so...this worked for me. It's a great beer for this time of year. I wouldn't want it all the time but it hit the spot while I was carving pumpkins with my niece. A nice October beer.

mattcrill, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
2.83/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This poured to a murky orange and brown. The head was modest in size although quickly shrinking, and the lace is pretty average.

Pumpkin spice and clove completely dominate the taste. Some hop character is detectable in the finish, but any malt that may be in there can't get out from behind the pumpkin. The mouthfeel is somewhat sluggish. As far as drinkability goes, one is more than enough.

Basically, it's a pulverized pumpkin pie with a little malt and some hops thrown in so it could be called beer.

watermelonman, Oct 28, 2004
Photo of nortmand
3.35/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours, like other pumpkin ales, a little cloudy and orange. Head disappears as fast as other buffalo bill beers.
Smells like a pumkin pie. I don't know if it's by association, but the beer almost smells creamy.
The spicy taste is very subdued. I like my pumpkin beers spicy, so this is a bit of a letdown. Hard to taste much else, as the carbonation overpowers much flavor.
Very carbonated, almost like pop, but this is a very drinkable and probably approachable pumpkin ale.

nortmand, Oct 28, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this side-by-side with O'Fallon's Pumpkin Ale. Pours an orange color with a small white head that quickly dies off. There is a definate pumpkin spice aroma and that masks most others. The flavor isn't all that I had hoped for. There is a pumpkin spice flavor - mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. Very lacking in taste. Especially compared to the O'Fallon. Dogfish Head Punkin still reigns over both of these.

clvand0, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of ken3c
3.23/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange and medium hazy. I could not get much of a head to form but a ring of foam lasted a while. No lacing.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cooked pumpkin smells are evident but mostly cinnamon.

A slightly sweet taste is replaced by a fleeting malt character and then with strong spices. The finish has a pumpkin sense and a long lasting subtle bitterness.

Very carbonated and medium body but feels lighter because of the carbonation. This beer also has an astringent feel and dryness in the finish.

There is something going on here but it seems too much. Too much cinnamon and too much carbonation.

ken3c, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of dgallina
1.25/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Wasn't sure what to expect when I tried this, but it certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. Pours a crystal-clear golden-orange with no head or lace to speak of. Smells of strong sweet cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg with very slight hops. The aroma gives you some expectation that the beer will have interesting flavor. Alas, the taste is completely lacking. Cloyingly sweet with very strong cinnamon and nutmeg flavors. No ale characteristics to speak of. Has the mouth-feel of carbonated water. Undrinkable (I couldn't finish it, at least).

dgallina, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of merlin48
2.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, copper amber body with a shortlived, offwhite head that leaves minimal, collar lace.
Immense aroma of pumpkin pie spices in the nose.
Mouthfeel is thin and watery, but has ample carbonation.
Pie spices and some caramel malt dominate the taste. Hops provide a herbal bitterness. Plenty of spicy nutmeg, ginger, mace, and allspice are tasted, but the thin body is watery.
Easy drinkability due to the thin body, but this is not an asset here. Not very substantial except for the nice pumpkin pie spices.

merlin48, Oct 22, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
2.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours translucent amber with light gold edges when held to the light. Barely a half inch of head rises, soapy and off-white. No lacing.


Straight up waft of freshly baked pumpkin pie. Works for me! Cinnamon, white sugar, nutmeg, and what I'd like to imagine as pumpkin flesh.


Opens with an understated, even dull, nudge of bitterness over the middle of my palate. A shallow bitterness, without character. There's barely a middle here. What I pick up is merely an echo of that dull flicker of initial hop bitterness. Watery. The aftertaste brings out some of the pumpkin pie spices so evident in the nose.

Lackluster, but Halloweeny nonetheless.

And I like Halloweeniness.

Oh yeah, the mouthfeel is like flat Pepsi.

RootedFool, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of karengarys
2.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am reviewing this beer as a pumpkin beer. Not my style, so let me describe what I expect in this style. A beer with pumpkin pie smell and flavor.

This pours nice pumkin pie color, leaving absolutley no head, no lacing, and not even a little foamy ring. You cannot tell is carbonated after it has settled down.

The mouthfeel does not suffer from this appearence. It is still reasonabally fizzy and hangs out half way through the drink.

The smell is of pete and nutmeg, some cinnamon.

The taste is like a mass produced beer (not good), with a bit of bitter hop added (good, to me, but perhaps not for the style which I am reviewing this from), and perhaps some nutmeg. The overpowering part is an odd peppery flavor that pops up just at the beginning of the finish. I am NOT quaffing a pumpkin pie.

The finish is strange. It has a dry, fizzy, asprin like flavor at the back of the tongue. Then it flattens out and goes down like water.

This seems to have a medium light body.

It is drinkable. The thing is, it is a little too bitter for the pumpkin pie lover, and it is a little too flavored up for a hard core beer drinker. I am not sure who their target audience is, I guess it leaves me with beer style confusion.

karengarys, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of Ricochet
2.25/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Tough competitor to compare this too. The best "pumpkin beer" I've had was made by the now defunct Church Street/Quarryman microbrew. It was a slice of pumpkin pie in beer form and was unbelieveable. It's all I drank when they had it on tap.

Appearance: Average.

Smell: Nice cinnamon scent with sweet notes.

Mouthfeel: Thin. The spice does stange things to the tounge but it does foam well.

Taste: My first impression was Iced Tea. It was like a weak tea flavored with cinnamon and pumpkin. If you let it linger, there is a "ale note" faintly reminding me of the finish of a Ballantine. It just wasn't what I was expecting and made it a labor to finish the 6 pack.

Drinkability: Low to me. When cold, this is a sour tasting "beer" but not skunky.

Summary: After trying Blue Moon and this, I'm still searching for a beer as good as the Quarryman's.

Ricochet, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
3.93/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a light copper color with one finger of head. There is no lacing. The smell is very very spicy. There is lots and lots of nutmeg in the nose, just a touch of pumpkin. The taste is very malty and spicy. Lots of nutmeg, some pumpkin and clove. The body is a little bit light. The drinkability is fairly good. A decent pumpkin ale.

SheepNutz, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
3.73/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cream colred head over clear light orangey/gold liquid. Sweet perfumy citrus and pumpkin pie spice nose. Light bodied and somewhat fizzy on the palate with flavors of fruity flowery pumpkin notes mixing with cinnamon and maybe some light allspice. Light hopping does a balancing act between bitter and flowery. Finishes slightly uninspired at the end, nice n easy to quaff but there's some better examples out there.

beerluvr, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of Thrasher
2.88/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edition, contract brewed at Portland/MacTarnahan's. After the dismal Orange Blossom Cream Ale, I was curious to try this but approached with trepidation. Pumpkin ale is a lot more promising than orange ale, and I have had some damn good pumpkin beer before, particularly the one brewed by Mt Hood at last year's Holiday Ale Festival in Portland, OR. This is a marked improvement over the Orange Blossom, but it still fails to fully satisy. Pours a rich bronze-orange, with rising head that disappears very quickly, much like soda. Sweet, overpowering aroma of pumpkin pie spices. The pumpkin flavor is evident in the beer, but this really should be called Pumpkin Pie Ale since the focus is on nutmeg and cinnamon. The pumpkin is relegated to the background which is a shame since the hearty squash flavors of pumpkin marry well with both malt and hops. Malt is sweet, strong, and toffeeish here; hops are almost invisible. It could pair interestingly with a slice of pumpkin pie, but I suspect it will be sweetness overload, and too similar a flavor. An adequate novelty beer, and quite light and refreshing, although the mouthfeel is disappointingly thin. To be fair, I can see why it is a hit at parties with mainstream beer drinkers. But it's not an especially good beer overall. Hopefully Mt Hood brewed another batch of Ichabod's Head this year.

Thrasher, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of Brian700
3.93/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange. The head is white and sticks around for a short time. I like the aroma, definately smells of pumpkin pie spices. I didn't really pick up on a ginger aroma, just the traditional Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice. The taste follows the nose. Fair amount of spice in the flavor. Mildly bitter going over the back of the palate. Good mouthfeel. Good carbonation with a light body. I think it is a very drinkable pumpkin ale. I liked it.

Brian700, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of jclovebrew
4.22/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a light orange copper with slight haze. Any head promptly dissipates into a ring around the glass. Smells distinctly pumpkin pie with genuine earthyness. Taste is also pumpkin pie. Slight bitterness perceptible over the light maltiness. Tiny carbonation bubbles can be felt on tongue and in mouth.

jclovebrew, Oct 08, 2004
Photo of mntlover
3.23/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light light amber almost more golden with small offwhite head light lacing. Aroma is nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and light pumpkin.Taste is light not enough malt but you do get decent dose of spices little to much carbonation makes it seem even lighter then it is. Too bad smelled like a pretty good pumpkin beer but taste wise nothing but average. Mouthfeel little to light, drinkability well could kill 6 of these no problem but don't think I would ever purchase 6 more. Need to get brewers to step up and brew a good pumpkin ale know it can be done ask Cottonwood for their recipe

mntlover, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
3.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was sent to me as part of the BIF 13 (from hell) package by drewbage. Will this be as bad as he thinks it is, well there is only one way to find out.

The beer poured out into the lager glass was extremely fizzy with a deep orange golden color and a fleeting foamy head. Carbonation was lively and the looks were no too shabby.

The aroma was nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, and some other odd unidentifiable spices, and a bit of spruce like woodsy smell. There also a whiff of cooked pumpkins in here. The smell is definitely a bit too close to a batch of over spiced homebrew for my comfort level.

The taste is light and toasty and is a significant improvement over the off putting smell. Has a liquefied pumpkin pie like taste going for it, especially as it warms up, with a mix of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors in the forefront. The hops provide a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is oily and thin. If this ale had a more chewy body, it would have been significantly enhanced.

All in all no as bad as anticipated.

rajendra82, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of kindestcut
1.83/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I tried this beer with trepidation. Would it be pure pumpkin taste? Would it have a pumpkin pie flavor? Well, I'm still not very sure what they were going for here.

The beer poured a nice light bronze, a pale orange. There was no head to speak of, although there was a slight white foam and I could see the carbonation rising in my glass.

The aroma was very light but I could smell...well, pumpkin. The taste was very thin, almost distant. The pumpkin was there, to be sure, but wow...was it in the background. I detected an attempt to approach pumpkin pie in the flavor, what there was of it. For a flavored beer, this one was terribly watery.

I was really disappointed with this, not because I love pumpkins or the idea of a pumpkin beer, but because they could have gone all-out. If you're going to make a pumpkin beer, make a PUMPKIN beer. Sheesh.

kindestcut, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of hobbes2112
3.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle

I have had varied luck with Pumpkin brews in the past, but this is the first since I started reviewing beers.

Pours very light orange with about 1 finger of pure white head. Minimal retention and little to no lace.

Smell is exactly as advertised, Pumpkin and Spice. No classical beer elements in the nose.

Taste is sweet and a little tart up front, then switches over to straight up pumpkin pie. The pumpkin and spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice) are blended in with what seems like a slightly burnt crust. It is an aquired taste, but I enjoy this beer a little at a time.

The carbonation was a little weird (too sharp) and the layers are a somewhat loose in this beer leading to a watery feel.

This works as a novelty fall beer, but it would be really hard to have frequently and drinkability takes a hit because of it.

Not the best I have ever had, but way better than most.

hobbes2112, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Now this is what I expected, pours a nice amber orange with an off white head that rises nicely. As soon as you crack open the bottle you will be nailed by cinnamon and nutmeg aroma. The slight pumpkin pie smell is subtle but nice. The taste is nice, a strong cinnamon uprfront will lent into a nice caramel malt smoothness in the end, a hint of pine fall hops in the back. A medium bodied ale. The drinkability is down because I couldn't imagine drinking 2 or more of these, a nice beer to have with pumpkin pie but after that, not much appeal.

beertaster13, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of longarm
3.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

There's something about this beer that seems to work. The spices are a little out of balance, mostly because the cinnamon seems to dominate, but it still has a nice pumpkin pie flavor and aroma. The hops are subtle, which seems appropriate. For these reasons I give it a good score on drinkability and would gladly serve it to guests looking for something different. On the downside is the body and mouthfeel, where it's rather thin. This lack of body ultimately doesn't hold-up well to the mix of spices. The aftertaste is a little sticky/sweet but this dissipates, and is OK with me. The head is nice and sustains itself well. It's somewhat cloudy, but I'm not sure if that's what we should expect in a pumpkin beer. I suspect that it's possible to clear this up. Overall the beer is quite drinkable if you like the style.

longarm, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of Skidz
2.42/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out pale gold and sits a semi-hazy amber in the glass with a large foamy white head that is easily agitated and puts out some nice lacings and stays along for the whole ride.

Smells violently of canned pumpkin pie mix. Oodles of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves along with rich, sugar-boosted pumkin innards. Maybe a light backing of hops, but they are so lost in the tangled mess of spices.

Tastes sweet and malty up front, but the spicing enters and immediately destroys whatever good feeling you may have had going into this. Hopping is overkill on this beer. It tips the scales as your mouth quickly feels the bitter wrath. Cinnamon and nutmeg play along the whole way, but do not leave your taste buds very pleased, the cloves are what makes me ill. Actual pumpkin flavor is raw, like cutting a hole in the top of a big jack'o, shoving your head inside and going to town on the gooey mess within.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp with nice, easy carbonation. Feels a little bit watered down to me, I could use a bit more body, this one sits medium-light.

Yeah, it's drinkable and would certainly please some folks, but the hopping seems way out of place, even though it's not evident in the very attractive nose, which is just about all this beer has going for it.

Skidz, Sep 23, 2004
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 1,015 ratings.