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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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983 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 983
Reviews: 611
rAvg: 2.92
pDev: 22.95%
Wants: 10
Gots: 26 | 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: 983 | Reviews: 611 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of unclejimbay


2.73/5  rDev -6.5%

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
Buffalo Bill's Brewery
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.20 %, reviewed 10/29/09, bottle>snifter

Orange copper clear pumkin pie color, w/ 1 finger head, no retention or lace.
Smell is the standout characterstic. Nice pumkin pie spice, allspice/nutmeg/cinnamon aromas going on without being overdone.
Taste is a bit strange, light malt beer with heavy spice profile. Tastes as it smells with a dominant spiced finish.
Mouthfeel is thin body, crisp high carbonation.
Drinkability is possible, its just not my thing. The brew is a hint of the style, but mainly due to spice assocation, and not actual pumkin. Mediocre at best for light brew version of the pumpkin style.

11-23-2009 19:01:46 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of bob3701

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev +3.8%

No real head and little lacing. Clear orange yellow color. Great pumpkin spice aroma. Not overwhelmed by spiced flavor. Goes down easy. Give a little bit of a tangy after taste.
They call themselves America's original pumpkin ale but is it really since pumpkin ale has been brewed in America since the Pilgrims.

11-21-2009 23:11:25 | More by bob3701
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +20.9%

Pours a very thin orange gold. Lots of light coming through. Very little head, no retention, but some very faint lacing.

Very strong pumpkin pie spice. Allspice is strong too. One of the strongest aroma's coming off a pumpkin beer. Since I'm a fan of the style, that's a plus for me.

Allspice, pumkin, and nutmeg all combine for the flavor profile. Some faint hops on the back end, but the spices overcome any real hop note. If you like pumpkin beer, you will like this one. If not, well ... best to try another.

Feel is a little thinner than anticipated. The flavor of the beer demands a little stronger body.

The spices are very strong here and could easily get in the way of enjoying this beer. I like the style, though.

11-18-2009 02:41:26 | More by beer2day
Photo of berkey


2.9/5  rDev -0.7%

I was poured one of these in error by the waitress the other week. Figured I'd get a sample and give it a proper review since I haven't reviewed this style yet. From notes a few hours ago. On tap at the brewpub in Hayward.

Clean amber body with a very slight haze. Very small white head with mediocre at best retention. Virtually no lacing.

Aroma is predictably spicy with strong nutmeg and some cinnamon. Some fresh pumpkin is in there as well but it's not a dominant note.

Spiciness continues and is even stronger on the palate than on the nose. There's a bizarre light character here that has me thinking cream ale. Did they add some sort of adjunct to this? I'm wondering. Thought I picked up some herbal hops in the background but I'm not really certain.

Medium high carbonation is a little awkward on this beer and the feel is a little thin overall. Went down pretty easy but I'm not really interested in another pour so I can't really call it that drinkable.

Not horrible but not really good either. I'll stick to the Tazmanian Ale on future visits to Buffallo Bills. That one is at least tasty and pairs with the food well.

11-07-2009 05:40:43 | More by berkey
Photo of gbmoore


2.95/5  rDev +1%

Appearance-Orange to amber color as expected. The cap is thin and disappears quickly.

Smell- Smells sweet, a bit like pumpkin pie.

Taste/feel- A bit too carbonated. Good flavor but not spectacular.

Drinkability- It is very drinkable, but not something I would seek out.

11-07-2009 03:22:53 | More by gbmoore
Photo of bbeane


3.4/5  rDev +16.4%

A- Poured into a nucleated tumbler... slightly lighter than amber color with a very fizzy head that disappears very quickly. At first, looks almost like a soda with carbonation bubbles clinging all over in the glass. After settling they eventually disappear. No lacing

S- Despite the poor appearance, spells pretty good... sweet pumpkin, banana, vanilla, cinnamon

T- Very sweet and pumpkiny the whole way through... almost has some banana flavor. Maybe taste some cinnamon or nutmeg

M- Watery, light bodied... bit over carbonated

D- I think its pretty good. Bit over carbonated, but I think it has a very good flavor


11-05-2009 04:02:16 | More by bbeane
Photo of Haybeerman


2.85/5  rDev -2.4%

A: Bright. clear amber color. Poured a half finger fizzy white head that that dissipated quickly to a thin skim. Decanted continually. No lacing.

S: Very faint pumpkin and spice. More of a dry starch smell than much else. No malt or hop presence.

T: Slightly sweet bready malt a bit more in the taste. Alight pumpkin flavor in the finish that lingers without bitter balance.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation. Other than expecting a bit more body, feel was ok.

D: Easy to drink sure enought, but just not very special at all.

11-02-2009 01:08:28 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog


2.8/5  rDev -4.1%

A- Pours a very nice head yet doesn't retain well, perfectly clear with a golden amber color.

S- starchy and grainy, no smell of pumpkin or spices, no real malt or hops presence either. Could use more aroma hops or spices.

T- a little more malt than the smell, but not much, also very little pumpkin, very hard to pick it out. In fact if it didn't say pumpkin on it I would think it would be just a decently malty golden.

M- nice carbonation and not cloyingly sweet at all. Perfectly fine here.

D- I would say this is an easy drinking beer at the least, would be a perfect introduction beer beyond BMC beers. Not very exciting though if you are not a beginner.

10-28-2009 01:37:08 | More by SeattleBeerBlog
Photo of CampusCrew


2.23/5  rDev -23.6%

appearance: hazy cloudy copper orange, super high fizzy after pouring and then zero head. wondering if this is a beer or a soda.

smell: huge pumpkin rind smell and spices. the most aromatic pumpkin I have smelled and maybe the most of any beer period

taste: light, lacks major malt backbone. loads of pumpkin flavor which i like but it's missing alot of beer qualities. again going back to the soadlike comment.

mouthfeel: light... too light. as light as a can of macro junk

drinkability: theres definitly better pumkin ales out there. worst of the batch I have ever had.

10-27-2009 21:42:20 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of david131


2.63/5  rDev -9.9%

A- A hazy orange liquid that shows a bit of yellow when it is held to the light. There is a quick soda head that falls to nothingness. Looks a little bland.

S- Pumpkin pie with a lot of spice. There is a heavy anise and allspice (if I am correct with my spices) aroma.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma led me to believe. Really spicy and lacking some balance and backing.

M- Carbonation is fine, but there is an unclean quality to it.

D- Well whatever. There are enough pumpkin beers out there. This one is worth a shot, it is unique enough.

10-23-2009 02:59:37 | More by david131
Photo of brystmar


2.48/5  rDev -15.1%

I've always loved pumpkin beers, and this brew has been a perennial favorite of mine in recent years (relative to the other pumpkin beers I've tried). But since I've gotten more into beer recently, it's now easy to see the flaws in this mediocre offering.

Pours a relatively light brown color and a little hazy with a small amount of head. Looks pretty bland compared to my new standard of pumpkin beers: Dogfish Head's Punkin. Smell is equally unimpressive; its slight hint of pumpkin flavoring is overwhelmed by this beer's more pronounced scent of hops and "Bud Light" smell.

The taste is unimpressive. The pumpkin flavor is extremely subtle and most pronounced in the aftertaste. Pretty sweet too. Again, it reminds me more of Bud Light than of pumpkin pie. And that's just unfortunate.

Mouthfeel is average to below-average, nothing particularly special or negative. Doesn't bite, and it's relatively smooth drinking. Definitely sessionable though, but in much the same way that Bud Light is sessionable.

I used to really look forward to buying this beer every Sept/Oct, but I can honestly say that this is the last year I'll be stocking up on it. Makes me wonder how bad the other pumpkin beers must have been for this Buffalo Bill's brew to have been my pick of the litter. As previously mentioned in regards to pumpkin beers, Dogfish Head's Punkin will fill my fridge for the foreseeable future.

10-22-2009 08:54:11 | More by brystmar
Photo of NStLincoln


2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

In Nebraska we claim Buffalo Bill Cody as our guy. Seems that these California brewers have co-opted him for their beer. I'm a big pumpkin fan, let's see how this goes.

The pour is cloudy with a quickly disappearing white head. Lacing is negligible. The color is not a pretty orange, with a lot of haze.

The aroma reminds me of old pumpkins, when they get squishy and start to shrivel and a dash of cloves. Not appealing.

The taste hits you hard with cloves and not much else. The spices stay with you for awhile after the drink, a definite plus.

Not a great beer. Pretty drinkable with biscuity flavors, but the tough nose is a lot to get past.

10-21-2009 23:28:54 | More by NStLincoln
Photo of PreacherBrewer


1.68/5  rDev -42.5%

A - clear copper color. 1 finger head quickly dissapates into a bubbly thing cap thing.

S - sweet with spices. smells like it should.

T & M - very sweet and very very carbonated. mild spices and almost no pumpkin is present.

D - how this pumpkin soda passes for a beer is beyond me. avid this beer at all costs. don't even give it a try. drain poured after 3 sips...ugh!

10-21-2009 14:07:36 | More by PreacherBrewer
Photo of vacax


3.13/5  rDev +7.2%

Golden with a light orange haziness. About one inch of pure white head pops up and quickly vanishes, leaving only a wimpy ring around the edge of the glass. Maybe plus one point for appearing to be bottle conditioned, but minus a few for the weak head.

Smells of allspice, nutmeg, and a little bit of clove. Only a touch of pumpkin. The aroma is fairly typical for the style, having both spice and pumpkin puts its a little above average for me. The flavor has a sweet malt character that comes hand-in-hand with a light tartness, followed by pumpkin and the pie spices on the midpalate. Some bittering on the finish from a combination of spice and hopping. I have to say the tartness of the beer is an interesting way to balance out the sweetness and the spices, though I have to imagine this could just as easily be called a defect in the beer.

This lacks the malt complexity I have come to expect in a craft made pumpkin ale. Overall a decent drinking beer, but not as nice as most craft brews. This may be the original, but it was not perfect from the get go. Despite the apparent bottle conditioning, this has a heavy handed level of carbonation that is too much for the light body. This has a few flaws, but pretty easy to drink without thinking about it much. This is a fair choice if you're looking to do a session of pumpkin ales.

10-21-2009 04:11:55 | More by vacax
Photo of Goldopelgt


3.2/5  rDev +9.6%

Have had this one many times...first time getting around to reviewing it...

A- Pours a light copper with a quickly vanishing white head with very little retention.

S- Smells alot like pumpkin pie...alot of pumpkin and cinnamon with some nutmeg and other spices in the background.

T- Similar to how it smells, but just lacking a bit...you get your "beer brewed with pumpkin and spices" but just not that much of it...almost like a light version of a pumpkin ale...

M- Very thin and light with a decent amount of carbonation...

D- Not your best pumpkin ale out there, but by no means the worst...having tried it for the past few years, it definitely fluctuates with quality, but if you happen to stumble upon one of their better batches, its a very drinkable beer for the style...

10-20-2009 23:37:02 | More by Goldopelgt
Photo of FickleBeast

New Jersey

2.35/5  rDev -19.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a Smuttynose pint glass

A - pours clear, pale orange, with a half finger of foam that dissipates quickly. Bubble rise vigorously to the surface.

S - huge aroma of pumpkin pie spices, also some pumpkin aroma

T - Whoa, rush of cinnamon, then immediately falls flat. Its like popping a red hot in your mouth for half a second and then washing it away with a Coors Light.

M - super thin bodied - this beer almost has no mouthfeel whatsoever.

D - Pass. I'm having trouble even finishing this one.

10-20-2009 01:50:39 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of timrosenblatt


2.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Smells like it's going to be good. I can taste pumpkin, hazlenut, cinnamon, as promised, but seems more like a light beer -- not much beer flavor to it. It's like drinking Miller Light out of a pumpkin. I'd drink it again, but wouldn't buy it again. Might be good to suggest for someone who doesn't like beer. My girlfriend doesn't like beer, and she liked it because it tastes like pumpkin and not much like beer.

10-18-2009 23:36:24 | More by timrosenblatt
Photo of nickd717


2.03/5  rDev -30.5%

Bottle from Whole Foods, poured into pint glass. Tried it out of morbid curiosity after my friend from PA told me it was "just as good" as Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, which I had shared with him earlier. After drinking this, I do not see any way that he could think that. It is god-awful. Figured I had to try it though since I live about 15 miles from the brewery.

A - Hazy orange color with a sizzling white head that sounds like the steaming fajitas plate from a Mexican restaurant as it violently fizzles down to absolutely nothing.

S - Decent pumpkin spice as well as apple juice. Not much to it, but not terribly offensive.

T - Very strange flavor. A little artificial-tasting pumpkin spice and some apple juice. Finish is almost like a wild ale, with a strange tartness, almost bretty.

M - Watery and weak, with a harsh astringency.

D - Bad. Couldn't finish the bottle. This is terrible. I actually had this at my uncle's place a few years ago and thought it was pretty good. Wow, how my palate has changed.

I don't know, maybe this was meant to be drank out of the bottle for some reason. Smelled better out of the bottle than the glass, and it would actually be a good thing to lighten the flavor of this mess of a beer.

10-17-2009 02:58:29 | More by nickd717
Photo of jamiesessions

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +32.9%

Beer pours an orange-ish, copper colour with very little head, that dissipates almost as quickly as it forms. Smells like pumpkin pie, spices and nutmeg galore. Taste is finally something i can write home about. Unlike many pumpkin beers that deliver on smell but not on taste, this one is delicious. Pumpkin flavours really come through on this one, and leaves a wonderfully sweet aftertaste. Feels a little light, watery is probably too strong a word, but does not keep me too intrigued. Very high carbonation is also a little bothersome. Beer is very drinkable however, the sweet taste leaves you wanting more, and it goes down very smoothly. All in all this is easily the best pumpkin ale i have had yet. The poor reviews mostly seemed to centre around the sweetness of the beer, which is exactly what kept me intrigued. Too many Pumpkin ales taste simply like ales that smelled like pumpkins, but never delivered on the taste. This one gives you a sweet little treat, perfect for the thanksgiving season

10-17-2009 01:52:46 | More by jamiesessions
Photo of matjack85


2.73/5  rDev -6.5%

Found this squatty brown 12 oz bottle on the discount rack at Geno's Liquors in Elgin, IL for just 84¢. Since there was no freshness date on the bottle, I am hoping this is not a leftover from last year's batch as it seems strange to discontinue a pumpkin ale in the middle of October.

The beer pours a hazy bronze color, but when held to light it takes on a much prettier shade of bright orange. It made a slightly off white 1½ finger head that disappeared quickly and left no lacing whatsoever.

The smell leaves no doubt that this is a pumpkin ale. Strong pumpkin and spice aromas are about all you can detect.

Unfortunately, pumpkin and spice are about all you get in the taste as well. Where's the malt? Where's the hops? What makes this a beer? It doesn't taste that bad, but it is seriously lacking in other flavors besides the pumpkin and spices.

Watery thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation. It's easy to drink and kind of refreshing but it seriously lacks any complexity.

10-16-2009 08:31:27 | More by matjack85
Photo of BeerFMAndy


2.7/5  rDev -7.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. B2379 (maybe this is a Julian date?) "America's Original Pumpkin Ale"
Thank you Onenote81 for this trade!

A - Fizzy and slightly hazy, the effervescent pour produced an off-white head on top of the yellow-orange body. Loud and short-lived, it retired to a tiny ring with no lacing.

S - It pours with a lively pumpkin aroma that's heavier on the pumpkin than the spices although the spices are still evident. The aroma is a bit thin though. No "beer" aroma as a backbone for the pumpkin and spice.

T - Again, like the aroma there is a lively pumpkin flavor with a good subtle helping of spices that lets the pumpkin really shine but there is no beer backbone to support it. A light kiss of hops is there but no maltiness to speak of.

M - Thin and watery. Lacking a good maltiness. Spicy and crisp with a light bite to the finish. Just lacking in any body.

D - It's certainly an easy drinking pumpkin ale. Much better than I had expected but although they got the pumpkin and spice proportions right, the beer (malt and hops) isn't really there. Way too thin.

10-16-2009 01:12:25 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of seanbhudson


2.6/5  rDev -11%

12 ounce bottle with no date. Pours a hazy orange/amber color with a medium white head. No noticeable lacing.
Moderate aroma of sweet alcohol and apricots. Also a bit of pumpkin and cinnamon spice.
Cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. Light grainy malt. More spice than pumpkin flavor.
Light-medium body. Thin texture. Lively carbonation.
Overall a thin uninteresting beer. Would like more doughy malt and pumpkin flavor. Also a creamier / chewier mounthfeel would be nice.
NOTES: BBCSD-0909-PatrickM

10-14-2009 23:41:53 | More by seanbhudson
Photo of Kadonny


3.55/5  rDev +21.6%

Poured from a bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

A: D medium orange color with a one finger white head. Not much glass lacing.

S: Spice, pumpkin, sweetness and a faint shot of hops.

T: Cinnamon spice and pumpkin and squash flavors start off with lots of biscuity malt sweetness. Some clove flavors are present as the beer finishes sweet with a twinge of hops. Finish is clean.

M: A bit light, finish is clean but flavors don't linger.

D: Pretty good, I enjoyed it. I could see drinking a few of these.

Overall I don't get the low scores for this beer. Was it the be all, end all of pumpkins? No, but it was solid and enjoyable. It needed a bit more body and complexity, but it was an enjoyable drinker.

10-12-2009 12:53:24 | More by Kadonny
Photo of thecarster1


3.83/5  rDev +31.2%

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger bright white bubbly head that fades fast to a spiderweb covering of lace, that lace eventually disappears to basically faint wisps with a broken ring around teh glass, bright orangey color with highlights of ochre.

s- mild, cinnamon, caramel malt, very slight roasted pumpkin, bit of muted lemon.

t- cinnamon, caramel malt, faint hop kick on the back end, touch of clove, no flavor outdoes the others, it was enjoyable.

m- light, crisp in the mouth with some pricklyness.

d- very drinkable, not overly spiced, or pumpkiny for that matter, but still flavorful and enjoyable, i could have a few of these.

10-11-2009 17:54:43 | More by thecarster1
Photo of BARFLYB


2.83/5  rDev -3.1%

12oz bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass. Thanks for the bottle Ryan.

A- Dead on arrival. I poured this one with vigor and all I get is this lousy dead calm. Some rising bubbles that don't break the surface. No lace. The liquid is a very small shade of light bronze with burnt orange. This beer looks dead to the world though.

S- Well it's a pumpkin beer so it goes in that direction with pumpkin and a little bit of spice, probably nutmeg. It's just that these scents are so minimal that it's apples and oranges compared to other's in the style, in other words very light and fragile. Some morning bread and a bit of cinnamon.

T- Pumpkin with some spices following. Very light, while the malts come through just as much, if not more. Cinnamon and a dash of clove. The malt level is at a point where it outshines the other contenders. Hops really are not in the picture here, more of an after thought, if that. This beer is in no means horrible, it's just light and to the point.

M- A small step up from light with more sweetness than spiciness on the palate. If this had no pumpkin in it I would of guessed this as a bad US version of a golden ale. The carb could of been boosted up a notch, it's almost non-existent. No lingering ingredients here, it just comes and goes.

D- With all the mixed reviews here, I gotta say this is in no means a good beer, but it's far from horrible. Let's face it, there are a lot of fishes in the sea when it comes to US pumpkin beers, with a lot of dead fish as well. If this did not have such a dead look and feel this could be a good contender for a sixer per season, for now i'll stick to my single.

10-11-2009 04:21:04 | More by BARFLYB
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.