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

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin AleBuffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale

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618 Reviews

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Reviews: 618
Hads: 1,125
rAvg: 2.91
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 13
Gots: 63 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 618 | Hads: 1,125
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.97/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazey orangish brown in color with minimal off-white head that quickly faded.
Pleasing aroma is very spicey. Nutmeg and cinnamon come to mind. Sweet malty backbone under the spices. Scent comes off as a cross between heavily spiced hot apple cider and pumpkin pie.

Taste follows the smell. Heavily spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Sweet malt backbone supporting the spice. Again, somewhere between spicey hot apple cider and pumpkin pie. Decent balance, but the sweetness and spice do linger a bit.

Good mouthfeel.
I really enjoyed drinking this one, but I don't think I could drink more than a couple before the heavy spice and sweetness would turn me off. My first tasting of a pumpkin ale has me eager to search out whatever others are available around here.

Overall, a solid spiced beer.
Thanks to Blatzman and AKSmokedPorter for the sample. (857 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.95/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, just like the BA Database picture. Cost me $1.79. The black, orange and green bottle label has a very Halloween feel, which even extends to the pumpkin orange crown cap. One point of interest was the fact that this beer was Brewed & Bottled by Portland Brewing Co., Portland, OR. I wondered if Buffalo Bill’s, CA is just a Beer Marketing Company that has its beers contract brewed?

Appearance: A very lucid amber body that has a distinctive pumpkin orange hue. Thin dirty white head clings to the beer at first – but eventually breaks up to reveal a mass of variable sized bubbles at the edges with a thin broken covering in the middle which still has a very thin head – but it looks like a fuzz. Pretty good levels of carbonation aid head reformation when the beer is swirled.

Nose: This beer has an extremely spicy nose – not much pumpkin, but lots of Cinnamon - most of the smells are just an all-embracing ‘All Spices’ odor. Very “spicy” indeed.

Taste: Lots of spices in the beers tastes. Sadly, the spicy tastes are equally as one-dimensional and as strong as the nose – which is a shame. I struggled to find any semblance of Pumpkin in here. Cinnamon yes, All-Spices sure, but no Pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, invariably aided by the good conditioning in the beer. Even with all the spices, it is still a clean tasting beer with good lines but a little thin at times.

Drinkability: I found this to be quite drinkable actually, but it is by no means a session beer. I could manage a couple, but the high Spice levels would eventually put me off.

Overall: I have only had a few examples of US Pumpkin Ales and this was probably the most highly spiced of all of them. The high Spice levels can lend the beer a very one-dimensional feel at times though.

But as to why this is a Pumpkin Ale and not just a Spiced Ale – I have no idea, maybe it is the picture of the Pumpkin on the label ;-) (1,951 characters)

Photo of Winter
3.75/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a white head. Aroma has a strong spiced nose to it, consisting of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin and malt. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Initial sweet malt front. Spicy tasting middle reveals the aromas from the nose in the taste: strong cinnamon, nutmeg burst through. All of this overlayed on a malt backbone. As the beer warms the caramel malt flavor emerges a little more and it almost becomes brown sugar-like in taste with all the other spices. Finish reverberates the spiced flavors.

Overall a pretty decent pumpkin ale, albeit rather heavy on the spices. Bottle labeling is rather attractive with a large pumpkin sitting in the patch set against a black background. If you're into pumpkin beers give this one a try. (774 characters)

Photo of dmarch
3.18/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too bad for the 250 word minimum because I can sum up my review in one word: OVER-SPICED. Orange-copper in color with a fluffy white head. Taste is sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg dominating. It's basically pumpkin pie in a bottle. I love spices, but I think they went a bit overboard on this one. (296 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.69/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to an orangish-copper color with an off-white head. The aroma is like Thanksgiving dinner, total pumpkin pie. The flavor is like biting into a piece of pumpkin pie, with the pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon. It is light in body and easy drinking. A definite must with Thanksgiving dinner. (294 characters)

Photo of hungryghost
3.49/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice amber color, very short lived head, little lingering.
Smells heavily of pumpkin pie spices, cloves.
The initial taste hits you solidly, just like the smell. No doubt about this ones pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin taste does not hang around, there is plenty of carbonation to blow it away. This is ok, no stickiness in the mouth. Just makes me want to have more.
This is kind of a novelty item, I think I would get bored of it pretty quickly. (446 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, this is not the best Pumpkin beer that I have had, but it's also not the worst. It's pumpkin smell is far stronger than the taste. The smell isn't overpowering strong though, it's a nice balance of pumpkin, spices, and hops. The color was a golden amber color with a creamy frothy head. The head lasted only a couple minutes, but when it was present, was very nice and "fluffy" looking. Mouthfeel wasn;t anything special, seemed like your basic Bud-esque feel. Really carbonated and bubbly. Will I get it again? Maybe, nothing to get excited over though. I would rather go with the Post Road Pumpkin Ale. (608 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper amber tone with a light colored cream head, this beer contains sparse lacing not much just specks scattered. Aroma: Great pumpkin pie aromatics very solid scent of cinnamon, pumpkin, and other cream infused spices. Taste: Flavor doesn't deliver as well as some pumpkin ales I've tried but this one is not bad, just the spicing is a bit cloying here I'd much rather enjoy another Post Road from Brooklyn brewing or even a Blue Moon much smoother and still delivers the pumpkin pie esque tones. Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy but carbonation is a bit high and overal mouthfeel seems a bit thin and textureless compared to other beers of this style. Drinkability: Decent worth a shot not a pick up a case type of beer but then again maybe not even a six pack beer I wish I could have another to taste it again but I probably won't be investing anymore money on this ale. (882 characters)

Photo of hatchethead
3.92/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good idea for a seasonal well executed, the Pumpkin Ale will appeal to those fall lovers who would rather push that second (or first) piece of pumpkin pie aside if they could drink it from a bottle. A whiff of the beer after a pour into a pint glass reveals that the brewers managed to capture a good pumpkin aroma that has hints of nutmeg and other pumpkin-pie spices one would expect. Its oktoberfest-like hue and clarity suggest pumpkin orange. I don't pour for head (seems a waste of glass volume to me), but it does seem that this ale doesn't give you much. But when the beer hits your tongue and taste buds, your hopes that it could serve as a pumpkin pie substitute are fulfilled. The ale's taste has a nice pumpkin ovetone and the right amount of pumpkin-pie spicing.

I recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys giving fun seasonals. I'm seriously considering giving these out to trick-or-treaters (after carding, of course) if my local beer sellers choose to stock this nice little treat. (1,002 characters)

Photo of Elemental
3.99/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice orange copper color to it with a small amount of head and pour head retention. The smell is probably the best part of the beer. A very nice pumpkin aroma with many spices to smell. Smells much like a pumpkin pie. The taste is good with a well balanced taste of pumpkin spices and a light bitterness. Overall a pretty good seasonal worth trying. It took me a beer to get used to the taste but after that its pretty good. (440 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
3.54/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer when poured is a hazy orange color, with a small white head on it. Not much lacing to be accounted for. There is a great pumkin/cinnamin/ginger smell to this beer. The taste has similar qualities going for it. There isnt a very heavy mouthfeel to this one, its almost too watery. This isnt a half-bad drink, and it will bring back pleasant memories of the fall. I will say i am a big fan of pumkin pie, and this is my first pumkin style ale. But i like it. (466 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.2/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark orange, weak and short head that bunches on the glass margins at best. Extremely little lace. Heavily floral aroma, plenty of cinnamon with a wet vegetal muskiness. By gum, there is a lot of pumpkin along with pie spice in this one, broadly leafy in quality, and a sense of grape skins. Low carbonation and long lasting carry-over of the aroma finishes the flavor. Not really hoppy to close, more of a sense of mint. I can't say that this is a favorite but it seems more genuine in intent and execution than brews like Shipyard... (541 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.81/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden color. Not deep enough though. I expect a deep amber or orange or copper when it comes to Pumpkin ales. A slight off-white head recedes to the thinnist of coatings. The rimming sticks around for a while. I love the aroma of this beer. While spices are present, it's much more. It actually smells like pumpkin pie. The nose consists of clove, nutmeg and cinamon sprinkled atop a pumpkin pulp and caramel malt base. Flavor profile is more of the same, except less of the all important pulp/malt base. Just a tad heavy on the cloves. Also some cinamon and allspice. There's a slight sweet pulp taste. And some caramel malt backing. Just not enough. I used to like this one a lot more. Haven't had it for 2 years now. I still like it...but not quite as much. (766 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.57/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with a nice label. Good packaging here!

Beer pour an reddish orange with an off-white head. Decent lacing.

Beer smells great! You really pick-up the spice, a bit of malt and I guess that other smell is the pumpkin.

Taste is decent. Lots of spice on the initial taste. More malt seems to push through as you drink more of the beer. I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but I enjoy this beer. It is a nice seasonal brew to take to fall parties or Thanksgiving dinner at Moms. Even macro drinkers will give this one a try.

Mouthfeel is a trifle thin. Drinkability is fine, but I never have more than a couple in a sitting. Different but good. (680 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice beer, nicely packaged and presented, and interesting at this time of the year. Appropriately golden orange and cloudy, the body is topped with a cream-colored head just as the pie filling would have a hazy cream layer on it. The nose is full of malt and spices and this is a strong element in the taste as well. Enjoyable stuff without being too complex or assertive. A disappointing finish in the feel as this completes with a bit of thin wateriness. Completely drinkable though as this impresses as being just plain fun and uncomplicated to drink. (556 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
2.85/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This spiced brew pours a nice orange color. There is a fair head after the pour but quickly fades away . The aroma is spiced with cloves, ginger, nutmeg and a hint of malt and a even smaller hint of pumpkin. The flavor is a dead match of the aroma. It is a sweet ( maybe a bit too sweet) cloves and ginger start . The disappointment is the slightly watered finish. It seem to me like the flavors slowly faded away a bit to fast.
Overall, it’s an OK beer. Nice carbonation, easy to drink. Not to overpowering with the spices, just missing a little something in the end. (570 characters)

Photo of Ellbert
1.94/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was the first pumpkin ale that I have had. There was too much spice and not enough pumpkin. The apperance was good, a small bubbly head that discipated quickly but left a nice lace. It was a nice reddis hue that was attractive. The smell was the best quality of this beer. It smelled of pumpkin and spices but the flavor had too much of the spice. I would have gone for more of a sweet and malty pumpkin brew. The mouth feel was watery and very carbonated. I could not drink the beer. It was the first beer that I put down the drain. (538 characters)

Photo of byrd
1.76/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I’ve got to admit; sometimes I have a sweet tooth when it comes to beer. I saw this beer in a local store, and after reading some of the reviews for Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale, I thought it would be real treat of pumpkin pie in a bottle. Instead I felt as though I was drinking a watered down lager that had some spice thrown in as an afterthought. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed.

The beer poured with a small head that dissipated very quickly to a thin ring around the glass and a couple lace spots on top. The color was a nice clear orange-amber. Aroma was primarily of spices, but seems a bit off to me. There are some faint hints of hops in the nose. There may be some malt in the aroma as well, but it was pretty well hidden by the spice. This held true for the taste as well. Tastes of spice – cinnamon and nutmeg – were noticeable more then any malt or pumpkin flavor, but over all the beer was rather bland with a fairly light and a somewhat watery mouthfeel. As with the aroma, the taste seems a bit off. I can't quite figure it, but the flavors just don't meld well with one another. Carbonation was moderate, and there were hints of hops in the finish.

Some have said that this beer is too sweet and even cloying. Didn’t seem to be in this case. Maybe it has changed a bit this season? It was more like a cheap spice candle to me then a pumpkin ale. The store I bought this from only sold it in six packs. Now I’ve got to figure out what to do with the other five... (1,501 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
3.2/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoy trying this beer each season. This year the beer pours an amber orange kind of pumpkinesc color. Little head and minimal at best stick. Aromas are all pumkin pie spice and even some fresh pumpkin way in the background. The flavors are all pumpkin pie spice as well. A little malt adds an all most pie crust complexity to the total package. This is not a sweet spicy over the top brew, instead, a fun beer that is worth grabbing to usher in the season, and perhaps a super choice to match with your warm punkin pie. (522 characters)

Photo of kgmurphy13
3.37/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice golden-orange hue with an admirable head that recedes to a comfortable film by the glass's end.

Smell: Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and far off in the distance is the pumpkin.

Taste: Good carbonation, but the flavors (i.e. spices and bit of pumpkin) don't make there present until the finish.

Mouthfeel: Was hoping for a bit more body.

Drinkability: The best part of this beer is that you could definitely sit back and pound a few of these without it getting to you.

Overall: A good brew, but in my opinion it can hold a candle to Post Road Pumpkin Ale. (580 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.52/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a copper orange color and pours with a cream colored thin head. It smells strongly of pie spices, strong nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice aromas. Quite a dry beer, not much sweetness at all. The spices in the beer are mostly evident as an aroma as one is tasting, though they also come through a bit in the finish. A fairly light beer, which is basically a vehicle for the pumpkin pie spices. The spices seem to add a bit of astringency in the finish. (462 characters)

Photo of Mustard
3.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; purchased as a stray single for $1.39 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, orange-tinged gold; fine, two-fingered head; not much in the way of lacing; fairly good head retention.

Aroma: Predominantly of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon; faint hints of orange and grapefruit.

Taste: Lightly sweet with a mild hop bitterness in the finish; primary flavor characteristics are of pumpkin, grain, nutmeg and cinnamon. Poorly carbonated; thin bodied with a sallow, watery mouthfeel.

Notes: Will happily seek this out as a Thanksgiving seasonal. Not for everyone, though. (703 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.02/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok saw this in my local grocer bought one 12 ozer in the brown bottle says on the label "Brewed and Bottled by Portland Brewing Co., Portland ,Oregon".
Nice enough beer to look at..a darkish orange colour witha medium sized pure white frothy head.
A beer with a most strong aroma of pumpkin pie thats highly spiced..I liked it.
Taste is a big let down after the tremendous aroma..very weak and with a strange astringency at the back of the tongue.
Very watery and somehow over carbonated mouthfeel.
Pretty easy to drink but a severe dissapointment after the great aromas. (576 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
2.29/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer was copper colored with a slight orange glow to it. A fizzy, off-white head rose up to two fingers, but disappeared very quickly. An extremely heavy bead helped to sustain a thin cap of foam on top of the beer for most of the drink. There was no lacing at all.

Smell: Surprising, the aromas that I expected to dominate this brew were very subdued. There were slight hints of nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pie. The main component of the nose, however, was an odd, cola-like aroma. Remember that candy that you had as a kid called Bottle Caps, that was shaped like a bottle cap and tasted like different kinds of soda? Well, that is exactly what this smelled like: a cola-flavored Bottle Cap.

Mouthfeel: Extremely thin-bodied but smooth, with just a hint of tingle on the tongue.

Taste: The background flavor was that of a weak American lager. This was just the foundation for the other flavors, though. True to the smell, the overriding flavor was cola. And not good cola, like Coke or Pepsi. It was like that cheap generic crap my Mom used to always buy for 12 for a dollar. The spice and pumpkin were also present, especially on the finish, but they were minor components of the flavor.

Somehow, I was able to finish this beer. But I think it was only because it brought back memories of the cheap-ass cola and Bottle Cap candy of my childhood. As a beer, this offering just sucks.

WTF are they thinking? (1,440 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium gold color, medium head. Pumpkin and spicy aroma. A mild tasting ale, flavored with pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. The malts and spices clash a little, but combine for a rather interesting taste. Would not want to drink a lot of this beer, but one once in a while would be OK. Mouthfeel is full and a little flat. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is a little sweet and spicy. (386 characters)

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
68 out of 100 based on 618 ratings.