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

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

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BA SCORE
69
poor

1,125 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,125
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 22.37%
Wants: 13
Gots: 64 | 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: 1,125 | Reviews: 620
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of Gusler
3.12/5  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.

Photo of claspada
2.79/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light to medium orange amber color with a soft white fluffy head that quickly dissipates to near nothing and leaves minimal lace.

Aromas begin with light freshly baked pumpkin pie smells; allspice, baked pumpkin flesh and some more undiscernable spices are also present.

The flavors begin with light bready malts and pumpkin pie spices. Flavors aren't too exciting and become just sweet like a carbonated pumpkin juice. The flavor profile just isn't too tasty overall and doesn't merit taking another sip except to finish the bottle and move on.

The mouthfeel is light with spritzy carbonation borderlines being on watery.

Overall this is a forgettable Pumpkin ale in a market that is saturated with much better examples, both sessionable and Imperial varieties. Elysian makes the best sessionable example if you ask me and Weyerbacher and Williamsburg makes great Imperial versions. Look elsewhere for your Gourd fix this season.

Photo of dirtylou
3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of ccrida
2.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic, Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale is a slightly hazed copper with all but no head or skim, but active carbonation.

Smell is super strong in the spices, nutmeg mainly. Just too much spice.

Taste is, surprise, all spice! Is there pumpkin in here, or just pumpkin pie spices? Otherwise, a slight bitterness, but that's it. No malt at all, this is like drinking pumpkin pie spiced seltzer.

The mouthfeel is watery.

The drinkability is pretty low if you like beer. As far as a pumpkin pie seltzer, in spite of the heaviness of the spices, the taste vanishes so abruptly that I can't really complain. Wait, I can, and I am. This beer sucks!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.72/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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

Firm aroma is malty with an overtone of cinnamon and a strong hint of pumpkin. It pours a nice clear amber with minimal head or lacing. Malty flavor has a pumpkiny undertone and a hint of spice, mainly cinnamon. At least this pumpkin ale tastes more of ale than pumpkin! Fizziness is minimal - but this may be because this bottle was in the car for a couple days during hot Atlanta weather.

Photo of clayrock81
2.23/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Expected so much more from this beer. Well, not much more, but better than this. It poured a apple-cider looking body with an extreme amount of carbonation, too much in fact. Had a huge, foamy and rocky head that took a few minutes to die down. Took a nice whiff and was greeted with a faint, weak pumpkin smell. Not much else at all. The spices don't mix well at all, and the carbonation overpowers anything resembling pumpkin. In terms of pumpkin taste, this tastes like pumpkin pie with a blackened pie crust. The backbite is awful considering this beer's style, leaving a dry, unpleasant finish. There is no need for someone to try this if they haven't, but I was given the samae advie and didn't heed it. Should've just wiped my ass with the $2 I bought this for.

Photo of Brenden
2.99/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The color is a sort of coppery amber. I've seen people say it looks clear, but mine poured with a sort of dusky opaqueness. The head pours impressively enough, but dissipates almost immediately to absolutely nothing. There is no lacing whatsoever.

I was impressed with how much it smelled like spiced pumpkin pie with a touch of nutmeg. I think the best thing about this one is the smell. Pumpkin is pleasantly evident.

There is very slight maltiness, sadly minimal. In fact, this tastes more to me like a soda than a beer. I don't dislike the taste, but it seems very weak. There is some nice spiciness and a mild sweetness.

The feel is thin, and carbonation isn't overpowering but prevalent , like soda just going flat. Again, a weak, watery feel.

I'm not too experienced with pumpkin ales and just saw this one on the shelf first and decided to try it. I'm sure many superior pumpkin ales can be found.

Photo of ZAP
2.39/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Two things jump out at me....excellent nose...horrible mouthfeel....

Pours a hazy orange...off-white head....big pumpkin pie like smell...the aroma is awesome...first sip and I can tell something is bad..very bad...feels like a light beer does in the mouth....thin...watery....the flavors don't come close to the smell but there is some pumpkin pie like notes....

Overall I wouldn't drink this again....I'd smell it again for sure though....if you want to buy it just to smell I guess I'd advocate that but if you are going to put the glass to your lips I'd stay away....Not impressive at all except for the smell...

Photo of Dogbrick
3.36/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The strong aroma of pumpkin and ginger was really promising on this one, but the flavor really didn't deliver. With a little more pumkpin flavor and a little less carbonation I think it would have been a "must-buy" every year around Halloween. As it stands though it was like a lot of fruit beers I have tried where the bark was better than the bite. I am going to try to hunt down a Pumpkin Stout!

Photo of ColForbinBC
2.76/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz stubby brown bottle poured into a pint

Pours a clear brownish orange with a foamy, two finger slightly off white head. Minimal visible bubbles find their way through the body. Not a very appealing look to this beer.

Aroma is of allspice, clove, pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin pie all the way. Lightly sweet with a toasted biscuit malt presence that gives the illusion of pie crust.

Spices take control of the palate while the pumpkin lays somewhat idle underneath. Allspice and cinnamon up front with a sweet finish of nutmeg. Some fleshy pumpkin holds down the back end with the biscuity malt.

Thin and watery. Light body with pretty average carbonation.

This beer goes down pretty easy if you are a fan of pumpkin beers. Not overly sweet or bitter with a manageable abv. I didn't think this was terrible, but it wasn't that good either.

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.87/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, pale yellow/ orange-sh color with an off white head. Aromas of all spice, cinnamon and brown sugar. In the taste, pumpkin, a small spice, and a bit watery in the taste. A small bitterness and a watery mouthfeel, with a small spicy aftertaste. OK beer, but kind of watery, aroma was a bit misleading as to taste.

Photo of tavernjef
3.3/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dull dark orange color with a thin puffy off-white head that departs fairly quickly, leaves minimal spotty lace. Aroma is much like a sweet pumpkin pie, with spicy cinnamon, vanilla, some baked roastyness and is pleasant to the nose. Well the taste is about what I was expecting, kinda mild of pumpkin flavors with many hints of cinnamon spices, some light roastyness and sweetness of vanilla and molasses but is very short lived altogether, hardly makes a nudge on the palate. Feel is a bit thin, watery in some notions with hollow areas and some small carbonation texture. Not something I'd keep around or go back to again, but was hard to pass up the bomber at .99$ on sale.

Photo of RBorsato
2.6/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 version:
LIttle to no carbonation. Spicy MEDICINAL and almost plastic aroma and flavor. light bodied and hard to drink ...

Nothing like it was a few years ago....

Tasted: 12/03/04

---

2002 version (old ratings: A 4.0, S 5.0, T 4.5, M 4.0, D 5.0, O 4.5):
Great Orange color with a low lying head but nice carbonation. Big Cinnamon and Nutmeg SPICY aroma a la pumpkin pie. A great SPICY flavor (almost too spicy if possible) on top of the light body make this easily drinkable. Delicious ! I can't drink just one !

Note: this beer was #43 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is dingy orange in color (like a pumpkin, of course) with a big head that is white as the driven snow.

Smell – The giant spicy cinnamon surely brings to mind Halloween. The malts and sugars come together nicely to produce a very pumpkin-like aroma.

Taste – Yes, this one reminds me of a tasty pumpkin pie. They hit the nail right on the head with this flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied ale is creamy in the mouth with a dry finish and laden with powdery spices.

Drinkability – This is a big sipping ale perfect for those cool fall evenings.

Photo of laituegonflable
1.43/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours an orangey amber colour, head is dense and respectable. Sticks around quite well. Hardly any lacing. Very slow bead. Meh.

Holy shizzle, sickly sweet nose with a sort of dried fruit kind of character. Yeah, a bit of spice like cloves or something, but mostly just sickly sweet and horrible. I'd give it a 5 if I were judging it on the ability to smell sweet, disgusting and like cloves, but as a beer, meh.

Tastes like cloves. It's never been a huge ambition of mine to drink liquid cloves. Mouthfeel is sharp and tacky. If you're looking for a beer that tastes like cloves, this is it. If you're looking for a beer that's even slightly good, look elsewhere.

Photo of illidurit
2.76/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a weizen glass. It's an attractive pale orange color with a white head of 1.5 fingers. The head dissipates to nothing unnervingly quickly.

S: Smells like cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin.

T: Tastes like one part pumpkin pie and one part sparkling water put into a blender. Not really any beer characteristics to be found. Kind of cloying.

M: The body is pretty thin and the carbonation is pretty high, making it refreshing but weak.

D: No sir I will not have another..

I was lucky enough to be in a food-pairing mood with this beer; I had some jalapeno cheese on crackers while drinking it. The cheese's hot spiciness complemented the nutmeg and clove characters of the beer, but I can't imagine drinking this beer without accompaniment. Have it with Thanksgiving dinner or don't have it at all, basically.

Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: nutmeg, toasted malt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice

Taste: cinnamon, clove, followed by pale malt that leads to pumpkin spiciness at the end.

Mouthfeel: sweet but not overly so, high carbonation, medium-light bodied

Drinkability: A nice and solid pumpkin ale. Not boundary pushing, yet more complex then several i have had this year. I would get a six of this.

Photo of mynie
3.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Regular pumpkin ale pour: copper (why aren't these orange... like pumpkins?) and hazy. Maybe not enough of a head but I'm in a generous mood today.

Smells like a big bolt of fruity pumpkin and then allspice and ginger. Nice.

Mmm... a very interesting spice profile, going more towards the spicy than the sweet (the latter being the wont of your typical pumpkin ale). Upfront, the sweetness of the malt and the pumpkin blends well against this white pepper/ginger blend, but near the end the spices get a bit too strong. It tastes like black pepper with a hint of allspice. That's it.

Poor ending aside, this is indeed a solid pumpkin beer, and the spiciness does grow on you. I wish more brewers would try changing things around with this style, as it tends to get pretty bland.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had some decent pumpkin ales. This isn't one of them. Hazy dark orange color with a medium white head that quickly disappears. Very spicy aroma, mostly clove. The taste is spice, a little pumpkin (although I think that's stretching it). Very muted. I could drink one or two of these, but I'd have to feed the rest to someone else.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.95/5  rDev 0%
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 ;-)

Photo of popery
2.28/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is, so far, the worst of the recent spate of Pumpkin Ales that have begun populating stores in preparation for various holidays. I bought a few Pumpkin Ales after noticing the sudden influx and really had no idea going in which were good or well-reviewed. I'm not a fan of the style, but now having tried a few, I can say with some confidence that this beer is not just a bad beer but bad for its style, as well. The beer was bitter and fizzy. Its pumpkin flavor was off-putting, and by that, I mean mildly nauseating. If I wasn't comparing it to other Pumpkin Ales, this beer would receive even worse scores.

The beer looks bad. It looks fizzy, like a bad macro. There's nearly zero head. I was immediately scared.

The smell was by far the best part for me. It smells of pumpkin and nutmeg and whatever other spices are in pumpkin pie. The nose promises a piece of pumpkin pie wonderfully distilled into a beer.

The flavor kicked that notion in the teeth. It definitely tastes like pumpkin and pie spice but in the worst way I can imagine. I'm not sure precisely why it fails to this degree. It's much too sweet but also bitter and watery. The pumpkin flavor is off, very off. It's a bit like they added a pumpkin pie flavored sucker to a bottle of bad beer. Where it smelled fresh and pumpkiny, it tastes artificial and sugary.

The beer also suffers in mouthfeel, but I'm not sure how much was due to my problems with taste. The beer feels a bit watery and fizzy, but it's a small problem compared to the flavor. The flavor really killed its drinkability for me. I want to finish a full glass of every beer that I review, and this was the first real challenge to that goal.

I've read some other reviews that make it sound like previous years were better, so here's to hoping they turn things around and get things going in the other direction. That said, they need to just scrap whatever they're using for that pumpkin flavoring.

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

A: Pours a clody dark orange color with a white fizzy head.

S: Pretty weak. I am getting a tiny bit of spices and maybe some malt.

T: The beer has some pumpkin, some malt and a little bit of spices.

M: The beer almost drinks like water. Goes down easy and just feels like a water down beer.

O: This is far from the best pumpkin beer I have had. It is weak and just lacks a lot of flavor. Def wont buy again.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.06/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear reddish-orange color. The head is one-finger in height, creamy and white with orange hues. The aroma is of cinnamon and nothing else. The taste is also dominated by cinnamon to a point where no pumpkin is noticable. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this beer is decent but it would be nice if more pumpkin came through.

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
69 out of 100 based on 1,125 ratings.