Alimony Ale | Buffalo Bill's Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Alimony AleAlimony Ale
338 Ratings
Alimony AleAlimony Ale

Brewed by:
Buffalo Bill's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Buffalo Bill's Alimony Ale was originally brewed back in 1987 for a customer going through a divorce. It has gained reputation as one of the most eccentric brews, from reports in the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. No longer one of the bitterest beers in America, just one of the best.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-13-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 338 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of thatdirtymick
5/5  rDev +47.9%

Photo of OoReFLuXoO
4.75/5  rDev +40.5%

Photo of forummember
4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a very nice clear amber copper with at least a half inch of head

S - Smells bitter and piney. Fresh hop smells hits the nose hard.

T - Hard to believe it's 80 IBU's but it is. Starts pretty bitter but as your palate adjust you have caramel sweetness malt along side of these harsh bitter hops which mend nicely but as most west coast hop ales coats my mouth in a sort of "soap like" hop taste. Only moderate as this is balanced its not near as irritating, as say Green Flash (shudder!)

M - Light to medium, found the bitterness was like asking for seconds.

D - West coast done right, I found this at my local D's and if found cheaper than 15 dollars a sixer would drink quickly! With fresh west coast hop taste I like the bitter!

 743 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.32/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a fun beer from the beginning. The label was cool, and the name is hilarious.

It was a nice clear red ale with a good-sized head that lasted quite a while.

The aroma was of complex hops, both aromatic and bitter, some hints of pine and citrus, but only lightly. The hops were very strong.

The taste was quite bitter, as promised, and the hop character was very pronounced. Some maltiness, but it was overshadowed.

As a hop lover, I enjoyed this one a lot, from looking at the bottle to the final swallow.

 518 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7-1-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, nice layer of frothy foam. Carbonation is present. Dark amber color

S – Malts with a slight piney hop aroma with orange peel

T/M – Medium bodied that was well balanced between the malts and hops

D – Very drinkable brew! Wish I had more of this. I got this as an extra. Like I said this brew was a very well balanced brew. I highly recommend this brew

 451 characters

Photo of brown2cu
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: wonderful appearance! A thick viscous head forms atop a blood orange body. A copious amount of lacing is present.

S: tropical hop notes corroborate with a firm malt sweetness.

T: hops take a backseat here. The malt takes over this beer is sweet and fruity and slightly candy like. Not quite sure this is an ipa but it is good just the same.

M: smooth and creamy. Heavy bodied.

O: good but no ipa!

 404 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear - although bottle conditioned - and very dark brown with ruby highlights topped by a dense, creamy tan head that holds very well and leaves some exceptional lace. The aroma is rich with light fruit and caramel notes. The body is medium with a fine, median carbonation that is lightly zesty on the tongue and fairly creamy once it warms in the mouth. The flavor is bold and rich with layers of caramel, toffee, chocolate and roasted coffee notes as well as some lightly floral & grassy hoppiness. The combination of dark malts and hop acids gives a low pH that's borderline sharp but works well with the dryness of the beer. It finishes with a quick flourish of hop flavor and bitterness, then receeds with a lingering caramel maltiness. Starts well and ends well! The "most bitter beer in America" clearly refers to the alimony aspect of it, and not the IBU's, as it's really quite malty and fairly complex. Very nice! Much more than I'd expected, and well recommended.

 975 characters

Photo of mzeld
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of rorjets
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of jmbot4371
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of GaryMarkle84
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of rjvanston
4.25/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77.

From the bottle: "Good beer, like true love, doesn't last long. Enjoy it while it lasts."; "It's Irreconcilably Different". Hee hee. The soundtrack to this one includes Led Zeppelin's "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)".

Grrr, fooled again by a screw-top cap! I took out my frustration in the frm of an aggro pour, which resulted in a pseudo-cascade. It settled into a massive three fingers of dense, tawny head with great retention. Color was a deep-amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was bitter, as anyone forced to pay alimony might be, with a prevalent pine odor. Now, my hophead mouth was beginning to water! Even better was the sticky lacing that the foam left behind in its wake. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was a combination of bitter grapefruit rind and minty pine, reminding me of how and why I became a hophead in the first place. I have been subjecting myself to all manner of styles in this attempt at downsizing, but this was a welcome relief! Finish was dry and biting, fitting for both an AIPA and the thought of paying alimony.

 1,210 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cloudy, orange-gold in appearance, with a nice cloud deck of off-white foam.
Aroma-Nice boquet of citrus hops and some toasted malt.
Taste-Tasty onrush of citrussy hops, solid toasted malt backbone, citrus rind finish.
Solid American IPA.

 302 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- A heavy psst! erupts when I crack the top followed by some carbonation steam. From a light pour comes a towering 8 or so inches of head so large that I can't get all the beer in the glass at first. It starts to melt around the edge and there's a hump of foam sticking up in the middle. I pour a second time and still can't get all the beer out of the bottle. Now the hump is protruding past the top of the glass. I pour a third time and almost cause foam to spill over the edge of the glass, but I'm good. Now the hump is an off-white mountain. Finally, with the fourth pour, I empty the bottle. The beer itself is a dark amber color. Crazy lacing. This is the first offering I've had from Buffalo Bill and just the appearance has me all excited.

S- Crisp, pungent hop aromas flow from the head. More herbal than piney or grassy but still has a citrus tone. Also a slight astringency is present.

T- At first there's a bitterness but, in a flash, the malts set in and tip the scales. There's an alcohol bite that's a bit unwelcome (considering the ABV) along with the bit of astringency I sensed in the aroma, but overall a well-balanced flavor profile. Also a somewhat metallic aftertaste.

M- Tingly and bright with high carbonation. Medium body is a bit on the moist side.

O- A very good IPA. I'll be seeking out more of Buffalo Bill's lineup for sure now.

 1,433 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.07/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery bronzey orange. The head is mostly white and fluffy, but lasts only a short time.

Citrus smells dominate the nose, with some peppery spices in the background.

Tastes like it smells, with citrus flavors taking over with pine flavors filling in the cracks. Like in the nose, there is some pepper at play as well.

In my mind it's hard for any IPA to have a good mouthfeel and this is no exception. It's got a hoppy bite from beginning to end. The citrus only tames the hoppiness a little.

This is a really good IPA. While it's 100% IPA with it's hoppy bitterness, it's pretty tame for the type. Would go well with something salty to eat, but goes by itself just fine.

 684 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This strong ale pours a ruby/brown color with a medium-sized off-white head. A strong floral hop scent rises up immediately. A nice sweet malt aroma blends in and lasts for a while.
The deep and rich malt is caramelly sweet. Flavors of toffee and sweet chocolate are in the background.
High in metallic & citrusy hops, this is indeed a bitter ale. Grapefruit, lemon zest and piney esters are in abundance. 7.5
(The Bitterest Brew in America) Get it? This is a Powerful Beer w/ lots of sweet malt, hops & alcohol vying for attention.

 536 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Goldish color body with a creamy white head. Looks very bubbly. The main attraction is the head becoming creamier from all the bubbles. Beautiful lacing on the glass.

There's a perfume smell to this mixed in with a bouquet of flowers and mens' cologne. Weird but interesting.

Bread and biscuit malt mixing with citrus hops. The tastes of malts and hoppiness are almost even but a metalic hop flavor at the end wins out. Quite tasty and I don't have a complaint about the taste.

The body on this is real nice. Creaminess from the head makes this feel really good in the mouth. (Wow, does that sound perverted) But it's true. Body and carbonation is light to medium.

I've had one bad experience and one average experience with Buffalo Bill's Brewery. This is definitely a nice one for a change. The creamy head made this have a pleasant mouth feel. The taste was good as well.

 882 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Buffalo Bill's has become somewhat a novelty in the craft brewing realm, let's see if their amusingly entitled American IPA Alimony Ale holds up to the challenge of being a solid West Coast IPA. Appears a pale copper hue slightly hazed with sediment, bright offwhite head forming thick with fine bubbles intricate lacing left behind, beautiful looking brew. Aromatics strong citric nature, hints of peach and biscuit pale malts. Flavors bitter just like the alimony payments, not joking this beer has a strong unrivaled bitterness, starts citric peel fruity ends abrasive earthy/dirty hop bitteriness. Mouthfeel is dry with hop bitterness hints of aspirin medicinal qualities overall bring out a nice flowing carbonation that carries this medium bodied brew without difficulty. Drinkability overall is excellent, a beer I will try fresh anytime solid West Coast example not the cream of the crop, but this beer is no slouch.

 924 characters

Photo of RDW
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was in a cheese shop when I saw this beer and started laughing. The bottle alone would make a good post divorce gift. It poured nice. It wasn't as bitter as I exspected, but it was more bitter than your standard IPA. All in all it was decent beer worthy of another round.

 273 characters

Photo of Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer's name probably generates sales purely on novelty, but overall it is a quite decent IPA. Lands somewhere in the middle between an American IPA and the more traditional style, with bittering that is mid-range and a bit blunt - not a lot of complexity in the hops profie. Malt is well balanced for the level of hopping. Not something I'd be moved to buy a lot of, but enjoyable enough.

Of note, I see that earlier reviewers noted that the label proclaimed the beer "the bitterest beer in America" It no longer makes that claim - which is wise.

 551 characters

Photo of Motozappa
4/5  rDev +18.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Alimony Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.38 out of 5 with 338 ratings