Alimony Ale | Buffalo Bill's Brewery

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 338 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of JasonFromLA
1.25/5  rDev -63.1%

Photo of dgfool
1.5/5  rDev -55.8%

Photo of SerialHiker
1.56/5  rDev -54%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Apperance: Copper in color and transparent…some bubble action in the middle…head that formed dissipated rather quickly, leaving a thin veil on top…(2/5)

Smell: Not very aromatic, I really had to get my nose down in there to catch anything…definitely citrus hops, but I’m not getting too much nose action here…(1/5)

Taste: Surprising amount of hoppy bitterness in the initial taste, seeing as there’s little hint of that in the smell…the malt and hops balance nicely creating a classic American IPA…citrus and piney hops, a sweet flavor mixed in with a malty finish…mild taste of alcohol lingers after finish…(2/5)

Mouthfeel: Bitter carbonation sorta burns my tongue if I let it…it’s a basic IPA flavor and feel…bitter hops lingers…(2/5)

Overall: Not too sure if I could tell this one from another…it’s good, but very non-descript…there’s no head, there’s no bubbles, it just sorta is…Eh…(1/5)

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Photo of countrocula
1.71/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't know if I got an old sixer of this stuff... and believe me... I am one to get pretty verbose in my reviews, but all that comes to mind on this wretched brew is that it STINKS. Totally gross stale malt flavor. The nose was like grandpa's rayon blend slacks that he hasn't laundered in 30 years. I almost barfed from this. First time in 15 years that I discarded 3 unopened bottles. The other two I shot with a 12 gauge.

 426 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
1.74/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of JP. Thanks bud! I had never heard of this beer before. Stamped enjoy by 022213.

Pours a moderate hazed orange with some soapy whites and some spotty oily lace.

Smells like a maltifed rubber hose.

Big caramel malts and some chalky and lightly abrasive bittering hops. Finish is all plastic tubing.

i understand this is billed as an old school IPA, but this school should be boarded up. It tastes like larger scale home-brew with the extremely off putting plastic tubing off flavor that has essentially knocked me out of homebrewing myself. Every burp tastes of tubing. Not good. Half a glass give me a wicked pud ache. Draino!

 654 characters

Photo of Rozyravens
1.75/5  rDev -48.4%

Photo of Ryan011235
1.82/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 8/19/11

Pours a bit of a papery yellow and settles as a cloudy honey-brown. Poofy two finger head is riddled with pores, slowly collapsing. Impressive head retention - holds right around 1/3rd inch. Thick clumps of lace, too.

Smells not so hot. Dirty hops - vegetal (namely wild onion) and earthy. Kind of floral as it warms but even that smells dirty. Maybe some stray pine nips. Some faint candied fruit hints. Caramel, bread and yeast.

Oh man, tastes just as bad. Maybe worse. A quick hit of pine succumbs to a lingering bitterness (just shy of aspirin) and a slew of palate unpleasantries. Rotten citrus peel, earth, dirt, tea leaves, veggies, watery caramel and bread.

Basically medium body with a penchant for the watery side. Vigorous carbonation takes up way too much space and allows the bitterness to roam unchecked. The feel is far too coating, as well.

Alimony Ale is a terrible IPA and a lousy beer. Aside for great retention and lace, this one is plagued by issues, not the least of which are off-tones across the aroma and flavor profile. I dumped half the glass.

 1,112 characters

Photo of C20Percent
1.91/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

*Review taken from notes*

A: Slightly hazy golden bronze with a fine amount of cream colored head.

S: Very subtle citrus-hop aroma. Would prefer something with more aroma.

T: This is not good to me. You know the smell or fresh plastic -- like when you first open an iPad or camera? That's what this taste like. I'm not sure what they were going for -- citrus? -- but this is not working. A bitter finish.

M: Light to medium body.

O: Won't be drinking this again. Fail all over. I seriously considered pouring this down the drain as it was hard to drink. Thought it might be better as the beer warmed. Nope.

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Photo of Floydster
1.96/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 1/23/09, reviewed from notes, the fact that they claim this is the most bitter beer in the United States is more than laughable, bad enough that they even call it an IPA, color is golden amber with some lighter highlights, 3/4 inch bubbly white head that settles very quickly, no retention or lacing, was told it was brewed a few days before so it was fresh, so no excuses there, aroma is very weak and is almost all malt, lots of grain too along with some citrus and sweetness, flavor is malty and has minimal hops too, sweet flavor with undesirable fruit presence, got sweeter as it warmed, sweet and grainy mouthfeel, medium bodied, overly carbonated, could not and would not drink much of this, sweetness is filling and takes away from the smoothness, again where are the hops, thought this was going to be something worth drinking but I came up empty handed, would not drink again, not recommended

 913 characters

Photo of utopiajane
1.98/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours murky brownish amber with some bold and brawny foam that won’t fall down. I had to wait to taste it. Citrus hops nose with caramel malt, some floral some apple in the back and medicinal alcohol. The nose is not real big. Taste is both sweet and bitter. Alcohol on the palate and a rubbery taste that I couldn’t quite get into. I kept wondering what went wrong? Went down dry but tasted like pencil erasers and didn’t fade well. I would pass on this next time.

 471 characters

Photo of Skye1024
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of 1BadblueSS
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of Boilerbrando
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of DonFrap
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of beernads
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of lKnoXl
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of Nichols33
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of Sinewave
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of annestitches
2/5  rDev -41%

Photo of alleykatking
2.38/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for this beer.

A- Poured a coppery brown color. Half finger off white head showed poor retention. No lace left on the sides of the glass.

S- Light citrus hops in the front but barely there in the aroma. Huge bready sweet caramel malts dominate most of the aroma. Earthy hops like the citrus come through but not in any dominate matter. Light sweet alcohol in the ending of the aroma.

T- Sweet malts right off the bat. Caramel bready malts show more than the citrus hops that came in the ending of the front. There was a light earthy hop in the ending with the same semi-sweet malt overtones in the front of the beer. Sweet alcohol in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Lots of malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is light sweet alcohol, bready caramel malts, and hints of earthy hops. Flavors were more malt forward and I didn't think it was balanced for the style. No off flavors were present but a little too sweet which threw me off as an odd flavor. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Nothing at all like a IPA in my personal opinion. Not really anything like an English IPA either. The ABV didn't show really but the sweetness just is a little over the top for me. Not my favorite beer by a long shot but also at the same time not my least favorite.

 1,361 characters

Photo of EricDodge
2.47/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was a bit let down with this brew. For being an IPA, it wasn't really to the style very well. I gave the appearance a low score because of the head... large bubbles from an over carbonation made a head that looked like you filled up a glass with water after squirting some Dawn in it. The head quickly went away except for a few uneven 'clumps' of foam on the surface rather than a thin layer across the whole thing. it didn't smell like much...just a few hints of hops, but not quite to what I'd expect from an IPA. The taste is the same... there's some hopes, but not quite what I would expect. The mouthfeel is also affected by the over carbonization. after you'd drink this, you might say to yourself "Jeesh, does everyone think that if you just have noticible hops than it's automaticaly an IPA?" because even thought it's a fine beer, I wouldn't toss it into the IPA group simply because they used more aroma hops.

All in all, it's an ok beer, but not a great IPA. I got mine on clearance for $5.99, so I'm ok with it...

 1,029 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of Kahlerbock
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of sasdragon
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of durlta
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%

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Alimony Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
3.39 out of 5 based on 338 ratings.
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