Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale | Buffalo Bill's Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
637 Reviews
Read the review
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin AleBuffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale

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

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-01-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 637 | Ratings: 1,189
Photo of Dubblebock
4.04/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Might just have been the fact that the season had turned cloudy and cool and my family and I were carving the jack-o-lanterns when I sampled this beer, but all things considered, this was a pretty good slice of pumpkin ale. Nice packaging, with a fat pumpkin on the label and fall colors dominating.

Looked very good as it poured. Orangish to slightly amber in color, the head was thin and faded away quickly.

The smell was spicy and fresh, cinnamon and allspice scents coming through loud and clear. VERY fragrant nose, almost like when Mom opens up the oven to check the pumpkin pie to see if it's done...

Taste was spicy, a little bit of pumpkin and a lot of cinnamon. Not at all bad, though. Unlike a lot of spiced ales, this one was not overwhelmed by the spices. I still got a lot of malt flavor, especially on the aftertaste. It struck a good balance between the spices and the beer.

Mouthfeel was average to slightly above. Very drinkable ale, and especially enjoyable on a cool, rainy day...maybe a nice piece of carrot cake to go with it. I need to get a sixer and save it for Thanksgiving.

 1,113 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured nice orange tinted amber. This was very cloudy and hazy which kind of surprised me to be honest. Had a nice overall spiced look to it. A good two inch or more of white foamy lace formed as a head on top and actually had some really good retention as it was still around a good couple minutes later. This gradually settled down and formed a thin film of lace across the top. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, and this lasted until the end. A decent amount of side glass lace could be seen down the glass and lasted again until the end.

S – Aroma was highly spiced but yet not overpowering as you see a lot with these pumpkins. They usually put too much of everything and try to force home the point of what it is, but this seemed to be very nice and subtle. It had a lighter overall smell then some, lots of nutmeg, and cinnamon and a good amount of fresh grass or even a tree like smell to it. Lots of spice running through it though and I could pick up even on some apple in there as well. I thought the aroma was very well put together overall.

T – Now see I normally am not the greatest fan of these, but this one was very good I have to say. The first thing I noticed was a nice grainy almost yeast like back to it which really served to lighten it up. This was followed by loads of fall spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of spiced apple, just a good all around mix. There was a noticeable hoppy presence and this definitely could not be hidden. Great finish left you wanting another sip almost right away and there was just really an overall light and vibrant feel and flavor to this. Again very well put together.

M – Super light but yet smooth at the same time. Very nice carbonation led itself to this and really helped to push the flavors out at you. This was full of the little carbonation bubbles if that makes any sense at all. It really made it feel silky like and had a great smoothness to it. I was actually quite impressed with how light it felt, but yet at the same time how full and robust the flavors were. This was very nice.

D – Very very good, I mean for something I do not normally like, I could really have gone for another of these almost right away. It just had that great feel to it and a great full flavor. It was not too heavy and was actually quite refreshing. I really enjoyed drinking it and regret I did not have another right away.

Overall I was very impressed. I have never like pumpkin brew, but now I realize I may have just been trying the wrong ones as this was great. I will really go out of my way now to try and find some more I like before the season is over. Really an outstanding light selection here and something that could easily be a good fall session brew. Look out for this if it’s around and give it a shot.

 2,837 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +36.1%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of Tuey13
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I thought the color was perfect for a pumpkin ale and made me think of fall colors. There isn't much of a head at all and with minimal lacing. Very carbonated though almost like a soda in the glass. There is a definate pumpkin pie aroma with alot of spicy undertones. More spice than I've ever had in a pumpkin ale at this point. If you like the spices I think this is a beer you might enjoy.... almost could qualify as a spiced ale!

 483 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz beer poured into a pint glass. No stamped date.

Appearance - One finger barely offwhite head. Hazy light orange body.

Smell - Strong pumpkin spice. Cinnamon. Brown sugar. Eggnog... wrong holiday, but hey, the nose doesn't lie.

Taste - Pumpkin. Mild malts. Slight spiciness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, inoffensive. Neither challenging nor boring.

Overall Drinkability - I think this beer is great at what it does. Not my style, but I can totally appreciate it. It's soft, mild, balanced, flavorful, and inoffensive. Great novelty beer.

 537 characters

Photo of Beerma
4/5  rDev +36.1%

I was shocked to see this have such a low review! It was last of all the pumpkins! I really enjoyed it! It had a light taste with a pleasant amount of pumpkin and spice! Not too bitter and no bad after taste.

 208 characters

Photo of JamesS
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice pumpkin orange color with some decent initial head; no lacing. Nice deep pumpkin scent, hints of the gourd itself with a nice pumpkin spice scent. Nice flavor; light malt sweetness with a hit of pumpkin spice up front and a bit of the pumpkin itself at the end. Goes down quite well, with a nice sparkling bit of carbonation. A very nice pumpkin ale.

 363 characters

Photo of GeoffTBreashears
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first time I tried this beer I was very pleasantly surprised. All of the flavors were balanced so well. Definitely has become one of my favorite Pumpkin Beers.

The appearance was a very nice reddish orange color with a nice head that dissipated rather quickly.

The smell had a bitter-sweet characteristic to it. Not offputting thought.

The taste was unique in that it definitely carried its pumpkin flavor throughout. I have found that most pumpkin beers carry the pumpkin spice flavor and feel to them. However this one had a different taste in that it was as if you were tasting a fresh pumpkin out of the oven, with subtle notes of nutmeg and the like. This was well received by my palate.

The mouthfeel was average. Though the carbonation was good upon starting to drink it, that dissipated quickly as I drank the beer. Dont let that deter you from trying this though.

Overall I give this beer a hearty recommendation. If you are a pumpkin beer fan, this one definitely shouldn't disappoint.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice medium copper in color with a foamy off-white head that doesn't just fizzle away.

The aroma is all about the spices. I'm smelling nutmeg and coriander, which I don't think is even in this beer.

The spices carry over into the taste as well. Though they are kept well in control and don't overpower some bready malt flavors. Quite good.

The body is good and creamy.

Overall this is one of the best pumpkin beers I've had and well worth seeking out. Good stuff.

 469 characters

Photo of Elemental
3.99/5  rDev +35.7%
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 DarkerTheBetter
3.99/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a surprisingly dark amber with some light orange creeping in and no head to speak of.

Smells just like pumpkin. Seriously. I think this is the most straightforward pumpkin smell I’ve found in a beer of this style. Very nice. I’m also getting a doughy lager-esque pastiness here too with a dollop of honey and a light dusting of nutmeg and allspice.

The pumpkin comes through in the flavor too, but in an odd medicinal way coupled with some wheat and oats. The spices are here too, but distant. There is also a faint rauch bier smokiness to it in the finish. Intriguing.

The mouthfeel is medium boded with a light carbonation. Although it feels smooth, it leaves behind a sticky film.

Is this pumpkin taste real? I have no idea! Ignorance is bliss… I did a little exploring of thier site and they use real roasted pumpkin, so that changes my perspective a little.

 896 characters

Photo of CU570M
3.99/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent pumpkin orange. No head, but a little white ring around the glass. Smells like a pumpkin pie, very fragrant. Initial pumpkin taste with a little clove aftertaste. Very light, but fantstic. Very light mouthfeel, also very smooth. Nice drinkability, especially for the holidays. Best pumpkin beer i've had so far.

 323 characters

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.97/5  rDev +35%
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 Zorro
3.95/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is a hazy orange/red brew.

This has a pleasant pumpkin pie spice aroma. I can't really smell any pumpkin, but there is a nice malt and caramel smell.

The taste is very much like pumpkin pie. The spices come out very nicely with just a hint of caramelized sugar. Surprisingly this beer isn't really sweet.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkable, but this is a specialty brew.

 385 characters

Photo of hatchethead
3.92/5  rDev +33.3%
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 chugalug06
3.92/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a little head and quickly translates to zero head. Very clear orange color. Decent bubbles.

S - Smooth pumpkin scent. Yum, almost smells like a candle.

T - Amazing, nothing like it looks. Very acidic, almost peachy. Mind you the vintage I'm drinking is 9 moths old, so all flavors have faded quite a bit. Almost tastes sour with pumpkin spice

M - Awesome carbonation, perfect. Slight twang buried deep inside. Sour and spicy citrus notes dominate

D - Great drinkability, goes down way fast, and extremely hard to put down.

I love to share this brew with friends, special thanks to my cellar for doing wonderful things to this kind brew over the past 9 months...


 687 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
3.92/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a light copper color with one finger of head. There is no lacing. The smell is very very spicy. There is lots and lots of nutmeg in the nose, just a touch of pumpkin. The taste is very malty and spicy. Lots of nutmeg, some pumpkin and clove. The body is a little bit light. The drinkability is fairly good. A decent pumpkin ale.

 376 characters

Photo of Brian700
3.92/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange. The head is white and sticks around for a short time. I like the aroma, definately smells of pumpkin pie spices. I didn't really pick up on a ginger aroma, just the traditional Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice. The taste follows the nose. Fair amount of spice in the flavor. Mildly bitter going over the back of the palate. Good mouthfeel. Good carbonation with a light body. I think it is a very drinkable pumpkin ale. I liked it.

 451 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.9/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 10-10-08

Pours a cloudy bright orange, with no real head and almost no lacing.

Smell is lots of spice, and a little fruity.

Taste is very subtle, a nice malt at first with flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, followed by a very enjoyable pumpkin hops.

Mouthfeel is good, a little thinner to help the flavors.

Drinkability is very good, everything is in great balance and not harsh at all.

Overall, one of the easiest and most drinkable pumpkin beers I've ever had. Definitely good for sessioning.

 508 characters

Photo of timbeer
3.9/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this one to be very enjoyable. It pours a cloudy orange, with a nice full head. The taste is pleasant - the pumpkin flavor and the spices make it reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The speciality flavors blend well with the beer taste, which puts it one up on many novelty beers. It might benefit from a fuller body, and perhaps from a stronger malt presence.

More generally, this beer illustrates that one's preferences are highly individualistic, and that one shouldn't be deterred from trying a beer simply because others have given it poor reviews. You won't know what you think of it until you try it yourself. Once in a while you'll find one that, for you at least, is a hidden gem.

 692 characters

Photo of jamiesessions
3.89/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

 1,008 characters

Photo of Adamthome1
3.89/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz botle, no best buy date...but it's 10/30 should be fine freshness

Poors a weak head that evaporates, beer is copper color

Smells like smashed pumpkins, hint of nutmeg, cinnamon maybe.

Pretty full taste, certainly different, tastes like pumpkin seeds and mildly citrus, nice amount of carbonation.

Nice cinnamon aftertaste. I don't really like to eat pumpkin pie or pumpkin inspired food so I was eary about buying this, pleasantly surprised. I could drink more than one of these at a time.

 499 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, with an autumnal picture of a harvest pumpkin on the cover/label,

A: Pours a nice, cloudy, orange colour, but after the initial head is nice, it quickly dissipates to a no head brew, no lacing at all, a bit disappointing, but not terrible.

S: Very nice, smelled of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie, the smells of autumn, with some nice nutmeg, cinnamon, and mace, love that nutmeg, I'm a sucker for that spice, it just smells like the holiday season for me, the first pumpkin ale of the season just brings on that feeling for me, wow, the summer went fast.

T: Pretty much the same as the smell, not as tasty as pumpkin pie, but few things are, the spice flavour is even more overt in the taste than in the smell, the taste is basically dominated by spice, though I can taste the pumpkin notes that are there.

M: Surprisingly light, almost feels like a fall-seasonal style pumpkin soda, very spritzy, the mouthfeel could certainly be beefed up a bit.

D: Easy to drink, a tasty beer, would be great for a Halloween party, a few tweaks could make this beer great, it almost feels like a rough draft, a first brewing for what could be a really spectacular beer, still it is a fun beer to drink, it really goes for this pumpkin spice flavour, which I feel is different from a lot of the pumpkin ales out there which taste like an amber ale, mixed with a bit of pumpkin spice, so this is something that I will continue to buy each October that it comes out.

 1,468 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.87/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Cloudy orange with a small head, no carbonation to speak of.

S: A good balance of malt and pumpkin herb, just a touch of spice to give it dimensions. Very clean.

T: Another clean effort of balanced pumpkin and malt, with some delicate floral contribution that is particularly enjoyable. Delicate, yet a bold addition for the style. Their gambit works well.

M: Smooth, crisp, refreshing, and the almost absence of effervescence makes it easy to enjoy a second and third.

O: One of the best pumpkin beers I've had. If you want a pumpkin pie then look elsewhere; this one doesn't have a heavy spice flavor. If you want a well-balanced beer that is perfect for autumn, then pick it up.

 688 characters

Photo of phichifiji00
3.87/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass:

Appearance: Orange, thick white head that quickly dissipates, but remains bubbly almost soda-like.

Smell: Spicy, orange peal, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, some earty/spicy notes.

Taste: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, a bit light on the pumpkin pie flavor for my tastes.

Mouth: Medium bodied, heavily carbonated.

Overall: One of the better pumpkin beers that I've had to date.

 408 characters

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
2.94 out of 5 based on 1,189 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!