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

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637 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 637 | Ratings: 1,189
Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two fingers of head on a dark body.
The aroma is brown sugar, smoke, pumpkin and milk.
The taste is bread and mild spice.
The texture is thicker and smooth.

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Photo of Bluemoonlover
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass

A-poured a golden orangish color with very little head almost none.

S-pumpkin obviously very present.roasted grain.

T-Again pumpkin very present and other spices.Really spicy grainy taste.

M-Went flat fairly quickly.spicy and kind of dry.

D-Pretty easy to drink.Good beer to drink with baked cakes or pies.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.84/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This really isn't bad and I think it is unique. Harpoon's winter warmer has a similar feel to it. Very light bodied and drinkable, many spices. Nutmeg, cinnamin and other Octoberlike spices. Nice taste to it. Soapy head, pours a copper color and many can be consumed at once. Smells really good. I like this one.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It is New Beer Sunday (Week 571) & having been inspired by a Doctor Who marathon of my own devising, I have traveled back in time to the fall. As such, I am CANcentrating on CANned Pumpkin Ales, but I am taking a short detour with a bottle (or two). I was last at Buffalo Bill's in Heyward, CA in December 2007 and I CAN tell you, I miss the SF Bay Area something fierce. I spent 2.5 years in Alameda and I would have retired out there if it weren't for the insane cost of living.

From the bottle: "America's Original Pumpkin Ale".

Jeezus! It has been so long since I Pop!ed the cap off of a bottle that I almost have to Google instructions on how to do so. Nobody panic! I'll be okay. I'm just a wee bit out of practice after so many CANs, is all. Imagine my disappointment at discovering that it was a screw-top bottle! Grrr. I used a gentle pour to produce a finger of light, tawny head that quickly disappeared to wisps. A swirl produced the same results. Bye! Nose was lighter in terms of its spice, but bigger in terms of its bready malt, than other pumpkin beers today. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium. The spice was almost exactly right in that it was clearly not over the top. It was mainly cinnamon and allspice, but it worked well with the bready malt to create a spice cake-like flavor. Oh my! This was like Exhibit A in why restraint is so important in the style. Spices can be overwhelming & when added to saturation, they can be unpleasant. This was really nice & would go nicely with a slice of pumpkin pie or spice cake. Finish was dry, but lightly dry, not gasping, which also happens with saturation of spices. I would drink this again in the fall.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.83/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Manzanitas pint glass
From: Albertson’s in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $1.67 ($9.99 for a mix 6-pack)
Purchased: Sept. 30, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 4, 2014
Misc.: Enjoy by Jan. 4, 2015

Poured a dark caramel, auburn, hazy color with 1-to-2 fingers of creamy white head. A decent amount of wet foamy bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Below average spots of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, pumpkin, dark Belgian cloves, gingerbread, banana bread, honey and caramel. Very nice on the nose. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste wasn’t as good as the nose, but close and still decent. Got cinnamon, pumpkin spices, nutmeg, molasses, gingerbread, banana bread, honey, roasted rye, Belgian cloves and banana. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Thin texture. Soft carbonation. Long, semi-warming finish. (Feel - 3.50)

I’d have to crunch the numbers, but one of the better pumpkin ales I’ve had. I know I haven’t had a lot of the good ones yet though. (Overall - 3.75)

3.83 | 86 | B+

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Clear golden color eth a thin off white head that dissappears quick!!

Smell- Pumpkin and spices right upon opening .

Taste- A very light pumpkin and spice taste. Those tastes are more pronounced in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel- Thin with a lot of carbonation

Drinkability- Not a horrible beer. I can taste the pumpkin more in this beer than any other I've tried. I couldn't drink a whole bunch of these though. Too sweet.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2012 re-review: Poured into a conical pint glass.

The beer is a hazy, dull orange color. A light cream head recedes instantly to little or nothing, with no lacing.

The aroma has an earthiness to it with spices underneath. I can almost smell pumpkin rind in there.

The beer tastes more like real pumpkin, and less like a pumpkin spice bomb. AGain, an earth pumpkin rind body with ideas of squash weigh this done with good cinnamon and nutmeg coatings on the palate. Very good. It tastes like a real craft beer, and not a pretend one.

The mouthfeel is fizzy and bright, and way too carbonated.

Overall, I'll buy this each year. It really tastes centered and down to earth -- and earthy. I like it compared to the generic, over-spiced brews that have flooded the market.

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Photo of Vashtar
3.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

When I first smelled this, I noted that it reminded me of a pumpkin malt ball.

The taste scared me at first. It started out really strong and I thought it was going to be awful... bu then it leveled off. After many sips, it starts out mellow, starts to speak sharply but then evens out before the taste becomes too much. It's a nice balance.

The appearance is cloudy, but nice.

The mouthfeel is a bit too thin.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
3.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden orange color. The one finger tan head has poor retention. There is a decent amount of carbonation bubbling to the top.

S - Smells of cinnamon mostly. There a hints of pumpkin and sweet malts. Smells good just a little faint.

T - Sweet pumpkin up front followed by cinnamon. Nut meg notes linger with a clean finish. Very nice. I don't know why everyone is ripping on this beer. I just wish it was a little stronger.

M - Very light but fits well with this brew. Good amount of carbonation.

D - This is one of the better session pumpkin ales. Easy to drink and tastes good.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have not had many pumpkin ales that I liked, but I felt that this one was properly spiced. The mouthfeel was a bit harsh, but warming it up helped a lot.

The brewmeister at Crooked River made some experimental pumpkin ale one time and sent it along with his wife who worked at the software company where I worked. That one set the bar for others to meet.

Buffalo Bill's had a nice balanced taste and I feel is under-rated by the crowds here at BA.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.81/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored with a long lasting off white head. Nose is pumpkin, vegetable leaves and vines; sweet cooked sugar, light cinnamon and cooking spices, noble, herbal hops. Taste follows nose with big pumpkin vegetable flavor; a sour tang underneath and some noble hop bitterness. High carbonation and medium thin mouthfeel. Tastes like fall to me.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.81/5  rDev +29.6%
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.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It takes a lot for a pumpkin ale to standout because the style is to beer what candy corn is the candy industry: it only comes out in the fall, everybody makes their own non-distinct version, and when it first comes you’re exited because you think “Hmm, haven’t had this in a while, I bet it’ll be good.” And it is, which leads you consume a lot of it during the season, so much in fact that you eventually get sick of it and don’t miss it until it returns en masse next fall. So, as much as I like Pumpkin ales, I find hard to get too exited about them, nor do I usually have any thing really great to say about them, even though I drink loads of the stuff when the season comes around. But this one does stand out and I do have something nice to say about: not only is a smooth, solid example of the style, but unlike so many other pumpkin ales (even the superb ones) its excellent ginger flavor comes trough very nicely. Recommended.

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Photo of willgro
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall an excellent beer. It is a typical pumpkin ale, not too rich or tart. Its pumpkin flavor is not overwhelming. It is available at a ton of different stores, including world market and whole foods. it has an amber, orange color (go figure) and a cinnamon flavor to it, but not too spicy. Very drinkable.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger bright white bubbly head that fades fast to a spiderweb covering of lace, that lace eventually disappears to basically faint wisps with a broken ring around teh glass, bright orangey color with highlights of ochre.

s- mild, cinnamon, caramel malt, very slight roasted pumpkin, bit of muted lemon.

t- cinnamon, caramel malt, faint hop kick on the back end, touch of clove, no flavor outdoes the others, it was enjoyable.

m- light, crisp in the mouth with some pricklyness.

d- very drinkable, not overly spiced, or pumpkiny for that matter, but still flavorful and enjoyable, i could have a few of these.

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Photo of hulmanite
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dissapointingly pale color. Smells of very very strong pumpkin pie spices and I can't pick any other smells out of it even though they may be there. Initial taste hits like a brick of semi-sweet spices and the bitter alcohol. Once the initial taste has subsided, there are more subtle malty flavors.

Great beer if you want to drink 1 or 2, and wait a few days. It has *too much* impact for beer.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.77/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber orange color with 2 fingers of fiizzy cream colored head. OK retention and minimal lacing. Smells of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar, bread, and a touch of pumpkin. Tastes of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and other spices up front, then a touch of brown sugar and light caramel mixed with grainy malts. Finish is a bit souring and citrusy. Light in body with strong carbonation. A good amount of spices, but lacking a solid malt backing, but a nice tart finish. A satisfactory pumpkin ale, at least worth picking up one bottle every season.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cream colred head over clear light orangey/gold liquid. Sweet perfumy citrus and pumpkin pie spice nose. Light bodied and somewhat fizzy on the palate with flavors of fruity flowery pumpkin notes mixing with cinnamon and maybe some light allspice. Light hopping does a balancing act between bitter and flowery. Finishes slightly uninspired at the end, nice n easy to quaff but there's some better examples out there.

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Photo of Winter
3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
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.

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Photo of longarm
3.74/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

There's something about this beer that seems to work. The spices are a little out of balance, mostly because the cinnamon seems to dominate, but it still has a nice pumpkin pie flavor and aroma. The hops are subtle, which seems appropriate. For these reasons I give it a good score on drinkability and would gladly serve it to guests looking for something different. On the downside is the body and mouthfeel, where it's rather thin. This lack of body ultimately doesn't hold-up well to the mix of spices. The aftertaste is a little sticky/sweet but this dissipates, and is OK with me. The head is nice and sustains itself well. It's somewhat cloudy, but I'm not sure if that's what we should expect in a pumpkin beer. I suspect that it's possible to clear this up. Overall the beer is quite drinkable if you like the style.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.74/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper with medium-sized flecks in suspension. Not very impressive retention on this uniformly-bubbled, vanilla-white head. Smells of pumpkin, traditional spices and esters. Similar flavors, tart and malty throughout, not really any pumpkin or spice for the first second or so, but very intense with allspice in the finish and aftertaste. Very good if you're looking for a treat and a change of pace. Lighter end of medium-bodied, medium level of somewhat prickly carbonation. Not much sensation beyond that. Would prefer a creamier and warmer feel, although I'm glad it's not too dry. In my opinion, an underrated beer within an admittedly overrated (or at least oversold) style.

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Photo of ordybill
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- Has a pumpkin, cinnamon and malt aroma, very nice Appearance- This beer is a dark amber color with a medium sized white head. Taste- Has a nice flavor, the pumpkin is there but not as pronounced as I like. Palate- This beer has a medium body with moderate carbonation. Overall- A solid pumpkin ale.

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Photo of erosier
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a cloudy copper orange color with a light bodied off white colored head that fades fast with little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, then pumpkin just like you would expect. This is the sweet kind of pumpkin with some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves but the spices are in the background behind the pumpkin which is nice.
T: Taste is like the nose with a nice malt base followed by the pumpkin with some spices of nutmeg, allspice, clove, and cinnamon but again, they take a backseat to the pumpkin flavor.
M: Very creamy, could use a little more carbonation I felt, medium bodied, nice flavors and aftertaste.
D: Pretty drinkable, I thought it could use a better mouthfeel but this was a nice beer nonetheless.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I know everyone slams this beer but I'm going against the trend. I guess that's what makes the world go 'round.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper/orange with a thin white head. It looks like the orange you find when the maple leaves have all turned colors. That said, the appearance of this beer is "fall".

Smell: All spices. No hop or malt presence. Mostly aromas of nutmeg, ginger, and maybe even some fruit (apples). A veritable cornucopia of fall-like smells.

Taste: Cinnamon, sugar, and ginger jump of my tongue first and foremost. There is a malt presence that comes through as the beer warms and maybe just a slight hop bitterness finish. But spices are the name of the game for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. It is complex enough that it doesn't feel like you're drinking water. But it's definitely toward the lighter end of the scale.

Drinkability and overall: I really dug this. It's a festive beer and I like pumpkin pie so...this worked for me. It's a great beer for this time of year. I wouldn't want it all the time but it hit the spot while I was carving pumpkins with my niece. A nice October beer.

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Photo of neobob187
3.71/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

A: It's got a nice but typical color for a pumpkin beer. Golden brown hues with nice carbonation and actually a very nice lace that lingers around the glass.

S: The smell is average at best. Cinnamon notes and nutmeg, with a very faint pumpkin.

T: This is where the beer got instantly better for me. My personal taste's when it comes to Pumpkin Beers is more Pumpkin and less spice. Shipyard's Pumpkinhead is one of my least favorites because of the crazy amount of Cinnamon, nutmeg, and artificial spice taste. This beer, while it does have a lot of brown sugar, and cinnamon sweetness to it....also finishes with a great pumpkin taste.

M: Good carbonation that's very smooth to drink. No booze bite at all. You could easily drink 2-3 of these on a nice autumn day.

O: Overall, it isn't the best pumpkin beer I've had by far. But I do think it's far better then some of the more popular pumpkin ales out there. This is my session pumpkin beer of choice to be honest.

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