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

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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 seedyone
4.26/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From bottle at home. No date on bottle.

A nice deep copper to brown color with a creamy tight bubble head that leaves a bit of lacing on the retreat. Tastes like all the usual suspects are in the house with an extra shake of ginger. There is a distinct lack of the sweet that usually makes or breaks pumpkin brews. The nice balance of spices makes a great showing for taste points. Nice body. All in all a decent introduction from a brewer that is new for me.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.1/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't like flavored coffee and didn't think I'd care for flavored beer, yet somehow, as the weather begins to turn to fall, I felt compelled to grab a sixer of this and try it. I'm glad I did. The initial look is nothing special - a copper hue, with a wee bit of head and minimal lacing. It has a mild nutmeg scent. What this does have is payoff in taste - featuring definite notes of pumpkin pie, nutmeg, and hints of vanilla coca cola to me. All of this over a nice malty base. The mouth feel is decent too - creamy along with some light effervescence. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and will happily drink my six-pack.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

An appearance of fall, dullard orange, light brown, all that cornacopia shit not making a head. Aroma hit pumpkin notes, target acquired.

Taste delivers a lot of that stuff. Lots of carbonation, prolly too much. Lacks hops, bitterness. Gets a little tiresome after a few ounces. Couldn't see putting down more than one bottle in a sitting. $10/6 pack is a little much given the lack of malt, hops etc. . .

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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 Franziskaner
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Amber in color with moderate haziness. There's a fingernail of beige resting on top. I smell pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I taste a strongly spiced blend of pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The mouth is slightly thick and chewy due to heavy spicing.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Look: A surprisingly dark brown with ruby hues in the light. Scant fizzy head.
Smell: Serious cloves right away. Some cinnamon. Like a sweet gingerbread or molasses cookie in a glass.
Taste: Lots of clove spice up front, but without the sweetness. Not getting much pumpkin or malty characteristics from the beer itself. Mostly just spice.
Mouthfeel: A little thin for a pumpkin ale. Medium light body.
Overall: For the style, it's lacking. But it's not bad if you are looking for a clove-heavy pumpkin spice vehicle.

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Photo of theamericanpsycho79
2.62/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Buffalo Bill Pumpkin Ale? Why are images of Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs conjured? Either way, I would rather watch the movie than drink this. Here is why.

L: Poured into a tulip shaped glass, orange/red hue. Not horrible looking, not great looking.. The head was about 2 fingers which vanished really quickly.

S: Beer. Faint pumpkin spice aroma. Watery. You smell the spice but the flavor doesn't match up.

T: watery beer with faint pumpkin. Its beer. And I can't classify this as pumpkin ale. Its slightly bitter, the taste is hard to distinguish but even as a beer its flavor is weak and doesn't have much body to it. I detect stale pumpkin with too much nutmeg.

F: Watery. Sorry, its so, so watery. Pumpkin flavored water. Weak ABV too.

O: Don't bother with this, not worth the price. There are so many better pumpkin ales out there than this pumpkin flavored watery beer.

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Photo of chinchill
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Porter Bar goblet.

Appearance: clear dark brown body with orange-red highlights and a frothy, medium size tan head that reduces to a ring.

Aroma: artificial vanilla and holiday spices with a hints of baked bread and baked winter squash.

Flavor: Lightly sweet with some roast pumpkin flavor; over spiced and the spice mix i not very appealing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with light carbonation; smooth.

Overall: not bad but nearing that mark.

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Photo of mbrando33
4.64/5  rDev +57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance : Quite tea-colored, which is perfect for a fall beer, and the head is sparse, typical for a pumpkin ale.

Smell : From the moment you open up the bottle, you get a nice whiff of Pumpkin and cinnamon. It smells like Fall! Of all the Pumpkin beers I've tried, I would say this one has the most honest-to-goodness Pumpkin scent of any.

Taste : Delicious form the get-go, with a nice lingering after taste that sits comfortably on the palate. I'd say it's fairly complex, for what it is, though not in a hoppy way. This beer is like taking a big swig of autumn.

Feel : Slightly creamy, almost an oily feel to it. A little carbonation taste, but not too overpowering. It's definitely a rich beer and probably not one you're going to drink more than two or three in a sitting, if that.

Overall : I honestly don't understand the poor ratings from some of the people, though I do think many reviewers on here are inclined to give a low rating to any beer that doesn't curl their tongues with hops. However, I can acknowlege that not everyone is into the whole Pumpkin ale thing, so to each his own. Pumpkin ales are really in their own little category and that should probably be taken into account whenever someone tries one. It's kind of a seasonal niche market that only comes around once per year.

But for those of you who go hunting each fall for a great Pumpkin ale, give this one a try. It brings back happy autumn/halloween memories whenever I have one.

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Photo of TX-Badger
2.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pours a clear coppery color with off-white head. Roasted pumpkin, malt, and some squash notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more vegetal pumpkin than I like.

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Photo of MLoxxer
3.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am judging this beer based on what it is, a pumpkin ale and not against a higher standard of the brewing art. Pouring this beer out of a 12oz glass bottle seemed somehow like pouring soda pop. The head was coarse, consisting of large bubbles. Color-wise, it is ruby-ish brown, a dark brown.From an aroma point of view it is very adjuncty with a strong spice character, kind of reminds me of one of those essential oil-based cinnamon air fresheners. I could also detect a nose that reminds me of the amateurish home brews my friend and I used to make. Flavor-wise it has a definite pumpkin and spice character. The after taste is slightly bitter, and a hint metallic. I think this beer would be suitable for someone who doesn't have a developed beer palate and is looking for a "pumpkin beer." Its certainly not overpowering, but not overly watery. Although I probably won't be buying this stuff again I can't say it's bad. For what it is, this pumpkin ale is just fine.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.68/5  rDev +59.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale brewed Buffalo Bill's Brewery, with an ABV of 6.0%. This brew pours out a nice brown color with a nice off white head. I really like the color of this brew. The smell of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale , is rich with pumpkin and spices. There is also some nice grins,malts and hit of hops , in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste, it is bold with flavors. You pick up a nice rich pumpkin spice with some nice grains at the end .This brew smell and taste like pumpkin pie, not saying that is a bad thing. Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale, has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. The mouth feel of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale ,is rich ,bold ,spicy, and smooth. Overall I'm giving Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale a 4.75 out of 5. Buffalo Bill's Brewery,did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. This is one of the more balance pumpkin brews on the market. Not to much spice, not to much pumpkin.

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Photo of Topskee
4.31/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i really liked this beer. i feel it had a lot more notes of real pumpkin than just the spices like most of them are becoming. maybe the fact that i live fairly close to the brewery affects my beer's taste, you know, the fresher the better? ...or something like that.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +45.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Trying this one on for the first time before a gig at an Oktoberfest later this evening. Served in a nonic pint.

Appearance : It pours a tea/root beer colored body, like leaves trampled in the mud. The yellow-grey head is initially 2 fingers but recedes within a minute to a silky ring on top. Lacing is sparse and barely hanging on. Opacity is 80%.

Smell : I would say this is probably the most honest representation of a pumpkin ale from the nose. All of the elements are here right off the bat - pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even some brown sugar and maple syrup. It all comes together in the nose for me. I can't improve on it whatsoever.

Taste : Delicious pumpkin flavor, with pumpkin pie filling and flaky crust, followed by clove and nutmeg, cinnamon, a pinch of sappy brown sugar, ending slightly spiced/bitter with coriander. There is a faint hint of diacetyl in here which I can't say is very rewarding, but the rest of the flavors cover it up pretty well.

Feel : Medium bodied is this beer's home. Appropriate carbonation, delectable and balanced creaminess. The finish is slightly buzzing and nipped.

Overall : When I put this to my lips my hands went up in the air as if to say "why the poor ratings?". I don't know what people look for in a Pumpkin ale, but this one nails it for me. I've had plenty of Pumpkin ales in my time, many of them worthy of a drain pour. This is not one of them. I intend on finishing...nay, enjoying this one till its gone. After that, who knows, I'll probably buy some more.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.12/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark cloudy amber color with a thin white head. Aroma of vanilla, not getting a lot of pumpkin spice sent. It feels a little watery. I actually enjoyed the flavor or the beer but tasted hardly any pumpkin. Got a much stronger taste of vanilla over anything else. I enjoy sweet beers so I enjoyed this but it was not a great pumpkin beer.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Super carbonated and slightly watery mouthfeel, no discernable spice or pumpkin on this beer. Taste like a chai tea soda. Definitely the poorest pumpkin beer tasted this season.

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Photo of Beejay
3.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: A deep murky brown in color, with a mostly white head on top.

S: Pumpkin aroma, as well as vanilla and cinnamon. There is a bready aroma in there as well.. I think the vanilla note almost makes me think of whipped cream.

T: Lot's of pumpkin and spice, with a long lingering spice flavor. Just a lot of spice...

M: Light bodied, with very high carbonation.

O: Overall this one isn't for me.. too much spice and the mouthfeel is off. There is almost a soda thing happening.. not my bag.

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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 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 superspak
3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 11/13/2014. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of pumpkin, toasted biscuit, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and solid complexity of bready malt, pumpkin, and spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of pumpkin, toasted biscuit, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, toasted biscuit, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and solid robustness of bready malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; with no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and slightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is ok. A little watered down feeling in mouthfeel, but not bad. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very solid pumpkin ale. All around good balance and solid robustness/complexity of bready malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; and very smooth to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.29/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

A- pours a murky amber-orange color with a small foamy white head that disappears quickly, leaving just some film on top, no lacing

S- nutmeg-forward on the spicing with aromas of raw pumpkin, cola & fermented ketchup

T- slightly sweet, malty & nutty up front, vegetal notes and grains, faint nutmeg and clove, more grains on the finish

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- not a lot of pumpkin flavor, drinks more like an amber ale

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.89/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, golden, copper/amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that completely dissolved away into nothing.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department, either that, or I’m stuffed up. I do get some faint notes of pumpkin and spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar, but not much, and nothing at all of malt or hops.

Taste: What it likes in aroma, it sort of makes up for in flavor. Stronger notes (compared to the aroma at least) of pumpkin, all-spice and brown sugar. There’s an interesting little bit of sourness at the finish that I’m not used to in pumpkin beers, but it’s not a hoppy bitterness, in fact, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer, it’s more like a sour fruit-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with absolutely no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Pretty decent pumpkin beer, but nothing great. The little bit of sourness at the finish is interesting. I’m glad I tried it, and if offered, I wouldn’t turn it down, but I probably won’t get it again next autumn.

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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.

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Photo of DrCDPriest
4.75/5  rDev +61.6%

This is a fantastic brew, excellent back story, regardless if GW brewed this beer, it is as American as you can get.

Appearance - Pours a clear golden amber color, more to the medium brown tint. In using a pint mug it had a nice head, about a finger an a half, and a nice amount of lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma - You can smell the flavors as you open the beer, medium malt and pumpkin nose with a bit of spice. If you love pumpkin, the aroma won't disappoint you.

Taste - The taste follows the aroma, it really enhances it quite a bit, makes for a perfect combination between smell and taste.

Mouthfeel - It is a medium body feel with perfect carbonation. Nice malt flavor and definitely you get there is pumpkin in the mix.

Overall - You taste the pumpkin, spices, and wheat flavors, it is an incredible beer that the aroma really leads the taste.

Serving type: 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

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