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

638 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: 638 | Ratings: 1,192
Photo of HardTarget
3.22/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Nutmeg, cinnamon, and some apple smells
Appearance: Clear orange (what did you expect?) with a minor off white head.
Flavor: The spices are very pronounced. Overall a light malt sweetness bases the taste, and the pumpkin really kicks in during the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Very effervescent. Light, close to watery body.
Overall Impression: I’m not a pumpkin fan, so I was a little worried. The taste doesn’t blow me away, but I’m not repulsed (high praise, I know). Great smell, great color, the spices are nice, but somehow I think this needs a little more beer base for me to be happy. This seems like a pumpkin spritzer.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.11/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sickingly sweet is my first and foremost thought about this beer. Way to sweet to be a beer. It poured a medium sized ivory head with fine-large sized bubbles that quickly diminished. The nose was pumpkin pie, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The flavor was sweet, malty and of course, pumpkin. It had a smooth mouthfeel along with a thin and watery texture and it was light bodied. The lacing was sparse. Another rating down the tubes of a beer that I absolutely did not enjoy one bit.

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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.

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Photo of Dmann
2.27/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one should just be a cinnamon beer. It poured a copper color with a small fizzy white head that did not last long at all. The first thing I could smell was the cinnamon and that's pretty much all I could detect. The taste definantly reflected the smell and was dominated by cinamon flavors with just a touch of malt flavour in the background. The thing that put me off was that there was not much "beer" flavour at all and it seemed like I was drinking something overly sweet. Will not be drinking this one again.

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Photo of winomark
2.68/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep copper color with a tiny head.

Aroma: All spice, with cinnamon dominant. Smells like a "Yankee" candle.

Taste: Bitter cinnamon up front, with clove and nutmeg in the back. Not much pumpkin flavors present. Can you say "Red Hots"?

Mouthfeel: Thin, but has flavor. Tannic in the finish, with the spices dominating throughout.

Drinkability: Needs some pumpkin flavors for me. Too much cinnamon. Won't be trying this one again.

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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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, just like the BA Database picture. Cost me $1.79. The black, orange and green bottle label has a very Halloween feel, which even extends to the pumpkin orange crown cap. One point of interest was the fact that this beer was Brewed & Bottled by Portland Brewing Co., Portland, OR. I wondered if Buffalo Bill’s, CA is just a Beer Marketing Company that has its beers contract brewed?

Appearance: A very lucid amber body that has a distinctive pumpkin orange hue. Thin dirty white head clings to the beer at first – but eventually breaks up to reveal a mass of variable sized bubbles at the edges with a thin broken covering in the middle which still has a very thin head – but it looks like a fuzz. Pretty good levels of carbonation aid head reformation when the beer is swirled.

Nose: This beer has an extremely spicy nose – not much pumpkin, but lots of Cinnamon - most of the smells are just an all-embracing ‘All Spices’ odor. Very “spicy” indeed.

Taste: Lots of spices in the beers tastes. Sadly, the spicy tastes are equally as one-dimensional and as strong as the nose – which is a shame. I struggled to find any semblance of Pumpkin in here. Cinnamon yes, All-Spices sure, but no Pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, invariably aided by the good conditioning in the beer. Even with all the spices, it is still a clean tasting beer with good lines but a little thin at times.

Drinkability: I found this to be quite drinkable actually, but it is by no means a session beer. I could manage a couple, but the high Spice levels would eventually put me off.

Overall: I have only had a few examples of US Pumpkin Ales and this was probably the most highly spiced of all of them. The high Spice levels can lend the beer a very one-dimensional feel at times though.

But as to why this is a Pumpkin Ale and not just a Spiced Ale – I have no idea, maybe it is the picture of the Pumpkin on the label ;-)

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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 dmarch
3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too bad for the 250 word minimum because I can sum up my review in one word: OVER-SPICED. Orange-copper in color with a fluffy white head. Taste is sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg dominating. It's basically pumpkin pie in a bottle. I love spices, but I think they went a bit overboard on this one.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.69/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to an orangish-copper color with an off-white head. The aroma is like Thanksgiving dinner, total pumpkin pie. The flavor is like biting into a piece of pumpkin pie, with the pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon. It is light in body and easy drinking. A definite must with Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.49/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice amber color, very short lived head, little lingering.
Smells heavily of pumpkin pie spices, cloves.
The initial taste hits you solidly, just like the smell. No doubt about this ones pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin taste does not hang around, there is plenty of carbonation to blow it away. This is ok, no stickiness in the mouth. Just makes me want to have more.
This is kind of a novelty item, I think I would get bored of it pretty quickly.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, this is not the best Pumpkin beer that I have had, but it's also not the worst. It's pumpkin smell is far stronger than the taste. The smell isn't overpowering strong though, it's a nice balance of pumpkin, spices, and hops. The color was a golden amber color with a creamy frothy head. The head lasted only a couple minutes, but when it was present, was very nice and "fluffy" looking. Mouthfeel wasn;t anything special, seemed like your basic Bud-esque feel. Really carbonated and bubbly. Will I get it again? Maybe, nothing to get excited over though. I would rather go with the Post Road Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper amber tone with a light colored cream head, this beer contains sparse lacing not much just specks scattered. Aroma: Great pumpkin pie aromatics very solid scent of cinnamon, pumpkin, and other cream infused spices. Taste: Flavor doesn't deliver as well as some pumpkin ales I've tried but this one is not bad, just the spicing is a bit cloying here I'd much rather enjoy another Post Road from Brooklyn brewing or even a Blue Moon much smoother and still delivers the pumpkin pie esque tones. Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy but carbonation is a bit high and overal mouthfeel seems a bit thin and textureless compared to other beers of this style. Drinkability: Decent worth a shot not a pick up a case type of beer but then again maybe not even a six pack beer I wish I could have another to taste it again but I probably won't be investing anymore money on this ale.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer when poured is a hazy orange color, with a small white head on it. Not much lacing to be accounted for. There is a great pumkin/cinnamin/ginger smell to this beer. The taste has similar qualities going for it. There isnt a very heavy mouthfeel to this one, its almost too watery. This isnt a half-bad drink, and it will bring back pleasant memories of the fall. I will say i am a big fan of pumkin pie, and this is my first pumkin style ale. But i like it.

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Photo of ADR
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark orange, weak and short head that bunches on the glass margins at best. Extremely little lace. Heavily floral aroma, plenty of cinnamon with a wet vegetal muskiness. By gum, there is a lot of pumpkin along with pie spice in this one, broadly leafy in quality, and a sense of grape skins. Low carbonation and long lasting carry-over of the aroma finishes the flavor. Not really hoppy to close, more of a sense of mint. I can't say that this is a favorite but it seems more genuine in intent and execution than brews like Shipyard...

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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 Redrover
3.57/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with a nice label. Good packaging here!

Beer pour an reddish orange with an off-white head. Decent lacing.

Beer smells great! You really pick-up the spice, a bit of malt and I guess that other smell is the pumpkin.

Taste is decent. Lots of spice on the initial taste. More malt seems to push through as you drink more of the beer. I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but I enjoy this beer. It is a nice seasonal brew to take to fall parties or Thanksgiving dinner at Moms. Even macro drinkers will give this one a try.

Mouthfeel is a trifle thin. Drinkability is fine, but I never have more than a couple in a sitting. Different but good.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice beer, nicely packaged and presented, and interesting at this time of the year. Appropriately golden orange and cloudy, the body is topped with a cream-colored head just as the pie filling would have a hazy cream layer on it. The nose is full of malt and spices and this is a strong element in the taste as well. Enjoyable stuff without being too complex or assertive. A disappointing finish in the feel as this completes with a bit of thin wateriness. Completely drinkable though as this impresses as being just plain fun and uncomplicated to drink.

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Photo of Stubbie1
2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This spiced brew pours a nice orange color. There is a fair head after the pour but quickly fades away . The aroma is spiced with cloves, ginger, nutmeg and a hint of malt and a even smaller hint of pumpkin. The flavor is a dead match of the aroma. It is a sweet ( maybe a bit too sweet) cloves and ginger start . The disappointment is the slightly watered finish. It seem to me like the flavors slowly faded away a bit to fast.
Overall, it’s an OK beer. Nice carbonation, easy to drink. Not to overpowering with the spices, just missing a little something in the end.

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Photo of Ellbert
1.94/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was the first pumpkin ale that I have had. There was too much spice and not enough pumpkin. The apperance was good, a small bubbly head that discipated quickly but left a nice lace. It was a nice reddis hue that was attractive. The smell was the best quality of this beer. It smelled of pumpkin and spices but the flavor had too much of the spice. I would have gone for more of a sweet and malty pumpkin brew. The mouth feel was watery and very carbonated. I could not drink the beer. It was the first beer that I put down the drain.

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Photo of byrd
1.76/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I’ve got to admit; sometimes I have a sweet tooth when it comes to beer. I saw this beer in a local store, and after reading some of the reviews for Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale, I thought it would be real treat of pumpkin pie in a bottle. Instead I felt as though I was drinking a watered down lager that had some spice thrown in as an afterthought. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed.

The beer poured with a small head that dissipated very quickly to a thin ring around the glass and a couple lace spots on top. The color was a nice clear orange-amber. Aroma was primarily of spices, but seems a bit off to me. There are some faint hints of hops in the nose. There may be some malt in the aroma as well, but it was pretty well hidden by the spice. This held true for the taste as well. Tastes of spice – cinnamon and nutmeg – were noticeable more then any malt or pumpkin flavor, but over all the beer was rather bland with a fairly light and a somewhat watery mouthfeel. As with the aroma, the taste seems a bit off. I can't quite figure it, but the flavors just don't meld well with one another. Carbonation was moderate, and there were hints of hops in the finish.

Some have said that this beer is too sweet and even cloying. Didn’t seem to be in this case. Maybe it has changed a bit this season? It was more like a cheap spice candle to me then a pumpkin ale. The store I bought this from only sold it in six packs. Now I’ve got to figure out what to do with the other five...

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Photo of moulefrite
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoy trying this beer each season. This year the beer pours an amber orange kind of pumpkinesc color. Little head and minimal at best stick. Aromas are all pumkin pie spice and even some fresh pumpkin way in the background. The flavors are all pumpkin pie spice as well. A little malt adds an all most pie crust complexity to the total package. This is not a sweet spicy over the top brew, instead, a fun beer that is worth grabbing to usher in the season, and perhaps a super choice to match with your warm punkin pie.

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Photo of kgmurphy13
3.37/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice golden-orange hue with an admirable head that recedes to a comfortable film by the glass's end.

Smell: Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon and far off in the distance is the pumpkin.

Taste: Good carbonation, but the flavors (i.e. spices and bit of pumpkin) don't make there present until the finish.

Mouthfeel: Was hoping for a bit more body.

Drinkability: The best part of this beer is that you could definitely sit back and pound a few of these without it getting to you.

Overall: A good brew, but in my opinion it can hold a candle to Post Road Pumpkin Ale.

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
2.94 out of 5 based on 1,192 ratings.
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