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

1,192 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,192 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of timrosenblatt
2.81/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Smells like it's going to be good. I can taste pumpkin, hazlenut, cinnamon, as promised, but seems more like a light beer -- not much beer flavor to it. It's like drinking Miller Light out of a pumpkin. I'd drink it again, but wouldn't buy it again. Might be good to suggest for someone who doesn't like beer. My girlfriend doesn't like beer, and she liked it because it tastes like pumpkin and not much like beer.

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Photo of nickd717
2.04/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle from Whole Foods, poured into pint glass. Tried it out of morbid curiosity after my friend from PA told me it was "just as good" as Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, which I had shared with him earlier. After drinking this, I do not see any way that he could think that. It is god-awful. Figured I had to try it though since I live about 15 miles from the brewery.

A - Hazy orange color with a sizzling white head that sounds like the steaming fajitas plate from a Mexican restaurant as it violently fizzles down to absolutely nothing.

S - Decent pumpkin spice as well as apple juice. Not much to it, but not terribly offensive.

T - Very strange flavor. A little artificial-tasting pumpkin spice and some apple juice. Finish is almost like a wild ale, with a strange tartness, almost bretty.

M - Watery and weak, with a harsh astringency.

D - Bad. Couldn't finish the bottle. This is terrible. I actually had this at my uncle's place a few years ago and thought it was pretty good. Wow, how my palate has changed.

I don't know, maybe this was meant to be drank out of the bottle for some reason. Smelled better out of the bottle than the glass, and it would actually be a good thing to lighten the flavor of this mess of a beer.

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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

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Photo of matjack85
2.81/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Found this squatty brown 12 oz bottle on the discount rack at Geno's Liquors in Elgin, IL for just 84¢. Since there was no freshness date on the bottle, I am hoping this is not a leftover from last year's batch as it seems strange to discontinue a pumpkin ale in the middle of October.

The beer pours a hazy bronze color, but when held to light it takes on a much prettier shade of bright orange. It made a slightly off white 1½ finger head that disappeared quickly and left no lacing whatsoever.

The smell leaves no doubt that this is a pumpkin ale. Strong pumpkin and spice aromas are about all you can detect.

Unfortunately, pumpkin and spice are about all you get in the taste as well. Where's the malt? Where's the hops? What makes this a beer? It doesn't taste that bad, but it is seriously lacking in other flavors besides the pumpkin and spices.

Watery thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation. It's easy to drink and kind of refreshing but it seriously lacks any complexity.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. B2379 (maybe this is a Julian date?) "America's Original Pumpkin Ale"
Thank you Onenote81 for this trade!

A - Fizzy and slightly hazy, the effervescent pour produced an off-white head on top of the yellow-orange body. Loud and short-lived, it retired to a tiny ring with no lacing.

S - It pours with a lively pumpkin aroma that's heavier on the pumpkin than the spices although the spices are still evident. The aroma is a bit thin though. No "beer" aroma as a backbone for the pumpkin and spice.

T - Again, like the aroma there is a lively pumpkin flavor with a good subtle helping of spices that lets the pumpkin really shine but there is no beer backbone to support it. A light kiss of hops is there but no maltiness to speak of.

M - Thin and watery. Lacking a good maltiness. Spicy and crisp with a light bite to the finish. Just lacking in any body.

D - It's certainly an easy drinking pumpkin ale. Much better than I had expected but although they got the pumpkin and spice proportions right, the beer (malt and hops) isn't really there. Way too thin.

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Photo of seanbhudson
2.63/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle with no date. Pours a hazy orange/amber color with a medium white head. No noticeable lacing.
Moderate aroma of sweet alcohol and apricots. Also a bit of pumpkin and cinnamon spice.
Cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. Light grainy malt. More spice than pumpkin flavor.
Light-medium body. Thin texture. Lively carbonation.
Overall a thin uninteresting beer. Would like more doughy malt and pumpkin flavor. Also a creamier / chewier mounthfeel would be nice.
NOTES: BBCSD-0909-PatrickM

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

Poured from a bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

A: D medium orange color with a one finger white head. Not much glass lacing.

S: Spice, pumpkin, sweetness and a faint shot of hops.

T: Cinnamon spice and pumpkin and squash flavors start off with lots of biscuity malt sweetness. Some clove flavors are present as the beer finishes sweet with a twinge of hops. Finish is clean.

M: A bit light, finish is clean but flavors don't linger.

D: Pretty good, I enjoyed it. I could see drinking a few of these.

Overall I don't get the low scores for this beer. Was it the be all, end all of pumpkins? No, but it was solid and enjoyable. It needed a bit more body and complexity, but it was an enjoyable drinker.

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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 BARFLYB
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a regular kitchen glass. Thanks for the bottle Ryan.

A- Dead on arrival. I poured this one with vigor and all I get is this lousy dead calm. Some rising bubbles that don't break the surface. No lace. The liquid is a very small shade of light bronze with burnt orange. This beer looks dead to the world though.

S- Well it's a pumpkin beer so it goes in that direction with pumpkin and a little bit of spice, probably nutmeg. It's just that these scents are so minimal that it's apples and oranges compared to other's in the style, in other words very light and fragile. Some morning bread and a bit of cinnamon.

T- Pumpkin with some spices following. Very light, while the malts come through just as much, if not more. Cinnamon and a dash of clove. The malt level is at a point where it outshines the other contenders. Hops really are not in the picture here, more of an after thought, if that. This beer is in no means horrible, it's just light and to the point.

M- A small step up from light with more sweetness than spiciness on the palate. If this had no pumpkin in it I would of guessed this as a bad US version of a golden ale. The carb could of been boosted up a notch, it's almost non-existent. No lingering ingredients here, it just comes and goes.

D- With all the mixed reviews here, I gotta say this is in no means a good beer, but it's far from horrible. Let's face it, there are a lot of fishes in the sea when it comes to US pumpkin beers, with a lot of dead fish as well. If this did not have such a dead look and feel this could be a good contender for a sixer per season, for now i'll stick to my single.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
2.76/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz stubby brown bottle poured into a pint

Pours a clear brownish orange with a foamy, two finger slightly off white head. Minimal visible bubbles find their way through the body. Not a very appealing look to this beer.

Aroma is of allspice, clove, pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pumpkin pie all the way. Lightly sweet with a toasted biscuit malt presence that gives the illusion of pie crust.

Spices take control of the palate while the pumpkin lays somewhat idle underneath. Allspice and cinnamon up front with a sweet finish of nutmeg. Some fleshy pumpkin holds down the back end with the biscuity malt.

Thin and watery. Light body with pretty average carbonation.

This beer goes down pretty easy if you are a fan of pumpkin beers. Not overly sweet or bitter with a manageable abv. I didn't think this was terrible, but it wasn't that good either.

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Photo of r0nyn
2.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a decent looking apricot color, not a very big head that dissipates into nothingness quite quickly. No lacing of which to speak. Smell is of light pumpkin and spices, but not much else.

Taste is very, very watery. There's a splash of pumpkin, then a very mild bitterness towards the end, along with a bit of a bready flavoring, but that's it. Nothing else, very little complexity of which to speak. Mouthfeel is super thin and light, went down very much like water. No oomph or anything worthwhile.

Drinkability is governed by how much of this thin stuff you can stomach. For me, one bottle was quite enough. Definitely will not be revisiting this particular pumpkin ale.

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Photo of TheMadJack
3.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into pint glass.

Beer pours a clear brown-orange, with visible carbonation. Head foams up and quickly dissipates. No lacing.

It's like smelling pumpkin pie. Clove, allspice, and nutmeg over a basic pumpkin aroma and slight malt that suggests a crust. I mean, literally like smelling pumpkin pie.

The taste has less pumpkin to it than the nose. Allspice comes through in spades, along with a biscuit note. Finish is cloying. No hops, no bitter, really not a lot of malt to it either, save for the aforementioned biscuit.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, with just a little fizz. Like a ginger ale.

This beer goes down easy. It's not too complex, not too sweet or bitter, and not too heavy. Yeah, it would be about as easy to drink a bunch of these as it would be to have a lot of Cokes. From what I've experienced of pumpkin beers, it's something of an accomplishment to be able to stomach even one, which is my justification of the just-above-average score on drinkability.

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Photo of alexrichman
1.9/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - The brew produced a 1-finger head that quickly dissapeared into absolutely nothing. What was left was a clear, orange-straw colored brew.

S - Sweet and spicy with a hint of malt ... reminds me of egg nog or pumpkin pie...

T - Much like the smell, the taste is very sweet and spicey up front. It finishes with a weak malt profile although the spicey pumpkin-pie taste sticks with you.

M - Light, carbonated, feels a lot like soda

D - If you can tolerate the pumpkin taste the beer is light and drinkable.

All in all this is a pretty awful beer. It's interesting but not in a way most enthusiasts would find enjoyable. A huge dissapointment for me.

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Photo of Kromes
2.42/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: A hazy orange color. It actually looks like a soda...no apparent head just bubbles that pop on the surface.

S: Smells a little bit like cinammon and nutmeg and then maybe some pumpkin and also a citrusy lemon/lime aroma which is kind of strange.

T: The taste is also somewhat citrusy with a little bit of pumpkin spice and it finishes with some bitterness.

M: Very, very thin and watery. Not good at all.

D: It is somewhat drinkable, if you like watery soda-like beers.

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Photo of wesl56
1.81/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

a - pours really foamy with a large white head that quickly fades, no lacing

s- smells pretty delish, pumpkin, cinnamon, spices

t- tastes like shit to put it nicely... if you've had shipyard pumpkin head, this tastes just like it - a crappy light beer with spice flavor

m- VERY harsh, tastes like a mouthful of crappy cheap macrobrew

d- not very pleasant - not gonna be drinking this ever again

this is very similar to shipyard pumpkinhead... like a generic, overcarbonated, tasteless beer with spices added and a picture of a pumpkin on the label... really cheap ($1.49) but still not even worth the money

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Photo of megalodon31533
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, I really didn't know what to expect from this beer. I'll start off by saying that it was a lot better than most of the reviews would lead you to believe. Admittedly, I had it after a busy night in the ER, but still... it scores better than a C just for trying. I wouldn't necessarily want to drink this around the pool in June, but for the month leading up to Halloween (a big deal around here since I have small kids) it isn't half bad.

Serving type: poured from a 12 oz bottle that I got in Savannah at the World Mart into a 14 oz. goblet (my go-to-glass for most beers). 1/4 inch head that lasted a minute or two.

Appearance: Cloudy orange, appropriate to the season

Smell: Hints of clove, coriander, lemon grass and of course pumpkin.

Taste: Full, without being heavy. Not the "pie in a bottle" that some would have you believe.

Mouthfeel: Light, again similar to Paulaner Heffe-Wiezen.

Drinkability: Very good. Wouldn't want to drink a sixer (who does with kids?) but 2/3 sitting around the fire in Fall is good without being too heavy. Not a session beer by any means, but specialty beers rarely are.

Overall: I think this beer was better than the other reviewers would have you believe. I have brewed beers with odd ingredients (what homebrewer hasn't added coffee or some honey to an otherwise boring recipe?) and I know how hard it is to get the formula right--treading the narrow path between what the palate expects and what the mind knows is possible. I think they get it just about right. Not the best beer in the world, but certainly better than some that take the safe path. I'll drink this again waiting for Halloween. Don't be afraid to try it!

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Photo of beerwolf77
1.87/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a cloudy yellow orange. I achieved a rather large amount of head with an agressive pour. The off white head faded almost instantly leaving no lace behind. The aroma is rather promising. Pumpkin spice is there. All the usual suspects; cinnimon,clove,nutmeg. It has an apple cider feel about it in the nose. The flavor is bitter pumpkin with a boat load of cinnimon and pepper. This is like a heffe experiment gone terribly wrong. I'm dreading takin the next couple drinks. I heard this was bad but, I just figured it was hyperbole. The body is light and this with a moderate carbonation. Overall this is not good. I can file this under never again in my book.

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

A - A clear, copper colored body with a small head of off-white foam. The head dissipates quickly and leaves no lace.

S - Caramel malt and vegetal pumpkin aroma with lots of cinnamon and clove.

T - Sweet malt up front with mild spicy hops. Some allspice flavor and dull cinnamon with a little bit of clove. The malt remains through the finish and enhances the effect of the spices, especially the cinnamon.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Sugary, but oddly dry. The spice is relatively mild, but pretty bland and it contributes a bit of astringency. A pretty lackluster beer, I definitely didn't need more than one.

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Photo of krisandajt
2.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've been putting this one off for a while now, but it's time has finally come.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with virtually no head and zero lacing.

Smell: Smell? Uh...okay. No real spice, and a bit of about to go rotten pumpkin. Not good.

Taste: A slight improvement on the smell. Not dominated by spice, which is a quality I like in a pumpkin ale. Slightly sweet pumpkin is about all there is.

Mouthfeel: Sadly, the best part of this beer. Crisp, light to medium body, and decent carbonation makes this an easy drinker.

Drinkability: Not a very impressive beer. While it has some decent pumpkin flavor, there is no accompanying spice to compliment it. Just an incomplete beer. I won't be reaching for this one again.

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Photo of hossua34
3.57/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale orange-gold. Literally no head or lacing at all.

S - Sweet, with predominant notes of gingerbread cookies and pumpkin pie.

T - Tastes a lot like it smells. Strong taste of pumpkin and pie spices. Kind of lacking beyond that - the base is something like a very watery wheat beer.

M - Could use a lot more carbonation. Little weight to it.

D - An ok pumpkin ale. Looks like hell, smells fantastic, average in all other respects. Does go down nicely, however, and would pair great with some Thanksgiving leftovers.

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Photo of Daniellobo
2.57/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Regular pumpkin ale on a light, fizzy, and spicy side.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Orange and pumpkin label design with a one-liner noting loosely the ingredients. Lacks date of bottling or freshness, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, only Alc. by Vol. (5.2%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Deep copper color, quick foamy head that fades in a blink leaving no trace, lid, or even much of a ring.

S - Spicy sweetness with a whiff of pumpkin.

T - Sweet sugary notes with spices dominating over a soft pumpkin taste, and a bit of a malty hint.

M - Heavy carbonation, fountain-drink like, on a light body.

D - Light pumpkin drink. A bit boring and since it is not that enjoyable its drinkability can not be high.

Notes: A bit mediocre and somewhat forgettable. It is not a horrible drinking experience but lacks much of anything to making it a mildly interesting pumpkin ale.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a golden amber, leaving a frothy head that quickly that quickly went away. Nose of cloves and nutmeg, exactly what a pumpkin beer should have, a good tasting seasonal brew, the flavours are more pronounced when the brew becomes room temp. This is one of the better pumpkin brews of this season.

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Photo of FloppyDog
2.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass with no head (although I tried) and large carbonation bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass like champagne...very strange. The color is nice though: a definite orange to light amber (much like the color of a pumpkin).

Aroma is very faint. Earthy hop and a hint of pumpkin, but not much going on.

Taste is similar to the aroma...lacking. Slight pumpkin and clove with a bit of hop bitterness. There is a definite pumpkin aftertaste that I don't know if I enjoy.

Mouth feel is very prickly/sharp on the carbonation (too carbonated for me). It is a very light-bodied ale. Overall, not my favorite.

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Photo of xenolithic
2.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my dimpled mug with a 1 finger white head that disappears more like the carbonation on a ginger ale. There is zero head left after about 10 seconds, nada, zero. The color is that of a liquid caramel, and very clear. To keep with the pop references, looks like a Cream Soda.

Smell is good, but is a little heavy on the sugary sweetness. This smells more like a soft drink than a beer. You get a little bit of spice in the nose, but damn little. I'll let the beer warm a bit.

The taste is decidedly bland. I'm picking up pumpkin and brown sugar with perhaps a little cinnamon to it. However, it doesn't have the cooked "pumpkin pie" taste to it that I somewhat have come to expect, more of a raw squashy taste.

Mouthfeel is watery, with a little bit of thirst quenching spiciness to it.

I just wasn't impressed by this beer. I picked it up in a mixed six pack, and I'm glad I didn't buy a full sixer. This just isn't my thing.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.89/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Eh. When I bought this I had much higher expectations as it is brewed with real pumpkins, but this let me down. Pours a dark orange with a bubbly off-white head on top. This disappears very quickly to nothing. No sheet or ring at all. This just looks like an orange soda. Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice. Not bad.

The mouth is thin and lacking carbination. Weak. The flavor is weak as well. Some mild pumpkin and muted spiciness are there, but very mildly. This was a disappointment. Look for better pumpkin ales out there.

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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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