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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
1,198 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,198 |  Reviews: 639
Photo of Offa
3.39/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is pretty decent, but light and thin. Overall, it's a lot like a slightly sweeter, less interesting version of Shipyard's Pumpkinhead.

Faintly hazy orange-brown amber, it has a thin, fizzy, off-white head that soon shrinks to a thin ring.

The aroma lis light cooked pumpkin, hint of lemon and bread crust (while wheat), and a hint of cinnamon.

The taste is similare, light cooked pumpkin, orange zest, hint of cinnamon, mineral water taste and feel, finish of a little pumpkin mixed with grain and grass. It's light and spritzy, on the sweet side. It's hardly great, but it's pretty good and easy to drink.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
2.4/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been on a big pumpkin ale kick lately (for some inexplicable reason) and this is one of the few I hadn't had recently. I had less than fond memories from several years ago, but figured it was worth a revisit. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet.

a. pours a completely clear wilted marigold color with a decent bubbly one-finger head that disappeared when i wasn't looking, leaving no trace of foam in the form of a ring or any sort of lacing. Even a good swirl of the goblet yields nothing. It seems dead.

s. sweet spice. sugary nutmeg and allspice. Fruity sourness hints along the lines of fermenting banana and sour apple. A very slight, subtle hint of pumpkin squashiness peeks through the almost overwhelming spices.

t. nauseating spices. overwhelmingly spiced and sweet at the front, with a decidedly bitter and sour finish. The middle may have a bit of malt and some pumpkin hiding in there somewhere, but the pumpkin open and sour cherry (not in a good way) finish just kind of drowns out any good ale qualities.

m. high on carbonation, bordering fizzy. A bit thin yet soupy, if that's even possible. almost like mucousy soda. Not horrible, but definitely nothing worth while going on in terms of mouthfeel. A fairly unpleasant bitter numbing at the tip of the tongue from the finish.

d. Definitely not the worst of the pumpkin ales i've had the pleasure and pain of sampling, but i can't say I'd have one any time soon. It had been a few years (three or four) since I'd had the pleasure of sampling Buffalo Bill's delight, and as I rememberd from the past, it's nothing worth getting excited about. Many better pumpkin ales, and many better ales that aren't pumpkin. Nothing really worth seeing here... even if you like pumpkin ales.

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Photo of kemoarps
2.77/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first pumpkin ale, so I do not have a wide range of experience to draw on.

It poured a decent orangish amber, reminiscient of apple cider. mediocre white head, faded quickly with some weak lacing.

the smell actually isnt that bad. Not necessarily a beer aroma. Smells almost like a weak pumpkin pie. definitely smell some cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Is that a hint of cumin?

The taste... well, it sort of picked up where the smell left off. It carries many of the same flavours, but at a much weaker level. And then there's the hops, which, fair enough in beer in general, just feel out of place here. The faintest of malts felt here, but nearing a level to make it feel right.

The mouthfeel is... piddly comes to mind. Not even really sure what I'm supposed to mean by that, but that's te descriptor that comes to mind. has the stale aftertaste of a bad lager, and the carbonation doesn't so much dance on the tongue as it does slump into it.

In terms of drinkability, it's not TERRIBLE, I could drink a number of them if necessary (for whatever reason), but would not normally do so. Not particularly heavy, coating, or overbearing, just not outstanding either.

overall, not a great beer, but I did not find it as terrible as some of the previous raters did. Maybe it's my limited experience with Pumpkin ales, or maybe I'm just in a good mood, but definitely not something you need to go out and buy right now. If it is already in your fridge, dont need to necessarily throw it out, but definitely not something I will buy for myself.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
1.53/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Clear amber-yellowbrew, perfectly clear. Thin white head of foamy bubbles. Minimal carbonation. No lacing. it's a bit insipid looking.

Allspice, nutmeg and clove character on the nose, but it's sickly and overdone. Overpowered by the added cloves. Way, way too much, ends up like a big bag of cloves.

Ridiculously thin body with almost no flavour. Like Budweiser with the flavour turned down, with only a lingering final hint of cloves. Very little character, almost nothing to it. Mouthfeel is as thin as anorexic water.

What the hell is this? Pumpkin is a rich, sweet creamy flavour. Pumpkin with pie spices even more so. This is watery insipid and bland. I said some even more flagrant things in my original review - suffice it to say I was incredibly disappointed with my first example of Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.9/5  rDev +30.9%
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.

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Photo of ckaufman
1.92/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle... into a pint glass... into the drain in the sink...

A: Poured a cloudy orange amber color with a thin off-white head. No lacing or head retention to speak of.

S: Fruity esters with a slight smell of pumpkin. More in the way of spice...specifically nutmeg and allspice. The smell is actually the strong point of this beer.

T: Overly sweet and yeasty... strong taste of allspice and nutmeg with a slight pumpkin flavor. This tastes pretty much like crap.

M: A watery, thin body with heavy carbonation.

D: If you can get through one... you've accomplished something to be proud of.

Pumpkin ales are not my favorite to begin with, but there are much better examples of this style on the market... for example, Southern Tier & DFH!

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Photo of PatrickJR
2.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Slightly hazy, orange-ish copper with a finger of white head that dissipated quickly into nothing, leaving no lace.

S - A nice bit of cinnamon and vanilla with a touch of citrus in the background. Not very complex but pleasing.

T - This brew is borderline tasteless. A very thin graininess heads things up, with a strange sourish component that tastes vaguely of pumpkin. A bitter and slightly roasted character appears as well. Near the end there is a wash of fruity, almost citric vanilla flavor. Faint overall.

M - Highly carbonated and very light bodied. I don't understand why breweries bother making pumpkin ales so light and spritzy; it does nothing to enhance flavor.

D - With all it's flaws, it's not a difficult beer to drink and the spice profile is slightly interesting. A poor example of the style, but thankfully not all that offensive.

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Photo of popery
2.28/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is, so far, the worst of the recent spate of Pumpkin Ales that have begun populating stores in preparation for various holidays. I bought a few Pumpkin Ales after noticing the sudden influx and really had no idea going in which were good or well-reviewed. I'm not a fan of the style, but now having tried a few, I can say with some confidence that this beer is not just a bad beer but bad for its style, as well. The beer was bitter and fizzy. Its pumpkin flavor was off-putting, and by that, I mean mildly nauseating. If I wasn't comparing it to other Pumpkin Ales, this beer would receive even worse scores.

The beer looks bad. It looks fizzy, like a bad macro. There's nearly zero head. I was immediately scared.

The smell was by far the best part for me. It smells of pumpkin and nutmeg and whatever other spices are in pumpkin pie. The nose promises a piece of pumpkin pie wonderfully distilled into a beer.

The flavor kicked that notion in the teeth. It definitely tastes like pumpkin and pie spice but in the worst way I can imagine. I'm not sure precisely why it fails to this degree. It's much too sweet but also bitter and watery. The pumpkin flavor is off, very off. It's a bit like they added a pumpkin pie flavored sucker to a bottle of bad beer. Where it smelled fresh and pumpkiny, it tastes artificial and sugary.

The beer also suffers in mouthfeel, but I'm not sure how much was due to my problems with taste. The beer feels a bit watery and fizzy, but it's a small problem compared to the flavor. The flavor really killed its drinkability for me. I want to finish a full glass of every beer that I review, and this was the first real challenge to that goal.

I've read some other reviews that make it sound like previous years were better, so here's to hoping they turn things around and get things going in the other direction. That said, they need to just scrap whatever they're using for that pumpkin flavoring.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky orangish gold in color. Only a little froth on the pour, other than that, no head at all. Smell is slight pumpkin, but lots of spice and a whole lot of lager notes. Taste is smoked pumpkin. There are some definite smoky notes that I don't quite understand. Lots of carbonation and prickliness in the mouthfeel. Being a pumpkin beer, there are still a bunch of other pumpkin beers I'd take over this.

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
2.41/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one says on the bottle that it is brewed by Pyramid Brewing. Not a very attractive beer, with little head and absolutely no lacing, but not a bad deep reddish orange color. The nose is the best feature, hinting of a pumpkin aroma. Lots of carbonation, actually too much, keeps this from being as drinkable as it could be. The flavor is slightly pumpkin blended with a wheat malt on the palate. Just a touch of bittrness on the rather clean finish. Thin mouthfeel, reasonably refreshing, but not a beer I would rush out to buy again.

 537 characters

Photo of antilogic
2.3/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Just had a bottle of this, while trying to get into the fall spirit in California (not easy in 80 degree weather!).

The pour was standard, light amber, and the smell a hint, and only a hint, of fall spices -- clove, nutmug, pumpkin. The taste...not so good. Over carbonated, bland. Like the flavor was an afterthought. Bummer. I would not buy this again.

 355 characters

Photo of mashedpotatoes
2.17/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours pure copper to a small and active head that fizzles like soda. Quickly dissipates with no trace and no lacing. Smell is a combination of herbs and spices, reminds me of one of those antique stores run by somebody's grandma. Taste is more spicy than pumpkiny, however there is a predominance of acidity that is just too uncomfortable to deal with. Mouthfeel is thin and metallic, not anywhere near the robustness I had expected. All in all, I'm thoroughly unimpressed with this beer. I won't buy it again and I don't recommend it.

 535 characters

Photo of ljbrisson
3.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper orange and clear into a pint glass, with miniscule head that dissipates rapidly, although some carbonation is active in the glass. Aroma is minimal with traces of cloves, orange, and pumpkin. Mouthfeel is appropriately light and sandpaperish from the medium carbonation. Taste is watery and thin, spice, pumpkin hints, but seems to dissipate towards the finish. Spice seems a little off balance, not enough pumpkin to round it out. Slight hop impression in the finish. Overall this beer is fair, moreso as it warms.

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Photo of steelcutoats
2.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Buffalo Bill Pumpkin Ale

I'll be reviewing several pumpkin ales tonight. I stopped by the Headkeeper on the way home and decided to stock up. The first one is Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. I tried it last year and found it pretty enjoyable. I poured a 12 oz. bottle into my tasting snifter. I was crystal clear and ruby orange. There was a creamy white head that gradually dissipated. The aroma had hints of pumpkin spices, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. There was a good bit of carbonation, and the flavor was good, more pumpkin spices, but not much of an aftertaste. I don't really know what all has changed with this beer from last year, maybe my tastes have matured, but I doubt I'll be pulling another one of these off the shelf.

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Photo of ReadyFireAim
1.72/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I was not able to finish even half of the bottle that I bought of this stuff (thankfully it was a mix-six, so I didn't lose that much money). Had I known what I was in for I would've thrown it right in the trash (or never picked it up in the first place... that would've been nice).

Basically, it's a penny-colored, overly-carbonated spice fest. There were no detectable pumpkins in the aroma or the taste. It felt and tasted like I took a glass of seltzer water, dumped a crap ton of cinnamon spice in it, and chugged it. Again, no drinkability to it; stay far away from this stuff.

NOW! To be a bit a more constructive:

Lose some of that carbonation, Bill. Maybe try using some actual pumpkins next time (perhaps take a few notes from Dogfish Head's brew). Also, please spare our tongues and ease up on that spice, guys.

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Photo of elniko
2.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Golden amber coloring, very little head. An absolute ridiculous amount of carbonation. Most carbonation I've ever seen in a beer.

S: Smells like a pumpkin pie, pumpkin and heavy amount of cinnamon. I really really liked the smell of the brew.

T & M: However I really really disliked the taste. Mouthfeel incredibly watery. There is hardly any flavoring that makes this taste like a beer. Ugh, really no taste until finish when strange spicy cinnamon aftertaste hits.

D: Not drinkable, I will not be having again and I've officially written Buffalo Bill's from the list as I didn't care for the Orange Cream ale. Too bad the beer didn't taste as good as it smells.

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Photo of RodBurg
2.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I told myself I was going to try to sample all the seasonal fall brews I could this year and this was the first one I came across. Poured a slightly hazy copper into a pint glass. Small, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing.

Obvious smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and maybe clove. There's also pale malt and a little hops.

Taste follows the smell to a tee. I could make out the malt and hops through the pumpkin and spices but it just didn't sit right. Hard to pinpoint.

I'm glad I found this in single bottles because I wouldn't have drank a sixer. Not terrible, but not something I would have again either.

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Photo of donteatpoop
2.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A very coppery orange color with absolutely no head what so ever.

Smells of pumpkin spices and little else. Definately an inviting scent.

Taste... Well it tastes like pumpkin spice... But nothing particularly enjoyable about it.

Very high carbonation level, my tongue feels violated.

As with nearly all flavored beers, it's a decent taste but nothing I'd want to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz picked up at the Coop today as part of my drive this year to review the fall seasonals as hey come in. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

1/2" head dies immediately back to nothing.. no collar.. no lacing.. brew is clear orange.

The aroma smells like pumpkin pie but without the sweetness.. who would have guessed? :-)

Flavor is watery.. reminds me of Ginger ale but with allspice and cinnamon.. The spice isn't overpowering like many pumpkin ales.. just there isn't enough other stuff to make it interesting. it needs some toasted malts and a fairly bigger body.. body is very very light.. finish is too dry .. and most importantly it needs some sweetness to tie everything together.. I've had this a few times over the years, but I will probably not buy it again for a few just to see if the recipe changes significantly.


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Photo of nrbw23
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a very little white head that recedes quickly and leaves no lacing.

S- Heavy on the spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) and a bit of pumpkin mixed in.

T- Pretty much follows the nose here nothing else.

M- Medium in body and alright on the carbonation.

D- Well, about average. There's much better and much worse out there.

 362 characters

Photo of cannabanaceae
1.94/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured with no head whatsoever, yellowish orange. Smell was of slight pumpkin cinnamon and all spice.. slightly yeasty.

Taste was spicy in front with a lagery taste in middle with little to no hop bitterness. Slightly metallic pumpkin taste.

Finished like a low grade lager, easy to drink at first but hard to finish the glass.

They should only brew this beer in one facility and perfect it.

Skip this one.

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Photo of Proteus93
1.84/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: A bit of a foggy gold, short head without much staying power and no lacing

S: Pretty literally smells like a store-bought pumpkin pie... pumpkin and cinnamon/nutmeg with little else. Not horrible smelling, though.

T + M: Not as pleasant tasting, unfortunately. Quite a thin body, and somewhat watery in both feel and flavour. The pumpkin takes a back burner to spiciness and something similar to when someone sprays too much perfume or hairspray nearby and it gets in the mouth. Pretty bad, and leaves a bit of a soapy finish.

D: It came as part of a "Winter Pack" along with 9 others - the other offerings seem a little more promising, but this one was not something I'd really look to drink again.

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Photo of xare
1.18/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Did a light pour and head fizzed up to fill and overflow the bottle off of just 1/8 of the bottle poured into a 16 oz glass. That was some massive head right there. Kept fizzing up like a monster. Definitely not attractive or easy to drink.

Smells like light pumpkin aroma mixed with some rather heavy-handness with the spices. Could smell pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, mace, and a couple others. Nutmeg/mace were most prominent though.

Tasted like a slice of pumpkin pie... if it was made of 90% spices and 10% pumpkin. You get a bit of pumpkin then the spices overwhelm you. Hope you like mace and nutmeg. It's like drinking liquid nutmeg with a dash of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel was awful. Still have this horrible alcohol aftertaste that burns in the back of my throat. Can still taste spices everywhere. No hint of pumpkin. It's creamy at first due to the massive head but then that creaminess disappears the instant it hits your mouth. Spices then pummel your palate. I don't know if I can even taste anything else for the rest of the day.

I wouldn't drink this. And if it was a part of a mixed pack, I'd seriously consider the value of the pack as distributed across the pack minus one beer since this beer is only going to be poured out or given away.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.65/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a hazy light pumpkin orange with a white quickly dissipating head.

S: typical dry pumpkin spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg and dry pumpkin mash. The nose was dominant and very spicy.

T: much the same with some dry pumpkin mash and big dry cinnamon and nutmeg notes that finished spicy.

M: light, a little watery and very softly carbonated.

D: Ok by style and ok drinkability but much better examples and one I wouldn't bother to have a second.

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3.1/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1" off-white head that fell quickly to a cap. No lace. Orange with gold highlights. Smells like pumpkin, fresh nutmeg, clove, cinammon, and big red chewing gum. Flavors are much like the nose...lots of cinnamon (spicy), sweet pumpkin pie. Thin body with high carbonation. Maybe once a year...I guess that is what it is for anyway.

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
Beer rating: 2.98 out of 5 with 1,198 ratings
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