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

1,192 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,192 |  Reviews: 638
Photo of JDV
3.22/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this for the 1st time in the area yesterday and decided to pick it up. Clear medium to dark orange color with light head. Smell is nicely aromatic pumpkin and spices and is very pie like. Flavor is nicely of pumpkin, with a solid spiced flavor in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, and average. Nothing too outstanding, but I find this to be a pretty decent pumpkin beer all around. I'd prefer a touch more sweetness, but as it stands, its ok.

 456 characters

Photo of explosivebeer
2.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours very little head and what's there dissipates quickly. It is very light and refreshing with some sweetness and obviously pumpkin, but very mild doses of both and an even more subtle hint of cinnamon. It finishes clean. By itself it was underwhelming but I can imagine it would be great paired with spicy food or on a hot day.

 340 characters

Photo of prototypic
2.81/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's a cloudy gold color. Hint of orange coming through. Head is about a finger, but dissipated very rapidly. Very little lacing.

Smell: Very heavy pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg aromas. It's actually so heavy on those spices that it doesn't really smell good. No other scents come through over the spices.

Taste: Pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices are clearly prevalant in flavor. Decent malty base. Definitely sweet. No hops are noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It leans medium bodied. Carbonation is okay and it's fairly smooth. Drinkability is average due to the spice overload. No more than one in a sitting for me. Overall, it's average. No more, no less.

 680 characters

Photo of MillRat
2.36/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly orange amber with a quick-fading head. Aroma is unbalanced pie spices with little malt or other aroma. Flavor is pretty neutral, a little malt with the allspice on top of it, no hop flavor detectable, there's a little vegetal taste that might be the pumpkin, hard to tell, really. The slightly lighter-than-average body would be fine if it weren't for the near lack of any flavor of interest to make you want a second serving. Is this a bad beer? Not really, I've had far worse, but there are better beers to be had for the money, even in the rather limited field of pumpkin spice beers.

 604 characters

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
2.48/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Clear, light orangey amber color. Small white head dissipated quickly.

Smell: Sweet. Full of pumpkin spice.

Taste: Just like it smells, all pumpkin spice.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

Drinkability: Ok, but there are better pumpkin ales out there.

 273 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
2.57/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From notes off the 2006 production. Pours crystal clear and orange hued with a one finger head that drops while leaving no lace. The nose is spiced, kind of like pumpkin pie. Maybe a little bit like sweet potato pie too. On the palate it is thick, full, and lasting. You definitely get some pumpkin on there, but more so I think, that spice that you got on the nose. Sure it’s a novelty seasonal, but it is a pretty interesting brew. For a few sips it was cool, and then the spice got to be too much and I couldn’t finish the bottle. If I drank a third of it, that’s it.

 573 characters

Photo of mattster
1.55/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Almost no head. More of a thick lace that dissipates quickly atop a dark golden brown brew. Lots of bubbles inside brew.

Smell is obviously pumpkin like - sort of on the sweet side.

Taste is very little pumpkin (or spice for that matter), more of just a beer taste. Taste more like a mass market pumpkin candy. Nothing great about this beer, yet it seems to be a popular seller. I do taste a tad bit of nutmeg, as well.

Mouth feel is fine if you can stand the bad taste, and I guess it is easily drinkable if you like drinking bad beer that has the taste of a truck stop pumpkin pie.

 629 characters

Photo of rallison
2.36/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an amber brown color with a 1/2 finger white head that mostly dies.

Smells of artificial pumpkin flavoring. Pumpkin spices as well. Not all that promising so far.

Taste brings it down even more. The artificial pumpkin flavors come out more and are followed by spices. Normally, I don't mind spices - but these just don't work at all. This just does not taste good.

Mouthfeel is ok, nothing more.

Drinkability is not good given the flavor. I feel I will end up drain pouring some of this.

Edit: Ok, a few sips more and I can't bring myself to finish this. This is a bad beer.

 585 characters

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

12 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's in El Segundo for one dollar, split with a friend tonight

Poured into a pint glass with an amber color that had a light orange tint when it was held up to the light, 1/4 inch white creamy head, no lacing at all

Smell was lots of pumpkin obviously, some cinammon, other spices, and sugary hints of pie-like aromas

Taste had a lot of pumpkin up front and then it faded into a spicy but sweet finish, also had some nutmeg and sweet malt to balance it, aftetaste became faintly sour as the beer got warmer, no signs of hoppiness in this one, mostly sweet but it remained pretty light while doing so

Average amount of carbonation, as well as the body, taste did not last very long

Could drink a couple bottles of this stuff, ABV is very low and it is relatively light on the stomach

First beer from this brewery, not bad but not great either, recommended above some pumpkin beers but not the best and does not hold a candle next to Alpine's Ichabod

 988 characters

Photo of scottblaze
3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There has been a couple of these lingering in the fridge for a couple of months. At first they didn't push my button which I guess is the reason they were still there. Maybe the only pumpkin beer I've ever had, I can't recall another. Apparantly this was brewed under contract by Pyramid for Buffalo Bill's.

Poured light amber, not much head, lacing almost non-existent. Smell of pumpkin pie spices are nice. Taste a slight hint of cooked veggies in the background, Pumpkin and related spices dominate. Mouthfeel and drinkability are OK.

Didn't seem as bad as the first time I tried it. This time around I found it to be a reasonably pleasant seasonal brew, funny how tastes can change. I could have this with Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner quite easily. Not great but not bad at all.

 785 characters

Photo of SargeC
2.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Amber-orange brew with a rocky off-white head.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice, underlying malt and a minimal hop presence.

Taste: Semi-interesting flavor. Pumpkin pie spice dominates, and then pumpkin flavors show up in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body, but the strong flavors linger.

Drinkability: Interesting, but not something I would make a habit of.

 367 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
2.92/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a lighter copper color, with a bit of an orange hint to it. White fizzy head disappears almost immediately. No lace at all. Kind of disappointing here.

Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice seem to be happening in the nose. A bit of vegetable aroma in the back. Also has a grainy macro lager smell to it.

Pretty pale malt, with a bit of allspice and cinnamon. Not a whole lot of pumpkin going on. Not enough malt base to make it interesting. Sort of a one trick pony here. Allspice, and not much else.

Light body, and a bit watery. This isn't the absolute worst, but really not very good.

 604 characters

Photo of mentor
1.5/5  rDev -49%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a half finger of oranged white head over a cloudy light copper-rust liquid. Soda pop head rapidly disappears. Smells of old allspice and some nutmeg. Like a rarely used spice cabinet. Dirty earthy character, but no malt, esters, or pumpkin to speak of.

Blech! Tastes like stale allspice. Not enough nutmeg or cinnamon to balance the flavor and absolutely no pumpkin. The allpsice comes across as medicinal and hangs in the aftertaste unpleasantly. Md body that's a bit slick, but leave dry in the finish.

That's all I have to say as this beer is a dumper.

 563 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another bottled selection of pumpkin beers brought back by the parents from their last trip to the States. Picture on label as above.
Pours a copper orange color, thin white head.
Some pumpkin-type smell, along with a touch of cinammon. Good flavor, well balanced. Malty, with a teaser of pumpkin. Nothing overly spicy or artificial. A solid pumpkin ale. One of the better examples I have tried. A good one for a newbie to the style. Sorry, still doesn't compare to last year's Propeller Pumpkin.

 496 characters

Photo of SloMoSlovak
2.62/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a nonic, I was not overly impressed by the beer, nor put off. Head was not great, and lacing minimal, and the beer was clearer than I would have guessed. Very average-looking beer.

Smell, pumpkin pie spices more than anything else. Minimal hops, perhaps a bit of malt, but not distinctive.

Taste, too pumpkiny for my blood. I have been fond over the years of several holiday brews (e.g. Anchor Holiday) that had some of the end-of-year spices in there, but in addition to those, this had the ACTUAL PUMPKIN flavor. Not horrible, I drank the whole glass, but about the opposite of a session beer. I "savored" this one for about forty-five minutes before I put it away.

Again, right up the middle. I guess on the bright side, it is about perfect to support the taste. If it was lighter, it wouldn't match with the spicy notes, and if heavier, it could be hard to finish even one.

Drinkability, not so good, for me. I got this six pack as a gift a month ago, and there are still four in the fridge. I don't think this is a bad beer by any means, if you like pumpkin beer. It's just not my cup of tea.

 1,113 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.3/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A typical, light-bodied depiction of a mediocore pumpkin ale...
Pours a light amber, copper, orange color... Aroma is highlighted by a warm, inviting pumpkin smell, punctuated by a great cinammon, pumpkin essence that allows the drinker to down one after another mostly due to the lack of cloying flavors and low ABV...
Nothing above and beyond, but worth a go if you're a fan of pumpkin ales...

 396 characters

Photo of JDK
4.2/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 1 finger head that quickly disappeared.
Little to no lacing
Nice, light malty, pumpkin spice smell
Carbonation was pretty good, left a clean, crisp taste at the finish
Light touch of nutmeg and allspice.
Enjoyed this bottle quite a bit, very good pumpkin ale, better than others I've tried

 298 characters

Photo of jwc215
1.32/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours copper/orange with plenty of clarity. A white foamy head descends to a disappearing thin cover.

The smell and taste are of pumpkin puree. Metallic and funky. Spicy in a medicinal/herbal way with a near-ridiculous amount of nutmeg. Pumpkin comes through in an artificial-fruit way. Some Band-Aids in the finish.

Yikes - this is awful...no "beer quality" and hardly any pumpkin pie flavor.

It's rather thin with quite a bit of carbonation that helps wipe away the flavor. Normally, that's not a good thing, but I find myself being grateful in this case.

Nasty stuff here. It's the "original" that has been outdone by many. Pass on this one - a medicinal/herbal mess.

 675 characters

Photo of Boneheadmx
3.59/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out to a hazy amber-orange with a small, off-white head.

The smell is really good. I can pick out the pumpkin for sure, and it smells a bit like prunes as well.

The taste is very malty. The hops don't show through at all; instead the malty taste persists throughout. The finish is rather dragged out, but it's quite pleasant.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange. The malty taste just stays in the mouth without finishing cleanly. There is not much carbonation in this beer, but it works here. It's a bit thin, however.

The drinkability is only average on this one, since the malts should finish cleanly, but this one just doesn't. I love the malty aftertaste, but I don't want it to be there 10 minutes later.

Not a bad beer overall. If I'm feeling like I want a malty beer, I will definitely get this one again.

 818 characters

Photo of RiekerStarBrew
3.44/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

When it was poured from the bottle into the pint glass, it had a dark gold color with a small tan head. The aroma was full of spices. I don't know if it's me, but I always get a bubble gum aroma with pumpkin beers. Anyway, its flavor had all the desirable qualtites of a pumpkin ale except, I found it finished a little light and dry. May be a higher terminal gravity would leave more residual sugar giving some more mouth-feel and a sweeter finish.

 449 characters

Photo of hylton44
2.46/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed on Halloween night. How's that for you?

Thin, fizzy head which disappates quickly to absolutely nothing. Cloudy orange color - like an orange hefe - seems appropriately pumpkin-like, with a sweet soda odor. Taste includes interesting hints of black licorice and cinamon sticks, but is dominated by a not-all-that-palatable blast of clove. Over-carbonated, but lacking sweetness. Kind of like trying to quaff a mug of seltzer water, which leads to a sticky mouthfeel and a relatively brackish aftertaste.

This was my first pumpkin ale. In retrospect, I'm not sure if what I was finding off-putting was the specific beer, or just the style; but the balance just felt off.

 680 characters

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

A- Pours I hate to say it a cloudy pumpkin orange with a quickly disappearing white head. Light lacing that was there one second and gone the next.

S- Spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) with a fruity smell

T/M – fairly light the smell is defiantly stronger than the taste. Very strong after taste to speak of, does kinda taste like you are drinking a pumpkin pie. Does have more of a spiced cider feel than a beer.

D- Good beer for Halloween due to the novelty factor and that is not a terrible beer. Not a great beer for a hard core beer drinker or one that does not like fruit / vegetable beers, but all in all a good beer to drink every so often.

 647 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A very nice light orange amber color. There is a lot of fizz but virtually no or lace.

Smell- Very sweet and spicy aroma that is very pleasing.

Taste- Not overly sweet or spicy. Not much for aftertaste the spice does not override the pumpkin taste. A little like hard cider.

Mouthfeel- Fizzy like soda. It has a light body.

Drinkability- Easy to drink and a good seasonal but not something I would want year round.

 432 characters

Photo of Tallboy
3.32/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance- When poured it is an orange like light amber with a mountain of foamy white head. With minimal lacing left on the outside of my glass
Scent- One of the best scented pumpkin beers of all time. It has some nice and mild malts and hops , but a generous amount of ginger, cinnamon, and other assorted spices mixed with hot pumpkin pie is what really seals the deal for me.
Taste- Sort of sweet at first with the pumpkin. Some noticeable nutmeg and cinnamon mixed with a little maltyness at the end.
Mouthfeel- Creamy and medium bodied with Little carbonation.
Drinkability- Not as complex as other pumpkin brews, but still a decent one none the less.

 658 characters

Photo of troutmask96
2.23/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Unspectacular. My local bottle shop was out of Elysian Pumpkin Ale, so I sprung for a couple bottles of Buffalo Bill's to give a try. Taste is like Alka-Seltzer cold tablets, with a little bit of spice. Pumpkin flavor? Hardly noticeable. The Pumpkin ale genre is not flush with notable entries, but this one should certainly be avoided...

 338 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More