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

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin AleBuffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
1,201 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,201 |  Reviews: 639
Photo of JDK
4.2/5  rDev +40.9%
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

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Photo of jwc215
1.32/5  rDev -55.7%
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.

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Photo of Boneheadmx
3.59/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of RiekerStarBrew
3.44/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of hylton44
2.46/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

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Photo of monkeybeer
3.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.07/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.32/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of troutmask96
2.23/5  rDev -25.2%
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...

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.6/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is very fun especially (but only) during these fall months. It has a warm spice (clove like) flavor with pumpkin undertones. It is not overly spicy and doesn't have a nasty after taste like some other pumpkin ales. The spice works well with the sweet pumpkin taste, kind of like a pumpkin pie beer. One thing to note is that your taste buds get tired of this beer quick. Its great to try but maybe only one or two at a time and have one of your favorite brews ready to follow it up. Try some while carving a pumpkin or between handing out candy to kids on halloween.

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Photo of snpub540
2.44/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a clear orangish amber, very much resembles apple juice. No head at all from the pour. Lot of carbonation going on as well.

Aroma was a little sweetness from malts and then some cinnamon and clove. Mostly clove.

Taste was kind of flat and a let down. Just some bitterness and an aftertaste of clove.

Felt thin on the palate. Drinkability is OK. Not a very great beer.

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Photo of Vancer
2.48/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another cheap and lame pumpkin. Clear amber, bit of an ivory head.

Not much aroma, but it did have a touch of pumpkin. Taste was weak pumpkin with a bit of a clove. A BIT, is the key here.

Finish again was astringent and bitter. Not gonna be back in the household anytime soon. Better than just a couple mass produced pumpkin beers.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
2.49/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Moderate pour yields a slightly hazy rust-colored amber hue that produces just over a finger of white head that disappears in a flash.

S: A spicy cinnamon and nutmeg aroma with the vegetable backdrop of pumpkin, which smells like it's going to be a real treat, especially for a pumpkin pie kind of guy such as myself.

T: Intro displays very little malt character at all on the palate, and actually flows into a more hoppy side than expected. Somewhere in there, a brief flash of pumpkin and cinnamon is evident, but is gone swiftly. Not much of an aftertaste at all either. Rather disappointing, actually, with an adjuncty macro taste.

M: Watery and light, with a dry finish, and the carbonation feels rather low on the palate, and even though this seems almost like it would be closely related to a marzen, it lacks the flavor characteristics of its own pumpkin ale style. This quality hurts the beer, going hand-in-hand with its sub-adequate flavor.

D: It's possible to drink a few of these alright, but not if you're looking for taste. This pumpkin ale has a flash-in-the-pan spice taste, and very little pumpkin as well. Tastes watered down and near flavorless, so I'd opt for another pumpkin if you're looking for a better interpretation.

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Photo of marcpal
2.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Possibly my least favorite of the pumpkin seasonals that I have had so far.

Understood that people like the different "types" of pumpkin beer based on the sweetness, amount of roasted pumpkins, texture, etc but I think this one is too overdone with flavors.

All I tasted and smelled was cloves, cloves, and more cloves. This was the typical overkill of spices that really hurt this beer.

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Photo of bradford
4.19/5  rDev +40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a six pack at the local market for about $10. Ouch
Didn't look all that good. Dark yellow, light orang, with very little head that dissappears before I can set the bottle down after initial pour.
Mells okay. Spicy, nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon, no pumpkin percievable in the nose
Taste. Wow. This is pretty good. Doesn't taste overly spiced or pumpkin pie-ish.
Mouthfeel was pretty good. Not quite full bodied, but enough for the taste to make up for any shortcomings.
Drinkability is great. Maybe it's just the time of year, but this beer is damn tasty. I will probably finish this sixer tonight or at the latest tomorrow. Very good, highly surprised. I will pick this up again if I can find it for cheaper

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Photo of dnichols
1.49/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I received a 12 ounce capped long-neck bottle from a co-worker in exchange for similarly sized bottle of Imperial Stout. I bit on the exchange based on my co-workers assertion that he and his new female friend really "enjoyed" this brew and he was interested in my impression.

A: It was copper colored with an orange tint to the body. The one finger head was off white and receded to a ring around the collar and a partial cover of the surface of the brew. The ring was sustained for some time by an aggressive carbonation and the ring produced a jagged lacing that was more entertaining than the taste of this beer.

S: The aroma was not what I expected. There was the expected pumpkin odor that included nutmeg and cinnamon. However, there an even more dominant and distracting odor that was reminiscent of a diluted cleaning solution.

T: The spice and pumpkin flavors were a recessive component of the flavor. More dominant was the pungent, sour taste of lime scented pinesol.

M: Thin body with a tangy spicy early sensation followed by a chemical and sour aftertaste.

D: My first and last. I'm biased against dominantly fruity and vegetable flavored beer, however, under the right conditions they have their place. My co-worker has stumbled on one of those 'right conditions' I hope someday to join him in a similar state of bliss.

Comment: After weighing the virtues of being honest versus blowing some smoke to maintain peace in the work place I decided my co-worker deserved the truth. Just as love (and/or a half-rack of macro lager) can cloud ones vision, I believe his taste buds were tainted by a layer of lust that gave this brew a boost in his esteem proportionate to the boost in his libido generated by his association with his new "friend." I hope beer helps keep them together but I pray their relationship, as well as their taste buds, mature.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a golden orange color with a tan, soapy, one-finger head. It did not leave any lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkin and nutmeg. There was also a faint cinnamon nose.

T - It tasted of pumpkin, light malt and some nutmeg.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good pumpkin ale. Not the best, but certainly better than others.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured nice orange tinted amber. This was very cloudy and hazy which kind of surprised me to be honest. Had a nice overall spiced look to it. A good two inch or more of white foamy lace formed as a head on top and actually had some really good retention as it was still around a good couple minutes later. This gradually settled down and formed a thin film of lace across the top. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, and this lasted until the end. A decent amount of side glass lace could be seen down the glass and lasted again until the end.

S – Aroma was highly spiced but yet not overpowering as you see a lot with these pumpkins. They usually put too much of everything and try to force home the point of what it is, but this seemed to be very nice and subtle. It had a lighter overall smell then some, lots of nutmeg, and cinnamon and a good amount of fresh grass or even a tree like smell to it. Lots of spice running through it though and I could pick up even on some apple in there as well. I thought the aroma was very well put together overall.

T – Now see I normally am not the greatest fan of these, but this one was very good I have to say. The first thing I noticed was a nice grainy almost yeast like back to it which really served to lighten it up. This was followed by loads of fall spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of spiced apple, just a good all around mix. There was a noticeable hoppy presence and this definitely could not be hidden. Great finish left you wanting another sip almost right away and there was just really an overall light and vibrant feel and flavor to this. Again very well put together.

M – Super light but yet smooth at the same time. Very nice carbonation led itself to this and really helped to push the flavors out at you. This was full of the little carbonation bubbles if that makes any sense at all. It really made it feel silky like and had a great smoothness to it. I was actually quite impressed with how light it felt, but yet at the same time how full and robust the flavors were. This was very nice.

D – Very very good, I mean for something I do not normally like, I could really have gone for another of these almost right away. It just had that great feel to it and a great full flavor. It was not too heavy and was actually quite refreshing. I really enjoyed drinking it and regret I did not have another right away.

Overall I was very impressed. I have never like pumpkin brew, but now I realize I may have just been trying the wrong ones as this was great. I will really go out of my way now to try and find some more I like before the season is over. Really an outstanding light selection here and something that could easily be a good fall session brew. Look out for this if it’s around and give it a shot.

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Photo of ccrida
2.25/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic, Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale is a slightly hazed copper with all but no head or skim, but active carbonation.

Smell is super strong in the spices, nutmeg mainly. Just too much spice.

Taste is, surprise, all spice! Is there pumpkin in here, or just pumpkin pie spices? Otherwise, a slight bitterness, but that's it. No malt at all, this is like drinking pumpkin pie spiced seltzer.

The mouthfeel is watery.

The drinkability is pretty low if you like beer. As far as a pumpkin pie seltzer, in spite of the heaviness of the spices, the taste vanishes so abruptly that I can't really complain. Wait, I can, and I am. This beer sucks!

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Photo of adowney523
3.12/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker pint. Appearance is light copper and slightly hazy. Despite an aggressive pour, the white head is quick to fade.

Smells mostly of spices particularly cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is full of spices associated with pumpkin pie- cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. Malt has a very subtle toastiness with lots of sweetness in the finish. Little hop bitterness or taste.

Semi-dry finish with a soda-like carbonation. Easy to drink but only an average pumpkin ale heavy on spice.

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Photo of DoubleJ
1.53/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Halloween is four weeks away, but it's not too early to sample my first pumpkin ale. Said to be the original pumpkin ale, this batch was contract-brewed by Pyramid Breweries. On to the beer:

Very light bodied orange in color with a head that drops quickly into nothing. Lifeless appearance. It smells like autumn with an array of spices and pumpkin with a touch of dextrin. The taste begins with a flavor of seltzer water. A weak pumpkin flavor kicks in with a dizzying dose of more seltzer flavor that provides an astringent bitterness. Malt is detectable, but thin.There's not much else to be found. Feels like seltzer water too. After a few sips, it became hard to swallow. Do I have any takers for the rest of the sample?

The label describes this beer as "ale brewed with real pumpkin and spices". Now that might be true, but to me it tasted like "seltzer water with pumpkin extract and orange coloring". Okay, so this was my first pumpkin beer, but this sample was awful. One of the worst beers I've had the dishonor of trying.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, with an autumnal picture of a harvest pumpkin on the cover/label,

A: Pours a nice, cloudy, orange colour, but after the initial head is nice, it quickly dissipates to a no head brew, no lacing at all, a bit disappointing, but not terrible.

S: Very nice, smelled of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie, the smells of autumn, with some nice nutmeg, cinnamon, and mace, love that nutmeg, I'm a sucker for that spice, it just smells like the holiday season for me, the first pumpkin ale of the season just brings on that feeling for me, wow, the summer went fast.

T: Pretty much the same as the smell, not as tasty as pumpkin pie, but few things are, the spice flavour is even more overt in the taste than in the smell, the taste is basically dominated by spice, though I can taste the pumpkin notes that are there.

M: Surprisingly light, almost feels like a fall-seasonal style pumpkin soda, very spritzy, the mouthfeel could certainly be beefed up a bit.

D: Easy to drink, a tasty beer, would be great for a Halloween party, a few tweaks could make this beer great, it almost feels like a rough draft, a first brewing for what could be a really spectacular beer, still it is a fun beer to drink, it really goes for this pumpkin spice flavour, which I feel is different from a lot of the pumpkin ales out there which taste like an amber ale, mixed with a bit of pumpkin spice, so this is something that I will continue to buy each October that it comes out.

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Photo of travolta
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy orange in color, no head retention and no lacing. Nice color, too bad there is no head to speak of.

Nice. Spice, pumpkin pie, a bit of malt which lends well to this warm October bouquet.

Everything changed once I tasted the beer. Mouthfeel is very light and thin. The bitter, hoppy taste fights the pleasant spice and pumpkin. The end result is a letdown to your taste buds as the hops bashes through and ruins the party.

With a heavier mouthfeel, way less hops, and a bit less carbonation this beer could have been wonderful.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.39/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presenation: 12 oz. short brown bottle with a twist-off cap, no dating of any kind but the label proclaims this to be America's original pumpkin ale and advertises that it's brewed with real pumpkin and spices. Anyways, I poured this one into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale burnt orange color, carbonation bubbles rising inside. The head formed small and faded almost immediately, leaving nothing behind except the ever dissipating bubbles.

Aroma: Pumpkin and cloves, maybe some allspice and cinnamon too. Very good.

Taste: Sweet pumpkin flavors along with some spices. The finish was more of the same, and it all lingers for quite some time.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, almost watery but not really. The carbonation was lively, I'd have rather it been more subtle.

Overall: If you like pumpkin beers you'll like this one. It's a decent brew, but at the same time there's nothing spectacular about it. Stil, given that it was the first of its kind it's rather impressive. I'll drink one of these each year in the fall as a form of respect to one of my favorite beer styles, but other than that I'm not going out of my way for this one.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
2.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It comes in black and orange festival label with no freshness date. It also doesn't say what spices are used. The smell is pretty aromatic with nutmeg and pumpkin hitting your nose the second it is poured. It is a low carbonated beer that finished on the front of the tongue with the pumpkin, nutmeg and ginger flavor. It is very light and very little hoppiness. This is the first pumpkin ale so after the season I will come back and decide again.

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Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale from Buffalo Bill's Brewery
Beer rating: 2.98 out of 5 with 1,201 ratings