Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale (2012)

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale is 5.2% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A steady pour produced less than a finger of thin off-white foam. This head disappeared completely and left no lacing. The color is a very clear orange/light amber, and the bubbles reflect medium carbonation.

Smell: I get fairly strong spice up front that is paired with some fruity and somewhat bright vegetal pumpkin. The pumpkin takes sort of a backseat to the spices, but is still there. The spices smell like cinnamon and allspice. There is also a fairly strong honey and light brown sugar sweetness. In the background and more towards the end, there are notes of lightly toasted malt. This smells pretty sweet, and smells like it is in the camp of the pumpkin pie style of pumpkin ales.

Taste: Up front I get some light maltiness, and some fruitiness. This beer is pretty light for flavors. There is noticeable pumpkin among the flavors, though it is both weak and on the slightly sour side. After the malt and pumpkin subside, there is spicing that is artificial tasting. Here perhaps most of what I am getting is cinnamon. The finish on this is slightly sour but then quite dull. The flavors sort of drop off, and leave a dull and very light barely-there malt aftertaste. This is not great for flavors, and the artificial tastes are sort of a distraction.

Feel: This is light to medium bodied, with light to medium carbonation. The feel is not dynamic, and is sort of boring. It lacks the warmth of a good pumpkin ale, and is made unpleasant by its addition of the artificial notes. These cheapen the feel.

Drinkability: This doesn’t do great here, despite the fact that this is low in ABV and not rich or complex. These things could have really helped the drinkability, but the artificial notes, which are clearer towards the end, keep this from being easy to drink.

Overall: I don’t have great things to say about this one. There is noticeable pumpkin flavor, which is a step up from some other pumpkin ales (i.e., Shipyard’s “Pumpkinhead”). Even so, the pumpkin isn’t so strong or clear. In addition, the cheap and artificial flavors are quite a distraction, and don’t make this one so enjoyable to drink. I wouldn’t seek this one out, despite the fact that it is lauded as being one of the original pumpkin ales in the states.

Overall Rating: *1/4


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