Tracy Hensley's picture

Judge's Review: 87 Rating - Buffalo Bill's Original Pumpkin Ale by Buffalo Bill's Brewery

October, 2018
Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Buffalo Bill's Original Pumpkin Ale by Buffalo Bill's Brewery was evaluated as an Autumn Seasonal Beer (Category 30B) from the 2015 BJCP Guidelines. The goal is to evoke a harvest-themed dish balancing spice and other adjuncts with malt – with the possibility for restrained hop and alcohol character.

At first, complex aromas start of warm cinnamon, ginger and dark caramel. After a minute, nutmeg and burnt honey aromas join the fray. The aroma is spice dominant, strongly outweighing the initial caramel and other malt elements. It reminds me of my apple crumble topping blend (that I borrowed from a pumpkin pie recipe): nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and cardamom with some wheat and oatmeal. 

The pumpkin ale is attractive with a clear ruby amber color. The beer has a fine ivory color head that really just clings to the sides of the glass and refuses to be large and frothy. The flavor focuses on the usual spice blend suspects mentioned in the aroma, and I have to go back and taste it a few times to find subtle milk chocolate and graham cracker flavors. Appropriately to style, the beer finishes pleasantly dry but the spice tannins results in a mildly harsh aftertaste.

For the style, it is too spice dominant, and as drinking continues, the spices continue to linger and become increasingly noticeable. If complex, spice-dominate, but slightly harsh, autumn seasonal beer is your jam – this beer will not disappoint.