Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The pumpkin ales have hit the shelves in a big way this month, and that means it’s time to procure and gulp the annual six-pack of BUFFALO BILL’S PUMPKIN ALE. For years it was the only game in town come October here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but this year it has been joined by SHIPYARD PUMPKINHEAD ALE and BLUE MOON PUMPKIN ALE. As a Buffalo Bill’s partisan, I’m definitely taking sides – or at least I was before this year’s batch. I’m wondering if the 2007 edition of this longstanding mouth-pleaser is somehow reformulated? I certainly can’t remember this one ever tasting so thin, so comparatively lifeless vs. previous, uh, “vintages”. This is all relative, of course – the Buffalo Bill’s folks know how to get that unique Fall harvest taste into every bottle, and have a wonderful concoction of spices, sweets and moderately-carbonated malty tastes that they’ve been rolling out since god was a child. But this year I’m missing the richness and the warmth I’m used to, and I guess it kinda makes me a little sad on the inside. It’s still good, but only 6.5/10 good, not the 8/10 we gave it last year. On to the competitors!

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