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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 281
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 5
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001

20 IBU
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 281
Photo of scruffwhor
4.49/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Basically a gingerbread porter. Great head with strong retention atop a smokey, thick brown. Great smokey malts mixed with a much more authentic gingerbread aroma than expected. I was afraid it would be overpowering. The taste reflects the great balance of a good porter and the gingerbread. The roasty and smokey blend very well Would have gotten a five in that department except for the fact that it lost some of its balabce as it warmed up. As it warmed, it lost a little of its pleasant gingerbread quality. Smooth palate with a great linger that leaves a smaller and smaller impression of the beginning flavors. (616 characters)

Photo of OStrungT
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brownish red color. It has a light brown head that fades quickly, leaving very few laces. The aroma is a little hard to describe. It smells like a gingerbread man. It has a spicy aroma also, but mostly, just gingerbread. It also tasted like a gingerbread man. A liquid alcoholic gingerbread man. It is better than I expected. It is quite good. It has a spicy taste also. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnimon. It also tastes a little sweet. I cant really detect any hops over the spicy flavors. This beer is mild, and refreshing. It leaves a spicy ginger aftertaste. It might be a little overcarbonated, but not so overcarbonated that it detracts from the beer. I think this beer would make a great session beer. The flavor is quite appealing, and I dont think it would get old. Also, the alcohol content, while not stated, is rather low, I think, and that means you could drink a few of them. If you see this one, buy it. Try it. You might like it. (954 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
4.34/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess I got a better bottle than the average of the reviewers, but I really liked this one. I actually had this one a long time ago, but luckily I found the review I wrote down. I also will never forget the taste of the beer. The taste and the smell of the beer were very similar. They both had a strong taste of ginger and spices, very much like gingerbread. It was so much like gingerbread, it was uncanny. It also had a bit of a hop bite in the end, so it wasn't all malty. I would suggest this brew to most anyone, especially ones you want to show what craft brews are like. (580 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
4.24/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: Nice Dark brown, pretty clear with a good 2 fingers worth of creamy off white head with fantastic lacing from start to finish.

S: I'm getting a lot of ginger spice aromas, very much like a freshly baked ginger bread cookie. There is also a little cinnamon in the aroma.

T: A lot like the smell here.... Gingerbread cookie with nutmeg, cinnamon and a light touch of chocolate. There is also a nice roasted malt running underneath everything.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation, pretty smooth with a clean finish and a little warming feeling

D: A very nice holiday beer, great flavors good ABV. Perfect for the season, well worth looking for. (707 characters)

Photo of jsisko01
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours an extremely dark brown color (almost black) with a thin tan head that dissipates instantly, leaving a pretty nice lacing.

Smell - It smells like gingerbread and rye to me. After a couple more sniffs I can detect other spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste - Very sweet.. Cinnamon and nutmeg are most dominant. The gingerbread isn't coming through as much as I thought it would. Toasted malts and a very feint hint of caramel. There is a mild, musty bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Overall - This beer is very well put together. It was interesting to try. It's basically like a winter warmer ale with a twist. (679 characters)

Photo of scoobybrew
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - slightly hazy dark brown color with ruby highlights, modest tan head that settles quickly into a lacing

S - ginger and bread-like malts (imagine that!), no hop or yeast esters/phenols noticed, some roasted grain

T - rich roasted and biscuit-like malts with slight hop finish to balance; ginger-spice in the flavor but not overpowering and in balance with beer

M - medium-full body with moderate carbonation

D - This is quite a treat. It really delivers on the promised flavors. It's truly a complimentary blend between the porter and ginger. This is definitely a dessert beer though, enjoy it after meal. (612 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH Signature glass a dark brown with ruby highlights and a decent khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is ginger and sweet caramel malts with slight cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste is a nice blend of sweet malts, ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar with a nice sweet finish, very reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie. The beer is on the light side of medium with well hidden alcohol. This one was very enjoyable, one of the best beers from Bison I've had yet. (531 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having a few standard Bison brews, I didn't hold out much hope for this brew. Glad I made the purchase. It's good beer. Begins with a maltiness that I'd expect from sweeter English and Scottish ales, but with a serious ginger addition. Doesn't really come across a gingerbread, but with a fresh ginger addition. The malts pick up on a doughy, yeasty flare, but not rounded with the nutmeg, cinnemon, or allspice. Doesn't have to; the beer is well bodied, sweet, characterful, and balanced well with English hops. Lingers a bit too long with the sweetness and a hint of graininess late. One of my favorite winter warmers of this season. (641 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a smooth caramel scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It also has an awesome gingerbread aroma that is very enticing. The taste is good. It has a roasted toffee flavor that is sweet and smooth on the finish. It also has a mild, not over the top, gingerbread taste that is very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good seasonal brew. It's smooth and full of flavor; a good drinker. (584 characters)

Photo of thaichile
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an espresso brown with a perfect lattesque head. Nose is completely gingerbread with a cup of Joe on the side. Flavor is really nice. I am not a porter person but this was real nice. Continued gingerbread notes with light coffee and maybe a sprinkling of some dark cocoa powder. Added sweetness reduces almost all of the bitterness and makes for an incredibly smooth experience. Recommended. Thanks to nathan15 for the bottle. (432 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown, almost black in the glass with a tan/light mocha head.

S: Ginger, cloves, nutmeg and coffee in a delicious smelling nose. Interesting.

T: Lighter fruits, citrus peels, then ginger and nutmeg, maybe cloves, then coffee, biscuit and finally floral and citric hops in the finish.

M: Medium bodied and a bit smooth.

O: It's what you might expect from a gingerbread stout, minus the roasty flavors. It's pretty good, but it would likely benefit from the admixture of roasted malt. (500 characters)

Photo of bellafromsocal
4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent holiday beer. Smells malty with gingerbread, molasses, and chocolate notes. Pours a deep amber with a moderate tan head. Spicy with a mild hop presence. Finishes with gingerbread (not as strong throughout as I would have liked). Not overly sweet and pretty easy to drink. Definitely fun for the holidays but I have had better seasonal brews. (358 characters)

Photo of chaz01
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from the beer of the month club, poured into your basic pint glass.

A: Dark brown, opaque with a nice creamy off white head lasting a long time.

S: Very intense ginger aromas, like fresh baked ginger bread cookies. Certainly aromatic, but not necessarily what I'm looking for in a beer.

T: Lot's of ginger and other spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) come though in the taste, but it's not as overwhelming as the aroma would indicate. There's a nice roasted malt flavored backbone to the beer -- including some chocolate and nut flavors to the beer giving it some balance.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation

D: Nice holiday beer from BOMC -- something I wouldn't want to drink a lot of, but definitely worth a buy next holiday season. (752 characters)

Photo of Iguana
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being the season for the winter beers I like to try em all, and when this one caught my eye I had to grab it. Pour was a bit shocking, I guess I was expecting a lighter beer originally, but this poured a dark brown with a nice half inch head that slowly receded to lacing. Smell was a nice balance of gingerbread and chocolate. Taste caught me offguard, again I was kinda expecting this to be lighter, but was rather delighted by the taste, which was basically like a gingerbread porter. Really unique compared to anything i've had. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but not too bad, quite enjoyable. Drinkability was pretty good for me, this is a nice beer to have with a dessert or just to sip for a festive occasion. A pretty tasty offering from Bison. (746 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after its extrication from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a slightly beclouded deep mahogany with a modest semi-creamy tan head that’s dissipates leaving a thick and sticky sheet of lace to obfuscate the glass. Nose is like sniffing a gingerbread cookie, sweet with hints of vanilla, fresh a quite appetizing; start is sweet with a rich malt profile and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is striking in its acidity with the hops purposeful in their spiciness, the ginger noticeable in the devastatingly dry aftertaste, different for sure. (578 characters)

Photo of marcpal
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into large goblet. Brought this one back from trip in Cali, good.

A: Dark espresso color, much darker than I had expected. Pretty nice attractive tan head with very light lacing.

S: Gingerbread right in your face. Nutmeg spices as well, reminding a bit of pie.

T: Spiciness is what hits you up front, not a ton of ginger. Cloves and chocolate are more prominent but it has the taste of a nice mushy cookie. I like this one.

M: Somewhat syrupy but thin at the same time. Little carbonation

D: First I have had from Bison, and would recommend it. Similar to anchor xmas style but not as crisp as theirs. Still worth a try. (645 characters)

Photo of bbb099
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark, blackish amber with white wispy head that dissipated quickly.

S - Caramel with some gingerbread, honey, and cinnamon.

T - Sweet honey and caramel accompanied by mild spices and hints of ginger.

M - Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Smooth and drinkable spiced beer. If only it is slightly cheaper. (316 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blackie sent this for my BA annv – again, many thanks!

‘cause an enticing Bison brown, almost black pour greeted me, nice ivory head on this critter. Spotted sheet lacing.

And, wow, the woody and spicy aroma is strong in this one. Very nice taste, too. Kinda like a porter on a spice crack kick. Malty and quaffable, still fairly dry in the finish. I’m not noticing <gingerbread> in this, not surprising as I’m not into it.

This brew seems to have some root beer nestled down deep. Nice. (506 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a rather fizzy, white/tan head, with poor retention and no lace, though I do like the colour.

S: Full smell of freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, dark bread, and coffee.

T: This definitely tastes like a spiced porter. Ginger is there in the background but it is light, the main flavour is a heavily spiced roasted malt. I taste nutmeg, definitely cinnamon, and maybe a bit of mace. Dark malts are abundant lending a burnt, and chocolate taste to the brew. All and all, a tasty Winter Warmer/Spiced Beer.

M: Medium-bodied, though it does thin out at times, smooth, and a little syrupy.

D: An interesting beer, one of the more heavily spiced Winter beers out there on the market, would go great with pumpkin pie or a holiday meal, a tasty beer from Bison. (801 characters)

Photo of CWiggins
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this at The Good Beer store in Chapel Hill. Later, I was told by a local distribution rep. that this beer was supposedly long gone (it's seasonal). So I feel rather fortunate to have one in my possession to try.

It pours a dark, dark brown into my pint glass. Almost no head formed; what little did scattered within a few minutes. I dig this aroma; it's mainly of toasted malts and honey, with nice hints of winter spices. No cloves, however. The taste is a little different: it's lean in body with a good bit of dark molasses, combined with a some cinnamon and honey. Very tasty. The aftertaste has hints of dark coffee and just the right amount of hop bitterness.

Now I'll have to try Bison's Chocolate Stout, which I've purposely been avoiding for some time. (791 characters)

Photo of chumba526
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears dark brown with a small tan head.

It smells, strongly of cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet ginger, and allspice.

It initially tastes like gingerbread. The cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and all spice flavors associated with gingerbread come through strongly. There is a mild toffee and brown sugar sweetness that comes through as well. The sweet spice flavor is balanced with a subdued hoppy bitter flavor. This beer nicely balances a sweet malt flavor, a gingerbread flavor with a subdued hoppy bitterness. This beer has a very nice flavor and it is not over the top.

The carbonation is moderate high. Perhaps a bit too high.

The drinkability is pretty good as the beer has a nice balance to it.

Overall this is a pretty good beer that has a nice gingerbread quality to it but also has a nice balance. This was far better then I thought it was going to be. (854 characters)

Photo of aepb1
3.96/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown body with a light brown head that dissipates quickly

S- Gingerbread, very much gingerbread

T- Bready malts and gingerbread, molasses and more gingerbread

M- Medium-bodied, good carbonation

D- The novelty of a beer that tastes this much like a gingerbread cookie makes this an anticipated seasonal (314 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer and food pairing #2 for tonight: French vanilla ice cream with gingerbread ale. It sounds like a winner, and I know the ice cream will be good. What about the beer? On to the beer:

I didn't know if I'd get something pale or something dark. I end up getting a very dark brown color with a semi-creamy head on top, which is thick and holding up well. The aroma....it does kind of smell of gingerbread. The ginger and nutmeg are most obvious to the nose. Very light in the dark malt department.

This has a nice flavor. It does remind me of gingerbread. The ginger is well placed, some cinnamon emerges, and there's enough dark malt (reminiscent of doughy bread and toffee) to make a decent enough beer without the spices. The body is very smooth and kind of creamy. Easy to drink as well, unlike some of the other spiced beers.

It's possible the ice cream pairing enhanced my experience with Bison's Gingerbread Ale. I wasn't sure how this would pan out, but it has turned out for the better. This is a Bison product I would surely do again. (1,048 characters)

Photo of 1234Jack
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

brownish orange color. nice color.

mild head.

smells of ginger and spices.

taste of ginger. not too sweet.

barely bitter, no strong affects on back-sides of tongue. most of the palate is near the front.

bready after-taste

thickish feel. frothy feel.

not noticeably hoppy, more malty.

good taste, i like this. (316 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Heavily garnet-bejeweled walnut brown with light visible on the opposite side of the glass. The head is toasted tan in color with a pitting, pocked top. The foam is reasonably sticky and leaves small chunks of lace on the glass as it falls to a thick, whipped cream-like disk. Nice appearance.

The nose is of toasted caramel malt with plenty of spice; ginger to be specific. The label says that the beer smells like 'fresh baked Gingerbread men' and I can find no fault with that rather poetic description. The flavor is of sweetish caramel malt with the aforementioned ginger and some cinnamon.

There's also quite a bit of bittersweet chocolate--more sweet than bitter--and a hint of coffee as well. I can also appreciate a little hoppy bitterness, especially on the tending toward dry finish. Unfortunately, there's a lighter than average porter body in place. A more expansive, more creamy mouthfeel would improve this beer considerably.

Herbed/Spiced beers are hard to do well in my experience. Plenty of brewers seem to have trouble getting the flavor profile and the degree of spicing just right. I'm not saying that Gingerbread Ale hits all the right marks, but it is a good version of the style. I'll also give Bison points for originality; a gingerbread porter is a new one on me. (1,300 characters)

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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.