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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
78
okay

252 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | 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:
20 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.55/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some mild spice aromas. Taste is much the same with the spices coming through as more earthy than sweet. There is a mild roasty and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but more earthy than I was expecting.

11-10-2012 07:23:26 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -8.2%

Thanks to my father-in-law for bringing this out to Virginia for some post-Thanksgiving tasting. Served in a Bruery tulip.

The color is dark brown with a half-finger off-white head that quickly settles down into just a ring of light lacing around the edges of the glass and a few bubbles on top. The nose is fairly weak with a bit of roasted malt, chocolate, and a tad bit of sweetness.

The flavor has a bit more depth with a bit of roasted malt, some light cinnamon and ginger, and a very mild chocolate character. The feel is a tad bit light with low carbonation. It drinks easy enough, though it's not terribly tasty and is a bit bland.

11-28-2010 00:43:05 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev +15.8%

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.

05-06-2004 00:10:19 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +4.1%

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with a massive head (just too much) that does stick around and provide good lacing

Smell: It does smell a bit like a gingerbread cookie, with ginger, cinnamon and vanilla aromatics

Taste: Starts out with a nice biscuity, gingerbread flavor which, after the swallow fades in intensity; my bottle has oxidized somewhat so the flavor profile may not be an accurate reflection of where it was

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but a bit overcarbonated

Drinkability: 2005 bottling; has held up reasonably well despite the oxidation; with a bigger malt profile, this could be really interesting

11-09-2007 00:13:59 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +22.6%

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.

12-03-2006 20:14:48 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +3.5%

medium and hazy amber color coming forward right away. A nice tuft of white coming through on the top of the glass, settled down into a smooth and subtle crown that faded out quite fast leaving a bare top.

The aroma was far too light to be really noticeable. Lots of citrus hops here and a nice touch of light spices, mostly pepper, but again it was just not strong enough to really set itself apart from anything. The flavor again was light, spices, citrus, and a touch of pepper all mingling about. Very light feel here now as the flavors were all gone far too quickly.

09-26-2011 01:21:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3/5  rDev -12%

11-03-2013 01:54:55 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.58/5  rDev +5%

Single finger head with nice lacing on a a dark body with reddish hues. The aroma is of light ginger bread and I was hoping for more. The tasting left much to be desired. This Ed a very watered down beer with malt and mild gingerbread notes. Kind of disappointing. Some bitterness to the finish. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall I expected a lot more out of this beer BUT it is organic so taking that into cOnsideration I must rate it as such.

12-24-2011 04:37:39 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev +10.9%

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a modest, reserved, half inch-high head of light beige foam.

Smell: Dark malts with a light whiff of roastiness and bittersweet chocolate. Within the aroma each member of the spice blend (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) is fragrant and well-represented. Subtle touch of dark fruitiness.

Taste: Opens with a taste of blackened barley coated in a thin veneer of brown sugar and chocolate of the darker variety. Background roast. Restrained sweetness. Clear-cut though never overbearing earthy spice character throughout. A light hop bitterness compliments the spice mix. Finishes with a tidy dryness and a lingering ginger bite in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit reminiscent of Anchor's OSA, though somewhat tamer. Just as their Chocolate Stout gets the job done being a chocolaty stout, so too does the Gingerbread Ale at being a spicy porter.

06-14-2010 19:39:22 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +9.4%

This beer is truley a winter warmer,why I bought it in hot June is beyond me but its pretty darn good.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep mahogany brown with a tight fluffy beige head that kept form well for quite some time.Ginger is the main element in the nose wich is expected along with some earth and brown sugar,a little thin and sharp in the mouth but it mellows after a bit.A good mix of spice and earth on the palate,the ginger doesnt overpower but is the main attraction,ther is a solid dry earthiness in the finish.Bison makes some decent organic beers and this is no different.

06-25-2008 22:58:19 | More by oberon
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

10-29-2013 02:27:06 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

11-08-2013 06:21:55 | More by largadeer
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +5%

It's extremely deep chestnut body appears black in the glass, but displays brilliant ruby highlights when held to the light; and the creamy, yellowish-tan head maintains a solid 1/4" cap throughout the glass and leaves some nice lace along the way. Cinnamon is evident in the nose along with some mild, dark fruitiness and a dry, bready maltiness. It's mildly crisp in the mouth to start-off with as its medium body releases its median carbonation; and it warms to become lightly creamy as it crosses the palate. At first its flavor is dominated by a cinnamon spice that seems to dull it's bready, lightly toasty, and even slightly chocolatey malt; and then a ginger note steps forward to totally eclipse whatever maltiness may have been there - and it finishes very dry (but not bitter) with a lingering note of ginger. The spices are there, clearly; just not the sweet malts needed to back them up.

08-28-2003 01:24:36 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

10-21-2012 16:52:16 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

11-21-2012 00:51:10 | More by nickfl
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Appears a deep dark almost black hue with some mahogany brown highlights coming through the dark color of the body this beer has. Head forms thick, foaming khaki tan head forms fine even lacing as it dwindles down. Aroma is super spiced especially after finishing an Anchor OSA with the subtle spice this one is really popping with Christmas spices. Nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon with caramelized sugars and a touch of dark roasted malts. Flavor is really harsh with spices, dark roasts, and a slightly burnt roasted malt coffee accent. It clashes with the base beer which is an organic porter. Wtih my next few sips I'm starting to adjust with the high level of spices and dark roasted malts, minimal herbal hops are masked by those spice additions. Mouthfeel is medium bodied finishes super dry with the bitterness from the spice additions. Overall a decent Christmas beer experience I'm glad I just picked up a bottle, good in small quantities, definitely a specialty holiday ale.

11-19-2011 13:56:34 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.7/5  rDev +8.5%

Pours Mahogany/black with a sliver of mocha colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Ginger bread period!

T: Ginger, black bread, & grainyness. More gingerbread spice, brown bread & a slight tinge of molasses once warm. Finishes spicy & dry, reminds me more cheap gingersnaps than ginger bread, plus a touch of squashyness

MF: Light/medium bodied, low carbonation , warming

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV, not a bad offering, but more maltyness is required

09-22-2010 04:01:48 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.1/5  rDev +20.2%

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.

07-30-2005 22:00:47 | More by WesWes
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.58/5  rDev +5%

Lightly spiced dark beer.

A hint of cinnamon, and I say it's cloves. Oh, gingerbread? Seems to be lost in the bitterness of the hops, but a pleasant spiciness nonetheless. Modest body, a hint of malt, a touch of roasted flavors.

This bottle has been around a while, on sale in Pacific Beach for $3.99/four. Surprisingly pleasant stuff. Let it warm up from fridge temp just a little, and it is actually a decent beer. Better than some of the recent Anchor Christmas ales in a similar style.

07-14-2010 04:30:56 | More by mactrail
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.98/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

11-18-2007 22:59:42 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

04-05-2012 21:30:35 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

12/19/04- Part of a 10pk holiday beer case purchased at Cost Plus in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12 oz bottle poured into my Reaper pint glass. No expiration date available.

Appearance- Nice foamy head, deep red pour, but virtually zero lacing.

Smell- Just as it says...gingerbread, maybe some cinnamon and other spices.

Taste- Kind of like a porter taste with gingerbread and spice flavors. Maybe a bit of chocolate in there too.

Mouthfeel- Very light. Maybe a bit thin. Medium to low carbonated.

Drinkability- A definite interesting brew. Not really my favorite taste in a beer, but was a good experience to have. Not bad considering. Took me half the pint to get used to it.

12-20-2004 01:29:43 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

05-12-2014 03:59:24 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +2.1%

A: Pours a clear dark brown in color with significant garnet red highlights and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall tan head that very slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Huge amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of gingerbread with some lighter malty notes and some very light hints of molasses.

T: Moderately malty with some notes of brown sugar sweetness along with some stronger notes of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Some lighter notes of allspice and molasses. Light bitterness in the finish.

M: Just heavier than medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: I found this to be a very enjoyable holiday beer and really thought it was probably the best beer I have had from this brewery. I like the addition of the gingerbread spices and think it really hits on that flavor profile. Fairly easy to drink.

11-22-2012 18:23:04 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.98/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

02-10-2010 05:49:21 | More by DoubleJ
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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.