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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

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251 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 251
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)
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Ratings: 251 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maxwellboh


3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Flipping through the pages of the local brew pub and the synopsis of this Bison Gingerbread Ale caught my eye. Now it being after Valentine's Day I was still ready to pucker up to this spicy note driven brew. Wow, the smell was incredible. My partner drinking with me had three separate sips from the glass we were sharing before I was ready to relieve my nose from the empty bottle. Then I had my first sip...initially the mouthfeel was Christmas time all over again, but within seconds I had snapped out of my flashback. My scores reflect my excitement as I watched the ale being poured and then handed the bottle. My overall score is my confusion of how fast that taste was gone. Luckily ever sip it comes back, but at $5.50 a 12 oz. bottle...I am just glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 02:22:56 | More by maxwellboh
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle courtesy of coldbrewky and friends, poured into a cheater pint glass. No Freshness info.

Deep dark amber with tan on the edges capped by an almost nonexsitant head that reduces to a small cap.

Nose is full of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Inviting!

Taste is much of the same as the nose with a tad of caramel.

Medium bodied, this beer would have served well on Xmas Eve waiting for Santa to come down the chimney... that is if he got by the blazing stove.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 22:22:05 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of shelby415


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

02-12-2012 07:16:46 | More by shelby415
Photo of AndrewMichael


3/5  rDev -12%

02-01-2012 02:54:29 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of mrip


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

01-30-2012 00:52:20 | More by mrip
Photo of HardTarget


3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber body shows some clarity with back light. Tiny bubbled tight knit head drops to a full cover and spray paints the side of the glass with sticky lace.

Smell: What it says on the tin... mostly. The Gingerbread smell is there, doughy with some ginger spice, but like most spice beers, the line between strong full aroma and dusty overload is a pretty thin line. Mild artificial element to the smell, hard to describe.

Taste: Mild, almost watery. Thin malt profile with some roasted grain but not much. Spices are pretty well in line letting the beer come through. Balance seems between the spice and malt, hops don't show up.

Mouthfeel: A tad fizzy, light bodied, dry chew in the finish.

Overall: A nice beer. The Organic label scares me more than attracts me, but this comes off with just a hint of rain water and unwashed tin.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 04:49:17 | More by HardTarget
Photo of barczar


3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear deep brown with ruddy highlights. A half inch beige head dissipates into a coating of light foam, leaving hints of lace.

Aroma is sweet caramel and toasted brown sugar, very sweet, with significant ginger and cinnamon present. An acrid roast character is apparent. As it warms, I realize there's a very prominent cola smell.

Ginger dominates the flavor profile, with subdued toasted malt carrying through to the cinnamon, brown sugar, slightly bitter finish. It's almost peppery. There's an acrid slightly sour flavor that is unwelcome. Chocolate comes out in subsequent sips.

Body is medium light, with moderately high carbonation. The finish is a bit astringent.

Overall, not a bad beer for what it is, but the acrid malt flavor is offputting. I'm not a ginger fan, so not my fave, but...

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 05:36:44 | More by barczar
Photo of MeisterSmudge


2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

01-16-2012 11:26:26 | More by MeisterSmudge
Photo of Scotchboy


3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, sampled 12/29.

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Smith nonic.

A: Pours much darker than I expected, a nearly opaque brown that turns to full mahogany in the light...small off-white head recedes quickly.

S: Nose is a balanced spice attack; nutmeg, clove, hints of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger of course...toasted sweet bread underneath that.

T: the spices are king here as well...almost leans Belgian for a second...not peppery, but spicy for sure. Nutmeg and ginger dominate, dark fruits, currants, cinnamon raisin bread, toasted rye.

MF: Pretty thin, with the flavors washing quickly away leaving only some spicy dryness.

O: Its ok and above average, but not as gingerbread/ginger snap forward as I would like, plus the finish is disjointed and a little unpleasant...watery bitterness washes away all of the good aspects of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 15:14:47 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Pencible


3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly clear black cherry with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like ginger and coffee, with a little clove and dark chocolate and a bit of cinnamon.
T: It tasted like dark chocolate and coffee, with some ginger and a little clove and cinnamon. It had a mostly clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Fairly light body.
D: This was not that great of a beer, with the ginger character not mixing well with the porter base. The body was pretty weak too. It wasn't difficult to drink, but it wasn't very enjoyable either. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 19:42:54 | More by Pencible
Photo of hosehead83


3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown with ruby highlights, rather short head of tan foam.
Aroma-Gingerbread and nutmeg
Taste-Soft flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and gingerbread. Rather thin-bodied and seems to go flat in a hurry. More of "everything" would greatly help things out here. Decent at best. Maybe for washing down some real gingerbread cookies.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 19:43:03 | More by hosehead83
Photo of Minkybut


3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this interesting beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was nearly black and poured a really nice tan colored head. The smell was spicy and so was the taste. Definitely could taste the ginger and other holiday spices in this one but it was not so strong that is blowed you away. I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 16:53:19 | More by Minkybut
Photo of kylehay2004


3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours copper colored with an inch of tan head.

S - I smell ginger right off the bat. I get some faint toast as well.

T - I taste the ginger. I also get plenty of spiciness, clove.

M - Medium with plenty of carbonation.

O - I was hoping for a pleasant experience only to be disappointed. This beer is overspiced for my liking. I keep trying to imagine gingerbread, but I can't make that stretch.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 03:32:17 | More by buschbeer
Photo of jaidenjb


3/5  rDev -12%

12-17-2011 02:49:53 | More by jaidenjb
Photo of athouve1

North Dakota

3/5  rDev -12%

12-16-2011 18:31:47 | More by athouve1
Photo of IlludiumQ36


4/5  rDev +17.3%

12-16-2011 01:33:30 | More by IlludiumQ36
Photo of hefehead12

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +17.3%

12-15-2011 21:36:21 | More by hefehead12
Photo of iemailjack


3/5  rDev -12%

12-09-2011 16:53:18 | More by iemailjack
Photo of Zraly


3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown-black with chestnut highlights. Head is off-white and fairly thin. Smells is definitely spice heavy; heady notes of cinnamon and ginger permeate the nose upfront.

I was a bit surprised as much of the spicy smell did not translate to the beer. This could be a good thing -- too much spice can be a disaster. Molasses and roasted malts come through with gentle notes of ginger and cinnamon playing a role in the dry-down and finish. A hint of chocolate lingers about and the aftertaste has a nuttiness and earthiness to it. There is a bit of chew to its medium body.

Mainly a decent porter with a ton of spice smell and a touch of spice once it hits your mouth. Not a bad choice to pair with the hedonistic inhaling of freshly baked holiday cookies.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 22:51:11 | More by Zraly
Photo of Shoey87


4/5  rDev +17.3%

12-08-2011 05:00:09 | More by Shoey87
Photo of AdamBear


3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown, translucent edges, thin light tan head

S-smells like a gingerbread cookie with dark roasted malts and autumn spices. smells good!

T-comes in with a malty taste of dark grains and ends with an okay taste of autumn spices and ginger bread. some off-taste to it. not extremely well balanced.

M-medium dry carbonation with a dry finish

O-interesting. more of a novelty beer than anything. fun to drink but i'm not about to buy any more.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 02:53:02 | More by AdamBear
Photo of bamadog


3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love gingerbread. I love beer. How can I go wrong? Review is from notes taken on 12/5/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep and dark cola brown; starts with a solid 1 and 1/2 finger beige head with decent retention; head becomes scarred and pockmarked as it slowly dwindles; body is solid clarity, and while dark, I can still see solid carbonation bubbling up throughout; head fades to a pretty full, but uneven cap and leaves a couple of washes and spots of dry lacing behind.

Smell: Yep. Gingerbread. Lots of it, but not in an overwhelming sense -- it seems pretty fitting, actually. Slight, dry, bready maltiness. Not a ton going on, but the gingerbread is dominant like it should be and.

Taste: Not too bad, but the flavors are a little thin and watery -- the gingerbread is there, but it drinks more like a gingerbread flavored Coke as opposed to a beer.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than I would have liked, and overall, I would really prefer a beer with the warm spiciness going on to be a tad chewier, but it's still not too bad; carbonation is prickly and thorough and it leaves the mouth tingly; a thin, dry stickiness is left on the palate.

Overall: Not bad, but I think that 4 Calling Birds, as far as being a beer brewed with gingerbread, is (obviously?) the superior offering. I like the creativity, though, and I can get behind Bison's intentions of being all organic, so I am not opposed to drinking it again. Not something I would go out of my way for, but if it's available, and the price is still right, it will make its way to my fridge again.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 02:37:51 | More by bamadog
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - burgundy hue with a touch of browm. A light mocha head fluffs up to a thin finger before settling in at a thin but kind of sticky cover. Some decent legs of lace maintain as the beer level drops.

Aroma - light molasses sniff, the malts giving support, maybe giving a cola-esque smell. Some nice roastiness with warmth.

Taste - malty and molasses, as billed. The balancing bitterness is there, I'm not sure it's needed though. The brew isn't especially sweet, but the hops do their job to provide some offset to the sugars. Nice roasty element on the swallow, even some coffee notes in there. More roasty grain than molasses on the finish, especially as this warms up.

Mouthfeel - crisp, moderately weighted, decent body.

Drinkability - my first bottle of this I didn't care much for. Tonight, after baking up several dozen gingerbread cookies, I took another crack at it and liked it much better. Could use more breadiness - it doesn't hit me as a full on gingerbread beer, but it's got enought to merit some holiday props. Nice job, Bison.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 04:03:39 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Bierguy5


3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 6% abv. Pours deep brown, with some slight ruby edges. Tan head fades to a ring rather quickly.

Roasty malt aroma, with a healthy amount of ginger. A bit of a bread-like feel in the nose. Maybe some nutmeg or other spices as well, but ginger is the theme.

Malt character is roasty, and very dry. Some ginger, and an earthy, herbal feel. Not much really going on here.

Light body, a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall, not as interesting as it sounds. Disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 18:53:51 | More by Bierguy5
Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.