Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

273 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 15.88%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mynie
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty pour, be all lookin' like a winter warmer n' shit. Nice head, with a semi-translucent dark ruby body that's actually trying to look dark ruby (unlike, say, a translucent stout, which tries and fails to look black).

Smells like allspice, cinnamon, and malted barley. It's a nice combination, but not very complex and a little thin.

Tastes wonderful, at first. Like you're biting into a gingerbread man, just about, with pumpkin pie spices mixed with surprisingly strong nodes of burny ginger. But then the spice nodes just drop away, as if into the aether, and are replaced with a rather generic, heavily malty beeriness. The break is disconcerting, and the back end really drags down the front.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bison Gingerbread- If you put it on the label, it shoudl taste like it, low aromas, low ginger flavor, but there, dark brown ale. we had a large xmas beer tasting. this was a solid beer but when you put gingerbread on the label you should make that noticeale.

Photo of jnice1984
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of isualum12
1.7/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Sorry for the low score butihad to remove the secod drink from my mouth. This is not all something I could finish.

Look dark dark tasty looking pour with a nice floating Cooper tan head.

Smell- lots of spice with ginger

Taste- ginger root. Not gingerbread ginger root. Thought ihad actually got a clump of dirt with the root.

Mouth feel couldn't get through the beer toreally get a good feel but the carbon is sitting on my throat still.

Overall- it's not for me.

Photo of xDeadGuYx
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of NCbeerpirate
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of ocelot2500
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color with a tight, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of light roasted notes with some spices coming through.

Tastes of solid roasted notes with a drying spicy end. Notes of cocoa, coffee, and molasses come through with a mild sweetness. Hop earthiness comes in the middle with some bitterness coming out as well. Finishes in a ginger and cinnamon swirl that really dries everything out.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid beer that does have the promised gingerbread effect, but I would like it to be sweeter with a bit bigger body.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark brown with alot of red at the bottom of the glass. 1/2 inch head and ok retention

Smell: Gingerbread cookies in a glass. Spot on based on the name of the beer

Taste: Flavor falls just a tad bit short based on the nose. There is some subtle gingerbread spice with traces of coffee and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: It's a good beer but nothing great. One of those beers that if it's cheap enough I could drink it all the time

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a bit of a reddish hue. It looks kind of dull, no carbonation is visible. There was initially a one finger white frothy head, but it dissipated quickly into a thin collar around the top.

S: The aroma is very gingerbread-y. There is a bit of sweet chocolate maltiness as well. This smells very pleasant and beckons a taste.

T: The taste is a toned down version of the aroma. There is a bit of gingerbread and some sweet maltiness, but it is very mellow.

M: It has a medium body and is a bit too carbonated for my liking. I was unimpressed in this aspect of the beer.

O: This beer had a great aroma but was let down by a lackluster taste and feel. With some work in these aspects, this beer could be quite good. As it is right now, it is just slightly above average.

Photo of bagpiper2005
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Clear, deep red-brown color. One finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left only minimal lacing.

Smell: Well, what's there of it gives off notes of ginger and roasted malt. I didn't much detect the other spices in it however.

Taste: Ginger and chocolate malts with a bit of hoppiness in the back. Other spices barely present themselves. Not as spiced as I would hope for a spiced beer, but not bad tasting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation; "wet" if you will.

Drinkability/Overall: It goes down pretty smoothly but it's a bit lackluster for the style. The flavor is definitely good but I would like more spice.

Final Notes: A solid run-of-the-mill porter. It's slightly spiced but I don't think quite enough to consider it a spiced beer. I did enjoy it, but would have liked some more kick.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of tronester
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear very dark reddish brown, almost black in color. Smells unsuprisingly like gingerbread cookies. Taste is sweet dough up front, followed by a little caramel and ginger, and finishing with a citrusy chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation. Drinkability is ok, the flavor while good gets a bit cloying after awhile as the beer sticks to the back of your tongue. An interesting beer nonetheless.

Photo of aepb1
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
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

Photo of chaz01
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

Photo of chumba526
3.98/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. I definitely was able to detect some pumpkin cinnamon and allspice on the first whiff with bready ginger notes that really make seem like a gingerbread cookie but in liquid form. The taste was a little light on the pumkin spices and cinnamon but had gingerbread man cookie notes and brown sugar accents; really intresting. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, bready, slight spice, and mild toasty finish. It drank decent but it definitely a novelty beer that was quite intresting. I would one day try to pair it alongside some gingerbread cookies.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark cocoa brown with amber highlights. A fair finger-thick head of a bubbly, frothy cream color has fair retention and leaves behind some nice chunky lacing.

aroma is subtle. malty, hints of vanilla. maybe ginger? a bit of plastic. something just doesn't smell quite right.

taste hits up front with caramel malts, a sweetness and an unexpected bitter hopping. then some ginger creeps in, akin to a strong ginger beer. Interesting balance of bitterness, malt and spice, although this one is no where near as spiced as I was expecting or hoping.

mouth is odd. high on the carbonation, which does cut through any sweetness or slickness. there's an odd fizzy bitterness that lingers long past the finish. maybe it's ginger? either way, I'm not sure I'm crazy about it.

all in all, this is an interesting one... I've had several bottles before reviewing it, just to be sure I'm giving it a fair shot. I was really hoping for some super-gingerbready brew... kind of the ST Creme Brulee of the gingerbread flavors. But it just kinda fell flat, to an average brown ale with some interesting flavors.

Photo of philbertk
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bison Brewing Company--Gingerbread Ale--Beer Brewed With Ginger, Nutmeg And Cinnamon--USDA Organic Since 1989--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. 20 IBU's. (3.25 / 5.0) Porter--Spiced. Light tan dense lacy lasting head. Dark ruby edged ruby black color. Roasted ginger cinnamon mild hop front. Crusty sweet earthy roasted dark malt ginger nutmeg spicy mild fruit Porter body. Dry mild hop unbalanced harsh Gingerbread spice crisp clean end. Sampled 12/13/2010. Malt of the Earth Beer of the Month Club Selection received 11/29/2010.

Photo of MadeInOregon
2.9/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a porter, smells like a porter, tastes like a porter (or stout). Am I missing something? Did Bison accidently fill my 12 oz. bottle with a porter or is this REALLY their "Gingerbread Ale"? Very disappointing! Good thing I only bought a single!...

This beer looks like a decent porter: very dark brown to black, nice creamy khaki lacing, good body.

There is the faiiintest aroma of ginger or cinnamon but I feel like I was REALLY stretching for it...and could very well have been imagining it because I was expecting this to actually taste like gingerbread. In reality, this smells like a good porter or a stout: dry, yeasty, chocolatey, coffee, and some hops. No spices. None. Zero.

The flavor, yeah, well the label reads: "Beer brewed with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon" but they really need to kick it up a notch because truthfully this just tastes like a stout to me. A GOOD stout, mind you, but a stout nonetheless. As with the smell, there might be a touch of spice in there but, honestly, I could've just mistaken it for the coffee bite. So disappointed, Bison. Why don't you just call this a "Holiday Porter" or "Seasonal Stout"?

The only thing positive about my disappointing drinking experience was that this beer is actually VERY GOOD...once I got past the frustration of it not tasting anything like the way the label said it would! It's a smooth, somewhat robust, stout and it's very drinkable and enjoyable. But it is NOT gingerbread ale. Don't let them fool you. Buy their "Chocolate Stout" instead. Don't waste your time on this.

Photo of scoobybrew
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
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.

Photo of bellafromsocal
4.08/5  rDev +20%
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.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very appropriate for the holidays brew that arrived via BOTMC, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a nice waft of sugar and spice and everything nice. Pours to a deep brown with a two-finger tan medium size bubble head. On the taste it starts off with some metallic hops, followed quickly by a sweet malt then the spices kick in big-time. Lot's of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors, bold but not overbearing. Finishes relatively clean with a bit of lingering tangy bite. AC of 6.8% not detectable in the least. Mouthfeel is average not overly carbonated nor thin but nothing you could stand a spoon in. A good holiday brew, good for the cooler days. Gets you in the holiday spirit.

Photo of nitro0292
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a deep, dark garnet-amber/mahogany. Poured clear with a quarter inch of tan head that quickly dissipates to ring and an island. Head left thin lacing.

Aggressively poured a second bottle and got over a 2 inch head, which slowly resolved to a solid ring with good lacing.

S - Smell was moderately strong roasted and dark malts with notes of cinnamon and subtle notes of chocolate and Gingerbread.

T - Taste was more of the same - very porter like, with a very slightly spiced and sweet aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, little carbonation.

D - Drinkability was good, I could have more right after the first.

When I read gingerbread ale, I think of sugar. This was delightfully beer like, but could have stronger aromas.

Good, not exceptional.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.93/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well kiss my grits and call me Flo, I didn't know that Bison had moved all the way to Ukiah...Guess they get to party it up with the "oh so awesome" (insert scathing sarcasm here) AFI!!! Pours an dark, dark red...It's like dark black cherry soda in color. Looks brown/black in the glass, but up to the light is a vibrant, dark, evil red...Pours a finger of soapy head, highly carbonated, and leaves very little lacing. Aromas are loaded with Holiday spice - nutmeg, cinnamon, clove - but the big surprise here is the huge, wild ale like sour character that dominates the aroma profile. It smells like a Flemish sour, to be honest. Very nice. And, moving to the flavor, it does invoke gingerbread. It's certainly loaded with holiday spice - mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. It has a great, sharp roasted malt tang up front. The malt really carries throughout the taste, all the way to the finish. Some hops on the finish balances it out nicely. I really like this ale, the finish is a tad thin, but the rest is unique and enjoyable. Very well-priced at $7.49/4-pak so that's great for drinkability...

What I like most: The awesome, unique aromas

What I like least: the thinner than I would like finish.

Verdict: Very good and well-priced make it worth tracking down.

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.