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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale - Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

278 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 15.59%
Wants: 6
Gots: 16 | 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 (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scoobybrew
4.17/5  rDev +22.6%
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
4.09/5  rDev +20.3%
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
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
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
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of colts9016
2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger off white head that has poor retention. The head is creamy and foamy. The color of the beer is dark garnet color with hues of mahogany. The clarity is poor with some carbonation. The head left some lacing not to much, but the lacing disappeared quickly.

Nose: A rich roasted malt aroma with caramel, toast, and chocolate. There are notes of yeast, ginger, phenols, and floral. The beer had a bread aroma too.

Taste: A rich roasted malt that had notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a mild toast. There were notes of ginger, yeast, floral, and phenols.

Mouth feel of the beer was dry, slightly carbonated, and a touch astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the is medium full. I really did not get any traditional ginger bread flavors. I was hoping for a cardamom note. The beer is descent and fairly easy to finish off.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bradleyp
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks again to the Bier Stein for carrying this beer.

Pours a medium brown.

Smells like a very bready gingerbread cookie. Very nice aroma througout.

It has a nice spicy taste, with again the gingerbread. Obviously, the brewer knew what he was doing when he wanted to get that gingerbread taste. Some other spices hit the tongue like cinnamon. This tasted like a liquid waffle almost.

I believe this is a seasonal beer, so I probably won't be purchasing this again, at least until next year. My girlfriend is a vegan, so she really likes the fact that Buffalo Bills has a good amount of organic beers. She could drink this beer "all year long" as she stated.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love Christmas beers and gingerbread and saw this. I know I shouldn't have spent so much money and gotten a four pack on something I knew I'd probably only want one of, but oh well!

Appearance - Pours a hazelnut color into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of tan head is achieved that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smell - Honestly, gingerbread. That is all.

Taste - Damn, straight up ginger (almost a biting sensation on the tongue) with bready malts, molasses, and other spices like nutmeg. I will give them points for the fact it does taste like a liquid gingerbread house. It is not as off-putting as you would think - honestly I could see this being a Short's beer in the near future. It really is exactly how it is labeled (which I find Short's does quite well).

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Yeah, even one of these is a chore honestly. It is a good novelty beer to be honest, and actually does it well, however, it is a bit much. To be truthful, I am glad I picked this up and am saving one for when my parents visit and will have them try it with me to see their reactions. Not horrible at all.

Photo of mbrown26
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Was looking to try a good seasonal beer. Poured it into a pub style glass and loved the appearance: a good dark beer with just the right amount of head. The smell was fantastic as I got hints of clove, nutmeg and molasses.

Upon first sip I was greeted with an overwhelming sense of molasses. My cheeks puckered a little bit to the taste and thought that it was probably a good representation of a gingerbread beer. I think I was probably hoping for more of a pumpkin spice beer, but after two bottles think that those who like molasses would enjoy this beer. Probably won't buy anymore.

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.19/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Dark brown/ black body with a creamy, light tan head (about .5-1 finger depth and that's with a hard pour). Good lacing.

S: What a surprise! It smells like gingerbread cookies. I get some dark chocolate malts, cinnamon, clove, & nutmeg. No hops.

T: The aroma of this beer made me think that this was going to taste pretty good, but it sure didn't. Not a very strong flavor, but one can pick up some chocolate malts, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Leaves a weird soapy and acidity taste in the back of the throat.

M: I don't know why, because I've never drank soap water, but that's what the texture felt like. A light-medium body and medium carbonation.

D: I would never drink this again nor would I recommend this to a friend. I feel like it was an amateur beer experiment gone very very wrong.

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

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of kneeland
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I try to go organic for a lot of things I eat and drink, but this is probably the first organic beer I've tried. I really enjoyed it. Not too hoppy, not bitter, it was a good flavor. But speaking of flavor, where was the gingerbread? It seemed more like a light oatmeal stout. I love gingerbread, but I did not taste it in this. I will try something else from Bison next time, my girlfriend likes the chocolate stout by them.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a stemmed pilsner flute.

Pours a murky dark brown, showing some slight traces of mahogany or cherrywood when held to the light. Issues a one-fingered head of light tan foam that recedes slowly and settles into a thick crown of foam, sticking easily to the walls of the glass and leaving behind a patchwork of lacy rings.

The aroma certainly shows off this beer's intent, with a wonderful interplay of ginger, toffee, and dark brown sugar. Certainly brings to mind some nice, warm Lebkuchen.

A smooth, medium body is enhanced by a light-to-moderate level of carbonation. The first notes that seem to show themselves on the palate are a bit of mildly burnt roast and toffee. Further developments follow, bringing along some faint toasty melanoidins, burnished brown sugar, and spicy ginger. The finish is somewhat long and dry, with ginger and toffee in the lead followed by a lingering roastiness that is slow-fading.

This porter is easily drinkable and a nice variation on the style, keeping up a nice balancing act while managing to become a perfect beer for the holiday season.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Photo of illidurit
2.56/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear dark brown with a nice tan head. Overspiced aroma with, in order of intensity, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. There's also this slight off-note that I can't really put my finger on. Rotten pumpkin? Melting plastic? It's very minor but it's there. Flavor is watery porter with the expected gingerbread character dominating. Doesn't taste artificial but it's just too much for me. It's like on Christmas if someone makes gingerbread cookies and you eat like 12 of them and then you never want to taste gingerbread again. That's how I feel three quarters of the way through this beer. Mouthfeel is dry and bitter with roastiness but there's a significant astringency also. Cloyingness detracts from drinkability.

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.52/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a black body with brown hues around the rim of the glass. A rather soft pour produces a thin off white head that sticks around for a bit. The aroma is roasted barley bread along with ginger and some cinnamon. The first sip imparts a roasted coffee like bitterness from the malt bill along with plenty of ginger spice. The experience is almost like taking a bit of a gingerbread cookie then having a sip of a cold dark coffee. The carbonation is ample and the mouthfeel is quite full bodied. I would not want to have too many of these, but it is a nice little nod to gingerbread. Of all the "Christmas/Holiday/Winter" spiced beers, this one probably accomplishes what it sets out to do much better than most.

Photo of towersfall
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown pour with a pretty cream colored head that lingers.

Smell: Cinnamon and nutmeg come first quickly followed by some caramel malts maybe? Its a great smell (I wouldn't say gingerbread) that reflects strongly on winter time.

Taste: Wow! A delicious gingerbread taste (created by the cinnamon and nutmeg) really greets the taste buds.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with a good aftertaste.

Drinkability: I liked it, but I don't know how much of the cinnamon/nutmeg taste I could stand. It is quite delicious though for 1 or 2.

Photo of avalon07
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Once you open the bottle you get a big whiff of the ginger element of the beer. Also smells of sweet malt and a little hops.

T: Tasted of ginger, cinnamon, malt, a little hops and some other spices. A very tart and sharp.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, smooth finish. Light-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer, but not something I'd readily drink again.

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick black hue with good head on top of a sharp ginger smell with hints of cinnamon, caramel and bready sweet malts with no real hop presence. The body is medium-to-full and a little sticky but maintain a bready, ginger spice feel although isn't completely natural and not as smooth as I would've hoped. Not as chewey as slushy and finishes with a dry backbite that reminded me of faint bitter chocolate or toffee. A good beer but just seemed like it could've been better.

Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Photo of Sechavar
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love gingerbread. Love it. Like cherries, I can have it in almost any form. Bread. Cookie. Candy. Ice cream. Pretzel. The list goes on. So when I saw the beer I was like, "Yeah, I'm gonna drink that. Awesome." We poured it cold and as it warmed up the gingerbread aroma started to come out. And it had this great, deep, red color. Very vibrant, actually. Thin head, but ehn, whatev-s. But I ended up being disappointed. The aroma was, say, from 1 to 10, a 1 when we opened the bottle because it was cold. And then it warmed up to about a 3, maybe a 4, but then it just stopped. Bitch is near room temperature and you have to swirl her and put half your face in the glass to get the scent. Boo. More hop than gingerbread, basically. If you like IPAs and gingerbread, but like IPA more by several degrees, then it's for you. If you think it's going to be like gingerbread in the form of beer. No. No. You are wrong.

Photo of Magpie14
3.94/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured much like a thin porter with a ruby crusted brown being the dominant hue. Closer inspection displays dark oranges and murky burnt brown shades. Lacing is subpar and a foamy top ceased to exist after a rigorous pour

S: delicately sweet gingerbread smells with some toasted caramel malts. As my whiffs continue, I find this brew relies on a hearty dose of spices mostly cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of cloves. It is by far the best gingerbread smell I have partaken in without actually having a piece in front of me

T: the flavor profile has much of the spiced whiffs already mentioned. Cinnamon, brown sugar, and ginger play gingerly on the tongue. In addition to this, the maltiness is taking on a molasses sugar cookie with toasted crystal malts flavor. Along with this is a light chocolate bitterness floating about. I am digging this brew for its unique flavors and style. It finishes just a touch dry and grainy

M: if any improvements could be made it would be here. I think the feel, considering the flavors, is kinda thin and would gain strength with a heavier body. I classify the body pretty mild that is just shy of being creamy. Still, it moves pretty slick down the hatch and overall it has a decent feel

D: tasty flavor experience and a nice compliment for the season. I give props to Bison for the adventurous style of melding gingerbread and beer together. I think it works!

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.