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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

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255 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 14.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | 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: 255 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 06, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22oz Bomber, picked up for $3.49. Most noticeable is the purple & charcoal paper strip that covers the crown cap and which is adhered to the front of the tall neck by a green and white roundel sticker that has the words ‘USDA Organic’ on it. The main label lists the beer as ‘Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale’, stated as 6.8% by Vol. No freshness date.

The blurb states “For the last 9 winters we have brewed this medium bodied Porter with its chewy dark malt flavor, gingerbread spices, and mahogany color.”

Appearance: To the naked eye it is a dark brown polished color, but when backlit it has a deep ruby red hue. A massive light tan head forms with an uneven surface and stays at least 2” deep when first poured. As it slowly settles it collapses leaving some lace on the walls and a more uniform appearance. A smooth thick looking head sits atop the beer for the whole drink.

Nose: It certainly has a Gingerbread nose, though it is restrained and mixed amongst the malts, but there is a light spice to the aroma, a Xmas spice, something like cinnamon.

Taste: Lightly roasted malts envelop the start and middle of the beer. A spicy ginger entrains the center portion with some brandy-snap qualities, which develop a distinct chocolate feel once the beer warms to ambient temperature. Astringent finish, only broken when you get to eat the moist currant eyes of the Gingerbread Mans Head.

Mouthfeel: It has a rich thick high quality malted-bread feel, like biting into a piece of Parkin or a Ginger Sponge Cake. Spices lightly coat the tongue and cheeks. The Beer is very much like a Gingerbread Man, light and airy with concentrated tastes. This Ale has a very nice mouthfeel indeed.

Drinkability: The one bottle was enough. Difficult when cold but much more palatable when warmed, it is most certainly a quality beer that drinks well. It is not however a session beer.

Overall: I happen to like the traditional Ginger Beers, so a GingerBread Ale or Porter to be more specific was intriguing. I think Bison pull it off to be honest, but it will always be specialist in its appeal I feel. Unfortunately my fridge has somehow reset itself recently, and I served this one far too cool to start with. Let this offering warm up to get the very best from it for sure. Very enjoyable, and a nice twist on the Porter theme. Worth trying.

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of BeerManDan
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, it showed a dark brown with very little foam and there was some lace. The smell of spices and roasted malts filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste had a spice and roasted malt feel on the palate. Spices like nutmeg, all-spice and cinnamom and a hint of dark bitter chocolate. Nice bitter/sweet finish that was not overpowering!

BeerManDan, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

NeroFiddled, Aug 28, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Yet another weird taste combo that works from Bison. Deep brown color, small head. Very slight Gingerbread flavor to this porter. Malty and spicy, not very hoppy. Nice beer, but the gingerbread flavor was very subdued, I was expecting a little more flavor. But interesting.

beerguy101, Jul 31, 2003
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Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.