Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale | Bison Brewing

BA SCORE
80
good
286 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States
bisonbrew.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
20 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
286
Reviews:
145
Avg:
3.47
pDev:
15.56%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of Presto82
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of Pixachii
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of MichaelProcton
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of Kaisermatt
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of tastymug
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of ZachRusk
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of miadw3
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of rallison
2.77/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Winter 2005 Release (sampled for a second time now - first time was a year ago, fresh - sorry, wasn't into reviewing then!). Poured from a bomber at cellar temp into a Chimay goblet.

A: Nice Ruby red/brown color with a 3 finger billowy off-white head that sticks around extremely well.

S: Gingerbread (I guess ginger more specifically) and cloves are overpowering (and, in my opinion, not in a good way!).

T: Same as the smell. Lots of gingerbread, with a ton of clove sort of flavor - a spicy sort of kick actually. Some licorice and just a touch of dark fruits. Maybe some hops back there too? Also reminds me a bit of Coca Cola. Kind of artificial tasting.

M: A bit too fizzy. A bit light in the body for me.

D: Flavors are too unbalanced and bordering on the artificial to make this really drinkable - but, I'd say a 3.0 here is fair. Edit: Drinkability down to a 2.0. Why? I could not finish the bomber. Each sip was worse than the last. I'd love to say I've had a good Bison beer, but, unfortunately, that would be a lie.

This beer really could be good, but suffers significantly in a few areas. If this were better balanced, not quite as fizzy and didn't have that artificial sweetener quality, it would make for a nicely spiced Belgian dubbel. Interestingly enough, I remember my first sampling of this (when fresh) to have WAY too much gingerbread. This sampling seems to have toned that down some, in a very good way. Overall, I can't recommend this, but it is better than I remember it being. Can't complain too much for the 99 cents I spent on the bomber at BevMo.

And an edit: Does Coca Cola use ginger in their soda? This beer just keeps on reminding me of that flavor profile.

 1,712 characters

Photo of shand
2.77/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bison Gingerbread Ale pours brown with next to no head. The aroma is full of holiday spices, with ginger taking the forefront. The taste... well. The taste doesn't just quite work. I taste the porter base, and I taste the spices, but they never come together at all. Instead, it's like taking a swig of ginger beer, sprinkling a little nutmeg in, and chasing it with the most generic porter body imaginable. The mouthfeel is weak and watery, and the drinkability is alright. Overall, Bison's Gingerbread Ale is just a slightly below average beer. It's drinkable, but never really reaches enjoyable.

 598 characters

Photo of misterscooter
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Hmmm, gingerbread, eh? There's no getting around it with this beer. It pours a dark maroon with not much light getting through but the liquid is clear. About a finger of khaki foam, not real firm, sat and top and disappeared at a good pace.

The smell of gingerbread is strong with this one and overpowers any other smells that might be there.

Surprisingly, the taste of gingerbread isn't quite so obvious. It is there, but you get some sweet and hoppiness, too. However, with the smell of the gingerbread enhancing the flavor, it makes it stronger and you either have to keep from breathing while sipping or put up with it. It gets old fast, though, and I hard a hard time finishing one.

 694 characters

Photo of Miranda54
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I read all of the reviews of this beer before trying it out, and really thought that maybe it wouldn't be as bad as the majority of people were saying... I was wrong. While the beer itself was a little lighter than I thought it'd be, which was nice, the taste itself was lacking.

I love anything gingerbread, so I thought this would be my new favorite beer, but I honestly didn't taste anything resembling gingerbread. If you're on the fence about trying this, I'd say to pass. I couldn't even finish my bottle, which is rare.

 527 characters

Photo of deonreds
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of hreb
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle served in a chalice. Beer pours cola brown, crystal clear, and with no appreciable head. Smells like the aforementioned molasses cookies. Tastes like a highly carbonated version of the same. Actual ginger flavor here is, to my palate, too washed out, like all too much bad gingerbread. And unfortunately this beer hasn't got much else going for it. Mid-grade over-gassed molasses cookie beer.

 410 characters

Photo of Hex92
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

My wife bought this as part of a mixed 'winter' beers sixer for Christmas. Definitely my least favorite beer of the bunch. It pretty much misses the mark across the board.

It doesn't look like much, there is too much carbonation and it doesn't smell like much either.

The taste is pretty much non-existant. I don't taste ginger, cinnamon, malt, nutmeg, or even beer. This was the first beer I tried from Bison. I would be reluctant to buy another.

 449 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Let me start by saying that I'm not a big fruit beer or herbed/spiced beer lover. And so, this Christmas gift, is not one I would have picked up on my own. But I'm always up for a new taste adventure (ok, I'm up for almost any new adventure, but that's another story, or maybe several other stories). But I digress.

This beer pours a burnt gingerbread brown, with a moderate head after a vigorous pour that quickly dies to nothing. The aroma is herbal/spicy, having been told it's gingerbread, I can't argue with that as the premise. My first sip made me do the old double take- it really surprised me. It's all herbs. Maybe some roasty malt, but no caramel-toffee-chocolaty malt.

Mouthfeel is ok, maybe a little thin for the style.

Overall, I drank this beer, and was glad for the opportunity to do so, but I was not excited by it.

 841 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
2.95/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is a mohagany-colored beer with a huge chocolate-colored head maintained by vigorous carbonation. Smells are very light and prettymuch smells like a molasses cookie with a wisp of English hop in the background. Ginger taste takes the forefront, backed by cidery tastes of light molasses and brown sugar, along with a light roasted character. Not a bad beer, but lacks robustness. Mouthfeel is light and thin. I have no specific complaints, but didn't find this beer that drinkable. I think as much as I like it other places, ginger is a little off-putting to me as a beer ingredient.

 588 characters

Photo of colts9016
2.95/5  rDev -15%
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.

 913 characters

Photo of MadeInOregon
2.96/5  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.

 1,558 characters

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of aquazr1
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of wildcatboy
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of athouve1
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of GarrettBoots
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of EigenBeer
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 286 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.