Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale | Bison Brewing

Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale
286 Ratings
Bison Organic Gingerbread AleBison Organic Gingerbread Ale

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
20 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2001

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of athouve1
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of IlludiumQ36
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of hefehead12
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Zraly
3.71/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 770 characters

Photo of Shoey87
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of AdamBear
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 1,604 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

 1,057 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 510 characters

Photo of ewalden
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of tony223366
3.32/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Looks like soda. Really fizzy head. Dark brown with red highlights. Looks a lot like a glass of coke!

S: Big time ginger. I mean a lot. Some clean piney hops come through too. Some rich malts too. I think for a "gingerbread beer" they hit it on the nose.

T: I really thought there'd be a lot more POW to this beer. The malts come through in a lightly chocolaty, roasted way. Hops also come through in a nice piney way. The ginger is there, but not dominant. Just... nothing exciting about this.

M: Worst part by far. Way too light of a body and poor carbonation. It feels watery. Disappointment.

O: This beer is disappointing because it could be a great winter beer. Bison should really take a step back and rework it. Maybe try an imperial version?

 756 characters

Photo of JayS2629
3.19/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It pours a dark black with a one finger tan head that fades fast and leaves soapy lacing.

The aroma is great. Smells of chocolate and freshly baked gingerbread men. Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla.

Front end taste like roasted malt and cocoa with faint hints of ginger. Little too much grassy hops going on.

Too thin for a porter.

Overall, drinkable but not as interesting as the concept.

 401 characters

Photo of mynie
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 703 characters

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.

 259 characters

Photo of jnice1984
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of isualum12
1.79/5  rDev -47.4%
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.

 472 characters

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.

 988 characters

Photo of NCbeerpirate
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 636 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.89/5  rDev +14.4%
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

 478 characters

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 861 characters

Photo of bagpiper2005
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

 821 characters

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.

 572 characters

Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 286 ratings
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