Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale | Bison Brewing

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286 Ratings
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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
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 286 |  Reviews: 145
Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 419 characters

Photo of aepb1
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
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

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Photo of chaz01
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of chumba526
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

 854 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 1,105 characters

Photo of philbertk
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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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.

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Photo of scoobybrew
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of bellafromsocal
4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of nitro0292
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.92/5  rDev +13%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of bradleyp
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 1,165 characters

Photo of mbrown26
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
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

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.19/5  rDev -36.9%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of kneeland
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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