We are well into November, which means the Winter seasonal beers have begun to hit the shelves. It's still a bit early in season for my tastes considering the weather is still considerably mild, but I love Winter seasonals so I'm not going to pass them up. My first purchase of the season included Gingerbread Ale from Bison Brewing.
This beer is really dark and pours relatively heavy with a ton of head. The aroma is dark and roasty with some hints of chocolate and caramel. There are also some spicy notes as well, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. It is a full and festive aroma that makes me eager to dive in for a sip.
The first thing I noticed about this beer is how incredibly smooth it is. It does not feel quite as thick as it looks, and in fact, it feels a bit watery. There is plenty of flavor, though, to distract me from this shortcoming. The dark malts take center stage here, but there is a bit of spiciness. The cinnamon and nutmeg give this beer the festive, seasonal flavor that I enjoy, and the ginger is very subtle and not at all overpowering. The first bottle I had tasted a bit boring, but I drank it directly from the refrigerator. The second bottle I drank at slightly above refrigerated temperature and the flavor was much more full and exciting.
This is the first offering from Bison Brewing that I've tired, so I do have a benchmark by which to judge this beer, but it is a solid seasonal. Also, it's USDA certified organic, if you're into that sort of thing. I mention this last because this is a good beer that happens to be organic rather than a beer that is good despite begin organic. While it won't top my list of Winter seasonal beers, it is certainly worth another drink.