Craft/Saugatuck Gingerbread Cookie Ale

Reviewed by on December 25, 2015 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Saugatuck Brewing Company

  • Origin: Douglas, MI, US

  • Rated On: December 25, 2015

  • Best Before: the New Year

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Spiced Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The Gingerbread Cookie Ale is the add-on offering for day 25 (the analogue of the 19th hole) in the Advent Beer Calendar world, it would seem, which comes with a decent enough branded glass chalice for yer 25 or so Canuck ducats.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, bright medium red-brick amber colour, with four fingers of aggressively foamy, puffy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some random blotchy and speckled lace around the glass as it very gently subsides.

It smells of well, gingerbread cookies from our collective youth (ginger, clove, and nutmeg spice, and a crackery sweet caramel malt), a bit of extraneous citrusy, leafy, and herbal hoppiness, and some subtle warming alcohol notes. The taste is bready, doughy caramel malt, semi-sweet ginger, clove, nutmeg, and allspice, um, spice, a muddled pome and citrus fruit bowl essence, and some rising herbal, leafy, and grassy green hop bitterness.  The carbonation is nicely rendered in its somewhat supportive and otherwise frivolous frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and quite smooth, with a wee airy creaminess kickin’ it in the background. It finishes well off-dry, the grainy caramel malt welcoming a lingering saccharine spiciness that might be gingerbread-worthy, but there’s a long row to hoe for that to eventually happen.

Overall, this starts off very much like the titular ubiquitous holiday confection, but quickly settles into a more plain and unassuming spiced dark seasonal ale, which is no bad thing, just not altogether worthy of the heady experience one might be expecting for the sticker shock and general hype around this product – quelle surprise.

Brady White

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