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Big Bison Ale - Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Big Bison AleBig Bison Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%


Brewed by:
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Great lengths were taken to ensure its authentic characteristics. German and Belgian malts, noble hops and a unique yeast strain are all necessary to produce this unique ale. It is aged for one month; beer that tends to please red wine drinkers and is definitely not for the novice beer drinker.

23 IBU

(Beer added by: Vancer on 05-11-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 56 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Steedee
Steedee

Missouri

4.95/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For me, the best "double" beer I've ever had is Licher Double Bock. Found only in Giessen Germany, and only at Christmas time.
This beer is a very close second IMO...
At first swig, I thought it could easily be classified as a double bock instead of an Ale. Its color is hazy dark brown, and the taste is malty, with a perfect balance of very mild bitterness.
There are some mild fruit flavors that jump out, and a nice warming sensation because of the high alcohol content.
A very nicely BALANCED and drinkable beer. Perfect on a cold winter day, and it doesn't take to many before inebriation.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 20:45:52 | More by Steedee
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My thanks to my local in-person trader, Tone77, who keeps me plied with bottles so that I do not forget that beers other than in CANs exist.

From the bottle: "Brewing a Missouri Legend"; "Big Bison Ale is Crown Valley Brewing's version of a Belgian style Dubbel, full-bodied and rich with notes of raisin & plum."

The crown cap came off of the Crown Valley Brewing bottle and I was off and running. The big, malty nose was immediate upon commencing my pour. I initially had two fingers of tawny head, but it fell pretty quickly, leaving sticky lacing in its wake. Color was a bright copper, like a new penny or one of my ex's hair, with NE-quality clarity. I really leaned in for the nose and it smelled like Christmas fruitcake! Talk about truth in advertising - not only did I fully get the raisin and plum, but the bready malt and the yeast pulled together to make liquid bread in a way that I have not experienced in some time. Mouthfeel was dense and full and the dark fruit flavors were lovely in the mouth. I really wish that I could get some more of this one for the upcoming holiday season! Finish was semi-sweet, fruity, but not cloying. I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by this one and highly recommend it to others.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2012 22:18:40 | More by woodychandler
Photo of BeerMePlze
BeerMePlze

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this at the Binnys in Lakeview.

Relatively new beer in Chicago.

I thought this was a fantastic, flavorful beer. Extremely drinkable for Dubbel style. Definately lighter mouthfeel than traditional Belgian Dubbels, but not lacking anything in taste or aroma.

I guess these guys have a whole line of beers too, I'm looking forward to quite a bit more sampling!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 15:24:50 | More by BeerMePlze
Photo of rrski198
rrski198

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't know the style of this beer when i bought it on tap or reviewed it.

A: deep dark brown with fluffy off white head. Great color change within the beer as the dark chocolate color at the top of the glass fades slowly to a dark caramel color at the bottom.S: Woonderful caramel and brown sugar smell with hints of bready malt and dark dried fruits (raisans, cherries, prunes)

T: Sweet fruit right up front. Dark belgian yeast and thena quick hit of spice. Very unique. I think the dark fruit and funky yeast remind me of a belgian quad (without the body and booze).

M: Full and spicy. On the tongue and on the gums. Great carbonation makes the booze really pop. Very refreshing and leaves me wanting more.

O: unique, interesting, complex. GReat beer worth a few more tries.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2011 22:58:50 | More by rrski198
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a cervoice glass, this looked good with the clear mahogany brew topped by a thick tan head. Plenty of Brussels lace left behind as I progressed down the glass.

Aroma was mostly caramel and malt, but the Belgian yeast and sugar cane really came through in the hearty quaffs. The finish added notes of dark fruit, plum and raisin. Still, enough hops and spice to balance it out - this paired well with the Bison sausage and hot pepper cheese bought at the Crown Valley country store.

Very tasty brew, you have to try it - watch out for the 7.2%, it's well hidden.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2009 14:07:17 | More by Vancer
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Deep caramel, toffee colored ale. Creamy colored head with solid retention and lace lines.

Complex aroma of dark fruits, sour dough bread and spicy hops.

Most prominent flavor is sweet caramel and dates. Underlying herbal hop spice adds a bitter dimension. And of course, the bready malt provides a solid foundation with an interesting sour character. Highly flavorful and well blended.

Light to medium body. Seems slightly thin for the style but adds to the drinkability. Moderate carbonation. Could definitely use a more sturdy consistency to match the depth of flavor.

So easy to put down! The alcohol is almost indetectable. Rich in flavor and aroma. An excellent Belgian-style brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 03:23:24 | More by bnes09
Photo of acevenom
acevenom

Louisiana

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Pours translucent toffee brown with a finger-length off-white head. The carbonation appears to be immense with lots of tiny bubbles visible from the sides of the glass. The head recedes, but a little remains on top to form a nice cap over the beer. The lacing seems to stick to the sides of the glass. The aroma has some breadiness from the malts with some toffee sweetness rising to the nose. There's a little bit of a dark fruit aroma that is typical of the style. The dark fruits that come to mind are raisin and prune. The expected dubbel flavor notes are there. The strong bready malt backbone is accompanied by some nice toffee sweetness and dark fruit flavor. I get notes of prune and raisin that I picked up in the nose. There's some hop bitterness on the back end to help balance this beer's flavor. The alcohol is pretty well-hidden in the taste. The body is medium to full with strong carbonation. The beer finishes very dry. This is an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 23:18:49 | More by acevenom
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crown Valley Big Bison Ale has a thick, fizzy, cream-colored head, a murky, lighter, reddish-brown appearance, but with a brilliance, when the sunlight catches it, a thin lace sheeting, and racing bubble streams. The aroma is of rich, sweet, fruity, bread crust, some booze, brandy, and rock candy. Taste is of all those elements, with specifically fig, caramalized syrup, and a noticeable, but not harsh, bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat slick, and Crown Valley Big Bison Ale finishes semi-dry, dessert-like, and sip-able. Overall, this is a most excellent beer and another winner from the brewery.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 17:48:45 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, slight dark citrus, toffee, slight earthiness, and slight caramel. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong yeast, strong sweet malts, slight earthy malt, slight caramel, toffee, and hint of hops in the finish. Overall, good blend, body, complexity, and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 03:38:37 | More by Tone
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved this beer. Pours deep amber with an abundant brown head with decent retention.
Aroma has some roasted malts and dark fruits that come through. Deep raisin aroma is strongest.
Taste strikes a good balance with some fruity hoppiness. ABV adds some warming.
Extra dry with a bitter bite. Excellent ale, one of my favoites, but at $12.00 a six pack, I won't buy very often.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 23:00:04 | More by jadpsu
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into ye old chilled tulip.

Appearance 4.0: Very attractive opaque, deep amber color. Nice, 1/4" head that dissipated into a foamy swirl that lasted the entire session.

Smell 4.0: Gorgeous deep and rich malty bouquet. I also smell low alpha/beta hops and caramel. Nice.

-Taste 4.5: Front is smooth and caramel. Middle is big and malty with hints of dried fruits and dark honey. Finish is where the hops pop up and then it dissolves into a fine and dandy aftertaste which accentuates the caramel and the malt. Delicious and well-balanced.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Great mouthfeel on this brew. Creamy and it accentuates the tasting experience.

-Overall 4.0: Excellent beer. Refreshing and at the same time nourishing and deeply enjoyable. Tastes light enough to be a pleasurable session beer, but strong enough to end your session a bit early if you are not careful. This beer is delicious and is highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 07:05:23 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of MickeyD
MickeyD

Kansas

4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clean tulip glass.

Appearance: the beer's color was a dark red with slight carbonation, head was a little more than two finger widths and dissipated quickly.

Smell: sweet and floral.

Taste: nice nutty/caramel notes with a slight floral crispness.

Mouthfeel: Light and thin and maybe slightly flat.

Overall: I like this beer mostly malty with a little hop. I did find it a little thin and fairly close to the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 21:50:43 | More by MickeyD
Photo of Boca-X
Boca-X

Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Off white head, faded fast. Dark brown amber...some faint yellow trying to peak through, foggy haze but no flotsam. Minimal lacing.

Warm biscuits and chocolate caramel cake on the nose.

First sip...medium carbonation, nice even mouthfeel...a big punch of sweet caramel upfront. Mellows in the middle...a nice slice of German chocolate cake. Sweet then sour dough bread on the finish, slightly bitter and then the juicy caramel comes full circle resting on my tongue. The 7.2 ABV is very well hidden...little to no throat warmth.

This is a VERY good Dubbel...personally I think this it is better than Paulaner Salvator Double Bock. I reviewed Salvator last night and am comparing the two this evening. They are very similar but Crowns is slightly denser in mouthfeel and a slightly richer in taste...

If you can find this beer I would suggest trying...cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 20:14:38 | More by Boca-X
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan

Maryland

4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up to fill up a mixed six so had no expectations, just giving it a run. Decent looking beer with an excellent smell. The taste is very good, but not overly strong or interesting. Overall it is a very good beer but not sure if I will buy in the future, it will really depend upon cost.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 01:23:42 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Never saw this in Mizzou, but pick it up at Biergarten in Jenks, OK USA!

Pours a slightly hazed orange/caramel with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Sheets of lacing & impressive head retention, never cleared up all the way

S: Nice whiskey notes, not much else

T: Oakyness, figs, dryness, a touch of vanilla & charcoal up front. Smooth whisky mixes with a bit of pear, plum & cherry as this warms, a little bit of taffy nibbling at the edges. Finishes oaky, with vanilla, cherry & a bit of sour mash

MF: Medium bodied, over carbonated for the style, but kind of helps with the big flavor profile, warming. Carbonation mellows out as this warms past cellar temp somewhat

An enjoyable tipple, but the dubbel aspect is getting steamrolled by the barrel aging. Easily the best beer I've had from these guys. I only bought this because Freddy ( the proprietor at the Biergarten) endorsed this. He did me right!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 02:51:44 | More by russpowell
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High clarity copper, rising streams of carbonation, superior head retention with a ton of sticky lacing. Had no idea this was a Dubbel until I looked it up on BA.

Smells like dried fruit and cinnamon. Tastes similar, some vaguely Belgian yeast. A little light on the aftertaste, sort of smokey with stewed fruit. Body is fairly light, dry and spicy in the finish. It's not exactly Belgian style-wise, but a good beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 05:01:13 | More by emerge077
Photo of OlRasputin989
OlRasputin989

Arkansas

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel tulip...

A: Pours a rich, reddish brown with a 2 finger tan head that fades to leaves branches of lacing

S: sweet aromas of black cherry, plum skin, belgian candy sugars, and rich caramel malt.

T: sweet upfront, though not as much as the nose would lead you to believe, with more black cherry and plum, has a small amount of hop spice and bitterness, and a metallic caramel fade.

M: light-medium body with an oily mouthfeel, and a dry and resiny fade

Overall, not a bad beer, though it does stray from traditional belgian dubbels in a few aspects: not as sweet or yeasty as the classic belgian examples, a little hoppy for the style, and its too light. Although it does miss on these points its still a beer worthy of my fridge-space and my pallate.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 01:12:27 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, ruby/amber color with a two-finger tan head of thick foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried, dark fruits. There was a nice caramel nose, too.

T - It leads off with dried, dark fruits - like raisin and plum. There was a strong maltiness with a touch of yeasty spice.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good brew. One of the better offerings from Crown Valley so far.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 03:30:54 | More by zeff80
Photo of spointon
spointon

Illinois

4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a clear red/amber color. With an aggressive pour down the middle of the glass this raised a 1/2" off white head. The head dropped to a very thin skim and didn't leave any lace to speak of.

S= I found aromas of dark fruity esters, sweet malts, and a hint of biscuit.

T= Started off with a balance of caramel/treacle sweetness and dark fruity esters. This then progressed through a kiss of toast, raisin, and then some spicy alcohol. Oddly it finished dry with a kiss of hops and more spicy alcohol. This ale tasted as much Scottish as it did Belgian.

MF= Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation level.

D= A very interesting beer that I would drink more of if I had it. I stand behind my assessment that this "Belgian dubbel" is very reminiscent of a Scottish/Scotch ale. It has me wondering if they fermented it with a Scottish strain of yeast instead of a Belgian strain. Either way its tasty and malty and easy to drink despite the higher ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 07:20:52 | More by spointon
Photo of fltmedic
fltmedic

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a large snifter a very nice light tan creamy head forms. The color is a gorgeous dark red-orange with a small amount of bubble coming up.

The smell is very light with some nice caramel notes. Even with some time to concentrate in the top of the glass as the head settles, not much aroma to betray the flavors.

The entry is malty and sweet and quickly moves into the body. Here there is a mouthful of Belgian dubble with malt, molasses, cashew and some yeastiness coming through. It fades with a nice warming of the alcohol just enough to remind you that this is a big beer (7.2 abv) but isn't off putting in the slightest.

Mouthfeel is warm, full and slightly chewy. There is slight carbonation.

This is a beautiful beer as nice to sip as it is to look at. I'd like to have one again on a cool night with a plate of cheeses.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 03:29:16 | More by fltmedic
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is strong of dark fruits. Taste is good, dark fruits, spices, malts, flavorful and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a high quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 17:25:39 | More by tone77
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber color with a nice off-white head that fades to bits of lacing. Aroma of dark fruit including plum and raisin with a trace of spice. Also some roasted malt and hint of caramel sweetness. Flavor of plum and dark fruits. There is a bit of caramel sweetness and touch of spice. Medium body, smooth with a rich feel. There is a nice warming effect that goes well with the winter season. Interesting beer from a small regional brewer.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 16:59:50 | More by soju6
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date.

appears lighter in color than expected. dark copper colored. nice head of fine bubbles, that stays awhile - good head retention. earthy & malty aroma, a little burnt sugar and caramel. same flavors in the taste. good balance, neither sweet nor dry. medium body and carbonation. body could be fuller. overall - not exactly to style.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 23:04:45 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazed amberish red with hints of brown to it. Half finger off white head shows poor retention. Light lacing on the sides of the glass just fall back into the beer.

S- Plum and raisin really come out in the aroma which I found to be very pleasing. Sweet caramel malts in the middle shine for a short bit. Hints of biscuit in the ending with a light sweet alcohol.

T- The flavor is interesting. Plums and raisin do come out in the flavor but not in the same forward context as the aroma. Caramel malts do come out in the middle of the beer which leads to a sweetness in the overall beer. Alcohol does come through in the middle of the beer with hints of spicy alcohol. Light toasted malts on the backend of the beer. Spicy hops and alcohol come back through on ending of the beer and ends on that.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light plum, raisin, and caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is a lot of spicy alcohol, earthy hops, caramel malts, and light hints of toast. Flavors were balanced good for the beer with nothing overpowering anything else. No off flavors in this beer at all. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was pretty good. Nothing over the top which makes it a good everyday drinker. The ABV can sneak up on you. A nice drinker but I think it might be a little light for the style. Overall worth trying and you just might find a good easy going go to ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 00:39:40 | More by alleykatking
Photo of sweethome
sweethome

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found several beers from this brewery at Binny's - had never heard of them.

Label states Belgian Dubbel. Pour is carmel color, with pillow head of off white. A little different structure of the head than expected - not so rock as soft and pillowy. Decent lacing.

Nose is simple - a hint of brown sugar, not much more. Not bad, just not what I expect from dubbel, lacks the fruit and yeast I expect.

Soft feel on entry, almost feels like a lager with smooth and soft mouthfeel. Flavor profile is carmel malts and again, brown sugar. A satisfying flavor, nothing too complex or deep, but soft and flavorful. Finish brings in some dried fruit flavors.

No faults detected here - which is often saying something for a new brewery.

This beer did not quite meet my definition of a belgian dubbel, but it does not have any significant faults, has an enjoyable flavor profile and has a sneaky alcohol heft. I feel like I have downgraded it based on the style, but overall a nice job from a brewery I have not heard of!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 18:22:46 | More by sweethome
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Big Bison Ale from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
84 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.