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Big Bison Ale - Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Not Rated.
Big Bison AleBig Bison Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

137 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
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: 137 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev +6.4%

11-13-2013 02:13:37 | More by jaydoc
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light copper brown color with a yellowish/tan head.

Nice light pleasant pear malt nose.

Mouthfeel is medium but not detrimental considering good flavor profile and complexities.

Flavors are layered and somewhat complex and pleasing, although all characteristics would be better if just "a bit more assertive and strong." Belgian dubbel characteristics of plum and raisins with undertones of banana in flavor profile. Nice malt raisin front palate with thin sweet whiskey flavors and sweet burnt toast, carmel and light toffee flavors.

Finish is simple bitter coffee.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 02:56:48 | More by GRG1313
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I was gonna kick things off with a parody of Spinal Tap's "Big Bottoms", with "Bisons" tossed in for comedic effect, but I thought better of it (plus, it's grammatically awful). Lucky you. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger of glowing cream-white foam. The nose comprises bread, red apple skin, mild honey, light maple syrup, and a tiny modicum of fig. The taste brings in more of the same, with the red apple and fig really popping now, and some semblance of brown sugar and clove finally coming through, the only hint of any Belgian yeast character we're gonna get here. Too little, too late, I'm afraid. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this is a limp excuse for a dubbel. It's not bad a Belgian-inspired brown ale (I use the word "inspired", 'cause there's hardly any real Belgian character to it) or something of the sort, but it just barely passes for a shadow of the target style.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 04:45:03 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4/5  rDev +6.4%
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 emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.4%
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 RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this beer shortly after visiting Graceland, in Memphis, and heading down the road.

Much more of an amber hue than I was expecting. Not really sure what I was expecting actually. I may just be tired and thought: hey, that is quite amber. Nose is very much like cheap apple juice, though that settles and it is more candy like. Flavor is a bit too sweet for me, though it isn't so far out there that it's completely ridiculous. There is a dough tone to it that comes in as an accent. Belgian ales are hard to pull off. This one is okay. A bit out there. Some ironing of the wrinkles and a bit more definition would do it well.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 05:31:37 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
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 Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: nice orange amber color with a 2" head that last a long time. Nice lace develops.

Smell: very little bread aroma with a hint of citrus.

Taste: caramel, bread, mild citrus, A touch of honey, and a mild bitterness makes up the main flavors here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness to start, a bit smoother and a touch dry at the finish. Short lived aftertaste.

Overall: a malt centric beer that is pretty straight forward and easy to quaff. I can see having one or two of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 15:54:54 | More by Gavage
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +25.8%
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 sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

10-29-2012 15:55:47 | More by sendbeer
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +13%
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 HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

5/8/2012

A: Deep amber with nice clarity. The head is an inch of dense beige foam with good retention and scattered lacing.

S: Rich bready malt blends with pronounced dark fruit esters that impart notes of plum, raisin, and prune. Earthy notes are pervasive. I detect a faint spiciness and a hint of alcohol.

T: Rife with fruity esters: plum, raisin, and date. Malt is rich and sweet, reminiscent of bread and a whisper of caramel. I get a hint of grape and a touch of brown sugar. The finish is lightly spicy with more bready malts and esters.

M: Medium body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: Not immediately identifiable as a Dubbel, but a solid beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 02:50:51 | More by HopHead84
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a vermillion amber color with a one finger head that leaves a half circle of foam after a few sips. Nice bubbling and some quick lace stickage.

Candi sugrlightly sprinkled on French toast aroma. Good toasted malts and no noticeable hop aromas.

The taste starts toasted and breaddy. The middle brings up some sugary sweetness with a slightly metallic mouthfeel. This metallic twang disapppears as the beer warms. The alcohol takes on a soft wrm and atringent quality combined with very soft, earthy hop flavors.

Pretty balanced dubbel, but the palate was missing a little carbonation and a longer lasting malt bill. All in all pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 14:04:33 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had on tap at Twisted Spoke into a pint glass...Pours a light brown that is clear with ruby highlights. Light tan head with low retention and lacing...The taste and aroma have the normal qualities of a dubbel but way too sweet. Raisons, dark fruits, tons of candied sugar present mostly. Super sweet plums and sugar dominate and make this uncrushable. The feel is really watery.

A typical American attempt at a Belgian classic that falls short in quality and execution.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2010 17:23:50 | More by jrallen34
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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 bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went to this brewery over the weekend and had their sampler of 8 beers. This was my favorite of the bunch so I decided to review it.

A - This the best part of this beer. Rich dark mahogany color that isn't cloudy at all but carries a clean, clear look. Nice carbonation and head when fresh (three days into a growler now and the carbonation has faded quickly). This looks like a good Dubbel should.

S - Fruits, bread yeasts

T - For an American Dubbel made in the sticks of MO this is quite tasty. It doesn't compare to a quality Belgian Dubbel by any means, but doesn't fall on it's face either. Heavy on the bread yeast and carries a weird, very faint, lager taste somehow that I don't care for. If they could tone back that yeast taste it would make the beer much more balanced and if they could eliminate that off-lager flavor I'm getting it has a great base flavor to it... just not quite there overall. Nice sweet fruit flavor with a background of caramel is what I like about this one.

M - Pretty solid for a Dubbel. Could stand to finish a little more crisp as I typically expect Dubbels to have a refreshing aspect to them.

O - I've had an entire growler over the last few nights and do enjoy this beer. Not something to seek out, but worth trying if you ever stumble across it and it's reasonably priced. It's very easy to drink for 7.2% so bee careful if knocking back a 6-pack.

Serving type: growler

08-12-2011 02:16:39 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

2.95/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured with a decent foamy frothy tan head and a tiny bit of lace. Head mostly died down quick. Color is a nice clear amber red. Aroma is malt, circus peanuts, dates, spice, and funk. Flavor is about the same with a sweet bitter finish. Body is on the thin side with ok carbonation. Wouldn't go out of my way for this. Can see what they're trying to do, but didn't quite get it.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 00:03:15 | More by drpimento
Photo of Boone757
Boone757

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

11-13-2013 00:47:35 | More by Boone757
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
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 jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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 matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I found this 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's in Plainfield, IL for $1.49. There is no freshness date on the bottle and this one was in the discount bin, so there is no way to tell if this was a fresh sample or not.

The beer poured the color of buffalo hair but it only made 1 finger's worth of off white head that lasted about 30 seconds before dissipating to nothing. A decent amount of lacing clung to the glass as I drank it down.

Malt, nut, dark fruit, and alcohol smell. Nothing offensive, but nothing to make me say "ahh" either.

This is a very bitter beer - not dubbel-like at all. It's also lioght bodied instead of full bodied and loaded with malty sweetness. There is some malt in here, plum flavor, and a nutmeg/cinnamon thing going on along with noticeable alcohol, but when bitter hops dominate the flavor I can't rate this as a good dubbel.

Light bodied with medium carbonation and not sweet enough for the style it's trying to be.

I'm glad I only bought one of these as I won't be going back for more, although like I said at the top, I have no way of knowing if this was a fresh bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 03:33:17 | More by matjack85
Photo of jheezee
jheezee

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

05-09-2013 21:36:23 | More by jheezee
Photo of hilgart1
hilgart1

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

04-07-2014 01:55:43 | More by hilgart1
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

pours clear dar ruby with a 1+ finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells of fruity malts some xmas spice???

taste - maybe they should use some belgian yeast?? if you want to brew a belgian beer

over spiced tastes like an xmas tree

mouthfeel is good lots of carbonation with a medium body

drinkability is not good - this makes me not want to drink anything else from this brewery

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 04:24:42 | More by jsh420
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
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
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Big Bison Ale from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
85 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.