1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
84
good

156 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.90% 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -19%
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.

TMoney2591, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of acevenom
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.

acevenom, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Catching up more reviews from notes.

Draft pint while in St. Louis.
Clear, reddish brown color with thick tan head of foam. Good retention, sticky rings of lace on the glass. Smell of caramel toffee and dark fruits.
Taste has deep flavors of raisin and plum. Very nice malty sweetness, with a bit of spicy yeast at the end. There was a strong maltiness with a touch of yeasty spice. A touch of alcohol warmth. A great sipper. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium body, crisp and dry finish despite the sweetness. A very enjoyable brew, my first from Crown Valley.

BigBry, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of sendbeer
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

sendbeer, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of woodychandler
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.

woodychandler, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of
4.75/5  rDev +27%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of Trulius_Slackerus
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Trulius_Slackerus, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Honeycutt
4/5  rDev +7%

Honeycutt, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of tone77
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.

tone77, Oct 12, 2012
Photo of mtlasley
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

mtlasley, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of JustinRB
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

JustinRB, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of Moby
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Moby, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of Slikpitt
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Slikpitt, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of Oakenator
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark brown-amber pour. Filtered and clear. Minimal head and retention. Bottle indicates raison and plum - smells more like a prune and the taste definitely brings that flavor. Strange bitter aftertaste; different but a nice change of pace. I have preferred other beers flavored with raisins.

Oakenator, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Skycarp33
4/5  rDev +7%

Skycarp33, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Blind
4/5  rDev +7%

Blind, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of FreshZ
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

FreshZ, May 15, 2012
Photo of HarmonMW
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

HarmonMW, May 14, 2012
Photo of BrewCaveDweller
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

BrewCaveDweller, May 10, 2012
Photo of jadpsu
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.

jadpsu, May 10, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

HopHead84, May 09, 2012
Photo of soju6
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.

soju6, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of poopsmitherson
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

poopsmitherson, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of enfield249
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a copper red in color. The bottle was a gusher, and there is a about 1 fingers worth of foam that sticks around on top of the beer.

S - I get malt and some spicy hop aroma.

T - This tastes for all the world like a barleywine. More hop flavor than I would expect from a Dubbel, but all the malt flavors and spice of a dubbel.

M - Medium to full. Lots of CO2.

O - Not a bad beer, but seems to be off style.

enfield249, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of TrentW
5/5  rDev +33.7%

TrentW, Jan 16, 2012
Big Bison Ale from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
84 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.