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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.
very good

141 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.83%
Wants: 2
Gots: 8 | 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: 141 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spointon


4/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

11-13-2010 07:20:52 | More by spointon
Photo of jrallen34


3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

10-16-2010 17:23:50 | More by jrallen34
Photo of zeff80


4/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

08-28-2010 03:30:54 | More by zeff80
Photo of OlRasputin989


4/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

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


3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Who would have thought a Belgian would come from a craft brewery in Missouri? 12 ounce bottle. I really like the label on this one. Nicely done. Pours a rich mahogany with little to no head. Great color. Aroma is of raisin and fig. The beer presents itself in a straightforward manner. Roasted barley up front, mild sweetness in the middle, and light bitterness at the end. Some heat in the finish due to the high alcohol content. Some spiciness abounds throughout. Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, etc. Honestly it feels like it could benefit from an infusion of amped-up Belgian yeast - it's usually one of the first things I taste that makes a Belgian a Belgian, and it's just not here, at least not a strong enough presence. Don't get me wrong - it tastes good but it lacks the complexity I like in beers of this style.

07-10-2010 23:32:17 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of jsh420


2.42/5  rDev -35.6%

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

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


3.7/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

05-10-2010 14:04:33 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of matjack85


2.78/5  rDev -26.1%

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.

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


3.65/5  rDev -2.9%

This is their better beer. Pours, unfortunately, a filtered brown color. The aroma implies sweet raisin, spice, and caramel. The taste reveals a pleasant sweet caramel maltiness with a cinnamon and nutmeg spice note. While I would consider this a lackluster example of a Dubbel, it's still a good beer.

03-26-2010 03:21:40 | More by brownbeer
Photo of BeerMePlze


4.7/5  rDev +25%

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!

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


2.95/5  rDev -21.5%

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.

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


3.83/5  rDev +1.9%

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!

03-10-2010 18:22:46 | More by sweethome
Photo of jwinship83


2.83/5  rDev -24.7%

12oz bottle with no freshness information drank out of my st bernardus chalice.

A- this one pours out a clear brownish red colored body with a small khaki colored head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind a wall of lacing along the edges of my glass.

S- the first thing i notice is how sweet this one smells. lots of sweet bready and fruity malts. mostly plum, raisin, fig, and apple. there is also some cinnamon like spice in here, which seems out of place.

T- the taste is different compared to all other dubbels ive had, and not in a great way either. that cinnamon like spice i could smell comes back in a big way. the bready malts take a distant back seat to it. the fruit i could smell is back, but not nearly what i was expecting it to be. there is also a lot more alcohol than i was expecting.

M- light bodied and thin. very highly carbonated. small warming from the alcohol. about what i was expecting given the style.

D- i found trouble getting to the bottom of this one, and i dont know what ill do with the rest of my six pack. the cinnamon smell/taste kind of ruined it for me.

03-07-2010 03:03:04 | More by jwinship83
Photo of emerge077


4/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

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


4.25/5  rDev +13%

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.

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


4.38/5  rDev +16.5%

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.

05-11-2009 14:07:17 | More by Vancer
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Big Bison Ale from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
85 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.