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Reunion '08 - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Reunion '08Reunion '08

Educational use only; do not reuse.

106 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 13.06%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Rye Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 02-13-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This year's version of Reunion is an organic red rye ale, featuring a malt forward character balanced by spice notes from the rye, caraway seeds, and hops.
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 118
Photo of hippityhophead24
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this the other night with a friend, but did not have my word notebook to take notes. These are taken from phone...

Pours a nice deep red color. Good two finger head with good retention and beautiful lacing all through out the glass until the last sip.

My friends said it smelled like some sort of cleaner or chemicals. I got that a tad bit, but I got more hints of red delicious apple with belgian candied sugars.

Taste was full of sweet malts, caramel, rye spiciness, could definitely taste the caraway seed. No bitter hops. Nice and malty.

Coated my mouth. Nice and smooth on the tongue. Not too much heat.

Overall this was a very delicious brew and was sad to take the last sip. I wish I could get my hands on more of this and thank my good friend Justin for sharing this with me and my good friend Jesse. If you get your hands on this, give it a try, I think it's a very interesting brew and worth trying.!

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Photo of Schmittymack
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a 22oz pilsner glass. Poured a reddish brown color with very little head and no lacing. On the nose, I got sweeter malt and nothing else. Taste was quite nice, however: caramel, sweeter malt, a touch of rye, and some spiciness with no hop bitterness at all in the finish. A very nice brew; wish I had another bottle or two.

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Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a random find @ Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA. 2008 bottle randomly on the shelf, weird. Let's see how 3 years of age has treated this.

Pours to a beautiful transparent, coppery dark red color with a light but creamy head formation.

Aromas begin with inviting sweet caramel malts and a surprisingly nice mild dose of spicy hops. Spice may also be from the rye malts. Lots of caramel maltiness though. This reminds me of that AleSmith 2006 Decadence I had a couple months back

The tastes begin with chewy caramel maltiness. Next I get the the flaked rye, which adds a mild spiciness to the beer. I get just a hint of the caraway seeds, which creates the allusion of a slice of fresh rye bread. A slight fruitiness is present; a small peppery hop bitterness rounds out the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a nice. Carbonation is slightly lower than I would like but it's not a major detractor.

Overall, this is a tasty red ale with an extra kick and a bit of added spice bite from the rye malts. I wish I had this 3 years ago when I bet the caraway and the hops were more predominant. A good beer but at this point it is past it's prime, not bad or spoiled, just was probably a higher quality flavor profile.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted malt scent along with some caramel malt sweetness and a touch of rye spiciness. The taste is decent as well. It has a bitter hop bite up front with some dry caramel and roasted malt character thoughout. The rye provides adequate spice as well as the caraway. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very drinkable ryew beer. It's malt forward with plenty of spiciness.

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Photo of bheilman
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark rich color with a decent head, but on the minimal side. The carbonation is nearly unnoticeable in the taste. The smell is earthy with a strong sweetness that doesn't quite remind me of malt so must be the rye influence. The taste is excellent. It hits all parts of your tongue with a rich caramel oak flavor followedd with just a touch of bitterness. It's pretty rich all the way through the aftertaste. It's a really drinkable beer. Definitely happy I picked this up and hope to get future ones. Glad to know the money's going to a good place too.

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Photo of drpimento
4.44/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

whoa, for some reason, surprisingly good. Poured with a smallish very light tan head and some lace. Color is a clear dark amber. Aroma is malty, spicey, a little sweet floral fruit, don't pick up the caraway. Ditto flavor except much more caramel & toffee there. Great body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor. Really easy drinking beer. Session for sure.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

.. 22 picked up Friday at Brewforia.. Shared with Brenda... Very little carbonation.. almost no head or cap... there is some CO2, but not alot.. the brew is a pretty deep amber.. very clear... pretty.

Bready.. caramel essence shows more than a caramel sweetness.. grassy hoppiness is pretty muted..

Flavor shows more rye than the nose.. toasty maltiness.. I get a little bit of caraway seed I guess, but I would have probably not identified it had I not been looking for it... nice and pretty dry mid palate through the finish.. the body is nice and medium... needs more carbonation.. this brew is seeming a bit dusty.. maybe too old.. Ehhh... glad I got to try it.


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Photo of mdwalsh
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as a random gift from my sister.

A: Red brown, offwhite 1 finger head fades fast. Decent active carbonation.

S: Rye and spicey/spicey hos. Minimal Malt

T: Nice spicey-malty-not-bitter going on. Rye is very much present. Fades to just more malt. Still no real hops.

M: Light bodies but creamy/smooth texture

D: Good, not my favorite but could develop into one, at least as a style.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beer for a good cause, Myltiple Myeloma a blood cancer that is currently uncurable. Every month new hopes are emerging for this devistaing cancer like drugs Velcade and procedures like Stem Cell Transplants that my father underwent recently.

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass

a: light brown with hint of red. thin head with slight retention

s: malt, rye, wood, light spice, and citrus

t: well balanced beer. caramel and rye provide a solid backbone. slight citrus and pine. slight spice

m&d: medium bodied, very drinkable. Not the best example of a rye beer, but a solid beer non the less.

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Photo of popery
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not quite sure why this bottle was put back up for sale at local stores recently. It's still quite drinkable, though. The beer is a shade between burgundy and garnet with a small white cap that fades quickly, at this point anyway. There's a healthy dose of rye in the aroma. It's spicy and sweet, like a light rye bread. There are also some interesting raisin-brandy notes floating around in there, possibly from the age of the bottle. The flavor is still quite clean, though the hops seem washed out. It's like a light specialty malt barleywine. There are brown sugar, brandy and caraway seed mixing together. It's a tad thin and this feel shows off the age a bit, but the beer has aged quite well given that it's not really a prime candidate for such. At any rate, it's better than expected and rather nice for an evening nightcap.

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Photo of Tomas77
5/5  rDev +38.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer.

This beer has a reddish hue to it with a small thin but everlasting head of foam. Fine looking legs stick well to the sides of the glass. Very pretty looking beer. A malty aroma of carmel and chocolate with some dark fruit notes and spicy overtones as well. This beer smells great. Like the bottle tells us it is very malt forward. The spiciness from the rye is balanced just right with the rest of the beers fine ingredients. Very sweet on my lips but finishes dry with spicy but never bitter aftertaste. Full body. Sweet malt coats the inside of my mouth followed by the rye. The spiciness from the rye may be hiding the hop but i'm sure those fresh looking objects made it in there somehow to help balance out everything just right. And it's being made for a good cause. Nice job Bison.

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Photo of hreb
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool 22oz bottle served in a curved Dogfish Head label pint glass. Beer pours a dark, chestnut-red-tinted brown with a thin, dark tan head, which falls quickly.

Beer smells like an IPA with a hint of caramel. First sip is pleasant, crisp, and refreshing, with a bitterness that rises before it falls. Tastes coppery, more like a red ale in the middle than an IPA. I'm thinking Palisades or Northern Brewer hops.

Unlike many other American rye beers, it's not a super high gravity IPA. However, I do taste the rye. Not so much the caraway, though. Then again, I do kind of want a corned beef sandwich with muenster, so maybe it's working.

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Photo of orsulacp
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber body with a tan creamy small head. The head stayed for the entire beer. The smell is nice, spicy rye bread, biscuit malt, and I can actually smell a little caramel. The taste is top notch, there is an immediate rye spiciness, then a real creamy, almost lactose like sweetness, the sweetness stays on my tongue until the slight carbonation clears it all up with a quick spicy rye bite. I really like the mouthfeel, not too thick, low carbonation, but just enough to release the spicy rye. A very drinkable beer, it gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of Florida9
2.85/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured noisy, large, viscous glugs from the bottle into my glass. Seems like trouble right off the bat. Light, reddish mahogany in color. Clear. Very minimal head reduced to nothingness.

S: Malt and light woodiness.

T&M: Sweet malt compounded by being undercarbonated, resulting in a cloying syrupy beer. Bottle indicates flavored with caraway, which was fully non-existent. Even the rye wasn't very strong. Virtually no hop character at all.

D: Just not a very good beer. Overly malty with nothing to counter balance the malt sweetness. Typically the rye and hop spiciness act to balance the beer, but not in this one. I drank it as a sipper, though I don't think beer was meant to be a sipper. Not so bad as to be a drain pour, but I won't be revisiting this one ever again. While I appreciate the cause behind the beer, I cannot appreciate the beer itself.

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Photo of Lars3
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first impression was "wow, this smells like grape juice." I'm not sure why, but for the entire duration of the beer it smelled like grape juice to me.

The taste was adequate, it was obviously a rye beer, and not a bad one at that, BUT I was really hoping for more caraway flavor. Mouthfeel was soft, with some strength on the back of my palate. Not too strong for a craft ale.

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Photo of TLove
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From Notes)

22 oz bottle picked up at Rodman's in D.C. Poured to glass tumbler.

Copper colored, with a medium to dark body with a decent head and nice lacing. Very grainy, but caraway seeds used in moderation, which is great (not averse to caraway taste, just averse to its often excessive use to add flavor). Surprisingly earthy, piney, and deep caramel. Spices are pretty dominant and fruits are subtle, yet strong. Pretty smooth on the back side and finishes very nicely for a rye. Taste is stronger than it seems, with a mere 6.5% ABV. Carbonation is mild and rolls over well for a rye beer.

Doesn't quite match up to my favorite rye beers, but this one is pretty damn good. And for $2.99, I would grab one again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it aggressively and it gave me a nice clumpy, bubbly light tan head that disappears quickly. The color is a transparent reddish.

The nose is bitter and woody. I am pleasantly surprised by the taste. The initial hop character is woody, almost like a strong barleywine (I'm thinking of SN Bigfoot). There are some delicate malts that are hiding just behind the strong hops but have enough presence to make the interplay interesting. The flavors are well-balanced in relation to each other, but I could have used more of both to make this a bigger beer, though.

Overall: Not bad, and it was pretty cheap, so I'm not disappointed.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

deep coppery amber, almost dark. gem clear under the light. 2-finger light tan head soon fades to thin layer with thin ring of lace left behind just from staying still before any sip is taken. the thin layer is constant. rest of lacing is great too.,

aroma: dark caramel, apple fruitiness, and mild to moderate floral hop notes, with faint citrus and pine. hint of... coffee? all a bit subdued though. touch of acidity towards the back?

taste: dark caramel continues in the flavor too, with faint acidity and spice note, possibly from the rye. hops are moderate with notes of pine and citrus rind, and almost fruity yet not. moderate bitterness. mild to moderate phenols in back in the finish. can't really pick out any caraway seeds however. coffee in the aftertaste?

medium body, relatively smooth, with touch of mild acidity and astringency in the finish, before smoothing out again. mild to moderate carbonation is tingly.

perhaps things have faded and this is past its prime. while easy drinking, its a bit unspectacular, and the caraway is pretty much undetectable.

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Photo of strengthdoc
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liquor Depot in Avon, CT had this on clearance for $1.99 for a bomber, so I had to try. There was a mild malt aroma with only a hint of rye. The color was light amber/orange. The taste was mildly sweet with a mild-moderate rye taste on the back of the tongue that added a bit of spice to it. There continued to be a rye taste in the finish and aftertaste.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a bomber of this for 99 cents.. nice clearance rack pick up.

Pours a mahogany color with a little head, small amount of lacing. Brewed with rye and caraway seeds.. not sure what the latter is but I'm sure it will have a unique taste to it. Taste can best be described as liquid rye bread, which is a good thing in my book. I've had rye beers in the past who kind of shied away on the flavor but this beer does not. Has a bit of an odd finish to it, not very smooth, almost hot alcohol like (and this is only 6.5% ABV). Good deal for under a buck and a nice, different taste to it but I'd be hard pressed to try more than one of these in a sitting, nice benefit for it too.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz screen printed brown bottle. Great idea for a great cause. Pours out a wonderful reddish-brown with a solid off white head that lasts.

Smell is overall very light. I pick up mostly malt with a bit of hoppy earthness mixed in. Something nutty comes through as well. Taste is better and actually takes me by surprise at how big it is. Its thick in the mouth which does take away from the drinkability. Very nutty and malty. I would never guess a Rye Ale as I don't get that dry, slightly sour note most Rye's have (which I love). Others have mentioned some chocolate notes and I get that. Very little hoppyness and the ending is a bit short.

A fun beer to drink for a good cause.

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Photo of far333
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber copper with a low orangey beige head that settles out quickly to a fine cap.

Aroma of floral and citrus hops balanced by brown sugar and doughey maltiness.

Flavor of caramel malt, cocoa, ripe fruit, floral and citrus hops, mild rye spiciness in the finish. Pepper and grapefruit pith also emerge in the finish. Cocoa flavor lingers and becomes more prominent, but does not mix well with the hops.

Even mouthfeel, moderate to low carbonation, tending toward slick.

Odd mix of cocoa and hops, they don't seem to go well together. This significantly limited the drinkability for me, could not finish the bomber.

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Photo of mltobin
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber purchased from Cork and Keg in Southbury, CT.

Poured into a tulip glass, a dense medium amber color with a thin circle of foam along the ring, no true head to this beer.
The smell has malt and some spice, but both seem faint to my nose. While the taste contains those dang caraway seeds they mentioned on the label, maltiness, with light hops also present on my palate.
I paired this with roast beef with sweet potato and green beans dinner, and though that they worked well together. I would serve this alongside other red meats or lamb.
Drinkability is pretty good, more appropriate as a beer to accompany a meal, than as a session beer.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Abe's Six Pack in PA. Rye beer, for a good cause, organic, whats not to like?

A- Pours a burnt cloudy orange/reddish bronze, with a creamy white 2-finger head, nice full lacing.
S- Smells of malts, earthy bread notes, a little rye, not as strong as other rye beers, not sure what caraway seeds are suppose to smell like
T- Lots of sweet malt, toasted bread, some spiciness, with a decent amount of hop bitterness (not as strong as some others)
M- Light-medium in body, with a smooth start and finish, creamy and smooth
D- Overall a decent rye beer, and its for a good cause, 1 or 2 of these would do.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep red amber with a gracious off-white colored head that readily dissipates to a sheet over the surface. Very clear with some signs of carbonation raising towards the top of the glass. Only minimal lacing was left in the glass.

It smells very malty and slightly spicy. I am thinking the caraway seeds lend it sort of a Belgianesque smell, but the spiciness of the rye is unmistakenable. Hints of yeast, but everything seems to play second fiddle to the malty aromas of the beer.

Wow, this beer is very malty, tastes almost like a creamy caramel. The carraway seeds definitely offer up a grassy flavor that I think pairs well with the spice of the rye. Finishes with just a hint of bitterness.

Medium bodied with what I thought was minimal carbonation. It is a creamy and smooth beer with a heavy malt backbone. I get a slight clench of bitterness in my jaws on the finish, but not so much as to detract from the beer.

Highly drinkable and pretty enjoyable, its 10:45 on Easter Sunday and it is going down extremely well. Grabted its not your typical brunch beverage, but I'm just warming up for the mimosas.

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Reunion '08 from Bison Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.