Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels) | Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

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Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels)Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels)
Very Good
16 Ratings
Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels)Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels)

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

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by LambicPentameter on 05-22-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 4
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating that I can find on the bottle. I've never had regular-old Big Bison, so I don't have much of a comparison to go by. I think this also may be the first wine barrel-aged dubbel that I've had the chance to try. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy orange-brown hue with some slight hints of clay red where the shadows lurk within the glass. Atop the body rests a khaki head about a finger thick, with foam that is fluffy with small champagne-like bubbles. That said, they have considerable more retention than champagne bubbles, hanging around for several minutes and never completely fading away, leaving a healthy permafilm that's maybe a quarter to half finger thick. It only starts to disappear after I start drinking the beer. Lacing is sticky, but sparse.

Smell - Notes of brown sugar and some nuttiness is present, but the overwhelming aroma seems to originate from the wine barrels that this beer sat in, with characteristics of red table wine and pinot noir--I honestly think that I might be fooled into thinking this was a strange wine if I was blindfolded and it was put in front of me.

Taste - Here, the beer characteristics are a little more present than with the smell, with that brown sugar and some hazelnut coming through a bit more strong, as well as notes of baking spice that is sometimes common in dubbels from the yeast. However, the wine must elements are very strong again and ultimately overpower the base beer. At this point, they lend a slight tartness to it, almost like cheap fruit wine. As it warms, the tartness is less pronounced, leaving a decent dubbel with vinous elements.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied (for the style) and with moderate carbonation. Fruity, slightly sweet finish and a body that is a bit watery compared to my expectations.

Overall, an okay beer. It wasn't difficult to finish the whole bottle, but I certainly won't buy it again. It did, however, pique my curiosity for regular Big Bison, as I'm interested to see how the beer tastes without any time in barrels.

 2,110 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Smokesnotes
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really liked this beer. To me, it tastes exactly like a Russian River Consecration where the sour has been removed. I'm not sure what type of wine barrels this was aged in, but a lot of cherry came through in the flavor. Its pretty smooth, good body, overall I'm very happy I was able to get a bottle.

 301 characters

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Faroveryonder
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Pegasus
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Reddish amber in color, with a bit of haze. Overall, the color seems rather light for the style. The head is quite modest, scarcely more than paper-thin upon pouring, and soon settles to a swirl on the surface that slightly resembles an aerial view of a tropical storm. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising.

Aroma: Barrel Aged Big Bison is noted as "ale aged in red wine barrels". I have found that the effects of barrel aging on beer often range from subtle to scarcely perceptible. This is surely not the case with Barrel Aged Big Bison. The red wine aroma is very strong, such that the aroma could easily be mistaken for red wine in a blind test. Sweet vinous alcohol offers significant appeal as well. Lots of fruit notes are present: wine grapes, ripe plums, figs, and bitter apples.

Taste: Opens with tangy fruit: tangy grapes, plums, green apple rind , and tart cherries. As the taste progresses, some sweet vinous alcohol present, along with tannic grape skin notes. Little of the classic Belgian yeast flavors seems to be present, the dark fruit notes, and hints of earth are largely absent. Late in the taste, woody notes appear, as well as a surge of red grapes. Finishes with a long, dry red wine note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft and very full, with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Really excellent, perhaps not quite to style, being more of a red wine, than a Belgian Dubble, but very enjoyable, nonetheless. Seems perfect for a cool Sunday afternoon in early June, where thunderstorms and rain have offered a glimpse of autumn days to come,

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber bottle, sealed with a pry-off crown. Served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

 1,734 characters

Photo of bundy462
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of zoober911
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dsalmons
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Barrel Aged Big Bison." Ale aged in red wine barrels.

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded red/copper pry-off pressure cap.

6.90% ABV. IBY: 23. Reviewed live as a red wine barrel aged Dubbel per the label. Served cold into a Jester King stem-goblet at high altitude in Austin, Texas. Expectations are above average; the premise is appealing.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: It never forms a full head, but a bright grey (or "ecru" for the pretentious) thin floater bubble mass does stick around for maybe twenty seconds. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Fairly vibrant tangerine-red with amber hues. Translucent but largely nontransparent. Ripe-looking. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not a unique or special appearance for a dubbel, but it's unusually bright. I'm curious to try it.

AROMA: As promised on the label, fig jumps out. But so do other dark fruits as well as some caramelization: grape, white prune, grapeskin, appleskin, and an untowardly bitter rindy fruit note. The malt foundation is overly neutral and too easily imposed on, letting the fruit overwhelm the base and providing ill-enough sweetness. The yeast profile is too clean, failing to evoke a true Belgian vibe - at least consistently throughout the aroma. The depleted drained feel of the fruit leaves me thinking this would age quite poorly.

Barrel-wise, it's quite lacking; I get no rich white oak and no red wine (aside from the light grape note).

Overall, this fails to really evoke a dubbel and the aroma suggests a weak thin brew. I'm cautious...

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Overripe fruit dominates, lending it a young weak character. Syrupy cherry, mild raisin, young grape, ripe grapeskin, a hint of appleskin, maybe some pale prune. It comes off tasting like a cheap fruited wine aimed squarely at the homeless demographic overall; I might even say it reminds me a bit of Mad Dog 20/20. It just tastes depleted, like all of the interesting character has been sucked out of the fruit. It's on the sweeter side, sure, but the malts don't provide much of that sweetness - or any flavour, really. And it has insufficient body as a result; this is - as I feared - a thin, weak, almost watery dubbel which lacks heft and weight on the palate. Its ripe depleted feel doesn't do it any favours.

Fairly shallow. Has average duration and intensity of flavour. There's no Belgian feel to it; I wonder what yeast they used? Trappist yeast's vitaminy spicy delicate touch is nowhere to be found. If there's anything I like about this brew, it's the toasty fig note. But that's not enough to save it.

The barrel hardly comes through at all; I pick up on no red wine notes nor any rich oak. Disappointing, but then there's nothing in the base that warrants accentuation.

Far from complex or subtle in a general sense, let alone enough so that it could even begin to hold a candle to Trappist Dubbels. It's not intricately built, the balance is off, and the texture isn't delicate or fragile like it is in the best beers in the style (e.g. Westvleteren 8).

I don't much care for it.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, scratchy, or dragging. This texture fails to elevate the beer, and barely complements the taste. Needs serious work.

OVERALL: A big letdown of a Dubbel. The premise is great; red wine barrel aging could work great if done to the right base Dubbel. I wouldn't purchase it a second time, and I'm reticent to try the base beer (which I bought prior to trying this barrel aged variant). I'll have to be careful when buying beers from this brewery in the future. It's not undrinkable, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

High C

 3,763 characters

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3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of rspauldi
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

Barrel Aged Big Bison (Wine Barrels) from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 16 ratings