Bison Organic Belgian Ale | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Belgian AleBison Organic Belgian Ale
62 Ratings
Bison Organic Belgian AleBison Organic Belgian Ale

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 12-01-2003

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 57
Reviews by BrewMaster:
Photo of BrewMaster
4.16/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 19 oz crystal sniffer. This beer is just glorious in appearance. A beautiful golden orange color with equisite dancing carbonation coming from all sides. A perfect 2 cm white head that has the best head retention on any beer I've ever had. I drank this one slowly and after an hour and half there was still a thin head on top. The 2 cm head lasted for at least 30 minutes. Sweet sassy molassy, it is pretty. The head is made up of very fine bubbles that make it look so creamy but keeps it stiff. It was artwork in a glass.

Smell: True to the tripel style aroma. Lots of corriander, citrus, pear, sour Granny Smith green apple, a touch of alcohol and some very light lavender and cinnamon scents. Very pretty. Something about the aroma makes me think of very clean water high up in the mountains. They could have used the tap water in Berkley to brew this beer for all I know, but it smells great nonetheless.

Taste: My first thought was that this beer is not what I expected from the color and aroma. This beer is very malty up front. There is some puckering sourness to start followed by tasty notes of light spices and sweet fruit flavors. The fruit flavors are mostly Granny Smith apple flavors along with pear-like wateriness and white grape juice. There are some floral characteristics to the flavor as well but they are very light and more like a perfume. The beer is sweet and oddly sour in the same way as a good, fresh apple. There is a very slight touch of bitterness on the end that sits in the rear of my tongue. Also, as the beer warms up the fruit flavors come out a lot more. The spiciness subsides and it is mostly fruity. Very tasty all around.

Mouthfeel: This beer is grainy and sandy but ever so smooth. The texture makes this beer very enjoyable as it waltzes across the palate. It also leaves a good apple-like aftertaste that is sweet but not sticky and annoying.

Drinkability: If I was looking for a good and readily available tripel I would gladly buy this one again. It's very well balanced and easy to drink. It's also one of the best looking beers I've ever seen so I might just buy it again for eye candy!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a not so tripel looking dull golden with not much head to speak of no haze and no blooming head.Big coriander nose almost nothing else,after grinding some coriander seeds for chili just a half hour before this smells nearly identical maybe a touch of smoke in there as well.Flavors as well with big coriander tones and smoke with a hint a light hint of apricot.Whoo this should be labeled Bison coriander spiced beer because its dominant to much so,wont drink again.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.89/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The body is “flat soda” orange and light. That’s OK, but what’s not OK is the complete lack of carbonation. This is supported by other BA reviews, so I don’t think I got a bad bottle.

Smell – Very sticky sweet, spicy malts lead the way here with a nice hop balance. It’s the fruits though that run this show. The orange and peach in particular stand out. Otherwise, it’s a bit yeasty at times with some big coriander and white pepper.

Taste – The bitter orange almost reminds me of a pale ale. This is very well-balanced. I enjoy also the spicy malts and complex fruiting along with that sharp candy-type of sweetness. There are some nice watermelon flavors in there too, which you don’t find very often.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied and very exciting in the mouth, due mostly to the spices. I didn’t care for the lack of carbonation, though. On the other hand, I liked that little alcohol sting. It was just right in my book.

Drinkability – I’m not going to can this review just because it’s uncarbonated, mainly because all the other components of a good Abbey Tripel were present. It was a distraction, though, I must admit.

Comments: This Abbey Tripel had almost no nose until it warmed. Take your time rating this one.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, brewer gives us no indication of freshness...Pours cloudy lighter peach, under an initially crazy huge off white head, that slowly dissolves to merainge and again slowly to a thick film and loads of stickage on the glass. Plenty of orange and coriander in the pungent nose. I get notes of pepper, coriander, oranges, and Belgian yeasty phenolics, but things just seem to be a bit of a crazy and hazy mess here with fruit, yeast, and then quite dry and citric hops kicking late. An ambitious beer, that is close but not quite there.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.12/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden Straw color, white rocky head with bubbles actively rising.
Aroma-yeasty with a whiff of cotton candy, a dry champagne-like smell.
Mouthfeel-very carbonated, some biscuit flavors, essence of white grapes. An astringent tartness, not sour. A froth on the palate releases a dry sweet acidic flavor. Champagne like finish. Not listed as a dubble or tripel, this regular Belgian tastes OK, but is a little thin on body. I have enjoyed one other offering from Bison and I dig, this is good and I admire their organic brewing style.

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Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Didn’t taste very Belgian to me. It does have a decent amount of candy sugar flavour, but theres too many floral US hops to be calling it Belgian. The result was a little sweet, and a little odd. But, its drinkable, and interesting its own i suppose, , yeah.... not bad.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.47/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 25 oz or 22 oz bottle into a small tulip glass. The beer was a light golden color with a slight white head that disapated quickly. The aroma of this beer is a dead ringer for corriander and I also got a bit of hops but not that strong. The taste is more of the same with corriander on my tongue and also a bit of malty goodness but not that long lasting making the body rather thin.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.1/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a golden orange with a disappointing white head that melts very quickly to very, very fine lacy. Very un-tripel of it.
Aroma is sweet fruit...light tropical, pineapple, mangos...but sweet, almost cloying.
Taste is sweet and light,...again almost tropical fruit...oranges, mangos, pineapple, maybe a little light banana.
Aftertaste is slightly cloyingly sweet with a slight citrus bitterness.
Mouthtaste is full, but not like a traditional tripel...the creaminess in this beer comes from the sugary sweet malts rather than the carbonation.
A decent beer, but not a tripel in my mind. More the color of a tripel without the wonderful carbonation and almost the sweet cloyingness of a dubbel.
I doubt I will visit here again.

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Photo of jbosborn
2.96/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber from BevMo.

Pours with only a couple millimeters of head. Give it a good swirl and the side of the glass is painted with a white froth, leaving dabbles of a thin lace once you stop swirling. Uniform color, like tan leather, catching only a little bit of light. No active carbonation visible.

Very little smell despite best efforts to release aromas. Fresh, sweet, and light smelling.

Sweet, fruity taste but not too sweet. Goes down like a light beer. Not much flavor. Is my nose stuffed? Tastes a little flat too.

Glad it's organic but I won't be quick to buy it again. Compared to most beers with an 8% ABV, this one is very easy to drink due to its low flavor and smell - maybe this is what the brewer was going for - doubt it. I'd give it another try on tap.

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Photo of asabreed
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Not much carbonation, not much head retention, and a golden yellow color to the body.

Smell: A headful of floral candi sugar without a lot of phenolic backing. I'm not sure if it's the age or what, as there's not date on this, but there's certainly none of that Belgian quality and funkiness coming through at all. Still, the floral and sugary nature, still, is somehow inviting minus the wished-for complexity.

Taste: A nod from the aroma, with sweetness and floral candi sugar qualities coming to the forefront. Some interesting floral sourness, possibly from some citrus-laden hops, are also coming through a bit. Again, nothing great, but coming through without everything that, maybe, a Belgian should stand for, at least in the opinion of someone who hasn't had a fresh brew over there.

Mouthfeel: Not much carbonation and a lot of thickness from probably all the sugar.

Drinkability: The highest rating as far as I'm concerned; this hasn't been an awful experience, though it hasn't been much of a gem. I wouldn't buy anymore than a bottle if you're sampling, but I always love a domestic that's willing to try, even if it falls shorter than what, I imagine, was anticiapated.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks kind of scary: weak head that disappears instantly, the color of watered-down apple juice (as opposed to the milky golden yellow I like to see in tripels), and bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass more like soda than beer.

Aroma is fruity: apples, pears, peaches, with coriander showing itself. More sweet than spicy, with a hint of alcohol and yeast coming through. Seems true-to-style in this department.

The flavors are enjoyable and unsubtle, if unspectacular, with the faint coriander spiciness mingling with an apple-pie sweetness. Malt, yeast and hops palpable and doing their thing. Belgian candi sugar? You bet. As with most tripels, its use as a prime ingredient is obvious.

Despite a nice dry finish, there's a watery mouthfeel and a strange sour aftertaste. This lets down the experience.

I love this style very much, but Bison just missed the bullseye with their attempt. I can take an unattractive-looking ale if it tastes great and feels good in the mouth, but in these respects this doesn't match the finer Belgian examples it tries to emulate. It's not a complete loss at all, though. It would do the trick if it were the only tripel I could find, but it's not, so I'm not super-anxious to pick it up again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully poured, Bison's Organic Belgian Ale delivers a beautifully clear, golden-orange body beneath a short but creamy head of bright-white foam that dissipates quickly but still manages to leave some nice lace about the glass. Coriander is clearly evident in the nose, backed by some honeyish malt and notes of citrus rind. It's somewhat dextrinous and smooth across the palate; although it's very-fine bubbled, natural carbonation initially lends a light zest to the tongue. Fruit dominates the flavor once a quick sprinkling of spice has passed, with notes of peach, apricot, orange, and a subtle hint of lemon. (And the actual flavor from the grain is very nice... they must be using some good malt!). It's sweet, but not overly so; and the spice is nicely balanced to lend both flavor and a bit of zest. The bitterness is kept to a minimum, as it should be, and the spice helps to balance its sweetness and usher in a raspy, dry finish that lingers with coriander and a drip of honeyish malt. It's clean throughout; and there's no hint whatsoever of the 8.1% abv. A bit more complexity would be nice, and the lack of head retention is a bit disappointing; but overall this is a really enjoyable beer with a rich character and a good deal of drinkability.

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Photo of mrgrandefromage
2.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw color, with a wimpy head. Closer in appearance to a Budweiser than any Belgian I know of. Maybe my nose is off tonight but I don't smell anything. It is however very flavorful. Tangerine, spices, honey... I like it, but there is NOTHING Belgian about it, hence the low scores. The best offering from Bison that I have tasted. But that is faint praise.

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Photo of Troyone
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a blond color with an apple juice hue and minimal head with some carb action.

A light bready malt smell with perfume hops and hints of butterscotch.

A light sweet and acidic cookie dough malt; perfumy, lemon, and lime hops; with hints of vanilla and cola.

A light body, dry to slightly syrupy texture, soft carbonation, and a chalky finish.

Drinkability is ok there seems to be a slight musk in the finish.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.3/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (shared with Capflu, DumDum and Lubière): Poured a light golden color ale with a small head without much retention. Floral aroma with weak Belgian yeast. Taste is a mix between some coriander, a bit of candi sugar and some subtle floral malt. Body is definitely too thin and this beer lacks character. Thanks Lubière.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.08/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy pale golden with foamy pools and a little stick. The nose has some tart fruity esters matched with some light flowery hops. Starts off with a noticeable mild sweetness and mellow all around. The “tripel” characters seem to be subdued allowing some of its spicier characters to be more prominent. A little too watery and dumbed down taste at times. Spice reminds me of pink rose peppercorns, hot effervescent yet sweet and flowery. More taste reveal notes of hay, husk, a little grassy, and some citric notes. Mouth is a little thin for my liking. The finish is dry and bitter but starting off with some floral fruits. Overall... not enough “TRIPEL”, didn’t peak any interest worth buying again.

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Photo of theopholis
2.72/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- Pours a fairly clear golden/amber color. Fairly small head with no staying power and no lacing, but small bubbles continue effervescing for quite some time. Looks a lot like sparkling apple juice.

Aroma- Lots of a light fruity-malty sweetness with no hop aroma whatsoever. Some coriander, but it mostly smells of sweetness from apples and white grapes.

Taste- Does not taste nearly as sweet as it smells. Matter of fact, it tastes pretty sour with a very strong peppery taste through-out the pallet. I gotta say, the taste ain't real pleasing.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation. the carbonation is quite tight. Kind of a dry finish on the lips. Very interesting.

Drinkability- A Belgian fan might like this stuff. But for most of us German and U.K. beer drinkers, I wouldn't recommended it. Nice thing is, it's pretty cheap, so if you don't like it, you don't have to feel bad about committing alchohol abuse, which is what I'm doing with the rest of this bottle.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit milder than the average Tripel, which can get a bit rough around the edges at times. Nice level of sweetness, with some fruity notes that were not cloying. Smooth at the end, and the abv was not evident with any heat or pepper in the flavor. Drinkability was quite nice.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer after its emancipation from the 22-ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a shining clear gold color with the head portly in size and a creamy white with the residual lace a thin velum like sheet. Nose is slightly musty sweet malt, crisp and clean with the start modestly sweet and the grain profile adequate, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is biting in its acidity and the hops pleasantly spicy; aftertaste is desert bone dry with a slight hint of alcohol bitterness, a drinkable beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a flattish clear golden brew, looks like a Belgian trippel.

Smell is sweet with a scent of coriander and flowers. The bottle says there is a plum scent, I didn't smell that, just coriander and flowers.

Taste is sweet but not overly so. Mild coriander flavor and the flowers, tastes more like a Saison than a Belgian really. Fruit is there and is milder than most trippels.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty Belgian style brew, this is a good one for those that find most Belgians too sweet.

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Photo of marc77
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Oddly pellucid dark straw hue. Head recedes into a meager, porcelain - white collar. Foam wisps remain. Honey - drizzled lime and clove are upfront in aroma, with secondary notes of green apple and licorice adding somewhat medicinal depth. In flavor, incipient is a transient snap of crackers and honey, which then yields to a surge of citrus zest and herbaceous coriander. Moderate hop bitterness arises after a deliberation mid palate and nearly completely supplants malt sweetness, lending an agreeable, thirst inducing dry void. Thin in body, yet this only adds to the addictive drinkability. Finishes virtually bone dry, with trace phenol and vegetal, bitter melon hints. An odd, somewhat tame, yet dangerously drinkable tripel. A delayed, soothing alcohol warmth is the only indication of its strength. This could grow on you.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.88/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dirty gold, tiny head, whir of bubbles. Near placid after it settles. Nothing I’d see from far away and think was one of the Belgian classics.

Nose is dry with coriander and minimal yeast esters. Lightly perfumed, but does nothing to pull the drinker or keep him interested.

Taste is peppery spice with dry and bitey mineral and metallic notes. Not at all sweet. Hop bite tastes somewhat PacNW-like and seems out of place.

Strangely, the mouthfeel was also fairly out of whack with carbonation too apparent on the tongue despite its lack of physical evidence. This beer was a mistake and as such fairly undrinkable.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Nice but average looking ale, bright, clear golden yellow with a very small white head, that goes very quick. Aroma is spicy with what i pick up as dark honeyeish tones, slightly yeasty and curiously i pick up dry roasted peanut!!! Nice semi-sweet malty taste finished off by pepper like spices an some hint of dark fruits,lemon skin and clove. Its rather average on the palate but I think this helps out in a beer this strong in alcohol and flavour. Overall a nice beer, nothing fancy but drinkable.

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Photo of aracauna
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, true gold body with a fluffy, slightly sticky, white head that builds nicely and easily, but fades a little too quickly. The aroma is lightly spicy and has a touch of sweet straw malt. The flavor is lightly sweet, straw and cake malt, coriander and a bit of yeasty spiciness. The Belgian yeast character could have been a bit more promounced, although the alcohol is surprisingly well covered up. The flavor is also a little too quick to fade. Immensely drinkable though.

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Photo of Neehan
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light, hazy bronze body with a very thin head leaves no retention on the chalice. Minimal active carbonation is visible. Very yeasty and malty, with the malts more evident in the nose than in the mouth and the yeast the other way around. A solid beer and a good (not great) representation of the style.

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Bison Organic Belgian Ale from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 62 ratings