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
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 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 karengarys
2.34/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This pours hazy tannish straw color, nice fluffy foam that sticks to the glass.

It smells strange. Sour lemonaide? Not sure, just odd.

Taste is very odd too. Sour lemonaide with malts and bitter stuff and sour stuff and wierd spices and a chemical and seltzer and... it is like a cluster.... um.... a messed up concoction. I don't know where it is going and don't care to find out.

Mouthfeel is pretty good if you can live through all that. Kind of refreshing coarse and dry and bubbley.

Finish is bitter asprin. and it lingers. Eegh.

Not my idea of a brew. I would pass on this if offered again, and when I see it on the shelf, I know to avoid it.

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Photo of ccrida
2.46/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip. Bison's Belgian Ale is gold with a large white head that leaves fairly heavy lace.

Smell is coriander and a bit soapy. Way strong citrus.

Taste is also a spice bomb, heavy coriander. The lemon notes accentuate the sweetness, but the spiciness is overwhelming for me. I'm not impressed.

Mouthfeel is dry, with a sharp, lingering, spicy finish.

Drinkability is on the lower side, I really dislike beers that are so obviously spiced, all I can taste is coriander. This even overshadows the fact that their brand is generally value priced. When the beer isn't good, even the low price doesn't make it a value.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Apricot in color with little to no large white bubbles for a head and low slow carbonation. Fruity almost orange peel aroma but smells very artificial ... strange considering this is organic :-). Very similar flavor with a light alcohol note on the finish; more like a wit than a tripel. Light-medium bodied and flat.

Sub-par tripel and sub-par wit. Pass.

Per Label: "Since 1989" & "Tripple-style ale with Belgian candi Systals, Organic Cascade hops" & "Brewer's reserve" (per sticker on cap)

Per Bison website: Ground Coriander

Tasted: 03/24/06

($4.99 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.7/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light amber color, poured into a snifter. Head is thin but has a slight fluffiness, though it doesn’t last long.

Smells of alcohol, candy, and hints of coriander. A second, deeper sniff reveals a nostril-burning smell of alcohol.

Upon first sip, tastes of fruit, and comes close to being syrupy and cloying. However, a dry, spicy finish keeps it from completely coating the tongue in an unpleasant manner.

Leaves a nice lace in the glass, but alas, an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth.

All in all, not my favorite representation of this style, but passable.

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Photo of cbl2
2.71/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

8/28/2006 $4.00 22 oz. 8.10% No best by date.


Pours a hazy glowing orange with an inch and a half of large white foam that takes a rather long time to settle leaving a nice lace behind.


Odd mild fruitiness with some muted undertones of yeast. Alcohol is masked entirely by the fruit, but I'm not sure that's a good thing.


Coarse mouthfeel with odd fruity esters accompanied by some pungent spicyness. Medicinal finish with hints of the alcohol appearing. One of the least undesirable Tripel's I've ever sampled.

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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 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 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 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 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 hopdog
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes from a 22oz/bomber bottle.

Poured a medium and cloudy yellow color with a small sized white head. Spicy and fruity aromas. Tates of the some spiciness and fruitiness. Some apples.

I joted down that this was an OK tripel, but no where near the quality of a Belgian.

Notes from 12/7/04

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Photo of rudy0908
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of bruachan
3.01/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle says it's brewed with coriander. i'm inclined to agree

aroma is mostly coriander with a nominally malty hint

pretty good looking beer: pale amber with a respectable head with big bubbles that leaves likewise respectable lacing

taste is very weak. coriander and some other vegetable up front with just an indication of flavor afterward. did they use a belgian yeast for this? mouthfeel is thin

this sat on my shelf for a little while; shoulda let it stay there

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Photo of beerguy101
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange gold color. Small white, quickly dissipating foamy head. Aroma is fruity and spicy. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are fruity and sweet. Oranges, apricots and peaches are the predominate fruit flavors. Slightly spicy, with a touch of coriander and slight hint of candi sugar. Very smooth taste. No hint of the 8.1 % alcohol. I’m not sure if I would call this a ‘tripple”, it a toned down Belgian style ale. It has a lot of the Belgian character to it, but they are way to mild. It needs to be kicked up a notch! Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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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 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 DogFood11
3.09/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip it forms a lackluster white head that falls to a thin layer. Golden body has slow rolling carbonation.

Initially I thought this was a belgian pale but after it warmed it showed some more tripel characteristics. There is an on going light fruitiness that follows your taste buds from start to finish. This has some lagery characteristics. Raw grain, spent grain and a husky backer. Moderate level of all spice and a bit of pepper.

Notes: All in all its a bit thin and an average attempt at a style that so far has been best left to Belgium. I'm sure there is a tripel that can compare that is brewed here but I've yet to find it.

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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 BEERchitect
3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Predictibly similar to most American Brewed Belgian beers. All American (local) ingredients, but with a Belgian-ish yeast. The ingredients really don't come together in the same way that the vernacular Belgian ingredients do. There is nothing really missing, but the beer doesn't really come together. It has a brightly colored yellow with a mild haze and abundant carbonation. The head retention falls short, but the aromas are peppery, spicy, estery, fruity, and malty. Tastes sweet with peaches, pears, candy sugar, and pilsner malts. The beer remains bready and cookie-dough-like. But there is a grainy / bite-ey catch in the back of the throat. The smoothness gives way suddently midway through the sip. This leaves the body breaking up and the finish astringent. The hotness of the alcohol follows up in the aftertaste and muddles the drinkability. Though I may not buy many of these, I'm not going to turn my nose up at it either.

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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 Westsidethreat
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dull golden rod, clean and ripe. Head fell quickly but a solid ring and patchy off white ripples across the top of the glass.

S: Tutti frutty, white grape and coriander.

T: Up front orange blossom, honey, vanilla creme. Coriander moves in a bit aggresively. Bit over spiced IMO, dominates the ambience. Finishes dry with a dirty, earthy aftertaste. Cloying sugars stick to the palate long after the sip.

M: Full bodied, syrupy and sticky.

D: Not really that balanced. Bit too sugary and seasoned for my tastes. Started out ok but getting to the bottom of this bottle is going to be difficult.

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