Bison Organic Belgian Ale | Bison Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 57
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of rudy0908
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -9.6%

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.

 660 characters

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.

 548 characters

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.

 779 characters

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

 294 characters

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

This is my first sample of a Bison Brewing beer. I like the label art, as well as the placard on the neck of the bottle advertising the brew as USDA organic.

Poured from the bomber into a chalice. Body is a peachy gold, with a very thin lacy film of a head.

Aroma is delicately sweet and fruity, as well as slightly hoppy. Hints of Belgian spices.

The flavor starts excellently, but finishes less so. Bits of hops, dark fruits, spices including coriander and pepper. Lack of yeast flavors. Watery and fairly thin and tart. I enjoy a less traditional take on the Belgian style, especially when that means working in hops, however this lacks the fullness and depth of the style (whatever that style is). Certainly not a bad beer, but it definitely falls short of being truly great or even really good.

 802 characters

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.

 304 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Belgian Ale by Bison pours a burnt orange color with no foam head and zero retention. It has the carbonation tunnel in which it rises from the bottom of the center of the glass to a button sized small bubble party in the middle of the chimay glass.

The aroma is fruity with some coriander that really comes through as the beer warms up.

The taste holds true to the style and has maltiness that lasts through the drink with some bitterness near the end and finish.

In the mouth it is a bitterness that sticks to the roof of the mouth and tongue. I felt it was heavy brew.

I found this a very enjoyable Tripel.

 618 characters

Photo of bboven
3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generic honey color with a slight haze that should be more pronounced if calling this a Belgian. No particulate.

Fruity with overwhelming hot alcohol and quite a bit of hops. If they weren't there, this would smell like a warm wine cooler. They definitely save the aroma. There is NO yeast in the aroma.

Also no yeast in the taste. Even if this was a Belgian Blonde (and I wish they would label it more distinctly to let you know the style. The hop aroma and flavor throws everything off (in a fun way) in this beer, making it very hard to rate. If BA had not said it was a tripel, I would just have to guess within the Belgian family. Even with no label, blind taste test, I could say Belgian, but those hops...

Pretty good mouthfeel, could use a bit more tongue-coating power.

I rated this highly drinkable because as a stand-alone beer, outside of style guidelines, it's tasty, warming and a great Belgian to introduce to friends who may be used to more hoppy Pale ales and the such. And at 3.99 a bomber and 8.1% , you get your money's worth to boot.

 1,058 characters

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.

 628 characters

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.

 535 characters

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.

 663 characters

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

Sampled May 2007
Absolutely brilliantly clear with a washed out cranberry tinged, copper color. The head starts out about two-fingers thick and is an almost white colored head. Quite fruity smelling with notes of orange zest, bergamot, a touch of kiwi, and Macintosh apples (though it mostly smells of bergamot). Actually bergamot is quite an apt descriptor as this definitely reminds me of the citrus notes in earl grey. Touches of earthy spice aromas also meld in to the aroma.

The flavor has an astringent spiciness to it in the finish that adds a bit of sharpness and ultimately provides a balance to the upfront, sweet orange peel flavors. Quite a bit sweeter than I would like, I almost thick that this beer has been heavily filtered, but it might have just have some very retarded Belgian yeast character. Very clean tasting, definitely too much so, but it is still fairly tasty. An earthy spiciness somewhere between coriander, menthol and dandelions.

The use of cascade hops is surely not very traditional (did they use citrus peel on top of this), but it is the lack of yeast character that keeps this beer from being great. Still it is quite tasty and definitely quite drinkable. This hides the alcohol fairly well, but after some time the alcohol becomes apparent in the aroma.

 1,296 characters

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.

 668 characters

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.

 1,011 characters

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.

 1,245 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.74/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always seems to be the problem with American brewers trying to replicate a tripel is that they can't get the awesome carbontion of the real Belgian delights. The honey amber color is tehre. But a long lasting, doughy head and thorough carbonation. The aroma is a nice candy-rific malt reminiscent of syrupy fruits. The taste is close to the smell but with more of an alcoholic burn. The taste is where we see a departure from a goo mimic of a tripel. The alcoholc isn't incorporated or hidden as well as its authentic counterparts. Very fruits and light hints of brown and candy sugary malts. No bitterness from the hops of course. Just the alcohol.

 649 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head, despite a vigorous pour; some lacing initially until the head fades

Smell: The coriander sure comes through along with some fruit but there is also some acetone that makes the overall effect unpleasant

Taste: We start out with an unusual first impression that is vaguely fruity and peppery, with an undertone of candi sugar; all of this is understated relative to what one would expect from a tripel; after the swallow, a surprising peppery spice comes through that is a combination of the coriander and the hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite its flaws (and it would do poorly in a homebrew competition if entered as a tripel), I found the beer rather drinkable; it's a combination pale ale/tripel that forges its own way; not particularly distinguished but not half bad

 881 characters

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.

 514 characters

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.

 721 characters

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

Poured from the pint plus 6 oz bomber, this beer goes into the glass a pale cloudy yellow “grapefruit juice” color with no bubbles. Not much of a head, just a smattering of white bubbles and no lacing. Nose is coriander, grapefruit juice, a slight hint of alcohol, and cascade hops; kind of a hoppy tripel. Taste is strong coriander and spice up front, with moderate bitter hops in the middle, and a good sweet malt balance coming in toward the end. This is the first tripel I’ve tried with a real hops presence. Mouth is semi-viscous; I found it a bitter thicker than the typical tripel. Drinkability is very good; this brew is smooth, refreshing, and tasty.

Overall: An interesting variation on the tripel style, hoppy and a bit more viscous than others I’ve tried. Definitely worth a try.

 798 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bison Organic Belgian Ale from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 62 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.