Reunion '07
Bison Brewing

Reunion '07Reunion '07
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American Brown Ale
3.9 | pDev: 14.62%
Bison Brewing
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reunion '07Reunion '07
Notes: REUNION is a collaborative beer created by Pete Slosberg & Dan Del Grande and inspired by Pete's original recipe to benefit The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research in LA. It's brewed with 6 different organic malts, 3 different hops and dry-hopped. 7.5% alcohol by volume. More information is available at
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 25 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by theopholis:
Photo of theopholis
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- A very deep red, more translucent than cloudy. Has a very good off-white head that dissipates slowly. Leaves behind a fairly substantial lace.

Aroma- Nice blend of aroma hop and citrusy sweetness.

Taste- Very mellow. Nice melange of malt sweetness, some hops and lots of citrus like sweetness. The balance between bittering and flavoring hops is quite nice. Not really sure this is what an American brown ale is supposed to taste like, but this taste quite nice. As it warms, the citrus sweetness moves into a citrus bitterness. Very cool.

Mouthfeel- The body is medium for a brown ale. The carbonation level is just right, and complements and brings out the flavors very well.

Drinkability- Quite drinkable. It's not a traditional brown ale, but it's the complete package.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer releases to the glass a clear brown with big ruby highlights, the head is ponderous in size and a creamy tan color, as it eventually fades away, the lacing provides a thick and sticky sheet to cover the glass. Nose is sweet with malt, caramel, and a pleasing touch of hop flowers, crisp and clean. Start has a decent malt presence, nut like sweetness, with a nice hop bite at the back, top feels moderate. Finish is sternly acidic, the hops provide a delightful spiciness, sweet till the end with a very dry lingering aftertaste, a nice drinking beer.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a rich brown hue, topped by a huge, foamy, off-white head that takes a while to subside. If you're impatient, apparently this isn't the beer for you.
Aroma of sweet roasted malts and a good bit of astringency. Palate starts off sweet, with lots of caramel malt and a touch of root beer flavor. Some hoppy bitterness emerges mid-palate, providing a nice contrast from the sweetness of the caramel malt. The astringent bite comes through just before the swallow. Finish is mildly sweet.
The body is a bit creamy, but there is a rather serious foam issue. You must be careful when drinking this one, or you may end up with an unpleasant mouth of foam. Overall, it's pretty drinkable, although it's not likely to become one of my favorites.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Quite well carbonated, the beer produces a four-finger thick, brownish tinged, tan colored head without even trying. The beer sits in my glass a dark brown color, but shows a bright, concentrated ruby amber color when held up to the light. The aroma is distinctly fruity and hoppy with notes of candied orange peel, grapefruit, raisins and figs. Underneath this are malt driven aromas of toasted malt, dusty cocoa powder, crushed soda crackers and browned caramelized brown sugar. The nose is a nice mixture of bright hop aromatics and malt character.

Sweet up front, the beer is made more sweet than it is by the citrusy hop notes. Towards the middle the beer becomes considerably drier, actually even a touch tart. It finishes with an astringent, roast grain character and an ample, green, hop bitterness. A bit on the fizzy side, but that is easily taken care of by a few swirls of my glass. The combination of the carbonation, the green hop character and the dark malt can at times be jarring; The flavors when taken individually though are quite tasty and character, so much so that this beer actually works more than it doesn't. The malt character is quite caramelized tasting, plus there is a significant dusty, browned malt / cocoa not here as well. An interesting beer, it is tasty, but it certainly be much more integrated than it is.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bloody caramel that becomes dark cherry when sunlight is added. A huge escape of CO2 led me to expect a large, airy cap... and that's exactly what I got. The four finger monster is pale brown sugar in color and looks like a sand dune sculpted by a strong wind. Thin sheets of sudsy lace have appeared on the glass, but they appear to be looking for an excuse to melt into nothingness. Subsequent pours leave more and more adherent lace.

Reunion smells like a hoppier than usual brown ale with no hint of the 'Imperial'ness that the brewery claims. Maybe it's simply the ABV that earns it that moniker. It's brown malty with an earthiness that smells like it's coming from hops rather than malt. Warming brings out the grapefruit and pine aromas of what I'm guessing is one or more of the C-hops.

This is good beer when all is said and done. I'm glad the brewers decided to add a generous amount of hops because the flavor profile needed another dimension to pull it out of the realm of ordinary. More hops don't improve every beer, just most beer.

The malt backbone is sufficiently sturdy (and alcohol is enough of a presence) for Imperial status to be bestowed. Flavors imparted by roasted barley include cocoa, toasted pecans and sweetened tobacco. Matching those flavors step for step, and surging ahead on the finish, are citric American hops. If this beer was inspired by Pete's original Wicked Ale, I would have loved to have tasted it back in the day.

The mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's along the lines of a big porter, or even some stouts, without being the least bit heavy. Actually, I can't think of any changes that I'd make, even if given the chance. The numerous bubbles have settled down to a great extent, while still volumizing the beer very nicely.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Reunion: A Beer For Hope. I'm glad to see that Bison and friends have created a delicious Imperial brown ale that a great many people should enjoy. More sales means more money toward research and, hopefully, more publicity. Not only will your money go toward a worthy cause, it will go toward a worthy beer as well.

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Photo of Zorro
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

WOW Talk about a furious foaming beer! Be VERY careful pouring this it needs no help at all in the head-forming department.

After some VERY tricky pouring I am rewarded with a clear reddish brown ale with a generous tan colored head. I am afraid that the overly active foaming cost this one a whole point in appearance.

Quite nicely scented and very aromatic for a brown ale. Sweet with a molasses scent to it there is a fairly strong medicine and herbal scent here I would blame on the patent malt and hops used. Fairly flowery scented and quite like a Belgian beer in that respect.

The taste starts malty with a good coffee and then patent malt flavors. Sweeter than I thought at first this has a chocolate flavor that I didn't taste at first. There is a generous amount of patent malt used here and it does give this a slight sour and acrid scorched taste. Definitely a beer for patent malt lovers, I would have preferred more chocolate flavor and more underlying subtle tastes.

The mouthfeel is good.

A one time specialty beer brewed for a good cause but as a drinker it is OK. This will never be brewed again but I would back off the patent malt a bit and added some amber malt and English style hops.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a nut brown dense body with a bit head of light tan foam that turns rocky and fades after a bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that rise up through the glass.

S- The notes of toasted malt and dark toasted malt have a slight sweetness and nutty note to them and they are pretty bold.

T- The flavor of dark toasted and biscuit malt make a good combination with notes of toasted nuts and dried fruit. There is a note of dry dark toffee and nougat in the background as the beer warms. The finish has a green pine resin hops with a bitterness that lingers after the sip. There is a slight toasted malt note that hangs on after the sip aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tiny fizz at the finish that boost the hops nicely.

D- This is a good solid brown ale with nice rich malt flavors and good roasted notes. They were inspired by Pete’s Wicked Ale and I think they have outdone Pete’s.

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Photo of sweethome
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You have to try this beer - the cause itself is enough...add in that it has roots in the original Pete's Wicked Ale - it helps that proceeds benefit Myeloma and bone cancer research.

This is an Imperial Brown - huge head on the pour - seems a bit oxidized from the pour - but this is one wild beer. The nose is an intense load of dry hopped goodness...and a bit wild. The mouthfeel is medium - come sweet maltiness flows out, but the intense bittering just takes over. There is plenty of malty goodness - but bam! the dry hopping kicks in to take control. The finish is again....wild.

Nice job - a beer that reminds me of some of the best hombrews that go big...gotta love the hops...and the cause.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.33/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

03/07/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a small code stamp on the bottle. Have no idea how to read it though. Poued into my Dead Guy Ale pint glass.

Appearance- Deep brown-caramel meld in color. Huge ass foamy large bubbled head. Infected? Dies down, but very slowly. Largest bubbles I have seen in a beer. On the bright side, it does leave behind some gigantic lace chunks. Still not the ideal appearance.

Smell- At first scent it smelled like a Dr. Pepper mixed with a root beer float. Odd for sure. Smelled some hop traces and some high roasted malt underneath.

Taste- This stuff is the ultimate in bitterness. I do taste some semblence of a brown ale underneath the extreme bitter hops, but not much. Just a light touch of caramel with some burnt malt. Very light fruit traces in the hop flavor, mostly just a straight up puckry taste. No balance here.

Mouthfeel- Because of the large bubbles and high carbonation, this guy was hard to get down without needing many massive belches.

Drinkability- I'm glad this one is towards a good cause or else most people wouldn't buy it. A bad mixtue of a few different styles.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy, brownish red with mild bubbling and a bilowy tan head of perfect three finger propertion and some sporadic lacing. The aroma was simply hoppy brownies with a slight dash of cheap coffee.The taste brought the west oast hops out much better. Almost gives these brownies with a dash of mint. Very interesting. Very tight and still lingering palate of the toasty and lightly roasty malts. Very easy todrink considering the abv.

Will a few more of these for two reasons...
1.)It tastes very good.

2.) Its for a great cause.

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Photo of westweasel
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer flowed fairly thinly into a pint glass. This beer foamed heavily upon pouring, which made me wonder if the bottle was completely clean when it was filled. The beer is clear with a dark mahogany, almost ruby-like color. I had about three inches of white foam on top.

The smell definitely has some citrusy hops in there. I was also getting some malty sweetness.

The taste was of dark brown toast, with some leomony bitterness.

The mouthfeel was light to medium, with a lingering bitter aftertaste that wasn't all that pleasant.

The drinkability was good. It tastes like a lower-alcohol beer. The strong lingering bitterness would probably prevent this from ever being associated with a session beer.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.2/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I feel almost unpatriotic, but I didn't care for this beer.
A soft pour produced a massive uncontrollable head of white foam that melted slowly but when it did, it died completely.
Aroma was brown, sweet malt and something funky I can't quite name, but not pleasant...distracting
Taste is sweet malt initially that gives way too soon and too heavily to bitter citrus hops and alcohol.
Aftertaste is bitter...
Mouth feel is thin.
Maybe I got a bad bottle...seems weird because it is so very, very fresh, just being released, but maybe I got a bad bottle.
I will pick up another one ('s for charity) and if my opinion changes I will re-do this review...
Nope...not good at all.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lots of malt aroma. Some hints of roasted malt but it's pretty much a background effect. Nice citrusy American hops too. Some fruity yeast esters too. All of it is very well balanced.

Good reddish brown color with a huge lasting head that leavs significant lacing. Pretty cloudy though.

Starts out very hop bitter but underneath is a good dose of roast malt and good sweet base malt. Mid palate is very malty sweet and then the finish is back to hop resin. The malt character is probably my favorite part. It's got some maple flavors to go with good plum yeast fruit flavors. I wish that flavor stuck around a little longer instead of being blown out by the citrus hops. Still pretty good for flavor though.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with very lively carbonation.

So close to being a great beer for me. A little more subtle hand with the hops (or less citrus varietal) and this would be great. But still pretty good and drinkable.

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Photo of rallison
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this was the longest pour I've ever dealt with. A good 15 minutes to pour 2 pint glasses from the 22oz bottle. A little excessive, no?

Once poured, it looks decent enough. Darker brown with a still quite foamy and fluffy tan head. Smells yeasty with a bit of bready malts.

Taste is actually not bad. Relatively simple, but enjoyable bready malts with a nice hop bite at the end. Sure, not complex. But enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is relatively rich for a brown (which I like), with a nice finish. Drinkability is good.

This is actually not a bad beer. And from Bison, a brewery I've always been disappointed by. Maybe not a world class brew, but a good brown.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves a crazy, big, foamy three finger-plus biege head that has excellent retention and leaves webs and webs of excellent sticky lacing. Body is the deepest possible brown. Beautiful to behold.

Smell - hearty aroma of roasted malt, maltbread, chocolate, tobacco, nuts, caramel, apples, and butterscotch.

Taste - as the nose promises. Hearty flavors of roasted malt, maltbread, chocolate, nuts, tobacco, caramel, apples, and butterscotch, and all washed through with a hint of lemon and finisihing with a citric hop bite.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, quite dry.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale, and it is sessionable.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with HUGE pillowy off-white head. Head was completely out of control. Huge.

Smells biscuity with toffee and nuts.

Roasty coffee and caramel flavor with an interesting spiciness. Not as much floral hop flavor as I remember from last time I tried it (when it was fresher), but quite tasty nonetheless.

Light to medium body, lighter than expected. Carbonation is okay but certainly has room for improvement.

A tasty beer that held up well, too bad it was only a one-time thing. I look forward to the '08 version.

Tasted on 3/30/08 from a bomber bought within the previous week at Binny's in Buffalo Grove. I thought it was the '08 version when I bought it. It didn't seem to suffer too much from the aging.

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Photo of jrob21
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of malcontent
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Massive, billowing head slathered atop a deep mahogany body. The humble brown has rarely looked so good.

Trace diacetyl frames soft hops, nuttiness and roasted notes.

Quite roasty for a brown, with a fun coffee/toffee interplay and an authoritative hop finish.

The same carbonation responsible for the beautiful head ends up hurting the taste receptors ability to pick up flavor at first. Still, rich and luxurious and the alcohol is not at all detectable. This drinks exceptionally well and while I like a good brown, this ranks as one of the few great ones.

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Photo of joe1510
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Bottle
Sam's Downers Grove

Reunion poured a crystal clear garnet into my pint glas. Big carbonation bubbles rise to the huge beige 3 finger head that formed on the pour. The head very slowly fell and got rocky as it did so. Didn't get much lacing until the hed fell to about 1 finger.

Smell is pretty interesting, not something I run into much. Has many of the brown ale qualities including a mild nuttiness and a soft enjoyable coffe bean aroma. The difference is a solid pine hoppiness. This beer smells really fresh, like a homebrew.

Flavor is much the same as the aroma. The nuttiness leads into a mild hop bitterness mid-palate and then the freshly roasted coffee beans come through on the finish. A creamy nuttiness accompanies the coffee. Moderate hop bitterness on the swallow that the creaminess quickly overtakes. I really like the way this beer transitions. Very smooth.

Medium bodied with a creamy finish. Moderate carbonation and solid hop bitterness leave the tongue awakened.

I could easily sit down and enjoy a few pints of this at a time. Easy drinker and tasty.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from this beer. It's my first from Bison brewing and after reading two of the earlier reviews they weren't really "glowing". Definitely a good beer. I wouldn't hesitate purchasing again when I'm in the brown ale mood. Making this beer taste even better is the fact it was brewed for such a special cause.

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Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Talk about a spewer! Been cellared for awhile (three years?) and decided to take it out and try it on for size. Lots of carbonation from the minute the beer bottle opener touched it and to the foamy head that poured. Had to wait a few minutes for the massive four-finger head to subside.

A: That frothy head really does it for me...simply beautiful. Looks like an ice cream float! Nice cloudy muddish-brown color.

S: I'm about two feet away from the glass and the smell are as deep as if I'm hovering right over it. Deep hints of molasses, slight cinnamon and raisin also creep forward.

T&M: Slight alcohol soaked raisin flavor upfront. Smooths down a bit with a cream flavor and then picks up with a coffee spike and then back down with the syrup aftertaste. Spiced lingering aftertaste with a slight warm feeling. Really nice aged Imperial Brown Ale.

D: would have loved to have compared it with the original at the time, but this one was very pleasant in it's cellared state. I probably wouldn't drink this in the same setting as it can be a bit too much at times, but as a one-sitting beer, this brew is great.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 40 degrees into a snifter. Picked up this bottle at 99 bottles in Federal Way, WA.
A - Deep Brown like a tootsie roll with a frothed tan head that allows plenty of lace to remain.

S - Strong chocolate and hop odors even when poured cold. Caramel and nutty light coffee aromas with a touch of alcohol in the nose.

M - A roasted creamy feel- each texture takes its turn, though and a spicy pepper woody hop bitterness follows.

T - The taste is similar to a robust porter, but not as sweet. Roasted flavors are showcased as well as more fruity tinges and toasted dry flavors. Sweet creaminess emerges later when the bite of some citrus and prickly hop bitterness shadows the malts. An element of dry woody tobacco-like sharpness is found in the taste mid-bottle. Pleasant noble hops are awakened with the gradual temp increase. The Reunion doesn't hesitate to show it's brawny side with the warmth making its way into the mix. A nice dry cherry taste lingers into the strong finish.

D - Full on brown that doesn't play around. Good toasty, chocolatey and coffee with plenty of hops to hold down the malt, not to mention a goodly amount of punch, for it is an "Imperial" brown ale. I recommend a Bacon Mushroom burger to pair with this big ale.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle that has sat in the beer cellar for a while this turned out to be a gusher. Upon popping the cap a big foam plug rose up out of the bottle. When I picked up the bottle to pour it went off like a volcano spewing about 10 oz onto the table. When carefully poured the remaining beer was almost all foam and all I had was a big glass of rocky head. After about 5 minutes it settled down to a inch of so and I could start to taste the beer. First the nose which was caramel malts and citrus hops. Nice rich mouthfeel, and light chocolate malts and grassy hops, leading to a nice bitter finish. Shame to only have 12 ounces left to drink after almost half of it flowed on to the table, but the money goes to a good cause and what beer was left was good.

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Photo of balconybrew
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle.
Sam's Downers Grove

Poured into a nonic. Poured a deep brown with a beautiful large thick head. The head fell very slowly and appeared rocky all the while sticking to to sides of the glass. Good head retention.

Aroma is slightly of piney/citrusy hop and chocolate/coffee malt and a bit nutty.

A bit carbonated, but the bubbles left the tongue awake and wanting another drink. (dry maybe?) The mouthfeel was typical to slightly heavy of the style.

This is my favorite style, so I could drink it all night long. Plus, it is for a good cause.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, murky brown with a thick, rocky head that refuses to die. Aroma of sweet malt, caramel, raisins, pumpernickel, citrus & hops. After an initial onslaught of caramel malt flavor I detected a slight medicinal tinge. Mouthfeel was a little harsh, moreso than I recall from a previous tasting last year. Bottle may have been mishandled; it suddenly appeared on the shelf the same week the 2008 version was released.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Reunion '07 from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 25 ratings