Reunion '08 | Bison Brewing

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Reunion '08Reunion '08
118 Ratings
Reunion '08Reunion '08

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: Rye Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This year's version of Reunion is an organic red rye ale, featuring a malt forward character balanced by spice notes from the rye, caraway seeds, and hops.

Added by Jason on 02-13-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of Tomas77
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer.

This beer has a reddish hue to it with a small thin but everlasting head of foam. Fine looking legs stick well to the sides of the glass. Very pretty looking beer. A malty aroma of carmel and chocolate with some dark fruit notes and spicy overtones as well. This beer smells great. Like the bottle tells us it is very malt forward. The spiciness from the rye is balanced just right with the rest of the beers fine ingredients. Very sweet on my lips but finishes dry with spicy but never bitter aftertaste. Full body. Sweet malt coats the inside of my mouth followed by the rye. The spiciness from the rye may be hiding the hop but i'm sure those fresh looking objects made it in there somehow to help balance out everything just right. And it's being made for a good cause. Nice job Bison.

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Photo of montageman
4.67/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

First of all, I'd like to commend Bison Brewing for creating this beer as a memorial for their friend and their continuing desire to find a cure for cancer.

I was taken aback by the pour - there was literally no head, which worried me for a second as I thought the beer may have gone flat. No worries, though, carbonation is there. The rye is immediately evident in the nose with some sweetness as well. I absolutely love the way this beer tastes - big sweet maltiness with a delightful sourness from the caraway and a nice slightly dry finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied and well carbonated. This may be a novelty beer, I could drink this all night. Great stuff and a great cause. Highly recommended.

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Photo of MayorAdamWest
4.55/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber served in a snifter.

A - An amber red that carries over into the head. Wonderful when held up to the light.

S - Like a freshly backed loaf of rye bread. Sweet and spicy with a nice hops presence of citrus and more spice.

T - WOW! As I held the first sip in my mouth I found I'd swallowed and was greedily moving onto the next...and the next and the next. This beer redefined well what I thought was a well balanced rye ale. The hops come through up front along with rye, once the hops fade the rye and sweet malt takes over with a grand slam finish.

M - The body is light but it works so well for this beer. The flavors are so heavy handed that the light mouthfeel accentuates rather than detracts.

D - Excellent. I found myself picking up additional bottles...not to share, but to hoard for my own pleasure.

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Photo of drpimento
4.44/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

whoa, for some reason, surprisingly good. Poured with a smallish very light tan head and some lace. Color is a clear dark amber. Aroma is malty, spicey, a little sweet floral fruit, don't pick up the caraway. Ditto flavor except much more caramel & toffee there. Great body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor. Really easy drinking beer. Session for sure.

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Photo of hippityhophead24
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this the other night with a friend, but did not have my word notebook to take notes. These are taken from phone...

Pours a nice deep red color. Good two finger head with good retention and beautiful lacing all through out the glass until the last sip.

My friends said it smelled like some sort of cleaner or chemicals. I got that a tad bit, but I got more hints of red delicious apple with belgian candied sugars.

Taste was full of sweet malts, caramel, rye spiciness, could definitely taste the caraway seed. No bitter hops. Nice and malty.

Coated my mouth. Nice and smooth on the tongue. Not too much heat.

Overall this was a very delicious brew and was sad to take the last sip. I wish I could get my hands on more of this and thank my good friend Justin for sharing this with me and my good friend Jesse. If you get your hands on this, give it a try, I think it's a very interesting brew and worth trying.!

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Photo of orsulacp
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber body with a tan creamy small head. The head stayed for the entire beer. The smell is nice, spicy rye bread, biscuit malt, and I can actually smell a little caramel. The taste is top notch, there is an immediate rye spiciness, then a real creamy, almost lactose like sweetness, the sweetness stays on my tongue until the slight carbonation clears it all up with a quick spicy rye bite. I really like the mouthfeel, not too thick, low carbonation, but just enough to release the spicy rye. A very drinkable beer, it gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of doppelmeup
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this at a vertical Rye Beer tasting, and was pleasantly surprised.

Nice reddish amber appearance. Head was creamy and left decent lacing.

Aromas were of pumpernickel bread, however it was not as strong as some of the other rye beers we sampled.

Taste was excellent. My friends voted it the best tasting of all the beers we tried. There was a nice maltiness which balanced the hops and rye, but didn't make the beer overly sweet. I tasted some chocolaty/caramel flavors, along with the soft rye. It was much more nuanced than I expected.

Mouthfeel was pleasant. The flavors hit up front, then left the palate quickly.

Overall, this was a nice beer and I would recommend it to all. The rye flavor, while definitely present, were not overpowering.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of bheilman
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark rich color with a decent head, but on the minimal side. The carbonation is nearly unnoticeable in the taste. The smell is earthy with a strong sweetness that doesn't quite remind me of malt so must be the rye influence. The taste is excellent. It hits all parts of your tongue with a rich caramel oak flavor followedd with just a touch of bitterness. It's pretty rich all the way through the aftertaste. It's a really drinkable beer. Definitely happy I picked this up and hope to get future ones. Glad to know the money's going to a good place too.

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Photo of mattster
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened 22 fl oz bomber bottle, poured into Nonic Glass.

Pours a low head - less than ½" - that dissipates to a fine lace across top of a reddish tea brown brew.

Smells like a warm loaf of rye bread with some light spice and herbal notes. Taste follows through with nice rye and spice taste. Actually I wasn't expecting a beer this full bodied and of such flavor. A little warm on the palate initially, but following taste are much more balanced.

A really great beer made for an important cause. Hopefully the brew will bee around far longer than Myeloma & Bone Cancer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I saw a bottle of this and grabbed it because it seemed to be implying that it would help some kind of a cause (Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research... I haven't actually read the bottle). And being organic never hurt anything. I try to support when I can, so...

It poured a slightly hazy chestnut brown body beneath a short but creamy head of light tan. The head retention could have been better (perhaps that has something to do with the oils in the rye seeds), but it left some decent lacing.

The nose was interesting. It was a bit caramelish, bready, slightly toasty, a touch fruity, and also a hint smoky. I didn't pick up hops, unless they were contributing to the delicate fruitiness, and as it warmed the maltiness became even more apparent. And although I didn't initially smell rye (or caraway), it became plenty apparent once it warmed.

In the mouth it was medium bodied with a dextrinous edge that put it more towards medium-full; and the moderate, very fine-bubbled (seemingly natural) carbonation left it quite smooth.

The malt seemed to dominate the flavor, but it was also quite readily anchored by the rye. There's a spiciness to it that's not quite apparent initially, but which widens towards the middle as it warms, and then opens up and lingers into a remarkably long finish. Along the way there are very focused notes of dark caramelized sugar that hint at raisin; a rich nuttiness, and softer, bready and gently toasty notes that combine in the finish to become very honey-like. It's bitter in a very focused way at the heart of it, but it's also soft and nutty and sticky-sweet all around. The finish kind of churns the bitter and spiciness against that almost-burnt sugar maltiness, and it's an interesting, exceptionally long tumble.

As far as rye beers go, I feel that the level of rye flavor is high, but that the balance of sweet and spice is very well done with an underlying nutty character, and I'd recommend it as an entrance beer for the style based on that. You can really taste the rye without it completely scrubbing over your palate. Hop flavors punching through would cover that over, especially if they were piney, but this is all about the maltiness.

Beyond that, I actually found it to be fairly well-rounded and balanced given the strength. With more hop bitterness or flavor it could become too aggressive or abrasive. It's a bit of a sipper to be sure, but it has enough complexity to keep you coming back for more. Worth trying.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it aggressively and it gave me a nice clumpy, bubbly light tan head that disappears quickly. The color is a transparent reddish.

The nose is bitter and woody. I am pleasantly surprised by the taste. The initial hop character is woody, almost like a strong barleywine (I'm thinking of SN Bigfoot). There are some delicate malts that are hiding just behind the strong hops but have enough presence to make the interplay interesting. The flavors are well-balanced in relation to each other, but I could have used more of both to make this a bigger beer, though.

Overall: Not bad, and it was pretty cheap, so I'm not disappointed.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yum! I love me some Rye beers.

This one puors a reddish copper with a nice strong tan head that hangs in the entire pint. Quite a dark head for a paler brew. I expect the darker heads on porters and such.

220z bomber with a Rogue-looking silkscreened label.

Bready biscuity malt with a good honey sweetness.

Grainy and smooth. Mild flavors, but still flavorful and quite tasty. Like most ryes, the rye is fairly muted. Well balanced malt/hop.

Drinkability is superb. The alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of CSFerrier
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer as shown in the photo above. Pours darker amber, slightly murky, modest light khaki head, and then a bit of fine wispy lace on the glass. Nose is restrained and malty, and foretells the rye that is to come across the tongue. Malty, full bodied brew with a healthy addition of rye to ratchet up the interest level. Better then average, pleasant cold weather type of offering. This one did not blow me away, but its quite enjoyable and certainty worth a try especially for fans of the style. Its for a good cause to boot.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-reddish color. There is slight carbonation that creates a thin tan head that went away almost immediately.
Smell has a very strong malt smell. Followed then by a nice plum and honey smell. Finally, there is a good hop and spiciness hint at the end.
Taste has a lot of nice elements in it. The malts are nice in the beginning. They are replaced by nice plum, honey tastes. There is a good sugary taste, also, that comes along with the hops. Finally, there is a nice spiciness to the end.
Mouthfeel has a good smoothness to it. A bit of the chewiness in it from the caraway seeds.
Drinkability is nice, especially for a beer with an ABV of 6.5%. There is a good balance of a lot of different tastes and spices. The mouthfeel and good taste make this a good beer that is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a random find @ Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem, PA. 2008 bottle randomly on the shelf, weird. Let's see how 3 years of age has treated this.

Pours to a beautiful transparent, coppery dark red color with a light but creamy head formation.

Aromas begin with inviting sweet caramel malts and a surprisingly nice mild dose of spicy hops. Spice may also be from the rye malts. Lots of caramel maltiness though. This reminds me of that AleSmith 2006 Decadence I had a couple months back

The tastes begin with chewy caramel maltiness. Next I get the the flaked rye, which adds a mild spiciness to the beer. I get just a hint of the caraway seeds, which creates the allusion of a slice of fresh rye bread. A slight fruitiness is present; a small peppery hop bitterness rounds out the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a nice. Carbonation is slightly lower than I would like but it's not a major detractor.

Overall, this is a tasty red ale with an extra kick and a bit of added spice bite from the rye malts. I wish I had this 3 years ago when I bet the caraway and the hops were more predominant. A good beer but at this point it is past it's prime, not bad or spoiled, just was probably a higher quality flavor profile.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes as i drank this one quite awhile ago now. Split a bomber of this with a friend. Poured into my stange glass. This beer is a clear, copper/reddish color. The head was about 1/2 inch thick when poured and settled to a very thin ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lace. had a rye and caramel malt aroma. Flavors again, of rye and caramel malt along with caramel malt, rounded out with a bit of citrus hops. had a crisp, clean medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink, especially as it starts to warm up a bit.

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Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-amber with a light tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Floral hops, rye, caramel & spice.

T: Floral, slightly citrus hops, some rye & spice. The alcohol is really well hidden. Sort of like a Founder's Reds Rye, without the abundance of hops... allowing a little more rye to come through.

M: Moderate body with some residual sweetness.

D: Quite drinkable, especially for its weight. Definitely dangerous to session.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, dirty brown color with a small, tan, foamy head. It left some soapy, patchy lace.

S - It smelled of rye, barley and biscuity malt aromas.

T - It tasted of rye and roasted caramel malts. The caraway seeds gave it a nice nutty flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good tasting rye beer. The caraway seeds give a little of a nut brown taste.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep red amber with a gracious off-white colored head that readily dissipates to a sheet over the surface. Very clear with some signs of carbonation raising towards the top of the glass. Only minimal lacing was left in the glass.

It smells very malty and slightly spicy. I am thinking the caraway seeds lend it sort of a Belgianesque smell, but the spiciness of the rye is unmistakenable. Hints of yeast, but everything seems to play second fiddle to the malty aromas of the beer.

Wow, this beer is very malty, tastes almost like a creamy caramel. The carraway seeds definitely offer up a grassy flavor that I think pairs well with the spice of the rye. Finishes with just a hint of bitterness.

Medium bodied with what I thought was minimal carbonation. It is a creamy and smooth beer with a heavy malt backbone. I get a slight clench of bitterness in my jaws on the finish, but not so much as to detract from the beer.

Highly drinkable and pretty enjoyable, its 10:45 on Easter Sunday and it is going down extremely well. Grabted its not your typical brunch beverage, but I'm just warming up for the mimosas.

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Photo of TLove
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(From Notes)

22 oz bottle picked up at Rodman's in D.C. Poured to glass tumbler.

Copper colored, with a medium to dark body with a decent head and nice lacing. Very grainy, but caraway seeds used in moderation, which is great (not averse to caraway taste, just averse to its often excessive use to add flavor). Surprisingly earthy, piney, and deep caramel. Spices are pretty dominant and fruits are subtle, yet strong. Pretty smooth on the back side and finishes very nicely for a rye. Taste is stronger than it seems, with a mere 6.5% ABV. Carbonation is mild and rolls over well for a rye beer.

Doesn't quite match up to my favorite rye beers, but this one is pretty damn good. And for $2.99, I would grab one again in a heartbeat.

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Reunion '08 from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 118 ratings