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 pwoods
1.85/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22oz. brown bomber, purchased... somewhere.. maybe Jungle Jim's, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a deep amber with extra ruby tints. Clarity is so pristine that it's hard to make out the tiny bubbles. Almost 2 fingers of off white head forms, a bit fizzy, and falls to a skim within a minute. Not much lacing.

S: Very nut(walnuts?), and dry wood. Loads of rye malts.

T/M: Has an extremely, wierd, woody(?) bitterness to it. It tastes like what I imagine chewing on a small, live, maple branch would taste like. The rye is extremely drying and none of the dryng is from alcohol. Almost like peat moss. Ack, I can't take any more. Body is moderate and carbonation seems on the low side.

D: Got through about a half of an imperial pint and had to pour it.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.15/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - This is a flat-looking puckish brown in color with little head.

Smell - There's not much rye in this nose to speak of and the caraway seeds smell like they've been sitting in the spice rack for the last two years.

Taste - The malts try to keep this in the race; they are nice and sugary. Otherwise though this beer lacks any sort of discernable flavor.

Mouthfeel - I liked the thick, medium-body of this beer but the lack of any carbonation left it flat in the mouth.

Sinkability - Looks like we won't be finding a myeloma cure any time soon.

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Photo of Cresant
2.46/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 650 mL brown bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. The body was dark amber and slightly hazy. The head was tan and creamy, reaching about one finger. Light lacing remained.

Smell was pretty one dimensional. Syrupy sweet.

Taste was sweet and lightly spicy. Caramel notes. Very little rye flavor and very little bitterness. Light bitterness showed up in the finish only. Tangy. Actually disappointing. Maybe past its peak?

Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. Low carbonation.

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Photo of joekfsu
2.51/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a very pale copper, clear, with some foamy off white head that was mostly diminishing. Aroma of malts and rye, and maybe some sweat socks, something funky for sure. Initial flavor of malts and rye, and again something funky. After taste was dry and metallic and long lasting. No lacing, lots of carbonation, light body, and light in the alcohol presence. Another disappointing beer, problem is it is for a great cause, maybe I'll donate money to the foundation next time instead of drinking this again.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I wasn't very impressed with this one. It poured up a lovely reddish colour with a sandy coloured head that appeared a bit sticky an hung around for a while. Looked nice. Smell was very much dominated by sweet malts with a touch of caramel. If I were blind-folded, I may think this was a doppelbock. So far - so good. Then I had to ruin it by taking a sip. It wasn't bad, but it was nearly "assertively sweet". Thankfully, there was a modest manifestation of hop bitterness on the finish that at least *attempted* to tame the sweetness. In a different beer, this might be acceptable, but not this one. Mouthfeel was very thick and almost offensive. Under different circumstances, I really do enjoy this so of heft and "meatiness", but again, as before, I simply don't think this characteristic suits this beer.
Very Sweet, very heavy and thick; nice attributes *in the right beer*, and this isn't it. Not for me.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this 650mL bottle for $6.99, and the only real positive is that some of the proceeds went to charity. Otherwise this was a real tragedy for me personally, it just was not an enjoyable beer. Probably the caraway seeds are to blame, they must have something to do with the odd smell and taste in this rye beer. Beyond this flavor I can sense a nice malt base with a little sweetness. But the spices are too overpowering for me, really difficult to drink.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured from the 22 oz bomber with almost no head after quite an aggressive pour. The appearance was fairly clear and red/deep amber in color with no visible carbonation. As the beer was consumed there was not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma was candy like sweet with a slight rye/grain quality to it. I was surprised by not smelling any of the caraway seeds.

The taste was overwhelming sweet and I was disappointed not to really note any caraway character. You were certainly hit with a big malt flavor up front that then faded to a slight toasted malt/slight hop bitterness finish. The finish did have some of the rye dry/crisp characteristics, but they were almost taken over by what I consider to be overly aggressive sweetness.

Almost a thick syrupy mouth feel and this combined with the sweetness didn't make this an extremely drinkable brew in my opinion. As the beer warmed slightly you could begin to detect the higher alcohol content, but, in general, they did do a nice job of hiding it behind the sweetness

I had recently tried "Jewish Rye Beer" at Triumph Brewing in Princeton, NJ and that had me excited to try this beer. That beer did an excellent job of balancing the Rye characteristics and featuring the caraway seeds. This beer didn't really do either.

I think it was a lost opportunity to feature a flavor of caraway in a rye style beer.

Not a horrible beer, but also not one to go out of your way for.
I hope they were able to raise a good amount of money for their charity as that was one of the stated purposes on the label.

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Photo of Florida9
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured noisy, large, viscous glugs from the bottle into my glass. Seems like trouble right off the bat. Light, reddish mahogany in color. Clear. Very minimal head reduced to nothingness.

S: Malt and light woodiness.

T&M: Sweet malt compounded by being undercarbonated, resulting in a cloying syrupy beer. Bottle indicates flavored with caraway, which was fully non-existent. Even the rye wasn't very strong. Virtually no hop character at all.

D: Just not a very good beer. Overly malty with nothing to counter balance the malt sweetness. Typically the rye and hop spiciness act to balance the beer, but not in this one. I drank it as a sipper, though I don't think beer was meant to be a sipper. Not so bad as to be a drain pour, but I won't be revisiting this one ever again. While I appreciate the cause behind the beer, I cannot appreciate the beer itself.

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Photo of bretseeley
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one may be a victim of my high expectations. Fair or not, I was expecting more along the lines of Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. At any rate, I didn't care for this brew.

A nice rich red coming out of the bottle into a pint glass. Smells like carmel and malt. Not much hops in the smell or the taste for that matter. The bottle talks about Caraway seeds, and I have to be honest and say I don't have much of a grasp of what Caraway seeds are supposed to taste like. However, I don't think I like them in my beer. Too much sweetness and not enough of a hop profile to be taken very seriously. I wouldn't get this one again but I did finish the whole thing. Besides, the proceeds supposedly go to charity, so all is not lost.

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Photo of Bierguy5
2.99/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle, 6.5% ABV. Darker copper color, with a thin off-white head. Head disappears very quickly, leaving a small amount of lace.

A bit of bread, some spicy rye, and a strange smoky, meaty aroma. Not the best combo here. Almost like smoked turkey. ?

Caramel malt, with some spicy rye thrown in, as well as the caraway seed. Somehow this all molds together well. None of the meaty flavor that was present in the nose.

Well balanced, minimal bitterness. Interesting combonation of flavors. This one started to grow on me, but I doubt I would get it again.

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Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of jackorain
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours slightly hazy red to dark amber with a 1/2 light tan head. The haed fell quicly until it stoped at about 1.4 inch which then hung around for while. Decent lacing left behind.

Aroma is mollases galore. Very malt with caramel behind the mollases. Some spicy rye character and piny hops push through in the end.

Wow this is a real malt bomb. What is the residual sweetness on this beer? Just really sweet. Mollases, caramel, simple syrup and biscuit. Spicy rye and piney hops from the nose are present in the middle. The finsh leave a sticky sweetmness and slight bitterness.

This beer has quite firm, medium body. Carboantion is light

It was worth a try but I am going to struggle to finish this bomber. Overall it is just to cloyinly sweet.

Thanks For Reading

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

.. 22 picked up Friday at Brewforia.. Shared with Brenda... Very little carbonation.. almost no head or cap... there is some CO2, but not alot.. the brew is a pretty deep amber.. very clear... pretty.

Bready.. caramel essence shows more than a caramel sweetness.. grassy hoppiness is pretty muted..

Flavor shows more rye than the nose.. toasty maltiness.. I get a little bit of caraway seed I guess, but I would have probably not identified it had I not been looking for it... nice and pretty dry mid palate through the finish.. the body is nice and medium... needs more carbonation.. this brew is seeming a bit dusty.. maybe too old.. Ehhh... glad I got to try it.


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Photo of DefenCorps
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle picked up at the Village Pump in College Park. Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Deep crimson with a thin beige head that recedes fairly quickly, leaving some lacework

S: Spicy rye with caraway seeds (I love caraway seeds in meat and bread and in a beer, it's compelling) and a sweetish malt backbone with plums. There a definite tobacco/leather character too. Interesting stuff, I like it. As it warms up, it gets overpowering, though

T: Tons of rye flavor - so much that it tastes like stale, dry, rye bread. The caraway flavor comes through mildly along with some sweetness before a mildly bitter and spicy finish takes over.

M: Carbonation is good and the drying spicy finish is nice but I'll be damned if there's not enough rye in this

D: I doubt I'll finish this. The first 4oz are about all i need

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/3/08. Bottle. Pours a brown/amber with a small white head. Aroma of pepper spices, sweet malt, raspberry and other berry fruits. Flavor of initial sweetness with a spicy finish. I also got coffee grounds and smoke in the finish. An odd watery/harsh palate. This was an odd one and kind of wears on you by the end of the glass.
6/4/6/3/14 (3.3/5)

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Photo of cjgator3
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish red color with a thin off-white head that quickly turns into a thin ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is malt with toffee/caramel and noticable amounts of rye and caraway seeds.

T- The taste is toasted malt with some rye flavors a really dry and spicy finish. It doesn't taste bad, but to me some of the flavors clashed against each other.

M- Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

D- Interesting beer, but it was hard to finish a whole bottle by myself not because of the alcohol, but because the mix of flavors tended to clash and got old after a while.

Overall, Bison Reunion Beer 2008 is a beer worth seeking out if you like rye beers, but it is not something that I would pick up again.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Muddy looking, somewhat off reddish color. Decent aroma-quite hoppy with a syrupy, treacle hint. Malty flavor with a sharp hop bitterness. Slight spice from the rye. Somewhat of a perfume flavor. On the thin side body wise. Rather an average beer overall. Basically an amped up US pale or red. Yawn.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a smooth and enjoyable beer, but really I was hoping for more. With the excellent ambers and ryes out there lately, I find it disappointing that Bison took such a conservative, restrained approach, particularly on a one-time only commemorative.

Pours a deep amber with a very slight head. The aroma is amber and a bit rye with hints of dark cherry. The flavor is surprisingly mild, almost ephemeral, showing hints of plum, cherry and some rye but none of the coriander spice promised on the label. The spice shows up - slightly - on the finish as a peppery bite along with a little hop bitterness. The finish is sweetish and caramely, with a little hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth but a little viscous with a disappointing lack of carbonation.

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Photo of far333
3.22/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber copper with a low orangey beige head that settles out quickly to a fine cap.

Aroma of floral and citrus hops balanced by brown sugar and doughey maltiness.

Flavor of caramel malt, cocoa, ripe fruit, floral and citrus hops, mild rye spiciness in the finish. Pepper and grapefruit pith also emerge in the finish. Cocoa flavor lingers and becomes more prominent, but does not mix well with the hops.

Even mouthfeel, moderate to low carbonation, tending toward slick.

Odd mix of cocoa and hops, they don't seem to go well together. This significantly limited the drinkability for me, could not finish the bomber.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, mahogany body. No real head, though. This is a beer for hope, not for head!

Smell: Aroma full of rye and smelling a bit like mentho-lyptus. Notes of dark toasted caramel and grains.

Taste: Dark caramel maltiness, then toasted breadcrusts, then burnt breadcrusts. Big hit of spicy rye. Very mild sweetness throughout. Hint of citrus. Medium hop bitterness. Growing graininess goes from merely being spicy and starts to get a bit astringent. Overall spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine enough beer when nothing but the spicy taste of rye will suffice.

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Photo of errantnight
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow... that's a lot of rye.

A mostly clear amber with thin head and little lacing... this brew really explodes with bread and rye aroma and flavor. Coming through in the nose with tons of spice, and maybe a bordering hint of caramel sweetness and citrus.

Flavor is... like sucking on a piece of rye toast. Husky, grainy notes abound, a swarming rye spice, distinct caraway presence... an assault. It overwhelms any balancing hops, but it does leave a pleasant dryness. Feels grainy and a bit full. Towards the middle of my second glass from the bomber, my taste buds finally began to acclimate, combined with the warmth pulling some sweetness and allowing some of the hop aromas to sneak out, this became quite pleasant and easily drinkable towards the end... although it's a bit strong for sessioning (and too abrasive early on).

I'm glad I tried it, if only to remind me that all things are best in moderation, and while I love the presence of rye, or an appropriately charged roggenbier, this was a bit much.

If you are a rye fanatic, this is the beer for you. If you like rye beers, you should try this, if only for how powerful those notes are. If you don't like rye? Stay. Away.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours rusty brown/red with almost no head, with slight lacing. Slightly under carbonated with a sweet smells of malts and not much else. Tastes Malty with a hint of tobacco. It finishes sweet and stays surprisingly sweet. Not bad not great. Drink for a cause instead of a buzz.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful rusty copper color but forms little to no head. What does come up must go down quickly and so it does. Good smell which is pretty malt forward. Caramel, toffee, lightly toasted bread. Some fruity scents and light spice. Taste is much of the same. The flavors don't exactly work perfectly with one another. At first it seems fine but they clash the more I drink this. Lots of malt sweetness with a little help from spice and bitterness of the hops coming through. Still, a little much sweetness. Some brown sugar and even a hint of chocolate show up. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Somewhat low on the carbonation, making it just a bit thin but helps this go down with ease. Overall not too poor but nothing that stands out from the pack.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It was odd to see a Bison beer in Colorado so I bought it, plus charity is cool. The color is dark red with a short head. The smell is spicy malts. The taste is also spicy but the rye is not overwhelming. Easy to drink but I would not want more than one.

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