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 Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at Grape of Mirth, Colombus, Ohio. Light brown with significant light brown head. Smooth and lacey. A malty taste and aroma.Rye is symbolic in the taste, but it's bready, like a kvas. Medium mouthfeel.Adjunt spiciness.Below average carbonation.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a bomber of this for 99 cents.. nice clearance rack pick up.

Pours a mahogany color with a little head, small amount of lacing. Brewed with rye and caraway seeds.. not sure what the latter is but I'm sure it will have a unique taste to it. Taste can best be described as liquid rye bread, which is a good thing in my book. I've had rye beers in the past who kind of shied away on the flavor but this beer does not. Has a bit of an odd finish to it, not very smooth, almost hot alcohol like (and this is only 6.5% ABV). Good deal for under a buck and a nice, different taste to it but I'd be hard pressed to try more than one of these in a sitting, nice benefit for it too.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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 brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark amber color with s foamy beige head that leaves a few shards of lace; decent retention

Smell: Biscuity and nutty, with caramel undertones; very hard to discern any hop aroma

Taste: Malt forward, with a very sweet, nutty profile, sort of like a cross between a bit o-honey and peanut butter; by mid-palate, a bit of the sour rye flavor arrives to balance things out, but their is a curious lack of hop character that leaves the beer unbalanced; after the swallow, the malt profile dominates, but the rye elements are clearly discernable in the lenghty finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, almost thick, with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite the good cause, I'm not a big fan of this beer; it is OK, but a better hop profile is sorely needed and the thick mouthfeel diminishes the refreshment

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized rye malts, spices, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste is malty at first with flavors of caramel, rye and other spices plus a little fruit. Then there's a decently strong hops bitterness that comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it might not be the best Rye Beer that I've had but this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of smcolw
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color and mostly clear. Good starting head, but it dissipates quickly. It does leave very good lace on the side of the glass.

Malty but dry aroma. Light bittersweet chocolate. Light hop on the end.

Quite dry flavor, with a thinnish body (and high carbonation). I don't really detect any rye. The aftertaste is mostly dry malt with light hop and a peppery flavor.

I consider this to be a moderately enjoyable beer. I like the brown ale elements as well as the pepper spice.

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Photo of russpowell
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent caramel with 1 finger of tan head. Zero head retention or lacing

S: Bready with with caramel & some peppery notes

T: Caramel, herbal hops, & peppery rye notes up front. More of the same minus the hops as this warms. Finishes dry, crisp & with a bit of pepper

MF: Medium bodied, pretty smooth with low carbonation & good balance

Very good drinkability, I could happily session on this

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright burnt orange with a reddish bronze influence and juicy tangerine trim. An elevated pour was required to produce two fingers of khaki colored foam that is becoming densely creamy as it settles and is no slacker when it comes to lace. This is a handsome ale.

The aroma features a Munich malt-like, earthy, toasted nuttiness that makes it smell more like a dark Oktoberfest than a rye beer. To be fair, I've always found rye to be somewhat difficult to appreciate (olfactorily speaking) unless the beer is loaded with it. I would have thought that using caraway seeds would have led to more rye breadiness than this.

Bison Reunion '08 (A Beer For Hope) is pretty good, but it doesn't hang together as well as it could. In other words, the flavors clash a little rather than work well together. Or it could be that I'm not fully onboard with the 'roasted peanuts and caraway seeds dipped in unsweet caramel' flavor.

I've always thought that more rye beer should use caraway seeds to give it a major shot of rye breadiness. Hmmm... might have to rethink that. With this much spiciness, there needs to be more offsetting malt sweetness. A generous hop bitterness (without much hop flavor) doesn't help. Unfortunately, this is discordant, standoffish beer rather than harmonious, welcoming beer.

There's nothing wrong with the mouthfeel. It's light-medium, glassy smooth, and favors the less bubbled end of the carbonation spectrum. Along with appearance, this is the highlight of the whole shootin' match.

Brewing a rye beer with caraway seeds is a great idea, but I wish the brewers could have come up with something a little more tasty. Still, I'm happy to have contributed, even in a small way, to such a worthy cause (myeloma and bone cancer research). As long as these guys keep brewing Reunion Beers, I'll keep buying and drinking them.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one at Whole Foods yesterday while I had some pizza. On sale for 3.99, I figured I could not go wrong. Served cold and poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 08/11/2008.

The pour was nice with a rich dark, reddish amber tone that looked quite nice in the glass. Good clarity here which was able to show off a good bit of the carbonation. Impressive looking head was a good three fingers in height before settling down to a coating of the rim.

The aroma was decently hopped, albeit way too light to fully get my attention. Decent resin like pine structure, nice amount of rye as well as some decent touches of a bready grain. This carried over very well into the flavor. Tight profile here, crisp and clean with a medium body that was somewhat chewy. Good carbonation as well led to an easy session beer that I had no issue at all with throwing down. It was well balanced with a smooth hop profile and a more then decent dose of rye malts thrown in. Solid biscuit like middle with a somewhat dry and bitter finish.

Overall not bad, not the best, but certainly in the category of good for sure. I would have no issue with trying this one again, and not for nothing, but 3.99 a bomber, you really cannot go wrong with that. Solid offering.

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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 imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish-brown color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was about a half inch of long-lasting head as well.

S: Hops were at the forefront in this category, with traces of rye and other spices.

T: Big, vibrant taste here. Hops, malt, rye, caraway seeds all mixed together. An interesting combination. Almost overwhelming.

M: A pretty high amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but it's not something I'd be able to drink on a regular basis. It has a certain heaviness that's hard to ignore.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with excellent clarity but very little head. What head there is fades immediately. Some nice spicy rye aromas up front that quickly segues into a light smokiness and sweet malt. Typical grainy red ale aromas throughout. Sweet, grainy malt predominates with a bit of rye spice and tang on the back end. The rye flavor grows as the beer warms and becomes more rye whiskey like. Very smooth mouthfeel. The more I drink this, the more I like this. The rye flavors trump any hoppiness here and make for an unusual quaffer.

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Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev -16.4%

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 WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted malt scent along with some caramel malt sweetness and a touch of rye spiciness. The taste is decent as well. It has a bitter hop bite up front with some dry caramel and roasted malt character thoughout. The rye provides adequate spice as well as the caraway. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very drinkable ryew beer. It's malt forward with plenty of spiciness.

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Photo of mltobin
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber purchased from Cork and Keg in Southbury, CT.

Poured into a tulip glass, a dense medium amber color with a thin circle of foam along the ring, no true head to this beer.
The smell has malt and some spice, but both seem faint to my nose. While the taste contains those dang caraway seeds they mentioned on the label, maltiness, with light hops also present on my palate.
I paired this with roast beef with sweet potato and green beans dinner, and though that they worked well together. I would serve this alongside other red meats or lamb.
Drinkability is pretty good, more appropriate as a beer to accompany a meal, than as a session beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

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