Reunion '08 | Bison Brewing

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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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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 118
Photo of mountdew1
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark reddish amber with a 1 finger thick foamy head that lasted about 5 minutes, but clung to the sides of the glass. Aroma was a little sour, reminded me of cheddar cheese. Taste was a bit on the bitter side, with some multi grain bread. Slightly burnt aftertaste. The beer felt wonderful in the mouth, coated extremely well, but was a bit over carbonated. Overall, a very pleasant beer to drink.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pour a dark transparent reddish color with a soapy white head that very quickly dissapears.

S: The rye dominates the nose along with some caramel malty aromas. A little bit of earthy hops come through, but pretty toned down.

T: Like a piece of liquid rye bread. Of the rye ales I have tried, this one certainly stands out for rye presence. A little bit of sweetness on the finish.

M: A medium to heavy body, lower in carbonation, has an almost syrupy texture that lends to a very nice mouthfeel.

D: A pretty solid brew but nothing that really stands out. Would have loved some more hop presence (like Cane and Ebel or HopRod), probably wouldn't have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of CMW
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a translucent copper color with a respectable head. Rentention is minimal, but lacing is good.

S - Caramel malt with some underlying hop notes.

T - Much like the nose. Nice caramel malt sweetness upfront which gives way to a more spicy and hoppy background.

M - Thin and less carbonated than I expected.

D - This is a decent beer and extremely drinkable, however not memorable. Probably will not pick up another.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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 brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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 Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into my new spiffy Squatters IPA goblet a vibrant reddish brown. Plenty of head, left a few chunks of foam. Very good eye candy.

S - To me, actually smells a little citrus-hoppy and a little sugary. Mandarin orange....this has a fairly strong aroma, but if I'm looking for rye bread I can't really find it. Seems to smell like a strong, big beer rather than a 6.5% rye beer. Interesting.

T - Hmmm, I smelled more hops than I taste. Slighly sweet, here I get some of the rye and a peppery character attributable to the caraway seeds. Some bittering in the finish, maybe I am tasting hops after all. Caraway seed-and-rye burps....pretty cool. Again, interesting.

F - As I gave it a solid pour, this seems to be somewhat creamy, with not an overwhelming amount of carbonation. I like it.

D - There's enough here to keep you interested. It seems to drink bigger than it is. Sometimes I feel that hurts drinkability, but in this case I like this attribute. A little underrated by my reckoning, a nice find.

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Photo of dohastmich
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, poured with no head, lacing around the edge of the glass. Appearance is a dark red and cloudy. Has a nice sweet creamy smell to it. The rye is apparent in the taste, very smooth and crisp taste. Slight creamy taste is there too.

I am used to drinking more hopped reds than this, but after a few sips, I was used to it, and it was quite enjoyable.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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 akokandy
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 22oz brown bomber poured into an American Pint Glass. Beer pours red-amber with a small head which fades quickly. What's left are some large bubbles around the rim of the glass. Left very light lacing, but more than I was expecting after I saw the head.

S- Malts and spice are all that's there. A sweet smelling beer.

T- English-style malts to start, transitioning into a brown sugar sweetness, and a spicy rye finish combines with a mild, Noble hop-type flavor. First few sips left an unpleasant aftertaste all over my mouth. As it warms, the beer tastes cleaner and more balanced.

M- A smooth beer, without much carbonation. Creamy feel from the malt and rye.

D- After the first few sips, the bad aftertaste lifted, and the taste was much cleaner. I'm not sure if it's because it was a little warmer or my palate became desensitized. After that though, this beer seemed like a decent session brew. I'd buy it again. Not half bad, not too expensive, and helps a good cause.

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Photo of mattster
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Braggadocio
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

First, this is a very well balanced beer, in my opinion. The sweetness of the malt blends very well with the rye spice and hops. There is moderate head with little retention. Entry has a nice molasses bomb, followed by an equally sweet midpalate. Finish is dry with the spicyness of the rye and well-balanced hop flavors taking over. While this is not what I would call a "session beer," there is room for a few. At 4.49 for a bomber, would definately drink again.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle received as an extra from swnicholson. Thanks!

A- Body is a slightly hazy dark rust hue. Pours with a 2 finger or so off-white, foamy head. Head fades slowly and some lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Earthy and spicy hops upfront with a hint of citrus. Caramel and a hint of chocolate malt in the background.

T- The flavor upfront offers some earthy and citrus hop flavor with a hint of caramel malt in the background. The finish adds a little bit of earthy and spicy bitterness along with a touch of roasted malt. Taste is clean as nothing lingers.

M- Low to medium carbonation and light mouthfeel a bit on the watery side.

D- This is a decent red ale. I would expect a bit more for a special release beer that benefits such a worthy cause. Not sure what part of 08 this was released in either. Pretty drinkable overall and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Cresant
2.46/5  rDev -31.7%
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 djeucalyptus
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich amber brown with ruby highlights. A piddly head of a half finger (at best) forms and sticks around for a good while before fading to a ring leaving a bit of lacing here and there.

aroma is sweet and malty with a bit of spice. caramel and floral notes come through, along with a hint of hops and maybe a touch of grain alcohol.

malt foward, with some sweet caramel malt. toasty, floral, and sweet. A bit of subtle spicy rye creeps in. A hint of alcohol shows up on the tongue as well... tastes a touch stronger than 6%... and rye isn't as present as I'd hoped.

full and sweet on the tongue, a touch syrupy and fairly smooth. ample carbonation keeps it a bit light, and delivers the flavors and the spice nicely.

All in all, not quite what i was hoping for. Reminiscent of a strong and spicy dopplebock, this one doesn't quite have as much of a rye bite as I was hoping. Not bad, but definitely tending toward the sweet and caramel side of things. A bit more hop and a bit more rye kick and it would be impressive... as it sits, it's just not bad.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
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 BeerSox
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into water glass (parents' house) shared with dad.

Pours a hazy dark ruby hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim.

Very light hop aromas that have a little bit of a candy smell, along with some citrus.

Sweet yet slightly tart rye flavors. A little bit of a toasty grain flavor comes in toward the end. The hops have a strong grapefruit flavor to them. Full bodied with lower carbonation.

A decent rye beer with some good hop flavor. Tastes sort of like a tart AIPA.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into Sam Adams glass on 12/21/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Dark amber/copper-colored body with plenty of carbonation and one-finger frothy, off-white head that retained well and left some fat, sticky lace around the glass.

S - Malt-forward aroma with hints of rye, caramel malt and mild spices complemented by a subtle bouquet of floral and perfumy hops. There's also a slight tinge of alcohol.

T - Malty flavor with sweet caramel and toffee notes paired with a floral, perfumy hop character and a mild spicy rye presence.

M - Medium body with a slightly syrupy texture and soft, smooth texture. A tad watery, perhaps. Mild hop bitterness on the palate with a slight dryness from the rye in the finish.

D - Decent red rye ale with a malty personality. More hops would be nice, but this one drinks pretty easily.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -15%
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 Deuane
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Slightly hazed deep reddish copper body with a thin off-white head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lace.

S-Dry rye and spciy notes from the caraway. Subtle fruit notes of apple/pear and a bit of spicy hops. Strong presence of sweet caramel malt.

T-Big malt sweetness with a bit of dryness from the rye. Spicy notes from the caraway and hop combo. This is without question though a malt forward beer...and a little too much so for my taste.

M-Medium body fairly smooth and ends nice a dry.

D-A very interesting and well done beer. A bit to malty for me and thus something I would not seek out again. I wish they would have let the rye and caraway shine thru to produce a drier/spicier brew.

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Photo of jackorain
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
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 BDIMike
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
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 HeyItsChili
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep reddish-amber with a medium tan head that slowly dissolves.

S - Smells of spice, warm malts, caramel, rye bread flavor is very strong and evident here.

T - Caramel warmed to well-done, spices, very mild and sweet roasted malt, and pungent rye.

M - Good mouthfeel, medium to light body.

D - Sort of settles heavy for a thinner bodied beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I never know what I'm going to get from Bison, and this beer proves it. Rich, red-brown pour with a medium off-white head. Dense malty aroma with a lot of rye and caraway, but not alot of hops. Syrupy mouthfeel. Nuts, caramel malt, brown sugar, and another smack in the face with the rye. No real hops to speak of until the end as the beer warmed. Its different, unusual, not really a "red" as I expected, and actually pretty good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
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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Reunion '08 from Bison Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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