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 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 Lars3
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first impression was "wow, this smells like grape juice." I'm not sure why, but for the entire duration of the beer it smelled like grape juice to me.

The taste was adequate, it was obviously a rye beer, and not a bad one at that, BUT I was really hoping for more caraway flavor. Mouthfeel was soft, with some strength on the back of my palate. Not too strong for a craft ale.

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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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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 chinabeergeek
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

deep coppery amber, almost dark. gem clear under the light. 2-finger light tan head soon fades to thin layer with thin ring of lace left behind just from staying still before any sip is taken. the thin layer is constant. rest of lacing is great too.,

aroma: dark caramel, apple fruitiness, and mild to moderate floral hop notes, with faint citrus and pine. hint of... coffee? all a bit subdued though. touch of acidity towards the back?

taste: dark caramel continues in the flavor too, with faint acidity and spice note, possibly from the rye. hops are moderate with notes of pine and citrus rind, and almost fruity yet not. moderate bitterness. mild to moderate phenols in back in the finish. can't really pick out any caraway seeds however. coffee in the aftertaste?

medium body, relatively smooth, with touch of mild acidity and astringency in the finish, before smoothing out again. mild to moderate carbonation is tingly.

perhaps things have faded and this is past its prime. while easy drinking, its a bit unspectacular, and the caraway is pretty much undetectable.

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Photo of strengthdoc
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liquor Depot in Avon, CT had this on clearance for $1.99 for a bomber, so I had to try. There was a mild malt aroma with only a hint of rye. The color was light amber/orange. The taste was mildly sweet with a mild-moderate rye taste on the back of the tongue that added a bit of spice to it. There continued to be a rye taste in the finish and aftertaste.

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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 CharlesRiver
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz screen printed brown bottle. Great idea for a great cause. Pours out a wonderful reddish-brown with a solid off white head that lasts.

Smell is overall very light. I pick up mostly malt with a bit of hoppy earthness mixed in. Something nutty comes through as well. Taste is better and actually takes me by surprise at how big it is. Its thick in the mouth which does take away from the drinkability. Very nutty and malty. I would never guess a Rye Ale as I don't get that dry, slightly sour note most Rye's have (which I love). Others have mentioned some chocolate notes and I get that. Very little hoppyness and the ending is a bit short.

A fun beer to drink for a good cause.

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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 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 bonbini26
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Abe's Six Pack in PA. Rye beer, for a good cause, organic, whats not to like?

A- Pours a burnt cloudy orange/reddish bronze, with a creamy white 2-finger head, nice full lacing.
S- Smells of malts, earthy bread notes, a little rye, not as strong as other rye beers, not sure what caraway seeds are suppose to smell like
T- Lots of sweet malt, toasted bread, some spiciness, with a decent amount of hop bitterness (not as strong as some others)
M- Light-medium in body, with a smooth start and finish, creamy and smooth
D- Overall a decent rye beer, and its for a good cause, 1 or 2 of these would do.

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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 mountdew1
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
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 +0.3%
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 -4.7%
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 +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 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 Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
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 +4.2%
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 +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 akokandy
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
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 +14.8%
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 Braggadocio
3.41/5  rDev -5%
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 -3.1%
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 -31.5%
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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Reunion '08 from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 118 ratings