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 HumuloneRed
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle.
The beer pours a slightly murky orange red with some white head and thin lacing.
The nose has some nice sweet bread and malt notes. There is also some apple and pear.
The flavor has bread, sweet malt, and fruit notes with some earthy hop bitterness. It could use more bitterness to balance the sweet malt. However the crisp finish from the rye helps balance somewhat.
The body and mouthfeel is a little thin but overall it is pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of danielharper
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep red body, clear, thin off-white head. No effervescence, no lacing. Head dissipates immediately.

Smell: It's a Rye Ale, so naturally there's a lot of rye. Other aromas include apples and cherries, hints of crisp hops. Sweet, slightly tart. Interesting.

Taste: Now the rye's up top, very prominent. Hints of a sweetness underneath, finishes with a bitter hoppiness. The rye's pretty intense at first, but as the tongue gets used to it the flavor is actually quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness, low carbonation, high hoppiness.

Drinkability: Not sure. The rye is a bit too prominent for my taste, but overall this is a decent beer. Fans of rye will probably like it more than I do.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
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 montageman
4.67/5  rDev +29.7%
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 erikm25
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thinly lit charcoal burgundy. Dark caramel blooding and bronzing when held to light. Small rustic head that quickly bubbles and then disappears leaving minimal lacing.

S: Immediate earthy quality. Hints of orange, flowers, and toasted malts. Heavy on sweet peppers, caraway, and berries. Spiced rye bread and a subtle caramel undertone help balance out the nose.

T: Heavy on the rye taste. Sweetly roasted malts. A moderate hop kick. A slightly spiced and charred jab in the finish. Alcohol is delicately hidden. This delivers on the rye and follows up with the hops.

M: Medium bodied with a sweet and smooth aftertaste. Low carbonation.

D: The cause alone is worth the purchase. Unfortunately, most everyone has had an experience with cancer in some degree. I suggest G. Edward Griffin for those looking for another perspective on this terrible affliction. Aside from all my potential ranting this was a very delicious beer. Coupled with a Cajun dish all should go well.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A burnished mahogany sort of color. Not much in the way of tan head, but pretty creamy and sticky. Decent lacing.

Aromas of earthy, German malt alongside a little pepperiness and a slightly floral hop presence.

The flavor is mostly spicy, I suppose it's malt-forward as claimed, but only when compared to the hops. The caraway seeds and rye combination overpower the palate, leaving only a peppery, herbal flavor behind.

What hops are there contribute a mild floral action to the overall flavor, but die out quickly. Fairly light in body, but about medium for the given style which doesn't put too many qualifications. Nice and smooth, not too many bubbles, although a little more carbonation might have worked to mitigate the more overbearing aspects of the rye/caraway.

Really not too bad - just a little middle of the road. Something felt a little off, and overall not in my flavor wheelhouse, but still a solid effort.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into Red Oak mug...

Deep, auburn/amber color heads up well with cappucino-colored head. Body is still as far as visible carbonation goes but there's solid lacing and a few muffin tunnels to the head, and it sticks around.

The scent of caraway seeds hits the olfactory right from the pour even before bringing the mug to the nose. They're nicely woven into rich , rye malt and grassy hops. A little earthy.

Full-flavored heavy rye with wild, grassy hops. Very hearty yet somewhat mild and actually soothing.

Palate gets a nice, mellow tingle from abundance of rye and caraway seeds with a viscous coating of oil on the hop profile. Finish is a little earthy.

Although this is extremely bountiful it finishes nicely and is not terribly filling. Good effort for a great cause.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
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 hellomcfly
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a small off white head and some decent lacing

Smells of malt and caraway don't detect a lot of hop or rye

Tastes heavy on malt, rye, and oak. Not a lot of hop action to speak of.

Mouthfeel was somewhere between thin and medium bodied. I felt it could use some more carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty average I guess

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Photo of Seanibus
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
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 DefenCorps
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
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 smcolw
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
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 objectivemonkey
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a tulip glass, pours a clear, dark amber copper, with a nice one inch head that shrinks to a thin film and a small floating mass, with a bit of lacing. The aroma features a whole lot of dry nuts and grains, a bit green perhaps. There are some toasty malts in there too. Its kind of weird.

Its taste comes on nicely, but as it fades, it doesn't quite feel right, or taste right for that matter. The same flavors and more in the aroma are here. I have no idea what caraway seeds taste like, but this Reunion Ale is aptly named... it takes a number of individual good things and puts em together this one time, and its an oddly interesting thing, but you end up happy its happening just this once.

The mouth is a but thin, but otherwise is fine and dandy. Overall, an interesting experiment, a good cause, an odd duck of a beer.

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Photo of hurleymanvw
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a 1 inch off white head.

Aroma is that of oak, roasted malt, and burnt syrup.

Very heavy yeasty on the tongue with malt, syrup, and oak dominating the palate. Was not expecting the caraway spice I would expect it out of a holiday beer.

Beer overall was very heavy on the mouthfeel and the fight between the flavors made it hard to get through. Thank god i had someone to split the bomber with.

Overall it was a good experience but i wouldn't try it again. But if you like out of the way rye beers give it a shot.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.15/5  rDev -40.3%
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 Dewey0603
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brownish/mahogony with a large tan frothy head. The head leaves good lacing and the only problem I have with this beer is the lack of bubbles. The smell is nice with alot of citrus hops and bread yeast. The taste is interesting with citrus hops,bread yeast,coffee,some dark fruit,and candy sugar. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing well. Doesn't this beer taste like it has more alcohol in it? Not bad,different and worth a try.

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Photo of avalon07
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
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 cjgator3
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
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 MayorAdamWest
4.55/5  rDev +26.4%
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 mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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 badbassrandy
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this bottle at Whole Foods and it absolutely struck my attention. I thought it was a Rogue at first!

I was excited beacuse I like hoppy red ales and I like the use of rye in this style. She looked nice, obvious carbonation and beautiful deep red/brown/amber. Smell had a funkiness to it, and a sharp spice. My girl thought it smelled gross. I was ready for those hops I could smell.

I really enjoy the taste of this beer, maybe moreso than other BAs here. But there's a nice malt foundation to something that's on the more bitter, hoppier end of things. The mouthfeel was nice too, not overly chewy but certainly something to roll around the palate. The spiceiness from the caraways seeds and rye made it fun to consume, but there was residual taste that pronounced the dankness.

Drinkability was good. It's not a beer I kept reaching for, but I enjoyed each taste as I nursed it. Overall, well done job for a great cause! I felt good all around with this brew.

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Photo of mobud
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into SA glass

A- Nice, clear ruby red color with slight off white head that slowly fades.

S- Lightly hopped with a spicy malt base.

T- The spicy rye element is front and center with a light citrus hop presence that is there, but not lost.

M- Very smooth and light. Some coating remains.

D- A good beer that goes towards helping a good cause. Was lucky to find this and may pickup another while they are still around.

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Photo of ruckzuck
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm always down for a beer that supports a good cause!

A - deep amber mahogany color with a thin beige head that subsided rather quickly

S - a lot of rye, some caramel, and floral and citrus hops

T - initial rye flavor coats the mouth. Swishing around and swallowing reveals more of the hop character, and the finish is very amber. A hint of spiciness and maybe the tiniest hints of alcohol? Definitely interesting

M - medium bodied without too much carbonation

D - this beer is certainly enjoyable and it's for a good cause, so that's cool. The flavor is interesting. This beer doesn't really grab me or anything, but like I said, it's enjoyable and worth having. Doubt I'd buy it again (not that I can since I'm not in TX anymore), but glad I tried it. Will finish the bomber without a problem.

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Photo of joe1510
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber

This is yet another beer sent my way thanks to russpowell in a huge trade, thanks Russ. Reunion 2008 lives up to the billing of being a red ale. Amber throughout with tiny particulate suspended throughout. A standard pour brought about a one inch dirty white head that fell to a respectable cap in no time.

If the nose is any indication this beer is going to be a rye bomb. The nose is loaded with spicy rye from front to back. There's a caramel maltiness lurking in the background along with a faint hit of citric hops along the lines of grapefruit. For one reason or another I can't help but notice a little butter in the smell.

The flavor follows the aroma closely. Caramel maltiness gets things started and is met mid palate by spicy rye and a generic citric hoppiness. The hoppiness fades toward the finish as the rye gets spicier. Each drink causes the spiciness of the rye to grow in the back of the throat. The rye and caraway seeds leave a lingering a spicy lingering kick after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. The body is light upfront but as it works through gets a little more heft. The carbonation is a little prickly on the way through.

This bomber is easy enough to finish but that's all I could handle in a sitting. I love rye in my beer but it gets a little grating.

This is a decent beer from Bison and Pete Slosberg. The proceeds go to a good cause which makes this beer that much more drinkable. Thanks again Russ.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a thick light brown head with a dark amber brown color.

S: Rye and alcohol smell plus a sweet fragrance of hops. Nothing special about the smell.

T: Good balance of malts and hops not sure if I can tell if there are any caraway seeds in there but does have a good smooth caramel aftertaste.

M/D: Light but crisp smooth finish. Very good drinkability and very likeable.

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Reunion '08 from Bison Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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