Bison Brewery,
Berkeley, CA

 

 

Preface:
This is the second year that these folks have sent me a version of REUNION. As a lymphoma survivor I am an easy touch for anti-cancer efforts. Nevertheless, after checking out this brewery/organization, it’s the beer that you are interested in. This year’s version of REUNION (’08) offers the following…

 

 

Appearance:
This is a brilliant red copper colored beer. It is topped with a very fragile foamy head of small bubbles that fall and lace the glass very quickly.

 

 

Aroma:
The first impression is a grainy, slightly sweet aroma. There is some, but not much, hop in the aroma. And finally, hidden away in the back, there is a touch of chocolate.

 

 

Mouth feel:
The first impression is that this is a relatively light bodied beer. This impression changes after the first swallow. A second sip reveals that although not a heavy body beer, it does however have a good heft.

 

 

Flavor:
The moment between sip and let promises a hefty malty beer. This promise is justified, by sweet malt flavor that comes very close to the same flavor profile as a light sherry.

 

 

Finish:
There is a multi-finish to this beer. First of all it lingers on the palate as a very refreshing palate cleanser. Then it spends some time resonating in the nasal passages. This is where the heat from the relatively high alcohol content of this beer is felt.

Comments:

The Bavarians can be rightly proud of their wheat beers. Often imitated, I find these beers almost impossible to duplicate outside of Bavaria. Rye beer and ale are brews that American Brewers seemed to do quite well. The label tells me that this ale was brewed with caraway seeds. If they’re in there I can’t find them.

Since the flavor profile of this beer is that is similar to Sherry, I would suggest serving us with the traditional French plate of cheeses. Although not acidic, there is enough alcohol here to handle the lactic property of the cheeses and the stealth-hops are a palette cleanser that welcomes the flavors of the next cheese.

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