Unfortunately I am back home from Ellicotville, though our time there was memorable(I typed that with a big smile on my face). But I guess it’s true what they say “all good things must come to an end.” So to brighten my spirits I thought I would do another Brewview. The beer of choice brewed by Flying Bison, is the Bisonberry Kolsch. This beer is based off of their well known Buffalo Kolsch, with the addition of pureed blackberries and blueberries. Now I’ve had both before and they are delicious and refreshing, but I’ve never done a deep dive into either of them. Let’s see what we can do!
Before I continue I would like to cite their website on the description of the beer.This will allow everyone to see what I am comparing my thoughts to. This information along with information regarding their other beers can be found at http://www.flyingbisonbrewing.com/our-beers/
“This light-bodied German-style ale featured pureed blackberries and blueberries for a fruit-forward nose and a touch of pink color. The finish is dry, refreshing, with a bit of tartness rather than sweetness coming from the fruit.” An excellent build up to a delicious beer.
The Beer: Bisonberry Kolsh by Flying Bison
ABV: 4.5 IBU: 18
Hop Profile: Perle
Malt Profile: Pilsner
Wow! Just cracking the bottle open and pouring it I was hit with some powerful tarty fruit aromas. After first getting used to the fruit aromas I was able to pick up on a subtle wheat/straw aroma. Reading up on the hop profile for this beer, it would seem the Hallertau hops is the culprit for the wheat/straw aromas. Interesting tidbit, the Hallertau hop is of German origin and is used mainly for lagers. The fruit aroma I’m guessing must be from the pureed berries. Interesting combination, one I have never experienced before. But so far I must say this beer is off to a good start. Excellent brewing so far.
Appearance wise I did obtain a large head, but that quickly dissipated to a very minor head. From what I’ve seen it’s hit or miss on head retention for Kolsches. The beer itself does have a considerable amount of haze to it, which is a known characteristic of Kolsches. This is quite obvious from the malts used, I’m thinking more so the wheat malt which are known to have a protein that causes a haze.The color is predominantly a straw color with some pink notes to it. Which from reading up on the beer that was meant to be.
Aroma and appearance wise this beer is quite enticing! So let’s see what this beer tastes like.
Hmm…I am finding it quite difficult to explain the taste of this beer. I’m getting different notations throughout each sip. When first taking a sip I got nothing but a tart flavor, though this gives way to a black and blue berry taste with a slight wheat like accent. With previous Kolsches I’ve always noticed the creamy wheat taste, though I’ve never had it with combined with a fruit before. Delicious! I would agree with Flying Bison, the finish does have a dry tart like characteristic to it. Even after a few moments I can notice it lingering around but with the addition of a creamy feeling and a wheat taste to it. Quite refreshing, leaving me craving for more. I could see myself easily going through a 6 pack of these fellows, which I guess wouldn’t be bad with the lower ABV. Any body else have thoughts of acquiring this beer for day drinking? Looking at the IBU rating provided for this beer, 18, I’m thinking that it’s quite close to hitting it on the nose. Though there is a lingering after taste, I’m attributing that to the pureed berries not the hops. If my conclusions are correct, the Perle hops were the ones used for bittering. With their alpha acid range being in my opinion average, the lower IBU is not surprising.
All in all I think this is a very refreshing beer, one that I would suggest to any of my friends. I’m not a huge fan for fruity beers, but I’ll make an exception for this one. Similar to the Buffalo Kolsch being a summer seasonal, I’d be more likely to enjoy this one under the sun rather than surrounded by snow.
In my honest opinion, Flying Bison was spot on with their description. I wouldn’t change a word of it, excellent job guys! My rating for this beer rests between a 4.25 and a 4.5/5. My gut feeling is to go with 4.5/5, so that’s my final answer. An excellent combination of the Kolsch style beer and fruit.I would even go as far as saying it was genius. I’ve had poor experiences with beer and fruit combinations, not this one! Spot on!
Excellent job Flying Bison! Cheers!