Tatonka Stout - BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.

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Tatonka StoutTatonka Stout

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BA SCORE
84
good

56 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 173
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 3
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc. visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 10-13-2002

An imperial stout — a classic style so rich and flavorful that it was once the private beverage of Russian Czars. The profile is malty sweet, hop bitter roasted, full-bodied, alcoholic and deliciously complex. Beer doesn’t get much more intense than this!

60 IBU
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 173
Photo of Injemanze
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

If this is even merely a decent example of a Russian Imperial Stout, then I believe may have found my favorite beer style.

Appearance: Jet black with moderate head and thick tan lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: Rich creamy chocolate and coffee characteristics. The high ABV was noticeable but not the most salient aspect of the taste (which would be chocolate/coffee/coco).

Mouthfeel: Heavy and thick with a creamy smooth start and finish.

Drinkability: Two glasses is nice with dinner but three would be pushing for me because of the ABV. (584 characters)

Photo of NiallMac44
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outside of a pint of Guinness in Ireland this is my favorite beer. Do not get me wrong, it is not at all like Guinness. The stupid thing is that it is not even as good as it used to be. An imperial stout has three characteristics: strong, a bit sweet, a burnt taste. I almost never like a sweet beer and when our local BJ's opened I tasted it with no expectations of liking it. I wish I was good at describing tastes, all I know is that this classic burnt taste and a hint of sweetness really worked for me. Unfortunately they messed with the recipe and hopped it up. My feeling is that the burnt taste of a stout and hops do not mix well. Yet this is still such a damn good beer I go there just because that is the only way I can get it. (738 characters)

Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

BJ's Brewery: Tatonka Stout

Served on draft at BJ's Brewhouse in Corona, CA

A: Poured as a deep dark, jet-black stout with a thin one-finger mousy head. I attempted to shine a light through one side of the glass to see if it would come out the other end and this black-hole-of-a-beer swallowed all of the light.

S: Smells of rich roasted malts, anise, coffee, and chocolate.

T: The taste is heavenly and sweet, just as an imperial stout should be. The after taste lingers for quite some time after its finished.

M: Thick, velvety smooth, and with light carbonation.

D: Its great warm or cold, though I prefer it cold. Its very sweet and thick so it can be a bit hard to drink in succession but your taste buds will be begging for more.

I have been drinking this brew for about three years now and every year it seems to get better and better. This beer has transformed from a light bodied stout to a hefty Imperial Stout. It tastes great and smells great and will make you feel pretty good. I recommend having a South West Chicken Sandwich with it. Enjoy! (1,063 characters)

Photo of drewbage
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on Cask from BJ's Woodland Hills, CA
Cask had been tapped 3 days prior.

Under normal nitro draft service, Tatonka is a reliable Imperial Stout carrying all of the expected coffee roasted notes of the roast barley. However, Tatonka has a harsh acidity from the roast in the palate that is enhanced by the CO2. This acidity is what keeps Tatonka from being my favorite BJ's beer.

Cask service makes this beer shine in a whole other light. The nose is softer with coffee tones subdued and replaced by chocolate and plums. The flavor is richer and rounder with a softer roast profile by far. Thanks to the slightly warmer service and lower CO2 levels, the beer really comes through with a profile less like an Imperial Stout and more like an extra rich Foreign Stout.

Definately a treat if you can find it. (821 characters)

Photo of jds1469
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drink this all the time when I go to BJ's Brewhouse on the south side of Indianapolis.

Very dark and stout beer. I just love watching the rings form on my glass each time I take a drink from the lacing.

The taste is very roasty with a malty, chocolaty and coffee feel.

If you go out and can get this I would recommend you give this a try. (341 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An all around good Imp. Stout. This one poured a nice dark black with a fluffy brown head that lasted till the last drop and left a whole lotta lace. The smell was a little sweeter than I was expecting, and had a good chocolate scent going for it. The taste was great and a little more hoppy than I was expecting but it was very good. Good dose of chocolate and light coffee flavours as well. This one went down very easy and I could have had many more of these, good job! (472 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice example of an imperial stout. I would have liked it served in a tulip instead of a pint, but that's a minor quibble. Black in color with a thick coffee-colored head. Chocolate and coffee aroma. The taste was similar, with a nice balance between the chocolate and coffee. Did not think the alcohol was noticeable. A rich, rewarding beer. (343 characters)

Photo of Tarmac
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite chain brewhouse beers, and it runs circles around stouts by famous local California brewpubs like Tied House and Gordon Biersch. The Tatonka has a massive coffee/dark chocoloate thing going on, with plenty of ABV but masked very well. It doesn't do the cascading foam like Guinness but the taste and mouthfeel more than make up for it the more sedate appearance. This is the only brew I get at BJs unless they also have Sierra Nevada Torpedo. It may be a nitro-tap, I am not sure of that. (515 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this when I was done in Jacksonville, FL. I was totally impressed. Right from the dark jet black color with a dirty cream head, the aroma was captivating. A little coffee, a little chocolate and a hint of orange. The taste was big and bold yet creamy smooth. The finish was as if you just had some pudding that you loved.
A treat for me. Now to find it in the Northeast (378 characters)

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one of the BJ's brews that are constantly available. Tatonka's appearance is dark chocolate brown, almost black, with a light head that stays throughout the pint. Smell is light, like most of the brewpub offerings I've had, and mildly of roasted malts. Taste is very complex. Roasted malts are prominent, but a wine-like taste with a hint of vanilla is strong towards a sip's middle. A very light alcohol taste is also noted in the finish. I really enjoyed this beer and must say it was the best of my BJ's visit. (521 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nitro tap at a Dallas area BJ's. Black color with a thick brown head. Has a strong toasted malt smell. Medium to full bodied. Strong taste of chocolate , blackened malts, and toffee.Very smooth as I'd expect from a nitro tap. Finishes with a bitter, almost burnt malt flavor.
A huge brew. (289 characters)

Photo of MEsquandoles
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually tasted it at the one in Temple, TX. Made in Houston.
Very drinkable, largely in part to the nitro. I liked it better after it warmed. Like a toned down and more market friendly version of Saint Arnold's Russian Imperial Stout (DR#5) with nitro carbonation. While I would rather it not be on nitro, it was done very well. Alcohol was hardly noticeable. (362 characters)

Photo of Rumrunner
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint style glass

A real well crafted complex stout.

Almost black with a big tan foamy head with bubble holes in it. Amazing lacing and the retention of the head was better than average. The scents were at first very muted. A cold scent to it. As it warmed a roasted cocoa and floral hops emitted from the glass.

Many flavors here. Roasted cocoa and mocha dominate this stout. Some burnt grains and a slight molasses. Some hops give this stout a bit of bitterness. Not too powerful though. It balances well. At 8.1% ABV it is hardly noticeable.

Medium body. It drinks well. It is not as heavy as other stouts that I have had. Cheers to BJ's on this one. (665 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-nitro at the Anaheim Hills location. On to the beer:

Nitro is usually good at producing a long lasting and sexy looking creamy head, and it happens again here. The beer is black with a cola hue at the bottom of the glass, and the lacing covers the glass in its cream. The aroma of smoked chocolate and a dash of vanilla stirs up the nostrils and preludes the taste, which offers a similar profile. It's rich, smokey and cocoa nibs leading the way. A hint of vanilla breaks the smoked chocolate duo. It's full bodied and very smooth, yet it does also seem to have a slight watery character from the nitro. However, that's a small chink in the armor to an otherwise good strong stout. (693 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark black with virtually no highlights- maybe a touch of brown. A creamy tan head sticks around to the bottom of the pint. Very nice.

Aroma is rich malty goodness- chocolate, chicory and some coffee notes. Flavor follows through from the aroma, but add some smokiness and some creaminess too.

This is dangerously drinkable- the ABV sneaks up from behind. Recommended.

One point more on the place than the beer- BJ's serves their beers quite cold, and since it's not a "relax and let a pint warm up" kind of place (it's more a "how quickly can we turn the customers over" place), it makes it hard to really enjoy the quality of their beer. Beerfly adjusted accordingly. I mention it here because it does affect the review of the beer. (757 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at BJ's, Westminster, CO

Tatonka! Poured a dark brown-black with a finger of tannish head that retained and laced well. Big roasty aroma: dark malts, coffee, some cocoa. More big roastiness in the taste, with dark malts, coffee and cocoa notes, licorice and leather. Alcohol somewhat noticeable, but not in a bad way. Heavy-medium body, full of flavor and personality, and generally very drinkable. (417 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at BJ's Natomas (Sacramento), brewed at Roseville (just up the road). Dominant appearance, very dark, lots a "stuff" floating around, light tan head. Impressive looking. Smell/taste: bitter roasted malts and bitter hops are the two strongest notes. There are stronger stouts out there, but this one holds it's own against the other BJ's beers on tap; definitely nothing else this bold on tap. Raisins, sweet dark bread, molasses, strong red wine, and bitter dark chocolate all come to mind. Alcohol is present, but not dominant. A good beer, but it isn't quite balanced...maybe it's just a very fresh batch. The flavors are the right flavors, but somehow they don't seem to blend to make the perfect beer. Recommended if you're there, but not quite world-class. Cheers! (777 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/20/2011

Nitro pour at BJ's Escondido.

A: Dark brown and opaque with a monstrous brown head that lingers for many minutes. It's actually been sitting there for probably 8 minutes and not moving. Witchcraft (I've since learned that this is on nitro, so perhaps not occult this time).

S: Molasses accompanies a restrained nuttiness and evident earthy notes. Dark chocolate blends with a robust roasted malt profile.

T: Pronounced roasted grains blend with dark chocolate and a moderate earthy bitterness. I get licorice and a little molasses. Finishes with a touch of booze.

M: Full body with a silky mouthfeel.

Overall: I'm enjoying this. Definitely the best beer I've had at the illustrious BJ's Escondido. (714 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

All-black viscous body with an incredibly thick brown cream top pad, as thick as whipped creamm with small, scraggly bubbles poking out like a poison ivy rash. Nose was a sharp, mint vodka with a background of coffee ice cream and dulce de leche.

Taste held lots of alcohol--the first thing noticed. It was served coolish and was smooth like a Guinness. Watery, light sweet taste hits, followed by the alcohol, followed by a mild roasted toastiness. Despite the alcohol being present, the full brunt of the 8% wasn't felt at all--except for a scratchiness in the throat. (573 characters)

Photo of ShawnMN
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Great brew x I love BJ'S brew house , great food but their beer is definitely brilliantly crafted. This tatonka stout is great dark roasted malted brew. Great thick creamy feel on the pallet. Beautiful chocolatey coffee flavor with a thick caramel colored head to start it off. Great coffee chocolatey aroma. Great beer, goes great with their Bison Burger! (356 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's close to black, with just a hint of brown. A good pour from the tap or the growler produces a healthy tan head that fades pretty quickly. The smell is roasted malt with a hint of fruit and a moderate alcohol aroma. Lots of flavors are floating around. In addition to the roasted flavors, a ripe fruit flavor is noticeable. It's lighter in flavor and mouthfeel than most imperials. However, I found the Tatonka to be the best of the beers regularly on tap at BJ's. (473 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Las Vegas (Summerlin) location, but brewed in Chandler, Arizona.

This imperial stout poured a very dark (almost opaque) black color with creamy, brown foam that persisted until the last drop. The smell was malty with a mild roastiness. The smell was very mild, but could be coaxed a little with swirling. The taste was sweet and malty with hints of cocoa and dried fruit, and with an pervasive light roasted malty bitterness. There was a hint of alcohol as well. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium-full body and moderately low carbonation feel. This stout was warming, and the roasted flavors lingered. This was a good stout, and it grew on me. (682 characters)

Photo of baiser
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at BJ's brewhouse in Cupertino. A creamy tan coloured nitro head sat atop a reddish black body. Roasty coffee aroma, sweet molasses and some heavy alcohol in the nose. Mouthfeel was very creamy and smooth. The alcohol makes it a bit less drinkable. This is a very full bodied stout. I really enjoyed it. (310 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a 1/2" tan head. Some thick lacing developed through the drink.

Smell: the aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste: the flavor consisted of roasted malt, chocolate and licorice. Alcohol level was quite strong and very noticeable.

Mouthfeel: this was a medium-heavy brew with a creamy smooth start. The finish was slighty dry and long on the alcohol and chocolate tones.

Drinkability: one of the better BJ brews and is nicely drinkable even with the noticeable alcohol tones. (538 characters)

Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a thick black with a one to finger head. The nose is caramelized malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and notes of hops. The taste opens the palate to a thick body creamy, chocolaty, heavy malty characters, and a good dose of hops for good measure. The finish is bitter but clean and very lasting. (302 characters)

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Tatonka Stout from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.