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

Not Rated.
Tatonka StoutTatonka Stout

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123 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.48%
Wants: 2
Gots: 8 | 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:
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

(Beer added by: pezoids on 10-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imperial
4.75/5  rDev +28%

Imperial, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Injemanze
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%

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.

Injemanze, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of NiallMac44
4.63/5  rDev +24.8%

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.

NiallMac44, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of samturner
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

samturner, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of amandapants
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

amandapants, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%

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!

dotsonjamesg, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of drewbage
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%

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.

drewbage, May 27, 2003
Photo of Dmann
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%

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!

Dmann, Apr 27, 2004
Photo of Tarmac
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

Tarmac, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of jds1469
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

jds1469, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

lordofthewiens, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of herring556
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

herring556, May 29, 2012
Photo of Scouteezy
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Scouteezy, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of Colosdog
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Colosdog, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of retry4z
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

retry4z, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of bleedsblu
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

bleedsblu, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

2beerdogs, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

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.

Gagnonsux, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

cmbeddoe7997, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of MEsquandoles
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

MEsquandoles, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

beerceller99, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of Rumrunner
4.08/5  rDev +10%

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.

Rumrunner, Aug 04, 2003
Photo of DoubleJ
4.01/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

DoubleJ, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of Dukeofearl
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

Dukeofearl, Mar 05, 2006
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Tatonka Stout from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.