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

Not Rated.
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 UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at BJ's in Valencia, CA.

Pours pitch black with a 2 inch milk chocolate colored head that fades to a small cap. Nice ring lacing on the drink down. Smells of roasted malt, espresso/coffee beans, and bitter chocolate. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee. Lingering hop bitterness and burnt taste on the tongue. Carbonation is horrible on this beer. Extremely flat and thick on the drink down. Very creamy in a bad way, like drinking coffee creamer. Drinkability is average due to the flatness of this beer. Not too good. (542 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the Columbus Ohio BJ's.

Boy that's big. I wasn't expecting a Russian Imperial Stout in the standard line up from a chain brewery. Expecting a watered down American Stout, I am taken back a bit.

The beer is as big on malt, roasted barely, body, and power as the style demands. A chewy beer seems to be malt forward with a lot of caramel, molassas, and toffee. Nuttiness, dried cherries, plumbs, and dates make their way into the ester profile. Deeply charred but not ashy or astringent, then roasted grains give a sharp espresso note to the aroma and taste. Bitterness comes in late in the form of coffee and hop bitterness. Alcohols are prevailant throughout giving a sweet, cough syrup taste at times, but lending to the dryness in the finish. A long linger of espresso and alcohol top off this session. Buyer be warned, this one has a kick to it! (861 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 mothman
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is brewed for the BJ's in Houston

Pours ½ finger of tan head. Great retention and lace. Not as dark as I would expect an RIS to be. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: Big and roasted. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, grassy/earthy hops. A touch muted for the style.

Taste: Much more here than in the nose. Roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, caramel, chocolate syrup, coffee, and vanilla. Pretty creamy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and roasted. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and raosted.

Overall, a big stout full of flavor. Pretty thick. I like this one. It is slow drinking however. I don't think I would need a full pint of this one. (679 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 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 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 cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap from BJ's in Orlando, FL. 16oz pour into a standard shaker pint glass. Pours a very dark black color with a nice creamy light tan color head that possesses great retention and lacing. The aroma is dark roasted malts with hints of coffee and alcohol. The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts with some bitterness coming through in the finish. This one definitely doesn't hide the alcohol very well, the finish is a little boozy at time for me. Overall, Tatanka is a decent beer that I would order again at BJ's but definitely nothing I'd go out of my way to get. (574 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, lighter brown head to it, looks the part, even if slightly lighter than most. Aroma was kinda muted, not as much sweetness or roastyness as you would hope for.

Taste, decent, hides the alcohol quite well, but a little pase for an RIS. Sturdy, but no one flavor to speak of, which depending on your point a view, could be a grand testament to its balance.

Overall, a decent beer worth having again, especially considering its cheapness and ability to hide alcohol. (483 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 BeerFMAndy
2.84/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

6 oz nitro-tap pour in a mini pilsner glass. 8.5% ABV, On tap at BJ's in Huntington Beach, CA.

A - The best looking beer of them all, Tatinka arrives from the nitro-tap black with a sexy cascading, thick, tan head with incredibly thick lace til the last drop.

S - Sadly the nose is almost absent from this beer as it offers only hints of low roasted malts.

T - More flavor comes out than the nose offers up but sadly it's all astringent and full of hot alcohol that blends poorly with dark roasted malts and a light addition of coffee.

M - The texture has a lot of dry, dusty cocoa with an astringent alcohol kick and a lingering rubbing alcohol burn.

D - This beer has parts to it that are almost to a decent point. The alcohol needs to go though. It doesn't fit at all and it definitely lowers the drinkability. (818 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 EgadBananas
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color, light brown frothy, creamy head of a solid finger that sticks to the glass all the way down. Appeared to be nitro, but I never found out out for certain...

The aroma was okay. Light roasted notes, which hints of chocolate and sweetness.

Taste was nice, with bittersweet chocolate, lots of roast, a touch of coffee, and a hint of hops in the back.

Feel was good and creamy, medium bodied and clean.

Overall, a tasty brew, but an average RIS. I think a lot more non-beer-people will enjoy this, but beer geeks will likely find it lacking in depth. I'll gladly drink it everytime I go there though. (623 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in Citrus Park Florida

A: Flat black in color with a small thick head . Smooth and silky looking with spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malt, with hints of chocolate.

T: More of an Irish stout than an imperial. Taste was of roasted malt, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied brew. The nitro pour made it extra smooth and creamy. The finish was very dry, Very Irish stout like.

Drinkability: Not too bad. I enjoyed BJ's quite a bit. The beers are not on par with Tampa Bay Brewing, but it was a nice spot with pretty good beer and damn good food. (566 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 JamesS
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At Greenwood, Indiana location... Poured a fairly thin black with some decent head and a bit of initial lacing. Decently deep sweet roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee. Decently roastiness in the flavor, as well, with some coffee, and hints of earthy hops. Went down quite smooth, but that could be due to the fact that it's one of the thinnest impy stouts I've ever had. Nothing was bad, but it just wasn't very thick and rich, with a nice collection of flavors, like their should be. (489 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a one to two finger head that is khaki in color and gives way to webbed lacing and rings of lacing down the glass. The aroma is of roasted malts and some dark fruits. The aroma is very faint. The taste is of roasted malt and caramel malt backbones along with hints of chocolate. There is also a presence of dark fruits and a slight hop bite, however, the big alcohol is not present. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and not slick. The drinkability is okay, its not the big ris that you think of, but it would be a good beer to introduce someone to the style. It's an easier drink for an ris. Not as complex as some but a solid beer. (681 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a huge fan of BJ's beers, but I like the place - it is nice, convenient, and has good food. So, it's a crowd pleaser although perhaps not a beer destination. That said, I found this beer to be pretty good. It is certainly not an Imperial Stout that is going to challenge the giants of this style (it's not Dark Lord or Darkness of Speedway Stout), but for what it is, I thought it was pretty good.

This beer comes in a pint, and has a rich thick head. Aroma is pretty roasty, but otherwise wasn't really all that notable. Flavor was some sweet roastiness with a really soft and creamy mouthfeel. It seemed more like a higher-ABV breakfast stout to me more than it was an Imperial Stout. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised.

In future visits to BJ's, I'd have this beer again. (790 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amazing head. It is super frothy and clings to the glass for dear life.

Smell is of coffee and roasted chocolate malts.

There is anice undertone of mint on the palate with a very sweet chocolate and roasted malt profile

Slightly creamy, yet slightly astringent mouthfeel. Astringency seems to be a defect in several of their beers.

This beer is fairly decent, but their are better RISes out there. (420 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BJ's Laguna Beach. Went great with some vanilla ice cream for desert! Nice thick head, and a great black color. Head stayed throughout the pint, and left a thick lace down the glass. Beer had a great roasted coffe flavor, and a nice hop bitterness in the finish. Very nice stout. (289 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 ThreeWiseMen
2.33/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Sampled this on nitro-tap at the BJ's Restaurant in Fresno, CA tonight.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pitch black body (or so it appeared in the dim lighting) with a quarter inch of dense, light brown, cap. Great head retention and foamy lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley and chocolate came through right away. With time, caramel, coffee, and hints of red currants emerged. Nothing out of the ordinary or special about this one.

Taste: Chocolate and roasted malts make up the bulk of the flavor profile. Little to no hop presence. Roasty finish transitions to an annoyingly alcoholic/fusel aftertaste, which lasts and lasts. Boo.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than it should be and under-carbonated; very dull, nearly flat (the nitro-infusion is waaay off). Finishes very dry, brazenly showing off the ABV. Not creamy in the least. Lousy.

Drinkability: I had to eat food/take big swishes of water between sips. This was one of the worst RIS's I've had. Almost no complexity, certainly no balance, and an extremely alcoholic finish. Just BAD. (1,047 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Addison, TX location.

Pours a opaque black with a thin creamy tan head. Looks like it comes from a nitro tap but I'm not sure. Smells chocolatey and nutty. Lightly smoky.

Taste is earthy and burnt malt. Chocolate and nutty. Some alcohol burn. Really creamy and smooth. Bitter chocolate aftertaste. Thick and chewy. There is a pronounced alcohol burn that cuts into the drinkability a bit. Other than that a pretty solid imperial stout. (456 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled (5oz.) on 09-08-03 at BJ's Brewhouse in Arcadia, CA.
Inky black in color with just the faintest suggestion of brown at the edges. Thin but resilient creamy mocha colored head.
Smell is of burnt coffee, dark dried fruits, floral hops and a light alcohol note.
Taste: baker's chocolate, coffee like you'd get from the bottom of a pot left on the burner too long, prunes, and dates all rolling around on the tongue. Finishes with a light hops bittering at the back of the tongue and a bit of a raw alcohol flavor.
Feel was a bit lighter than others I've tried.
A tasty, if a little raw, Imp Stout. Flavors are not as assertive or aggressive as other Imperial Stouts but in a way that's the appeal of this one. (720 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.