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

Not Rated.
Tatonka StoutTatonka Stout

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BA SCORE
85
very good

168 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 168
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 3
Gots: 34 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 61
Photo of Bills453
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a BJ's growler into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - dark brown/black, no light shines through this darkness.

Smell - coffee and dark chocolate. I actually smell some charcoal in this one as well.

Taste - coffee and chocolate taste. Roasted flavor as well.

Overall - a nice stout. Nothing blew me away about this one though.

Photo of JamesS
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a rather light brown. It almost looks reddish in the pour but ends up brown in the glass. Little lead.

S - Mostly some chocolate malt, some dark fruit, very faint.

T - Taste was decent. Again, it's actually pretty light. Some hints of coffee and bitter chocolate, followed up with some dark fruit

M - Smooth, ABV hidden incredibly well. It's actually a lot lighter bodied that what you would expect in an imperial stout.

Overall - It was decent. Very light and drinkable, but not incredibly full and flavorful. Sort of a RIS Lite.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of MsRif
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with decent head retention. Lacing is very decent with this beer. Smelled of coffee, chocolate and caramel. I little too sweet smelling with not enough complexity. Tasted very roasty with undertones of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Definitely has a little bitterness to it, but it is more sweet than bitter...bitterness really only hits in the finish. Does NOT taste like an 8.5% ABV brew.

Smooth, but maybe a tad on the thin side. Good carbonation. Overall a good stout, but not really representative of the style...it is not complex enough and it was really lacking in richness. Good, but not great.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.45/5  rDev -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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of jds1469
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.33/5  rDev -37.9%
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.

Photo of CBlack85
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Greenwood, IN location.

Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, nearly opaque with some ruby highlights. The semi-tall tan head receds quickly and leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

Dark chocolate and coffee notes mingle to create a huge aroma. Some dark fruit hints and toasted notes give a little depth to this beer.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. Big chocolate and coffee, with lots of toasted notes. Body is a little thin for the style, but the nitro tap gives it a nice smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol is well masked, almost too well masked.

Overall this is a nice beer, especially for a chain restaurant. I would like to see the beer be a little more full bodied, and slightly hotter.

Photo of goblue3509
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown, surprisingly light for a stout. Thick, creamy frothy head on top that made me ask if it had been nitro-tapped (allegedly, no). This head left beautiful lacing all down the sides of the glass.

S - Mild aroma, hops, clean yeast and dark malts - very faint. (Although the woman sitting behind me was drenched in some noxious perfume.)

T - Initially chocolate and a light malty sweetness, charcoal, some mild grapefruit hops. The aftertaste is fading charcoal and bitter pithy hops.

M - Incredibly smooth (again making me wonder if this is nitro-tapped - the waitress insisted it wasn't), thin, and very refreshing.

D - Fantastic. Not an iconic RIS, but it is great. Easy to drink and pleasant with every drop. I plan to come back to BJs regularly.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of MisterClean
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Roseville BJs

A - Pours a dark black with a 2 fingered chocolatey head. Took forever to dissipate due to nitro pour. Left nice lacing.

S - Heaps of lactose coupled with dark chocolate malts, and a light, reserved smokiness.

T - Lactose, dark chocolate malts, light roast coffee, and light bittering hops.

M - Light to medium bodied, light carbonation, malt dominated, and slightly astringent.

D - Not bad. Not used to the lactose in imperial stouts, but otherwise drinkable. Couldn't get any alcohol or phenols, which maintains that it was fermented at proper temperatures.

Photo of Buschyfor3
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint off the nitro-tap at the new BJ's at Oxmoor Mall in Louisville, Ky.

A: Deep, muddy brown, quite opaque through the pint glass. Somewhat thin, but very creamy looking sand-colored head - reminds me alot of the consistency of a Guiness Draught pulled from a nitro-tap. Alot of lacing creates notches along the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted notes hit first - coffee, burnt toast; followed quickly by dark chocolate and some faint hints of dark fruit and molasses. A good blend of sweetness and bitter, roasty bite, even if the nose isn't overly complex or groundbreaking.

T: Much like the nose, you get a dose of roasted coffee beans and breakfast toast up front. Then a touch of bittersweet chocolate creeps in along with touches of dark fruit, molasses and maybe some licorice. Pretty much a cookie cutter RIS in its flavor profile - tastes like what you'd expect, but nothing over the top to wow you.

M: Full bodied; a nice creamy head and the body boast the appropriate thickness and weight coming off of the nitro-tap.

D: Not hard to drink at all and the alcohol is masked fairly well. At $4.50 a pint, not bad either in terms of price to quality.

Really, this RIS was not bad at all, its just nothing that will knock your socks off. Solid, sturdy brew that touches all the right points without getting too adventurous. Pairs well with BJ's avocado egg rolls.

Photo of Tarmac
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
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!

Photo of cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of SShelly
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BJ's Woodland hills.

Comes out looking like its from a nitro tap, giant pillowy head with a dark brownish-blackish color.

Nice roast aroma with a little amount of hops.

Roasty bitterness in the mouth, very lively carbonation, not thrilled with the flavor, I think this probably scrapes the bottom end of the RIS category, not enough chocolate and too much roast for my tast.

fairly drinkable but not my favorite.

Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
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!

Photo of jcompton
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

got this while working down in McAllen, TX.

opaque black appearance with nice lacing around the glass. this was on nitro, so i had a nice creamy head

smell was roasty and chocolate. a little light on aroma for an impy stout

the initial taste was the same as smell, but quickly turned sweet and syrupy. the more i drank of the beer the less i liked it. the sweetness was over powering. i was ready how this had relatively high bitterness, but i couldn't detect that through the sweetness. it makes me wonder how consistent this brew is from store to store.

mouthfeel was creamy and very pleasant.

low on the drinkability due to the sweetness. i wouldn't recommend this beer. the Piranha Pale Ale was much better

Tatonka Stout from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.