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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no score

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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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 173
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.74/5  rDev 0%
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. (759 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 MisterClean
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (581 characters)

Photo of Buschyfor3
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,379 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 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 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 SShelly
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (426 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 jcompton
2.74/5  rDev -26.7%
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 (715 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)

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 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 xraided81
2.66/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted at the san bernandino location, not sure if it is brewed there. this did not taste like a traditional impy stout. Tasted more like a dry stout, with a subtle hoppy aftertaste. The head was creamy white, was expecting an a light orange rust colored head. overall a mediocore stout. (287 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 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 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 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 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 SteveO1231
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally got to taste the Tatonka my friends had been talking about.

It was pretty good. Poured thick opaque black. Thick creamy tan head.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Nice thick creamy texture, taste of chocolate with a bitter coffe finish.

Probabyl one of BJ's better house brews.

Cheers! (325 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 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 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 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 watermelonman
2.51/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This came as a dark brown and black with pretty average head and lace.

The smell is off at best, containing alcohol and some kind of putrid grain. The taste is plain and overly potent. The mouthfeel is somewhat disturbing while the drinkability takes a big hit for an overall lack of refinement.

I think this thing could use a lot of work. (345 characters)

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