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Tatonka Stout - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Tatonka StoutTatonka Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 119
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 30.55%
Wants: 1
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse visit their website
Arizona, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 07-04-2005

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 119
Photo of Vipsanius
4.73/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at the pre-opening of the new San Antonio location. It initially looked very black, but when held to the light, revealed it's redness. Nice tan head.

Had a good sweet roasted aroma to it.

Exceptional flavor. Very well balanced between the milky sweetness, roasted malts, and lightly bittered hops...with all sorts of wonderful flavors hitting the palate in a well choreographed symphony.

The mouthfeel was great as well. Creamy but a lot lighter than I had expected, which is nice coming from a style of beer that I sometimes feel I need a fork to go with. Perfectly carbonated (or nitrogenated?). It could probably be considered a little weak for an imperial stout, but what it has, it has in spades, which trumps any extravagant insaneness of other imperials.

Overall, this beer absolutely blew me away. I'm sure they're paying much greater attention to detail now before their launch, but I sure hope they're able to maintain this level of quality going forward.

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Photo of Injemanze
4.7/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I had two glasses of this beer at a BJ's in Brea, California. 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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.42/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BJ's is all over the place with this one. I had this at the San Mateo, CA BJ's, and I'm fairly certain it tastes the same at every other BJ's.

A: Black with a creamy brown head. Very dark, head stays with the beer all the way down the glass.

S: Sweet malt, bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, smells like a standard imperial stout.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose. Sweet malt, dark chocolate, coffee. Standard, but delicious. Definitely worth a try, at least in the dark beer sampler.

M: Full bodied and pretty smooth.

O: Underrated. Beers from places like BJ's aren't given the consideration they deserve, because of the large number of locations or broad distribution, but the fact remains that this is an excellent imperial stout.

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Photo of fourplayed
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Black/Brown with thin lite brown head.

Smells of Roasted malts, chocolates, some caramel sweetness and mild alcohol.

Tastes is smooth of roasted malts, caramels, chocolates, some coffee and a nice mix of earthy biting hops with a medium alcohol presense.

Very creamy and smooth, not much carbonation, some hops add to a mildly dry finish and the alcohol warms you well.

I enjoyed this very much and would have easily had another pint had time allowed during my visit to BJ's. Deserves a try for anyone who enjoys a good stout.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.19/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown, thick light tan head

S-rich spicy coffee beans, fairly strong

T-coffee taste hits with an impressive amount of sweetness, coffee comes in more pronounced and dry in the after-taste. this beer is truly like a dessert.

M-very little carbonation but goes down so effin creamy and smooth. its so wonderful, it reminds me of a milkshake

D-abv note starts to come out more, although the abv doesn't seem to hit the other senses. overall taste stays fairly well. its a joy to the end. if i had more time, i would have bought another one

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Every one else has said "on TAP" but mine was definately a Nitro Tap (confirmed by the bartender). I had this at the Columbus, OH location... I'm not sure where they shipped it in from ... but it was definately not brewed on premises in Columbus.

Appearance was black with reddish highlights when held to light. The 1/2 " head held to the bottom of the pint glass leaving pronounced lacing. It looked like a Guiness Draft at first... so I thought..."Oh no, not another Guiness Clone.... like Bare Knuckle Stout from Anheuser Busch"....thank goodness... it was only similar in appearance....

The smell was of roasted malts, dark chocolate and honey.

The taste was very heavy and robust... the chocolate came through very well. A little coffee with a big alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel was very good!.... way thicker than Guiness. The nitro tap had me fooled....

Drinkability - wonderful!... but I only had one, because I was anxious to try some of their other beers.

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Photo of heath1agnew
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was my first imperial stout to have and i loved it. had a one finger head that lasted for the whole brew and extreme lacing was left all over the glass. the beer was opaque dark brownish black. the taste was good and my only critisism would be that the alcohol was a little to harsh in the finish. mouthfeel was excellent. smooth and creamy, thick and chewy, and a nice touch of carbonation. i was suprised that this beer was so drinkable.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass at a BJ's in the Sacramento area.
Absolutely pitch black, with no light penetration.
Good one finger head (looked like it was from a nitro-tap) that dissipated fairly slowly.
Aroma upfront was of roasted coffee beans with hints of dark chocolate and dark raisins coming through.
Taste is sweet upfront, with the dark raisin/dark fruits flavor coming through. Mild bitterness comes across in the finish.
Fairly robust, medium to full bodied stout. Mouthfeel was good, fairly smooth stout. Drinkability even with the slightly high ABV was very good.
Paired very well with their smoked BBQ pork sandwich.
Definitely worth a try if you are at BJ's.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BJ's Tatonka Stout
On tap at BJ's Brewhouse in Baton Rouge, LA

Appearance: dark brown, very good lacing, small-medium head.

Smell: sourness and dark chocolate.

Taste: rich malted-roasted barley, coffee, and a faint dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: medium and creamy.

This is a very pleasant stout. It's rich creaminess allows it to sail down smooth while giving decent flavor.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled as part of a flight of 4 while on vacation. Staying across the street from BJ's Brew House in Westminster, Colorado on 7/18/15. Stopped in and had dinner and brews. :) ABV 8.5%, IBU 50

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Photo of Spineypanda
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An average stout.
BJ's stout is not a terrible one, but it doesn't compare to their porter by any means. The head is light and doesn't last long.

It has a nice aroma, of alcohol and roasted malts.

Tastes strongly of alcohol and does not have the extra kick I really look for like in the imperial stouts.

Not bad and I would buy again.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at BJ's pub/restaurant in Polaris (Columbus, OH). I heard they ship it from AZ since they don't have a brewing license here.

Nice dark appearance with wet lacy tan head. The aroma is burnt and roasted malts, rich and tasty. Didn't get any coffee out of the flavor (I seem to expect that from double stouts anymore), but very good sweet malty flavors.

Probably the best I tried from them so far. Very nice.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black in color from the tap. Creamy brown head. One of the best cascades I've seen from a stout.

S - Nice chocolatey, roasty aroma.

T - Has a nice malty flavor, and heavy finish. Strong flavor that stays.

M - Smooth, full mouthfeel. Heavy beer that almost coats the tongue.

D - For an Imperial Stout, this beer as very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a full brown, indefatigable, creamy head. The beer itself is pretty opaquely black colored, but shows a hint of clear ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is of roast coffee, a hint of smokiness and rich chocolate combined with a lightly roasted, concentrated caramel note. The taste is smooth and creamy up front with a solid milk chocolate like middle that finishes with a roasty, coffee like dark bitterness. This is a quite well balanced mix of complex malt notes, yet still fairly light for an Imperial Stout. This is very tasty with concentrated burnt caramel notes.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the BJ's in Oklahoma City. I was suprised at how good there beer is. This one poured a almost opaque black with a 1 finger head and it had the best lacing out of any beer I havve ever had. I had to take a picture of it it was so impressive. The smell was decent, coffee, some chocolate. The taste was good more coffee and chocolate. Fairly thick, creamy. Good beer!

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Photo of bboelens
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the orlando location, poured into a pint glass

Deep dark mahogany with burgundy notes, a creamy thick off-white head that lasts the entire beverage and leaves excellent lacing. The nose has a distinct chocolate malt presence, with hints of coffee and slight caramel. The taste is more of the same but with the addition of sugary sweetness and a more noticeable alcohol taste. A thick and creamy feel as expected from a nitro-tap beer. Overall a beer I would most certainly have again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the darkest beer in the world, but good enough, 1" tan head on it, quickly recedes. Good roast quality, smooth nose.

Easy drinking ris, gets fruitier as it warms, kinda divisive, is it pase because it drinks so easy, or is in ingenious because it hides 8% so well? Not a ton of chocolate. Not a ton of anything, doesn't have any one exceptional quality, but it is solid all the way around.

Slightly bitter, some cocoa pops up. I would swear it was a nitro tap, but was told otherwise.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at the Columbus location, nitro style. Pours flat black with a medium thick and creamy beige head that has good retention. Spotty lacing. The aroma is roasty with some chocolate and malt. Medium-bodied and smooth with a rich chocolate flavor, along with roasted coffee and malt. The alcohol peeks through once in awhile and the 8+% ABV is really the only thing that saves this beer from falling short. The finish has a sweet chocolate malt flavor and leaves a mildly bitter hops aftertaste. Better than expected, but nowhere near the better Imperial Stouts out there.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark dark brown, but I wouldn't classify it as black. It has a light tan head that has great retention. The head doesn't leave a lacing- it leaves layers of foam down the side of the glass- nice and sticky. The smell that mainly comes through is roasted coffee. The taste again is high on the roast and coffee, but it goes down very smooth. They label the IBU's at 60 for this but it doesn't seem that intense. It is a very nice drinker. The mouthfeel is slick and dry. While this is a good beer, the coffee being present more highly than the other flavors isn't really something I would want to drink large amounts of.

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Photo of changeup45
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 4/23/08. The best of the bunch I sampled at BJ's. Black colored with a nice thick tan head and retention. Roasted dark chocolate flavor with toasty malts and a touch of coffee. Creamy and pretty well balanced. Finishes with some bitter hops. Some alcohol shows late. A very good beer!

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Photo of theopholis
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank at the Canoga Park BJ's.

Appearance- Black. This stuff is blacker than Barry Bond's soul. Has a good, creamy, tan head with nice lacing. .

Aroma- Lots of roasted malt with stong overtones of coffee, bittering hops and a hint of chocolate.

Taste- Lots of roasted malts with just the right amount of malt sweetness. Rich coffee and bittering hops. Yum.

Mouthfeel- Heavy body with the right amount of carbonation. It's very thick, chewy and velvety.

Drinkability- This is an outstanding RIS, ADS. Having said that, one is enough for most people.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap in Columbus. Yes, nitro tap. Pitch black, no other shades at all. Thick beige creamy head. Good head retention and lace.

Sweet milk chocolate aroma. A bit of dark fruit in the background. Nitro seems to mask the aroma a bit.

Very sweet up front. Milk chocolate gives way to dark vinous fruits. Some black cherry and plumb flavor. A bit of bitterness to back things up.

Medium body, very creamy. Overall, a bit too sweet. Please, no more double stouts on nitro! Would probably bemuch better without it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Glendale location. Opaque black with a creamy head, lacey sheets. Would like this one on ask. Smooth, a fuller mouthfeel. Good drinking, more chocolate than their porter. Also higher abv than noted in the past. Roast under control.

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Photo of mullenite
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with a one finger creamy tan nitro-head. Some brown highlights on the edges. Lacing went all the way down the glass.

Nose was weak due to the persistent head but was mainly roasted malt and alcohol.

Taste mainly consisted of roasted malts and dark chocolate with some caramel sneaking in. Light alcohol heat to it.

Mouthfeel was thick and slimey thanks to the nitro-tap, really wish this would have been a standard tap beer.

Very easy to drink and tasted pretty good. I'll likely get it again.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, near black, with tempting aromas of chocolate, light espresso, roasted malt, and caramel. Palate was surprisingly light, especially in flavor. I thought I was served the wrong stout (how could this be an imperial stout?). Some alcohol is noticeable as it warms.

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Tatonka Stout from BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
80 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.