Tatonka Stout - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

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Tatonka StoutTatonka Stout

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BA SCORE
78
okay

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 116
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 23.01%
Wants: 1
Gots: 15 | 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: 116
Photo of TechMyst
1.12/5  rDev -67%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Undrinkable. Poured dark black obviously, ok while drinking, but the aftertaste was a sweet cloying hell. My waiter was kind enough to let me choose another beer, which ended up being SN Celebration. Now I did like their Pirahna PA, that was very nice...and their deep dish chicago style pizza blew away the "standard" Gino's East in the windy city...Maybe It was served too cold? Didn't care to stick around and find out. This was at Desert Ridge near phoenix, AZ. (465 characters)

Photo of scorched
1.65/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The food at the restaurant, amazing. The beer... not so much.

The beer was brought to me with little or no head. Not sure if this was how it was supposed to be, or if the bartender doesn't know how to pour or what... The body was black as night.

The smell... very sweet. Lots of chocolate scents... You can definitely smell the alcohol.

The taste. Dreadful. So ungodly sweet... where are the hops? Any hops at all? I love a good double stout, but wow, man... where are the bloody hops?

Mouthfeel was slick... almost greasy.

Drinkability... not so much. Avoid it.

The food at the place is great. Decent service (Columbus, OH location.) Just avoid this beer. (674 characters)

Photo of dirtbag43
1.66/5  rDev -51%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'll preface this review by saying I ordered the 4 beer sampler from BJ's and tried the Blonde, Pale, Stout, and Nut Brown, and all 4 of the beers carried the same nasty sweetly-bitter odor and taste. The stout seemed to suffer the most. Underneath that mask of off-flavor was a beer undoubtedly, but to get through to it was too much to ask. I only finished one of the 4 flute samplers (the blonde) and did my best to accomplish that. I would not recommend the BJ's in Burbank. (478 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
1.91/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at BJ's Brewhouse in Fremont. I ordered this for the gf since it's the only imperial stout they have on the menu.

A: Pours a pitch black in the glass, with a half-finger of light tan head. It retains poorly, vanishing quickly into a light collar on the brew. No lacing.

S: When it arrived, she informed me that it was too cold (I'm so proud... sniff) and that the aromas and flavors were kind of weak. Well, 30 minutes later, they were still kind of weak. Yeah, I pick out some chocolate, roasted malt. Not much else.

T: See above, I guess. Chocolate, roasted malt, a little coffee, some sugar, and a little alcohol warmth on the finish. Surprisingly devoid of flavor. I could blame this on the nitro-tap, but it's their beer, they know how they want to serve it...

M: Light-bodied. Smooth and creamy. Not terribly boozy, but warmer than expected for something that's "only" 8%.

D: Meh. Given that they usually have nothing else the gf can drink, I may wind up getting this for her again. But if I had the choice of something -- anything -- else that she liked, this wouldn't even be a contender. (1,112 characters)

Photo of MtOrion
2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Looks decent, but it feels like a bubbly soda, and taste not far off from a watered down Guiness with a hint of clean glass wear. it has a roastiness to it that will leave you wishing for a bolder flavor. (204 characters)

Photo of velkyal
2.23/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of the flight in BJ's Daytona.

Sight - dark crimson, topped off with a creamy tan head
Smell - nothing, just nothing there
Taste - Smooth coffee, roasted grain, burnt toast
Sweet - 4/5
Bitter - 2/5

This was a major let down. I love an imperial stout, but this was very light when compared to others in that style. Not enough roasted barley, chocolate malt, caramel malt or Black malt. Had more of the appearance of a northern English brown ale. (451 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
2.26/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a black color with a foamy brown head. Head has really good retention and stayed the entire time with the brew.

S- Smell seemed almost stale to me. Roasted malts and powdery chocolate smell.

T- Taste is roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of darker fruits. Not really digging this one at all.

M- Medium in body and light in carbonation. Has a dry feel to it too.

D- Man, I choked this one down. Not a fan of this one at all. (448 characters)

Photo of timmah427
2.58/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Dark brown with a small, creamy head. Not a whole lot of aroma, but a little bit of toasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Taste was simply terrible. Had a strange, but dominating metallic flavor. Other than that, I tasted lots of coffee and chocolate from the malt. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy.

Overall, this beer just had some really nasty metallic flavor that made it impossible to finish more than half of my beer. Not sure what the problem was; maybe they needed to clean their lines or it was infected or something. I'll have to try this again at some point and update my review. (587 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.64/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Black pour, just shy of opaque, with a nice lasting tan head. Smell is incredibly subtle at first and opens up with a nice roasty character as it warms a bit. Taste is equally subtle, with light flavors of milk, dark roast, and alcohol. Alcohol is surprisingly evident, and for as mildly flavored as it is, really detracts from the beer. It does have a nicely creamy thick body from the nitrogen however, and has the nicest palate of their beers. Not one I cared for too much but improved as it warmed. (502 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 5/22/2009 (Draft at BJs Brewhouse, Webster, TX):

Pours a dark dark brown, nearly pitch black color body. Average sized creamy Navajo white head, lastingish. Roasted, coffee aroma. Creamy mouthfeel, bitter coffee taste. Also some bitter chocolate. Gritty taste, bitter, sour coffee. Bleh. A little better as it warms, more chocolately, less bitter. (357 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.93/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A disappointing stout, perhaps slightly above average for this type.

While it pours an impressive opaque black, with a small bit o' head, the mouthfeel is watery, and the flavors are surprisingly weak. Mostly coffee with some smokiness/charcoal laced in, not a lot of chocolate/vanilla to balance it out, and no fruit flavors I could detect.

Not BJs best beer. (362 characters)

Photo of nem2006
3.02/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had it on tap at BJ's brewhouse in South Arlington, TX. It is a very dark brown with a little head. The head fades very quickly.

It smells of toasted malts and I think a hint of coffee.

Upon tasting it, I caught a little sweetness from the malts, but then was hit with a strong bitterness from the hops. It was a little much for me. At the end of each drink, I caught a little hint of smoke. (393 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.06/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours an engine oil blackwith a two fingered, vanilla, creamy layer of foam. The foam layer is so creamy that it almost looks like nitro.

S - Light roasted chocolate, mild cocoa, light pine hopping. For an Imperial Stout, there should be more going on in the nose.

T - Mild dark chocolate, cocoa, maybe some milk, and mildly boozy. I wish I could say more.

M - Watery, thin, and light on the tongue.

D - Needs more body and drinks more like a Guiness on steroids. (472 characters)

Photo of jdklks
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the restaurant brewery. they have quite a few beers that are all below average (in the C range), but it's an okay place to go, especially for the food.

the appearance is similar to most imp. stouts, though this one isn't really "imperial" at all. black with very little light penetrating through. the head is much lighter than the average imp. stout. almost white. the smell is underwhelming. some roastiness, maybe some chocolate maltiness. a little alcohol and a little hops.

tastes alright. again, underwhelming. average. big hops up front, which kind of turns me off of an imperial stout(but like i said, not really an imperial), but they quickly fade into a roasted malty, candy sweetness in the finish and aftertaste. this is not an unpleasant sweetness, but it also isn't all that great. a little bland, which doesn't bode well for an "imperial" stout.

mouthfeel is nice and thick and well carbonated. the best part of the beer. drinkability is average. (975 characters)

Photo of Retsinis
3.1/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was going to add this to a new location, since I had it at the Woodland Hills BJ's Restaurant. But to my knowledge, they no longer brew on site, so therefore this being a chain restaurant, the beer should all be the same, right? I digress.

The beer pours a deep black, with a floating creamy tan head. Probably due to the Nitro Tap. An inch of Head stayed on top throughout the entire time I was drinking it. To me it looked, and "cooked" just like a Guinness Draft stout does.

The aroma is all right. Scents of black & crystal malt, with some chocolate tones. Very little in terms of hop aroma, since my guess would be they are only used to add some bittering to this otherwise sweet beer.

The taste is decent, It has a rich malt flavor that goes down easy enough, with some chocolate hints. Finish is smooth, but not much there. The mouth feel could be better, but is average.

Overall, imho, the best offerings that BJ's has. Although, it is basically, to me, an Imperialized Guinness, with some Chocolate malt added. (1,025 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Plano location.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt, with a little bit of chocolate mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of roasted malt and chocolate, as well as some pine and bitter notes from the hops. The beer is fairly boozy. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (371 characters)

Photo of jpittman80
3.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Served from nitro-tap in Gainesville. Dark brown. Due to strict pasteurization laws (according to bartender) in Florida, they do not brew on premises. The nitro really helps the appearance of this beer. Very similar to a Guiness and much more head than a normal imperial stout.

S - Roasty, sweet and chocolate with a hint of hops.

T - After having a small sample and discovering it wasn't sickeningly sweet, i ordered one. The hops aren't as foreward as I'd expected and actually the malty qualities tasted watered down. I think maybe the nitro thinned this out a little too-much.

M - Very smooth and medium bodied, but I was expecting more of a traditional body.

D - Very drinkable because of it's lighter body and light flavor. Alchohol is pretty light for this style too, and you can't really taste it, which is nice.

I get that BJ's has to dumb down most of their beers to appeal to a wider audience. I can picture an uninitiated drinker having their mind blown, but it all seemed a little bland. Not BJ's best beer, but not too bad. (1,046 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nitro pour shows off some nice cascading, light tan foam atop a nearly black brewski. Retention is expectedly great and the lacing is ok.

Nose is a bit faint, but fairly strong for a nitro beer. Black licorice and chocolate malt with some mild, light fruitiness. Whiff of alcohol as well.

Flavor is a little sweet with a burnt, biscuit-bottom maltiness. Shows some toastiness and a bit of roast as it warms. Alcohol is a bit high for the body and malt bill, lack of much CO2 does not exactly help either. Its ok, a fun beer to try and is pretty unique amongst a saturated imperial stout market. I think this would be better with a little less alcohol and cut the nitro. (671 characters)

Photo of trevormiller
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I apologize for the short review on this one. From BJ's in Vacaville, CA.

Looks like a stout.

Smells sweet. On tasting it, it has a nice smooth mouthfeel and nothing unpleasant in the aftertaste. Reeeally sweet, though. I'm not sure why BJ's included the word "Imperial" except that it's trendy. Too sweet and wimpy for that. (327 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't know why they insist on serving imperial stouts through a nitro tap. Incredibly smooth and creamy, but it doesn't allow you to taste any nuances of the beer. Very little flavor and nothing to peak my interest. All of the flavors that you would like to see dominant and in the forefront are muted. There are hints of roasted malt, some light coffee and some very faint cocoa. Would like to try it without the nitro tap. (426 characters)

Photo of BradBLR
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the first beer I have had at BJ's that I did not think was great. Beer was very dark chocolate brown with a light carmel head that lasted the entire beer with a nice amount of lacing. The smell was a faint chocolate smell, not very strong at all.

The taste was that of a typical stout, which was not bad except it was called an iimperial stout in the menu. There was not hops and had a very mild malt taste. The mouthfeel was very creamy and the CO2 was very weak.

A good stout, but not a good double or imperial stout. I will have it again if I am there and want a good regular stout. (599 characters)

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.44/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BJ's Brewery...

A - Poures black with a two finger light tan head. Head is really frothy, but has nice retention. Follows you all the way to the bottom. Decent amount of lacing in this one...

S - Not much to smell here. Roasted malts, and maybe a hint of chocolate...

T - Chocolate followed by a really sweet taste. Ends with a coffee bite...

M - Really light for a RIS. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty watered down...

D - Not sure I would call this one a RIS, as it does not have alot characteristics of a RIS. All in all, a decent stout though, and something I will definitely be getting again on our next visit to BJ's...

Cheers... (678 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really like this one, possibly one of the more consistent and quality beers they always have on tap. Very dark pour with a short tan head that lasts. Roasty, cocoa and nut aroma. Chocolatey taste with a dry aftertaste. Malty and not as roasty as the nose would indicate, but very good. Hides the alcohol well, but is a full-body beer. Well balanced with a soft mouthfeel. (373 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at BJ's in EL Paso, TX.

A: Served a very dark mahogany color, virtually opaque. Had a good tan head that lasted with nice lacing to the finish.

S: Has a fairly mild aroma of roasted malt & coffee eith a hint of caramel.

T; Started with a mild stout bitterness and continued to roasted malt and coffee. There was a mild chocolate sweetness and a clean finish.

F: Full body, creamy and smooth. Well balanced. The alcohol is well hidden.

D: Good drinker, but almost a bit to sweet for my taste. I would consider this more of a stout than an Imperial Stout, but it is still enjoyable. (592 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually had this at the La Mesa BJ's.

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at BJ’s Brewery in La Mesa, Calif. Color was black with some brown coming through. Tons of head as I know mine was the first beer of the new keg. Tan lacing on the top that lasted throughout. Film on the sides as well.

Smell was coffee first with some hints of chocolate and roasty malts.

Taste was similar to the nose. Coffee up front, giving way to dark chocolate and roasty malts.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Smooth finish.

An OK stout that I think would have been better had I not had the first one of the new pour. I guess I’d have to give it another go. (677 characters)

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