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Tatonka Stout - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

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Tatonka Stout
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99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 20.75%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | 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:
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 added by: Gueuzedude on 07-04-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mora2000
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

Mora2000, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -13.5%

mhaugo, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of videofrog
4/5  rDev +15.3%

videofrog, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev +11%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

CaptDavyJones, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of soju6
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

soju6, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of Rizalini
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

Rizalini, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of jzeilinger
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

jzeilinger, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of fourplayed
4.22/5  rDev +21.6%

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.

fourplayed, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of megahurts4
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

megahurts4, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of bboelens
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

bboelens, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

Retsinis, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
4.2/5  rDev +21%

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

AdamBear, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%

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...


comfortablynumb1, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
2.23/5  rDev -35.7%

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.

nrbw23, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of velkyal
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%

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.

velkyal, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of jpittman80
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

jpittman80, May 08, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

twiggamortis420, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

Sammy, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
1.93/5  rDev -44.4%

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.

Arbitrator, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of Spineypanda
4/5  rDev +15.3%

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.

Spineypanda, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of jdklks
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

jdklks, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%

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.

jujubeast6000, May 30, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

yemenmocha, May 03, 2009
Photo of trevormiller
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

trevormiller, Apr 14, 2009
Tatonka Stout from BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
79 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.