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Tatonka Stout - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

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Tatonka Stout
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BA SCORE
79
okay

101 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 20.81%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | 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: 101 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

yemenmocha, May 03, 2009
Photo of trevormiller
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

trevormiller, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of mullenite
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

mullenite, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy, nitro-tap head that doesn't quit. Look and feel up top of a pub beer for sure. Dark brown color, probably near to black, with some highlights against the afternoon sun.

Nose is undermined by the head, but what gets through is light roasted coffee, a pretty big hit of sweet caramel malt, with some smokiness lingering behind these.

The taste is overly sweet for my taste, but it is nicely balanced by the roasted astringency. Rich drinking chocolate edges cafe latte for the upper flavor hand. Very smooth and creamy, which is pleasing in a way but somewhat detracts from the seriousness of the style.

Well balanced but too light to call itself Imperial.

BretSikkink, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
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!

mugglesandhops, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of heath1agnew
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

heath1agnew, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of dirtbag43
1.55/5  rDev -55.2%
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.

dirtbag43, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of timmah427
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

timmah427, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

changeup45, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Vipsanius
4.78/5  rDev +38.2%
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.

Vipsanius, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of nem2006
3/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

nem2006, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.63/5  rDev -24%
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.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Dogbrick, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of Overlord
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Overlord, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Bierguy5, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

MiScusi, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

TurdFurgison, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
4.15/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

TheBierBand, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

theopholis, May 12, 2007
Photo of scorched
1.63/5  rDev -52.9%
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.

scorched, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of TechMyst
1.1/5  rDev -68.2%
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.

TechMyst, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of BradBLR
3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

BradBLR, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of Injemanze
4.7/5  rDev +35.8%
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.

Injemanze, Oct 01, 2006
Tatonka Stout from BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
79 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.