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Bison Organic IPA - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic IPABison Organic IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

142 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 204
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Reidrover on 06-05-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 204
Photo of Number967
2.06/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Very thick head that dissipates within a couple minutes. Not a very strong smell. First thing i notice is malt which is different from most IPAs that hit you with piney hoppiness up front. Smells almost like a brown ale? The taste is almost the same. Tastes like a watered down IPA. Very watered down. low carbonation, taste of the malt at first, not much bite. Wouldnt buy again, very forgettable IPA.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.28/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 22oz Bomber, picked up for $2.99 at Hi-Times. Simple Bison logo on the black crown cap. Main label is typical of many of the Bison brews; this one has a typical Bison generic layout with an orange colored frontage set against a grey background. To the top right of the front portion there is some text below a ‘USDA Organic’ logo. The main label lists the beer as ‘Bison IPA Certified Organic Bison Beer’. Listed at 6.8%. No freshness date.

The blurb states "Our organic IPA uses Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops for a rustic, rough-hewn hop character that pairs great with food or relaxing among friends. Prominent citrus and pine aromas & bitterness that is not over the top balances this medium bodied .copper-colored brew".

Appearance: Pellucid dark ‘sunburst’ copper red body sits quietly underneath an off-white head rises and stays stiff and firm. Head soon relaxes though and rests at ½” thick. The tan colored head has a rustic charm.

Nose: Viscous tannins mix with heavy dollops of pine oils. Sickly caramel with a toffee base adds a thick texture to the nose. A little off-putting, borderline sucky.

Taste: Now it really feels like the attractiveness is slipping fast. The hops are very raw…..too raw….sooo raw; it feels like it surpasses the finesse of “rare” and rapidly moves into distinctly “uncooked”, altering the whole tenure of the brew. Stodgy, messy, unbalanced, lumpy and quite awful.

Mouthfeel: Has a sweet cloying staid mouth which feels like it is saturated in hop oils. Some alcohol but it too feels lost and without direction. Burps add a hop oil indigestion quality that not even a packet of Tums can handle.

Drinkability: Disappointing. I really expected so much more from this. Lists heavily to one side like an overloaded Bangladeshi Ferry packed to the gills with punters. A slow drink; and it just got slower as I worked through it. It got dumped, any dumping is an automatic 1.0 for me!

Overall: Such a good start, looked great and promised a bit in the nose but the flavors are just shockingly shite……completely unbalanced, not that IPA’s are generally balanced, but I it is heavily skewed towards the oily pine hops which would benefit from some support and poise, what’s the use of a 4.2 Litre Supercharged engine if you have standard transmission, shitty little tires and two wheel drive??! This IPA desperately needs a “Quattro” make-over to help it out and allow it to disperse its power in a more controlled manner.

Right now this is not one I would recommend to others or pick up again.

A Big Organic **MISS**

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.4/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw/orange color. Big, fluffy white head has good retention and leaves lacing too.

Smell: Mild aroma; just a bit of grasses and a hint of caramel. More like a lager. No hoppy notes at all.

Taste: Grassy flavors up front, with some bitterness coming in. At its peak there is a bit of citrus and pine. Quite metallic overall, as is the aftertaste, which is also somewhat grainy a tad bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and generally smooth, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Moderate ABV, fair taste.

Uh, where's the IPA? Rather odd, and not particularly enjoyable.

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Photo of warmstorage
2.44/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another installation in my search for a good organic IPA. This one isn't it, either.

12 ounce bottle, ~$1.75 at Hi Time, poured into beer clean pint glass.

Pours a medium to deep copper color with average creamy white head which dissipates fairly rapidly. Fairly vigorous bubbles indicate high carbonation. Leaves a little foamy lace on the sides of the glass. Appearance is the best thing about it.

Aroma is limited, a little grainy, and only even a little hoppy because I'm looking to smell it.

Initial taste has a fuzzy, busy mouth, but limited good taste. Weird metallic character, and maybe a bit of piney hoppiness on the finish. Tastes... almost unpleasant. Is that wet cardboard? As it warms to room temp, it takes on sour notes.

Hops are here, but not well done, and not anything like the west coast IPA style it's going after. There is a harshness here that is decidedly unpleasant. (And I should note that DIPA and IPA are two favorite styles.)

A little bit of heat is detectable on the aftertaste, perhaps from the relatively high ABV (6.8%).

Especially for a brew which advertises a "rough-hewn hop character" with Tomahawk (15-17% AA!), Centennial and Cascade, and a website claim of "triple digit IBUs", this is pretty darn disappointing.

The search continues...

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of CantillonKing. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Pours a very hazy orange-copper with a good white head that goes away almost immediately. A few spots of lacing. The nose has not much other than some bread and accompanying toasted crust. The flavor has a slight bit of light hop bitterness, but not any hop flavor. Bready malt, that's it. Body is medium with a slight bitterness in the finish. Too chewy. Not a big fan of this.

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Photo of crhensel
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(12 oz bottle into pint class) Poured a light coppery with a very small off white head. The nose had some slight citrus notes and a bit of pine. It has a smooth mouthfeel but the bitterness of the hops was a little overwhelming at first. Allowing to warm mellowed it a bit, but this is a very average IPA.

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.66/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy orangy-golden color with modest head. Nose is almost entirely absent, but with what is there it is just simple citrus. On the palate this one is quite malty for an IPA, with alcohol rearing its ugly head even when the pint is at its coldest initially after the pour. Bitterness is there, but not a lot of the nice aromatic, floral, citrusy, piny hops. What a let down.

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Photo of lancecjohnson
2.71/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First time review here.

I got one of these at the CalShakes Festival, and I poured it into a small plastic cup (which may or may not affect the results.) I'm not familiar with the brand at all, and I chose the IPA because I was in the mood for something with a lot of flavor.

I was pretty underwhelmed. It had that characteristic IPA smell and hoppy taste but only enough for me to say that it "counts" as an IPA. For the most part, I'd describe this as being pretty bland, which is exactly what you DON'T expect from an IPA. The mouthfeel was pretty watery as well.

I read some other reviews, and this one seems to run pretty contrary to them. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle? Whatever, I think that I'll try one of their other styles next time I'm at CalShakes.

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Photo of feelmefoam
2.73/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bison's Organic IPA pours a murky burnt orange color with lighter orange highlights and a finger of white head that quickly dissipates and leaves only a little thin lacing around the glass. The head started out looking nice, but it was gone pretty damn fast, not leaving too much in its wake.

You really have to search for the aroma, and once you find it, it's just OK. I can appreciate a good bit of caramel maltiness accompanied by a faint citrus character, but really nothing that jumps out of the glass at you.

The taste is the worst part of this beer. It's very plain on the tongue; up front is a long, unimpressive showing of caramel maltiness that slowly fades to a bit of hop character that is lacking not only in bitterness, but also that bright, zesty, juicy hop flavor that I look for and cherish in my favorite IPAs. This is pretty plain all around.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, but it isn't great either. A few notches above medium with the body, and a pretty hefty lack of carbonation leaves the alcohol open to rear it's head, which isn't very desirable, especially in this beer.

I'll finish this beer, and it's not horrible, but I certainly won't be buying it again. Just pretty plain in all areas of the spectrum. It started out well, then slowly got worse. If this is a representative of what organic beers (or at least those advertised as such) have in store, I might think twice before purchasing another. Anyone have any specific "organic" examples that could change my mind?

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Photo of psuKinger
2.74/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle picked up while visiting my sister in Virginia, poured into a standard curved-shaker pint glass. I see no freshness date on the label, and I fear that this guy may not be of ideal freshness...

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a nice fluffy white head on the top.

S: Malt-sweetness and earthy notes are readily detectable. I'm a hophead... my initial thoughts here are that this smells more like the stereotypical East Coast IPA than it does a California IPA.

T: Follows the nose. Malt-sweetness dominates. I am picking up some citrus hops, but bitterness is underwhelming here.

M: Tingly carbonation is pleasant, but the beer is otherwise unremarkable in the mouth.

D: When I started this beer, I didn't think it would "last" for me very long. Other IPAs with a similar malt presence don't hold up very well for me. But this "worked" for me further into the bottle than I expected. I will not seek this out again, but if a free one was handed to me I wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of seanbhudson
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear orange amber color with a smallish white head that dissipates quickly. Medium amount of lacing.
Medium aroma of citrusy/piney hops and biscuit like malt. Bit of a tropical smell like pineapple/mangos.
Starts off malty with a backbone then moves into piney / grapefruit hops. Finishes with an annoying harsh bitterness like chewing aspirin.
Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
It smells good but I do not like the harsh astringent bitter finish.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - a coppery reddish orange color. Nearly two fingers of creamy off-white head, does its lacy thing all over the glass in chunky, sticky form.A fine start.

Aroma - got a good whiff of citrus and pine on the pour, but that receded rather quickly to a mere polite nose of orange and grapefruit. Not bad but below par for the style.

Taste - some brief sweet maltiness up front, very brief, before a wave of brash, slightly metallic bitterness takes over. There's really not much character to the hop, just the raw bitterness. A hint of something citrus on occasion, but it is like the hop profile has been filtered out solely for the sake of the IBU prominence. I've had one or two like this, probably the lesat favorite version of the style but it'll drink.

Mouthfeel - well-hidden abv though 6.8 isn't that much of a factor. Bouncier in the mouth than the appearance lets on. Some oiliness lends a heavier than average feel.

Drinkability - too brash and harsh for me I think. Some cheese crackers help prevent premature palate burnout.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sadly unimpressive. Nice orange pour with a big puffy head. Aroma is hops with a ton of malt. The flavor was the same, except it had a very soapy back with a sweet aftertaste. More wood than resin, typical of these Bison organics. Not my kind of IPA.

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Photo of drpimento
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Academically interesting beer. Poured wiht a decent little head and some lace. Aroma was a mild malty citrusy hop. Color is a light to medium amber gold and fairly clear. Taste is a citrusy hop that is sweet on the tongue tip and bitter on back. Kind of a weird flavor in there too. Ok, but nothing special. Had better. So so finish.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold in color. Only a slight ring of head forms on the pour and is quickly gone. Smell is only slight floral hops. Taste is same as the smell. Slight hopping. Not a whole lot there. Your basic ale with just enough hops to notice. Very easy drinking, but not exciting.

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Photo of Samuel906
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Very average IPA. Pours a nice color, slightly cloudy, but has little to no head. Hops and citrus on the nose as you would expect but fairly mild. Some bread and almonds as well. Farily balanced, with some hops upfront with the taste, leaves some bitterness behind. Felt too soapy for me. Not a bad beer and very drinkable, but hard to recommend with so many other widely available winners.

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Photo of RunDWP
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm all for being organic, saving the earth and all that, but this beer started pushing the limits of what I'm willing to do to save the planet. It's a bit harsh tasting, and otherwise average.

It poured into my tulip glass with a slightly flat head floating above the standard amber colored liquid. A little grassiness and herbal aroma. A good amount of malt for an IPA, with a bitter grassy and leafy hops aftertaste that was a bit harsh. Maybe a little citrus in there as well. Mouth feel OK, nothing special but I just didn't find this to be a highly drinkable brew. I just didn't enjoy this much.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an orange-amber hue topped by one finger of off-white head. Aroma of spicy floral hops evident from the instant of popping the cap off the bottle, and it keeps coming. Underlying aroma of sweet malt, plus a touch of candy sugar and something else that's sweet (maple syrup?). Not a typical IPA nose, but still pleasant.
Palate has an almost Belgian-like sweetness and complexity up front, with candy sugar and some European yeast. The hops soon take over, providing a sharp bitterness with some floral notes. Some sweet bready malt provides an anchor, but the hops are still kind of all over the place and a bit unfocused. A better balancing of the hop profile would really improve things here.
Body is substantial and just a tad syrupy. I don't really know what to think of this beer. If they were going for a west coast-style IPA, they missed the mark, but if they wanted a strangely hoppy Belgian-esque ale, they're close. Interesting, but not necessarily pleasing.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Paid $8.99 for an 6 pack from BevMo in Willow Glen, CA. Poured into a pint glass.

Nice 2 inch off white/cream colored head that slowly settles nicely. Moderate to light carbonation. Darker more amber than your average IPA. Some patchy lacing.

Pretty aromatic. Hoppy and piney.

Maltier taste than I expected. For an IPA, I expected it to be a bit more hoppy.

Medium body, somewhat of a creamy finish, lightly carbonated.

Nothing really set this apart from your average IPA.

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Photo of pcents
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As i poured it out of the glass I notice the very thick and stiff white head. It's smell is not as pungent as other IPAs but it does give a slightly grassy smell. The IPA is a brownish slightly murky yellow and it is a nice looking clear beer. As I drink this Bison brew I notice it is slightly bitter and sour. Its sourness is reminiscent of citrus fruits and it finishes with a small piney taste. The mouth feel is light and not heavily carbonated; its sourness lingers on the tongue and you drink it making me have to swallow after it is already down in my belly. A decent beer from Berkeley.

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Photo of drinknewbelgium
2.97/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

deep golden color pours with little to no head aromas of hops with mild caramely malts tastes of hoppines with slight biscuity toastiness fairly bitter and definitely appropriate for this style mouthfeel a little thin for what i expect in an ipa but its all right for me i could have a few of these but hey i like ipas

well organic or not i dont really care for you organic buffs have at it but for me i could name probably 25 better ipas off the top of my head to check out but try it if you've never had i encourage anyone to keep trying because all palates are different

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Photo of bump8628
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark with a nice dense white head that stick admirably.

Muted aroma of husky grain and a hint of citrus. The taste offers more with a grassy/herbal hop flavor and a lingering, almost harsh, bitterness. Clean, neutral yeast profile with a dry finish.

I like the idea of organic brewing, but in this case the high quality ingredients weren't put to a good use. High hop bitterness without the bright and juicy hop flavors doesn't add up to a good IPA in my book.

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Photo of Omnium
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle > Sensory Pils
A - Pours a cloudy gold, nice two finger soapy head, nice lacing.
S - Smell is bad, I realize this is old, but this is a base aroma that I'm getting lots of weird smelling yeast, licorice, a tad bit of floral hops, burnt caramel.
T - Diacetyl is definitely present, some mild hop bite, biscuit malt.
M - Thin and unpleasant mouthfeel.
O - I know this is old, but whats the advantage of making your beer organic if it tastes bad? I cant see this being good even if it was fresh. I'm going to take a stab and say that diacetyl was in here before it "aged". I cant remember I have some more Bison beer stashed away in my collection to try, but I know to avoid this brand from now on.

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Photo of phiberoptik
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright, clean, copper with a light two fingered soapy white head.

Mild on the nose. Not a lot jumping out. Some floral notes, citrus and undefined fruit, but not much else.

Very metallic flavored, and I know it isnt the glass. I get some citrus and floral in the taste, little bitterness, and overall rather watery. It may be partially from drinking a bigger beer before this but I have made attempts to clear my palate.

Light, watery, but crisp with carbonation.

I like organic, but organic doesnt always mean better and this misses in a few places. I want it to be better and I hope the next one is.

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Photo of evansrdbrew
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank on: 3/7/10
65 ABV
12 oz. in pint glass

A= Nice 1/2" thick head which left a nice high foamy lace. Beautiful golden copper colored ale. Nearly translucent. Slight foam layer and lace had great staying power.

S= Light malt aroma, almost pilsner smelling. Mild citrus and sweetness. Orangish hop aroma, with slight hint of pine.

T= The beginning is good with nice refreshing flavor and a nice earthy, herbal hop flavor. Wierd slightly metallic aftertaste with hints of citrus/lemon. Very light malt flavor. Very light bitterness with a slight piney hop flavor. Aftertaste is overwhelming though and not very appeasing.

MF= Light with no coating of mouth. Fairly mild carbonation and bitterness.

D= Aftertaste was off putting not making me want to drink any more.

Overall, my least favorite from bison brewing.

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Bison Organic IPA from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.