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Bison Organic IPA - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic IPABison Organic IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

197 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.45%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 06-05-2005)
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429


2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 00:12:00 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange-bronze; a beautiful hue from the darker and dirtier range of the IPA color scale. The semi-stiff cap is a combination of pastel orange, light gold and ecru. It drops over several minutes to a thick, creamy disk and is responsible for a fair amount of meaty lace. This is a good looking beer.

I would have thought that Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops would have guaranteed a quality nose, but that isn't the case. Caramel malt and citrus peel are noted, although they're too weak (especially the hops) to make much of an impact. A medicinal alcohol presence will probably threaten to overwhelm the palate the same way that it's threatening to overwhelm the nose. I want pungency, vibrancy and brightness in my IPA noses... and didn't get any of them with this beer.

Bison Organic IPA isn't quite as bad as I'd feared, but it isn't great either. It reminds me of a DIPA in some respects. Unfortunately, it has the worst characteristics of that style rather than the best. The flavor profile consists of a lot of malt, a lot of hops and a lot of alcohol. It drinks like a 9%'er at least.

All that malt provides as much caramel flavor as hop flavor. The hops have a low-frequency thrum rather than a bright, zesty explosiveness. They still deliver a tongue ruffling amount of bitterness. There aren't too many IPAs that invite comparisons to cough syrup, but this one does. That raw-edged, medicinal, fusel alcohol nastiness is gaining in confidence as I drink.

Thanks to the generous malt content and an extremely subdued carbonation, the mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium. It doesn't work for me, though, because of the tongue numbing heat from the alcohol. Although the beer isn't flat, it's heading in that direction.

Bison Organic IPA is an unqualified disappointment. I wasn't expecting a world-beater, but I was expecting something more drinkable that this. The label states that the beer has a 'rustic, rough-hewn hop character'. I happen to love rustic, rough-hewn hop character, more than most, but this one is way too rough-hewn for its own good.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 21:11:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-visited on 7/26/08

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a rocky head that leaves some lace

Smell: Modest piney overtones (some citrus, too) with a biscuity malt undertone

Taste: Starts by laying down a nice biscuity malt backbone; joined by grapefruit and pine hop flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, more orange hop flavors burst forth, and wind up nicely balanced with the malt; there is a floral honey-like sweetness on the finish that is distinguishing

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Having tasted (and disliked this beer previously), I have come around; not sure whether the recipe has changed but this is rather nice

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 22:26:51 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very dark, haxzy burnt amber, basically brown color, with a this white head. A decently quick fade left behind a nice film on the top and a good lace down the sides.

S - Smell was very resiny, and piney. Lots of balance here with some nice sweet malt flavors coming out as it warmed up. A very full and robust smell that is very enjoyable. Not an overally hoppy, citrus bomb, IPA smell at all, very nice.

M & T - First impression was very smooth, with not alot of carbonation, and a very slight hint of alcohol. Again very balanced with an upfront burst of pine resin hoppiness, followed by a blend of caramel and sugar, and a very nice dry finish. The hop profile definatly gives off a muted impression due to the complex and well balanced malts. Lots of hints of spices as it warmed, nutmeg, maybe even cinammon, almost winter like.

D - Overall very very nice. An awesome session IPA and the organic factor a plus as well. Good solid offering here that I would not turn down.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 23:43:21 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A neat and varying beer that has some alure and some criticism. The nice aspects of this beer is its artistic homebrew qualities. But it's also quite raw and quirky--like homebrewed beer as well. The beer is a bit off-balance in it's lighter malt flavors and firm body that makes the hops stand out more than usual. The hops, though bitter and grassy (along with lightly piney and citrusy) start to take on metalic flavors under the lightened malts. The beer finishes mostly clean with a light residual bitterness and graininess.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2006 15:55:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear shimmering copper with a tight one finger head that stays thru the duration of the glass wich was nice had a real creamy effect leaving a mustache,aromas yield a decent fruitiness a tangerine note as well as lemon rind and some underlying pine.Flavors bring a more earthy,piney elemant than the aromas very dry but not over the top bitter earth and pine like I stated dominate just a lightly sweet malt base is there to keep it from being overly dry.The dryness of the beer makes me wanna drink more and this goes down quite easily,a nice but not over the top American organic IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2006 21:32:44 | More by oberon
Photo of nickfl


4/5  rDev +15.6%

01-15-2012 20:03:47 | More by nickfl
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears an orange copper tinted clear vibrant tone with a nice beige head forming with billowing cloudy texture above the rim of my glass. After each sip fine lacing is spread down the sides of the glass with full rings noted. Aromatics come strong with herbal and pine hop bursts with caramel malts to balance things out, pretty fresh even for organic shipped to Ohio from Cali. Four varieties of hops of course I'm getting signature Cascades with some citrus peel among a spicy finish. Flavor creamy caramelized brown sugar coated hops moderate bitterness tingles and then lingers in the finish. Hop flavors range from spicy to citrus peel bitter with a touch of wintergreen coolness. Nothing over the top just a clean drinking sturdy west coast IPA, stand up but not outlandish. Mouthfeel is medium with hop oils evident carbonation very smooth and natural dryness noted in the finish from the IBUs, a touch of alcohol edges in as well. Drinkability is solid not a mindblowing effort but very good all around, and definitely the best "organic" offering I've tasted. I wonder if they use all organic hops???

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 04:57:23 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled May 2007
Labeled as Organic IPA, and certainly not anything like a British lower hop spectrumed IPA (I think the organic IPA needs to be broken out as a separate entry here)
Very well carbonated; the beer pours with a four-finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is an almost clear, pale reddish, full copper color. Very well hopped with notes of loud grapefruit, fresh cut tangelos and candied citrus fruit. The beer has a very punchy, aromatic hop nose that is quite smooth.

Lightly sweet, with a malt character that accentuates the dominant hop character. Notes of freshly zested orange peel, sweet ruby red grapefruit and menthol-like pine are quite noticeable. There is also a an interesting bitterness in the finish that is fairly smooth, and not at all over the top. Perhaps a hint of astringent hop bitterness lingers on in the long finish, but it is fairly mellow. The malt plays a secondary, supporting role here, but is noticeable as a touch of malt sugars and a hint of caramel.

The second pour produces a five-finger thick head; this is definitely way over carbonated, but the good thing is that the foaming and the pour effectively degas this brew. This is definitely an enjoyable IPA; smooth, fruity, yet still well balanced for an IPA. This is very drinkable and quite enjoyable; and somehow it is even organic, how can you not love it.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 21:29:48 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -13.3%

11-21-2011 19:01:05 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of GClarkage


3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

05/30/06- Purchased at Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info listed. Poured into my Pike pint glass.

Appearance- Orange-amber in color. 3/4 inch head with nice streaks and spots of lace. Very creamy looking head as well.

Smell- Very lightly scented. Floral, sugary and a bit of malt.

Taste- Very sugary. Malt is pretty heavy with a roasted and smoky taste. Hops seem to taste a bit stale. Maybe a bit of cardboard flavor. Pretty bitter.

Mouthfeel- Fuller sugary coating, almost syrupy. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- A bit stale flavored, maybe it was out of code. A try again beer in the future maybe.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 16:34:11 | More by GClarkage
Photo of beernads


3/5  rDev -13.3%

04-10-2013 09:13:01 | More by beernads
Photo of weeare138


3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a hazy orange with a small white head.
Smell is nutty, toffee, caramel, with mild funk in the background.
Taste is of mild nuts, toffee, and caramel.
Mouthfeel is thin, bitter, with mild caramel malts coming through and running along the palate.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2006 16:44:40 | More by weeare138
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice golden color with a big, fluffy white head. Nose was pretty light with more malt than expected, hops come through in a pine sort of way rather than citrus or flowers. Taste is ok with the malt being quite well done with a bready, biscuit backbone but unfortunately the hop profile here is sub-par. Not enough pines, citrus and floral notes as it says on the bottle. Too harsh and abrupt with no well formed flavor profile, just bitterness. You can def tell this is organic. It is ok but after having some Organic IPA from Fish Brewing in Olympia I can say it is average. Those guys do it best.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 04:17:40 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info t obe had. pours dark honey amber under a slight light khaki head, with bubbles rising to the top and leaving plenty of scattered strands of lacing. Light floral hop nose. Ample smooth maple malt under coating and an equally smooth hop bit riding on top. This one seems to be more on the Brit side of things, easy drinking, nothing amazing just an nicely crafted and worthy IPA. Organic to boot. worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 17:03:07 | More by Billolick
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burnished golden with little head. Smells quite malty and somewhat sweet with a fair amount of floral and citrusy hops. Very little bitterness. The taste is more of the same sweet malt combined with quite a bit hof hoppiness. There is a sort of strange maple syrup and melon flavor that seems to be coming from the particular hop and malt profile used. There is also a good bit more bitterness in the taste, almost aspirin like. There is also some metallic flavor on the finish. The flavors aree vibrant enough, but everything seems a bit out of whack- both too sweet and a bit to acridly bitter. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, tannic, and medicinal. Eh, I don't think this will make my regular IPA rotation, still, it is nice to see another organic IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 19:52:51 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of ejimhof


3/5  rDev -13.3%

03-09-2013 14:12:18 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bison Organic IPA

Pours a light copper/gold color, clarity is good. Aroma of pine, citrus, and alittle herbal. In the taste, a small citrus hop, cooked veggies, light pale malt and a moderate bitterness level. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but a bit thin. Overall, about average for the style, no surprises.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 04:06:44 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Tone


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, hops, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is really smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol up front, then hops, and a decent sweet malt background. Wow, on the verge of being an American Strong Ale - alcohol definitely dominates. Good body and mouth feel, not a high deal of complexity.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 01:27:50 | More by Tone
Photo of scruffwhor


4.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, I'm really starting to love this brewery and all its offerings I've had so far. I recommend that you other BA's ignorant to Bison give it a shot.

Great deep amber, rust, wet cardboard. Maybe not appealing on papaer, but a great mix of hues. Nice head with a good foam throughout. The aroma was like walking through a valley of spruce trees intermingled with hop vines just down wind from a sourdough bakery. The taste had that awesome mix of pine tar, flower hops, lemon.orange peel, and biscuity, sourdough malts. Just awesome.

Goddamn this brewery seems so underrated.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 04:12:17 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a hazy consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A strong hoppy smell, along with some citrus.

T: Tasted of floral hops (much more than anything else), some citrus (a little grapefruit), and a nice malty backbone. Much more flavorful than most organic beers. A solid taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Most organic beers tend to be extremely bland, but this is a pretty well done example against that theory.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 12:04:22 | More by avalon07
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color, with yellow hues and a white head. In the aroma, citrusy/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, mainly citrusy/ grapefruity hops with a small maltiness in the end. A bitter mouthfeel and a semi dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. Very nice balance and vry good for an organic, haven't had much luck with those, but this is a nice one.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 18:07:39 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of DrDemento456


3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Paid 2.19 for the bottle. Into a pint glass.

A - Pretty decent is is rather hazy/dirty amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to a pretty sweet lace ring.
S - Somewhat muted but herbal hop bitterness. Touch of sugary malt. Some bready malts. Really not much.
T - Huh its not it the hop bitterness its mostly malt like an old ale but easy going. Not really good or bad.
M - Light to medium easy to drink.

Overall I guess it could use more hop bitterness since it comes off as a lower ABV barleywine but a very drinkable one. Could be old but who the heck knows with no bottle date!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 01:46:40 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is fairly hoppy with an undertone of sweet citrus, mainly mandarin orange. It pours a pretty clear amber with a thick, fluffy, fairly persistent off-white head - an extra half point there! Flavor is hoppy and just a little bitter with a hint of citrus sweetness. Texture is pleasingly smooth with a nice fizz, and it leaves a hoppy, woody, slightly bitter and subtly tingly finish. This is not the best IPA I have ever had, but it is worthy of at least a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 02:21:56 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of barnzy78


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

11-22-2011 05:03:43 | More by barnzy78
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Bison Organic IPA from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.