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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

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292 Reviews
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Reviews: 292
Hads: 576
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-02-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 292 | Hads: 576
Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice, near-opaque chocolate-brown appearance, with good café-au-lait-colored head that subsides to a moderate ghee-tinted rim of foam; solid, dry-sweet nose, though without all that much cacao perfume atop or alongside those sharp, dark-sugar aromas. Very easy-drinking: quite light, and incredibly smooth on the mouth-feel—perhaps excessively so, given it's nominally a stout—this is highly sessionable (especially at 5.0% abv), to the extent it's much more reminiscent of a porter in the manner it operates; indeed, there's almost no heft, thickness, or roundness, and just a scant degree of richness. However, there are good smoky, burnt-sugar notes, and some appreciable creaminess. As the ale releases more of its depth of taste, very mild bittering emerges, but from the organic Peruvian cacao the predominant qualities are brighter, dark fig-and-açai fruity notes. These emanating flavors that build towards the beer's clean, fairly breezy dark-chocolate finish.

In my opinion, a nice cacao-spiked porter miscast as a "stout." (1,044 characters)

Photo of zdk9
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours solid black with whiffs of cocoa colored head. Some decent streaks of lacing, especially considering that there isn't much foam to stick to the sides.

S- Chocolate, roast, a bit of fireplace burned wood.

T- It's a stout alright- though the taste is a little generic, it fits the bill well. Toasted husky seeds and smoke give way to smoother dark fruit flavors in the middle of the tongue- prune and raisin. Not the strongest flavors but decently complex.

M- A little more carbonated than you'd expect, but otherwise it fits the bill.

O- A nice easy drinking stout. Not too high alcohol- I guess maybe more than a session, but on a colder spring or fall day it would be nice to hang out with a couple of these. (723 characters)

Photo of rudybanes
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The smell is of something familiar I can't put my finger on. While the taste is slightly different than the smell, with a delicious sweet cocoa flavor.I just got one in a variety 6 pack, but I would be very interested in having a whole six pack of this. (254 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is coffee up front, some chocolate and cream. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer. (224 characters)

Photo of loubar
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle from Whole Foods. Nose of dark chocolate and roasted barley.Taste of black coffee and bittersweet cocoa. Semi bitter and toasty. Lots of flavor. Good carbonation. Tasty, yet dry. A combination that you don't often find. The dry finish makes it very drinkable. Excellent. (284 characters)

Photo of everyman
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was sold on the idea that this is the first chocolate Stout. I was also sold on the idea that ancient Aztec culture, Montezuma and his chocolate obsession is upon the label associated with this beer. I expected richly, intense flavors of cocoa and that claim of "Peruvian Coco." By the label, I was led astray. This is an acceptable stout, not exceptional. Moreover, it is really only a mild Stout, not what now would be considered chocolate according to new craft beer standards. I think what bothers me most is the diluted, almost watery mouth feel. Roasted malts mostly dominate the flavor and aroma of this beer. Meaning, the overpowering roastyness works against its purpose as being chocolatey. I can see how in '89 this stout may have seemed game changing. But today the stout and it's recipe are due for some improvement. I will not buy this beer again until the flavor and smell can rightly be boasted of in the context of Peru, ancient Aztecs, and Montezuma serving up chocolate in "goblets of beaten gold." (1,020 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical black, opaque, light tan head, quick to fade, minimal lacing.

S - Primarily a combination of roasted malts, a hint of ash and certain savory note of soy.

T - Cocoa may be a part of the brew process. Not too much chocolate in the taste. It is backgrounded by the taste of over-roasted malts, producing an ash element. The soy element is present, but mild. A bit of bitterness in the close.

M - There is a slick element, a bit of drying in the close.

O - Nothing here is terribly surprising for a stout. Ash and soy are not my favorite notes, but there is a chocolate component, and a strong roasted grain, and these are always welcome. The main challenge is that it is not terribly cohesive, and ultimately the balance is not what I'd hope. (761 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not much of a head, quickly fading.

Slight roast, decent aroma of dark cacao.

Strong notes of chocolate and coffee, with a light roast behind. Bit of a cola flavor, with a similarly light and fizzy mouthfeel. Slightly metallic. Fair bit of cardboard and oxidation as it warms.

Not a bad coffee chocolate stout, but it could use a much smoother mouthfeel and some refinement in the traditional stout profile. (410 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
1.48/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Pours a brown color with tan head. Charred cocoa, charred malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied, but very bitter and off-putting on the finish. (170 characters)

Photo of Roxie_B
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Appearance: Nice thick tan head, opaque and dark.
Smell: Coco, coffee, lactic notes, licorice and malt.
Taste: Coco, lactic acid, coffee and a slight smokiness. Sweet finish.
Mouthfeel: Strangely powdery yet watery.
Overall: I think there has likely been some improvement with the recipe on this since others reviewed this one. Not great but inoffensive. (355 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
2.82/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

There's good retention on the foamy brown head and a light chocolate and herbal aroma to this black stout. A nice chocolate flavor is quickly watered down with a light roasty, herbal finish. A light bittering linger lends itself to a thin feel and a light bite in the end.

While there is a good chocolate flavor here it's really lost in the thin, watery feel and taste to make this beer not really worth the effort. (416 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Not much head and very little aroma. This beer has more of a coffee bitterness than the chocolate that I was expecting. If there was chocolate here, it seems to have been washed away by the somewhat watery taste. Ok beer, a little disappointed...... (249 characters)

Photo of FederalOC
2.69/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

No head whatsoever. Very little carbonation. No bottling date so not sure how old it is. I drank this the day i bought it.
I had higher expectations from a microbrew. Although ive never had a beer from Bison brewery i cannot imagine a microbrew wanting to put their name on a beer like this. (291 characters)

Photo of John_Beeryman
2.57/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a midnight black with a deep tan head that disappears almost instantly.

S: Weak smell of dark chocolate and coffee.

T: Thin, watery flavor of old coffee. I don't get much in the way of chocolate here. Leaves a sour, coffee-grainy taste.

M: Very little carbonation or body.

O: Weak, thin and sour is all I can say. (328 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I believe I purchased this from Total Wine in McLean VA.

A really top shelf stout in appearance with a really thick, tall and creamy tan head. Retention fell off a little so that docked it a little from being a 5.

For the smell I'm picking up more coffee and burnt scents than chocolate. I'd prefer chocolate and sweet scents myself.

Taste - Well now I'm a little disappointed. Its a very thin beer, burnt flavors like the nose and a touch hoppy in the finish. I really am not tasting much chocolate at all here or anything sweet for that matter. Somewhat easy to drink though due to the watery nature of this beer.

The mouthfeel is very thin and watery. Not very thick or heavy for a stout at all.

Overall I really don't recommend this beer as aquality crafted example of the style at all. I would drink it if offered again as its not offensive in any way, but just is really lacking in many areas. (904 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, mahogany highlighted, blackish coloring with a light, frothy, low profile, creamy tan colored head. Nose of roast, cocoa nib, baker's chocolate, and some subtle cream notes. Flavors are roast forward, with a blend of cocoa and baker's chocolate forward, with a bitter undertone and creamy highlights that help to keep the palate balanced. Roast and bitter aftertaste. The body is thin and light, with a dry finish that has a lingering bitterness from the chocolate notes. This is alright, but the characteristics are a little muted throughout for my tastes. (618 characters)

Photo of BergBeer
2.05/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Bomber poured into a Stone RIS tulip glass

A: Brown-black with a latte head

S: Sweet roasted malt, Choclate tones, prunes, and wheat bread crust. Smells good!

T: Nothing like the smell. Harsh dry/chalky taste. Hints of almost burnt/smoky coffee and semi sweet chocolate. The smokiness really takes front and center and ruins it for me. Not very flavorful.

M: Dry, chalky, and thin on the tongue.

O: Not a fan. Really craved a stout so i picked this up because it was 4 bucks. Regret it. Closest thing i have had to a drain pour. Immediately went out and bought Ten Fidy in it's place. Avoid. (597 characters)

Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.16/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a small yellow head. The head never dissipates during the tasting. Decent amount of lacing, but sporadic.

Smell: On the nose expect cocoa, roasted malt, and espresso. Maybe just a hint of hops.

Taste: Chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt develop in the taste as the beer warms. A mild hop presence blends into the taste. The alcohol does not detract but blends into the taste as well. I got a hint of a slight campfire smokiness in the taste that I really enjoyed.

Mouthfeel: Lite carbonation. Not exceptionally smooth over the palate. This beer finishes dry and bitter.

Overall: This beer gets better as it warms and both its flavor and nose fully develops. A beer of the month selection that I would not mind keeping in the refrigerator. (827 characters)

Photo of fountainofyouth
2.52/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown head, two fingers or so, and goes away pretty quickly. Body is near-black and doesn't react to light at all.

Smell: I'm hoping I can control for a stuffy nose here. I smell sweet grains, not a ton of chocolate per se. Pleasant but restrained. Maybe a little bit of herbal hops.

Taste: Not a fan. Very bitter and raw. Ashy and unbalanced. Desperately lacking malt sweetness, not to mention chocolate. Overall there's hardly any real flavor. I've had very few beers disagree more than this one between the nose and the taste.

Mouthfeel: Carb is pretty light, body is fairly full. No lasting feeling. Strangely it's a little bit refreshing.

Overall: I've had a lot of stouts, and this easily was one of the least flavorful I've ever had. No chocolate, no coffee, no real malt substance at all. This is the first time I'm having it. If I have it again and experience the same thing, I will avoid it in the future. (987 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a very dark brown/black color that hints at having traces of some deep ruby highlights when held up to the light, but practically lets in no light whatsoever. Has a nice tan/light brown head that is a good 1/3 inch thick when first poured, settling quickly to a nice surface layer of foam along with a good medium to thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Pretty good lacing. Aromas of some roasted/smoked caramel malt sweetness and certainly some hints of cocoa are present. Has a good smokey/roasty caramel malt sweetness upfront that gives way to cocoa sweetness and hints of black coffee bitterness. Good mix of flavors. No real discernible hop flavors here. Good solid taste profile nonetheless. Has a crisp, yet smooth and frothy, creamy, slightly prickly, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. To be honest I thought the body was a bit too thin for a stout, to me this drinks more like a porter than a stout. I guess if this beer has any real flaw, that'd be it. A good solid beer all around, but not anything super spectacular.

Eric (1,141 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

There isn't much not to like about the appearance of this beer. The slow thin brown pour eventually becomes a dark black with slightly lighter shades around the edges. The head is a dark tan color and resembles an IPA head with its cloud-like features. Decent retention and a nice lace left behind.

You can really pick up the cocoa in the nose. There's a gentle roasty smokey scent that follows. Slight coffee aroma.

The taste is a slight letdown in that the chocolate is of the bittersweet variety when the smells makes you expect a sweetness. Still, it's a stout and there's nice flavor, it's just bittersweet with some roasted grains tossed in.

The feel is similar to Guinness in that it's closer to light-bodied than it is to full-bodied. A lightening, loose, watery feel offsets some of the bitterness, which is actually kind of pleasant. There's no sign of sweetness, just an earthy char and a grainy feel in the swallow. Bitterness lasts throughout and sort of makes your mouth water while you wait for the next sip and because this borders on a session beer at only 5% ABV, you can keep sipping for a while.

Overall, it's very stout-like and reminds me a lot of Guinness. Depending on whether or not you like Guinness, that's either good or bad. (1,258 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
2.48/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours up a minimal amount of head which seems to have poor retention. The head is a dark golden beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. No lacing is left behind.

Nose- Chocolate and roasted malts. Very strong from the bottle, a little weaker from the glass. The glass, however, shows a bit of nuttiness. Hints of tomato and red wine start to appear.

Taste- Very sour for a beer that isn't really supposed to be sour. It's a blend of tomato juice, white wine with an acerbic finish. Roasted notes intermittently play in the flavor profile but not enough to clean up the all that mess. There is some lemon and an underlying cloying sweetness. Close to a green tea bitterness on the finish. This beer has no integration and no balance and way too much presence. In addition to all this, it is bit thin and watery. The palate is dominated with off flavors. The cocoa is minimal and does little confront the negative aspects of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Very thin and light bodied for a stout. Carbonation is very weak as well.

Drinkability- Almost a drain pour. And I've never drain poured a beer in my life. Enough said.

Overall- This beer is gross. The flavor would have to become a lot smoother to even approach mediocrity. I would probably rather have some BMC. I cannot recommend this beer at all. (1,332 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

How does he brew with those hooves of his? Anyway, this stuff pours a deep, dark black-brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, mild roasted malts, and a hint of coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, with the chocolate a tad milder and coming across as dark chocolate powder. There's a light acridity in there, not unlike when you bite into the darkest of chocolates. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth-ish feel. Overall, a solid stout that delivers what it promises without tasting artificial. Not bad. (626 characters)

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.91/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A: Very dark brown, with just a hint of red-brown on the edges. Head was less than a finger of light-brown froth that faded without a trace of lacing.

S: Less potent than most stouts, but including the familiar burnt grain and dark fruit aromas, plus some white pepper and perhaps cocoa.

T: No malt sweetness here, it's all variations on bitter: acrid, over-toasted grain, a touch of cocoa, some directly, and just a touch of hops at the end to remind you that it's beer.

M: Not good. Pretty flat, and lacks the density of a typical stout.

O: Not quite a drain pour, but way less than I was hoping for. I've had some excellent organic beers, this isn't one of them. (669 characters)

Photo of ChugMan
1.93/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Nearly opaque, dark ruddy red brown along edges. Thin froth around edges of glass, otherwise, no head. No lacing.
S- Chocolate, that's good. Salt, soy sauce, mesquite, hmm. Very rich, toffee, maple syrupy, dense aroma, not particularly inviting.
T - Watery. Smoke, more of that mesquite sensation through the nose. Some bitter cocoa. Hops show up just long enough to wave goodbye.
M - Very thin. Carbonation outlasts the hops, making this feel like a possibly decent beer which someone decided to thin out with club soda. Who is this person, and why did they do such a horrible thing?
O - This is an underwhelming, watered-down disappointment. Avoid. (655 characters)

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.