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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-02-2002

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Reviews: 298 | Ratings: 594
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost black in the middle moving towards dark brown towards the edge of the beer, 1/3" tan head on the top. Standard amount of chocolate aroma for such a label, works nicely.

Taste was good, but the mouthfeel/texture was thin for a stout. And I can like a thin stout. But ultimately, this one lacked in the malt characters, it was essentially the adjunct chocolate that carried the way without much in the power train to move it. Bitterness, roastiness and body held in check.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not much aroma even after it warms. I get a chalky chocolate kick, thin finish. Not much going on here. I’d say pass, or avoid, as I couldn’t finish the bottle.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint while on vacation in beautiful Seattle, WA.

Appearance : Dark chocolate black body, 100% opaque, no light penetrating. The head is beautiful and khaki colored, standing at 3 fingers and leaving gracious lace on the sides of the glass as it recedes to a resting 1 finger.

Smell : A prune juice aroma, with soy sauce, blueberry juice, pomegranate and roasted malts. Chocolate can be nosed in a "health store organically bagged powder" kind of way. I guess you'd say it's cacao. Not a bad nose here and pretty unique.

Taste : A fair balance of coffee bean bitterness and roast malts, with a dusting of cocoa in the background. Slight almond. Some vanilla creme lingers on the tongue for the finish.

Feel : Refreshing, which is not something you'd normally associate with a stout. But it is easily drinkable, it's not thick, it's more medium bodied and flirting with the porter style but the creaminess lends it a hand in bringing it back up to a thicker stout like feel. Nice dry bite on the finish yielded from coffee/bean.

Overall : I'd say it's better than the rep it gets overall. I liked it, I thought it was decent and better than some milk stouts I've had. Remember, this is a lighter milk/sweet stout - don't judge it next to an Imperial or Russian Stout and you'll view it more positively.

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Photo of VonMisfit
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pretty generic stout. Pretty thin and bubbly without any real finish to be found. After it warms up a bit the cocoa starts to come through. I understand that there may not be a huge selection of certified organic ingredients to work with and make a stand out stout, but if you've had the Samuel Smith organic chocolate stout you'd know that's not true.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.23/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout has a thick, beige head, a very dark brown (almost black) appearance, with heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark coffee, cream, bitter chocolate, and rich, dark-roasted malt. Taste is of acidic, strong coffee, chicory, cream, bitter chocolate nibs, and dark malt. Mouthfeel is high medium, and Bison Organic Chocolate Stout finishes semi-wet and drinkable.


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Photo of Dainslaif
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I grabbed this as part of a tour de sweet porters/stouts. Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Standard stout black, no noticeable head.

S: Smelled mostly like a standard stout, with a pleasant hint of chocolate.

T: A mild stout flavor with no hoppiness and a bit of maltiness. The chocolate was present, but not overwhelming.

F: Watery, as is expected.

O: Very drinkable, low bitterness and a nice finish. The chocolate is there, but not as strong as I'd hoped given that it didn't have a strong stout flavor.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass at a TacoMac in Douglasville, GA. Aroma- Big malt aroma, real good aroma. Appearance- Black with a small tan colored head. Taste- Nice faint chocolate flavor with roasted malt. Palate- This is a medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. it has an oily texture that fits the flavor. Overall- A nice flavored stout for me. I really enjoyed this brew.

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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.

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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.

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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......

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.