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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

296 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 296
Hads: 586
Avg: 3.51
pDev: 21.37%
Wants: 10
Gots: 50 | 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.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 296 | Hads: 586
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $4.49 plus tax and served into a Mitchell's of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given its current ratings. 5% ABV confirmed. "Stout brewed with cocoa."

Served after a brief period of rest following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger khaki-tan colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good (4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a solid dark black; nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not quite a jet black. Generally appealing for the style.

Sm: Cocoa dusting, truffle, chocolate malt, dark malts, and appealing roast. An attractive, inviting aroma - if a simple one. A mild strength aroma. I'm excited to try it.

T: Dark malts, chocolate malt, and thin cocoa. Caramel, poorly executed roast. No floral or yeast character comes through. The third act is weak and bland. Imbalanced. Underwhelming. I'm not big on this one. Boring and poorly put together. Simple. Why brew this?

Mf: Thin and weak. Poor body. Bad presence on the palate. Far too smooth and wet. Borderline watery. Very poorly executed. Doesn't suit the flavour profile hardly at all.

Dr: A poorly executed chocolate stout that likely remains profitable because of nutty California types who only buy organic. Forgettable pedestrian stuff. I wouldn't get it again. I won't be jumping to buy Bison Brewing's beers in the future. Underwhelming but drinkable. I do like some elements of the cocoa flavour.

Low C+

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 22oz bottle into my brand new teku glass. Decided to try this one for the Easter weekend!

Pours a dark, truly opaque brown black-brownish color with an off khaki 2 finger head that eventually settles down into a modest ring at the top of the glass. Carbonation does seem plentiful, nevertheless. Not too much stickiness on the glass, and no lacing, but there are some slight alcohol legs overall. It's not very viscous in character, but it definitely looks thickened in the sense of retaining the chocolate backbone that it's aiming for. Almost resembles coffee overall, but there's definitely hefty malts and cocoa nibs at play here.

The aroma, on the other hand, smells absolutely delicious, with a combination of upfront dark chocolate flavors combined with vanilla beans, sugary syrupy texture, and off-flavors that can even be found in bourbon (?!). Don't think it's unbelievably complex, however - it's instead very pleasant and sweetened without being cloying. It resembles a vanilla-coated brownie, actually! There's some roasted barley flavors, as well as a slight hop bitterness, but the chocolate focused flavor is working out really well here.

Rather than get the sweetened vanilla-filled cocoa that was in the aroma, the taste is a little bit more on the bitter, unsweetened side - think baker's chocolate nibs and you're on the right track. It definitely still tastes full-bodied and hearty, despite the change in flavor. There's a roasted malt presence that melds well with the chocolate, as well as slight coffee aromas, but sadly, as this warms up, a bit of a soy saucy finish that can occur with such beers. There's a bit of grassy hop finish too, which balances things out. I must agree with other fellow reviewers that this is a little too watery for a stout that is intended to be this hearty. The flavor is definitely decent, but it lacks the thickness that would otherwise make this resemble a dessert such as pudding. It's not too off-putting, but it's horribly underwhelming.

For a little over $4 a bomber, this is definitely a good budget option for a stout this kind. I wish I'd have someone to split this with, as it's a bit too rich (yet thinned) to make this an easy drinking experience. It's luckily not too sweet, but it's not creamy enough to hold my interest in the long run. I'll definitely be drinking this for the next day... However, when it comes to introducing people to more complex beers, this should do no harm. Not my favorite, but at least there's that.

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Photo of stckhndlr
2.49/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

The first thing you notice with this one is the pitch black pour with a great head, from there is it all down hill for me. The chocolate was faint. It got a bit stronger as it warmed but not enough. When I read chocolate on the bottle that is what I want to smell and taste. This one had a very unpleasant aftertaste with really turned me off. Plus there was not a whole lot to chew on for a stout, I felt it was quite thin. I was really disappointed with this beer. It took a lot for me to finish it to keep it from being a drain pour.

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Photo of Johnnyramirez
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Overall, its disappointing. Super watery for a stout. Very mild chocolate notes in the flavor. The smell makes you think there'd be more chocolate and roasty flavors. The price point is great at $4, but I'd gladly spend more for a better beer next time.

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Photo of C3likesbeer
4.06/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a bottle. Nice tan head.

Aroma is more malty and the chocolate is pretty tame.

Not at all overpowering as some stouts can be. If you think your stout should be closer to "imperial" this is not of you. If you like stouts that are malty and chocolatey this may be a good option. You almost keep looking at it to make sure it is a dark stout which it is. Very drinkable and a little bit of fizzy carbonation. Not overly boozy.

Good middle of the road chocolate stout

 477 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A finger and half of tan head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is roasted malt and a hint of chocolate.
The taste is a robust roasted malt with the chocolate balancing but not surpassing the malt. great balance.
Slick texture with moderate carbonation and medium to heavy body.
A solid stout.

 292 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.37/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Poured on tap into a pint glass at The Green Dragon in SE Portland. Reviewed from notes.

A- One-finger thick mocha head. Thick fluffy lacing. Black, smooth body.

S- Smells like baker's chocolate, smooth and toasty malts. Some toffee and sweet scents.

T- Light flavor in the first third, then rich smoky malts in the second. Finishes clean. Pretty tasty.

M- Overcarbonated, light bodied and wet. Not great.

O- Looks great, but the mouthfeel is totally wrong.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
2.71/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours near black with brown edging. The head is about a finger thick, light cocoa colored, and shows fair retention. Very little, if any, lacing.

Smell - Predominant bittersweet dark cocoa aroma. Notes of earth. Hints of caramel.

Taste - More earthy than chocolate. Dirt. Lightly touches on caramel. Finishes with mild earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light in body. Almost watery. Weak carbonation. Slight tingle on the lips.

Overall - Stout? Hardly. Chocolate? Barely. This is a poor beer, even weaker as a stout, and a shame to be called a chocolate stout. I've had this beer a few times in the past. This will be my final time.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with a little bit of light let through when held up to a light source. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam. An attractive stout.

Smell: very nice chocolatey aroma without any harsh undertones. As smooth and creamy as a smell might be considered to be; I like it.

Taste: chocolate, roastiness and a hint of coffee are present in the flavor. A little bit less chocolate and a little bit more roasty harshness than the aroma, but still a very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a very satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: this is a basic but tasty and overall quite satisfying and drinkable stout. I'd definitely have this again.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a tiny off white head.

The smell is coffee, not much else.

The taste is coffee slightly watery.

The mouthfeel pretty light with medium carbonation.

Overall I'm not impressed at all, very bland and watery. If yhe flavours were stronger this would be so much better.I'm regretting buying 6 of these.

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Photo of Durge
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this bottle sitting around for quite some time so time to give it a try. The color is pretty much solid black. The light brown head is near two fingers high and leaves generous lacing. The nose includes a very nice, deep nutty malt with milk chocolate sweetness. I get some sweet herbal hop and light charcoal-coffee. Very nice by my senses. The first taste brings a fairly tart citrus-grass bite quickly followed by decided charcoal and subtle chocolate. This is medium bodied with a pretty aqueous feel with a chalky edge. It has modest, but adequate carbonation. The flavor leans a little too close to ash tray at times but generally is fine and provides a somewhat bitter malt brew with a chocolate kiss. Not overly sweet, reasonably drinkable if you enjoy the style. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of ckollias
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle beer out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a black 1-finger tan head that ends in a wispy lace with no trail.

S: Chocolate, coffee and toasted malt aroma.

T: Similar to the smell sweet, chocolate, coffee, and malt flavor that finishes dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent stout – slightly astringent buy overall very good.

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Photo of roryw
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Black. If I hold it up to some light it turns into a mildy translucent brown. Nice creamy looking head, sort a of a dirty brown, what I would expect from this really. This is a delicious looking chocolate stout.

Smell - The cocoa immediately hits you. It smells just like a bar of chocolate. I am getting a roasted malt hint behind the cocoa.

Taste - Tastes like cocoa, coffee, malts and a little smokiness. Taste isn't as strong and present as I thought it would be. It's very easy on the palette. When you first take a sip it starts out with a nice chocolate rounded flavor and a forward maltiness and ends slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - A light to medium body here. I was expecting it to be thicker. I could drink a few of these back to back and not feel fatigued.

Overall - This is enjoyable, JUST enjoyable. I felt a little something was missing, and I think that something is complexity. For a stout, it's a little light and bland but this also bumps up the drinkability points. I can see myself pulling one or two of these out of the fridge when I'm wanting a decent stout but don't want to feel weighed down. I'd go for something else if I really wanted to treat myself though.

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Photo of anthonygrg
2.3/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was quite disappointing. Although it is very drinkable, the flavor profile is almost non-existent. When I read the words "chocolate stout" I expect deep, rich, and hopefully bold flavors. This brew has none of that. The chocolate/coffeeish aroma is actually stronger than the flavor profile, which is annoying because I keep smelling what I wish I were tasting!

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Photo of Patrick2012
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip glass

A: Motor-oil black with small brown head.

S: Coffee and chocolate malt smell with some hops

T: watered-down coffee and chocolate flavor. Not much taste overall. Bittersweet chocolate. It would have been better if the flavors were stronger.

M: plain, light bitterness. not very exciting to be honest.

Overall a pretty generic tasting stout, nothing exceptional about it. Shouldn't even be called chocolate stout because it's just kind of a side note like the coffee or hops.

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Photo of Reaper16
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass

Pours a, oh, you know, it's dark brown. It looks like a stout. The body doesn't appear to have a bunch of viscosity to it. The head was over a finger in size, but with loose, large bubbles.

The aroma is, as you might expect, pretty much dominated by chocolate. Milk chocolate mostly. It smells creamier than it looks. There's some vanilla bean here, as well as some generic maltiness. Pretty standard stuff for a sweet stout (not the style, but the description).

The taste follows the nose. You get the chocolate milkshake flavor right away, followed by some grainy malt flavors. Not much depth of malt flavor here, which is most disappointing. It's pretty much a one-trick pony. It tastes good, if you're wanting a sweet chocolatey drink. But it may not totally satisfy your beer needs.

The body is not as creamy as it needs to be for a beer like this. It's not egregiously thin, but the flavors call for a smooth creaminess that this beer doesn't deliver.

Overall, this is a very average chocolate stout. Nothing about it is bad or off-putting, it's just completely innocuous.

 1,121 characters

Photo of Danny1217
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, almost black with a small head that dissipates quickly. Smells of dark chocolate. Nice and roasty. Taste is bitter dark chocolate up front. Very roasty, like the smell. A bit of bitter hop taste as well. Good balance. Medium body and carbonation.

A pretty tasty stout that seems to always be in stock at the local Whole Foods, making it a good option for when I'm in the stout mood.

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Photo of yonnie
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into mug. Opaque dark dark brown, almost black in color. A finger of light brown head on top.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, sweet malt.

T - Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, sweet cream, marshmallow, malt.

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated, slick and smooth.

O - This is a delicious treat of a beer. It almost qualifies as a dessert to me with its rich chocolatey tones and hints of caramel and even burnt marshmallow.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some slight coffee aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, and some cocoa nibs. There is a mild roasty bitterness and a slightly acidic quality on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout with some nice roasty and cocoa aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Initially chocolate aroma. The taste is a mediocre stout with some chocolate that gets drier and bitter (not from hops). Not very drinkable, though quaffable. Black with some white head. average mouthfeel, and average beer.Not sweet is the best part, but also not that well balanced, chocolate "sells".

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.