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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

529 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 529
Reviews: 283
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 15.23%
Wants: 9
Gots: 30 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 01-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 529 | Reviews: 283 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Omegabyte
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Head doesn't pour unless you try. Thin, tan head that doesn't retain. Beer is dark brown and almost completely opaque to any light shining through.

Nose: Not a very strong smell. Sweet, almost syrupy like chocolate flavored syrups used in coffee. Easy to pick up on the burnt chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate doesn't come out in the taste very well. Would be better described as raw cacao and not chocolate. Also taste roasted coffee. Has a distinct burnt flavor. A bit bitter as well. Not sweet.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than I expected. Hits the tongue well. Bitter plays more on the mouthfeel than the taste.

Drinkability: A little above average for a stout. Would have to say that I might give it a better rating if I had some good food to go with it.

Omegabyte, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of GallowsThief
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into my trusty Duvel tulip.

A - Deep chocolate look. Think a nice dark chocolate bar. Creamy brownish head poured about an inch. Not much lacing to speak of at all. Just traces.

S - A good bit more subdued that I was expecting. Very light smell.

T - Strange one. It is tasty but not what I expected in a chocolate. It has just light hints of chocolate. Has a good toasty taste to it

M - Light carbonation with a think mouthfeel.

D - Very high. This is a really nice stout.

Nice stout. I was expecting more chocolaty taste but overall it's a good one.

GallowsThief, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of jmbranum
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First enjoyed while on a trip to San Francisco.

Tonight, I'm drinking it from a very special bottle. It survived my house fire in the fridge. That part of the house didn't burn so hopefully it won't be affected by heat or anything.

Inky black beer with slight mahogony hue when held up to the light. Generous tan head.

Roasted malt aroma with a little bit of cocoa power aroma.

Flavor is pretty decent. As expected a decent amount of roasted malt. Fairly smooth. Some chocolate notes. Overall though, I think it needed some more bitterness to work well. Kinda thin and watery to me. Slight odd aftertaste. Not bad at all, but not great.

Mouthfeel is better than average but still kinda thin. Needs more texture.

Overall, this beer is hurt by being a style that has some amazing beers in competition with it. Compared to the average beer i taste this beer would rank well. Compared to the average chocolate stout, it's only average. And compared to Rogue's interpretation of the style, there is no comparison.

jmbranum, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Beerenauslese
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The bottle label says 5.0% ABV.

Pours dark brown with a moderate thick tan head that quickly dissipates to a fine ring of foam.

Aromas of dark chocolate and sweet roasted malt.

Taste is of chocolate and roasted malt, but the flavor is subdued. I get a bit of a roasted malt zing on the tongue.

Body is light, as is the carbonation. Has a "light beer" mouthfeel.

This is a drinkable stout, and I like that it is all organic. Just wish it had more there there.

Beerenauslese, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of NODAK
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is definitely full of chocolate...however, unlike some other chocolate stouts, the smell seems somewhat sweet. I'll admit I like that. Make no mistake though, some roasted character is there too.

The consistancy is pretty thin. Initial taste is of somewhat sweet chocolate, followed by roasted chocolate notes that one would expect with a smidgen of coffee. Taste doesn't linger long beyond the finish at all. Only a tiny bit of bitterness on the finish. After the swallow, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate sticks around, but not for too long.

If I had to describe this beer, it'd probably be "chocolate stout light". It seems a bit sweeter than others, and less bold in its flavors. That'll disappoint some, but I find it pretty tasty and drinkable. This is also my first organic beer, so there's that.

NODAK, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of cottonkoozie
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark in color, some purple hues. Very small head though and falls quickly leaving little to no lacing.

S - Smells like a porter. Roasted malts and coffee stand out most of all, with chocolate undertones.

T - Very well balanced. Chocolate is not overpowering like some chocolate stouts, but instead is an excellent supplement to the roasted malts and coffee flavors. Hops provide a good balance of undertones.

M - Good, a full feeling beer without being overly carbonated.

D - Great drinkability and would be an excellent session beer.

My first impression of this was uh oh, because the appearance really is not good and looks watered down. But after trying it this beer has a great flavor and is definitely worth a try. overall a well balanced stout and a good after dinner or session beer.

cottonkoozie, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of aahynick
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

about 55 degree F into pint glass
A- dark garnet to black with a creamy light tan head

S- aroma of burnt malts and chocolate

T- strong metallic taste that overwhelms all other flavors.

M- light body and acidic.

D- very disappointing. Again the curse of organic=metallic flavor. Too thin and harsh

aahynick, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Stout. Lesser Stout, at that. There is a perceivable thinness and it is quite light froth and lace.

S - I am neither appalled nor compelled by the aromatic. It is fairly bland, not much chocolate or roast, especially for something billed as a 'Chocolate Stout.' The most obvious characteristic of the nose, as it develops, is a slight charred vegetable aroma.

T - The taste is generally lightly roasted and with an herbal-coriander-tea-like hoppiness. The brew is smooth but not really too flavorful. Again, not much chocolate, in fact, no chocolate at all. I wonder why they chose to proceed with the labeling of 'Chocolate Stout' when it is so obviously a misnomer. I am beginning to distrust these East Bay Brewer-Hippies at Bison...

M - A bit thin for my liking, but not too bad.

D - I would generally opt for something else, but it isn't the worst brew out...

ktrillionaire, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of sitarist
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind review from the "blind beers bif".

Pours a deep, opaque, eggplant color...About an inch of tan head, it falls rather quickly to a ring, with about a third of a top coating...really no lacing to speak of.

I smell tobacco, coco, mud, some horehound, root-beer, fruitcake, there is a slight floral/perfume like quality. Nothing up-front, strong, or over powering.

I taste figs, chocolate cake, flat root-beer, grape seeds, bitter sweet coco.

Slick, with a lighter body, it slides down.

It goes down with little resistance, its good but not to my liking.

sitarist, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of chumba526
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark black color with half an inch of brown foam.

Smells strongly of roasted malts and creamy chocolate. There is also a hint of coffee.

Tastes of dark chocolate and roasted malts. A subdued caramel malt taste is also noticeable. The beer ends slightly bitter; bitter in a dark roasted malt and dark chocolate way.

The carbonation is moderate low. The beer is very dry and the chocolate is not terribly overwhelming so I find this to be fairly drinkable.

Overall a decent chocolate stout that is balanced quite well. Worth trying.

chumba526, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of GarrettMD
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep red, looks black, but under the right light you can see through it. Seems to be thin bodied for a stout. Half a finger of beige head that settles to a nice layer of bubbles. Lacing is good.

S - Smells mostly of roasted malts. Chocolate is also a very dominant smell. The smell is pretty much what chocolate malt grains smell like by themselves.

T - Taste is very similar to the smell. The chocolate comes through more in the taste than the smell.

M - The start is very dry, almost feels like you just put the chocolate grains in your mouth. The middle evens out still with a light body, the end goes back to being a dry feel. Very light body overall, almost watery at the start and finish.

D - Decent drinkability, the dryness takes away from it, the light body makes it a very easy stout to drink though.

At the price, its a good chocolate stout, I would probably get it again, but only a bottle or two at a time, nothing more.

GarrettMD, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of sfprint
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Stouty, very dark, totally nontransparent. with a quickly dissipating head.

s: weak, dark, dirt smell. There's more coffee than cocoa in the smell.

T: All the flavor is in the middle, with the front and rear being almost watery. But the actual taste is ok. Watery stout, not so chocolatey, not very strong.

M: Not very heavy, quite light and goes down very easy. Slightly sandy.

D: Yea, easy to drink, but not exciting.

This one also says that it's only 5% alcohol, not 6.1

sfprint, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of tronester
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Small tan head. Smell is a light presence of cocoa powder. Taste is a hint of tobacco up front, dark chocolate in the middle, and a tart, slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is average, nice low carbonation. Drinkability is good, I could drink 2 of these in a row. A good stout to try.

tronester, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a standard-issue black body with an inch of light beige foam, though this eventually dissipates entirely.

Smell: Malt-forward nose smelling of generously roasted barley, unused coffee grinds, and dark chocolate. Rather minuscule hint of dates. As it warms, the added Dutch cocoa begins to take over the aroma.

Taste: Roasted barley coated in bittersweet chocolate and backed by lighter tastes of toast and caramel. Modestly sweet. Light dusting of cocoa powder. Very subdued dark fruitiness. Minor bitterness. Finishes dry, lightly roasty and with the cocoa lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Barely squeaks into medium-bodied territory. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a particularly heavy stout, so that certainly aids in the overall drinkability. It's no Southern Tier Choklat or Rogue Chocolate Stout. Heck, it's not even a Clipper City Siren Noire. Still though, it gets the job done for being a chocolaty stout.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of theaudist
2.65/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

A - Dark black, no light getting through this one.

S - Really, really chocolatey. Smells almost like a jar full of cocoa. Hints of malts, but really just a lot of chocolate.

T - Very bland. You get a nice toasty start but it doesn't follow through and feels very washed out.

M - Like water. Very runny, not how I like my stouts.

Overall - As I kept drinking it, I began to enjoy it more. The malts really are pretty good and balanced, they just wash out way too quickly. It feels like water. An ok beer.

theaudist, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark, cola-brown with a slight reddening at the edges. Tan, 1 1/2 finger head was relatively short lived but left a decent amount of lace.

S: Aromas of bakers chocolate, light roast coffee, and heavily roasted malt.

T: Semi sweet and/or bakers chocolate, burnt malt, burnt toast, and a hint of lemon. Odd.

M: Bitter, dry, and overly roasty. Would benefit from a dose of creaminess.

D: Not terrible, but feels raw and unfinished.

GbVDave, May 29, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish black with only a slightly filmy head of milk-chocolate coloured bubbles. Pretty light in the body. Overall, it's not a particularly impressive looking stout. A little insipid, and not exciting me with its prospects.

Pleasant dark soaked grains and rye bread character on the nose. Whiffs of chocolate coming through as well, but a little subtle. The dark grain notes and toasty characters carry this beer, and leave it very pleasant.

Taste is rather thin, unfortunately, with little sweetness and almost no body. Even the bready grain character is muted, leaving an initial watery character followed only by a light ashy bitterness. Feels rather insipid and severely lacking.

This really is missing body, sweetness and depth. It tastes watered down and not particularly inspiring. Gets very tiresome after a while, and whatever pleasant notes were promised on the nose are really not delivered.

lacqueredmouse, May 23, 2010
Photo of Dlish
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer has a lot of potential for improvements. Smells of rich chocolate, cream, hint of toffee and roasted malts. Taste of sweet milk chocolate, heavy cream, and finishes with lightly roasted malts that do not have a very distinctive or impressionable taste in the mouth. No taste of or smell of any hops.
There is not much of aftertaste after it's down, and the little roast malt and hop flavor combined with the low carbonation makes the mouth-feel lacking and needs to be improved upon. But, for a relatively low price, I'd might buy it again.

Dlish, May 11, 2010
Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 1+ finger of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Iron & lots of cocoa

T: Cocoa, roasty, malt & baker's chocolate, plus iron up front. Cocoa, ironm & roasty malt dominate as this warms along with some dryness. Finishes with cocoa powder & slight coffee notes

MF: Creamy, smooth & medium bodied. Thinned out a bit as it warmed

Drinks pretty easy, a nice take on the style

russpowell, May 09, 2010
Photo of felipe2toes
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black in appearance with tan head and nice retention.

Smells of chocolate, smoke, brown sugar, coffee, and roasted malt. Tastes pretty much like it smells, lots of cocoa and coffee. Has a faint hop bitterness in the finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. And at 5% ABV (according to the bottle), this stout is really easy drinking.

felipe2toes, May 09, 2010
Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very dark in the glass, lets some light through and a deep ruby reveals itself when held to the light.
has a monderate head, doesn't seem like it will stick around too long.

I get roasted malts big time in the nose. Smokiness and burnt qualities throughout. There is also a prelude to sweetness, and a dark chocolate aroma.

a bit astringent, more so than I thought it would be, as I expected sweet. some of the chocolate is there, but it's subtle. Lacks complexity and the body I was expecting, unfortunately. Reminds me more of a porter than a stout.

medium bodied, light carbonation but a bit thin.

This was a good one to try once, but im not too impressed. Not really what I look for in a stout. Pretty underwhelming all in all.

wolfinthemirror, May 04, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
4.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with generous head. Nose is incredible on this beer with plenty of coffee & chocolate aromas. On the palate it's a bit thin and watery for a stout, but still has rewarding flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and a healthy balance of hops. Roasty on the finish and very easy drinking.

yemenmocha, May 03, 2010
Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A solid one finger medium brown foamy, creamy, head. The color of the beer is dark brown to opaque. Clarity of the beer is opaque also.

Nose: Rich dark roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, toffee, dark fruit, oatmeal, and cream. There are notes of wood, phenols, and floral esters.

Taste: A very rich roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses, oatmeal, toffee, oak, floral esters, phenols, and some figs.

The mouth feel is creamy, rich, coating and slightly dry.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is medium full. The nose on this beer just doesn't match the taste. The nose is a rich vibrant fudge like and the taste is like bland cocoa. It is a good beer and I enjoyed drinking it.

colts9016, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of webbcreative
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured black, with tan 3 finger head from an aggressive pour. Pretty decent lacing for a stout.

Smell is Roasted malt and coffee, not much else.

Taste - First few sips were pretty metallic, but as it warmed up it faded, but never went away entirely. I was able to pick some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts, no hop presence at all.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Overall this is a pretty good stout - nothing phenomenal, but at less than $4 a bomber - its a pretty good deal.

webbcreative, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of bump8628
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black with a soapy tan head.

Mostly coffee on the nose with a hint of smoke...where's the chocolate?

Ahh, there it is. Among the flavors of espresso, cream, and caramel emerges a solid dark cocoa flavor. Bitterness is substantial as is an earthy hop flavor.

A nice little stout. I won't go out of my way for it, but I'm certainly enjoying it. The fact that it's organic is another plus.

bump8628, Apr 14, 2010
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.