1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

522 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 522
Reviews: 283
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.27%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 522 | Reviews: 283 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%

A - A black brew with a espresso colored head. A tiny bit of lacing.

S - Cocoa beans. Seriously, it smells like real cocoa beans/butter. A bit of scorched sugars.

T - This has a very dark flavor. Dark baking chocolate, scorched carbon. Aftertaste is a scorched malt bitterness and carbonated water.

M - Thin to medium bodied, a bit of an acidic feeling, carbonation is too high, pretty refreshing.

D - Interesting. It is one of the darkest tasting stouts I have ever had. I might have it again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

mrasskicktastic, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of becktone
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%

Eye: Extremely dark brown in color, almost black. When the light strikes it one can see real nice garnet highlights at to bottom of the brew. Poor head formation, retention and lacing. In color the head is tan, or muddy white..kinda reminds me of chocolate pudding but whiter, much whiter. Not too turned on by this brew's appearance, should have a better head.

Nose: Nose on this brew is of chocolate, ground coffee beans, and roasted grains. Not much more to it than that, pretty standard...nothing new, nothing special.

Tongue: Chocolate notes as well as coffee flavors...very much like the flavor of those starbucks frappuchinos that are sold at gas stations. Overall balance with hops is quite good, though if it weren't for the roasted/burnt grain bitterness it would be a bit unbalanced. Should be called a coffee stout rather than a chocolate stout as there is more emphasis on coffee here. Flavor has a nice lingering characteristic, stays in the mouth quite a while once the beer is gone.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Usually one expects stouts to be full in body, I find this one to be a bit thin. Carbonation is acceptable though. However, the beer is smooth on the palate. All in all this brew's mouthfeel is about average, maybe its just me, but I think that it should have a tiny bit more body....oh well. The beer is easy to drink, though there are much better American Stouts out there. Wouldn't buy it again though, unless this was the only stout I could get my hands on. Really nothing to write home about, just another average stout.

becktone, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
4/5  rDev +15.3%

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. This beer was very black with a very nice tan head. The beer smelled like a big fat Hershey bar. It was kinda burnt sorta roasted taste that I liked very well. I also liked that it was organic as a plus. Very heavy, I will buy again.

Minkybut, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of OnTheRoof
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%

Well I am a big fan of darker and stronger beers. Fall &/or Winter call for Porters and stouts in my opinion. My first coffee porter being pipeline porter it was love at first taste. This beer was in the case and my beloved Pipeline was not. A bomber for $3.19 is in my opinion a very good value for this beer. I will most certainly buy it again.

Appearance is that of a stout dark the head is a medium white and limited.

Smell smells like a malty roasted chocolate. Very seductive could be used as effective cologne

Taste like bitter dark chocolate stout as the name implies. very good easy to convert non beer drinkers with. Complements other flavors and foods well as it's taste is not overpowering

Mouthfeel very good but not amazing

Drinkability Excellent goes very well with steak and potatoes does not detract from the intrinsic glory of these marvelous foods. alone it is as easy as water to drink. no hint's of alcohol that I noticed.

OnTheRoof, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%

Acquired from IntriqKen, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a very thin brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin but even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a complimentary background of hops.

T: The taste is loaded with chocolate and coffee, which I expected from the reading the label, “Stout brewed with cocoa”. It has the heavy roasted malt character that you expect from a Stout but the sweetness is tempered well. There’s a nice hops presence for the style and although it eventually that typical organic bite comes out in the end. The after-taste is smoky and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth with a little crispness, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good representation of style, a good beer to relax with, but I would want to drink more than a bomber in an evening. I found that the organic beers need to be either really hopped up or a heavy stout to mask whatever causes the nasty bite that always seems to come in organic beers, but this one does the latter very well.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick (but only once poured vigorously), brownish, tan colored head. The beer sits in my glass a blackened brown color, but showed a brilliantly clear, dark chocolate color as I poured it. Aromas of chocolate intermingle with darkly toasted malt, bready-espresso aromatics and once you start digging around a significant aroma of smoked malt. That last was a bit surprising, especially since I am sure they don't actually use smoked malt in this beer, but it is quite distinct. The beer does not have an over-the-top chocolate character to it, meaning what is noticeable in the aroma could be attributed to various, dark malt combinations.

Lightly sweet, with a medium-full heft on the palate. The sweet malt notes definitely accentuated a nice chocolate character. Toasted, almost burnt, whole grain bread flavors linger on in the finish. The beer has a touch of roast derived acidity and a definite dark grain bitterness, both of which are in the finish and help to counter-balance the sweeter malt notes and chocolate found up front. It is hard to separate them, but it seems like the hop character is contributing a fair amount of bitterness here as well. Caramelized malt, something like blackened prunes, burnt figs and a touch of chocolate liquor provide some up front sweetness / smoothness to this beer.

This beer tends to thin out as my palate gets used to it and as it warms up. This makes it more drinkable, but I would wish for it to be a touch richer so that it would continue to accentuate the chocolate notes. I also have a minor complaint with the heavy handed dark malt notes; there is a touch too much burnt, slightly acrid, definitely acidic blackened malt character here, or put another way this does not have enough sweet / caramelized malt character to serve as a complete foil for these notes. For all my complaints this beer is quite drinkable and even quite enjoyable; I easily will finish this 22oz bottle, despite my meandering ruminations on how this beer could be better.

Purchased: Bevmo, Pasadena CA

Gueuzedude, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of livingregret
2.4/5  rDev -30.8%

Serving Type: a large bottle(over a pint)

Appearance: A black that is as dark as night...wonderful looking beer but no head, no lacing, no nothing in terms of the head.

Smell: A powdery cocoa smell. Dark roasted malt, a touch of coffee. They weren't joking when they said they use chocolate cocoa.

Taste: Bitter cocoa chocolate. You can also taste what seems like burnt coffee. Watery at points leaves this chocolate stout feeling a touch ehhhh.

Mouthfeel: Watery, thin...leaves a bitter/dry feeling in the mouth

Drinkability: I don't see myself trying another beer...to watery and bitter. Not enough "umph" w/ this drink

livingregret, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

The chocolate stout is black as night with a quickly disappearing head. It smells of roasted malts and cocoa. The flavor that hits the palate is deep dark maltiness with chocolate overtones and good alcoholic nature. The mouthfeel is good but a tad bit bitter for my tastes. Not a bad organic beer. The carbonation is low which lets the aftertaste of the cocoa come to play. Up here in the NW I am seeing more organic beers hit the shelf.

cswhitehorse, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of kellyst
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%

A: Dark brown. Tan head. Good retention.

S: Chocolate. Suprisingly, some hops on the nose.

T: Lots of chocolate. Bitterness balances, but not noticeable. The problem is that the beer is thin, even watery in the middle. This beer has no "uumph." Not what I like in a stout.

D: High, since it's watery. But I won't have it again.

kellyst, Aug 30, 2007
Photo of mynie
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%

Pours very dark, slight ruby hues, with a really wonderfully large and retentive chocolate brown head.

Smells a bit hoppy for a chocolate stout, but above average for an American stout. Roasted stout grains, very dry, along with a nice and firm blend of west coast hops.

Tastes like it smells, very well balanced, only the malts are dulled by a weak body and a watery middle. Dry stout goes into water which goes into a nice, dry hop. If that middle was chocolatey (or even stouty) this would be one hell of a stout.

mynie, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of happygnome
3.85/5  rDev +11%

a: dark brown color with about a half inch of brown head that doesnt dissapear too fast leaves a little lacing around the edge of the glass
s: strong aromas of chocolate and roasted malts little hop presence
t: initially strong chocolate taste that evolves into a stronger roasted malt flavor
m: medium bodied beer with average amount of carbonation

overall this is a very nice and enjoiyable beer great taste

happygnome, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +25.4%

A - Black & opaque w/ a frothy tan head. that makes swiss cheese type lace.

S - Malty, rich, roasty and sweet chocolate with a citrus hop note. Smells Rich!

M - Creamy smooth malt and roasted. A pleasant dry bittersweet cocoa w/ nutty coffee that settles on the roof of the mouth. Nice gentle tinge of carbonation with a full rich finish.

T - I really dug into this one. It was the aroma that got me at first, but as I sipped it the brownie in beer form I expected transitioned. Sweet, but a very well made stout that is not syrupy or choco-cereal tasting w/ a pleasant baking chocolate with deep cocoa + dry nutty almost hazelnut notes. A citrus hop flavor that doesn't interfere, but rather helps to balance the big roasted chocolate flavors w/ a little herbal goodness shines in the finish.

D - Highly drinkable, flavorful, Robust. As many extremes as I can think of and more. This is probably not recommended for those who want a chocolate malt flavor, since it tastes like real chocolate combined w/ a very smooth stout. Not over the top or extreme, but it doesn't need to be. It hands out a gentle punch and makes you want to continue tasting long after the first pint is gone.

Slatetank, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of mwearl
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

Poured with some head, though not long lasting and lacing was minimal. Very dark in color as expected. Nice aroma with some cacao oder. The chocolate taste was very subtle at finish. Not nearly enough too really be called a chocolate stout but the taste was very good overall. Mouthfeel was medium with nothing irritating on the tongue. A good drinkable chocolate stout actually gains drinkability based on the minimal chocolate taste.

mwearl, May 20, 2007
Photo of July2Nov
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%

A: 1/2 a finger head. It was dark like...guess what? Chocolate.
S: Full of the sweet sweet smells of Coco.
T&M: Had a sweet syrup flavor upfront, then a roasted dark-chocolate bitterness, followed by an oversweet acidic bite near the end.
D: I could probably only handle one of these in any given period. One is enough, unless you've got an addiction to chocolate or a major sweet-tooth.

July2Nov, May 18, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%

Bison Chocolate Stout gives off aromas mostly dominated by hops and burnt malt, not so much in the way of chocolate. I also detect a lot of smoky fragrances also.

This pours with a light one finger thick head, which is a milky chocolate shade and dissipates very quickly. By the end of my one brew session, the head is totally gone with no lacing at all.

This tastes mostly of liquid smoke. There is a sweet tinge to the front of the palate.

This stout is actually kind of light in body for a stout, but not watery. This seems to be the trend with organic brews who likely sacrifice ingredients for the organic label, tisk tisk...

Overall this is a good session beer, but not greatly balanced as far as trying to promote this as a chocolate stout. I can't taste the cocoa at all.

TheSarge, May 17, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
3.33/5  rDev -4%

Thiis all natural stout pours mostly black with a minute sliver of light at the base of the pint and almost no head at all, which is a big negative for me with stout. Nose is slightly grainy coffee malt based with a powerdery chocolate note, like instant cocoa mix with the little marshmallows when we were kids. Hops are also present but in deep cover.

Dang...the mouthfeel lets me down instantly, before the taste even has a chance to. The texture is watery and lifeless, with no kick or energy to the aftertaste. Some reasoable coffee malt, a little hop balance, but overall kind of dull and one dimensional. No assertiveness, no aggresiveness, just kind of blah...Definitely disappointing...so many better stouts for the dough...

daliandragon, May 17, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%

The appearance is nearly jet black with deep brown highlights. A creamy frothy head diminishes fairly quickly with a bit of lace left behind.

A nice aroma of sweet coffee and earthy cocoa greet the nostrils.

This chocolate stout has expectedly strong chocolate and coffee taste with a surprising amount of hops peaking through. Creamy and delicate with a hint of smokiness.

Silky on the palate, this beer is not as thick/full as expected. Its a great pint, but I wouldn't necessarily want to polish off a six.

letsgopens, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of gubbt
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Jet black without any light shining through with a very small head even after a relatively hard pour.

Smell is a nice mix of roasted malts, coffee, and a little chocolate.

Taste is mostly roasty barley with some coffee beans and espresso. Not a whole lot of chocolate flavor here. It's kind of milky chocolate, very subtle and is mostly in the finish and aftertaste. Also in the finish is a nice bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is excellent, medium to heavy body with a nice creaminess to it.

This is a very drinkable stout, as I powered through this one pretty fast. It's a solid stout, but I don't know about the chocolate, there just isn't a whole lot there.

gubbt, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a jet black color with a thin one finger white head. Not much retention. Roasted malt notes with hints of sweet cocoa. Subtle bitter coffee notes. Somethings a bit off with the flavors--could it be the organic malt? probably not, but I can't place my finger on it.

Roasted and chocolate malt notes. Chocolate flavors are actually quie subdued when compared with the hefty roasted malt flavors. Hints of bitter coffee that leaves a nice bitterness on the palate well into the finish. Leafy hops also are noticeable. Creamy and smooth across the palate. A nice brew, but not anything that's jaw dropping.

bjohnson, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of illidurit
3.4/5  rDev -2%

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Can't find a freshness date.

A: Deep dark brown with a miniscule head that fizzes up to at most half a centimeter and disappears quickly. Makes me question the freshness of this beer.

S: A nice cocoa smell emanates from the glass, obviously due to the fact that this beer is brewed with actual powdered cocoa in the mash. A bit of a smoky roasty note too.

T: The powdered cocoa is prominent in the taste along with typical chocolate and coffee notes. Bitterness from the roasted malt shines through as well.

M: Kinda watery for a stout, with a lack of substantial carbonation

D: Went down easy but didn't really want another one.

illidurit, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%

From a 12 oz bottle this poured very dark back with big tan head and decent lacing. Not a real heavy mouthfeel and flavors of chocolate and roasted malts. Finish is nice with a touch of citrus hops. This is not Rogue Chocolate Stout, but then what is. Very well done.

rkuhnel, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of AltBock
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

12 oz. bottle with just a simple black label with the Bison Brewing Co. symbol of a shadowy Bison or what people call the American Buffalo. Below the shadowy Bison is another picture (it's also on the cap) that looks a lot like a cave drawing depicting a Native American hunting a Bison. To the far right of the label is a short blurb telling the consumer about the beer. If you look hard enough, you will find a bottling date. It's right below the small blurb and next to the barcode. That's all good, but they didn't bother to notch it, so I don't know how old it is. Bison Brewing really wants to tell you that it's organic because they have a big neck label stating that and there's another one above the small blurb. Poured into a simple and plain mug.

The beer was as dark as a 89% cocoa chocolate bar. It had a massive mocha head of foam to it, but I think it was too big. The first time I poured it, this mocha head of foam came out of nowhere and made the mug look like an erupting volcano of black beer. After it overflowed the glass, it looked like the mug was leaking oil all over the place. After it settled, I tried to pour it a second time and it did it again. So after it settled down for the second time, I poured the beer a third time and it didn't do it again. I finally got the entire bottle into the glass and it only took three tries. It had a rich aroma of old dark chocolate, roasted chocolate malt, a hint of chocolate covered cherries, and a pinch of chocolate covered hops at the end. The taste was a lot like the aroma, but it had a few subtle differences. It tasted like a bar of dark chocolate was infused with chocolate malt, chocolate covered hops, and with a pinch of chocolate covered cherries. It wasn't just one taste after another, it was just one big organic chocolate punch to the tastebuds. It was medium bodied with an aftertaste of a watered down Hershey's milk chocolate bar with a dash of bitter hops added into the mix. It was just an OK beer and probably is the best organic beer I've had. If you love drinking organic alcoholic chocolate, then by all means, try this one.

AltBock, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of Neehan
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%

This beer poured a jet black with a large, caramel colored head that quickly disappated with no retention. Appearance a bit disappointing, looked stellar at the pour but thinned down to a watery body. Most captivating is the taste, with a thick smokiness that lingers in the mouth and comines with the dark-roasted coffee flavors, roasted almonds, and of course the dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is again, a bit watery for a stout, but well-balanced in carbonation but lacked the creaminess I was hoping for. If this was a bit thicker it would do wonders for the mouthfeel, appearance, and boost the already great taste. Then it would be a slam-dunk but for now, it's a slightly above average stout.

Neehan, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%

Appearance- Very dark brown or black. Nothing shows through, even when held up to a light. Nice, light brown, tight head with little lasting power, and no lacing.

Aroma- Nice blend of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Just the slightest hint of malt sweetness gets through.

Taste- Nice chocolate, roasted taste. Not much else tho. Some coffee overtones, especially at the back of the pallet and more so as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and good carbonation for the style.

Drinkability- Not the best chocolate stout out there, but certainly not the worst.

theopholis, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of mjc410
2.95/5  rDev -15%

I poured my first bottle of this a bit carelessly into my Fuller's nonic, and I ended up with three inches of beer, with the head filling the remainder of the glass. It took a while for the head to recede enough for me to empty the bottle.

The head is very noisy while it falls. It's a light tan color, over a near-opaque brown body. The head is far too slick to the glass. I'd really like to see a lot less carbonation in this one. The nose is highly roasted, and also a bit sweet. I can definitely smell a bit of dry cocoa, and some anise. The taste is very dry, but very noticeably chocolatey. Sour, too, due to high acidity. The mouth is medium, with very high carbonation. This is not a beer I'll be buying again, but it might be nice with a high % chocolate bar.

mjc410, Jan 28, 2007
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 522 ratings.