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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.

556 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 556
Reviews: 287
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 15.52%
Wants: 11
Gots: 41 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 556 | Reviews: 287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up on a whim -- I saw it at The Party Source and thought it sounded pretty good. I've been drinking a lot of stouts lately and a nice chocolately one typically sounds good, and well, this one is called "Chocolate Stout." However, sometimes we don't always get what we pay for.

Appearance: Well, it started out pretty strong for me -- a nice dark, thick pour that was near black. Like most stouts, completely opaque. A nice two finger tan head was present, but quickly dwindled to just a thin layer on top that left a slight lacing at the top of the glass as it trailed down.

Smell: Called Chocolate Stout for a reason - very strong presence of it right up front and made me very excited to dive into it. A little malty and slight bitter/roasty scent in the back of it too. Again, started nice and strong.

Taste: OK -- still not too bad, and actually pretty fair. Not as sweet as I thought it would be based upon the smell. More the semi-sweet/bitter presence right up front, followed by the roasty back.

Mouthfeel: Meh. Let down. Very watery and not as thick as I would have at all wanted or expected. All in all though, it still goes down pretty smooth and leaves a fair coating on the tongue, but man, I really expected a little more substance.

Drinkability: While the appearance, smell and taste were pretty decent, the mouthfeel really let me down. To me, that's half the fun of a nice stout and I was just let down by this. I have 5 left, and it won't bother me to drink them over the next week or so, but I don't think I'll be purchasing any more of it.

Photo of magictrokini
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown pour with a brown ring of bubbles for a head. Cocoa and coffee aroma. Taste is a split between burnt coffee with roasted malt and watery chocolate. Not well balanced. Finish is surprisingly smooth. These organics are always lacking in something, this one being body. Good, not great.

Photo of scottoale
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. brown bomber with no bottling/freshness code or date. Poured into a Duvel tulip a very dark brown, nearly black, with about a 1/2" of cocoa brown foamy head.

The smell is like opening up that milk carton sized Whoppers malted milk balls. Just a trace of alcohol comes through as it warms and that's about it. Good smell cuz I like Whoppers!

The taste is a little different with dark roasty malt upfront. Then you get a little coffee, some black tea and a chocolate finish that's just mildly bitter. I'll say it's fairly well balanced, yet there is hardly any sweetness to it. That's fine and all, just didn't expect it.

Light to medium body with mild carbonation and a bit watery in the mouth for this style. Very easy to drink but doesn't really impress. None the less, tasty.

Photo of Glazed144
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours darker than Alfonso Soriano. I wasn't sure if it was beer or oil... Has nice foamy head, reminds me of hot cocoa. Smells like dark chocolate. Very clean taste. Fairly bitter coffee/ incredibly dark chocolate aftertaste at the back of tongue. Tastes a lot like dark chocolate, unfortunately I don't like dark chocolate. Mild alcohol taste.. kind of watery... outside appearance, im pretty bored...

Photo of currysage1
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Ubermick for this one.

Poured from a 22 into an Imperial Pint glass

Fuck me this is an overcarbonated brew! I think I have an off batch because no one else seemed to have this problem.

Pours a 9 finger head into a 8 finger glass, meaning it overflowed. It has a port like burgundy look to it, head is cappuccino colored, foamy but not smooth, great lacing.

Smell is chocolate liquer, raisin and surprising alcohol due to the low ABV.

Taste is of bitter chocolate, but bordering on carob sort of flavor. Not overly bitter, but it is more than expected. Some slight dark fruit tones but I think I might be reaching on this one.

Too thin for a good American Stout, says it is richly textured but I'm not sure I agree. Drinkability isn't bad but the flavor isn't really there so I'm not sure I would. Glad to try but probably won't return.

Photo of lynx1245
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer from Berkeley? I could have guessed it would be organic before I saw it on the label.

Appearance: SLAM the beer into the glass and you'll be rewarded with a nice head that bubbles out of the blackness but recedes quickly. A slow pour and you'll get no head to speak of. It's a dark one.

Smell: I really liked the aroma of this one. Sweet and roasted malts. It's pretty pungent and might be a bit overwhelming for some.

Taste: You can really taste the cocoa. I think they went a bit overboard actually. I guess I shouldn't complain since it's a chocolate stout, so I'll say this one is for the cocoa lovers. Also some hops in the aftertaste. More bitter than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and aftertaste doesn't linger for very long. No carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability: Sure, I could drink some if I didn't have anything else. I probably wouldn't though. The strong cocoa isn't really my cup of tea..err bottle of beer.

I wonder if those tree sitters in Berkeley drink this beer.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fascinating beer. pours a pitch black color with a nice dark brown head. Aromas and taste center around cocoa, dark malts, coffee. silky smooth mouthfeel, nice carbonation and easily quaffable. a light interesting take on the non-existant chocolate stout style.

Photo of Shaw
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours totally black -- like ink -- with a tan head. Nice.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and molasses.

I'm a little sad that this beer doesn't taste more of chocolate. Since they mention the addition of real chocolate, I was expecting a flavor closer to Rogue's Chocolate Stout. Instead this tastes more like a regular stout. The roasted flavors mix with a nice creamy body. The tannin flavors are very muted, which is good.

Overall this is a decent stout.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as the darkest of nights, a thick cap of milk chocolate-brown head rests atop this thick brew.

Smells of roasted malts and coacoa.

The chocolate is subtle, but present; and manages to mellow the sharpness of the stout.

Nice heavy mouthfeel, not so creamy as other stouts but still thick. A brief waft of the burned malts hits the mouth with a slight but short lived after taste. A bit dry, perhaps.

Unlike most stouts that I've had, this is a very drinkable beverage. I could see myself going through more than one or two of these in a sitting.

Photo of SimplySinister
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The darkest brown possible. Opaque. Nice lacing, 2 finger head, and moderate carbonation. This is a very pretty brew.

S - Roasted malt, sour milk, cocoa.

T - Full bodied, burnt, and bordering on a little too harsh. The brew is not overly bitter; it could contain a lactose sweetener. Severely roasted malts, burnt coffee, and cocoa is apparent. The taste of alcohol is disguised very well.

M - Thin, but slightly sticky.

D - Good drinkability. A little expensive though.

All in all, I think that this stout is slightly above average; though it would be nice to have a "drink by" date etched somewhere on the bottle. Although this beer is not perfected, I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of acrawf6
3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out black with some light on the sides that can get through when put up against my lamp. Head is a nice brown, but does not last.

Smell. Small amount of burnt aromas with some chocolate to it. I get a strong bitterness that sticks out, in which its like a cascade hop smell, but with a little smoke to it. interesting.

Taste. The chocolate really tastes smokey to me initially. flavor is certainly on the more bitter side and quite drying. The cocoa really sticks out as the dominant flavor, but does not take over completely as there is a good amount of burnt and coal like flavors too. As it warms, the flavor begins to tart a little to me, and the body thins out a little making it feel a little oily. Aftertaste continues with the smokey flavors and remains bitter. after a bit of not drinking it tastes like i just took a drag of a cigarette.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium, but a little light i think for the style as it never has a heaviness to it, and after it warms i get that thinning oil texture to it. carbonation is at a good level.

Overall, an interesting beer. It's one i would not want to have more than a bottle at a time. but the flavors in it gives it a little uniqueness, however, I think it falls in the cracks of other beers for not standing out with good enough flavors, as I am now wishing this was a mackeson xxx or a rogue chocolate stout- too close to beers i like more and makes we wish i had that one instead. But still worth a try.

Photo of Natural510
2.76/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This may be quite an old bottle, but the dating on the side is not properly notched so I have no way of knowing.

Pours a very dark brown color into goblet with no head and only the slightest lacing on the edges of the glass.
Smells faintly of cocoa, caramel, coffee & roasted malts.
Taste consists mainly of bitter cocoa, which masks most other aspects of the brew. There are roasted malts hidden underneath, but it takes some detecting. Not much other than bitter powdered cocoa to the flavor.
Despite lack of carbonation, there is a subtle twang in the mouth, likely from the malts.

Likely better when fresh, I purchased this bottle mainly from memories of sneaking into the now-defunct brewpub which was located on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley when I was a teenager.
I gather no how fresh it may be, this will still be too unbalanced with the cocoa to be comparable to the many other options of chocolate stouts out there.

Photo of kinger
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Unexpected discovery at my favorite store, picked up a couple singles to enjoy. Aroma is very malty and yeasty I like it, the roasted malts dominate the scent, chocolate isn't very detectable. Looks good, typical stout. A trace amount of light shines through when held very close to the lamp. Nice dark tan head that diminishes too soon. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, but a nice smooth finish keeps this category at par. Fantastic flavors are present. Roasted and coffee malt are clearly detectable soon followed by a perfectly blended chocolate taste. Cocoa is added to the mash when this is brewed which is clearly evident. The chocolate tone is that of powdered cocoa, not overdone at all. Nice medium flavored stout very drinkable and thoroughly enjoyable.

Photo of charlzm
2.63/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Consumed 07/05/08 from a bottle of uncertain vintage, possibly several years old.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. Clear garnet when held to intense light. The tan head zoomed up to fill 3/4 of my pint glass at first tilt of the bottle. After several minutes of waiting and topping off, I was able to put the bottle's full contents into the glass. The head did reduce to a 1/8 inch foam layer which left almost no lacing behind.

Aroma is rich chocolate, cocoa and sour cherries. An off metallic note is present as well, negatively balancing the positives into "average" territory. The cherry note faded fast; after warming a bit, the only aroma is metallic chocolate.

Tremendously carbonated on the palate: prickly. Some thickness and chewiness present as well. After a while, the carbonation subsided. Better.

Flavors follow the smells; at first, tasting is difficult due to excessive carbonation. The first flavor is a dark chocolate note, then light cherries. A metallic tang kicks in towards the end, then a tongue coating cocoa finish. No real bitterness apparent. Not especially tasty.

I can't say what this beer was like when it was fresh, but this bottle probably has too much age on it. Interestingly, the best sips came directly from the bottle as I stole a couple of nips while waiting for the head in the glass to die down.

Sadly, a drain pour.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark brown/black with an inch tan head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste is the same as the aroma, although I think it tastes a lot more like coffee than chocolate (but I'm not complaining about that). It is labeled as a chocolate stout and the chocolate should be the strongest taste in this beer but it isn't (in my opinion). There's both sweet and bitter in this brew, and it does have a bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with average carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not quite watery. Drinkability is decent, it's not hard to drink. Overall it's a decent brew, I'd drink it again but I wouldn't make it a point to seek this one out either.

Photo of Hoopster4hire
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a slightly tannish head that lasts quite well.

Smell: Cocoa is definitely present. Roasted coffee like smell to it with faint sweetness, caramel possibly.

Taste: Cocoa takes over this beer, you can definitely taste the chocolate like influence along with bitterness that accompanies a stout. Roasted like coffee makes an appearance, but undertones of hops and malts should not be discredited, although they are somewhat lacking.

Mouthfeel: Pretty highly carbonated, something which is a little unusual. Not my cup of tea with that.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to try out. Has an interesting take on a "chocolate stout" with the large amount of cocoa flavor, but I would definitely pass if offered a different choice.

Photo of MiScusi
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours like a typical stout. The smell is really weird. It doesn't have too much of a roasted smell, but more of a higher roasted burnt astringent malt. The taste has a god amount of chocolate though it really went well with my rice krispy treats I was eating. Not too highly roasted in the taste but enough to be "stouty." Overall not a bad chocolate beer. If it were a bit more pleasant smelling then it would round out the experience more.

Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a) nearly opaque with dark amber showing around the edges of the glass; short, dark tan head that doesn't linger; no lacing to speak of

s) immediate cocoa with some dark fruit; coffee and molasses also apparent

t) deep, dark, intense, and bitter (kind of like me); a touch of dark, fruity sweetness; maybe some mild herbal hops coming in at the end, or it could just be more bitterness from the cocoa and roasted barley

m) nice and thick, as it should be

d) it's surprising to drink a chocolate stout that doesn't taste like dessert (I'm looking at you, Young's); this is a unique beer that does a fantastic job putting a new twist on the style

Photo of Proteus93
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours near black, with a bit of reddish highlighting around the edges. A creamy, light brown head tops it with some sticky lacing left behind

S: The chocolate scents are a little subdued, which wasn't really expected. There's an almost leafy aroma in there that I can't quite place, and what almost seems to be a bit of a hoppy scent.

T: A pretty bitter cocoa... it was a bit puckering, and perhaps not in the best way at all. This lessens as the glass goes down, but it seems a bit powdery. A little disappointed on this front.

M + D: On the thinner side... in this case, it's a little more suitable, as it might become pretty intense and overwhelming if it's much thicker. Perhaps some time, I'd give it another shot, but I won't be in any rush to pick up more.

Photo of Oxymoron
2.65/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Is the Bison made of Chocolate? Pours a closer to darker brown than black. The beer needed help with the pour leaving a pour head with large bubbles. They quickly faded but a light ring was left through the tasting. Not much in the way of lacing.

The nose is mostly malt accentuated but limited overall. Mostly roasty with some coffee aromas that are not quite astringent. Some very light chocolate notes with a sort of lactic meets yeasty notes. A little off with some feint veggi notes.

The taste is a more outgoing than the nose. The malt is still dominate with more of a coffee flavor. Not astringent or even roast, but just more of coffee flavor. Chocolate is detectable but limited. Some noticeable off yeasty notes with more of an autolysis meets oxidation finish.

The body is a downer. Very wispy/water texture. Carbonation is low. Overall just missing some depth and if you are going to call it a chocolate stout, you need more chocolate in there (not just choc malt) ie but a bison in there.

Photo of nickfl
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Large, rocky, tan head that settles quite slowly. Dark, brown-black body with ruby highlights.

S - Lots of dark, belgian chocolate up front with a big coffee note as well. Spicy, chicory aroma with a sweet, dairy note in the background.

T - Malty, caramel and coffe notes. The coffee gets stronger in the middle and some spicy notes of pepper, chicory, and clove come in. There is a mild friuty yeast character of banana that fades into a roasty finish.

M - Smooth, creamy body with moderate carbonation.

D - Moderately drinkable, but a bit dissapointing overall. The chocolate character is nice in the nose, but distinctly lacking in the flavor. The finish is kind of dull and lacking in complexity for a chocolate stout.

Photo of ubermick
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 20oz Imperial pint glass...

A: Poured a jet black, with a dark but small bubbly head, that disippated slowly.

S: Surprising amount of hops for a choccy stout, bitter chocolate and coffee, and decent roasted malt.

T: Hmm. The sweet of the malts is cut nicely with the bitterness of the malts and chocolate/coffee. I certainly didn't find it as sweet as some folks have, certainly not to the level of, say, Rogue's.

MF/D: Drinkable - again not to the level of Rogue's - with a decent mouthfeel. A little much carbonation for me in a stout, but still nice. Great little brew from a great little brewery that gets kudos for being organic!

Photo of jayrod20
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pretty decent little stout. Heaps of roasted bitterness, and bitter chocolate. Decent balance and flavour, not particularly complex, but tasty. As with all West Coast beers, theres a fair few hops in here, but it doesn't really unbalance it or anything, a nice stout.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves less than one finger of a tan head that does not have much retention, and leaves only isolated spots of lacing. Body is black.

Smell - lapsang suchong tea, roasted malt, burnt crust malt bread, and hints of chocolate and caramel.

Taste - like the smell. Roasted malt and burnt crust malt bread with some chocolate and caramel, as well as some dark fruit like rasins, plums, and prunes in the middle. There is some roasted malt and smokiness on the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and semi-dry at times.

Drinkability - this is a good ale, and it is very sessionable.

Photo of nrbw23
1.49/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A-Very dark if not black. Looks good but well....

S-Well, chocolate and I think it might be coffee.

T-Terrible. Probably one of the worst things I have ever tasted. A little chocolate and I'm not quite sure what else maybe some sort of Earthly taste.

M-Watery and dry. Once again not very good.

D-I don't know if I would ever try one of these again. I choked the one down and I know I will never buy these.

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.