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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.

501 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 501
Reviews: 281
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 9
Gots: 20 | 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)
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Ratings: 501 | Reviews: 281 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an intense black patent and chocolate malt scent along with a dry, earthy aroma. The taste is good. It has a rich, black patent and chocolate malt flavor. It goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy with a slight chocolate finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good stout. It could use a little more chocolate in the flavor, but it's still a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 00:30:27 | More by WesWes
Photo of baiser


3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque, dark brown, with a very small tan head after a hard pour. Had to force the head, but it had good retention and decent lacing. Aroma of dark, bitter chocolate, dark malt and toffee. Taste of cocoa, coffee, bitterness, rich chocolate malts and a dry finish. Very mellow, not carbonated, smooth, medium bodied. Not quite Rogue chocolate, but still a very good tasting beer. Easy to drink. Chocolate is not over the top, but definitely there.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2005 07:58:40 | More by baiser
Photo of rowew


4.08/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. USDA organic symbol on the neck. Label states that this is a "fresh perishable product," yet there is no freshness dating to be found.

Appearance: Poured in my Stone RIS glass. Pours very dark with just the slightest hints of reddish brown around the edges. Decent sized head fades qiuckly to leave a lacing around the edge.

Smell: Lots of roasted aroma with strong expresso dominating the aroma. The chocolate is also there in force however - smells mostly like bittersweet.

Taste: Taste starts with a nice roasted malt feel, and then the chocolate comes in. Slightly bitter - unsweetened bakers chocolate. At the end the hop bitterness comes in, leaving a nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth.

Overall impression: Nice drinkable stout with enough hops to keep the chocolate balanced. Much less sweet than I expected from a chocolate stout - which is a good thing in this case.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2005 05:24:37 | More by rowew
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Potting soil dark brown with a glimmer of lighter brown at the edges. The cap is golden cocoa powder in color and deflates to a one finger disk after several minutes, leaving thick sheets of periodically broken lace. A classic stout look.

The nose is impressively aromatic and is chock full of ground espresso beans; rich, dark chocolate; and a fair amount of roasted malt. I expected and hoped to be bowled over by a tidal wave of melted chocolate fudge, but coffee has the upper hand here. No worries. Even though I'm not a big fan of coffee or coffee-dominant beer, this one smells too good to nitpick.

The label states that 'fine Dutch cocoa' was added to the mash, but by my nose that should read 'fine ground coffee beans'. An intense mochaplosion hits the palate and stays as long as there's beer in the mouth and beyond. What saves it for me is that there's enough rich cocoa flavor to offset the coffee and make Organic Chocolate Stout one delectable beer.

While the moderate degree of roastedness delivers a biting bitterness and a mild smoky char, there's just enough sweetness to see that things don't get out of hand. This beer is all about checks and balances. I can't forget the citrus zesty hops that crash the party in the second half of each mouthful. The body is medium in heft for a stout, perhaps medium and a half.

Bison Chocolate Stout should be re-named 'Bison Mostly Coffee But Quite A Bit Of Chocolate Too And Some Hops For Good Measure Stout' but that probably wouldn't fit on the label. Putting it into bigger bottles so that a bigger label could be used is one solution. Come to think of it, that ain't a half bad idea given how good it is.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2005 20:08:17 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of OStrungT


3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown. The head is dark tan. It fades fast leaving a good amount of lacing. It smells of chocolate, which I guess is good since it is a chocolate stout. It has slight sents of malts and coffee. It tastes very chocolatey. There is a coffee taste hidden behind the strong chocolate taste. This beer is full bodied and sweet. It leaves a chocolate taste on the palate. This beer might not make a good session beer because it is too rich. It is very good, but the richness of it will get to be too much. This beer is definately worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2005 02:42:44 | More by OStrungT
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, pours darkest of browns, not black , with just the slightest bit of line shining through the edges. Low carboantion, minimal head and no lacing. Nose is strongly dark chocolate. Sort of dull flavorwise, chocolate is all over the place, just a hint of snappy hops on the back side. Low complexity, nice if you like dark, gooey and sludgy stouts. Leaves a chalky taste on the palate, cant say I'd look foward to quaffing more then one of this stuff....

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 03:54:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of Thrasher


3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A glowing, luminous black (is that even possible?) with a fine drift of foam atop that laces down the glass. Aroma of cocoa. The beer has quite a bite to it, not sweet and buttery and chocolatey as you might expect. Rather, it tastes of unsweetened baker's cocoa powder, not too far from mocha or even espresso. It's a bitter stout with ample hops whose herbalness marries pretty well with the cocoa to obscure the sweet roastiness of the malts. It's good, not great, and leaves an unpleasant chalky bitterness on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 05:25:26 | More by Thrasher
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkness, utter darkness, black as she gets, with a lush, creamy tan head, very attractive...
deep roastiness, rich and bitersweet, espresso tones, and chocolate all over the place..
huge in the mouth, full bodied, vast mouthfeel, though the chocolate taste is minor, compared to something like Rogue or Young's...wait, I take that back, sorry, it'g getting stronger now...funny how that works...no, it's getting rather thick now...yum, this is quite a delicious choco-stout.
If you can get one near you, what's your excuse? This is bottled ecstacy.
(22ounce bomber, courtesy of weefisheads)

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2004 06:47:15 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MrNuggets


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one's organic, cool!
Pours black from a 22oz bottle with a small head the colour of chocolate. Coco is picked up on first wiff. The coco flavor comes in under the big hops and roasted edges. Mouthfeel is heavy like a good stout should be. Glad I split the bottle because a full one might have been a little much for me. Not in the mood for this sort of beer I suppose.
This is good and I'll most likey drink it again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2004 22:39:23 | More by MrNuggets
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2004 17:54:47 | More by rastaman
Photo of beerceller99


4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Black color with a one finger tan head. Reeks of dark roasted grains, coffee, dark chocolate. Medium bodied for a stout, it has a light smooth mouthfeel. Has a expresso coffee, bakers chocolate bittersweet malty taste.Finishes with a bitter chocolate, toasted grain flavor on the tongue. A most excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2004 06:34:01 | More by beerceller99
Photo of Zorro


4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black brew with a reddish brown head.

Smell is sweet with lots of chocolate smell. Fruity and malty scents too.

Taste is sweet and bitter with a notable fruitiness to it. Taste smoothes out after a bit and then the fruity nature and some hops really come out in the taste.

Mouthfeel is has a good amount of carbonation to it that makes it have a Coca-Cola drinking quality to it.

A tasty stout with more than one dimension to it. Strong yet refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 22:13:19 | More by Zorro
Photo of Reidrover


4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

OK bought in a 22 oz bomber ,Lovelly black beer with a semi-large brown head..that persists. Aroma is nice mostly of burnt malts with dark chocoalte in the back.Some "milkiness". Very full flavour stout, dark esspresso,burnt embers,unsweet chocolate..also some sweetness right at the start..nice stuff. Very nice and smooth on the palate. Very very drinkable for one so complex..really enjoying this.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2004 04:48:35 | More by Reidrover
Photo of RoyalT


3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Black with a nice, tanned head. It didn’t show much retention but, when it was up, this was a real good-looking beer.

Smell – Very dry-smelling burnt malt with some nice chocolate cocoa notes. There’s a bit of coffee in here as well.

Taste – The cocoa comes up front along with an early bitterness. The malt base shows up mid-stream and the Stout finishes with the big West Coast hoppy finish that I just don’t care for.

Mouthfeel – Very bitter and medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This was an easy-drinker. I’m not a fan of the hopped-up Stouts, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 02:03:18 | More by RoyalT
Photo of RedDiamond


3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like chocolate. I like stout. But chocolate stout? Lets just say I’ve never been much of a fan. Still, if it’s good, it’s good. And bison is not so bad.

Bison has a few funky phenols in the nose but also a nice dusting of cocoa. The smell is almost enticing. The brew pours heavy and opaque with slight carbonation and a thin sepia head. The initial taste is inhibited with a regrettable deficit of flavor. But the aftertaste is catchy. It’s as though the flavor profile doesn’t really come alive until making its departure. Here the Dutch cocoa imparts a welcome bitter chocolate statement and scores a point for drinkability. In the end, the flavor transcends novelty and achieves something that is, if not exciting, then at least worthwhile.

The rest of the beer is notable for its organic ingredients and nice glassy mouthfeel. But there’s no lace, no yeast in the bottle, and the carbonation is meek. Bottle fermentation might add some needed vitality here.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2004 19:53:49 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of mzwolinski


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black in color, with a thin, dark-tan head that quickly disappears into nothingness. The aroma starts quite roasty, and develops a bit of malt sweetness as it sits, but is overall rather light on the chocolate. Big roasty start to the flavor, too, with a malty middle that grows more assertive as the beer sits. Very light bitterness to the finish with a light cocoa flavor in the aftertaste. On the whole, I'm just not happy with the way this beer finishes. At first it seemed to end too quickly, with not much going on on the back of the tongue. This got better as the beer warmed, but then it got *worse* as the beer seemed to leave a bit of a harsh, off taste in its wake. I'm just not sure what to make of this one...

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2004 03:46:55 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of BeerResearcher


3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark espresso color with a firm tan head.
The aroma of hot cocoa, malt and light alcohol fume are quite enticing.
The medium body is not as thick as it appears, yet it is solid with rich, sweet flavors. Dark roast coffee and dark bitter sweet chocolate flavors prevail. A mild smokiness lasts throughout. A taste of buttery biscuits appears in the background.
A zesty citrus bitterness and light metallic tang offer some tartness to offset the cocoa and sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 23:27:51 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: I have never seen any Bison Brewing beers, or at least if I did I never tried them. So it was a bit of a surprise to come across this one. Looking a bit battered the 22oz Bomber was on sale at $2.69. Best Before April 03, but it has stood up well given it “expiry date”. No strength listed, but described as a “Chocolate Stout – brewed with Cocoa Powder”.

Appearance: Incredibly jet black, not even dark brown as is often found, but certainly black. Large cocoa brown head that has some large bubbles on the surface that creates little to no lacing. The head is a decent 1” to 2” at first, but it slowly settles to a comfortable ½” at the finish. Minimal carbonation.

Nose: Dark chocolates wrapped in a cocoa powder coating that is powdery on the nose at times.

Taste: Roasted malt beginnings, rich and smooth on the palate. The cocoa powder and chocolate malts rise into the middle. Some bitterness in the latter third but it is not really until the beer is swallowed that you get the hop-hit which lend a very dry bitter-chocolate finish. Hop burps certainly are a welcome by-product of this Stout!!!! Nicely done.

Mouthfeel: Has a very nice feel on the tongue, smooth, but not creamy, moreover it has a lightly powdered texture that probably comes from the Cocoa Powder.

Drinkability: Some Chocolate Stouts are overtly loaded with Cocoa Powder, Chocolate Malts, or are just too damn sickly for my liking. I certainly do not have a sweet tooth – so I was pleasantly surprised by the balance in this Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing. Nicely balanced with a reasonably good Drinkability.

Overall: A solid Chocolate Stout that was a bargain for $2.69 for the Bomber, a thoroughly enjoyable libation.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 05:48:30 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; some sort of dating -- whether its "best by" or "bottled on" isn't made clear -- notched on the label's right edge; no ABV%; purchased as part of a ten beer "Winter Brew" (vel sim.) sampler pack from the Cost Plus on Westwood and Santa Monica for $14.99.

Appearance: Completely opaque; no head, even with the roughest of pours; zero-lacing, naturally.

Aroma: Firmly of dark chocolate and roasty, black malt.

Taste: Decidedly like its nose, only more so; large notes of bittersweet chocolate and espresso rule the roost, here; not nearly as sweet as you might imagine; total lack of carbonation left the impression of a somewhat light, thin mouthfeel.

Notes: Above ratings reflect lack of carbonation; hope to retry some day.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2003 06:30:45 | More by Mustard
Photo of beerguy101


3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black color, small head. Deeply roasted malts, the addition of Dutch cocoa to the mash adds a distinctive bitterness to the beer. Nice hop signature. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Taste improves, as beer gets closer to room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2003 16:27:21 | More by beerguy101
Photo of jcalabre


4.28/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled March 9, 2003. This stout is very well made. It has a nice chocolatey nose; the color is jet black w/ a long lasting brown head. Nice chocolate flavor w/ some roasty notes. Thanks Mitch, this is an excellent brew that I'm enjoying.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2003 07:58:45 | More by jcalabre
Photo of Mark


3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark black stout. Beautiful tan head that surprisingly left very little lace. stong roasty chocolatey nose. I liked the taste of this stout much more at the beginning than near the end of the glass. It started of nice and roasty but ended up very dry and pretty bitter for a stout. Chocolate taste was bittersweet. A decent beer but it pales next to Young's.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2002 10:18:37 | More by Mark
Photo of Gusler


3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The traditional color on the pour, a pleasant deep brown to black. The head monstrous, chocolate brown in color, the consistency frothy, lace is fine sheets to coat the glass. Nose is as expected chocolate, the bittersweet kind, toasted grain, and maybe even some maple syrup. Front is sweet, the top is middling, the finish is medial on the carbonation, the hops pertinent, the aftertaste bitter chocolate dry. Quite a decent stout, and well worth a sample for those “Corrupted By The Dark Side!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2002 17:06:39 | More by Gusler
Photo of Shiredave

New York

3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, freshness date not notched- lots of yeast trub in bottom. Label says brewed with Dutch Coco powder in mash. Pours like drained oil with 5K miles on it, high, frothy brown head that receeded reluctantly leaving a caramel lace. Aroma of burnt brown sugar, charcoal and hints of chocolate. First tast is slightly sharp and metalic but softens into big roasty flavors with creamy oat fullness ( not sure about the oats but it tastes like it to me) and coco flavor mingled with alcohol warmth. Solid hop bittering takes over and finishes this one off clean with hoppy dryness and the chocolate hovering in the aftertaste.
Easy to drink big chewy stout with lots of hops and well crafted touch of coco.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2002 20:51:27 | More by Shiredave
Photo of Winter


3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Poured black with a thick brown bubbly head. Aroma is of chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is a full-bodied, dry stout. A lot of bitterness here present from the Dutch cocoa. Coarse texture on tongue. Not a bad chocolate stout, yet not a real great one either. Lacks the sweetness and smoothness of better chocolate stouts such as Youngs.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2002 20:23:06 | More by Winter
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.