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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

480 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%

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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Photo of ztaylor1


2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance- jet black, little head but holds a nice film. Light carbonation

Smell- caramel malts with chocolate.

Taste- bitter malt at entrance carried to a caramel then a weak chocolate ending.

Mouthfeel- not as thick as I had hoped.

Drinkability- wouldn't seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 06:17:58 | More by ztaylor1
Photo of DelMontiac


2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in a mix-a-six I put together at Brown's in Stillwater, OK. I was tageting stouts I hadn't tried before and I'm a sucker for anything related to my favorite animal, the American Bison. This would also be my first organic brew. Plus, I dig chocolate.

Poured from a brown 12Oz bottle into an Anchor pint glass, this has the look of a good stout - black and topped with a mocha colored 2 finger head which fizzles out to a thin skin in about a minute. Zero lace from this beer.

Aroma was a let down. I get some weak coffee scents, and a faint dark chocolate tinge. I don't know why this brew has such a metallic smell to it. I let it warm up a bit to no avail.

Now I would not expect organics to be different from any others and maybe it has nothing to do with anything here, but I was a bit miffed. Right off the bat I thought this is one weak tasting stout. Light touch of coffee which was the strongest flavor, some relaxed caramel malt that I really had to think about, and just a weak hint of dark chocolate in the middle with milk chocolate premonitions at the finish. Slightly earthy mild hop tinge, barely worth mentioning. Alcohol is hidden, but then it's only 5% abv. A stout which lacks bold flavors? Huh?

The very first thing that hit me was how thin the feel is for a stout. Very watery and lacks creaminess that one looks forward to. Could it be the organic elements? No, I don't think so.

Overall this is a very weak attempt at the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 02:33:24 | More by DelMontiac
Photo of SaCkErZ9


2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dispensed from a 22oz bottle into a an imperial pint glass. A half finger head forms on top of a not quite opaque, deep, deep, ruby colored beer. The head almost immediately leaves and no lacing is left behind.

Smell is chocolate. Coffee as well. Also some citrusy hops shine through as an afterthought. I tiny bit of dirty diaper jumps in as well, even as the beer is very cool.

This beer tasted weird. No freshness date so I dont think it is a bad bottle. A weird, burnt chocolate taste is followed by lots of astringency. A metallic taste is in there as well. Maybe it was the water. Not very good in my opinion.

As mentioned, astringent mouthfeel. Dry finish with not much body for a stout. I was disappointed with this offering. Probably will not buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 20:29:57 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Natural510


2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 15:02:49 | More by Natural510
Photo of Pimento


2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Inky black. Mahogany overtones. 3cm head that quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Cocoa powder. Earthy.

Initial creamy maltiness gives way to bitterness. The acerbic finish is long seems to come both from the hops and the cocoa. I do get a trace metal taste with some swollows.

Medium viscosity. Somewhat watery but I do get a lingering buttery feel.

I enjoyed drinking this stout and appreciate the brewers ability and desire to make this organically. I would happily drink it again if offered but will not be buying any more soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 23:12:19 | More by Pimento
Photo of rossthefireman


2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- a nice black with brown tones. Nice brown color to the beer foam.
S- lots of roasty malt smell, some cocoa
T- notes of acrid coffee, black patent, mild hops. Slight flavor of bitter cocoa. Almost to much bite from the roasted malts.
M- way too watery, especially for a stout
D- Its average, not bad but not great.

This beer is way too thin, too watery. Also the cocoa is barley there, it more just tasted like a regular watered down stout. This beer has potential, especially if they give it a little more mouthfeel and a little more cocoa. I wanted to like this beer , I really did, but its just misses for a stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 06:59:08 | More by rossthefireman
Photo of Oxymoron


2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 18:38:18 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of Stinkypuss


2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout

Pours a dark brown color, off white head. Aroma is very light, some roasted malts and bread, pretty much it. In the taste, watery, with some faint roasted notes, spent hop bitterness, and a touch of cocoa flavor as it warms. Alittle roasted, small chocolate notes, but mainly carbonated water. It may be organic, but it could stand to have some more lively flavors and a fuller body.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 04:10:30 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of TheSixthRing


2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 03:34:27 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of theaudist


2.65/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 01:03:15 | More by theaudist
Photo of charlzm


2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2008 16:18:31 | More by charlzm
Photo of MufflnMan


2.58/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pitch black body with a thin, off-white to mocha head.

Smells of cocoa with a hint of coffee.

Tastes of sweet malt and cocoa with that coffee in the background giving slight bitterness. Very subdued flavors, nothing bold here.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thin. This is a stout right? Drinks more like a not-so-interesting brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 03:59:22 | More by MufflnMan
Photo of aromatorio


2.55/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up from the La Jolla BevMo as an impulse buy. I was pretty disappointed by this bottle however.

A: It started off promising - it poured well, a medium-density head. A little lighter than I was expecting, considering it's called a Chocolate Stout.

S: Smell wasn't the best, but I was still hopeful. As below, I expected perhaps too much. I'm not sure what setbacks an organic brewer faces, but clearly I should have rethought my expectations. The brew smells simple, not complex at all - perhaps some under-roasted coffee beans, and where I was expecting a nutty dark chocolate, I got instead a weak milk chocolate.

T: The taste was a letdown for me. I expected rich undertones of chocolate and earth. Mostly though, all I detected were subtle coffee notes. The alcohol was an unnoticed third wheel.

M: The mouthfeel was extremely thin for me. Way too watery. Combined with the subpar taste, this was a big turn-off.

D: It is fairly drinkable because of the almost imperceptible alcohol, but I probably won't buy another bottle soon. It may go well with food, but sampled alone on its merits, I found it wanting.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 23:33:07 | More by aromatorio
Photo of lsrose


2.48/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this out of a bottle. Poured with a decent tan head but disappeared completely after a little bit. At first, it had an ok taste but an off after taste. The more of it I drank the worse this taste got. I didn't even finish it. It was also a pretty watery stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 03:38:43 | More by lsrose
Photo of artoolemomo


2.48/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 23:38:58 | More by artoolemomo
Photo of jsanford


2.45/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours cola-black with a fizzy head of coffee-colored foam that dissipates quickly, leaving a slight ring and haze. I could have mistook this for a Pepsi.
S - Dark roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate syrup. Smells sweet and sticky.
T - Chocolate obviously dominates, along with dark malt and more caramel, but there's an unpleasant copper-penny oxidized quality that I don't care for. I'd assume it's an old bottle, but with no noticeable freshness date I can't be sure. Ugh, there's some red berry flavor in here too, I believe we have an infection on our hands.
M - Medium-thin bodied with fairly crisp carbonation.
O - I couldn't finish this one, whether it was old or infected doesn't matter, it was plain gross. Drain pour. Sorry Bison, I love the organic approach, but I won't be having this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 02:25:50 | More by jsanford
Photo of stckhndlr


2.44/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 17:18:36 | More by stckhndlr
Photo of fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

2.43/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown head, two fingers or so, and goes away pretty quickly. Body is near-black and doesn't react to light at all.

Smell: I'm hoping I can control for a stuffy nose here. I smell sweet grains, not a ton of chocolate per se. Pleasant but restrained. Maybe a little bit of herbal hops.

Taste: Not a fan. Very bitter and raw. Ashy and unbalanced. Desperately lacking malt sweetness, not to mention chocolate. Overall there's hardly any real flavor. I've had very few beers disagree more than this one between the nose and the taste.

Mouthfeel: Carb is pretty light, body is fairly full. No lasting feeling. Strangely it's a little bit refreshing.

Overall: I've had a lot of stouts, and this easily was one of the least flavorful I've ever had. No chocolate, no coffee, no real malt substance at all. This is the first time I'm having it. If I have it again and experience the same thing, I will avoid it in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 02:53:07 | More by fountainofyouth
Photo of livingregret


2.4/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 03:32:44 | More by livingregret
Photo of RBorsato


2.35/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Black with dark brown edges to a light source, a full big bubbled head and overactive carbonation indicative of a problem. Chocolate, roasted malt, and oxidized/infected aroma and flavors. Medium-light bodied due to overcarbonation with a dry cocoa powder finish.

I need to find an un-infected version of this b/c it certainly had potential.

A bottle of on of these exploded in my basement not long ago and the owner/brewer was great when I discussed the matter with him ... I'll try again for sure.

Per label: "Stout brewed with cocoa" & "USDA Organic" & "Since 1989" & "Fine cocoa in the mash"

Per BB website: Dutch cocoa. 5 Organic malts.

2005 GABF - Silver - Foreign Style Stout

($9.99 / 6-pack)

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2006 19:41:08 | More by RBorsato
Photo of TheGordianKnot


2.25/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into stemless chardonnay glass...

A- Pours black with a two finger caramel head. Pretty standard. Nice looking for a stout, but nothing incredible

S- Toasty and roasty. Some awkward charcoal aroma. Sweet chocolate powder smell, definitely natural and organic smelling- I do like that natural aspect of it.

T/M- All iron. Tastes like roasty and thinned down blood in a way. Can't get past the mineral content. Some chocolate right before the iron... In the end just not enjoyable. Thin and watery with little carbonation. Feels gritty on tongue because so thin.

O- Glad I finally tried this beer but it isn't something I will revisit. Taste just didn't have many solid beer/stout qualities. I don't know if it is lack of brewers skills/knowledge or the strict adherence to keeping the beer organic that brought it down? Either way it just doesn't cut it for a beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 18:46:52 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of anthonygrg

2.25/5  rDev -35.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 06:39:22 | More by anthonygrg
Photo of BergBeer


1.96/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Bomber poured into a Stone RIS tulip glass

A: Brown-black with a latte head

S: Sweet roasted malt, Choclate tones, prunes, and wheat bread crust. Smells good!

T: Nothing like the smell. Harsh dry/chalky taste. Hints of almost burnt/smoky coffee and semi sweet chocolate. The smokiness really takes front and center and ruins it for me. Not very flavorful.

M: Dry, chalky, and thin on the tongue.

O: Not a fan. Really craved a stout so i picked this up because it was 4 bucks. Regret it. Closest thing i have had to a drain pour. Immediately went out and bought Ten Fidy in it's place. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 22:56:38 | More by BergBeer
Photo of jgurley


1.9/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a nice dark almost black with a good looking head which went away quickly. No lacing at all. Smell is a bit metallic. I get a lot of black olive in the nose and no chocolate. Taste is where the biggest letdown comes. Metallic up front. I get some burnt maltiness and bitterness. Chocolate is not very pronounced. The mouthfeel is so thin, it's weird. Feels almost as thin as a light beer. No body, very little stout flavor. I won't buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 18:39:34 | More by jgurley
Photo of ChugMan


1.85/5  rDev -47%
look: 1 | 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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 07:44:49 | More by ChugMan
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.