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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

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292 Reviews
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Reviews: 292
Hads: 576
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 48 | 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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Reviews: 292 | Hads: 576
Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

undated 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Unfortunately, the brewers weren't able to get a 22 oz. serving in this bottle even though the label says "1 pint, 6 fl. oz".

Even with a rather gentle pour, I had to wait a few minutes to empty the bottle due to the towering tan head. Head has moderate retention. Liquid is opaque, appearing nearly black but with mahogany highlights at the edges given bright light.

S - appealing mix of cocoa and toasted malt, plus faint hops.

T - IMO, one of the best balanced chocolate stouts I've had, with plenty of cocoa flavor but with more toasted grain flavor than chocolate. Balanced sweetness, with both sweet and bitter components readily detectable. Some coffee notes. A little more richness and complexity and this be a 4.5.

M - exceptionally smooth and creamy; very good carbonation level ... BUT ... I'd like a little more body; beer is a bit watery in the finish. (916 characters)

Photo of McNealc31
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The genuine cocoa powder used really shines with a rich chocolatey flavor. You can smell it, too, but the texture and flavor it adds are fantastic. Looks just like you want a stout to look, as well.

This is distinctly a beer, though. You won't feel like you're drinking a chocolate soda. A good dose of bitterness counteracts the cocoa leading to a dry finish with a subtle tinge of hops.

Solid brew here (407 characters)

Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (1,587 characters)

Photo of beersarang
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black brown with a dark tan head. Big bubbles mix with smooth bubbles retention is decent. Minimal lace.

Sweet caramel chocolate aroma, hints of coffee and roasted malt.

Flavor profile is extremely complex, but subtle.
Begins with a fairly thin malt profile, quick hit of bitterness that is actually well balanced. A bit weak. The real complexity and flavor becomes apparant in the exhale. Chocolate and coffee interplay with a sweet slight alcoholic warmth. Finishes with charcoal.

Body is a bit too thin unfortunately. Carbonation might be overcrisp.

Not a bad beer at all, similar to an oatmeal stout in flavor profile, but lacks a strong malt base and a thick stout body. (701 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (956 characters)

Photo of Shiredave
3.93/5  rDev +12%
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. (717 characters)

Photo of colts9016
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (800 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of baiser
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (455 characters)

Photo of zdk9
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours solid black with whiffs of cocoa colored head. Some decent streaks of lacing, especially considering that there isn't much foam to stick to the sides.

S- Chocolate, roast, a bit of fireplace burned wood.

T- It's a stout alright- though the taste is a little generic, it fits the bill well. Toasted husky seeds and smoke give way to smoother dark fruit flavors in the middle of the tongue- prune and raisin. Not the strongest flavors but decently complex.

M- A little more carbonated than you'd expect, but otherwise it fits the bill.

O- A nice easy drinking stout. Not too high alcohol- I guess maybe more than a session, but on a colder spring or fall day it would be nice to hang out with a couple of these. (723 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,014 characters)

Photo of TheFlern
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate/blackish color with tan head that leaves a decent layer. No Lacing.

Smell: Chocolaty smell.

Taste: Nice and chocolaty. Sweet, slight bitterness that is probably from the cocoa.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and good amount of carbonation. The cocoa adds a nice tangible distinction.

Overall: Tasty, drinkable and cheap. Just needs bottle dating. (376 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with a little bit of light let through when held up to a light source. Head is a thick finger of frothy tan foam. An attractive stout.

Smell: very nice chocolatey aroma without any harsh undertones. As smooth and creamy as a smell might be considered to be; I like it.

Taste: chocolate, roastiness and a hint of coffee are present in the flavor. A little bit less chocolate and a little bit more roasty harshness than the aroma, but still a very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a very satisfying creaminess. Good stuff.

Overall: this is a basic but tasty and overall quite satisfying and drinkable stout. I'd definitely have this again. (763 characters)

Photo of mwearl
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (435 characters)

Photo of droomyster
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this beer many times over the years but never had the chance to properly review it. Pours a black body into my snifter with a bit of brown head with decent retention. Aromas of milk chocolate and marker ink, notes that occasionally strike me as similar to the casings of Belgian pralines. The creaminess of the body is rich and thick, asking you to take your time to swish and enjoy your sip for a while. The milkiness runs deep. I like that. Drinks beautifully. This is a beer that everyone who likes "chocolate" to be taken literally should try. (560 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass black with a ruby highlight and a brown low forming head which rose slightly and fell quickly, but laced the glass.

The aroma was roasty and toasty with chocolate and strong coffee, expresso, leading the charge. The aroma was like walking into a coffee shop and was very enticing. Also present was a low caramel aspect behind all the roast and chocolate. A slight fruity character emerged as the beer warmed.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee, but not as agressive as in the aroma. The chocolate was dark and bitter with no appreciable hop character, but all the bittering from roasted grains. The beer had a slight caramel flavor, but not at a high level.

The finish was dry, bone dry, with a lasting acidic dark grain aftertaste of chocolate and finally roasted coffee. The body was almost medium, but just a bit lighter than I would have desired. Awesome aroma, missing some complexity in the flavor which could have really made this beer shine.

22 ounce bottle. (1,010 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer. Brackish black pour as it should. Dark tan head. Heavy roasty malt and chocolate/coffee nose. Flavors match similarly to the nose. Reminds me more of a milk stout, maybe a chocolate milk stout, if there was such a thing. On the border of being quite sessionable. Would drink this one again. (301 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of letsgopens
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (521 characters)

Photo of grittybrews
3.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark cola brown into a pint glass with a finger of quick-receding tan head. Pronounced milk chocolate aroma that strikes a nice balance between sweet and roasty.

Moderate carbonation and a relatively light, creamy mouthfeel. Roasty biscuit malt up front that gives way to a mild chocolate character and slightly watery coffee bitterness on the finish.

A light and drinkable stout, but the taste doesn't deliver much complexity or even the chocolate character promised by the aroma. (490 characters)

Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

nice dark amber color with ~1 inch of off white head that hangs out for a bit. minimal lacing

sweet smell with cocoa and that's about all i get.. i was hoping for something a bit more in your face.. and complex

hints of coffee, chocolate and molasses. roasted malts and almost a nutty flavor

a bit thin in the mouth, not bad for a porter, but that's not the style this is listed under

easy to drink, taste good and goes down smooth with no funky lingering after tastes. (520 characters)

Photo of SimplySinister
3.86/5  rDev +10%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of scottoale
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (786 characters)

Photo of happygnome
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 (415 characters)

Photo of ATSJer
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cooler than room temp

Appearance: this brew has a smooth pour and builds an almond colored head quickly to about 1 finger which begins to fade to a thin layer within a minute or so, the head has a medium froth nowhere near as dense as the Guinness nitro-bottle; the head also slides off leaving no lacing on the glass. The brew itself is near black, but on the edges and bottom you can see that it is a very deep amber, especially when held to the light. It is a clear liquid, and I could see some evidence of carbonation with a single bubble stream visible on the surface. There was nothing really extra ordinary about the appearance, and the fact that it was not opaque reminded me of the Guinness, but this was even clearer. It looked good, but really just seemed average to me.

Smell: I hold my breath as I put my nose in the glass before inhaling, and even then I could feel the bite of the bitterness in my nostrils which really made me think I was in for a very hoppy brew. As I inhaled the spice was indeed prominent, and there was thick dark malt that you would expect from a stout. I could also smell some sweetness like toffee, but I was really left searching for any chocolate aroma.

Taste: The spice is certainly in this brew but not nearly as strong as I was expecting from the aroma, as I am not one who likes an overly hoppy brew I was pleasantly surprised at the difference between the aroma and the initial taste. Continuing with the first pull I tasted the heavy malts that should not come as a surprise when drinking stouts, this was followed by the bite of bitterness at the finish that was sharper than the Guinness, I really only noticed the chocolate at the end and it seemed a very rich dark chocolate. As I continued to explore the tastes I concentrated on the sweetness which is there on the tip of the tongue but certainly not a primary flavor. This did not taste at all watered down.

Mouthfeel: The Chocolate Stout is a thicker feeling brew than Guinness but certainly not syrupy by any stretch. I didn't notice any creaminess although there was a thin buttery coating in my mouth after swallowing. One thing that I noticed early was the carbonation, I expected to feel this from the appearance and I was afraid that it might be overbearing but that was not to be, the carbonation fizzed on my tongue some but it was not distracting from the flavors.

Drinkability: This is a good drinking brew, but the carbonation hangs in the stomach more than others and causes some bloating, the liquid itself is not all that heavy but with the carbonation it is rather filling even after a single pint. I can see drinking this in the evening with friends or family, or drinking one with a steak dinner, but I can't imagine anyone slamming these at a party. I certainly recommend this brew as a drinkable, and flavorful expression of what a stout is while not being completely overbearing. (2,926 characters)

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.