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Bison Organic Honey Basil - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 16%
Wants: 5
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bison Brewing visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 11-01-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 80
Reviews by mralphabet:
Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the Mellow Mushroom in Durham NC

A: Poured a clear orange color with a 1 finger head that settled to a nice thin layer with spotty lacing from start to finish.

S: First thing I'm getting is lemon peel with a little sweetness... at the very tail end I'm getting a little of the basil. Smells a little like herbal tea.

T: Sweet malt and lemon upfront with a little honey mid palette, there is a very slight hoppiness that kicks in near the end... also at the end is a touch of basil. Very complex set of flavors going on here, very herbal tea, just like the smell.

M: Light bodied with a nice carbonation and a very clean aftertaste.

D: Very enjoyable beer, light, refreshing, complex and goes great with pizza. I'll start looking for this one in bottles.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Iam always looking to try new and interesting styles of beer and honey basil seemed like a diferent combination.Poured a dull golden with a thinner quick vanishing white head leaving no lace,the aromas were the best thing about this beer in my mind very floral with that honey being a bit more noticable than the basil.Flavors start out with that honey sweetness and steadily fades into the quite noticable herbal basil flavor also a touch of mint,the finish is lightly earthy and that basil pops up again.I kinda like it, its different but not obtrusive its on the lighter side and I think would be food friendly.

Photo of RoyalT
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a pretty light orange in color with a nice white head.

Smell – This is very herbal in nature. It’s almost like smelling a spice rack. The green leafy herbs remind me less of basil though and more like parsley. The honey is hard to find, but the light grain is nice; unsweetened.

Taste – Ah, yes, here comes the honey. It’s more like the commercialized honey flavor you find in cereals but it’s good all around. The grain is trounced and barely noticeable and the light basil comes out a bit.

Mouthfeel – This is light-bodied with some descent carbonation.

Drinkability – I can’t say that I plan on finishing the entire bomber, but it’s not half-bad.

Photo of Auraan
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy amber with no head. Nothing amazing, but not horrible looking. Scents of malt, basil and a slight bit of honey. It's got a bit going on here, but it's not quite strong enough to get your anticipation up. Flavor begins with sweet malt and a yeasty ale character, moves into a slight bitterness and ends with the taste of fresh basil. Basil also dominates the aftertaste. It has a medicinal quality that reminds me of chewing fresh basil. It's not bad. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Standard, easy drinking feel. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The herbal flavors imparted by the basil really work with the sweet malt flavors and the dryness from the honey, making it a nice refreshing beer. It's a nice herbed beer to try if you don't want something too extreme.

Photo of hreb
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'd never heard of Bison Organic Beer before, but I couldn't pass up this 12oz single brewed with basil. Will it be herbtastically delicious or will the honey create another sweet, bland brew?

Appearance is on the yellow side of orange with a thin orange-white head. Not quite clear. Aroma is pleasant and floral and suggests just a bit of sweetness. The flower in the nose doesn't suggest hops, but perhaps clover honey (or some other bee pollen source). The basil flavor is subtle and way in the background. I think the herb actually comes across in the bitterness more than anything else. Impressively, the honey contributes the flavor of honey, i.e. that stuff that makes honey not taste like sugar syrup, without contributing sweetness -- nor without contributing a load of fermentable sugars that dry out the beer entirely. No, the beer finishes just dry enough.

Plenty drinkable, but unfortunately there isn't anything beyond the very mild taste of basil to hold my interest.

Photo of ElGordo
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received a bottle from our local rep the other day and figured I'd give it a try. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color topped by a big, foamy white head. Aroma offers what the name promises - light honey, sharp basil, some lavender notes, and some astringency. Palate is more of the same - basil is the dominant character, with light hops and a tinge of honey sweetness. Body is nice, light and refreshing, but there's a good bit of tangy astringency that's slightly off-putting. Maybe this floats some people's boats more than others, but I found it difficult to finish the bottle. Nevertheless, an interesting offering.

Photo of cjgator3
2.76/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a nice clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is dominated by the sweet honey. If I really try, I can detect some of the faint basil notes in the background but they are pretty subdued.

T- The taste is malt and some sweetness from the honey up front. There is some herbal hop notes in the finish. The finish is a little medicinal which turns me off to the taste a bit.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I didn't enjoy this one all that much. As a big fan of basil, I was excited to try this offering. The basil was pretty much non-existent and the rest of the beer was uninspiring. 

Photo of MrKennedy
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle via a Beermasons subscription and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Has a ruby appearance with a one finger head of cream coloured foam that dies down quickly.

Smell is unique, the honey is certainly there, more of a bush/dark honey than a pure, light variety. Plenty of toffee in there as well and a herbal note as well. Quite different, strong and something that would not be enjoyed by many, i'd suspect.

Taste has some good toffee, burnt caramel with some honey sweetness mixed in. Seems to meld in quite well together and is nice and rich.

Body is decent and suits the rich flavour, has a little bitterness at the end to keep it from being cloying.

Some good points, some not so good points. Different and probably more of a nice tick than anything else. Not something that will be selling keg after keg of (or bottle after bottle for that matter), but an interesting mix of ingredients and some point of difference.

Photo of aleckpa
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- I really liked the appearance on this beer. It poured an amber red, orange, brown color. It had about 1/2 a finger head, and then just laced the glass. Carbonation was springing from the bottom.

S- Well, honey and basil, what else would you expect? I smell more honey than basil. The baisl is sublte.

T- Honey, basil, orange, and lemon.

M- Very light. Fresh and crisp. Despite that carbonation, tastes flat at the back of the mouth.

O- This beer is good and fresh. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it. I mean, I had this at a beer tasting and I enjoyed it so I picked up a bottle. It was something new and different (for me).

Photo of bradleyp
2.89/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up in a sixer-mixer pack at the Bier Stein.

A: A light brown/amber color with a minimal amount of head, and light bubbly carbonation bubbles streaming up the side.

S: I could really pick up some honey notes at first whiff, followed up by a little bit of basil. I guess that's expected. Not too much other than a dry malty smell.

T: More basil and other greenery taste (lettuce, Broccli) than the honey. Not really what I enjoy in my beer.

M: Smooth, not too overbearing. Could not taste the alcohol aftertaste at all. Pretty decent for a 6 abv. beer.

O: Sort of impressed, but not all that really. The roomate enjoys these types of beers with fruits and honey and such, but I'd prefer a nice dark stout instead.

Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been wanting to brew a beer with basil for a while now so I'm excited to try this one. Semi-hazy orange marmalade hue. half finger white head. Smells like basil. Straight up basil.

Kind of a one trick pony of a beer but the basil taste is different and refreshing. You can tell its a beer with some light graininess but other than that it just tastes like liquid basil. I'm picking up none of the honey. As much as I love basil, this beer isn't really anything great. just a basil showcase. slightly overspiced finish. If you love basil or beers that remind you of pizza you'll love it, otherwise it's just a novelty.

Overall very pretty sweet which is probably due to all the basil.

Photo of trappistlover
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(On draught at Papago). Pours clear golden-orange color with white head. Aroma has loads of basil, sage, herbs and honey. Taste is surprisingly bitter with a sweet honey-like malt backbone. Medium bodied with oily, slick texture. Bitter finish. OK, but something I would not search out

Photo of bluejacket74
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, $7.99 a 4-pack. Served in a tulip glass as recommended on Bison's website, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. The aroma is weak, but nice. It smells like honey, basil, and herbal aromas in general. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it tastes like honey, basil and herbs, but there's also a slight medicinal flavor. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick with moderate carbonation. Overall I think this brew is just average. It's not bad, but it's not exactly good either. Worth a try, although I think given the chance I definitely would have been better off buying a single bottle instead of 4.

Photo of DopeRawBrewing
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

This beer pours an nice orange-amber color, somewhat clear but not superclear. I like.

The smell is herbal basily, brings to mind juniper.

The taste is similar to the smell. Nice and sweet, malty basil flavor, reminds me somewhat of a Sahti I had recently. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Uhh... I could drink this all day!

This brew is truly novel and balanced, a balance between the unfamiliar and that which is comfortable, it has me feeling bright. I once again could drink it all day.

Cheers to Bison for rockin' tasty, Organic, Living brews.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 22 oz bomber for my friend and I; he took one sip and wanted nothing to do with this beer. So there, I've warned you. If you think it sounds weird and you aren't into different flavors, then stay away. I tried it, I had a "very strange" initial reaction, but I kept going, and in the end, it was weird, but not so bad. Not something I would have on a regular basis, but interesting.

I know basil is an herb, and so that's what I expected, and this was full of grassy, weedy, herbal aromas and flavors. But I couldn't place them. I think the main reason for the honey is just to tone down these other flavors; it doesn't really do anything in and of itself. While I was drinking it, a cook friend of mine helped me out by saying "you know, basil, like pesto sauce". It immediately hit me. That is the flavor of this beer. A pesto sauce beer!

An interesting try once beer, but I feel no need to return.

Photo of JKuras
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber in color, half an inch of foamy head that quickly dissipates to just small traces after a minute. Slightly cloudy and good carbonation looks present.

Smell: Strong scents of sweet honey and malts present as well as some floral hops. I do get a good whiff of the basil here also. Also getting hints of cloves and cinnamon. Everything seems pretty well balanced. It definitely stands out from other brews because of the basil. This is a great smelling beer.

Taste: Tastes similar to the smell, sweet malts, more honey and basil, but more bitter hops than I was expecting on the finish. The bitter from the hops lingers for a good 20 seconds. The basil is definitely there but doesn’t overpower; almost has a cooling effect against the spicy bitter hops. A very interesting combination and pretty refreshing overall.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, and feels good swishing around the mouth. Not too heavy but full of flavor.

Overall: Probably not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Very well balanced overall without being too complex, and I could probably have 2 or 3 in a session. Love the combination between the honey sweetness, biting hops, and earthy basil. A great beer to enjoy in the spring or summer months.

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Hops Burger Bar, Greensboro, NC

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of basil leaves are present in the nose along with hints of ginger.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of basil. Only hints of honey are perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an easy drinking beer that would seem to make a good pairing with Italian food or a veggie burger.

Photo of spicelab
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

355mL bottle thanks to Beermasons.

Ruby amber, largely clear, with a sudsy just off-white head, about one finger. Slight ring of retention.

Rather malty with quite a strong sarsparilla note. The honey combines with light toffee and malt character. Don't get basil per se, but pick up a definite herbal freshness. Can't get much else.

Starts with and intangible soily, spicy note that morphs into honeysuckle and yes, basil. One-dimensional, but to be expected.

Light-medium mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation gives it some life. Pretty nice actually.

Quite refreshing really. Grew on me a bit over the course after I was initially ready to diss it as a gimmick but it does work.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ow damn it not only did I find this late (released 6 months ago) but it has such a low rating. To top it off I paid $2.49 for the single.

A - Looks decent enough deep amber brown with a bit of floaties and hazy. The head is pretty decent for such an old brew giving me a 1/4 inch that settles to a thick lace ring.
S - It actually smells like a pretty good amber ale with a sweet honey tone and herbal pine. Not very off putting it smells nice.
T - Not having another other basil beer to compare it too I want to say its actually not bad. The basil at times is very herbal and grassy but the sweetness seems to balance pretty good and I am somewhat impressed that its not overly dry from the honey. Not very metallic or harsh I actually wonder why such a low rating.
M - Kind of thin and herbal. Drinakble.

Overall not that I would buy it again it was an interesting beer worth trying just to see how basil is incorporated in a beer. Its actually not as bad as other say.

Photo of shand
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It came from ... the back of the fridge! Found this lonely looking Spring seasonal hanging out in the back of my fridge. Bison Organic Honey Basil pours out a red-amber color with a finger of head. The aroma is basically what the nose says. Honey and basil. On the tongue though ... hey, is this a pumpkin beer with honey? Of course, pumpkin beers very rarely taste of pumpkin, they taste of the various spices. And I'm getting this big-time behind the basil and the honey. The mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated, and the drinkability isn't all that great. Too much on the spice for me. Overall, less interesting than I expected to be honest.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was quite a surprise. One of my distributors sent me this as a free sample just to prove how good it actually is despite, well, the name, frankly. But it was pleasantly drinkable: it poured a somewhat hazy orange amber with a frothy, erratic head. The nose features a sweet, herbal aroma. The flavor has a pretty distinct note of basil, which adds a refreshing minty crispness to the palate. A sweet hint of honey and nice maltiness balance the basil and hops nicely. A smooth, creamy mouthfeel with mellow carbonation.

This was one tasty little surprise: sweet, crisp and very drinkable. Definitely worth a try, especially if you’re looking to sample something different. Recommended.

Photo of cdizinno
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy amber color, almost the same as a cider. Nice off-white head with mild lacing.

S: Mild honey and I can smell the basil, knowing that it is there, otherwise I probably wouldn't be able to identify it as anything other than spices. Someone mentioned herbal tea and that is probably a good comparison.

T&M: Nice flavor with a slightly rough feel as the carbonation is light but tingling. Fairly sweet with a mainly malty character. Some very faint hop bitterness and floral taste that is probably a result of the honey more than the hops. Dry finish. Light-bodied.

This is a really good beer, probably more similar to a saison. Very drinkable if you like something a bit different.

Photo of silverking
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- light amber, 1/2 inch of coarse off white head, patchy lacing. Decent head retention. Soon there is just a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass.

S- at first, it's pretty dismal, some malt with a faint herbal quality. Just give it a quick swirl in the glass, and bam, there's the basil. It's bright and clean, grassy and herbal. The honey doesn't seem to be there though.

T- basil, still wonderful. It transitions nicely into a floral sweetness and then into a very slight bitterness. The honey begins to peak through in the finish, but then its muddled by a triumphant comeback of sweet herbal goodness.

M- light, the finish is clean. Lots of prickly carbonation.

O- love the basil, but it left me wanting some more honey.

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle, no date info.

Crystal clear mellow gold. Towering, glass-filling head of loose packed dusty white foam of mixed size bubbles. Heavily dimpled surface that slowly settles, but leaves a thick chunk on top all the way down. There were a few wide, thick strands of lacing. Minimal carbonation streams drift upwards. Sweet, light honey and zest comes through along with a ginger ale soda aroma. The lightly sweet honey fills out the initial flavor with just a touch of pale malt. There is a spiciness that shows up in the finish that is barely discernable as basil. Had I not known to expect basil, I probably would not have identified it as such. There is a general saison component to the taste that is perhaps more suggestive than actual. The spiciness changes over to a bitterness which clings at the edges for a tad bit too long. Medium body and smooth to soft mouthfeel, the carbonation is on the low side. Nice that this is a certified organic beer which includes basil from Watanabe Farms and honey from Britt’s Honey, but the basil was barely discernable. Still, this was enjoyable.

Photo of zookerman182
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a golden orange with a one finger head.
Aroma is sweet herbs, malt, fake honey.
Taste is slight herb and spice with a light honey sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium to full but no pleasant lingering flavors to speak of.
It's a solid beer but I couldn't drink more than a couple.

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Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.