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Bison Organic Honey Basil - Bison Brewing

Not Rated.
Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.14%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark orange with a 1/2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, basil, and some slight honey aromas. Taste is pretty sweet with some malt/grain flavors up front and an earthy basil spice flavor that lingers long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but definitely odd and not something I would get again.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

zestar, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

metter98, May 17, 2014
Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a frothy ecru head that delivers a bit of lacing as it descends

Smell: Herbacious aroma, though certainly not basil; more like herbal tea

Taste: Opens with a tea-like character, but the flavors burst forward by mid-palate, with the honey providing a sweet element and the basil adding an herbacious twist; cannot say I would have called it out as basil, however, but it does add a spicy bitter element that persists after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I came to this beer with exceedingly low expectations but wound up really enjoying it; bet it would pair nicely with spicy Asian cuisines

brentk56, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Are you going to Scarborough Faire?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lived there.
She was once a good friend of mine."

--traditional English folk song


Brightest tangerine with daisy yellow edges. The lid is barely yellowed ivory in color and sports innumerable fragile bubbles on its upper surface. Pretty impressive display of lace as well, for an herbed beer. Honey Basil looks, for all intents and purposes, like an APA. What, you were expecting green?

I often assign colors to smells and tastes and there's no doubt that this one smells green. Basil comes through loud and clear and makes me glad that I like that particular herb. It's an odd nose for a beer though; I've never smelled anything quite like it. I can't say that I appreciate honey, or even much of any sweetness. Points for originality.

Bison didn't go halfway with this one, no siree. I've always said 'if you're going to brew an 'X' beer, then add plenty of 'X', otherwise, what's the point?' This one is as boldly basily as any herb lover could hope for. I like it just fine, it's just that's it's so different and so... I don't know... plant-like, that I'm finding it hard to think of it as more than a semi-pleasant, interesting curiosity.

I can appeciate a touch of sweetness now, though it still doesn't come across as honey. More bee juice might have made it a better beer, who's to say? I don't think of basil as especially bitter, so it must be the hops gettin' their alpha acid schwerve on because the finish tightens up considerably and even scuffs the tongue a little.

It's finally come to me. This beer is somewhat reminiscent of Earl Gray tea. Not in the 'tastes like it' sense, but because it's herbal, perfumy, citric fruity (from the hops) and bitter, all characteristics that it shares with my favorite flavor of tea. It's still an incredibly odd beer though.

The body/mouthfeel doesn't even begin to step out of line. Actually, it's unremarkable in all respects; neither too light nor too heavy, neither too bubbled nor too quiescent. I like it though, it has a quality feel, so I'll reward it accordingly.

If Organic Honey Basil is a money maker for Bison, they might just as well start a whole new line of herbal beers. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme might be good places to start. As far as plants go, however, I think I'll stick with hops.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -13.5%

ygtbsm94, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had heard Bison Brewing developed major breakthroughs in beer-basil technology to create this exotic brew, so, together, let's see how well they did!

Appearance: Pours a deep golden body with a tall, foamy head fed by a continuous stream of large, lazy bubbles.

Smell: A sweetish, honey-drizzled aroma that's fairly herbaceous. Its like something you'd expect from the Yankee Candle Company - "Honey Basil Blossoms".

Taste: The gentle sweet maltiness goes well with the soft, smooth honey flavor. Basil pops up midway, presenting itself along with hints of green peppercorns and ginger root. After swallowing, my mouth is left with a minty taste in it. Not bad. But, for me, the basil taste is cumulative in nature, and continues to build as you drink, almost becoming unpleasant near the very end. So, please be sure to share this one!

I think that pretty much sums it up, don't you?

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: With its oddball flavor profile, this sure is one droll beer to taste.

ChainGangGuy, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

oberon, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint.

Pours into a general ale amber color, with a standard creamy head. The aroma is similar to an amber as well, with hints of hops, a sort of wheatiness, and (and here's where it starts to get unique) there is a hint of, surprise surprise, basil. The taste follows suit, with the basil receding a good deal into the background. There isn't much of a honey flavor involved, though I do believe it added a bit of lightness to the body (without resorting to uber-effervescence), which made this brew a rather drinkable one, despite it's overall lack of general character.

TMoney2591, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

SocalKicks, May 26, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with half a finger of off-white head sitting on top of a hazy, orange-brown body. The foam settles quite quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Grainy malt with some spicy honey notes and a definite herbal quality. I don't know if I would identify it as basil, but there are notes of ginger, apple, and maybe oregano.

T - Sweet, bready malt up front with a bit of caramel. Some biscuit notes in the middle accompanied by spicy notes of caraway and allspice. Finishes increasingly watery malt character and bolder, darker spices that oddly remind me of rye bread. Some lingering malt sweetness along with coriander, caramel, and finally a little basil.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - This is an odd beer, it tastes much more like a spiced winter beer than I would have expected. The honey is present in the aroma but only survives as a background note in the flavor. The spice character is all over the place and is clearly influenced by the caramel malt character. The only clear basil note I get is in the aftertaste and even then it is obscured by toasted malt and lightly fruity yeast that seem to produce spice notes, such as coriander, that apparently aren't there. Interesting, but a bit cloying on both the sweetness and the spice notes and not all that drinkable. Worth a try, but I'm glad I don't have a six pack of this.

nickfl, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Slatetank, May 25, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in the pint shaker with an unremarkable head. Sharply spritzy and rather tart. The herbal flavor comes on top of a warm malty taste. A flavor of green beans and honey in the aroma. Honey also proves to be a really nice flavoring here, contrary to the sweet 'n' nasty taste so often encountered.

The basil provides a perfumey complexity, though it's quite sharp and slides over to the acidic side. However, this must be the best basil beer I've had. It's a tough proposition but they made it drinkable. Also the only drinkable Bison beer I've had. On tap at Sea Rocket in San Diego.

mactrail, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber with a light white head, solid retention, light lace.

S: Dominated by basil and spice, some malt as well. Nice nose.

T: Sweet caramel like malt and honeycomb. Some light estery flavours, the basil is much less pronounced here than in the nose.

M: Medium-bodied, a pretty smooth beer, spicy finish.

O: A intriguing herb beer to say the least, you don't see basil that often. Fun to try, inexpensive, worth a shot.

Halcyondays, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

08/30/09- Purchased at Draegers, in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, did not look for freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Deeper golden colored pour, about a 1/2 inch head which quickly disappates leaving very light spotty and watery lace.

Smell- Not really any notes of much. Maybe a slight sweet honey nose with absolutely no basil noted..not really any hops of malt noted either...really a non scented beer.

Taste- Holy crap! Wondering how a scentless beer can have such nice flavor. I'm not tasting any basil to speak of, but the honey really comes in strong with a nice malt base and even a splash of hops at the end.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and a bit creamy. Carbonation is average, maybe a bit ligher than average.

Drinkability- I was always hesitant of trying this beer because I couldn't picture what basil would taste like in beer...well, this one doesn't taste like basil, but it does taste very good. It's one of the easier drinking beers I have had as well.

GClarkage, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

dbrauneis, May 17, 2014
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color with a light white cap, a few bubbles and light ring around the glass

S: There is no doubt basil is dominant in this beer. A little bit of honey to accompany the name

T: A little sweetness upfront with basil, more basil and basil on the finish backed up with a light honey sweetness and graham cracker.

M: Lighter bodied beer with a lot of taste and rather intriguing. A good lawnmower beer.

O: I am not a fan of the style but this is one I would drink again.

barleywinefiend, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange amber with little head. What head there is fades to a very thin swirl. Smells very sweet. with lots of honey and a vague herbal flavor on top. I'd like the expression of basil to be clearer, as is the aromas are too sweet and muddled. Almost medicinal at the end. The flavor is a little better, with less sweetness and more balanced herbalness with a finish that has some more noticeable basil flavor, and some light firm maltiness. Drying toward the end. A little bit watery, but overall fairly drinkable.

Georgiabeer, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev +15.3%

duceswild, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

tdm168, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of harpus
2/5  rDev -42.4%

harpus, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of atrocity
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

atrocity, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a moderate haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy ivory foam with a bit of an orange cast to it. Head doesn't have a whole lot of retention.

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of a toasty/biscuity quality to it and a definite aroma of basil. I have never had basil in a beer and I wanted to give it a whirl. It is actually not too bad, provided basil beer is what you are expecting. Maybe not the most successful experiment, but interesting nonetheless.

Taste: the basil works better in the flavor than in the aroma; I feel it is better-integrated. The malt is sweeter than the aroma, with the biscuitiness toned down a bit. All of that said, this is still a particularly weird beer. For me, basil is not a winning ingredient, but I applaud the experimentation here.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a satisfying, persistent creaminess. More evidence that this is a good beer, carefully crafted, but using an ingredient that just doesn't seem to work out.

Overall: if you really want a basil beer, then absolutely go for this one. However, don't be surprised at what you get -- this beer is absolutely as-advertised.

flagmantho, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of avalon07
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Not a whole lot of aroma, except for the obvious honey.

T: Like the smell, honey was the star in the taste. Also had some hops and malt and just a hint of basil (but not much). A sweet, flavorful beer.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: An oddly drinkable beer.

avalon07, Nov 04, 2009
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Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.