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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.

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 203
Avg: 3.53
pDev: 24.65%
Wants: 4
Gots: 17 | 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 (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 203
Photo of JKuras
4.06/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Phelps
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As one would expect from the name, this ale was created using organic honey and basil. Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Mellow Mushroom.

Perfectly clear copper, like a shiny new penny. A thin, sand-colored head quickly becomes a fuzzy ring.

In the nose: subtle yet bright basil, mild honey, a little caramel and some malty-sweet wort character. Very light.

Tastes like sweet honey steeped in basil. Mild floral hop bitterness balances a tangy, mildly sweet burnt sugar finish. Clean.

Smooth medium-light body; moderate, prickly carbonation; just a touch of fizz. No booze. Clean and crisp on the palate.

Honey Basil’s a little light for my tastes — I have to work too hard to get the flavor. The basil is nice, but I’d like more hops to mix with it.

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Photo of mfavoino
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber with a small white head that recedes to a rim.

Smell: Basil! Really big basil aroma with some toasted malts.

Taste: Sweet and strong basil flavor, following the nose. Herbal and grassy. Honey sweetness as it finishes.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a pleasant smoothness.

Overall: If the basil flavor attracts you, give it a try. A unique profile for the palate.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
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.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Appearance is hazy brown-red with a thin white head and some lacing.

Nose is hops with a winter beer spice and light malt.

Taste is plenty of spice, with light malt, sweet lemon and some basil. This is wildly refreshing.

Mouthfeel is very drinkable, with some bite from the spice and medium carbonation.

Overall, this is a very unique and smart summer beer.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an English "pot" pint glass.
Cloudy amber in color, with a decent head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, subtle honey note
Taste-Toasted malt,clover honey, herbal basil note. Rather delicate, subtle flavors in a decent balance and interesting flavor that just manages to pull it off. A nice match for some red-sauce Italian cuisine.

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Photo of Parrotshake
2.95/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-brown with about a finger of head. Smells a bit odd. Sweet, pepper, basil. Very sweet.

A very malty flavor with big hints at honey. Despite it's presence in the nose, basil comes on late but then becomes dominant. Malty and herbal without enough hop to balance it. Lively carbonation but a small amount is enough. A weird mish-mash of tastes. You won't want more than one.

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Photo of travolta
2.87/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

App: not much head retention. Zero lacing. A cloudy, peachy, golden color.

Nose: Black pepper right away, orange, cinnamon.

Taste: Nice mouthfeel, the basil makes this beer dry throughout. The initial sweetness balances the dryness by just a tiny bit. Some spices like coriander, and black pepper stay with you the whole taste. There is a meade type aftertaste from the honey.

Notes: A good palate opener/challenge, but not a beer a will buy again.

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Photo of diablo14
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I generally like to play it straight with my beer, so it is with trepidation that I approach beers of this nature. Usually the fusion of 'exotic' ingredients makes for a well meaning, but unbalanced and ultimately disappointing brew. So it was with great surprise that I found this to be one of, if not the best, of these fusion beers that i've had thus far.

Let me start by saying that I love the color. It's a dark amber, bordering on bronze hue, to go with a decent head, and plenty of bubble.

The nose is malty, with a hint of sweetness (though not necessarily of the honey variety), with a hint of the basil. What was interesting is that the basil aroma smelled more like the thai variety (which smells a little like fennel seeds).

The taste is well balanced. It has a hearty malt backbone, with the honey acting more as a conduit between the sweet and the bitter than an actual flavoring. In other words, you can tell it's there, but it remains lurking in the shadows throughout. Its presence does make a slightly more obvious appearance as the beer warms.

The honey also acts as a 'smoothing' agent. It is a medium bodied beer, and the presence of the honey balances out all the other flavors perfectly. The hops then kick in firmly but with some panache, then follows my favorite part of this brew.

As the hops fade, the basil takes over in a very pleasing fashion, rounding out the drinking experience with a touch of class and also leaving a most enjoyable aftertaste when it's all done.

Though the brewery has used an interesting and somewhat surprising combination of flavors for this beer, they have done what many others have failed to do when attempting something similar, and that is execute the concept to a high standard. I'll be drinking this again in future.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of spicelab
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Urban Solace

A: Copper color with a thin tan head.

S: A ton going on here. Lots of honey along with some bready malts, banana, clove, and fig. Not getting any basil, though.

T: Still no basil. I got a lot of honey and caramel with some malt breadiness throughout. Not bad at all, but didn't have a ton going on.

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Photo of ADZA
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden copper hue which leaves a fast vanishing one finger head and a rim of lacing,the smell is obviously lots of honey and basil mixed with sweet malts and earthy hops,the mouthfeel is light bodied and has tastes of sticky honey,strong basil herbal notes,sweet caramel,toffee malts and finished with a earthy hop spicy dryness and overall an average drop that would be the perfect compliment to a spicy thai dish but to be honest i would not revisit this cheers.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this as a single, and if I bought it again I would buy it as a single rather than an entire 6 pack. Served in a pint glass.

A – Nice golden amber color, head was non-existent.

S – Has some spice in the nose, and you can smell the Basil. Hidden behind the basil is a sweet character, but doesn’t seem to resemble honey.

T – The basil is more on the front and the honey seems to come in more on the back. It taste like it is described. There is a mild hop presence, but it’s over shadowed by the basil. Sweet malts add some additional sweetness to the honey.

M – Smooth and balanced, the carbonation on this is perfection.

O – Decent beer I had been wanting to try, its something to scratch off the bucket list.

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Photo of hippityhophead24
4.82/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice light amber color, similar to the color of a sherry. About a one finger head. Nice carbonation. Looks beautiful!

Smell: Get some spice notes resembling cinnamon. Also some sweetness from the basil, but not from the honey.

Taste: Very mild ale. Get some of the honey flavor, with a dash of spice that bites the tongue from the basil. Lingering sweet flavor. Somewhat reminds me of something that I would drink with an Italian dinner. Seems towards the middle I get a little lemon flavor as well. MMMM…

Mouth feel: light body beer. Fizzy and slight bite reminiscent of a spice.

Overall: I think that this Ale is great. Definitely something to seek out and try. Very different and interesting. I was weary at first, but I think it is delicious!

Glassware: Snifter

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of phiberoptik
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my local Kroger manager for this freebie "try before you buy". Pours a clear deep amber with a nice white head.

Smells of sweet malts, a hint of apricots, and just a bit of spice from the basil.

Taste is light with hints of berry and apricot with a nice spice note right in the middle and a clean finish.

Light bodied, crisp, easy drinking but a bit thin.

This is a good everyday beer. It drinks easy like a macro brew with a bit more flavor and alcohol. A bit watery for me, but good overall.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice amber color on the orange side.

S - Spicy and sweet. Faint notes of basil and possibly a hint of cinnamon.

T - Hoppy with a light basil spice finish. Hard to detect the honey within the spice flavors.

M - Smooth and mellow mouthfeel with only a slight recognition of carbonation.

O - A very drinkable beer for being a specialty.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - dark amber/medium brown in color, fairly clear, with about one finger of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - a bit of a musky smell, probably from the earthiness of the herbs, but not sure. Hop presence is very minimal.

Taste and Mouthfeel - musky in the taste too, but only at the very beginning of the taste, after that in the middle it's got a little bit of a bite to it, but nothing like that which you would get from something like an IPA. The finish is slightly sweet. Texture is pretty well-balanced. I don't taste the basil too much though. I do note the presence of the honey though.

Overall - very decent brew. Not overwhelming at all, but interesting in its taste. A very good surprise from an organic beer.

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Photo of Shaw
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love basil and never thought of putting it in beer. So I had to buy a bottle when I saw this on the shelf at my local Total Wine & More.

It's a deep amber in color with a short white head.

Aroma of bread and toast with a hint of basil.

This is a slightly sweet beer with herbal tea-like flavors coming from the basil. The basil combines very well with the malt flavors. If I didn't know otherwise, I'd think this had tea or some other spice in it: It's not like eating fresh basil. The herb is used in moderation.

Good body with lots of substance.

This is a very creative beer and it's worth seeking out. Though at $10 a four-pack, I won't be drinking it regularly.

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Photo of aleckpa
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
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).

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Photo of cjgator3
2.76/5  rDev -21.8%
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. 

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Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.