Tatonka Stout | BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.

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85
very good
64 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An imperial stout — a classic style so rich and flavorful that it was once the private beverage of Russian Czars. The profile is malty sweet, hop bitter roasted, full-bodied, alcoholic and deliciously complex. Beer doesn’t get much more intense than this!

60 IBU

Added by pezoids on 10-13-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
198
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
23.2%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
47
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 198
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.33/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Sampled this on nitro-tap at the BJ's Restaurant in Fresno, CA tonight.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pitch black body (or so it appeared in the dim lighting) with a quarter inch of dense, light brown, cap. Great head retention and foamy lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley and chocolate came through right away. With time, caramel, coffee, and hints of red currants emerged. Nothing out of the ordinary or special about this one.

Taste: Chocolate and roasted malts make up the bulk of the flavor profile. Little to no hop presence. Roasty finish transitions to an annoyingly alcoholic/fusel aftertaste, which lasts and lasts. Boo.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than it should be and under-carbonated; very dull, nearly flat (the nitro-infusion is waaay off). Finishes very dry, brazenly showing off the ABV. Not creamy in the least. Lousy.

Drinkability: I had to eat food/take big swishes of water between sips. This was one of the worst RIS's I've had. Almost no complexity, certainly no balance, and an extremely alcoholic finish. Just BAD.

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Photo of watermelonman
2.51/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This came as a dark brown and black with pretty average head and lace.

The smell is off at best, containing alcohol and some kind of putrid grain. The taste is plain and overly potent. The mouthfeel is somewhat disturbing while the drinkability takes a big hit for an overall lack of refinement.

I think this thing could use a lot of work.

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Photo of xraided81
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted at the san bernandino location, not sure if it is brewed there. this did not taste like a traditional impy stout. Tasted more like a dry stout, with a subtle hoppy aftertaste. The head was creamy white, was expecting an a light orange rust colored head. overall a mediocore stout.

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Photo of jcompton
2.74/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

got this while working down in McAllen, TX.

opaque black appearance with nice lacing around the glass. this was on nitro, so i had a nice creamy head

smell was roasty and chocolate. a little light on aroma for an impy stout

the initial taste was the same as smell, but quickly turned sweet and syrupy. the more i drank of the beer the less i liked it. the sweetness was over powering. i was ready how this had relatively high bitterness, but i couldn't detect that through the sweetness. it makes me wonder how consistent this brew is from store to store.

mouthfeel was creamy and very pleasant.

low on the drinkability due to the sweetness. i wouldn't recommend this beer. the Piranha Pale Ale was much better

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

6 oz nitro-tap pour in a mini pilsner glass. 8.5% ABV, On tap at BJ's in Huntington Beach, CA.

A - The best looking beer of them all, Tatinka arrives from the nitro-tap black with a sexy cascading, thick, tan head with incredibly thick lace til the last drop.

S - Sadly the nose is almost absent from this beer as it offers only hints of low roasted malts.

T - More flavor comes out than the nose offers up but sadly it's all astringent and full of hot alcohol that blends poorly with dark roasted malts and a light addition of coffee.

M - The texture has a lot of dry, dusty cocoa with an astringent alcohol kick and a lingering rubbing alcohol burn.

D - This beer has parts to it that are almost to a decent point. The alcohol needs to go though. It doesn't fit at all and it definitely lowers the drinkability.

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Photo of tpd975
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in Citrus Park Florida

A: Flat black in color with a small thick head . Smooth and silky looking with spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malt, with hints of chocolate.

T: More of an Irish stout than an imperial. Taste was of roasted malt, and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied brew. The nitro pour made it extra smooth and creamy. The finish was very dry, Very Irish stout like.

Drinkability: Not too bad. I enjoyed BJ's quite a bit. The beers are not on par with Tampa Bay Brewing, but it was a nice spot with pretty good beer and damn good food.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a one to two finger head that is khaki in color and gives way to webbed lacing and rings of lacing down the glass. The aroma is of roasted malts and some dark fruits. The aroma is very faint. The taste is of roasted malt and caramel malt backbones along with hints of chocolate. There is also a presence of dark fruits and a slight hop bite, however, the big alcohol is not present. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and not slick. The drinkability is okay, its not the big ris that you think of, but it would be a good beer to introduce someone to the style. It's an easier drink for an ris. Not as complex as some but a solid beer.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally got to taste the Tatonka my friends had been talking about.

It was pretty good. Poured thick opaque black. Thick creamy tan head.

Smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Nice thick creamy texture, taste of chocolate with a bitter coffe finish.

Probabyl one of BJ's better house brews.

Cheers!

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a rather light brown. It almost looks reddish in the pour but ends up brown in the glass. Little lead.

S - Mostly some chocolate malt, some dark fruit, very faint.

T - Taste was decent. Again, it's actually pretty light. Some hints of coffee and bitter chocolate, followed up with some dark fruit

M - Smooth, ABV hidden incredibly well. It's actually a lot lighter bodied that what you would expect in an imperial stout.

Overall - It was decent. Very light and drinkable, but not incredibly full and flavorful. Sort of a RIS Lite.

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Photo of JamesS
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At Greenwood, Indiana location... Poured a fairly thin black with some decent head and a bit of initial lacing. Decently deep sweet roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee. Decently roastiness in the flavor, as well, with some coffee, and hints of earthy hops. Went down quite smooth, but that could be due to the fact that it's one of the thinnest impy stouts I've ever had. Nothing was bad, but it just wasn't very thick and rich, with a nice collection of flavors, like their should be.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at BJ's in Valencia, CA.

Pours pitch black with a 2 inch milk chocolate colored head that fades to a small cap. Nice ring lacing on the drink down. Smells of roasted malt, espresso/coffee beans, and bitter chocolate. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee. Lingering hop bitterness and burnt taste on the tongue. Carbonation is horrible on this beer. Extremely flat and thick on the drink down. Very creamy in a bad way, like drinking coffee creamer. Drinkability is average due to the flatness of this beer. Not too good.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, lighter brown head to it, looks the part, even if slightly lighter than most. Aroma was kinda muted, not as much sweetness or roastyness as you would hope for.

Taste, decent, hides the alcohol quite well, but a little pase for an RIS. Sturdy, but no one flavor to speak of, which depending on your point a view, could be a grand testament to its balance.

Overall, a decent beer worth having again, especially considering its cheapness and ability to hide alcohol.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap from BJ's in Orlando, FL. 16oz pour into a standard shaker pint glass. Pours a very dark black color with a nice creamy light tan color head that possesses great retention and lacing. The aroma is dark roasted malts with hints of coffee and alcohol. The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts with some bitterness coming through in the finish. This one definitely doesn't hide the alcohol very well, the finish is a little boozy at time for me. Overall, Tatanka is a decent beer that I would order again at BJ's but definitely nothing I'd go out of my way to get.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife thinks this beer has to much hop presence for a stout. She is a stout/porter lover. Me, being a hop head, think it is a nice touch to a good style of beer.

It came to the table with a good 1/4 inch of beige head. It clung to the glass and supported a decent collar for the life of the pint.

The nose is hops and smoke. A enticing combination. Roasty chocolate hid in the depths of darkness. The taste reflects the smell. It is all the things you look for in a decent stout with a nice hop bite that adds a welcome dimension.

This is an all around good beer. Nice alcohol amount and a good one to drink with dinner or dessert.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color, light brown frothy, creamy head of a solid finger that sticks to the glass all the way down. Appeared to be nitro, but I never found out out for certain...

The aroma was okay. Light roasted notes, which hints of chocolate and sweetness.

Taste was nice, with bittersweet chocolate, lots of roast, a touch of coffee, and a hint of hops in the back.

Feel was good and creamy, medium bodied and clean.

Overall, a tasty brew, but an average RIS. I think a lot more non-beer-people will enjoy this, but beer geeks will likely find it lacking in depth. I'll gladly drink it everytime I go there though.

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Photo of MsRif
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with decent head retention. Lacing is very decent with this beer. Smelled of coffee, chocolate and caramel. I little too sweet smelling with not enough complexity. Tasted very roasty with undertones of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Definitely has a little bitterness to it, but it is more sweet than bitter...bitterness really only hits in the finish. Does NOT taste like an 8.5% ABV brew.

Smooth, but maybe a tad on the thin side. Good carbonation. Overall a good stout, but not really representative of the style...it is not complex enough and it was really lacking in richness. Good, but not great.

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Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Daytona Beach FL.

Pours essentially black and opaque with an excellent head. Ruby highlights at the edges when in bright light. The head is exceptionally creamy and durable.

The aroma has an unwanted but not very unusual sour note. Partially hidden alcohol.
In contrast, the flavor has negligible sourness and obvious alcohol. Its moderately bitter. Some faint coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of Bills453
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a BJ's growler into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - dark brown/black, no light shines through this darkness.

Smell - coffee and dark chocolate. I actually smell some charcoal in this one as well.

Taste - coffee and chocolate taste. Roasted flavor as well.

Overall - a nice stout. Nothing blew me away about this one though.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amazing head. It is super frothy and clings to the glass for dear life.

Smell is of coffee and roasted chocolate malts.

There is anice undertone of mint on the palate with a very sweet chocolate and roasted malt profile

Slightly creamy, yet slightly astringent mouthfeel. Astringency seems to be a defect in several of their beers.

This beer is fairly decent, but their are better RISes out there.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Roseville BJs

A - Pours a dark black with a 2 fingered chocolatey head. Took forever to dissipate due to nitro pour. Left nice lacing.

S - Heaps of lactose coupled with dark chocolate malts, and a light, reserved smokiness.

T - Lactose, dark chocolate malts, light roast coffee, and light bittering hops.

M - Light to medium bodied, light carbonation, malt dominated, and slightly astringent.

D - Not bad. Not used to the lactose in imperial stouts, but otherwise drinkable. Couldn't get any alcohol or phenols, which maintains that it was fermented at proper temperatures.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color of the beer was subpar for a stout, but the solid beige full inch head was above average so it all averages out I guess. Nice roasting, not a lot of dark fruit bitterness thankfully for an RIS.

Easy drinking for its strength, strong c hop bitterness, chewy. Very smooth, unlike most RIS in that way. I liked it more than the average person I guess, its pretty straightforward, not a ton of chocolate malt.

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Photo of CBlack85
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Greenwood, IN location.

Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, nearly opaque with some ruby highlights. The semi-tall tan head receds quickly and leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

Dark chocolate and coffee notes mingle to create a huge aroma. Some dark fruit hints and toasted notes give a little depth to this beer.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. Big chocolate and coffee, with lots of toasted notes. Body is a little thin for the style, but the nitro tap gives it a nice smooth mouthfeel. The alcohol is well masked, almost too well masked.

Overall this is a nice beer, especially for a chain restaurant. I would like to see the beer be a little more full bodied, and slightly hotter.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint off the nitro-tap at the new BJ's at Oxmoor Mall in Louisville, Ky.

A: Deep, muddy brown, quite opaque through the pint glass. Somewhat thin, but very creamy looking sand-colored head - reminds me alot of the consistency of a Guiness Draught pulled from a nitro-tap. Alot of lacing creates notches along the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted notes hit first - coffee, burnt toast; followed quickly by dark chocolate and some faint hints of dark fruit and molasses. A good blend of sweetness and bitter, roasty bite, even if the nose isn't overly complex or groundbreaking.

T: Much like the nose, you get a dose of roasted coffee beans and breakfast toast up front. Then a touch of bittersweet chocolate creeps in along with touches of dark fruit, molasses and maybe some licorice. Pretty much a cookie cutter RIS in its flavor profile - tastes like what you'd expect, but nothing over the top to wow you.

M: Full bodied; a nice creamy head and the body boast the appropriate thickness and weight coming off of the nitro-tap.

D: Not hard to drink at all and the alcohol is masked fairly well. At $4.50 a pint, not bad either in terms of price to quality.

Really, this RIS was not bad at all, its just nothing that will knock your socks off. Solid, sturdy brew that touches all the right points without getting too adventurous. Pairs well with BJ's avocado egg rolls.

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Photo of mothman
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is brewed for the BJ's in Houston

Pours ½ finger of tan head. Great retention and lace. Not as dark as I would expect an RIS to be. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: Big and roasted. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, grassy/earthy hops. A touch muted for the style.

Taste: Much more here than in the nose. Roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, caramel, chocolate syrup, coffee, and vanilla. Pretty creamy.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and roasted. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and raosted.

Overall, a big stout full of flavor. Pretty thick. I like this one. It is slow drinking however. I don't think I would need a full pint of this one.

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Photo of rowew
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BJ's Laguna Beach. Went great with some vanilla ice cream for desert! Nice thick head, and a great black color. Head stayed throughout the pint, and left a thick lace down the glass. Beer had a great roasted coffe flavor, and a nice hop bitterness in the finish. Very nice stout.

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Tatonka Stout from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.
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