Organic IPA
Bison Brewing

Organic IPAOrganic IPA
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IPA - American
Ranked #7,036
Ranked #47,030
3.46 | pDev: 14.16%
Bison Brewing
California, United States
Organic IPAOrganic IPA
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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 205 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.28/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 22oz Bomber, picked up for $2.99 at Hi-Times. Simple Bison logo on the black crown cap. Main label is typical of many of the Bison brews; this one has a typical Bison generic layout with an orange colored frontage set against a grey background. To the top right of the front portion there is some text below a ‘USDA Organic’ logo. The main label lists the beer as ‘Bison IPA Certified Organic Bison Beer’. Listed at 6.8%. No freshness date.

The blurb states "Our organic IPA uses Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops for a rustic, rough-hewn hop character that pairs great with food or relaxing among friends. Prominent citrus and pine aromas & bitterness that is not over the top balances this medium bodied .copper-colored brew".

Appearance: Pellucid dark ‘sunburst’ copper red body sits quietly underneath an off-white head rises and stays stiff and firm. Head soon relaxes though and rests at ½” thick. The tan colored head has a rustic charm.

Nose: Viscous tannins mix with heavy dollops of pine oils. Sickly caramel with a toffee base adds a thick texture to the nose. A little off-putting, borderline sucky.

Taste: Now it really feels like the attractiveness is slipping fast. The hops are very raw…..too raw….sooo raw; it feels like it surpasses the finesse of “rare” and rapidly moves into distinctly “uncooked”, altering the whole tenure of the brew. Stodgy, messy, unbalanced, lumpy and quite awful.

Mouthfeel: Has a sweet cloying staid mouth which feels like it is saturated in hop oils. Some alcohol but it too feels lost and without direction. Burps add a hop oil indigestion quality that not even a packet of Tums can handle.

Drinkability: Disappointing. I really expected so much more from this. Lists heavily to one side like an overloaded Bangladeshi Ferry packed to the gills with punters. A slow drink; and it just got slower as I worked through it. It got dumped, any dumping is an automatic 1.0 for me!

Overall: Such a good start, looked great and promised a bit in the nose but the flavors are just shockingly shite……completely unbalanced, not that IPA’s are generally balanced, but I it is heavily skewed towards the oily pine hops which would benefit from some support and poise, what’s the use of a 4.2 Litre Supercharged engine if you have standard transmission, shitty little tires and two wheel drive??! This IPA desperately needs a “Quattro” make-over to help it out and allow it to disperse its power in a more controlled manner.

Right now this is not one I would recommend to others or pick up again.

A Big Organic **MISS**

Jun 15, 2006
More User Reviews:
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FtownThrowDown from Ohio

2.85/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold in color. Only a slight ring of head forms on the pour and is quickly gone. Smell is only slight floral hops. Taste is same as the smell. Slight hopping. Not a whole lot there. Your basic ale with just enough hops to notice. Very easy drinking, but not exciting.

Sep 11, 2008
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saintwarrick from South Carolina

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

My first organic IPA. Nice old gold color and the aroma has a bready malt character and some citrusy hops, but not much else. Sweet malt characteristic shows through in the taste, but not as hoppy as a good IPA should be, but a bit more balanced than most.

A solid brew, but coming out of California, there are a lot better ones to choose from.

Mar 13, 2008
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klewis from Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a modest head. Decent lacing.

S: Nice citrusy hops smell with aromas of malt and honey as well

T: Interesting. The malt and hops seem to coexist independently, offering sweet and bitter tastes alternately. Overall, the taste is uncharacteristic and bland, with a slightly astringent finish.

M: Medium body with light carbonation.

D: As an IPA, this doesn't really compare to many of its contemporaries. As an organic beer, it seems like it might be a good pick. Fortunately, I don't give a shit what they put into the plants before it hits my glass.

May 24, 2006
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scruffwhor from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, I'm really starting to love this brewery and all its offerings I've had so far. I recommend that you other BA's ignorant to Bison give it a shot.

Great deep amber, rust, wet cardboard. Maybe not appealing on papaer, but a great mix of hues. Nice head with a good foam throughout. The aroma was like walking through a valley of spruce trees intermingled with hop vines just down wind from a sourdough bakery. The taste had that awesome mix of pine tar, flower hops, peel, and biscuity, sourdough malts. Just awesome.

Goddamn this brewery seems so underrated.

Jan 16, 2007
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beeroclock from Florida

3.77/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this with dinner with a Bison Pot Roast, how fitting.

Poured into a pint glass as a cloudy brown/orange color. Little head that didn't last very long. Strong bitter smell with some piney hint. Tasted of grassy notes with some citrus. Good bitter bite with some malt and hop. The beer goes well with dinner and has some bready aftertaste. A well made beer and definitely worth a shot. I wouldn't mind have these more often and will do so.

Apr 02, 2007
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seanbhudson from California

2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear orange amber color with a smallish white head that dissipates quickly. Medium amount of lacing.
Medium aroma of citrusy/piney hops and biscuit like malt. Bit of a tropical smell like pineapple/mangos.
Starts off malty with a backbone then moves into piney / grapefruit hops. Finishes with an annoying harsh bitterness like chewing aspirin.
Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
It smells good but I do not like the harsh astringent bitter finish.

May 08, 2009
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mithrascruor from California

2.4/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw/orange color. Big, fluffy white head has good retention and leaves lacing too.

Smell: Mild aroma; just a bit of grasses and a hint of caramel. More like a lager. No hoppy notes at all.

Taste: Grassy flavors up front, with some bitterness coming in. At its peak there is a bit of citrus and pine. Quite metallic overall, as is the aftertaste, which is also somewhat grainy a tad bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and generally smooth, with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Moderate ABV, fair taste.

Uh, where's the IPA? Rather odd, and not particularly enjoyable.

Dec 28, 2011
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phishgator from Florida

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured into an Imperial pint glass with a nice thick head. The color was a deep copper and mild carbonation. The aroma was of tanned citrus rhines. The bitterness up front was followed by a bite throughout. The alcohol was not completely hidden although it never overpowered, just you know it's there. The body is full and rich. A maltly sweet coating in the mouth is balanced by the dulling of your taste buds by the hops. I think this is the closes tasting brew to Celebration Ale that I have ever tried. A great brew that I recommend to anyone.

Jun 01, 2006
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magictrokini from California

2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sadly unimpressive. Nice orange pour with a big puffy head. Aroma is hops with a ton of malt. The flavor was the same, except it had a very soapy back with a sweet aftertaste. More wood than resin, typical of these Bison organics. Not my kind of IPA.

Dec 05, 2008
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Atlas1 from Texas

4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the second "organic" IPA I've tried; Wolaver's was the first.

Pours a nice looking golden amber color with a frothy inch-and-a-half head that subsides and leaves a lacey residue on the glass. The nose on this beer is bigger than I expected it to be, with crazy citrus and pine notes bursting out of the glass. Then I read on the label that it's brewed with four hop varieties at four different intervals, and then is dry-hopped in the fermentor later on for aroma. It shows, as this is a fine-smelling IPA. I don't see any brewed-on date, or any best-before date, but this seems to me to be a very fresh beer. The taste simply adds to my belief, as it is crisp and fresh and refreshing. Smooth and malty up front but with a strong bitter hop finish and, surprisingly, some lingering sweetness mixed in at the end. Solid mouthfeel, but a tad syrupy. If you like IPAs, give this one a try. At 6.8% ABV, it's not the biggest beer in the world, but it packs a punch in flavor that should leave you satisfied. An excellent example of the American IPA, and a great addition to the organic beer selection. Well done, Bison Brewing Company.

Jul 20, 2007
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JayQue from Virginia

3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, clear orange/amber color. Head is medium size, off-white. Aroma is good, can detect IPA spiciness but also a strong malt aroma. A malty taste is the first flavor noticed. The IPA spiciness/bitterness is then detected, but it is fairly subtle. Mouthfeel is rich. Drinkability is good, keeping in mind that this beer is 6.8% In all, a good tasting beer. I like my IPA more hoppy, but a well balanced beer like this on is a good thing as well.

Jul 30, 2006
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lancecjohnson from California

2.71/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First time review here.

I got one of these at the CalShakes Festival, and I poured it into a small plastic cup (which may or may not affect the results.) I'm not familiar with the brand at all, and I chose the IPA because I was in the mood for something with a lot of flavor.

I was pretty underwhelmed. It had that characteristic IPA smell and hoppy taste but only enough for me to say that it "counts" as an IPA. For the most part, I'd describe this as being pretty bland, which is exactly what you DON'T expect from an IPA. The mouthfeel was pretty watery as well.

I read some other reviews, and this one seems to run pretty contrary to them. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle? Whatever, I think that I'll try one of their other styles next time I'm at CalShakes.

Aug 18, 2006
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Reed415 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange amber color medium head that lasts

S - Citrus notes, Piney Hops, sweet malt make up the nose

T - Enjoyable mix of malt and hops, but much more piney hops than malt, which can be expected in an IPA.

M - Medium bodied, Alcohol is very well hidden

D - Pretty high, a nice IPA

Jun 14, 2007
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electrified from California

3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy and orange in color. Some head and lacing. Smells of citrusy hops. Feels rather light in the mouth for an IPA, which is nice for a change. Citrusy hops dominate the flavor. Dry and fruity. Very crisp finish and light feel make this very drinkable and pleasant.

Aug 31, 2006
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

How many bison are there in Berkeley? Pours a cloudy mostly orange but some amber hues throughout. A good pour with help but a medium head with bigger bubbles. Not much retention or lacing.

The nose is light overall. A light hoppy smell with mostly citrus notes. Not much malt, mostly generic smells.

The taste is more pronounced. Hops are the strongest characteristics. Mostly finishing hops with a citrus and piney flavor. There is a rather defined flavor between the two that just didn't blend well for me Not much bittering really overall. The malt is generic with a husky dry flavor. Some off yeasty characteristics as well.

The body is closer to light than mid. Carbonation is light overall which if was more could help out the bittering a bit more. Overall there is just not enough character in this beer. Some nice hop presence but lacks the tangibles to put it a way.

Mar 08, 2008
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hebruiser from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first tried the bison belgian ale and was thoroughly disgusted with it. so it took awhile to get up the nerve to try this one and the farmhouse ale.

poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Hennepin saison glass. not much head to speak of and what it did produce settled and retreated quickly to the edges of the glass where it tried to lace, but failed.

smells buttery and almost resiny. lots of caramel malt aroma and a hint of alcohol on the nose. the smell is what really made me want to take the first sip.

taste is much "thinner" than the smell. carbonation is very active, oddly, and it rushes the taste through to a slightly acidic finish. not at all a bad taste, but i'd prefer it warmer next time, i think.

all in all, i like this beer. it's drinkable. it would go well with a hammock and typical tail-gating food.

Apr 11, 2007
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daliandragon from Maryland

3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an IPA I hadn't tried and with the hot weather scheduled for this week it seemed like a good time. Very little head on top of a deep golden body featuring a citrus and pine nose.

Strong taste initially but the hops soon give way to a muddied melange of malts with notes of bread and butter. The aftertaste isn't the bitter tongue blaster you expect but there is a repectable balance. The texture is gritty and overcarbonated but matches the flavors well.

I didn't like this brew at first and thought it should be reclassified as an ESB or EIPA but ultimately I found it satisfying.

Jun 02, 2009
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -13.3%

Nov 21, 2011
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Tyrawlings from Ohio

3/5  rDev -13.3%

Feb 16, 2012
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ChillMike from Alabama

4.14/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful bright burnt orange color with a hefty tan head that bubbles up at first and leaves lots of lacing. Smells of Belgian malts, some raisinesque scents, a bit of citrus and not much in the way of a typical IPA hop. Wow wasn’t expecting this, tastes right off the back of sweet citrus, nice bitter hops and again what seems to be Belgian malts, very surprising and enjoyable. Tastes like a freak child of an American IPA and a Belgian Dubble. Not exactly my cup of tea but quite nice of an idea. I do dig it and will be picking this one up again once and a while

Jun 13, 2006
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masikon from Washington

3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a glowing amber with a billowy white head. Nose was pretty light with more malt than expected, hops come through in a pine sort of way rather than citrus or flowers. Taste is ok with the malt being quite well done with a bready, biscuit backbone but unfortunately the hop profile here is sub-par. Too harsh and abrupt with no well formed flavor profile, just bitterness. This one is OK and being organic it might appeal to some, I'd pass on this one with so many other good IPA's out there.

Feb 03, 2006
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bosco7 from Pennsylvania

3.02/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. into a pint glass. Cloudy orange with a 1 fingered head on it.

The nose on this brew is strange for an IPA. Full of orange aromas and phenolics. Very belgian like. It would be very difficult to distinguish this beer from something like Urthel Hop-It or a very hoppy trippel on aroma alone. S

Flavors include cloves, pepper, orange, and pine needles. Something is going on in this beer that doesn't let the hops shine through (I am thinking the yeast used). The bitterness is balanced.

This beer is very different from other American IPAs; very reminiscent of a trippel or a Belgian IPA. Not a bad beer but definitely not what I expected. Website claims they use American variety hops so I am thinking that the Belgian character is coming from the yeast/fermentation.

Apr 18, 2007
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mooseisloose from Florida

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the latest BOTMC selection, first brew from this brewery was tasty, let's give this one a whirl. Popping the top I get a blast of citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and tangerine. The brew pours to a bronze yellow with a big foamy micro-bubble pillow top off white head. Raising the glass, I get an immediate citrus jolt followed by a deep hop bite. The hop bite is very rare it is in the back of the palate not the front as usual. The taste continues with a building maltiness that eventually takes over the hop bite, then transitions into a bitter lingering finish. This brew appears to be brewed with lots of hops up front and lots at the end, but not much in the middle. Mouthfeel is high viscosity and carbonated enough to intensify the bite. Great head retention and nice lacing. A complex brew with great flavor transition throughout. Very tasty and quite drinkable.

Dec 04, 2010
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PeatReek from California

3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brilliant, clear, copper/orange body. I think it's glowing. Head is thin but steady, and looks to be leaving a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is hugely malty, with hints of caramel, raisins, port... where are the hops? Taste is all over the place: tastes like cheez-its (?!), malt, grapefruit hops. Stiff underlying bitterness. Hmmm. I could go for this in an "American barleywine" sort of way, but IPA? Not so much. Between the thick feeling and the huge bitterness, however, I wouldn't really call it drinkable either.

May 22, 2006
Organic IPA from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 205 ratings