Bison Organic IPA | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic IPABison Organic IPA

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Reidrover on 06-05-2005

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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 204
Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A neat and varying beer that has some alure and some criticism. The nice aspects of this beer is its artistic homebrew qualities. But it's also quite raw and quirky--like homebrewed beer as well. The beer is a bit off-balance in it's lighter malt flavors and firm body that makes the hops stand out more than usual. The hops, though bitter and grassy (along with lightly piney and citrusy) start to take on metalic flavors under the lightened malts. The beer finishes mostly clean with a light residual bitterness and graininess.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-visited on 7/26/08

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a rocky head that leaves some lace

Smell: Modest piney overtones (some citrus, too) with a biscuity malt undertone

Taste: Starts by laying down a nice biscuity malt backbone; joined by grapefruit and pine hop flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, more orange hop flavors burst forth, and wind up nicely balanced with the malt; there is a floral honey-like sweetness on the finish that is distinguishing

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Having tasted (and disliked this beer previously), I have come around; not sure whether the recipe has changed but this is rather nice

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of CantillonKing. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Pours a very hazy orange-copper with a good white head that goes away almost immediately. A few spots of lacing. The nose has not much other than some bread and accompanying toasted crust. The flavor has a slight bit of light hop bitterness, but not any hop flavor. Bready malt, that's it. Body is medium with a slight bitterness in the finish. Too chewy. Not a big fan of this.

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear shimmering copper with a tight one finger head that stays thru the duration of the glass wich was nice had a real creamy effect leaving a mustache,aromas yield a decent fruitiness a tangerine note as well as lemon rind and some underlying pine.Flavors bring a more earthy,piney elemant than the aromas very dry but not over the top bitter earth and pine like I stated dominate just a lightly sweet malt base is there to keep it from being overly dry.The dryness of the beer makes me wanna drink more and this goes down quite easily,a nice but not over the top American organic IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange-bronze; a beautiful hue from the darker and dirtier range of the IPA color scale. The semi-stiff cap is a combination of pastel orange, light gold and ecru. It drops over several minutes to a thick, creamy disk and is responsible for a fair amount of meaty lace. This is a good looking beer.

I would have thought that Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops would have guaranteed a quality nose, but that isn't the case. Caramel malt and citrus peel are noted, although they're too weak (especially the hops) to make much of an impact. A medicinal alcohol presence will probably threaten to overwhelm the palate the same way that it's threatening to overwhelm the nose. I want pungency, vibrancy and brightness in my IPA noses... and didn't get any of them with this beer.

Bison Organic IPA isn't quite as bad as I'd feared, but it isn't great either. It reminds me of a DIPA in some respects. Unfortunately, it has the worst characteristics of that style rather than the best. The flavor profile consists of a lot of malt, a lot of hops and a lot of alcohol. It drinks like a 9%'er at least.

All that malt provides as much caramel flavor as hop flavor. The hops have a low-frequency thrum rather than a bright, zesty explosiveness. They still deliver a tongue ruffling amount of bitterness. There aren't too many IPAs that invite comparisons to cough syrup, but this one does. That raw-edged, medicinal, fusel alcohol nastiness is gaining in confidence as I drink.

Thanks to the generous malt content and an extremely subdued carbonation, the mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium. It doesn't work for me, though, because of the tongue numbing heat from the alcohol. Although the beer isn't flat, it's heading in that direction.

Bison Organic IPA is an unqualified disappointment. I wasn't expecting a world-beater, but I was expecting something more drinkable that this. The label states that the beer has a 'rustic, rough-hewn hop character'. I happen to love rustic, rough-hewn hop character, more than most, but this one is way too rough-hewn for its own good.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very dark, haxzy burnt amber, basically brown color, with a this white head. A decently quick fade left behind a nice film on the top and a good lace down the sides.

S - Smell was very resiny, and piney. Lots of balance here with some nice sweet malt flavors coming out as it warmed up. A very full and robust smell that is very enjoyable. Not an overally hoppy, citrus bomb, IPA smell at all, very nice.

M & T - First impression was very smooth, with not alot of carbonation, and a very slight hint of alcohol. Again very balanced with an upfront burst of pine resin hoppiness, followed by a blend of caramel and sugar, and a very nice dry finish. The hop profile definatly gives off a muted impression due to the complex and well balanced malts. Lots of hints of spices as it warmed, nutmeg, maybe even cinammon, almost winter like.

D - Overall very very nice. An awesome session IPA and the organic factor a plus as well. Good solid offering here that I would not turn down.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears an orange copper tinted clear vibrant tone with a nice beige head forming with billowing cloudy texture above the rim of my glass. After each sip fine lacing is spread down the sides of the glass with full rings noted. Aromatics come strong with herbal and pine hop bursts with caramel malts to balance things out, pretty fresh even for organic shipped to Ohio from Cali. Four varieties of hops of course I'm getting signature Cascades with some citrus peel among a spicy finish. Flavor creamy caramelized brown sugar coated hops moderate bitterness tingles and then lingers in the finish. Hop flavors range from spicy to citrus peel bitter with a touch of wintergreen coolness. Nothing over the top just a clean drinking sturdy west coast IPA, stand up but not outlandish. Mouthfeel is medium with hop oils evident carbonation very smooth and natural dryness noted in the finish from the IBUs, a touch of alcohol edges in as well. Drinkability is solid not a mindblowing effort but very good all around, and definitely the best "organic" offering I've tasted. I wonder if they use all organic hops???

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle w/o freshness info t obe had. pours dark honey amber under a slight light khaki head, with bubbles rising to the top and leaving plenty of scattered strands of lacing. Light floral hop nose. Ample smooth maple malt under coating and an equally smooth hop bit riding on top. This one seems to be more on the Brit side of things, easy drinking, nothing amazing just an nicely crafted and worthy IPA. Organic to boot. worth a try.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

05/30/06- Purchased at Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info listed. Poured into my Pike pint glass.

Appearance- Orange-amber in color. 3/4 inch head with nice streaks and spots of lace. Very creamy looking head as well.

Smell- Very lightly scented. Floral, sugary and a bit of malt.

Taste- Very sugary. Malt is pretty heavy with a roasted and smoky taste. Hops seem to taste a bit stale. Maybe a bit of cardboard flavor. Pretty bitter.

Mouthfeel- Fuller sugary coating, almost syrupy. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- A bit stale flavored, maybe it was out of code. A try again beer in the future maybe.

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Photo of Tone
3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, hops, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is really smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol up front, then hops, and a decent sweet malt background. Wow, on the verge of being an American Strong Ale - alcohol definitely dominates. Good body and mouth feel, not a high deal of complexity.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bison Organic IPA

Pours a light copper/gold color, clarity is good. Aroma of pine, citrus, and alittle herbal. In the taste, a small citrus hop, cooked veggies, light pale malt and a moderate bitterness level. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied but a bit thin. Overall, about average for the style, no surprises.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burnished golden with little head. Smells quite malty and somewhat sweet with a fair amount of floral and citrusy hops. Very little bitterness. The taste is more of the same sweet malt combined with quite a bit hof hoppiness. There is a sort of strange maple syrup and melon flavor that seems to be coming from the particular hop and malt profile used. There is also a good bit more bitterness in the taste, almost aspirin like. There is also some metallic flavor on the finish. The flavors aree vibrant enough, but everything seems a bit out of whack- both too sweet and a bit to acridly bitter. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, tannic, and medicinal. Eh, I don't think this will make my regular IPA rotation, still, it is nice to see another organic IPA.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled May 2007
Labeled as Organic IPA, and certainly not anything like a British lower hop spectrumed IPA (I think the organic IPA needs to be broken out as a separate entry here)
Very well carbonated; the beer pours with a four-finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is an almost clear, pale reddish, full copper color. Very well hopped with notes of loud grapefruit, fresh cut tangelos and candied citrus fruit. The beer has a very punchy, aromatic hop nose that is quite smooth.

Lightly sweet, with a malt character that accentuates the dominant hop character. Notes of freshly zested orange peel, sweet ruby red grapefruit and menthol-like pine are quite noticeable. There is also a an interesting bitterness in the finish that is fairly smooth, and not at all over the top. Perhaps a hint of astringent hop bitterness lingers on in the long finish, but it is fairly mellow. The malt plays a secondary, supporting role here, but is noticeable as a touch of malt sugars and a hint of caramel.

The second pour produces a five-finger thick head; this is definitely way over carbonated, but the good thing is that the foaming and the pour effectively degas this brew. This is definitely an enjoyable IPA; smooth, fruity, yet still well balanced for an IPA. This is very drinkable and quite enjoyable; and somehow it is even organic, how can you not love it.

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Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a hazy orange with a small white head.
Smell is nutty, toffee, caramel, with mild funk in the background.
Taste is of mild nuts, toffee, and caramel.
Mouthfeel is thin, bitter, with mild caramel malts coming through and running along the palate.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.89/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear copper color with a thin off-white head that does not leave much lacing.

S- The aroma is a good amount of sweet malt, caramel and hops, very balanced.

T- The taste like the aroma is pretty balanced for an IPA. There is a nice malt backbone supporting some citrusy hops in the finsh.

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

D- This beer is pretty drinkable for being 6.8%. Not the best IPA in the world, but this one is definitely better than expected and one I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice golden color with a big, fluffy 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. Not enough pines, citrus and floral notes as it says on the bottle. Too harsh and abrupt with no well formed flavor profile, just bitterness. You can def tell this is organic. It is ok but after having some Organic IPA from Fish Brewing in Olympia I can say it is average. Those guys do it best.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a hazy consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A strong hoppy smell, along with some citrus.

T: Tasted of floral hops (much more than anything else), some citrus (a little grapefruit), and a nice malty backbone. Much more flavorful than most organic beers. A solid taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Most organic beers tend to be extremely bland, but this is a pretty well done example against that theory.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Paid 2.19 for the bottle. Into a pint glass.

A - Pretty decent is is rather hazy/dirty amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head that pulls back to a pretty sweet lace ring.
S - Somewhat muted but herbal hop bitterness. Touch of sugary malt. Some bready malts. Really not much.
T - Huh its not it the hop bitterness its mostly malt like an old ale but easy going. Not really good or bad.
M - Light to medium easy to drink.

Overall I guess it could use more hop bitterness since it comes off as a lower ABV barleywine but a very drinkable one. Could be old but who the heck knows with no bottle date!

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.39/5  rDev +26.5%
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.

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Photo of drpimento
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Academically interesting beer. Poured wiht a decent little head and some lace. Aroma was a mild malty citrusy hop. Color is a light to medium amber gold and fairly clear. Taste is a citrusy hop that is sweet on the tongue tip and bitter on back. Kind of a weird flavor in there too. Ok, but nothing special. Had better. So so finish.

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

Aroma is fairly hoppy with an undertone of sweet citrus, mainly mandarin orange. It pours a pretty clear amber with a thick, fluffy, fairly persistent off-white head - an extra half point there! Flavor is hoppy and just a little bitter with a hint of citrus sweetness. Texture is pleasingly smooth with a nice fizz, and it leaves a hoppy, woody, slightly bitter and subtly tingly finish. This is not the best IPA I have ever had, but it is worthy of at least a try.

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Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange amber with a big fluffy white head and very full lacing throughout. The aroma is a bit flowery with lemony hops and just a hint of malt. The taste is a woodsy, bitter hops with a tasteful alcohol finish. Some biscuit but the citrus is noticeable as well. Easy drinking and a solid effort that I would be happy to have on most any occasion.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color, with yellow hues and a white head. In the aroma, citrusy/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, mainly citrusy/ grapefruity hops with a small maltiness in the end. A bitter mouthfeel and a semi dry citrus hop in the aftertaste. Very nice balance and vry good for an organic, haven't had much luck with those, but this is a nice one.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.28/5  rDev -34.3%
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**

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Photo of Reidrover
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle.
In appearance this doesnt look much like your typical IPA, its dark copper/amber in colour with a large thick off white head.
Nice hoppy aroma present, a little citric..lime rather than lemon.
Nice caramel malt sweetness in the tate to begin with then in a sec the piney, grapefruity hoppiness takes over and then at the end it subsides and seems balanced one more.
Good on the palate, not boring at all.
Very nicelly done IPA, not over the top..but has loads of chracter.
Certified USDA Organic

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Bison Organic IPA from Bison Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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