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Bison Organic IPA | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic IPABison Organic IPA
204 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 204 |  Reviews: 142
Photo of LongBeachHopHead
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bison Organic IPA
The appearance of this beer is a cloudy amber hue. An unfiltered Orgainic beer is sort of "tree-hugger" sounding. I've had one organic IPA beer before and it totally ruined my view of the word "organic" when refering to beer.

The nose on this beer is very nice. Fresh hops and a slight malt sweetness.

At first taste, I really like the beer. It has a bread-like flavor to it but still stays hoppy. The mouthfeel of the beer is crisp and direct. It definitely registers as a west coast IPA. I'm not sure what type of hops are used but its not the typical cascade, simcoe, centennial combo. Maybe its the "organic" hops? As for drinkability, I could handle a couple of these but use it more as a stepping stone to a higher hopped IPA during a session.
Nice solid IPA; changed my view of "organic"

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Photo of PartyHatjo
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy orange-copper hue, very minimal head though a monolayer of bubbles remains for the duration of the glass.

Aroma: Mild citrus and pine hop character. Sweet malt overtones, some biscuit as well.

Taste: Sweet malt highlighted with a toasted, biscuit character very prominent in the forefront. Hop flavor tends to come in later with a citrus kick (and some noble hop character as well--similar hop character, though not as pronounced as Hop Wallop).

Mouthfeel: A little light on the body, bitterness isn't prominent enough for an IPA (not as balanced as I like, leans too much toward sweet).

Drinkability: Good drinkability light body/low bitterness make it a possible short session brew.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on a sixpack. Pours a slightly hazed, amber hued body with an attractive eggshell tinted head. Retention is good and a lot of sticky patch lace is left on the glass. Aroma is one sided with hops. Grassy and piney, with subdued notes of grapefruit. Mouthfeel is light medium, with medium carbonation. Otherwise unremarkable. Taste is dry and bitter with a very grassy hoppiness. Pine and grapefruit interact with the pale malt backbone for a pretty well balanced IPA. One of the better organic pale ales around. Very sessionable, but be careful of the abv which approaches 7%.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.79/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - a coppery reddish orange color. Nearly two fingers of creamy off-white head, does its lacy thing all over the glass in chunky, sticky form.A fine start.

Aroma - got a good whiff of citrus and pine on the pour, but that receded rather quickly to a mere polite nose of orange and grapefruit. Not bad but below par for the style.

Taste - some brief sweet maltiness up front, very brief, before a wave of brash, slightly metallic bitterness takes over. There's really not much character to the hop, just the raw bitterness. A hint of something citrus on occasion, but it is like the hop profile has been filtered out solely for the sake of the IBU prominence. I've had one or two like this, probably the lesat favorite version of the style but it'll drink.

Mouthfeel - well-hidden abv though 6.8 isn't that much of a factor. Bouncier in the mouth than the appearance lets on. Some oiliness lends a heavier than average feel.

Drinkability - too brash and harsh for me I think. Some cheese crackers help prevent premature palate burnout.

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Photo of electrified
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of lancecjohnson
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of sacfly
3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, no fresh date, USDA organic certified.

Pours a beautiful orange color. Thick off white head of large bubbles. Citrus, lemon aroma. Light. Possibly a touch of grapefruit and vodka. Taste is not as malty as the orange color lead me to believe. Slightly astringent hoppyness. Mild tannins. Grassy flavor. Becomes almost creamy as it warms up. Bitterness does not last long into the aftertaste.

Don’t drink this one too cold. I enjoyed it much more just slightly chilled. The numbers indicated reflect the slightly chilled drinking. Drinking it cold would lead me to drop the taste, mouthfeel and drinkability by at least a half point if not more.

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Photo of rokoch27
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now I just had Bison's Chocolate Stout and wasn't overly impressed, but I enjoyed this beer much more. It seems like an IPA would be a better fit for an organic company and this beer has all the floral, citrus and pine that it claims. Lighter look in the pint glass with a white head. They certainly were not kidding about it being unfiltered, but still looks good. Muddled aroma, but unmistakable as an IPA. The flavors are actually quite soft, yet still true to style. I think this could be a good beer to switch someone to a good IPA since it is not as abrasive. Good job Bison.

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Photo of freed
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Organic Brew Fest. Poured a nice rich golden/bronze with a bright white foam cap.

This beer had a nice fruity hop aroma with a subtle malt compliment. The taste continues with the fresh hop flavor and a somewhat smoother but aged malt flavor. Slight dry tartness to the finish.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Label states Tomahawk, Cascade and Centennial hops. 6.8% ABV. $3.29 cheap!

Pours a clear apricot hued offering with a spotty khaki head cap cover. Attractive drippy spotty lace in the glass as the pour drops. Last pour from the bottle holds a dense head cap that deflates to a thin coating.

Peachy bright fruity scents. Hops are quite an interesting blend. Light nose aroma that almost says pale ale prior to IPA designation.

First swigs: Delicate blend of fruity apple and peach flavors. Light malty backing. Dry finish with a crisp middle.

Medium bodied quaffer with a crisp feel.

Last swigs: Hangs in there with a dry fruity finish.

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Photo of warmstorage
2.44/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yet another installation in my search for a good organic IPA. This one isn't it, either.

12 ounce bottle, ~$1.75 at Hi Time, poured into beer clean pint glass.

Pours a medium to deep copper color with average creamy white head which dissipates fairly rapidly. Fairly vigorous bubbles indicate high carbonation. Leaves a little foamy lace on the sides of the glass. Appearance is the best thing about it.

Aroma is limited, a little grainy, and only even a little hoppy because I'm looking to smell it.

Initial taste has a fuzzy, busy mouth, but limited good taste. Weird metallic character, and maybe a bit of piney hoppiness on the finish. Tastes... almost unpleasant. Is that wet cardboard? As it warms to room temp, it takes on sour notes.

Hops are here, but not well done, and not anything like the west coast IPA style it's going after. There is a harshness here that is decidedly unpleasant. (And I should note that DIPA and IPA are two favorite styles.)

A little bit of heat is detectable on the aftertaste, perhaps from the relatively high ABV (6.8%).

Especially for a brew which advertises a "rough-hewn hop character" with Tomahawk (15-17% AA!), Centennial and Cascade, and a website claim of "triple digit IBUs", this is pretty darn disappointing.

The search continues...

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
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 TheLongBeachBum
2.28/5  rDev -33.9%
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 ChillMike
4.14/5  rDev +20%
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

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.06/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA. Pours a burnished copper, head retains so beautifully and I got it to the point where it stands a good half-inch over the top of my glass. Love it. Is that the beer or my pouring skill? It's the beer, man. Nose has got lots of hop-oil drenched pinecones and orange peel. Cool, very appetizing before I've even taken a sip. Quite well balanced, IMO. Caramel maltiness and citrus; might have a bit too much carmelized candy sugar in the middle, but the oily fragrant hop bitterness seems to balance it out. Chewy, malty and solidly bitter. Does lack carbonation, but personally it doesn't take anything away from it for me. That part might not fit "the style", but it doesn't bother me, though I feel it's certainly worth mentioning. Piney, hop resin aftertaste, chalky feeling coats the palate. Citrus-hop *burps*. This absolutely begs for a very sharp cheese. I never have cheese when I really need it. Damn! A really sharp cheddar would be so money with this. What's with the less than stellar reviews people? This is good!

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Photo of GClarkage
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
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 phishgator
4/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of klewis
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of ElGordo
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an orange-amber hue topped by one finger of off-white head. Aroma of spicy floral hops evident from the instant of popping the cap off the bottle, and it keeps coming. Underlying aroma of sweet malt, plus a touch of candy sugar and something else that's sweet (maple syrup?). Not a typical IPA nose, but still pleasant.
Palate has an almost Belgian-like sweetness and complexity up front, with candy sugar and some European yeast. The hops soon take over, providing a sharp bitterness with some floral notes. Some sweet bready malt provides an anchor, but the hops are still kind of all over the place and a bit unfocused. A better balancing of the hop profile would really improve things here.
Body is substantial and just a tad syrupy. I don't really know what to think of this beer. If they were going for a west coast-style IPA, they missed the mark, but if they wanted a strangely hoppy Belgian-esque ale, they're close. Interesting, but not necessarily pleasing.

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Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
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 masikon
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
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 -11.3%
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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Bison Organic IPA from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 204 ratings
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