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 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 ChillMike
4.14/5  rDev +19.3%
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%
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 -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 phishgator
4/5  rDev +15.3%
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 -3.5%
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 -12.7%
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 -15.9%
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 +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 masikon
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
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 +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 RootedFool
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber (24 ounce bottle) into a standard pint glass, the head rises roughly under an inch tall, ashy tan in color. The retention is fine and leaves jagged swaths of lace on the walls of the glass. Hazy amber body. Smell: Black tea leaves, freshly mowed lawn, hints of peach flesh, and pine sap. Finishes on a solid note of grapefruit juice, and some of the rind, too. Taste: Begins with a sharp uppercut of hop bitterness that ascends toward the top of my palate, slightly increases in strength, and showers down with a noticeable backbone of biscuity yeast and subtle malt sweetness. The aftertaste lands smack on the center of my palate, a vibrating pinch of hop power, as the malt sweetness fades like a melodious ice cream truck off into the sunset. Mouthfeel: Dense, palate-encompassing, not as carbonated as I would like but nothing to bitch about. A solid west coast IPA.

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Photo of marc77
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed auburn hue. Burly, cream white steadfast head yields frothy lace. Notes of ripe peach and tangerine dominate the aroma. Light toffee hints arise as the beer warms. Tame aromawise. In flavor, candied orange peel upfront yields to a combination of softly backed biscuit and citrus pith. Salty bread crust hints surface mid palate. Lightly carbonated, with passable viscosity in body. Finishes abruptly sharp and dry, with quickly fleeting quinine - like hop bitterness. A soft IPA overall, without distinguishing character, but without flaw either. Decent.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, reads certified organic.
It presents itself as a deep copper with a firm off-white head, leaves a bit of belgian lace on the glass. Smells of rich caramel with light pine and citrus. Flavor opens up slightly bitter, caramel appears, lots of pine and slight grapefruit hoppyness. Medium to light on the palate and finishes dry. This is a pretty solid IPA, doesn't really stand up against the big boys, but it is by no means a bad beer. I would like to sample this fresh on tap sometime.

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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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