Bison Organic Chocolate Stout | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-02-2002

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Reviews: 300 | Ratings: 598
Photo of TX-Badger
1.48/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Pours a brown color with tan head. Charred cocoa, charred malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied, but very bitter and off-putting on the finish.

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Photo of nrbw23
1.49/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A-Very dark if not black. Looks good but well....

S-Well, chocolate and I think it might be coffee.

T-Terrible. Probably one of the worst things I have ever tasted. A little chocolate and I'm not quite sure what else maybe some sort of Earthly taste.

M-Watery and dry. Once again not very good.

D-I don't know if I would ever try one of these again. I choked the one down and I know I will never buy these.

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Photo of Lefty1881
1.72/5  rDev -51%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark color, good amount of off white head, earthy cocoa aroma yet bland. Tastes like dirt and chalky cocoa. Very watery. Tried to enjoy it, but couldn't . Drain pour, no fun.

I know they went organic with this one, but just bland offering that needs a lot of work.

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Photo of thebarracuda
1.79/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Pours a deep dark brown with a thick tan head that stays around.
with the first sip I taste heavy cocoa mixed in with some bitterness and stale coffee. I really don't taste any chocolate at all, but loads of cocoa. And like most things "organic" this is not very good, not at all. Others might like it, I dont. I dont know if I want to choke it down and hope I end up liking it, or pouring it down the drain.

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Photo of jgurley
1.89/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured a nice dark almost black with a good looking head which went away quickly. No lacing at all. Smell is a bit metallic. I get a lot of black olive in the nose and no chocolate. Taste is where the biggest letdown comes. Metallic up front. I get some burnt maltiness and bitterness. Chocolate is not very pronounced. The mouthfeel is so thin, it's weird. Feels almost as thin as a light beer. No body, very little stout flavor. I won't buy this again.

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Photo of ChugMan
1.93/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - Nearly opaque, dark ruddy red brown along edges. Thin froth around edges of glass, otherwise, no head. No lacing.
S- Chocolate, that's good. Salt, soy sauce, mesquite, hmm. Very rich, toffee, maple syrupy, dense aroma, not particularly inviting.
T - Watery. Smoke, more of that mesquite sensation through the nose. Some bitter cocoa. Hops show up just long enough to wave goodbye.
M - Very thin. Carbonation outlasts the hops, making this feel like a possibly decent beer which someone decided to thin out with club soda. Who is this person, and why did they do such a horrible thing?
O - This is an underwhelming, watered-down disappointment. Avoid.

 655 characters

Photo of BergBeer
2.05/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Bomber poured into a Stone RIS tulip glass

A: Brown-black with a latte head

S: Sweet roasted malt, Choclate tones, prunes, and wheat bread crust. Smells good!

T: Nothing like the smell. Harsh dry/chalky taste. Hints of almost burnt/smoky coffee and semi sweet chocolate. The smokiness really takes front and center and ruins it for me. Not very flavorful.

M: Dry, chalky, and thin on the tongue.

O: Not a fan. Really craved a stout so i picked this up because it was 4 bucks. Regret it. Closest thing i have had to a drain pour. Immediately went out and bought Ten Fidy in it's place. Avoid.

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Photo of anthonygrg
2.3/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was quite disappointing. Although it is very drinkable, the flavor profile is almost non-existent. When I read the words "chocolate stout" I expect deep, rich, and hopefully bold flavors. This brew has none of that. The chocolate/coffeeish aroma is actually stronger than the flavor profile, which is annoying because I keep smelling what I wish I were tasting!

 371 characters

Photo of RBorsato
2.35/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Black with dark brown edges to a light source, a full big bubbled head and overactive carbonation indicative of a problem. Chocolate, roasted malt, and oxidized/infected aroma and flavors. Medium-light bodied due to overcarbonation with a dry cocoa powder finish.

I need to find an un-infected version of this b/c it certainly had potential.

A bottle of on of these exploded in my basement not long ago and the owner/brewer was great when I discussed the matter with him ... I'll try again for sure.

Per label: "Stout brewed with cocoa" & "USDA Organic" & "Since 1989" & "Fine cocoa in the mash"

Per BB website: Dutch cocoa. 5 Organic malts.

2005 GABF - Silver - Foreign Style Stout

($9.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of livingregret
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving Type: a large bottle(over a pint)

Appearance: A black that is as dark as night...wonderful looking beer but no head, no lacing, no nothing in terms of the head.

Smell: A powdery cocoa smell. Dark roasted malt, a touch of coffee. They weren't joking when they said they use chocolate cocoa.

Taste: Bitter cocoa chocolate. You can also taste what seems like burnt coffee. Watery at points leaves this chocolate stout feeling a touch ehhhh.

Mouthfeel: Watery, thin...leaves a bitter/dry feeling in the mouth

Drinkability: I don't see myself trying another watery and bitter. Not enough "umph" w/ this drink

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Photo of jsanford
2.48/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours cola-black with a fizzy head of coffee-colored foam that dissipates quickly, leaving a slight ring and haze. I could have mistook this for a Pepsi.
S - Dark roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate syrup. Smells sweet and sticky.
T - Chocolate obviously dominates, along with dark malt and more caramel, but there's an unpleasant copper-penny oxidized quality that I don't care for. I'd assume it's an old bottle, but with no noticeable freshness date I can't be sure. Ugh, there's some red berry flavor in here too, I believe we have an infection on our hands.
M - Medium-thin bodied with fairly crisp carbonation.
O - I couldn't finish this one, whether it was old or infected doesn't matter, it was plain gross. Drain pour. Sorry Bison, I love the organic approach, but I won't be having this again.

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Photo of artoolemomo
2.48/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours up a minimal amount of head which seems to have poor retention. The head is a dark golden beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. No lacing is left behind.

Nose- Chocolate and roasted malts. Very strong from the bottle, a little weaker from the glass. The glass, however, shows a bit of nuttiness. Hints of tomato and red wine start to appear.

Taste- Very sour for a beer that isn't really supposed to be sour. It's a blend of tomato juice, white wine with an acerbic finish. Roasted notes intermittently play in the flavor profile but not enough to clean up the all that mess. There is some lemon and an underlying cloying sweetness. Close to a green tea bitterness on the finish. This beer has no integration and no balance and way too much presence. In addition to all this, it is bit thin and watery. The palate is dominated with off flavors. The cocoa is minimal and does little confront the negative aspects of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Very thin and light bodied for a stout. Carbonation is very weak as well.

Drinkability- Almost a drain pour. And I've never drain poured a beer in my life. Enough said.

Overall- This beer is gross. The flavor would have to become a lot smoother to even approach mediocrity. I would probably rather have some BMC. I cannot recommend this beer at all.

 1,332 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
2.49/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

The first thing you notice with this one is the pitch black pour with a great head, from there is it all down hill for me. The chocolate was faint. It got a bit stronger as it warmed but not enough. When I read chocolate on the bottle that is what I want to smell and taste. This one had a very unpleasant aftertaste with really turned me off. Plus there was not a whole lot to chew on for a stout, I felt it was quite thin. I was really disappointed with this beer. It took a lot for me to finish it to keep it from being a drain pour.

 536 characters

Photo of fountainofyouth
2.52/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown head, two fingers or so, and goes away pretty quickly. Body is near-black and doesn't react to light at all.

Smell: I'm hoping I can control for a stuffy nose here. I smell sweet grains, not a ton of chocolate per se. Pleasant but restrained. Maybe a little bit of herbal hops.

Taste: Not a fan. Very bitter and raw. Ashy and unbalanced. Desperately lacking malt sweetness, not to mention chocolate. Overall there's hardly any real flavor. I've had very few beers disagree more than this one between the nose and the taste.

Mouthfeel: Carb is pretty light, body is fairly full. No lasting feeling. Strangely it's a little bit refreshing.

Overall: I've had a lot of stouts, and this easily was one of the least flavorful I've ever had. No chocolate, no coffee, no real malt substance at all. This is the first time I'm having it. If I have it again and experience the same thing, I will avoid it in the future.

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Photo of lsrose
2.57/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this out of a bottle. Poured with a decent tan head but disappeared completely after a little bit. At first, it had an ok taste but an off after taste. The more of it I drank the worse this taste got. I didn't even finish it. It was also a pretty watery stout.

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Photo of John_Beeryman
2.57/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a midnight black with a deep tan head that disappears almost instantly.

S: Weak smell of dark chocolate and coffee.

T: Thin, watery flavor of old coffee. I don't get much in the way of chocolate here. Leaves a sour, coffee-grainy taste.

M: Very little carbonation or body.

O: Weak, thin and sour is all I can say.

 328 characters

Photo of MufflnMan
2.6/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pitch black body with a thin, off-white to mocha head.

Smells of cocoa with a hint of coffee.

Tastes of sweet malt and cocoa with that coffee in the background giving slight bitterness. Very subdued flavors, nothing bold here.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thin. This is a stout right? Drinks more like a not-so-interesting brown ale.

 369 characters

Photo of aromatorio
2.61/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up from the La Jolla BevMo as an impulse buy. I was pretty disappointed by this bottle however.

A: It started off promising - it poured well, a medium-density head. A little lighter than I was expecting, considering it's called a Chocolate Stout.

S: Smell wasn't the best, but I was still hopeful. As below, I expected perhaps too much. I'm not sure what setbacks an organic brewer faces, but clearly I should have rethought my expectations. The brew smells simple, not complex at all - perhaps some under-roasted coffee beans, and where I was expecting a nutty dark chocolate, I got instead a weak milk chocolate.

T: The taste was a letdown for me. I expected rich undertones of chocolate and earth. Mostly though, all I detected were subtle coffee notes. The alcohol was an unnoticed third wheel.

M: The mouthfeel was extremely thin for me. Way too watery. Combined with the subpar taste, this was a big turn-off.

D: It is fairly drinkable because of the almost imperceptible alcohol, but I probably won't buy another bottle soon. It may go well with food, but sampled alone on its merits, I found it wanting.

 1,128 characters

Photo of charlzm
2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Consumed 07/05/08 from a bottle of uncertain vintage, possibly several years old.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. Clear garnet when held to intense light. The tan head zoomed up to fill 3/4 of my pint glass at first tilt of the bottle. After several minutes of waiting and topping off, I was able to put the bottle's full contents into the glass. The head did reduce to a 1/8 inch foam layer which left almost no lacing behind.

Aroma is rich chocolate, cocoa and sour cherries. An off metallic note is present as well, negatively balancing the positives into "average" territory. The cherry note faded fast; after warming a bit, the only aroma is metallic chocolate.

Tremendously carbonated on the palate: prickly. Some thickness and chewiness present as well. After a while, the carbonation subsided. Better.

Flavors follow the smells; at first, tasting is difficult due to excessive carbonation. The first flavor is a dark chocolate note, then light cherries. A metallic tang kicks in towards the end, then a tongue coating cocoa finish. No real bitterness apparent. Not especially tasty.

I can't say what this beer was like when it was fresh, but this bottle probably has too much age on it. Interestingly, the best sips came directly from the bottle as I stole a couple of nips while waiting for the head in the glass to die down.

Sadly, a drain pour.

 1,375 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
2.65/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Is the Bison made of Chocolate? Pours a closer to darker brown than black. The beer needed help with the pour leaving a pour head with large bubbles. They quickly faded but a light ring was left through the tasting. Not much in the way of lacing.

The nose is mostly malt accentuated but limited overall. Mostly roasty with some coffee aromas that are not quite astringent. Some very light chocolate notes with a sort of lactic meets yeasty notes. A little off with some feint veggi notes.

The taste is a more outgoing than the nose. The malt is still dominate with more of a coffee flavor. Not astringent or even roast, but just more of coffee flavor. Chocolate is detectable but limited. Some noticeable off yeasty notes with more of an autolysis meets oxidation finish.

The body is a downer. Very wispy/water texture. Carbonation is low. Overall just missing some depth and if you are going to call it a chocolate stout, you need more chocolate in there (not just choc malt) ie but a bison in there.

 1,004 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.69/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout

Pours a dark brown color, off white head. Aroma is very light, some roasted malts and bread, pretty much it. In the taste, watery, with some faint roasted notes, spent hop bitterness, and a touch of cocoa flavor as it warms. Alittle roasted, small chocolate notes, but mainly carbonated water. It may be organic, but it could stand to have some more lively flavors and a fuller body.

 414 characters

Photo of FederalOC
2.69/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

No head whatsoever. Very little carbonation. No bottling date so not sure how old it is. I drank this the day i bought it.
I had higher expectations from a microbrew. Although ive never had a beer from Bison brewery i cannot imagine a microbrew wanting to put their name on a beer like this.

 291 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
2.71/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours near black with brown edging. The head is about a finger thick, light cocoa colored, and shows fair retention. Very little, if any, lacing.

Smell - Predominant bittersweet dark cocoa aroma. Notes of earth. Hints of caramel.

Taste - More earthy than chocolate. Dirt. Lightly touches on caramel. Finishes with mild earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light in body. Almost watery. Weak carbonation. Slight tingle on the lips.

Overall - Stout? Hardly. Chocolate? Barely. This is a poor beer, even weaker as a stout, and a shame to be called a chocolate stout. I've had this beer a few times in the past. This will be my final time.

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Photo of theaudist
2.72/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

A - Dark black, no light getting through this one.

S - Really, really chocolatey. Smells almost like a jar full of cocoa. Hints of malts, but really just a lot of chocolate.

T - Very bland. You get a nice toasty start but it doesn't follow through and feels very washed out.

M - Like water. Very runny, not how I like my stouts.

Overall - As I kept drinking it, I began to enjoy it more. The malts really are pretty good and balanced, they just wash out way too quickly. It feels like water. An ok beer.

 507 characters

Photo of Pimento
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Inky black. Mahogany overtones. 3cm head that quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Cocoa powder. Earthy.

Initial creamy maltiness gives way to bitterness. The acerbic finish is long seems to come both from the hops and the cocoa. I do get a trace metal taste with some swollows.

Medium viscosity. Somewhat watery but I do get a lingering buttery feel.

I enjoyed drinking this stout and appreciate the brewers ability and desire to make this organically. I would happily drink it again if offered but will not be buying any more soon.

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
3.51 out of 5 based on 598 ratings.
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