Bison Organic Chocolate Stout | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout
603 Ratings
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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Ratings: 603 |  Reviews: 300
Photo of droomyster
3.89/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this beer many times over the years but never had the chance to properly review it. Pours a black body into my snifter with a bit of brown head with decent retention. Aromas of milk chocolate and marker ink, notes that occasionally strike me as similar to the casings of Belgian pralines. The creaminess of the body is rich and thick, asking you to take your time to swish and enjoy your sip for a while. The milkiness runs deep. I like that. Drinks beautifully. This is a beer that everyone who likes "chocolate" to be taken literally should try.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The genuine cocoa powder used really shines with a rich chocolatey flavor. You can smell it, too, but the texture and flavor it adds are fantastic. Looks just like you want a stout to look, as well.

This is distinctly a beer, though. You won't feel like you're drinking a chocolate soda. A good dose of bitterness counteracts the cocoa leading to a dry finish with a subtle tinge of hops.

Solid brew here

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber (no date) poured into two Shaker pint glasses.

Appearance: Black to very dark brown. When held up to the light it's more of a deep and dark ruby red color. 1/4" tan head upon pouring died back to nothing within a few minutes of pouring. No lacing noted either.

Smell: When first poured - definite cocoa smell, but as it warmed up, almost nothing. With a swirl and deep inhale I could just barely make out some cocoa and toasted malt, but it's really faint.

Taste: If I sip this beer, it's dark roast malt + a lot of bitterness and a definite smoky finish - no cocoa at all. With a sizable swallow though, upfront roasty flavor, quick sweet middle with cocoa/bittersweet chocolate towards the back, and then a mild bitter / black coffee-finish with a hint of smoke in there. I think this beer was somewhat designed to be drank quickly in large gulps. It's not a sipping and savoring beer.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, definitely thicker than water, maybe even a tad bit creamy towards the end.

Overall / Drinkability: Not the world's best stout here. Weak in the appearance and aroma department, and the stout flavor is not outstanding either. It's above average, but for something with a chocolate emphasis in the name, it's quite muted in the chocolate flavors unless you drink it fast or in large gulps in which case the flavor becomes more pronounced. So okay beer, but one is enough.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.69/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown color; almost black. Poured a 3 finger mocha head with fair retention to a thick skim. Laced in thin rings.

S: Robust toasted malts. Big chocolate aroma along with coffee, burnt toast and toffee. Wholesome and pleasing.

T: Coffee and burnt toast transitions quickly to rich bitter chocolate. No real finish leaves a thin, watery ending.

M: Light-to-medium body. Starts rich, smooth and creamy, but turns thin in an unassuming finish (not dry, not sweet).

O: The look and the nose were promising, but the beer was a bit wanting.

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Photo of gatorbreath
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is like the best of everything...i cannot explain..

Just roused a pretty nice looking mocha head that screams chocolate from the pitch black tint and bubbles busting. The nose is all chocolate, malt, no smokiness, I dig..mouth is definitely hit with the malty chocolateyness and some nuttyness, and caramelly notes to well balance this beast. Mouthfeel is full bodied and milky even. Enjoythis

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Photo of Jinholic
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a nice thick black with a bit of ruby red at the bottom, tan rocky 3 finger head that dies down after a bit.

Smell - Deep roasted malts and the chocolate really comes through here very pleasant.

Taste - Right off that bat its nice kick of roasty goodness that fades into the chocolate in the middle, the finish is a bit watery leaving nothing the linger which is a bit sad.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied as I said before a tad watery as it goes down. I'm having this at midnight so its not that hot but this is a bit dry not enough to bother anyone though.

Overall - Not the best stout but by far not the worst one out there I'd have it again over many others. Would love to see an oatmeal stout mixed with this. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep coffee like color with a nice light brown cap that leaves a good sheet of lacing.

Smells of some deep roasted notes.

Tastes of the roasted notes with a touch of hops. Notes of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of brown sugar lead the way. A touch of citric hops add in the end along with a bit of acidity to give a more coffee like feel.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, and this is a beer that contends with some of the second tier stouts.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a dark, opaque black with ruby highlights when held to light, the head pours about 2 fingers thick and is creamy and tan, eventually it settles down to about a half-finger.

S- Roasted malts, powdered chocolate, some hints of light, milky coffee.

T- Roasted malts, coffee beans, some relatively light, powdery chocolate. Finishes with coffee and more roasted flavors.

M- Medium bodied, creamy and smooth, not bad for only 5.00% ABV.

O- Not a terrible beer, the roasted malt flavors are nice but I would have liked to see some more powerful chocolate on this one.

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Photo of ADZA
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a jet kola hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a fast vanishing one finger head and a rim of lacing,the smell is cocoa,dark chocolate and dark fruity hops,the mouthfeel is abit lacklustre and only light bodied and has tastes of dutch cocoa,dark bitter chocolate,truffles and finished with a dark fruity hoppiness and overall its alright and another drinkable brew thats just not that memorable cheers.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a good solid black, light tan head, light lacing. Aroma is sparse, some roasted malts, and some bittersweet light chocolate malts. Light roasted malts in the taste, slight sweetness. Feels lighter in body, not very thick. Carbonation is good, but just doesnt have that stout feel.

Overall, I guess I'm glad I gave it a shot, but I think that I won't give anything else a try.

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Photo of spicelab
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With thanks to Beermasons for sourcing.

Molasses brown, with a very small latte-coloured head that disappears without a trace.

Coffee, charcoal and some sweetness provided by faint lifted floral notes. Straightforward but sound balance. Don't get much chocolate however.

Lightly charred cocoa and coffee. Period. Maybe a dash of indistinct sweet malt. It works and it's clean.

Very thin on the front palate. Mild bitterness provides some length on the mid-palate. Carbonation is mild and it slides down very easily, nothing unpleasant about it all.
NOTE: seems there may be a fair bit of bottle variation here, because I had another bottle that gushed disastrously and what was salvaged became marinade for hamburger patties.

Despite the simplicity I enjoyed this quite a lot. I can't think of the last beer I had where nothing about it rubbed me the wrong way - this unassuming stout manged to pull it off.

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Photo of Phelps
3.22/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into an English stout glass.

This beer’s a stout from Bison, brewers of organic beers, and gets its flavor from organic cocoa powder added to the mash.

Black as the ocean at night. This thing is matte, giving off zero reflection and stopping highlight-producing light in its tracks. The inky liquid’s topped with a runty half-finger head the color of cocoa powder that , while minuscule, decides to hang out long after the pour as a thin, silky top layer. Some scattered strands of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

Deeply roasty nose, nearly smoky. I get burnt bread, toasted peanuts and a blend of coffee and dark chocolate I suppose you could call mocha.

The flavor’s far more standard: bitter dark chocolate blended with espresso and bread that’s been scorched. Finishes quite dry. The flavor’s a bit more subdued than I’d like, and I don’t get any more chocolate here than I do from your average stout.

Carbonation is a peppery medium amidst a steadily thinning, watery body. The high carbonation and corresponding fizziness are a few more qualities I feel detract from the stout.

I remember enjoying this beer much more from the tap at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. From the bottle, it’s just another stout.

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Photo of jgurley
1.89/5  rDev -45.5%
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 DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looked promising with a solid black in color with a half inch of tan colored head.

S - Smells of muted coffee's, a bit of cocoa, and a touch of Hershey's syrup (is that organic?)

T - Wasn't really a let down for the ABV but it definitely could have used more body. Starts with a bit of bitter biting coffee then a kind of artificial Swiss Miss cocoa and finishes bitter again with coffee. As it warmed up (yes I drank it that slow) the bakers chocolate takes over the middle and finish and makes it pretty worthwhile.

M - Medium bodied but really couldn't see more body without more ABV.

Overall you get what you paid for an organic beer with artificial chocolate flavors (mostly cocoa and syrup) Why the hate? Pretty tasty...

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Photo of MufflnMan
2.6/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

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Photo of BrianBoruma
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Black, opague finger thick tan head that dissipates.

S: Metallic nose that fades into some cocoa aromas

T: Roasted notes and some chocolate as well.

M: Thin, rather thin for a stout, if it weren't for the rather pronounced roasted malt notes I'd believe this was a porter.

O: Not too bad, but not overly impressed with it either. It is rather drinkable.

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Photo of DelMontiac
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in a mix-a-six I put together at Brown's in Stillwater, OK. I was tageting stouts I hadn't tried before and I'm a sucker for anything related to my favorite animal, the American Bison. This would also be my first organic brew. Plus, I dig chocolate.

Poured from a brown 12Oz bottle into an Anchor pint glass, this has the look of a good stout - black and topped with a mocha colored 2 finger head which fizzles out to a thin skin in about a minute. Zero lace from this beer.

Aroma was a let down. I get some weak coffee scents, and a faint dark chocolate tinge. I don't know why this brew has such a metallic smell to it. I let it warm up a bit to no avail.

Now I would not expect organics to be different from any others and maybe it has nothing to do with anything here, but I was a bit miffed. Right off the bat I thought this is one weak tasting stout. Light touch of coffee which was the strongest flavor, some relaxed caramel malt that I really had to think about, and just a weak hint of dark chocolate in the middle with milk chocolate premonitions at the finish. Slightly earthy mild hop tinge, barely worth mentioning. Alcohol is hidden, but then it's only 5% abv. A stout which lacks bold flavors? Huh?

The very first thing that hit me was how thin the feel is for a stout. Very watery and lacks creaminess that one looks forward to. Could it be the organic elements? No, I don't think so.

Overall this is a very weak attempt at the style.

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Photo of bobhits
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Black as I’ve seen a non imperial stout. 5% beers don’t get this black, 10% beers rarely do either.

Strong cocoa powered aroma, dark and bitter. Hints of roasted coffee finish things off, there’s some malt here but that doesn’t make much impact.

Opens with coffee, turns to cocoa, and then back to coffee. The finish is rather clean and watery. There is a nice hop profile that finishes this one out. I really can’t believe this is only 5% abv. It clearly has some lighter alcohol notes but this is amazing beer.

Don’t go looking for a thick creamy beer here. There is some carbonation to add some body, but not enough to give this beer the body needed to make up for the impact of lower abv.

This was one of the first “real” beers I ever had. I wasn’t impressed then. Today I am fully impressed at how they’ve managed to craft an amazingly flavorful brew with such a low abv. I often am not impressed with non imperial stouts. I generally feel they’re rather boring and lack luster. I don’t see the point in a stout that isn’t a sipper to warm me in the winter. I mean stouts still don’t make summer drinking. That said, call me impressed. I’d certainly buy this again.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a little disappointed, had hoped for more of a Young's Double chocolate flavor. Color was black, aroma was roasted barley, not any chocolate. Flavor was very stoutlike, too much bitterness for a chocolate stout and not a whole lot of chocolate flavor. Carbonation was good.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

undated 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Unfortunately, the brewers weren't able to get a 22 oz. serving in this bottle even though the label says "1 pint, 6 fl. oz".

Even with a rather gentle pour, I had to wait a few minutes to empty the bottle due to the towering tan head. Head has moderate retention. Liquid is opaque, appearing nearly black but with mahogany highlights at the edges given bright light.

S - appealing mix of cocoa and toasted malt, plus faint hops.

T - IMO, one of the best balanced chocolate stouts I've had, with plenty of cocoa flavor but with more toasted grain flavor than chocolate. Balanced sweetness, with both sweet and bitter components readily detectable. Some coffee notes. A little more richness and complexity and this be a 4.5.

M - exceptionally smooth and creamy; very good carbonation level ... BUT ... I'd like a little more body; beer is a bit watery in the finish.

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Photo of jsanford
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
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 pressman57
4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review so forgive me if I'm not too fluent.

Poured a thick, opaque black with a brown head and decent lacing.

Smelled of chocolate and malt.

Tasted like it smelled up front, with a peppery, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Good beer.

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Photo of azdback
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. Bomber poured into a large tulip glass. Not quite pitch black. Slight brown highlights and a tad bit see through. Great 2 finger, creamy light brown color. Lace not hanging out for long.

Smell is nice!! Chocolate (of course!!) a little coffee. Sweet, dark malts

Taste in not the surprise the smell was. Chocolate isn't as prevalent, coffee is kind of burnt tasting. Got a smidge of smoke? Sugary but not the deep rich molasses sweetness I would like this to have.

Carbonation is okay but the body on this one is a little thin. Watery at the end.

With the low ABV (5%) I could probably drink quite a few of these bombers toinight, but there is too much goodness on the shelves at the bottle shop to do that.

Overall not a bad stout. The price is great and you could probably afford to drink this stuff all night long, but I would suggest you try this one and spend the rest of your money on a better stout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to schmoopsbeer for sending this bottle my way. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour is nearly black with a thin light tan head. Not too much lacing, just a few spots here and there. There is a very thin cap with a slight collar to go along with it. The nose bursts with quite a bit of chocolate, mostly of a dark and dry variety. There is also a touch of roasted malt in the background. The flavor disappoints after this, with the dryness of the dark chocolate coming through, but not all that much of the actual chocolate flavor. Some modest roast character in the background. Feel is medium in body and dry in finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though not something I kept coming back for.

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 603 ratings
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