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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Ratings: 598 |  Reviews: 300
Photo of aahynick
2.93/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

about 55 degree F into pint glass
A- dark garnet to black with a creamy light tan head

S- aroma of burnt malts and chocolate

T- strong metallic taste that overwhelms all other flavors.

M- light body and acidic.

D- very disappointing. Again the curse of organic=metallic flavor. Too thin and harsh

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Stout. Lesser Stout, at that. There is a perceivable thinness and it is quite light froth and lace.

S - I am neither appalled nor compelled by the aromatic. It is fairly bland, not much chocolate or roast, especially for something billed as a 'Chocolate Stout.' The most obvious characteristic of the nose, as it develops, is a slight charred vegetable aroma.

T - The taste is generally lightly roasted and with an herbal-coriander-tea-like hoppiness. The brew is smooth but not really too flavorful. Again, not much chocolate, in fact, no chocolate at all. I wonder why they chose to proceed with the labeling of 'Chocolate Stout' when it is so obviously a misnomer. I am beginning to distrust these East Bay Brewer-Hippies at Bison...

M - A bit thin for my liking, but not too bad.

D - I would generally opt for something else, but it isn't the worst brew out...

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Photo of sitarist
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind review from the "blind beers bif".

Pours a deep, opaque, eggplant color...About an inch of tan head, it falls rather quickly to a ring, with about a third of a top coating...really no lacing to speak of.

I smell tobacco, coco, mud, some horehound, root-beer, fruitcake, there is a slight floral/perfume like quality. Nothing up-front, strong, or over powering.

I taste figs, chocolate cake, flat root-beer, grape seeds, bitter sweet coco.

Slick, with a lighter body, it slides down.

It goes down with little resistance, its good but not to my liking.

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Photo of chumba526
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark black color with half an inch of brown foam.

Smells strongly of roasted malts and creamy chocolate. There is also a hint of coffee.

Tastes of dark chocolate and roasted malts. A subdued caramel malt taste is also noticeable. The beer ends slightly bitter; bitter in a dark roasted malt and dark chocolate way.

The carbonation is moderate low. The beer is very dry and the chocolate is not terribly overwhelming so I find this to be fairly drinkable.

Overall a decent chocolate stout that is balanced quite well. Worth trying.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep red, looks black, but under the right light you can see through it. Seems to be thin bodied for a stout. Half a finger of beige head that settles to a nice layer of bubbles. Lacing is good.

S - Smells mostly of roasted malts. Chocolate is also a very dominant smell. The smell is pretty much what chocolate malt grains smell like by themselves.

T - Taste is very similar to the smell. The chocolate comes through more in the taste than the smell.

M - The start is very dry, almost feels like you just put the chocolate grains in your mouth. The middle evens out still with a light body, the end goes back to being a dry feel. Very light body overall, almost watery at the start and finish.

D - Decent drinkability, the dryness takes away from it, the light body makes it a very easy stout to drink though.

At the price, its a good chocolate stout, I would probably get it again, but only a bottle or two at a time, nothing more.

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Photo of sfprint
2.93/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Stouty, very dark, totally nontransparent. with a quickly dissipating head.

s: weak, dark, dirt smell. There's more coffee than cocoa in the smell.

T: All the flavor is in the middle, with the front and rear being almost watery. But the actual taste is ok. Watery stout, not so chocolatey, not very strong.

M: Not very heavy, quite light and goes down very easy. Slightly sandy.

D: Yea, easy to drink, but not exciting.

This one also says that it's only 5% alcohol, not 6.1

 485 characters

Photo of tronester
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Small tan head. Smell is a light presence of cocoa powder. Taste is a hint of tobacco up front, dark chocolate in the middle, and a tart, slightly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is average, nice low carbonation. Drinkability is good, I could drink 2 of these in a row. A good stout to try.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a standard-issue black body with an inch of light beige foam, though this eventually dissipates entirely.

Smell: Malt-forward nose smelling of generously roasted barley, unused coffee grinds, and dark chocolate. Rather minuscule hint of dates. As it warms, the added Dutch cocoa begins to take over the aroma.

Taste: Roasted barley coated in bittersweet chocolate and backed by lighter tastes of toast and caramel. Modestly sweet. Light dusting of cocoa powder. Very subdued dark fruitiness. Minor bitterness. Finishes dry, lightly roasty and with the cocoa lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Barely squeaks into medium-bodied territory. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a particularly heavy stout, so that certainly aids in the overall drinkability. It's no Southern Tier Choklat or Rogue Chocolate Stout. Heck, it's not even a Clipper City Siren Noire. Still though, it gets the job done for being a chocolaty stout.

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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.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark, cola-brown with a slight reddening at the edges. Tan, 1 1/2 finger head was relatively short lived but left a decent amount of lace.

S: Aromas of bakers chocolate, light roast coffee, and heavily roasted malt.

T: Semi sweet and/or bakers chocolate, burnt malt, burnt toast, and a hint of lemon. Odd.

M: Bitter, dry, and overly roasty. Would benefit from a dose of creaminess.

D: Not terrible, but feels raw and unfinished.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish black with only a slightly filmy head of milk-chocolate coloured bubbles. Pretty light in the body. Overall, it's not a particularly impressive looking stout. A little insipid, and not exciting me with its prospects.

Pleasant dark soaked grains and rye bread character on the nose. Whiffs of chocolate coming through as well, but a little subtle. The dark grain notes and toasty characters carry this beer, and leave it very pleasant.

Taste is rather thin, unfortunately, with little sweetness and almost no body. Even the bready grain character is muted, leaving an initial watery character followed only by a light ashy bitterness. Feels rather insipid and severely lacking.

This really is missing body, sweetness and depth. It tastes watered down and not particularly inspiring. Gets very tiresome after a while, and whatever pleasant notes were promised on the nose are really not delivered.

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Photo of Dlish
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer has a lot of potential for improvements. Smells of rich chocolate, cream, hint of toffee and roasted malts. Taste of sweet milk chocolate, heavy cream, and finishes with lightly roasted malts that do not have a very distinctive or impressionable taste in the mouth. No taste of or smell of any hops.
There is not much of aftertaste after it's down, and the little roast malt and hop flavor combined with the low carbonation makes the mouth-feel lacking and needs to be improved upon. But, for a relatively low price, I'd might buy it again.

 558 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 1+ finger of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Iron & lots of cocoa

T: Cocoa, roasty, malt & baker's chocolate, plus iron up front. Cocoa, ironm & roasty malt dominate as this warms along with some dryness. Finishes with cocoa powder & slight coffee notes

MF: Creamy, smooth & medium bodied. Thinned out a bit as it warmed

Drinks pretty easy, a nice take on the style

 432 characters

Photo of felipe2toes
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black in appearance with tan head and nice retention.

Smells of chocolate, smoke, brown sugar, coffee, and roasted malt. Tastes pretty much like it smells, lots of cocoa and coffee. Has a faint hop bitterness in the finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. And at 5% ABV (according to the bottle), this stout is really easy drinking.

 332 characters

Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very dark in the glass, lets some light through and a deep ruby reveals itself when held to the light.
has a monderate head, doesn't seem like it will stick around too long.

I get roasted malts big time in the nose. Smokiness and burnt qualities throughout. There is also a prelude to sweetness, and a dark chocolate aroma.

a bit astringent, more so than I thought it would be, as I expected sweet. some of the chocolate is there, but it's subtle. Lacks complexity and the body I was expecting, unfortunately. Reminds me more of a porter than a stout.

medium bodied, light carbonation but a bit thin.

This was a good one to try once, but im not too impressed. Not really what I look for in a stout. Pretty underwhelming all in all.

 742 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.07/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with generous head. Nose is incredible on this beer with plenty of coffee & chocolate aromas. On the palate it's a bit thin and watery for a stout, but still has rewarding flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and a healthy balance of hops. Roasty on the finish and very easy drinking.

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Photo of colts9016
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A solid one finger medium brown foamy, creamy, head. The color of the beer is dark brown to opaque. Clarity of the beer is opaque also.

Nose: Rich dark roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, toffee, dark fruit, oatmeal, and cream. There are notes of wood, phenols, and floral esters.

Taste: A very rich roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses, oatmeal, toffee, oak, floral esters, phenols, and some figs.

The mouth feel is creamy, rich, coating and slightly dry.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is medium full. The nose on this beer just doesn't match the taste. The nose is a rich vibrant fudge like and the taste is like bland cocoa. It is a good beer and I enjoyed drinking it.

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Photo of webbcreative
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured black, with tan 3 finger head from an aggressive pour. Pretty decent lacing for a stout.

Smell is Roasted malt and coffee, not much else.

Taste - First few sips were pretty metallic, but as it warmed up it faded, but never went away entirely. I was able to pick some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts, no hop presence at all.

Mouthfeel is thin.

Overall this is a pretty good stout - nothing phenomenal, but at less than $4 a bomber - its a pretty good deal.

 473 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black with a soapy tan head.

Mostly coffee on the nose with a hint of smoke...where's the chocolate?

Ahh, there it is. Among the flavors of espresso, cream, and caramel emerges a solid dark cocoa flavor. Bitterness is substantial as is an earthy hop flavor.

A nice little stout. I won't go out of my way for it, but I'm certainly enjoying it. The fact that it's organic is another plus.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black with a reddish tint to the edges. A big frothy tan head caps it off. Decent retention; left some pretty lace behind. Scents of cocoa powder, dark breads, and plums.

The body is crisp, yet smooth. Decent feel. Flavor of cocoa, milky sweetness, graham cracker crust, and some breadiness. Bitterness is low. This is what it is. A chocolate stout with plenty of chocolate-character. Not bad.

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Photo of stakem
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes taken 2/14/10.

Pours a dark brown color with less than a finger of tanned head. Nice amount of lace despite a poor display of retension. Nose is mostly dominated by chocolate powder and so is the taste. Light feel and medium amount of carbonation. Overall it just seems a bit watered down. The organic stamp since 1989 shouldn't be an excuse for lack of taste. As it warms there is a very minor amount of hop character in the nose and some coffee character reveals itself in both the nose and taste. After letting this beer warm up well beyond ideal serving temp (while I contemplated pouring it down the drain) I went back in for one last smell an taste and noted just a bit of dark fruitiness. Overall impression is that I wouldn't buy it again but it is somewhat interesting how very subtle flavors are hidden behind all the cocoa powder character.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with auburn hues. It has a nice mocha colored head.

S-Cocoa powder, coffee, and a hint of hops.

T-Cocoa and fresh brewed coffee dominate at first. The more I drank the more the chocolate dominated and also I noticed some caramel/toffee in the aftertaste.

M-Pretty thick and creamy with a nice carbonation.

D-Highly drinkable. Its abv. is really 5% so it makes for a nice session beer.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and will purchase it again.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Note: ABV is listed on bottle as 5.0%.

Bomber pour into a pint glass and I am met with a dark brown ale and a huge three-fingered beige head. Nice lacing.

An aroma of hot chocolate powder (before the hot choco is made), espresso, and dark chocolate. Very nice.

A nice somewhat chocolaty taste with some coffee hints on the swallow. A nice light bitterness on the buds. I get a major black coffee taste a few seconds after the swallow.

Watery mouthfeel.

Overall I felt this was an excellent brew. I've passed by this countless times in the store but was given it as a gift for Christmas. I'm glad I did. Very well balanced and worth a try.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours dark but not opaque, and actually reveals some ruby facets against the light. light, thin head...

s: sweet malt and chocolate mixed with coffee bean...

t: hits the tongue with a light blast of creamy malts and chocolate bitterness and then softens with an almost wheaty finish

m: extremely smooth and light, evenly carbonated and refreshing...

d: a bit light, but i wouldn't have a hard time drinking this every now and again...


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Photo of eljefe21
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark cola-colored body with a single-finger head that sizzles with carbonation. Fine, but watery, lacing.

S: Pleasant chocolate and coffee smells. Nothing too powerful or special, but solid and spot on.

T: An almost nothing taste, works to bitter coffee, followed by a chocolate, sweet center and finish. A classic combo of tastes. Bitter, sweet. Simple without much complexity.

M: A bit watery and thin with decent carbonation. The combo of feels tends to wash away the tastes, which are nice, but fleeting.

D: Too watery to satisfy my cravings for a good stout. Not crisp enough to work as a warm weather quencher. I wish this were a bit thicker so I could enjoy it for the stout it wants to be.

Served: in a faceted mug.

Review from notes taken on: 10/13/09.

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