Bison Organic Chocolate Stout | Bison Brewing

Bison Organic Chocolate StoutBison Organic Chocolate Stout
600 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: 600 |  Reviews: 300
Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
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 +5.8%
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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Photo of unclejimbay
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bison Organic Chocolate Stout
Bison Brewing Co.
Style: American Stout
ABV: 6.10 %

reviewed ~7/2009 during a BCBCS homerew day w/ JH

4.0 across the board on this brew....

Medium/dark brown in color with a satisfactory head & retention. Light tan creamy head with respectable lace. Smells of dark chocolate malts followed by coffee roasty-ness. Tastes as it smells with a subtle but noticeable hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a thin finish, keeps it easy drinking.

This is a more chocolate suggestive stout for sure, less of a coffee bomb thna some others, and sessionable at 6% abv. I enjoyed this brew and would get it again if the price is right and I want a cold weather sipping stout thats not too boozy.

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Photo of guinness310
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic...

A: First thing i notice is that its got good head retention. A mid-frothy almond colored head is supported by a dark body with dark ruby tones outlining the nonic.

S: Definitely smell the cocoa/toffee and roasted malts...

T: The taste was good but did not do the smell justice. leaves a kinda "sour" taste in the back of my tounge, while my palate gets hardly any attention. the taste of dark roasted malts and coffee linger around my mouth, while the cocoa seems so far behind the two stronger flavours.

M: Mid-bodied with medium-high carbonation. spaced-lacing around certain sides of the glass.

Not a bad beer but i wont be buying this one again. Or recomending it to friends that are heavily into Chocolate Stouts

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Photo of BeerSox
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black, with a one finger tan head that settles to a thin cap.

Plenty of light and sweet chocolate, on top of a contrasting roasted malt aroma.

The malts are a little sharper in the flavor, adding a bitterness, but paired with an overall creamy tone. The chocolate is slightly less sweet, roaming more into a cocoa territory. Full bodied.

Not bad, certainly for an organic beer. Being a stout with a chocolate accent certainly helps any off favors that usually are paired with organic beers. Nothing too exciting, but a good well rounded beer to cap off an evening.

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Photo of ATSJer
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cooler than room temp

Appearance: this brew has a smooth pour and builds an almond colored head quickly to about 1 finger which begins to fade to a thin layer within a minute or so, the head has a medium froth nowhere near as dense as the Guinness nitro-bottle; the head also slides off leaving no lacing on the glass. The brew itself is near black, but on the edges and bottom you can see that it is a very deep amber, especially when held to the light. It is a clear liquid, and I could see some evidence of carbonation with a single bubble stream visible on the surface. There was nothing really extra ordinary about the appearance, and the fact that it was not opaque reminded me of the Guinness, but this was even clearer. It looked good, but really just seemed average to me.

Smell: I hold my breath as I put my nose in the glass before inhaling, and even then I could feel the bite of the bitterness in my nostrils which really made me think I was in for a very hoppy brew. As I inhaled the spice was indeed prominent, and there was thick dark malt that you would expect from a stout. I could also smell some sweetness like toffee, but I was really left searching for any chocolate aroma.

Taste: The spice is certainly in this brew but not nearly as strong as I was expecting from the aroma, as I am not one who likes an overly hoppy brew I was pleasantly surprised at the difference between the aroma and the initial taste. Continuing with the first pull I tasted the heavy malts that should not come as a surprise when drinking stouts, this was followed by the bite of bitterness at the finish that was sharper than the Guinness, I really only noticed the chocolate at the end and it seemed a very rich dark chocolate. As I continued to explore the tastes I concentrated on the sweetness which is there on the tip of the tongue but certainly not a primary flavor. This did not taste at all watered down.

Mouthfeel: The Chocolate Stout is a thicker feeling brew than Guinness but certainly not syrupy by any stretch. I didn't notice any creaminess although there was a thin buttery coating in my mouth after swallowing. One thing that I noticed early was the carbonation, I expected to feel this from the appearance and I was afraid that it might be overbearing but that was not to be, the carbonation fizzed on my tongue some but it was not distracting from the flavors.

Drinkability: This is a good drinking brew, but the carbonation hangs in the stomach more than others and causes some bloating, the liquid itself is not all that heavy but with the carbonation it is rather filling even after a single pint. I can see drinking this in the evening with friends or family, or drinking one with a steak dinner, but I can't imagine anyone slamming these at a party. I certainly recommend this brew as a drinkable, and flavorful expression of what a stout is while not being completely overbearing.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown in color, quite a bit of carbonation.

S: Very light on the chocolate, which doesn't really make sense for a chocolate stout. Much more coffee.

T: Similar to the nose, with a watery taste and finish.

M: Very light body, pretty carbonated as well. Not what I was hoping for.

D: Easy drinking stout, I suppose.

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Photo of biggred1
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown with a creamy tan head that leaves some decent fine lace behind. Roasty java and spice aroma with semisweet chocolate in the nose. The flavor is where the chocolate comes to life, semisweet with a charred coffee bitterness balanced by rich malts and mild spicy hops in the finish. Medium bodied and slightly chalky with a very understated carbonation. A nice stout.

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Photo of czfreeman
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first offering from Bison, I really like the concept of their brews, in the culinary concept.
Initial impression of the apperance is a deep brown/black tone, lightly tan head. Foam slowly settles,leaving a rather carbonated stout/
Smell is suprisingly light on chocolate and heavy on coffee. Roasted espresso, java coffee, a bit watery on the finish, roasted malts, caramelized sugar.
Flavor is again coffee. I was hoping for a chocolaty-coffeeish brew, but a coffeestout with a touch of cocoa is what I have here. Roasted caramelized malt sugar, coffee beans, a touch of smokiness, cocoa but in a more bitter sense does become more apparent.
When their are brews like Southern Tier Choklat and Mokah on the market, this brew can't really hold it's own as a chocolate-stout any more.
Although the chocolate didn't come through in this brew as I had hoped, it is a versitile beer. I think this paired with nicely seared scallops would pair immensely well, as the medium body of the beer would not overwhelm the seafood, and ther malty flavor of caramelized sugar would reflectnicely off of each other. This beer doesn't quite deliver what was expected, but food pairings woulkd benefit nicely

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thick, opaque black. Hard pour generates small tan head. Decent lacing/retention.

S- Heavy on coffee and molasses. Slight dark chocolate in the background.

T- Big on the coffee. Nice, though. Some dark chocolate finish. A little woodiness in there too. It's pretty one-dimensional, and not very chocolatey.

M- Thin for a big stout. Feels more like an ale.

D- Not bad, but not great, just because it's not amazing.

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Photo of nms1987
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle that just arrived in a store a week prior, so it better be fresh. Pairing it with some ice cream.. which I love to do with stouts: )

Black with a tan/light brown/latte colored head showing some good foam-age.

Nice smell. Pleasant and inviting.
It has that gentle creamy, faintly chocolate nose you expect to see out of a "regular" stout. The chocolate coming through on the nose seems authentic.. if I didn't know this beer contained extra cocoa I wouldn't be able to pick it out of a lineup with some of my favorite oatmeal stouts.

Taste isn't coming through. You can definitely tell it was real cocoa power and not chocolate syrup added, which is one of the GOOD things about the taste. But other than that I'm not seeing why I want to get this again. A little watery for a 6+ ABV stout. Not a whole lot of the nice, gentle roasty character and if a stout doesn't bring me that I am at least looking for rich smoothness and this weird, almost sour note in the back of this stuff kind of throws that off.
It isn't a bad beer, it is just very "meh".

As I continue through my glass I keep hoping to discover something about this stuff to change my mind.. and that often happens as I make my way through a glass, I find something to like about a beer but it just isn't happening this time.

Very drinkable but not in a good way. It is quaffable because it is fairly watery. Hides its ABV well I guess if you're looking for a plus.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured very light and boasted only deep browns, not quite black. Not a huge pour and looks more of a porter in the glass. Head fizzed away quickly and left whipped mocha colored blobs around the glass. Initially awash with bubbles and then still as can be

S: chock full of dark roasted sweet smells: coffee, cocoa, and darkened malts 'n' grains. with a earthy woody whiff or two

T: a moderate amount of roasted flavors paired with medium roasted coffee beans and finely ground cocoa powder. The coffee notes have a nice mocha character and the greatest presence in the mix. This brew has a light edge overall and is complimented by a few flaky hops that have a citrus wooded appeal. This beer checks out well with all the flavors

M: medium body and slick down the hatch. Not problems drinking this one

D: on the lighter side for a stout but still deserves a pat on the back. Nice and tasty with good flavors. I like'em a little bit chewier but if the flavors match...I can't complain

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light black color with a tinge of ruby highlights. Has an average sized tan head that fades to a decent collar and some lacing.

Has a mocha, milk chocolate and powdered baking cocoa nose. A bit of cardboardy oxidation is noticeable, unlike the hops or any hint of fruity esters.

Watery, roasty cocoa flavor. A bit of coffee and slight hop bite lend a mildly bitter finish. Plenty drinkable, but ultimately a very forgettable fish swimming in an ocean of stouts.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 ounce bottle consumed with a BBQ shredded pork sandwich, on to the beer:

No need to describe the color...the head is about 1/2 inch thick, decent retention, and leaves thin rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma is low on firepower, some chocolate and chocolate better inhale deeply or you'll miss it. There's some stoutness to this, but the body is a little thinner than I'd expect. Faint powered chocolate, mild burnt edges, a flowery hoppiness in the back, and a smooth overall flavor makes this a solid stout.

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

I really liked this stout..

Poured a jet black with a nice brown head. Nose was of light cocoa not a heavy chocolate like many stouts. Something different and unique to me. The chocolate was vry subtle and smooth. Roasted malts complimented and blended well with the chocolate. Mouthfeel was very roasty and chocolately, seemed pretty complex to me. I enjoyed the Hell out of it. My second favorite behind Rogue Chocolate Stout.

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

pours jet black, impermeable to light. A thin head of mocha foam bubbles up from the depths before fading fairly quickly, leaving behind some icing-like lacing down the glass.

aroma of bittersweet cocoa, a hint of dark roasted malt, a touch of dark chocolate and a bit of hops and bitter roasted coffee. Cocoa is definitely present, but not overwhelmingly chocolaty.

Taste follows the aroma fairly closely. A roasted, almost burnt malt up front is quickly blasted away by strong bittersweet cocoa and baking chocolate. The chocolate up-front fades back into a neutral malt before finishing with a slightly hoppy, bitter chocolate and bitter burnt coffee note.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin with a fair bit of slightly sharp carbonation... maybe a touch over? not bad, but not as rich as I always hope.

Nothing outstanding, but significantly better than some of the other chocolate stout offerings out there. A touch bitter and more cocoa than chocolate, but a nice stout when all is said and done. It doesn't hurt to have a few bottles of this one in the back of the fridge, just in case.

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Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer. Brackish black pour as it should. Dark tan head. Heavy roasty malt and chocolate/coffee nose. Flavors match similarly to the nose. Reminds me more of a milk stout, maybe a chocolate milk stout, if there was such a thing. On the border of being quite sessionable. Would drink this one again.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Iced Pint Glass

A: Deep brown almost black, Very little head, but what is there is very brown, very little lacing throughtout.

S: Chocolate right of the bat.... hints of roasted malt, coffee and some mild bitterness... Very nice...

T: The taste is like the smell.... Chocolate right up front, then a little roasted coffee, but the cocoa pushes through with sweetness that subsides with a touch of bitterness near the end.

M: A little lighter than Medium-bodied, with a mild carbonation.. Not as Creamy as I had thought I wish it had a little more body.

D: A very nice Chocolate stout, the only think holding it back it the lack of a little more creamyness and body... If you like a Chocolate beer that is not to much like a Stout then this is you beer... I would try again....

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Photo of hopdog
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this one from a 22oz bottle.

Poured a dark black color with a smaller sized brownish head. Aromas of roasted malts and cocoa. Tastes of the same roastiness, chcolate, and lighter coffee. The body was a little on the thin and watery side.

Notes from 02/05/05.

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Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up on a whim -- I saw it at The Party Source and thought it sounded pretty good. I've been drinking a lot of stouts lately and a nice chocolately one typically sounds good, and well, this one is called "Chocolate Stout." However, sometimes we don't always get what we pay for.

Appearance: Well, it started out pretty strong for me -- a nice dark, thick pour that was near black. Like most stouts, completely opaque. A nice two finger tan head was present, but quickly dwindled to just a thin layer on top that left a slight lacing at the top of the glass as it trailed down.

Smell: Called Chocolate Stout for a reason - very strong presence of it right up front and made me very excited to dive into it. A little malty and slight bitter/roasty scent in the back of it too. Again, started nice and strong.

Taste: OK -- still not too bad, and actually pretty fair. Not as sweet as I thought it would be based upon the smell. More the semi-sweet/bitter presence right up front, followed by the roasty back.

Mouthfeel: Meh. Let down. Very watery and not as thick as I would have at all wanted or expected. All in all though, it still goes down pretty smooth and leaves a fair coating on the tongue, but man, I really expected a little more substance.

Drinkability: While the appearance, smell and taste were pretty decent, the mouthfeel really let me down. To me, that's half the fun of a nice stout and I was just let down by this. I have 5 left, and it won't bother me to drink them over the next week or so, but I don't think I'll be purchasing any more of it.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown pour with a brown ring of bubbles for a head. Cocoa and coffee aroma. Taste is a split between burnt coffee with roasted malt and watery chocolate. Not well balanced. Finish is surprisingly smooth. These organics are always lacking in something, this one being body. Good, not great.

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Photo of scottoale
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. brown bomber with no bottling/freshness code or date. Poured into a Duvel tulip a very dark brown, nearly black, with about a 1/2" of cocoa brown foamy head.

The smell is like opening up that milk carton sized Whoppers malted milk balls. Just a trace of alcohol comes through as it warms and that's about it. Good smell cuz I like Whoppers!

The taste is a little different with dark roasty malt upfront. Then you get a little coffee, some black tea and a chocolate finish that's just mildly bitter. I'll say it's fairly well balanced, yet there is hardly any sweetness to it. That's fine and all, just didn't expect it.

Light to medium body with mild carbonation and a bit watery in the mouth for this style. Very easy to drink but doesn't really impress. None the less, tasty.

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Photo of Glazed144
3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours darker than Alfonso Soriano. I wasn't sure if it was beer or oil... Has nice foamy head, reminds me of hot cocoa. Smells like dark chocolate. Very clean taste. Fairly bitter coffee/ incredibly dark chocolate aftertaste at the back of tongue. Tastes a lot like dark chocolate, unfortunately I don't like dark chocolate. Mild alcohol taste.. kind of watery... outside appearance, im pretty bored...

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Photo of currysage1
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Ubermick for this one.

Poured from a 22 into an Imperial Pint glass

Fuck me this is an overcarbonated brew! I think I have an off batch because no one else seemed to have this problem.

Pours a 9 finger head into a 8 finger glass, meaning it overflowed. It has a port like burgundy look to it, head is cappuccino colored, foamy but not smooth, great lacing.

Smell is chocolate liquer, raisin and surprising alcohol due to the low ABV.

Taste is of bitter chocolate, but bordering on carob sort of flavor. Not overly bitter, but it is more than expected. Some slight dark fruit tones but I think I might be reaching on this one.

Too thin for a good American Stout, says it is richly textured but I'm not sure I agree. Drinkability isn't bad but the flavor isn't really there so I'm not sure I would. Glad to try but probably won't return.

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Photo of lynx1245
3.32/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer from Berkeley? I could have guessed it would be organic before I saw it on the label.

Appearance: SLAM the beer into the glass and you'll be rewarded with a nice head that bubbles out of the blackness but recedes quickly. A slow pour and you'll get no head to speak of. It's a dark one.

Smell: I really liked the aroma of this one. Sweet and roasted malts. It's pretty pungent and might be a bit overwhelming for some.

Taste: You can really taste the cocoa. I think they went a bit overboard actually. I guess I shouldn't complain since it's a chocolate stout, so I'll say this one is for the cocoa lovers. Also some hops in the aftertaste. More bitter than I expected.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and aftertaste doesn't linger for very long. No carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability: Sure, I could drink some if I didn't have anything else. I probably wouldn't though. The strong cocoa isn't really my cup of tea..err bottle of beer.

I wonder if those tree sitters in Berkeley drink this beer.

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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 600 ratings
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