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Bison Organic Chocolate Stout | Bison Brewing

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

fascinating beer. pours a pitch black color with a nice dark brown head. Aromas and taste center around cocoa, dark malts, coffee. silky smooth mouthfeel, nice carbonation and easily quaffable. a light interesting take on the non-existant chocolate stout style.

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Photo of Shaw
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours totally black -- like ink -- with a tan head. Nice.

The smell is of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and molasses.

I'm a little sad that this beer doesn't taste more of chocolate. Since they mention the addition of real chocolate, I was expecting a flavor closer to Rogue's Chocolate Stout. Instead this tastes more like a regular stout. The roasted flavors mix with a nice creamy body. The tannin flavors are very muted, which is good.

Overall this is a decent stout.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as the darkest of nights, a thick cap of milk chocolate-brown head rests atop this thick brew.

Smells of roasted malts and coacoa.

The chocolate is subtle, but present; and manages to mellow the sharpness of the stout.

Nice heavy mouthfeel, not so creamy as other stouts but still thick. A brief waft of the burned malts hits the mouth with a slight but short lived after taste. A bit dry, perhaps.

Unlike most stouts that I've had, this is a very drinkable beverage. I could see myself going through more than one or two of these in a sitting.

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Photo of SimplySinister
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The darkest brown possible. Opaque. Nice lacing, 2 finger head, and moderate carbonation. This is a very pretty brew.

S - Roasted malt, sour milk, cocoa.

T - Full bodied, burnt, and bordering on a little too harsh. The brew is not overly bitter; it could contain a lactose sweetener. Severely roasted malts, burnt coffee, and cocoa is apparent. The taste of alcohol is disguised very well.

M - Thin, but slightly sticky.

D - Good drinkability. A little expensive though.

All in all, I think that this stout is slightly above average; though it would be nice to have a "drink by" date etched somewhere on the bottle. Although this beer is not perfected, I would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out black with some light on the sides that can get through when put up against my lamp. Head is a nice brown, but does not last.

Smell. Small amount of burnt aromas with some chocolate to it. I get a strong bitterness that sticks out, in which its like a cascade hop smell, but with a little smoke to it. interesting.

Taste. The chocolate really tastes smokey to me initially. flavor is certainly on the more bitter side and quite drying. The cocoa really sticks out as the dominant flavor, but does not take over completely as there is a good amount of burnt and coal like flavors too. As it warms, the flavor begins to tart a little to me, and the body thins out a little making it feel a little oily. Aftertaste continues with the smokey flavors and remains bitter. after a bit of not drinking it tastes like i just took a drag of a cigarette.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium, but a little light i think for the style as it never has a heaviness to it, and after it warms i get that thinning oil texture to it. carbonation is at a good level.

Overall, an interesting beer. It's one i would not want to have more than a bottle at a time. but the flavors in it gives it a little uniqueness, however, I think it falls in the cracks of other beers for not standing out with good enough flavors, as I am now wishing this was a mackeson xxx or a rogue chocolate stout- too close to beers i like more and makes we wish i had that one instead. But still worth a try.

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Photo of Natural510
2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This may be quite an old bottle, but the dating on the side is not properly notched so I have no way of knowing.

Pours a very dark brown color into goblet with no head and only the slightest lacing on the edges of the glass.
Smells faintly of cocoa, caramel, coffee & roasted malts.
Taste consists mainly of bitter cocoa, which masks most other aspects of the brew. There are roasted malts hidden underneath, but it takes some detecting. Not much other than bitter powdered cocoa to the flavor.
Despite lack of carbonation, there is a subtle twang in the mouth, likely from the malts.

Likely better when fresh, I purchased this bottle mainly from memories of sneaking into the now-defunct brewpub which was located on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley when I was a teenager.
I gather no how fresh it may be, this will still be too unbalanced with the cocoa to be comparable to the many other options of chocolate stouts out there.

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Photo of kinger
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Unexpected discovery at my favorite store, picked up a couple singles to enjoy. Aroma is very malty and yeasty I like it, the roasted malts dominate the scent, chocolate isn't very detectable. Looks good, typical stout. A trace amount of light shines through when held very close to the lamp. Nice dark tan head that diminishes too soon. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, but a nice smooth finish keeps this category at par. Fantastic flavors are present. Roasted and coffee malt are clearly detectable soon followed by a perfectly blended chocolate taste. Cocoa is added to the mash when this is brewed which is clearly evident. The chocolate tone is that of powdered cocoa, not overdone at all. Nice medium flavored stout very drinkable and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of charlzm
2.63/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark brown/black with an inch tan head. Head retention is average, lacing is good. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste is the same as the aroma, although I think it tastes a lot more like coffee than chocolate (but I'm not complaining about that). It is labeled as a chocolate stout and the chocolate should be the strongest taste in this beer but it isn't (in my opinion). There's both sweet and bitter in this brew, and it does have a bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with average carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not quite watery. Drinkability is decent, it's not hard to drink. Overall it's a decent brew, I'd drink it again but I wouldn't make it a point to seek this one out either.

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Photo of Hoopster4hire
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a slightly tannish head that lasts quite well.

Smell: Cocoa is definitely present. Roasted coffee like smell to it with faint sweetness, caramel possibly.

Taste: Cocoa takes over this beer, you can definitely taste the chocolate like influence along with bitterness that accompanies a stout. Roasted like coffee makes an appearance, but undertones of hops and malts should not be discredited, although they are somewhat lacking.

Mouthfeel: Pretty highly carbonated, something which is a little unusual. Not my cup of tea with that.

Drinkability: This is a great beer to try out. Has an interesting take on a "chocolate stout" with the large amount of cocoa flavor, but I would definitely pass if offered a different choice.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours like a typical stout. The smell is really weird. It doesn't have too much of a roasted smell, but more of a higher roasted burnt astringent malt. The taste has a god amount of chocolate though it really went well with my rice krispy treats I was eating. Not too highly roasted in the taste but enough to be "stouty." Overall not a bad chocolate beer. If it were a bit more pleasant smelling then it would round out the experience more.

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Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a) nearly opaque with dark amber showing around the edges of the glass; short, dark tan head that doesn't linger; no lacing to speak of

s) immediate cocoa with some dark fruit; coffee and molasses also apparent

t) deep, dark, intense, and bitter (kind of like me); a touch of dark, fruity sweetness; maybe some mild herbal hops coming in at the end, or it could just be more bitterness from the cocoa and roasted barley

m) nice and thick, as it should be

d) it's surprising to drink a chocolate stout that doesn't taste like dessert (I'm looking at you, Young's); this is a unique beer that does a fantastic job putting a new twist on the style

 648 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours near black, with a bit of reddish highlighting around the edges. A creamy, light brown head tops it with some sticky lacing left behind

S: The chocolate scents are a little subdued, which wasn't really expected. There's an almost leafy aroma in there that I can't quite place, and what almost seems to be a bit of a hoppy scent.

T: A pretty bitter cocoa... it was a bit puckering, and perhaps not in the best way at all. This lessens as the glass goes down, but it seems a bit powdery. A little disappointed on this front.

M + D: On the thinner side... in this case, it's a little more suitable, as it might become pretty intense and overwhelming if it's much thicker. Perhaps some time, I'd give it another shot, but I won't be in any rush to pick up more.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Large, rocky, tan head that settles quite slowly. Dark, brown-black body with ruby highlights.

S - Lots of dark, belgian chocolate up front with a big coffee note as well. Spicy, chicory aroma with a sweet, dairy note in the background.

T - Malty, caramel and coffe notes. The coffee gets stronger in the middle and some spicy notes of pepper, chicory, and clove come in. There is a mild friuty yeast character of banana that fades into a roasty finish.

M - Smooth, creamy body with moderate carbonation.

D - Moderately drinkable, but a bit dissapointing overall. The chocolate character is nice in the nose, but distinctly lacking in the flavor. The finish is kind of dull and lacking in complexity for a chocolate stout.

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Photo of ubermick
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 20oz Imperial pint glass...

A: Poured a jet black, with a dark but small bubbly head, that disippated slowly.

S: Surprising amount of hops for a choccy stout, bitter chocolate and coffee, and decent roasted malt.

T: Hmm. The sweet of the malts is cut nicely with the bitterness of the malts and chocolate/coffee. I certainly didn't find it as sweet as some folks have, certainly not to the level of, say, Rogue's.

MF/D: Drinkable - again not to the level of Rogue's - with a decent mouthfeel. A little much carbonation for me in a stout, but still nice. Great little brew from a great little brewery that gets kudos for being organic!

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Photo of jayrod20
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pretty decent little stout. Heaps of roasted bitterness, and bitter chocolate. Decent balance and flavour, not particularly complex, but tasty. As with all West Coast beers, theres a fair few hops in here, but it doesn't really unbalance it or anything, a nice stout.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves less than one finger of a tan head that does not have much retention, and leaves only isolated spots of lacing. Body is black.

Smell - lapsang suchong tea, roasted malt, burnt crust malt bread, and hints of chocolate and caramel.

Taste - like the smell. Roasted malt and burnt crust malt bread with some chocolate and caramel, as well as some dark fruit like rasins, plums, and prunes in the middle. There is some roasted malt and smokiness on the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and semi-dry at times.

Drinkability - this is a good ale, and it is very sessionable.

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Photo of nrbw23
1.49/5  rDev -57.1%
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 Kemmerlin
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Black with a very very thin head and no lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of chocolate, sticky coffee, and malts kinda reminds me of a Starbuck's Java Mocha.

T: Mainly an overwheming taste of coffee with a smokey finish. The coffee taste remands in the mouth long after swallowing and basically sticks in there.

M: The coffee flavor is really overwhelming but the amount of carbonation is good. It just feels sugary and sticky going down.

D: I might drink this one again but I would not seek it out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dark almost black with mahogany brown edges when held toward the light, tan head forms thick and creamy in texture with even fine speckled lacing left behind as it dwindles. Aromatics full of roasted dark chocolate and pseudo coffee notes from the dark roasted malt profile utilized here. Doesn't smell any more chocolate than any other stout but I guess they did add some Danish cocoa, according to the label. Light, herbal, friendly hop profile with creamy milk chocolate in the finish. Flavor brings it altogether seems light and airy in texture but the flavor rides a nice wave over the palate with mildly brash dark roasts finishing into a creamy milk chocolate crescendo, staying semi bitter sweet without going candy on me. Some may ask for more chocolate sweetness I'm cool with the cocoa addition to the boil with just the subtle flow going on and definitely more bitterness from the darker roasts rather than from hops which are evident but more light and herbal than anything else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but texture wise creamy almost nitro draft feel to it, bitter dry finish with a touch of chocolate sweetness, carbonation is subtle and smooth on the palate finishes with the dark roasted malt bitterness lingering the way it should. Drinkability is definitely better than their IPA, this one brings you on a bit of a journey especially when living in the beer deprived armpit of Ohio where I currently reside.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This looks like a typical stout, poured into a pint glass. Nice and dark, khaki head is moderate, and leaves some sparse lacing.

Smell at the beginning is kind of weak for a stout. I let it warm up a bit and it improved but didn't overwhelm me. What I did notice was some dark cocoa and dark roasted grains.

Tastes isn't bad, fills out more than the nose. It loses some of its dark chocolate character to milk chocolate notes with dark roasted grains giving a little bite. Although that might be just a hint of hops. Either way, it's a pleasing, easygoing flavor.

Despite the flavors turned closer to a cream stout style, the mouthfeel is kind of thin. Maybe a little too much carbonation?

Not a bad stout, but nothing remarkable about it to me, except being organic. And at $4+ a bomber, I feel like I get more money's worth with quite a few other stouts in that price range.

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Photo of aromatorio
2.61/5  rDev -24.8%
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 OWSLEY069
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours jet black with a dark tan to light brown head. In the aroma, cocoa and a roasty maltiness. In the taste, a roasty malt and a touch of cocoa, yet very watery in the taste. A small bite, yet very thin mouthfeel, and a semi dry and small cocoa aftertaste. Good look and aroma, however watery and quite thin.

 310 characters

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: the beer pours a nice deep black/brown with a tan head that has decent retention but certainly doesn't last the whole way.

s: nice toasted malts with hints of dark chocolate and tastes of light roasted coffee

t: first chocolatey followed by flavors of toasted grain and roast coffee. finishes with a bit of burnt toffee aftertaste. overall a well balanced flavor mix, none too strong

m: a little on the thin/non-creamy side for a stout but not on the cloying side (which i hate in a stout) and nice just light enough carbonation

d: overall a very good and for me very local beer that has a good balance of flavor with the only marked downside being it's the thinness of body. i can't wait to try it on tap.

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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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