Bison Organic Honey Basil
Bison Brewing

Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #199
Ranked #43,621
3.53 | pDev: 15.58%
Bison Brewing
California, United States
Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil
Notes: This Bison classic brew is infused with honey for a hint of sweetness and aroma. Fresh organic basil lends a slight herbal note and a hint of basil - a perfectly refreshing brew.
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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 214 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BonnieTWM
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wasn't sure about trying this strange combo - guaranteed to be either really good or really bad, in my mind. I thought it was really good! Pours a very hazy, almost opaque orangey copper with almost no head - points off for that since I like a fluffy head to my beer. Smell is strange and inviting - lots of warm honey mixed with spicy exotic basil, with a backbone of piney hops and toasty malt. As a basil lover I have to say I love the taste. The light and spicy taste of fresh basil is brought into balance with a hint of smooth, rich honey. I expected the honey to make this beer feel syrupy or taste cloying but it did neither - the beer is refreshing, not mega sweet by any means, with a smooth but crisp mouthfeel. Will definitely buy again and pair with some homemade crusty bread and cheese... or even better, a caprese panini!

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Photo of pearcebarr
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Initial reaction was that it is delicious, but I was burnt out on the basil flavor after 3/4th of the bottle. Honey isn't very present either. Pretty good beer, but I wouldn't want more than one at a time

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into standard pint glass. Batch number yet no bottling or freshness date.

L: Clear bronze. Finger width off-white head has decent retention.

S: Basil, honey and leafy hops.

T: Basil mostly with a touch of honey and leafy hops.

F: light, crisp and semi-dry.

O: Really not a bad beer but it's just not my style.

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Photo of basildog
4.04/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I appreciate organic brews and this is very nice,

A- Not crystal clear but a ever so slight hazy.
S - Herbaceous. Nice. Different.
T- Very pleasant, mild, refreshing.
M- light, could be a bit more.
O- Very good. I would certainly buy again.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.97/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a thin head on a hazy dark straw body.
The aroma is basil, honey and lemon. Nice.
The taste is harsh basil, lemon and a little honey. Not great.
The texture is crisp.
It' smells great but the flavor has too much basil.

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Photo of SSS
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bought this just because it was unusual. Seems to be Belgium based, very high carbonation. I get a little honey and an herbal flavour that I suppose could be basil. I don't get a very nice aroma, more acidic than anything else. It was not for me.

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Photo of Hopped_head
4.11/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Holy damn, is this beer refreshing. Cracked one open on a hot,summer thing I know, they're all gone and I'm pretty drunk. An extremely drinkable beer at 6.0%abv. It's like drinking a really refreshing glass of ice tea, except in beer form!

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
2.92/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

The basil flavor is rather subtle in my opinion. And there was something else about this beer, where the flavor felt a bit harsh on the palate. Perhaps this beer would taste better if it was paired with pizza or Italian food.

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Photo of zookerman182
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a golden orange with a one finger head.
Aroma is sweet herbs, malt, fake honey.
Taste is slight herb and spice with a light honey sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium to full but no pleasant lingering flavors to speak of.
It's a solid beer but I couldn't drink more than a couple.

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Photo of Crafts_and_recreation
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Honey colored, highly effervescent pour maintains a consistent layer of a medium dense foam, retains a remarkable lacing

S: Clean, soft aroma of basil builds into a sharper note as it warms a bit, light malts, spicy herbal nose, barely perceptible hop profile, a little grassy

T: Spice comes through against a floral honey background, flavor finishes with a lingering and pleasant bitterness

M: Medium and smooth, though I wouldn't have minded this being a bit thinner, it is satiny and highly drinkable

O: Interesting brew, seems well executed and enjoyable. Not a go-to option, but surely one I'd like to have around.

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Photo of silverking
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- light amber, 1/2 inch of coarse off white head, patchy lacing. Decent head retention. Soon there is just a thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass.

S- at first, it's pretty dismal, some malt with a faint herbal quality. Just give it a quick swirl in the glass, and bam, there's the basil. It's bright and clean, grassy and herbal. The honey doesn't seem to be there though.

T- basil, still wonderful. It transitions nicely into a floral sweetness and then into a very slight bitterness. The honey begins to peak through in the finish, but then its muddled by a triumphant comeback of sweet herbal goodness.

M- light, the finish is clean. Lots of prickly carbonation.

O- love the basil, but it left me wanting some more honey.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Hops Burger Bar, Greensboro, NC

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of basil leaves are present in the nose along with hints of ginger.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of basil. Only hints of honey are perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an easy drinking beer that would seem to make a good pairing with Italian food or a veggie burger.

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Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at the Mellow Mushroom in Durham NC

A: Poured a clear orange color with a 1 finger head that settled to a nice thin layer with spotty lacing from start to finish.

S: First thing I'm getting is lemon peel with a little sweetness... at the very tail end I'm getting a little of the basil. Smells a little like herbal tea.

T: Sweet malt and lemon upfront with a little honey mid palette, there is a very slight hoppiness that kicks in near the end... also at the end is a touch of basil. Very complex set of flavors going on here, very herbal tea, just like the smell.

M: Light bodied with a nice carbonation and a very clean aftertaste.

D: Very enjoyable beer, light, refreshing, complex and goes great with pizza. I'll start looking for this one in bottles.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ow damn it not only did I find this late (released 6 months ago) but it has such a low rating. To top it off I paid $2.49 for the single.

A - Looks decent enough deep amber brown with a bit of floaties and hazy. The head is pretty decent for such an old brew giving me a 1/4 inch that settles to a thick lace ring.
S - It actually smells like a pretty good amber ale with a sweet honey tone and herbal pine. Not very off putting it smells nice.
T - Not having another other basil beer to compare it too I want to say its actually not bad. The basil at times is very herbal and grassy but the sweetness seems to balance pretty good and I am somewhat impressed that its not overly dry from the honey. Not very metallic or harsh I actually wonder why such a low rating.
M - Kind of thin and herbal. Drinakble.

Overall not that I would buy it again it was an interesting beer worth trying just to see how basil is incorporated in a beer. Its actually not as bad as other say.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had in bottle form, chez White

A: cloudy, dark amber, some head, modest lacing; good carb
S: perfumes of allspcie, nutmeg; no other parts of the beer hit the nose
T: sweet, nutmeg, honey; fall seasonal flavors; under the spicing is a diet sprite-like ale
M: thin mouthfeel

It's not all that good for a spice beer (which is not my style, anyway, but I tried to take that into account)

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Photo of hreb
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'd never heard of Bison Organic Beer before, but I couldn't pass up this 12oz single brewed with basil. Will it be herbtastically delicious or will the honey create another sweet, bland brew?

Appearance is on the yellow side of orange with a thin orange-white head. Not quite clear. Aroma is pleasant and floral and suggests just a bit of sweetness. The flower in the nose doesn't suggest hops, but perhaps clover honey (or some other bee pollen source). The basil flavor is subtle and way in the background. I think the herb actually comes across in the bitterness more than anything else. Impressively, the honey contributes the flavor of honey, i.e. that stuff that makes honey not taste like sugar syrup, without contributing sweetness -- nor without contributing a load of fermentable sugars that dry out the beer entirely. No, the beer finishes just dry enough.

Plenty drinkable, but unfortunately there isn't anything beyond the very mild taste of basil to hold my interest.

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Photo of Auraan
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy amber with no head. Nothing amazing, but not horrible looking. Scents of malt, basil and a slight bit of honey. It's got a bit going on here, but it's not quite strong enough to get your anticipation up. Flavor begins with sweet malt and a yeasty ale character, moves into a slight bitterness and ends with the taste of fresh basil. Basil also dominates the aftertaste. It has a medicinal quality that reminds me of chewing fresh basil. It's not bad. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Standard, easy drinking feel. I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The herbal flavors imparted by the basil really work with the sweet malt flavors and the dryness from the honey, making it a nice refreshing beer. It's a nice herbed beer to try if you don't want something too extreme.

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Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in the pint shaker with an unremarkable head. Sharply spritzy and rather tart. The herbal flavor comes on top of a warm malty taste. A flavor of green beans and honey in the aroma. Honey also proves to be a really nice flavoring here, contrary to the sweet 'n' nasty taste so often encountered.

The basil provides a perfumey complexity, though it's quite sharp and slides over to the acidic side. However, this must be the best basil beer I've had. It's a tough proposition but they made it drinkable. Also the only drinkable Bison beer I've had. On tap at Sea Rocket in San Diego.

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Photo of Samuel906
2.61/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was pretty excited to try this just because of how crazy the idea was. I've definitely never had a beer advertising basil as part of its formulation. Poured a nice amber color, slightly cloudy, but no head, and what little there was had no retention. Aroma is underwhelming; some honey, florals and a touch of pepper. Anyone who is claiming they smell basil is lying, or has never smelled fresh basil before. It's simply not there. Dry taste, mild honey, very very slight basil at the end. Mediocre hops. Mouthfeel is unremarkable.

Overall a strange beer; I wish it were a little more robust. If your going to do something weird that go for it all in. Even if the flavors end up not working, at least you went full force with the flavor instead of doing a psuedo unique beer like this.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a moderate haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy ivory foam with a bit of an orange cast to it. Head doesn't have a whole lot of retention.

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of a toasty/biscuity quality to it and a definite aroma of basil. I have never had basil in a beer and I wanted to give it a whirl. It is actually not too bad, provided basil beer is what you are expecting. Maybe not the most successful experiment, but interesting nonetheless.

Taste: the basil works better in the flavor than in the aroma; I feel it is better-integrated. The malt is sweeter than the aroma, with the biscuitiness toned down a bit. All of that said, this is still a particularly weird beer. For me, basil is not a winning ingredient, but I applaud the experimentation here.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation and a satisfying, persistent creaminess. More evidence that this is a good beer, carefully crafted, but using an ingredient that just doesn't seem to work out.

Overall: if you really want a basil beer, then absolutely go for this one. However, don't be surprised at what you get -- this beer is absolutely as-advertised.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz

Pours clear amber with an off white film for a head.

Smells of caramel, ready malts, and mild herbal notes.

Caramel and buttered bread flavors mix with an herbal mild bitterness.

Medium to full body with prickly carbonation on the tongue.

A really good flavorful and unique ale, drinks easy and tastes good. Something I could drink regularly.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a reddish amber with a thin tan head. The smell is very much like an italian cafe, the basil is subtle but somehow very apparent, the honey is integrated well adding sweetness and depth, also notes of peppery spice and some oregano. Seems well balanced but just not aromas I like together or in beer. Taste is the same with notes of dough, this is basil pizza esq. the honey is subdued and the basil is forward with spice and oregano. Strange stuff but well made for what it is intended to be.

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Photo of shand
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It came from ... the back of the fridge! Found this lonely looking Spring seasonal hanging out in the back of my fridge. Bison Organic Honey Basil pours out a red-amber color with a finger of head. The aroma is basically what the nose says. Honey and basil. On the tongue though ... hey, is this a pumpkin beer with honey? Of course, pumpkin beers very rarely taste of pumpkin, they taste of the various spices. And I'm getting this big-time behind the basil and the honey. The mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated, and the drinkability isn't all that great. Too much on the spice for me. Overall, less interesting than I expected to be honest.

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Photo of The_Blodge
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Burnt orange color with a small head that dissipates quickly to virtually no head at all. Very clear.

S: Sweet basil and spice. Basil hits the nose right up front and has a very overbearing aroma.

T: Basil. It coats the younger and lingers. Basil has a distinct flavor and tends to overpower other flavors. Some more subtle orange/citrus.

M: Light/medium mouthfeel. Kind of creamy. Carbonation is nice and refreshing.

O: A novelty. A good beer if you would enjoy a basil beverage. I feel that the basil could have been more subtle and playful and not overwhelming.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber orange with a large, fluffy pale yellow head. Complicated mixture of honey, pumpkin, basil and caramel malt in the aroma. Big pumpkin and caramel flavor that floats into a big hit of basil spice on the first sip. Herbal, earthy, mildly spicy body with a malty, creamy mouthfeel. Mildly bitter, spicy finish. Very interesting brew, never really had anything like it.

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Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 214 ratings