Bison Organic Honey Basil | Bison Brewing

84 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 11-01-2005

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 209
Photo of hippityhophead24
4.82/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice light amber color, similar to the color of a sherry. About a one finger head. Nice carbonation. Looks beautiful!

Smell: Get some spice notes resembling cinnamon. Also some sweetness from the basil, but not from the honey.

Taste: Very mild ale. Get some of the honey flavor, with a dash of spice that bites the tongue from the basil. Lingering sweet flavor. Somewhat reminds me of something that I would drink with an Italian dinner. Seems towards the middle I get a little lemon flavor as well. MMMM…

Mouth feel: light body beer. Fizzy and slight bite reminiscent of a spice.

Overall: I think that this Ale is great. Definitely something to seek out and try. Very different and interesting. I was weary at first, but I think it is delicious!

Glassware: Snifter

 793 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.57/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dispensed from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy orange gold color with a nice one finger head. No lacing is left behind. Very few miniscule bubbles are active.

Aroma was delightful. Lots of honey and hops. Lemongrass, grapefruit, citrusy. Smells almost like lemonade. Seems as if there may be some ginger in there as well, though that isnt contained on the ingredient list on the side of the bottle (wait, that must be the basil. Wow.)

Taste is quite refreshing. Lots of lemony tang. Nice hop bitterness as well. Very citrusy and fruity.

This was a great beer. Very refreshing. Great on a summer day I would bet. Nice drinkability and clean, crisp mouthfeel. Light to medium body. Very enjoyable. One of the best spiced/fruit beers I have tried.

 790 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

08/30/09- Purchased at Draegers, in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, did not look for freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Deeper golden colored pour, about a 1/2 inch head which quickly disappates leaving very light spotty and watery lace.

Smell- Not really any notes of much. Maybe a slight sweet honey nose with absolutely no basil noted..not really any hops of malt noted either...really a non scented beer.

Taste- Holy crap! Wondering how a scentless beer can have such nice flavor. I'm not tasting any basil to speak of, but the honey really comes in strong with a nice malt base and even a splash of hops at the end.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and a bit creamy. Carbonation is average, maybe a bit ligher than average.

Drinkability- I was always hesitant of trying this beer because I couldn't picture what basil would taste like in beer...well, this one doesn't taste like basil, but it does taste very good. It's one of the easier drinking beers I have had as well.

 1,010 characters

Photo of DopeRawBrewing
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

This beer pours an nice orange-amber color, somewhat clear but not superclear. I like.

The smell is herbal basily, brings to mind juniper.

The taste is similar to the smell. Nice and sweet, malty basil flavor, reminds me somewhat of a Sahti I had recently. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Uhh... I could drink this all day!

This brew is truly novel and balanced, a balance between the unfamiliar and that which is comfortable, it has me feeling bright. I once again could drink it all day.

Cheers to Bison for rockin' tasty, Organic, Living brews.

 578 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

 353 characters

Photo of Crafts_and_recreation
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

 626 characters

Photo of diablo14
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I generally like to play it straight with my beer, so it is with trepidation that I approach beers of this nature. Usually the fusion of 'exotic' ingredients makes for a well meaning, but unbalanced and ultimately disappointing brew. So it was with great surprise that I found this to be one of, if not the best, of these fusion beers that i've had thus far.

Let me start by saying that I love the color. It's a dark amber, bordering on bronze hue, to go with a decent head, and plenty of bubble.

The nose is malty, with a hint of sweetness (though not necessarily of the honey variety), with a hint of the basil. What was interesting is that the basil aroma smelled more like the thai variety (which smells a little like fennel seeds).

The taste is well balanced. It has a hearty malt backbone, with the honey acting more as a conduit between the sweet and the bitter than an actual flavoring. In other words, you can tell it's there, but it remains lurking in the shadows throughout. Its presence does make a slightly more obvious appearance as the beer warms.

The honey also acts as a 'smoothing' agent. It is a medium bodied beer, and the presence of the honey balances out all the other flavors perfectly. The hops then kick in firmly but with some panache, then follows my favorite part of this brew.

As the hops fade, the basil takes over in a very pleasing fashion, rounding out the drinking experience with a touch of class and also leaving a most enjoyable aftertaste when it's all done.

Though the brewery has used an interesting and somewhat surprising combination of flavors for this beer, they have done what many others have failed to do when attempting something similar, and that is execute the concept to a high standard. I'll be drinking this again in future.

 1,788 characters

Photo of Hopped_head
4.11/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

 251 characters

Photo of JKuras
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber in color, half an inch of foamy head that quickly dissipates to just small traces after a minute. Slightly cloudy and good carbonation looks present.

Smell: Strong scents of sweet honey and malts present as well as some floral hops. I do get a good whiff of the basil here also. Also getting hints of cloves and cinnamon. Everything seems pretty well balanced. It definitely stands out from other brews because of the basil. This is a great smelling beer.

Taste: Tastes similar to the smell, sweet malts, more honey and basil, but more bitter hops than I was expecting on the finish. The bitter from the hops lingers for a good 20 seconds. The basil is definitely there but doesn’t overpower; almost has a cooling effect against the spicy bitter hops. A very interesting combination and pretty refreshing overall.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, and feels good swishing around the mouth. Not too heavy but full of flavor.

Overall: Probably not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Very well balanced overall without being too complex, and I could probably have 2 or 3 in a session. Love the combination between the honey sweetness, biting hops, and earthy basil. A great beer to enjoy in the spring or summer months.

 1,260 characters

Photo of basildog
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 242 characters

Photo of dorianmarley
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Appearance is hazy brown-red with a thin white head and some lacing.

Nose is hops with a winter beer spice and light malt.

Taste is plenty of spice, with light malt, sweet lemon and some basil. This is wildly refreshing.

Mouthfeel is very drinkable, with some bite from the spice and medium carbonation.

Overall, this is a very unique and smart summer beer.

 375 characters

Photo of mralphabet
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

 768 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

This beer really surprised me. we had it early and I was like this is goign to suck. Wow. great ise of honey and the basil gave it a nice herbal lemon flavor. not overpwering in any area and a solid beer at that.

 373 characters

Photo of cdizinno
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy amber color, almost the same as a cider. Nice off-white head with mild lacing.

S: Mild honey and I can smell the basil, knowing that it is there, otherwise I probably wouldn't be able to identify it as anything other than spices. Someone mentioned herbal tea and that is probably a good comparison.

T&M: Nice flavor with a slightly rough feel as the carbonation is light but tingling. Fairly sweet with a mainly malty character. Some very faint hop bitterness and floral taste that is probably a result of the honey more than the hops. Dry finish. Light-bodied.

This is a really good beer, probably more similar to a saison. Very drinkable if you like something a bit different.

 698 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was quite a surprise. One of my distributors sent me this as a free sample just to prove how good it actually is despite, well, the name, frankly. But it was pleasantly drinkable: it poured a somewhat hazy orange amber with a frothy, erratic head. The nose features a sweet, herbal aroma. The flavor has a pretty distinct note of basil, which adds a refreshing minty crispness to the palate. A sweet hint of honey and nice maltiness balance the basil and hops nicely. A smooth, creamy mouthfeel with mellow carbonation.

This was one tasty little surprise: sweet, crisp and very drinkable. Definitely worth a try, especially if you’re looking to sample something different. Recommended.

 699 characters

Photo of phiberoptik
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my local Kroger manager for this freebie "try before you buy". Pours a clear deep amber with a nice white head.

Smells of sweet malts, a hint of apricots, and just a bit of spice from the basil.

Taste is light with hints of berry and apricot with a nice spice note right in the middle and a clean finish.

Light bodied, crisp, easy drinking but a bit thin.

This is a good everyday beer. It drinks easy like a macro brew with a bit more flavor and alcohol. A bit watery for me, but good overall.

 507 characters

Photo of gosurfobx
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 22oz. bottle. Pours a golden color with a head that soon disappears into a few bubbles. Slight hop aroma with strong hints of honey and some lemony smells. Taste is good, had nice hop backbone with honey and cirtus flavors. The basil flavors seem less noticable. Feels a little thinner in the mouth than I would like, but still pretty good. Very drinkable.

 390 characters

Photo of bagpiper2005
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up just because I thought it sounded rather interesting.

Pour: As expected, it's a rich honey color. Slighly hazy and a small ring of head that dissipates quickly and doesn't really lace the glass at all.

Smell: Wow! Basil, basil, and more basil! Honey definitely in the background. A slight malty aroma and not much hops.

Taste: Honey is the star of the front end. Underneath it is a bready malt flavor with a little bit of banana. Middle is smooth and caramel which finally gives into a zesty basil and spice finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium and surprisingly creamy (I would guess this is from the honey). Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Smooth, refreshing, and satisfying.

Final Notes: I actually really like this beer. A nice sweet beer and one to check out for the honey lovers. Good beer to have with breakfast.

 840 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.94/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured an amber color with a light white cap, a few bubbles and light ring around the glass

S: There is no doubt basil is dominant in this beer. A little bit of honey to accompany the name

T: A little sweetness upfront with basil, more basil and basil on the finish backed up with a light honey sweetness and graham cracker.

M: Lighter bodied beer with a lot of taste and rather intriguing. A good lawnmower beer.

O: I am not a fan of the style but this is one I would drink again.

 489 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a very clear orange color with a light eggshell head that quickly disappears.

S: Very herbal smell, although it would be a stretch to pick up the basil. Some citrus (lemon) and almost minty notes. Very much like an herbal tea.

T: Very mild. Honey shows up mid taste and compliments the herbal tastes nicely. A slight about of hop bitterness, but hardly enough to notice.

M: Fairly light mouth feel with medium to high carbonation.

D: Enjoyable mild ale with simple herbal flavors that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the beer. Light and refreshing, this would be a good beer to crack on a hot afternoon.

 670 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Not a whole lot of aroma, except for the obvious honey.

T: Like the smell, honey was the star in the taste. Also had some hops and malt and just a hint of basil (but not much). A sweet, flavorful beer.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: An oddly drinkable beer.

 473 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - dark amber/medium brown in color, fairly clear, with about one finger of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - a bit of a musky smell, probably from the earthiness of the herbs, but not sure. Hop presence is very minimal.

Taste and Mouthfeel - musky in the taste too, but only at the very beginning of the taste, after that in the middle it's got a little bit of a bite to it, but nothing like that which you would get from something like an IPA. The finish is slightly sweet. Texture is pretty well-balanced. I don't taste the basil too much though. I do note the presence of the honey though.

Overall - very decent brew. Not overwhelming at all, but interesting in its taste. A very good surprise from an organic beer.

 772 characters

Photo of phisig137
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Explodes out of the bottle into my Ayinger Hefe glass. After letting the foam settle a couple of times and refilling, a 4 finger rocky head emerges and lasts a long time, leaving behind tons of boulder-like lacing. Color is a clear gold. Very nice to look at.

Aroma is very faint, yet pleasant. Honey and a citrusy aroma are prevalent.

Flavor is very nice, and the basil shines here. Don't expect the typical basil flavor though, this has more of the minty and lemony flavors that good quality fresh basil has. Slightly sweet, and no hops can be detected.

Mouthfeel is silky and coating. Flavor lingers for a few minutes. Drinkability is high, and this beer is very refreshing.

I hate to say it, but I think this beer could be a little better if the malt and hops were NOT organic. I am a true believer in organic foods, especially meat and milk products. But I've yet to have an organic beer really wow me. That being said, this honey basil beer, along with Bison's Chocolate stout, are definitely the best organic beers that I have tasted

 1,053 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love basil and never thought of putting it in beer. So I had to buy a bottle when I saw this on the shelf at my local Total Wine & More.

It's a deep amber in color with a short white head.

Aroma of bread and toast with a hint of basil.

This is a slightly sweet beer with herbal tea-like flavors coming from the basil. The basil combines very well with the malt flavors. If I didn't know otherwise, I'd think this had tea or some other spice in it: It's not like eating fresh basil. The herb is used in moderation.

Good body with lots of substance.

This is a very creative beer and it's worth seeking out. Though at $10 a four-pack, I won't be drinking it regularly.

 672 characters

Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Iam always looking to try new and interesting styles of beer and honey basil seemed like a diferent combination.Poured a dull golden with a thinner quick vanishing white head leaving no lace,the aromas were the best thing about this beer in my mind very floral with that honey being a bit more noticable than the basil.Flavors start out with that honey sweetness and steadily fades into the quite noticable herbal basil flavor also a touch of mint,the finish is lightly earthy and that basil pops up again.I kinda like it, its different but not obtrusive its on the lighter side and I think would be food friendly.

 614 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
3.52 out of 5 based on 209 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.