Bison Organic Honey Basil | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Honey BasilBison Organic Honey Basil
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
209
Avg:
3.52
pDev:
24.43%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
19
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 209
Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 973 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
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)

 385 characters

Photo of hreb
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
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 +1.4%
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 +4.3%
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.

 593 characters

Photo of Samuel906
2.61/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

 789 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 1,249 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 cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 501 characters

Photo of shand
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 648 characters

Photo of The_Blodge
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of YouSkeete
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 376 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 UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark orange with a 1/2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, basil, and some slight honey aromas. Taste is pretty sweet with some malt/grain flavors up front and an earthy basil spice flavor that lingers long after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but definitely odd and not something I would get again.

 552 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As one would expect from the name, this ale was created using organic honey and basil. Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Mellow Mushroom.

Perfectly clear copper, like a shiny new penny. A thin, sand-colored head quickly becomes a fuzzy ring.

In the nose: subtle yet bright basil, mild honey, a little caramel and some malty-sweet wort character. Very light.

Tastes like sweet honey steeped in basil. Mild floral hop bitterness balances a tangy, mildly sweet burnt sugar finish. Clean.

Smooth medium-light body; moderate, prickly carbonation; just a touch of fizz. No booze. Clean and crisp on the palate.

Honey Basil’s a little light for my tastes — I have to work too hard to get the flavor. The basil is nice, but I’d like more hops to mix with it.

 757 characters

Photo of mfavoino
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light amber with a small white head that recedes to a rim.

Smell: Basil! Really big basil aroma with some toasted malts.

Taste: Sweet and strong basil flavor, following the nose. Herbal and grassy. Honey sweetness as it finishes.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a pleasant smoothness.

Overall: If the basil flavor attracts you, give it a try. A unique profile for the palate.

 388 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 jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been wanting to brew a beer with basil for a while now so I'm excited to try this one. Semi-hazy orange marmalade hue. half finger white head. Smells like basil. Straight up basil.

Kind of a one trick pony of a beer but the basil taste is different and refreshing. You can tell its a beer with some light graininess but other than that it just tastes like liquid basil. I'm picking up none of the honey. As much as I love basil, this beer isn't really anything great. just a basil showcase. slightly overspiced finish. If you love basil or beers that remind you of pizza you'll love it, otherwise it's just a novelty.

Overall very pretty sweet which is probably due to all the basil.

 691 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.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an English "pot" pint glass.
Cloudy amber in color, with a decent head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, subtle honey note
Taste-Toasted malt,clover honey, herbal basil note. Rather delicate, subtle flavors in a decent balance and interesting flavor that just manages to pull it off. A nice match for some red-sauce Italian cuisine.

 369 characters

Photo of Parrotshake
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange-brown with about a finger of head. Smells a bit odd. Sweet, pepper, basil. Very sweet.

A very malty flavor with big hints at honey. Despite it's presence in the nose, basil comes on late but then becomes dominant. Malty and herbal without enough hop to balance it. Lively carbonation but a small amount is enough. A weird mish-mash of tastes. You won't want more than one.

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Photo of travolta
2.87/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

App: not much head retention. Zero lacing. A cloudy, peachy, golden color.

Nose: Black pepper right away, orange, cinnamon.

Taste: Nice mouthfeel, the basil makes this beer dry throughout. The initial sweetness balances the dryness by just a tiny bit. Some spices like coriander, and black pepper stay with you the whole taste. There is a meade type aftertaste from the honey.

Notes: A good palate opener/challenge, but not a beer a will buy again.

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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 Halcyondays
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber with a light white head, solid retention, light lace.

S: Dominated by basil and spice, some malt as well. Nice nose.

T: Sweet caramel like malt and honeycomb. Some light estery flavours, the basil is much less pronounced here than in the nose.

M: Medium-bodied, a pretty smooth beer, spicy finish.

O: A intriguing herb beer to say the least, you don't see basil that often. Fun to try, inexpensive, worth a shot.

 454 characters

Photo of MrKennedy
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle via a Beermasons subscription and poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Has a ruby appearance with a one finger head of cream coloured foam that dies down quickly.

Smell is unique, the honey is certainly there, more of a bush/dark honey than a pure, light variety. Plenty of toffee in there as well and a herbal note as well. Quite different, strong and something that would not be enjoyed by many, i'd suspect.

Taste has some good toffee, burnt caramel with some honey sweetness mixed in. Seems to meld in quite well together and is nice and rich.

Body is decent and suits the rich flavour, has a little bitterness at the end to keep it from being cloying.

Some good points, some not so good points. Different and probably more of a nice tick than anything else. Not something that will be selling keg after keg of (or bottle after bottle for that matter), but an interesting mix of ingredients and some point of difference.

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Bison Organic Honey Basil from Bison Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.
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