Bison Organic Imperial Brown Ale | Bison Brewing

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Bison Organic Imperial Brown AleBison Organic Imperial Brown Ale
18 Ratings
Bison Organic Imperial Brown AleBison Organic Imperial Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Bison Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Onenote81 on 02-08-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of matjack85
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of closisinthehouse
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 12 oz poured into a Unibroue snifter

A - Deep opaque brown, near black. A somewhat vigorous pour raised a fine frothy and creamy tan head that left the glass mostly coasted with dense foam on the way down. Excellent retention.

S: Mostly toasted malt with some spicy hops. Nutty and a trace floral, with a touch of spice, vanilla and alcohol esters .

T: Rather weak flavor as it hits the tongue, but the taste builds nicely, and a rich, dark malt flavor is present by mid-taste. Excellent sweet/bitter balance. Dominated by dark roasted malt throughout, there's also a tiny bit of chocolate and smoke, some earthy/floral hops, charred wood, and a hint of toffee. Moderately bitter finish. 3.75

M: Enough carbonation to give a bit of crispness; Medium body. 4.25

O: Neither disappointing nor exciting, Bison Organic Imperial Brown Ale has somewhat limited complexity but rich flavor and a fine feel. This"Imperial" brown ale veers in the direction of a porter and should appeal to porter fans.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A long lasting, thin beige froth blankets a turbid, rusty brown beer after a cascading action from the pour. There is lots of carbonation and patchy webbing on the Harp nonic.

Fruitiness is unexpected as a first impression, however, the caramel background is fitting.

The flavors are of a similar quality as light milk chocolate and sweet malt. There are roasted nuts followed by a slight finish and hint of bitterness that lingers. Warmth brings out sour flavors.

Medium body with smooth texture, soft carbonation, and a hint of alcohol; clean.
This is an easy drinking beer, worthy of a good burger or to be enjoyed while winding down after a full day’s work. This could easily fit as an everyday staple. It feels like autumn.

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Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of whatthehull
3.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a La Chouffe Tulip

A - Deep opaque brown, very little tan head and very little lacing

S - Very sweet, toasted malt, wood, earth, vanilla, slight chocolate, some citrusy hops, flowers and a tad of spice (i.e. nutmeg and such)

T - Everything is toasted. Slight chocolate, dark toasted and yet sweet malts, some earthy/floral hops, chard wood, some toasted wheat, very earthy and a tad of vanilla and spice

M - Crisp, medium minus body, low acidity, nice bitterness, well balanced and medium minus complexity

D - Drinks like a light porter, has less imperial brown notes than I thought it would have. Bison doesn't make anything to out of the box. Worth a try, but I would stop there

Final thought - At 7% abv and $2 a bottle. I was hoping for more

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Photo of taylocd
3.12/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into pint tumbler.

No brewed-on or best-before date.

A - thick head w/great retention; only small lacing; very dark brown w/red highlights

S - only a faint caramel aroma

T - roasted/burnt coffee flavor, but with hint of alcohol and slight chocolate sweetnesss;

M - just a bit on the thin side, but still pleasant

O - I thought this was about average for a brown ale. There was nothing bad about it, but nothing particularly appealing, either.

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Photo of bbb099
4.3/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep reddish mahogany color with light brown colored head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Pleasant toasted malt aroma accompanied by some toffee and a hint of chocolate.

T - Mild roasted malt flavors with nutty characteristics. A little bit of coffee in the background really adds to the complex flavor. One of the better tasting brown ales.

M - Medium bodied. Average carbonation with a creamy texture.

D - Solid flavors that go down easily. I definitely felt a little alcohol warmth but otherwise the 7% abv is hidden quite well.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid but moderate head; recedes very slowly. Leaves ample ring lace after each sip. The color is ruby brow where light passes through when shone directly on the glass.

Good chocolate beginning; mild, subtle hop nose.

More spritzy than I would have predicted, but it still has a medium to full body. The flavor features dark chocolate without any sweetness, mild burnt toast and modest bittering hop. The long lasting, lingering aftertaste is more of the latter two. Not very "Imperial" except for an elevated alcohol content, but it is tasty.

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Photo of mklinger
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with red highlights when held to the light. A thick creamy latte colored head formed. This is a really impressive looking beer. You could float a quarter on this head and it left tons of lovely lacing behind.

Aroma was quite sweet with toffee dominating. There is a bit of alcohol presence, too. Not a lot else going on. No real hop character & not much else malt wise. What's here is nice though.

Flavor isn't nearly as sweet as I expected from the aroma. There is sweetness there but it's more balanced and just a part of the flavor profile. Not a strongly flavored beer but a lot going on -- some caramel sweetness, a hint of roastiness, bit of alcohol, and bitterness at the finish. Not a lot of flavor that I would associate with "imperial", mostly the flavor of a solid American Brown ale.

Body was surprisingly thin. A thin mouthfeel from both light body and relatively low carbonation.

This is an easy to drink beer, but not one I am drawn bacxk to fore the next sip. While most of the parts of this beer are good, somehow it just didn't gel into an impressive beer experience.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$6.99/4-pak, so really well-priced. Pours a dark and clear super blood-red, like the good B-movie effect blood red. Creepy and awesome. Little bit of tannish and creamy head sets atop this, with decent spotty lacing. Deep dark chocolate aromas with some fig and roasty malt. Excellent thus far. Flavor is very robust up front and evolves from a slightly sweet dark chocolate, with some bitterness (like some of the new TCHO chocolate bars - the "citrusy" to be exact), into a malty roasty thing, then into a nice hoppy bitter finish. This took a while to open up, actually, as the first few sips were thin. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before opening and pouring. It's worth the wait. Well balanced with the carbonation. This is excellent beer. Worth tracking down, especially well-priced.

What I like Most: The deep, blood red color.

What I like Least: The finish is a little boring.

Verdict: Excellent and a must try at 7% ABV.

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Photo of juhl31
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-dark brown with white lacing with some lacing and retention but not much. clarity is high

-good roast with maybe some milk chocolate. hint of caramel or butterscotch

-little roast and that choco up front and then the roastiness really melts in the back end and sits which is nice

-really smooth and a subtle viscosity to it. not much carb to it, almost cask-esque

-i like this beer. it is not my go to brown or anything, but it's good. borderlines a porter in flavor profile

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Photo of chumba526
2.85/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a dark brown color with about an inch long tan head.
Smells slightly sweet and smoky. I smell hints of roasted nuts, brown sugar and caramel in the smell.
It tastes prominently sweet there is hints of brown sugar and caramel. There is a little bit of a smoky taste as well that balances out some of the sweetness. The sweetness is not over the top though. It tastes pretty much like stereotypically brown ale. I am not seeing this being imperial ale as least as far as the flavor goes.
The carbonation is moderate and the drinkability is about average for the style. I could drink a few of these but due to the lack buster flavor of the beer I probably would not.
Overall average brown ale. If you like brown ales it's worth a shot but it is nothing inspired or different.

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

12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass pours a crisp dark brown with a decent frothy khaki head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is burnt caramel and toasted dark malts. The taste is a slight amount of toasted malts and caramel with a mild toasty finish, not much hop presence at all. The beer is fairly light bodied with fairly well hidden alcohol and decent carbonation. This is a decent beer, but I'm not sure I'd choose it again.

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Photo of Chico1985
2.6/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

An extra sent from wavers1. Color is dark brown with caramel highlights. Khaki-colored head looks cheap and bubbly, reminds me of root beer. Retains as a cap and leaves a bit of lacing though.

Getting faint scents of coffee, cola, and nuts. Light hops.

Hm, well something is off here. Kind of a messy blur of grassy hops, old coffee, booze, fruit, cocoa. Leaves a stale, unpleasant aftertaste. At times this tastes decent but it is all over the place, very unbalanced it seems.

Mouthfeel in unforgivably thin for 7%. The booze taste is also high for that amount.

Below average, messy, not pleasant to drink.

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Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once the 2007 "Reunion",now the Double Brown.Poured into a standard pint glass a amber tinged russet color with a thinner but clingy slight off white head.Light roast and bitter chocolate mainly in the nose.A little sharp in the mouth but not to much of a problem,flavors are a pretty good mix of roast,chocolate and fruity malt,leafy hop, and earth.A nice bigger brown with pretty good complexity.

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Photo of mongodestroy
2.63/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip goblet. A very unimpressive head, especially for something 'imperial'. Deep brown color with brown highlights, no hints of reds or copper.

Aroma consists of roasted malt with mild hints of coffee. Alcohol is present.

Roasted malt is the dominating flavor. Slight coffee and chocolate. I would expect a imperial brown to contain a much more malty, nutty, caramel flavor. I don't suspect any specialty malts were used other then the roasted malt. It has more in line with a dry stout than a brown. It seems like it was all base malt and just a touch of roasted malt for color, rather then achieving its color through a large volume or rich specialty malts. The character is not complex or anything special. Rather disappointing. Not what it claims to be, nor is it very enjoyable.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new offering at my local beer store, thought I'd check it out. I guess this is a re-release of a "one-off" back in '07. It was so popular that they decided to throw it on a regular rotation.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a ruby-tinted dark brown with a very thick luscious tan head on top. Retention is great and it leaves plenty of sticky lace and sip rings on the glass. Scents of roasted coffee, some toasted cocoa, and a zip of fresh piney hops. Nice.

The body is crisp, but still smooth. I like the feel of this. At first sip, this is a very hoppy Brown. But as I continue to sip, the coffee flavors become more pronounced. Lots of roasty goodness in the middle of this one. Finishes bitter and a little grating. There's the hops again. This is like an India Brown. I really dig this. This is my first of the brewery, but I am now interested to see what the rest of their lineup has to offer. Recommend.

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Bison Organic Imperial Brown Ale from Bison Brewing
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 18 ratings