Chad9976 (1017) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 26, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Iíve never been a big fan of the umbrella of styles known as "spice/herb/vegetable" (unless you count pumpkin beers). Brewers tend to clear off their spice rack when making these brews without thought to true taste and balance. Thankfully, thatís not the case with Bison Organic Honey Basil. Itís difficult to categorize as a more traditional style that happens to be brewed with honey and basil. In fact, Iíd say itís the only beer that Iíve had to date that really owns the s/h/v style.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler
Appearance: Hazy shade of burnt umber or dark orange. Forms a small, tan, soapy head which eventually dissipates completely, but does leave some lacing.
Smell: Honey, basil, ginger, tea leaves, incense, and a potpourri of herbs.
Taste: While the bottle describes this beer as having "hints" and "subtle" notes of basil and honey, I think the opposite is true. As prominent as the spices are in the nose, theyíre even stronger in the palate. The first half is a potpourri flavor of honey, flowers, and ginger, with the second half consisting of strong basil spice. Itís reminiscent of a homemade, authentic Italian spaghetti sauce or pizza. I almost want to sprinkle some parmesan cheese on this beer!
Iím genuinely impressed by the balance of flavors in this palate as the honey is noticeable, and gives the beer a sweetness, but doesnít turn it into liquid candy as many beers do. The basil, combined with a mild hop bitterness, prevents it from being a totally cloying palate. The aftertaste is a strong homogenization of the honey and basil plus some ginger or potpourri-like flavors, too.
Mouthfeel: Slightly fizzy, medium, light spicy tingle.
Drinkability: For such a lively palate, Bison Organic Honey Basil is surprisingly refreshing, initially. It drinks like a medium to full-bodied beer with plenty of herbal robustness from start to finish. I did find the spices to become a little cloying as I drank, but it was easily tolerable. The 6% ABV seems a little high as this beer drinks like something much smaller and sessionable. Probably a great beer to pair with authentic Italian food.
Overall, one of the few spice/herb beers that I can get behind - and thatís quite rare coming from me.
bytemesis (2141) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - NOV 22, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle - thanks Brian! Pours hazy orange with a medium beige head, creamy and nice lacing. Aroma is grassy, grain, honey, herbs. Flavor is the same, medium sweet, herbal and light bitter. Not getting basil specifically, but an overall pleasant herbal character. Medium body. Quite interesting and certainly drinkable.
navajojoe (7) - - OCT 30, 2013 does not count
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
A gorgeous appearance to this beer, the strong head lets out a wide arrange of aromas I never thought I would find in a beer, but I didnít get any taste from the beer. I have a feeling that the flavor would explode from this beer, if I was drinking it with food.
rumproasts (1842) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 27, 2013
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
bottle. Golden with small head. Strange herbalness, I guess itís the basil, but I wouldnít recognize it as such. Drinkable, but thatís about it.
Lelanni (2) - California, USA - SEP 15, 2013 does not count
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
From the Bison Brewing Companyís four-pak, this beer has a delightful light herbal- basil honey taste with slightly sweet malt after taste. The clarity of this amber honey colored beer seems to vary slightly from batch to batch, but the excellent taste is always there. It pairs well with light pastas and fish. Overall, this is one on my favorite ígo to" beers.
BOSSbrewer (1023) - Arkansas, USA - SEP 5, 2013
2.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Needs to be poured over a salad or used to marinate some cheap piece of meat. Yuck.
CrimsonSamurai (8) - - JUL 13, 2013 does not count
2.6 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Interesting beer. The initial taste lacked flavor. It tasted a bit like a generic light lager. The after taste was actually pretty good and strong with hints of honey. The basil flavor was lost completely.
Patrickctenchi (2487) - Coxís Knob, columbus, Indiana, USA - JUN 20, 2013
2.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Cloudy, light brown with a thick, ivory head.
Aroma is honey, sharp herbals.
Taste is spicy over sweet.
An odd mix....
Decent. just not appealing to me, personally.
after4ever (5728) - Brier, Washington, USA - APR 28, 2013
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft at ncbc. Pours a murky dark amber with a scant loose bubbly light tan head. Beautiful sweet nose--honey and basil are prominent, giving it the pleasantly floral and herbal quality you would expect, backed with a bit of darkened caramel from the malt. Creamy medium body with soft carb. Flavors are much less pronounced. Mild finish.
dwyerpg (4257) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 22, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Smells quite strongly of honey and has a fairly strong resemblance to honey as well. This was pretty good actually. The sweetness of the honey is there and while I canít identify basil distinctly, the herb-like characters are enough to put a bit of an edge on the sweetness. Nice.
Caytinator (776) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 22, 2013
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bold copper color, I get gingerbread and honey in the aroma. I can taste both the honey and the basil, but itís weird to be sure. Not undrinkable, kind of a conversation piece of a beer. Incredibly herbal, more than any other taste. I wouldnít buy it again.