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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Dark Horse Boffo Brown AleDark Horse Boffo Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

363 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 363
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.67%


Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-08-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 363 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer to me was quite strange. I will say to take this review with this knowledge: it was the first pull from a line that was part of a tap takeover, and I can't tell how much the previous beer might influence the taste (they did clear the line).

The beer was quite cloudy and more tan than I would expect from a brown ale, no lingering head. The smell had a dark bread and nuttiness, but also a weird farmhouse smell (previous review said Vegemite, which I've never had, but that may fit).

The taste hit me first with some coffee bean notes (friend agreed). This I might associate with previous tap, *maybe*. Beyond that press ion, I did get dark bread flavors (maybe with honey), and definitely middle to end very nutty (walnut, Brazil nut). The nutty taste belies the oily mouthfeel I get.

Overall, interesting in many respects, but I'm not sure all are good. Give it a try for yourself.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2014 21:20:17 | More by cjgiant
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried at Brewberry in Paris. 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a slightly hazed reddish brown with a fine, relatively light body. Head forms a thin layer, fed by some fairly subdued carbonation. Bubbling is fine, in both the body and the head though. Minimal lace. Looks okay.

Nose is fairly subdued as well. There's some mild, but pleasant brown sweetness, a hint of burnt sugar and perhaps a little faded hop presence. Under it is a little savoury, almost salty roast and a touch of vegemite. Not bad, but not superb either.

Taste is fairly similar, but with a slickness and a bit more heft in the body to keep it smooth. Fairly empty entry with more of that brown sugar note coming in after a while. Light fruity tones come through on the mid-palate, with a touch of roast and a suggestion of cherry on the back to clear it up. It's pleasant enough.

Feel is fairly light, and pleasant enough.

It's not bad, but it's not really all that great either. It's solid enough in its own way, and pretty drinkable for its 7% ABV. It doesn't do anything particularly out of the ordinary, but it's certainly far from being uninteresting.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 06:16:21 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 3/19/2013. Pours moderately cloudy deep ruby brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, molasses, brown bread, brown sugar, nuttiness, light chocolate, light raisin, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown sugar, brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, herbal, light raisin, and toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, light chocolate, and light raisin on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark malt flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice brown ale. All around good balance, complexity, and robustness of dark malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 00:27:04 | More by superspak
Photo of andrewjraab
andrewjraab

Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark cloudy brown with a fluffy brown egg shell lace.

S - Heavy on the malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla.

T - Malt forward - chocolate milk balls, semi dry bitter finish. Medium bodied with a velvet smooth mouth feel.

O - Solid brown ale - Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 00:39:48 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a solid brown color with some honey highlights. The cream colored head is short and dense. It quickly settles into a light ring.

The aroma is quite malty. A pumpernickle base, slightly toasted. Caramel and honey provide some sweetness. Some raisin or other dark fruit give this brown ale depth. Fairly sweet aroma.

The taste is quite bready. Nice toasted brown bread flavor. Has an undercurrent of caramel/toffee sweetness. Nutty flavors follow and give the beer some earthiness. A hint of oxidation or a raisony dark fruit note. Subtle buttery notes. Grassy hop in the finish. A complex brown that has characteristics of an English brown.

Moderate body with semi-soft carbonation. Sits sweet on the palate with a light toasty bitter offset. Nutty finish.

A flavorful brown ale. I pick up both American and English brown ale flavor profiles. A hearty breakfast beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 06:45:30 | More by Gmann
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby color. There really isn't much head, sadly - not even a finger's worth. The khaki-colored film (not really a head) doesn't even last that long, but on the plus side, it tries to leave behind a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of mildly roasted nuts on the nose. Beneath all the nuttiness lies some brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and a hint of chocolate. Some hoppy wisps also appear. While it's not a massive aroma by any stretch, it kind of reminds me of what the archetypal brown ale should smell like - and that's a good thing.

T: Flavor-wise, it generally reminds me of hazelnut coffee. And not the artificial crap from some brown ales (LOOKING AT YOU FRANGELIC MOUNTAIN BROWN >:(), but a genuine roasty-yet-nutty-yet-vaguely-sweet profile that just works. It has a crisp, mineral water finish (with exhales of piny hops) which I'm not quite as fond of, but hey, it makes it really drinkable. The fact this is more drinkable at 7% than many other brown ales at 5.5% is a testament to its quality.

M: Crisp, clean, and dry. Really good dryness for a brown ale (a style that tends to be too sweet), actually. The finish is quite long, and carbonation is prevalent enough. No complaints here.

O: This style is quite hit-or-miss, and thankfully this is a near-unqualified hit. It doesn't hit all of my buttons perfectly, but it *is* one of the better brown ales I've had so far.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 23:07:46 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Boffo Brown pours a brown color with a small head. There is a licorice and shoe like aroma. The taste was a bit nutty, some toffee flavors, with licorice flavors. Flavors were a bit watery, and light. Overall its an easy to drink, brown ale that is light.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2013 22:30:01 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of carlborch
carlborch

Michigan

3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliantly clear, dark mahogany brown. 1 inch creamy-off-white head forms and settles in at 1/2 inch. The nose is clean, sweet, toasty, and yeasty. Medium body with forward sweet malty notes. Hints of chocolate and char on the palate. Delicious smoky notes. Dark toast? Short with hints of hazelnuts and bitterness in the lingering Belgian lace is well developed although thin. The ABV is not noticeable on the palate. Moderate to low carbonation. I would re-purchase.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 18:30:57 | More by carlborch
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a surprisingly clear, brown color. Slight head. Not much lace either.

S-Sweet with some hoppy mumbles in the background. Burnt caramel. Toasted, wet bread crust.

T-More of the same. A lot of caramel, brown sugar and sweet, darker breadiness. A subtle bitterness in the finish.

M-A bit of warmth. Light bodied considering its color and ABV. Had to rush this pint and I had no trouble putting back a quarter of the glass in one gulp; no grimace afterwords.

O/D-Easily in contention for the prestigious "Worst Label Ever" ribbon. Looks like a coked-out Squidward from Spongebob. I digress, the beer was cool but Jesus, that label.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2013 00:33:57 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Doppelbockulus
Doppelbockulus

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a regular brown ale as far as I know, but somehow is tastes barrel aged, and in a very good way.

The nose has a medium maltiness to it, some bread and a little sweetness, but there are also hints of wood and bourbon. This continues into the flavor but with more intensity. This beer is a wonderful, medium caramel, malty drink with huge bourbon and oak notes and a touch of vanilla. It is possibly the best brown ale I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 14:56:18 | More by Doppelbockulus
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 7/1/13 at Battleship Brewhouse in Fall River, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains maple, caramelized malts, honey, maple and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of maple and honey. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2013 16:29:54 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of PincheNorteno
PincheNorteno

Michigan

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a single 12 oz bottle, poured into a pub glass. My baseline for judging browns is Newcastle, which Boffo easily surpasses in flavor and overall quality. This is a nice beer to convert swill drinkers over to the good stuff.
Looks- moderate head, a bit of nice lacing owed to the sugar content. Neat brown hue permeable to light.
Smell- bread, sweet honey,
Taste- obvious mild toasted malty biscuit, low hop presence. Unique honey notes that I haven't found in other browns. Pleasant yeastiness.
Mouthfeel- very drinkable, pleasantly uniform carbonation. Flattens out a bit as it warms.

Overall this is a tasty brown. It has some good subtle qualities that you won't find in the big corporate brands.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 17:08:37 | More by PincheNorteno
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, unclear brown color beneath a small, bubbly tan head. Creamy, nutty aromas upfront followed by malted milk, toasted grain, and berries. Lightly sweet chocolate and dark bread flavors and a bit of nutty roasted coffee as well. Some earthy hops join in and linger into the finish along with a dark fruitiness. Not as impressive as other malty Dark Horse beers, but this still manages to stand out from the pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 03:13:24 | More by wedge
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pretty dark brown, I'd say darker than most other Brown Ales. THe head is pretty nice and fads quick.

The smell is very sweet and nutty. Pick up a bit of caramel type smell. Definitely like the smell of this.

The taste isn't as sweet as I was expecting from the smell but there definitely is some sweetness that goes along with a nutty taste. Kind of a toffee finish that is pretty decent. IT's a pretty smooth finish with minimal aftertaste.

Overall, its a pretty good brown ale. The only complaint would be that none of the taste, such as the toffee or nutty upfront are gig enough. Seems like you get some nice small tastes then they fad quickly. I would pick this beer up again if it were in my area.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 22:20:22 | More by sjones5045
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear very dark brown in color with some moderate amounts of visible carbonation and dark amber + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with a moderate amount of nuttiness.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted and caramel malts with just a touch of brown sugar sweetness. This is followed by a light to moderate flavor of nuts with just a light amount of earthy hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which linger slightly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Just a touch too strong to be sessionable but this is an easy drinking and enjoyable beer. I could see myself going to this one more regularly if it was more easily acquired (available across the river in NYC but not super easy to find).

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 02:46:43 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark brown coloring with chestnut highlights and a creamy, dense, low profile head that clings to everything. Aromas of cream and nut sweet, with a touch of roast. Flavors are heavily roasted, with a hazelnut sweetness and a bitter roast undertone. Bitterness helps to balance the brew. Smooth, creamy body with a light, sweet nut aftertaste. Slightly lingering, filmy finish, but pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2013 21:06:12 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Chuck's in Chagrin Falls

a: bottle into my tyranena nonic, deep mahogany brown in color with a tan head that all but disappears quickly after pouring

s: lots of nutty brown malt aromatics, toasted grain, earth, a balance of dark sugars, molasses cookies, suggestions of carob or chocolate, simple hop profile

m: the carbonation greets the palate prickly but lighter, with a light to moderate body

t: a really great brown ale flavor with lots of varying character from sip to finish, the taste opens with sweet nuts and brown sugars, moves through chocolate and molasses coated fruits, and finishes with a clean, dry nuttiness, roasted barley, cocoa, and a moderate earthy hop bitterness with a mild roast astringency, toasted nutshell from start to finish

o: a top notch brown ale loaded with character and well balanced between nutty sweetness, dry roast, and earthy hops - carries an ethereal “bigness” that belies a relatively low abv

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 02:43:23 | More by blackie
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with a soft, brownish head

S - huge aroma of bread and caramel

T - nutty, caramel, bread; incredibly malty

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a malt-bomb...and I like it. This a simple beer in the sense that it doesn't offer layers of flavor, but what it does offer is really good. I'm not a huge brown ale fan, but this is one I could definitely drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:31:00 | More by tdm168
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color -- ruby black if up to light. Particles can be seen floating throughout the beer. The head dies down quickly, and there's pretty much no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Not much of an aroma to speak of, but it's pleasant nonetheless. Very faint roasted malt aroma, and also an essence of chocolate or coffee. Quite stout-y.

Taste/feel: A somewhat mild taste up front, which I wasn't expecting. The finish is when all the malts and bits of coffee really run out on the taste buds. The feel when taking a drink is super smooth and creamy. Quite mildly carbonated. Honestly, carbonated appropriately. Bubbles are tiny and makes me wonder if this one's nitro'd...

One of the better brown ales I've stumbled upon, but what else could someone expect from Dark Horse? A tasty brown ale. I'd love a head and some lacing on this beer, but you can't have it all. Would love to have this one again. Smooth, easy drinking, solid ABV, and most importantly -- tastes good.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 17:07:05 | More by Alextricity
Photo of jsisko01
jsisko01

Michigan

2.73/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a very dark brown color with a thin tan head that lingers for a minute. Leaves a nice, creamy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate and toffee are most dominant. Toasted malts proceed after, but very light.

Taste - Overly sweet (in my opinion). Has a strong bitterness that dulls all other flavors present. What I can pick out is some coffee and chocolate flavors, with caramel and hazelnut in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation.

Overall - It must be because it follows the style of an English brown ale that I don't like this. It is the worst brown ale I've ever tried, but I'm used to mostly drinking American browns.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 22:49:08 | More by jsisko01
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep brown color with some red highlights. The head is cream colored and thin just a bit of lacing on the glass and not much retention. The smell of the beer has some sweet malt aromas and hints of fresh wood. The smell is decent I just wishing it had a little more of something. The taste of the beer has a decent toasted flavor with a subtle coffee note. The mouthfeel is smooth, decent carbonation very drinkable. Overall it's a good brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 04:17:09 | More by Knapp85
Photo of socon67
socon67

New York

3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown pour with a biege foam that lingers a half inch thick. Slight rings of lacing. No carbonation of note.

S - Smells of caramel and toffee. Some light grain is noted as well.

T - Really just asolid american brown. Relatively light malt base with some sweetness of caramel candy and some vanilla and toffe.

M - Easy to drink a few of these, and feel light depsite being one of the more robust brown ales.

O - I'd have this again. Not a standout but yet another good beer made in Michigan.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 18:44:42 | More by socon67
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

The beer poured a nice deep dark brown color, but only produced a ½-finger of tan head. Retention wasn't long, but the lacing was decent.

Malt, molasses, caramel, and nutty aroma. A very pleasant smell.

Big roasted malt flavor with dark bread and caramel for added sweetness. I also get a mild chocolate flavored coffee taste and even a touch of hazelnut. The hop bitterness is mild, but enough to keep the sweetness in check.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. No complaints on the mouthfeel for this one.

This is a very tasty brown ale. Not sure why BA lists it as an English brown though when the company lists it as an American brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 07:16:06 | More by matjack85
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a murky dark brown, lots of haze, there's lack of head, but has nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of chocolate and caramel malts. There's a touch of vanilla. Very malty. The flavors match the nose, but it's pretty bitter. There are subtle hints of black coffee. The flavors aren't as sweet as I was anticipating. There's not much hop flavor, which isn't expected in the style, but the bitterness is there. Lots of chocolate blended with some grains. Roasty. Nice flavors, but one note. Mouthfeel is very nice. Slick and syrupy with moderate carbonation. It's on the fuller side of medium-bodied. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

Besides the higher ABV, this is your traditional brown ale right here. It's fine, but not as interesting as I remembered.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 18:35:03 | More by BB1313
Photo of AdamMY
AdamMY

Illinois

2.15/5  rDev -43%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is not that great, a bit dark, and a somewhat subdued head, consisting of a fairly large set of bubbles.

Smell is great, lots of roasted malt goodness, chocolate, and caramel at its peak, and a nice fresh touch brought to it from the Hops.

Taste is interesting, prevelant hops, sublte touch of roast, not really sweet, but not really bitter. The beer tries to go straight down the middle, and seems a bit muddled in the process. Oddly the more I think about it it almost tastes dirty.

Mouthfeel is overly watery.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 21:35:46 | More by AdamMY
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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.