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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Boffo Brown AleDark Horse Boffo Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

187 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 187
Hads: 548
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 14
Gots: 91 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-08-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 187 | Hads: 548
Photo of stewart124
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with a centimeter of tan head. The edges are highlighted by hues of amber.

Plenty of vanilla and brown sugar in the nose.

Superb body and mouthfeel. The taste is a very silky smooth vanilla and subtle milk chocolate. Touch of bitterness and roast but this is such a creamy brown ale. The hops add a noble spice and really round out this english brown ale.

This is terrific and leans on the side of porter in my book. Really a pleasure to drink and I'll need to seek this out again.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color: pours brown. sits a deep, dark brown

Smell: clean, crsip caramelization balanced by toasted malt and some nuttiness. hop aroma is very subtle if anything

Taste: flavor translates well from aroma. clean toasted maltiness with very subtle hop flavor and bitterness with a lightly nutty flavor. finishes clean and balanced with a light, lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: very clean and crisp light-medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: very elegant brown ale. has a lager-like crispness and drinkability to it. awesome brown ale

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Photo of blackie
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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

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Photo of rembrant
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Look pours dark brown, little light passes through not much. Darker than a typical brown Dense tan 1 finger head that runs up the sides.Lots of lacing.

Aroma,inviting,some brown sugar,coffee,malt roasts and that hint of Dark Cherry i'd noticed in some dark horse stouts.

Flavor Wow...pretty big for a brown ale. Can pass for a Porter,almost a stout. Sweet up front,much malts,initially a tart fruit gives the balance evolving to add a more woodsy essence with a longer than usual delay.

Dark horse's big dark brews have a special knack for transitions and complexity,as well as mimicing flavors and this teases with the gamut of coffee,chocolate,caramel,black cherry,smoke...and who knows...then a "normal hop taste pops up as a late encore.

Dark Horse..again with some alchemy.

Since my original notes, I got to their ' Big Stout",Plead The 5th,as well as Too Cream Stout. Definite "family' similarities and 5th seems like Boffo amplified to full orchestra with some of the rest of the family pitching in. The Malt bill is quite typical among all Dark Horse darks, though varied a bit in degree and proportion. The also like to do tricks with transitions that I suspect has something to do with whatever kind of hops can mimic dark cherry or raisin,or Port Wine or whatever--then---2 sec pause it reappears as the "woodsy evergreen hops you usually expect. Plead the 5th....is more robust and the show is a bit different but my point is if you like one Dark Horse...do like I did and try the others.

Mouth....Big + Brown. A nice blend of syrup and sparkle,sweet,tart,bitter,all sequencing.

Drinkable? Sure. This isn't high $...just acts like it. Almost like the "Everyday" version of one of the best Stouts I ever found.
Makes for a real nice drinker even if you don't take time to savor all the details. It also is refreshing but flavorful enough that you can chill it up for a hot day and still get the goodness.

I'd also note....a few reviews called it too sweet. Try it a bit colder. I prefer it a bit on the chill side and I think that's it's best balance. Dark Horse malts up their stouts,so you can "fine tune" to taste by having them a bit colder,or warmer.

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Photo of IronLover
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark raisin reddish brown in color and quite murky. Poured with a brief beige foam that quickly dissipated. Dark caramel malt, dark fruits and nutty aromas with hints of dark chocolate and coffee in the background. Thick, sticky, chewy feel with delayed, but rich carbonation that seems to pull the flavors forward. Dark caramel and roasted malt flavors up front that intensify into the middle. As the carbonation rolls through dark fruit, raisin and sweet fig flavors grow until a bitter hoppiness takes the taste buds for a turn down the stretch. Dark chocolate followed by dark roasted malt and coffee flavors with hint of nuts toward the end. Finishes with a dark roasted malt and dry pine hop bitter aftertaste. Very sweet smelling with roasty and bitter flavors. Great feel and flavor complexity. A fabulous brown ale.

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Photo of magine
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a becker glass.

Pours a dark cola with a thin wisp layer that sits on top. Very minimal lace remains. Average looks.

Brew smells of big malts; nutty, roasted, cocoa, caramel. Delicious; very good nose here.

Brew is sweet, roasted and has very good flavors. Very mellow body and nice carbonation and spice in the back end. Finishes slightly dry. Very, very good flavors and feel here. The flavors really stand out; toffee and caramel stand out. Good roasted notes as well. A big full bodied brown ale here. Excellent.

Wow this is one of the top browns I have had. I would love to have this next to Samuel Smith to see what is better. This one stands out for sure. Love the abv, the flavors and the mouthfeel here. Big time session ale here. A brown with lots happening. Great stuff.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma has overtone of burnt brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a thick, creamy fine-bubbled pale tan head. Lip-smacking flavor is malty with tones of caramel and molasses and just a hint of fruit. Texture is pleasingly smooth with a nice subtle tingle. Worth hunting down!

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a dark chocolate color and a modest head that leaves some strands behind

Smell: Caramel and dark chocolate

Taste: Caramel and chocolate, up front, with a growing stone fruit and earthy hop bitterness character by mid palate; after the swallow, a bit of the hoppy element lingers but it is subsumed by the malty chocolate flavor in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice English Brown that verges on porter territory

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A recent trip to Columbus proved the fact that Dark Horse is in full effect in the state of Ohio. I saw shot gun tap handles in every fine beer bar we stopped at. This one appeared locally, so I had to go with it and a couple bottles of Double Crooked Tree. Appears a deep cola brown with large tan head forming nicely. Speckled scattered lacing is left behind. Aroma is full of nutty dark chocolate and creamed coffee tones, very nice dessert feel to it. Creamy sweet upfront with some hazelnut/almond tones with background herbal hops kicking and a bit of dry bready yeast notes. Dark chocolate creamed coffee and ripe fruit collide to make some damn good brown ale. Body is a bit weired medium bodied lightly carbonated goes down easy but with a full on flavor ride. Drinkable as all hell, one of the most approachable brown ales I've come across in quite some time, this is some tasty stuff.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boffo smells sweet and malty, like yeasty marble-rye bread drizzled in molasses and honey, with a side bowl of apricots. Small white grape aromas filter through, as well as a barely-perceptible touch of grapefruity hops.

On the tongue, the beer is immediately chocolaty, both in the sugary milk chocolate sense, and in the chocolate malt sense, though the latter's smoky burnt flavors are less obvious. The sugars in the first part of the mouthful are deep and rich, caramelized and full-bodied. Dark fruit esters such as black cherry and fig play at the edges. Toward the end of the mouthful the sugars peel back to reveal a darker chocolate malt base, rich with just-slightly-over-toasted grains and minute hints of ash. The aftertase is the only area where the hops are overly discernible, though even here only as light grapefruit flavors overlaid with heavier ash. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent brown ale, replete with finely nuanced and well-crafted flavors that burst delightfully on the tongue.

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Photo of BierFan
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Tan head rises up to a decent size but recedes too quickly. Dark brown, almost black, with some ruby hues shining through.

Smell: Dark malts and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark fruit. More bitterness than you normally find in a brown ale. This beer kinda walks the line between brown ale and porter in my opinion. Another outstanding brew from the guys at Dark Horse.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a bold ruby shade showing up in the light. Half inch tan head and lace till the end are also present. The aroma is of hot chocolate, coffee, and light smoke. The flavor is complex with dark chocolate, mild coffee, and sweet roasted malt notes. Similar to a doppelbock with a hop tang. It's mouthfeel is medium. Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale is a very good beer, well balanced, and quite drinkable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of patm1986
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

brown, deep brown. thin. darker than tan head. foamy, more than solid.

coffee and caramel malts. toffe, mocha, sweet coffee, bitter finish. roasted chestnut. some marachino cherry at the end.

moderate body with a bitter, roasty finish.

excellent, creamy, but more importantly, an incredibly creamy, drinkable brown ale, my lord.

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Photo of nickadams2
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a thick dark brown with a thin brown head that quicky dissipates into a thin ring.Little lacing.

S_Sweet caramel malt,roasty,nutty.

T_Nice caramel malt taste. Sweet but not too sweet. Roasted nutty flavors as well. Little bit of smooth vanilla and molasses. Great flavor.

M_Thick and creamy.

D_Great session brown ale. Nicely done.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Church Key DC.

Gives a very nice dark red body, and a small simple tan tight head with creamy retention was present. Very solid looking beer.

Bouquet was a very nice faint caramel and pan gravy roast. Very balanced on both for smells and good whiffs, but somewhat mild and muted. Nice play between both caramel and roast I must admit which was a nice surprise.

Taste was an interesting one. A giant rush of Japanese wheat soba noodles and soy sauce, with a creamy quality. Roast punch in the finish and spicy with some good creamy like caramel and malt in the finish. Great mouthfeel and excellent body.

Certainly a great brown ale to have on tap.

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Photo of proc
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-review: This one has improved substantially. Pours out to a nice, copper to brown in the glass with a huge head. Smell is that of malt and is quite pleasant. The taste is that of roasted malt, almost porter-like, but slightly sweet, with a gentle dose of hops. Very drinkable and a vast improvement from last year. This has vaulted itself into a top "Brown Ale" for me.

Original Review: 3/6/03 - 2.5/5.0 Poured out to a muddied brown in the glass with virturally no head. Aroma is that of light malt. Taste was disappointing. This was a very thin brown ale with nearly no carbonation. I am thinking it might've been a bad bottle. Not as complex as Newcastle even, which is very thin in its own right. I will have to resample this one, but overall, it was disappointing.

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Photo of claytong25
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would have given this beer a higher rating but it is more of a porter than a Brown Ale. It was a recommendation from my friendly beer store clerk and I thank him for the recommendation but again its really on the outer circle for brown ales. Not nearly as smooth and drinkable as most brown are.

This is still an above average beer and I really can't knock it for much, its just not a brown ale in my book!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep dark brown, 2” tan tinted white lacy foam collar that leaves thick lace.
S: Toffee, anise, toasted grains.
T: Toffee, dark malts, no harsh roast or burnt flavors, some cola, starts sweet and malty but not super sweet, more like a hint then it dries out for a long finish seasoned by a moderate hop bitterness.
M: finely bubbled, luscious creamy rich. Medium to medium light body but the superfine carbonation and the super creamy texture give it a much bigger presence.
O: A nicely done English style brown ale.

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Photo of semibaked
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Chimay Goblet.

A - Pours a very dark brown and a decent amount of sediment on the bottom with a thin coating of head on top.

S - Roasted malts, dark bread, and molasses. Has a deep and dark richness to the smell.

T - Wow really good flavors with dark roasted grains, molasses, a little of bitterness, and dark molasses.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation, and definitely has some chew to it.

D - This is a really good brown ale and a nice surprise from Dark Horse. Definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fruity esters emanate from the khaki colored head, which is smallish but velvety and sticky. The brew is a dense, cloudy, dark red-brown color revealed by a light held to the half liter mug.

Full flavored, this ale almost approaches a stout in consistency, with coffee and hazelnut up front, a malty mid-palate accentuated by mellow hops and carried over the tongue with creamy smooth carbonation. A good recipe in the grain bill yields a well-developed depth of flavor.

Halfway through, the substantial sediment in the bottle is swirled around with the dregs of the ale and added to the glass. While most remains firmly stuck to the bottom of the bottle, enough is dislodged to add a little more tangy zest to the aftertaste.

Boffo indeed.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown body with auburn hues. One finger creamy white sand colored head. Retention is decent though there is a rather impressive amount of lacing left.

The aroma is full of dark bready malt and nuttiness. Chocolate and a subtle brown sugar smell provide a bit of sweetness. The hops are earthy and subdued, Boffo relies more on the malt for aroma.

Dark grain bread and a surprising chocolaty sweetness roll across the tongue. The sweetness provides a great counter point to the darker malt but it very slightly overdone. The malt is dark and rich, really comes into focus midpalate. The hops are taking a back seat in this one. A rather earthy and floral presence pairs very well with the malt bill.

Body is one the light side of medium with a creamy texture. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Finish is slow and long.

This is one that becomes more enjoyable as you drink. Boffo falls right behind Best Brown and Bender as my third favorite brown ale. Very solid beer all the way are and easy to drink. A lot of flavor is packed into a relatively smaller beer. I don't drink brown ales too often but if I did this one would be a staple.

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Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brown pours a very dark brown color with a beige/black cherry head almost a stout like appearance,tons of sticky.clinging lace....smell is toffee ,burnt sweet caramel .baked bread and hops..taste is simply delicious ..its toffee,followed by burnt caramel and baked bread..then you get some roasted coffee notes with great hops and grapefruit notes..mouth feel is robust and full this is one tasty brown that drinks like a light stout/porter..its excellent so tasty..very recommended

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Photo of dudemuskie
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er in Marshall after an awesome visit to their brewpub. Incredible place and if you are in the area, do yourself a favor and stop in for a pint!

Appearance- Creamy tan head sits atop a deep brown, nearly opaque brew with deep amber highlights. Head is quick to fade leaving a soapy ring and nice lacing with each sip. Heavy yeast cake in bottom of bottle.

Aroma- Dry, powdery roasted malt with a slightly pruney, dark caramel sweetness. Rich maltiness practically makes my mouth water. Healthy earthy hop aroma lies right beneath.

Flavor- Brown malt pruniness and a touch of dark brown sugar to start. Notes of roasted malt and powdered cocoa tail into a balancing moderate earthy hop bitterness. Chewy, complex, lingering finish is very nicely balanced and brings you back for more.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied, moderate residual sugars, low-medium CO2, and great balance. Chewy.

Overall- Would be a great food beer! This is a delightful brown ale, big and chewy with a great supporting hop bitterness. Great drinkability for a darker, heavier beer. I will say though, the first few bottles were a bit flat. If you buy it fresh, give them a few weeks in the bottle and they carb up nicely!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Dark Horse.

Pours a nice brown color that is slightly opaque. Off white head with a pretty good amount of retention and some nice lacing. The nose brings sweet malt, caramel, toffee, a bit of fruit, and some nice earthy hops. The taste is a good blend of hops and malt, with the combination really shining through in the mouthfeel. Drinkability is quite good and it was a nice brew on my first trip (finally!) to the brewery.

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Photo of ken3c
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I worked hard to pour a decent on this beer but it didn't do much good. There are a few wisps and a ring of foam. It's a very dark brown but fairly clear when I hold it to the light.

Pleasant malty sweet aroma.

Sweet caramel with a well rounded roasted malt finish.

light to moderately carbonated with a medium body.

This is an easy drinking pleasant tasting brown.

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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.