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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

187 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 187
Hads: 537
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 14
Gots: 83 | 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: 537
Photo of Billolick
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Erbelli's in Kalamazoo, Mi.

Pours darker brown and leaving quality looking fine whispy sheeting

Darker roastty malt nose

Quality malted up brew. Moderate roast/dark toast quality. Smooth and tasty. Well worth a try and I was happy to get to enjoy this one on tap. (283 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer explodes out of the bottle, think mentos and coke. I quickly put the dual overfoaming containers (glass & bottle) into the sink and went to change my soaked shirt and pants. When I returned, there was only enough from the 12 oz bottle to fill a sample glass. Damn that's aggressive yeast! Second bottle was just like the first. At least I was prepared for it.

Pours, eventually, a rich, dark, opaque brown with a mountainous dark tan head. For the volume of foam it's amazing there is no lace at all.
Smell is weak, just some malt and dark fruit notes.
Taste is where this bad boy starts to shine. Malt, whiskey, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, faint hops and some prunes. Really well balanced.
Full bodied for a brown, and strangely low in carbonation in the mouth. Drying from the first sip, this ends as a really good brew. Now if you get all 12 ounces into the glass....... (892 characters)

Photo of Kgoldsbe
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It has toasted oats on the nose and starts out with a toasted note on the tongue then there are some cola notes in the middle. This beer ends dry in the mouth. (160 characters)

Photo of DWBoca57
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Okay beer. Just Okay.
L:dark garnet. In color.
S: has an off smell, can't pin point. Not an endearing smell
T:dry, astringent. Cloying
F: drying, puckering
O: glad. I just bought 1. Not a fan (193 characters)

Photo of claytong25
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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! (411 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of SaltofOH
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/4/14. No bottle date!

A: Lots of "smoke" on the pop. Pours an extremelt dark brown. Opaque. Some light comes through and shows ruby red when held up to light.

S: Roast. ale yeast. Chocolate. Coffee.

T: Fairly bittersweet arrival. Somewhat sweet across mid-palate. Bittersweet finish. Porter-like?

M: Midweight with slight slickness.

O: Very much an "American" style brown ale. Robust roast, robust sweetness, robust bitterness. Top-notch. Still, not quite what I am looking for in a brown ale. (525 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I could have sworn I had this one before but I guess I must have skipped the review. Generally a fan of what Dark Horse does and Browns have been high on my charts lately.

A- 12oz bottle poured into a teku with a deep woody brown body that has some inevitable red round the very edges. Thick, frothy head rises up to over a finger with good retention. Large belt around edges deposits webs of lacing.

S- Straight up Brown malts without leaning too far towards roast or sweet; although both are certainly present. Raisin bread, caramelized sugars, cocoa hints with toasted nuttiness present throughout.

T- Toasted grains, caramelized sugars and nuttiness are the dominant factors in the flavor profile. Yeast brings a bit of dark dried fruits like raisin and fig as well as a bready character. Fairly bitter toast feel, some cocoa and moderately sweet overall.

MF- Medium bodied overall with a slightly creamy and frothy consistency. Medium carbonation level as well as some oily feel. Finishes with toasty dark fruit bitterness.

Smooth for 7% ABV with a balanced profile of nutty, toasted and sweet malt notes. Hints of roast and sweetness but nothing really interrupts the Brown aspects of this one. (1,205 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid all round brown ale. Pours a deep rich brown with a foamy head. Toasted nut on the nose, which really comes through on the palate. Smooth mouthfeel, disguises the 7% well here. (184 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky cola color with a negligible khaki head of coarse bubbles. Patches of carbonation can be seen clinging to the glass before ascending. Aroma smells faintly of brown sugar and not much else.

Similarly mild flavor follows the aroma with a delicate blend of brown sugar and earthy, grassy hops. Some grain husk and roasted malt bitterness emerge on the back end, but this is otherwise a very straighforward brew. Creamy mouthfeel and light body complement the flavor profile well and afford excellent drinkability.

Overall, this beer is mild and sweet without being cloying, and very easy to drink. You would never surmise the 7% ABV. (651 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Boffo is a Brown Ale (aka 'Nut Brown') in name as well as appearance; it has the colour of candied pecans and gleaming hazelnut shell highlights. It's always easier on me when beers look the way they sound (or, for that matter, spoiler alert, how they smell and taste).

The aroma reveals hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate which give it an unexpected level of character. Perhaps it should be unsurprising to find such strong flavours given the beer's strength (7.0%). The style's requisite toasted maltiness and nutty sweetness have also been turned louder.

That's where the real fun lay in this brown ale - its fuller, more exaggerated flavour profile. The amount of candied nut, toffee-laced maltiness practically approaches coffee cake territory (emphasis on coffee) and, though not overly sweet, might make a nice dessert in its own right.

This style is rarely anything other than toothsome and inoffensive, but for a higher-gravity offering I expected this to be a little less easy-going. Boy, was I wrong! Boffo Brown Ale is just as quaffable as anything in category and doesn't even hint at its true strength for even a moment.

Boffo Brown Ale's delectable nutty, malty notes make it the beer version of Pringles – once you pop you can't stop. Heck, I tried to resist but next thing I knew the whole bottle was gone. Of course, this also makes it pretty mainstream-friendly too - nearly as unremarkable as it is nice. (1,441 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%

Boffo. Sounds like a weird uncle that lives in a trailer in the forest.

Appearance (4) : Pours a muddy brown hue with some cranberry peeking through, an opacity of about 80% - i.e. shadows of my fingers on the other side if I study hard enough. The head is a creamy, pillowy build about 2 fingers high and levels off at around 1.

Aroma (3.75) : Wet autumn leaves after being raked, bagged, and rained on; charred notes with charcoal and baked bean. Slight chocolate peeking through towards the end of the nose. In fact, the more the head recedes, the more the chocolate is apparent. Bouquet is around medium strength.

Taste (3.75) : Bitter notes come out with hints of dark chocolate, wrapped up in a roasty body and a fire kilned char finish. Smoke is left lingering on the tongue with a razzing buzz. Some coffee notes also remain as breaths are taken inside the mouth.

Mouthfeel (3.5) : Creamy, cozy, warm. The slight buzz in the body keeps it interesting and holds the flavor up which otherwise might sink into soggy bean land. It's interesting and plain at the same time.

Overall (3.72) : This brown ale drinks more like a roasted porter than anything. It's not a bad thing - it's just mislabeled. It's not your typical brown ale, but what it brings the the table is a good mixture of char, smoke, dark chocolate, and kiln. It's great for a one-off, but I doubt I'll be drinking this anytime soon.

Sincerely,

T-A-J (1,428 characters)

Photo of majorbase2
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a very small brown head that dissipates quickly. A little bit of lacing around the edges. Aroma is of sweet caramel malts and molasses, with roasted nuts and chocolate. A hint of booze. The taste is rather similar. Sweet roasted chocolate malts, molasses, a hint of coffee, and a hint of caramel as well. Has a nice earthiness to it. Some lightly roasted nuts. Has a very pleasant aftertaste and definitely improves as it warms. Medium bodied, a bit thick and chewy. Pretty drinkable. This is a solid brown ale. Not my favorite style, but one of the better ones I've had. (601 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

My go-to bottle shop is The Friendly Greek, where they will put almost anything in the cooler as a single just so that I can try it and report out and back. This is yet another such beer.

I was interested by the layer of lees that sat in the bottom of the bottle, so when I Pop!ped the cap, my pour was rather light so as not to stir them up. There was nothing but wisps as a result, so I employed a bartender’s trick and stirred it up, creating just under two fingers of dense, dark-tan/light-brown head with good retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity and ruby/garnet highlights. Nose had an earthy sweetness, like carob or molasses with a slight medicinal quality like Geritol. Interesting for a Brown Ale and even more so when taking its 7% ABV into account. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was chocolaty with a light smokiness and a slight earthy, medicinal tang. In looking at the BJCP style guidelines, these are solid qualities for an American Brown Ale with the exception of the ABV. I was a little surprised by all of this, but in a pleasant way. I tend to get hung up in drinking AIPAs and I tend to forget about other styles. Finish was semi-sweet, approaching dryness, but with a lingering smokiness that left me licking my lips. I have not been too impressed by “Dark Horse Nation”, but their beers are quite good. (1,390 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Opaque dark brown with a 1/2-finger head
S: Malt, nuts, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate
T: Matches the nose note for note
F: Medium-bodied
O: Good. No flaws but nothing unique stands out (227 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

It is dark brown in color with ruby and amber highlights. It is capped with an inch of tan head that leaves decent lacing.

I smell cocoa with hints of chocolate.

The taste is unsweetened cocoa. It has a bitter finish. I get a little dark chocolate.

Medium to full

It is a decent easy drinking brown ale. (358 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Decent retention and decent retention. Smells of strong sweet malt, slight hops, slight roasted malt, hint of oatmeal, hint of chocolate, hint of alcohol, and slight yeast. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, roasted malt, slight hops, hint of chocolate, hint of oatmeal, and a hint of yeast. Overall, almost too sweet, but otherwise a decent blend, body, and aroma. (517 characters)

Photo of sonnens4
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light brown, somewhat murky, but almost do a dark golden amber color-small sized head

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, sweet but nutty undertones, earthy

Taste: Mocha/coffee undertones (from the chocolate), nutty, somewhat sweet but not overwhelming

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, light bodied, not heavy by any means

Overall: Decent, nothing outstanding, but not just average--enjoyable flavors, somewhat sweet, somewhat smokey (435 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (1,125 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,325 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (876 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (1,442 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
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. (255 characters)

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