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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Company

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

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

437 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 10
Gots: 33 | FT: 2
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: 437 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good for style, even a bit porterish, enjoyed at the brewery. Dark brown,chocolate malty sweetish, a tad toasty, with a nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. Malty aroma and a tad above average mouthfeel from caramel. ANother god drinkable Dark Horse.

Sammy, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +6.7%

t0rin0, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Thorpe429, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color.
S: There are scents of toasted caramel malts in the nose, along with some nutty aromas.
T: There is a good balance of lightly toasted malts in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and has a nice flavor, which could definitely make this sessionable.

metter98, May 09, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
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

brentk56, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt walnut brown with burnt orange edges. The beer isn't opaque when backlit with bright sunshine, but that's no sin given style and ABV. Two fingers of toasted oatmeal colored foam looks good and does a fine job when it's time to decorate the glass.

The aroma is as rock solid as the appearance. Each sniff delivers loads of chocolate malt and an earthy nuttiness that lies just beneath the surface. Nothing more than a modest hoppiness is of no concern.

Boffa is a 'no bells and no whistles' kind of English brown ale that impresses by bringing it with authority on the flavor boldness and complexity fronts. It's too bad more brewers don't add this much malt to their mid-ABV browns.

Specific flavors include toasted brown bread, baked nuts, milk chocolate shavings, and a moderate tea leaf bitterness that keeps things in wonderfully drinkable balance. A few of these during Saturday afternoon football would be damn tasty.

The mouthfeel almost holds up its end of the bargain. A little more full creaminess would be nice, but it's hard to be too critical at 5.5%. The bubbles, while slightly too harsh initially, settle down my the middle portion of the bottle.

Bell's Best Brown is still the best brown ale in Michigan, but this Dark Horse brew is good beer in its own right. Whether or not you think Boffo is boffo will most likely depend on how much you like brown ales. Grab a single or a sixer and judge for yourself.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Backed by the strength of 6.5 percent alcohol, Dark Horse's Boffo Brown deliver many of the authentic flavors of traditional English brown ales... and then some!

The beer pours... well, brown- but isn't that to be expected? Its shade of brown is dark bark and is nearly opaque due to its unfiltered ale-like haze. This should ensure full flavor and aroma, but keeps the beer looking much more dense than it actually turns out to be. The beer slowly releases a very creamy, almost liquefied or gelatinous head that amounts to a medium-thick blanket but reduces to a heavy sheet of foam that lasts the session. Sparse lacing creeps up the sides of the glass but does so in timid fashion.

Rich, masculine, and succulent aromas seduce the nose with the bold scent of chocolate, mild coffee, walnut, toffee, and buttered toast. It's pronounced scent never favors one characteristic over any other, thus epitomizes the notion of balance. Any broad earthen scent from hops hides well behind the scent of nuts, toast, and coffee.

Flavors follow suit with a starchy grain flavor that reins in the flavors of toffee, then chocolate, then walnut, then toast, and then the coffeeish flavor and pine-like hops- all in that order as the beer crosses the middle of the tongue and palate. Thereafter, the beer turns towards an earthy bitterness of tree bark, damp soil, and coffee bitterness. It's focus on malt complexities early and then the broad bitterness of English-type hops late gives this beer its authentic brown ale value; although the flavors are elevated to balance out the higher alcohols.

Surprisingly, its medium-light body reveals a grain texture to accompany all of those velvety malty textures. As the mild creaminess dissipates, the beer's malty weight lifts and provides a toasty-dry, semi-sweet texture that finishes the beer with an earthy and lingering warmth.

The complexities of the beer's alcohol makes me read boldness and better-ness, but the grain flavor and texture exposes it a bit and makes me think it's pushing a bit too hard. Despite the nitpick, the beer has won me over as one that straddles Avery's Ellie's Brown Ale and Dogfish Head India Brown Ale.

BEERchitect, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thick dark brown, almost black with a 1 inch caramel head, quickly fades, with some residual lace. Smell right off is chocolate, spice, and caramel. Taste is almost coffee like, very nice actually, with a good hoppy after taste. This was very smoothe, somewhat thick but not overally so at all. Its seems very drinkable and I was suprised

mikesgroove, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Publick House

A: The pour is the rather predictable dark brown color with a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Strong roasted malt character for an English brown. Also surprisingly citrusy and hoppy. The more familiar aromas of toffee and toasted nuts, even some dark chocolate are to be found as well.

T: The roasted malt flavor is a bit more subtle, though there is a fair amount of dark chocolate and some coffee. A fair bit of toasted malt, nuts, and sweet bread. Of course, some toffee is there, too. A soft bitterness and earthy hop flavor, some citrus peel is also there.

M: Maybe a bit thin bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A very different kind of brown ale, to me, anyway. I enjoyed it, though.

womencantsail, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Knapp85, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The label reminds me of the walls at the brewpub, filled with random doodles.

Into a tulip glass it pours a dark brown, when backlit its a muddy shade of mahogany with the yeast poured in. Long lasting tan foam, with a speckled halo of lacing that forms inside the glass.

Complex malt aromas, toast and caramel, nuts and grain husks. Slight sweetness at first, tempered by mild bitterness that lasts into the finish. Subtle dried fruit sneaks in and intertwines with nutty walnut notes. Dry and almost chalky aftertaste that lingers for a good while. Medium bodied and very smooth with a light carbonation level. Overall pretty enjoyable, a sleeper in the Dark Horse lineup.

emerge077, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +16%
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.

WVbeergeek, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a nice brown ale. Really smooth and good character. The complexities don't stretch too far, but they do take a very nice ride. With all the stuff out on the market, brown ales seem to be taking the back seat as far as attention given through the brewing process. Hearty and deep and not thin at all. This is a really nice brown ale. Gotta give some love to Dark Horse.

RblWthACoz, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Kegatron, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light fizzy head covering fades at a medium pace to almost nothing over dark hazy molasses brown burnt sienna color.

THe nose comes with some nice mellow dark malts, a little brown sugar, some light crystal malts, a touch of a very dark malt but I can't figure out which (black patent, choc, roasted malt, etc), I think a little chocolate malt, and a nice light creamy sweetness.

The taste is similar but different. Again the nice mellow darker malts, some crystal malt, brown sugar, a little toasty, and I think a touch of chocolate malt. Some sweetness and a little creamy. Also this time there is some light grassy and mild bitter earthy hops, which add a touch of bitterness but mostly flavor. There is also a slight oxidized flavor to it. It finishes somewhat bitter as the hops seem to build up, with a little more sweetness, brown sugar, and a touch of that oxidized flavor, as well as a little minerality briny saltiness.

It has a medium body with lower but decent carbonation.

It's fairly drinkable, pretty light and sessionable, but that touch of briny salt at the end knocks down a bit of the drinkability.

jlindros, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of oline73
2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a red tint. There is a three finger dark tan head that goes away very quickly.

Smell: The smell is very faint. There is some roasty malt with a hint of nuttyness, perhaps a bit of sweetness.

Taste: There is some nutty roast from the malt. Not very sweet at all. My complaint here is that the taste is a bit watery and not super interesting. Mildly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The finish is very dry, and perhaps a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a very underwhelming beer for me. I thought it was a bit watery. Not my favorite from this brewery.

oline73, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of WesWes
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice brown color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent mix of toasted caramel malts, victory nuttiness, and a dry roasted finish. The taste is decent. It has a dry, roasted flavor with a subtle caramel feel. It goes down quick and bone dry with a bit of bitterness in the finish. I'm not sure what's causing that. The mouthfeel is fine. It a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brown ale, but nothing exceptional.

WesWes, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev 0%

DrunkinYogi, May 18, 2013
Photo of smcolw
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, ruby brown color where light barely penetrates. Lots of lace considering the modest head.

Lots of mocha and powdered cocoa to the nose. Slightly sweet. Very low hop.

The flavor has far more hop presence than the smell indicates. Well-balanced with a dry, cocoa malt taste. Thin bodied and highly carbonated, the mouthfeel is the weakest aspect of this beer.

smcolw, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

XmnwildX12, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

I've enjoyed most of the regular Dark Horse offerings and this is no exception. Pours a cola brown, nearly opaque color with a thin light brown head that quickly fades to a thin cap with splotchy thin film and minimal lacing. Aroma is rich and sweet, heavy on malts and nuttiness. Thick and smooth body with a sweet nutty and milk chocolate finish. Flavor is molasses, caramel, sugar, roasted malt, light hops; in general very robust and pleasant for the style. Nothing too exceptional, but a very flavorful, enjoyable brown.

yourefragile, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
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).

dbrauneis, Apr 28, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's. I always enjoy a tasty English brown so I was pleased to find this on the shelf a couple weeks ago. Upfront there's a big share of cocoa and dark bread crust. As that fades, a paler biscuit and herbal hop mix comes forward before a bitter chocolate finish that has slight citrus note. I get a nutty hint in there that reminds me of the reddish skin on almonds and the aroma is a mix of that same chocolate with toast. Add a little hazelnut and this would smell like nutella with breakfast.

The Dark Horse website tells me this is actually 6.5%, which is fine, but as a session beer lover, I wish this brown were a tough lighter and less alcoholic. Not that I'm complaining, that's just personal preference. This is a mighty fine brown ale.

tempest, Dec 31, 2010
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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.