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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.
very good

445 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 445
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 11
Gots: 32 | 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: 445 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albern
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good, solid, traditional Brown Ale that is worth seeking out. It pours a dark mahogany with some light able to peek through. The head is very good, nice and creamy, light tan, lots of good lacing going on. The nose is delightful. There are loads of roasted dark malts, some coffee and chocolate notes, just lots of malty sweetness.

The beer is very creamy and very smooth. This is a medium to full bodied beer. The taste has all the great characteristics for the style, but there is a hoppy bite in the finish that may be warranted, perhaps no. I'm just really enjoying the creamy, roasted notes, and the bittering cooking chocolates, and then bam, this really leafy bittering hop and drying punch hits you in the finish. It's okay, but I'm marking it down as a flaw in the beer, although some folks may like it. The punch lasts well into the finish and is just more than i wanted. The beer is quite good, I just wish the finish were lest impactful.

albern, May 15, 2011
Photo of DannyDan
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours out a dark brown body with minimal lacing and retention, and some carbonation.
S. Get some coffee, caramel, molasses and sweet sugary malts.
T. Taste some coffee first followed by some molasses and caramel with hints of chocolate in the back.
M. The mouthfeel is a soft smooth watery feel that is easy to drink.
O. Not a bad drink, but nothing great either. This is probably my least favorite Dark Horse Beer. While Dark Horse is one of my favorite breweries, I think I'll stick with Bell's Best Brown Ale, or Michigan BC's Nut Brown Ale when it comes to drinking an English Brown Ale.

DannyDan, May 12, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep coal/brown, zint head,

S: toffee, malt, hint of roasted nuts

T: sweet nut, toffee, earthy middle, smooth dry finish

M: med/light body, nice carbonation feel, dry finish

O: FINALLY, found a Dark Horse beer that I enjoy. For some reason, Brown Ales are just not that common and especially English Browns. This is fine beer, perfect for your Fat Tire-lovin' newbies and also could be a sweet sipping brew by the fire.


BeerLover99, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of tubacharlie
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

tubacharlie, Apr 21, 2011
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 StoutHunter
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single of Boffo Brown Ale for $1.89 at the Lager Mill. I haven't had a Dark Horse brew in a while so I figured I would try one of their year round offerings. I have seen this around before but have always went with their stout series instead so lets see what what I have been missing. No visible bottling date. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I like the pop art style cat on the label, Dark Horse does a pretty good job at making sure their labels stick out from the rest of the crowd. This beer poured a deep dark brown color with three fingers worth of nice fluffy tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed the rest of the time and it left some spotty lacing.

S- Caramel malts are the big player in the aroma here, along with a nice amount of roasted malts, there is a good balance between the two. I pick up some sweet dark fruits and some light grassy hops at the end. Pretty on par for a brown ale.

T- The flavor mirrors the aroma nicely. The caramel malts make for a nice backbone for this beer and the roast grains meld together pretty nicely. In the middle there are lots of sweet dark fruits, the sweetness is just right and it helps balance out some of that roastyness. I pick up a little nutty flavor that I didn't get in the aroma. There was some grassy hops on the finish that imparted a nice slight bitterness that helped round everything out.

M- Creamy and medium light bodied, could be just a little bit thicker. The carbonation was perfect.

Overall this was a pretty good brown ale that I enjoyed drinking. It had just about everything I look for in a brown ale and its one of the better ones I have tried. It had a heavier roast then most brown ales but I thought it worked well in this brew and I liked it. It went down smooth, if I had another one I would drink it, I would for sure buy this again. I recommend this to anyone who likes this style, Dark Horse has one solid brown ale on their hands.

StoutHunter, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is of lots of caramel, some toffee, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a good beer that I would happily drink again.

KarlHungus, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Holland Pint Glass.

Pours a deep garnet brown with a light tan head that drops rather quickly.

Aromas of caramel malt. light roasted grains. dark fruit. faint licorise.

Flavors of dark fruit, raisins, caramel malt, light roast. Hint of licorise, just like the aroma. finish is rather short, with the licorise and raisins lingering.

Mouthfeel "feels" thin but has a little body to it, smooth.

Overall a decent brown ale. easy drinking, nothing aggressive or out of place.

JamnesCameron, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. No dating, but it is a relatively new beer in their portfolio, so can't be too old.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with thin tan cap.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate galore. Some dark fruit; very little hop aroma.

Taste: Once again, very chocolaty with a nice underlying caramel backbone. Fairly fruity and somewhat sweet, with some drying notes at the end from nuts and English hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation (a titch too much), relatively full body for the style. Very smooth with a semi-dry snap at the finish.

Overall: This is a very smooth Brown Ale that seems a little more heavily roasted than typical for the style. Quite delicious and one of the better English Brown Ales I have had.

bsp77, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to JM03 for the Dark Horse hookup!

Nice dark brown color, largely opaque, with a light tan head of about a finger that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is very nice, with lots of roasted malts, nuttiness, cocoa, sweetness and a touch of coffee.

Taste is good too. Nutty, some milk chocolate, roasted, toasted malts and pleasant sweetness.

Feel is a bit crisp and bubbly, not really slick and lightly creamy. Feel was lighter.

Drinkability was pretty good. Nice smelling and tasting pretty good, but the bubbly quality takes it down a hair. Still, its a mighty fine brown.

EgadBananas, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of JRed
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours coffee brown with everlasting off white head. Brown sugar with some brownies in the aroma. Brownies, brown sugar, spice, gingerbread, and tang towards the finish.  Heavy body with medium carbonation. Mild in flavors, not so aggressive but a good representation of the style.

JRed, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of sweett3k
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-draft $3 a pint night. The beer is a beautiful chocolate brown with a light head. Tones of nut and coal. Clean and crisp flavor of coffee, nut and coal. No after taste. Goes down nice and easy. My brother Sisupride would love this beer. My first brew I have had from Dark Horse Brewing Co. and they did great. Michigan is truly a great place for hand crafted beers.

sweett3k, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of morebeergood
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap last night at Canary Sq in JP. Served in a standard pint glass. Dark brown color, with a thin white head. Some lacing. Smell had a nice nutty coffee aroma to it. Flavor was very tasty. A hint of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and just a bit of toffee were blended in there nicely. Mouthfeel was decent - not thick but not watery. I thought this was an easy beer to drink at 6.5%. A well made brown ale that I'd have again.

morebeergood, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of warnerry
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with only one finger of head and some floaters present.

Smell is pretty subtle, with mostly roasted malt, a bit of toffee and a bit of nuttiness.

Taste is similar to smell with nice roasted malt, a bit of nuttiness and some sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel is relatively light unfortunately, with good carbonation.

Overall, drinkability is good. This is a nice brown ale, but doesn't really stand out.

warnerry, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark, dark brown with light brown highlights below two fingers of tan head. Generous lacing all around.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, tobacco and ripe orchard fruits.

Tastes of sweet caramel malts, tangy ripe fruit and candy sugar.

Light-to-medium bodied and a bit dry with moderate carbonation.

Delicious. One of my favorite Browns.

Monkeyknife, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as a mix and match 6-pack from Everhett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99.

Pours a very dark brown with a quick diminishing head. Scents of sweet cocoa with some coffee hints. Very robust malts that again have the taste of cocoa and coffee. Very flavorful as it basically a step below the bold taste of a stout. If you're into dark and heavy beers, thois is a must try!

Lemke10, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC. Poured into snifter glass. Served in near room temperature which is the norm at ChurchKey. Pours a soft brown color with a small off white head that quickly fizzles but retains thin lacing throughout the drinking session. Aroma is sweet and malty, bready with plenty of chocolate malt and a nice toasted grain note. Flavor is sweeter with an even bigger chocolate character, a bit of a burnt roasted note, but mostly sweet with caramel and toffee and a subtle but present earthy hop balance in the finish Medium body and a bit of a sharper carbonation. Pretty good English brown ale IMO.

CuriousMonk, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

smakawhat, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

3.5 A: Dark brown color. One finger of creamy tan head with below average retention, but some spotty lacing.

4.5 S: The nose is very nice. Lots of toastiness with a nearly as strong earthy nuttiness. Toffee secondarily along with a touch of molasses. Not particularly complex, but very harmonious.

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of toastiness, dry roasted nuts, earthy muskiness, just a touch of toffee and molasses for sweetness, and a weak hop bitterness.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Dry finish. Could be a bit creamier, but otherwise quite smooth.

4.0 D: Pretty good beer. Lots of what I like in a brown ale. This would be a hell of a beer if it was a bit sweeter and creamier.

DavoleBomb, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of shadow1961
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale pours a finger of beige foam over a very dark brown brew. The nose is really inviting- semi-sweet chocolate with a little tangy note of mollasses. Up front the flavor mirrors the nose- bakers chocolate, that note of mollasses, with a little touch of espresso bitterness off the back for balance. The mouthfeel is round but crisp, drying just a little, with a mellow herbal hop in the aftertaste. Brown ales tend to get overlooked- everybody's running after their IPAs, Belgians, or the newest/weirdest barrel-aged concoction. People tend to forget how good a Brown Ale can be- packing a lot of flavor in what is still a pretty modest, easy drinking beer- just like this one.

shadow1961, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 12/3/10.

A: Deep brown with a tan one finger head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Get some toffee, brown sugar, caramel, and a little bit of coffee as well.

T: I get the coffee again, slightly nutty, and some toffee. The finish is roasty and kind of grainy.

M/D: On the lighter side with moderate carbonation, and slightly creamy. Overall, its ok, have had better, but an interesting mix of flavors.

mdaschaf, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Quite a dark brown pour, lasting layer of frothy off white head.

Aroma is pretty malty and nutty. Chocolate covered almond, very light coffee.

Taste has the same earthy malt but also a surprising amount of chocolate. Caramel malt and chocolate malt. Finishes with some chocolate nuttiness, tobacco and a bit of herbal hops to dry it out a bit.
Gets a large bitter roast element as it warms.

Lighter mid bodied, with a carbonation level that keeps if lively. Drank this one no problem, though I bet this would stand out on draft more than bottle.

I guess I don't have that much experience with this style, but it tasted good to me.
Dark Horse does not dissapoint.

Bung, Jan 11, 2011
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
Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, low carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and light caramel

Taste: toasted malt, light caramel, some chocolate, and earth

Mouthfeel: sweet start with dry slightly bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: An average English brown. I could have a couple but there are several others in the style I would have first. Not a bad beer, but not overly memorable either.

tigg924, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of sholland119
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind beer #3, from Blind BIF, Round. Thanks to zimmerbloke.

A-Pours a hazy cedary brown with a long lasting frothy mocha head but no lacing.

S-Nice sweet malt base from the jump. Chocolate, cocas powder, sweet caramel. Not much hop presence. I am thinking brown ale.

T-Similar to the nose, sweet caramel malt in the front, then some mild sweet chocolate and a sweet cola flavor. A hint of bitterness in the finish but only a hint.

M-Light and fizzy, medium carbonation.

D-A really pleasant, sessionable drinker.

sholland119, Dec 21, 2010
Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.