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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

492 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 492
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 14
Gots: 59 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 492 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown as you would expect - quite dark in fact. Decent tan head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Caramel malt, toffee, and some nuts. Hint of roasted malt? A bit of maple as it warms too.

T: Very nice roasted malt, toffee and nuts. Caramel malt rounds it out nicely. Very nice brown ale.

M: A tiny bit thin, not as full as some better brown ales. Doesn't detract much but notable.

O: A very good brown ale. Good combination of flavors, nothing overpowering. Well balanced. A little thicker body and it would be a solid A- or even an A I think.

Photo of patm1986
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of osusullins
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. At first sight, this beer is a deep, DARK brown. It is almost stout black. Creamy white head... Very nice looking beer.

The nose is very subtle. I am picking up light notes of coffee, caramel, and toffee, however nothing dominates and all are faint.

Boffo drinks lighter than it looks. Creamy without being heavy. The malts coat the palate and linger for just the appropriate amount of time. I definitly enjoyed this beer more as it warmed up in the glass. The soft notes of caramel and light bakers chocolate seem to be more pronounced as the temperature of the beer rises. What started out as a (B+) cold beer soon evolved into a solid (A) beer at room after sitting for about ten minutes.

Dark Horse is just another example of quality Michigan brewing. Kudos.

Photo of chicano4craft
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LostCook for this one.

Pours a very deep and dark brown. Matbe the darkest brown ale I've ever seen. A fingers worth of off white head caps a great looking beer.

Nice aroma. Sweet nuttiness dominates. Pick up some toffee. Maybe some maple syrup.

Ale is full bodied and smooth. Nice nuttiness with some caramel and malt. Has a lot of the same flavors all brown ales have but a notch above. Really easy to drink and keeps you interested.

Overall...I love a good brown ale and this is one of my favorites. Darkhorse hasn't let me down yet and I love what they do with maly forward beers.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Horse : Boffo

Pours a very dark amber, small off white head. Aroma of caramel and earthy hops. In the taste, mellow, burnt caramel, toasted malt, even bitterness with tea like hops. Nutty, with light coffee flavor in the finish with some residual, chalky yeast. Medium bodied brew. Nice full, rich malty body. Hop presence is mild. A very nice brown ale overall, quite impressive.

Photo of abraxel
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Quite dark for a brown ale, almost black. The head is a very light tan, and sticks to the glass nicely, but doesn't leave lasting lacing.

S - Sweet, slightly chocolatey malts. Just the tiniest touch of roastiness. No sign of hops. Tasty.

T - Some of the same malts as in the nose, but there's not much depth of flavor. When chilled, it's a bit boring, with some out-of-place bitterness and a metallic bite... but it improves dramatically as it warms up. A bit more chocolatey sweetness and some nutty flavors come out. It's nice, but not fantastic.

M - Rather thin, with perhaps slightly too much of a carbonation bite.

Overall, it's all right. I'm happy to finish the glass, but I won't go out of my way to drink this again.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
2.41/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into nonic pint...

A- Pours deep dark reddish brown. Absolutely no head on a generous pour. Sits in the glass murky and lifeless.

S- Has a sweet, carmelly, and nutty aroma. All of this is slightly shadowed by a sour, acetic smell...

T/M- Whoa. Wtf?! Starts very nutty and bready, then just gets excessively hot and full of ethanol. The aftertaste is just hard to swallow. I feel like there is a solid base beer behind the fusels. Could be a great, sweet, malty brown... Also a ton of roast/coffee flavor for a brown, again drowned out though. The feel is just slimy and stings the tongue.

O- As the beer warmed it got better. When I first opened this and took a drink, it screamed infection. Though it wasnt infected, it did have intense flaws that unfortunately overtook the majority of the drinking experience.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown body with a thin layer of tan head. Nose is nutty bread and some unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is a mix of roasted malts and a sharp caramel sweetness. There is a sharp roasted bitterness on the finish that is metallic and has a hint of floral hops. Beer has a light body and overall the flavor was alright but the finish was off.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown with moderate carbonation. One-finger, off-white head that diminished after a few minutes. Little in the way of lacing.

Smell: Toasted malts. Chocolate, caramel, and nutty.

Taste: Lots of toasted malts, chocolate and nutty flavors. Solid earthy hop bitterness with a slightly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body that was dry and a bit watery. The carbonation was very fizzy.

Overall: The aroma and taste was pretty solid. I'll have to give this one another try.

Photo of jondeelee
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown color with a nice creamy tan head. Not too bad on retention and some spotty lacing.

S- Smell is pretty solid. Toasted malts, quite a bit of nuts, toffee and molasses.

T- Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of toasted malts, nuts, toffee, sweetness and touch of Earthy hops.

M- Medium in body and good amount of carbonation.

O- One of the better Brown Ales I've had. If this is your style I'd say pick this one up for sure.

Photo of drizzam
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - An opaque brown body is topped by a one finger, light tan head. Good head retention with spotty lacing left down the inside of my pint glass.

S - Big toasted malt aroma with dark chocolate and hints of caramel.

T & M - Very bold taste. Roasted toasty malts lead the way, followed by that same dark chocolate I smelled in the aroma. To me, the caramel takes a bit of a backseat to the chocolate, but it is still well represented. There is a slight earthy hop bitterness toward the end that follows after the swallow. Medium bodied with a drying finish.

D - I've been very impressed with a lot of Dark Horse's offerings, and this one certainly did not let me down. A relatively low ABV, yet packed with bold flavor. I would recommend this to my craft beer drinking friends any day of the week.

Photo of AgentZero
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Chocolate brown colored beer with a decent head that left a little bit of stick on the sides.

S - Smells like caramel, little toffee, brown sugar, chocolate malts. Standard.

T - Taste is about like the nose. Some chocolate malts as well as some light toffee and caramel. Not a whole lot going on here.

M - Slightly over carbonated, but nothing to throw a fit about. Medium bodied.

O - This beer is pretty boring, but it's non-offensive, something you can pretty much drink and not notice. Not going to try to find this again.

Photo of NEhophead
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Pours a deep caramel, thin maple in color beneath a carbonation-filled, short-lived off-white head. Minimal lasting lace.

Moderately sweet brown sugar, caramel, and molasses. A really pleasant butter toasted malt character that is quite clean; unencumbered by artificial sweetness or mustiness.

Semi-sweet caramel and molasses that fade to a dry, hazelnut and mild chocolate flavor. Toasted malt based with a touch of diacetyl. Pleasant, yet subtle brown sugar and coffee spices. A bit thin towards the end after the mild bitterness subsides from the clean, floral hops.

A somewhat light, medium in body. Slightly creamy, clean, and a bit dry. A very nice balance.

Nothing that will excite the tastebuds, but pleasant and well balanced for the style.

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and a little murky with some reddish highlights. A thin tan collar formed during the pour -- the beer looked a little flat as it was filling the glass. A bit of spotty lacing. Malty aroma, bread and brown sugar with some roast, caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. Leafy bitterness with sweet malts up front, caramel and bread, dry roastiness in the finish, nutty. Fairly astringent, medium bodied with lowish carbonation. I enjoyed it, but the 6.5% abv is a little high and keeps it from being a good session beer for me, which is how I tend to like my brown ales.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Wow this is a dark one. Most brown ales being brown this one only has slight light escape it with a touch of orange color. The head was only a half an inch but lacing is pretty nice.

S - Smells of plenty of toffee, bit of hazelnut (like the coffee creamer) and a bit of brown malt giving a bit of herbal tea and coffee smells.

T - Not didn't expect to be blown away but got a nice bit of nuttiness, touch of cocoa and coffee and of course a ton of brown malt giving it an almost herbal or "english" tone to it.

M - Light to medium, pretty impressive for a beer almost 7%

Overall ehh I pretty much had this since I had most of Dark Horses other offerings and it's clear that its a well made brown ale but something I wouldn't get again. Will stick with their stouts since I love em.

Photo of zoso1967
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boffo pours a fairly cloudy brown that has some orange highlights when held up to the light. The head is light tan and very tightly packed. It possesses great retention but leaves hardly any lace.

The aroma is classic brown ale with plenty of toffee, nuttiness and a pleasantly sweet fruity quality. Hints of chocolate and herbal aromas are also present more in the background, but this brown ale does not have a very intense nose.

The flavor is an extension of the aroma. It has a very nice malt character with plenty of sweet toffee, chocolate, nuts, a touch of medium roast coffee and a nice fruitiness. It is very well balanced with the hops fairly buried, but their bitterness delicately balances the sweetness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a very nice creaminess to it. Carbonation is low and probably helps add to the smoothness, but I suspect some wizardry with the malts is also responsible. The finish is slightly sweet with some bitter cocoa and nuttiness lingering.

Overall I found this to be a great brown ale. It has the classic brown ale taste and is well balanced with a very nice texture. This is very drinkable and would make a good beer to have with friends while chatting about old times.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.33/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Odd artwork on this one...First Dark Horse brew to consume

Appearance-Dark brown with some amber hues. 2 finger beige head that quickly dissipates to almost nothing. No lacing whatsoever. Lots of carbonation initially, then becomes flat looking.

Smell-Light nuttiness and coffee. The more I smell this the more it kind of smells like a flat coke.

Taste-Follows the smell. Flat Coke, not very pleasant. Still some light nuttiness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Watery. not too pleasant.

Overall-First few sips weren't all that bad, but started tasting pretty awful. Look and Taste is pretty unimpressive. I'll pass on this for now on.

Photo of gfreed
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown ale is a style I approach with hesitancy because there are so many terrible brown ales on the market today: mostly watery, bitter pale ales with brown coloring. Fortunately, this beer comes across with some muscle but not so much that it terrifies the children or causes old women to pass out on the sidewalk. The aroma and taste both approach UK-stout territory: quite fruity with an emphasis on oranges, yet with a dry finish; plenty of charcoal and roasted whatever-it-is provide enough complexity without much intellectual hooey. A fine accompaniment to a big plate of pancakes.

Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of DannyDan
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
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.


Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.