Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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
85
very good

193 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 572
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 15
Gots: 104 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 193 | Hads: 572
Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a solid half inch dense tan head that lingers.

Aroma is very nutty, with roast malt and toasted breadcrust forming the background. There's a touch of coffee and dark fruit character adding complexity, along with floral hops. Chocolate surfaces as it warms.

Flavor is fairly roasty throughout, with toasted nuttiness hitting mid palate and lingering long in the finish. Black cherry is detected initially at the back of the mouth. It's extremely bready, with roast coffee and light chocolate intermingling into the fairly bitter, dry finish.

Body is on the full side of moderate, with fairly low carbonation and a bit of grain astringency.

Overall, a very roasty, nutty, bready, malty brew. Solid offering, perfect for cold winter weather.Not to style, but tasty!

 819 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, color is dark amber to light brown; head is light tan and presents pretty dense and laces nicely.

Smell is a little fruity with some caramel notes and oats or toasted malt mixed in, light bitterness.

Taste is slightly off to me, somewhat sharp, lightly sour and fruity, then finishes with some caramel and toasted notes and some light fruity bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little cloying and sweet, maybe a touch sharp/highly carbed.

Overall, an odd beer - some of the bottles tasted off in the mix pack i tasted from, but the brown was consistently sweeter, and lightly sour.

 602 characters

Photo of jtd1969
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brown with slight lacing

S - dark fruit, slight chocolate, sweet malt

T - Roasty, coffee, caramel, slight chocolate, not overly sweet malts with pleasant hops.

M - medium body, light carbonation

O - Really good brown ale, very well balanced. I recommend it

 269 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pour is dark mahogany with a bit of a reddish tint and a one-finger head that has decent retention. The nose is very mild. I get some nutty aroma, some bread, and a touch of milk chocolate.

Medium body and a fairly firm mouthfeel. The taste is mild (as all brown ales are), but quite satisfying. There are predominantly sweet notes on all parts of the palate with a little bit of bitter peppery spice on the finish. The bitterness lingers fairly nicely. Flavors include wheat bread crust, dark crackers, hazelnuts, and a touch of coffee.

Overall, this is a pretty good brown ale. Nothing to get excited about, but still a nice mild, yet complex and enjoyable, pour. I'm impressed by the finish, but I kind of wish it was a little sweeter up front to balance it out just a bit more.

 832 characters

Photo of Apellonious
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, six from the CM.

A - pours a blackish brown, thin sliver head that goes quick to a thin lace.

S - chocolate, dry hop, dark fruit, licorice.

T - chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, coffee. Something in the aftertaste that i can't quite place.

M - carbo is slightly low, a touch on the watery side

O - A good brown, especially if you like your browns on the dry side with some smoke and mild sweetness.

 413 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

seved on tap in a pint glass

This beer was a hazy brown/ dark amber color that I couldn't see through. The nose is mild and barely does the taste justice. There is a light amount of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts in this brown ale. It also has a lot of an earthy spice. There is a bunch of nutty flavors in this beer as well as quite a bit of toffee. The english aspect of this beer shines though in the yeast and I think the crisp yeast flavor compliments the flavors quite well. The mouth feel could be a bit heavier in my opinion but its still quite nice. This is a very nice brown ale, about on par with bells best brown.

 631 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 2,178 characters

Photo of Zimbo
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the bottle this has a deep sweet chocolate quality with some earth and some lively fine granulated sugar. A shame that that such a gorgeous beer to smell diliutesd so much once it hits the glass.. Still, it looks great in the glass being extremely dark brown with an easy effortless 2 inchg rocky tan head and rings of lacing with every sip. There is an interesting deep damp sweet taste here with some dry earth bittereness and a trace of the forementioned granulated sugar. Not at all heavily bodies but there is a siggestion of some weight there which brings something enveloping and dominant to the mouthfeel. Very interesting and thought provoking but funnily not a beer which really goes for pleasure.

 710 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer at the midwest brewfest. The beer poured a 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, big bread taste with brown sugar with some roast and caramel Fairly astringent, medium bodied with lowish carbonation. It was ok.

 390 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

 373 characters

Photo of JDizzle
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Its a dark brown deep amber. Lacing and head are sub par.

Good aroma of dark fruits, sweet malt, and old Tobacco

Same taste from tobacco and roasted malt. Its appealing but not a homrun.

Moutufeel is good for a brown ale. Perfect carbonation.

Overall a decent brown.

 298 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No enjoy by date on the label.
Slowly poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Poured to about two fingers of dark khaki head that was pretty robust and long-lasting. The brew is a very dark brown, and only a little light passes when held up to a light source.

S: The aroma is fairly mild and consists of dark roasted malt.

T: The taste has plenty of dark roasted malt flavor, and a bit of a hops bite for balance. There is also just a touch of a bready malt flavor, too.

M: It has a heavy and full body, and it is also smooth and creamy. It is very easy drinking and does not leave very much of an aftertaste.

O: This is a very good and very simple dark beer. It has a very few flavors, and those flavors blend together to create a very pleasant taste. It has a very good dark roasted malt flavor without much malt sweetness. And, the creaminess of the body is something that makes this beer standout from other dark beers.

 926 characters

Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a color somewhere between dark tan and burnt orange. The finger of head quickly dissipates and does not leave much lace behind. The nose is malty with some sweetness to it. The taste is bready, malty with a touch of sweetness as well. There are also chocolate notes present, but they are very subtle. There is a healthy body to this offering, but it does not rise to the level of "chewy." The finish is pleasantly semi-dry.

One of the better browns around.

 463 characters

Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's quite a dark brown beer near black with head about an inch in height.

Aroma: Dark fruits, figs, raisins, faint musty, brown bread, plum and a few roasty notes.

Taste: Brown bread, roasty, slight nuttiness, figs, dark malts, raisins, dark fruits minor notes of plum, traces of toffee. The mouthfeel is relativly smooth with a light dryness.

Notes: Very drinkable all the flavors are well balanced throught. Cheers.

 433 characters

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.

 824 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to cam for muling this my way a long time ago (last one from the bunch). enjoyed from my urthel monster tulip.

a - brew poured a stunnign brown with a huge head of offwhite foam. as the head vanished, it left chunky lacing all over the glass.

s - has some tartness, but mostly nuts and figs and malts. kind of applejuice like...very appetizing.

t - wonderful brown ale with a hint of applejuice. nuts and berries. just a hint of tart.

m - medium, soft carbonation. pleasant.

o - overall, not my favorite brown ale, but it brings a good amount of fruitiness that is really pleasant and different. i checked some of the other reviews and no one seems to be getting the fruitiness i noticed. wonder if i have a semi-infection going? this is a bit old, but damn if that fruitiness isn't a pleasant addition to the beer. really nice apple flavoring with the nuttiness and brown sugar you'd expect.

 904 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Hawthorne`s in Philly.

Appearance is a dark brown with little head on it. Aroma has grains and malts. The taste contains nuts, malts, some hops, a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is low-medium with a clean aftertaste. This a rather simple brown ale, but a pretty good one from these folks out of Michigan.

 316 characters

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.

 798 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: chocolate, mahogany, mostly clear. Nice smooth tan looking head, finger width.
S: all kinds of roasted malts and bready notes. Perhaps some nutiness as well. I believe there is some floral hop aroma as well.
T: very nice roasted malt flavor with some toasted notes and carmel overtones. Impressed with the bit of citrus that peaks through and prevents from being a malt bomb. Nicely balanced.
M: medium bodied, slightly creamy. Nice malty after taste. Really coats the pallet.
O: very nice brown ale here. Great flavor, great drinkability.

 542 characters

Photo of znichols
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark brown with a slight auburn glare when held to the light; borderline Porter category. One inch off-white head that left in about a minute. Decent amount of lacing. I'm expecting a sticky Brown Ale.

S- hmmm. This is different. Herbs, big tobacco, vanilla, caramel, light citrus. This brown ale is all over the board. Not sure what to expect flavor-wise. Aroma is different and intriguing though.

T- Wow, this Brown brings the hops. Not so much grapefruit, pine or citrus, but just herbal, dank, woody hoppiness is very present. Theres a touch of caramel malt and some roast, but overall the flavor is pretty subtle and relies mostly on the hops and light chocolate malt. fairly bitter. subtle bourbon flavor as it warms.

M-Smooth and fluffy, moderate carbonation. Expected it to be a touch stickier. Medium-light bodied. Standard mouthfeel.

O-This is a decent rendition of an AMERICAN brown ale, meaning i get a pretty substantial amount of hops for an "English brown ale." Moderate vanilla, toast, booze, and earthy malt notes but mostly woody hops. Might be considered a Black Pale Ale? Not what i expected, and i was between a 3 and a 3.5 for overall, but the willingness to do something different in an increasingly stagnant category should be rewarded.

 1,266 characters

Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, chestnut brown with a pretty looking khaki cap of dense foam that settles quickly to a skim. Rich and malty, cocoa and roasty coffee like notes in the aroma. Nice flavors of fudge, cocoa powder and a roastiness bordering on porter territory. Full bodied for the style and creamy with a slightly chalky, bitter aftertaste. A really flavorful and well made Brown Ale.

 371 characters

Photo of UNCCTDawg
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A~ Dark brown, good lacing, looks like a great start.

S~ Caramel malt, sugary sweet toffee all up front. Gets sweeter as it warms.

T~ Wow, it has alot more booze than i'm use to wtih your traditional brown ale. Overall, it has a good balance between start and finish.

M~ Really thin for a brown ale.

O~ A good brown ale overall, just a few things that I liked and didn't like. Good nose, lacing and others appearance traits, but it was pretty booze heavy for a brown ale. I typically think of Brown Ales as lighter on the alcohol and a little thicker bodied than this one was.

 580 characters

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dark brown with reddish highlights out of the bottle with a decent amount of tan head forming quickly which then dissipates leaving a thin covering of foam on the surface.

S: Smells of caramel malt, nuts, and a very faint acridity, possibly from some roasted barley.

T: The roasted character is more up front in the taste than the aroma, but is well balanced by the sweet caramel malt character. A slight tang of alcohol is also perceptible, but not unpleasant.

M: On the thinner side for this style, but again, not unpleasantly so. I think it keeps the roast character in the flavor profile from becoming too overwhelming and edging more towards a stout than a brown ale.

O: While it has a bit more roasted character than is typical of English Brown ales, it is quite tasty. It is balanced well with the sweeter caramel malt flavors balancing out what I keep thinking is roasted barley, and that gives it a pleasant complexity that a lot of brown ales lack.

 980 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

 677 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a decent sized head, reddish color when held up to the light.

Smell has a buttery caramel malt aroma, hints of chocolate.

Taste is primarily caramel malt, hints of toffee, finishes dry as expected for an English style, slightly slick, carbonation is soft with an above normal creaminess, nice roasted aspect with a bit of nuttiness.

 364 characters

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.