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

187 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 187
Hads: 528
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 13
Gots: 73 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 187 | Hads: 528
Photo of dudemuskie
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er in Marshall after an awesome visit to their brewpub. Incredible place and if you are in the area, do yourself a favor and stop in for a pint!

Appearance- Creamy tan head sits atop a deep brown, nearly opaque brew with deep amber highlights. Head is quick to fade leaving a soapy ring and nice lacing with each sip. Heavy yeast cake in bottom of bottle.

Aroma- Dry, powdery roasted malt with a slightly pruney, dark caramel sweetness. Rich maltiness practically makes my mouth water. Healthy earthy hop aroma lies right beneath.

Flavor- Brown malt pruniness and a touch of dark brown sugar to start. Notes of roasted malt and powdered cocoa tail into a balancing moderate earthy hop bitterness. Chewy, complex, lingering finish is very nicely balanced and brings you back for more.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied, moderate residual sugars, low-medium CO2, and great balance. Chewy.

Overall- Would be a great food beer! This is a delightful brown ale, big and chewy with a great supporting hop bitterness. Great drinkability for a darker, heavier beer. I will say though, the first few bottles were a bit flat. If you buy it fresh, give them a few weeks in the bottle and they carb up nicely! (1,212 characters)

Photo of Aguirre
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received a bottle of this as an extra from a trade with bierenutz. Thank you!

Poured into a 20oz Hobgoblin pint glass, this is a dark brown,opaque beer with a creamy head that disappeared rather quickly. I think I should have dried the glass better.

The smell is nice and clean; a good chocolately, malty aroma.

Taste is good too, and pretty powerful. It's got a nice sweetness to it that I never found overpowering, but there's a bitterness after the swallow to balance everything out.

I like that this beer is a little thinner than you'd expect based solely on the taste. It's almost like a porter in taste alone, but there's a "watery"(which I use in a good way) feel to it that makes it feel lighter.

This was an enjoyable beer. I don't drink brown ales as often as I used to, because I'll often find myself thinking they're cloying or boring - which Boffo isn't.

A couple of additional notes:

There was wax over the bottle cap, which I thought was an interesting touch for a year-round, 12oz, "normal" beer.

The artwork on the bottle is unsettling and inexplicable. What does it mean?? (1,103 characters)

Photo of cpolking
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown ale pours very dark brown to mostly black. Its aroma is dark roasted malt, hints of coffee and mocha, with an apparent sweetness. Its taste follows its aroma directly. There is an almost cloying sweetness at the beginning but it fades into a nicely bitter coffee and dark chocolate finish. (300 characters)

Photo of BierFan
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Tan head rises up to a decent size but recedes too quickly. Dark brown, almost black, with some ruby hues shining through.

Smell: Dark malts and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark fruit. More bitterness than you normally find in a brown ale. This beer kinda walks the line between brown ale and porter in my opinion. Another outstanding brew from the guys at Dark Horse. (437 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Head retention is excellent, but there isn't much lacing at all. Aroma is toasted and bready malt, nuts, toffee and caramel. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, and there's the addition of a bit of chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick and creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I thought it was a good overall brown ale, now I'm sorry I just bought a single bottle of this. I'd definitely buy this again. (571 characters)

Photo of donteatpoop
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, one of the darker brown ales I've seen; light is able to penetrate but still... A thin film of tan head rests at the top.

The smell was difficult to discern, not really on the forefront. I allowed it to warm more and noticed very little change, just a mild nut-like odor and a hint of roasted malt.

The taste, thankfully; was much more defined. A very palatably drink, too. The burnt malts play nicely off of the sweet notes of chocolate and molases; a nice butter and nut taste finishes.

A thick bodied but smooth drink, this is one of the better offerings I've had from Dark Horse, and one of the better Brown Ales I've had.

Well done. (666 characters)

Photo of Frosty80
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color: pours brown. sits a deep, dark brown

Smell: clean, crsip caramelization balanced by toasted malt and some nuttiness. hop aroma is very subtle if anything

Taste: flavor translates well from aroma. clean toasted maltiness with very subtle hop flavor and bitterness with a lightly nutty flavor. finishes clean and balanced with a light, lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: very clean and crisp light-medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: very elegant brown ale. has a lager-like crispness and drinkability to it. awesome brown ale (539 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown body with auburn hues. One finger creamy white sand colored head. Retention is decent though there is a rather impressive amount of lacing left.

The aroma is full of dark bready malt and nuttiness. Chocolate and a subtle brown sugar smell provide a bit of sweetness. The hops are earthy and subdued, Boffo relies more on the malt for aroma.

Dark grain bread and a surprising chocolaty sweetness roll across the tongue. The sweetness provides a great counter point to the darker malt but it very slightly overdone. The malt is dark and rich, really comes into focus midpalate. The hops are taking a back seat in this one. A rather earthy and floral presence pairs very well with the malt bill.

Body is one the light side of medium with a creamy texture. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Finish is slow and long.

This is one that becomes more enjoyable as you drink. Boffo falls right behind Best Brown and Bender as my third favorite brown ale. Very solid beer all the way are and easy to drink. A lot of flavor is packed into a relatively smaller beer. I don't drink brown ales too often but if I did this one would be a staple. (1,152 characters)

Photo of beergod1
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep chestnut in color poured into my new DFH pint glass, with a thin, foamy tan head. The aroma is sweet caramel and chocolate with a touch of nuttiness, and a hint of hops. Flavor is malty with tones of caramel, Cocoa and molasses and just a hint of dark fruit. A nice Brown Ale. Creamy and smooth. light bodied for an American Brown. But one I would get again. (373 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a typical dark brown however with a very thin cap of tan-colored head.

Smell: Toasted malt, nut bread, a bit of toffee and brown sugar.

Taste: Predominantly sweet roasted malts with tastes of brown sugar, dark dried raisins and cherries. More subtle flavors of nuttiness, smoke, chocolate and coffee emerge as the beer warms a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light. Seemed decent for a brown ale, but this brown ale pushes the boundaries a bit, so I thought it would be better a bit thicker.

Drinkability: No problem whatsoever. Glad I bought a six-pack. (569 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brown pours a very dark brown color with a beige/black cherry head almost a stout like appearance,tons of sticky.clinging lace....smell is toffee ,burnt sweet caramel .baked bread and hops..taste is simply delicious ..its toffee,followed by burnt caramel and baked bread..then you get some roasted coffee notes with great hops and grapefruit notes..mouth feel is robust and full this is one tasty brown that drinks like a light stout/porter..its excellent so tasty..very recommended (487 characters)

Photo of Jayli
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 10/3
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep chocolate brown with a one finger of khaki color head. Head recedes quickly not leaving much lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very sweet - toffee, caramel, brown sugar with a bit of raisin.

T: Taste is overly sweet in this beer. Toffee, syrup, and molasses are all at the forefront of this beer. Overpowering and oddly blended. The middle is slightly bready yet still overpowered by sweetness. Finish has a mild roasted note flavoring and earthy hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, light to medium carbonation, some what creamy.

D: Goes down ok, not much of a kick, ok representation of style. There was something slightly off with the blending of flavoring in this beer. There are better offerings out there of the style. (795 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a deep brown color...almost a black but not quite. One finger beige head comes up and dies back down rather quickly. Some light lacing but mostly falls back into the glass.

S- Lots of sweet and toasted malts in the front. Some light coffee notes mix with some dark fruit as well. I could also detect some light chocolate in there but only in slight hints.

T- Coffee upfront and light toasted malts to start with. There is a sweet bready malt with some bitter baker's chocolate flavor. Slight nutty flavor toward the middle and gaining strength toward the end of the beer. I detected some light grainy flavor with hints here and there thoughout the entire beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toasted malts and toffee left on the palate with nutty off flavors and alcohol in the aftertaste. The overall flavor was well balanced in the beer. Clean and crisp tasting. Alcohol had some light drying on the palate.

D- This beer was a good above average try from Dark Horse. I really enjoyed it but wouldn't want to drink a sixer of it. The ABV is low enough to drink a lot of this but the style is really not for me. (1,178 characters)

Photo of herman77
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with some dark ruby hues to it. Moderate soapy light tan head. Trying to forms some sheets of lacing.

S: Toasted carmel malt. Faint nuttiness, earthiness. Some coco and coffee. Nose is a little weak, even as it warms.

T: Very nutty. Toasted malts with carmel sweetness. More nuttiness and earthiness, almost dirt-like. Some bittering hops show themselves near the finish.

M: Lighter to medium body. Higher carbonation feels pretty active on the tongue. Ever so slight slickness to it.

D: Meh. Its average at best. Not doing much for me, its not bad at all, its just.... average. (596 characters)

Photo of david131
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep, leathery brown liquid that has some serious meat to it. The brown head is creamy and has decent retention.

S- Sweet malt, raisins, smoke, and oranges. Very unique.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma. Sweet and quite flavorful for the ABV.

M- Creamy carbonation and body with some strong lasting flavors. Slightly dry on the finish.

D- A very unique brown ale. The more I get into it, the better it gets. I will be getting this again. (446 characters)

Photo of dudecandle
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Very dark brown, almost black body with a small off-white head.

S: Nuts, some dark fruit, and some herbs

T: Fruit comes further to the forefront, but it's balanced quite well with the nuts and some strong vanilla. The herbal hops show up on the finish along with a good toasty backdrop. Complex and very well balanced.

M: A little too thin, but passable for a nut brown ale

D: Good, complex flavor, nothing overwhelming, but it feels like something's missing. It's very fruity and sweet, but it almost feels too sweet. Some stronger hop presence, or maybe a big dose of coffee might make this a superb beer. Just thoughts. (660 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to biernutz for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Viscous pour yields a .5 finger coarse, dark beise head with poor retention. Beer is one of the only brown ales that I've seen that's actually brown. Near opaque. Lacing is sparse and spotty with little cling.

S: Nose is coffee, toffee, butterscotch, and toasted malt. Rather rich and deep overall. Very aromatic and appetizing.

T: Opens with subtle coffee sourness complemented by toasted malt, caramel, and bitter chocolate. Toffee is detectable in the back towards the middle and end. An unpleasant nutty grainyness not unlike chewing on nut shells appears at the finish and lingers into the aftertaste, slightly spoiling the experience.

M: Medium bodied, very lightly carbonated, slightly lively but generally very smooth and silky. Substantial in the mouth, this taste like a much bigger beer than its 5.5% ABV suggests. Finish is messy and aftertaste is drying and lingers.

D: A good beer that really fell apart just before the finish for me. Feel is great though and nose complements the flavor very well. Worth a try for a twist on the brown ale style. (1,164 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,123 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of rembrant
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Look pours dark brown, little light passes through not much. Darker than a typical brown Dense tan 1 finger head that runs up the sides.Lots of lacing.

Aroma,inviting,some brown sugar,coffee,malt roasts and that hint of Dark Cherry i'd noticed in some dark horse stouts.

Flavor Wow...pretty big for a brown ale. Can pass for a Porter,almost a stout. Sweet up front,much malts,initially a tart fruit gives the balance evolving to add a more woodsy essence with a longer than usual delay.

Dark horse's big dark brews have a special knack for transitions and complexity,as well as mimicing flavors and this teases with the gamut of coffee,chocolate,caramel,black cherry,smoke...and who knows...then a "normal hop taste pops up as a late encore.

Dark Horse..again with some alchemy.

Since my original notes, I got to their ' Big Stout",Plead The 5th,as well as Too Cream Stout. Definite "family' similarities and 5th seems like Boffo amplified to full orchestra with some of the rest of the family pitching in. The Malt bill is quite typical among all Dark Horse darks, though varied a bit in degree and proportion. The also like to do tricks with transitions that I suspect has something to do with whatever kind of hops can mimic dark cherry or raisin,or Port Wine or whatever--then---2 sec pause it reappears as the "woodsy evergreen hops you usually expect. Plead the 5th....is more robust and the show is a bit different but my point is if you like one Dark Horse...do like I did and try the others.

Mouth....Big + Brown. A nice blend of syrup and sparkle,sweet,tart,bitter,all sequencing.

Drinkable? Sure. This isn't high $...just acts like it. Almost like the "Everyday" version of one of the best Stouts I ever found.
Makes for a real nice drinker even if you don't take time to savor all the details. It also is refreshing but flavorful enough that you can chill it up for a hot day and still get the goodness.

I'd also note....a few reviews called it too sweet. Try it a bit colder. I prefer it a bit on the chill side and I think that's it's best balance. Dark Horse malts up their stouts,so you can "fine tune" to taste by having them a bit colder,or warmer. (2,174 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (1,434 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with garnet glow and a fizzy billowing light tan heat. There are a few tiny bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass.
S- the soft mellow dark char aroma has a faint chocolate malt quality but otherwise the aroma is pretty clean.
T- The mellow roasted dark malt note has a light char note in the finish which is pretty dry. The char note lingers for just a moment after each sip. There is a toasted flavor that grows as the beer opens up. The green hops bite comes through only when the beer is pretty warm.
M- There is a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish.
D- Nice roasted flavor with some subtle hops support. There is not much depth but this beer is very quaftable. Not as heavy as a porter and it would be nice to see this on cask. (816 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into the snifter. Looks decent, brown, almost black with bad lace. Could have better head retention and would score much better if it did.

Smells nice. The roast is a little more forward than other browns, giving some milk chocolate notes. There's a nice nuttiness and even some hazelnut. Mild hops. Sweet caramel.

Tastes great. Roast gives chocolate and mild coffee notes. Great toasted nuttiness and sweet caramel malt. Some mild vanilla and hazelnut cream. Really full flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice. Medium bodied and nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good brown ale. I enjoyed it and would happily drink it again. (624 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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 (499 characters)

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