B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial StoutB.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout

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1,005 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,005
Hads: 2,579
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 277
Gots: 535 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: klewis on 11-10-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,005 | Hads: 2,579
Photo of cpetrone84
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a jet black, motor oil looking liquied that lets no light through. the head is light brown with very good retention and leaves a light lacing on the glass

S-light nose with hints of the oat up front giving way to some sweet dark fruits, dark berries, plum and fig.

T-the taste is a bigger version of the nose; but still not huge. the oatmeal flavor comes in first with hints of dark chocolate and some coffee. the dark berries, ripe plum and fig come in towards the back with some hints of the alcohol warming a bit.

M-lighter end of a full body and silky smooth. carbonated just right to flow comfortably down the thoat and still have body.

D-this is actually a very drinkable RIS. the booze shows up but not too much at all. it is so smooth and the lighter body actually works with the lighter flavors. not a huge beast i fall in love with but still quite tasty!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip pint

Pours a viscous midnight black. Absolutely no light gets through Boris. A brown, one finger head rose and subsided on the quicker side. Dots and scattered lines of lace leave their mark.

Dark fruits really cut through everything. Roasted malt, espresso, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, booze, and flaky oats have their place, but the fruits really ring the loudest.

Wow. Flavor is like a dark cherry dipped in bittersweet chocolate and dropped in an espresso. A touch of hop bitterness and a lingering boozy chocolate--cherry flavor. Rich and indulgent. There is almost a whiskey-like flavor hidden in there that really builds over time.

A big thick body on this guy. Velvety smooth. This might be as perfect as it gets. Coats the mouth and leaves a good amount of heat in its wake.

The thickness, booze, and rich chocolate and cherry really make you put the brakes on. This is one to sip and enjoy. With that in mind, this guy is exactly what you are looking for.

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Photo of drpimento
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it was good. a very special, rich, fulll, tasty mf beer. Pat, Roger, Tim said mmm mm good. Got this bottle at Sam's in Chi a few months ago. Poured with a tan head and some lace. Color was an opaque black. Aroma was chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, dark ripe fruit, toffee. good. Body is nice with good carbonation. Finsih was easy. Not really a session beer tho.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've still got the old notes from the first Toledo tasting...thanks to whoever brought this.

This one is a thick black color, not quite motor oil thick but not letting much light seep through. A soft brown head forms and retains a creamy presence for a substantial amount of time, leaving some good lacing as it recedes down the glass.
There is a lot in the nose, though not as much as in the flavor. A very nice mix of strong malt backbone, lots of roasted notes, a lactic sweetness, some typical coffee and baker's chocolate going on, and a doppelbock-like touch of licorice.
This all comes together in the flavor, but a bit bigger. The oats are full in here as well, and there's a bit more charred woods flavor. Hops also add some balance to this one without taking anything away from the focus. High ABV is very well masked.
This is a great oatmeal stout and has the characteristics in mouthfeel that make the style great. This is a thick, rich stout with a silky smooth feel. Big and bold while at the same time soft and creamy, this beer, while more filling than most, is a real treat just the same.
BORIS is a beauty and one of the better big beers out there, though the best in the world work out the subtleties to be world-class.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cellar-aged version released by Hoppin' Frog. Had during Hobo Tasting #2 with mikesgroove. Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head that subsided to no head to speak of slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, dark fruit, and cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a complete transformation of the regular brew. It has been in my cellar for a little over a year and there is no clue how long it was in storage before I bought it, but this thing was nice. As Mike stated, the alcohol burn was completely gone which allowed the dark fruits to open up in all their beauty that I had never experienced on this brew before. Definitely became a more complex and tasty brew with time. This brew really shocked me. An absolute MUST try if you can find the version to save yourself some time, or you can just throw a few in your own cellar and wait. Trust me, it is worth it!

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’ve been looking forward to trying Hoppin’ Frog since I learned of their existence. Through a stroke of luck there is a store in my area (From The Vine of course) that now carries them. As usual I went right to my favorite style first. This beer turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Pours thoroughly black with a medium thick and foamy head that lasts awhile. Nice patchy lacing. Big roasted malt aroma that has touches of chocolate and coffee as well. Rich body with a really flavorful with a roasty character. Lots of malt, chocolate, nuts and coffee flavors. Sweet touches of vanilla as well, and a bit of an alcohol presence. The finish is long and tasty with hops and sweet malt. An admirable offering from a new brewer!

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Photo of popery
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to stacecom via reddit. Delicious imperial stout. B.O.R.I.S. pours black with brown highlighting the very edges of the glass. The most negative thing that I can say about this beer is that there's almost no head. You can swirl one up - it's very dark even for a stout, a medium brown - but it dissipates quickly. The aroma is rich with roast and chocolate. There's just a ton of malt packed into this one. Vanilla bean, caramel and molasses round things out. This beer would be a great base for a beer float. The taste is also quite good. It's sweet with a warming finish. Roasty notes persist in the aftertaste. The feel is smooth and soft as a dog's ear. I like the low carbonation and it's definitely worth the lack of a head. It's a very easy beer to drink; my bomber is going fast. I would love to have this beer available in my area, and I'm very happy to have a second bottle in the cellar.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an inky, opaque black with a thin, fizzy copper mousse that dies away within seconds. As far as color goes, this looks spot on, but with regard to head retention, it leaves a lot to be desired.

S: Gentler than expected on the nose, with aromas of roasted grain, oatmeal, heavy cream, bitter chocolate, and coffee easily detectable. There is a mild alcohol scent as well, but it is neither distracting nor harsh.

T: Initially, this beer displays notes of oatmeal, roasted grain, strong coffee, dark fruits, burnt toast, heavy cream, and bitter chocolate. Around mid-palate, a grassy, herbal hoppiness takes over. The finish is strong and punchy with grassy, bitter hops, heavy cream, chocolate, and coffee swirled in cleansing alcohol. I was expecting the flavors to be better integrated because this doesn't taste much like a stout after a point.

M: This is the best aspect of this beer. In the mouth, B.O.R.I.S. is creamy, silky, and smooth with a luscious full body. Carbonation is gentle and there is only a hint of an alcohol burn. For such a heavy, filling beer, it goes down very smoothly.

O: B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher is not a bad stout, but it is not great either. As a matter of fact, I consider this beer to be extremely overrated. Like most American craft breweries these days, Hoppin' Frog seems to have forgotten that not all ales need to be heavily hopped. The high hop bitterness of this beer distracts from the great roasted malt and oatmeal flavors it initially displays, making it seem a bit muddled and off-kilter. If the hops had been reigned in a bit, this would be a fantastic imperial stout, but as is, it's merely okay.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a small tan head. In the aroma, sweet oatmeall sweetness and a small alcohol note. In the taste, roasty oatmeal sweetness. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry chocolate aftertaste. Big flavor, roasty malt and delicious.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a footed, cylindrical glass at Michael's Bistro in Charlottesville. Paid $14 for it...problem? It was room temperature (apparently the refrigeration unit malfunctioned. I'm going to go ahead and try to review it anyway, but keep this in mind. From notes. Reviewed 7 July 2011.

A: Super-dark coffee-brown head fizzes and fades to absolutely nothing. The edges are dark brown, but the beer is *black*. 100% opaque.

S: Molasses. Liquorice. Vague berries. Alcohol.

T: Too warm, but other than that it's good. Strongly bitter coffee on the aftertaste. Some smooth, creamy, alcoholic, anise excellence. I dig it. The espresso taste on the aftertaste makes the beer.

M: Slinky smooth, slips down the throat.

O: The temperature moderated my enthusiasm (they ended up taking it back) but, even so, it's obviously a good beer. I would love to try it again more chilled.

ABV: 9.4%
OG: 107
FG: 38
IBU: 60

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Photo of maximum12
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bad-boy in a trade some time ago & it's been lurking patiently in the fridge ever since, waiting for me. I have an almost pathological aversion to oatmeal, so I've had a slow start on picking up the oatmeal stouts. But I'm hear now, BORIS. Take me.

Dark black with little evident carbs. Smells fantastic, dark, malty, hoppy. Very nice. Makes me want to take a sip.

So go ahead. Ahhhh, yummy. The hops are a surprise, since most RIS I've had that claim to be hoppy aren't; this is the third I've had that I can really dig (along with Darkness & Smutty IS). Love it! Then there's the chocolate, which really lingers, & the nice dark malts that have just a tiny tinkle of coffee, almost. Lalalala good.

BORIS is dark, slick, oily, & bold. And easy drinking. Split the bomber with the wife but could have easily had this myself.

Excellent brew. I'll find this one again!

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Photo of tigg924
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: small head that fades quickly--dark brown

Smell: chocolate malt, sugar, alcohol, and nuts

Taste: expresso, sweet cream, burnt malt, oats, molasses, cookie dough

Mouthfeel: thick, oliy, smooth, sweet, and chewy

Drinkability: This is one of my favorites in the style. The taste is awesome. It is like eating a big delicious cookie. I will search for this again and would gladly have several if not for the high abv

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Photo of dar482
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a deep black oil color with a brown head.

The aroma is lovely. Big bitter chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, and definitely some umami.

The flavor follows with a deep chocolate flavor and hugely roasted/burnt malt. It transforms to a bit of licorice, but not in an offensive way. It’s almost smokey and burnt with how deep and rich it is.

The mouthfeel is huge on this. It’s so velvety and creamy.

As a beer, this is less big and heavy, compared to the DORIS. This is more drinkable, though still being a huge mouthfeel and flavor beer. I can’t decide which I prefer because they’re both all so good. This definitely has less big burnt flavors and is less heavy on the tongue, despite being only about 1% ABV less.

A really fantastic beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Super black color with a dark brown head that quickly dissolved into a ring of bubbles. It smells like dark chocolate cake, yum. Interesting flavors that remind me of Stone IRS, dark fruity, nice beer. The mouthfeel is bubbly. the drinkability is obviously hampered by the ABV and the carbonation.

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

Black/brown pour with ruby tones. Barely present brown bubbles. Roasty aromas of malt, coffee, grains. Initial taste is roast malt, roasted oat and quite a bit of coffee. As it warms it mellows a bit and hits the mocha and port like flavors. Very smooth mouthfeel, not quite creamy. A big beer, full bodied for sure. Not over run with alcohol or bitterness. The oat sets this apart a bit from the typical RIS. If it was available to me other than mail order, would definetely buy again. Would like to see what some age does to this also. May have to make my way through Akron on the way home to Michigan.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

was really excited to pop this one open after all the praises i had heard...

A - poured a rich thick milky black with a thin tan head. really gorgeous. you can see the oaty thickness. in my opinion you simply can't make a more appetizing and appealing RIS. leaves a nice snail trail of lacing on the glass that slowly crawls home.

S - very chocolaty and oaty. nutty and roasted malts but not in the typical coffee and wood way but rather thick and once again oaty. There is a subtle alcohol thing going on in the back ground that refreshes the nose with a mentholated feel.

T/M/D - oh wow. it all leads up to that first sip and no disappointment at all. its a very filling and rich RIS in every way. it has the full bodied thickness of a mature oatmeal stout. the flavor is essentially all roasted malt. it's a meal in a 12oz glass let alone a 22oz bottle. but damn good beer. new style - RIOS. all though oatmeal spin adds some fantastic flavor and body it really is a bit filling. drinking two of these would be like drinking two milkshakes. mmm...milkshakes.

--- EDIT ---
2011-11-06 Cellar Aged BORIS (with "cellar aged 1 Yr" sticker on the neck of the bottle. It is actually probably 2+ years old at this point, but I suppose the brewery released cellar aged version at some point? bottle also had a sticker that says "17497"

a - opened the bottle and filled my cbs snifter. poured sludgy black. not much head and what was there was gone quick. looks thick and delicious. 4

s - dhocolate roasted malts. perfectly mellow and balanced. the roastiness is perfectly paired with the chocolate. also has a touch of a briskness to it. 4.5

t - ah yes...BORIS!!! love this beer. rich thick chocolatey bold roastiness. really well rounded. 4.5

m - here's where i feel the cellaring has done the beer some good. i remember this beer as a monster on fullness and this aged version is quite silky and smooth. much more of a softer oatmeal stout. 4.5

o - overall just a great beer. time does nice for this one...one of my favs. 4.5

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Photo of Pencible
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured like inky syrup, and was pitch black with some dark tan head.
S: It smelled like rich mocha and toasted oats, with some brown sugar and a hint of dark fruit.
T: It tasted like dark chocolate and bitter coffee and toasted oats, with a bit of licorice and dark fruit and soy. It had an ultra rich but smooth aftertaste.
M: It was super thick with a bit of carbonation. I was practically chewing this to swallow.
D: This was a fantastically crafted beer with lots of flavors all blended and balanced perfectly. It hid the alcohol very well, so it was dangerously easy to drink. But the thickness and complexity made it better for sipping. This Hoppin' Frog met the hype; definitely recommended.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very average big stout. Has a lot of heat without redeemable flavors, which is quite off putting, keeping this from being an enjoyable beer in anyway.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BA Review #450

22 oz bottle, no date. poured into snifter

appears black, with thin dark tan head that fades fast. aroma of bitter roasted espresso, licorice, a touch of smoke. taste is not as bitter, more balanced. but still very roasty, and leans towards savory. medium body, low carbonation. maybe not quite as thick as I'd like to match the rest of the beer.

overall - let the beer warm up, the aroma and taste opens up a lot. but for the very high price of the Hoppin Frog beers, a bit under whelming.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of leftmindedrighty poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a small dense mocha head that dissipates slowly leaving sporadic lacing.

S: The smell starts with a big sweet roasted malt aroma mixed with dark chocolate and oatmeal. There is also a good bit of dark fruits in the nose with raisins and plums with a hint of alcohol burn in the background.

T: The taste is bigger, more complex version of the smell. The sweet malts form a backbone throughout that has dark chocolate and coffee up front. The same dark fruits are in the taste and the alcohol again makes itself felt with a slight burn on the tongue.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and dessert-like with a bit of carbonation to give it balance.

D: This is a very drinkable RIS and, while it's not the most complex version I've had, it's an extremely good stout and I would seek this one out.

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Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with almost no head and a small amount of lacing

Smells primarily of chocolate with a mild alcohol presence. Very nice.

Similar to smell, the taste is primarily chocolate, though there is a mild hop presence. Maybe not overly complex, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with light carbonation.

Drinkability is very high for an imperial stout, with only a mild alcohol presence. My glass was emptied pretty quickly, and I could easily drink a bomber or more of this.

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Photo of illidurit
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty snifter. Jet black body with a very dark 1 finger head The suds is composed of relatively large bubbles, which isn't really conducive to retention or lacing. Not a problem for a stout.

The aroma here is strikingly potent. Rich, sweet chocolate and a soft, fruity alcohol note combine to become extremely appetizing. I may be crazy but the harder I inhale, the more the fruitiness attenuates to a honeydew note.

The flavor is intensely chocolatey, with an impeccable roasty coffee/oat bitterness in the finish. The balance is sublime. The alcohol is almost entirely unapparent but I can detect it's subtle sharpness under the chocolate.

This beer is incredibly smooth. The body is luxuriously full, with just the right amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is amazingly clean relative to the body, and the bitterness creates a wonderfully dry finish.

Spectacular beer. One of those ones that you would kill to have available locally.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber bottle acquired via trade from spacecoyote. Poured into a Martell cognac snifter.

A: Turbid black/brown with crimson edges and a nice head of deep ark espresso foam that fizzes and dies down to a small circular ring of skim.

S: Aromas are sweet and recall milk, various oats and grains, roasted malt tones, and some mellowed yet greenish hop cones. The aromas are good but not as pronounced and "in your face" as I would like.

T: Taste is bigger and more complex than the aroma suggests. Dark fruit, Christmas spices, plums, raisins, cocoa, and roasted malt with just a slight hint that there are any hops in the mix. Taste is good, but not over the top.

M: Mouth feel is thin, almost watery, but well balanced, with a slight prick of carbonation on the tongue.

D: The sum is greater than the parts with this beauty. Whilst it is a little simple for my liking the thin mouth feel and even flavours make for an incredibly easy drinking stout of this size and abv. Awesome.

Overall: This is a nice oatmeal/imperial/double stout from an Ohio brewery that I have not had any other beers from. Although not the most complex it is an easy sipper and a good introduction to heavier stouts in general.


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Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle. Thanks Yeahnatenelson!!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with just a ring of dark brown foam.

Smell. Dark chocolate and some sweet black licorice with a little dark coffee and some booze.

Taste. Sweet dark malts, bakers chocolate, a drop of molasses and a hint of dark fruits. A little coffee and black licorice in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, slightly sticky. Medium-low carbonation and some boozy warmth.

Overall. Great tasting, big stout. A bit of a sipper to say the least.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black, a hard pour with some distance at the end coaxed a 2+ inch espresso brown foamy head that bubbled away a lot like blooming coffee grounds.

S: Tons of dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, licorice, oats, dark molasses, a little dark fruit, slight citrus hops in the background, a tiny bit of alcohol. Smells divine.

T: Wow, it definitely follows the nose! The firs thing to hit the palate is that coffee, chocolate, and licorice. I absolutely love the flavor the coffee imparts, it's not just bitter, but has a nice earthy taste. The citrus hops comes break through the background as it moves to middle. A lot of hoppy stouts use really bitter, leafy hops and that's a huge turn off for me. This is all citrus with just a little bitterness. The dark roasted malts and molasses round out more in the middle, though the coffee and chocolate still dominates. I try to avoid the cookie reference, but this does remind me of a heavily chocolaty oatmeal cookie due to just massive amounts of malt and the perfect balance of oats. The dark fruits and licorice seems to get pulled out of the background as it transitions to the finish, leading to a little bit of a blast of citrus hops giving just a touch of bitterness. The coffee just doesn't want to give up, it lingers on well past the finish. The finish does remind me a lot of an cappuccino with a lemon peel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and is only ever evident occasionally in the finish or a big sip. Excellent.

M: Thick and chewy, though not the most viscous I've had, it's still pretty massive. Very smooth and creamy, it slides easily down the back of the throat. Coats every inch of the palate.

O: I had moderate expectations going into this, mainly due to the hoppy nature of this beer. I'm very glad to say this blew away my expectations. I know I don't dislike hops in Stouts, I just hadn't found a hoppy stout I liked yet, now I have. I just love the citrus hops in the background to balance things out and add a little depth, with the astringency kept to a minimum. There's absolutely none of the "chewying on grass root" finish in this I've grown to dislike in some hoppy stouts. If you like coffee, chocolate, and citrus, you'll love this beer.

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B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,005 ratings.