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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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2,449 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,449
Reviews: 989
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 250
Gots: 497 | FT: 43
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,449 | Reviews: 989 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theghost3
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to vinyljunkie's generosity for this one.

Pours a thick, almost pitch black with some dark brown around the edges. There's a slight brown ring but no real head to speak of. Minimal retention.

The smell is complex--wood, espresso, molasses, toasted malts, oatmeal & slightly viney.

The taste is bitter from the burnt malts, strong roasted coffee, and surprising bitter citrus hops. There's also a richness with flavors of oatmeal and molasses. Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated but thick like motor oil.

This is a complex RIS with the interesting hoppiness and crispness. It is a bit more burnt/bitter than I expected, but that helped completely cover the ABV.

Photo of cvfish
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a pick black color that produced a beautiful chocolate brown head that had great retention and laced the side of the glass very nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer had it all, big roasted dark malts, espresso, dark chocolate, and a little bit of licorice

T - The taste of this beer was great from a big Stout like BORIS, roasted dark malts, smooth oatmeal-like feel, bittersweet dark chocolate, and espresso finish this big beer off

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a smooth, creamy heavy body that had a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a great example of a great, big Oatmeal Imperial Stout, not as good as the Oak Aged Yeti, but close

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

Pours coal black. It looks like motor oil, thick and black. Held up to the light, nothing comes through. Nice one finger reddish brown head. Nice bubbly lacing holds up well.

Smell is raisins, vanilla, cocoa and some other sweet notes. As the beer warms the smell gets stronger and better.

Tastes as good as it smells! This is one smooth brew. Like a good oatmeal stout should taste, sweet and no alcohol burn. Nice balance between the sweetness and the roasty notes.

Mouth feel is very nice. It feels like my mouth is completely laced by this brew. Thick and smooth. Very little carbonation, just velvety smoothness.

This brew is about as drinkable as you can get for the style and the 9.4% ABV. This is a very very good beer.

Photo of jxhill
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black pour with small but dense tawny head. Smells of molasses sweetness and alcohol with slight toasty smell behind and the faintest hop character underneath. Strong alcohol and treacly tang on the front of tongue. Almost lactose sweetness throughout. Sweetness fades to soft toasted flavors on the back of tongue and through the mouth. Alcohol warmth lingers in throat. Medium bodied with little lacing. A solid Imperial stout, though a bit raisiny to be a personal favorite.

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

22 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Muddy brown-black body with almost no head formation, even with an aggressive pour. Slowly, though, a thin layer of brown head rises from the depths and rests quietly atop the brew.

S - Chocolate, dark-roasted coffee, cinnamon, brown sugar, pumpernickel bread, and raisins. Big aromas compete with one another, but no one aroma dominates, and there is still room for subtlety, with soft fruity esters hiding in the background.

T - This brew is BIG. I like the balance between dark-roasted and sweet flavors, like espresso beans coated in rich milk chocolate. The juicy dark fruit flavors (raisin, ripe blackberry) that were in the background on the nose come to fore on the finish. I also pick up on the hop bitterness on the finish, and it is pretty distinct from the roasty bitterness on the attack.

M - This brew has that mouth-coating mouthfeel that makes milk chocolate so appealing. Very little carbonation, but it works well here.

D - Freakin' delicious. Every sip and every quaff is different and unique. Just about the perfect brew to sip slowly with some Chopin playing in the background. Beers as big, bold, and stout (no pun intended) as this deserve to be enjoyed on their own - so I'll offer no food pairings this time. This brew is absolutely worth the hype that it gets in the craft beer community!

Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of dark brown, almost black head and a completely opaque, black body. The foam dies down pretty quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Malty, lots of caramel and nutty brown malt. Yeasty fruit notes of plums and figs with moderate, bittersweet chocolate and a bit of chicory. There is also a light, but boozy alcohol note with a hint of acetone.

T - Sweet, dark malt up front; dark, fruity caramel and toffee. Cherry and candy apple notes in the middle with the toffee and caramel remaining strong. Finishes with darker roast notes of bittersweet chocolate and chicory as well as renewed sweet cherry notes.

M - Medium-heavy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sticky sweet finish.

D - After all I have heard about it, I am surprised to find myself a bit disappointed in this one. The sweetness is excessive and overwhelming and really sticks on the palate in an unpleasant way. The flavor itself is nice, but lacks in roast character or even chocolate, instead relying on fruity caramel notes that are, admittedly, fairly enjoyable, if a bit out of character. I hate to complain about a beer being out of style, since nitpicking style guidelines really misses the point of enjoying beer, but for what it is worth this strikes me as closer to a Baltic porter than an Imperial Stout. Whatever you want to call it, this is cloyingly sweet and hard to drink and it doesn't quite have the complexity to make up for what it lacks in drinkability. It is a good beer, but it certainly doesn't live up to the hype. Worth a try, but I probably won't be coming back to it in the future.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Thick syrupy black. Two fingers of thick creamy medium brown head with good retention and moderate lacing. Definitely a looker.

4.5 S: Smells almost like straight up bootstrap molasses. Lots of roasted barley and caramelized malts. Oatmeal complements the other aromas well.

4.5 T: I haven't had many oatmeal stouts, but this is easily the best. Lots of roasted barley and toasty flavors. This has one of the most elegant flavor profiles for a stout that I've ever experienced. There are no off flavors: no fusels, no slightly sour flavor from the oats, no excessive burnt flavors. Oats complement the roasted flavors.

4.0 M: Smooth and creamy. Lower medium carbonation which works really well. Good, but not too impressive.

5.0 D: One hell of a brew. I could easily put down a few of these since it's really flavorful, but have no off flavors at all.

Photo of Shaw
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours all black with a chocolate-brown head that almost instantly reduces to just a ring in my glass.

It has a light aroma of roasted malt and alcohol.

The taste is creamy and chocolaty, with big alcohol flavors that are overpowering the malt.

A very nice body, no doubt thanks to the oatmeal and high alcohol.

This is a decent RIS. There are better, and cheaper, Russian Imperial Stouts out there. Check out North Coast's Old Rasputin and Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout (that's only a winter release, though).

This is the third of three Hoppin' Frog beers I bought, seeing as they are new in Florida. My overall opinion is their beers are way overpriced.

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received from via trade from jlindros. Much appreciated!

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a very thin mocha brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the glass and not a lot of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, oatmeal, toasted oats, and toasted malts predominate. The beer smells rich. The coffee and chocolates combine with hints of vanilla to create a very tantalizing smell.

Taste: Coffee and chocolate goodness right off the bat. Some hop bitterness on the back end. The middle is all toasted oats and grains, with some toffee, butterscotch, and vanilla mixed in for good measure. There's also slight alcohol taste, but the higher ABV combined with the sweet nose means this isn't too surprising.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, syrupy, sticky, smooth. The four S's! This beer coats the tongue and mouth, and permeates every corner with sweet chocolates and slightly bitter coffee flavors. There's a twinge of an aftertaste, but this beer finishes fairly clean for the style.

Drinkability: This beer straddles the line between drinkably sweet and overly sweet. The toasted grains and oats balance the sweetness nicely, and the hop addition helps as well. This is a quality beer, and I'm really glad I got the chance to try this hearty brew!

Photo of jdg204
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wife took me out for my bday to my fav place in the Lehigh Valley, Porter's Pub in Easton! I wanted to get something a little special to celebrate the big day and I thought a bottle of the Crusher would do nicely.

A: Pitch black color that light could not hoepe to penetrate with a thin head that departed a bit too quickly and didn't leave much lace.

S: Chocolate, oatmeal, dark fruit, and some espresso.

T: Bursts forth with a sweet, dark fruit laden chocolate flavor that introduces the dark roasted coffee elements by mid-palate. A bit of hoppy bitterness provided a decent balance at the end.

M: Full bodied and smooth, with moderate carbonation.

D: My first Hoppin' Frog brew and I was very pleased with the brew, a good bday choice. My only complaint is that it was a bit too sweet and lacked a good of balance with the hops. Still this was a rock solid brew and a yummmy RIS. If you're looking for something original try this one, but to be honest, there's probably better RIS's more easily available.

Photo of thryn
2.87/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep brown and thick, looks black in the glass. small tan head fades fast. pretty.

chocolate, licorice, raisin and a bit of booze. really sweet nose, fruity, almost cherry? I want some bitterness to balance this out, and I'm not getting it.

I am sad to say I expected more from this beer. It's just too sweet. Licorice, a tiny bt of coffee, some chocolate, booze, and again, that cherrylike sweetness. weird. 2.5. It's good up front, and then it starts to taste a bit like cough syrup.

Feel is good. Smooth, heavy and slick. Minimal carbonation.

Drinkability is not high for me.

I'll finish this, but I won't have another. For those who like cherry and licorice flavors, or like your RISes on the sweet end, this might be worth a try. For those who prefer roastier, more bitter RISes, find a beer-loving friend to taste this with if you simply must try it.

Photo of Beejay
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Black, with a little bit of a brown sugar head from a fairly aggressive pour, this dissipated to a ring.

S: Sweet malt and chocolate. Smells great.

T: Delicious. Chocolate, a nice roasted kick, smooth, and rich. They hide the alcohol very well.

M: Smooth, creamy, and rich.

D: A damn fine beer, and I cannot wait to taste it's barrel aged brother.

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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle a while ago at West Lakeview Liquors - shared with friends alongside BA B.O.R.I.S. and served in a generic pint glass.

A - Big late-rising dark mocha foam that slowly settles to a thick ring and nearly complete cap with some patchy lacing. Pitch black - not even the slightest bit of color.

S - Cocoa, dark fruits, roasted malts, burnt sugars. This smells like an older bottle, without any hint of the higher IBUS listed on the bottle. Smells kind of like a higher-gravity L'Aphrodisiaque, but without the vanilla presence. It's a pretty solid, but perhaps slightly too sweet, RIS.

T - The taste is a fair bit different, with more emphasis on dark chocolate, a touch of coffee, and roastiness galore. There's a strong acidic and bitter aftertaste that I'm not sure is related to the hop content or to the intense roast flavors. Again, good stuff here, but nothing mind-blowing.

M - The mouthfeel is superb - the oatmeal really comes out here. Cask-like smoothness with mild carbonation that keeps things from being syrupy. Big, viscous, body that supports the ABV and flavor exceptionally well.

D - The ABV is very well hidden, and the mouthfeel is superb. Combined with the more than adequete flavor this is an excellent, and fairly easy to obtain, RIS. Just watch out for the mounting bitterness!

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 8/28/09 next to the -bal aged version and poured into a snifter. Thanks Torry. The beer appears black with a light brown head, decent retention, and decent scattered lacing.

I'm taken aback by the nose. This is really excellent stuff. The chocolate is rich and dark. Oatmeal is apparent, as well as vanilla and a little booze.

The taste is also surprisingly great. It tastes of boozy and rich dark chocolate. Traces of dark fruits and oatmeal are evident. There's a medium level of bitterness and molasses. The finish is dry and bittersweet. The beer is full bodied with low medium carbonation and a thick, viscous, and chewy mouthfeel.

This is a great Imperial Oatmeal stout and far better than the -bal aged version. Highly recommended.

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

Poured into a Beer Hunter snifter.

A - black as night, oily, viscous, slight deep tan head. As you swirl the beer in the glass, this baby has legs. The head does not last, though, like a virgin groom on his wedding night.

S - coffee, toffee, caramel, roasted malt, vanilla, like praline ice cream. This smells like a dessert cart in a glass.

T - my first sip: creamy, lucious, coffee, caramel. Whipped foam. Chocolate on the aftertaste. I'll come back to this as it warms up. this is dangerous, there is no alcohol bite at all. Be careful with this one. As it warms, the coffee and roast malt come through more.

M - like whipped cream with coffee, caramel, and chocolate.

D - beer orgasm. let me rest and I'll have another. be gentle with me. In a recent forum, someone asked what was the last beer that wowed you. This is it!

Photo of rajendra82
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was received from BA alleykatking as part of BIF Race 2009. I chose a Duvel Tulip for pouring this into, and the beer was a little bit more carbonated than I had anticipated, which resulted in some fizzy noise, and a two finger thick head atop the pitch black body. The smell was sweet and malty with not a lot of coffee or roast grains. The taste followed the smell closely as well, with berry like sweetness and alcohol warmth, and not a lot of astringency. I liked how the oats added smoothness to the mouthfeel. This was possibly one of the most approachable RIS style beers I have sampled, that was not dumbed down for the sake of drinkability. Good stuff.

Photo of projectflam86
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a jet black color with no lighting shining through. A medium sized mocha colored head that leaves a few rings of lace.

S- Big whiff of roasted barley and coffee make up the nose. Some light chocolate, smoke, and caramel scents as well.

T- Huge roasted flavor with a prickly bitterness initially and a sweet malt finish. Waves of coffee, espresso, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, anise and licorice helped to create layers of flavor and complexity. The cocoa seems to play a two part role in adding bitterness in the beginning and sweetness in the finish.

M- Full bodied with medium/low carbonation. Chewy and creamy.

D- For the price and availability (in Ohio) this is one great RIS. Full flavored and highly drinkable.

Photo of Gtreid
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Pitch black. The pour produces a half finger of dark sand colored head that receeds quickly and leaves no lace.

A: Very nice chocolate and roasted malts. I also get vanilla, licorice, and cherry. Some earth from the hops come through as well.

T: I get the big chocolate and sweetness first, then the oats, then comes something I can't quite put my finger on, I think it's sour cherry. The beer finishes quite dry, with some alcohol heat.

M: Mouthfeel is very smooth, as it is with most oatmeal stouts. Heavy body and light carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is a little lower due to the viscosity and ABV. Overall BORIS is a good Impy Stout. The sourness I got in the middle I could do without, but all in all this is a fine beer. Skal.

Photo of baggio
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Pitch black with a small, brown, head.

S: Grain, Chocolate, Ripe fruit, Coffee.

T: Milk chocolate, Fruit, Licorice, Hint of alcohol, Roasted malts.

M: Supersmooth and very straightforward and insanely drinkable. Nice balanced bitterness at the end.

Smooth imperial stout without much complexity.

Photo of kbeals
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a 22 oz. bottle of this sent to me by both bkrefetz and masterchiefMD in a trade. Thanks again to both of you guys!

A- Pours jet black, very viscous. About a finger of brown sugar colored head. Great head retention and decent lacing.

S- Roasted coffee and dark chocolates along with dark fruits. A bit boozy but not overpowering.

T- Roasted flavors really come through on this one. Coffee and dark fruits. Bitter dark chocolates make an appearance also, along with a bite from the alcohol.

M- Heavy bodied, good amount of carbonation. Smooth as engine oil, just like a good RIS should be.

D- High ABV and relative sweetness hurt it a little bit, but every sip left me wanting more.

This was an excellent RIS. I'll probably leave the other one in the cellar for awhile and see waht happens.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been down in the cellar for a little over a year. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. B.O.R.I.S. appears an opaque deep brown color with at least two fingers of creamy ecru colored foam. Flavors and aromas are dominated by notes of bittersweet and milk chocolates, dark roasted grain, plenty of sweet malt, mocha, earthy and the slightest wisp of smoke. Quite smooth, as most oatmeal stouts are, with a rich body. Alcohol is still present, but not overpowering. A very satisfying stout.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.79/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one hell of a RIS.
It's got all of the features I like in an Imperial Stout, coffee, chocolate, maltyness, a balanced hop character. And nothing is overwhelming; all of the different aspects of the beer are in harmony with each other and create a delicious brew. Great mouthfeel and wonderful drinkability. This beer kicks butt.

Photo of ricke
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with a beige head. Minimal lacings. Not much more to say, this looks really good.

S: The smell is dense, rich and round. Lots of roasted malts and wonderful notes of chocolate and coffee. Hints of molasses, licorice and a gentle hop note. I must say, this is not like many other imperial stouts due to the impressive round character of the smell.

T: The taste is very dense and heavy with lots of malt flavors all around. The roasted character is of course prominent, but I don't pick up much of that roasted malt acidity often found in imperial stouts. Here's a lot of malt flavors other than roasted, so I bet they used quite a lot of other malt varieties as well when they brewed this one. Rich notes of coffee and chocolate and hints of molasses, licorice and wood. The flavor is sweet but the roasted character and a gentle hop twang lift the taste up from the otherwise heavy and slow-moving character. The finish is bitter with notes of roasted malts, wood and alcohol.

M: Full body, very very smooth and creamy texture. Gentle carbonation.

D: This is a really good stout. Heavy and fat in character, yet surprisingly easy to drink. Complex and balanced - in short, very tasty.

Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally picked one up tonight, there is no excuse as to why I haven't tried this earlier. The color is an opaque motor oil black with a bit of head from a vigorous pour that quickly dies down to a slight ring around the outside of the glass. Not much carbonation.

The smell isn't too assertive; roasted malts, dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, hints of vanilla and a bit of alcohol are all present in the bouquet.

The taste is great! Huge creamy mouth feel, this is where the oatmeal really shines! Lots of dark fruits, coffee, molasses and chocolate up front. Hints of vanilla and caramel come in as well. The finish accentuates some of the earthy bitterness of the hops and coffee while still retaining a fantastic creamy smoothness. The 9.5% abv is hidden very well!

Holy $#!% is all I can say. What a great beer! And the price is reasonable, too! This is way better than many beers I've paid twice as much for. This is definitely getting a spot in the regular rotation.

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,449 ratings.