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Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
English-style Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Batch 1- 2009(April) GOLD cap
Batch 2- 2009(July) GOLD
Batch 3- 2009(Oct) GREEN
Batch 4- 2010 BLACK
Batch 5- 2011 RED
Batch 6- 2012 WHITE

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 609 | Ratings: 2,331
Photo of diablo14
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Dark, viscous, and impressively balanced beer. All three major elements of this brew come together in perfect harmony - the sweet creaminess of the oatmeal, the dry, roasty Russian imperial, tied together by a strong boubon presence.

Certainly one to warm the cockles of your heart on a chilly night.

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Photo of HarmonMW
4.6/5  rDev +8%

Strong bourbon nose. Very smooth mouthfeel. Bourbon is very evident in the taste, but so incredibly smooth and compliments the excellent base beer well. A great drink, and one to savor!

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Photo of tviz33
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

So for beer 401, and the first beer I've reviewed after they've implemented this new rating system (which I highly disapprove of), I'll actually be writing something. This one was poured from a bomber, served in a tulip. Purchased at the Hopshop in State College, PA.

A- Pretty much black, with just a small cap of dense brown foam that sort of resembles a head.

S- Tons of barrel, but it's not overpowering, as the oatmeal and other base beer aromas emerge.

T- As with the nose, I noticed the barrel first: whiskey and vanilla. The more I have, the more the oatmeal comes out. Milk chocolate even makes an appearance. Really nice!

M- Full feel, silky smooth... nothing harsh about this BA RIS.

O- The oatmeal really makes this beer. Very tasty, although I don't think I will revisit this at this price point of $17.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 2012 bottle of this at a small liquor store. Waited a couple of months and finally decided to crack this bad boy open.

Pours a smooth and silky dark brown/black that poured flat on the first glass and a fluffy 3 finger head on the second glass (and no I did not slosh it when setting it down after the first pour).

Aromas of sweet oatmeal and chocolate are wonderfully smooth and followed up with a nice quaff of Kentucky bourbon.

Oh baby is that smooth! Two years did some things delicious to this brew. The oatmeal is very prevalent still, whereas the chocolate is very subtle, and silky smooth bourbon.

This is one of the smoothest brews I've had. I'd like to sample a fresh batch of this to compare what the age did, but to put it perfectly, this is a mouthful of sweet oatmeal, lush chocolate, all enveloped by a smooth as butter bourbon glove.

Overall, all I can say is damn, this was tasty!

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Photo of JulioH
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Too heady/boozy for my taste.

Pours a nice dark beer. Some foam forms on the head. Smells like brandy, coffee, caramel and roasted malts. Taste is too boozy for me. The nice roasted malts are interrupted by the headiness of the beer. It should be smooth, not savage. I had left mine sit for a while, but the alcohol was still there. Good to see how it would be in a year or two. Body is syrupy.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$14 bomber purchased at a Giant Eagle in North Olmstead, Ohio. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Pitch black with a modest dark brown head that goes away pretty quickly, leaving no lacing.

Smell: Like complexity? I hope so. Man that is just everywhere, in a great way. Nice amount of the whiskey barrel is in there, then vanilla, dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee. Beautiful nose on it. No alcohol traced here at all.

Taste/feel: All of what I described in the smell. Wow. Plenty of barrel. Dark fruit with a bit of a tanginess. Vanilla, chocolate, coffee... finish is a bit warming, which I'd expect, but not as hugely bold as some barrel aged stouts. I think the use of whiskey barrel over bourbon barrel mutes the vanilla character a bit, as well as that "plain cake donut" (as I describe it) flavor. Finish adds a little bit of a char sort of character that I actually really like. Feel is moderate, almost full bodied, but not super syrupy thick like I was expecting it to be, as most in the style are that way. This is a bit too drinkable for its own good, but it is deeelicious.

Great beer at actually a very fair price compared to some other barrel aged stouts out there. Goes insanely well with a bit of peanut brittle I have from a local bakery. Would also no doubt go well with a thick, juicy steak... no matter what you pair it with, make sure you save a little to have on its own. I think I'd prefer a bourbon barrel aging to a whiskey barrel aging, but either way, this is a must-try.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Midnight black in color with just a trace of mahogany brown head covering the majority of the top of the brew. Light Brussels lacing. Deep aroma of roasted barley,oatmeal,and bourbon are very enticing. The flavor is a combo of bitter roasted barley, sweet bourbon and oatmeal. The mouth is thick,creamy, luscious and sticky.

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Photo of roger617
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into snifter.

A: Pours dark black with almost a finger of tan colored head that reduces fairly slow and leaves a thin collar. Viscosity appears very thick, really looking forward to this!
S: Aroma is strong with whiskey, charred oak, and a hefty amounts of grain. The whiskey comes across as a bit harsh.
T: The first flavor that hits is whiskey, and it's not harsh at all the way it come across on the nose. I'm getting quite a bit of chocolate, which I did not detect at all in the aroma - however after tasting it, I do detect it in the aroma, but only slightly. As the glass warms the charred oak starts to come to the front. Lingering aftertaste is whiskey, roast malt, and chocolate.
M: As the pour indicated, the feel of this is very thick. HFB must have used a ton of oatmeal in this, as the viscosity to ABV ratio is very impressive. I'm impressed with how smooth this beer feels.
O: This is an extremely well crafted stout. The whiskey barrel treatment takes this beer to another level, and creates a standout in what is a relatively small class. I enjoy the relatively low ABV combined with such a thick feel. Very well done, wish I would have bought more when I came across this one.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a midnight black with a one finger chocolate head. Wow, the smell is lightly boozy bourbon vanilla and oak. There's also some oats, creamy chocolate, and roasted char. A light freshly ground coffee smell is present, but not a feature. The taste shines. The bourbon is really present, but ultimately doesn't overwhelm the oatmeal and roasted flavors. The booziness is very appealing, blending well with the flavors it supports. Dark chocolate and ground coffee flavors are strong, with bourbon vanilla beans and whiskey soaked oats backing them up. The mouthfeel is slick, oily, thick and smooth with medium carbonation.

What a nice treat, this beer is definitely something. The oats add another level of complexity to the style (I've never had a bbl oatmeal stout) that is appealing. Adds a certain earthiness to the experience. Very good, definitely recommended.

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Photo of zac16125
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: pitch black, 1 finger mocha colored head, dissipates down fairly quickly, leaves a fair amount of spotty lacing

S: roasty, subtle chocolate, barrel notes with a bourbony oak

T: big barrel notes up front, lots of whiskey oak and bourbony booze; base beer flavors of roasted malt and chocolate; really tasty

M/D: full bodied but not thick, ABV well restrained, drinkability is good

O: not spectacular but really nice

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with a black cap on top, so a 2010 vintage according to this website, to my pleasant surprise. Thanks to the local beer store for cellaring this beer for me. My first beer from Hoppin' Frog Brewery, and I'm excited to have it. Expectations are pretty great based on this beer's high ratings.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours an inky sludgey black colored body with a quarter inch of dark brown mocha head that fades away to a ring. Some nice spotty lacing clinging to the glass. Looks very nice.

S - The nose not quite as sharp as I imagined, but still very nice - vanilla, fudge, cookie dough, woodsy oak barrel, and some mild alcohol fumes still noticeable.

T - Taste follows the nose - vanilla, chocolate / cocoa, some light roasty bitterness, caramel / toffee, woodsy oak barrel character, and some dark fruits - cherries, figs, dates. Mild alcohol warmth.

M - The feel is very smooth, creamy, and velvety. Nice chocolate / vanilla / roast bitterness lingering on the palate.

Overall, it is a very nice bourbon (or whiskey barrel, according to my label) stout but it is not something I would pay the near $20 price tag for again. There are equal or better beers available for half the price of this bomber. With that said, this beer has aged gracefully over the past years and the flavors have melded together nicely. Definitely a worthy stout and I look forward to trying more from this brewery.

Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal-Imperial Stout ---4/5.

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Photo of hops202
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Snifter

A - thick black pour. Looks yummy

S - lots of bourbon and vanilla present. Some roast as well.

T - tons of bourbon. Very yummy and then some roast in the middle with more bourbon on the back end with a hint of black coffee.

M - fairly heavy but not overpowering. Quite delicious

O - ordered offline for a high price ($18), but it was great to try. If I ever saw in store I would certainly buy.

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Photo of don1481
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into big glass.

Appearance: Dark, thick - motor oil comes to mind - liquid which leads to a deep mocha colored head that rapidly dissipates and leaves no lacing along the side of the glass. Holding this sucker up to the light, I can't tell if there are any bubbles because it's so dark.

Smell: Oh man. This reminds me a lot of BCBS at first sniff. Very bourbon-heavy, but lots of vanilla and caramel notes as well. Pretty complex nose overall. If this tastes even close to how it smells... I'm going to be in for a GREAT night.

Taste: Holllyyy bourbon, Batman. This has got quite the punch to it up-front! Definitely get the alcohol screaming through in this one, but it doesn't overpower the vanilla/chocolate/coffee/oat notes that persist as I drink this baby.

Mouthfeel: Has a little bit of a lingering bitterness to it. Not an alcohol or bourbon aftertaste, but more of a coffee taste. Very viscous in the mouth, but clean as it goes down. Pretty impressive.

Overall: I'd consider getting one of these bad boys to age, but as others have noted... it's pricey ($17 for a 22oz bottle at Ray's). I may have to get it next time I run to either Woodman's or DiscLiq, since I think it's cheaper there. Definitely interested in seeing how this ages, though, and how that bourbon-forward taste evolves.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Popped a silver cap (so i guess it's a more recent vintage), got a nice sniff of the barrel notes already. Poured pitch black, some fast bubbles create a half finger brown head that goes away fast. A thin (not very) sticky lace stays around for the rest of the time.
Big sweet milky chocolate in the smell, cappuccino, coffee liquor, toffee, vanilla. Bourbon barrel, with oak, dusty wood, (sweetish) dark malts and some faint dark fruit. Really makes you wanna throw this down your gullet.
First sip surprises with strong whiskey right from the start, some juicy (fermented) plums and cherries too. Booze settles and rich stout notes show their face. Dusty cocoa powder and roasted coffee beans follow, along with the oaky vanilla, hint of licorice and citrus peel, great barrel component. Dark chocolate roasted malts in the finish, oats, hop presence and warm alcohol, just like after taking a sip of nice whiskey.
Low carbonation, velvety smooth, almost oily. Perfect sipper, you can really take your time with this one. As it warms the chocolate maltiness gets "thicker", but never manages to cover up the bourbon. The aftertaste presents all that the beer had great, with residual warm alcohol, cocoa and fruity hops.
Great barrel conditioning, rich robust stout, beautiful beer. Bodacious indeed.

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Photo of toppoop
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours out very dark and forms a great head which disappeared after a bit. Not too much lacing to speak of.
S - Smells perfect for a BA. Nice vanilla and bourbon on the nose.
T - After just a short time aging, the alcohol has evened out a bit but is still there on the finish.
M - Coats the mouth great, almost leaving a film for a bit. Very thick, very good.
O - Outstanding BA!

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Photo of dar482
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a dark black color with some dark brown head.

The aroma has forward whiskey with the base beer, fudgey chocolate, dark chocolate, umami of mushroom and seaweed, hint of dark fruit, a decent roasted quality.

The beer in general has whiskey in front, base beer BORIS, more whiskey on finish.

There’s a whiskey, then onto nuttiness, fudgey chocolate, a bit of umami, then onto strong whiskey and a bit of roasted coffee on the finish.

In the end, the beer just is not very cohesive. It’s more whiskey combined with the base beer, which is not bad by any means. This base beer still stands up and this is still enjoyable, but not exactly where I love my bourbon barrel beers.

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Photo of BradC
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours opaque jet black, looks like old motor oil. Thin tan head falls quickly and leaves very little lacing.

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit

Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, not overly boozy

Full body am slight carbonation makes this easy drinking

Overall, one of the best barrel aged Imperial stouts I've had....will try to get another bottle of this tomorrow!

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Photo of BumpyAZ
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a white capped 22oz bottle (Batch 6 - 2012 according to this site)

A: Deep black with thin mocha colored head that quickly disappates

S: Bourbon! Very upfront but not overwhelming, a little oaky. Gives way to chocolate, vanilla, and oats. Definitely a hint of molasses sweetness there too.

T: Similar to the aroma. Bourbon upfront, with chocolate, vanilla and oats. Some coffee like bitterness on the end. Nicely balanced but the longer you drink it the more overpowering the bourbon becomes.

M: Slightly thick and chewy, Creamy and smooth, a very slight ting from the alcohol.

Very good beer! Just wish it was a little easier to find and cheaper (runs about $18-20 in these parts)

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gold Cap 2009 release acquired from pochman courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter pint glass.

A: The beer is a very deep black color, with a very thin beige head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass. However the lack of head and lacing can easily be attributed to the beer’s age being 4+ years.

S: The aroma contains dark chocolate, licorice, coffee, roasted malts, oats and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out creamy with flavors of coffee and chocolate. Then a hearty roasted malt character quickly follows. There are background flavors of bourbon, licorice and dark fruit. The hops presence is very mild but brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth, a little crisp and quite viscous but a bit chalky, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice big stout to drink for a long time however I like the original version better.

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Photo of BSK_ONE
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with an interesting dissipating head. The little carbonation explodes into giant bubbles bursting through the the head.
S: Roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla.
T: very nice chocolate, and roasted malt flavor. Missing any head.
M: Smooth do to the lack of carbonation, but smooth none the less. Slight alcohol tinge, but nothing to worry about.
O: Delicious, great job Hoppin Frog!

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Photo of Mikecap
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Paul for sending me this bottle!

A: Pours a jet black with a nice khaki head that fades to a nice splotchy lace.

S: Deep dark chocolate and roast, some oak and a bit of booze.

T: Chocolate up front with a nice warming sweetness from the whiskey, some oak comes through and hints of coffee and roast.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation and a nice creamy texture. Very easy drinking despite its size and little burn from the alcohol.

O: Really really good barrel aged stout that I'd drink again if given the chance. Worth seeking out for sure!

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Photo of arizcards
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber on LetsPour.com back in early October for $23.00. No freshness date.

Beer poured black with a brown head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is roasted malts, mocha, with a light touch of whiskey.

Initial sip was warming whiskey. Taste is roasted malts, mocha, chocolate, lemon, dark fruits, with a whiskey undertone.

Mouthfeel is smooth but thinner than what i would expect from an impy stout.

Overall this is a complex delicious brew that is worth seeking out. I have had both versions of BORIS and can say they rate up there with the best i have had!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I was really craving a barrel aged imperial stout last night and this was on the shelf. Kind of pricey at $20 but I guess that is close to the going rate these days for this type of beer. Appearance was standard, super black, short head. Aroma was a bit of chocolate, a bit of whiskey and a bit of barrel, not bad at all. Flavor was pretty good imperial stout with nice touched of the whiskey barrel. My friend said it tasted like espresso. This was probably the best Hoppin Frog beer I've had so far and it did hit the spot for what I was craving.

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Photo of guityler83
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

White cap, 2012?

A: The beer was poured into a snifter glass from the bottle from about 6 inches above the rim and produced a finger tall head of foam that built from the bottom up almost like a nitro pour. The foam was made of tiny bubbles, dark tan in color, and sank into the opaque black liquid quickly. When swirled the foam would stir up a bit, but would quickly dissipate.

S: Very prominent oak flavor even when pouring the beer at cooler temperatures. Vanilla and toffee notes from the oak with mild fruity undertones. The beer underneath comes through as it warms up, sweeter aroma with chocolate, cocoa, prunes and a moderate alcohol note (maybe the bourbon). Chocolate is dominant on the dark malts not a lot of roast or char notes, smooth overall.

T: On the first sip, sweet milk chocolate, bakers cocoa, candy toffee and raisins mixed with the vanilla and oak flavors from the barrel. Balance is on the sweet side with not real hop flavor detected but enough bitterness to make it noticeable.

M: Alcohol warming is mild. Large amount of body and a syrupy kind of mouthfeel. Carbonation is low. There is also a slight tingling sensation coming through on the tongue which I usually attribute to the bourbon. Slight astringency on the tongue that lingers after a few sips.

O: The barrel character is very tasty in this beer and the base beer is very chocolate forward which I like. I would put the level of barrel between a BCBS and a CWBS, but with less bourbon overall.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to RocPorterFanatic for the bottle. Tasted 4 January 2014, reviewed from notes.

Pours black and thick, completely opaque. An aggressive pour yields one finger of dark-brown head; a more normal pour yields none. Good retention, decent lacing.

Smell is big and rich, a really nice balance of stout and bourbon. It's sweet and so smooth, nearly perfectly balanced, and almost as good as it gets. No complaints, but it's not quite as complex or robust as the best.

Taste is a little rougher, a little more bourbon-heavy, and less integrated than the smell. But it's still quite good, just a little on the rough side.

Feel is really good, though somehow it doesn't blend with the beer like I want it to. It's really heavy and thick. The carbonation initially feels like enough, but that's until the weight of the body and flavor settle in and drown out those weak little bubbles. Needs a bit more fizz.

A very solid barrel-aged stout. Could be better, but could be a whole lot worse. The integration of the barrel with the base beer in the smell is outstanding.

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Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.