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

Not Rated.
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,192
Reviews: 584
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 269
Gots: 667 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009

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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,192 | Reviews: 584
Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/25/10 notes. Did a side by side tasting of BORIS, BA BORIS, and DORIS with my brother and dad. Served from a 22 oz. bottle, 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a dark black, with almost no head or carbonation. Showing much less head and carbonation than both BORIS and DORIS.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruit, and chocolate. I felt it had less chocolate in smell than BORIS and DORIS.

t - Tastes strongly of bourbon, and also some oak, vanilla, dark fruit, hops, and chocolate.

m - Full bodied and low carbonation. Smooth and a sipper for sure.

d - I thought this was a good RIS, but ranked third to me compared to the other two in the tasting. I felt it had a lot of characteristics in the the smell and taste that BORIS had, but that the bourbon really overpowered them and muted them a bit. While still enjoyable because I love bourbon, I didn't feel it was as balanced as BORIS. Would certainly have again and recommend, but wouldn't seek out considering BORIS is always on the shelves.

Original Score = 4 4 4 4 4
___
6/30/11 updated. Had a 2 year old bottle of BA BORIS side by side with BORIS, DORIS, and BORIS Royale on 06/25/11 and BA BORIS BLEW the other 3 out of the water. This beer with 2 years on it is amazing, and the bourbon really mellows a bit, making it a can't miss. My suggestion is get 2 or 3 bottles and forget about them in your cellar for 2 years.

Updated Score = 4 4.5 4.5 4 4.5

Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Matt recently (the other Matt). Thanks Matt! Pretty excited about this one, like I am with most hoppin' frog beers.

Beer is black and forms a brown head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to weak.

Aroma is sweet with a nice roast and a hint of bourbon. Smells pretty good.

I did not realize, foolishly that this was a bourbon barrel aged stout until I was in the middle of drinking it. The bourbon character grew on me a lot. It never got hot but it might have if I drank the whole 22 ounces by myself. The beer is medium bodied and has a sweetness to it. Its mildly alcoholic but doesn't finish dry. There is a slightness of chocolate and nice coffee like roast in the back. A very good beer.

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2011 bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, light char, bourbon, oak, clove, toast, toffee, vanilla, coffee, oatmeal, and roasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with big complexity and great balance of roasted malt notes with barrel character; and big strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, light char, bourbon, vanilla, oak, toffee, clove, toast, oatmeal, and roasted earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, light char, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toast, clove, toffee, oatmeal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely incredible complexity and balance of roasted malt and barrel flavors; with an amazing barrel/malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely insane barrel aged imperial stout with a couple years of age. All around amazing complexity and balance of roasted malt and barrel character flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A world class imperial stout offering for sure.

Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mild barrel aroma. The patent and chocolate malts dominate. It's warm and bitter with a nice oatmeal smoothness. The taste is very nice. It has a bitter black malt character that is complimented with a bit of chocolate malt sweetness. The barrel contribution is much more pronounced in the taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good RIS. The original is good. This one is a little more complex.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Note: 2012 Edition

A: Pours an opaque thick and viscous jet black in color with minimal amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and some very faint crimson highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall sudsy foamy mocha head that reduces to a couple of thick patches of larger bubbles surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of whiskey from the barrel aging over the top of light to moderate aromas of chocolate, coffee bean, and roasted malts. Some lighter notes of dark fruits (specifically plum).

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts that is quickly followed by moderate flavors of milk chocolate and coffee. There is a light amount of dark fruit sweetness (plum) and a moderate to strong flavor of whiskey from the barrel aging with hints of oak. Light amounts of bitterness towards the finish which fades pretty quickly.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin with some light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a very enjoyable RIS with the complexity of flavor that includes dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee. The whiskey from the barrel aging nicely complements those flavors rather than dominates. I would definitely recommend this beer, probably the best one from this brewery.

Photo of Mora2000
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours black with a light brown head. Aroma is roasted malt with a lot of bourbon and oak character. Boozy aroma. The flavor is extremely complex with roasted malt, vanilla, oak, bourbon and some sweetness. Overall, I think oak is probably the most dominant flavor. Creamy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Photo of mothman
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a side by side with this and regular Boris.

Pours very little tan head that fades down fast. Leaves no lace. color is a solid black, just like regular boris.

Aroma: licorice, dried cherries, chocolate, roasted malts, whiskey, sweet malts, oak, and vanilla. Much better than regular boris. Well done here.

Taste: Lots of fresh cherries with licorice. The whiskey is dulled down, but present. Some oak and vanilla. Lots of oats. Much better than the regular version.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, smooth, and velvety. Lower carbonation with a medium sized body. Ends roasted with some whiskey. Not bad, but a little dry.

Overall, this beer is much much better than the regular version and I can't stress that enough. It is fairly drinkable and something I wouldn't mind drinking again.

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber shared with friends and poured into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with a dark brown head. A swirl revives a finger worth of creamy froth that displays decent retention and produces spotty lace patterns on the glass.

The aroma is toasty and roasty with a scent of fresh oats and chocolate mingled with dark fruity alcohol notes. A bit of raw oak and a hint of spicy quality reminescent of raw oak.

The taste includes that previously mentioned raw oak, woody with roast and coffee. Some bitter chocolate and earthy grain blend in with some solvent alcohol that is a little fruity.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A pleasant mixture of roasty and fruity character but with a raw barrel presence to mix things up. It is nice but for the price not something id revisit again anytime soon.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled February 2010
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost four-finger thick, richly browned head. The beer is very dark, almost perfectly black color that is quite opaque when held up to the light. The head manages to leave some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass as the head subsides. The aroma smells of vanillin and sweetened toasted coconut up front. This leads into a richly toasted malt character that leans towards barley husk notes, sweetened dark cocoa, and a cream laden, sweetened, French roast coffee drink. Interestingly enough this beer is not nearly as complex as I expected from a Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout; I do like that this is very smooth and well integrated as the Bourbon character has not run rough-shod and hot over the aromatic profile.

The beer tastes quite sweet up front and finishes with a touch of Bourbon spice, acrid burnt malt, and a spicy carbonic bite that is a bit unexpected given that this isn't highly carbonated. Flavors of vanillin interweave with rich toasted coconut notes and the dark, chocolate like malt character to make this seem quite a bit like a rich desert. The body is rich and viscous as it lingers fatly on the palate without being cloying. As the beer warms up it loses some of the sweetness that was almost too much initially. This helps to bring out a rich, savory malt character that brings out a sort of salty, sort of smoky, definitely umami character.

A quite enjoyable beer whose biggest flaw is that it is perhaps a bit simplistic. This definitely needs to be drunk on the warm side of cool where the savory quality becomes noticed and helps to boost the complexity. The most pleasant part of this beer is that it doesn't get overwhelmed by the Bourbon Barrel aging, which is a huge relief to me.

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

A gift from Fred Karm, a terrific guy and great brewer. Thanks! This beer appears black, with a slight brown hue near the crest when held up to the light. Nice head and lacing. This is a delicious beer. The oats work very well with the wood. The blending and melding of flavors is particularly well done. There is a slight warming alcohol note in the finish. The feel is creamy and smooth, yet crisp carbonation gives it a well-balanced and very enjoyable feel. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vinyljunkie for this in a recent trade, consumed late at night to avoid the heat during the summer. Poured into a snifter.

A- BA Boris pours out black from the bottle and has a semi thick look. Once in the glass it stays black while no head was seen just some very faint skim, no lacing, which is expected. A few swirls brings up a dark brown skim on the surface. Towards the end of my glass I see some brown edges in the liquid.

S- Kind of threw me off because I got a lot of dark fruit which was not present in the regular BORIS, perhaps this is new for regular boris as I have not had a regular in a while. Big scents of bourbon with chocolate and even less coffee. Some vanilla and cream. Not being a fan of huge scents of fruits in my stouts that detracted from the smell.

T- The taste is much better as the dark fruit is still there but the other flavors take away from it. A nice amount of bourbon(not sure which type of barrel used) that comes out more with warming. Up next is a nice vanilla addition which melds nicely with the chocolate and light coffee mix. The oatmeal which is very big in the regular version is still here but very muted. A bunch of roasted malt while the hops are light, no bitterness.

M&D- The mouthfeel is actually lighter than expected, I would venture to say that it is above medium bodied with light carbonation. The alcohol is masked extremely well, it's almost non existant. All of the flavors stick around in the aftertaste for a bit. The drinkability is great and only gets better as boris warms, I wish I let it warm more before I drank it all because I was really feeling the last few ounces of it.

For a first time attempt at barrel aging something as great as BORIS, hoppin frog did a great job, although I have had much better attempts at bourbon barrel aged beers. Here is to hoping that future batches grow in complexity and more bourbon.

Photo of billab914
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My bottle had a gold cap on it. Not sure exactly what batch that denotes but I know the color of the cap is what determines the batch. I know this one has at least a little age on it though. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured a thick black color with a thin mocha head to it. The head kept to a thin ring around the edges of the glass and left very little lacing.

The aroma has a nice dark chocolate flavor to it with a little roasted malt character coming through as well. Some oak and bourbon come through as well, but it's more of a lighter and smooth flavor overall. Very flavorful and appealing aroma to it.

The taste shows a oak and vanilla barrel characteristic to it with some bourbon coming through as well. Overall the bourbon is light in comparison to other barrel aged stouts and very smooth. Some dark chocolate and roasted bitterness come through as well. Overall a very flavorful, complex and smooth taste to the beer. Aging has been very nice to this beer, one of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

The mouthfeel is definitely one of the thicker stouts I've had, which I love. Carbonation is on the lower side which is also nice. Drinkability is very good, it has some great flavors to it. As I said before aging has been nice to this beer and it has a very smooth barrel characteristic to it without any alcohol heat to it. Excellent beer overall and one of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is about 1 year old, from my cellar.

Pours very dark, deep ruby. almost black. Head is off brown and minimal. Lacing is invisible.

Cocoa, dark chocolate, leather, ripe black plum and dark coffee beans round up the nose on this bad boy. De-lish!

Flavors are simple, yet powerful. Cocoa nibs, leather, dark chocolate, faint coffee beans, baked caramel. Tastes dark. Very nice.

Feels soft and velvety. Carbonation has no chance here. The booze thins things out nicely to allow full enjoyment of the flavors. Could use some bubble on the end to loosen up the slick feeling a bit. This beer is a sipper, but the abv is well hidden and sipping just won't happen.

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

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. Gold cap on top for the record.

Supper dark brown and creamy head off the pour with some good sticking that is thick. Body appears an almost dark red with hints of classic dark walnut brown/black, leaves a real nice collar, and a random thin puck that looks whispy and nice. The body is very dark but it might be a little clear too. Nevertheless, this is a great looking drink.

Thick whipped milk chocolate on the nose, slight boozy caramel, barley wine fruit sensations and more chocolate, with just the right sense of heat. Praline like as well, bold, this looks real promising.

First taste is, killer body, and just the nice thick palate that flows so easily. Bitter dark chocolate all throughout that is so pleasant, god I love dark chocolate that's just a little bitter and this is it right here. Swallow brings feeling of barleywine pleasantry. Milkshake like easy drinking and stupidly creamy, very well balanced on the boozyness it feels just right. Twizzlers black licorice candy feeling on the swallow, with a hint of char.

Wow I was beginning to think this was gonna be a disappointment for the price it was anything but! Fantastic beer I am going to finish this bomber in 5 minutes flat it is so good.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lots of whiskey in this one- clean, strong taste of a lighter, cleaner style of Bourbon are evident throughout here. Nice, but this is one that would probably benefit from a little aging. Not because it's harsh or hot, but because the Bourbon could use some more integration with the rest of the beer. As it is it's a little dominant. Pours black and viscous- like a light weight motor oil. Little head, and what there is fades completely in a short while. Lots of whiskey in the mose as well as a silky oatmeal stout aroma with a light roastiness and some bitter chocolate notes. Aside from the smooth stout flavors, and the whiskey, there is a particularly nice aftertaste of dark chocolate that is accented by the whiskey. Very smooth, and both the smoothness and the aftertaste of chocolate are empasized by allowing the beer to open upo for awhile, while the whiskey is brought a little more under control. I enjoyed it.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Green cap. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black, but not quite inky. Good mocha head but no retention. Some surface bubbles. I poured some into a pint glass for my dad and it has great retention. Huh.

Smell - Whiskey with some oak. Sweet chocolate malt. A lot of whiskey mostly, though.

Taste - Whiskey right up front. Chocolate malt all over. Less barrel but booze comes through. Very malty and chewy. Lots of oatmeal and a sweetness that recalls lactose, but probably isn't.

Mouthfeel - Chewy with a nice viscosity. Not really boozy, but it has a bite from the whiskey. Hot from the barrel, I guess.

Overall - Good, but too sweet for me. I'd like a bit more bitterness to balance it.

Photo of weeare138
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with a fluffy tan cap that slowly fades into a gentle cap and hearty collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of complex dark ripe fruit, vanilla, bourbon, black grapes, raisins, caramel, buttercream candies, dark chocolate truffles...man, intense ride here.
Taste is of the aromas with a superb complex blend of cocoa, sea salted caramels, dark cocoa truffles, turbinado sugar, vanilla, and the obvious bourbon blend. As a bourbon fan - this is outrageous.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary, syrupy, slick in the finish, with a boozy finish that screams, "hope this is a nightcap, bitch!". That it is. Loving it! Well done.

Photo of Lare453
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large format bottle into a riedel cab glass

A black., small light cocoa brown head, light lacing.

S whiskey, peat, cocoa, malt, oak

T sweet cocoa and malt beginning, the middle is peaty, whitely and oak, the end is an amazing blend of whiskey, oak, vanilla, chocolate, lemon peel and the aftertaste is vanilla oak and whiskey.

M kinda thick. Amazing. Smooth, light carbonation.

O wow. The best beet I've ever had from h.f. fantastic. If you get a chance, get it. A great barrel aged stout.

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Whisky is immediately apparent and dominant in the nose. Vanilla and tannins are noticeable, as well as cherries. Rich chocolate is present in the background. The whisky is pervasive and seems to swallow up the other aromas.

The taste opens up with bitter chocolate and strong booze. The whisky takes over almost instantly and drowns out the chocolate and oatmeal I so enjoyed in the reguilar B.O.R.I.S. The beer is very sweet and boozy and it becomes cloying.

Barrel Aging has been detrimental to the mouthfeel of this beer. It comes off thin and watery and nowhere near as satisfying as the regular version.

This beer could use some time to mellow out as it's quite hot and boozy. It became a chore to drink near the end. The regular B.O.R.I.S. is clearly superior.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Nose has light hints chocolate, , coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, coffee, oak and bourbon. Taste coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, and mild bourbon. Big roastiness and the bourbon is well hidden. ABV is upfront for sure. It tasted hotter than it is. Loved this beer!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
maybe a red cap?

A- This beer pours a jet black inky body with a thick cocoa head that fades to a thick ring and sticks to the glass a bit after each sip.

S- The chocolate rich nougat malt character is full and out shadows other aromas.

T- The full smooth dark malt has some soft barrel finish with notes of caramel and graham sweetness coming through as the beer opens up. There is a spicy heat in the finish that supports and cuts the thick malt a bit. Some vanilla notes with the bourbon in the finish takes on an inky note in the finish.

M- The full mouthfeel has an alcohol warmth in the finish.

O- The nice rich dark roasted stout as some good bourbon and barrel flavors with a nice amount of heat to just through the heavy beer.

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

Shared this at Dyan's place yesterday.

BA Boris pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, with leather, tobacco, coffee and dark chocolate. Flavors replicate the nose in this fairly sweet stout, but it delivers more flavor then I was expecting from the aroma profile. The chocolate flavor really comes on strong on the palate, along with considerable coffee and vanilla. There is a hint of leather and tobacco in the long finish. Mouthfeel is fairly soft and creamy, and seemed to improve the longer the beer sat in the glass. Drinkability is good, with the alcohol well disguised.

Re-sampled on 6/28/11. Very little difference from previous version. Still quite excellent. Did find the aroma profile a bit more attractive, and so adjusted review score slightly.

This was a very easy to take, very enjoyable beer. Haven't had the regular Boris in some time, but this is clearly superior to the regular version of this beer (IMHO). Impressive.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that musters but then recedes. Smells of roast, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, light bourbon and oak with hints of dark fruit. The flavor is sweet with a roasty earthy edge. some chocolate but more roast and coffee coming through with a solid shot of bourbon flavor. Light vanilla and wood with a smattering of dark fruits to round it all out. Medium to thick body with a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. Wow this is a damn fine brew! The barrel thins the body a bit which I like because the regular version is thick and sticky. Very Nice brew.

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from the first batch. Thanks to Deuane for picking it up for me. Shared with janlud and ksak.

A: The stout is dark, a thick oily morass that absorbs every spectrum of visible light. Opaque? Nope, this one is a bird's eye view into the heart of darkness. Albeit a heart of darkness with a thin tan-colored head.

S: Cocoa powder, oak and vanilla drive the aroma, a soft nose that doesn't come across as overbearing. Dark malts emerge on closer inspection, smelling like a good stout.

T: The regular BORIS does its best to stand out up front, throwing out dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors. After the initial stout flavors, the bourbon and barrel gradually emerge. Oak and vanilla stand out, softening up the stout to a cocoa powder sweetness. A flourish of booziness peaks through near the end of each sip. The bourbon adds a bit of burn to each sip.

M: The mouthfeel doesn't skimp on either the stout or the barrel. The bourbon isn't as crisp as in some stouts but you can tell that it is there.

D: At nearly 10%, this is a sippin' stout. I've had both Batch 1 and 2 and I cast my vote for Batch 1.

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Barrel Aged BORIS is as black as hockey tape and doesn't offer any concessions even when held into the light. This steadfastly opaque liquid looks as strong as the bottle says it is and personifies a lot of its own flavours (coffee, burned wood, barbecue, soy sauce). Some head formed from the pour but it turned out to be too good to be true.

Whiskey is plainly apparent in the aroma. No matter how rich BORIS is, this just goes to show that the 40% spirit will beat out the 10% stout every time. It's stronger than smelling salts. Too big a whiff can bring tears to the eyes. Despite the hint of balsamic and fig, there's no room for lusciousness or subtlety - just balls-to-the-wall, rock 'em sock 'em whiskey.

As if there was any doubt going into it, the first few sips confirm that barrel-aged BORIS is a BIG beer that requires you to take your time. A lot of hot whiskey flavour is present which means that even the smallest of sips warm the throat on the way down. There's no escaping butter-thick vanilla, oak spices and brandy-infused caramel, even if there is some coffee-and-cream roast maltiness singing backup vocals. This could cure a cold.

If the legends posted on the interwebs are correct, and this gold capped bottle really does date back to Spring 2009, that would mean that what's in the glass now spent more than two years in the bottle. Never having had it any fresher, I can't speak comparatively to the effects of aging, but this does seem capable of holding up another few years, easily.

There's nothing barrel-aging could bring to a beer like BORIS except unnecessary, unwanted alcohol - indeed, the beer smelt 70% percent like alcohol and pretty much drinks that way too; in layman's terms it tastes like soy sauce, mesquite barbecue and charred oak. While notes of caramel-laden oak and vanilla-accented coffee are appreciated, I can't help but wonder where are the hoppy and roasted malt notes that I love so much about the base beer?

Not a whiskey drinker myself, I'll take either BORIS or DORIS - two of the best examples of the RIS style I've come across - any day of the week over their barrel-aged cousin. But for any special occasions, there's no doubt that this is exactly the kind of luxurious beer you'd hope to have on hand. A special thanks to SkinnyElvis for affording me such a precious treat!

Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 2,192 ratings.