Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout - Hoppin' Frog Brewery
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Ratings: 1,921 | Reviews: 557 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -13.3%
22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard black pressure cap and appealing fun label acquired at a Binny's in Chicago and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given its reputation and ratings, though I wasn't blown away by regular B.O.R.I.S. "Stout Aged in Whiskey Barrels." 9.4% ABV confirmed. 60 IBU.
Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a one finger rich dark tan colour head of nice cream, great thickness, and pretty good (4+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. Opaque; nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I dig the luscious head; it's quite appealing. Right on the money for the style, overall. I can't wait to try it.
Sm: Whiskey is quite pungent here. Spicy hot whiskey, dark malts, cream, caramel, smooth oats, chocolate malt. The whiskey hides the oats; they were much more prominent in the non barrel aged variant. Woody barrel notes. Roast. Dark fruits - dark cherry, maybe some plum. Sweet, sticky. Vanilla. Not finding any coffee. An appealing aroma that adds a nice little something to the base beer with barrel aging. There's motivation for barrel aging here; I like it. I'm concerned about balance, but I'm looking forward to trying it. An aroma that isn't quite moderate in strength, but is well above average whilst retaining subtlety. Intriguing. I don't detect any yeast or hop character.
T: More sweet than anticipated. Not as hot as the aroma might suggest. Lots of chocolate malt, dark malts, caramel, and a bit of cream round out the body. Subtle whiskey notes hang about in the background, surging through a bit more on the finish - which doesn't exactly encourage the next sip. Not as roasty as I'd like, but there is detectable roast - which is more than I can say about many inferior imperial stouts. No floral or yeast character comes through. The sweetness bothers me after a while and definitely reduces drinkability. The chocolate notes are a highlight. I want more of the starchy oats like in the regular BORIS. Dark fruits never quite hit home, instead adding unnecessary sweetness without any real vibrant flavour. It's decently balanced, but its failure to emphasize any of its notes makes it come off a bit muted - or at least timid. The whiskey aging here is well executed, but there's an intrinsic heat to the whiskey. Little oak comes through but I do get some vanilla. A dash of spiciness from the whiskey. It's a tasty little stout, and I can see why it might have been the dog's bollocks in 2008.
Mf: Smooth, wet, sticky. Rolling oats add a nice smoothness without being too slick. Good carbonation. Nicely thick. Nice creaminess; it could do with more. Good body.
Dr: Drinkable in spite of its slightly present ABV. I've certainly had higher ABV stouts that hid their alcohol better. It's a sipper, but that's to be expected. I probably wouldn't bother with it in spite of its quality simply because while it's good, it's not exceptional. And at this price point, I can definitely get an exceptional stout. I look forward to trying more beers from Hoppin' Frog, but this didn't blow me away. I wouldn't mind trying it aged. I'd like to see them amp up the roast and amp up the oats. In my opinion, the oats are what set this imperial stout apart.
Gets better as it warms.
04-02-2013 02:59:07 | More by kojevergas
4.55/5 rDev +5.8%
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.
12-27-2011 02:05:17 | More by weeare138
4.85/5 rDev +12.8%
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!
08-13-2009 02:02:10 | More by barleywinefiend
4.15/5 rDev -3.5%
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.
02-24-2011 03:58:04 | More by Georgiabeer
3.83/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
01-17-2013 20:27:11 | More by stakem
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
12-06-2009 02:24:43 | More by akorsak
4.25/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
10-17-2013 02:08:23 | More by dbrauneis
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
(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.
10-13-2011 21:39:27 | More by rhoadsrage
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.3/5 rDev 0%
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.
03-26-2010 00:54:51 | More by mothman
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
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.
07-27-2009 00:08:14 | More by BARFLYB
4.47/5 rDev +4%
Thanks goes out to Wespatrick for this brew.
Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is awesome, malty, very nice oak note, chocolate, toffee, caramel, dark fruits. The taste is amazing, malty, oaky, nice sweet vanilla note, chocolate, toffee, and some dark fruit. Full body, this is a nice smooth, slightly chewy brew, a sipper for sure. Very drinkable, man this one is tasting very nice tonight. Thanks Wes!
10-18-2009 00:28:41 | More by Wasatch
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
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.
09-07-2013 05:01:40 | More by superspak
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
22oz bottle obtained via Growling at the Moon from bb8189. Thanks for the opportunity.
Poured into a DFH tulip, formed an uneven dark brown skim above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Skim recedes to the rim and the slighted swirling in the center of the glass, with heavy legs as well as slow-falling lace. Aroma is vanilla, oak, dark sweetness, and alcohol.
Taste begins with dark syrupy sweetness, a peek of dried fruits and hops in the middle, and then oak and booze come along and kick ass. Swallow finds slight numbing, and definite lingering warmth. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, with good drinkability in that the depth and variety of flavors invites you back for more. Busy offering, but still a nice treat.
05-19-2010 01:45:09 | More by ppoitras
District of Columbia
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
05-15-2010 19:06:35 | More by Huhzubendah
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,921 ratings.