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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

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1,959 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,959
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 243
Gots: 631 | FT: 71
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

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

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,959 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claytong
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

not sure the age on this one

appearance - viscous black with tiny head. bubbles and dissipates. no lacing really to speak of.

smell - whiskey barrel heat, dark rich chocolate, brownie brown sugar, toffee

taste - pretty much the same with more whiskey and a nice vanilla note. oak is also a bit more pronounced.

mouthfeel - pretty thick but not as much as id like. oily in the mouth. carbonation is not bad as compared to the appearance.

claytong, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of Treebs
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Silver capped bomber.

A: Pours a jet black with a nice one finger mocha head. Bubbly in nature and lingers for a little bit. Fades to a nice combination of swirls and a solid ring.

S: Solid baker's chocolate with a small dash of whiskey and a the barrel is present as well. Slightly woody with a little bit of sweetness.

T: The taste is the same as the nose with a little more pronounced whiskey flavoring. There is a solid roasted malt quality with a little oatmeal flavor. Sweet chocolate as well.

M: Decent carbonation with a barrel character left across the palate. Does have an above normal dry finish to it.

O: This was a solid offering, although I like BORIS Royale more. The barrel character and whiskey presence were nice, but I wish the other characters shined a little more.

Treebs, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of Pahn
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch #5 (red cap), so bottled sometime in 2011.

Appearance: Looks like engine oil pouring into the glass. Free pour yields a half inch tan head that dissipates quickly and lacelessly. Occasionally leaves short lived spots of lacing. Big legs.

Smell: Chocolate and oak from the bottle. In the glass there's a big note of fig and raisin, along with vanilla oak, caramel and toffee. "Smells right," is my first thought. With time and warmth, some booziness comes out and accentuates everything else. The fig and toffee aromas sort of alternate as most prominent, with some chocolate in the background.

The smell could be a bit bolder, but it's very nice.

Taste: Oof, it tastes right too. First sip has straightforward vanilla oak up front, leading to some roast and hop bitterness and then a very long and complex finish of caramel, oak, booze, some hops, and more things than I can keep track of at once. Just delicious. The second sip has coffee up front, then toffee, vanilla, and another long procession of decadent, adventurous, profoundly palatable flavors. The third is more hop forward, with a heavier hit of nutty roasted malt, then the same blissfully satisfying finish.

So much about this beer is just right. The hop bitterness is assertive, but it supports the endless malt and barrel flavors. The smooth, creamy body and low carbonation emphasize the decadence (but there's still enough bitterness and heat to not even approach "I'm drinking a sauce that should be poured on ice cream," territory). The time in the barrel has softened the aggression of the base beer, but kept in the deep complexity of flavor. There's nutty roasted malt, foresty hops, multidimensional caramel and toffee, several typical oak flavors (vanilla, not-quite-coconut, etc), various gooey dark fruit flavors.

It would not be tough to persuade me to give this beer a 5.0 for taste. Maybe the marriage of flavor isn't quite as excellent as that of Parabola or Abyss, but it's pretty much perfect.

Mouthfeel: Beautiful. Full bodied, thick and creamy. Mild carbonation. When I hear "imperial oatmeal stout," this is *exactly* what my most optimistic expectations for mouthfeel are. Mild dryness (perfectly attenuated), just enough carbonation, perfect body. I don't think there's any room for improvement in this area.

Overall: A masterful beer. It's hard to say if it improves on the base beer, itself a masterpiece, but I love drinking this.

Pahn, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried side-by-side with the normal version. Poured cola black with a small dark tan head. Aroma of vanilla, cocoa, and hints of espresso.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, creamy mouthfeel. Lots of cocoa and coffee, but the vanilla character hinted at in the standard version really come to the fore. Some oak, mild roasty bitterness, and traces of boozy heat on the finish.

The barrel-aging brought some nice complexity and balance to what was already a solid stout. Very nice.

grittybrews, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

rhoadsrage, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of amidabha
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

green cap poured into a sam adams glass. poured the standard dark espresso you'd expect from a stout with minimal head that left little lacing.

not too much bourbon smell before sipping but during and after the sip the bourbon stands out in just the right amount. this has an almost perfect balance of malt, hops and bourbon for what i was expecting.

it is just sweet enough to give my mouth a pucker and desire another drink almost immediately. surprisingly this doesn't have a huge alcohol smell or taste making this one dangerous in the wrong, or right, circumstance.

i have a few hoppin frogs in my cellar and this was the first one i cracked open since i was screwed by my local store on my Canadian Breakfast Stout. glad i have two more of these and one regular Boris ready for the winter.

amidabha, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of brewtechnik
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Super dark brown to black with dark tan head, though very weak and lasting only seconds after pour.

S: Def has much more malt aroma than hop, oak comes through with a tad of whiskey, prevalent ethanol, but not overwhelming. Roast and hop aroma very subdued.

T: Wow, perfect hop balance with the malt. Hop is there, but not taking over. Def more malt, oak and ethanol - which is most likely a combination of the near 10%abv, and whiskey aging.

M: Though the head is weak, the carbonation is certainly present and right on. I would expect a slightly heavier mouth feel from a oatmeal stout, but it still works for this beer. Doesn't linger too long on the palate and is far from cloying due to the superb hop/malt balance.

O: Buy this beer when available, it's worth checking out. Just wish the head was more retentive. This was a young beer, and would be excellent after a few years of aging.

brewtechnik, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of kzoobrew
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Oreo for the bottle. Cheers!

Poured into oversized snifter. Even with a heavy handed pour only a modest one finger head is produced. The rich cocoa colored head goes just as fast as it comes. A slight ring is left surrounding the glass. The body is black and opaque, light is only breaking through the slightest edges.

The aroma does not display a great deal of intensity though it is layered quite well. Chocolate aroma is dominate backed up by pleasant caramel and bourbon. The roast is a bit subdued. A fair amount of oakiness is displayed. The oak shows displays more of a woody aroma than a smooth vanilla.

Dark chocolate and roast flavors flood the tongue out of the glass. A good deal of char and heavily roasted coffee follow just behind. The bourbon flavor is fairly well integrated, it seems to be buried a bit beneath the bolder flavors up front. The oak flavor comes off a bit dry, when paired with the roast the overall flavor can be a bit abrasive.

Ever so slightly below full bodied, just slightly thinner than I would like to see. Carbonation levels are moderate. The finish is a bit drier than most RISs, a bit of roast and char dig in but many of the other flavors fade rather quickly.

Overall a good beer but it does leave me wanting more. There is room for improvement in each category, but is close enough to keep me coming back. BA BORIS does not drink nearly as easily as many other BA stouts, you have to take it slow and work at it ever so slightly. This is one I may go back to in the future, but not one I would grab on a regular basis.

kzoobrew, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of dtivp
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep very dark brown, near black with a dark brown one finger head that faded quickly with spotty lacing.

Aroma of dark burnt malt, black coffee and whiskey.

Taste was initially dominated with whiskey then bold coffee, burnt malt and a slight hop finish.

Mouth Feel was medium leaning full body, light carbonation, a very nice alcohol warming and a slightly bitter after taste.

Overall this is a very nice bold oatmeal stout, my first Hoppin' Frog beer and will not be my last.

dtivp, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of ubufan2112
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Green Cap
Poured into a 6oz tasting Glass.

A: Black strap molasses, opaque. No head. Tinges of luminescense around the edges of the glass.

N: Wow! Lots going on here. First aroma I get is coconut, interesting! Then all the Bourbony characteristics start to flow out, vanilla followed by toffee and creme brulee. I could have smelled this beer all night long.

T: Exactly as it should be, Taste mimics the nose, with one minor exception, I got more of the Bourbon character in the taste, but in no way does it overpower the other flavors. Alcohol is present, but well hidden. As the beer warms, the Bourbon becomes more prominent, but again does not take away from all the other flavor subtleties. The taste is truly amazing!!

M: Medium/full to full bodied. Mild carbonation with an amazing long finish.

O: This beer blew me away! The nose alone was worth the price of admission. Add in the layers upon layers of flavors and the super finish, and you have a truly World Class Beer!!!

ubufan2112, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of jale
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gold cap.

A: Pours deep dark brown/almost black with just a hint of brown lacing.

S: Small amounts of cocoa, whiakey and roasted malt.

T: Initial sweet whiskey followed by bitter coffee and bitter cocoa. Rather boozy. Finish is bitter coffee and maybe some hop bitterness as well. Late finish is some oak and earth.

M: Thick body with below average carbonation. A tad chalky.

O: I prefer bourbon over whiskey. A little to harsh for me.

jale, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black cap (batch 4)

a - opened the bottle and filled my FW mini snifter. just beautiful. black and sludgy with a thin tanned brown head that could be rebuilt on command with a swirl of the glass. super slippery lacing (as I expect on a BA brew). always loved the look of BORIS and BA is just as perty.

s - in a word chocolate. rich decadent deep chocolate. some woody sweetness, but the barrel is not too in your face.

t - the thing that i always loved about BORIS is that it is an oatmeal russian imperial stoutand has great fullness and richness in the flavor. the barrel aging takes that wonder and adds a touch of whiskey booziness to it. not the creamiest and richest out there, but the barrel works with the beer.

m - mouth is good, not as creamy as i would've thought it would be. the barrel aging does seem to thin out the BORIS a bit.

o - overall, a worthy brew...as is BORIS.

cosmicevan, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass

I believe it is batch one or two but the cap looks more gold than silver

A: pours a deep mocha black that is thick as molasses, pours with a finger of milk chocolate colored head that has very fine bubbles and lingers for a bit before dissipating, leaves no lacing
S: mocha and burnt coffee malts, very deep
T: begins with rich coffee malts, moves in the middle over to a sweet milk stout like taste then finishes with a slight tint of whiskey or scotch
M: gentle carbonation, moves into creaminess in the middle, leaves a silkiness on the palate and a slight alcohol burn
O: a nice oatmeal stout, very drinkable, smooth as can be, would have liked some more head retention but overall the taste and mouth feel were very pleasing

BigPlay1824, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of gc4hokies
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=pours like used motor oil. Jet black. Light brown head

Aroma=smells like jack Daniels. Overpowering whiskey smell

Taste= licoris, heavy, burnt sugar, heavy alcohol (fusel?)

Mouthfeel= viscous, surprisingly carbonated

Overall= a lot of work went into this beer. However the whiskey barrels add an overpowering taste to this that detract from the flavors in the beer.

gc4hokies, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt oacher medium brown with very little to no light shining through.  True tan head tops it off barely and keeps a 2millimeter foam on top forms good while.  Thin oily but sticky legs.

Medium dark chocolate ice-cream oatmeal sandwich.  This smells like it's going to be dumb rich.  

Surprisingly this is has far more bitterness than I'd have guessed.  Dark and milk chocolate meet with a fairly sharp whisky (think Jim bean) note (not in a bad way).  Molasses and perhaps a suggestion of fig/dark cooked fruit.  Candied apple (just the red).

Mild carbonation, fairly long finish, oil slick.

Very good balance between sweet and bitter notes.  Not my go to take on the style but interesting none the less.

flannelman808, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of ffejherb
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 bomber (gold cap) into tulip on 9/8/11. Shared with brewslut.

A - Poured an oily onyx black liquid with a one-finger dollop of dense, creamy burnt mocha foam on top that reduced to leave some spotty lace that mostly slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Subtle yet complex nose at first, with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, mougat, chocolate/cocoa and light bourbon. Alcohol presence is moderate. As the liquid warmed up a bit, hints of leather and light soy sauce also joined the olfactory party.

T - Having had a fresh bottle of this same batch quite a while ago, I can report that the alcohol presence has mellowed considerably and has been replaced with luch vanilla, chocolate, coffee and tangy bourbon. Finishes like a candy bar dipped in bourbon. Leafy hop bitterness add some depth to the finish. Delicious!

M - Full-bodied, oily and viscous with a hint of carbonation, resulting in a sticky texture overall. Alcohol warmth is mild to moderate, gaining strength as it warms up. Bittersweet finish with a nice bourbon tang on the palate.

D - Whoa! Glad I let this one age for a bit in the cellar. I sampled a fresh bottle of this, and was fairly pleased overall, but not blown away by any means. This time, however... well, a different story. Age this sucker and you won't be sorry!

ffejherb, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of rootbeerman
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gold cap

A: pours pitch black with barely a finger.
S: smells creamy, chocolate, whisky, smooth dark roasted barley.
T: right up front is the whisky, followed by the roasted barley and oats, which is followed by creamy chocolate with whisky. Has a long chocolate and slightly oak/whisky after taste.
M: thick, can't really tell if it is coating or creamy. Medium low carbonation.
O: good, is an easier to obtain than BCS and is almost just as good.

rootbeerman, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of chocosushi
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour->Unibroue Tulip
A ~ Pours rich oily black with spotty lacing, but with an even more faint, chocolate colored head than OG B.O.R.I.S. Carbonation is pretty good for the style.

S ~ Charred oak, ripe bananas, Sugar In The Raw, vanilla bean, bourbon, sweet bread, & lots of roasted malt. Coffee is more faint & subdued. Treesap aromas are more pulpy & blended than the former.

T ~ Outrageous! The charred malts are ever-present, yet softer, & The fruit flavors have morphed in an amazing way. Notes of burnt caramel, raisin toast, brown-sugar oatmeal, & caramelized bananas. Barrel Aging lends notes of peat, vanilla ice cream, mulch, dark chocolate, & reduced Bourbon.

M ~ This beers mouthfeel is near perfect, but this time around, the hops add a lovely amount of subtle dryness to the spicy & sweet finish. Rather than long & dry with heavy bittering, this version is well-rounded, luscious, & peppery on the palette. Bittering is moderate & merely accentuates the barrel aging.

D ~ B.O.R.I.S. Impressed me before, & it impressed me yet again. Improved through Barrel Aging, and still retains some of its original characteristics. This was a great nightcap sipper/after-dinner drink.
Seek out BOTH of these wonderful, wonderful beers.

chocosushi, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of joefuzz
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gold cap poured into snifter.

Pours like used motor oil no real head or retention. Smells of warm vanilla and oak. Taste is a really nice balance between bourbon and imperial stout that nice roasty maltyness meets an amazing bourbon barrel. Mouthfeel is so creamy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. Overall amazing beer espically for the 9.99 price tag I don't think this can be beat.

joefuzz, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of n2185
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with three fingers of dark tan head that recedes into a thin brown layer with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts at first followed by sweet chocolate and some dry cocoa aromas. Oak, vanilla, and toffee aromas come after along with a sweet whiskey aroma that doesn't dominate.

T: Roasted malts again with a touch of chocolate flavor. Whiskey then takes over the flavor along with some oak notes. The finish is dry with a light alcohol burn.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation, this beer doesn't feel as heavy as most barrel aged stouts with a lighter, dry finish.

O: A pretty decent barrel aged stout. I'd like more stout characteristics in the flavor along with more depth beyond the whiskey along with a creamier body. It's also pretty expensive, unfortunately. Far from a bad beer, though.

n2185, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black-really a very, very dark brown. Nice tight cocoa head on top. Sticky lacing on the glass as it goes down. Rich espresso aroma with a faint touch of oak-just enough to make it noticeable. Deep, rich and chocolatey flavors right upfront. Roasted and espresso like flavors. Slightly hot, boozey bite to it. Nice oak flavors in the backround. Velvety smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Really well done all in. Not as in your face oaked as many beers seem to be. Damn yummy.

lackenhauser, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kelly88 for sending me this one!

Batch 5 - red cap.

Pours an opaque thick black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Thin squiggles of lace randomly form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, milk chocolate, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, slight coffee, and rich bittersweet chocolate squares. There is also a wood and vanilla taste as the beer warms. A nice roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout that is slightly better than original B.O.R.I.S.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of gtgood
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Green cap. Poured into a snifter.

A: While pouring, I noticed a little bit of light coming through around the edges, but that's it. The rest is pitch black. Head is rather thin.

S: Very nice. Vanilla is most prominent. Bitter chocolate and sugary sweetness are also noticeable.

T: Wow! There is a lot going on here. Again, vanilla is most prominent, but not overpowering. Lots of dark chocolate up front, as well as the lingering bitterness of hops and wood. With every sip, all I can think about is bourbon, but I don't see that as a bad thing. Despite its age, this brew packs some boozy heat.

F: Everything it should be. Nice and thick and creamy. This one really clings to the tongue, but in a pleasant way.

O: Lots of flavor. Dangerously close to being unbalanced, but everything blends together quite nicely. Strong, but not off-putting. Whiskey is the major player here. If you like bourbon and/or dark chocolate, chances are you will like this beer.

gtgood, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of matttttYCE
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle had a gold cap. I'm assuming that's from a later batch than what's listed here in the info section.

Appearance - Poured into my Stone IRS balloon/snifter glass. The head on this one is miniscule, not even half a finger high, and mocha brown in color. Low head is to be expected from the alcohol and barrel aging. Lacing is also very little. Color of the brew is black as the night sky when the moon and stars are hidden from sight behind dark clouds.

Smell - Up front, I'm getting mostly wonderful Bourbon aromas. Straight Bourbon smell that's quite noticeable and enjoyable (to me) but not overpowering, smooth vanilla, oak/wood, subtle Bourbon spice/alcohol, brown sugar, and sweetness. Behind that I get some rich chocolate syrup and dark chocolate, plenty of roasted malts, coffee notes, bittersweet overtones, and pleasant notes of dark fruit. Aroma is pretty complex overall, but I would say it's dominated by the Bourbon barrel aging. I find it wonderful, others might not.

Taste - This is a great tasting beer in my opinion! Plenty of the Bourbon flavor (but not too much), vanilla and what I can only describe as the taste of marshmallows, sweetness, brown sugar, a bit of spice from the Bourbon and from the alcohol, oakiness, chocolate syrup taste (in a good way) like in the nose, coffee, rich roasted malts, a bittersweet quality (that's towards the finish), and notes of dark fruits. Bourbon barrel aging is still the star here (and I like it).

Mouthfeel - Creamy and luscious consistency. Carbonation is pretty light. Body is closer to full. The finish is actually pretty smooth and medium length. Nicely done mouthfeel as well.

Overall - If you're a fan of subtler Bourbon barrel aging in beers, this one might turn you off a bit. I think it's pretty darn amazing. And it's not too overpowering, but it is nice and prominent. I don't know what it is about those Bourbon barrels, but I love my stouts to be aged in them. I'm honestly not even much of a Bourbon drinker, but I love the aroma of straight Bourbon and what the barrels can do to some good beer. I've heard or seen a few people compare this to BCBS, so I'm quietly looking forward to trying that as I've gotten some recently from some very generous people. And speaking of one of those generous persons, thanks SO much Tom/trxxpaxxs for this bottle of Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. (among other things) in the NOOB BIF Round 5! REALLY appreciate it Tom!

matttttYCE, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -4%
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!

biegaman, Aug 19, 2011
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,959 ratings.