1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,948 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,948
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 8.6%
Wants: 243
Gots: 630 | FT: 70
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,948 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of camil1mj
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%

Gold cap version. Poured at cellar temperature into my Founder's snifter.

A: Deep, dense, dark chocolately brown. No light gets through. Thick, khaki colored head. Some lacing.

S: Chocolate sweetness with slight alcoholic overtones.

T: I immediately notice that this one lacks the strong whiskey overtones in the taste that I have come to love from many other highly rated BA stouts. Not terribly different than your standard oatmeal stout.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation. This one is missing the sweet, syrupy stickiness I love from BA stouts.

O: A very good stout, however it just does not stack up against the best.

camil1mj, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of LiquidBread219
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Green Cap

A: Pitch black body with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves next to no lacing.

S: Chocolate, alcohol, and I think cinnamon. Alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms up.

T: Intensely sweet and alcoholic, kind of like a chocolate liqueur. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon, and spices. Also plenty of alcohol burn. Aftertaste is somewhat fruity.

M: Thick and sludgy, just the way a big stout should be.

D: Regular BORIS is one of my favorite imperial stouts, so I was eager to give this a try. I really enjoyed this one and see what it would be like aged in whiskey barrels. I normally don't like beer that is aged in whiskey barrels but this one was really enjoyable.

LiquidBread219, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Gold cap poured into a Town Hall brewery globe on 6/26/11.

Pours like motor oil with a 2 finger mocha colored head that dissipates leaving no lacing. There is a nice brown resin on the glass but I would have like to see more lacing.

Smells of tons of chocolate and a little coffee. I thought this was supposed to be a beer aged in whiskey barrels... I don't smell any of that.

Taste has a lot more whiskey taste to it. Again lots of chocolate and a hint of coffee. The taste is tons better then the smell. Great job.

Mouthfeel is medium. Not a lot of carbonation and the booze is totally covered by the taste. No bite at all.

Overall this is a great brew. I would like some more lacing and the barrel aging doesn't really come through in the aroma but this is still a top brew. Reminds me of KBS.

UMNbeerhunter, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.6/5  rDev +7%

A: Thick black and brown with a nice frothy mocha head that dissipates into a ring fairly quickly. Good frothiness as you swirl, and nice (but not super sticky) lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, whiskey, chocolate

T: Tastes much more smooth and complex than it smells. It's like you're drinking an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that's been dipped in sweet mocha. Bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with a strong but nicely balanced whiskey kick. Some hints of vanilla and cherry. Earthly woody oatmeal undertones. You have to look for the hops but they're there, rounding out the phenomenal complexity.

F: Very thick, creamy, and sticky. Like I said above, it's like a liquid version of an oatmeal chocolate cookie.

O: A GREAT barrel-aged stout. One of the most complex I've had. I'd put it up there with barrel-aged Dark Lord for complexity and enjoyment.

GoldenVIKE, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle from batch 2. Opened tonight and split two ways. Poured into a snifter.

Thick and viscous pitch black liquid resembling hot tar tumbles out of the bottle and into the glass. Even with an aggressive pour, the only head that appears bubbles up seconds after the pour is completed and lasts only a few blinks of an eye before it disappears. Slight legs form upon a swirl that produces a few more bubbles.

The aroma is mellow and balanced. Smokey whiskey notes meld seamlessly with the base beer. A big roasty charred malt backbone and dark fruity notes (dates and currants) complement the spirit and are amplified by the vanilla oaky notes also present. The flavor brings on more of the smokey barrel character and a healthy dose of charred malt. Surprisingly, even two full summers later, there are still some sticky hoppy resins in there as well.

The mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and full. A dessert/after dinner beer in its finest form, this is a sipper to the max. Awesome balance and complexity in this beer; even though the coffee notes have faded due to the time in the cellar, that same aging has allowed the flavors to mellow and blend to complement each other in a masterful way. When is this coming to Philly?

NittanyBeerFan, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of dbossman
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

A: Quite black with a thin quickly dissipating head and decent lacing

S: Lots of roasted malts and bourbon some over-the-top booziness--maybe a bit hot in the nose at least; lots of oak; some chocolate; a touch of vanilla; loads of bourbon

T: More chocolates and coffee than I smelled; lots of bourbon and some vanilla blends well with the roasted, woody malts; really complex and boozy

F: Nice thick and viscous mouth feel; quite creamy throughout

O: This is a great BA bourbon stout; really complex and delicious and though the beer smells a bit hot it doesn't taste that way

dbossman, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of gnemesis
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

8oz sample poured into snifter on 05/23/2011.
Pours black and opaque with a thin, small bead, mocha head. Dissipates quick and leaves slight lacing. Nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, roast, burnt sugar, coffee and a touch of booze. The taste is full of the smell and definitely on the sweet side. Full body and low on carbonation. Great imperial stout. I want more to age and see how the flavors develop.

gnemesis, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Gritch
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Found some Green Caps at an out of the way spot the other day. Poured it into my trusty mini-Shakeys Mug. Love that mug. Are there even any Shakeys left? Doubt it. On to the review:

Poured a deep black with no head, which turned into a nice 1/8 inch head within seconds. Very nice.

Tastes very molassesy, with a sharp oak taste and a hint of whiskey. I like that the whiskey is not overpowering like it is in some other whiskey barrel aged stouts.

All in all this is a great stout. One of the better ones that I have had. I highly recommend that everyone should try this at least once. Lucky for me I have a few bottles of this for future drinking.

Gritch, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

22 oz bottle from Ned's. $17.99-- ouch!

Appearance: Pours and looks like used motor oil in my snifter. Dark brown head fades in a few minutes, but sheets of lacing form with each sip and dissipate into sticky spots. Its beautiful.

Smell: Smells amazing, even just from the bottle. Whiskey poured on a melted candy bar. Chocolate, iced mocha, vanilla, cherry?, coconut?.

Taste: Lots of whiskey flavor without being overly hot (still kinda hot). Rich chocolate, caramel, and vanilla flavors. Roasty bitterness, but not heavily smoky or charred-- more on the sweet side. Alcohol burn, then a lasting whiskey and coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy, and smooth. Feels like I just ate a sticky piece of chocolate cake.

Overall: An excellent BA stout. Rich and flavorful with very nice whiskey notes that are prominent but don't overpower. Not quite as good as KBS or BCBCS, though, and more expensive, which sucks.
EDIT: I've been thinking about this beer for a week since I reviewed it. I guess that means its good and I should buy it again.

rapidsequence, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of machostacos
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

A: Ink black, thick as oil, with a 1-finger rich creamy dark chocolate milk colored head that disappears quickly, leaving a thin film and a ring that hugs the glass. Small, spotty lacing.

S: Rich whiskey-soaked, vanilla-infused dark chocolate truffles with a splash of espresso and drizzled in a thick sugar-glazed stone fruit reduction. Alcohol heat as well. If only there was a dessert that existed in the form of how this beer smells.

T: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, rich chocolate, a shot of espresso, and some sticky dark fruits. Alcohol. One helluva beer. This would be incredible with a year or two of age on it to let the alcohol mellow out a bit and the flavors meld and mature, but it's quite delicious now as well. I'll have to pick up another bottle to age!

M: Rich and creamy, but it doesn't stick quite as much as you'd expect a giant barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout to. Well-carbonated for a big RIS - tingles a bit on the tongue. Plenty of warmth from the alcohol. Leaves the classic RIS sticky lips syndrome. A little chalky.

O: An outstanding barrel-aged stout. The bourbon and barrel presence is very up-front but the intensity is more reserved compared to most bourbon barrel-aged stouts (Goose Island Bourbon County stout comes to mind) - the underlying stout shines through spectacularly. Currently second only to KBS in my opinion so far in my experience, though a somewhat distant second :) KBS, especially the 2011 vintage, is a much more refined beer, but this one put a big smile on my face.

machostacos, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of generalnotsew
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Body is black as black can get. The head was a nice cocoa but didn't last very long. Lacing is very sticky. Plenty of chocolate and whisky in the nose. I also gets hints of cherry, molasses and vanilla. The bourbon is not overpowering in the least which is great. The whiskey is quite prominent in the taste along with the sweet graininess of the oatmeal. Dark raisiny chocolate is also strong. Carbonation is nicely toned down with barely a hint of alcohol warmth. One of the fewer barrel aged stouts I had and it doesn't fail to impress. Not quite up to KBS and BCS standards but it is getting very close.

generalnotsew, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a midnight black with a very thin tan head that leaves little lacing in my Duvel tulip glass.

Smell is strong whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, Wow a really nice smell to this one.

Taste is whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee with a strong alcohol presence.

A very good barrel aged stout, with a strong whiskey presence. Worth seeking out and trying.

FLBeerGuy, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of jamescain
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

2009 batch 3 version (thanks to jwjon1 for sending this one), poured into a Saint Arnold’s sniffer, we did a side by side comparison with the Crusher version.

Appearance: Black with a thick mocha head about a finger thick, which quickly receded into a thin ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate, roasted grain, vanilla, and bourbon. I preferred the aroma in this version much more. The bourbon barrel aging added the extra complexity that the other version was missing.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and alcohol. The flavors were kind of messy and a little bland, this might have been due to the aging.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body and mouth feel then its non-BA brother with medium carbonation.

Overall: I preferred the non-BA version to the BA version. The enjoyed the aroma of the BA version more but the flavor and the mouthfeel of the non-BA version was better in my opinion.

jamescain, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

This bottle is Batch 3, the green cap. It pours a medium bodied, silky smooth midnight black in color with a beige lacing around the rim of my snifter. The aromas are of sweet milk chocolate, lightly roasted coffee, with a soft sweet bourbon, vanilla finish. The bourbon is exceptionally well played at this point in it's aging. It actually smells very, very similar to KBS at this point. The flavor gets even better. It boasts both sweet and bitter chocolates, lightly roasted coffee, light oak, a touch of vanilla and a perfectly well rounded and soft bourbon note to finish. This beer is near perfect. I really can't believe how well blended everything is and how well the chocolate, coffee, and bourbon intermingle. It is exceptionally smooth and doesn't overly stick to the palate, yet leaves you with a touch of chocolate, rye, and light bourbon. This beer was near perfect! I highly recommend trying this one aged.

aasher, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a solid, deep, mesmerizing black. Chocolate milkshake one finger head that looks amazing. Head eventually goes into marbled streaks across the top of the beer. Epic lacing on the glass. This is an amazing looking beer for the style. I really can't think of anything to improve it- thus the super rare 5.

S- Holy crap. It's not very often that I yell "WOW!!" on the first sniff. This is one of those times. Simply amazing nose. Bourbon smell is rich, smooth, not overpowering... Perfect. Malt, sugar, and vanilla in there as well. I really hate giving 5's, but this is a 5 for the style if I've ever smelled one.

T- Wow. I was expecting to be let down by the taste compared to the nose. Wrong. This is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had. Espresso, caramel, whiskey, vanilla, it's all there. I don't taste a lick of the 9.4% alcohol either. Super smooth, but the whiskey makes it's presence known big time. The flavor of this beer explodes once it hits your taste buds, and doesn't let go until long after your last sip. Truly outstanding.

M- Very smooth, and very drinkable considering the big flavors in this beer. The hops give it a little bite on the feel, but not overwhelming. Everything just WORKS in this beer, and the feel is no exception. Aftertaste lasts an eternity. Simply great.

O- This is the first beer I've had from this brewery, and there's no doubt about it.... it's World Class. This is definitely in the top 3 or 4 beers I've had in this style, and absolutely a top tier beer of all that I've enjoyed. I'm really humbled I got to try this, and I will absolutely pick it up by the armful whenever I see it again. Cheers!

jayhawk73, May 31, 2011
Photo of CFHMagnet
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Green cap bottle poured into a pint glass. Purchased from my regular store, the beer guy there told me he had had it for about a year.

A. Poured into a finger of cocoa brown head. The dark brown to black body is familiar, as I just reviewed the regular B.O.R.I.S. two days ago. Head recedes quickly and only light lacing is noticed.

S. The aroma starts off malty and goes into a straight booze aroma. The chocolate and coffee are noticeable after the beer begins to warm.

T. Dark chocolate and roasted malt kick off the flavor party for me on this one. The hop presence is quite faint and quickly passes into a very interesting mix of woodyness and chocolate, as if someone were aging chocolate milk in bourbon barrels. Ends with a subdued bourbon flavor.

M. Full bodied and mouth coating, but more balanced than original B.O.R.I.S. and not quite as thick. A decent amount of carbonation make this a good beer.

CFHMagnet, May 30, 2011
Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Silver cap on the 22 oz bottle. $17 in Denver.

Holy cow! A gigantic crazy beer. No much to look at, unless you really like used motor oil. Slight sourness I associate with black patent malt. I have rarely encountered a more alcoholic-tasting beer-- I'd believe it was 16%. Just sweet enough to enhance the malt. Just bitter enough to give it some balance and add to the long ride of the aftertaste. Whisky taste is sensational, along with a little vanilla from the oak. Fruity flavors add to the interest, more like dates and apple butter.

If you want to taste a world class mega-stout, here's one. A good example of the power of malted barley.

mactrail, May 30, 2011
Photo of output01x
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (no date, but gold crown) into a snifter glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 1 1/2-finger mocha-colored head that slowly recedes after a few minutes to a thin, even dusting and thick foam ring. The body is as black as tar and looks about as thick. Light lacing clings to the sides of the glass in thin strands like a spider's web.

A faint oaky, bourbon aroma precedes the standard chocolate, coffee, dark malt aromas. The nose is somewhat muted but is genuinely pleasant with very balanced aromas.

Dark malts with flavors of milk chocolate and roasted coffee starts each sip. A strong bourbon alcohol heat is present from the beginning of the sip until the next sip. The alcohol heat is too strong in this beer and detracts from the excellent flavors instead of complimenting them as it should. The heat does die down as the beer nears room temperature. This beer definitely needs to age a year or two.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is thick. The carbonation, while not enough to make this an easy drinker, is enough to prevent ths beer from being overly sticky. It is definitely a sipper and would be best suited for a cold winter night.

output01x, May 30, 2011
Photo of claspada
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%

Silver/gold cap so it's from 2009 at some point.
Aromas are quite intense to say the least. Barrel, bourbon and alcohol start the show. Really intense serious dark chocolate with lesser sweeter cocoa powder contributing; definitely a serious beer here.
The tastes begin with a lot of oak and bourbon, which is upsetting and surprising especially after more than 2 years in the bottle. Still delicious don't get me wrong. Copious amounts of dark bittersweet chocolate coats the palate, slick but not at all sweet or cloying at all. This is a serious beer that really could have aged for 2+ more years. Mouthfeel is thick thick and full with adequate carbonation for the style. The alcohol flavors really dry this one out leaving the mouthfeel full again yet dry and lip smacking. Overall, I am divided on this beer. I do not believe you should have to age a beer for more than 2 years to reach it peak but this one could use 4 to be amazing... I will let you be the judge, maybe it is just the vintage but this beer is way too bourbon and oak focused. Personally I have no intention of revisiting anytime soon because of the intense alcohol contribution to the overall enjoyment and flavor profile.

claspada, May 30, 2011
Photo of beergod1
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Sampled at the Cleveland Beer Fest 5/14/11. Poured black with a tan colored head that has enough carbonation to leave a small ring that lasts. Notes of, whiskey, and heavily roasted malt and burnt Chocolate fill the nose. This is a full bodied stout with yeast flavors enhanced by malt, Burnt chocolate, coffee and a lingering hint of hop on finish. A little Hot on the Alcohol. I would love to let a bottle sit for a year or so.

beergod1, May 27, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

smakawhat, May 26, 2011
Photo of Chaney
3.3/5  rDev -23.3%

I remember a time (not so long ago), when this one was considered a light light whale in my immediate area. I can now walk into my local Total Wine and grab this one!

A: Dark as hell, with a very mild peppery beige head that died down almost as fast as I could pour it.

S: Not as strong as I though it was going to be. Buttery, mild puff of whisky and a bit of dark chocolate wrapped up in the Kentucky delight.

T: Okay: VERY bitter on the finish! I mean.... it was way too much for my taste. The whisky buried all of the elements that made the standard version a treat: coffee, dark malt, roastiness, etc. What I got in the end had sort a banana-like quality about it.

M: Also, the whisky tasted of the low-grade variety to me. The carbonation was low and the lacing was non-existent.

O: I'm a huge fan of the standard B.O.R.I.S., but I thought this one was a misfire. I won't spend $15-20 on this one again.

Chaney, May 23, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours black with a half finger of cocoa head into my Surly Darkness snifter. Looks good for a BA imperial stout. Oak, whiskey, roast and booze are the predominant flavors in a somewhat tame nose. Body is pretty creamy for the style, with a medium mouthfeel and decent medium-low carbonation. Taste is roast and chocolate melded with big boozy whiskey. That said, it is pretty doable in that it is more whiskey flavor than harsh booze. I think the barrel again represents a pretty strong improvement over the base beer. The oak hangs out in the finish, partially disguised by the rest of the flavor. This is definitely a good one. The balance tilts in the direction of the barrel, but I think for this beer, that works.

Edit: shortly after this review, I did a vertical of all 5 batches of this beer. Batch 1 was super oaky. Batch 2 was really malty and unlike the other beers in the series. Batch 3 was more balanced and batches 4 and 5 were like better, tamer versions of batch 1 (read:less oak). Batch 4 was the best, but the cuvees were the best for sure. Batch 2 and batch 4 mixed was sublime.

seeswo, May 23, 2011
Photo of oglmcdgl
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%

A bottle split with onix1agr and poured into duvel tulips. Its either a batch 1 or 2.

A- a hard pour yields only a small cap of mocha colored head that settles quickly and leaves no lace. A good swirl bring a bit back but leaves just as quick. Absolutely black body with some serious legs.

S- that's bourbon all right. Loads of barrel even on the colder side of things with vanilla and booze galore. Malts are very dark and bring some molasses and bakers chocolate to mind. There's some brown sugar and condensed milk in the back.

T- barrel forward with the booze a bit heavy really. Some oak and vanilla with a sweet molasses and brown sugar background. The whole ride is dominated by the barrel and really puts an impression on you.

M- full bodied and a bit sticky with a light carb and a ton of heat on the palate.

O- this is one monster ba stout and even with a good bit of time on it still retains a ton of heat. Ill scoop another and lay it down some more.

oglmcdgl, May 19, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

Pour really thick like black oil in to the glass with a nice tan head.

Smell - whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, and hint of alcohol.very nice!

Taste - strong whiskey in the beginning with tons of chocolate, vanilla from the barrel in the middle and it ends with a finish of more vanilla and barrel taste. Alcohol is present in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - very smooth thanks to the oatmeal in this. I've found that to in the case in all oatmeal stouts over had. The carbonation hits towards the end of this one.

Overall - its super solid with all the taste of a good barrel aged brew without any flavors that overpower but works together really well.

badboyrsl84, May 19, 2011
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.