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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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1,949 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,949
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: 1,949 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hootie159
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Hootie159, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Franziskaner
4.13/5  rDev -4%

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

Franziskaner, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of gdkersey
4.13/5  rDev -4%

22oz bottle, had been sitting in my fridge for about a year (probably 1.5 yr old)

A: straight oil black. viscous pour with pretty much no head at the start. halfway through the bottle as it warmed up was able to get a very slight dark brown head, didn't stick around for long.

S: fantastic aroma - strong vanilla, dark chocolate, old wood

T: starts with vanilla, hop bitterness quickly comes on.

M: smooth feel (oats?) with good carbonation, if not on the fizzy side (although wouldn't expect that from the appearance). finishes kind of hot and the alcohol burn lingers for a while

Good barrel aged imperial stout, but don't think I'd put it up against others like GI BCS.

gdkersey, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of steeltown71
4.13/5  rDev -4%

First impressions on the BA Boris: an absurdly smooth beer. The taste and texture evoke a frothy mocha-like experience. Nice caramel and vanilla notes but finishes medium-dry with more coffee-malt. This isn't my favorite RIS but it's absolutely worth tracking down and experiencing. I also don't doubt that this would make an incredible beer float.

steeltown71, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.13/5  rDev -4%

22oz bottle with a gold cap, not sure on the age but it seems like it could use some more, resided in my collection for awhile though.

Pours a wicked black color, viscous motor oil looking pour, not much head though, some fairly large bubbles but they popped as quickly as they appeared, no real lacing to speak of but it seems like it stains my glass haha.

Smell has a fair amount of booze, strong oak and vanilla aroma, huge roasty toasty malt presence, slight hint of chocolate and a bit of dark fruit.

Taste starts out a bit sweet with the dark fruit and roasted malt, a booze burn sneaks in and warms things up, finishes up with a woody vanilla presence, leaves a fairly sticky mouthfeel afterwards, pretty balanced all things considered as I don't feel like any one aspect overwhelms the others, the sticky sweetness even avoids being cloying and makes you want to have another sip.

Quite expensive and the heat could be dialed back a bit with some more age, but overall a pretty good beer even if it's a tad on the expensive side.

deltatauhobbit, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of Damian
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fl. oz./22 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

Absolute pitch black in appearance. Not a ray of light penetrated the viscous, oily liquid. The beer was topped by a thin, mocha-colored ring of lace that lingered for much of the drink.

The aroma was amazing from the get-go. As soon as I cracked the cap, notes of bourbon, vanilla and chocolate filled the air. Sweet and boozy. Brown sugar came through as well. Slightly roasty with some deep, dark, French roast coffee notes.

While the nose was smooth and sweet, the flavor profile was a bit harsh, yet rather complex. Super woody. Charred malts dominated. Espresso and bakers chocolate notes also came through strong. Some dark fruits appeared as well. The finish was rather dry and astringent. Burnt and somewhat boozy. A touch hot. Bitter, piney hops were detectible as well.

The liquid was medium/full-bodied. A bit thinner than I anticipated for the style. Smooth and creamy with a fine, moderate, tongue-blanketing effervescence.

After trying both the regular B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout and the barrel-aged version, I found the former to be surprisingly smoother and more drinkable. Perhaps this beer could benefit from another year or so in the cellar.

Damian, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Tiklmelmo
4.13/5  rDev -4%

22oz into a duck rabbit snifter glass, drank around 58-60F.

A - Thick viscous black with a finger of tan head that dissipates relatively quickly, leaving behind a little bit of lacing.

S - Charred oak, malt, and tobacco with hints of raisins and molasses. Very nice.

T - Woody with a good bit of whiskey, though not alcohol persay... along with some chocolate and lightly burnt toast. A decent amount of sweetness (maybe a hair too much) with some dark fruit and slight earthy hops.

M - Low to moderate carbonation. Full-bodied and slightly oily in a pleasant way.

D - Definitely not something I would chug, but definitely a good sipper. The alcohol is very well masked for being nearly 10%.

Definitely quite good, but not quite as much depth as I had hoped for. Above average, but not my absolute favorite RIS.

Tiklmelmo, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.13/5  rDev -4%

A: Pours black as night with a nice (but small) tan head. Very little lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, light hints of chocolate, and subtle booze. Wonderful!

T: Bourbon, oak, burnt coffee, and bitter dark chocolate. Good amount of warming alcohol as well. Not quite as complex as I was hoping, but quite tasty nonetheless.

M: Full bodied, thick and chewy. It's pretty hot from the alcohol as well. Not a ton of carbonation.

D: Reminded me of Black Tuesday in many ways, but isn't quite as good. BT is the best IMO, though, so that shouldn't be held against the barrel aged BORIS. This is a great bourbon barrel aged stout and I'm thrilled I had the chance to taste it.

MrDanno96, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -4%

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
Photo of Sean9689
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Batch #2, 2009 vintage, poured into nonic.

A - Pours black with a fingers worth of tan colored head. Some lacing, no retention.

S - Slight bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, toffee.

T - Same as nose...milk chocolate, malts, caramel, vanilla.

M - Full, rich and smooth, slight carbonation.

D - So smooth but I think I prefer regular BORIS.

Sean9689, Dec 19, 2009
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 gr0g
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Opaque, pitch black with a small chocolate-colored, sticky head. Bourbon barrel notes are integrated nicely with the big stout character of the aroma. Bittersweet dark chocolate notes, vanilla and cherry infusion from the oak barrels. Some fusel presence, but it's not overpowering.

Soft, silky texture on the palate. Bittersweet chocolate with some molasses. The barrel-aging has left it's mark, a bit too much of a mark. Bourbon and oak impart bright vanilla and alcohol flavors, but they overshadow the dark, roasted qualities of the base stout. Only slightly do things improve as the beer warms up toward room temperature.

While I was surprised and happy to see Hoppin' Frog's stouts show up in NJ, Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. didn't quite live up to the hype for me. With more time to mature, this could mellow out and become a great imperial stout, but right now it's just a good one.

gr0g, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours pitch black and syrupy with no head, but swirling reveals nice legs and viscosity.

The aroma is sweet and heavy on the whiskey barrel, with a backbone of turbinado sugar, caramel, milk chocolate, licorice, molasses and blackberry preserves.

Sweet and chocolatey on the tongue. Milky, creamy, big whiskey-barrel sweetness, subtle licorice. Oily and full-bodied with low carbonation. Sweet and slightly burnt finish, with lingering flavors of whiskey and bittersweet chocolate. Very good.

largadeer, Feb 02, 2010
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 jbone78
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Thanks to a guy at my local beer store that gave me this. He got it from a customer that thought he liked beer. And he gave it to me, for free. That's why I keep going back.

Pours dark/black with nearly no head. smells of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Initial taste had a bit of lingering spice, but after that, it drank smooth.

Very nice stout!


jbone78, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of chanokokoro
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Hoppin Frog Brewery branded snifter (thanks Pensfan!)

Pours an opaque black with a one and finger dark beige head. The head quickly dissipates to form a foam ring around the glass. The nose is whiskey-forward, with dark fruit and roasty notes. Opens with a touch of roasted malt, bakers/dark chocolate, and dark fruit including hints of black cherry and plum joined by oak and whiskey notes. Finishes with continued whiskey and booziness, roasted malt and roasted espresso notes. Full bodied, low carbonation as expected with most barrel aged beers and a slightly creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The base beer is exceptional and the barrel adds a new dimension here. Really enjoyable and recommended.

chanokokoro, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove and opened up at Pliny the Younger release day (2/5/10).

A: The pour is a thick and black with no head to speak of.

S: A great nose on this beer. A fair amount of whiskey, but nice notes of vanilla, graham cracker, chocolate, roasted malt and molasses. All things I enjoy smelling in a -bal aged stout.

T: While the nose was quite good, the flavor is only "good". Milk chocolate and whiskey are the first two flavors I pick up, followed by some vanilla and char.

M: I really enjoyed the creamy, viscous texture this beer has on the tongue. While there's not much in carbonation, the beer avoids being too syrupy.

D: Certainly not a beer to sit down and drink a bomber of, but always an enjoyable experience, but perhaps a touch too sweet.

womencantsail, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

22oz. bomber pouted into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Dark, but not completely black in color. Slight light to dark brown highlights, but not that you can see through it or anything. Dark brown colored head, only about a finger thick, even after a hard pour. Not too much in the way of lacing, but the liquid slightly syrupy cling to the glass.

Smell is good, solid representation of the style. Plenty of roasted malted barley, and molasses. On top of that there is lots of chocolate and maybe a slight hint of coffee but not much. Vanilla from the barrel wood and a little whiskey, smells nice.

Taste is on par, even a slight step up from the smell. Huge malt profile, lots of vanilla, whiskey, and chocolate. Speaking of which, I don't know why, but the chocolate profile is HUGE compared to the smell. Sort of in the middle of bittersweet and sweet. It blends really nice with the whiskey/bourbon. Well balanced and extremely tasty.

Mouthfeel is good. Full bodied and silky smooth. Maybe the slightest bit under carbonated. Slight bite and even some heat from the whiskey/bourbon barrels but not overbearing. Really drinkable, nothing not to love about this bomber, not 100% sure I would justify the price, but certainly worth a purchase.

AndyAvalanche, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

johnnnniee, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of jrenihan
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Cap is golden, so I am not sure when this is from in relation to the indicators above.

Beer is absolutely night black with a very, very dark cocoa coloured head. Despite a vigorous pour the head is quite small, very fizzy and disappears almost immediately.

The most immediate smell is bourbon, along with a smokey, slightly peaty oak scent. Oatmeal and vanilla are strong as well.

Taste is similar to the nose. Vanilla, smokey whisky, oak, oatmeal. A very faint bit of cherry at the finish. Pretty well balanced between bitter and sweet. The barrel effect is dominant. Alcohol is well hidden.

Beer is very smooth. Fairly low carbonation, full bodied. Quite velvety. Nice.

Overall, very enjoyable. Close to a 4.5 for taste for me, but it would be nice if the barrel was a little more balanced against the base beer. Good stuff.

jrenihan, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
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.

Georgiabeer, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of roger617
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Bomber poured into snifter.

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

roger617, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of Zhillsgator
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%

Zhillsgator, Monday at 02:41 AM
Photo of zeledonia
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%

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

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

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

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

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

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

zeledonia, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.17/5  rDev -3%

abeeronthebeach, Aug 25, 2014
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.