Cafe BORIS - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
Cafe BORISCafe BORIS

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

182 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 182
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 26
Gots: 33 | FT: 7
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: jampics2 on 08-08-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 21
Reviews by bluejacket74:
Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like coffee, bittersweet chocolate, burnt/charred malt, and some dark bread. It tastes like coffee, burnt/charred malt, malted milk balls, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and some vanilla. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy with low/moderate carbonation. It's smooth and easy to drink. I think it's a very good brew, but not quite as good as the regular BORIS. Still, it's definitely worth trying if you come across some. $14.99 a bottle.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SomethingClever
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz poured into a snifter

A: dark as a winter in hell, super mocha head.

S: roasted coffee, chocolate such a deep roasted smell

M: thick it clings you are going to taste this for hours after you drank it it just coats your tongue

O: this beer is deep black, coffee roasted, it's thick it's just well a great stout with coffee kinda great actually this beer is something you want to drink

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Coffee and cola. Some dark chocolate.

Taste - Sweet. Bitter coffee. Less cola, but it's definitely there in the finish. Nutty, too.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Medium heavy.

Overall - I still think the base beer is better than all the treatments.

Photo of beerhan
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-Jet black with a lovely dark brown head. Super thick appearance that is rather deceiving.

S-Smells like cheap coffee, hazelnut, gas station creamer that has been sitting out for hours.

T-The taste of this honestly reminds me of bad coffee that has been sitting out for hours and slowly gets cold. It is rather creamy but there are some minute chocolate notes left and a hint of licorice.

M-Nice thick body with almost too little heat. The coffee over dominates the flavor and all other aspects of this beer making it almost a chore to get down.

O-Regular BORIS is a lot better than this. The coffee is just not good and it makes this hard to get down. I would not recommend this to anyone especially when you can get three times the amount of founders breakfast stout for the cost of one bottle (14.99).

Photo of mtomlins
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a short, creamy, dark mocha head leave bits of lacing. The nose is massive with huges of dark roast coffee, roasted malts, char. The taste follows suit and is dominated by coffee and roasted malt as well as dark chocolate, tobaco/soy sauce and sweet grains with some bittering hops hitting at the end. Thick, heavy texture, velvety.

Photo of robear
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Otto's on Oakland. $11.99,

Appearance: Thicker than I expected. Very little to no head, tan foam as you would expect. Sure looks a lot like day-old coffee. Nothing particularly enticing about the appearance.

Smell: Coffee & stout, just what I expected. No acidity on the nose. Roasty, not sure if that's coming from the malts or the coffee.

Taste: I wanted the coffee to have a bit more character- remember thinking "Dunkin Donuts", which isn't a bad thing, but isn't a particularly specialized flavor either.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced for a big, heavy, sticky beer.

Overall: In the pantheon of coffee stouts, this one earns a place on the shelf. It's not as sweet/memorable as Speedway, but it isn't a beer I wish I could forget either. My biggest knock is the price. With Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout bombers sitting there at $4.99 and 4-packs of Breakfast Stout for $11, I'm probably not going to fork over $12 to drink this again. Would try it on tap for sure though.

Photo of BB1313
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through; small mocha head that fades quickly and leaves nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are full of malts. There's a nice amount of chocolate in the mix. Some vanilla bean. The coffee aromas are definitely there, but are subtle and balanced. The flavors are alot sweeter than I expected. Lots of milk chocolate and sweet vanilla. Some caramel and butterscotch in the mix. The coffee gives this one a solid roastiness. Slightly bitter, but not over the top. There's even some anise the pops up in the finish every once in awhile. Mouthfeel is great. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very creamy and fluffy. Smooth stuff and the alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a very good coffee stout. It's very enjoyable and fun to drink, but it doesn't quite standout compared to other popular coffee stouts. It's in the same ballpark though. I was expecting a little more at $15/bomber. That being said, Hoppin' Frog crafts good stouts, and this is good.

Photo of JackieTH
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich pour dark brown-black used motor oil with the faintest meniscus of mocha foam ringing the edge. No lacing. Smells like French pressed dark roast coffee beans with rich chocolate, on the edge of burnt roasted coffee, dark fruit. Delicious. Taste is lightly bitter espresso roast coffee, dark chocolate, fig newtons, oatmeal, lightly sweet. Mouthfeel is thick, low carbonation. Finishes with distinct coffeehouse chocolate elements and lightly sweet. Very good lots of delicious coffee flavor throughout.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hoppin Frog
Cafe Boris

LOOK: Poured from a 22oze bomber with a small hiss. Pours a beautiful motor oil black with a very dark brown foam. A really great looking brew.

SMELL: Chocolate malt, coffee, raisin and booze.

TASTE: Delicious layers of roasted malt and coffee. Kind of has a mocha thing going on. Chocolate, coffee, dark bread and booze. It is decadent how the cocoa flavor from the malt works with the coffee in this stout.

FEEL: Full bodied ale, smooth and silky on the palate, with a warming booze presence. Flavor of cocoa, malt, and coffee lingers on in a dessert like finish.

OVERALL: A really fine coffee stout. Great flavor, perfect look and excellent finish. Just about world class...put it in a barrel!

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, char, toast, oatmeal, dark bread, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of coffee and dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, char, toast, dark bread, oatmeal, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, dark bread, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of coffee and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice balance of coffee/roasted malt and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent coffee imperial stout. All around great balance and complexity of coffee and roasted/dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Although I was not a huge fan of either the regular B.O.R.I.S. or the BA B.O.R.I.S, when I had the opportunity to try this one, I jumped at it. Poured a rich, dark black with a thick, creamy brown head. Aromas of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt. Thick and relatively full bodied, with flavors of coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate.

Photo of ONUMello
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a snifter
A: Pitch black with a one-finger mocha head that slowly settles
S: Dark roasted coffee with some Bailey's and caramel
T: Roasted coffee, caramel and cream but bitter
M: Full-bodied, a bit of booze
O: Tasty, full of coffee but a bit much bitterness/alcohol

Photo of BeersAndBears
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crazy strong coffee presence here.

Photo of Stevedore
3.24/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown, nearly black body. Pours oil-thick out of the bottle. Half finger mocha head, not very much retention time, no lacing.

S- Dark fruit, coffee, a bit of milk chocolate/cream sweetness. Some bitter earthiness, perhaps from the coffee but could also be from the malt. The coffee is a bit stale however.

F- Very nice coffee-forward front, milk chocolate in the middle, a bit of earthy bitterness that then transitions into a very odd, astringent dark fruit-like bitterness. The finish is actually quite unpleasant. I don't think dark fruit and coffee (the best way I can delineate these flavours) go together very well, especially when the coffee is starting to get more stale.

M- On the thinner side, lower carbonation. Again, the aftertaste is what really limits this beer.

O- Not sure what's going on with the finish of this beer, but I don't plan on revisiting this one again.

Photo of angelmonster
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Nice full body, smells of burnt coffee, tons of smoke, chocolate, and some booze.

Taste is big on espresso, chocolate syrup, oak and sweet malts. Kinda boozy for 9.4%

Overall solid coffee beer, but probably not in my top 5 in that style.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks man!

The beer is near black with a thin, wispy layer of beige head. Aromas of espresso, roast, light char, dark chocolate. Thick and palate coating. Oily and slick, with melted dark chocolates. Booze and malt are countered by strong coffee and a delicate bitterness. Really tasty.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of dark tan foam. Very good retention and lacing.

S: Strong coffee - earthy and a bit spicy. I get a bit of sweet caramel in there, too. The stout is there in the background, but barely. The coffee scent is very strong, but nice.

T: The flavor is much more balanced. The coffee initially hits upfront with the same earthy, slightly spicy note with malted milk balls, dark chocolate, and roast in the background. Stays on the sweet side throughout, but certainly not too sweet. The coffee integrates particularly well into the beer. However, I don't think this is as good as regular BORIS.

M: A touch on the thin side. Mostly, it is just thinner than I was expecting. The carbonation is appropriate.

O: A nice coffee RIS, but nothing too amazing. I prefer the base beer, and certainly prefer the BA version. Enjoyable.

Photo of jampics2
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 6th Annual Blues and Brews festival at Stan Hwyet Hall in Akron, OH on 8/7/10.

Fred was kind enough to present me with a nice pour, probably about 4-6oz, and I did this review on a clean palate. This beer is pitch black, much like the regular BORIS. Opaque and foreboding, it really does look like a moonless night in the glass. The only big flaw is that the dark brown head fades as quickly as regular BORIS, but overall this is a good looking beer.

The first smell is the primary indication we're in store for a treat here. The roasted malt aromas of regular BORIS tend to come across as more chocolate and molasses focused, but there's something deeper and more wonderful here. Cafe BORIS steps things up with a brilliant fresh coffee scent that is well integrated and not overwhelming. Hints of vanilla and licorice dance around, making the experience that much better.

The original BORIS is a sweet RIS and some critics claim that the lack of charred/burned notes makes it unbalanced. I disagree - in fact, while fresh BORIS has some notable hoppiness, I love it with 6-12 months of age on it because I don't think this beer needs an intense bitterness or lingering roast to be complete. The oats smooth things out and the chocolate is just perfect to my ideals as dictated by my palate. So, to be brutally honest, I was concerned the coffee would add unnecessary bitter qualities. Well, the most amazing thing about this version is how the coffee really lifts the sweetness by completing the spectrum. As any photographer can attest, contrast can make individual colors and subjects pop. Here, the principal holds true as the coffee is fresh and not overly acidic, adding just enough roast and some mild nuttiness to the fray. Has Fred done the impossible? Some may say that claiming that this is better than regular BORIS is utter blasphemy; I say it's delicious *cafe* blasphemy. I have a feeling this is going to be production-ized soon, so keep an eye out and buy on sight. This is a must try for any Russian Imperial Stout lover.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick with creamy carbonation. It's not too sticky, but the finish leaves just a touch of noticeable residue in the mouth. But overall there's a really nice feel to this beer.

Overall, this was a winner in my book. It's not the world's most drinkable beer as palate fatigue sets in quickly, but it's excellent for the style and is truly an enjoyable experience. Fred and the frogs, you asked for feedback and here it is - this is easily good enough to bottle and I encourage you to do so, no real tweaking necessary after this pilot batch. Thanks for representing at Blues and Brews. After the gates opened up to the general public, we all noticed that you easily had the longest line for beer. Everyone I asked said it was well worth the wait. Congrats on another wonderful addition to the portfolio. Cheers!

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was shared thanks to Dave, who was given a bottle of this when he visited the brewery, and what a treat it is to have this!

Pours a dead jet black with a nice brown head of a pinky that stays and leaves generous lacing in its wake.

S: Beautiful full fresh coffee and bakers chocolate. Somehow theres a coconut like scent in here with molasses and roasty malts. Vanilla as well and then more coffee.

T: Taste is phenomenal, as if the above two categories weren't already awesome. Amazing roast with as much coffee as I expected and a great fudge and vanilla desert like taste. Very full flavored espresso beans and lactose like sweetness implied, almost like a fancy coffee creamer. Really well balanced and surpreamly tasty, perhaps the best coffee stout I've yet had, with Peche Mortel and KBS being close seconds.

Mouth is super smooth and toasty roasted with no alcohol. Amazing.

Overall fantastic and if bottles come out I'll be looking....

Photo of wvsabbath
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark as night, black as oil, tan, creamy 1 inch head with tons of sticky thick lacing.

Smell - Coffee, roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, plum and raisin. Chocolate and molasses.

Taste - Starts out with a huge raisin and plum, dark fruit bite. Roasted malts along with some sweet coffee. Sweet, yet nothing overboard, the mix of dark chocolate and cocoa works well with the bitter fruits. Coffee is very bold and that also balances out the sweetness. A little hop bitterness is noticed at the finish along with some molasses and brown sugars.

Mouthfeel - The tongue gets a load of dark fruits and coffee at first sip. Palate picks up roasty malts, coffee and chocolate. Aftertaste is coffee, a little sweet and bitter.

Overall - Excellent, smooth, bold and flavorful . Balance is great, nothing is too much, especially the sweetness. Another nice addition to the boris lineup.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$ 15.99/bomber at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Undated bottle at 50 degrees into hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma of coffee
Head small (1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, somewhat fizzy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor moderately bitter from the coffee, coffee taste; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, slightly oily, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5
Pretty expensive cup of coffee.

Cafe BORIS from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.