BORIS Royale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
BORIS RoyaleBORIS Royale

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

181 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 147
Gots: 67 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jampics2 on 05-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 68
Photo of crusian
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from goryshkewych, thanks man.
Pours a nice jet black with very little head. Not too carbonated at all, but looks great.
The nose is pretty empty. Almost nothing there at all. To be honest, I just get a bit of booze, and that is all.
Taste is nice and buttery. The whiskey is very mild, and well balanced, while the stout seems pretty basic. I am actually disappointed in this. The stout has nothing behind it. This took me an hour to drink as i kept letting it get warmer and warmer, hoping that it would turn into something more, or at least give me something other than just a light whiskey flavor. It didn't. This simply tasted like a mild watered down whiskey from start to finish for me. I love barrel aged beers, but this just didnt do it for me.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.3/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Darkness tulip on 8/20/11; shared by schwaeh

Really dark brown; close to black all the way around. Pours a thin head, hot chocolate brown; doesn't last long. Thin ring of retention.

Smells young, fresh and hot. Sweet whiskey and a lot of wood, the latter being more prominent that the former. Roasted coffee with chocolate notes worked in. Vanilla as it warms.

Tastes pretty hot, too. Whiskey is more appreciable than the oak, though. Thick swaths of sweet chocolate; tends to be more burnt than roasted. Faint vanilla. Finishes with a lingering heat and some residual burnt sugar flavors. Lots of deep chocolate.

Full body with a good bit of viscosity. Not overly carbonation, but enough to keep it moving and frisky. Tames over time, becoming smoother.

Overall impression - not bad, but really hot and rough around the edges.

Photo of Spider889
3.34/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark, like DORIS. The head was tall, dark, and dense - a mocha/coffee color. Spotty lace on a thick beer.

-- Thick?

-Yeah.

-- I've seen thicker.

S - Smells boozy and full of astringent alcohol heat. Vanilla and gobs of coconut. Dry charred oak is in there, as is an odd mustiness which I found out of place. Not sure it that is from the Canadian whiskey, or the oak/barrel, or what. Overall a sweet aroma full of young and brash booze.

T - Roasty, as it should be. The coconut reappears - this must be a big flavor component of the base whiskey... Bitter leads to char. Dark cacao. Finishes dry.

M - Thick, sticky, and the whiskey lingers on the palate.

O - Very different from the regular BA BORIS. I found this to be vastly inferior to its older cousin, but I really appreciate the effort from Hoppin' Frog and the use of a virtually unheard of barrel type for beer aging so far. Keep experimenting, I love it.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, small head.

Vanilla and caramel is dominant on the nose. Some chocolate malt aroma.

Prominent flavor of Crown Royal. Reminds me of my greater moments in college. Dates, figs, milk chocolate with an oaky finish. Creamy mouthfeel. The beer is pretty straightforward. Not as decadent as BA BORIS though but it's interesting.

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from OakedCanuck. Thanks!

A: Opaque black. Very thin lacing. Not bad.

N: Oak, heaps of chocolate, a little coffee roastiness, and some nice vanilla flavor.

T: Tons of fudge and roasted espresso flavor. Dark prune.Oatmeal lends some nice flavor to the proceedings. If you hadn’t told me this was barrel aged, I wouldn’t have noticed, however.

M: Best thing about this beer. Extremely smooth with a great oily feel. Touch of alcohol.

O: A good BA stout that is both too expensive and not high enough in the top tier to do much more than recommend a split bottle.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pours near black with some dark deep reds when held to light. Head is dark chocolate, creamy and rich. Retention is low. Drops to a creamy collar and wispy head. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: Fudge and chocolate cake dosed with whiskey. Smooth edge of vanilla and toffee. Nice oak backing. Big sweetness. Chocolate malts, milk chocolate, dark cocoa and nibs. Big sweet malts. Bitter roasted edge. Some tiny hints of char. Leather, plum, and cherry. Fudgey.

Taste: Big fudgey sweetness followed by the smooth whiskey flavors. Vanilla, some butterscotch, English toffee, and oak. Loads of vanilla. Sharp bite of alcohol on the back. Extreme dark cocoa. Nibs. Extremely dark and roasted. Outweighs the sweetness. Whiskey floats over the top and ultimately doesn't blend.

Mouthfeel: Slick and almost full body. Carbonation is higher than expected. Barrel provides smoothness, but not a ton.

Overall: Better than BA BORIS.

A better use of whiskey barrels. Smoother with a nice depth, but ultimately feels like chasing a beer with a shot of whiskey.

Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for the bottle!

A - Pours black, tan head, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - The Crown is right up front...lots of booze. Lost of roast, some chocolate, light oak. Basically, lots of Crown! Perhaps a little too much booze for me here.

T - Crown Royal, oak, roast, chocolate, light malty sweetness. Again, lot of booze...seems like this one needs to mellow a bit more.

M - Full, rich and smooth, good carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - Not bad, but not mind-blowing. Too much Crown up front on this one...I think this needs some more time to mellow out. If you get a bottle of this, sit on it for a while unless you prefer drinking Crown Royal with a touch of stout.

Photo of nhindian
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split and poured into a pint. Big thanks to thebouch01 for splitting this!

A - Pours a jet black, absolutely shrouding all light, and builds a finger's worth of dark tan, mocha head. Not a lot of retention, but a thick cap sticks around afterward. The lacing benefits from this, and it leaves some spotty clumps of foam around the edges.

S - The nose is straight and to the point: whiskey. Dominated by the barrel, the aroma brings a lot of Crown Royal, vanilla, and some charred oak. Some dark chocolate and oats round out the nose.

T - Although smooth, the taste begins with a sharp bite of whiskey and alcohol. This plays underneath the rest of the flavors for the entire drink, which is both good and bad. It tends to overshadow the rest of the flavors, which are nice in their own right, but not allowed to fully develop before being stunted by the Crown. I would've liked to have the chocolate, roast, and vanilla come out a little stronger.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with decent carbonation. Smooth and slick, this one feels nice on the palate and the alcohol heat leaves it quite warm.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I would love to try this again side-by-side with both normal BORIS and BA BORIS to really flesh out the progressions, but I can't help but feel I was expecting a little more from this. Nice flavors, but not very balanced.

Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black without much of a head. Smell is toasted caramel with some bourbony vanilla. Taste opens up with caramel malts. These are mixed nicely together with some vanilla from the barrel aging. These fade to a bit of coffee through middle and toward the back. Bourbon shows up on the end and finishes it nicely. This is good, but not as good as expected. Worth a shot for sure.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at AndrewK's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, wood, and whiskey aromas. Taste is much the same with char and cocoa flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a great whiskey barrel aged aroma but the flavor is a bit too char forward for my liking.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black pour with no head or lacing. The nose has a smooth chocolaty appeal with rich sweetness. The taste is just as sweet with its rich malty, chocolaty base. There is very little indication this beer spent any time in barrels, except for a slightly boozy finish. It's very smooth and drinkable regardless, leaving a sweet and roasty aftertaste to help balance out the booze. This is definitely a tasty beer with a stout base big enough to earn its time barrel aging. Worth trying, but doesn't have characteristics that would definitively indicate crown royal barrels were used.

Photo of maximum12
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thank you to CaptCleveland for this bottle, among other Midwest gems dropped over a couple of boxes. Mmmmm.

Looks like a big stout, short-lived fluff, black as a moonless night on Pluto. Bottomless malts in the aroma holding steady with a harsh whiskey. Nice marriage.

BORIS Royale comes from a good line of brews & doesn't disappoint. Just like the smell, great big dark malts & whiskey make up about the entirety of BORIS. Low-level smokiness, gentle roasts, aged woods. Harshness in the nose is replaced by polished smoothness; lovely. That allows for a drinkability that belies it's almost 10% ABV, more like an oatmeal stout than a blasting-cap Monster Stout.

The icy smoothness of this brew is the high point & hell, it tastes pretty good too. Could do with a bit more depth, but still, very good beer. However, give me the straight-up BORIS any day; it's a remarkable stout, & some of its best traits are muted by the barrel.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing at bu11zeye's 10,000th rating tasting.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate in it, as well as some roasted malt, bourbon and oak. The flavor is very similar. I get a lot of chocolate and whiskey notes, as well as some oak, vanilla and maple. You can really get the barrel-aged notes in the beer and they compliment the other components very nicely. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice stout.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer, yet very smooth. Canadian whiskey flavour in finish well integrated.ALso chocolate, coffee, coconut, some booze. From May 2011. A bit above average mouthfeel. Not a big head, opaque black appearance. Full roasted aroma. Very good drinkability and balance.Thanks Steve.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. No bottle date.

Appearance - Viscous black body. Inky with a decent khaki head. Settles to a few islands of bubbles and a collar of deep khaki foam.

Smell - The whiskey aroma reminds me of scotch, strangely. Tons of oatmeal. Deep chocolate aroma. No booze, impressively.

Taste - Whiskey is more prominent. Vanilla comes out. Not a lot of oak, but still it's a nice barrel component. Booze is more prevalent, too. Chocolate. Oatmeal is more subdued, but the viscosity is apparent.

Mouthfeel - Nice thickness, if the oatmeal is a little too overt. Nothing like the booze of regular BORIS. Just a little sweet in the finish.

Overall - Pretty nice without being really spectacular. Been a while since I've had regular BORIS, but I remember it being a pretty good stout. This is good without being really smoothed out.

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery.
Score: 91

Unknown vintage bottle served in a plastic cup and enjoyed the night before Dark Lord Day (04/27/12). Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, black coffee-like color. 4/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, brown sugar, coconut, sweet chocolate and a little cherry. 4/5

Taste: Sweet milk chocolate, roast, and a light amount of oak. Cherry flavor on the midpalate. A little bit of whiskey flavor on the back half. Muted coconut throughout. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, no carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Roasty, slightly sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid beer, but easily my least favorite of all the BORIS variations. Ironically, this is the hardest to find of those variations. Stick with the BORIS and Barrel Aged BORIS.

Recommendation: Worth trying, but not worth going out of your way to seek this one out when BORIS is readily available year-round for $10.

Pairings: Chocolate ice cream.

Cost: $14.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Arbi.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thin collar; carbonation is minimal.

Nose is pretty nice, chocolatey and nutty, integrated whiskey aroma. Good sturdy malt character. Subtle licorice and roast. The roasted nut aroma is really enjoyable here.

Pleasant palate, heavy on the chocolate and caramel with moderate booziness. Sweet, but not cloying. Plenty of roastiness from the base beer, and a little yeasty fruitiness (cherry). The whiskey flavor does taste slightly cheap, but it works alright here. Body is full. Ends with sweet butterscotch and light roastiness. Solid stuff, I'd drink it again.

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jale for picking this bottle up for me. Served in a SAVOR snifter along with the regular version and BA BORIS.

Pours a nice black color with a short mocha head and a few spots of lacing on the way down. The nose carries quite a bit of bourbon (Canadian whiskey, I suppose) as well as some oak and a fair amount of alcohol. Light vanilla there as well. The flavor is moderately boozy with a good whiskey presence along with some oak and tannin. Light vanilla as it warms. Medium to full body with a creamy texture and light carbonation. Overall, a very well done BA stout.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TurdFurgison and spycow for making this happen.

A - Not quite black beer with some red on it, brown head that didn't stick around for long.

S - As Crown Royal is kind of a guilty pleasure of mine, I really enjoy this nose. Nice booze, whiskey and vanilla. Get some chocolate, little toffee, and some roast.

T - Taste is on par with the nose. I enjoy the way the distinctive Crown Royal comes through. It's dominating, but you still get some underlying big stout flavors.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Good beer, might appeal more to me than others, but I like where they went with it.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 06/25/11 notes. Shared this with some friends at a local tasting. I'm a big fan of the BORIS series of Hoppin' Frog beers, as well as Crown, so was very excited to open this one up. Served side by side with BORIS, a 2 year olf bottle of BA BORIS, and DORIS.

a - Pours a somewhat murky, very dark brown color, with one to two inches of dark tan head, and moderate to high carbonation evident. Sparse lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of bourbon, sweet fruit, musty, oak, chocolate, alcohol, and roasted malts. Good, but a slight musty note to it, which along with the alcohol keeps it from being better. No where near the nose of the 2 year old BA BORIS.

t - Tastes of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, sweet dark fruits, and lightly musty again. Alcohol heat to the taste, though again, still good. BA BORIS was insanely smooth, and gets the edge here again.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. A creamy, lightly swete body, but also boozy due to the alcohol heat.

o - Overall a bit disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer, but the BA BORIS blew it out of the water in every aspect other than appearance. I think with a year or two on the bottle it could be great, but right now, it is only good.

My order from best to worst went: BA BORIS, BORIS, BORIS Royale, DORIS, with normal BORIS slightly beating out Royale. Would rather grab a couple bottles of BA BORIS off the shelf and leave a few in the cellar for two years.

Photo of Treebs
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled shared by someone at the UFC tasting. Big thanks to whoever brought this as it was a big want. Bomber poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a straight, viscous black. No head present. Just a few bubbles. Looks like your typical motor oil RIS.

S: You can really smell the barrel, and I like it. The whiskey has a unique scent and while it doesn't smell like crown, you can tell it's something different. There is nice chocolate in the nose as well, sort of like a brownie.

T: Nice roasted malts with a good fudge and chocolate combination. The barrel is very present again and really shines with a nice oaky wood flavor and subtle vanilla sweetness. The whiskey is integrated nicely with a little heat at the backend. It is just very interesting in flavor with the Crown.

M: Very heavy, but creamy with little carbonation. Chocolate brownie is left on the palate.

O: The Crown barrels imparted some interesting flavors and while I didn't love them, it was interesting enough for me to keep coming back. I would like to see more Crown BA beers to see how other breweries integrate the flavors.

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Dan for sharing.

A: Black with a thin orange ring of head. Ok.

S: Sweet and spicy, with whisky, vanilla, coffee, coconut, and chili-infused chocolate. Quite nice indeed.

T: Interesting: molasses, spice, and whisky up front, with coffee and spicy booze on the sweet finish. Tasty, but a bit harsh.

M: Super creamy, super frothy full body. Not quite as thick as Boris or Doris, but still thicker than most stouts. Great.

O: I'd have to try this side-by-side with BA Boris to see which I really prefer, but I definitely enjoyed the piquancy of the Royale version. Good stuff.

Cheers!

Photo of dlello2
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22oz bottle, about a year in the cellar.

A - Bottle looks nice. Dark brown bottle which is good to shield it from light. There's a frog with a mug of beer. Oh, the beer? Ok it pours a nice, thick, deep brown. Looks like most imperial stouts. In terms of how dark and thick, think somewhere between Founders Imperial and Founders Porter. Little bit of red, not much head.

S - Smells nice and sweet, lots of bourbon and chocolate. Inviting, not overpowering.

T - This is really smooth. Good amount of coffee, chocolate, and yes, sweet bourbon. Sweet, wish it had a bit more roast to it. But damn is it balanced.

M - Slick, decent amount of carbonation for a barrel aged beer. Medium to full bodied, though leaning toward the latter. Nice.

O - A really good bourbon barrel aged beer. Not quite as intense as some others, but damn fine for what it is.

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric (TurdFurgison) for hooking it up. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving dark tan foam settles to a razor-thin cap, thicker collar, and spotty lace. Dark brown body with a reddish tinge at the bottom of the glass.

S - Woah! Lots of Crown Royal! Boozy! Underneath the sweet whiskey and vanilla flavors is hefty dose of roasted malts, milled grains, and dark chocolate. Not a ton of oak present - guessing this wasn't aged that long.

T - Taste is pretty similar - a mix of Crown Royal whiskey, dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of smoke and char, and a fairly intense bitter finish. Seems boozier than the listed 9.4%.

M - Medium-full body, smooth texture, lower carbonation, and a bit of alcohol warmth - nothing excessive, but not super well-hidden either. Not overly tannic or dry, which reinforces my suspicion this didn't spend a ton of time in the barrel.

D - I prefer BA BORIS, but this was a solid beer too. It's a bit hot, and the char in the finish gets somewhat fatiguing, but otherwise it's another high-quality offering from Hoppin' Frog. I'd like to try this again in six months to see if it has mellowed out a bit.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a widemouth tulip, pretty much pitch black with a dark tan head. pretty good lacing.

nose is pretty boozy, heavy whiskey aroma, faint vanilla, with some nutty caramel, touch of coffee. pretty good.

coffee and dark caramel upfront, big crown whiskey flavor dominates the finish. mild roasted character throughout, finish has a slight bit of vanilla and a touch of tannin.

mouthfeel is spot on, heavy enough but not overly sweet. overall this beer is pretty good, not worth 15 bucks but it was definitely worth trying out.

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BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.