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BORIS Royale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery

Not Rated.
BORIS RoyaleBORIS Royale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

68 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 181
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 4.84%
Wants: 145
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 181
Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour with a medium sized but very dense mocha colored head. Retention is quite good and there's a decent amount of thick lacing on the glass.

S: Dark fruit like cherries, raisins and plums. Toffee, molasses and caramel. Oatmeal. Roasted malt shows up as it warms up.

T: Lots of whiskey up front with toffee, molasses, caramel, oaky vanilla and some dark fruit. Bourbon fades, leaving a wonderful roasted malt and oatmeal dream. Bitter char, coffee and even chocolate lingers in the aftertaste. Oatmeal throughout, giving it a smooth and creamy taste.

M: Pretty heavy, smooth and creamy.

O: Lengthy flavor profile; it develops for a few seconds with each sip. Quite complex and balanced. Whiskey flavors aren't that great but are acceptable. Melds well with the normal BORISness. (799 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this a while back from boatshoes. Thanks for the trade!

From a bomber into a snifter
Drunk right after a batch two regular BA BORIS from '09

APPEARANCE: Pours really thick and dark out of the bottle. Otherwise, very similar to the barrel aged BORIS. An aggressive pour yields a cascading 1+ finger, medium looking dark mocha head that quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Jet black body and zero carbonation evident. A ring and splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving some faint lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of oak, wood, vanilla and sweet cream. Roasted and smoked malts are there, with dark baker’s chocolate and oats as well. A note of caramel and toffee sets it apart from the aged regular BA version. This one is fresher and the barrel is more apparent.

TASTE: Lots of whisky here, with oak, vanilla and a touch of milk chocolate as well. Toffee and caramel sweetness through the middle, making this version sweeter than the batch two regular BA version. A big aftertaste of barrel flavors, oak, vanilla and sweet cream, caramel and toffee, as well as some bitter dark chocolate and oat notes is very persistent. Somewhat boozy as well. A bigger barrel than the batch 2 barrel aged version at this point.

PALATE: Medium-full body, lower end carbonation, and creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth, very soft and easy, not bite at all, and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Slightly warming after the swallow. Exactly the same as the regular BA version. Solid.

OVERALL: No question that Hoppin’ Frog’s BORIS is a quality barrel aged imperial stout. Just goes to show that a beer doesn’t have to be some kind of limited, brewery-only release to be of awesome quality. This Royale version was slightly sweeter and more barrel heavy than the older batch two regular BA version we tried it next to, but that’s not to say that it would be all that much different than a fresh BA BORIS. Better than many of the hard to get and highly sought after imperial stouts out there. Thanks again boatshoes. Highly recommended.

As a final note, the regular b.2 BA BORIS from '09 has definitely mellowed out. The barrel is much milder at this point, though the base beer is still holding up strong. The roasted and bitter flavors are quite nice at this point. (2,309 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black pour with a large 2 finger head, vibrant an fluffy of deep mocha color. Holding great retention.

Woderful aromas of dark chocolate, fudge, black berry, currant, leather, hints of coconut, vanilla, oak, a bit of cardboard as well. Lots going on gooey sweetness in the last ester.

I really like what the Crown did to this beer. Adds a nice layer of the fruity whiskey notes in the middle of the dark chocolate bomb of BORIS. Doesn't' thin things out and really shows whiskey on the finish. Vanilla and toasty oak, sweet melting fudge, chocolate covered espresso beans, blueberry, earthy, burnt caramel, and sugar.

Creamy and delectable mouthfeel just on the edge of being syrupy. (695 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black color with a nice dense brown head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- I'm picking up darker fruits, quite a bit of booze, wood, and vanilla. Seems like a normal Boris with quite a big kick.

T- Taste is really good. Tons of whiskey action here, with vanilla, dark fruits, coffee and a solid booze to it.

M- Full in body and low carbonation.

O- I'm pretty impressed with this one and this is my favorite of all the Boris brews by far. (500 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by levifunk (thanks Levi!)

Pours very dark brown with a small amount of off-white head. Looks about right. Smell is nice and forward with the spirits from the North. Whiskey, oak, roast and chocolate come through. It smells very similar to BA BORIS, but maybe a bit more interesting. The taste is very smooth whiskey, chocolate, oak, roasted malts. Very easy drinking. Comes together really nice even right now. A touch boozy, but it comes off in this beer like that is actually what you want. Not harsh by any means. Medium body, medium carbonation. This beer was enjoyed two weeks after having a full batch 1 - batch 5 BA BORIS vertical. Overall, I think this was the best of the BA BORIS bunch. We may have made a Cuvee that would exceed this beer, but that took a lot of blending across batches to achieve. This seems to have a smoothness to it that the newer batches of BA BORIS don't have, and in the older ones that do have it, there is something else off about it (batch 1, way to oaky, batch 2, totally different recipe - too malty, etc.). Definite winner. (1,091 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter. You can tell it's my snifter because it's the one that says "bad mother-shut-yo-mouth" on it. Purchased at the brewery for $14.99 on release day.

At 9.4% ABV, this isn't on the extreme high end for BA Stouts, but I always admire how the Frogs are able to produce a brew with such awesome creamy head and lace. The dark black body is the color of a hit man's sunglasses but even more effective in blocking any light from passing through. Simply put, this is a stunning looking beer.

As I first explore the nose on the beer, I’m intrigued with the smooth integration of the wood and the whiskey. This is by no means a bruiser of a beer, but has some nice expression and a nice evolution as it warms. The base provides notes of chocolate and sweet caramel and toffee. The special barrels have added a nice kick of whiskey and a touch of oak and vanilla. There’s even a bit of the flowery essence this particular whiskey is regarded for. There is a touch of booze, but it’s not reminiscent of raw acetone nor is it solvent, it's simply a big Canadian whiskey notorious for it's brash qualities.

The taste is much less subtle and balanced than the smell, but still unique in the world of barrel-aged beers. The first sip shocked my palate just a bit with the amount of whiskey and booziness, but I got used to the warmth as I proceeded through the glass. It’s as if the whiskey fired off a shot then asked me if it broke my concentration. As for the actual flavors, the BORIS base is present and accounted for, with some nice sweetness and lingering roast, going from a caramel to chocolate to coffee. The whiskey dominates the middle of the flavor with big boozy notes, peaking concurrently with the bitterness of the beer. As it sits, the beer pulls together and gets better as it nears room temp. In fact, it come together nicely and makes me think this is one to pull out and consume at cellar temp.

The beer feels just a bit thinner than regular BORIS, but the oats really give the beer silkiness. The carbonation tickles just a touch at the end. I already mentioned the booze but it really is a nice feeling beer.

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Hoppin’ Frog portfolio, and I love the spirit of experimentation this beer represents. If you’re a fan of Canadian whiskey, meet your new best friend. If you’re a fan of the intricate subtleties of wood-aging, like vanillin and oak tannin, you may feel like this is a bit one-dimensional. I’m somewhere in between but glad I got to try the beer. (2,549 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03-17-2012: Re-review off a bottle sent to me by JeepCop. Thanks, Dale. Shared at a St. Paddy's Day party with a number of beer laymen against Elijah Craig 18 Eclipse. This was unanimously the favorite. Even I was surprised; could be bottle variation, could be that this thing is aging phenomenally, but I liked it more than Eclipse. So I'm obligated to give it a higher score. Refer to my notes below for the details, but the main improvement here was a pronounced fudge with moderate vanilla and restrained heat. Really well-done.

~~~

01-18-2012: Re-review off a bottle given to me by Ryan011235, intended to be shared with nickd717. I did share it. Thanks, Ryan. I don't know if it was the age, the fact that almost everything else we opened was abysmal, or the fact that I was drinking with two indiscriminate tickers (nickd717 and largadeer) who may have rubbed off on me, but I found this much improved over my earlier (harsh) review. I'll focus on the salient points:

S: The brownie-vanilla sweetness I noted in the earlier bottle remains here. It used to have some heat to it, but that is now gone, resulting in a nice, sweet aroma that betrays only some rough tannins. largadeer remarked that you can smell and taste the "cheapness" of the whiskey barrels, which for some reason makes sense to me. There's a roughness to the aroma that may never really go away.

T: The base beer is reveals fudge, brownies, and a touch of grain. The barrels are still pronounced, delivering vanilla, some coconut, and oak. There is a mild heat to the taste that wasn't apparent in the nose, but the beer is cooler than it used to be (not as hot). Definitely improved over release. Pretty tasty on the whole.

~~~

Original review: 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.0 / 2.0 / 3.0 (3.03)

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously gifted to me by TurdFurgison. Thanks, Eric. I owe you $Texas.

A: Pours a dark, nearly black body with a tan head. No lace.

S: This has a rich brownie-vanilla sweetness that I suppose is the whiskey contribution (Crown Royale?). I like the aroma, but it has a mild booze sting that lessens its smoothness. Nonetheless, quite solid, as is the BA BORIS.

T: The base beer is overridden by strong elements of vanilla, coconut, brownie batter. Mild elements of cocoa and grain become pronounced later. It becomes fusely as the beer warms, which takes a lot away from the flavor. But as it ages, I suspect this will improve.

M: A bit rough for the style. While medium-full bodied and appropriate in carbonation, the heat is brash and undesirable at this point.

O: I'm very happy to have tried this, thanks to the generosity of Turd as well as a second bottle from Ryan011235. Thanks, guys. I really wish I had more positive things to say about this beer; right now, I can only say that I enjoyed it, but it needs time. (2,828 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 9.4% abv. Pitch black color. Great looking mocha head holds together pretty well for few minutes.

Roasty malt, and chocolate aroma. Some caramel, and vanilla as well. Nose finishes with some wood, and soft whiskey notes. Maybe a slight hint of dark fruit.

Very roasty up front, with some bittersweet dark chocolate. Soft hints of vanilla. A good amount of wood, and some great whiskey flavors. Finishes dry, with some tannins.

Medium body, approaching full. Lower carbonation. Some warmth from alcohol, but not overwhelming. I like the different dimension the whiskey barrel adds here. Very well done. (621 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought at World Wines & LIquor a few weeks ago into a clean, clear pint glass. I recall the price being $12.99 but it might have been as high as $14.99. No observed “best by” date but a silver sticker with “Cleveland Beer Week Special Release” printed on it indicates that it is probably about a month old. That means that it likely has about another 5 years (or more) on it.

A Actually dark brown (!) head over an absolutely oil black body that refuses to allow any light through. I have to give this look high marks. I simply love it! 4.5

S Well, some of the darkest roast malt with whiskey notes. I expected that but I have always appreciated B.O.R.I.S.’s soft, rounded edges to the smell, taste and it looks like I will not be disappointed here. 4.5

T Simply love the taste of the dark roast malt, whiskey caramel notes and again, the smoothness that is not common in this style. This is a great, great beer that I cannot think of how I would improve it. 5.0

M Smooth as could be expected for such a big beer with the elevated ABV %. Really, it slips past your mouth so easily. I cannot think of how I might improve the feel and maintain the taste. 5.0

D/O Drinkability is where the beer suffers a bit since it is so huge, such elevated ABV but it really was soooo easy to drink, believe me! Overall this is a world class beer in my opinion. 4.0

Notes: I am proud to assign an A+ to this beer. Recommended to anyone reading this review! (1,508 characters)

Photo of Spider889
3.34/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hoppin' Frog Brewery's Barrel-Aged Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout Royale, or BORIS Royale for us nerds, or just Royale for us with no life. This is an introduction to a beer that, by now, needs no further introduction. Aged in Crown Royal barrels with obnoxiously overdone Pulp Fiction references added.

Purchased on my behalf by Proxy889. Poured into a Jackie O's snifter, just to keep it Ohio.

Appearance
Boris always pours velveteen. His foam always rises slowly to a dense cap. A few rings of lace are always left, clinging to the side of your favorite snifter. His blackened body is always as welcoming as it is foreboding. It seems Boris retains his class, even when speaking with a northern accent, eh?

Aroma
I've never known a Canadian who could sweet talk me like Boris's cousin. Candied stanzas of cordial cherries waft forth, like an aphrodisiac. Things only get hotter as the beer gets warmer. Long draws of whiskey worn oak soften an alcoholic blow. Indeed a whiskey-forward aroma, but quite the dessert of a presentation.

Taste
Having been wined by an admittedly corny, denim-clad Boris, I'm ready to be dined. Generous with the alcohol, Boris is lookin' for some action tonight. The sweetness of the aroma leads in nicely to the flavor, however. We skip right to the final course, coffee with cherry-chocolate torte. A rich black forest mousse builds a platform, hoisting maraschino cherries to taste buds. Things end with an after dinner cocktail, based on a stiff whiskey.

Mouthfeel
Uhh, I think the date analogies should end before I get to the category titled "Mouthfeel", for everyone's sake. And I can't handle anymore "that's what she said" BMs than I already get, so let's bring this review to a happy ending, before I make a mess of things. I mean I don't want to open anything I can't handle. And let's face it, I've already made this thing too long already. Soooo...
The mouthfeel remains very Hoppin' Frog. Big, buff, studly and stout. A mouthfeel as silken as the flavor and aroma, and maybe even more so. Carbonation is low, and I can even say fleeting. I'm nearing the end of my first glass and its at about nil. So as tempted you might be to swirl up this amazing aroma, tread lightly, lest you wind up with an under carbonated second half. The finish is fertile, supple and nowhere near dry, allowing for the creamy feel to linger as long as the boozy, chocolate laden aftertaste.

Overall
I don't know why, but I had low expectations for this beer. I guess, despite being proven wrong many times, that I think aging a beer in a different barrel won't yield interesting results. Well this will be the last time I reside in that opinion. This one is stunningly unique and miles apart from Boris and his cousin from Kentucky. Whooda thunk, the canook is the most resolved of the family tree.

Seek this out! I'm not just saying that because I'm and Ohioan, I don't have any for trade and I'm sad. (2,946 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (1,099 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to Goblinmunkey7 for acquiring this for my birthday. This has been a top want since the beer was announced. My_body_is_ready.jpg

10/13/12

Appearance: Pours black, perhaps even a bit heavier than other iterations of Boris - decent size brown head, fades to a decent ring and some spots of lacing

Smell: Burnt malts and a lovely undercurrent of Crown Royal - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, with some burnt and roasty coffee - characteristic Crown Royal barrel woodiness and whiskey

Taste: What's this, Crown Royal in my stout? (What? SAY "WHAT" AGAIN) - Dark, roasty, and burnt chocolate malts - dark chocolate, chocolate chips, and burnt coffee - a moderate level of burnt bitterness -burnt brownies and some toffee - the Crown Royal is very obvious and works very well - lots of whiskey, woody, lightly smoky

Mouthfeel: On the light side of heavy, slick and oily, with a woody finish

Overall: Best served with Big Kahuna Burgers

This is what I wanted. I'm not entirely sure why, but I am a fan of Canadian whiskey. I've grown oddly tired of bourbon barrel aged stouts, and I love this novelty of Crown Royal barrels. This wins. (1,153 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,108 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a motor oil thick black into my 22oz CBS snifter. Small, but impressive, brown head rises and falls quickly, leaving only minimal lacing.

S: AHHH now I get the BORIS Royale name, it was aged in Crown Royale barrels! Sorry about my slowness. Tons of whisky up front, vanilla, hints of oak and booze. Underneath is a lot of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and other typical stout characteristics. The smell is so balanced, way more so than BA BORIS.

T: The taste has a lot of smooth Crown Royale, deep dark chocolate, booze, vanilla, and wood. Not as big a flavor as I was expecting. I like the smooth, balanced taste more than the bigger flavors of BA BORIS, however.

MF: A bit thin, a decent amount of booze comes through. Dry finish.

O: This was really tasty, the drinkability waned after a while. Love everything Hoppin Frog is doing lately. (856 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pricey bottle, but hey I bought it. 16.99 from Nikki's. Into nonic glass.

A- Pour is not very lively. There's a thin layer of tan bubbles that settle out to the outer ring rather quickly.

S- The whiskey is pretty noticeable. Deep dark malts, very intoxicating aroma.

T- Lots of milk chocolate.. very sweet and creamy. Whiskey is smooth, not much peat, a lot of caramel/toffee, alcohol heat is welcomed because the beer is so tasty.

M- This beer is incredibly velvety and soft on the tongue. As soon as I take a sip I want to take another.

O- Smooth, tasty beer. Very nice coming-together of flavors. Warming but oh-so enjoyable. (636 characters)

Photo of KAP1356
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thought I missed the boat after the first release, but was lucky enough to grab several bottles at the Naked Evil release. 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter...

A - Pours an almost completely black with some dark brown highlights. A nice milk chocolate color head forms about a half of a finger thick and recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - Heavy whiskey aromas mixed with vanilla, wood, and chocolate. Molasses, dark fruits and some slight coffee come through too adding nicely.

T - Toffee, molasses, whiskey and oaky-woodiness all up front. Chocolate, vanilla, molassesand dark fruits follow next. Really nice flavors mixing together. Some brown sugar and roasted malts come through. It's a smoother whiskey flavor that I notice. Could I tell it was crown royal? No. BUT I did notice a smoother profile.

M - Full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation. Really nice in the feel. Creamy and smooth overall.

O - Really enjoyed this one. I want to try it side to side with the regular barrel aged version. Would be interested to see the little differences. Overall, a really nice beer. (1,103 characters)

Photo of nhindian
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (1,379 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained this at the release. If you check out their photos on fb, I'm THAT guy...the guy who showed up to a craft beer release wearing a blue miller lite hat. What can I say? It's an old comfortable hat that may represent a beer I no longer drink...but why spend my limited income on a new hat when I can spend it on good beer? :)

A. A heavy pour on this beautiful baby got me an inch of head that possesses the color and look of a vanilla cappuccino. The body is as black as pitch, and I detect no traces of light coming through when I hold it up to the light. The head fades slowly, but keeps the top frosted the whole beer through. A little bit of lacing is noted throughout enjoyment.

S. The first smell that I pick up is dark fruit soaked in booze. Digging deeper, I get the delicious scents of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of wood for good measure.

T. The dark fruit and malt are up front on this one, and they travel over my tongue lovingly before giving way to whiskey and wood, though it must be noted that the whiskey isn't overpowering, in fact I find it delightfully well balanced. This segues into the coffee and chocolate flavors that give the beer a beautiful ending. A hint of burn sticks with you in the back of your throat, and gets a bit stronger throughout the beer, especially as it warms. This is mellowed by a woody, nutty and chocolatey coffee flavor that persists in your mouth and throat between sips. A strong, enjoyable beer that stays with you.

M. Heavy bodied, but smooth. The carbonation is perfect for helping this beer move along without really making itself a big factor in the mouthfeel. It coats your mouth but isn't sticky, and is honestly the perfect consistency that I could ask for in this style.

O. This has been sitting in my fridge since the release. I was attempting to wait until it had aged 6 months, but temptation got the better of me. This beer really shines to me as one that could make a serious mark in the style. Here's hoping the next release is bigger! Cheers! (2,035 characters)

Photo of domtronzero
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. No dates on the bottle.

A - Very dark brown with a small, lingering ring of dense, tiny bubbles. Head is off-white. Little lacing.

S - Sweet whisky aromas (yep, without an 'e') actually reminiscent of Crown Royale. Sweet oaky character, chocolate and roasty malts. Sweet caramelly malts.

F/M - Sweet caramelly and dark chocolatey malts up front. Then the silky sweet whisky flavor. It may be a testament to the power of persuasion but it really has a Crown character. Slight vanilla character in the finish. The dark roasty malts and moderate bitterness help to dry out the finish a little. Medium full bodied with moderate carbonation. The CO2 is just right in fact.

O - Another outstanding offering from Hopping Frog. It's a great BA stout and definitely worth seeking out, especially for the whisky character that isn't found in many other beers, especially any beer I've ever had. (903 characters)

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BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.