Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Dark Horse Boffo Brown AleDark Horse Boffo Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 01-08-2004

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Reviews: 201 | Ratings: 623
Photo of sjones5045
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pretty dark brown, I'd say darker than most other Brown Ales. THe head is pretty nice and fads quick.

The smell is very sweet and nutty. Pick up a bit of caramel type smell. Definitely like the smell of this.

The taste isn't as sweet as I was expecting from the smell but there definitely is some sweetness that goes along with a nutty taste. Kind of a toffee finish that is pretty decent. IT's a pretty smooth finish with minimal aftertaste.

Overall, its a pretty good brown ale. The only complaint would be that none of the taste, such as the toffee or nutty upfront are gig enough. Seems like you get some nice small tastes then they fad quickly. I would pick this beer up again if it were in my area.

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Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Boffo is a Brown Ale (aka 'Nut Brown') in name as well as appearance; it has the colour of candied pecans and gleaming hazelnut shell highlights. It's always easier on me when beers look the way they sound (or, for that matter, spoiler alert, how they smell and taste).

The aroma reveals hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate which give it an unexpected level of character. Perhaps it should be unsurprising to find such strong flavours given the beer's strength (7.0%). The style's requisite toasted maltiness and nutty sweetness have also been turned louder.

That's where the real fun lay in this brown ale - its fuller, more exaggerated flavour profile. The amount of candied nut, toffee-laced maltiness practically approaches coffee cake territory (emphasis on coffee) and, though not overly sweet, might make a nice dessert in its own right.

This style is rarely anything other than toothsome and inoffensive, but for a higher-gravity offering I expected this to be a little less easy-going. Boy, was I wrong! Boffo Brown Ale is just as quaffable as anything in category and doesn't even hint at its true strength for even a moment.

Boffo Brown Ale's delectable nutty, malty notes make it the beer version of Pringles – once you pop you can't stop. Heck, I tried to resist but next thing I knew the whole bottle was gone. Of course, this also makes it pretty mainstream-friendly too - nearly as unremarkable as it is nice.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Summit shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, IL

This beer pours with a lot of head on it, too much if you ask me, but the nice taupe head caps off a beautiful deep dark brown color that has faint ruby twinges when closely examined. The smell is coffee-like in nature, but with a blend of toffee mixed in as well as some cocoa powder. The flavor of the cocoa powder is strongest on the palate, but there is some molasses character coming through as well. There might be a hint of toffee. All of the flavors are really mellow in this beer nothing is potent or overwhelming, which also means that there isn't any distinct character as well. The cocoa flavor on the mouthfeel actually almost dried out the tongue, but the smoothness of the beer actually made it still a good drinking beer. This is a very good brown ale and something I would definitely look for again on tap.

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Photo of Billolick
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Erbelli's in Kalamazoo, Mi.

Pours darker brown and leaving quality looking fine whispy sheeting

Darker roastty malt nose

Quality malted up brew. Moderate roast/dark toast quality. Smooth and tasty. Well worth a try and I was happy to get to enjoy this one on tap.

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Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boffo pours a deep, thick brown color that doesn't let any light through. A tight light brown head forms with above average retention, and a modicum of lacing is left behind.
There's a touch of roasted malts on the nose, followed by a light touch of caramel, nut and toffee with just a hint of an herbal hops presence. Overall the aroma's a bit mild.
The taste is what really surprises me. This one's a bit more complex in flavor than aroma with a great balance and very smooth on the palate. The malt backbone is strong, with roasted, earthy and nuts balanced by a molasses and brown sugar sweetness that, balanced as well as it is, hardly makes this beer seem especially sweet, but very nicely rounded. There's a sturdy yeast underlying as well. Impressively, this one is free of the sometimes characteristic astringent and metallic flavors that can mar a brown ale.
The mouthfeel is sturdy, with a full body making this one seem more like a porter. Carbonation is light.
This is quite a drinkable brown ale and easily sessionable.

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Photo of jsh420
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a very dark brown with a 1 finger tan head that left no lacing

smells of roasted caramel chocolate malt

taste is just like the nose roasted sweet brown sugar caramel chocolate malt with a good amount of hop bitterness to balance

mouthfeel is almost perfect light with plenty of carbonation that gives it a crisp yet creamy finish

drinkability is solid - very good flavors low abv great mouthfeel

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Photo of zoso1967
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boffo pours a fairly cloudy brown that has some orange highlights when held up to the light. The head is light tan and very tightly packed. It possesses great retention but leaves hardly any lace.

The aroma is classic brown ale with plenty of toffee, nuttiness and a pleasantly sweet fruity quality. Hints of chocolate and herbal aromas are also present more in the background, but this brown ale does not have a very intense nose.

The flavor is an extension of the aroma. It has a very nice malt character with plenty of sweet toffee, chocolate, nuts, a touch of medium roast coffee and a nice fruitiness. It is very well balanced with the hops fairly buried, but their bitterness delicately balances the sweetness of this brew.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a very nice creaminess to it. Carbonation is low and probably helps add to the smoothness, but I suspect some wizardry with the malts is also responsible. The finish is slightly sweet with some bitter cocoa and nuttiness lingering.

Overall I found this to be a great brown ale. It has the classic brown ale taste and is well balanced with a very nice texture. This is very drinkable and would make a good beer to have with friends while chatting about old times.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

seved on tap in a pint glass

This beer was a hazy brown/ dark amber color that I couldn't see through. The nose is mild and barely does the taste justice. There is a light amount of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts in this brown ale. It also has a lot of an earthy spice. There is a bunch of nutty flavors in this beer as well as quite a bit of toffee. The english aspect of this beer shines though in the yeast and I think the crisp yeast flavor compliments the flavors quite well. The mouth feel could be a bit heavier in my opinion but its still quite nice. This is a very nice brown ale, about on par with bells best brown.

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Photo of ACon204
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark murky brown with a foamy off white head that dissipated quickly with little retention.

S: Roasted nutty aromas dominate, followed by hints of caramel and chocolate.

T: Typical brown ale flavors of toast, caramel, toffee, and hints of mild chocolate. Slight hop bitterness keeps the sweet roasted malt flavors well balanced.

M: Medium-full bodied and well carbonated. Slightly creamy (almost brown porter-like). but very smooth.

O: This is the second time I've had this beer. The first time I had it, I wasn't impressed at all. I'm not sure if it's the fire that I'm sitting next to, but I seem to be having a better experience this time around. Solid Brown Ale.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

I've enjoyed most of the regular Dark Horse offerings and this is no exception. Pours a cola brown, nearly opaque color with a thin light brown head that quickly fades to a thin cap with splotchy thin film and minimal lacing. Aroma is rich and sweet, heavy on malts and nuttiness. Thick and smooth body with a sweet nutty and milk chocolate finish. Flavor is molasses, caramel, sugar, roasted malt, light hops; in general very robust and pleasant for the style. Nothing too exceptional, but a very flavorful, enjoyable brown.

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Photo of dudecandle
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Very dark brown, almost black body with a small off-white head.

S: Nuts, some dark fruit, and some herbs

T: Fruit comes further to the forefront, but it's balanced quite well with the nuts and some strong vanilla. The herbal hops show up on the finish along with a good toasty backdrop. Complex and very well balanced.

M: A little too thin, but passable for a nut brown ale

D: Good, complex flavor, nothing overwhelming, but it feels like something's missing. It's very fruity and sweet, but it almost feels too sweet. Some stronger hop presence, or maybe a big dose of coffee might make this a superb beer. Just thoughts.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

3.5 A: Dark brown color. One finger of creamy tan head with below average retention, but some spotty lacing.

4.5 S: The nose is very nice. Lots of toastiness with a nearly as strong earthy nuttiness. Toffee secondarily along with a touch of molasses. Not particularly complex, but very harmonious.

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Lots of toastiness, dry roasted nuts, earthy muskiness, just a touch of toffee and molasses for sweetness, and a weak hop bitterness.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Dry finish. Could be a bit creamier, but otherwise quite smooth.

4.0 D: Pretty good beer. Lots of what I like in a brown ale. This would be a hell of a beer if it was a bit sweeter and creamier.

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Photo of tdm168
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with a soft, brownish head

S - huge aroma of bread and caramel

T - nutty, caramel, bread; incredibly malty

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a malt-bomb...and I like it. This a simple beer in the sense that it doesn't offer layers of flavor, but what it does offer is really good. I'm not a huge brown ale fan, but this is one I could definitely drink.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

no dating or code on bottle. poured into nonic pint glass

A - opaque, dark chesnutt brown color. thin whispy head
S - nutty, buttery, a little sweetness
T - brown sugar, toffee, raisins. but not too sweet, well balanced. clean finish
M - mild carbonation, medium body
D - great flavors but smooth and easy to drink

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Photo of gordavidson
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A deep, leathery brown liquid that has some serious meat to it. The brown head is creamy and has decent retention.

S- Sweet malt, raisins, smoke, and oranges. Very unique.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma. Sweet and quite flavorful for the ABV.

M- Creamy carbonation and body with some strong lasting flavors. Slightly dry on the finish.

D- A very unique brown ale. The more I get into it, the better it gets. I will be getting this again.

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Photo of jera1350
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown colored body with a tan head that isn't real thick, but does have good retention and delivers a fair amount of lacing.

Rich malty scent. Some milk chocolate and mixed nuts.

The taste is rich caramel malt, some nuttiness along with notes of chocolate. Getting a nice hop presence in the background. Good bit of roast as well. Really deep flavor going on.

A bit of fluffy carbonation. A little under medium bodied and maybe just a hair thinner than desired.

This is a really solid all around brown and another winner from Dark Horse. Lots of flavor and easy to drink as well. I could tip back a couple of these with ease.

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Photo of selecter70
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draught. Another excellent dark ale from these guys. Always a bit of burnt wisp in the nose and taste which seems to be a hallmark (or an imagination on my part?). The pour started an appealing dark blood red to brown with a decent creamy beige head & good lacing. The aroma evoked burnt molasses, raisin, baker's chocolate and oddly a hint of spruce. Medium bodied with a bit of a creamy smooth mouthfeel. The taste likewise was made of molasses, dark chocolate, and coffee but also a cashew quality rounded by some warmth and bite of hops. Very enjoyable

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LostCook for this one.

Pours a very deep and dark brown. Matbe the darkest brown ale I've ever seen. A fingers worth of off white head caps a great looking beer.

Nice aroma. Sweet nuttiness dominates. Pick up some toffee. Maybe some maple syrup.

Ale is full bodied and smooth. Nice nuttiness with some caramel and malt. Has a lot of the same flavors all brown ales have but a notch above. Really easy to drink and keeps you interested.

Overall...I love a good brown ale and this is one of my favorites. Darkhorse hasn't let me down yet and I love what they do with maly forward beers.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A pretty, dark, mahogany color. Head is initially nonexistent, then foams up to one finger, only to fade down quickly. The surface always had a slight covering though. Nice lacing.

Couldn't really detect anything in the sniff test, but allergies may have had something to do with that.

Taste was a very nice malty sweetness forward with an appropriate hops bite quickly catching up. A noticeable, albeit not unpleasant, alcohol bite on the finish.

Feel was fantastic; not at all watery, with good carbonation

A very good and dangerously drinkable beer.

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Photo of osusullins
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. At first sight, this beer is a deep, DARK brown. It is almost stout black. Creamy white head... Very nice looking beer.

The nose is very subtle. I am picking up light notes of coffee, caramel, and toffee, however nothing dominates and all are faint.

Boffo drinks lighter than it looks. Creamy without being heavy. The malts coat the palate and linger for just the appropriate amount of time. I definitly enjoyed this beer more as it warmed up in the glass. The soft notes of caramel and light bakers chocolate seem to be more pronounced as the temperature of the beer rises. What started out as a (B+) cold beer soon evolved into a solid (A) beer at room after sitting for about ten minutes.

Dark Horse is just another example of quality Michigan brewing. Kudos.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a semi-hazy very dark mahogany, forming a small dark beige head with no retention or lacing. Carbonation is mild and requires a hefty pour to even achieve a head. Aroma is very "beer-y" with notes of herbal English hops, amber and chocolate malts, a touch of caramel and caramelized sugar, vanilla. Mouthfeel is sharp considering the carbonation, and the medium body tastes denser than it actually is. Taste is also very English...light molasses, brown sugar, herbal English hops...lingering notes of tobacco, coffee and touches of leather in the woody finish. Bold and assertive for a brown. Thank god, no diacetyl, and alcohol is undetectable. Cleanly fermented.

Another solid brew from the Dark Horse dudes. Most everybody else would call this a porter. Rich and filling. Recommended.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, dark brown with reddish highlights out of the bottle with a decent amount of tan head forming quickly which then dissipates leaving a thin covering of foam on the surface.

S: Smells of caramel malt, nuts, and a very faint acridity, possibly from some roasted barley.

T: The roasted character is more up front in the taste than the aroma, but is well balanced by the sweet caramel malt character. A slight tang of alcohol is also perceptible, but not unpleasant.

M: On the thinner side for this style, but again, not unpleasantly so. I think it keeps the roast character in the flavor profile from becoming too overwhelming and edging more towards a stout than a brown ale.

O: While it has a bit more roasted character than is typical of English Brown ales, it is quite tasty. It is balanced well with the sweeter caramel malt flavors balancing out what I keep thinking is roasted barley, and that gives it a pleasant complexity that a lot of brown ales lack.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid all round brown ale. Pours a deep rich brown with a foamy head. Toasted nut on the nose, which really comes through on the palate. Smooth mouthfeel, disguises the 7% well here.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Dark Horse.

Pours a nice brown color that is slightly opaque. Off white head with a pretty good amount of retention and some nice lacing. The nose brings sweet malt, caramel, toffee, a bit of fruit, and some nice earthy hops. The taste is a good blend of hops and malt, with the combination really shining through in the mouthfeel. Drinkability is quite good and it was a nice brew on my first trip (finally!) to the brewery.

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Photo of ken3c
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I worked hard to pour a decent on this beer but it didn't do much good. There are a few wisps and a ring of foam. It's a very dark brown but fairly clear when I hold it to the light.

Pleasant malty sweet aroma.

Sweet caramel with a well rounded roasted malt finish.

light to moderately carbonated with a medium body.

This is an easy drinking pleasant tasting brown.

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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 623 ratings.
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