Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
85
very good
199 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Dark Horse Boffo Brown AleDark Horse Boffo Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
darkhorsebrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
199
Ratings:
610
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
18.47%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
122
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 610
Photo of herman77
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with some dark ruby hues to it. Moderate soapy light tan head. Trying to forms some sheets of lacing.

S: Toasted carmel malt. Faint nuttiness, earthiness. Some coco and coffee. Nose is a little weak, even as it warms.

T: Very nutty. Toasted malts with carmel sweetness. More nuttiness and earthiness, almost dirt-like. Some bittering hops show themselves near the finish.

M: Lighter to medium body. Higher carbonation feels pretty active on the tongue. Ever so slight slickness to it.

D: Meh. Its average at best. Not doing much for me, its not bad at all, its just.... average.

 596 characters

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.

 446 characters

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.

 660 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to biernutz for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Viscous pour yields a .5 finger coarse, dark beise head with poor retention. Beer is one of the only brown ales that I've seen that's actually brown. Near opaque. Lacing is sparse and spotty with little cling.

S: Nose is coffee, toffee, butterscotch, and toasted malt. Rather rich and deep overall. Very aromatic and appetizing.

T: Opens with subtle coffee sourness complemented by toasted malt, caramel, and bitter chocolate. Toffee is detectable in the back towards the middle and end. An unpleasant nutty grainyness not unlike chewing on nut shells appears at the finish and lingers into the aftertaste, slightly spoiling the experience.

M: Medium bodied, very lightly carbonated, slightly lively but generally very smooth and silky. Substantial in the mouth, this taste like a much bigger beer than its 5.5% ABV suggests. Finish is messy and aftertaste is drying and lingers.

D: A good beer that really fell apart just before the finish for me. Feel is great though and nose complements the flavor very well. Worth a try for a twist on the brown ale style.

 1,164 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light fizzy head covering fades at a medium pace to almost nothing over dark hazy molasses brown burnt sienna color.

THe nose comes with some nice mellow dark malts, a little brown sugar, some light crystal malts, a touch of a very dark malt but I can't figure out which (black patent, choc, roasted malt, etc), I think a little chocolate malt, and a nice light creamy sweetness.

The taste is similar but different. Again the nice mellow darker malts, some crystal malt, brown sugar, a little toasty, and I think a touch of chocolate malt. Some sweetness and a little creamy. Also this time there is some light grassy and mild bitter earthy hops, which add a touch of bitterness but mostly flavor. There is also a slight oxidized flavor to it. It finishes somewhat bitter as the hops seem to build up, with a little more sweetness, brown sugar, and a touch of that oxidized flavor, as well as a little minerality briny saltiness.

It has a medium body with lower but decent carbonation.

It's fairly drinkable, pretty light and sessionable, but that touch of briny salt at the end knocks down a bit of the drinkability.

 1,123 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, ruby brown color where light barely penetrates. Lots of lace considering the modest head.

Lots of mocha and powdered cocoa to the nose. Slightly sweet. Very low hop.

The flavor has far more hop presence than the smell indicates. Well-balanced with a dry, cocoa malt taste. Thin bodied and highly carbonated, the mouthfeel is the weakest aspect of this beer.

 366 characters

Photo of rembrant
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Look pours dark brown, little light passes through not much. Darker than a typical brown Dense tan 1 finger head that runs up the sides.Lots of lacing.

Aroma,inviting,some brown sugar,coffee,malt roasts and that hint of Dark Cherry i'd noticed in some dark horse stouts.

Flavor Wow...pretty big for a brown ale. Can pass for a Porter,almost a stout. Sweet up front,much malts,initially a tart fruit gives the balance evolving to add a more woodsy essence with a longer than usual delay.

Dark horse's big dark brews have a special knack for transitions and complexity,as well as mimicing flavors and this teases with the gamut of coffee,chocolate,caramel,black cherry,smoke...and who knows...then a "normal hop taste pops up as a late encore.

Dark Horse..again with some alchemy.

Since my original notes, I got to their ' Big Stout",Plead The 5th,as well as Too Cream Stout. Definite "family' similarities and 5th seems like Boffo amplified to full orchestra with some of the rest of the family pitching in. The Malt bill is quite typical among all Dark Horse darks, though varied a bit in degree and proportion. The also like to do tricks with transitions that I suspect has something to do with whatever kind of hops can mimic dark cherry or raisin,or Port Wine or whatever--then---2 sec pause it reappears as the "woodsy evergreen hops you usually expect. Plead the 5th....is more robust and the show is a bit different but my point is if you like one Dark Horse...do like I did and try the others.

Mouth....Big + Brown. A nice blend of syrup and sparkle,sweet,tart,bitter,all sequencing.

Drinkable? Sure. This isn't high $...just acts like it. Almost like the "Everyday" version of one of the best Stouts I ever found.
Makes for a real nice drinker even if you don't take time to savor all the details. It also is refreshing but flavorful enough that you can chill it up for a hot day and still get the goodness.

I'd also note....a few reviews called it too sweet. Try it a bit colder. I prefer it a bit on the chill side and I think that's it's best balance. Dark Horse malts up their stouts,so you can "fine tune" to taste by having them a bit colder,or warmer.

 2,174 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt walnut brown with burnt orange edges. The beer isn't opaque when backlit with bright sunshine, but that's no sin given style and ABV. Two fingers of toasted oatmeal colored foam looks good and does a fine job when it's time to decorate the glass.

The aroma is as rock solid as the appearance. Each sniff delivers loads of chocolate malt and an earthy nuttiness that lies just beneath the surface. Nothing more than a modest hoppiness is of no concern.

Boffa is a 'no bells and no whistles' kind of English brown ale that impresses by bringing it with authority on the flavor boldness and complexity fronts. It's too bad more brewers don't add this much malt to their mid-ABV browns.

Specific flavors include toasted brown bread, baked nuts, milk chocolate shavings, and a moderate tea leaf bitterness that keeps things in wonderfully drinkable balance. A few of these during Saturday afternoon football would be damn tasty.

The mouthfeel almost holds up its end of the bargain. A little more full creaminess would be nice, but it's hard to be too critical at 5.5%. The bubbles, while slightly too harsh initially, settle down my the middle portion of the bottle.

Bell's Best Brown is still the best brown ale in Michigan, but this Dark Horse brew is good beer in its own right. Whether or not you think Boffo is boffo will most likely depend on how much you like brown ales. Grab a single or a sixer and judge for yourself.

 1,434 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with garnet glow and a fizzy billowing light tan heat. There are a few tiny bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass.
S- the soft mellow dark char aroma has a faint chocolate malt quality but otherwise the aroma is pretty clean.
T- The mellow roasted dark malt note has a light char note in the finish which is pretty dry. The char note lingers for just a moment after each sip. There is a toasted flavor that grows as the beer opens up. The green hops bite comes through only when the beer is pretty warm.
M- There is a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish.
D- Nice roasted flavor with some subtle hops support. There is not much depth but this beer is very quaftable. Not as heavy as a porter and it would be nice to see this on cask.

 816 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into the snifter. Looks decent, brown, almost black with bad lace. Could have better head retention and would score much better if it did.

Smells nice. The roast is a little more forward than other browns, giving some milk chocolate notes. There's a nice nuttiness and even some hazelnut. Mild hops. Sweet caramel.

Tastes great. Roast gives chocolate and mild coffee notes. Great toasted nuttiness and sweet caramel malt. Some mild vanilla and hazelnut cream. Really full flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice. Medium bodied and nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good brown ale. I enjoyed it and would happily drink it again.

 624 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice brown color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent mix of toasted caramel malts, victory nuttiness, and a dry roasted finish. The taste is decent. It has a dry, roasted flavor with a subtle caramel feel. It goes down quick and bone dry with a bit of bitterness in the finish. I'm not sure what's causing that. The mouthfeel is fine. It a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brown ale, but nothing exceptional.

 511 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a dark chocolate color and a modest head that leaves some strands behind

Smell: Caramel and dark chocolate

Taste: Caramel and chocolate, up front, with a growing stone fruit and earthy hop bitterness character by mid palate; after the swallow, a bit of the hoppy element lingers but it is subsumed by the malty chocolate flavor in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice English Brown that verges on porter territory

 499 characters

Photo of stewart124
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with a centimeter of tan head. The edges are highlighted by hues of amber.

Plenty of vanilla and brown sugar in the nose.

Superb body and mouthfeel. The taste is a very silky smooth vanilla and subtle milk chocolate. Touch of bitterness and roast but this is such a creamy brown ale. The hops add a noble spice and really round out this english brown ale.

This is terrific and leans on the side of porter in my book. Really a pleasure to drink and I'll need to seek this out again.

 503 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark garnet highlighted and muddy brown color. The head is nomina; after the pour, and disappears after a few minutes.

The arom has nice roasted mlats, coffe and powdered chocolate notes. Definetly invites me to drink more. Myabe a sweet caramel note added too.

The taste is roasted, but not dark stout roasted. Just right for regularm flavorful, full-flavored, robust enjoyment. Thats too many adjectives in one sentence. But the malt makes a nice statement that adds a lot to the the sessionability of this beer.

Nice and roasted, but lacks some sensation. Worth sessioning, but not exceptional.

 610 characters

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

 315 characters

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown. Nice off white head with good lace.

S: Aromas of caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, brown sugar, and hints of nutty toffee.

T: Lots of caramel and nuts. Darkened brown sugar and a touch of chocolate covered dark fruit.

M: Medium in body, smooth

D: Good, pretty tasty little brew.

 311 characters

Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Dark maple syrup brown/amber body. Finger of tight, dirty khaki head. Good lacing. Nose of scorched caramel, malted milk, toasted malts, and maple syrup.

Toasted, nutty malts up front. Brown sugary sweetness and caramel follow. Earthy, woody, mild bitterness lurks in the background. Dash of maple syrup, a bit of chocolate milk, some toasted walnuts. Delicious! Medium-bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. A nice session brown, on the sweeter side.

 470 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark, almost opaque brown with a small, light tan head that quickly recedes to a small film and laces averagely.

aroma is of nuts, chocolate, a bit of coffee, all roasted, as well as a bit of caramel.

taste is also very nutty with chocolate, caramel, and coffee falling behind. definitely english styled flavor profile leaves a bit to be desired, but is decent enough.

medium bodied with just enough carbonation and some lingering nutty sweetness.

goes down fine. nothing exciting, but nothing repulsive. fits the style well.

 537 characters

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.

 540 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A recent trip to Columbus proved the fact that Dark Horse is in full effect in the state of Ohio. I saw shot gun tap handles in every fine beer bar we stopped at. This one appeared locally, so I had to go with it and a couple bottles of Double Crooked Tree. Appears a deep cola brown with large tan head forming nicely. Speckled scattered lacing is left behind. Aroma is full of nutty dark chocolate and creamed coffee tones, very nice dessert feel to it. Creamy sweet upfront with some hazelnut/almond tones with background herbal hops kicking and a bit of dry bready yeast notes. Dark chocolate creamed coffee and ripe fruit collide to make some damn good brown ale. Body is a bit weired medium bodied lightly carbonated goes down easy but with a full on flavor ride. Drinkable as all hell, one of the most approachable brown ales I've come across in quite some time, this is some tasty stuff.

 895 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma has overtone of burnt brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a thick, creamy fine-bubbled pale tan head. Lip-smacking flavor is malty with tones of caramel and molasses and just a hint of fruit. Texture is pleasingly smooth with a nice subtle tingle. Worth hunting down!

 321 characters

Photo of Dalem
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color. Looks a bit cola really. Since it's a Dark Horse brew there's not much, if any, filtering of any sort going on so the floaties of grain hanging around the sides of the glass look sorta like soda bubbles. The was a tan in color and a modest half inch think that fade down fairly quickly. The scent borders on a cola too with the roasted malts taking on a caramel, coffee and molasses aromas.
First flavor to come out is that of sweet (but not overtly sugary) cream. The mouthfeel of the brew also has a light cream to it as well now that I'm mentioning it. Right behind it is caramel malts, brown sugar and a bit of nuttiness. The finish has something of a porter taste to it with a slight touch of bitters and baker's chocolate.

 749 characters

Photo of nickadams2
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a thick dark brown with a thin brown head that quicky dissipates into a thin ring.Little lacing.

S_Sweet caramel malt,roasty,nutty.

T_Nice caramel malt taste. Sweet but not too sweet. Roasted nutty flavors as well. Little bit of smooth vanilla and molasses. Great flavor.

M_Thick and creamy.

D_Great session brown ale. Nicely done.

 343 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle without any sort of freshness dating drank from a standard american pint glass.

A- this one pours out a dark brown colored body with a modest khaki colored head on it. the head lasts for a little while before fading, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- decently malt forward. this starts out with notes of caramel and nuts. a little bit of chocolate follows that. the last thing i pick up on is a mild coffee finish.

T- the sweet caramel malts up front with a decent amount of nuttiness. some chocolate notes in the middle and a touch of coffee at the end.

M- the body is a little thin, and the carbonation is a touch too low.

D- easy enough to finish, but this isnt the best example of the style ive had. im still glad they decided to bottle this.

 777 characters

Photo of semibaked
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Chimay Goblet.

A - Pours a very dark brown and a decent amount of sediment on the bottom with a thin coating of head on top.

S - Roasted malts, dark bread, and molasses. Has a deep and dark richness to the smell.

T - Wow really good flavors with dark roasted grains, molasses, a little of bitterness, and dark molasses.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation, and definitely has some chew to it.

D - This is a really good brown ale and a nice surprise from Dark Horse. Definitely give this one a try.

 518 characters

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 610 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe