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: 200 | Ratings: 620
Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and a little murky with some reddish highlights. A thin tan collar formed during the pour -- the beer looked a little flat as it was filling the glass. A bit of spotty lacing. Malty aroma, bread and brown sugar with some roast, caramel and a hint of dark chocolate. Leafy bitterness with sweet malts up front, caramel and bread, dry roastiness in the finish, nutty. Fairly astringent, medium bodied with lowish carbonation. I enjoyed it, but the 6.5% abv is a little high and keeps it from being a good session beer for me, which is how I tend to like my brown ales.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Wow this is a dark one. Most brown ales being brown this one only has slight light escape it with a touch of orange color. The head was only a half an inch but lacing is pretty nice.

S - Smells of plenty of toffee, bit of hazelnut (like the coffee creamer) and a bit of brown malt giving a bit of herbal tea and coffee smells.

T - Not didn't expect to be blown away but got a nice bit of nuttiness, touch of cocoa and coffee and of course a ton of brown malt giving it an almost herbal or "english" tone to it.

M - Light to medium, pretty impressive for a beer almost 7%

Overall ehh I pretty much had this since I had most of Dark Horses other offerings and it's clear that its a well made brown ale but something I wouldn't get again. Will stick with their stouts since I love em.

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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 SWMeyer4141
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Odd artwork on this one...First Dark Horse brew to consume

Appearance-Dark brown with some amber hues. 2 finger beige head that quickly dissipates to almost nothing. No lacing whatsoever. Lots of carbonation initially, then becomes flat looking.

Smell-Light nuttiness and coffee. The more I smell this the more it kind of smells like a flat coke.

Taste-Follows the smell. Flat Coke, not very pleasant. Still some light nuttiness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Watery. not too pleasant.

Overall-First few sips weren't all that bad, but started tasting pretty awful. Look and Taste is pretty unimpressive. I'll pass on this for now on.

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Photo of gfreed
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown ale is a style I approach with hesitancy because there are so many terrible brown ales on the market today: mostly watery, bitter pale ales with brown coloring. Fortunately, this beer comes across with some muscle but not so much that it terrifies the children or causes old women to pass out on the sidewalk. The aroma and taste both approach UK-stout territory: quite fruity with an emphasis on oranges, yet with a dry finish; plenty of charcoal and roasted whatever-it-is provide enough complexity without much intellectual hooey. A fine accompaniment to a big plate of pancakes.

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Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good, solid, traditional Brown Ale that is worth seeking out. It pours a dark mahogany with some light able to peek through. The head is very good, nice and creamy, light tan, lots of good lacing going on. The nose is delightful. There are loads of roasted dark malts, some coffee and chocolate notes, just lots of malty sweetness.

The beer is very creamy and very smooth. This is a medium to full bodied beer. The taste has all the great characteristics for the style, but there is a hoppy bite in the finish that may be warranted, perhaps no. I'm just really enjoying the creamy, roasted notes, and the bittering cooking chocolates, and then bam, this really leafy bittering hop and drying punch hits you in the finish. It's okay, but I'm marking it down as a flaw in the beer, although some folks may like it. The punch lasts well into the finish and is just more than i wanted. The beer is quite good, I just wish the finish were lest impactful.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours out a dark brown body with minimal lacing and retention, and some carbonation.
S. Get some coffee, caramel, molasses and sweet sugary malts.
T. Taste some coffee first followed by some molasses and caramel with hints of chocolate in the back.
M. The mouthfeel is a soft smooth watery feel that is easy to drink.
O. Not a bad drink, but nothing great either. This is probably my least favorite Dark Horse Beer. While Dark Horse is one of my favorite breweries, I think I'll stick with Bell's Best Brown Ale, or Michigan BC's Nut Brown Ale when it comes to drinking an English Brown Ale.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep coal/brown, zint head,

S: toffee, malt, hint of roasted nuts

T: sweet nut, toffee, earthy middle, smooth dry finish

M: med/light body, nice carbonation feel, dry finish

O: FINALLY, found a Dark Horse beer that I enjoy. For some reason, Brown Ales are just not that common and especially English Browns. This is fine beer, perfect for your Fat Tire-lovin' newbies and also could be a sweet sipping brew by the fire.


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Photo of tubacharlie
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fruity esters emanate from the khaki colored head, which is smallish but velvety and sticky. The brew is a dense, cloudy, dark red-brown color revealed by a light held to the half liter mug.

Full flavored, this ale almost approaches a stout in consistency, with coffee and hazelnut up front, a malty mid-palate accentuated by mellow hops and carried over the tongue with creamy smooth carbonation. A good recipe in the grain bill yields a well-developed depth of flavor.

Halfway through, the substantial sediment in the bottle is swirled around with the dregs of the ale and added to the glass. While most remains firmly stuck to the bottom of the bottle, enough is dislodged to add a little more tangy zest to the aftertaste.

Boffo indeed.

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Photo of oline73
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with a red tint. There is a three finger dark tan head that goes away very quickly.

Smell: The smell is very faint. There is some roasty malt with a hint of nuttyness, perhaps a bit of sweetness.

Taste: There is some nutty roast from the malt. Not very sweet at all. My complaint here is that the taste is a bit watery and not super interesting. Mildly bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a high amount of carbonation. The finish is very dry, and perhaps a bit chalky.

Overall: This is a very underwhelming beer for me. I thought it was a bit watery. Not my favorite from this brewery.

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

I bought a single of Boffo Brown Ale for $1.89 at the Lager Mill. I haven't had a Dark Horse brew in a while so I figured I would try one of their year round offerings. I have seen this around before but have always went with their stout series instead so lets see what what I have been missing. No visible bottling date. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I like the pop art style cat on the label, Dark Horse does a pretty good job at making sure their labels stick out from the rest of the crowd. This beer poured a deep dark brown color with three fingers worth of nice fluffy tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed the rest of the time and it left some spotty lacing.

S- Caramel malts are the big player in the aroma here, along with a nice amount of roasted malts, there is a good balance between the two. I pick up some sweet dark fruits and some light grassy hops at the end. Pretty on par for a brown ale.

T- The flavor mirrors the aroma nicely. The caramel malts make for a nice backbone for this beer and the roast grains meld together pretty nicely. In the middle there are lots of sweet dark fruits, the sweetness is just right and it helps balance out some of that roastyness. I pick up a little nutty flavor that I didn't get in the aroma. There was some grassy hops on the finish that imparted a nice slight bitterness that helped round everything out.

M- Creamy and medium light bodied, could be just a little bit thicker. The carbonation was perfect.

Overall this was a pretty good brown ale that I enjoyed drinking. It had just about everything I look for in a brown ale and its one of the better ones I have tried. It had a heavier roast then most brown ales but I thought it worked well in this brew and I liked it. It went down smooth, if I had another one I would drink it, I would for sure buy this again. I recommend this to anyone who likes this style, Dark Horse has one solid brown ale on their hands.

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

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is of lots of caramel, some toffee, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a good beer that I would happily drink again.

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

Poured into a New Holland Pint Glass.

Pours a deep garnet brown with a light tan head that drops rather quickly.

Aromas of caramel malt. light roasted grains. dark fruit. faint licorise.

Flavors of dark fruit, raisins, caramel malt, light roast. Hint of licorise, just like the aroma. finish is rather short, with the licorise and raisins lingering.

Mouthfeel "feels" thin but has a little body to it, smooth.

Overall a decent brown ale. easy drinking, nothing aggressive or out of place.

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Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. No dating, but it is a relatively new beer in their portfolio, so can't be too old.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-brown with thin tan cap.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate galore. Some dark fruit; very little hop aroma.

Taste: Once again, very chocolaty with a nice underlying caramel backbone. Fairly fruity and somewhat sweet, with some drying notes at the end from nuts and English hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation (a titch too much), relatively full body for the style. Very smooth with a semi-dry snap at the finish.

Overall: This is a very smooth Brown Ale that seems a little more heavily roasted than typical for the style. Quite delicious and one of the better English Brown Ales I have had.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to JM03 for the Dark Horse hookup!

Nice dark brown color, largely opaque, with a light tan head of about a finger that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is very nice, with lots of roasted malts, nuttiness, cocoa, sweetness and a touch of coffee.

Taste is good too. Nutty, some milk chocolate, roasted, toasted malts and pleasant sweetness.

Feel is a bit crisp and bubbly, not really slick and lightly creamy. Feel was lighter.

Drinkability was pretty good. Nice smelling and tasting pretty good, but the bubbly quality takes it down a hair. Still, its a mighty fine brown.

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

Pours coffee brown with everlasting off white head. Brown sugar with some brownies in the aroma. Brownies, brown sugar, spice, gingerbread, and tang towards the finish.  Heavy body with medium carbonation. Mild in flavors, not so aggressive but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of sweett3k
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-draft $3 a pint night. The beer is a beautiful chocolate brown with a light head. Tones of nut and coal. Clean and crisp flavor of coffee, nut and coal. No after taste. Goes down nice and easy. My brother Sisupride would love this beer. My first brew I have had from Dark Horse Brewing Co. and they did great. Michigan is truly a great place for hand crafted beers.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap last night at Canary Sq in JP. Served in a standard pint glass. Dark brown color, with a thin white head. Some lacing. Smell had a nice nutty coffee aroma to it. Flavor was very tasty. A hint of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and just a bit of toffee were blended in there nicely. Mouthfeel was decent - not thick but not watery. I thought this was an easy beer to drink at 6.5%. A well made brown ale that I'd have again.

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Photo of warnerry
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with only one finger of head and some floaters present.

Smell is pretty subtle, with mostly roasted malt, a bit of toffee and a bit of nuttiness.

Taste is similar to smell with nice roasted malt, a bit of nuttiness and some sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel is relatively light unfortunately, with good carbonation.

Overall, drinkability is good. This is a nice brown ale, but doesn't really stand out.

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

Poured from the bottle a dark, dark brown with light brown highlights below two fingers of tan head. Generous lacing all around.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, tobacco and ripe orchard fruits.

Tastes of sweet caramel malts, tangy ripe fruit and candy sugar.

Light-to-medium bodied and a bit dry with moderate carbonation.

Delicious. One of my favorite Browns.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this as a mix and match 6-pack from Everhett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99.

Pours a very dark brown with a quick diminishing head. Scents of sweet cocoa with some coffee hints. Very robust malts that again have the taste of cocoa and coffee. Very flavorful as it basically a step below the bold taste of a stout. If you're into dark and heavy beers, thois is a must try!

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

On tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC. Poured into snifter glass. Served in near room temperature which is the norm at ChurchKey. Pours a soft brown color with a small off white head that quickly fizzles but retains thin lacing throughout the drinking session. Aroma is sweet and malty, bready with plenty of chocolate malt and a nice toasted grain note. Flavor is sweeter with an even bigger chocolate character, a bit of a burnt roasted note, but mostly sweet with caramel and toffee and a subtle but present earthy hop balance in the finish Medium body and a bit of a sharper carbonation. Pretty good English brown ale IMO.

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

Poured on tap at Church Key DC.

Gives a very nice dark red body, and a small simple tan tight head with creamy retention was present. Very solid looking beer.

Bouquet was a very nice faint caramel and pan gravy roast. Very balanced on both for smells and good whiffs, but somewhat mild and muted. Nice play between both caramel and roast I must admit which was a nice surprise.

Taste was an interesting one. A giant rush of Japanese wheat soba noodles and soy sauce, with a creamy quality. Roast punch in the finish and spicy with some good creamy like caramel and malt in the finish. Great mouthfeel and excellent body.

Certainly a great brown ale to have on tap.

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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 shadow1961
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale pours a finger of beige foam over a very dark brown brew. The nose is really inviting- semi-sweet chocolate with a little tangy note of mollasses. Up front the flavor mirrors the nose- bakers chocolate, that note of mollasses, with a little touch of espresso bitterness off the back for balance. The mouthfeel is round but crisp, drying just a little, with a mellow herbal hop in the aftertaste. Brown ales tend to get overlooked- everybody's running after their IPAs, Belgians, or the newest/weirdest barrel-aged concoction. People tend to forget how good a Brown Ale can be- packing a lot of flavor in what is still a pretty modest, easy drinking beer- just like this one.

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Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 620 ratings.
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