Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale | Dark Horse Brewing Company

very good
200 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 200 | Ratings: 622
Photo of mdaschaf
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes 12/3/10.

A: Deep brown with a tan one finger head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Get some toffee, brown sugar, caramel, and a little bit of coffee as well.

T: I get the coffee again, slightly nutty, and some toffee. The finish is roasty and kind of grainy.

M/D: On the lighter side with moderate carbonation, and slightly creamy. Overall, its ok, have had better, but an interesting mix of flavors.

 437 characters

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

12 oz. Quite a dark brown pour, lasting layer of frothy off white head.

Aroma is pretty malty and nutty. Chocolate covered almond, very light coffee.

Taste has the same earthy malt but also a surprising amount of chocolate. Caramel malt and chocolate malt. Finishes with some chocolate nuttiness, tobacco and a bit of herbal hops to dry it out a bit.
Gets a large bitter roast element as it warms.

Lighter mid bodied, with a carbonation level that keeps if lively. Drank this one no problem, though I bet this would stand out on draft more than bottle.

I guess I don't have that much experience with this style, but it tasted good to me.
Dark Horse does not dissapoint.

 673 characters

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

Picked up a single from Abe's. I always enjoy a tasty English brown so I was pleased to find this on the shelf a couple weeks ago. Upfront there's a big share of cocoa and dark bread crust. As that fades, a paler biscuit and herbal hop mix comes forward before a bitter chocolate finish that has slight citrus note. I get a nutty hint in there that reminds me of the reddish skin on almonds and the aroma is a mix of that same chocolate with toast. Add a little hazelnut and this would smell like nutella with breakfast.

The Dark Horse website tells me this is actually 6.5%, which is fine, but as a session beer lover, I wish this brown were a tough lighter and less alcoholic. Not that I'm complaining, that's just personal preference. This is a mighty fine brown ale.

 771 characters

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, low carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and light caramel

Taste: toasted malt, light caramel, some chocolate, and earth

Mouthfeel: sweet start with dry slightly bitter finish, moderate carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: An average English brown. I could have a couple but there are several others in the style I would have first. Not a bad beer, but not overly memorable either.

 431 characters

Photo of sholland119
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind beer #3, from Blind BIF, Round. Thanks to zimmerbloke.

A-Pours a hazy cedary brown with a long lasting frothy mocha head but no lacing.

S-Nice sweet malt base from the jump. Chocolate, cocas powder, sweet caramel. Not much hop presence. I am thinking brown ale.

T-Similar to the nose, sweet caramel malt in the front, then some mild sweet chocolate and a sweet cola flavor. A hint of bitterness in the finish but only a hint.

M-Light and fizzy, medium carbonation.

D-A really pleasant, sessionable drinker.

 517 characters

Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a burnt amber colour. Light mocha head poured quite thick then faded quickly to good one finger coating... some light carbonation bubbles drift to the surface... lots of sticky lacing cling throughout...

Aroma - Toasted bready malts mixed with nice dark fruits (raisins, figs, some blackcurrents), caramel, molasses sweetness, toasted nuts, quite peppery and grassy, nutmeg spiciness...

Taste - Quite tart fruitiness initially (figs, apples), some saltiness, toasted bready malts, some buttery notes, quite nutty, light brown sugar sweetness, some molasses, good peppery hop bitterness, grassy, some toffee...

eel - Quite sharp and dry... Medium bodied... A very drinkable brew...

Overall - A pretty standard but good brown ale... worth a try...

 807 characters

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

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

A - Dark Brown Ale, reddish hues. Not much head, less than a finger.

S - Caramel, Charcoal roastyness, chocolate

T - Malt, Caramel, Chocolate, Smoke

M - A fair amount of carbonation, but not too heavy or hard to drink

D - Pretty drinkable, but your typical Brown Ale. Very smoky and roasty for a brown ale, but i like it. Would definitely drink it again.

 401 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to StevePens for the hook up!

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with ruby highlights. All I could get out of the pour was maybe one finger of tan colored foam. The head quickly melted down to some whisps of skim and a thick, bubbly collar.

S: Nice aromas of milk chocolate and fudge, roasty malt, and some maple candy.

T: Same as above with dark bread, smoke, and a touch of cherry.

M: Suprisingly tangy with a rich fullness that spread out pretty evenly across the tongue. Finishes with some long lasting smoky dryness.

D: Not your typical malty/sweet brown ale. Welcome levels of roast, smoke, and bitterness. Classy.

 673 characters

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

 405 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a ruby hue. Fairly small tan head on it.

S: Strong bread aroma. There is a nice roasty scent to it. Some milk chocolate notes, and possibly some maple syrup scents as well.

T: Some nice roasty flavors. Slight fruity notes. Bready and tasty.

M: Light to medium, with high carbonation.

D: Good overall, but I probably won't be stocking up on it.

 369 characters

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.

 634 characters

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.

 457 characters

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.

 895 characters

Photo of dudemuskie
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er in Marshall after an awesome visit to their brewpub. Incredible place and if you are in the area, do yourself a favor and stop in for a pint!

Appearance- Creamy tan head sits atop a deep brown, nearly opaque brew with deep amber highlights. Head is quick to fade leaving a soapy ring and nice lacing with each sip. Heavy yeast cake in bottom of bottle.

Aroma- Dry, powdery roasted malt with a slightly pruney, dark caramel sweetness. Rich maltiness practically makes my mouth water. Healthy earthy hop aroma lies right beneath.

Flavor- Brown malt pruniness and a touch of dark brown sugar to start. Notes of roasted malt and powdered cocoa tail into a balancing moderate earthy hop bitterness. Chewy, complex, lingering finish is very nicely balanced and brings you back for more.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied, moderate residual sugars, low-medium CO2, and great balance. Chewy.

Overall- Would be a great food beer! This is a delightful brown ale, big and chewy with a great supporting hop bitterness. Great drinkability for a darker, heavier beer. I will say though, the first few bottles were a bit flat. If you buy it fresh, give them a few weeks in the bottle and they carb up nicely!

 1,212 characters

Photo of Aguirre
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received a bottle of this as an extra from a trade with bierenutz. Thank you!

Poured into a 20oz Hobgoblin pint glass, this is a dark brown,opaque beer with a creamy head that disappeared rather quickly. I think I should have dried the glass better.

The smell is nice and clean; a good chocolately, malty aroma.

Taste is good too, and pretty powerful. It's got a nice sweetness to it that I never found overpowering, but there's a bitterness after the swallow to balance everything out.

I like that this beer is a little thinner than you'd expect based solely on the taste. It's almost like a porter in taste alone, but there's a "watery"(which I use in a good way) feel to it that makes it feel lighter.

This was an enjoyable beer. I don't drink brown ales as often as I used to, because I'll often find myself thinking they're cloying or boring - which Boffo isn't.

A couple of additional notes:

There was wax over the bottle cap, which I thought was an interesting touch for a year-round, 12oz, "normal" beer.

The artwork on the bottle is unsettling and inexplicable. What does it mean??

 1,103 characters

Photo of cpolking
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown ale pours very dark brown to mostly black. Its aroma is dark roasted malt, hints of coffee and mocha, with an apparent sweetness. Its taste follows its aroma directly. There is an almost cloying sweetness at the beginning but it fades into a nicely bitter coffee and dark chocolate finish.

 300 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Tan head rises up to a decent size but recedes too quickly. Dark brown, almost black, with some ruby hues shining through.

Smell: Dark malts and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark fruit. More bitterness than you normally find in a brown ale. This beer kinda walks the line between brown ale and porter in my opinion. Another outstanding brew from the guys at Dark Horse.

 437 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Head retention is excellent, but there isn't much lacing at all. Aroma is toasted and bready malt, nuts, toffee and caramel. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, and there's the addition of a bit of chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick and creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I thought it was a good overall brown ale, now I'm sorry I just bought a single bottle of this. I'd definitely buy this again.

 571 characters

Photo of donteatpoop
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, one of the darker brown ales I've seen; light is able to penetrate but still... A thin film of tan head rests at the top.

The smell was difficult to discern, not really on the forefront. I allowed it to warm more and noticed very little change, just a mild nut-like odor and a hint of roasted malt.

The taste, thankfully; was much more defined. A very palatably drink, too. The burnt malts play nicely off of the sweet notes of chocolate and molases; a nice butter and nut taste finishes.

A thick bodied but smooth drink, this is one of the better offerings I've had from Dark Horse, and one of the better Brown Ales I've had.

Well done.

 666 characters

Photo of Frosty80
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color: pours brown. sits a deep, dark brown

Smell: clean, crsip caramelization balanced by toasted malt and some nuttiness. hop aroma is very subtle if anything

Taste: flavor translates well from aroma. clean toasted maltiness with very subtle hop flavor and bitterness with a lightly nutty flavor. finishes clean and balanced with a light, lingering bitterness

Mouthfeel: very clean and crisp light-medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: very elegant brown ale. has a lager-like crispness and drinkability to it. awesome brown ale

 539 characters

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

Deep brown body with auburn hues. One finger creamy white sand colored head. Retention is decent though there is a rather impressive amount of lacing left.

The aroma is full of dark bready malt and nuttiness. Chocolate and a subtle brown sugar smell provide a bit of sweetness. The hops are earthy and subdued, Boffo relies more on the malt for aroma.

Dark grain bread and a surprising chocolaty sweetness roll across the tongue. The sweetness provides a great counter point to the darker malt but it very slightly overdone. The malt is dark and rich, really comes into focus midpalate. The hops are taking a back seat in this one. A rather earthy and floral presence pairs very well with the malt bill.

Body is one the light side of medium with a creamy texture. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Finish is slow and long.

This is one that becomes more enjoyable as you drink. Boffo falls right behind Best Brown and Bender as my third favorite brown ale. Very solid beer all the way are and easy to drink. A lot of flavor is packed into a relatively smaller beer. I don't drink brown ales too often but if I did this one would be a staple.

 1,152 characters

Photo of beergod1
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep chestnut in color poured into my new DFH pint glass, with a thin, foamy tan head. The aroma is sweet caramel and chocolate with a touch of nuttiness, and a hint of hops. Flavor is malty with tones of caramel, Cocoa and molasses and just a hint of dark fruit. A nice Brown Ale. Creamy and smooth. light bodied for an American Brown. But one I would get again.

 373 characters

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

Appearance: Poured a typical dark brown however with a very thin cap of tan-colored head.

Smell: Toasted malt, nut bread, a bit of toffee and brown sugar.

Taste: Predominantly sweet roasted malts with tastes of brown sugar, dark dried raisins and cherries. More subtle flavors of nuttiness, smoke, chocolate and coffee emerge as the beer warms a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light. Seemed decent for a brown ale, but this brown ale pushes the boundaries a bit, so I thought it would be better a bit thicker.

Drinkability: No problem whatsoever. Glad I bought a six-pack.

 569 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brown pours a very dark brown color with a beige/black cherry head almost a stout like appearance,tons of sticky.clinging lace....smell is toffee ,burnt sweet caramel .baked bread and hops..taste is simply delicious ..its toffee,followed by burnt caramel and baked bread..then you get some roasted coffee notes with great hops and grapefruit notes..mouth feel is robust and full this is one tasty brown that drinks like a light stout/porter..its excellent so tasty..very recommended

 487 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 10/3
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep chocolate brown with a one finger of khaki color head. Head recedes quickly not leaving much lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very sweet - toffee, caramel, brown sugar with a bit of raisin.

T: Taste is overly sweet in this beer. Toffee, syrup, and molasses are all at the forefront of this beer. Overpowering and oddly blended. The middle is slightly bready yet still overpowered by sweetness. Finish has a mild roasted note flavoring and earthy hops.

M: Lighter side of medium body, light to medium carbonation, some what creamy.

D: Goes down ok, not much of a kick, ok representation of style. There was something slightly off with the blending of flavoring in this beer. There are better offerings out there of the style.

 795 characters

Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale from Dark Horse Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 622 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
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.