B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Reserve
Hoppin' Frog Brewery

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - ReserveB.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Reserve
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #299
Ranked #5,297
4.11 | pDev: 6.81%
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States
B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - ReserveB.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Reserve
Notes: After brewing B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher successfully for many years, our creative minds wander. We imagine a B.O.R.I.S. brewed with even better dark grain - the finest imported dark grain - for a smoother and mellower deep-roasted flavor. When we finally made our dreams become reality, it was a symphony of beautiful flavors, a higher level of B.O.R.I.S. born from our creativity, that deserves the name B.O.R.I.S. Reserve!

60 IBU
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 117 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unknown vintage; drank 7/7/19 @ the Yarchives.

Midnight black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small, noisy dark tan head; almost no lace.

Dark chocolate, fresh earth, dark roast coffee bean & faint dill pickle notes in the nose.

Creamy, thick mouthfeel.

Dark chocolate & dark roast coffee bean flavors up front; fresh earth and a faint dill pickle hop bite on the finish.

Too harsh for me; nice mouthfeel, but overall this was a bit unpleasant. Not one I'll seek out again.

Jul 08, 2019
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Bum4ever from California

4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Super dark black pour with little dark tan head that dissipates quickly, no lacing.
Smell is dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee and a sort of smokey char scent.
Taste is dark chocolate with a charred smokiness to it, also getting hints of vanilla, caramel and coffee.
Feel is thick for a oatmeal stout and this is super smooth. Hides the abv well and has a nice creamy feel to it.
Overall this was an excellent oatmeal stout.

Jan 28, 2019
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle
No date

It pours a super thick oil black with a tight finger of dark cinammon colored head that is not long for this world. Little retention; no lacing. (3.75)

Licorice and chocolatey roast aromas predominate. (4)

The taste follows the nose and is pretty roasty and chocolatey, while dark fruits and molasses are added to the mix in the flavor. (4.25)

It is a little bit warming from the alcohol and has a big, sticky body to it with low carbonation. (4)

This is another very solid stout from these guys!
It was a little harsher and not quite as smooth as the original one, but still a thick, velvety stout with lots of chocolate and smooth roast character. One thing I do have to comment on it the color of the head. I don't know if I've ever had a beer that looked quite like it. A rainbow of espresso foam colors. It may not have been as nice-looking as its brother on the whole, but I was intrigued by that subtle difference. A very nice beer that I'd gladly have again. (4)

Oct 18, 2018
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Poured an opaque, jet-black color with a tiny, light brown head of foam. It smelled of chocolate, molasses, toffee and coffee. Strong roasty flavors with chocolate, molasses and coffee flavors.

Jan 07, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Boxbeers. In Teku glass. Shared with Carlos. With Pok cheese. The very definition of balance and equilibrium, with a smooth body. I only miss something that stands out to give it a higher score.

Nov 17, 2017
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Dzu from Russian Federation

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into teku glass.
L: Pitch black with a tan foam head.
S: Whisky, caramel.
T: Chocolate, whisky.
F: Awesome balanced, tight body with soft carbonation.
O: Incredible beer. Recomended!

Oct 04, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Inky pour, and a little bit lifeless when hitting the glass. Body color does remain extremely dark no surprise, almost jet black, but a hint of midnight, and definitely black. Tan like faint color, no head upon pour, giving to creamy collar, and some spotted leopard like lacing on the legs.

Solid aroma but also pretty standard. Good roast malt body sensation and hints a bit of nutty flavor. Faint dark cocoa slightly but very small on that note. Thick as well.

Palate sticks to basics. Slightly fruity character, but the malt and roast certainly are the stars. Good roast malt body in the mid palate but washes a little wet just ever so slightly. An almost berry like aftertaste that gravitates towards cherry which is quite nice.

Has some nice properties, but doesn't come out as much of anything special or memorable. Just a good solid stout.

Mar 11, 2017
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beergoot from Colorado

3.56/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coal-black body; thin, light brown head. Dark fruit aroma; figs and dates. Dark grain flavors infused with fruit-like qualities; black cherries and raisins; rather boozy. Heavy body; smooth yet flat and watery; somewhat hot with the alcohol.

A decent imperial stout yet rather pedestrian.

Dec 02, 2016
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Marius from Netherlands

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared. Pitch black with a thin espresso head. Notes of roasted malts, dark cherries, chocolate, smoke. Full bodied, low carbonation and a roasty bitter aftertaste.

Nov 19, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

kind of neat to see a reserve beer without a barrel treatment. apparently they have added some really special roasted european malt to the original recipe, and it does add quite a bit of punch. more robust it seem on the grain, more heavy earthy dark chocolate and coffee notes, a greater accent on the caramel sweetness too, more bitterness late, very burnt tasting but short of smokey, there is a lot going on here, and while i find the original quite compelling as well, i like this additional grain structure and flavor, and this this really is pretty next level. i wonder how much of this grain they used, it seems to have altered the beer quite a lot from the original. smooth as silk, with the dark grain notes putting out a bit of a dried fruit complexion as well as the chocolate, a tad bit of booze warmth gives the back end a nice little kick, but its never hot or too much or anything. stoked to have found this on draft, but would also be excited to find a bottle and see how it does with a little age on it. its weird to me, but hoppin frog never gets enough credit in my opinion. their beers are so intricate and well refined for the most part, wheres the love?!

Nov 16, 2016
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Jeffo from Netherlands

2.82/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in Buffalo last summer

From a bomber into a snifter. Cap came off very, very easily on this one.
OG: 1.107
IBU: 60

APPEARANCE: Pours black and relatively thick and vicious looking. Pour yields a 2+ 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 dots of lacing that slowly slide down the glass after each sip.

SMELL: Roasted malts, smoke, dark baker's chocolate, and oats on the nose. Slight hints of caramel and coffee notes. Lots going on here and it’s definitely bold enough to make a statement.

TASTE: Roasted and smoky malts, with some dark chocolate, caramel sweetness and boozy red wine character. Definite dark fruit and wine on the flavor here, with a sharp metallic note after the swallow. Definite oxidization on this one. There’s a bold and lingering finish of metallic flavor, red wine, booze and some roasted malts as well. This is not the roasted, chocolatey beer that the original was. Unfortunately this doesn’t match the nose at all.

PALATE: Medium-full body, slightly lower end carbonation, and creamy smooth on the palate. Weighty as well. Goes down smooth with no real bite at the swallow and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Solid feel, as always.

OVERALL: Crap. What a disappointment. The regular BORIS and all its incarnations have been outstanding, but it looks like the bottling process didn’t go very well on this one. Too bad, as I was really looking forward to this one. Drain enjoyed most of this.

Oct 30, 2016
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teromous from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't see a date listed on the bottle.

Appearance: Black bodied beer devoid of any head. Some dark brown fizzy bubbles appear over the surface when pouring but instantly disappear. No retention or lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate liqueur and bourbon. It smells very good.

Taste: I get a lot of cocoa flavor in this beer. I looked on the bottle to see if it was actually brewed with any chocolate but nothing was listed. It has more of a chocolate flavor than a lot of "chocolate beers" I've had. It has a bit of a bourbon-like flavor towards the back end with a woody finish but supported with a bit of a roasted grain flavor. It tastes awesome.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is amazing on this beer. It is nice and smooth with a thick full body and a slick finish. It just feels very decadent.

Overall: I would highly recommend this beer. I didn't see anything about barrel aging, bourbon, or chocolate on the label but these are all flavors that I got from this beer and even if this beer isn't made with any of this it is the flavor (and aroma) that counts. This beer simply just tastes great.

Oct 29, 2016
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black pour, very viscous on the sides of the glass with lots of legs, thick and dense caramel colored lacing ring.

S - Light char and delicate smokiness, sweet dark chocolate, creme, dark roasted malt.

T - Char, alcohol, dark roasted chocolate, dark chocolate bitterness, vanilla.

M - Heavy and full bodied, viscous, slippery, lip smacking sticky.

O - Very thick and robust. Enjoyed this one.

Oct 24, 2016
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MalarkeyMcGee from California

3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours the color of Hershey's syrup with very light milk chocolate head.

S: Soapy yeast. Roast character. Hint of booze. Not much beyond roast malt.

T: Dark chocolate, obvious malty roast character you find in any stout. Very average.

M: Standard oatmeal stout. I prefer the heavier mouthfeel of a BA stout but can't fault this for style.

O: Pretty fine but unremarkable. Maybe I've inured myself to BA stouts but this doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Sep 04, 2016
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pezhead_79 from Indiana

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Well, if you would like your B.O.R.I.S with more heat and robust flavor them this is it. A significant wallop over the regular. I'm trying the barrel aged version soon.

Aug 13, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle to snifter. following Project Pam with Turkey, etc. for Birthday dinner with family.
LOOK: dark black, medium tan head
AROMA: Roasted malt. Licorice, cocao.
TASTE: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee.
FEEL: velvety smooth

Really Nice Stout....not sure if this is markedly better than the regular BORIS, but they are both excellent.

Aug 07, 2016
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Rogerlb from California

3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black all right. Very thin head is brown and beautiful, soon leaving us. Aroma is, well, stout. Malts and some coffee, no dark fruits to speak of. Slightly boozy.

Taste is soda-y, with a sweet maltiness. The char is very much muted here, not burnt but more toast. Vanilla, some cold coffee, caramel, the oatmeal is definitely mellowing this one out. Bitter creamy chocolate, if you can visualize that, comes up deeper in the sip, and final mouthfeel is a little cloying.

An insistent hoppiness throughout and a tart booziness and a thin feel is actually making this lean more towards a DIPA in feel to me. I haven't had the base beer but by reading here, this is more mellow and subdued, malts are forward without being burnt, although I get a slight chalkiness in the aftertaste. You can tell by my description it seems to have a little of everything. Smooth, a little cloying, certainly drinkable.

Aug 04, 2016
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superspak from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 12/2015. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy dark brown bread with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, light coffee/char, herbal, light dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, light coffee/char, herbal, light dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate roast/char and herbal hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, coffee, char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/char bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. As the label suggested: this is more intense on the darker/sweet maltiness, and lighter on the charred/roasted flavors than the base beer; and also feels mellower on the hop character.

Jul 16, 2016
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why do they need a name that long? It has 9.4% ABV, 60 IBU. Pours thick and dark with a 1 finger (have big fingers) of head that dissipated quickly, some lacing. Nose is coffee and roasted malt, taste follows but picking up some chocolate in the middle, with a coffee bitter finish. Mouth feel (bwahaha) is the typical smoothness of an oatmeal stout. I am surprised that I like this - since I had a BA variant that wasn't as good. I had expected more bitterness, and like that the roast taste balances the bitterness rather than adding to it. Will get this again. Hoppin' Frog has been distributed here for a few weeks, and I am looking forward to sampling more stout variants.

Apr 23, 2016
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jakecattleco from California

4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a shaker pint. Pours a midnight black with a thin layer of cream colored head. Loved the nose, chocolaty but a bit mute. Taste was more dynamic than the nose, a coffee and chocolate mesh onto the roasty RIS base. Mouthfeel was a bit thin for a RIS. It's a good beer, but I've enjoyed most of the other BORIS and DORIS beers much more.

Mar 07, 2016
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black with less than an inch of deep mocha head that leaves a little lacing.

I get anise, burnt toast, and roasted malt aromas.

The taste has anise and an ashy flavor, as in burnt. There is roasted malt and black coffee.

Full, rich mouthfeel

I like the regular BORIS better.

Feb 10, 2016
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DeFaz from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately disappointing despite the great smooth feel. A little too sweet with caramel and chocolate and not particularly complex. I was hoping for a special beer, but instead this is forgettable and simple. Points deducted in the overall category for the price and because it is given that reserve label.

Feb 09, 2016
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UrbanCaveman from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bomber, poured into a snifter at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours your typical stout black, and forms a little over a finger of dark brown head, which fades swiftly to a ring.

Smell: Richly malty, with plenty of toffee and chocolate, and hints of caramel. There's a bit of a sweet note from the oats, and something vaguely like rum in the nose.

Taste: Heavy on malt indeed, with waves of exceptionally dark chocolate and medium-roast coffee rolling through, alongside something of a note of blackstrap. As it warms, toffee emerges, as well as something resembling a chicory and licorice bite. The ABV never manifests at all.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy, almost chewy, exactly as one would like their oatmeal stout to be.

Overall: Not at all a bad oatmeal stout. Would drink again.

Feb 08, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed from the 22 oz bottle in a snifter.
This fine reserve pours a nice pitch black with beautiful brown head of dissipating foam that settles to a thin ring, light layer, and nice lacing. Nose is incredibly light---a touch of chocolate, a touch of coffee, and a light note of char. Flavor----AHHH that's more like it. Rich espresso and medium amounts of bakers cocoa, less than standard BORIS, hit the front and sides with searing booze, with heavy char and a touch of grains on the back finishing with a bitter malt aftertaste. Nice slick mouth feel, warming and full, with light carbonation. A solid brew but not as smooth on the taste even with warmth as standard BORIS. Excellent, but different.


Feb 06, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer sounded promising, being a super premium new version of BORIS brewed with the finest imported dark grain. The verbal description I was given was that it would be more chocolately and smoother than regular BORIS.

While chocolate was not the most prominent flavor or aroma in their regular BORIS, I looked forward to this new take on a reliably delicious stout. My favorite aspects of BORIS are the roasty flavors, thick round mouthfeel, and comfortingly heavy aroma.

The first time I had this on draft during the initial release the aroma was rather muted, but it appears that all this needed was some age. Still pouring on draft at the brewpub, Reserve has prominent chocolate and roast nose. Considering how muted it was before, this is a major improvement.

The smoothness was there as promised, and also a hint of chocolate was there, and while the flavor profile was close to BORIS, overall, this is just not as good.

However, when big sister DORIS is in the spotlight, no variation of BORIS can cast a shadow over her.

Dec 18, 2015
B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Reserve from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 117 ratings