B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

2,729 Ratings
B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial StoutB.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 11-10-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,729 |  Reviews: 1,034
Photo of avalon07
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy/creamy, fairly long-lasting, brown-colored head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of chocolate, malt, coffee, oatmeal, and a bit of hops.

T: Tasted of coffee, oatmeal, chocolate malt, and a nice bitter hoppiness in the finish. Alcohol is quite as omnipresent as it is with some other Russian Imperial Stouts.

M: A very well carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Full-bodied, but doesn't weigh you down.

D: One of the best, most drinkable beers of the style.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've been wating to try this bad boy for some time. It begins. The pour results in a thick, viscous tar pit filling my snifter, topped by a half-finger of dark brown foam, which sinks into the dinosaurs' abyss fairly quickly. The nose comprises dark coffee (complete with a light hint of olfactory bitterness), roasted and toasted malts, and charred wheat. Something seems off here, but I can't put my finger on it. Are the malts too blackened? I dunno, but it's something like that. The taste holds notes of dark chocolate syrup, coffee, blackened oats, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. A step above the nose, fer sure. The body is pretty thick 'n' chewy, but not too, with a moderate carbonation (higher than I expected, but, again, not too much so) and a decent oral coating. Overall, I see this as a solid stout, but not among the better ones. Still definitely worth a shot, though.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another "Beer of the Week" from BA Gborobeer!

A - Black. Hardly any head or lacing and not transparent in the slightest sense.

S - Very impressive...at first whiff I thought it was the barrel-aged version (it's not, I checked). Lots of roasted malt aroma with pseudo-bourbon smells as well. Don't get much of the oatmeal aroma in it though.

T - Again, without me knowing I would have thought this one was barrel aged, quite impressive. Lots of roasted malt flavor followed by a quit coffee burst in the beginning. Oatmeal much more present in the taste at the end of the swig, accompanied by the slight bittering of hops and chocolate malt.

M/D - Heavy body, very slight dry finish...more of a bitter aftertaste due to the roasted malts. High alcohol is slightly present in the heat but not enough to destroy the beer at all. Due to the heavy nature and great flavor profile it's definitely a sipper.

Very impressive beer, must try the barrel-aged version ASAP!

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Photo of brianjay
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark dark dark. This beer is pure black, with almost no head. A very thin, cinnamon-colored eclipse floats on top, but quickly subsides leaving a slight dusting of foam on the glass.
Notes are not as intense as I would have thought from the sight of it.
There seems to be a light, coco aroma. Let's dive right into drinking this one...

Taste has a light beginning, but ends with a strong, dry finish which sets up shop on your entire tongue. Chocolate comes through after some time, and it is sweet. Like something you would order from a Starbucks.
Thick and viscous body, almost like a syrup. but goes down very smooth. An interesting taste overall (sweet, sour, dry), and it is hard to find the 9.4% alcohol. A word of warning: take your time with this one. It will sneak up on you. Makes a great dessert beer.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass, this beer was an intensely dark brown, nearly black slice of heaven. I got almost no head, and what little appeared went away almost immediately.

Aroma can pretty much be summed up as STRONG. Strong dark malts, and strong dark fruits (mostly figs and prunes). After I became accustomed to it, I detected some faint hops. Seriously, this aroma was so thick I could almost chew it.

Taste was strong dark malt, roasted barley, and coffee at first. This was followed by strong dark fruits, and a slight sweetness. Nice. Unlike many others, I didn't get any chocolate or cocoa flavors.

Mouthfeel was awesome. Thick and rich, full-bodied, but not heavy, if you can believe it.

Drinkability is very high. I didn't have any problems finishing this bottle. That being said, I don't think I could have more than two pints should I be lucky enough to find it on tap somewhere. One bottle did nicely.

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Photo of hopstradamus
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a thick, syrup-like, jet black like an Imperial Stout should. Seriously, it lets no light through. It has a thick brown head that lasts.

S. Dark and Chocolaty, with strong roasted malt. Sweet with hints of coffee and brown sugar.

T. Dark, very roasted, almost burnt flavor. This beer is sweet and strong. The flavor lives up to the appearance and smell like few others do.

M. Strong and chewy with great body and decent carbonation. This beer is not just a pleasure, but also a meal in itself.

D. A couple of pints would be my limit. While the 9.4% alcohol is not overbearing, there is a lot here to enjoy. This would be a great beer to sip on a cold winter night.

This beer is an excellent example of the style and a true pleasure to enjoy. Great beer!

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes in December 09

This beer is quite good. Yes, that just about sums it up. Poured extremely dark, pretty much pitch black with a tannish head. Retained for a while, no lace. This is an incredibly chocolatey beer with bits of cocoa powder, earthy bitterness, more chocolate, and roastiness. Maybe a touch of leather as well. Silky smooth and velvety. I'd drink this all day.

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Photo of LuckyRVA
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the first sip you know this is a great beer. Was slightly surprised at the lack of carbonation. It had practically no head.

Very smooth with a distinct dark chocolate flavor. As someone else mentioned, almost no taste of oatmeal.

Very drinkable considering the alcohol content. You do notice a slight alcohol finish after it warms a bit.

Overall great beer.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A readily available RIS (at least in Chicago)? But how can it ever compare to the DL's and BCBCS's of the world?

A - Black. Smoky tan head that dissipates quickly, with no lacing, but a thin molasses-like coating is left. Typical for the style.

S - Wow. Smoky dark fruits, bitter coffee, and a hinit of semi-sweet chocolate. Very intense nose, and has my interest in this at a fever pitch.

T - Soft, dark fruits and rich roasted coffee dominate, in near-perfect harmony. A subtly chocolate-sweet malt character emerges next, and a syrupy, but still fairly dry finish. Just the faintest taste of hops and a tiny bit of oatmeal provides a nice twist.

M - Medium-to-full body, very little carbonation. Again, textbook for the style.

D - Great. So easy to drink, and an absolute pleasure to do so.

I stand by my high, hype-affirming ratings for DL and BCBCS, but this is easily in that league, and I can't wait to see how the barrel-aged version stacks up.

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Photo of ruckus232
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: When poured out of the bottle it looked almost like a blacker then black syrup. The head retention was a little bit disappointing but otherwise looks good.

Smell: A fruity sweet smell but not like you might expect. It actually has more of a raisin (dried fruit smell). I realize that doesn't sound appealing but it is actually a good smell. There is a little roasted scent but nothing extremely noticeable.

Taste: There is an initial taste of alcohol but not too much. Then a nice roasted taste appears followed by a little sweetness to balance the roasted taste. Leaves a pleasant dry bitterness as an aftertaste.

Note: Even though it looked like syrup with little head, the carbonation was actually pretty good. This was not as toasted as I expected (flavor wise) but it was a really good beer.

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Photo of rwf08
3.45/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

A: Jet black. Opaque, no light gets through this bad boy. Descent tan head that dissipates down into a thin ring around the glass. No real lacing to be found. I'd assume with an oatmeal stout, imperial or not, that I would get more head and lacing.

S: Pretty much what I find to be a standard RIS smell. Dark chocolate, some burnt sugar, dark fruit, but a pleasant oat smell once it warms up. Nothing to complain about here. Almost like an oatmeal cookie, a chocolate raisin oatmeal cookie.

T: Reminds me of kahlua. Dark chocolate, coffee, and some booze. I'd love to say I taste some oat in there but I'm getting too much booze. Wasn't there when it was cold, but now that it has warmed up I'm getting more booze.

M: Medium body, fairly viscous. Coats the tongue well.

D: This drinks very well for an Imperial Stout. Goes down smooth and has lots of good flavors.

Not my favorite but there is nothing bad about this beer really. I bought this while I was out of state and probably would save my money or buy something else if given the chance again. Not bad but doesn't stand out to me. Good beer but not great. Rather have a Stone IRS any day.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Adamb84 for this tasty brew in a trade.

half finger tan head, black. Legs running around the snifter like Carl Lewis round that track.

Oatmeal, coffee, chocolate smells.

Thin but tasty for a RIS, not boozy.

Been wanting to have this beer for a while, besides it being thin for the style, tasty brew that i'd have again.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jerz/Vacax opened this with me

A - Finger width of mocha head. It's about as black as you can get, and there is nice lacing on my glass.

S - Roast, coffee, a bit of espresso, and just a touch of oatmeal.

T - Lots of roast, a touch of oatmeal, touch of dark fruits too. Very nice.

M - Heavy body, slight lightness due to the oatmeal? Mild carbonation. Just about perfect for a stout.

D - Good stout...heard it's great with some age on it.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 5/22/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown with 2 inches of brown head and light carbonation,

s - Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and vanilla. Very nice balance.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, bitter hops, and hints of alcohol.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A very nice RIS. I thought the smell was great and taste was quite enjoyable as well. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of levifunk
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber split between klikger and I.

a - black. chocolate brown head.

s - chocolate, caramel sweeteness, malts, some booze.

t - mostly chocolate malts, some roasted flavor. ends with heavy chocolate like fudge. molasses. coffee. some booze hottness.

m - medium body, good thickness and carbonation.

o - very smooth drinking beer. sweet and chocolaty, but not over powering as its balanced by a slight bitterness on the end.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher is sweet, smooth, and delicious.

B.O.R.I.S. poured black with no head. There's nothing special about the appearance, but there's a lot of flavor and a lot going on. The smell and flavor have a roasted coffee beginning, followed by sweet dark fruit. The feel is slippery and smooth--almost refreshing--with a perfect bitter finish. The amount of alcohol also is perfect, not adding any heaviness, but providing a very nice warmth.

B.O.R.I.S. is as good as any of the great Stouts I've had. It's complex, well-balanced, flavorful, and versatile. Despite it's darkness and high-gravity, it would work as well on a hot day (in moderation) as it would after a winter dinner.

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Photo of klikger
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour served in a snifter

A - Dark brown/black, with a small brown head and lacing which disappears quickly

S - Molasses, oatmeal, and malted milk balls

T - Bright coffee and milk chocolate are evident up front and stick around throughout. This is really a two-note beer for me; that being said, it's very well done and balanced nicely. Although it's certainly sweet, a slightly bitter finish brings it back to equilibrium.

M - Very creamy; substantial, but not overly thick. The carbonation is noteworthy & works well.

D - The alcohol was masked extremely well. Granted, I only had 10 oz., but I wanted more. At the same time, and although well balanced, I think that the sweetness would keep me from having more than a bomber (which is fine).

A very well-made RIS, BORIS is worthy seeking out. Despite not tasting the variety of flavors which many beers of the style impart, the combo of fresh coffee and sweet chocolate made this memorable for me. Now on to the barrel-aged version...

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stormking47 for an amazing extra. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black. There is a half finger coffee with a bit of cream colored head that quickly dies down to a ring of foam around the glass with some patches of foam on top.

Smells of oats and some dark fruits (raisins and plumb). There is also some hints of chocolate and coffee.

Taste explodes with milk chocolate, oatmeal, some raisins and plumbs, and coffee. Very nice RIS with awesome oat characteristics thrown in.

Full bodied. Low carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Perfect.

Very nice drinkability. The oats add some awesome smoothness. Very nice. Also, the oats make the chocolate flavors more on the milk chocolate than dark chocolate side which is really awesome.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a luscious opaque sable that is just one red tomcat whisker above black, with a fine-bubbled chocolaty head that sticks around for a bit - most inviting! Rich, oily aroma has a strong tone of quality roast coffee with a hint of brown sugar and a touch of sweet chocolate. Lip-smacking flavor fills the mouth with fine coffee, chocolate and molasses as well as a nice but not overly fierce alcohol bite. Sublime texture is smooth yet edgy and quite tingly, leaving a lively and slightly sweet finish. The Crusher indeed!

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Photo of argock
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $10.99.

A: Super-thick black with grape-juice edges and short beige head with little to no lacing.

S: Incredibly complex aroma including black malt, molasses, licorice with a strong tobacco and coffee flavor and citrus and pine hops aromas.

T: Delicious combination of molasses, espresso, dark chocolate and dark fruits like raisin and prune and topped off with sharp citrus hops.

M: Chewy and thick, underestimated by many, with soft carbonation without being flat and a dark malty but citrus hops aftertaste.

D: A truly unique amped-up oatmeal stout. The price tag is somewhat off-putting as I can think of a lot of beers I can pay under $5.50 for 12oz and enjoy as much if not more. Still, it is an outstanding beer with a good flavor niche.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Dark, dark, black in color with very little tan lacing but no head. Smooth chocolate, roasted malt and oats are the major flavors. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery for a russian imperial stout. Alcohol is well hidden. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Drew966
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout pours just about opaque black with a dark brown head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is nice, a bit fruity. The flavor is intense, malty roast and dark fruit are most noticeable. You can definitely taste the alcohol. The mouthfeel is quite nice, the oatmeal does give a bit of silkiness. A very nice beer.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's on 4/17/10.

A - Jet black with the slightest hint of deep burgundy around the bottom edges and a slim yet creamy burnt mocha head that reduced to a delicate web of lacing.

S - Complex RIS nose, though not as overwhelming on the coffee or chocolate, which is typical of the style. Instead, the olfactory is greeted with licorice and molasses notes, oatmeal, leather and earthy hop notes. A waft of alcohol also pushes its way through.

T - Neither coffee nor chocolate really stand out in the flavor, either. However, there is a hint of tangy dark fruit, sweet tobacco and licorice notes, and a subtle alcohol presence. Finishes with a hint of earthy hops and semi-sweet chocolate, which add a nice dose of bitterness to the mix.

M - Full-bodied with a smooth, oily yet chewy texture. Plenty of alcohol warmth on the palate, although it doesn't overwhelm at all. finishes with moderate hop bitterness on the palate.

D - B.O.R.I.S. is definitely one of the best of its kind in America, no doubt about it. Goes down quite easily for being an almost 10% monster! However, I will say that I enjoyed this slightly more from the bottle than on tap, although I never reviewed the bottle version. I'll have to get on that... pronto!

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Photo of devilben02
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with chocolate-brown fringes, but there is literally no head, even in the Duvel tulip that can normally create an outrageous head on anything. The aroma is a welcoming blend of earthy sweetness and roasted malt. The flavor seems to be predominantly dark chocolate, though. And not "dark chocolate" in the sense of what Hershey's considers dark chocolate to be, either. Straight-up gourmet, 70% pure cocoa, who-pays-this-much-for-a-candy-bar dark chocolate. The texture is likewise decadent, being somehow both silky and creamy. The high alcohol is only barely detectible, which combined with the luxurious flavor makes BORIS highly drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, thick black with a nice mocha head. Not much lacing.

S: Loads of chocolate alongside dark malt, a bit of coffee, and some alcohol heat.

T: Not as complex or intense as the nose, but the chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt work quite well together.

M: Full-bodied, but not too much compared with the pour.

D: With the less-viscous body, it's more drinkable. Definitely a tradeoff I've noticed quite often lately with some of the imperial stouts.

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B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,729 ratings.
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