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

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,026 Reviews
B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial StoutB.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States
hoppinfrog.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,026
Ratings:
2,697
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
288
Gots:
564
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,026 | Ratings: 2,697
Photo of glid02
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC.

Pours opaque black with a half-finger tan head. I think this beer actually sucks in light, I feel like I'm holding a black hole in my hand. The head dissipates fairly quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, with solid amounts of molasses and dark chocolate. As it warms the molasses overtakes the roasted malt aromas and whiffs of dark fruit come out every now and then.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors up front while it's warm with molasses joining in midway through the sip and ending with a mild dark chocolate bitterness. As with the smell, as it warms the molasses takes over.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a silky thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I would prefer a bit more roasted malt, but as it is it's still very easy to drink.

Overall this beer definitely delivered on the mouthfeel, but I was a bit let down in the aroma and flavor departments - though I must say my expectations were high. Certainly worth a shot for you to judge for yourself.

 1,110 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle. Thanks Yeahnatenelson!!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with just a ring of dark brown foam.

Smell. Dark chocolate and some sweet black licorice with a little dark coffee and some booze.

Taste. Sweet dark malts, bakers chocolate, a drop of molasses and a hint of dark fruits. A little coffee and black licorice in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, slightly sticky. Medium-low carbonation and some boozy warmth.

Overall. Great tasting, big stout. A bit of a sipper to say the least.

 512 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Super black color with a dark brown head that quickly dissolved into a ring of bubbles. It smells like dark chocolate cake, yum. Interesting flavors that remind me of Stone IRS, dark fruity, nice beer. The mouthfeel is bubbly. the drinkability is obviously hampered by the ABV and the carbonation.

 297 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a footed, cylindrical glass at Michael's Bistro in Charlottesville. Paid $14 for it...problem? It was room temperature (apparently the refrigeration unit malfunctioned. I'm going to go ahead and try to review it anyway, but keep this in mind. From notes. Reviewed 7 July 2011.

A: Super-dark coffee-brown head fizzes and fades to absolutely nothing. The edges are dark brown, but the beer is *black*. 100% opaque.

S: Molasses. Liquorice. Vague berries. Alcohol.

T: Too warm, but other than that it's good. Strongly bitter coffee on the aftertaste. Some smooth, creamy, alcoholic, anise excellence. I dig it. The espresso taste on the aftertaste makes the beer.

M: Slinky smooth, slips down the throat.

O: The temperature moderated my enthusiasm (they ended up taking it back) but, even so, it's obviously a good beer. I would love to try it again more chilled.

Notes
ABV: 9.4%
OG: 107
FG: 38
IBU: 60

 939 characters

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

Reviewed from notes 1/12/2011

A: chocolate, coffee, malts, oats, caramel

Ap: black with 1 finger mocha colored head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, smooth, creamy

Af: coffee, chocolate, toffee on the back end

O: very easy to drink

Cheers!
The CPJ

 256 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L-Dark brown/black....scarlet like light head and tan lacing

S-Very roasty with dark fruits....plums...figs....a bit of leather

T-Big on the dark fruits....plums...dark berries....figs.....also a nice dark chocolate impression....very roasty,...any coffee notes are very mild and not prominent but are there.

F-Love what the oatmeal did for this...very creamy, and smooth...full bodied but not ultra full bodied....it's immense but not like drinking motor oil immense like some.

O-This is a high quality imperial stout with a flavor profile I enjoy...the roastiness is impressive and not sidetracked by a biting hop load. The dark cocoa adds a touch of finishing bitterness but I like how the hops are really understated in this. Well done.

 748 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, NO BS version 3.0 - notes found on laptop

Appearance: dark chocolate brown, creamy mocha head with strong retention

Smell: very nice, chocolatey, licorice, very roasty,

Taste: very creamy and smooth, dark chocolate, light espresso, roasty oatmeal,

Mouthfeel: very creamy, medium body

Drinkability: high

 324 characters

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

Bomber (thx milwaukeeclassic!) cellared for about 9 months, poured into my Delirium snifter, B.O.R.I.S is dark black garnet with a light brown head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is roasted malt, toffee like, some coffee, a hint of butterscotch, a nice acidic bite to the dark malts, which sweetens as it warms from cellar temp, picking up some prune notes, perhaps a hint of lactose as well.

Taste is very nice, rich and flavorful, yet smooth. Nice roast, well tempered by the sweetness of the malts. I've had this once before, on draught, and this age version might be preferable, in spite of how enjoyable that first glass was. It's picked up some nice dark fruit notes with age, which is why I love cellared RIS.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. The oatmeal really shines here, silky smooth, medium bodied.

Drinkability is very good, an awesome RIS that has developed well with some light cellar time, very smooth and satisfying. Great beer.

 956 characters

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

Glooey, viscous jet black with purple-black stiff head. Smoke, toasted oats, tar, ash and blackberry on the nose.
Char, coffee, black currant, a big slice of chocolate cake, and a hint of vanilla with a branch hops end plus some salt and black malt acidity.
Late chocolate truffle comeback and berry and ash linger. Heavy, smooth, chewy as heck.

Crazy complex – sweet over roast with hops working in the background. Big, well-constructed and balanced. Well-named; as serious as they come.

 492 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at Gainesville HOB and took it home. Pours pitch black with almost no head. Aroma of rich chocolate, roastiness, and hops. Heavy roasty chocolate flavor with a little bite going down. Finishes with slight currant then explodes with another burst of chocolate. The black currants and sweetness are much higher than the DORIS. Thick mouthfeel. Hearty oatmeal presence and rather easy drinking.

 407 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

was really excited to pop this one open after all the praises i had heard...

A - poured a rich thick milky black with a thin tan head. really gorgeous. you can see the oaty thickness. in my opinion you simply can't make a more appetizing and appealing RIS. leaves a nice snail trail of lacing on the glass that slowly crawls home.

S - very chocolaty and oaty. nutty and roasted malts but not in the typical coffee and wood way but rather thick and once again oaty. There is a subtle alcohol thing going on in the back ground that refreshes the nose with a mentholated feel.

T/M/D - oh wow. it all leads up to that first sip and no disappointment at all. its a very filling and rich RIS in every way. it has the full bodied thickness of a mature oatmeal stout. the flavor is essentially all roasted malt. it's a meal in a 12oz glass let alone a 22oz bottle. but damn good beer. new style - RIOS. all though oatmeal spin adds some fantastic flavor and body it really is a bit filling. drinking two of these would be like drinking two milkshakes. mmm...milkshakes.

--- EDIT ---
2011-11-06 Cellar Aged BORIS (with "cellar aged 1 Yr" sticker on the neck of the bottle. It is actually probably 2+ years old at this point, but I suppose the brewery released cellar aged version at some point? bottle also had a sticker that says "17497"

a - opened the bottle and filled my cbs snifter. poured sludgy black. not much head and what was there was gone quick. looks thick and delicious. 4

s - dhocolate roasted malts. perfectly mellow and balanced. the roastiness is perfectly paired with the chocolate. also has a touch of a briskness to it. 4.5

t - ah yes...BORIS!!! love this beer. rich thick chocolatey bold roastiness. really well rounded. 4.5

m - here's where i feel the cellaring has done the beer some good. i remember this beer as a monster on fullness and this aged version is quite silky and smooth. much more of a softer oatmeal stout. 4.5

o - overall just a great beer. time does nice for this one...one of my favs. 4.5

 2,030 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured like inky syrup, and was pitch black with some dark tan head.
S: It smelled like rich mocha and toasted oats, with some brown sugar and a hint of dark fruit.
T: It tasted like dark chocolate and bitter coffee and toasted oats, with a bit of licorice and dark fruit and soy. It had an ultra rich but smooth aftertaste.
M: It was super thick with a bit of carbonation. I was practically chewing this to swallow.
D: This was a fantastically crafted beer with lots of flavors all blended and balanced perfectly. It hid the alcohol very well, so it was dangerously easy to drink. But the thickness and complexity made it better for sipping. This Hoppin' Frog met the hype; definitely recommended.

 706 characters

Photo of papat444
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this near Cocoa Beach in 2010.

Poured from a 22oz. bomber and shared with a few friends.

Appearance: Dense black body with some brown tones. This dark brown ring that kind of hangs around.

Smell: Oats, chocolate and fresh brewed coffee.

Taste: Stronger on the chocolate than the oatmeal. Has a sweetened coffee taste to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and ultra smooth. I did find the body lacked a certain robustness.

Overall: A solid stout but not top tier in my book. Still, the ease of consumption and the flavors are attractive.

 553 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a jet black, motor oil looking liquied that lets no light through. the head is light brown with very good retention and leaves a light lacing on the glass

S-light nose with hints of the oat up front giving way to some sweet dark fruits, dark berries, plum and fig.

T-the taste is a bigger version of the nose; but still not huge. the oatmeal flavor comes in first with hints of dark chocolate and some coffee. the dark berries, ripe plum and fig come in towards the back with some hints of the alcohol warming a bit.

M-lighter end of a full body and silky smooth. carbonated just right to flow comfortably down the thoat and still have body.

D-this is actually a very drinkable RIS. the booze shows up but not too much at all. it is so smooth and the lighter body actually works with the lighter flavors. not a huge beast i fall in love with but still quite tasty!

 876 characters

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!

 525 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to krisandajt for this trade offering.

Pure black in color with some nice creamy foam which is dark tan in color.

Cream, chocolate and oats fill the nose. Mouth watering.

Tons of malt, nice hop bite as well. Chocolate, some cream and cola as well. Solid, well rounded flavor.

Silky smooth full body. There is some prickly carbonation though too. Dry finish.

Drinks phenomenally. Great all around RIS. Recommended.

 425 characters

Photo of Durge
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black as night with a pretty modest brown cover with very little lacing. The aroma brings a malty coffee marriage of sweet and bitter. There's a hamlike quality as well, mellow and meaty. The first sip is an intense licorice rhubarb and malt with coffee bean bitterness. Not really getting a lot of oatmeal, more winelike with pretty notable alcohol but not bad. Seems to go very well with cheese but I wouldn't call this a classic session brew. However, it is a flavorful stout, pretty heavy duty feel and a bit of a meal. Generally nice when in the mood for something to sink your teeth into.

 594 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber of the "cellared for 1-year sticker" version of BORIS. Probably 2009 vintage as I have had it in my beer fridge for quite some time as well. Pours very black with a frothy brown head. Spotty lacing and retention is average.

Nose is terrific...black licorice, cocoa, dark bread and fruit. Moderate chocolate and roast is pretty light. There is something unique about the nose that I cant quite pin down...like a jar of old chocolate sprinkles or something.

Pretty damn tasty, huge chocolate and dark fruit. Lots of ancillary stout flavors going on; anise, cardamom, walnuts, black licorice, cocoa nibs...very complex. So smooth and the oats really add to a silky mouthfeel. Awesome beer, I will be more than happy to perpetually have this on my wants list. I really want to try the barrel aged version now.

 820 characters

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

Pours pitch black with almost no head and a small amount of lacing

Smells primarily of chocolate with a mild alcohol presence. Very nice.

Similar to smell, the taste is primarily chocolate, though there is a mild hop presence. Maybe not overly complex, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with light carbonation.

Drinkability is very high for an imperial stout, with only a mild alcohol presence. My glass was emptied pretty quickly, and I could easily drink a bomber or more of this.

 495 characters

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

I've still got the old notes from the first Toledo tasting...thanks to whoever brought this.

This one is a thick black color, not quite motor oil thick but not letting much light seep through. A soft brown head forms and retains a creamy presence for a substantial amount of time, leaving some good lacing as it recedes down the glass.
There is a lot in the nose, though not as much as in the flavor. A very nice mix of strong malt backbone, lots of roasted notes, a lactic sweetness, some typical coffee and baker's chocolate going on, and a doppelbock-like touch of licorice.
This all comes together in the flavor, but a bit bigger. The oats are full in here as well, and there's a bit more charred woods flavor. Hops also add some balance to this one without taking anything away from the focus. High ABV is very well masked.
This is a great oatmeal stout and has the characteristics in mouthfeel that make the style great. This is a thick, rich stout with a silky smooth feel. Big and bold while at the same time soft and creamy, this beer, while more filling than most, is a real treat just the same.
BORIS is a beauty and one of the better big beers out there, though the best in the world work out the subtleties to be world-class.

 1,239 characters

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

Bottled served in a shaker pint glass

A - motor oil black with 1 finger thin bubbly brown head with moderate retention and Moderate thin lacing

S - dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, oatmeal, malt, booze, copper very pungent and enticing

T - sweet dark chocolate and malt followed by a refreshing smooth flaked oats backbone and a bit of robust coffee and some dark fruits and a nice moderately bitter finish with a nice helping of booze. Well balance, more chocolate than oatmeal and quite rich.

M - full body, low carbonation. Smooth, oily.

O - Boris is one Mac daddy of a oatmeal stout with a more robust choc presence than many in the style this beer is fairly complex and a touch bitter and would serve great as a nice dessert beer.

 741 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.23/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an inky, opaque black with a thin, fizzy copper mousse that dies away within seconds. As far as color goes, this looks spot on, but with regard to head retention, it leaves a lot to be desired.

S: Gentler than expected on the nose, with aromas of roasted grain, oatmeal, heavy cream, bitter chocolate, and coffee easily detectable. There is a mild alcohol scent as well, but it is neither distracting nor harsh.

T: Initially, this beer displays notes of oatmeal, roasted grain, strong coffee, dark fruits, burnt toast, heavy cream, and bitter chocolate. Around mid-palate, a grassy, herbal hoppiness takes over. The finish is strong and punchy with grassy, bitter hops, heavy cream, chocolate, and coffee swirled in cleansing alcohol. I was expecting the flavors to be better integrated because this doesn't taste much like a stout after a point.

M: This is the best aspect of this beer. In the mouth, B.O.R.I.S. is creamy, silky, and smooth with a luscious full body. Carbonation is gentle and there is only a hint of an alcohol burn. For such a heavy, filling beer, it goes down very smoothly.

O: B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher is not a bad stout, but it is not great either. As a matter of fact, I consider this beer to be extremely overrated. Like most American craft breweries these days, Hoppin' Frog seems to have forgotten that not all ales need to be heavily hopped. The high hop bitterness of this beer distracts from the great roasted malt and oatmeal flavors it initially displays, making it seem a bit muddled and off-kilter. If the hops had been reigned in a bit, this would be a fantastic imperial stout, but as is, it's merely okay.

 1,653 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle traded to me over a year ago by a generous BA. Poured into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours black with a rather thin and fizzy dark brown head that left little lacing.
S: Notes of roasted oats, rich dark malts, and a touch of dark chocolate syrup and alcohol.
T: Thick rich notes of dark chocolate, fudge even, mixed with roasted oats and sweet maple syrup. I get notes of bitter coffee in the finish, and the aftertaste has a touch of sweet fruit and warm alcohol.
M: Thick and chewy mouthfeel with a full body and tingly carbonation. It's not the thickest, and it's not the chewiest, but it sure is good. Others have said "meal in a bottle", I agree.
D: The flaws in this one are very nitpicky as I am very impressed. I can't wait to try the other variations!

 767 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cellar-aged version released by Hoppin' Frog. Had during Hobo Tasting #2 with mikesgroove. Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head that subsided to no head to speak of slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, chocolate, dark fruit, and cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a complete transformation of the regular brew. It has been in my cellar for a little over a year and there is no clue how long it was in storage before I bought it, but this thing was nice. As Mike stated, the alcohol burn was completely gone which allowed the dark fruits to open up in all their beauty that I had never experienced on this brew before. Definitely became a more complex and tasty brew with time. This brew really shocked me. An absolute MUST try if you can find the version to save yourself some time, or you can just throw a few in your own cellar and wait. Trust me, it is worth it!

 1,110 characters

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

I’ve been looking forward to trying Hoppin’ Frog since I learned of their existence. Through a stroke of luck there is a store in my area (From The Vine of course) that now carries them. As usual I went right to my favorite style first. This beer turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Pours thoroughly black with a medium thick and foamy head that lasts awhile. Nice patchy lacing. Big roasted malt aroma that has touches of chocolate and coffee as well. Rich body with a really flavorful with a roasty character. Lots of malt, chocolate, nuts and coffee flavors. Sweet touches of vanilla as well, and a bit of an alcohol presence. The finish is long and tasty with hops and sweet malt. An admirable offering from a new brewer!

 729 characters

B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,697 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe