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

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1,025 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,025 | Ratings: 2,687
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to reviewing the regular version. Bottle courtesy of Eric in a recent trade.

A: The pour is viscous and black with a small brown head forming, which dies down to a thin ring.

S: Really intense aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and licorice. Some burnt sugar notes, hints of vanilla and molasses, and some coffee in the background. Just a little bit of alcohol in there as well.

T: Sweet caramel malts and molasses to go along with the sweetness of the licorice notes. Plenty of dark, roasted malts with a hint of char and burnt sugar, as well as a little bit of coffee and bitter hops.

M: Full in body with a smooth, medium level of carbonation.

O: Really solid and possibly even better than the barrel aged version.

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Photo of russpowell
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this bomber from beeronthebrain, cheers Khen!!

Pours black with 2 fingers of brown mocha head & a nice oily shimmery look. Average head retention & above average lacing

S: Rich chocolate, vanilla, toasty malt & a hint of bananas??

T: Dark fruits, baker's chocolate, & dryness up front. Roasty malt & rich chocolate take over as this warms, with a touch of coffee, a bit of nuttyness & some bananas (it's working for me!). Finishes dry, oaky, with vanilla, pecans & rich dark chocolate

MF: Medium bodied, slick, a touch over-carbonated, once warm this is no longer a detractor, smooths out nicely

Drinks through the roof for the style & ABV. I like this one a lot! Recommended

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Likely a bottle from before GABF 2011 as the sticker still only indicated that it was a gold medal winner in 2008.

A: Pours an opaque thick dark jet black in color with minimal amounts of visible carbonation and no real highlights to speak - this beer is extremely dark. The beer pours with a finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that reduces to a medium to large patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted malts with some lighter notes of chocolate and moderate notes of dark fruit (plum and fig).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with some dark fruit sweetness (plum and fig). That is followed by some light hints of espresso/bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly creamy with some light notes of alcohol warming and dryness in the finish.

O: This is a really enjoyable sipping beer due to the strength and fairly intense yet complex flavors and fuller body - even though the alcohol is relatively well hidden. I have also picked up the barrel aged version which I am looking forward to trying though this beer is excellent and quite enjoyable.

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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 mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dontcostnuthin for sending this one my way. Review from notes.

A: Pours an inky/oily dark black. A one finger tan/mocha colored head forms on top, with decent retention and no lacing.

S: I immediately get the sweet oats. There is also some roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a little bit of hops.

T: Very roasty flavor with the oats coming through as well, but not as strong as the aroma indicated, and not as sweet either. Nice mixture of coffee, licorice, and a little bit of molasses.

M: Full bodied and on the thicker side, but very smooth. Has a bitter-sweet finish.

O: A solid RIS, but not my favorite. From what I have seen a bit pricey as well, even though I got this one in a BIF. If I found it for the right price I would certainly get it again though.

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

Nearly black in color. Light brown head with spotty ring lace. No light shines through.

Lots of mocha in this beer's smell. Sweet chocolate with some coffee and a touch of English toffee. Inviting.

Strongly alcoholic stout is my first impression. There's an oiliness to the brew and a richness to the taste that is special. Obviously, the alcohol comes through in a big way, but the flavor of dark chocolate (different from the smell) and espresso mutes this. Very rich beer with good carbonation to counteract the syrup feel.

This could not be an everyday beer for me. But as an Imperial Stout, this would be close to my favorite.

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Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours black with a very small tan covering for a head. Not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma has some dark chocolate and roasted flavors with a moderate amount of sweetness.

Taste has chocolate and roasted grains with some slight burntness. Slight sweetness up front with a nice long bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good and the abv is well hidden. Very tasty stout that I enjoyed.

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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 WVbeergeek
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For those of us who know the history of this brew, and know Fred Karm's original recipe for Thirsty Dog's Siberian Night realize how contract brewing in Frederick brewing keeping the brand alive can kill what the beer was all about. Now enters Hoppin' Frog and all is right in the world. Appears pitch black motor oil that absolutely absorbs every band of the visible light spectrum where everything fades to black. Head is a dark brown mocha hue, forms thick. With my first gulp of the brew head is left evenly all around my Southern Tier pint glass. Aromatics bring out deep roasted malts with coffee and dark chocolate and the oatmeal adds that layer of cereal grain softness to the mix, while herbal hops flow as well. Sweet decadent creamy burnt marshmallows with singe of alcohol tickling the ol' nares. Flavor a rolling wave of oatmeal and roasted malt sweet and roasted malt bitterness. Creamy sweet syrup added to a bowl of plain oatmeal, with cocoa powder and flame roasted marshmallow added to the mix that's what this beer tastes like. After your first few sips you think where's the hops because in flavor only minimal herbal balancing hop flavor survives the malt trip, but by the third or fourth sip the hop burps arrive and you realize where those sixty international bitterness units are hiding. Huge yet perfectly balanced beer sweet and creamy yet roasty and hoppy, the ying and yang of all dark beers. Mouthfeel is huge creamy borderline custard at times, carbonation rolls sluggishly trying to move that high gravity around, you can tell when you watch the pour. It takes awhile for the head to form even after a vigorous pour. Drinkability is effortless even after 22oz I could have another glass. I learned this after having it on tap before it arrive in Pittsburgh. I made a beer run up to Boardman, OH to visit Ron Bush at his Diamond Bar where Boris was flowing. A couple glasses later had me owned by this brew, my second meeting with this fine brew came at Smokin' Joe's in the South Side after a Pirate's game, needles to say I tried to make this brew a session beer....I know I know...respect beer. By the way thanks to Valley Wine Cellar I can now by it in the city where I live for $7.99 a bottle, that's value.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is black in body and dark brown at the crest when held to the light. There is very little head to begin with. What is there fizzes away immediately, leaving no lacing whatsoever. It resembles a cola.

S: Big chocolate presence, roasted malt

T: Again, a very large chocolate flavor. The body is medium-full. The beer has a nice taste, but overall, I find it to be a bit one dimensional. The oatmeal aspect is there, but I wish it had a larger role in the taste profile. There is a subtle roasted or burnt malt flavor near the finish. This brew has potential, but is just not quite there.

M: Carbonation is too low. Otherwise, the feel is pretty good.
Alcohol is disguised very well.

D: A good, but not great, beer. I really enjoy oatmeal and imperial stouts. I was hoping for a little more.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black and thick with a smaller dark tan head that forms and falls to nothing. No lacing. Malty tones on the nose. Extremely slight amount of roasted edge to it. Flavor is extremely smooth. Unbelievably smooth. Thick malts accented by mild oat. Sweet tone almost like a molasses that's more smooth and sweet than thick and bitter with a biting edge. Man, oh man. Very mild amount of alcohol biting on the back side. On the aftertaste I feel it burning just a slight bit as well. Feel is thick on liquid and carries a low, but smooth enough carbonation. Is this easy to drink? You better believe it. Truly exceptional. I wish I had a case of this instead of just this one bottle.

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Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this bottle up 2 years ago not knowing if it was the fresh release or a leftover. I guess that places this bottle in the 2008 range. There is no visible indication on the bottle to confirm.

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a faint amount of brown clarity around the edges when held to the light. A finger's worth of creamy dark tan head forms and holds for awhile before retreating to the edge of the glassware where it holds throughout the duration. Some faint spotty lace sticks and holds on the glass.

The aroma of this brew is dark and roasty with some signs of light oxidation. Licorice is present along with a solid oatmeal to grain characteristics. It is sweet with a scent of chocolate mixed with coffee and caramel, lightly citrusy with hops and a touch of dark fruity character almost like raisins.

The taste of this brew is bitter roasted grain with a flavoring of licorice coupled with semisweet chocolate. The chocolate flavor develops into something more in-line with a flavor that is left in your mouth after eating 75% cacao. There is some herbal bitterness which mixes and contrast with a dark fruity flavor like raisins. Throughout the body are flavors of oats and sweet grains keeping the bitterness and fruity alcohol elements of this brew in check.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The 9+% alcohol is well integrated and as the brew warms maybe becomes a touch distracting. I almost forgot that I had this brew and a recent taste of the new Royale offering reminded me that I need to have a taste of the base brew. This is a pretty solid example but perhaps a bit dated at this point. For as much as I enjoyed the Royale version, it is my intension to get out there and snag a fresh bottle of Boris and the normal barrel aged version.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a CCB snifter. No bottle date. Silly breweries with no bottle date.

Appearance - Deep inky black body. Almost no head, but some mocha foam surfaces before dissipating into hardly anything.

Smell - Rich chocolate and coffee aroma. Sweet molasses and booze. Quite boozy, really.

Taste - Really chocolatey in the smell. Some coffee persists, but it's less intense than the chocolate. The coffee comes out in the bitter finish as the roasted malts really come out.

Mouthfeel - Excessively boozy. Really strange considering it's only 9.4%. Low carbonation with a nice body.

Overall - Nothing stands out as spectacular in this beer, but everything really works well together. Oatmeal gives it good body and the rich chocolate gives it a wonderful flavor, really despite the booze. I look forward to the variations on this beer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a brown head that is well-retained. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of coffee, dark malt, dark fruit, a hint of booze.

The taste is of coffee with eathy/bready notes, some anise, some chocolate, a bit of citrus. Light roast is there, but not nearly in a burnt way. Well-hopped for a dark malty brew. Finishes long and bittersweet. Absolutely delicious!

Full-bodied and silky, this is smooth - almost no astringency here.

The hype is deserved, and then some. An awesome brew! The light booze in the aroma is covered in the taste. It has a deceptively drinkable character. A great beer!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a dark mocha head that dissipates quickly but leaves a little lacing on the way down. Aroma of Coffee roast chocolate and brown sugar. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, dried fruit, a little alcohol. Has a roast bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste forever. The mouthfeel is oily yet creamy as hell. Thick syrupy body, light carbonation. This is a damn fine imperial oatmeal stout, I can't believe it took me so long to try this.

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

I pour this Oatmeal-Imperial Stout tonight into a small Thomas Hardy's Ale snifter, just because...and then I realize it's too small and doesn't do the head justice, and pour it into a wider mouthed Belgian chalice.

Solid black, with a roasty brown head, oatmea meets cocoa powder.

Big, fat, wide and out loud aroma. bitter hops, molasses, chocolate, a trickle of anise...rich and decadent, potent and luxurious, edging into whiskey-ish flavors.

Drinkin' it...there we go, the vastness, the slick, viscous feel, with smooth, roasty oatmeal riding under it...terribly full-flavored, full-bodied, though not as thick as I like an Imperial Stout. Fine as it is, though. Goodness, it's good.

A well-balanced, multi-layered, drinkable RIS. Tasty. This does a body good on a cold December night. Alcohol doesn't intrude on the enjoyment.
Gets sharp at times, bright fruit flavor flashes in...but remains a solid Imperial Stout. Delicious stuff.

Much thanks to BuckeyeNation for providing!

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pure walnut opaqueness dark as brown can get on the body without being black. This really nice borderline thick syrup pour also. Head is really tiny maybe a finger at most, but a great coffee espresso color looking head with tight bubbles. Leaves about 2mm collar throughout the glass for a good while. Minimal lacing.

Toasty oats and malt, with faint milk chocolate on the nose. Very nice smelling. This has to be the only Oatmeal Imperial stout beer I've whiffed that actually smells like it has oats in it. Love the bouquet feels like that malt shake is coming.

As for taste, big chocolate boom, and mild carbonation. Expansive feel in the back palate of an thick anisette aftertaste with a not to big alcohol heat but noticeable.

Pretty good mix of flavors and feel. I'd have again, another winner for drinkability from Hoppin' Frog.

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

Picked up this bottle a while ago at West Lakeview Liquors - shared with friends alongside BA B.O.R.I.S. and served in a generic pint glass.

A - Big late-rising dark mocha foam that slowly settles to a thick ring and nearly complete cap with some patchy lacing. Pitch black - not even the slightest bit of color.

S - Cocoa, dark fruits, roasted malts, burnt sugars. This smells like an older bottle, without any hint of the higher IBUS listed on the bottle. Smells kind of like a higher-gravity L'Aphrodisiaque, but without the vanilla presence. It's a pretty solid, but perhaps slightly too sweet, RIS.

T - The taste is a fair bit different, with more emphasis on dark chocolate, a touch of coffee, and roastiness galore. There's a strong acidic and bitter aftertaste that I'm not sure is related to the hop content or to the intense roast flavors. Again, good stuff here, but nothing mind-blowing.

M - The mouthfeel is superb - the oatmeal really comes out here. Cask-like smoothness with mild carbonation that keeps things from being syrupy. Big, viscous, body that supports the ABV and flavor exceptionally well.

D - The ABV is very well hidden, and the mouthfeel is superb. Combined with the more than adequete flavor this is an excellent, and fairly easy to obtain, RIS. Just watch out for the mounting bitterness!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crush ME!!!! Damn that's a good Stout! Trying the Crusher Imperial Stout from Hoppin Frog after an evening of sled riding....Great beer to end the night with. The beer pour a oil black with very thin tan head that does not appear to be lacing in my chalice glass. The smell is a beautiful chocolate with hints of roast and espresso. The taste great balance of chocolate, roast, and booze. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is viscous and jet black with a dark chocolate colored, thin, dense head. Smells of chocolate, dark malt, and booze. The beer has a smooth start of subtle chocolate notes followed quickly by a bitter blast of coffee. Slightly malty and syrupy finish with smooth and coffee flavored aftertaste, and a boozy highlight. Strong flavors make a decent winter warmer, but not a high volume consumption.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Kind of a rough pour. Beer appears dark, jet, pitch black and kind of thick. A thick dark brown head made up of medium sized bubbles forms but as it falls away it doesn't leave lacing on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and alcoholic with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Smells like a Russian Imperial, good job.

Taste is really strong. Medium body (not as thick as I expected) and there is a strong alvalache of roast flavor in the back of the mouth. Strong coffee taste almost makes the beer crunchy. I can taste the alcohol (I believe this was bottled in 2009 but I can't say for sure). Overall its a very big stout. Strong and flavorful. Its all a little much to take in at once. I did enjoy this beer. The flavors skew toward the sweet as the beer warms.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to brandy snifter

A - Pitch black in colour and very thick during pouring. A small amount of espresso coloured head formed.

S - Intense nose of dark fruit up front with chocolate and plenty of sweet molasses. A very nice nose.

T - The dark fruit and chocolate realy ocme through on the palate with a very sweet compliment of molasses and brown sugar.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated. Slightly watery at times.

D - An excellent IS. I enjoyed every drop of this one.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Yeah it's big and it's big and chocolaty, but I didn't find this to be a particularly outstanding. It appeared pitch black with a tan head in my pint glass. The aroma is a mix of cocoa and burnt grains. The oats contribute to a very smooth flavor, but I'm thrown off by the feel and balance between what seems to be citrus hops and chocolate malts. They just aren't working. It makes for a less than ideal feel, but this beer is still very drinkable for it's size and weight.

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

NOTE: This is a 2-year old bottle from my cellar

Pours a reddish black. Big tan head, rocky. Some lacing. Looks promising.

Aroma is a great blend of chocolate, coffee, prune and baked caramel. Nothing strong like a RIS under normal conditions, but delish nonetheless

Flavors follow the nose. Chocolate, mocha, coffee and soft prune. It's like a regular RIS (but with alcohol a bit softer from aging) and the oats make is smooooth. Easy drinking. You get the robustness of a RIS with the smoothness of an oatmeal stout.

Very nice. I have the BA Boris "on ice". Can't wait for that one.

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

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich roasted and chocolate malt scent that is sweet and dessert like with a nice subtle roasted malt aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a wonderfully warm black and chocolate malt flavor. It's rich and powerful, yet highly enjoyable. This is a meal of a beer. It has a complex palate that resinates in the finish. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's bold and flavorful as well as enjoyable. Nice work!

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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 2,687 ratings.
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