Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

621 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
English-style Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Batch 1- 2009(April) GOLD cap
Batch 2- 2009(July) GOLD
Batch 3- 2009(Oct) GREEN
Batch 4- 2010 BLACK
Batch 5- 2011 RED
Batch 6- 2012 WHITE

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 621 | Ratings: 2,376
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of rich roasted malt, bourbon, bitter chocolate, and chocolate fudge. Flavor is bourbony upfront with a chocolatey finish. Mellow (alcohol-wise) for a barrel aged beer, which I appreciate, but I still think I prefer the original (??). Good beer still!

 312 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 11/02/11

*Bomber w/ a 10oz Nonic

A: Pours a shiny black licorice color with a sort of lighter crimson edge to it. Almost no head but just a rim of turbinado sugar color foam on top…maybe half a finger at most with low retention and some dotted lace. Just dark and oily looking.

S: Smells a bit woody with an earth and spice mix going on. Vanilla beans, caramelized malts, and a hint of chocolate. Some alcohol aromas exude. Really rather complex array of aromas here.

T: Wow this is a big robust stout with lots going on. Tastes of charred roasty grains, earthy, with a distinct whisky note. A touch harsh but the whisky barrel treatment is rather subtle and not completely overbearing here. Dark chocolates. Slightly sweeter with some hints of vanilla. Hops start midway and spike the back of the palate bringing a sort of dark fruit component to the brew. A little bit of alcohol heat and a dry roast coffee aftertaste.

M: Has a rather smooth mouthfeel overall. Medium to heavier body with a sleek and slight viscosity to it. Still manages that dry crisp lift in the finish.

D: Lots of intensity and complex flavors and in this stoot. Definitely recommend letting this one open up a bit. Some nice whisky barrel notes. Same hop bitterness as the original.

Good and stoked to have tried but a touch harsh for me at times. Tough to handle a bomber in one sitting. Think I actually prefer the original BORIS. The aging process just didn’t really elevate this one enough for me.

I think I owe DanO a big thanks for this one – Cheers mdfb79.

 1,567 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cool color, dark purply brown, hints of black. No Lacing or head.

Prune, raisin, chocolate fudge, some dark fruits hard to place, a bit of bourbon and oakiness.

Vanilla, rich bourbon, aforementioned.

Nice mouthfeel, though this is a bigger ABV than I thought, the bourbon is heavy.


 291 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A poor representation of BA stout. While not bad or abrasive like some of the Arcadia beers, it makes you regret getting it everytime. Just too hot and unbalanced to be enjoyable.

 181 characters

Photo of zachary80
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber, gold cap, assume this is the "silver" of the first two batches. Poured into a globe

Very dark pour, no head on the first glass, an aggressive second one gives some short-lasting brown. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is rich: sweet chocolate, vanilla, with strong whiskey notes. Can smell the alcohol

Flavor is robust, the dark grains balance the sweetness. Influence from the barrel aging seems to be minimal. Some bourbon on the finish, and a slight nutty character.

Carbonation seems too low. Not as heavy as expected; would not have guessed it had oatmeal.

Overall a decent beer, but somewhat a let down. Not much better than regular BORIS

 646 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch 3 - green cap..

Opened this alongside the great B.O.R.I.S., aged over a year. Had never had this one before, though, and was excited as I was a big fan of the regular BORIS..

Black, brackish, creamy and dissipating head. Smells of whiskey and oat, little bit of chocolate cream. Flavor is similar, the rich oaty creamy body which is the hallmark of the regular B.O.R.I.S. is relegated to the background, much thinner as the alcohol comes in angrily, thinning the body with a solid punch. It's still quite good, but really do prefer the non barrel-aged beverage. This one, we could just be friends.

 605 characters

Photo of gc4hokies
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=pours like used motor oil. Jet black. Light brown head

Aroma=smells like jack Daniels. Overpowering whiskey smell

Taste= licoris, heavy, burnt sugar, heavy alcohol (fusel?)

Mouthfeel= viscous, surprisingly carbonated

Overall= a lot of work went into this beer. However the whiskey barrels add an overpowering taste to this that detract from the flavors in the beer.

 371 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black in color with cinnamon colored head. Head is short lived with no lacing, leaving behind a glass of thick black liquid.

No mistaking the whiskey in the nose. It's the dominant scent from start to finish. It smells like hot booze. Roasted malt and vanilla are an afterthought.

Same with the taste. This is a very good barrel aged stout, but it's a little rough and unrefined. The roasted malt, vanilla, and chocolate do better showing up in the taste than in the nose, but I still struggle to get past the whiskey. While some barrel aged stouts have nice mellow bouquets of vanilla and charred oak from the aging, this one is abrasive.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with little carbonation. Finish is very, very dry.

Due to the coarseness and overwhelming presence of whiskey, this one takes a major hit from me in drinkability. I know it's not a long time, but this one sat for about 7 months before opening and it didn't seem to mellow it much.

 959 characters

Photo of kk73
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my glass. Green cap batch #3. Thanks to Wisconsinality for this bottle.

A - Pours a dark black with a reddish hue around the edges when held up to the light. Smallish caramel colored head that quickly subsides into a ring around the glass.

S - Smells of molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, with a touch of bourbon on the nose.

T - Taste follows the nose, with some of that alcohol bourbon heat. This one is pretty sweet, and chocolatey, not much of that fresh roasted coffee taste Ive come to love in an RIS. Finish is fruity and spicy.

M - Ive never had the beer before, but imo a touch on the thin side for the style. Still smooth and creamy with good carbonation. Some mouth coating stickiness.

O - My first beer from Hoppin' Frog, is a good one. Not mind blowing, but a solid beer for the style. No problem finishing this bomber by myself.

 876 characters

Photo of HopHead29
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

Served in nonic

Pours dark black with little head and no lacing

Smell is of dark fruit, whiskey, chocolate, and alcohol

Taste is white chocolate with some tart dark fruits and a prominent alcohol presence. Very intense flavor. Lots of sweet and bitter tastes

Feel is very smooth on this

Not a very drinkable beer. Lots of intense flavoring but one of the few beers that I've had a hard time putting down.

 410 characters

Photo of Onslow
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it.
characterized by absence of light; enveloped in darkness: a black night.
Possessing notes of road tar and light whiffs of whiskey, an enjoyable libation.

 255 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Green Cap batch 3

A: Poured quite thick. The beer is jet black with a thin covering of coffee colored head. Good head retention for a barrel aged beer.

S: the whiskey is right up front and stings the nostrils. Little bit more chocolate as it warms up. A touch of oatmeal as well. It works well with the barrel but

T: The taste starts off with the whiskey barrel. The barrel really dominated the taste. It kind of eliminated some of the nuances of the base beer. Some cocoa powder. I preferred the original to this.

M: The moutfeel is a nice mixture of full bodied while not overpowering. Nice low carbonation.

D: Easy drinking for the ABV. All the subtle complexities of the original were washed away by the barrel aging. This is one of those cases where the non barrel aged version is much better.

 805 characters

Photo of camil1mj
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold cap version. Poured at cellar temperature into my Founder's snifter.

A: Deep, dense, dark chocolately brown. No light gets through. Thick, khaki colored head. Some lacing.

S: Chocolate sweetness with slight alcoholic overtones.

T: I immediately notice that this one lacks the strong whiskey overtones in the taste that I have come to love from many other highly rated BA stouts. Not terribly different than your standard oatmeal stout.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation. This one is missing the sweet, syrupy stickiness I love from BA stouts.

O: A very good stout, however it just does not stack up against the best.

 628 characters

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber shared with friends and poured into a tulip. The brew appears black in color with a dark brown head. A swirl revives a finger worth of creamy froth that displays decent retention and produces spotty lace patterns on the glass.

The aroma is toasty and roasty with a scent of fresh oats and chocolate mingled with dark fruity alcohol notes. A bit of raw oak and a hint of spicy quality reminescent of raw oak.

The taste includes that previously mentioned raw oak, woody with roast and coffee. Some bitter chocolate and earthy grain blend in with some solvent alcohol that is a little fruity.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A pleasant mixture of roasty and fruity character but with a raw barrel presence to mix things up. It is nice but for the price not something id revisit again anytime soon.

 838 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a recent tasting.

This beer pours black with only a little light making its way through around the edges. there is a decent tan head. the smell is a sweet bourbon scent with roasted malt in the back. the flavor is a little less intense than the smell, and the bourbon notes don't come through as much as I would have hoped, especially with the $20 price tag. The moutfheel is pretty much right on for the style mediun to full. and its a drinkable beer.

however for the money there are better options. bourbon county is much better for 2/3s the price

 563 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.15.13

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a black in the glass with a smaller dark tan-brown head that creeps to the edges slowly.

S - Sweet chocolate, oatmeal, booze, a touch oxidized.

T - Booze and oatmeal, then finishes with sweet chocolate - really sweet still. Still lots of booze as well.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body, but it finishes thin.

O - Still lots of booze and overly sweet for me after four years.

 434 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dull. Not much head. Coffee colored. Not much lace.

S - Yum. Coffee. Mocha... Dry chocolate.

T - Nice blend of the chocolate and coffee with malt, but a strange aftertaste that doesn't really go well. Powdery, off.

M - Good carb and coating, same argument for Taste, off somewhat.

D - Tasty enough to go the distance, but the ABV might hurt!

 349 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Procured this in a trade with hopsleeroy. Thanks Lee!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: Looks exactly the same as regular B.O.R.I.S. (which Zach and I sampled right before this): opaque black, oily, thick, essentially no head. I'd love to see some head on this beer, but there's just none to be found. No lacing either.

Smell: When cold, the whiskey dominates. When warm, the whiskey dominates. Regular B.O.R.I.S. had a lot of complexity to it, but it was very mild. That complexity is totally overshadowed here. I can't get anything besides whiskey. I like the aroma, but it's far too plain.

Taste: When cold, the whiskey dominates. When warm, the whiskey dominates. Unlike the smell, however, there are some other flavors that emerge once the beer warms up. Specifically, I get roasted barley, caramel/molasses, and dark chocolate. Whereas regular B.O.R.I.S. had a gamut of subtle and interesting flavors, Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. has lots of whiskey and hints of general R.I.S. flavors. I greatly prefer regular B.O.R.I.S.

Mouthfeel: Full, very lightly carbonated, and dry. Essentially the same as regular B.O.R.I.S., but with an extra dry finish. Lots of mouth-numbing and pretty solid mouth-coating.

Drinkability: While this was a very cool experience (regular B.O.R.I.S. followed by Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S.), I much prefer the complexity of regular B.O.R.I.S. Not that there's too much whiskey in this one; there just aren't enough other flavors/aromas that can hang with it.

 1,496 characters

Photo of joepais
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Spilt this bottle between two snifters. We were presented with a small tan head that disappeared to a wisp of lace. The body of the brew was a typical stout black with some burgundy highlights around the side of the glass from the barrel.

I got some vanilla and some roasted malts in the nose. I sat on this bottle so I didn't get to much booze coming off of this one. The flavor was good as well. There was enough roasted flavors and the bourbon barrel sweetness permeates this one. Yet the mouthfeel is a tad thin for a oatmeal brew. That did surprise me because the regular brew had more body to it.

The drinkability is fine I did enjoy every sip of the glass.
A good barrel aged stout I'd buy it again but a little pricy

 727 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an ultra-generous gift from msubulldog25, who had an extra bottle thanks to tapoutjoe. It is about 20 degrees outside, so the bottle was extremely cold when it arrived at my doorstep. No need to wait, I cracked this one within the first 10 minutes of opening the package. What a great surprise to make my night memorable!

Pours pitch black with a very late cascading brown head that settles down to a thin collar and some bubbles. The smell is deeply roasted malts, marshmallows, oak, vanilla and toffee barrel notes, and some coffee beans. Very inviting, although the oak seems like it may potentially be harsh on the tongue. I guess we will see...

...and it turns out that a bit of the wood harshness does carry over, although it is luckily in a manageable amount. TONS of coffee bean bitterness breaks through, far more than I remember there being in the regular B.O.R.I.S. although I think the oak is magnifying it. Dark fruits lie in the background and must be hunted for. Marshmallows and earthy hops round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is definitely this beers weak point. It is medium bodied, but I would expect a near 10% barrel aged imperial stout to have the full bodied, creamy palate that I desire. The carbonation levels are low and pretty much perfect which saves this score from being lower.

Drinkability is only slightly above average. The massive bitterness dominates the flavor profile so much that the complexities underneath never fully develop. Thus, it becomes frustrating after about 8 oz. because there is just so much potential that is not being met. Still, this is very tasty for what it is and a very fine brew. I am being extra critical since the base beer is such a good one, and in this case the barrel aging didn't improve it.

Nonetheless, I am so happy to finally get my hands on this beer. Thank you again Brian for the opportunity. I would recommend that others make the purchase, especially if you like your stouts coffee and hop dominated.

 1,997 characters

Photo of GJ40
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Triangle Wine in Morrisville, NC.

A - Deep black with a moderate head that dissipates quickly.

S - Bourbon, oak, dark chocolate and molasses.

T - The bourbon leads but doesn't dominate. It's joined by dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, coffee and a hint of sweetness. Good depth and complexity but not outstanding.

M - A little thin for the style. A moderate carbonation.

O - A good BA IS but given the price ($16-17 from what I've seen over several NC shops), it's just not worth it. By my calculation, this cost me almost 50% more than BCBS and it wasn't nearly as good. I think price should play a bigger role in reviews.

 673 characters

Photo of axeman9182
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewer tulip.

Barrel Aged BORIS pours jet black, with about two fingers of mousse-like milk chocolate foam capping the beer. Head retention is decent, and some nice rings of lacing are left around the inside of the glass. The nose has an intense, roasty dark chocolate note, paired with a spicy whiskey aroma. It's nice, but there's not much to it. The flavor profile expands on this basic outline some. Intense dark chocolate opens things up, but here it's underlined with a hint of vanilla sweetness. The back end is still a lightly hot whiskey note, but now there's a subtle oaky component to it as well. The vanilla and oak are minor additions, but add some needed depth to the beer. The body has that signature silkiness I tend to get from oatmeal stouts, but I found myself wishing it was more rich and chewy. The carbonation does a nice job of staying in the background though, just enough there to keep the beer clear of becoming syrupy. Barrel Aged BORIS was my first Hoppin' Frog beer, and while I wasn't blown away, it proved to be a very solid stout. I'd definitely check out another beer from them in the future.

 1,199 characters

Photo of krisandajt
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Matt from Capones who kept a bottle of this stashed away for me until I could make my way down to Norristown. Shared this beer with some friends at a holiday party.

Appearance: A deep, dark black colored brew. No chance of any light getting through this bad boy. There is a nice inch worth of thick, fluffy, light chocolate/mocha colored head. The head faded a bit quickly, and there wasn't much lacing to speak of. On swirling the beer in the glass, it seemed to want to stick to the sides. This is going to be good.

Smell: Strong, not a beer for the faint of heart. Plenty of chocolate and roasted malt, but also a big dose of booziness. This beer does have a fairly high ABV, and it was aged in whiskey barrels, so I guess that this smell should be expected.

Taste: This is a sippin beer. The chocolate and roasted malts from the nose is dwarfed by the strong taste of what reminds me of whiskey burn. This is one potent beverage. While not bad by any means, a bit of age would certainly mellow this brew out a bit and blend the tastes together a bit better.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation for the style with a thick, viscous, full body. Well done here.

Drinkability: For a barrel aged RIS, this beer offers a plenty of complex tastes to confound the palate. Take your time with this one and it won't come back to bite you. I have one more bottle of this, I think I'm going to keep it down in the cellar for a bit just to let it mellow out. A tasty beer fresh, it can only get better with a bit of time on it.

 1,530 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an inky black color with a huge fluffy brown head that slowly settles.

The aroma is of dark toasted brown bread and light anise. Some dark chocolate covered cherries that have been soaked in whiskey. Subtle vanilla from the oak.

The taste has a big roasted flavor but its mellowed by the oats, not as bitey as a typical RIS. Some char. There is a general dark fruit notes that flows through. Some dark cherries and carob. Smooth vanilla and caramel provide some sweetness. The whiskey flavor is light but noticable and adds to the sweetness.

The stout is well bodied and some tingly carbonation. Fairly smooth throughout. Starts sweet on the palate but finishes with a roasted bitterness. ABV is well hidden. Slightly sticky.

A good imperial stout. Quite smooth. Not much whiskey flavor, though.

 806 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 107 OG (25.3° P) 60 IBU, 9.4% ABV, "Keep refrigerated". No date.

Thanks go out to Sweemzander for mixing up the Russian River tasting with this bottle!

A - A dark roasted black beer with a deep caramel head emerges. Low retention with no head left over was disappointing considering the nice formation early on. Thick legs roll down the glass upon a swirl.

S - Deep roasted malts combine with a small molasses aroma that falls to the back with a splash of vanilla and a large, bold whiskey barrel nose. I appreciate how different the barrel aging smells from that of a typical bourbon barrel nose. The aroma has an overall cold, lightly metallic smell that thankfully doesn't get in the way. A light bit of chocolate appears on the finish.

T - Rich roasted malts provide a bitter chocolate and molasses flavor that's easily overpowered by whiskey barrel flavor. No oatmeal comes through at all.

M - Full-bodied and rich with a smooth texture that seems a little bit low but still good. A little warm alcohol is felt in sensation on the finish.

D - While it's a decent blended beer, the drinkability is a little bit low simply for the hot finish but it's still a solid beer. Where is the oatmeal though?

 1,260 characters

Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,376 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.