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

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
615 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. 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: 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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
615
Ratings:
2,354
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.67%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
692
For Trade:
72
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 615 | Ratings: 2,354
Photo of Xul
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jcb890 for hooking this up in a trade.

A: Pours a viscous pitch black with a scant layer of mocha colored foam that quickly settles into a ring of lacing.

S: Very well integrated aroma for a barrel aged stout - moderate whiskey character with a little bit more charred oak than usual, along with vanilla, dark chocolate, strong dark fruit notes - dark cherries, plums, and figs - along with some caramel and a bit of bitter coffee.

T: Starts out fairly subdued with some dark malts and oat character, before whiskey notes pop up in the mid-palate with some light booze and vanilla. Semi-sweet chocolate and light coffee come in late, leading to a sweet, lightly oaked chocolate finish.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation, feels a little too thin and slick.

D: Booze is kept in check well, and the aromas and flavors are well integrated - very drinkable for a barrel aged stout.

 895 characters

Photo of beergod1
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Cleveland Beer Fest 5/14/11. Poured black with a tan colored head that has enough carbonation to leave a small ring that lasts. Notes of, whiskey, and heavily roasted malt and burnt Chocolate fill the nose. This is a full bodied stout with yeast flavors enhanced by malt, Burnt chocolate, coffee and a lingering hint of hop on finish. A little Hot on the Alcohol. I would love to let a bottle sit for a year or so.

 429 characters

Photo of jamescain
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 batch 3 version (thanks to jwjon1 for sending this one), poured into a Saint Arnold’s sniffer, we did a side by side comparison with the Crusher version.

Appearance: Black with a thick mocha head about a finger thick, which quickly receded into a thin ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate, roasted grain, vanilla, and bourbon. I preferred the aroma in this version much more. The bourbon barrel aging added the extra complexity that the other version was missing.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and alcohol. The flavors were kind of messy and a little bland, this might have been due to the aging.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body and mouth feel then its non-BA brother with medium carbonation.

Overall: I preferred the non-BA version to the BA version. The enjoyed the aroma of the BA version more but the flavor and the mouthfeel of the non-BA version was better in my opinion.

 911 characters

Photo of Pinknuggets
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle to HFS sniffer

A: black as night total opaque heavy Mocha head that fades quick super dark chocolate

S: a little boozy upfront I can smell the oats and the malt in there too but is slightly off putting

T:follows the nose with a little bit of alc upfront but it does fade quickly into a creamy oatmeal like flavor that goes to a bitter malt finish and you can taste the alc again a little but not horrible

M: thick but oily texture that has a creamy consistency were the carbonation is mixed in perfectly

O: really solid oatmeal imperial stout but the alc and bitterness of the hops kinda ruined it for me especially when paired with a weak smell but I liked the look and mouthfeel so though its not my favorite I still recommend it curious as to taste after some aging.

 784 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from the first batch. Thanks to Deuane for picking it up for me. Shared with janlud and ksak.

A: The stout is dark, a thick oily morass that absorbs every spectrum of visible light. Opaque? Nope, this one is a bird's eye view into the heart of darkness. Albeit a heart of darkness with a thin tan-colored head.

S: Cocoa powder, oak and vanilla drive the aroma, a soft nose that doesn't come across as overbearing. Dark malts emerge on closer inspection, smelling like a good stout.

T: The regular BORIS does its best to stand out up front, throwing out dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee flavors. After the initial stout flavors, the bourbon and barrel gradually emerge. Oak and vanilla stand out, softening up the stout to a cocoa powder sweetness. A flourish of booziness peaks through near the end of each sip. The bourbon adds a bit of burn to each sip.

M: The mouthfeel doesn't skimp on either the stout or the barrel. The bourbon isn't as crisp as in some stouts but you can tell that it is there.

D: At nearly 10%, this is a sippin' stout. I've had both Batch 1 and 2 and I cast my vote for Batch 1.

 1,133 characters

Photo of baconbourbon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Quite dark with hardly any head or lacing.
Smell: Bourbon. That's about it.
Taste: Bourbon, with some slight smokey hints.
Mouthfeel: Moderately thin body, but goes down smoothly nonetheless.
Overall: It's good. Not the best that I've ever had.

 256 characters

Photo of sjccmd
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a small dark brown head that quickly fizzes away leaving a ring around the beer. Sticky lacing and legs.

The aroma begins with dark chocolate with a hint of raisins. Vanilla and oak as well. Very sweet. The bourbon is not overwhelming but is definitely there.

Roasted coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and oak in the taste. Sweet but not too cloying.

Thick and luscious. Barely any carbonation, but the body is full enough to compensate. Luxurious seems to be an appropriate word.

Overall a very satisfying stout. I have had higher ABV stouts that were easier to drink, but this is pretty much what I look for in imperial stouts.

 661 characters

Photo of brystmar
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, viscous pour yields dark tan head. Sweet caramel, roasted malts, plenty of whiskey, baker's chocolate, and traces of alcohol in the nose.

True to its BORIS base, this isn't the most complex stout on the block. Oaky whiskey starts things off, malty goodness rounds things out. Strong whiskey, boozy aftertaste lingers after swallowing. Body is big, thick, viscous, and oily.

Overall, I prefer regular BORIS. I also have an affinity for the more complex versions of the RIS style. My brother loves these simpler stouts (BORIS, Zhukov, Darkness), whereas I lean more towards Dark Lord, Black Tuesday, and Parabola. But to each his own; this is a solid brew.

 669 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 22 oz bottle from Batch 3 (green cap) poured into a snifter...

A - Pours black but not quite completely as there are brown hues when held to the light. A mocha colored head forms about half of a finger thick then recedes to a collar.

S - Roasted malts and chocolate fudge come first, followed by some light coconut and vanilla. Ever so slight whiskry presence mixes nicely with the rest of the nose. Some light toffee and caramel make a nice appearance as well.

T - Very well integrated barrel here as the whiskey and oak mix and complement instead of standing out and drowing out everything else. Rich chocolate fudge, toffee, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla and oak mix nicely with what whiskey is present.

M - I love the mouthfeel of BORIS. This is no different. Medium to heavier bodied with a nice thickness to it (perhaps alightly less thick than regular BORIS). Just a bit of carbonation makes it nice and creamy.

O - BORIS is one of my favorite beers of all time. This is a great barrel aged version, although I feel the base beer is slightly muddled. With that said, the barrel integration is really well done here. I will always revisit this one.

 1,182 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to brees6221 for this one...

Poured from a bomber into a Ballast Point pint glass...

A - Pours black with a one finger brown head. Head dissipates at a fairly quick pace, and there is not much lacing to be had...

S - Smell is pretty docile. All I pick up is Chocolate and Bourbon...

T - Chocolate, molasses, dark roasted malts, and dark fruits. Bourbon comes through in the finish. Tasty...

M - Rich and creamy with next to no carbonation...

O - Not my favorite from the style, but still solid. Think I might perfer the regular version a little more, but still glad I got a chance to try this one...

Cheers...

 628 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silver cap on the 22 oz bottle. $17 in Denver.

Holy cow! A gigantic crazy beer. No much to look at, unless you really like used motor oil. Slight sourness I associate with black patent malt. I have rarely encountered a more alcoholic-tasting beer-- I'd believe it was 16%. Just sweet enough to enhance the malt. Just bitter enough to give it some balance and add to the long ride of the aftertaste. Whisky taste is sensational, along with a little vanilla from the oak. Fruity flavors add to the interest, more like dates and apple butter.

If you want to taste a world class mega-stout, here's one. A good example of the power of malted barley.

 646 characters

Photo of BarrelO
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black body with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves next to no lacing.

S: Chocolate, alcohol, and I think cinnamon. Alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms up.

T: Intensely sweet and alcoholic, kind of like a chocolate liqueur. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, cinnamon, and spices. Also plenty of alcohol burn. Aftertaste is somewhat fruity.

M: Thick and sludgy, just the way a big stout should be.

D: Regular BORIS is one of my favorite imperial stouts, so I was eager to give this a try. Unfortunately, I think that the barrel aging not only doesn't improve upon the core product, it actually detracts from it. This may not be the case after it's had some time to age and come together. But for the time being, I prefer the original.

 807 characters

Photo of Lerxst
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gold cap 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A-Pours black, no light showing through. A vigorous pour produces a half a finger of coffee colored head that fades fast.

S-Whiskey hits the nose first. Some roasty malt/oats come in along with some vanilla and oak. Hints of coffee and chocolate show up as well.

T-Whiskey is noticeable but not overwhelming. Bakers chocolate, roasted malt/oats, hints of coffee, vanilla, dark fruit.

M-I can't say this is full bodied, but it's almost there. Carb level is relatively low which is fitting of this beer. It is creamy and coating.

O-I enjoyed this one but it didn't blow my mind or anything. It's a good beer, but I don't think it stands up to the better bal-aged stouts out there.

Once again I wish there was a " value" category. This was a good beer, but not worth $16 a bottle. Glad I tried it, but I wouldn't buy it again at that cost. If this was a $7 bomber I'd pick it up again.

 932 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although there has been a heat wave around these parts for the last three weeks or so, for some reason a big stout was what I was in the mood for tonight. Barrel Aged Boris pours out a pitch black color, with some brown/red hues at the bottom, and just barely one finger of brown heading that fades away quickly. Prunes and dark chocolate become apparent early on in the nose, followed by some dark fruit and whiskey. Fudge comes to mind immediately upon sipping, with lots of jammy fruit, and the whiskey ending things on a somewhat bitter, boozy note. No doubt that this is a really big, rich beer that seems to only become more so as it warms to room temperature. The last time I tried this beer, which was probably a year or so ago, it was really hot, and although things have calmed down a bit with the alcohol, it is still one where the whiskey and heat are part of the overall picture. This one works perfectly as a sipper. Overall the barrel aging adds a nice component here, though the non barreled version is nothing to turn your nose to. If anything the whiskey barrels steal the show here whereas the oatmeal is more center stage with the original. Cheers

 1,167 characters

Photo of julian
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark, dark black with an incrediblly brown/tan head. It doesn't last long, but a nice swirl of the glass agitates it up nicely.

S: Dark fruits, molasses, booze

T: Some dark fruits, some subtle tropical flavors, roasted barley, and lots of booze. Excellent.

M: Very smooth, creamy, viscous and oily. Coats the throat with ease. Very nice.

O: Very nice. Despite the high alcohol, this drinks very easily and feels great going down. Excellent!

 447 characters

Photo of brewtechnik
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Super dark brown to black with dark tan head, though very weak and lasting only seconds after pour.

S: Def has much more malt aroma than hop, oak comes through with a tad of whiskey, prevalent ethanol, but not overwhelming. Roast and hop aroma very subdued.

T: Wow, perfect hop balance with the malt. Hop is there, but not taking over. Def more malt, oak and ethanol - which is most likely a combination of the near 10%abv, and whiskey aging.

M: Though the head is weak, the carbonation is certainly present and right on. I would expect a slightly heavier mouth feel from a oatmeal stout, but it still works for this beer. Doesn't linger too long on the palate and is far from cloying due to the superb hop/malt balance.

O: Buy this beer when available, it's worth checking out. Just wish the head was more retentive. This was a young beer, and would be excellent after a few years of aging.

 898 characters

Photo of ricke
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdan for this one.

First batch.

A: Pitch black with a small beige head that settles quickly and leaves small lacings.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak. Hints of molasses and licorice. The smell is rich and deep. The bourbon character is subtle but more prominent than I had expected.

T: Very round, rich and full. Lots of smooth roasted malts, molasses and vanilla. Hints of chocolate and caramel. The taste is very sweet due to the massive malts and bourbon. The finish is bitter with warming bourbon flavors and some alcohol.

M: Full-bodied, creamy and smooth.

D: Although the bourbon character was more restrained in this one compared to some of the bourbon bombs out there, I thought the bourbon aromas were surprisingly prominent in this one, yet very well integrated. All in all, it was balanced and complex and very pleasant as a sipper. I had it directly after the standard version of Boris the Crusher, and I must say the barrel aging seriously changed the character of it. Although I really enjoyed BA Boris, and was really impressed by the subtle bourbon character is showcased, I do believe I enjoyed the regular version more.

 1,191 characters

Photo of stabzmcgee
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is pitch black with a thin tan-burgundy head. Aroma is coffee and dark fruits. taste is immediate bourbon with hints of vanilla. Palate is of hot alcohol, thick viscous and oily body with a bitter finish. Overall it seems this might benefit from a year or two of laying down. Wishing the bottles had the vintage on them.

 331 characters

Photo of DavidST
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a yellow or gold cap, so I don't know what batch it is, can't find a bottled date. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. This pours a motor oil thick, pitch black with a small short lived mocha head (I did a very aggressive pour also). The smells are highly of bourbon, very nice a little alcohol and dark roasted malts. The feel is thick and creamy. The taste is good, a nice mellow bourbon flavor, dark roasted malts, some nice bitterness, dark chocolate, strong coffee/espresso. This is good, not quite as amazing as black ops though.

 550 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Darkness snifter.

A: pours velvety black, glugs into glass like motor oil, minimal head, very little lacing

S: heavy spirit/bourbon component up front, vanilla, dark chocolate, carob, a distinct booziness is very apparent

T: starts sweet and malty, the bourbon mellows out as the flavors take shape, robust chocolate character comes in and pairs nicely with the barrel character, finish is sweet and provides a bit of an oaky finish

MF: thick, low carbonation, velvety texture

O: very nice brew, lots of great barrel character, thinking this could use a little more time to mellow. For what it is... a readily available BA stout, this is for sure worth a try.

 676 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vinyljunkie for this in a recent trade, consumed late at night to avoid the heat during the summer. Poured into a snifter.

A- BA Boris pours out black from the bottle and has a semi thick look. Once in the glass it stays black while no head was seen just some very faint skim, no lacing, which is expected. A few swirls brings up a dark brown skim on the surface. Towards the end of my glass I see some brown edges in the liquid.

S- Kind of threw me off because I got a lot of dark fruit which was not present in the regular BORIS, perhaps this is new for regular boris as I have not had a regular in a while. Big scents of bourbon with chocolate and even less coffee. Some vanilla and cream. Not being a fan of huge scents of fruits in my stouts that detracted from the smell.

T- The taste is much better as the dark fruit is still there but the other flavors take away from it. A nice amount of bourbon(not sure which type of barrel used) that comes out more with warming. Up next is a nice vanilla addition which melds nicely with the chocolate and light coffee mix. The oatmeal which is very big in the regular version is still here but very muted. A bunch of roasted malt while the hops are light, no bitterness.

M&D- The mouthfeel is actually lighter than expected, I would venture to say that it is above medium bodied with light carbonation. The alcohol is masked extremely well, it's almost non existant. All of the flavors stick around in the aftertaste for a bit. The drinkability is great and only gets better as boris warms, I wish I let it warm more before I drank it all because I was really feeling the last few ounces of it.

For a first time attempt at barrel aging something as great as BORIS, hoppin frog did a great job, although I have had much better attempts at bourbon barrel aged beers. Here is to hoping that future batches grow in complexity and more bourbon.

 1,902 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a classic: as black as the Dell I'm typing on, with no ruby highlights to speak of. Some minimal mocha bubbling makes a desperate stab at forming a head, but that fool's errand ends quickly as the light foam rapidly disintigrates to a few token wisps.

The smell is going to please those anticipating that a bit of Kentucky flavor will cross the Ohio border: Rich bourbon / vanilla notes take the lead, relegating the coffee and chocolate to a supporting role. Mouthfeel is as you would expect from a good RIS: thick and full-bodied, but not syrupy. The oatmeal gives this a velvety smoothness that I'm especially fond of.

The beer delivers on its promise: it is definitely bourbon-forward with some medium alcohol heat and vanilla / caramel flavors apparent from the get-go. Not as much pure bourbon as GI BCS, but more than enough to please those who store a low-ball next to their pint glasses. The sweetness does not become overpowering as it's balanced nicely by the requisite mocha flavors: chocolate and dark roast coffee. However, what's nice about this RIS is that it's not all about the bourbon or char. There is a complex array of deep fruit notes here: Black currants, plum and fig. To give you an idea of how this all blends, think bourbon-aged, milk-chocolate raisenettes. The alcohol could use just a bit of taming and keeps this from being as drinkable as some other offerings in the style. Just a year or two of aging could turn this impressive offering into one of the leaders of the impy pack.

 1,527 characters

Photo of schinebd
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Blacker than most beers. But little to no head zero lacing. Some decent legs though.

Smell - Vanilla and oak come through first, but that might be my mind searching for the barrel effect. Some dark chocolate is buried in there as well.

Taste - The great taste of "regular" BORIS complemented with smoky oak flavors, rounded out by vanilla accents. Definitely a more complete taste than "regular" BORIS.

Mouthfeel - The highlight of the beer. So thick, so creamy, so smooth. Not watery whatsoever. DFH Palo Santo Marron comes to mind.

Drinkability - Thick and robust and highly alocholic. And WAY too expensive.

 627 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle split and poured into a snifter. No bottled date found.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color that produced a tan head that dissipated quickly to bubbles.

(S)- A dark roasted profile with molasses and cocoa with a hint of peanuts.

(T)- A good roastedness with molasses, cocoa, raisin, and a light nuttiness from the oats probably. Has a light warmth as it goes down.

(M)- A good carbonation level with a good balance to it. Smooth, yet has a good roasted profile. Has a slight warmth as it goes down from the whiskey barrel aging no doubt.

(D)- A good stout. Smooth, with the right flavors going on. For the $$ of what I paid for this however, I would much rather reach for something else instead; definitely not worth the hefty $17 price tag. Enjoyable though.

 773 characters

Photo of bbtkd
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged BORIS on tap. I liked the frog, particularly the tap handle - a frog. A bit bourbon forward, some coffee, but overall excellent. Weirdest thing happened just after I got my beer - there was a huge bang and the building really shook, like it dropped several inches. We all thought someone had crashed a car into the building, but when we went outside to see what it was, could not figure it out, went back to drinking. Later news stories indicated a tectonic plate shift or a meteor exploding in the atmosphere. A friend of mine felt and heard the same thing at his house 4 miles away.

 611 characters

Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 2,354 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe