Cafe BORIS | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jampics2 on 08-08-2010

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 215
Photo of dmgallag
4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Spinal Tap black with minimal head. This is a serious beer.
S-Chocolate and coffee...yum.
T-Great balance of roast,chocolate, and coffee in a very drinkable brew.
F-Full bodied, but not quite motor oil thick.
O-Awesome stout. Ages well, mine has 6 months on it and tastes awesome!

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Photo of Marius
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

75cl bottle. Pitch black, oily pour, with a fine-grained dark espresso head that gives way to a thin lacing. Smells of dark cherries, milk chocolate, coffee, cocoa, oak. Tastes like smoke, roasted malts, dark cherries and alcohol - not much coffee in this one. More light bodied than the pour would suggest, with a low carbonation and bitter chocolate aftertaste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Perfect in just about every way possible, Hoppin' Frog hit gold when they hit BORIS. But as the stout fans get restless looking for new flavors, excitement in taste, and the giddy feeling of trying something with more promise; the old BORIS gets out of its comfort zone and teases with additions of coffee for even more robust character from start to finish.

Cafe Boris leads with a sultry robust and earthy aroma that spills onto the nose with espresso, cocoa, burnt toast, and wonderfully seared caramel and toffee. But deep within its ominously dark austere and beneath is creamy latte froth, the taste of molasses and chocolate covered espresso bean become hard to ignore.

As the creamy and robust sweetness coats the tongue, its saturating taste of burnt caramel and roasted marshmallow is slathered in creamy espresso and bittersweet chocolate. Walnut, smoldering ember and bitter char advances the coffee taste as its rootish and bean qualities take the mind to french cafes. Its long an savory taste is lightly smoky, earthy and chocked full of char.

Lavishly full in body, the beer simmers with sweetness, maltiness and coffee goodness. As the stout finishes, its longevity is deep and succulent with beautifully woven coffee, sweetness and cream. It's a stout that's meant for the coffee aficionado.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with less than an inch of mocha head that leaves virtually no lacing.

I get coffee and milk chocolate notes. That's a nice combination. I get some roasted grain smells with some whiffs of alcohol.

The taste starts out with coffee. The coffee carries through the middle with the addition of some dark chocolate. The finish has some black coffee bitterness.

Full mouthfeel. Low carbonation

It is tough to make a coffee stout that sucks. This one does not suck and is delicious. Hoppin' Frog makes great, expensive stouts.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with a full on milk chocolate, dense head that actually recedes fairly quickly for how impervious it looks. A blanket remains on top with thick curtains leaning against the glass.

Really deeply roasted coffee is up front on the nose, but there is enough heavily roasted malt for both to be able to share the stage, which is quite an enticing, savory tango. Yet the classic chocolately BORIS element comes in too, sort of creating a coffee milkshake vibe, but as it warms a heavy mouthwatering nuttiness emerges.

Taste is loads of chocolate syrup up front, and I'm like where did that come from?! While it starts sweet, tons of bitter deep coffee and some drying hops balance it out fairly well. Flavors of vanilla pop in here and there.

This delicious coffee beer may seem like a breakfast break, but is just so luscious it's more like an after dinner dessert--full bodied and intense in flavor, and great for small sips but begging for a large swig.

It's tough to decide between this and the Cafe Silk Porter variant, but the latter narrowly wins out for me somehow.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Purchased in March with no bottling date, just got around to cracking it open

A: pours thick and black with a finger of dense brown head that fades to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: smells of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and burnt sugar
T: taste is roasted malts, burnt marshmallow, charred wood, chocolate, and coffee. swallow is coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and charred wood.
M: Velvety smooth and full in the mouth with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: Overall a great beer, there's no bottling date but this is probably about a year old which is a shame. Still a great RIS.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Hoppin' Frog Tasting Room in Akron, OH.

This one pours a dark black, with a mocha colored head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells like rich dark and bitter coffee, with some Belgian dark chocolate, a good amount of roastiness, and some vanilla.

This is a really solidly executed coffee stout here. The rich roasty coffee is not really sweet at all, and melds with the sweetness of the base stout pretty well. There's also some dark bittersweet chocolate here, a little bit of vanilla, and a good dose of roasted malt. It all comes together the way a coffee stout should.

This is medium bodied, fairly thick on the palate, but not crushingly so, with a lower level of carbonation and a high level of drinkability.

Another great variation on the BORIS theme, cool stuff here.

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Photo of morimech
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

No bottle date so I took a risk that this is fresh. Certainly not lacking in the looks department. Thick and black with a finger of dense head that does not really settle. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass. Aroma of dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted malt, and finally coffee. The coffee is equally subtle in the flavor as well. It is more in the aftertaste. Has a rich roasted malt flavor with notes of chocolate, licorice, smoke, oatmeal cookies, and brown sugar. Subtle earthiness and coffee flavors with some alcohol heat in the finish. Thick and full body with really nice carbonation. Just feels so smooth and supple. Some really nice things going on here but I would of liked the coffee to play more of a role. This bottle could of been on the shelf for a long time or put there earlier that day. Whose to know if you do not date your bottles.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a short, creamy, dark mocha head leave bits of lacing. The nose is massive with huges of dark roast coffee, roasted malts, char. The taste follows suit and is dominated by coffee and roasted malt as well as dark chocolate, tobaco/soy sauce and sweet grains with some bittering hops hitting at the end. Thick, heavy texture, velvety.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.24/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown, nearly black body. Pours oil-thick out of the bottle. Half finger mocha head, not very much retention time, no lacing.

S- Dark fruit, coffee, a bit of milk chocolate/cream sweetness. Some bitter earthiness, perhaps from the coffee but could also be from the malt. The coffee is a bit stale however.

F- Very nice coffee-forward front, milk chocolate in the middle, a bit of earthy bitterness that then transitions into a very odd, astringent dark fruit-like bitterness. The finish is actually quite unpleasant. I don't think dark fruit and coffee (the best way I can delineate these flavours) go together very well, especially when the coffee is starting to get more stale.

M- On the thinner side, lower carbonation. Again, the aftertaste is what really limits this beer.

O- Not sure what's going on with the finish of this beer, but I don't plan on revisiting this one again.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$ 15.99/bomber at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Undated bottle at 50 degrees into hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma of coffee
Head small (1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, somewhat fizzy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor moderately bitter from the coffee, coffee taste; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, slightly oily, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.25, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5
Pretty expensive cup of coffee.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.66/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz poured into a snifter

A: dark as a winter in hell, super mocha head.

S: roasted coffee, chocolate such a deep roasted smell

M: thick it clings you are going to taste this for hours after you drank it it just coats your tongue

O: this beer is deep black, coffee roasted, it's thick it's just well a great stout with coffee kinda great actually this beer is something you want to drink

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Photo of angelmonster
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Nice full body, smells of burnt coffee, tons of smoke, chocolate, and some booze.

Taste is big on espresso, chocolate syrup, oak and sweet malts. Kinda boozy for 9.4%

Overall solid coffee beer, but probably not in my top 5 in that style.

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Photo of robear
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Otto's on Oakland. $11.99,

Appearance: Thicker than I expected. Very little to no head, tan foam as you would expect. Sure looks a lot like day-old coffee. Nothing particularly enticing about the appearance.

Smell: Coffee & stout, just what I expected. No acidity on the nose. Roasty, not sure if that's coming from the malts or the coffee.

Taste: I wanted the coffee to have a bit more character- remember thinking "Dunkin Donuts", which isn't a bad thing, but isn't a particularly specialized flavor either.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced for a big, heavy, sticky beer.

Overall: In the pantheon of coffee stouts, this one earns a place on the shelf. It's not as sweet/memorable as Speedway, but it isn't a beer I wish I could forget either. My biggest knock is the price. With Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout bombers sitting there at $4.99 and 4-packs of Breakfast Stout for $11, I'm probably not going to fork over $12 to drink this again. Would try it on tap for sure though.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by RussianDragon. Thanks man!

The beer is near black with a thin, wispy layer of beige head. Aromas of espresso, roast, light char, dark chocolate. Thick and palate coating. Oily and slick, with melted dark chocolates. Booze and malt are countered by strong coffee and a delicate bitterness. Really tasty.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich pour dark brown-black used motor oil with the faintest meniscus of mocha foam ringing the edge. No lacing. Smells like French pressed dark roast coffee beans with rich chocolate, on the edge of burnt roasted coffee, dark fruit. Delicious. Taste is lightly bitter espresso roast coffee, dark chocolate, fig newtons, oatmeal, lightly sweet. Mouthfeel is thick, low carbonation. Finishes with distinct coffeehouse chocolate elements and lightly sweet. Very good lots of delicious coffee flavor throughout.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a snifter
A: Pitch black with a one-finger mocha head that slowly settles
S: Dark roasted coffee with some Bailey's and caramel
T: Roasted coffee, caramel and cream but bitter
M: Full-bodied, a bit of booze
O: Tasty, full of coffee but a bit much bitterness/alcohol

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark as night, black as oil, tan, creamy 1 inch head with tons of sticky thick lacing.

Smell - Coffee, roasted malts, cocoa, vanilla, plum and raisin. Chocolate and molasses.

Taste - Starts out with a huge raisin and plum, dark fruit bite. Roasted malts along with some sweet coffee. Sweet, yet nothing overboard, the mix of dark chocolate and cocoa works well with the bitter fruits. Coffee is very bold and that also balances out the sweetness. A little hop bitterness is noticed at the finish along with some molasses and brown sugars.

Mouthfeel - The tongue gets a load of dark fruits and coffee at first sip. Palate picks up roasty malts, coffee and chocolate. Aftertaste is coffee, a little sweet and bitter.

Overall - Excellent, smooth, bold and flavorful . Balance is great, nothing is too much, especially the sweetness. Another nice addition to the boris lineup.

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Photo of beerhan
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A-Jet black with a lovely dark brown head. Super thick appearance that is rather deceiving.

S-Smells like cheap coffee, hazelnut, gas station creamer that has been sitting out for hours.

T-The taste of this honestly reminds me of bad coffee that has been sitting out for hours and slowly gets cold. It is rather creamy but there are some minute chocolate notes left and a hint of licorice.

M-Nice thick body with almost too little heat. The coffee over dominates the flavor and all other aspects of this beer making it almost a chore to get down.

O-Regular BORIS is a lot better than this. The coffee is just not good and it makes this hard to get down. I would not recommend this to anyone especially when you can get three times the amount of founders breakfast stout for the cost of one bottle (14.99).

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like coffee, bittersweet chocolate, burnt/charred malt, and some dark bread. It tastes like coffee, burnt/charred malt, malted milk balls, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and some vanilla. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy with low/moderate carbonation. It's smooth and easy to drink. I think it's a very good brew, but not quite as good as the regular BORIS. Still, it's definitely worth trying if you come across some. $14.99 a bottle.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, char, toast, oatmeal, dark bread, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of coffee and dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, char, toast, dark bread, oatmeal, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, toast, dark bread, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of coffee and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice balance of coffee/roasted malt and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent coffee imperial stout. All around great balance and complexity of coffee and roasted/dark malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BB1313
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through; small mocha head that fades quickly and leaves nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are full of malts. There's a nice amount of chocolate in the mix. Some vanilla bean. The coffee aromas are definitely there, but are subtle and balanced. The flavors are alot sweeter than I expected. Lots of milk chocolate and sweet vanilla. Some caramel and butterscotch in the mix. The coffee gives this one a solid roastiness. Slightly bitter, but not over the top. There's even some anise the pops up in the finish every once in awhile. Mouthfeel is great. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very creamy and fluffy. Smooth stuff and the alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a very good coffee stout. It's very enjoyable and fun to drink, but it doesn't quite standout compared to other popular coffee stouts. It's in the same ballpark though. I was expecting a little more at $15/bomber. That being said, Hoppin' Frog crafts good stouts, and this is good.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of dark tan foam. Very good retention and lacing.

S: Strong coffee - earthy and a bit spicy. I get a bit of sweet caramel in there, too. The stout is there in the background, but barely. The coffee scent is very strong, but nice.

T: The flavor is much more balanced. The coffee initially hits upfront with the same earthy, slightly spicy note with malted milk balls, dark chocolate, and roast in the background. Stays on the sweet side throughout, but certainly not too sweet. The coffee integrates particularly well into the beer. However, I don't think this is as good as regular BORIS.

M: A touch on the thin side. Mostly, it is just thinner than I was expecting. The carbonation is appropriate.

O: A nice coffee RIS, but nothing too amazing. I prefer the base beer, and certainly prefer the BA version. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Coffee and cola. Some dark chocolate.

Taste - Sweet. Bitter coffee. Less cola, but it's definitely there in the finish. Nutty, too.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Medium heavy.

Overall - I still think the base beer is better than all the treatments.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hoppin Frog
Cafe Boris

LOOK: Poured from a 22oze bomber with a small hiss. Pours a beautiful motor oil black with a very dark brown foam. A really great looking brew.

SMELL: Chocolate malt, coffee, raisin and booze.

TASTE: Delicious layers of roasted malt and coffee. Kind of has a mocha thing going on. Chocolate, coffee, dark bread and booze. It is decadent how the cocoa flavor from the malt works with the coffee in this stout.

FEEL: Full bodied ale, smooth and silky on the palate, with a warming booze presence. Flavor of cocoa, malt, and coffee lingers on in a dessert like finish.

OVERALL: A really fine coffee stout. Great flavor, perfect look and excellent finish. Just about world class...put it in a barrel!

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Cafe BORIS from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.09 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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