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

Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Oatmeal Imperial Stout
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Stout - Oatmeal
Ranked #19
Ranked #2,364
4.19 | pDev: 9.55%
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Oatmeal Imperial StoutBarrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Oatmeal Imperial Stout
Notes: Fortunate is he who, in the name of brewing and good beer, shepherds the weak through the valley of macrobrews. For he is truly his brother's keeper, and the finder of lost taste buds. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my beer. AND YOU WILL KNOW MY NAME IS B.O.R.I.S. WHEN I LAY MY FLAVORS UPON YOU.

60 IBU
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 261 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a Stella Artois gold rimmed glass that everyone has

Deep inky dark black with a thin ring of head and sparse lacing.

Wonderful, wonderful whiskey aromas complimented by black licorice, dark chocolate, marzipan, and caramel sauce. Slight cherry pie in the distance.

Flavor is straight tobacco to start, followed by prunes and dark chocolate, some sharp dry whiskey presence, the cherry pie aspect, and caramel. I'm between a 4 and 4.25 on this one.

Feel is thick and slick, not particularly chewy, but has a nice heavy alcohol heat and a good whiskey dryness.

Overall a pretty damn fine barrel aged stout, I would go back for more at $6 a bottle, definitely worth it.

Dec 29, 2019
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WickedBeer from Alabama

4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottle stamp anywhere (but I’m assuming this is 2018 release).

Viscous, Black pour. No rising head of any kind, just flat darkness that settles into the glass.

On the nose I’m getting bourbon, malt, and chocolate, with hints of smoked oak and black licorice. Predominantly sweet, with an increased potency of spicy booze as it warms.

The barrel presence on this beer is really great; if you’re familiar with Appervation (Jackie O’s / Side Project collab), it reminds me of a slightly more “poor man’s” version of that beer, but that is very much meant as a compliment. Tobacco, spicy bourbon, charred oak, and burnt coffee bean flavors, with undertones of molasses and cacao nibs.

Syrupy smooth and with good viscosity. Medium-bodied, with a low carbonation. The finish is sticky-sweet and with a boozy warmth on the tail.

Sep 01, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like roasted malt, light smoke, toasted oak, boozy bourbon, and dark chocolate.

Like most Hoppin' Frog stouts, this runs old-school, with bitter roast and a bit of spicy bourbon and booze, along with deep waves of dark chocolate, some tobacco and smoke, and a little bit of coffee.

This is a little bit thin, but nicely creamy, with not too much booziness. It's drinkable enough.

Even though a lot of breweries have passed them by, I still definitely enjoy Hoppin' Frog stouts.

Aug 12, 2019
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Oily black. No light penetration. Short, creamy dark brown head.

Canadian whisky, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Canadian whisky, caramel, white oak, tobacco, and earth. Cocoa and coffee.

Full bodied, silky, oily, and smooth. Hides the abv tremendously well.

It's not too complex but it's insanely smooth.

Jun 06, 2019
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Arjen from Netherlands

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

12 oz (!) bottle @ home. I love it that I don't have to finish a bomber by myself anymore. Jet black colour. Brown head with little retention. Aroma's of coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, some red fruit, umami. Retronasal there's quite a bit of fruit, light alcohol/booze, roasted malts. Flavour is moderate sweet, roasted, dark chocolate. Alcohol feel is not too strong or burning. Medium bodied. Long finish with firm roast, moderate bitter. Good stuff!

Apr 11, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque dark brown body; lush, thick and frothy head; evidence of foamy stickiness on the inside of the glass. Roasted grain and soft brown sugar aroma; a trace of booziness. Heavy cocoa flavor with an edge of whiskey. Heavy and hearty mouthfeel; rich and chewy with residual sugar heft; primarily sweet overall (but not intense and cloying); some boozy warmth and heat.

Classic Frog B.O.R.I.S. offering, rich and luxurious on many fronts. Chewy and delightful RIS, hearty and soul-satisfying.

Mar 10, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

These past few have been good days for me to delve into my stash of RISs & see what's what in Whoville. Ooh, looky here! Another of my many purchases from the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop (FGBS). This'll work!

From the Bottle: "Fortunate is he who, in the name of brewing and good beer, shepherds the weak through the valley of macrobrews. For he is truly his brother's keeper, and the finder of lost taste buds. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my beer. AND YOU WILL KNOW MY NAME IS B.O.R.I.S. WHEN I LAY MY FLAVORS UPON YOU."; "In today's fast-paced world, it's often difficult to find the quality that discriminating people deserve. For those who search for this long lost, undying commitment to the very best, let it be known that one beer will not be compromised - Hoppin' Frog!"; "They call it 'Royale with Wood'"; "60 IBU".

I'm not really drinking this one in search of its IBUs, but fair dinkum. I Pop!ped the cap & began a C-Line pour, only to be taken aback as it really foamed up & then started a pseudo-cascade, settling into two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with moderate retention. It suddenly exhaled & fell away to wisps, leaving only minor lacing in its wake. I could smell the booziness from the whiskey from across the room! Phew! Mouthfeel was as though a dollop had been scooped into my mouth & onto my tongue! Enough with the exclamation points! The taste was at once dark chocolate, fudge brownies, light charcoal smoke and a dram of Irish (not Scotch) whiskey. It wasn't THAT smoky. I remember a liquor & liqueuer-filled boxof chocolates that I bought for an Irish mavourneen on Valentine's Day. She really dug them, but one of them tasted a LOT like this. Chocolate-enrobed whiskey. Phew! This was enough to make my head begin to swim. Finish was hot, dry & boozy, no playin' around. I feel like I may have gotten a bargain.

Feb 20, 2019
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed a few of these beers from Hoppin' Frog. The make delicious dark beers. The beer is 50 degrees and served in tulip glass. When I poured the beer, I could see how thick it was. The pour on the beer yielded a one finger head that is dark brown. The head is creamy and billowy. The retention of the head is fair, considering the high alcohol content. The head left no lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 36 a dark brown nearly black beer. The beer is opaque.

The initial aroma in the beers is dark roasted malts, whiskey, and char. Next, I smell, molasses, burnt sugar, chocolate, dark roasted coffee, wood, smokiness, anise, earth, toffee, raisins, bread, floral, grass, cereal, oats, and grapefruit.

The flavors in the beer are alcohol, dark roasted malts, whiskey, char, Maillard, bread, raisins, cereal, oats, molasses, burnt sugar, toffee, caramel, oats, dark chocolate, medium roast coffee, floral esters, smokiness, fire, anise, earthy, wood, whiskey, grass, and resin.

The mouthfeel of the beer is chewy and silky.

The body of the beer is full, low carbonation, and full finish.

This beer is a monster. The beer has a chewiness yet silky mouthfeel that gives the beer serious body. It reminds me of the Grand Reserve beer I drank, but this has much more barrel age notes. Impressive beer a must try.

Feb 16, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ooompah! What a brew! This fine imperial pours a sturdy brownish black
with a moderate head of tan foam that settles to a thin ring with light
sudsy lacing. Nose of fudge, coffee, light char, whiskey, vanilla, and
subtle oak. Flavors follow the nose with aplomb. Dark chocolate fudge
dances about a layer of rich brown sugar sweet whiskey with hints of
vanilla and touches of oak over a bed of lightly bitter coffee and char
with subtle touches of marshmallow creme and wafts of dark fruits.
Excellent mouth feel; full body, smooth, rich, warming, low carbonation,
and a rich cocoa and whiskey finish.

Another excellent offering from an excellent brewery!


Dec 28, 2018
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Sherlock’s (Marietta, GA). 15.99. No identifiable bottling date. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku. Enjoyed 12/11/18.

Pours oil black with a generous khaki head. The foam takes a while to fade but once it’s gone there is no remaining retention.

Smells of sweet whiskey glaze, cocoa, an earthy woodsy vanilla, some barrel char and over cooked caramel. While the aroma is quite nice it seems somehow shrouded or subdued.

The flavors are rich and robust. Burnt fudge, cooked caramel, whiskey, wet charred wood, toast, dark roast coffee and a cooling nip of alcohol.

Velvety, smooth full body with gently fizzing carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste with notes of whiskey-soused burnt fudge.

Hoppin’ Frog has once again tweaked their benchmark RIS. Barrel Aged BORIS Royale is a solid barrel aged stout. It’s a tough value proposition but a tasty brew.

Dec 12, 2018
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ONUMello from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 edition poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter
A: Pitch black, thin head
S: Cocoa, coffee, vanilla, caramel, bourbon
T: Brownie, vanilla, bourbon, not quite as complex as the nose but plenty tasty
M: Full-bodied, smooth
O: Very good barred aged stout as is to be expected from Hoppin’ Frog just not quite the best I’ve had from them

Nov 26, 2018
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Royale with wood" Man I can't pass that up.
Pours thick and rich. Black like oil with a rather small dark tan head that settles out into a ring rather quickly.
Aroma is not as rich as I'd expect and holds only faint markers of anticipation of wood and bourbon. Get some rich malt of the RIS but for style it's amazingly light.
Flavor comes through much better. I like the balance of the wood and bourbon although it may to too light for some. It's a much more balanced approach with a blending of what feels like a fairly young RIS. Still holds a bit of a sharp malt bite. More dark fruit and roast is held back. Rich roast drying on the finish with a richness moving towards sweetness. Hops are blended but there if you seek them out. They don't cut the bite much but add some depth. As it warms a little bit of vanilla sneaks in with the latent bourbon.
This is bigger than moderate and quite smooth.
I'll admit to some disappointment on this, Boris was one of the early RIS holding envy for those in search of when I started all of this some 18 or so years ago. Obviously there are many RIS worthwhile now and so much more, so I desired to give it a go. Glad I did.
Still a perfectly fine beer. Wood and whiskey should probably be amped up some, but enjoyable nonetheless.
This also my first 2000th review. I had a couple of other options, but I've moved to just reviewing worthwhile beers since I'm at this point and stumbled onto this one as next one. Mostly likely few mediocre beers from now on, unless it's not anticipated to be so. Also a lot more beers that won't be reviewed. 2000 is enough to say I've accomplished my original goal of learning about beer and beer flavors. It been a wonderfully long strange trip and now moving on to other pursuits.

Nov 17, 2018
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Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look is stellar and smell bad me hooked. Taste is solid with roast and dark chocolate but the barrel aging tastes more like moonshine than whiskey. It's got an ethanol taste that is similar to vodka that just doesnt mesh. Feel falls short and is thin.

Overall still the best hoppin frog ive had to date. But I still stand by they're overpriced for mediocre beer and it's why you see every offering on every shelf in ohio.

The last time I bought a hoppin frog was maybe 3 years ago for the above reason. This beer gives a LITTLE redemption compared to what I've had in the past. I'll likely pick up a toris in the next few months. If it doesnt wow me I'll probably pass on them from now on in the future.

Oct 05, 2018
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bnes09 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with a somewhat short lived head. Pretty standard for the style. Lovely roast, bourbon, burnt molasses, licorice and tobacco aromas. Intense roast continues on the palate imparting earthy, tobacco tones. Aggressive herbal, earthy hops compliment very well. Bourbon is subtle and tends to soothe the palate in the finish and add a touch of sweetness. Dense, full body with a slightly grainy texture. Solid carbonation for the style. Overall and excellent barrel aged expression of the classic RIP.

Sep 03, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours very thick and viscous, pitch black and impervious to light, nice foam head. Very big aromas of chocolate malt and delicious bourbon barrel, dark coffee. Rich and creamy, full bodied, very flavorful. Lots of chocolate and coffee, bourbon barrel comes through very nicely, dark brown sugar as well. Loads of roasted malts and a bit yeasty. This is surprisingly thick and chewy for such a low abv... but not surprising since it is a Hoppin Frog beer. Overall this is a fine example of the style. Not overly sweet (like BCBS), fairly dry finish, slightly boozy. LOVE the 12 oz bottle format. Amazing beer considering the 9.4%abv.

12 oz bottle
4.5 rating

Aug 27, 2018
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always equate every BA stout I try to BCBS, which was my first foray into BA stouts, a foray that took me 90 minutes to finish a 12 oz bottle back in 2012. Note: I don’t like bourbon or whiskey as a stand-alone drink. At all. But that first BCBS, besides lighting me up, also changed my worldview.

So on to Boris Royale. The BCBS verbiage was provided because, while this is significantly lower ABV that BCBS, it has that heft, that chewiness that I still love about BCBS.

The pour is black, with a little t of leakage to brown on the edges. The nose has loads of stone fruit and char notes, and the barrel is very forward - maybe a bit too forward.

The taste has the stone fruit and char, but the barrel pulls forward the rich toffee notes, giving this a depth that is a bit surprising at 9.4% ABV. There’s a noticeable alcohol burn, but that just cinches the BCBS comparison knot. A really excellent BA stout, IMHO.

Jul 16, 2018
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a wine glass

A- pours thick and jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark brown head that eventually reduces to a ring around the edge, some lacing left behind

S- aroma smells like a bourbon soaked fudge brownie; roasted and charred malt give off dark chocolate and coffee notes, mocha swirl & brownie batter, toasted walnuts, caramel/toffee. Just a hint of bourbon poking through at the end, as well as some vanilla

T- as with all of their stouts, big roasty & charred malt base gives bold dark chocolate, molasses, burnt brown sugar & coffee up front. Mid-palate gives nutty brownie batter and caramel. The finish brings out more bourbon barrel than on the aroma, with notes of barrel juice and oak. Lingers of roast, chocolate and a hint of booze

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues into a warming finish

O- big and bold with just enough barrel notes to compliment, I always enjoy their stouts

Jun 13, 2018
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours midnight black with thin dark brown head that recedes quickly leaving only the slightest lacing. The aroma is dark malts, chocolate, vanilla and whiskey. Flavor follows the nose, fairly sweet. Feel is thick and creamy. Overall a grand brew.

Jun 11, 2018
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bobhits from Kentucky

3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What is a Royale version of boris...lets find out.

Nose - very light and sugary notes. oats, light fluffy chocolate, caramel, perhaps some fruity hops, but this is completely lacking any bitterness, sourness, or anything to mix things up. It's all that roasted malty stout elements with added sweatness. I get zero barrel outside of perhaps at the very end the vanilla and that touch of fruit which maybe could have some bourbon influence.

The taste brings in more sweatness, perhaps some bourbon fruity like sweatness, vanilla and caramel are the big show pieces here. Just like the nose this one is very flat in that the flavors are all in the same sweat mellow mid range without much jumping out. I don't want to call it boring as that's not fair but it isn't exciting.

The body is smooth!

I'm not liking this one. It's boring.

Jun 09, 2018
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$ 16.00 (Including tax)/capped bomber ($ 0.727/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Undated bottle. Stored at 42 degrees prior to consumption and served at 58 degrees in a hand-washed and hand-dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque, slight effervescence. When held to the light, the only penetration is at the meniscus.
Head – Small (< one cm, controlled center pour), brown, fizzy, medium density, gone within sixty seconds leaving a partial single-bubble ring where effervescence occurs, no layer, and nothing remaining on the inside of the glass.
Lacing – None. Not unexpected for a 9.4% ABV brew aged in barrels.
First pour – Very deep brown, nearly opaque.
Aroma – 4.25 - Moderate roasted malt and chocolate, balanced. Ends with a touch of wood. Over the course of consumption, the aroma dies but once.
Flavor – 4.25 – Begins with a balanced chocolatey-toasted malt taste, somewhat overpowered by the carbonation. Lacks the sometimes-cloying sweetness of bourbon but has a bit of whiskey sweetness and just a hint of whiskey-barrel flavor. No hops taste. As it warms past 61 degrees, the whiskey flavor and harshness predominate. No alcohol, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide. The gastric warming is subdued and barely noticed.
Palate – 3 – Medium, creamy, lively carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4 – The thinness and somewhat over-carbonation detract from an otherwise excellent Russian Imperial Stout. The nose is well-balanced. The choice of whiskey barrel rather than the ubiquitous bourbon-barrel aging changes the flavor dramatically – for the better IMHO. This lacks the frequently-cloying sweetness of many BBA imperial stouts. The relatively high IBU (60) allows the hop bitterness to balance the alcohol sweetness. Overall, if you like the base B.O.R.I.S. and his many variations, this will be a pleasant experience, despite the price point.

Jun 01, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark velvet of a beer. Nice warm barrel notes on the smell predominate the sweet malt and coffee aromas. The taste is rich and dark. Barrel is more balanced with other flavors. Smooth and robust. Puts hair on your chest while going down smooth.

Apr 08, 2018
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darktronica from Indiana

4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12-ounce bottle poured to a snifter. B.O.R.I.S., aged in Canadian whiskey barrels, presumably Crown Royal from the name. As such, we get a somewhat brighter booziness, with less pepper and vanilla than expected from a bourbon, but a bit more fruitiness, with some apple and plum notes. Features a strong oak character from the barrel. Still has the unusual but really favorable combination of oats and RIS dryness from the base B.O.R.I.S.

Mar 29, 2018
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strohme2 from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated (?) 22 ounce bomber. I bought it late summer 2017. Poured into tulip.
Dark, dark brown with latte colored bubbles. Quickly recedes but with medium bubbles around perimeter of glass. The whiskey blasted me in the face on the pour. Dark pitted prune and raisins, wood and whiskey on the nose.
Rich dark chocolate, whiskey, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, whiskey, molasses and slight raisins. Maybe some sweet maple too. The taste really stands out. I’m impressed. The body is heavy and chewy, just where I like my imperial stouts. Overall, it’s a big, cold weather-drinking, delicious stout.

Mar 24, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black color with mocha head. Aroma has dark chocolate, roasted malts and fudge. Taste follows with really dark chocolate, cacao, brownies, light whiskey notes, quite bitter and roasty on the finish. Full bodied, soft carbonation. It's not a really complex beer, the whiskey barrel notes are not very intense but it's really chocolatey and smooth.

Feb 03, 2018
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Used motor oil black with a thin, fuzzy light mocha head.

Smell is really nutty roastiness, and yet full of mocha too, with a touch of spicy whiskey and sugar cone.

Taste is chocolate bar with roasted nuts, as well as waxy oak, but not a lot of it--there's just a touch of heat. I can see this being disappointing for booze-hounds, but the whiskey cuts through the normal chocolate-nut overload that BORIS can bring. Still, whiskey heat builds and fumes out the nose as it warms, with a uniqueness relative to other barrel-aged stouts that certainly makes this worth a try, kind of like woody or nutty liqueur.

A really round, full body has a thick froth through and through, finishing semi-dry.

Jul 25, 2017
Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Royale Oatmeal Imperial Stout from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 261 ratings