BORIS Royale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
67 Reviews
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BORIS RoyaleBORIS Royale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jampics2 on 05-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
181
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
10.63%
 
 
Wants:
142
Gots:
65
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 181
Photo of ratedz
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter. I don't see a bottled on date.

A - Pours pitch black with a thin chocolate brown head that fades quickly and leaves a narrow ring of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and a hint of whiskey.

T - Starts with some sweet caramel before some slightly bitter coffee/roasted malts take over. Hints of oak and a slight alcohol burn from the whiskey appear on the finish.

M - Full body, smooth and creamy, as a stout brewed with oatmeal should be. Light carbonation.

O - Overall, a very good RIS, but not one I would buy frequently because of the $15.99 price tag. I would have liked a little more flavor from the barrels, but I like big, boozy stouts. The slight warming from the alcohol made this perfect to enjoy on a cool fall evening while watching a movie.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to maniacal82 for hooking this one up in person at southampton. love me BORIS and all the varieties.

a - popped the cap and filled my duck rabbit snifter. dark sludgey with a thin creamy tan head that fizzled away in moments leaving a ring around the surface. looks great...leaves really spotty lacing specs that slide down the glass to the surface. super black.

s - nice rich BORIS oatmeal stout with a tingle of whiskey. i find that whiskey goes even better than bourbon with these big RIS. although it doesn't smell like top shelf whiskey (as others have appropriately mentioned) it does smell dirty and it really blends nicely with the rugged thickness of BORIS.

t - the barrels come in strong in the taste and really blast you with whiskey at first...not the best whiskey either...but on the way out...THERE she is...BORIS. lovely wonderful BORIS. so basically BORIS with a sharp whiskey bite at the start.

m - the barrel thins out this monster losing a lot of the luster...esp since the whiskey feels cheap as the wood is strong throughout.

o - overall, love me some RIS in whiskey. that being said, wish it was stranahan instead of crown royale. nice treatment on an old favorite...glad i got to try it.

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Photo of jampics2
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter. You can tell it's my snifter because it's the one that says "bad mother-shut-yo-mouth" on it. Purchased at the brewery for $14.99 on release day.

At 9.4% ABV, this isn't on the extreme high end for BA Stouts, but I always admire how the Frogs are able to produce a brew with such awesome creamy head and lace. The dark black body is the color of a hit man's sunglasses but even more effective in blocking any light from passing through. Simply put, this is a stunning looking beer.

As I first explore the nose on the beer, I’m intrigued with the smooth integration of the wood and the whiskey. This is by no means a bruiser of a beer, but has some nice expression and a nice evolution as it warms. The base provides notes of chocolate and sweet caramel and toffee. The special barrels have added a nice kick of whiskey and a touch of oak and vanilla. There’s even a bit of the flowery essence this particular whiskey is regarded for. There is a touch of booze, but it’s not reminiscent of raw acetone nor is it solvent, it's simply a big Canadian whiskey notorious for it's brash qualities.

The taste is much less subtle and balanced than the smell, but still unique in the world of barrel-aged beers. The first sip shocked my palate just a bit with the amount of whiskey and booziness, but I got used to the warmth as I proceeded through the glass. It’s as if the whiskey fired off a shot then asked me if it broke my concentration. As for the actual flavors, the BORIS base is present and accounted for, with some nice sweetness and lingering roast, going from a caramel to chocolate to coffee. The whiskey dominates the middle of the flavor with big boozy notes, peaking concurrently with the bitterness of the beer. As it sits, the beer pulls together and gets better as it nears room temp. In fact, it come together nicely and makes me think this is one to pull out and consume at cellar temp.

The beer feels just a bit thinner than regular BORIS, but the oats really give the beer silkiness. The carbonation tickles just a touch at the end. I already mentioned the booze but it really is a nice feeling beer.

Overall, this is a nice addition to the Hoppin’ Frog portfolio, and I love the spirit of experimentation this beer represents. If you’re a fan of Canadian whiskey, meet your new best friend. If you’re a fan of the intricate subtleties of wood-aging, like vanillin and oak tannin, you may feel like this is a bit one-dimensional. I’m somewhere in between but glad I got to try the beer.

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Photo of mcallister
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black pour with a large 2 finger head, vibrant an fluffy of deep mocha color. Holding great retention.

Woderful aromas of dark chocolate, fudge, black berry, currant, leather, hints of coconut, vanilla, oak, a bit of cardboard as well. Lots going on gooey sweetness in the last ester.

I really like what the Crown did to this beer. Adds a nice layer of the fruity whiskey notes in the middle of the dark chocolate bomb of BORIS. Doesn't' thin things out and really shows whiskey on the finish. Vanilla and toasty oak, sweet melting fudge, chocolate covered espresso beans, blueberry, earthy, burnt caramel, and sugar.

Creamy and delectable mouthfeel just on the edge of being syrupy.

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour with a medium sized but very dense mocha colored head. Retention is quite good and there's a decent amount of thick lacing on the glass.

S: Dark fruit like cherries, raisins and plums. Toffee, molasses and caramel. Oatmeal. Roasted malt shows up as it warms up.

T: Lots of whiskey up front with toffee, molasses, caramel, oaky vanilla and some dark fruit. Bourbon fades, leaving a wonderful roasted malt and oatmeal dream. Bitter char, coffee and even chocolate lingers in the aftertaste. Oatmeal throughout, giving it a smooth and creamy taste.

M: Pretty heavy, smooth and creamy.

O: Lengthy flavor profile; it develops for a few seconds with each sip. Quite complex and balanced. Whiskey flavors aren't that great but are acceptable. Melds well with the normal BORISness.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a motor oil thick black into my 22oz CBS snifter. Small, but impressive, brown head rises and falls quickly, leaving only minimal lacing.

S: AHHH now I get the BORIS Royale name, it was aged in Crown Royale barrels! Sorry about my slowness. Tons of whisky up front, vanilla, hints of oak and booze. Underneath is a lot of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and other typical stout characteristics. The smell is so balanced, way more so than BA BORIS.

T: The taste has a lot of smooth Crown Royale, deep dark chocolate, booze, vanilla, and wood. Not as big a flavor as I was expecting. I like the smooth, balanced taste more than the bigger flavors of BA BORIS, however.

MF: A bit thin, a decent amount of booze comes through. Dry finish.

O: This was really tasty, the drinkability waned after a while. Love everything Hoppin Frog is doing lately.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe, served side by side with a few other BORIS's provided by others. I'm such a bum.

Beer looks like BORIS, black, dark, tan to brown head, small bubbles, a little bit of lacing apparently low carbonation.

Lots of liquor in the nose, I suppose this is the Crown Royale. Mild oak and malt in the nose, whiskey wins.

The finish of this beer is bitter but with tannins, the midpalate is mildly vanillic with some mild malt sweetness, the forward of this beer is all liquor all the time. It is definitely hotter than the others but the others were also older. I enjoyed it but it would interesting to see it with a little age on it. I'd have it again.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours charcoal black into the snifter glass with a nice mocha head.

Smell- the royal hits the nose first but isn't overwhelming. Bakers chocolate and alcohol follows.

Taste- following the nose really well nice whisky taste throughout the beer with good amounts of chocolate and some fig. A small whiskey/alcohol burn in the end but chocolate dominates the aftertaste.

Overall- I love Hoppin Frogs take on this whiskey barrel stout. Very enjoyable and nice to drink.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8/27/2011

Bottle shared by Dan at Woodshop Classix, thanks!

A: Glugs out from the bottle like motor oil. The small brown head quickly recedes.

S: Chocolate and oatmeal with a lot of brown sugar. The chocolate is rich and there's a little nuttiness. Bourbon is light but really nice.

T: Rich dark chocolate with blackstrap molasses. Brown sugar and cocoa. Bourbon is light, blending with a low earthy bitterness. There's a burnt note at the end.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy with evident alcohol warming on the palate.

Overall: A good barrel aged Imperial Stout with a great nose. I thought this was a definite step up from Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03-17-2012: Re-review off a bottle sent to me by JeepCop. Thanks, Dale. Shared at a St. Paddy's Day party with a number of beer laymen against Elijah Craig 18 Eclipse. This was unanimously the favorite. Even I was surprised; could be bottle variation, could be that this thing is aging phenomenally, but I liked it more than Eclipse. So I'm obligated to give it a higher score. Refer to my notes below for the details, but the main improvement here was a pronounced fudge with moderate vanilla and restrained heat. Really well-done.

~~~

01-18-2012: Re-review off a bottle given to me by Ryan011235, intended to be shared with nickd717. I did share it. Thanks, Ryan. I don't know if it was the age, the fact that almost everything else we opened was abysmal, or the fact that I was drinking with two indiscriminate tickers (nickd717 and largadeer) who may have rubbed off on me, but I found this much improved over my earlier (harsh) review. I'll focus on the salient points:

S: The brownie-vanilla sweetness I noted in the earlier bottle remains here. It used to have some heat to it, but that is now gone, resulting in a nice, sweet aroma that betrays only some rough tannins. largadeer remarked that you can smell and taste the "cheapness" of the whiskey barrels, which for some reason makes sense to me. There's a roughness to the aroma that may never really go away.

T: The base beer is reveals fudge, brownies, and a touch of grain. The barrels are still pronounced, delivering vanilla, some coconut, and oak. There is a mild heat to the taste that wasn't apparent in the nose, but the beer is cooler than it used to be (not as hot). Definitely improved over release. Pretty tasty on the whole.

~~~

Original review: 3.5 / 3.5 / 3.0 / 2.0 / 3.0 (3.03)

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously gifted to me by TurdFurgison. Thanks, Eric. I owe you $Texas.

A: Pours a dark, nearly black body with a tan head. No lace.

S: This has a rich brownie-vanilla sweetness that I suppose is the whiskey contribution (Crown Royale?). I like the aroma, but it has a mild booze sting that lessens its smoothness. Nonetheless, quite solid, as is the BA BORIS.

T: The base beer is overridden by strong elements of vanilla, coconut, brownie batter. Mild elements of cocoa and grain become pronounced later. It becomes fusely as the beer warms, which takes a lot away from the flavor. But as it ages, I suspect this will improve.

M: A bit rough for the style. While medium-full bodied and appropriate in carbonation, the heat is brash and undesirable at this point.

O: I'm very happy to have tried this, thanks to the generosity of Turd as well as a second bottle from Ryan011235. Thanks, guys. I really wish I had more positive things to say about this beer; right now, I can only say that I enjoyed it, but it needs time.

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Photo of brydeen
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Crooked Stave snifter

A: Pours a thick, motor oil black color, with a thin sticky mocha colored head. Quickly fades, leaving a nice stubborn tan collar around the edges.

S: Loads of chocolate, sweet booze, light toasted oatmeal. Vanilla and caramel aroma from the whiskey, with the lightest hint of oak.

T: Prominent whiskey punch right off the bat. Roasty, dark chocolate. Slightly bitter.

M: Thick, viscous, full-bodied. Warming feel from the alcohol, but tastes much stronger than 9.4%. Adequately light carbonation.

O: Good on the verge of great, but has just a little harshness from the whiskey bite. The sweet smell doesn't really translate over to the taste, and just a little bit may have mellowed the booziness. Either way, extremely tasty.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Creetoper for sharing this bottle.

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Toasted oak, whiskey and chocolate. Seems to be a good balance of the barrel and the base beer.

T - Toasted oak up front with nice sweet whiskey and vanilla undertones giving way to roast, chocolate fudge and caramel flavours from the base beer. Really good balance of the barrel qualities and the base beer.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of schwaeh
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought this to a BA Boris tasting to see how it stacked up against the other batches.

A: Pours black with a small brown head, the head fades into a light ring around the glass. The body really clings like oil and leaves a good lace for this style.

S: Smells of chocolate(real fudgy), roasted grains, and light whiskey. This stuff is smelling sweet and well hopped. The whiskey isn't as in your face as the regular BA Boris. Smells smooth and well integrated.

T: This is really like brownie mix with all the chocolaty fudge going on, brownie mix and crown royal. It isn't much of a stretch to tell this is that purple bagged Canadian whiskey, nice and smooth, very nice. Cocoa, vanilla bean, caramel, oats, some dark fruit, and a nice nuttiness can all be found while quaffing this.

M: This has a heavier medium body with light carbonation. Nice and chewy.

O: I was worried about this being crazy boozy, it wasn't at all. I really prefer this to its regular bourbon aged counterpart(except when aged). Just solid, smooth, chocolaty stuff. Well done.

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Photo of b3shine
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deuce to oversized tulip. Looks good - black with little to no bubbles. Smells good too. All the qualities of a barreled imperial stout, but subtler than bourbon. Tastes great. The (Crown) whiskey is definitely present, but it's smooth, not overpowering. Mouthfeel is good too. It could be a little less bitter (the hops combat the beer a little bit), but it goes down easy, especially for the abv. Overall, a delightful beer and a step up from regular barreled B.O.R.I.S.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this a while back from boatshoes. Thanks for the trade!

From a bomber into a snifter
Drunk right after a batch two regular BA BORIS from '09

APPEARANCE: Pours really thick and dark out of the bottle. Otherwise, very similar to the barrel aged BORIS. An aggressive pour yields a cascading 1+ finger, medium looking dark mocha head that quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Jet black body and zero carbonation evident. A ring and splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving some faint lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of oak, wood, vanilla and sweet cream. Roasted and smoked malts are there, with dark baker’s chocolate and oats as well. A note of caramel and toffee sets it apart from the aged regular BA version. This one is fresher and the barrel is more apparent.

TASTE: Lots of whisky here, with oak, vanilla and a touch of milk chocolate as well. Toffee and caramel sweetness through the middle, making this version sweeter than the batch two regular BA version. A big aftertaste of barrel flavors, oak, vanilla and sweet cream, caramel and toffee, as well as some bitter dark chocolate and oat notes is very persistent. Somewhat boozy as well. A bigger barrel than the batch 2 barrel aged version at this point.

PALATE: Medium-full body, lower end carbonation, and creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth, very soft and easy, not bite at all, and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Slightly warming after the swallow. Exactly the same as the regular BA version. Solid.

OVERALL: No question that Hoppin’ Frog’s BORIS is a quality barrel aged imperial stout. Just goes to show that a beer doesn’t have to be some kind of limited, brewery-only release to be of awesome quality. This Royale version was slightly sweeter and more barrel heavy than the older batch two regular BA version we tried it next to, but that’s not to say that it would be all that much different than a fresh BA BORIS. Better than many of the hard to get and highly sought after imperial stouts out there. Thanks again boatshoes. Highly recommended.

As a final note, the regular b.2 BA BORIS from '09 has definitely mellowed out. The barrel is much milder at this point, though the base beer is still holding up strong. The roasted and bitter flavors are quite nice at this point.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my brother from another mother JM03!

I poured the fuck out of this. However, the barrel has stripped the robust BORIS head. Not that that's a bad thing. There's a bit of a filmy dark brown"thing" there, produced with due diligence.

Light woody, slight whiskey, chocolate and intense roasted notes.

Vanilla, light wood, oak, mild whiskey, roast, chocolate. Not hugely forward for the BORIS, but hard to not find this delicious.

Thick, chewy, full bodied and lingering.

While a nice dynamic to the BORIS, I'd be hard pressed to call it necessary. Again, it's still delicious!

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Photo of tjkinate
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Did a side-by-side comparison to the regular BORIS and I enjoyed the Royale hands down.

A: Single fingered cocoa brown soapy head that displayed little retention and only some lacing atop this black bodied brew.

S: Sweeter than the regular. Was able to detect molasses and loads of milk chocolate, but was happy to notice the earthy undertones were still present.

T: Not only is the beer a bit sweeter than the original, but the whiskey flavors added a new dimension to the brew. I also found the added vanilla was great and truly lifted this to one of my favorite RIS.

M: Heavy, slight burn from the booze, well carbonated.

O: Not perfect, but very tasty.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to Goblinmunkey7 for acquiring this for my birthday. This has been a top want since the beer was announced. My_body_is_ready.jpg

10/13/12

Appearance: Pours black, perhaps even a bit heavier than other iterations of Boris - decent size brown head, fades to a decent ring and some spots of lacing

Smell: Burnt malts and a lovely undercurrent of Crown Royal - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, with some burnt and roasty coffee - characteristic Crown Royal barrel woodiness and whiskey

Taste: What's this, Crown Royal in my stout? (What? SAY "WHAT" AGAIN) - Dark, roasty, and burnt chocolate malts - dark chocolate, chocolate chips, and burnt coffee - a moderate level of burnt bitterness -burnt brownies and some toffee - the Crown Royal is very obvious and works very well - lots of whiskey, woody, lightly smoky

Mouthfeel: On the light side of heavy, slick and oily, with a woody finish

Overall: Best served with Big Kahuna Burgers

This is what I wanted. I'm not entirely sure why, but I am a fan of Canadian whiskey. I've grown oddly tired of bourbon barrel aged stouts, and I love this novelty of Crown Royal barrels. This wins.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pricey bottle, but hey I bought it. 16.99 from Nikki's. Into nonic glass.

A- Pour is not very lively. There's a thin layer of tan bubbles that settle out to the outer ring rather quickly.

S- The whiskey is pretty noticeable. Deep dark malts, very intoxicating aroma.

T- Lots of milk chocolate.. very sweet and creamy. Whiskey is smooth, not much peat, a lot of caramel/toffee, alcohol heat is welcomed because the beer is so tasty.

M- This beer is incredibly velvety and soft on the tongue. As soon as I take a sip I want to take another.

O- Smooth, tasty beer. Very nice coming-together of flavors. Warming but oh-so enjoyable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for sharing.

A: The beer pours almost black in color with an off-white head.

S: Definitely get some barrel notes on this one. Plenty of booze along with bourbon and vanilla, a touch of oak, too. Sweet caramel and molasses along with a touch of licorice and plenty of roasted malts.

T: Sweet caramel, toffee, and molasses to begin. A bit of brown sugar and licorice add to the sweetness, as do bourbon and vanilla. A light bitterness of roasted malts and a fair amount of oak.

M: Fairly full bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Really quite nice. One of the best iterations of BORIS thus far.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thought I missed the boat after the first release, but was lucky enough to grab several bottles at the Naked Evil release. 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter...

A - Pours an almost completely black with some dark brown highlights. A nice milk chocolate color head forms about a half of a finger thick and recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - Heavy whiskey aromas mixed with vanilla, wood, and chocolate. Molasses, dark fruits and some slight coffee come through too adding nicely.

T - Toffee, molasses, whiskey and oaky-woodiness all up front. Chocolate, vanilla, molassesand dark fruits follow next. Really nice flavors mixing together. Some brown sugar and roasted malts come through. It's a smoother whiskey flavor that I notice. Could I tell it was crown royal? No. BUT I did notice a smoother profile.

M - Full bodied beer with a medium level of carbonation. Really nice in the feel. Creamy and smooth overall.

O - Really enjoyed this one. I want to try it side to side with the regular barrel aged version. Would be interested to see the little differences. Overall, a really nice beer.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle. No dates on the bottle.

A - Very dark brown with a small, lingering ring of dense, tiny bubbles. Head is off-white. Little lacing.

S - Sweet whisky aromas (yep, without an 'e') actually reminiscent of Crown Royale. Sweet oaky character, chocolate and roasty malts. Sweet caramelly malts.

F/M - Sweet caramelly and dark chocolatey malts up front. Then the silky sweet whisky flavor. It may be a testament to the power of persuasion but it really has a Crown character. Slight vanilla character in the finish. The dark roasty malts and moderate bitterness help to dry out the finish a little. Medium full bodied with moderate carbonation. The CO2 is just right in fact.

O - Another outstanding offering from Hopping Frog. It's a great BA stout and definitely worth seeking out, especially for the whisky character that isn't found in many other beers, especially any beer I've ever had.

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Photo of mwill7287
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in celebration of the St. Ignatius Wildcats’ 5th soccer state title in 8 years, and 3rd in the last 4.

Poured from 22oz. bomber into 11oz. GLBC snifter.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with almost no head or lacing after a fairly gentle pour. Little lacing that there is has a mocha color. Virtually no sign of carbonation on the glass. My snifter looks like a black hole. NB., on the pour for the second half of the bottle, a nice thin mocha tan head sits atop the brew and retains for the majority of the drink. 4.25/5

Smell: First thing I notice is whiskey and a smoked presence. Quite woody, almost fireplace smelling. Chocolates and coffees of the stout emerge on later sniffs. 4.25/5

Taste: Starts off with the woody whiskey notes mixed beautifully with chocolate and strong coffee tones. Taste progresses to more smoky and woody, leaving a predominantly coffee-whiskey aftertaste. The woodiness of the beer is definitely more pronounced than in other beers I’ve had. A fruit of aging in whiskey rather than bourbon barrels, perhaps. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, syrupy, though not overly sticky. Low carbonation and bitterness makes the mouthfeel fine and dandy. Quite drinkable. 4.5/5

Overall: A very interesting variation on a increasingly common style of beer. Finishing this one bottle is not a problem in any case. A high ABV will keep me from indulging in more of it, however. Scrumptious. 4.5/5

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Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boris Royale pours a pitch black color. Looks onyx and ominous. No light cuts through at all. A very thin collection of dark mocha colored bubbles collects on the surface. They disappear quickly and leave a very thin, spotty lacing behind. Love the color!

The nose is impressive. It’s very malty. A mix of chocolate, caramel, and light roasted malts smell delicious. Roasted coffee is also noted. It’s a great complement to the malts. Whiskey is definitely noted, but doesn’t overwhelm the other scents. It seems to have a light to moderate presence. I like that. Light notes of dark fruit and molasses are noted on the tail. Alcohol is definitely there, but doesn’t seem too strong. Smell s good.

The flavor is even more impressive. The malt base alone is excellent. Bittersweet dark chocolate, caramel and subtle roasted notes provide a very sturdy, tasty backbone. Coffee is rather prominent in the mix and really adds an extra dimension to the flavor. As a coffee fan, I love it. Whiskey does have a light to moderate presence, though its effect is big. It drives the flavor up a notch all by itself. Whatever amount of time this was in barrels was just about perfect. There is a light, tangy dark fruit flavor and a touch of molasses on the tail. They’re light though. Alcohol is there, but isn’t warm or hot. Excellent!

The body is on the heavy side of medium. Carbonation is light and soft. It’s definitely nice and smooth. I wouldn’t mind just a tad more body. It’d be damn near perfect with just a bit more. This stuff goes down far too easy for a big stout in any event.

I’ve come to expect that every Hoppin’ Frog beer with some variation of the name “Boris” is going to be damn good. Boris Royale is definitely that. I’m not the biggest Crown Royal fan, but utilizing those barrels certainly worked out well in this instance. The whiskey flavor is an excellent complement to the stout flavors. If you can find a bottle, grab one. It’s pricey, but it’s well worth at least one purchase.

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Photo of seeswo
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by levifunk (thanks Levi!)

Pours very dark brown with a small amount of off-white head. Looks about right. Smell is nice and forward with the spirits from the North. Whiskey, oak, roast and chocolate come through. It smells very similar to BA BORIS, but maybe a bit more interesting. The taste is very smooth whiskey, chocolate, oak, roasted malts. Very easy drinking. Comes together really nice even right now. A touch boozy, but it comes off in this beer like that is actually what you want. Not harsh by any means. Medium body, medium carbonation. This beer was enjoyed two weeks after having a full batch 1 - batch 5 BA BORIS vertical. Overall, I think this was the best of the BA BORIS bunch. We may have made a Cuvee that would exceed this beer, but that took a lot of blending across batches to achieve. This seems to have a smoothness to it that the newer batches of BA BORIS don't have, and in the older ones that do have it, there is something else off about it (batch 1, way to oaky, batch 2, totally different recipe - too malty, etc.). Definite winner.

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BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.
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