BORIS Royale | Hoppin' Frog Brewery

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
182 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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BORIS RoyaleBORIS Royale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
Ohio, United States
hoppinfrog.com

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
Ratings:
182
Reviews:
67
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
10.63%
 
 
Wants:
141
Gots:
64
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black without much of a head. Smell is toasted caramel with some bourbony vanilla. Taste opens up with caramel malts. These are mixed nicely together with some vanilla from the barrel aging. These fade to a bit of coffee through middle and toward the back. Bourbon shows up on the end and finishes it nicely. This is good, but not as good as expected. Worth a shot for sure.

 380 characters

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 woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Dan for sharing.

A: Black with a thin orange ring of head. Ok.

S: Sweet and spicy, with whisky, vanilla, coffee, coconut, and chili-infused chocolate. Quite nice indeed.

T: Interesting: molasses, spice, and whisky up front, with coffee and spicy booze on the sweet finish. Tasty, but a bit harsh.

M: Super creamy, super frothy full body. Not quite as thick as Boris or Doris, but still thicker than most stouts. Great.

O: I'd have to try this side-by-side with BA Boris to see which I really prefer, but I definitely enjoyed the piquancy of the Royale version. Good stuff.

Cheers!

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Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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 tommyguz
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of FosterJM
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

800th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz
2011 Release

HUGE thank you to GuruDel for grabbing a bottle in trade for me!!! Such a Crown fan had to have one of these

App- An extremely dark brown, almost to an inky black color. Even if it was brown, it was void of color or accent coloration. A very fast receding one finger head with out a lot of lace or cling. As it fell, left an outer ring of bubbles with a bit of whispy notes on top.

Smell- When you first stick your nose in the glass you are greeted with a big stout and a lot going on. Hard to find the little nuances but some are there. It of course had the whisky, the chocolate and some roast. Decerable I think was a little of the oatmeal.

Taste- A beautiful mix of a perfect balance of chocolate, roast and whiskey. When you first take a sip it has that biting whiskey and oak note that makes you do that whiskey face like when you were 17 and stole a bottle from your dad. On the backend it greets you with subtle dark chocolate and a little roasted malt note. I have to say this sat in my cellar at 55 for a few months and I think it certainly helped this to mellow out.

Mouth- A medium/full body with a medium/low carbonation feel. The residual flavors are not many, whiskey and roast. Very nice lasting flavors.

Drink- A great treatment to a very well done base beer from OH. This was tempered and smooth at points and biting at others. The whiskey oak barrels worked wonders for me and I was very happy to have a beer like this around for #800. Again, I can't thank GuruDel enough for this one. If you have the chance grab a bottle in trade. You won't be sorry.

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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 tbone1384
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Brew33
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for the bottle!

A - Pours black, tan head, thin collar, wisps on top.

S - The Crown is right up front...lots of booze. Lost of roast, some chocolate, light oak. Basically, lots of Crown! Perhaps a little too much booze for me here.

T - Crown Royal, oak, roast, chocolate, light malty sweetness. Again, lot of booze...seems like this one needs to mellow a bit more.

M - Full, rich and smooth, good carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - Not bad, but not mind-blowing. Too much Crown up front on this one...I think this needs some more time to mellow out. If you get a bottle of this, sit on it for a while unless you prefer drinking Crown Royal with a touch of stout.

 683 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of nrbw23
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black color with a nice dense brown head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- I'm picking up darker fruits, quite a bit of booze, wood, and vanilla. Seems like a normal Boris with quite a big kick.

T- Taste is really good. Tons of whiskey action here, with vanilla, dark fruits, coffee and a solid booze to it.

M- Full in body and low carbonation.

O- I'm pretty impressed with this one and this is my favorite of all the Boris brews by far.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of dheldman
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black pour with no head or lacing. The nose has a smooth chocolaty appeal with rich sweetness. The taste is just as sweet with its rich malty, chocolaty base. There is very little indication this beer spent any time in barrels, except for a slightly boozy finish. It's very smooth and drinkable regardless, leaving a sweet and roasty aftertaste to help balance out the booze. This is definitely a tasty beer with a stout base big enough to earn its time barrel aging. Worth trying, but doesn't have characteristics that would definitively indicate crown royal barrels were used.

 583 characters

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.

 695 characters

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.

 2,549 characters

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.

 1,091 characters

Photo of JMBSH
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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 jegross2
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery.
Score: 91

Unknown vintage bottle served in a plastic cup and enjoyed the night before Dark Lord Day (04/27/12). Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, black coffee-like color. 4/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, brown sugar, coconut, sweet chocolate and a little cherry. 4/5

Taste: Sweet milk chocolate, roast, and a light amount of oak. Cherry flavor on the midpalate. A little bit of whiskey flavor on the back half. Muted coconut throughout. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, no carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Roasty, slightly sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A solid beer, but easily my least favorite of all the BORIS variations. Ironically, this is the hardest to find of those variations. Stick with the BORIS and Barrel Aged BORIS.

Recommendation: Worth trying, but not worth going out of your way to seek this one out when BORIS is readily available year-round for $10.

Pairings: Chocolate ice cream.

Cost: $14.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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BORIS Royale from Hoppin' Frog Brewery
4.14 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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