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Boris | Alpine Beer Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
81
good
58 Reviews
THE BROS
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BorisBoris
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 11-11-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
70
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
22.32%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
1
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 70
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with sour cocoa and coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is showing signs of infection but is still drinkable.

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Photo of largadeer
1.53/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Mr and Ms Nanoslug shared this one. Thanks?

Opaque black with a huge brown head that lasts forever, an ominous sign. Smells like sour coffee, heavy on the tart dark fruit, almost like a cocktail of oaky red wine and coffee. Pretty bad. It's even worse on the palate, very tannic and vinous, red grapes, dark cherries, tart fruit, coffee - clearly infected, the sourness clashes horribly with the coffee and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is thin, overcarbonated. This may have been good when it was first bottled, but it's best avoided now. Hopefully Alpine makes a new, non-infected batch of this at some point.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Brad for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a dark brown with a good off-white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries some roast and chocolate plus some dark fruits and cherries. A bit of sourness there as well. The flavor brings out some more sour character, and this one unfortunately seems to be infected. Some cherry and lactic notes along with bourbon and oak. Medium body and a slight acidity to the finish. Okay, even with the infection.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary."

--Boris Pasternak

Raven's eye black with precious little in the way of highlights. A big burly chunk of mocha colored foam was created on the pour, giving the beer the typical 'black and tan' look of the style. Almost no lace prevents the next highest score from being considered.

Alpine decided to give us both bourbon (barrel aging) and coffee in this American Imperial and/or double stout, which is something that quite a few craft breweries are doing these days. If the aroma is anything to go on, they've succeeded admirably. Both additional ingredients are appreciated; coffee slightly more so.

Boris is definitely good beer, but it isn't the best beer of this style to have ever entered my glass. More malt would have gone a long way toward deepening the flavor profile. It would have also added more complexity. Unfortunately, it doesn't soak into the taste buds as completely as a 10.0% stout should.

Interestingly enough, bourbon whiskey is more prominent than coffee on the palate. The usual caramelized sugar, charred oak and vanilla bean notes are present and accounted for. Next comes coffee, cocoa, a shot of molasses and a tangy fruitiness (plums, raisins) that beer of this style doesn't usually showcase. Maybe this stuff is pretty complex after all.

Too bad the mouthfeel doesn't keep pace with the rest of the attributes. It's lighter than it should be and doesn't appear to be getting bulkier or smoother as the bottom half of the bomber is breached. Low-end carbonation works well.

Boris Barrel Aged Imperial Stout With Coffee is neither ordinary nor extraordinary, but is somewhere in between. Since it doesn't appear on the Alpine website, its future would seem to be murky. I'd like ABC to give it another go, adding more malt the next time around.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out an inky, black body with no real head formation beyond a few fat bubbles.

Smell: Heady, malty aroma of dark chocolate, instant espresso powder, black currents (maybe a few blueberries), and only minor notes of vanilla and bourbon.

Taste: Sweetish dark maltiness with a slight amount of bittersweet chocolate transition to a taste of coffee liqueur. As with the nose, I get a very deep, vinous fruitiness. Montage of bourbony flavors: brown sugar, vanilla, light wood. However, they do definitely take a backseat to the coffee and fruits. I don't pick up, well, any hop flavors or bitterness beyond the bitterness coming from the coffee. Touch of earthy creosote on the fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Low carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Hides its ABV rather nicely. Well, that was fairly pleasant, though not nearly in the top tier of bourbon-basted Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Joey for recommending another solid beer for me to try. This one arrived the other day and was quickly chilled and decanted into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 11/22/2008.

The pour was nice, a rich and very dark brown, nearly black color appeared before me straight away. Nice hints of light peaking in through the sides on an otherwise dark as an abyss pour. Light tan head of maybe a half an inch peaking up through the top and settling down quickly, leaving some light side glass lacing and a decent little crown.

The aroma was charged with coffee and brandy. Light and sweet with delicate notes of molasses and sweet sugar like barrel ntoes. Hints of coffee buried underneath of it all. The flavor carried more of the same, but came off a little bit lighter then what I had hoped. Nice light notes of coffee, hints of molasses and dark caramel sugars. Some light woody flavors dancing around a caramel sweetness that rolled toward a nice finish that hinted at vanilla before dissapearing into a void of bitter coffee. Smooth feel on this one, with not alot of carbonation, but nowhere near thin. I was able to easily finish this one without much of an issue, as most of the alcohol was more then well hidden,

Overall not a bad big stout, though it falls short of the big boys. It has its place though and it is very sweet and drinkable. I would have no issue with drinking this one again and will be intrested to see how it holds up.

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Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Bitterbill for this one!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 2 fingers of frothy mocha head. Near zero head retention & lacing, nice viscosity to this though

S: Vanilla, oak, Bourbon & cherries up front, nice sour-mash signature

T: Sour Mash, dryness, & a bit of coffee up front. Coffee, oaky dryness, a touch of cherry sourness & vanilla. Finishes sour with a touch of baker's chocolate, & cherry soaked in oak, this just doesn't jell for me

MF: Actually a bit light bodied for an Imp Stout with a bit too much carbonation

Drinks alright, but doesn't quite pull together; this wasn't in my wheelhouse for the style

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a very thick brown head. Nose is a mix if vanilla (from barrels) and coffee tones. A bit buttery as well, I want to say. Hmm. Flavor has some things going on, sure. Definitely get some bourbon tones, but it lacks balance IMO. Too tangy. Zoo much zing. Too much spicey-ness on top of a pile o' malts. Feel is thick on liquid. Carbonation is slightly lower. Eh. This is an okay beer. I drank all 22 ounces of it because it was there. Not because I was thrilled to be doing so.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer is black with a small beige head. The aroma offers some sweet malt, chocolate and roast. Barrel character comes through more and more as the beer warms, offering an interesting tannic component. Burned / charred roast presence is abundant throughout. Subtle chocolate notes and hints of smoke in there as well. Medium bodied with a healthy booze presence. Overall, this was pretty good.

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Photo of jwc215
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyNation for this one!

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours black with a rich elegant head that has nice retention for style/abv.

The smell is of bourbon and roasted coffee with a bready background.

The taste is of nicely roasted coffee with bourbon notes. Some alcohol shows through, though is well-controlled. With a second pour it shows tart/sour notes that nearly bring it down a notch.

The feel is not so great. It has too much fizz for the style. It's not watery or necessarily thin, but I don't know that I like the tingle of this one.

A beer with great potential. Roasty roasty coffee notes, the sour/tart makes it different, but grows a bit too much as it progresses, and the carbonation is just too much for what it should be. Still, it's a very good imperial stout overall that I'm glad I had the chance to have!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in the Black Booty Bif from jtrockchalk, thanks for the opportunity and the generosity.

Pours a solid black color with a good sized tan head that stuck around for a bit, but receded to form a cap on top. Smells of coffee right away with some roasted grains, and chocolate in there as well, but the aroma is definitely heavy on the coffee. Taste starts off with roasted grains and chocolate followed by a melding towards coffee. The coffee dries out and some bourbon pokes through and finishes with some oak and alcohol with bitter dark fruit and coffee bitterness in the finish. Theres a lot going on here, and its all good, but I wonder if this needed to have the coffee in here at all. Medium level of carbonation, thick body, creamy, somewhat acidic mouthfeel. This is my first Alpine beer, hopefully it won't be my last this is a great stout. I can't find anything to fault this one, it all works together very well imho.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The other BORIS provided by Brad. Thanks. I liked this beer more than almost everyone there.

Beer is black dark black with a dark brown head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, low retention.

Aroma is sweet and roasty, a little boozy. Definitely some alcohol in there.

I have no idea how old this is but it tastes a little old, a little papery but not too distracting, beer is mostly sweet with a strong roast, I'm not going to say it is a great stout but it didn't taste infected or very "off" to me. The alcohol is present too, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, HUGE two-finger plus creamy tan head, which leaves tons of very nice sticky/creamy lacing. The nose is malty, hints of dark fruit, bourbon, chocolate/coffee notes. The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of bourbon, very slight dark fruits, chocolate/coffee notes. Full/Medium body, the ABV is hidden pretty well, a very nice sipper. Very drinkable, this is a very nice brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four finger thick, deeply browned head. The beer is quite black, but does seem to have a touch of brown in its dark depths, but it is quite opaque when held up to the light. The aroma smells of toasted coconut, vanillin, hot alcohol, chocolate, nicely roasted coffee (that isn't harsh like in many a beer), deeply toasted malt character that is quite rich smelling, and maybe a hint of fruitiness in the finish (is this signs of an infection, if so it is barely noticeable in the nose). The aroma is quite nice, I always enjoy a Bourbon barrel aged beer that focuses on toasted coconut and vanillin notes. Interestingly enough a lot of the Imperial stout aromatics play a subtle, supporting role to the Bourbon barrel notes.

Somewhat viscous as it first hits my tongue, the beer is really not all that sweet and it finishes quite dry. The dry finish is a combination of big roasted malt character, roasted coffee flavors, spicy bourbon oak, bourbon-like alcohol and fair amount of tartness. The tartness is definitely, at least partially, from all the roast grain character, but it seems more than that, like this has been infected a bit. A flash of toasted coconut and vanillin shines through towards the finish of each sip, but it is quickly drowned out by slightly too harsh roasted notes and the acidity. This does seem to be quite a bit lighter bodied than it should be. The acidity in the finish works in tandem with the charred roast character to make the finish quite acrid, bitter and acidic, all in a bad way unfortunately.

I really liked the aroma of this beer, the flavor though just didn't live up to that standard. It comes off as a bit thin, to dry tasting and not nearly rich and satiating enough. Much of the body and richness may have been robbed from this beer by the infection that seems to be slowly setting in. This beer is powerful enough still that this hasn't completely ruined this beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ditmier pulled this out at a tasting at his house a couple weeks ago.... This is a looong time want.. Thanks a ton homeboy!!

Dark brown head.... thick and creamy.. nice lace..

Nose is pretty damn good.. dark chocolate and waves of pretty big bourbon... vanilla... coffee is there throughout..

Flavor begins sorta dry with cocoa and then the dark malts move in with some mild sugars.... bourbon essence pulls out some dark cherries and a mild vanilla... a bit of char (or really big coffee) is a off-putting for me, but really isn't that big of a deal in the big scope... finish is sorta sweet with bourbon remnants and some dark malt.

Body seems a bit too carbonated.... still pretty okay.

I think I poisoned the well when Eric pulled this out and I mentioned rumors of bottle infections.... this showed no signs of infections and was really very nice.

4.5/4/4/3.5/4

Thanks a ton Eric.... Classy brew.. I hope they make more.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.04/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber picked up at Lone Hill,

A: Pours a very dark brown with a small cap of tan foam, solid retention.

S: Strong barrel aged notes of bourbon and vanilla, with a light charcoal note. Definitely makes me want to taste the beer.

T: Definite notes of bourbon and dark fruit. Acidity is there and offers lactic acid notes and green apple peel. Coffee is relatively light, but becomes prominent in the aftertaste.

M: Honestly way too light for this style and too much acidity, tannic for sure, made the beer tough to get through.

D: A beer that shows promise, at the beginning I just wanted to get through it, but it kind of grew on me by the end of the glass. Still not in the upper echelon of great American stouts though.

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Photo of corby112
3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 2.5 finger frothy, dark chocolate/coffee-colored head that quickly settles into a lasting cap and ring.

Roasted coffee aroma with a nice oaky bourbon character as well as some roasted/burnt malt notes. It's nice that the other aromas are able to shine and it doesn't just smell like bourbon. Plenty of dark chocolate, burnt toast, oak, vanilla, dark fruit and roasted coffee bean.

Lots of tight carbonation up front along with a very strong charred roastiness that is a bit overpowering. Pretty strong bourbon presence but not too hot with some nice vanilla oak and deep roasted nutty coffee bean. Sweet bitter dark chocolate along with the deep roastiness is a bit intense and hurts it's drinkability a bit. Pretty sweet with subtle alcohol warmth but the ABV is pretty well masked considering. The dark fruit notes add to the sweetness, creating a beer that is pretty complex but a bit sloppy. Lots of intense flavors that don't go together very well. I remember liking this a lot more at a recent tasting but this time around I'm not really feeling it.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to swnicholson for this 650 mL bomber in Black Booty 2009. Shared with ksak, sierraGS and Deuane.

A: The stout is a dark one, a pitch black moonless night. A small head, with a coffee ice cream color, sat motionless before fizzling away.

S: The coffee aromas dominate the nose, full with a pleasant bitterness. Stout notes of chocolate and burnt toast are also present, but one aspect is missing. I can't find any hint of barrel aging here (this is not my weekend for barrel aged stouts, see Homewood Reserve too).

T: A strong coffee presence hits you upfront, dark and roasted with a hint of lactic sweetness. The stout's burnt malts follow the coffee nicely, adding chocolate and dark breads, along with a hint of dark fruits. Unfortunately, there is no bourbon barrel to be found anywhere. The coffee and stout dominate, at the expense of the bourbon.

M: The mouthfeel of a coffee stout rarely goes wrong and this is no exception. The coffee flavor is full-bodied and rich, carrying the stout especially in the absence of the bourbon.

D: Another whopper at 10%, I'd love to try one that has the bourbon essence intact.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a pitch black with about an inch of tan foam.

The smell has a good coffee nose that I notice right off the bat but I also get some sweetish notes. Maybe some dark fruit and light vanilla? It kind of reminds me of the nose of a Black Albert.

The taste is very boozy with a lot of the bourbon at the forefront. Dark fruits follow with some light vanilla notes and some coffee. Wow. Lots of warming here and like I said, the bourbon dominates my palate. I also get some sourish notes that I think are a plus in this brew. Some bitterness is now moving in with what I'd call dark chocolate.

The mouthfeel is pretty light for the style and the carbonation is also light. Head retention is poor and as far as lacing goes, when I tip my glass, there's about an inch of it.

Drinkability? It's far from being the best. This is a sipping brew and even then, I find I take a lot of time in between sips. A good candidate for aging? Me thinks so.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of the Belgianator. Served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with a half inch, loose, tan-colored head that dissipates into a skim and a thin band. Nose reveals tart dark fruit, brown sugar and some bourbon notes as it warms. Flavor profile expresses cardboard, malt and tart fruit. A light, coffee character comes out as it warms, and the cardboard flavor disappears, revealing a pleasant charred quality in its absence. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and a light acidity. All and all not a bad beer, but it's definitely past its prime in my opinion.

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Photo of tpd975
3.79/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ibrew for including me in his SouthBay order.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with an average fizzy tan head. There is very little retention and no lace.

S: Bold oaky qualites up front. Big on the coffee as well. More subtle notes of chocolate and vanilla. Wow I wanna dive in.

T: Very bold. Tons of oak up front, you can tell this one spent some time in the barrel. Bitter coffee come next, the combination of the two gives off a bit of astringancy. Hints of chocolate are there, along with a dash of vanilla. No real booze though despite the ABV.

M: Medium to full in body, a bit sharp on the tongue.

D: Right now this one is a sipper. I drank the whole bomber but it was overtime. This one needs to rest a bit. Hopefully the oak and coffee will die a bit. If the chocolate and vanilla can push thru a bit with time it will be a real winner.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - I picked this up at the Pizza Port Bottle shop after stumbling out of the Strong Ale Fest on day 1...I'm glad I did not drop it on the walk back to the Hotel. Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, earthy, some coffee, and roasty. Tastes of bourbon, wood, earthy, coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruits. Light alcohol in the finish. Smooth and creamy body.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Splitting a bottle with Stopper. pouring at cellar temp into a snifter. The beer pours a dark brown color with only a tan edge layer of head.
Aroma is rich chocolate malt with espresso notes and very heavy roasted malt, almost a hint of smoke.
First sip reveals an average body with mild carbonation.
Flavor is roasted malt and coffee with maybe a little bit of dark chocolate bar.
There arent any hops that I can detect, and the booze is well hidden as well.
The beer is fairly easy to drink and I didnt get the signs of infection found in other bottles. A little one dimensional but what it has is pretty good.

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Photo of Deuane
4.45/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Deep, black/brown with a thick tan head that slowly reduced to a thin veil. Head revived with minimal agitation and left nice lace.

S-Surprisingly not overwhelming but very pleasant. Coffee infused bourbon with a touch of tobacco and dark roasted malt and earthy hop bitterness.

T-Mmmm...Bourbon accented coffee notes dominate. Minor flavours of dark roasted malt, cocoa and earthiness in the background. A great semi-dry finish.

M-Medium body with LONG lingering flavours.

D-Superb! Big coffee flavour with bourbon accents, what a great combination. So tasty, but would I expect anything less from Alpine? A resounding NO! would be the answer. A great brew from one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very dark, nice dark mocha, thin bubbled head. Some webby lacing.

S - Powdered chocolate is the dominant smell. Some malt back up.

T - Powdered chocolate is the dominant taste, followed by an astringent metallic flavor that didn't really mesh well.

M - Med body, maybe over carbed, balance a little out of whack.

D - Nice enough. Would have another.

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Boris from Alpine Beer Company
81 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.
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