Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S 2009

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Hoppin' Frog Brewery
  • Website: hoppinfrog.com
  • Country: United States
  • State: Ohio
  • Style: Oatmeal Stout Russian Imperial Stout Spirit-Aged Beers
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV: 9.4%
  • IBUs: 60
  • Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Bittersweet Chocolate, Raisins, Pepper/Chilies
  • Preferred Glass: Snifter
  • Food Pairing: Desserts
  • PHM Grade: A

Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. 2009

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2009 Vintage:  Taking the original BORIS as a base, this beer undergoes some aging in Heaven Hill Whiskey barrels for some time.  The cap on my bottle was green indicating it was batch 3 in 2009 (Gold – Batch 1-2 in 2009; Black – Batch 4 in 2010; Red – Batch 5 in 2011).  I’ve been collecting various versions of Hoppin’ Frogs imperial stouts in order to do a side-by-side tasting.  I’ve been unable to obtain a bottle of their BORIS Royale so if anyone has a bottle I’d be willing to trade.  That said, let me dive into this rendition.

Interestingly, enough the pour was not as viscous as the original.  My guess is that it has to do with the barrel aging which probably helped to thin it out a little due to the alcohol content.  I was surprised to see that the abv on this beer is the same and not higher.  In any case, the beer is still ink black, but it has picked up some ruby/garnet hues due to the wood caramels and whiskey hues.  The head does develop quickly and easier, but in the end faded by the time I was done taking the picture.

Wow…the aroma is awesome!  Huge, yet light notes of vanilla, char, wood sugars/caramels, dates, figs, creamy dark chocolate, chocolate covered raisins and licorice.  The abv on this beer was very pronounced given the fact that is sat in whiskey barrels for some time.  I found that this aging process helped to bring out the darker burnt malt notes lifting them from the astringent mess of the original BORIS.  The fruitier notes found in Bourbon and whiskey was very noticeable and welcomed as it added a softer dimension to the brew.  There was an additional hint of spices like chilies, pepper, and fennel added to the mix.

Super smooth.  Each sip was luxurious, chocolate-centered, and creamy.  Dark fruits danced among deeply roasted malt flavors.  The oats were still evident which pleased me as I enjoy a good Oatmeal stout from time to time.  The mouthfeel was silky and velvety, but lighter and softer due to the aging.  Great oak and charred wood notes helped to round out the rough edges, yet at the same time added a different astringency.  Wonderful vanilla notes that pair well with the oats used.  The abv is really only noticeable in the aromas and in the finish ever so gently.  This could get you in trouble if you are not careful.  I have to say, this is one of the best barrel aged imperial stouts I’ve had to date.  It is not harsh like the Goose Island BCS beers, and smoother than Great Divides Yeti series.  However, keep in mind that I’m drinking a 2009 vintage.  Sampled fresh, it might be a different experience.

Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. 2009, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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