Hopping Frog B.O.R.I.S The Crusher (Barrel-Aged)

Tasting: March 2, 2013
Style: Stout (Oatmeal Russian Imperial)
ABV: 9.4%

Hoppin\' Frog Barrel-Aged B.O.R.I.S (c)2013 popsonhops

The acronym “B.O.R.I.S” – stands for “Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout”. There are a couple of variations on B.O.R.I.S (91 points) and this one is a whiskey barrel-aged version. There’s also D.O.R.I.S (92 points) – which stands for “Double Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout”. This B.O.R.I.S arrived in better stores last week — but with all the critical acclaim, it won’t last long. I’ll note that the “Regular” B.O.R.I.S won a gold medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival and was claimed to be one of the fifty best beers in America in 2008.

As I’ve mentioned often – beer makers of late have been giving more information on beer labels to tell you about what to expect before you take them off the shelf. There are generally three things that might be listed on a label – original gravity (OG), alcohol by volume (ABV) and international bittering units (IBU). My favorite bit of information is original gravity (OG). It’s not on every label – but trust me, it they have a high OG, more than likely they’ll put it on the label. This one is certainly a bodacious OG at an amazing 1.107 (or 25.3 degrees plato). I define OG in my glossary as a measurement of solids (mostly sugars) found in the beer after it’s “cooked” and previous to the addition of yeast. Anything with an OG of more than 1.070 would be considered dense with solids and should produce a beer high in alcohol and subsequently have a rich mouth feel. Lastly there’s IBU – in stout the bittering comes from roasted grains and possibly hops or other ingredients like coffee and chocolate. At 60 IBU, I’ll peg this one as being of moderate bitterness.

Pours pretty black with a wisp of a coffee-colored head. Definitely full-bodied and sticky. Full of smooth roasted grains with flavors of dates and black cherries under a coffee and mocha backbone. Whiskey barrel influence is definitely present with vanilla and wood mulch flavors. I did pour this a little too cold and the flavors were compact at first but as it warms the flavors really open up. Alcohol is nicely concealed. This one is a beauty – 94 points.

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