Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal-Imperial Stout

This is the whiskey barrel aged version of a beer that I tried and didn't really like. A while ago, I would have told you that tasting this beer was a waste of time, as my only experience with barrel aged beer was on the Innis & Gunn beers that I just didn't like. I have, however, found ones that impressed me, so I'm trying this out.

The pitch black beer has a brown head, but not much of it. From my experience with these bourbon (and in this case, whiskey) barrel-aged beers, they don't usually have a big head, and they almost always have this kind of syrupy thickness to the drink; pouring it is a bit mesmerizing. The aroma is chocolate, oak, vanilla, and booze.

First sip is pretty stout. I don't mean that it's a stout, it is obviously a stout, but this is a thick slab of taste and texture sitting in a glass pretending to just be another drink. It has the thick, syrupy texture that I saw in the pour, but it is more than just that when you combine it with the taste. The earth is front and center, and it is further augmented by the oatmeal, booze, less chocolate than I expected, and vanilla. It's solid and pretty good.

Tip-in is sweet caramel, light coffee, oak, and toasted oatmeal with pretty much no carbonation. The middle opens into a stiff upper lip of gentle earth and light toffee. This middle is smooth and non-aggressive. The finish is another story, as it brings a shot of bitterness, coffee, heavy booze, and light chocolate.

Bottom Line: Every now and then you have to ride the frog, and it's not a bad ride.



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