Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Hoppin Frog’

Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged BORIS

Posted by jwpiper on April 3, 2009

I took a long lunch to drive down with Matt G. to Hoppin’ Frog to grab a case of their Barrel-Aged BORIS Imperial Oatmeal Stout. I had to get my hands on the BA version of a beer I like as much as I do BORIS The Crusher.

It was my first trip to the brewery. A real nice group of folks – if a bit eager to sell you some beer. Seems they get quite a few randoms without much knowledge of beer since they were so surprised to see people who knew what the heck a Wee Heavy or DIPA were. Wish I could’ve stuck around to shoot the breeze, but we had to get back to work.

My understanding is that the beer was only barrel aged since January. They started bottling at 9am and were still bottling when we arrived. I’d guess that the bomber I’m sharing with my wife tonight is only about 7 hours old.

Appearance
4
Pours a rich deep black color with a 1.5cm light mocha head which rapidly turns into a ring around the top of the beer.
Smell
4
The nostrils are quickly filled with whisky aromas and a little must. This is also accompanied by the nice roasted aromas familiar to BORIS drinkers. A reasonably well balanced profile – not too dominated by the whiskey, but definitely boozy.
Taste
4
Similar on the tongue – some whisky but not at all dominating. A nice alcohol warmth, maybe just a bit too much in the finish. Nice, smooth, roasted flavors – some chocolate, more than I remember in the normal BORIS and just a hint of vanilla in the end. The vanilla and whisky play nicely together in the long finish.
Mouthfeel
5
Regular BORIS has the most incredible smooth palate and this follows suit. So silky smooth from the oatmeal. Definitely an interest beer for this alone.
Drinkability
4
This is a complete sipper. Plenty drinkable, but the alcohol is hitting me a bit too hot as I get through the beer. Also, you’ve got to drink it slow in order to get the vanilla and whiskey on the finish, which is the best part of the beer for me. Not a problem.
Overall
4.1
A worthy beer with plenty of its own unique character. By no means my favorite BA RIS, but again – it’s in its own category almost. I appreciate the balance and relative subtlety of the whiskey. An excellent beer. Not enough barrel character to let this age for an extended period, I don’t think.
Price
$14/22oz. A decent value for a BA RIS. From what I’ve gathered, it’s only aged for a couple of months, which may explain it. Also, the regular Hoppin’ Frog BORIS is a bit pricey for a RIS.

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Hoppin’ to Heaven IPA

Posted by jwpiper on January 4, 2009

This has been sitting in my fridge for a month or two, and I feel like a hoppy beer after last night’s Belgians. I’d like to support my local breweries, in this case Hoppin’ Frog, so we’ll see how this one turns out. Poured at about 40 degrees into a 0.5l krug.
Appearance
2.5
Pours a very hazy dull wheat golden color. A 4cm head develops over a pint pour. Lots of floaties in this pour – even of the first 16oz. A trail of foam is left with each sip.
Smell
4
A pretty nice floral hop aroma dominates. There’s a little sweetness on the nose as well. Definitely inviting like I usually find an IPA to be.
Taste
3.5
There’s a nice hoppy flavor to start this beer off – but it quickly gives way to the malt backbone and some fairly biting (given the short hop flavor and unexciting malt profile) bitterness. The finish is pretty long, but mostly dominated by the bitterness. On the breath the flavors like the floral aroma are present.
Mouthfeel
3.5
A medium-bodied beer which is a bit syrupy.
Drinkability
3.5
The bitterness slows me up a bit on this beer. But I usually find IPAs pretty easy to drink.
Overall
3.4
Definitely not my favorite example of one of my favorite styles. I bought it out of a cooler and put it into my fridge, but to be fair, I can’t be certain of the bottle’s freshness since the store I bought it at doesn’t seem to have the best turnover. It may be worth getting another to re-review. As it stands, I probably wouldn’t buy this again even as a change of pace beer.
Price
$6.50/22oz. The price isn’t too much more expensive than most hoppy beers these days – but it is on the upper end. If thinking local, I’m a lot more inclined to buy a Buckeye ’76 at $5/22oz, which is a better beer all around.

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