Beer Review – Boaks Monster Mash

Boak's Monster Mash

Briefly abandoning my love of the mixed six, I went out and picked up a couple of six packs (a number of sharing opportunities were on the horizon) from Kress Liquors. One of those six packs was the Boaks Monster Mash. I was intrigued for two reasons. First, I had the opportunity to try Boaks at last year’s Brewer’s Plate. At that time, I was treated to a sample in three stages of aging from Brian Boaks, former homebrewer turned microbrewer. It was a unique and eye-opening experience. The second reason involved the style of the Monster Mash. I love a good Russian Imperial Stout or RIS (not to be confused with a R.O.U.S. or Rodent of Unusual Size which is obviously something completely different). Boaks has four other beers in their line-up:  The Abbey Brown Ale, the Double BW (Belgian Wheat), Two Blind Monks (a Belgian Dubbel) and Wooden Beanie (an aged version of the Abbey Brown Ale mixed with vanilla beans and aged in Jack Daniels barrels).

Here is what Boaks has to say about the Monster Mash:

This Russian Imperial Stout is an intensely flavorful beer. Chocolaty, roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a hidden alcohol presence. This beer was designed to be sipped slowly on a cool evening in a nice cognac glass. Let it warm up to get the full flavor. This beer won Best in Show at the 2005 NJ State Fair when Brian was home brewing.

I found this beer to be…

  • Appearance: A dark brown (almost black) with lots of slowly dissipating, fluffy tan foam.
  • Aroma: Sweet, roasted malt and coffee grounds with a little hops and a little citrus.
  • Taste: Chocolaty with a syrupy sweetness and an acrid coffee bite with a slightly bitter, hoppy (and maybe a hint of licorice) in the finish.
  • ABV: 10%

This was a very nice effort from a micro-microbrew. The balance could have been a little better but the combination of flavors was very nice. And, for an ABV of 10%, the Monster Mash wasn’t overly boozy and paired really well as an after dinner/dessert beer.

11 replies »

  1. I agree with your assessment. While not the best RIS I’ve ever had, this was quite respectable. My only complaint is that I think the flavors could have come together a bit better. Although I’m not one for aging beers usually, I think this one would definitely be better with a bit more maturity. Then again, the same could probably be said about me.


    • I’m not sure they have canned the ROUS or the Boaks. Boaks is a micro brewer from Northern New Jersey (Pompton Lakes). I don’t believe they get much beyond New Jersey and Northeastern PA. You can check out their website ( for more information.


  2. Not my favorite style, I prefer their Two Blind Monks, but you gotta love and support Boaks. The guy is living the dream (and hopefully making some profit now). To start out with a Mr. Beer kit in your kitchen and go to distributing well crafted brews. Not to mention one of the friendlier brewers out there!!


  3. aHA! The door is finally open – no, unhinged – allowing a perfect opportunity to trot out the ubiquitous Mandy Patinkin. One cannot help but entertain thoughts of his six-fingered swordsmanship when waxing nostalgic about the lovable R.O.U.S.(es). Why it was just yesterday that Inigo uttered the immortal phrase:

    “My name ees Inigo Montoya, jew poured my craft beer. Prepare to drink!”

    Unfortunately, the Boaks entry into the rarified air of Russian Imperial Stouts comes off as more of the Vizzini character than Fezzig (Andre the Giant). Not nearly big and burly enough and lacking in finesse as well (hence your issues with the balance).

    Now, what was it about land wars in Sicily?



      • Not after a couple of those Boaks 10% brews he wasn’t! In the Deep Cover Director’s Cut version Inigo knocked a couple of those down and became convinced that, in fact, HE was the one with six fingers but that one had been removed with massive amounts of wart removal cream. For whatever reason, that little sub-plot story line got left in a place where Roseann Rosannadanna could confuse it with a square of toilet paper on someone’s heel.

        Who needs IMDB?


    • Nice comparison. More Vizzini than Fezzig. And, that is land wars in Asia versus gambling with a Sicilian when death is on the line.


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