Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
89
very good

285 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 285
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 263
Gots: 86 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co. visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: caresville on 04-25-2010

2012 - 375ml bottle, label changed to hunched groucho barrel. 10% ABV
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Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 106
Photo of BGsWo22
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

wasn't as good as regular trooper

Photo of Roguer
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Perfect black brew, with a modest tan head with good retention.

Unbelievably smooth aroma. Bourbon dominates, but in an extremely approachable way. Chocolate and vanilla follow.

Flavor exactly matches: the barrel takes center stage, but not in a way that it washes away the stout base. Brew loses some of the kick-in-the-teeth roasted bitterness that base IST has, but it compensates with a perfect smoothness.

Super thick feel, among the thickest BA stouts - just a hair shy of BCBS territory. Little alcohol presence.

Extremely smooth brew. Any fan of BBA stouts should be well pleased. You do lose out a bit on IST's bite (think Narwhal vs BBA Narwhal, a very clear parallel IMO), but it's a beautiful and smooth beer.

Photo of chadwicktorres
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was sadly unimpressed. I was hoping for more feel on the mouth, rounder balance. However as a Star Wars geek, I was happy to try it haha

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is jet black with a very small amount of caramel head. Nose has lots of wood and some bourbon. Some sticky malts, slightly charred with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Taste is even more wood with bourbon notes and more charred malt. The underlying malt flavors are faded out by the barrel, little bits of chocolate and caramel malts, some sweetness towards the finish. Medium to full body with strong carbonation and a slick palate.

Photo of lurpy1
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dgthasher for sending a bottle. Have to say, I don't get the joke on the label. Barrel wearing groucho glasses with a bad back...Help me out here guys, what's the funny? Anyway, the beer?

Think I might be picking up a whiff of infection here. Nice stout flavors get chased away by a sour, Belgian-y funk. Barrel is not real strong either, a little bit of a bourbon hint around the edges. I think I'm gonna declare this guy infected, but even if it is, the "infection" is not enough to completely wreck the beer, only render this a somewhat below-average barrel aged beers. But still totally drinkable and mildly recommended at the right price. If germs and other nasties have indeed infected this beer, I'd like to see what the pristine version tastes like. Good thing I have another bottle somewhere.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. This bottle is from the first release at NEBCO. I decided to treat myself tonight.
The beer pours a jet black color with 4 to 5 cm of creamy tan head even with a gentle pour.
The head fades slowly to a very sturdy surface layer and is tightly packed lattice on every sip.
Aroma is dark chocolate malt with heavy bourbon notes. I also get a little bit of dry wooden toothpick hits too.
First sip reveals a silky smooth textured beer with very fine tingly carbonation.
Flavor is sweet malt with brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon and rich dark chocolate mixed in for good measure.
No hints of the booze on this one, and it is very easy to drink and could be dangerous. I would recommend buying multiple bottles of this treat next time they come around. Very nice stout profile with lots of good bourbon too.
I enjoy it and wish I had another bottle.

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark black with coffee lacing. Thin lacing, no legs.

S- Vanilla and malt. That takes most of the S. Bit of barrel.

T- Vanilla, malt and more barrel than in the nose.

M- Nice and creamy, somewhat viscous; just the right amount of carb

O- A well done BA stout, but there is a bit of a void; though I would drink this 24/7 without complaining anymore

Photo of MenardMa
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't tried any of the past batches of this, but judging by the mixed reviews they must not have come out quite as good as this most recent one (sold 12/21/13), because this was an excellent beer! Rivals just about any other Bourbon Barrel Stout in my opinion.

It was very rich, and the bourbon comes through nicely without making it too boozy.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 254/1400 opened on 9.26.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a small brown head that fades slowly.

S - Subtle, barrel, oaky, bourbon.

T - Strong bourbon, chocolate, and a slightly metallic finish.

D - Heavy body with good carbonation.

O - Ok stout, nose is weak and taste was metallic.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.82/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 1195/1400.

Appearance - Dark black. Maybe not viscous, but a nice dark black. Big khaki head. Thick collar.

Smell - Wow, it's odd. And bad. Chocolate. Strange buttermilk-like aroma. Diacetyl? I don't often smell that in a stout.

Taste - Chocolate. Milk chocolate. Some bourbon, but not a lot. That buttermilk flavor is almost tangy. I think it's got diacetyl here too.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a little chalky. Bitter and boozy.

Overall - Funky and weird. And this is supposed to be the noninfected version.

Photo of braugon
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 - Pitch black, oily. Smells exactly as advertised. No real head on this pour.

Taste's fizzier than most ris's but really pleasant and lively. Sticky, sweet. Molasses and vanilla, oak and bourbon.

Hop bitterness before prunes and tannic on the finish.

Photo of mltobin
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 mL from this past winters release. I poured it into a NEBCO flute.

The appearance is black with a small tan head. Its` nose contains bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate and caramel. I tip it back for a sip and I taste chocolate, toffee, more of that bourbon, oak and a bit of vanilla. It tastes very nice and warms you up. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pretty decent a mount of carbonation to it. All things considered, another very good beer from the crew at NEBCO.

Photo of chippo33
2.63/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Disappointing. Stick with the original.

Photo of Hamburgers
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012. Bottle #1140. Pours black with thin brown head. Aroma is dried fruit, vanilla, easy on bourbon. Smells like a BBA barley Wine. Flavor is sweet, fruity and again easy on the bourbon. Medium body with good carbonation. Very good. Ready to drink now which is fine cause I am drinking it now....

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

thanks to egrace84 for the share!

poured into a hair of the dog tulip.

drank this side by side with IST!

Vintage 2012. Bottle# 602/1400.

Appearance: Looks identical to regualr IST. Thought that this beer would have a draker head, but its not the case. A black bodied beer with 1 finger of light brown head. A thin cap remains on the beer during the entire drink. A gentle swirl bring this beer right back to life!

Smell: Milk chocolates, cocoa beans, and light roast from the malts. Also getting graham crackers and cinnamon oddly enough; hints of vanilla! Malty nose overall.

Taste: Lots of milk chocolates and cocoa. Hints of vanilla. Decent amounts of black licorice and molasses. Mid level of roastiness. You get a nice mellow oak note too. Also getting a rootbeer or cola note from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Exactly the same mouthfeel as regular IST. A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable Imperial Stout! Smooth and delicate mouthfeel with a little silky and creaminess to it!

Overall: Regular Imperial Stout Trooper is just plain a better beer; thats all. Very similiar in many aspects to regular storm trooper, something is a little off in the taste, but it was not a horrible distraction at all. Glad I got the chance to try it out!

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into a snifter; bottle #504/1400, winter 12-13 release

An ink black pour with just a faint brown edge. A little less than one finger of brown foam rises and falls fairly quickly. Little to no lacing. Oil slick coating when swirling.

The nose is pretty much what you expect, just a little more tame. Milk chocolate, roast, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. This never really steps outside of its comfort zone, but it definitely not bad smelling beer.

Some oak tannis create a bit of a prickly entry before a rush of roast, coffee, and chocolate. Vanilla and bourbon through the finish with a mild lingering roast bitterness. A little bit of spice from the oak pokes through.

Full body and super easy to put back. This is a highly drinkable BA Stout. Smooth, approaching the lush/creamy realm, but ultimately pulling back a bit.

This is a very approachable BA Stout. A nicely wrapped package of bourbon and oak layered on top of a strong base beer. Well done.

Photo of axeman9182
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle, courtesy of NJOssie. It was allowed to warm a bit before being poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

NEBCO's barrel aged imperial stout pours solid black, with two to three fingers of caramel foam crowning the beer. Head retention is decent, but aside from a ring at the beer's apex, lacing is pretty scarce. The nose features gobs of butterscotch. A bit of vanilla is also present, along with a touch of wood. While I do appreciate the aroma, it's heavy on barrel notes and light on influences from the base beer. The flavor profile is a bit better. Caramel is still the predominant characteristic, but not only are vanilla and oak both more noticeable, but some bittersweet cocoa powder joins the party. The body is full and sturdy, while not being overbearing. At the same time, the carbonation is just active enough to let you know it's there. Very nice. This is an interesting brew from New England Brewing, as while it's very barrel forward, it's not very boozy/bourbon forward. I dig it though, wish I had another bottle or two.

Photo of Knapp85
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1112/1400 sent over from GuisseppeFranco, Thanks man!

This poured out as a very deep black color with a light brown head on top. The retention is pretty good on this beer and there is some scattered lacing also. The smell of the beer is sweet with some subtle milk chocolate & butterscotch aromas as well as some fresh wood on the nose as well. It doesn't give off too much of a bourbon aroma but still a very nice smelling beer. The taste of the beer has some subtle notes of bourbon and vanilla. It's got a hint of smoke in the finish along with some bitterness too. The mouthfeel is thick, nicely carbonated and slick. Overall it's a pretty good brew, I enjoyed trying it and would probably drink it again sometime.

Photo of Zodijackyl
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes circa 2011 at Tomato and Basil, Fairfield, CT. This was from a NEBCO night where a bunch of their beers were featured.

Pours black with a dense, mocha-colored head. Smells like dark roasted malt and chocolate, similar to a good chocolate biscuit. Very pleasant feel, smooth and comfortably bitter. Taste has a bit of wood and roasted feel up front, with tons of chocolate and caramel malt flavors that are balanced across the palette. The body seems to have a good blend of the bitterness of the darker roasted grains and the sweetness and smoothness of lighter ones. A bit more mellow in grain character than regular trooper, a bit more bitter from the touch of wood flavor. Excellent beer overall, don't miss it if you have a chance to try it.

Photo of CTJman
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What a great showcase from nebco. One I look forward to every year

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle into a snifter, 2013 vintage. The first time I tried this beer not too long after its release it was quite buttery. Really not good at all. I have changed my review for when the beer was around 8 months old.

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of dense light brown head. Retention is very good.

S: Lots of bourbon in this - caramel, wood, and a touch spicy. The base beer comes out with lots of dark chocolate and roast. The three are almost equally strong. A touch of butter, but it's mild.

T: Sweeter than the aroma. Caramel is very strong now along with some spice and quite a bit of oak. Lots of bourbon here, but the base beer still comes out a bit with a mixture of dark chocolate and caramel.

M: The best part of this beer - great, creamy carbonation and medium to thick.

O: I'm not sure this is better than the base, but the bourbon provides a nice component. The bourbon is very strong, but the dark chocolate and roast are quite nice, too. Enjoyable.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle, unnumbered. Pours a pitch black color with an inch of frothy dark brown head. Some lacing. Great boozey aroma. Hints of chocolate and vanilla along with some roasted malts but they take a backseat to the bourbon. The taste is a nice balance of bourbon and chocolate with some of the roasted malts. Dark cherries and hints of vanilla. Some smoke towards the end. A bit earthy. Booze at the finish. Nice warming alcohol presence, although I am not sure what the ABV is. Slick mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation. It was by random luck I got a bottle of this and I'm glad i did. The guys at NebCo did a great job with this one. Well balanced with a good amount of bourbon flavor. Overall, I hope I get to grab more next time to try it with some age on it. Fantastic beer.

Photo of Pahn
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle into a Captain Lawrence tulip. Bottle 671 of 1400, 2013 release (however you want to denote it).

Appearance: Careful pour yields an out of control fizzy tan head. Slow rocky dissipation. Not much lacing. Black.

Smell: Dominating aroma of rich coffee-infused toffee, highlights of prune/cherry. Lacks the complexity of a 5.0 bourbon barrel aged RIS, but god damn it smells good. The toffee/nougat/coffee aroma is rich and soft... It's hard to describe but very distinctive and very inviting.

Taste: Roasted malt up front, quickly taken over by the trademark prune/cherry Imperial Stout Trooper dark fruit flavor (what people are tasting as Dr. Pepper? Do they use Special B in IST?), some vanilla oak underneath it all but subdued. Finishes with a touch of that beautiful toffee note from the aroma.

Further in, the rich caramel and toffee bourbon/oak begins to dominate, with the prickly roasted malt and almost pomegranate-like prune/cherry flavor both playing support roles. Slight ashy undercurrent reminiscent of the base beer, but way in the background. Some red winey dark chocolate, but the grocery-list flavors make up a tiny percentage of the flavor compared to the main toffee flavor. Husky, bitter roasted malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Overcarbonated for my taste, but I *love* the viscous yet slightly creamy feel and the great dry finish. Dial down the carbonation a couple notches and this is the perfect BA RIS mouthfeel for me.

Overall: Real winner from NEBCO. It's like these guys can do no wrong when they go small batch nowadays.

This beer is easily worth the $10 I paid for it. Excellent.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark mocha head with slightly lacing in the snifter. Pitch black and viscous pour.

S: Aroma of dark roast coffee, burnt patent malt, sweet bakers chocolate.

T: Flavors of a dark robust imperial stout with some barrel and strong bourbon flavors. The bourbon flavors I picked up are more of the harsh high abv flame throwing variety than a sweet bourbon, which I think has made some people say this tastes like Dr Pepper. Vanilla wood and oak mid taste and slightly dry. I clearly tasted this bourbon after letting the glass come to room temp. The roasted ashy flavors are there as well lending a nice complexity that is there in the standard IST, but this is a completely different beast. Any sweetness is mostly gone with added roasted malt and barrel aged flavors.

M: Mouthfeel is fantastic. Caronation is there, and the body is perfectly smooth and rounded.

O: Overall, very impressed here. Clearly a notch up from the non Bourbon barrel aged stout trooper, which is already a very good beer. I am looking forward to hanging on to some of these for years to come. Well done!

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #631/1400 released in 2013.

A-Black as they come. Light stands no chance. A forceful pour births an impressive inch-high loaf of half-baked biscuit dough. Thick, semi-solid head is light brown in color. Head leaves thick, chubby knots of lacing. Looks awesome.

S-Not as intimidating as I had hoped. Milky sweetness and light bourbon notes. The barrel was not overly generous here. Milk chocolate and flat root beer. Not intensely roasted either. Definitely a different aroma than I was expecting. Not very intense in any area. Has the necessary components but where's the balls?

T-The bourbon is far more enthusiastic here. Coffee and roast is also much more talkative. Blatantly superior to the nose. A bit peppery. Bourbon infused fudge. Vanilla extract. Still, it lacks the power and machismo of all of the upper-echelon Barrel Aged Stouts.

M-When I look at it from a different perspective, this is one of the most easy-imbibing barrel aged brews I have had. Body is still full. Not viscous but incredibly creamy. Lack of huge bourbon flavors leads to easier drinkability.

O/D-At first I was semi-disappointed but once I really started my autopsy of this beer, I began to enjoy it a lot. It is definitely a different take of a style of beer that defines "the bigger the better". I like this beer more and more after every sip. Doesn't stand up to the barrel-agenda legends but it is a very delicious brew nonetheless.

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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.