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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

281 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 281
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.07%
Wants: 263
Gots: 87 | FT: 14
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 281 | Reviews: 105
Reviews by tehzachatak:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
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 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 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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer opens with a little bit of gushing and pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol and roasted malt. The flavor is roasted and burnt malt with some smoke, oak and chocolate. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Other than a little bit of oak in the flavor, I didn't get much barrel-aged character out of the beer.

I think the beer may have been slightly infected because a few of the people I tried it with got some slight infection notes in the flavor, but I couldn't tell. I liked the beer, but I think I liked the regular version as much or better.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my Cigar City snifter, this brew pours a Darth Vader black with a chocolate colored head that is utterly impressive. It size is huge, and refuses to dissipate past 1 finger's thickness.

S: The aroma is a little lack luster. Notes of vanilla, roasted dark malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and maybe a slight liquorish note.

T: The flavor follows suit. Heavy notes of vanilla and liquorish both blended smoothly together in perfect harmony. Chocolate notes are evident on the pallet. If this was aged in bourbon barrels it is hard to tell, but their is a booziness to this beer.

MF: The mouthfeel is the killer here. Way over carbonated and a little to thin to be a huge stout.

Overall, I would say I'm disappointing, but definitely not impressed. The barrel aging and blending of chocolate flavors could have been done much better. The mouthfeel is almost a disaster, but this still manages to be a decent brew.

Photo of nkersten
2.89/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one! Poured from bottle into NB globe. Opaque black liquid, super foamy tan head that thins out very slowly. Smell is wet wood, chocolate, some sour infected notes. Taste is smokey oak, alcohol, chocolate cherries, a bit of dark roasted malt. It is hard to pick much taste out because the carbonation is out of control. Mouthfeel is medium, thin and watery for an imperial stout with an intense carbonation. I did not enjoy this beer but would give it another chance since this one was most likely infected.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one. Poured from a 500ml. gold wax-top bottle into a Blue Point Snifter

A: Gentle pour yields a massive, unwavering, fluffy 4 finger mocha head. Beer is opaque black. Lacing is patchy and thick with great cling.

S: Booziness from the barrels is apparent along with hints of bitter chocolate, licquorice, and roasted coffee beans. Also a fair amount of charcoal and brown sugar in there. Aromas overall are a bit muted though.

T: Big booziness and ethanol upfront that covers up and dominates all the other flavors. This dissipates really slowly, only allowing the stouty chocolate and coffee flavors to appear towards the very end of the experience. Finish is a sticky, molasses with an aftertaste that is weirdly crisp and clean.

M: Light to medium bodied, highly carbonated, and rather rough and abrasive in the mouth. Not characteristic of the style at all and the liveliness prevents the complexities in this beer from melding together. Finish is sticky with a clean aftertaste.

D: This beer is a great example of the idea that barrel-aging doesn't make everything better. Not a bad beer by any means but Christ!!! is it over-carbonated. Maybe they should blend this with flat older viscosity and see what happens!?!? I'd give it another shot but its definitely not worth the hype.

Photo of nickd717
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

balosss on BA hooked me up with a bottle of this in a trade. Not sure how big the bottle was as it had a weird shape and no indication - maybe 500ml or so? Sweet, another barrel aged beer. I live for these.

Pours black with a nice tan head leaving good foam and lacing.

Aroma is caramel, anise, chocolate, coffee, and roast. Very nice.

Flavor is pretty good, with oak barrel noticeable as well as roast, coffee, whiskey, caramel, and some spice.

Medium-bodied on the palate and fairly dry with medium carbonation.

Good stuff overall, but not quite up to the level of others I had with it: GI BCBCS, Surly Four, and FW Parabola.

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 thagr81us
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Massive thanks goes out to nyrangerfan for sending me this bottle in a past trade! Bottle shared with Lunch and Huhzubendah during our private tasting session at Sexual Chocolate '11. Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured pitch black with a with a massive light tan head with a very careful pour (over-carbonated much?). There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, brown sugar, caramel, wood, and slight alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, sugar, caramel, wood, slight alcohol, and a very muted tart flavor (infected?). It had a medium feel on the palate with stupid high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew, but nothing awe-inspiring. The carbonation on this was just plain retarded... It was almost like I took a sip of it and then stuck a hose pumping Carbon Dioxide inside my mouth to form bubbles. It was literally like drinking flavored foam. Needless to say, the carbonation killed this one for me. It is worth ticking, but that is about it in my opinion.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

During a visit to the brewery in January I witnessed the barrel that this gem was being aged in glad I've had a chance to try this.

Nice creamy head to this pour the vanilla flavor really comes through along with the roasted malts, mild chocolate, but hey what's this?....there is a nice bit of hoppiness for balance.

The bourbon taste is very slight, kind of curious as to what the ABV is.

Think I'll save the second bottle for Christmas!

Photo of jbtice0315
3.47/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade from mymrnngjckt - thanks!

Tasted side by side with regular 2011 IST at Clusterfork #3.

A - Pours brown, not as dark as I had hoped, with a ton of light brown head. Oh no, thought it was infected with the huge amount of head that started bubbling out. A very slow gusher, not normal.

T - Harsh from the CO2. Tried to aerate to remove the carbonation, but my glass wanted to overflow. Some roasted, burnt coffee/toast notes. Chocolate, whiskey, and bitterness.

M/D - overcarbonated and harsh.

Glad I only got a taste of this beer. The regular IST was much better for me, but glad I got to try it.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, 500 ml gold wax dipped bottle (label says 12 ounces?), big thanks to jgasparine for trading this bottle! Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a couple inch tan head. Head retention is pretty good, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is very sweet and malty, the brew smells like chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and some dark fruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a good amount of roasty and bitter flavors noticable. It tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt, oak, bourbon and a bit of vanilla. Finish is nice and roasty. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it has very high but soft carbonation. The high carbonation does make this a little hard to drink, even though it does settle down some after a while. I think it's a good brew, but my only complaint about it is the high carbonation which hurts the beer's drinkability and overall score. With that being said I'm glad I got to try this one, thanks again John!

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Buckeyeboy busted this out over the weekend... Very cool Jeremy.... Thanks for making the sacrifice so the few of us could have the opportunity. :-)

Pours with a thick brown head.... good retention and lacing... the brew is black of course.

Nose is pretty oaky with a lesser bourbon component... roasty, verging on char... hints of chocolate, yet not enough malty sweetness to pull it out of the glass.

I am happy to say the flavor has more sweetness... a big of fudge brownie... dark malts show pretty heavily, even verging on some background smoke ... the oak and mild vanilla play well with the overall brew.

Too much carbonation makes the already lite (for the style) body seem a touch thin... finish is scraped away pretty rapidly by the bursting bubbles leaving only hints of roast malt and dark chocolate.

Pretty good, but I think I built this offering up too much in my head.... I definitely enjoyed it, but it seems to me that either the recipe needs to be dialed in or the carbonation and body need work.

Thanks again Jeremy... Damn glad I got the chance to try this one reasonably fresh.

4.5/4/4/3/3.5

Photo of jsanford
2.63/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

500ml bottle poured into a Snifter. 2010 vintage maybe?

Pours dark, inky black with a slightly fizzy mocha head that settles to a very slight haze. Chocolate, molasses, and dark berry with a touch of coffee and charred oak. Nice, but nothing Earth-shattering. Taste is dominated by an acrid burnt wood character that's entirely unpleasant. More molasses and dark bitter chocolate and an "off" musty flavor. Perhaps this is past it's prime, but I'm not digging it at all. If the flavor put this is the "dislike" category, the mouthfeel pushes it into the "hate" category. Fairly thin and fizzy, with a medium-thin body and high carbonation. Overall this was an extreme disappointment, but it may be my fault for sitting on it for so long. Haven't had the regular version yet, here's hoping it's better (like everyone says it is).

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled is not the word to describe how I feel being able to finally try this one. For some reason one of the hardest things I have ever tried to acquire. Served chilled and poured into a snifter I was able to finally enjoy this one on 05/20/2010.

The pour was utterly fantastic and easily the best part. As I pry off the thick golden wax concealing the cap, I decant into my chalice. Dark black, rich looking, not as thick as oil, but super rich looking and a full three fingers of chocolate colored head then come up from the bottom of the glass. Enormous looking beer I have to say as the head just drip down the sides of the glass, pushing the envelope as to what I was expecting for sure. Leaving it sit for a few moments really lets it come to life as it falls down to just a soft tan pillow that coats everything it touches.

Aroma is rich, still hot from the barrel there is a noticeable boozy component to it for sure. Rich dark malts, oak, bourbon, vanilla, a hint of something bitter, almost hoppy at times comes through as it warms, interesting notes for sure. Really complex and fills the room as the cocoa and the coffee are now starting to come into their own. Again wonderfully well done and simply impressed beyond words so far with this one. The first sip coats the palate with a rich rush of oak and booziness, takes me back for a moment. Coffee, astringent flavors now come forward. Working my way in I find the vanilla and the smoked, almost peat like flavors I was looking for as well. Again very, very well done. Hints of delicate light hops, bitter chocolate, oak, green, vinous properties floating in and out. A touch of bite, some kind of spiced note, what the hell did they put into this? Sooth finish, rich, creamy, sweet, with a backlash of an almost vanilla bean flavor mixed in and dominant coffee notes. You feel the burn on this one, but I loved sitting back with it over the course of an hour or two.

Overall I thought it was a stunning success. A really well done, and very nicely put together ale of unquestionable goodness. Worth the energy in tracking down for sure. I would have no issue at all with going after this one again, why should I.

Photo of largadeer
2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle generously shared by nickd717. Thanks for the chance to try this, Nick. We drank this at a tasting alongside a few other barrel-aged stouts and strong ales, including BCBCS, Firestone 13 and Parabola.

The beer is black with a frothy finger of brown head. Nice head retention and lacing, though it looks a little thin.

Pleasant chocolate-whiskey aroma, strongly roasty with a bit of anise and alcohol. It's very muted, surprisingly so, and side-by-side with Parabola it seems downright bland.

The taste opens with big black licorice flavor that borders on astringent. Medium in body, ashy, faintly burnt. The barrel didn't contribute a whole lot to this, a bit of whiskey flavor, light tannins and booze. Finishes with licorice, roasted/burnt malt and alcohol. Not a bad beer, but not great or overly interesting.

Photo of Gfunk720
2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes, out of my Maudite tulip.

A- Crazy coffee colored foamy head. I couldn't even pour it for a while it was so foamy. Beer is pitch black, much like the base beer.

S- Smells of oak and malt, no bourbon really to speak of. There are some coffee/chocolate notes as well, and a wierd soury smell.

T- A odd combination of burnt malt and oak. Again, I am getting that bitter sourness. Also so cocoa and coffee notes.

D- Not bad, but wayyy too carbed. Not sure what is going on here...

M- Again, just tastes burnt and like it slighly turned. Not sure if the sourness is the beer or infection.

This beer did not take well to the barrel aging process. I really like IST, but would not go out of my way to find another one of these.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brez for opening this up at the latest tasting, really been wanting to try this for awhile now since I'm a huge fan of the regular IST.

Pours a dark brown color with a large sized head, not as thick or oily looking like the regular version is though, not much lacing, bubbles remain active through the entire sample.

Smell is primarily roasted malt and cocoa, slight bourbon aroma but isn't very predominate and more of an afterthought, dark fruit is a bit lacking which is rather odd.

Taste is fortunately not sour like others have experience, although there is quite the active carbonation, in fact way too much for the style and makes it almost cola like, the viscosity is missing from the regular version as well as the dark fruit presence, the chocolate isn't as strong either, the bourbon isn't too noticeable but does add at least a bit of complexity that would otherwise be lacking, not sure of the strength but no heat is evident.

Sadly, this was has to rank as a disappointment. While the bottle was infected like others, I have to agree about the carbonation. Although, I don't think that is the sole problem, it just seems to be missing that rich and thick mouthfeel, along with several key flavors, from the regular IST.

Photo of Tomdee74
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i think we got an infection here.. something happened and i say that because the beer is too damn carbonated!! i went to the release with smutty33 and seplo and we were able to pick up a good amount of this.. that evening we cracked a bottle... it was great.. very low carbonation.. tasted like an IST with a little bourbon kick to it... it was awesome...

fast forward to the other night.. cracked a bottle and it was very fizzy... we noticed it tasted different from the fresh bottle we cracked... then you come on here and read reviews and so many say it was too carbonated.. to fizzy... i'm telling you it was not like this when we brought it home that day... and i think the reviews show that something is up.. because this is just their IST with some bourbon aged in a damn barrel. and that is what it tasted like at first.. now read the reviews on the NEB IST..

anyway i hate to review this now because it is totally different than my review would've been when this was released... i think excellent but something happened..

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 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 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 Arenbeer
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired at the release and taken from notes. Drank somewhere in the summer.

550ml bottle into a Snifter glass at fridge temp.

A- Pours pitch black with a nice 1 finger brown head that's real creamy looking like a milk shake or foam.

S- Nice roasted dark malts with some sweet chocolate and coffee. A great blend of strong oak and bourbon notes come through that gives off a pretty boozy aroma from the bourbon. Blends really nicely though.

T- Serious roasted with a nice sweet chocolate burnt coffee flavor up front that blends and brings out some wood, oak, and strong bourbon characteristics. Definitely some vanilla in there as well and a slight booziness just like the smell but gives this beer a nice fullness that it needs.

M- Medium bodied with lower carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

SkÅL!

Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours black and thin with an out of control head. The aroma is very oaky with some burnt nuttiness and hints of metal. The flavor is mostly charred oak and ash. Not really much complexity here. The body is medium and carbonation is high but not as high as the pour suggested. Overall this is not a horrible beer by any means, but it is huge step in the wrong direction from the base beer. Keep it out of barrels please, no good was done here.

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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.