1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

255 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 13.03%
Wants: 253
Gots: 85 | FT: 15
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:
2012 - 375ml bottle, label changed to hunched groucho barrel. 10% ABV

(Beer added by: caresville on 04-25-2010)
View: Beers (38) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

3.95/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 06:01:52 | More by axeman9182
Photo of Knapp85


4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 04:58:38 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Zodijackyl


4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2013 20:13:05 | More by Zodijackyl
Photo of CTJman


5/5  rDev +25.3%

01-22-2013 18:33:15 | More by CTJman
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 02:09:35 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of brooklynbrews


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-20-2013 19:57:44 | More by brooklynbrews
Photo of PicoPapa


4.4/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 04:26:42 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of TheHurtMerchant


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-16-2013 01:51:26 | More by TheHurtMerchant
Photo of mholland


4.75/5  rDev +19%

01-12-2013 01:23:48 | More by mholland
Photo of HopsHopenstein


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-11-2013 20:54:36 | More by HopsHopenstein
Photo of OnYourSix


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-11-2013 03:10:02 | More by OnYourSix
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

01-10-2013 00:11:11 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of CharlatanSin


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-09-2013 13:58:58 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of RMoeNay


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-08-2013 21:52:05 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of pjs234


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-08-2013 11:54:56 | More by pjs234
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.58/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 02:04:40 | More by Pahn
Photo of alpinebryant


4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 18:55:14 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 03:53:38 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of bootdown21


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

01-06-2013 03:08:53 | More by bootdown21
Photo of thegerm87


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

01-06-2013 02:55:04 | More by thegerm87
Photo of davey101


4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2012 release, 375 ml bottle into a 668 tulip. Bottle #238/1400. Its worth noting the new style label omits the word "Trooper" and is labeled as "Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout". This has been my longest want so I was ecstatic to get this beer. Thanks for the awesome beers Matt, Rob and company!

A - Pours a pitch black body. A two finger head of dark mocha head forms and fades away quickly leaving behind thin edging. A swirl produces some modest lacing with minimal retention but a fingers worth of head does come back to life. Great alcohol legs form and stay for a while.

S - Odd and unique, just as the standard IST is. Starts off with roasted malts and cola. Notes of oak, vanilla, butterscotch, fudge, leather and black pepper. Nice balance between savory and sweet.

T - Very roasty initially. Then comes some coconut and chocolate fudge. Finally the bourbon rounds it out. Vanilla, oak, and butterscotch. I swear there is a subtle touch of Dr. Pepper in here. Its not dark fruit or red wine....its just...something borderline fruity in the background. Noticeable alcohol burn on the finish but its very pleasant if you're a fan of drinking bourbon. Not the most balanced or well integrated flavor profile, but I can't say I've tasted a beer like this. Delicious in all the wrong ways.

M - Medium to light bodied and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is way too high and seems to just jumble around the all the flavors. Rather easy drinking despite the alcohol warmth.

O - A very different BA stout with some faults. The carbonation is way too high and does not work with the flavor profile at all. There is an underlying cola quality to the aroma and flavor. But through it all I love it! Well worth the wait and personal hype.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 03:06:10 | More by davey101
Photo of CGMLS3


4/5  rDev +0.3%

01-02-2013 03:07:49 | More by CGMLS3
Photo of naloxone


3.75/5  rDev -6%

12-25-2012 01:27:34 | More by naloxone
Photo of t0rin0


3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

11-23-2012 00:11:55 | More by t0rin0
Photo of seplo


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

10-23-2012 23:45:13 | More by seplo
Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.