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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

271 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 260
Gots: 80 | 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:
2012 - 375ml bottle, label changed to hunched groucho barrel. 10% ABV

(Beer added by: caresville on 04-25-2010)
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jbtice0315
3.48/5  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 Urbancaver
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clearish brown. Not as dark as i would like Like to see. Tns and tons of head that doesn't dissipate quickly. Smells heavy of oak and bourbon. Some nice butteriness. Tastes very chocolatey and malty. The bourbon flavour is great but the mouthfeel is killing it. Bitter from the co2. Overcarbonsted and harsh. Overall it could be worse but man does this beer hurt to drink

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours black with a thick bubbly head that leaves lots of residual lacing.

S. Some harsh whiskey/ wood notes with some dark chocolate and dark roasted malt.

T. Dark roasted malt with some harsh wood, dark chocolate bitterness.

M. Becomes foam instantly when it touches your tongue.

D. The mouthfeel really takes away from this. I'm not a huge fan of the smell or taste, but the mouthfeel is what really takes away from this.

Photo of brew3crew
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-nice rich brown color with a great tan head that sticks around the whole time
S-very smooth bourbon smell. Some chocolate malts that blend really well
T-bourbon is upfront. Carbonarion is really prevalent throughout
M-very carbonated. Almost light with a smooth finish
O-the rareness is really good on this. Decent beer but doesn't really live up to the hype

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
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 bonkers
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to steve8robin for this one, recieved in secret santa '10 bif. The bottle was split in 2 snifters. The pour is jet black with an above average tan head, slowly receding. The aroma was sweet malt with oak and bourbon notes, although less than I would have expected for a BA beer. The flavor has lots of roasted malts, chocolate. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes are there as a backdrop, it has a lingering alcohol finish. The beer is full bodied and is highly carbonated for a RIS. My bottle did not have any infection or ridiculous carbonation issues. I liked it, but was not wowed.

Photo of Lunch
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was shared by thagr81us at Sexual Chocolate 2011. Thanks Calton! I tried many times to trade for this beer but I never pulled it off.

After hearing about the possible infection issues I was a bit leery, but since I am a big fan of the base beer I was excited to try this. This was sampled side by side with IST 2009.

As the bottle was opened we were pleased that there were no tart or sour notes.

Pouring this beer into a Darkness snifter (wish there was such a thing as a IST snifter) we were greeted with many fingers of tan on top of a black inky base.

The smell was quite nice with notes of chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and roasted malt.

Taste pretty much mimicked the smell, but this aspect was hindered by the excessive carbonation. I worked through my pour slowly in hopes that the carbonation would subside, which it did. Certainly better as I continued to drink, but it seemed a bit thin.

I'm really hoping for another batch and hopefully the carbonation will be addressed.

Photo of Gfunk720
2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
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 Arenbeer
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
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 jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pemmet for this one. Had as part of the mini Whale Stout tasting back in mid December.

A dark head fades at a medium pace over essentially pitch black beer.

Nose brings some oak, woody esthers, a little bourbon, dark malts, little roast and dark chocolate, a little saw dust, bit of wet cardboard as well.

Taste has some straw, a bit of wood, more wet cardboard, tons of wood, sawdust, little roast, semi bitter stout flavors, a bit of chocolate, light creamy chocolate, light earthy hops, way too much overpowering wood and oak.

Mouth is medium bodied, a little lighter than I thought, with lighter carbonation.

Drink is meh, the wood just gets so overpowering, a light booze but not much, and a little sweetness.

Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A big thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing this with me and some other BA's.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Some ruby around the edges. A huge tan head forms, almost like a gusher. Though manageable to pour. Not much lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malt, chocolate, vanilla are big and up front. Plenty of alcohol in the nose, and some lingering dry wood notes.
T: Fairly simple here. Light toasted malt and chocolate. Lots of prickly alcohol that really detracts for me.
M/D: A full body, but the carbonation is huge. Lots of bubbles, and really prickly on the tongue. Tons of alcohol. A very slow sipper.

I am glad I got the chance to try this, but it just does not hold up. There is not a lot going on. The huge prickly carbonation and alcohol makes this difficult to drink as well. Not something I would recommend.

Photo of thagr81us
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
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 Huhzubendah
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by thagr81us. Thanks Calton!

The beer appears nearly black and dark brown at the crest. The beer is over-carbonated and a light beige, foamy head fills most of the glass, despite a somewhat careful pour. The aroma is unusual, with wood barrels, alcohol, and tannins outweighing roasted malt. The flavor is atypical as well, with a dominant wood presence. Roasted malt and chocolate flavors play secondary roles to barrels, bourbon, and a somewhat sharp, tannic character. Not one of my favorite barrel-aged stouts.

Photo of Chaney
2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got to try this one at Sexual Chocolate Day 2011 courtesy of some very generous BAs. Awesome!

A: Dark, dark in color.... devoid of it even! The mocha head was completely out of control and filled up half of the glass.

S: Hmmm.... I got a dark roasted concoction laced with rotten coconut rum. Not pleasant.

T: Same thing on the taste only more intensified. As fruity as the original beer was in general, I just don't think it lent itself well to barrel-aging. There was also a good bit of nuttiness (hazelnuts?) mixed into the weirdness.

M: Thick enough for the style and judging by the head, this was very well carbonated. However, there were greater, fatal issues here than only mouthfeel.

D: Not very. I know this is a very sought after beer, but I just couldn't take any more than my share. That said.... I was totally stoked to get to try it!

Photo of BigTomZ
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009

A: Pours a very thick black with a huge head. The head dissipates very slowly into a layer of foam that never goes away.

S: The aroma is mainly of fruits, but not dark fruits as I might expect from a stout. This was more like cherries. The bourbon character is definitely present, but doesn't dominate. The roasted malts and chocolate are just in the background.

T: The taste followed the smell. The most forward taste was the fruits, followed by the bourbon, then the base stout. I'm not sure if something is up with the bottle or if the cherry character was intended.

M: The high level of carbonation keeps it from being a heavy drinker.

D: I wanted to like this more than I did. I think the regular IST is one my high rated beers, but the cherry character kept me from fully enjoying this.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to BigSexy410 again for sharing this right next to the original Trooper.

A: Looks like the original with nice tan head, black body. Has even more head I think.

S: The hops from the Imperial stout trooper are cut down significantly by the whiskey barrel heat and sweetness. The roasted malt and nut flavors still are there, but it doesnt have the same character as the original, yet still solid. There is a sour cherry note thats not too overpowering but strange.

T: Seems a little off. Added notes of vanilla oak and whiskey are in the taste with much less hops and less of almost all the attributes of the former beer. Seems infected somehow...not sure what it is but its a little off and somewhat fruity sour. Still a pretty tasty stout.

M: More carbonation than i expected, and seems sort of thin.

D: Not the greatest beer ever, especially barrel aged stouts which i'm usually lenient on.

Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 01/21/11 notes. Had at a small tasting thanks to BigSexy410; thanks, huge want! Poured into my Portsmouth tulip.

a - Pours a jet black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of vanilla, roasted malts, oak, sour cherries, sour fruit, oak, and alcohol. The sour fruit in the smell makes me think this one might have been infected, as the others tasting it thought as well. Still not bad, just different than I was expecting.

t - tastes of sour fruits, especially cherries, roasted malts, oak, and chocolate. Light alcohol. Again, thinking this one is a bit infected.

m - Medium body and high carbonation.

d - A bit bummed this one seemed to be infected. It still wasn't awful, but not what I was expecting, and after having and enjoying the normal IST, this was a let down. Looking at other reviews it doesn't look like this is a widespread problem, hopefully it was a 1 bottle thing.

Photo of portia99
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by pemmet at a recent imperial stout tasting.

A - Dark...black in color - no light gets thru at all. A skim coat of tan head leaving behind a loose collar around the glass.

S - Boozy, warm, bourbon, woody oak with some vanilla.

T - Woody is an understatement on this...mild bourbon flavors, lots of roasy flavors.

M - Medium bodied with a lower carbonation level...very oaky - wood really dominates.

D - Very woody (definitely a theme here), interesting and a bit different. I enjoyed this more than the standard version...barrel aging definitely helped although a bit one dimensionally.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.13/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally cracking this guy Poured into a tulip. This is a gusher. Only foam comes out into the glass. The body is all black. Nice sticky lacing, but too much is too much.

Nice burnt coffee aroma. Smells very bitter. No sweetness is really detected in the aroma.

The taste is dry and bitter. No sweetness at all on this one. The taste is actually relatively one dimensional. The finish is very dry and a little bland actually. Not bad, but definitely not in the top tier of barrel aged stouts.

The carbonation is a little aggressive, possibly concealing sweet flavors. This isn't terrible, and I enjoy drinking it; but it's much too middling to warrant special attention.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks andrewinski for sharing his bottle with me! Poured into a tulip. Thankfully Andy was ready for the massive carbonation on this one when he poured it. Initially all head with just a bit of beer on the bottom of the glass. Once it's finally all poured a rocky tan head sits atop a black body in the glass. Doesn't look to bad. Has a burnt aroma to this one. Slightly burnt toasty malts with a hint of a cocoa aroma and kind of a vegetable finish that seems weird. Cucumber maybe. I know, it seems out of place. Not getting much bourbon out of this either. I feel like if I reach I can get it but if I didn't know it should be there it could easily be overseen. For a barrel aged beer, I feel like it should be a bit more present. Taste damn good though. The bourbon is a lot more present but still not overpowering. Nicely done. Hints of cocoa and bitter espresso round this one out with a slight caramel finish. The mouthfeel is intense. This is so carbonated that it explodes in your mouth when you drink it. The flavors are fair enough (aside from the out of place vegetable flavor I get) but the carbonation is thi killer on this. Overall a solid beer, but it loses a lot due to over carbonation.

Photo of nkersten
2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
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 MasterSki
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Eric (TurdFurgison) for hooking me up with a bottle of this one. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a ridiculously large head that quickly sizzles away to a thin cap, leaving a few spots of lace behind. The body is black with no hint of color at the fringes. Other than being obnoxious to pour this looks pretty good.

S - Huge wet wood and astringent burnt flavors. Reminds me of some of Cigar City's less successful barrel-aging experiments. There's some light chocolate and caramel malt when it warms up, along with some fusel alcohol and a touch of bretty pineapple.

T - Extremely heavy with burnt, roast, and char notes, with plenty of oak, smoke, and a touch of plastic as well. Not much overt bourbon flavor - mostly earthy. Thankfully there isn't any overt sign of infection in the flavor.

M - Smooth, but overly thin body, low carbonation (it's all in the head). Finishes sticky.

D - This wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either - all of us managed to finish our glasses. I'd much rather have the regular Imperial Stout Trooper. I get a faint hint of infection, and the feel and look was reminiscent of Churchill's Finest Hour. Warts and all, this was still better than the White Birch travesty.

Photo of phattysbox
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for cracking this brew!

Poured at cellar temps into a Unibroue tasting glass and whoa what a head. BIG 5-6 inches with only 1 inch of beer at the bottom of the glass. Way too much carbonation on this one as it takes forever for the chocolately tan head to reduce in size. Black as night.

Smell is the best part of this beer and is complex. Vanilla, bourbon, and lightly toasted wood carry through the nose. The roast comes in second and plays nicely with some caramel and burnt raisin malt.

Taste: Wha?? Hey! Where did my beer go? I could have sworn smelling this brew the taste profile would be more of the same from the nose but very opposite. Very one-dimensional with mild roasted malts and some sweet caramel notes. That's about it - no wood ageing and bourbon character is apparent. Unfortunately, the excessive carbonation on this beer takes away from the subtle nuances and I'm speculating the volatile aromatics that lend some taste are gone once the carbonation goes down. The mouthfeel is thin, and gets more thin when there is less carbonation... Hhhhmmm...

Overall: Not impressed. The carbonation and thin mouthfeel really killed this beer. I don't think its infected, but the brewers put WAY to much CO2 into this beer.

Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.05/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Barrel-Aged IST is, overall, a profound disappointment. All of the liabilities of the parent beer are still present: it is too light in appearance, too thin in mouthfeel and overcarbonated. Although some wood, vanilla and bourbon notes are present, the carbonation and thin body interfere with conveying those flavors to your tongue. Instead, you get a bit of the chocolate and burnt toast flavor of regular IST, a bit more sweetness and a bit of fruity tartness at the finish. This simply does not match up to the powerhouses of the category and ultimately fails to take advantage of the barrel aging process.

Photo of Spica66
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received this an EXTRA(!) from randomdanger. "Thank you" does not say enough, Will!

Consumed under a clear, blue sky on my deck, with gwuilliums on his 43rd birthday.

A: Extremely dark pour. Instant head formation. No stopping the head formation. Waaay over-carbonated. Like year-old Founders Breakfast Stout.

S: Sweet and dark. Roast malt, coffee, very nice.

T: Also sweet and dark. Sweet like Bell's Expedition Stout with dark notes like The Abyss 2008. Very well balanced.

M: The carbonation, even after aggressive swirling was way too high and caused quite a sharpness on the tongue.

D: If you were to let this sit our for a couple of hours to burn off the carbonation, it is very easy to drink.

Note to self:
This is the night we drank the 1986 Robert Keenan cab.

Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.