Imperial Stout Trooper | New England Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
496 Reviews
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Imperial Stout TrooperImperial Stout Trooper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States
newenglandbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2006 - 12oz bottle
2007 - not released
2008 - 12oz bottle
2009 - 750mL bottle
2010 - 750mL bottle and Groucho glasses label change
2011 - bottle date added to label
2012 - 500mL bottle
2013 - 500mL bottle labeled 12/2013
2014 - 500mL bottle
2015 - 12oz can

Added by goodbyeohio on 12-29-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
496
Ratings:
1,275
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.31%
 
 
Wants:
996
Gots:
441
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 1,275
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a really fantastic stout, no frills about this one, no coffee, cocoa nibs, nothing but an authentic imperial stout here. the pour is real dark, almost black, but tinted cherrywood red when held to intense light. an inch of white head is permanently fixed to the surface. sort of an understated smell, in a meticulously refined way. its dark and bitter of course, but its also got some subtle earthy notes, like damp tree bark, and a touch of black licorice. the flavor is super roasty, as dark as you can go before getting that bitter char taste. here is where some coffee essences can be observed, but its a parallel of roasting, not necessarily of a real coffee addition. there is a little sweetness towards the finish that brings to mind butterscotch oatmeal cookies, one of my most favorite desserts. full body, standard carbonation, cloudlike soft and moist texture that really makes it dangerously easy to drink. I also love that the abv isn't through the roof. it allows for more intake, and thus more reflection. overall this is an outstanding stout, a great illustration of the style, and a beer that I may never have gotten to try if it weren't for a great trade with thebrewo. cheers for this!

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with a thick and chewy kahki head that never seems to want to let go. Ribbons of thick and sticky lacing cling to the glass and slip down. Looks like still black coffee with a touch of foam on the top. Not a sign of carbonation anywhere.

S- WOW! Coffee, bitter dark cocoa, touches of vanilla, raisin, figs and orange peel. This has real depth. Really digging the dark fruit and bitter cocoa mix.

T- Amazing creamy milk and bitter 80% chocolate with fresh squeezed orange. Huge espresso and charred malts without tasting burnt. Light notes of toasted grains and pumpernickel.

M- Thicker than a fudge brownie! Really chewy and long lasting. It doesn't so much glide down your tongue as much as it flows down like lava. Really soft on the palate. No carbonation to speak of.

O- This is really nice. The orange peel and citrus really comes out as it warms up. Espresso, dark cocoa powder, brownies, with plenty of dark dried fruit and black coffee. It drinks fantastic now, but I can't wait to see what happens to this with some time on it.

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Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (16.9 oz) says it was bottled in December of 2012. Consumed on March 21, 2013.

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat snifter/tulip-type glass. Body is black with a half-finger chocolate-brown head on top that reminds me of chocolate milk, only thicker (maybe I'm just used to the skim and I need to use whole milk). Leaves a good amount of lace behind all the way down the glass.

S: Coffee, roasted coffee beans, chocolate and something else that I can't quite put my finger on right now - wait, I think I have it now: burnt fudge brownies; you know, when you make brownies and leave them in the oven too long and the bottom gets a little burnt. That's what I smell. . . . Pretty strong nose, with good Imperial Stout-type scents.

T: First impression (other than the thinner-than-expected mouthfeel) is that it's roasty. Not quite Porter-roasty, but it's close. Roasted barley and coffee with milk chocolate early, then dark chocolate on the back end of the palate. A touch of anise is noted. Finishes with a charcoal/char-like burnt bitterness.

M: Like I said earliere, the heft is a bit thinner than expected. After a few sips, however, I'm over it. Call it medium in heft, with modest carbonation that's inoffensive.

O: Solid stuff. It grew on me after some initial hesitance.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

the beer pours a rich looking black with a thin halo of tan head. the nose is distinct with a big hoppy/boozy nose and very little roast/caramel. the taste is slightly roasty, but predominantly earthy bitter chocolate. the mouthfeel is relatively full bodied and sweet, but certainly not cloying, slightly bitter and a touch of cardboard. this is a tasty stout with good balance and relatively tame sweetness. good beer that's worth trying, but doesn't overpower.

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Photo of jeonseh
2.49/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A - Dark brown with small mocha colored head

S- The smell is off as I keep getting pennies that overpower light coffee and slight dark fruit

T - Roasted coffee, slight vanilla, caramel, dark roasted coffee. Slight prune juice as well. It drinks better than it smells but it's not great

MF - Light carbonation with medium body that gives it a slight astringent and bitter lingering taste

O - Cool bottle but the beer is off as it has too much copper for a RIS

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler filled at NEBCO to a tulip (a few times). I've had this year's batch a few times now, time to review.

A: Jet black, like motor oil. A little bit of a fizzy dark tan head. No lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, milk chocolate, and licorice. Raisins. Fruitier than I remember. Very nice.

T/M: Delicious milk chocolate dominates. Toffee. Sweet and smooth. A little dark roast and a bit of a hop presence makes for a somewhat bitter finish. Not much of the dark fruit from the nose. Not a hint of booze. Dangerously drinkable. Mouthfeel is smooth and slick with low carbonation. (I remember carbonation being higher in the bottle.)

O: NEBCO continues to crush it this year. Well done boys.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for the share!

poured into a hair of the dog tulip.

drank this side by side with BA IST!

Vintage 2012.

Appearance: 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! Sweet and malts nose overall.

Taste: Lots of milk chocolates and cocoa just like the nose. Hints of vanilla and cocoa beans. A hint of lactose notes and black licorice. Bit of roastiness and nuttiness blend effortlessely into the overall effect as well. As the beer warms up you can start to taste the hops, but its just a hint and the beer still stays semi sweet like milk chocolates.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Great carbonation levels; really nice and drinkable Imperial Stout! Smooth and soft feel with a little silky and creaminess to it!

Overall: I have wanted to try this for a long time now. It did not dissapoint and i would say that this beer is better than what the average review says it is. Its a memorable stout for sure! Love the label too! NEBCO has a real winner here. No wonder it has been so difficult to get my hand on a bottle of this!

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Photo of smonice
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a good Stout. Bottle makes it seems somewhat cheesy but wow does this deliver.

2012 vintage. 500 mL bottle LIF'd by ILOVESTOUTS.

A - Deep brown color with a nice mocha colored 1/2 inch head. Minimal lacing but solid retention.

S - Has a very strong roasty smell and not much else. I thought I got some chocolate in there but after trying again, didn't get it.

T - Cocoa, cocoa, and some more cocoa. Some roasty malts in there and subtle coffee bitterness. Really fantastic.

M - Creamy and smooth body. Super drinkable!

O - Wow I want some more right now. Really I do.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- thick black oil coming out of the bottle. Looks like there's no way it can produce foam, but after the pour gets going a beautiful, thick head of light brown foam builds. It recedes and leaves fantastic sticky lacing all over the glass

S- Copious dark fruit and roasty aromas. Plums, raisins, licorice, anise, burnt toast, a touch of smoke. Really dark and foreboding.

T/M- starts with waves of dark fruit, licorice and anise- followed mid palate by huge roasty and toasted malt flavors. Bitter coffee and bitter sweet chocolate mingle with tart cherry and anise. everything comes through in a flurry on the finish with a smattering of citrus hops to dry it all out

O- In the mold of a true RIS with the influences of american double stout, a fantastic must try.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure where I first had this (I rated it 1/13, but I don't remember the occasion), but I do know someone shared a bottle at Voodoo's first Barrel Room release in March 2013, and that's what I have notes for. Not sure what vintage it was, but it was a 750ml bottle. If I had to guess I'd say 2011.

Straight-up black pour, with a small bubbly head that receded to a thin, wispy layer, leaving a few dots of lace on the glass. Lots of roast in the aroma, dark malts and cocoa, herbal, and surprisingly some piney hops notes. More of the same in the taste, roasty dark malts and unsweetened cocoa, anise, a somewhat awkward pine hop presence, solventy grain alcohol. Fairly strong bitterness overall. Hmm. Body was medium and somewhat thinned out. This beer didn't really do much for me. It was pretty basic and uninteresting, like an average homebrew. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice large four-finger espresso colored head. Brew is black as night and roasty black. No lacing.

Roasty, smoky, nothing overwhelming... nutty, dry, chocolate, slightly musty...

Thin, watery, solid, well blended, roasty, super dark chocolaty, sweetness is precise and direct. Overly high carbonation is high, heat is well hidden and bitterness is great, light. Roasty is full and nutty.

A very solid brew, but IST is another example of a brew not worth all the hype it receives, especially at ^$20/bottle. Recommended, but don't buy into the hype..

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Photo of albertjr21
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottled poured into a snifter yields a solid black body under a well maintained khaki colored head. Aroma is quite impressive and complex with notes of earthy and sweet notes of chocolate, coffee, nut, graham cracker and vanilla. A smooth and silky malty mouthfeel glides over the palate with resonating earthy hops, pungent cocoa, dark fruit, and perhaps tobacco flavors that harmonize nicely into a dry finish. I see a fully loaded beef cheeseburger pairing in this brew's future on my table...

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Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz. growler. Filled on 12/18/12.

Inky dark brown to black, viscous body. Small, half finger of dense, dark khaki head. Some retention and lacing. Lots of roasted malts on the nose. Dark chocolate covered fruit. Licorice. Sumatran coffee funk. Nice.

Roasted malt and coffee bitterness up front. Swells with dark fruit, semi-sweet chocolate, and rum raisins. Peaty, with Sumatran funk and bitterness comes through, along with licorice and some molasses. More roasted bitterness in the finish with plenty of lingering sweet peaty malt and chocolate. Slightly warming, but very drinkable. Full bodied with a lush, velvety feel. Very nice, especially once it hits cellar temperature.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010. 750ml bottle into snifter. Split with mjyoung. Thanks for sending me this a long while back, SneezyAchew.

A: Pours black with a rather large, dense, yet fluffy dark mocha colored head. Head slowly faded into a thick and greasy film that left streaks of lace down the glass.
S: Big chocolate and coffee on the nose. Very mellow and smooth smelling.
T: Follows the nose with dominating notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted malts. Dark fruits are in there too, with hints of dates, raisins, and slight vanilla. The finish is fairly bitter for the style (in a good way), and the aftertaste is roasted and chocolatey.
M: Full body, although not motor oil, with a very smooth but bitter mouthfeel. The carbonation is mellow and adds to the smoothness.
O: I was surprised how good this was. Definitely flavorful and super easy to drink. This could be aged even longer. Thanks again Michael!

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Photo of abraxel
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 7, courtesy of ShogoKawada.

A - Super black, with a mocha-colored head which drops kinda quickly, but leaves a persistent film and pretty good lacing.

S - Sweet plums and raisins, brown sugar, and a touch of sharp molasses. There's a little something more, but I can't place it. Could it be chilis? Not sure. Regardless, I really like it.

T - This is tough to describe. It's rather sweet, with plums and raisins and such, with just a little roastiness, and I'm becoming increasingly convinced that there's just a little bit of chili in the aftertaste... but there's so much else in the flavor that I just can't put into words. Part of it reminds me of that slight twinge of sourness in baltic porters. Quite tasty.

M - Full, thick, smooth, lowish carbonation. Almost no hint of alcohol.

Overall, I like this a whole lot, but I have no idea what it is. An imperial stout, obviously, but beyond that I haven't a clue. It has something else going on in there that I haven't been able to place and which brings in a whole bunch of flavor.

Non-blind comments: This was vintage 2011

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Photo of KTCamm
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from NEBCO bomber into a perfect pint glass. 2010 bottling, so aged somewhat.

Pours jet black, like oil, with thick head of brown foam. Sits a top like a foam cap. Coffee rich roasted nose. Dark chocolate too. Powerful. Smooth creamy taste, with loads of dark chocolate, hint of coffee. The bitter is buried deep in the back. Mouthfeel is quite smooth. Soft, even. Top notch. Phenominal.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 vintage 750ml
Pours a hint mocha head that is easily roused to a half fingers worth. Alcohol legs are present with some wisps of head and some lacing. Black body with deep brown/red around the edges.

Roasted malts, coco powder and some earthy hops. I can also smell some burnt sugar, sweet sugary malts and alcohol.

Tastes like a solid Russian Imp Stout with some ashy, smokey and roast quality. A good bit of coco, dark chocolate, raisins and earthy hops. A bit of alcohol in the taste with a definite warmth as it goes down.

Medium full bodied. Low carbonation. Fairly oily and coating.

Overall this is an good beer. The steep price tag of this one may keep me from trying it again. I can't see myself spending $20 for another bottle for this coming release. I know it's cheaper at other stores but I have buyers remorse for this one. Maybe if I see it on draft coming up I'll get a taste to see if it's worth it.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I can't remember who shared it, and my notes don't say.

A: Pours a dark brown body with some mild edge clarity. The center of the body becomes clear in smaller quantities. Tan head (small, short-lived) becomes a thin collar.

S: Roasty coffee, grain, some mild chocolate. Light anise. A pleasant, though not overwhelming, aroma.

T: Begins with roasted coffee, segueing into milk chocolate in the center taste. There is definitely an undercurrent of either anise or dark fruit, but it's so light that I can't really tell which it is. It finishes with some roasted grain aftertaste.

M: Just under medium-bodied; a bit thin for the style, but not flawed.

O: I find this perfectly serviceable, but I'm not sure it would merit any more attention than Old Rasputin if it weren't for the label controversy.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a half finger of brown head that left plenty of bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Definitely was able to detect plenty of milk chocolate in the aroma with some slightly muted coffee notes, hints of roasty malts, caramel undertones, and maybe very little brown sugar it seems like.

T: like the aroma the milk chocolate character also dominated the palate alongside slight roasty malts, some earthy woody notes, hints of dark fruits barely coming through but with caramel and coffee accents,

M: the brew was medium in body with fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slightly roasty, earthy, mild fruity, and slight bitter finish.

O: I honestly thought it was going to be a lot better from all the hype it has gotten over the years. It was just an OK RIS, nothing special.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with 1 finger head.

S: Roasted malt, floral hops noted (roses maybe?) - this floral aroma dominates other subtle aroma

T: Roasted malt, coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate, floral hops coming through again, tastes sweeter than it smells. Hop bitterness in the end. Very good. Tastes better than it smells, imo.

M: Thick and chewy. Good amount of carbonation (perhaps a tad bit too much carbonation).

O: Very solid stout. Not my favorite, but it's quite good and subtlely unique.

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Photo of Holland
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured right out of the fridge from the bottle right into an Ithaca tulip. Thanks to goblinmunkey7 for sending this my way!

A: deep black color with a huge tan to brown head that just stays forever as a layer of froth. I poured a bit hard, but it was cold - huge head and retention, great looking beer.

S: rich sweet notes with some toffee, but also has the roasted coffee smell and some earthy tones.

T: very earthy and a bit bitter, but the roasted notes allow for that. Not much of the sweetness, but there's very little alcohol if any.

M: good thickness in the body, but the carbonation is just too much and tears it apart just a bit. Still very good, but it was noticeably overcarbonated for me.

O: very good beer, but the carbonation kills it. Not sure if it was intentional or not. Overall still work seeking - maybe some age on this one would do it some good.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a globe. Vintage bottle. Not positive on the date, but either 2010 or 2011.

A: Black pour with a tan head that settles shortly. Sheets of lacing.

S: Chcolate caramel chews, fudge, brownie batter, tootsie rolls. Good dose of cardboard oxidation.

T: Brownies, black cocoa, bakers chocolate, soot and char. Burnt sugar. Dark fruit in the background. Papery/cardboard oxidation in the background. Hollow hop bitterness. Char and paper/chocolate finish.

M: Thick and chewy body. Soft and creamy. Prickling carbonation.

O: 8.5% abv is only what I would consider to be on the fringes of 'big' these days, but this still aged very well. When fresh, this beer was unpleasantly hot. Now there is no booziness left to offend. Although oxidation leaves a firm imprint, I think time has still transformed this beer for the better. "Drink it, it's good."

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Photo of zhanson88
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 750mL bottle. Got this one in a trade quite some time ago and figured it was time to pop it.

Appearance: Pours out pretty much pitch black and pretty viscous-looking. About 1/2" of medium khaki colored head forms that has pretty good lacing and retention. Pretty good looking stout.

Smell: Smells of some coffee, milk chocolate, a hint of roast and possibly a few dark fruits. Good smell, but it takes a bit for me to get much out of it. A little muted.

Taste: A hint of roast, coffee, milk chocolate, with some nice dark fruit character coming out as it warms. Again, I'd say it's comparable to the smell; good flavors, but just not enough of them.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium-full mouthfeel with a perfect amount of carbonation. The carbonation really makes the mouthfeel. Overall, a good stout, but not something I was super impressed with. When I try this next I'd like to try it fresher to see if some of the flavors come out more.

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Photo of SneezyAchew
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a number of times on draft and from the bottle. This review is from a tasting where a couple of friends and I drank 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. Mostly I took notes during the 2010, but each year was better than the last.

a: Looks like black coffee just poured from a keurig, you know, considering the foam that sticks around for a bit and all.

s: Really sweet and chocolatey with a smidge of bitter coffee. Personally, I'm also getting a lot of meat here, too. Kielbasa?

t: Caramel, coffee, and more chocolate. Huge taste here. After having a number of Stone IRS' the night before, I greatly prefer the huge, bold flavors you get here. The 2010 was much more balanced than the '11, but the flavors haven't completely melded yet. However, it's undeniably delicious.

m: Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Not too viscus.

o: One of my favorite imperial stouts. Enjoyed these during Episode 3, and the beers continued to get more epic as the story did the same.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Vintage 2011. Thanks to Celtic001 for this bottle! Bottle poured into a tall chalice. Pours a deep foreboding black, with a thick, lustrous mocha head. The nose is a bounty of coffee, roasted embers, bakers chocolate. The big downfall to this one though is the feel. This is an over-carbonated mess. Harsh bubbles scald the palate. Way overdone. This is a much more roasted beer than anticipated. Smoke, charred wood, some mild cocoa-like flavors. Not a lot of sweetness to help balance this one out. Meh. This one was disappointing to say the least. Not worthy of the hype for me anyways. Glad I tried it though.

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Imperial Stout Trooper from New England Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,275 ratings.
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