Imperial Stout Trooper | New England Brewing Co.

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Imperial Stout TrooperImperial Stout Trooper

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

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

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Reviews: 496 | Ratings: 1,274
Photo of Damian
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA

What an amazing bottle design. I am glad I got my hands on one of these before George Lucas issued his cease and desist order.

As for the beer, it poured a deep pitch black with a tiny, frothy, coffee-colored film covering the liquid.

The aroma was super boozy, oaky and smooth. Rich, rum-like alcohol came through strong along with dark chocolate, brown sugar and molasses. A touch of smoke lingered as well. As the beer warmed, the aroma took on intense port-like characteristics.

Unlike the nose, the taste was quite harsh. I felt like there was a lack of flavor up front. Charred, bitter malts, oak and a pungent, bourbon-like characteristic came through mid-palate. Some hoppiness appeared on the back end and carried into the long-lived, burnt malt, alcohol-rich finish.

Mouthfeel was creamy and fluffy, yet slightly thinner than expected for the style.

As for drinkability, I found this beer quite tough. The roasted character and the intense alcohol presence (I would estimate this beer to be around 11% ABV) were both a bit overwhelming (as was the $8 price tag).

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Firstly, the bottle is awesome. The beer pours black with brown edges and a creamy head that leaves some residual lacing.

S. Dark malt, hoppiness, with some ashiness.

T. Hoppy with some black patent char.

M. Medium mouthfeel with fairly low carbonation.

D. Ok, but not something I'd seek out.

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Photo of craytonic
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with a bit of an espresso-colored head.

Smell: Chocolate, fudge, alcohol, roasted malt, licorice

Taste: Chocolate, fudge, caramel, coffee, alcohol, roasted malt, licorice. Heavy roast and a bit thick.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Glad it was not a bomber.

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Photo of Rish907
3.57/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had the 12/2012 batch. 500ml bottle.

Poured fairly thin with decent amount of head. Smell was coffee, dark chocolate, and malts notes mostly. Mouth-feel was very thin, I was expecting more viscous for a stout. Tasted chocolate and coffee notes with some dark fruits. Let down my expectations a bit, I think this one definitely needs the bourbon-barrel to add some character and depth. There are so many other great ones out there, but worth a try to have once. I look forward to the barrel-aged version down the line. This one is a B- overall.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark black color, capped off with a good-sized medium tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate and burnt brown sugar. Tastes rather thin, somewhat unimpressive, with flavors of coffee, molasses and dark fruit. Not a bad beer at all, but still somewhat of a letdown after all the hype.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to dpowers.

A - Pours thick and black as night. Absolutely no head whatsoever on this one. Where did the carbonation go?

S - A dirty, dark, chocolate scent with some coffee and licorice. Some raisin and dark fruits in there too with some sweetness.

T - Dark chocolate with roasted malts. There's coffee in there too but a slight burnt flavor which was unexpected.

M - Slightly flat and a little thin on the finish.

O - Not too bad. But a little disappointed with the burnt flavors.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both Jeff and Steve for hooking me up with bottles of this one. I've been waiting to try it for quite some time now.

A: The pour is a nice looking dark brown, nearly black color with a finger's worth of brown head.

S: A slight acidity to the nose, which is unfortunate. A very strong roasted character without too much in the way of sweetness. Perhaps a touch of coffee and bitter chocolate.

T: Very, very roasty. Lots of coffee, and some more roasted malts for good measure. A good bitterness and just a hint of chocolate and vanilla.

M: The body is medium with medium carbonation, but it's a little high for an RIS.

D: Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this one. I enjoyed the roastiness of it, but there wasn't really anything else going on.

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

2009 vintage 750ml bottle shared by Ryan011235, poured into a snifter. An impressively opposing dark tan head mostly disappears in short order, but a thick skim is rather tenacious and is easily revived with an occasional swirl. Bubbly patches of lace on the sipping side of the glass, some crackly streaks on the opposite side.

Modestly roasty nose with light vinous and subtle dark fruity notes. Hints of milk chocolate and cocoa powder. I've never had this beer fresh before, but it seems some oxidation has kicked in; there's a vinous flavor that's not altogether out of place. In fact, it seems to provide much of the interest in the flavor profile. Anise and moderate roastiness. A heartier dose of chocolate or burnt malt would really take this beer to the next level. An excellent velvety, coating feel, though, that's the highlight of the beer. A hint of molasses in the warming finish.

Overall impression: Good imperial stout, slightly lacking in the "oomph" department.

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

2010 Batch

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown hue with a slim sudsy brown head. Moderate lacing. Not bad for an imperial stout.

Smell -- Lots of dark roast malt, leather, licorice and anise, gentle woodsmoke, herbal and earthy hops.

Taste -- Black malt, black coffee, licorice, black leather, vinous dark fruit notes. Malt sweetness is adequate: just enough to push those dark fruit flavors forward but not enough to make this cloying. Hop character is pronounced and earthy, and paired with the black malt makes this too bitter. The nuances of the malt flavors seem muted in comparison. Lingering flavors of earthy hop bitterness and vinous dark fruit.

Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied with somewhat milder carbonation. Mild alcohol warming in the throat, also a hit of fusel alcoholic bite at the swallow. Damn near perfect.

Drinkability -- Quite good. Great feel, good amount of depth for an imperial stout. I can't help but notice the massive amounts of licorice and black malt, which explains to me why this has become something of a divisive beer. Over time the remarkable bitterness paired with the charred malt really wore on my palate. I found it somewhat difficult to finish my glass.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

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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 jordanblaskey
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a tasting snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a near black with a small mocha ring of a head.

Sweet roast, coffee, espresso and alcohol heat.

Faint hops at the forefront lead way to smoke, coffee, sweet malts and finishes with a nice black cherry note.

Light-medium for a stout. Too carbonated for me.

An interesting take on the style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a somewhat unimpressive head; still, the beer has legs and leaves streaks of lace

Smell: Chocolate fudge, dark fruit and licorice

Taste: Chocolate fudge, from the outset, with a hoppy bitterness that develops by mid-palate, bringing along currants, charcoal and licorice; coffee elements appear after the swallow, though it is ultimately dominated by the roasty char and hoppy bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; surprisingly thin

Drinkability: With the domination of the more subtle flavors by the roasty char and hoppy bitterness, this beer lacks some of the balance I seek in a hoppier style stout

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Photo of Florida9
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, dark black, but there is just a little light coming from around the edges. Forms a foamy tan colored head. Leaves some light lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and dark roasted malts. A little char on the finish.

T: Char and lots of roasted malts. Then a mild sour creaminess that is reminiscent of cheap acidic coffee. A bit of dark chocolate and some more roasted malts on the finish.

M: A little thin for the style - maybe a heavy medium. Lower carbonation and a mild bitterness.

O: Certainly wasn't what I was expecting from this beer. Rather one dimensional and just not that impressive.

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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 cpetrone84
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a completely opaque black liquid that won't let even a hint of light through. The head is dark brown colored, almost like a dark mocha latte, the head is pretty tight and thick. it doesn't linger for very long but does leave a thick blanket on the glass.

S-the nose is actually not that big imo. it is very roasty, lots of roasted coffee, a touch of smokey wood, nice chocolate malts, and notes of alcohol at the back.

T-the taste is decent, lots of roasted coffee, slightly burnt with hints of the smoked wood. Dark chocolate comes for the middle giving way to a light sweetness that wasn't present in the nose. Dark fruits finish with ripe plum and a little alcohol soaked raisin. There is also a little bitterness at the very end suggesting some hop presence.

M-this is extremely smooth and creamy, almost velvety. However, the body is a little thin. I'd say about a medium body at best. Well carbonated giving it a nice finish but no burn at all.

D-this is some easy drinking. It is a little thinner than I prefer and pretty straight forward in terms of taste. doesn't really bring the complexity or body of the top stouts; but it isn't bad.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my noted from last night. Shared a bottle with my friends.

Pours a Dark black. A little thinner looking than expected. No real head. No lacing

Aroma of roasted malts primarily. Little bit of coffee. Mostly roasted malts.

Tastes pretty much the same. Slight malty sweetness. Little bit of coffee. Not really alot going on in this beer.

Mouthfeel is alot thinner than I like on an imperial stout. I think that's an important part of the balance.

Overall I really don't know why this is in the top 100. I've had other stouts that deserve the spot more. This was good but not worth the hype. Oh well, glad I finally tried it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black with little caronation and small brown head. Nose was faint with some roasted malt, coffee and cocoa coming through but not very robust at all. Taste had a funky sourness to it, notoverpowering but I did notice it but diminshed as it got warmer. Cocoa, roasted malt, some dark fruits as well. A big sweetness, bog on mouthfeel and a hardy beer. Got totry it thanks to Far333.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle via trade). Pours black with 2 finger chocolate head. Aroma has roasted malts, dark chocolate, wood. Taste is bitter with flavors following aromas. Full bodied with sticky texture. Bitter finish. Could be a little sweeter for my tastes. Quite bitter.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mcdiddypop for sharing this now-discontinued Jedi brew at the Hunahpu release party.

A – It pours fairly average for the style; black with a tan head, some lace.

S – The smell is mostly of heavily roasted grain and burnt toast, not spectacular. Underwhelming, actually.

T – The taste is underwhelming as well; it is not bad in any respect, but it is not outstanding in anyway (excepting the name and graphics). The flavor is basically roast, toast and grain, with only moderate to vague nuances of the usual accompanying flavor elements such as coffee, charred wood and cocoa. It didn’t help that this was being consumed in the presence of such outstanding Cigar City Stouts as Bourbon- or Brandy- barrel aged Hunahpu or Zhukov as well as standard Hunahpu, 110K+OT, and other phenoms such as Haandbryggeriet’s Odin’s Tipple. It couldn’t hang with the big boys. But it did crush Blackbeerd, by a mile, head-to-head.

M – Thick, but not crude thick, and just pretty good.

D – I wouldn’t seek to drink another one of these, though I would like to have one just to keep it for the Star Wars factor.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll confess, I'm a Star Wars nerd. I was born in late '77 so I've been surrounded by the genera, literally, for all of my life so I was a little stoked to try this one. Lets see if it lives up to expectations.

Great packaging! Makes me wish I could open it with the hilt of my lightsaber. The beer itself is a deep murky black with hits of plumb. The head is a lovely frothy brown that pours big but collapses to a crescent of film. Very nice.

Smells of slightly toasted wheat bread crusts, over ripe prunes and a dusting of coffee.

Tastes far more toasty with a dry rasp of the same bread crust that fades nicely to coffee. This picks up some soft cream and dark cherry, but the dark bread crust seems to dominate. I'm not sure I care for this emphasis.

Feels big and present with a thick swarm of bubbles that give this on a texture like pudding. Sadly, this seems to trap in the burnt crust flavor all the more.

When I look at the spectrum of RISs I've tried, this one just doesn't stick out for me. I'm sure some will be nuts about it, but the toast emphasis just didn't do it for me. I should note that this is extremely well put together, so my hat's off to the brewer, as I said, this one just isn't for me.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very black with dark brown tan 1 inch head. Leaves slow.

S - At first, a little turned off. Ashtray comes to mind. After mellowing, bakers chocolate is the predominant smell.

T - Bitter charred malty flavor. Almost smoky, but thankfully, not too much. Coffee and chocolate in the mix.

M - Creamy, coating, decent carb.

D - Too heavy handed on the flavor and I don't really care for the smoky charred aspect. Nice, but one is enough.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a special-release stout (acquired through trade) that is blended of seven different malts and Northern Brewer hops. Pours black with a two-finger tan head that dissipates quick. Faint aromatics of coffee and cocoa nibs and probably were all I could detect. Taste was flattish and made me wonder if this is better fresh? I could pick up light notes of coffee, toffee, and maybe roasted chocolate. Full bodied with decent carbonation. Highly disappointed brew. The label was probably the best thing going for this beer.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

08' courtesy of BT Pete, I believe

12 oz bottle into my snifter

pretty black pour with a creamy cinnamon head that fluffs then darts to the edges of the glass and leaves a swirling galaxy floating along the surface

nose of cooking sherry, almonds, sweet malts, iced coffee, and dark chocolate

first sip reveals an unexpected sourness, along with almond bark; not as complex as the nose would suggest. Aftertaste lingers forever

prickly carbonation that jumps on the palate - slightly odd but not altogether unpleasant

sourness and biting carbonation hamper the drinkability. Having never had this beer, I'm not fully sure if this is how it should taste.

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Photo of drseamus
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark body with thin off white head. Good rich sweet chocolate aroma. A ton of aroma for a beer. Starting to thin a bit in the flavor but still good chocolate. Some sweetness and leaves a nice malty aftertaste. Light body for a stout but medium at a minimum. Can't wait for this to release again.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ShogoKawada (as always!). 2010 vintage - thought I'd try this before popping open my older vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Opaque seal brown liquid with a finger of soft whipped desert sand foam up top. Light lacing runs quickly, driven down by pools of tears.

Subdued aromatics include deep roast barley notes with hints of hickory, vanilla, and chocolate orange.

Orange zest, cocoa, faintly acrid malt, stale coffee, and a touch of anise on the palate. Finishes dry, vaguely peppery, with a gentle astringency and hints of hot-dog buns.

Somewhat oily, medium-bodied, with low but sufficient carbonation.

A decent, well balanced, but rather one-note (and somewhat weak flavored) stout - we'll see if age helps my earlier batch.

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Imperial Stout Trooper from New England Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 1,274 ratings.
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