Imperial Stout Trooper | New England Brewing Co.

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Imperial Stout TrooperImperial Stout Trooper
BEER INFO

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

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:
488
Ratings:
1,243
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
9.31%
 
 
Wants:
986
Gots:
435
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 488 | Ratings: 1,243
Photo of stakem
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, the 2009 vintage which was the last year for the original label. Bottle opened with friends and tasted along side the barrel aged version. This brew appears black in color with a quick dissolving dark tan head. Thick patches of lace stick to the glass. A light swirl revives the cap.

The smell of this brew is dark roasted grain, fresh yet at the same time charred and earthy with a touch of dirt scent. Some citrus is evident with a dark fruited quality that makes this brew seem like it is quite sweet smelling. A touch of fusel alcohol cones out as the beer warms up.

The taste is earthy and bitter with charred grain and lots of roast. It is bitter, unsweetened chocolate meets coffee. A bit of fresh grainy flavornis present almost like raw oats. There is a dark fruity alcohol note included with a touch of anise. This is well balanced and very enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It has a rich, creamy smooth feel and a hidden alcohol inclusion that only shows itself as it warms. Very roasty and super enjoyable. I don't know how much the recipe for this brew changes from year to year but I can firmly state that I fully enjoyed this with ~2 years of age on it. This past years seemed much more fruited with alcohol and hops. I really enjoyed this darker, more roasted edition of the trooper. Well done.

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Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this one back from the brewery. "Bottled in 2006" (Acc. to John/jcwattsrugger a brewer there said that it was in Dec.)

Pours black with a brown head - looks like espresso with a darker head.

The smell is of licorice/anise with a berry-like fruitiness, woodiness, alcohol, chocolate and a touch of tar.

The taste is wonderful - the alcohol and acidity quickly subsided to mild, revealing chocolate, roasty dark maltiness and licorice. Woody, fruity notes intertwine and blend in nicely. Sweetish, long finish.

The feel is superb - creamy, rich, velvety and lingering.

The alcohol sneaks up, but for style is so drinkable because of the luscious taste and rich, silky feel. Try pairing with dark chocolate - It's a real treat!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 bottle.

Appearance - It's dark, but not inky. Almost a dark brown more than black. Nice mocha head that dissipates to very little lacing. Chunky sediment that floats on the surface. Gross.

Smell - Sweet at first, but immediately roasty. Dark coffee, roasty. One note smell, but not bad. Hop aroma as well.

Taste - Roasty, hoppy, again it's one note. A hint of sweetness, but it's all coffee. Bitter finish that isn't well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Thin bodied and and extremely dry. Not a good mouthfeel.

Overall - I find it hard to find redeeming qualities to this one. There's nothing offensive about it, but it's painfully average. Why do people like this so much?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ol' Bomber. Storm trooper mask with stout in the goggles, ...how much did they have to pay Lucasfilm, to keep this gig going?

Aroma leaps out, it's a massive cacophony of dark delights, rich, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, molasses, ends on a dry note.

Look: Total darkness, with a nice toasted tan head.

Taste: Mmmm, a dark ale lover's dream. Warm, smooth, smokey, supple. Licks the palate with licorice whips, and tosses back chocolate frosting. Not too anything, in any way. Mmm, yummy. Gets deeper as we go, nice and whiskey-ish, smokey, dark and deep.

Dry, malty, smooth, and, did I say yum, yet? I'll say it again.
Yum.

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

Picked this bottle up 1/09 from the most recent bottling.

Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells of chocolate syrup, dark chocolate, a faint bit of hops in the back. Taste is chocolate syrup, some milk chocolate, and a bit of caramel. Hop or roast bitterness linger in the finish. Body is medium, mouthfeel is heavy and oily, carbonation is low. Definitely a sipper. The chocolate is nice, but I would have liked a bit more roast. A bit more body would have helped this one as well.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this one. Shared with my wife - served in a FOBAB mini-pint taster.

A - Pitch black with only the tiniest hint of brown at the bottom edge. One and half fingers of dark tan foam with excellent retention that slowly dissolves to a solid cap and ring. Plenty of spotty lacing. The only thing holding this one back is head volume.

S - Super roasty malt flavor mixed with booze-soaked dark fruits. There is also some light coffee flavor mixed with dark chocolate and burnt sugars/molasses. It's a very nice RIS and the smell is quite potent, but it isn't particularly unique - see my Kate the Great review on indistinct, yet good, stouts.

T - The taste is super roasty, with some burnt sugar and molasses mid-palate, and then a bitter espresso finish and aftertaste. There's less of the dark fruit sweetness and more dark chocolate bitterness in there as well. This one is somewhere between Founders RIS and Plead the 5th, and I wish I could give it a 4.25 in taste. However, since it's better than a 4.0 I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

M - The carbonation is kind of high on this one, with some lip and palate burn going on. There's a bit of warming going on and there's lots of bitter roastiness to accompany the slightly sticky finish. I wish there was less CO2 though, as it makes the texture a little more harsh and gritty than it should be.

D - A nice RIS, but somehow feels bigger than 8.5%. The slight over-carbonation is forgivable in the 6oz pour I had, but might have got a little irritating over a full bottle. I think a bomber would be too much of a good thing here.

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

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for knocking this one off my wants, seriously.

Poured from a bottle into a becher glass. Beer is black and forms a thin brown head of small bubbles.

Aroma is really weak. No roast really, slight lactic, slight sweetness. There is a hint of alcohol.

There is a lot of coffee / roast in the back of the mouth. Makes the beer pretty bitter. There is no carbonation in the mouth but the beer is medium bodied. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is good.

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12/2013 bottle.

Allowed to warm and served in a goblet.

Near black, very dark mocha head, stays nicely and leaves decent fine bits, low sheeting and sticky strands of lacing.

I pick up a rich chocolate note on the nose along with some charred dark grains.

Viscous and thick in the glass. More chocolate and dark malt goodness. What can be said? World class Imperial stout.

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

2012 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is jet black with a low profile, dense, creamy chocolate milk colored head. Aromas are creamy, with a mocha blending leaning slightly on the bitter side. Flavors are supersmooth, with a healthy underlying kick from the ABV. Bitter and dark roasted coffee throughout, with some dark, bittersweet chocolate overtones and earthy, roasted highlights. There is a subtle sweetness that jumps in at the end of the palate...seems like a tangy caramel. The body remains smooth throughout, but is light enough to be drinkable. Another solid boozey bite in the aftertaste, as well as a roasty and bitter blend. The finish is smooth and bitter at the same time; creamy, yet sharp. Very dynamic, solidly brewed RIS. Delicious!

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Photo of ShanePB
3.18/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle, vintage 2010 with the Groucho Marx disguise on the bottle.

A: Cloudy dark brown almost black body, though light enough that I could see some sediment floating at the bottom of the glass. Tan, creamy head with some pretty good lacing and retention. Not too bad but not as deep and dark as I like a RIS to be.

S: Roasted malt, charred oak, heavily roasted coffee beans, mild bitter dark chocolate with a finishing note of tobacco. A little too "burnt" overall for my likings, not inviting.

T: Roasted chocolate malt initially washes the palate, followed by some coffee grounds. Cocoa powder finishes but nothing strong enough to compete with the heavily roasted / burnt profile here. It's seems to overtake anything and doesn't provide much complexity as it could.

M: Medium-bodied which is too bad, I expect a full body on any Imperial Stout. The carbonation was a bit too much, not low to give it a creamy mouth feel.

Honestly, I'm really disappointed in this one. I think much of the allure to this beer is the branding and the fact that it's out of reach for most of the country. If this were sitting on shelves all over, it wouldn't get as much praise. Unfortunately, it just doesn't stand up with the other RIS on the market -- there are far better.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 2012, opened Dec 2013.

A - Thick black body with dark muddy highlights. Foamy, light milk chocolate head. Nice retention and ok lace.

S - Nice nose. Roasted grains, milk chocolate, dark toast, bread crust.

T - Toasted rye bread, bitter burnt malts, touch of vanilla, dry 90% cocoa, unsweetened latte.

M - Medium-light body, especially for the style. Nice dry, creamy backend.

O - Not overly complex, but what's there is really nice. Flavor profile reminds me more of a milk stout than an RIS.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark black with one finger of thick bubbly espresso coloured head and decent lacing.

S - Big roasted malt aroma up front. Smoke, chocolate and licorice. Some noticeable alcohol.

T - Huge roasted malt and smoke flaovurs dominate. Car, dark chocolate and a noticeable bitterness are present throughout. The ABV is noticeable here; some time might really smooth this one out.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation.

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

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick and creamy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is outstanding! It has a rich, black and roasted malt scent along with some mild chocolate notes. It has that beautiful, bitter, black malt character. The taste is very good. It's damn smooth with a stiff patent malt flavor. It's bitter and bold with a nice roasted/chocolate character. The hops are quite noticeable and really integrate well with the black malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great beer. The hype was justified. Major thanks to my friend Arpit for the opportunity to try this gem.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer. Sampled Feb, 16, 2010.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a decent-sized brown head. The aroma is roasted malt along with coffee and chocolate. The flavor is more of the same with chocolate standing out more than the coffee or malts. Creamy mouthfeel, which is the best part of the beer. Low carbonation. Not sure what I was expecting, but I was a little disappointed. A very good beer, but I expected a little more.

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Photo of liamt07
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't recall who provided this bottle, but thanks! 750ml bottle, 2011 vintage I'll assume. Into a snifter.

Dark brown in colour, brown with a finger or two of brown head. Good retention and some lace. Nose is quite hoppy initially, with a substantial dose of roast, a bit of acidity, espresso, alcohol and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is about the same, incredibly roasty, almost charred, coffee, black licorice. Hops are still present. Thick body, with a good bit of carbonation and drying. A really nice imperial stout, roastiness was really substantial.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Otter Creek pint glass. Thank you birradr14 for the hook-up.

A- Imperial stout trooper pours a very dark black murky color with a brownish foamy head that stays, great retention. not much lace going on.

S- A whole bunch of bitter chocolate with some alcohol and some dark fruit rounding it out. i'm also sensing alot of malts with some hops and a dash of smoke that make the nose all the better. pretty well rounded.

T- I'm lovin it. Dark Chocholate is at the forefront and is balanced nicely against some coffee, cocoa and roasted malts. some bitterness comes next with a nice hop presence, but not overkill. Smoky, with some alcohol.

M- IST is full bodied and is thick and not as smooth as some RIS that i've had. All the taste stays with you for some time while it finishes fairly dry. It's a tad hot and bitter but is not a chore to drink. Little carbonation.

D- I could go for another right now. Not sure of the abv but i defiently felt the force after finishing the bottle. I nursed this for a little over 45 minutes and it was lovely, I would love to try this on- tap. Too bad it's limited.

This RIS makes me want to seek out some of the other offerings from New England Brewing Company. i see they come in cans, even better.

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

2008 Vintage
Revisited: 20 Nov 2010
At Least 2 Years On This Bottle

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, some nice carbonation still, almost a one-finger creamy tan head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, chocolate/toffee notes, roasted, slight vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of roastyness, and slightly vanilla (sweetness), lots of very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The finish is slightly dry, the alcohol is hidden very well. Full body. Very Drinkable, this one is stilling holding up pretty well.

2009 Vintage
22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, small tan head, with some oil slicks and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, chocolate/toffee notes, roasted, slight vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of roastyness, and slightly vanilla (sweetness), lots of very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The finish is slightly dry, the alcohol is hidden very well. Full body. Very Drinkable, this is another awesome brew from New England Brewing. Highly Recommended.

2008 Vintage

Thanks to ybnorml for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, almost a one-finger creamy tan head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, chocolate/toffee notes, roasted, slight vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of roastyness, and slightly vanilla (sweetness), lots of very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The finish is slightly dry, the alcohol is hidden very well. Full body. Very drinkable, this is another awesome brew from New England Brewing. Highly Recommended.

2006 Vintage

Thanks to TheManiacalOne, ampzilla, and UncleJimbo for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, small brown head, some oil slicks and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, chocolate/toffee, roasted, maybe some vanilla. The taste is fabulous, malty, nice touch of roastyness, and slightly vanilla (sweetness). The finish is slightly dry, the alcohol is hidden very well. Full body. Very Drinkable, this is another awesome RIS people should seek out, Highly Recommended. Glad to have 2 more bottles left.

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Photo of Zorro
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample through Brewfan and Secret Santa BIF 2007.

The Darkside is strong with this brew. Dark black colored beer as dark the soul of a Sith Lord. Small very dark brown colored head the color of a freshly blasted Ewok. Could have more head though so not quite perfect.

Smell is sweet and bitter with a strong Kahlúa liquor aroma. Lots of chocolate and coffee aromas. Fair amount of booze and raisin scent. There is an unexpected chocolate cookie smell to this.

Tastes starts out dry and heavily roasted just like Lord Vader after his last encounter with enemy of the Empire Obi Wan Kenobi. Quickly the sweetness kicks in and this starts tasting a lot like an Imperial Milk Stout. Faint berry taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Very mild mannered RIS. Flavor and smell could be more complex but this won’t trash your sense of taste for the night either.

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

Gotta admit i made a mistake starting this one. I left it outside and it got a wee colder than i had wanted. Though in the end a bit of time and warmth later and the smell and flavors burst forth.

Poured from a 750 into my glass the color of over used motor oil, blacker than black. The smell slowly came forth as the beer warmed. smelled of coffee, chocolate, hops, and touch of smoke. Nice dark chocolaty taste up front followed by bit of an espresso and light smoke flavor. Smooth as baby's bottom across my tongue. I sat and enjoyed this over a few hours and still wanted another bottle once i was finished.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Dyan for picking up a bottle of this for me.

Yet another RIS that pours the consistency of used motor oil, with decent head retention and a goodly amount of sticky lacing. On the nose there is an impressive aroma of coffee and milk chocolate, with a touch of underlying cherry and vanilla. This beer smells just delicious. Flavors on the palate pretty much replicate the nose, with a bountiful amount of more milk chocolate, as well as coffee. There is also a hint of licorise in this beer, but no more then that. The beer has a pretty full, soft and plush mouthfeel, though it's just a tad thin on the finish. Still, this is very smooth, long and rich RIS. There is almost a maraschino cherry flavor to this beer as it warms a bit, and drinkability is pretty good. Though pretty clearly one and done would be all I could do with a stout like this.

This is a very good RIS, but I'm not sure it quite competes with the big boys, with the KBS's, Abyss's, Dark Lord and Speedways of the world. Regardless, this is still a very fine, very easy to enjoy beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from Ineedabeerhere. I'd been wanting to taste this for a while, so I was really glad to have this opportunity. Thanks! This beer is quite, quite good and I think lives up to the hype. I'd put it up there near the top for RISs. Pours viscous and absolutely black with a fairly thin head even after a hard pour. What head there is is chocolate brown- one of the darker I've seen. It smells nutty and quite chocolatey, with a powdery dark cocoa aroma as well as some cream, licorice, and even some spicy hops on the finish. Very nice. The taste is beautiful. Extremely smooth, almost syrupy, but only slightly sweet. Wonderful, rich cocoa notes dominate followed by some licorice notes, a touch of coffee and vanilla. Really well balanced, and very nice. A slight dustiness on the finish. Wonderful mouthfeel, that is silky and thick, and creamy but not overly sweet or unctuous. A tiny bit powdery, but to me that just heightens the interest and gives the tongue some purchase. Very, very nice and in fact perhaps a bit better than I expected.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the generous extra.

The beer appears very dark brown with reddish notes when held to light. The head is frothy, creamy, and the color of toffee, with good retention.

The aroma is of roasted malt with coffee. A little dark chocolate lingers beneath, but the coffee and roasted notes are dominant. Subtle notes of dark fruits are noticeable.

The flavor is of roasted malt with coffee and bitter dark chocolate notes. A little astringency is present, as well as vanilla. I get dark fruits in the flavor and a little molasses. The finish is dry and roasted with a touch of sweetness.

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Photo of corby112
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy mocha colored head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with subtle hops along with hints of caramel, oatmeal toffee and slight alcohol.

Chewy full body with luscious, silky chocolate malt flavor along with hints of toffee, lactic cream, hazelnut, oatmeal and slightly smokey, roasted coffee bean. The creamy flavor makes this beer incredibly smooth and in combination with the viscous chocolate notes, results n an incredibly quaffable, delicious, well crafted beer. ABV very well masked with faint warmth toward the finish.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. bottle with white stretchy-plastic wrapping around the bottle cap. Sampled on February 13, 2011. It pours very dark brown until it gathers in the glass where it seems to become oily black with a nice one inch head. The aromas boast roasted malts and coffee. The body is silky smooth on the tongue and comes in at around medium weight. The taste begins with a sweet maltiness along with some kind of dark cherry intermingling in a distant but noticeable way. It ends vaguely dry. An excellent beer for sure and true to the style.

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Imperial Stout Trooper from New England Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.
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