Imperial Stout Trooper - Cherry Vanilla Infused
New England Brewing Co.

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Russian Imperial Stout
4.61 | pDev: 6.51%
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PicoPapa
4.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On cask at Prime 16. Pours a pitch black color with some red hues and a small amount of head. Very little lacing. The aroma is light hints of cherry with coffee, earth and dark chocolate. Not all that aromatic. The taste is a nice mix of the cherry and vanilla along with some coffee and dark chocolate. The cherry and vanilla isn't overpowering and compliments the Stout Trooper well. Earthy with dark chocolate and vanilla at the finish with hints of the cherry. There ia alot going on here for sure. Mouthfeel is light with very little carbonation.Thanks to Prime and the Tap Takeover for giving me a chance to finally drink this beer. Overall, complex and delicious. Worth the wait.

 686 characters

Photo of Pete27lax
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing this from my notes from the NEBCO Tap Takeover at Prime 16 in February 2012.

Had this on cask. Note: The cask of cherry vanilla IST had some malfunctions at the beginning of the night (luckily I got a pour before that) and was fixed later in the night so I was lucky enough to get two glasses of this!

Awesome apperance right out of the cask. Totally black body with a small mocha head. Decent retention here with solid lacing. Bar was also pretty dark.
The smell was very similar to regular IST (which is absolutely not an insult) with a hint of cherry. The vanilla doesn't come out too much in the smell.
The taste is a perfect 5!! Everything I expected and then some. The cherry sweetness really comes out initially, great chocolate flavor and there's a roasty aspect present as well. Vanilla is there toward the end and in the after taste and is the perfect way to round out this beer.

Alcohol is also completely hidden in this beer.
Mouthfeel is nothing short of perfect.  Silky smooth with light carbonation. My ideal mouthfeel for a stout. Thick, smooth, rich etc.

The full flavors make this a very drinkable beer for a moderately high abv stout. Overall it's pretty outstanding, damn near perfect. I really wish this would be a regular beer but at the same time I don't because it would take a little away from the fun of the event.

Can't express enough how awesome this event was. Was able to hangout with some awesome BAs and also try the other outstanding offerings of the night. This is an event that everyone should try to attend.. Great food, great people, and of course great beer. What more could you ask for? If you're on the fence about attending next years just do it, you WILL NOT regret it!

 1,751 characters

Photo of modernartblues
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Cask at Prime 16 on 02/21/12

A: dark, deep black, nice 1” uber coffee tan head

N: chocolate, light cherries, coffee roast, roast is balanced nicely by the sweetness of the cherries, hints of vanilla

T: like chocolate covered cherries, faint coffee, dark fruits, the vanilla-fresh cherries over over powering, clearly the main character, this is pretty fantastic, a new favorite

M: full bodied, creamy goodness

O: I’m in love. This may be the most delicious thing I’ve ever drank. The cherries and chocolate-vanilla are intense without making the beer overly sweet. This is pretty close to perfection for big stouts.

 629 characters

Photo of MikeyMikee
4.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at Prime 16 - 1/27/11 from notes.

Has a thick, brown "fluffy" head, awesome retention. Jet black body (the bar was also pretty dimly lit)

The smell is crisp, light and somewhat refreshing with cherry overpowering all of the other aromas. There's a light vanilla that pushes it's way through. There is also a faint dark chocolate aroma that may not have even existed but I just wanted it to be there so bad that I imagined it. I am aware this is a "cherry vanilla infused" beer but I feel like a rich dark chocolate aroma is necessary for this beer. Perhaps there was just too much cherry juice extract added to this batch.

The taste is really great. A lot of cherry again but coffee is present and chocolate is more upfront than in the nose (maybe I didnt imagine it after all). The vanilla takes a back seat...actually, maybe its in the trunk. But it is there. It really is a great tasting beer though and very unique that makes me sad it's only offered once a year at one location. The only thing that prevents it from receiving a perfect 5 is the dominating cherry with all of the other flavors kind of hidden. This isnt a bad thing (4.5 isnt bad at all) but more of a balance would lead to a perfect taste.

The mouthfeel is uique, it's fluffy and full bodied. It is unlike any other stout I have had ever had. It was thick and full but airy as well that led to a not so filling beer but very satisfying.

Really addicting beer, the sweetness and unique mouthfeel keeps me comming back for more. I finished the glass in about 5 minutes. There was also a really strong sweetness towards the end of the glass that I guess was some cherry juice that had settled to the bottom.

All around truly fantastic beer but perhaps a little unbalanced. Really outstanding though and can't wait to go back next year.

 1,823 characters

Photo of erosier
4.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice black color with a medium sized tan colored head head that laces the glass a bit as it fades pretty slowly.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, hints of chocolate and vanilla behind a big cherry aroma that takes over.
T: Tastes of big cherry flavors mixed with more subtle vanillas, chocolate, caramel. Very sweet tasting but very nice flavor, the cherry was the most prevalent but the other flavors kind of balanced it out.
M: Rich, smooth, medium to heavy feeling, sweet, perfect amount of carbonation, warming.
D: Very drinkable, I really like sweet beers and this was no exception, it was overall an awesome beer and definitely worth a try if you can get your hands on it.

 690 characters

Photo of Pabs311
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pulled from the cask at prime 16.

A- Deep, dark black. Head is a creamed coffee color. looks inviting.

S- Like chocolate covered cherries. awesome. didn't pick up much vanilla in the nose, seems as though it's in the back seat on this one. the nose on this is delicious.

T- Right on par with the nose. Much like having a chocolate covered cherry. there is some coffee notes on the finish and it compliments the beer well. The vanilla once again is minimal but helps to compliment the chocolate, cherry and coffee flavors throughout this beer.

M/D- Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. low carbonation. perfect. This beer is like dessert in a glass. would have gone back for seconds and thirds if the cask had not kicked in 35 minutes. Glad to experience this great beer and hopefully will be back for more next year.

 814 characters

Photo of Lars3
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on the notes from this review for a while, but I'm bored and finally feel like imputing it here.

Like everyone else I had this on cask at Prime 16 in New Haven. They were serving 10oz pours. I had an early pour, and even more exciting "the last pour" or so I was told it was the last one. The color was black without being sludge like in its appearance. The head was minimal on the first glass and non-existent on the second. I could have stared at it all day, but that would have left little time for drinking. The smell was exquisite. The vanilla and cherry were there, but they weren't overpowering. The taste is where this beer really shined. I love imperial stouts and this is up there with Oaked Yeti and BCS as one of my favorites. Being on cask really mellowed this beer out for me. I'm not a huge fan of IST from the bottle or on traditional tap set ups, but here the flavor, the alcohol and the mouthfeel of the beer all mellow to become something all together better. I could drink this beer all night, especially when only being served 10oz glasses.

The coolest part about my second serving was that there were chunks of cherry swimming in the beer. I won't say the chunks added to the beer, but they certainly didn't detracted from it.

I wish this beer was served on cask at all times, it makes a world of difference.

 1,354 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.6/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I nearly gave up on this, over an hour and half in my trek to Prime 16, I hopped on BA on my blackberry only to see the post "this cask kicked in 32 minutes". but Jwaks and I went anyway and we got two of the last glasses, (*phew*) cherry bits and all...

A - typically stout black, inky depths like fathoms beneath the sea or the gullet of a sarlacc, the head is a rich tan color with faint red hints around the rim

S - chocolate and vanilla dominate the nose, complimented superbly with the faint hints of ripe, fresh cherries

T - so much more potency in the taste than the nose, as i mentioned in the preamble, there were plenty of cherry chunks, though it seems these chunks have lent all their goodness to the brew, chocolate and vanilla still dominate, however rich bourbon flavors also shine through, with a huge lactic sweetness, the aftertaste is a sweet maraschino cherries

M&D - the lactic sweetness, especially, but all the flavors creat a super smooth beer, with a well hidden ABV, this is one of the biggest sessionable beers I have had, the flavors are enormous and the mouthfeel is silky, well done. I sincerely hope they made more than the one barrel of this. The force is strong with this one.

 1,215 characters

Photo of HopStoopid120
4.95/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was actually lucky enough to have this on two seperate occasions. The first being at the brewery on 12/24/09, and the second at Prime 16 in New Haven, CT. This was on cask, obviously.

Served in a high ball. It was completely black with tan head, and I could swear I actually saw hints of deep cherry red in the head as well.

The scent was amazing... cherry, vanilla and chocolate. It was truly sublime, as they blended perfectly. Cherry and vanilla cavendish pipe tobacco comes to mind.

Drinking this was insane. It was like the best chocolate milk you've ever had but a million times better, because its beer. The flavors of cherry and vanilla meld pefectly together without ever becoming too sweet. The cherry was actually almost subdued, which was odd because there were actually chunks of cherry in almost every sip of my second glass.

It was thick and creamy, actually it was chewy (thanks to the cherry, literally). It was sticky all over my mouth, glass and hands. It was awesome.

I would drink this beer everyday of my life if given the chance. The alcohol was not at all overbearing, and all the other flavors played perfectly with each other, making this perfectly drinkable. I would've just kept putting them back all night if the cask hadn't kicked in 32 minutes.

This was amzing. I hope they do it again. Bottle this. Amazing. Thanks NEB.

 1,360 characters

Photo of naproxen
4.33/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask 1/4/2010 at Prime 16 in a small snifter, pulled from the start of the cask and then a lovely finish from the bottom later on.

This beer on cask is beautiful. Dark and creamy cherry cappuccino head that took its time settling back down. My first whiff was of chocolate and tiny hint of cherry, but after craddling the snifter for a bit while I finished my first beer (had to grab this before it kicked!) everything changed. The beer really opened up into a chocolate cherry truffle, with the vanilla bringing up the rear with a slightly sweet and creamy wave of happy. My first sip after torturing myself to wait until it warmed did not disappoint. The smooth, slightly roasted flavor of Stout Trooper are enhanced by a more chocolately start and pleasant vanilla bean middle. I found the cherry to be most pronounced in the finish, however even with chunks of cherry in my last glass I would have liked a touch more cherry flavor to have come out.

IST by itself is probably one of my favorite Imperial Stouts because of its amazing flavor and drinkability. This special cask only cements this further for me, I am very lucky to have been one of the few to get this in the 30 minutes it was on cask!

 1,209 characters

Photo of Tomdee74
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at prime 16. This was my very first time having anything on cask. I was very happy to make it and was lucky enough to get two nonic pints out of it. I was one of the very last to get my 2nd and there were bits of cherry! My friend got a nice piece of cherry in his..

A - Poured a dark black with pretty good lacing!

S - Can faintly smell the vanilla and cherry so this brew was not overpowering with those flavors and you can see there were no artificial flavors

T - Wow is all I can say. Absolutely cannot believe ABV I could easily drink this all night. A simply wonderful brew. Tastes like a stout without an overwhelming taste of cherry or vanilla. Went down very smooth. I wish I could get this on a regular basis and I'm very grateful I got to have two!

M - So smooth and so easy to drink. Did not taste any alcohol at all. This was just creamy and delicious!

D - As I said before I could drink these all nite. I was lucky enough to get 2 of them as the cask was gone pretty quick! My 2nd one was already warm when I got it which made it taste even better!

It was also great to meet the people of NE Brewing as the brewer and the owner were there. Apparently they are not fully aware of how far the appreciation of their beer extends! very nice people that make an absolutely fantastic brew!

 1,320 characters

Photo of gregc
4.82/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Prime 16 in New Haven.

Beer poured a deep dark black with a deep brown almost reddish head.
Smells of cocoa, vanilla beans, chocolate milk and over ripe cherries.
The taste is everything the nose gives away. Rich chocolate, and vanilla play very nice with each other. Neither is too sweet and overpowering. Very much like a glass of chocolate milk. The deep cherry flavor takes a bit of a back seat but is still there to finish off the taste. Pieces of cherries were all over the place in my second glass.
Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy. The beer is also nice a sticky.
The drinkability is very high, I drank 2 and could probably have sat there and had quite a few more if the cask didnt kick in 30 minutes.

 722 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On cask at Prime 16 into a 12oz pint-style glass.

A: Opaque black body lies calmly underneath a finger of rich, creamy reddish-brown foam. Amazing retention, especially for a cask beer - the head recedes by about 50% and then sticks around for the duration. Just a bit of lace at first, but then a solid coating on the bottom half of the glass. Great looking beer.

S: The glass isn't helping matters (I wish I'd gotten one of the snifters after the 3/4 pints ran out), but I"m picking up chocolate (mostly milk, some dark), ripe cherry, vanilla, and cream. Enticing.

T: Delivers on the promise of the nose, and much more. Incredibly rich, smooth flavors of cherry, milk chocolate, and vanilla, with just a hint of coffee on the back end that keeps the sweetness from being cloying. Delicious.

M: Smooth and full-bodied, with just enough bubbles to keep things lively. Oh, a couple chunks of cherry also snuck in, reinforcing the all-natural awesomeness of the brew.

D: Goes down way, way too easy for the ABV. Good for me, since it meant I was able to get a second one just before the cask kicked (in just half an hour!). Simply terrific.

Notes: Big thanks to everyone at NEB and P16 for making this happen. I was terrified that I'd be out of town when this happened, and couldn't have been happier to see that the tapping was pushed back to tonight. It was a great time with great beer, and I hope that this isn't the only time this iteration of IST comes around (even though I think I slightly prefer the standard version).


 1,555 characters

Imperial Stout Trooper - Cherry Vanilla Infused from New England Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 32 ratings