Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged | New England Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
86
very good
109 Reviews
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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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:
2012 - 375ml bottle, label changed to hunched groucho barrel. 10% ABV

Added by caresville on 04-25-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
109
Ratings:
370
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
13.51%
 
 
Wants:
269
Gots:
102
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 370
Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled side-by-side with regular IST. Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: After getting through way too much wax, the nearly black pour into a glass gives off far too much tan head, and it sticks around forever. We had to wait for about 10 minutes to be able to take a sip. Points off for the annoyance factor.

S: Once the mountain of foam died down and I was able to sniff it, I picked up plenty of roast (not surprising given the nature of the base beer). A mild vanilla note, oak, and some alcohol.

T: The roast is again the main flavor component here, with some definite alcohol flavor, maybe a bit of bourbon and rum, and some astringent oakiness. There is a lingering bitterness as well, from the high level of roast.

M: The body on the beer itself is nice--medium in nature. The carbonation is surprisingly moderate, given the volume of head produced.

D: This was a strange beer all around. Good, but not great, and the amount of foam still confuses me quite a bit. I would have liked more spirit character and a little less of the intense roast.

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Photo of sliverX
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a huge head that faded down to nothing pitch black looks nice.
Smell is odd I'm getting cherry and bourbon
Taste is regular IST but with like half the bottle being bourbon very boozy and hot even with 2-3 years on it. Finished with a nice coffee tone at the end which is the stand out on this.
Mouthfeel is over carbonated
Overall its ok not out standing a boozier version of regular IST
NOT WORTH ARMS OR LEGS!!!!

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
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

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Photo of jbtice0315
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is jet black with a very small amount of caramel head. Nose has lots of wood and some bourbon. Some sticky malts, slightly charred with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Taste is even more wood with bourbon notes and more charred malt. The underlying malt flavors are faded out by the barrel, little bits of chocolate and caramel malts, some sweetness towards the finish. Medium to full body with strong carbonation and a slick palate.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours black and thin with an out of control head. The aroma is very oaky with some burnt nuttiness and hints of metal. The flavor is mostly charred oak and ash. Not really much complexity here. The body is medium and carbonation is high but not as high as the pour suggested. Overall this is not a horrible beer by any means, but it is huge step in the wrong direction from the base beer. Keep it out of barrels please, no good was done here.

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Photo of Damian
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Drank from a 500 ml (although the label said 12 fl. oz.) gold wax dipped bottle
2009 vintage
Served in a snifter

Fantastic appearance. The beer poured an absolute pitch black with a near three-finger head of mocha colored froth. The head retention was outstanding. As the creamy foam receded, it left thick blocks of lacing all along the glass.

The aroma was fairly typical for the style yet quite pleasant. Roasty with notes of espresso and smoke. Semi-sweet. Brown sugar was noticeable. Some vanilla too. A touch of bourbon-like booziness was also detectible.

When reviewing beers, I always comment on the flavor before I talk about mouthfeel. In this case however, the mouthfeel played a much bigger role in my overall opinion of the beer so I decided to do things differently. Concentrating on the flavor was actually quite difficult due to the excessive amount of carbonation. Once the beer hit my tongue, it turned to instant froth - foaming up so much that I could barely contain the liquid in my mouth. The body was also noticeably thin.

The taste was roasty, dry and, overall, quite simplistic. Lots of deep, dark malts up front. Coffee grounds were also noticeable. The finish was very ashy and bitter and contained a generous dose of piney, oily hops, along with a touch of booze.

I love Russian imperial stouts but I am not a huge fan of Imperial Stout Trooper. This barrel aged version is similar to the original, but with a very distracting mouthfeel. I am glad I woke up at 4 AM to secure my two bottles because I was able to trade away one of them for something good. My only regret is that I did not trade this bottle too.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brez for opening this up at the latest tasting, really been wanting to try this for awhile now since I'm a huge fan of the regular IST.

Pours a dark brown color with a large sized head, not as thick or oily looking like the regular version is though, not much lacing, bubbles remain active through the entire sample.

Smell is primarily roasted malt and cocoa, slight bourbon aroma but isn't very predominate and more of an afterthought, dark fruit is a bit lacking which is rather odd.

Taste is fortunately not sour like others have experience, although there is quite the active carbonation, in fact way too much for the style and makes it almost cola like, the viscosity is missing from the regular version as well as the dark fruit presence, the chocolate isn't as strong either, the bourbon isn't too noticeable but does add at least a bit of complexity that would otherwise be lacking, not sure of the strength but no heat is evident.

Sadly, this was has to rank as a disappointment. While the bottle was infected like others, I have to agree about the carbonation. Although, I don't think that is the sole problem, it just seems to be missing that rich and thick mouthfeel, along with several key flavors, from the regular IST.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Great looking black stout with a nice, tan head that bubbled up two fingers and left some chunk lacing.

S - Nice sweetness, roasted malts, some great coffee and cocoa. Smells sweet with a nice malt backbone. Just a slight bit of wood.

T - Wow, what a letdown. Tastes like a carbonated light-coffee drink with some bitter roastedness. Little bit of cocoa bitterness, but this is bad. Nothing complex, and all the taste is kind of watered down.

M - Over carbonated, really kills this one along with the bad taste.

D - Can drink it, but it's so poor tasting you just have to let it go after a while.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lacking in many aspects. Looked thin, drank thin and had a bitter'ish flavor to it that really put me off. Also, first sip revealed a thick, slimy glob slipping into my mouth. Disgusting. Don't know what it was as I promptly spit it out.

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Photo of craytonic
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Well, it took me about 5 minutes to cut off the 1mm of wax, way too much. Head was enormous, maybe 6 inches of head on 1/2 inch of beer? Too big, and it leaves an enormous craggy top w/ intense lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, booze, chocolate/fudge and not really any bourbon.

Taste: Where is the barrel part of this one? Perhaps a faint touch of oak, along with roasted malt, booze, and chocolate/fudge.

Mouthfeel: a bit over-carbonated (unsurprisingly), probably why the body is not as enormous as inspected

Drinkability: Decent, especially if you exclude the 5 minutes of wax carving and 5 minutes of waiting for the head to go down. Would not try again.

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Photo of Tomdee74
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i think we got an infection here.. something happened and i say that because the beer is too damn carbonated!! i went to the release with smutty33 and seplo and we were able to pick up a good amount of this.. that evening we cracked a bottle... it was great.. very low carbonation.. tasted like an IST with a little bourbon kick to it... it was awesome...

fast forward to the other night.. cracked a bottle and it was very fizzy... we noticed it tasted different from the fresh bottle we cracked... then you come on here and read reviews and so many say it was too carbonated.. to fizzy... i'm telling you it was not like this when we brought it home that day... and i think the reviews show that something is up.. because this is just their IST with some bourbon aged in a damn barrel. and that is what it tasted like at first.. now read the reviews on the NEB IST..

anyway i hate to review this now because it is totally different than my review would've been when this was released... i think excellent but something happened..

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Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hoppymcgee for shipping a bottle of this westerward. Hit up a number of BAs before I located the generous Mr. Gee. Popped open while watching "Burn Before Reading" which I hope gets better...would be a shame to waste this cast on a few mild chuckles.

Pours black with an untamed, unbridled, unstoppable head that quickly overflows my plus-sized Terrapin snifter. Pause, pour, repeat. I hate waiting for my beer, & I hope this is just annoying overcarbonation & not infection. Once I can sniffle without wetting the end of my nose, I get nice gentle bourbon, vanilla, oak, & the scantest inkling of dark fruit. Please, no!

Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Trooper carries a heavy name & high expectations. The beer itself has char high on the list, good, burnt firewood in a quiet forest campground. The malts are all over this one: charred, toasted, burnt, slightly sweet, ashes. The barrel is a not-so-thoughtful-afterthought, apparent readily in the nose, but had to be sought out actively in the taste. On the bare bottom of the backside is a bit of plums mixed in with other dark fruit, but again, hardly noticeable.

The beer is significantly overcarbonated, which is distracting, & makes it hard to enjoy the beer & tease out whatever subtle winks lie in wait. Pummels the drinkability substantially, too. Error or lurking infection? I'll never know.

Decent enough beer. In the universe of barrel-aged stouts, this one brings the toasted malts hard, but these must have been fourteenth-use barrels, because they bring little to the party. Lots of barrel-aged beers I'd prefer before this one again.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.12/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Photo of phattysbox
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one. Poured from a 500ml. gold wax-top bottle into a Blue Point Snifter

A: Gentle pour yields a massive, unwavering, fluffy 4 finger mocha head. Beer is opaque black. Lacing is patchy and thick with great cling.

S: Booziness from the barrels is apparent along with hints of bitter chocolate, licquorice, and roasted coffee beans. Also a fair amount of charcoal and brown sugar in there. Aromas overall are a bit muted though.

T: Big booziness and ethanol upfront that covers up and dominates all the other flavors. This dissipates really slowly, only allowing the stouty chocolate and coffee flavors to appear towards the very end of the experience. Finish is a sticky, molasses with an aftertaste that is weirdly crisp and clean.

M: Light to medium bodied, highly carbonated, and rather rough and abrasive in the mouth. Not characteristic of the style at all and the liveliness prevents the complexities in this beer from melding together. Finish is sticky with a clean aftertaste.

D: This beer is a great example of the idea that barrel-aging doesn't make everything better. Not a bad beer by any means but Christ!!! is it over-carbonated. Maybe they should blend this with flat older viscosity and see what happens!?!? I'd give it another shot but its definitely not worth the hype.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

7/6/2010

Thanks Jeff! I opened the bottle and foam shot out onto the floor. WTF. I gently pour the beer into the glass and observe a monstrous four finger head billow forth before my eyes. It fades in 3 minutes and leaves scattered lacing on the sides of my snifter. The beer is pretty dark; I'll just call it deep brownish black. The head is a toffee color.

The aroma is of oak, dark chocolate, roasted/charred malt, and dark fruits. There's only a whisper of bourbon, really, not much at all, and a faint vanilla presence. The roasted malt character subjugates all else.

The flavor is a bit muddled. Dark chocolate rests on a strongly roasted ashen astringency foundation. Bourbon is very light in the flavor. There's really not much else, maybe a little dark fruit. The finish is astringent and alcoholic, leaving a charred chocolate impression.

The beer is badly overcarbonated, leading to a slightly annoying prickly mouthfeel that does not compliment the rich flavors.

Overall, this beer was disappointing. Not terrible, not bad, just...mediocre. I love the base beer, but this is a step in the wrong direction. Not worth seeking out.

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Photo of KeefD
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown, almost black in the glass, with a HUGE head that doesn't seem to go away, becomes rocky and dense. I was warned by trading partner that it may or may not be a bottle bomb. I can understand the worries, as this was extremely carbonated. Not much in the way of aroma, but picking up some light chocolate, a touch of roast, and something that's a bit plastic-like. Taste is dry, roasty, herbal, a touch of anise, some medicinal qualities as well. Detecting some burnt plastic like qualities in the taste too. Not sure about this one. Not offensive, but not really all that great. And where in the world are the bourbon/barrel nuances?? Mouthfeel seems a bit thin, but I think that largely has to do with the mass carbonation. Had to swirl the shit out of this thing. Not bad, gets better as it warms up, and some of those off flavors start to fade. Really wish there was some more barrel qualities. Glad I got to try it!

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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 370 ratings.
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