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

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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 303
Photo of mgbickel
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Stigs for bringing this to the tasting...we piggy-backed this onto the regular IST...

3oz. pour into a Perfect Pint glass. The head is thicker and darker on this one...chocolate brown foam sitting on top of the black, light eating body.

Lots of woody characters on the nose. The roasted malts and coffee characters are also present. Booze.

Wow...the taste isn't anywhere near as rich or complex as the regular version. Lots of charred wood characters, some bourbon, coffee, ash and chocolate.

The mouth feel is the weakest link to this beer. Medium bodied, but somehow thin feeling...very astringent with little carbonation.

Meh...worth a try, but I would choose the original version every time. Much better BA Stouts are available and easier to acquire.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Snifter. Thanks to cmorton for sharing this bottle with me. Had this after the regular Imperial Stout Trooper for comparison. Review from notes.

Fat three finger rocky beige head (be careful not to pour this one too quickly). Black as hell. Retention is very impressive.

Tons of boubon in the nose. Hints of vanilla and oak. Dark cherry.

Taste is composed of tons of bourbon up front. Vanilla oak, and dark fruit. The bourbon almost overpowers the other flavors, but it is still quite nice.

Full bodied, slightly syrupy, a tad hot, but overly carbonated to the point that it is fairly distracting.

The bourbon is almost too overpowering, and the carbonation is ridiculous (in a bad way). Overall, still a very tasty beer, and a nice variation on the regular imperial stout trooper.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


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 cavedave
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to steve8robin for this gigantic beer. A great beer for review #200

A billowing head of lather-like, brownish-beige foam climbs past the rim of my tulip, yet stays atop. It slowly descends, leaving puffs of foam on the glass. An opaque, nearly black, thick brew fills the bottom. Probably poured this a bit warm, but the look is incredibly tempting.

The barrel comes into my nose immediately, followed by deep charry notes, dark coffee, bitter chocolate, dark caramel, and some really fragrant herbal bitter. I catch hints of yeast and also some alcohol spice. Very well blended aroma, very pungent and intoxicating.

Finally tasting this as the foam subsides. Woaaahh, a silky liquid touches the tongue and immediately sparks fly to the flavor centers of my brain. It's a very well blended, full flavored taste, and in there are burnt caramel, dark roast malt (very fine malt flavor here), coffee, bitter chocolate, and an herbal bitter that is a slow motion drying factor for an incredibly long finish. The barrel notes are light, hints of oak, vanilla, and even some whiskey flavor are there, but are well balanced and extremely tasty. At this point of age alcohol is nearly missing from the profile. As it nears room temp. some fig and fruit come into the sip. Each sip of this has given me greater enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is a bit light for this style, despite the thick look, and long finish. It is quite viscous, but less so than five others I can think of easily. Carbonation is just shy of med., but well within style, and the blended flavors are presented cleanly, the finish just dry enough.

Due to the silky, easy sipping character of this delicious beer, and low alcohol presence, I give it a perfect rating in drinkability, can't imagine a beer this size being easier to drink.

Impression: Though it's difficult to acquire, big stout lovers should do what it takes to enjoy this one.

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Photo of craytonic
3.17/5  rDev -17%
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 Durge
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks again to George & Dale for this beauty, it's a thick black colored brew with meager light brown rings of head and decent lacing. The aroma suggests bourbon licorice and light malt and the bourbon is quite prominent but not overbearing. The flavor brings much the same with tart bourbon and malty anisette. A bit energetic, not a warm fuzzy drinker but an experience worth trying! This should age very well, just a little green right now. Liquid oil, thick and full with a somewhat clean liquid feel and marginal carbonation. High quality but a real mouthful, not highly drinkable but a taste sensation. Really impressive but not at it's best yet perhaps.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the color and clarity of cola with a dense, 1.5 inch, cocoa-colored cap embedded with tiny ringlets. Head eventually condenses into a solid quarter inch mass. Some spots of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose gives off the slightest impression of the barrel, on a heavy malt backbone. Some artificial sweetener and a hint of vanilla also comes out in the mix. Taste is really surprising - a big smokey, roasty, blast off the first pull - wasn't expecting that. Once I got over the initial surprise, some lactose and cocoa comes out. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a light and lively carbonation. This was a weird beer - definitely an RIS (Rauchbier Imperial Stout). Very complex, but lacking a distinct identity. Definitely worth a shot if you have the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
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 woosterbill
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Robust black body with ruby highlights presided over by over two fingers of thick, creamy brown foam. Great retention and solid sheets of lacing. Gorgeous stout, plain and simple.

S: Starts out with bourbon, vanilla, and oak notes from the barrel. Licorice, coconut, and chocolate follow close behind. Very woody, sweet, and boozy. Awesome.

T: Like the nose, starts out with bourbon, oak and vanilla. Behind the barrel flavors are intensely roasty notes of chocolate, coffee, and anise. Some dark fruits come through as well, with prunes and figs being especially apparent. Light smoke and heat on the bitter finish. Rich and complex.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, and well carbonated. Great.

D: Delicious, but still fairly young and hot.

Notes: This is just a great barrel-aged stout, and I can't wait to see how it develops over the next couple years. Great job, NEB, and here's to further barrel-aged experiments from this great outfit.


Update: I opened another one of my bottles to share after NotF. It was definitely on the high end of the carbonation spectrum for the style, but a rather careful pour yielded a perfect inch of head over my 4 ounces of barrel-aged deliciousness. While its balance kept it from standing out in any particular way, it was every bit a match for the other big-name stouts that were sampled that night (Darkness '10, Ivan, Abyss '06, etc). Great beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another tasting with Agent zero. 375ml bottle into my Rochefort glass...Dark black with tons of carbonation. At least four fingers of light tan head, decent retention, good lacing...The aroma is light and really sweet coffee, its really nice, but no wood at all. Can't believe this is ba...The taste is really boring, it starts off light coffee but that's about it. No ba quality at all...Too carbonated, super bubbly on the tongue, distracting.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
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 zoolzoo
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to break this open...

A: Pours black, huge khaki head in my Duvel tulip. Bubbles everywhere, appears to be well carbonated.

S: Much like regular Trooper, the aroma is great but somewhat subdued. Chocolate malt, bit of coffee. Definitely getting that barrel up front, doesn't smell hot though.

T: As a base beer IST is an incredibly balanced stout. I'm glad that NEB decided to NOT blow it out of the water with barrel! Roasted malts and earthiness, coffee, a little chocolate, and a touch of lingering bitterness. The beer retains the balance of IST, with the addition of woodiness that is quite complementary.

M: Probably over carbed for the style, although in my opinion this aspect kept drinkability quite high. BA IST doesn't really have the HUGE flavors that merit a completely thick and coating mouthfeel. Not bad.

D: Quite high, especially for a BA Imperial Stout. Well balanced, not blown out by barrel flavors, and little alcohol heat except for a pleasant warming.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Buckeyeboy busted this out over the weekend... Very cool Jeremy.... Thanks for making the sacrifice so the few of us could have the opportunity. :-)

Pours with a thick brown head.... good retention and lacing... the brew is black of course.

Nose is pretty oaky with a lesser bourbon component... roasty, verging on char... hints of chocolate, yet not enough malty sweetness to pull it out of the glass.

I am happy to say the flavor has more sweetness... a big of fudge brownie... dark malts show pretty heavily, even verging on some background smoke ... the oak and mild vanilla play well with the overall brew.

Too much carbonation makes the already lite (for the style) body seem a touch thin... finish is scraped away pretty rapidly by the bursting bubbles leaving only hints of roast malt and dark chocolate.

Pretty good, but I think I built this offering up too much in my head.... I definitely enjoyed it, but it seems to me that either the recipe needs to be dialed in or the carbonation and body need work.

Thanks again Jeremy... Damn glad I got the chance to try this one reasonably fresh.


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Photo of jimmy82063
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

During a visit to the brewery in January I witnessed the barrel that this gem was being aged in glad I've had a chance to try this.

Nice creamy head to this pour the vanilla flavor really comes through along with the roasted malts, mild chocolate, but hey what's this?....there is a nice bit of hoppiness for balance.

The bourbon taste is very slight, kind of curious as to what the ABV is.

Think I'll save the second bottle for Christmas!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black brown body sits underneath a large dark khaki head composed of zillions of tiny bubbles. Great retention and hearty lacing is left on the sides of the glass as I took each sip.

S: Roasted malts, light bourbon (more oak than vanilla), and bitter chocolate. Rather muted and subtle.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is soft, muted, and subtle. Lots of different flavors are here, but nothing pops nor does the sum of its parts wow. The bourbon is nicely understated... this is not a bourbon bomb.

M: Smooth, medium bodied. Consistent carbonation through out. Nice lingering finish. Well hidden abv. No real heat or burn.

D: All said, a very respectable brew. Its not as aggressive as other bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, and I found it muted compared to my recollection of the regular IST. A good effort and worth checking out, particularly if you don't like the bourbon to overpower in your BA stouts.

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Photo of muttyd
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black pour with a huge thick tan head that persists throughout. Amazing lacing and super viscus.

S - Roasted malt, smooth sweet vanilla, oak, and leather. Some bitter hop aromas going on to balance the huge malty aroma.

T - Huge malty sweetness dominates the palate. Oak and vanilla characters blend perfectly, but don't take over the classic imperial stout flavor. Alcohol extremely well hidden for what is probably a 9% abv or so beer.

M - Chewy, creamy, and very sticky.

D - Extremely well balanced barrel aged stout. This is how its done people!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled is not the word to describe how I feel being able to finally try this one. For some reason one of the hardest things I have ever tried to acquire. Served chilled and poured into a snifter I was able to finally enjoy this one on 05/20/2010.

The pour was utterly fantastic and easily the best part. As I pry off the thick golden wax concealing the cap, I decant into my chalice. Dark black, rich looking, not as thick as oil, but super rich looking and a full three fingers of chocolate colored head then come up from the bottom of the glass. Enormous looking beer I have to say as the head just drip down the sides of the glass, pushing the envelope as to what I was expecting for sure. Leaving it sit for a few moments really lets it come to life as it falls down to just a soft tan pillow that coats everything it touches.

Aroma is rich, still hot from the barrel there is a noticeable boozy component to it for sure. Rich dark malts, oak, bourbon, vanilla, a hint of something bitter, almost hoppy at times comes through as it warms, interesting notes for sure. Really complex and fills the room as the cocoa and the coffee are now starting to come into their own. Again wonderfully well done and simply impressed beyond words so far with this one. The first sip coats the palate with a rich rush of oak and booziness, takes me back for a moment. Coffee, astringent flavors now come forward. Working my way in I find the vanilla and the smoked, almost peat like flavors I was looking for as well. Again very, very well done. Hints of delicate light hops, bitter chocolate, oak, green, vinous properties floating in and out. A touch of bite, some kind of spiced note, what the hell did they put into this? Sooth finish, rich, creamy, sweet, with a backlash of an almost vanilla bean flavor mixed in and dominant coffee notes. You feel the burn on this one, but I loved sitting back with it over the course of an hour or two.

Overall I thought it was a stunning success. A really well done, and very nicely put together ale of unquestionable goodness. Worth the energy in tracking down for sure. I would have no issue at all with going after this one again, why should I.

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Photo of nickd717
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

balosss on BA hooked me up with a bottle of this in a trade. Not sure how big the bottle was as it had a weird shape and no indication - maybe 500ml or so? Sweet, another barrel aged beer. I live for these.

Pours black with a nice tan head leaving good foam and lacing.

Aroma is caramel, anise, chocolate, coffee, and roast. Very nice.

Flavor is pretty good, with oak barrel noticeable as well as roast, coffee, whiskey, caramel, and some spice.

Medium-bodied on the palate and fairly dry with medium carbonation.

Good stuff overall, but not quite up to the level of others I had with it: GI BCBCS, Surly Four, and FW Parabola.

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Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to a generous NE BA for this bottle, poured into a tulip.

Pours almost completely black with only the faintest light passing through the edges. There is an enormous frothy tan head that definitely took me by surprise given the barrel-aged style.

The aroma is not what I expected as it's dominated by cocoa powder and licorice. It's definitely got a heavily toasted malt presence and the bourbon is very subtle in the nose.

The taste is bitter and astringent up front with some heavily roasted malts and coffee. Some mocha and licorice with a bitter finish which has less bourbon than I expected but still has an alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied but over-carbonated and very bubbly on the palate. It makes things seem much lighter bodied than it should.

This doesn't hold a candle to the original beer in my opinion as the carbonation really detracts from the flavors and the bourbon really doesn't add much to the beer.

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Photo of largadeer
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle generously shared by nickd717. Thanks for the chance to try this, Nick. We drank this at a tasting alongside a few other barrel-aged stouts and strong ales, including BCBCS, Firestone 13 and Parabola.

The beer is black with a frothy finger of brown head. Nice head retention and lacing, though it looks a little thin.

Pleasant chocolate-whiskey aroma, strongly roasty with a bit of anise and alcohol. It's very muted, surprisingly so, and side-by-side with Parabola it seems downright bland.

The taste opens with big black licorice flavor that borders on astringent. Medium in body, ashy, faintly burnt. The barrel didn't contribute a whole lot to this, a bit of whiskey flavor, light tannins and booze. Finishes with licorice, roasted/burnt malt and alcohol. Not a bad beer, but not great or overly interesting.

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Photo of cbutova
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened this baby to celebrate my college graduation, reviewed from notes.

A- Pours pitch black into my snifter with a one finger head that has great retention. A thick coat of fine lace is left at the top of the glass but thins out to no lacing toward the bottom. The suds are sticky and hang up on the glass well. A nice tan coffee colored cloud floats atop the beer for the entire time.

S- Good strength, holds up well throughout drinking. One of the best balanced barrel-aged beer aromas. The oak and bourbon are slight and do not sting the nostrils. Blended in with this is very nice roast coffee, malt and cocoa. Licorice notes makes an appearance as well.

T- A good balance of slight bourbon, oak, roast coffee beans, cocoa and roast malt. The coffee is awesome but the overall flavor feels thin/weak to me. Earthy hops round out the flavor with some licorice as well. I don't have a problem with stouts that don't kick your face in but the laid back flavor feels kind of strange to me with the bourbon aging. It is certainly a lighter barrel aged stout.

MF- Incredibly creamy but the body itself is a bit thin. A tiny bit of warmth from the alcohol and nice low carbonation on the tongue. Needs some thickness but the creaminess saves this one from falling far short.

DB- The thin flavors and mouthfeel are the only drawbacks. It is extremely smooth for a barrel-aged imperial stout and very balanced. The high price was a bit much but these days it is expected. I could really kill a few of these at once but will hold back on the rest of my bottles.

INFECTION: (11/08/10) Popped a bottle that was clearly infected. The infection made the beer incredibly fizzy and almost impossible to pour (3oz spilled out of the glass foaming). The flavor was not hugely affected but the Bourbon was faint and there was a bit of a Belgian/Saison/Brett/straw thing going on. It was not sour in anyway, just way too carbonated and a bit Belgian.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a massive 1.5" dark tan head (possibly the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer), which was rocky, proteinaceous, and well-retained. Impressive lacing throughout the drink. The body was virtually black- completely opaque.

S- An incredibly powerful nose: impressions of roasted and stewed malts, vanilla, chocolate, marshmallow, with hints of bourbon, oak and rum-soaked dark fruits.

T- A nice replicate of the nose, but a bit solventy (fusel alcohols?)... which dominate the palate. Perhaps these high alcohols will mellow with age? I shall lay a bottle down for several years and re-review accordingly...

M- A thick chewy body with a creaminess imparted by a wonderfully soft carbonation. Coats the mouth nicely.

D- The fusel alcohols detract from the drinkability for me... without these high alcohols, the Taste and Drinkability ratings would have been in the 4.5 to 5 range. Again, I have a couple of bottles in reserve, so I intend to re-review once they have some age underneath them.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(This review is from a fresh bottle that was not infected...I had another about 6 months later and infection had caused the carbonation to be out of control, the taste itself wasn't too different but the mouthfeel definitely had fallen apart. I didn't change any scores in this review to reflect it.)

500ml bottle with awesome gold gel top, poured into my Portsmouth tulip.

Pours black with huge espresso-tan head. Even after a few minutes, this thing isn't going anywhere. Eventually stays at pinky size, has excellent retention and lacing, especially for a barrel-aged beer.

Nose is dominated by light and dark chocolate and roasted malt, very reminiscent of the original Stout Trooper. The bourbon is there, but it's in the background. More booze is in the nose as it warms up however.

Bourbon is more present in the taste, but doesn't take over. If you really want 'bourbon!' screaming in your face you will be disappointed. Milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, a bit of hops, slight bourbon and vanilla. As with the original IST the highlight for me is the chocolate taste, especially nice in the aftertaste. I see the ABV isn't listed but if I had to guess, I'd pin in it at 10 or 10.5%. It is a little hot on the tongue but not in the league of fresh KBS or BCS.

Mouthfeel is a bit spiky on the carbonation, some more thickness would've been nice as well. But overall good. Awesome head adds fluffiness to each sip. Heat is mostly kept on the low side.

Drinkability is good, very easy drinking for a bourbon barrel-aged stout. 500ml is a good size for this, a bomber may have been too much. Worth $15 a bottle? I'm not sure about that.

I will say I'm almost always a fan of regular imperial stouts over bourbon barrel ones. I am also a huge fan of the regular Stout Trooper, which I prefer over this. I'm sure most bourbon stout veterans will see this as a "Lite" version compared to more recognized beers of the style.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by Jeff (ipa247) at a recent tasting. Thanks buddy.

A: Pours a clear brown body, nearly opaque in large quantities but ultimately see-through as it recedes in my glass. The head is a milky beige color that dissipates quickly, leaving some scattered bubbles and a thin ring at the edge.

S: Very, very roasty, both in grain and coffee portions. Smoke, bourbon, oak, charred plums. I get a touch of vanilla.

T: Same: it's very roast-forward, and I'm not a huge fan of that (same reason I wasn't fond of the 09 Abyss). This is roasty enough that it crosses into char territory at times, giving up flavors of burnt plums, burnt caramel. This isn't a bourbon bomb, but it's obviously noticeable and comes with a supporting cast of oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate. Points for the balance, but we had the Jack Daniels Eclipse next to this, and it simply didn't hold up. Pretty middling in the spectrum of barrel-aged imperial stouts.

M: Medium+ bodied, with low carbonation. There's no heat to it. The flavor is pretty well delivered, with a roasty / coffee / soy aftertaste.

D: Eh. I like barrel-aged imperial stouts as much as the next guy, but this isn't top tier (BA Speedway, BA Blackout), or next tier (Abyss). It's pretty middling, without the complexity I'd expect from a well-done barrel experiment. I appreciate having tried this, but it was unanimously the disappointment of the night.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.49/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this at the 2010 release. Glad to crack one...

A: Amazingly black with a 1 inch milk chocolate head that slowly fades. Leaves beautiful lacing on the glass. Very good.

S: Super roasty creamy bourbon and chocolate covered coffee bean upfront. Beautiful raisin in the middle blended with dark fruit and some sweet malts on the backend. Awesome!

T: Hoppy espresso upfront blended with creamy bourbon. Dark bitter chocolate in the middle with raisin and dark fruit on the backend. Very good. Super roasty brew.

M: Medium body with a nice blend of carbonation. Leaves a very nice stickiness on the palate. Very good.

D: Once you get past the boozy hops, it goes down good.

All in all, this is a very good brew. I'd love to try back to back with a standard IST. I definitely recommend trying this one if you get the opportunity. Great thick BIG stout.

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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 303 ratings.
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