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

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86
very good
104 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 | website

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:
104
Ratings:
302
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
13.87%
 
 
Wants:
262
Gots:
86
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 302
Photo of Knapp85
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1112/1400 sent over from GuisseppeFranco, Thanks man!

This poured out as a very deep black color with a light brown head on top. The retention is pretty good on this beer and there is some scattered lacing also. The smell of the beer is sweet with some subtle milk chocolate & butterscotch aromas as well as some fresh wood on the nose as well. It doesn't give off too much of a bourbon aroma but still a very nice smelling beer. The taste of the beer has some subtle notes of bourbon and vanilla. It's got a hint of smoke in the finish along with some bitterness too. The mouthfeel is thick, nicely carbonated and slick. Overall it's a pretty good brew, I enjoyed trying it and would probably drink it again sometime.

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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 Thorpe429
2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Quite the gushed as I remove the wax. Quite a bit of head and tan lacing. Dark, dark brown. Smell is bourbon and a good amount of oak. Hints of coconut. Taste is similar though quite muted. Surprisingly little taste for a barrel aged stout. Mouthfelel is fairly thin with a lot of carbonation. Drinkable, but not because I want to. Somewhat disappointing.

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Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium thick viscous black with a slight and quickly disappearing head. Aroma of bourbon and caramel-chocolate, not overpowering in any way. Creamy chocolate flavor, and very very smooth. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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 mothman
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Did a side by side with this and regular IST.

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1 finger of tan head. Very fizzy like. Good retention with lace rings. Color is black.

Aroma: Whiskey, oak, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and coconut.

Taste: Whiskey with lots of oak. Earthy hops, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, coffee, and dark fruits. Fairly creamy.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation (way too much). Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, way too much carbonation. Not sour like some bottles have been. Okay drinkability, but the carbonation just throws this beer off. It really wrecked the beer.

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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 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 mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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 Huhzubendah
3.4/5  rDev -11%
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 stakem
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, big thanks to BA Smoked for being able to attend the release and buy me some of this. Bottle opened and shared with some friends. This brew poured into a snifter appears black in color with a mountain of dark brown head that is 3+ fingers strong. Thick patches of lace cling all over the glass. When held to the light, some red coloration and lighter brown is seen through the edges.

The smell of this brew includes some raw oak character. Citrus hops are still evident along with some notes of sulfur. There is some mineral character evident through the middle that imparts a scent of something similar to a leaking co2 tank. Once the brew warms up and has a chance to breath the unpleasant mineral aspect and tannins fade and what is left in the glass is a very sweet smelling concoction of brownie batter. Vanilla sweetness is also evident mixed with coconut and a spiced aspect almost like incense.

The taste is woodsy and earthy with some citrus elements that are familiar to freshly roasted coffee. Some tangy alcohol is present accented by a spirited barrel alcohol presence. Light mineral character fills the profile before the onset of roasty bitter grain somewhat like chocolate and earth. As it warms, more of a focus on the barrel contribution comes forward with tannic flavors. Once the brew goes beyond ideal temperatures, it really comes together tasting like chocolate and vanilla.

This is a medium bodied brew with an excessive amount of carbonation. The alcohol inclusion is evident and quite warming. Overall, nicely done. The carbonation is too much but luckily it can be swirled out with a little bit of effort. I know this brew was met with great anticipation and hype only to be a let down for many. However, I found it to be exceptional. This is a classic example of first impressions upon a first sip not doing a beer justice if you let it warm up and enjoy a full serving. If I have this beer again, I'm not even going to waste my time chilling it down, straight from cellar temp to glass is my recommendation. I really hope the fellas at Nebco attempt this barrel offering again with less carbonation.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.82/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle # 1195/1400.

Appearance - Dark black. Maybe not viscous, but a nice dark black. Big khaki head. Thick collar.

Smell - Wow, it's odd. And bad. Chocolate. Strange buttermilk-like aroma. Diacetyl? I don't often smell that in a stout.

Taste - Chocolate. Milk chocolate. Some bourbon, but not a lot. That buttermilk flavor is almost tangy. I think it's got diacetyl here too.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a little chalky. Bitter and boozy.

Overall - Funky and weird. And this is supposed to be the noninfected version.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.21/5  rDev -16%
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 drabmuh
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by jmadrigal2 after the Black Tuesday release this year. Rumors have it that these got infected but I didn't see much evidence of that.

Beer is dark brown to black with a big head, obnoxiously large head that leaves lacing on the glass. Beer is tan and medium bubbles.

Beer smells like chocolate and coffee with a little vanilla and some oak. Mild liquor, very mild.

Beer is roasty more than it is liquory or sweet. The chocolate is there but its lost in the nuance of the whole thing. The bourbon is lost in there too. Overall the beer is a little thin and could have done more to get the bourbon across. Overall its a good beer and I'd have it again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured a motor oil black with a half finger of brown head and left lots of blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was chocolatey with roastiness slight vanilla, oak, coffee, and molasses notes. Taste wise it was similar to the nose but there was a bit more roastiness I believe from the malts with good chocolate flavor vanilla, oak, coffee and molasses accents but had slight bourbon notes. The brew was full body with way too much carbonation that made kinda hard to fully enjoy the taste of the beer. It also had a sweet, roasty, creamy, and big bubbly finish. BA IST was pretty drinkable but had way too much carbonation which was a turn off to me. Decent BA offering but I still would wanna try the regular version to compare.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer opens with a little bit of gushing and pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol and roasted malt. The flavor is roasted and burnt malt with some smoke, oak and chocolate. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Other than a little bit of oak in the flavor, I didn't get much barrel-aged character out of the beer.

I think the beer may have been slightly infected because a few of the people I tried it with got some slight infection notes in the flavor, but I couldn't tell. I liked the beer, but I think I liked the regular version as much or better.

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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.

4.5/4/4/3/3.5

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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

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 VelvetExtract
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #631/1400 released in 2013.

A-Black as they come. Light stands no chance. A forceful pour births an impressive inch-high loaf of half-baked biscuit dough. Thick, semi-solid head is light brown in color. Head leaves thick, chubby knots of lacing. Looks awesome.

S-Not as intimidating as I had hoped. Milky sweetness and light bourbon notes. The barrel was not overly generous here. Milk chocolate and flat root beer. Not intensely roasted either. Definitely a different aroma than I was expecting. Not very intense in any area. Has the necessary components but where's the balls?

T-The bourbon is far more enthusiastic here. Coffee and roast is also much more talkative. Blatantly superior to the nose. A bit peppery. Bourbon infused fudge. Vanilla extract. Still, it lacks the power and machismo of all of the upper-echelon Barrel Aged Stouts.

M-When I look at it from a different perspective, this is one of the most easy-imbibing barrel aged brews I have had. Body is still full. Not viscous but incredibly creamy. Lack of huge bourbon flavors leads to easier drinkability.

O/D-At first I was semi-disappointed but once I really started my autopsy of this beer, I began to enjoy it a lot. It is definitely a different take of a style of beer that defines "the bigger the better". I like this beer more and more after every sip. Doesn't stand up to the barrel-agenda legends but it is a very delicious brew nonetheless.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, 500 ml gold wax dipped bottle (label says 12 ounces?), big thanks to jgasparine for trading this bottle! Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a couple inch tan head. Head retention is pretty good, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is very sweet and malty, the brew smells like chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and some dark fruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a good amount of roasty and bitter flavors noticable. It tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt, oak, bourbon and a bit of vanilla. Finish is nice and roasty. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it has very high but soft carbonation. The high carbonation does make this a little hard to drink, even though it does settle down some after a while. I think it's a good brew, but my only complaint about it is the high carbonation which hurts the beer's drinkability and overall score. With that being said I'm glad I got to try this one, thanks again John!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

thanks to egrace84 for the share!

poured into a hair of the dog tulip.

drank this side by side with IST!

Vintage 2012. Bottle# 602/1400.

Appearance: Looks identical to regualr IST. Thought that this beer would have a draker head, but its not the case. A black bodied beer with 1 finger of light brown head. A thin cap remains on the beer during the entire drink. A gentle swirl bring this beer right back to life!

Smell: Milk chocolates, cocoa beans, and light roast from the malts. Also getting graham crackers and cinnamon oddly enough; hints of vanilla! Malty nose overall.

Taste: Lots of milk chocolates and cocoa. Hints of vanilla. Decent amounts of black licorice and molasses. Mid level of roastiness. You get a nice mellow oak note too. Also getting a rootbeer or cola note from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Exactly the same mouthfeel as regular IST. A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable Imperial Stout! Smooth and delicate mouthfeel with a little silky and creaminess to it!

Overall: Regular Imperial Stout Trooper is just plain a better beer; thats all. Very similiar in many aspects to regular storm trooper, something is a little off in the taste, but it was not a horrible distraction at all. Glad I got the chance to try it out!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into a snifter; bottle #504/1400, winter 12-13 release

An ink black pour with just a faint brown edge. A little less than one finger of brown foam rises and falls fairly quickly. Little to no lacing. Oil slick coating when swirling.

The nose is pretty much what you expect, just a little more tame. Milk chocolate, roast, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. This never really steps outside of its comfort zone, but it definitely not bad smelling beer.

Some oak tannis create a bit of a prickly entry before a rush of roast, coffee, and chocolate. Vanilla and bourbon through the finish with a mild lingering roast bitterness. A little bit of spice from the oak pokes through.

Full body and super easy to put back. This is a highly drinkable BA Stout. Smooth, approaching the lush/creamy realm, but ultimately pulling back a bit.

This is a very approachable BA Stout. A nicely wrapped package of bourbon and oak layered on top of a strong base beer. Well done.

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Photo of mltobin
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 mL from this past winters release. I poured it into a NEBCO flute.

The appearance is black with a small tan head. Its` nose contains bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate and caramel. I tip it back for a sip and I taste chocolate, toffee, more of that bourbon, oak and a bit of vanilla. It tastes very nice and warms you up. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pretty decent a mount of carbonation to it. All things considered, another very good beer from the crew at NEBCO.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 254/1400 opened on 9.26.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a small brown head that fades slowly.

S - Subtle, barrel, oaky, bourbon.

T - Strong bourbon, chocolate, and a slightly metallic finish.

D - Heavy body with good carbonation.

O - Ok stout, nose is weak and taste was metallic.

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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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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 302 ratings.
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