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:
369
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
13.51%
 
 
Wants:
269
Gots:
100
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 369
Photo of davey101
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2012 release, 375 ml bottle into a 668 tulip. Bottle #238/1400. Its worth noting the new style label omits the word "Trooper" and is labeled as "Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout". This has been my longest want so I was ecstatic to get this beer. Thanks for the awesome beers Matt, Rob and company!

A - Pours a pitch black body. A two finger head of dark mocha head forms and fades away quickly leaving behind thin edging. A swirl produces some modest lacing with minimal retention but a fingers worth of head does come back to life. Great alcohol legs form and stay for a while.

S - Odd and unique, just as the standard IST is. Starts off with roasted malts and cola. Notes of oak, vanilla, butterscotch, fudge, leather and black pepper. Nice balance between savory and sweet.

T - Very roasty initially. Then comes some coconut and chocolate fudge. Finally the bourbon rounds it out. Vanilla, oak, and butterscotch. I swear there is a subtle touch of Dr. Pepper in here. Its not dark fruit or red wine....its just...something borderline fruity in the background. Noticeable alcohol burn on the finish but its very pleasant if you're a fan of drinking bourbon. Not the most balanced or well integrated flavor profile, but I can't say I've tasted a beer like this. Delicious in all the wrong ways.

M - Medium to light bodied and slightly syrupy. Carbonation is way too high and seems to just jumble around the all the flavors. Rather easy drinking despite the alcohol warmth.

O - A very different BA stout with some faults. The carbonation is way too high and does not work with the flavor profile at all. There is an underlying cola quality to the aroma and flavor. But through it all I love it! Well worth the wait and personal hype.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-nice rich brown color with a great tan head that sticks around the whole time
S-very smooth bourbon smell. Some chocolate malts that blend really well
T-bourbon is upfront. Carbonarion is really prevalent throughout
M-very carbonated. Almost light with a smooth finish
O-the rareness is really good on this. Decent beer but doesn't really live up to the hype

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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 Lunch
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was shared by thagr81us at Sexual Chocolate 2011. Thanks Calton! I tried many times to trade for this beer but I never pulled it off.

After hearing about the possible infection issues I was a bit leery, but since I am a big fan of the base beer I was excited to try this. This was sampled side by side with IST 2009.

As the bottle was opened we were pleased that there were no tart or sour notes.

Pouring this beer into a Darkness snifter (wish there was such a thing as a IST snifter) we were greeted with many fingers of tan on top of a black inky base.

The smell was quite nice with notes of chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and roasted malt.

Taste pretty much mimicked the smell, but this aspect was hindered by the excessive carbonation. I worked through my pour slowly in hopes that the carbonation would subside, which it did. Certainly better as I continued to drink, but it seemed a bit thin.

I'm really hoping for another batch and hopefully the carbonation will be addressed.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark black with coffee lacing. Thin lacing, no legs.

S- Vanilla and malt. That takes most of the S. Bit of barrel.

T- Vanilla, malt and more barrel than in the nose.

M- Nice and creamy, somewhat viscous; just the right amount of carb

O- A well done BA stout, but there is a bit of a void; though I would drink this 24/7 without complaining anymore

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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 CayseyW
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Pitch black body with a slight brown head that disappears quickly to nothing more than a small ring of foam around the edge. Little to no lacing.
S: Super complex aroma—dark chocolate, dried fruits, liquorish, vanilla, bourbon and oak. There is also an earthy and almost grassy thing happening up front as well, but it's very faint.
T: Chocolate, coffee, burnt sugars and subtle fruitiness. This is an interesting BA stout because its base beer is very hoppy, at least for a stout, and some of that is still lingering in the taste and feel. I can't think of another BA stout that has a noticeable hop presence.
F: Super soft and easy to drink. Best aspect of this beer. It's full but not muddy. Bold but not harsh. Just really nice, but I would have given it a 5 here if it had a better carb.
O: Really cool BA stout that I can't wait to drink again, especially after it's had a year or two on it.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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 rpstevens
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Darkness snifter. The beer pours pitch black, with a two finger light mocha head. The head fades quickly to a small ring around the top of the beer, leaving ample oily lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is very nice. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit (much more dark fruit than the regular IST from what I recall). The dark rich qualities give way to sweet caramel, vanilla, bourbon and oak. The sweet qualities of the booze and bourbon really balance well in contrast to the roasted qualities of the beer.

The taste is not as good as the smell would have suggested, but still nice. The dark chocolate and roasted coffee are present, but not as strong. The sweet bourbon, vanilla and caramel really dominate the flavor, while the oak comes in at the end and helps to balance everything out and dry out the finish.

The beer is more carbonated than I expected, but it's definitely not overdone. It's complex, and heavy, without being overbearing. It has a nice smooth mouthfeel, and aside from being a bit too sweet the flavors are fairly well balanced. The alcohol sweetness is present, but it adds to the flavors nicely. This is a beer that really benefitted from the barrel, and I can't wait to try it again in a few months.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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 BeerAndBourbon
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours black with a thick bubbly head that leaves lots of residual lacing.

S. Some harsh whiskey/ wood notes with some dark chocolate and dark roasted malt.

T. Dark roasted malt with some harsh wood, dark chocolate bitterness.

M. Becomes foam instantly when it touches your tongue.

D. The mouthfeel really takes away from this. I'm not a huge fan of the smell or taste, but the mouthfeel is what really takes away from this.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as can be. Beautiful rusty espresso crema head, poured into a snifter.
Smells of bourbon, wood, hint of dark roasted coffee and vanilla.
The taste is really nice,...a subtle, complex, smooth, layered blend of all that I love in this style. It's not in your face bold. It's as if all these flavors have an equal role in the overall.The balance is amazing. Dark fruit, barely sweet,vanilla ..almost a coconut- vanilla, bourbon, espresso,roasted malt,cocoa,oak, a vinous quality near the end... a nice dry finish , with an aftertaste of vanilla-oak.
The body is a little lighter than the regular ST...carbonation level perfect for this style. This is a brand new fresh as hell bottle...released today...can't wait to see if it gets even better with age...if I can keep myself away from it !

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired at the release and taken from notes. Drank somewhere in the summer.

550ml bottle into a Snifter glass at fridge temp.

A- Pours pitch black with a nice 1 finger brown head that's real creamy looking like a milk shake or foam.

S- Nice roasted dark malts with some sweet chocolate and coffee. A great blend of strong oak and bourbon notes come through that gives off a pretty boozy aroma from the bourbon. Blends really nicely though.

T- Serious roasted with a nice sweet chocolate burnt coffee flavor up front that blends and brings out some wood, oak, and strong bourbon characteristics. Definitely some vanilla in there as well and a slight booziness just like the smell but gives this beer a nice fullness that it needs.

M- Medium bodied with lower carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

SkÅL!

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Photo of Brez07
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles from the past weekend's release. Poured into an imperial pint glass

A: Dark black pour with a thin mocha head. It leaves scant lacing throughout the glass

S: Potent, but not overwhelming, bourbon smell. There is a tinge of alcohol in the nose. There are hints of vanilla and oak present as well

T: Starts off with a great roasted flavor. A nice bourbon/vanilla/chocolate/oak mix follows. Finishes with a minimal alcohol presence

M: Medium bodied. Very smooth, as smooth as can be. There is a nice tingle from the carbonation and a touch of roasted malt on the tongue in the finish

D: Easy at first, but the bourbon character causes me to slow down a bit eventually. Not a bad thing though. Personally, I think this will age with the best of them. Lucky to have picked up a few of these while it was still available

4.5/4/4.5/5/4.5 - A

Update: Had another bottle on 10/23/10. Carbonation was high, causing it to be thin. Adjusting mouthfeel to a 3 and drinkability to a 4

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Photo of lurpy1
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dgthasher for sending a bottle. Have to say, I don't get the joke on the label. Barrel wearing groucho glasses with a bad back...Help me out here guys, what's the funny? Anyway, the beer?

Think I might be picking up a whiff of infection here. Nice stout flavors get chased away by a sour, Belgian-y funk. Barrel is not real strong either, a little bit of a bourbon hint around the edges. I think I'm gonna declare this guy infected, but even if it is, the "infection" is not enough to completely wreck the beer, only render this a somewhat below-average barrel aged beers. But still totally drinkable and mildly recommended at the right price. If germs and other nasties have indeed infected this beer, I'd like to see what the pristine version tastes like. Good thing I have another bottle somewhere.

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Photo of muttyd
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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 oregone
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: very good. A surprising amount of carbonation (fairly dark brown) forms from a moderate pour and settles in to a very dark brown body leaning towards black. Perceptibly lighter around the edges.
S: Barrel. Just so right there ion front. Sweet, woody, barrel. Good for what it is.
T: Carbonation makes this light drinking and accentuates thew barrel treatment. Not excited here. But interesting if a bit one dimensional.
M: Far to light for what it is as a product of the excessive carbonation. Not bad, but not good for the style. Fl
O: Good to try. Would drink again, but not seeking this out. I was not a huge fan of the base beer IST and don't think that the barrel ageing or high carb did this any favors.

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Photo of braugon
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 - Pitch black, oily. Smells exactly as advertised. No real head on this pour.

Taste's fizzier than most ris's but really pleasant and lively. Sticky, sweet. Molasses and vanilla, oak and bourbon.

Hop bitterness before prunes and tannic on the finish.

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Photo of nkersten
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one! Poured from bottle into NB globe. Opaque black liquid, super foamy tan head that thins out very slowly. Smell is wet wood, chocolate, some sour infected notes. Taste is smokey oak, alcohol, chocolate cherries, a bit of dark roasted malt. It is hard to pick much taste out because the carbonation is out of control. Mouthfeel is medium, thin and watery for an imperial stout with an intense carbonation. I did not enjoy this beer but would give it another chance since this one was most likely infected.

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Photo of Spica66
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received this an EXTRA(!) from randomdanger. "Thank you" does not say enough, Will!

Consumed under a clear, blue sky on my deck, with gwuilliums on his 43rd birthday.

A: Extremely dark pour. Instant head formation. No stopping the head formation. Waaay over-carbonated. Like year-old Founders Breakfast Stout.

S: Sweet and dark. Roast malt, coffee, very nice.

T: Also sweet and dark. Sweet like Bell's Expedition Stout with dark notes like The Abyss 2008. Very well balanced.

M: The carbonation, even after aggressive swirling was way too high and caused quite a sharpness on the tongue.

D: If you were to let this sit our for a couple of hours to burn off the carbonation, it is very easy to drink.

Note to self:
This is the night we drank the 1986 Robert Keenan cab.

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Photo of zoolzoo
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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 Gfunk720
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes, out of my Maudite tulip.

A- Crazy coffee colored foamy head. I couldn't even pour it for a while it was so foamy. Beer is pitch black, much like the base beer.

S- Smells of oak and malt, no bourbon really to speak of. There are some coffee/chocolate notes as well, and a wierd soury smell.

T- A odd combination of burnt malt and oak. Again, I am getting that bitter sourness. Also so cocoa and coffee notes.

D- Not bad, but wayyy too carbed. Not sure what is going on here...

M- Again, just tastes burnt and like it slighly turned. Not sure if the sourness is the beer or infection.

This beer did not take well to the barrel aging process. I really like IST, but would not go out of my way to find another one of these.

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Photo of ottovon
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

shared by phelps at a recent tasting. This is the 2010 version.

A: pours out a dark brown with a nice brown head.

S: chocolate with hints of vanilla, oak, and a bit of bourbon. there is some sweetness and alcohol in the aroma.

T: chocolate and coffee. There is some vanilla and a little bourbon. Not a ton of bourbon. there is some sweetness and toffee.

M: medium-thin with a good amount of carb.

O: i enjoyed this beer more than the normal IST, but was expecting more from both versions.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.07/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Barrel-Aged IST is, overall, a profound disappointment. All of the liabilities of the parent beer are still present: it is too light in appearance, too thin in mouthfeel and overcarbonated. Although some wood, vanilla and bourbon notes are present, the carbonation and thin body interfere with conveying those flavors to your tongue. Instead, you get a bit of the chocolate and burnt toast flavor of regular IST, a bit more sweetness and a bit of fruity tartness at the finish. This simply does not match up to the powerhouses of the category and ultimately fails to take advantage of the barrel aging process.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 369 ratings.
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