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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 portia99
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by pemmet at a recent imperial stout tasting.

A - Dark...black in color - no light gets thru at all. A skim coat of tan head leaving behind a loose collar around the glass.

S - Boozy, warm, bourbon, woody oak with some vanilla.

T - Woody is an understatement on this...mild bourbon flavors, lots of roasy flavors.

M - Medium bodied with a lower carbonation level...very oaky - wood really dominates.

D - Very woody (definitely a theme here), interesting and a bit different. I enjoyed this more than the standard version...barrel aging definitely helped although a bit one dimensionally.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
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 Bendurgin
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
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 nkersten
2.89/5  rDev -24.3%
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 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 phattysbox
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
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 chicagobeerriot
2.07/5  rDev -45.8%
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 Spica66
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
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 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 deltatauhobbit
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
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 Overlord
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with black edging. Gigantic, huge very dark brown head. A bit out of control, but gorgeous.

Smells like burnt cocoa, some roasted chocolate, some roasted ash, roast, roast, and roast. Roast. Some light bourbon notes.

Taste is a bit more nuanced. There's both milk chocolate and acrid, roasted cocoa powder, a whiff of bourbon (there wasn't much in the aroma ... not a bourbon bomb, really). There's also an unpleasant tart/sour aftertaste. Weird. I looked over some other reviews, and I'm not the only one who noticed this. A bit distracting.

Mouthfeel too thin.

Big thanks to a generous trader!

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
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 kbutler1
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours fairly black color with a tan 2 finger head. The bourbon aromas are the first thing that hits me as I take a smell followed by dark roast notes and vanilla. As I take my first sip I soon realize the mouthfeel to me is just too light. I don't think these bottles are infected but just that the carbonation level is fairly high for this style and really takes away from the beer. The tastes I get are the bourbon, oak, earthy, vanilla, and dark roast. Really the flavor I like but I just can't get passed the carbonation. Too bad.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has something going on in the bottle. The head is way to aggressive. Foamy, over flowing and large bubbles. I had the opportunity to enjoy 2 bottles and both were the same way. Almost black in color with a lot of sticky lacing.

The aroma has alcohol, cocoa, coconut, and bourbon.

The flavor is interesting, but we see the next sign of something going on here. Most of the flavor is cocoa powder, dark roast malt, bourbon, vanilla and coconut. But there is a tiny sense of apple with the slightest hint of tartness. Not Sour at all, but I wouldn't age this beer. I think something is still at work in this bottle.

The body is a touch too thin and the carbonation is large.. Big bubbles.

I prefer the standard Stout Trooper vs. this version.

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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 TurdFurgison
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this bottle from smutty33 several months ago, finally breaking it out. 500mL bottle, thick gold wax on top.

The beer pours with a huge foam, it takes a few cycles to fill the glass. Dark brown and opaque, looks like a stout, nothing remarkable except the huge cascading head.

Lots of stuff going on aroma wise, listed in decreasing order: Dark fruits (plums, raisins), smoked malts, roasted malts, tobacco. Not sure on why I get smoke in this beer, I didn't see it described in previous reviews, but it's pretty strong in the smell. A little bourbon in subsequent whiffs.

This is really tasty stuff, but ominously a little tangy in the aftertaste. Up front it starts with sweet and roasted malts, a little burning ethanol or bourbon in the middle, and a sour lasting aftertaste. Maybe infected, I've heard others talk about it and it looks like mine might be infected.

The body is OK, but there really is way too much carbonation. It doesn't match the richness of the flavors at all, too prickly and bubbly, it takes away from the beer.

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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 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 maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
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 tpd975
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark black hue. Small tan head. No retention or lace.

S: Aromas of nice roasted malt. Chocolate, coffee, molasses, and dark fruit.

T: Wonderful roast. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweet molasses. Light barrel notes. Hints of oak, coconut, and vanilla. Complex, tasty and good.

M: Medium in body, sweet with perfect barrel notes. I thought it would be infected but I picked up none of those notes. Nice and tasty. Worth the trade.

D: Nice and drinkable. Tasty goodness in a bottle.

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Photo of Pabs311
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ok, so after reading reviews and posts about how this was going downhill fast, i decided to crack open my last bottle and share it with a couple friends before it went totally south.

peeled back the gold wax, and slowly cracked open the bottle expecting foam to come gushing out. didn't happen. thought to myself, could i have a good bottle??

A- pours thick a creamy with a good mocha colored head on it that's about 1/2 inch thick, the body of this beer is dark as night.

S- very light nose. no sour notes though. coffee, chocolate, toffee, some vanilla and bourbon undertones, but overall muted.

T- much better than the smell here. the flavors are the same as the nose but more pronounced. once again no sour notes here. chocolate, toffee, caramel, coffee, vanilla make up the flavor profile of this dark mass.

M/D- Moutfeel is thick, chewy full bodied. low carbonation (contrary to what others have said). drinkability is good. i'm a little sad this was my last bottle, i'd like to enjoy this one again.

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Photo of Tomdee74
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
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 SpeedwayJim
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
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 KeefD
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
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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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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Imperial Stout Trooper - Bourbon Barrel Aged from New England Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 303 ratings.
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