So I hate Sci-Fi movies. And that includes any of the Harry Potters’, Avatar, and yes, anything that deals with far away beings trying to destroy humanity… including Star Wars. But even I am tuned in enough to have heard of a Storm Trooper. I’m not quite sure what they do. Or if they are a Wookie or an Ewok, but I know they are affiliated with the George Lucas nerdo hit moves. So why did I decide to purchase a Sci-Fi knock off beer from New England Brewing? Because it’s New England Brewing. But I still hate George Lucas… especially because he threatened to sue NEB Co. for using the logo and name of his beloved action hero nerdwads… which explains why the “stout trooper” on the front of the label is in one of those fake noses, glasses, and mustaches giddy-ups. Will this beer take me to a galaxy far, far away, or will it be destroyed in a battlestar galactica? Time to run them numbers.
Appearance: I did a full fledged poor into the glass – no tilting of it at all and I let the beer scream out. That being said, the brew did not give off a prominent head, especially for the vigorous poor. Contributing factors could be that I’ve aged this guy a year, and also the 8.5% ABV is probably keeping bubbles away. After the vivacious poor, the beer did some slight cascading leaving a good inch / .5 inch head. Needless to say, it’s jet back with a dark tan head – I can’t see through it and I love that. As a side note, when I was done with the beer, the bottle had a little sediment at the bottom and the glass left a finnnnnne lacing.
Smell: Licorice, roasted grains, molasses, slight coffee, but overall, really roasty flavors. Smells similar to an Old Rasputin and many other imperials I’ve had before. Awesome aroma.
Taste: Wow, first off, before you even taste anything, a super robust and creamy mouthfeel. The best texture I’ve ever had on a beer… ever. It’s so velvety and smooth, it’s like drinking silk. OK, the taste – good lord in heaven this is a superb stout. Really roasted flavors of coffee and chocolate, the grain profile in here is unbelievable – really pronounced and clearly the star of the show. The molasses taste I received in the smell is well hidden. I often associate that molassesy taste with the alcohol in the beer as many imperials give that flavor off, but I cannot find it in Stout Trooper, which I’m pleasantly surprised with. Granted, this is using the word “Imperial” pretty liberally as many imperial stouts have at least a 9-point-something ABV and many in the double digits. This Trooper is pretty tame comparatively.
The carbonation on the brew is perfect, especially for a stout; it’s sort of like the referees at a competitive football game: you know their there, but never notice them. The finish is of bitter dark chocolate and it’s pretty drinkable, however I think a 16.9 ounce bottle is perfect for one. I can’t find anything I don’t really like about this beer, it’s one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for it outside of Connecticut… this is ours. We are lucky to have NEB Co. in the Nutmeg state and if you’re searching for it, it’ll already be on shelves (New Haven county) or will be on shelves within days. (For those outside the state, NEB Co. just moved locations and I can foresee them distributing beyond state lines soon).
Overall: A+. There may be a little home town bias, but New England Brewing has to be in anybody’s top three breweries in New England. Their beer is great, and Imperial Stout Trooper is no different. Buy this beer, and may the force be with you (or is it live long and prosper?) Whatever. Drink it, it’s good.