poured a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date.
It cost $8.49 ($0.50 per ounce).
Appearance: A dark brown out of the bottle with an ink-like, ultra-black
hue in the glass. Forms a large, brown, frothy head which laces and
Smell: A bit on the mild side, but with a standard imperial stout aroma of black licorice, roasted malt and dark chocolate.
Taste: It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve had a regular,
non-flavored imperial stout that’s really amazed me. New England
Brewing’s "Imperial Stout Trooper" has, thankfully, ended that streak.
This is a delicious palette that’s as robust and complex as some of the
highest-ranked chocolate, coffee, oatmeal, milk, cream and Russian stout
styles out there, but isn’t actually one of those niche styles (as far
as I can tell). It shows that you don’t have to be an obese brew to have
Intense rich sweetness as soon as it hits the tongue - black licorice,
chocolate-covered cherry, and a hint of vanilla or wood. Though not
strongly bitter, there is a significant hop presence from beginning to
end, complemented by roasted malt, though it’s never dry per se. A
strong bitter bite at the crest of the swig, which quickly recedes and
gives way to rich sweetness of milk chocolate, molasses, and a hint of
citrus. The aftertaste is akin to Kailua with a slightly milky character
plus liqueur flavor and sweetness. Yet at no point is it boozy or
cloying - now that’s a well-balanced beer.
Drinkability: Imperial Stout Trooper is full-bodied for sure, but I was
genuinely impressed by how drinkable it is. Though not a mammoth beer at
8.5% ABV, it’s definitely on the heavier side but never feels like it.
The mouthfeel is thick, but soft and smooth with no oily or syrupy
texture. It goes down so easily I actually have to concentrate to sip it
slowly instead of slugging it back. This would make a great dessert
brew and is best enjoyed alone, and the 500ml bottle is the perfect