Thursday, May 17, 2012

Imperial Stout Trooper - New England Brewing Company

I admit it . . . I am a fan of the Star Wars movies.  So, too, must be the maker of Imperial Stout Trooper.

I've been drinking New England Brewing Company's owner/brewmaster Rob Leonards's beer for many years . . . way before he acquired NEB in 2001;  I first sampled his brews in the 1990's when he was making beer for John Harvards Brew House in Westport, Connecticut and the Brewhouse Restaurant in Norwalk, Connecticut.

I love and support local breweries and this one is no exception.   The New England Brewing Company  is located Woodbridge Connecticut . . . just a hop, skip and a jump from where I live.  

When Imperial Stout Trooper was first released in limited quantities in 2010 I quickly snatched up a few bottles . . . they were hard to come by and I paid a hefty $14.99 per bottle.   The label portrayed an image very similar to a Star Wars Imperial Storm Trooper.  George Lucas was none too flattered . . . he issued a cease and desist order to get his Star Wars imagery removed from the the Stout Trooper label.

Those first year bottles have become something of a collectors item.  My husband saw a bottle listed on Ebay that was going for over $100.

The following year Imperial Stout Trooper was once again issued in limited edition . . . this time with an amusing new label . . . Groucho Marx glasses and 'stache to disguise the trooper beneath.  

A few weeks ago I picked up a few bottles of the 2012 edition.  So limited is the distribution of this beer, my local booze store would only let me buy two.  Of course, I went back and got more . . . two is certainly not enough.

This a truly amazing hand crafted brew.  It pours dark as  night with a light tannish head that quickly dissipates but clings to the sides of the glass.  It has a caramelly, smoky, coffee aroma and the flavors to back up the nose tease.  

The taste is everything I've come to expect from an imperial stout . . . a complex combination of very slightly sweet dark chocolate, caramel and molasses perfectly balanced with coffee, smoke, licorice and malt.
Stout Trooper is not a heavy beer nor as heavy as is to be expected from a Russian imperial stout BUT very enjoyable.  It is medium bodied and medium carbonated which equates to a pleasant mouth feel. 

As good as this beer tastes, you kind of have to put the brakes on due to its high 8.5% ABV.   Share a bottle or two with friends . . . sip, relax, enjoy. And then wait another year to grab a couple bottles of this limited edition brew.

Drink it, it's good . . . indeed.

For more information check out NEB's website or visit them on Facebook.


Sarita Fajita said...

I've just stumbled across this beer and want to get it for my Star Wars geek boyfriend for father's day. Any idea how I could get it in Texas, or where to buy online?

Bräuista said...

This is a very limited production beer. I live a short distance from the brewery and only managed to get my hands on one bottle this year. You can check with the brewery, they might be able to help you out.