Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Brew Thursday - Imperial Stout Trooper

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.

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