So, for the past few days I was trying to hammer out a way to tie in a beer review with the whole Sandy Superstorm. I kept coming up on shandy reviews, thinking I would sprinkle in Grease pictures, but I have yet to find a shandy I truly looked upon with any level of favorability. When I thought all was lost, I happened to spy on one of the televisions at the gym that Disney had purchased LucasFilms. BINGO!! Back in business…natural disasters be damned (although this may turn out to be one in the end!).
Disney has been on a shopping spree in the past decade in an attempt to lure in male audiences…basically of all ages. I mean, some males get sucked in when they take their kids to the cartoon features, but for the most part, Disney didn’t really have much to offer a little boy past the age of 6. Step 1, they bought Pixar. Okay, you now have the Dads you had, the boyfriends who are taking their girlfriends to see Toy Story, and younger males up to the age of 8 instead of 6. Then, smartly, Disney bought Marvel. At first people might scoff, seeing as how the comic book forum is a slow dying breed, but with the pulp classics that I and many others grew up with came the movie rights to all of the major powerhouse characters (minus Spidey, Punisher, and FF, among some other flops). In all honesty, who didn’t see Avengers crap plastered EVERYWHERE last year?? So, now Disney has lured in the male audience from the wee ages of 4 all the way to mid-life crisis. Good to go, right? Well, what if someone said there were some closet geeks that had fallen through the cracks? How will that play into Disney’s plans for world domination? Apparently not well, as in the midst of the east coast destroying Frankenstorm that was Sandy it was announced that Scrooge McDuck loosened his purse strings to the tune of 4 billion dollars to purchase LucasFilms, and possibly more importantly the rights to churn out more sequels to Lucas’ crown jewel that is Star Wars.
I love Star Wars…not enough to go to the festivals or cosplay or any of that shit, but I love them all the same. That being said, Episodes I-III were painful…the most painful, for me, being Episode I. Jar Jar Binks made me look on the Ewoks like they were equivalent to Kevin Spacey’s character John Doe in Se7en. Seriously, even as a kid I hated the Ewoks, and then there was Jar Jar. What a cinematic clusterfuck that character was. It was bad to the point that his brief cameo in Episode II physically angers me every time I see it, and he was barely in the movie. No matter how bad those three flicks were to many, I find myself unable to really tear myself away when they are on the tube. The story, on the whole, is classic and alluring. The characters (for the most part) are endearing and dynamic. The galaxy far far away just sucks me in. So, would I be willing to watch a new sequel? The Episode VII that has been rumored since the release of the A New Hope? You bet your Jabba I would!
“But Garth, what does this have to do with beer?” you might ask. Well, actually, you probably wouldn’t ask that, because until now most people didn’t look around to see what my name was, and with the length of this post, I’m sure I lost at least half of the people who didn’t bail on the premise of this being a Star Wars related post. To those of you dedicated enough to read this far, I say “BRAVO!” I also implore that you recommend this site to your like-minded, beer enthused friends…I’m trying to get my numbers up! Anyway, the tie in is in the beer itself. Today, fellow ale-conners, I present to you Imperial Stout Trooper from the New England Brewing Co (http://www.newenglandbrewing.com/) out of Woodbridge, CT.
Imperial Stout Trooper was originally released in 2006, packaged in 12 ounce bottles. The following year, nothing, but that wouldn’t slow down the behemoth that is this brew. In 2008, the 12 ounce bottle returned, and in 2009 they made the switch to the 750ml format…more bang per bottle! In 2010, for aesthetic purposes, they added Groucho Marx glasses and mustache combo to the label art. Nice touch, if I don’t say so. I will admit that this one is tough to find…if you live in New England you have a decent shot when it is unleashed on the shelves. I don’t know their exact distribution geography, but outside of New England, I wish you luck. Now, on to the beer.
This review is a 2012 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is jet black with a low profile, dense, creamy, chocolate milk colored head. Aromas are creamy, with a mocha blending, leaning slightly on the bitter side. Flavors are supersmooth, with a healthy underlying kick from the ABV. Bitter and dark roasted coffee throughout, with some dark, bittersweet chocolate overtones and earthy, roasted highlights. There is a subtle sweetness that jumps in at the end of the palate…seems like a tangy caramel. The body remains smooth throughout, but is light enough to be drinkable. Another solid boozey bite in the aftertaste, as well as a roasty and bitter blend. The finish is smooth and bitter at the same time; creamy, yet sharp. Very dynamic, solidly brewed RIS. Delicious!
So, the storm trooper connection is obvious. At the end of Episode VI, which is the third movie in the original trilogy (if that’s confusing then you weren’t a real Star Wars fan, not that there’s anything wrong with that!), the storm troopers, along with everyone else, was running their asses off of an exploding Death Star. I’m not sure if the storm trooper will have a place in the new trilogy, but that won’t stop me from cracking a few of these heavy ass stouts to celebrate the planned Episode VII release in 2015. Until then, why not throw in A New Hope, sit back, and sip on this heavy hitting beast of a beer. Sounds like a fun, SciFi themed beer night to me, and from previous posts you all know how much I love a good theme drinking night! The hard part is going to be getting your hands on the beer, but the fun is in the chase…and you never know what gems you may stumble upon while searching for something like this. May the force be with you, and as always, drink educated my friends!