1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series) - Long Trail Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series)Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

242 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 16
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co. visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SawDog505 on 11-28-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This dark chocolate Porter is a very rich, roasty beer with top notes of chocolate derived from freshly roasted cacao. Strong but relatively smooth on the palate, its malty sweetness is evenly balanced with bitterness, and a slight dryness from the alcoholic strength. Look for solid notes of coffee, licorice, mild chocolate and more subtle hints of fruit and spices.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 47
Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Pours a clear brown with quickly dissipating tan head. Strong aroma of chocolate and roasted cacao with some sweet fruit notes. Taste is sweet chocolate, similar to a milk stout, with roasted malt. Hops are buried under the rich chocolate. Well balanced but is strong enough to be an imperial porter.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a neat beer with a little age on it, perfect for holiday time. this porter is pretty big, although its lighter in color than many, more of a milk chocolate rather than a dark brown, and even letting a little light pass when held to the brightest bulb. the nose here is dry cocoa all the way, playing with chocolate malts, bakers chocolate bitterness, and just a hint of something sweeter. the thing that makes it unique for me in the taste is the fact that there are some hops here. its not hoppy per se, but it certainly more hoppy than other chocolate forward beers out there, and it works! the bitterness brings out the deeper flavors in the cacao, and it helps the beer finish a little faster than it otherwise might. the label says licorice notes, and i dont really taste that, but i dont miss it either. mild doughy yeast and subtle holiday spice sprinkle in at the finish. overall a delicious porter, a clever experiment with the style, and a very good beer overall.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: deep brown; 1 finger light brown head that receded quickly; light lacing;

S: roasted malt; coffee, dark chocolate;

T: dark chocolate up front; bitterness kicks in mid palate; coffee takes over at finish;

M: full bodied; low to moderate carbonation; alcohol well hidden until you try to stand up: smooth;

O: really interesting; complex nose and flavors:

Photo of mpedara429
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured out black with a thin layer of tannish head but it didn't stick around very long.

S: Cocoa is highly present as well as dark roasted malt. Just a hint of sweetness.

T: Very similar to the smell. There is also a strong earthy and leafy hop presence.

M: Medium heavy body that is a little creamy. Medium carbonation.

O: A solid pickup. The booze is very well hidden. While it was a very good offering, it failed to really stick out in any way for something that was advertised as a limited edition brew.

Photo of Omnium
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Pitch black with two fingers of tan head, thick lacing. Looks great.
S - Earthy hops, coffee grounds, roasted dark chocolate and malt, smoke, light hint of vanilla.
T - Big bitterness of some coffee grind, earthy hops definitely there, roasted chocolate, licorice, hickory smoke, some alcohol burn.
M - Dry and bitter, but balanced and not too warming.
O - One of the better beers Long Trail has made, lots of flavor, not boozy, great porter.

Photo of Jimmys
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bomber bottle.

A: pours a fairly dark brown. head is a frothy dark brown. OK retention and good lacing.

S: a bitter dark chocolate aroma starts everything off. rich and roasty. the nibs are giving me a hint of vanilla as well.

T: flavor is very chocolately. more chocolate than roast, or char, or smoke or any other dark malt flavor. the chocolate lingers into the finish but develops a leather-like flavor.

M: moderate to slightly-low amount of carb on a medium fullish body. drinks too easy for a 9% brew.

D: overall a good chocolate ale. not earth shattering, but certainly doesn't come with any flaws. if you have this, drink now. this beer will only start lacking chocolate character with time.

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a almost pitch black beer with one finger head and lace patches/ring. I get a mostly roasted coffee malt aroma with bitter chocolate and hints of smoke but not really licorice. Full bodied, thick, almost sticky, definite sipper. There are flavors of chocolate and coffee as well as touches of dark fruit (I swear I get plum but more akin to figs) and the beer has balance, however, I just find the roasted/smoke aspect a little strong and I really never get the licorice that is stated on the bottle. If they toned back some of the smokey parts and lowered the ABV they'd have a thinner, sweeter, more balanced beer - that's what I prefer, anyway. Still, a good beer and if you like your porters dipping their feet in the stout waters then this is a must try.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when held up to the light. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of chocolate are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the chocolate flavors are a lot stronger and also has notes of coffee. Slight hints of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found the chocolate and coffee flavors in this porter to be bold and enjoyable.

Photo of mikeg67
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, fluffy, beige head. Aroma is of toasted malt, alcohol, dark fruit and cacao. Body is full, creamy and smooth. Taste is of toasted malt, cacao, chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol, brown sugar and earthy hops. Finish is long and dry. Good, warming brew.

Photo of Slatetank
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Al's Pizza and Subs in Enola, served chilled in a pint.

The color is dark brown like strong coffee with opaque clarity and thick creamy tan cap with fine bead. The smell is cocoa and dark malt synergy with light sweet toasted malt and gentle woody accent from the yeast. The feel is decent with lots of malt texture and moderate carbonation with a medium bitterness level to balance the sweetness and mild alcohol textures.

The taste leaves no doubt that quality cocoa was used - lots of dark chocolate bitter flavors with roasted malt accenting and light hint of dark roasted coffee earthiness with a subtle toffee like sweetness in the flavor with an almost dark cherry/stonefruit note from the yeast that is more in the background as it finishes. Overall I liked this a lot, a great strong porter with very smooth taste possibly enhanced by the chocolate but very drinkable considering the strength..I would love to try the bottled version.

Photo of homebrew311
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with minimal tan head and not much retention. Aroma starts with heavy cacao notes that bring nice dry and dark chocolate qualities. Some metallic notes follow that up along with some mild dark fruit character. The taste is dry, roasted, and full of dark chocolate. After the chocolate subsides, a slightly unpleasant note of metal comes through and is somewhat off putting. It does not ruin the beer, but it certainly detracts from the overall impression. Mouthfeel is thin for the gravity with moderate carbonation. Overall, its tough to get past the metallic notes in the middle. I love me a chocolate porter, but the astringency and dryness give off this metallic character that just ultimately makes it a mediocre beer.

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black-deep brown color with a small head of a tan colored foam. The head fades very fast leaving some bubble islands of foam on the surface of the brew.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt smell as well as some big chocolate and lighter coffee aromas. Along with the darker aromas are some big sweeter smells with tons of vanilla and a bit of caramel. With a bit of a cream smell mixed within, the aroma is overall a nice roasty- chocolate cappuccino smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweet chocolate bar flavor mixed with some nice roasted malt tastes and a nice level of sweeter vanilla. As the taste moves on some lighter coffee flavors come to the tongue bringing with them some bitterness. The coffee never gets too strong, but gains a bit more of a pronounced flavor as some of the chocolate slowly starts to fade as the taste moves on to the end. Some other sweeter flavors of a caramel nature also come to the tongue more toward the middle to the end of the taste. Along with the caramel so too comes some lighter earthy and herbal tastes, which with all the other changes in the flavors that occur, one is left with a lightly bittered and moderately roasty and sweeter chocolate coffee flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly lower side for a porter of 9.3 % abv. with a carbonation level that was on the slightly lower to average side. The carbonation was rather nice for the mix of sweeter chocolate and darker flavors of the brew. While initially I thought a slightly thicker and chewier body may have overall been nice for the darker and sweeter nature of the beer, after drinking more I found that the thinner body did make for a nice crispness that matches the slight increase in hop at the end of the taste rather nicely. Overall I would have to say the feel was done quite well.

Overall – A rather nice porter overall which with the lowering in chocolate and the bit of bitter flavor that comes to the tongue at the end of the taste, it actually makes for a more refreshing but still quite robust imperial porter. Very tasty.

Photo of far333
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Chestnut colored with a light brown tightly bubbled head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of coffee and some cocoa, notes of fig and raisin.

Flavors of coffee upfront, quickly punctuated with dark chocolate, leather, molasses, licorice, root beer and toasted marshmallow. Interesting mix of flavors from a pretty basic malt bill. The coffee seems to dominate too much for my tastes. Cocoa is subdued, licorice adds a nice touch.

Full mouthfeel, but a bit dry and puckery.

Photo of Roguer
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful dark pour, solid black with red highlights. 1 1/2 finger bubbly tan head. Retention is good; lacing is thick and nice.

Dark, dark cacao aroma, bordering on over-roasted. An earthy blend of hop and roast malt aroma. Chocolate dark enough that it doesn't come across as sweet.

Taste: slightly boozy stout porter, with a slightly tart, grape-like booziness up front, followed by a palate-washing roasted barley and cacao bean combination. Slightly coffee-like from the roasted malt. Chocolate isn't as dark as the nose implies. Bitterness and bite are well-supplied by earthy hops and roasted barley. Slightest hints of liquorice.

Thick, smooth mouthfeel, a little sting and burn, with a relatively dry finish.

This is a good beer, a good stout porter, but it doesn't blow me away by any means. It's worth trying out, certainly (as has every beer in the Brush and Barrel series I've tried so far), but it just doesn't blow me away for the style. I think there are better available options in the stout/porter category.

Photo of BumpyAZ
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours nearly black with a thin, bubbly off white/slight beige head that quickly receeds to a thin ring around the inside of the glass

S: Big chocolate roasted maltiness, a hint of bitter coffee

T: breast and malty, a nice helping of chocolate malt but lacking a true hit of chocolate.

M: slightly thin to medium, too much carbonation, a hint of alcohol burn and a dry finish

A good beer but there's not much that makes this one stand out from any other good porter. Maybe I'm a little biased since I drank a Mogli last night but, I gotta call em like I see em. The aroma is probably the best part of this beer. Wish the mouth feel was creamier and smoother.

Photo of Ryanm1
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small taster glass during a beer tasting. Colors appear rather dark brown and could be considered black. Tiny layer of white to grayish carbonation appears at the top. Couldn't different this from a typical porter or stout other than the fact that it uses "CACAO NIBs" which it claims on the bottle.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle, poured into a snifter. The beer was black in color with a small tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Chocolate and coffee aroma.

More in the taste. Cocoa and dark chocolate

Medium-bodied. A little on the bitter side.

I liked it.

Photo of hops202
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stone snifter.

Great look upon pour. Dark brown chocolate color - very fitting. Very thin head. I remember this being better last time I tasted it from a growler. Lots of chocolate and some cocoa on the nose. Taste has tons of chocolate and some coffee with licorice on the back end. It is certainly a solid "big" porter but there are better options out there.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a black walnut floor color with a healthy 1-2 finger head of mocha on the top. Mostly tiny bubbles, later the powdery white dusting on top after the bubbles settled.

S: Aroma of rich robust chocolate malts, roasted cacao nibs, espresso and some lite bitterness.

T: Starts off with mostly espresso sweetness and light mochachino flavors mixing with earthy English hop flavors and pale malt. The flavors are rich and robust like a robust porter, with a little more complexity. Very dry finish, along with high levels of carbonation. As it breaths, the robustness is really there, mostly consisting of rich coffee and dark bakers chocolate. Compared to a Smuttynose Robust Porter, this is similar in flavor, only thicker, higher abv and slightly more rounded out. Flavorwise however, I find these two beers very close in style.

M: medium to thick body for the style, high in carbonation and finishing very dry.

O: Overall this is a solid Brush and Barrel series beer. First I have had from Long Trail, but it is a solid brew.

Photo of Hibernator
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long Trail Culmination
22 oz brown bottle - jet ink 3379 B on the side
Served in a Ommegang Witte glass

Pours an opaque jet ink black with a khaki head on top. Awesome trails of sticky lacings on this beer. A very attractive beer from the start.

Whiffs of espresso shots and malts.

This is a chewy porter with a flavorful malt profile. Think chocolate brownie with a hershey syrup drizzle on top. Hints of an espresso bitterness in each sip as well. Flavors of both milk and dark chocolates keep coming back to me as I try to describe. There is a strong roasted malt presence with a hint of black licorice. My only criticism would be that it's just a little too sweet to have more than 1 or 2 glasses.

A nice compliment on a cold February evening.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Very think I would actually call viscous, very dark almost stout like yet with just a 1/5 of an inch of head their is not much carbonation. I love a rich dark ale.
S - Sweet and pleasant nose mostly dry cocoa powder and some porter like dark fruit/roasty goodness. Again I love sweet smelling beers.
T - As to be expected its very dry with a borderline herbal quality and some intense roast but it never really gets too bitter or herbal. My second sip relieved more cocoa beneath the rough dry yeast of this behemoth of a porter but it never really got sweet. More dark chocolate if anything I say.
M - The body is chewy borderline heady yet between medium. Such a rich dark beer.

Overall I am quite impressed these guys not only nail it with these brewmaster beers but the price can't be beat (paid 7 dollars but most of these go for 5-6 bucks) It was good.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Wegmans in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color. 2 inch mocha-colored head, with minimal lacing.

Tons of chocolate in the aroma, naturally. Some smoke and licorice also noticeable.

Very chocolate forward taste. Cocoa powder is the dominant chocolate flavor, with some Hershey's syrup type sweetness as well. Slightly smoky, with some vanilla and licorice as well. Some dark fruity sweetness as well. Not very hoppy, which is fine.

Medium bodied, creamy smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Low carbonation.

One of Long Trail's best beers.

Photo of kbrokhoff
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Note: I had drank about half of this 22 oz. bottle a few days ago (Friday night) and used a Wine Air-Vac to plug it up.

Personal Drunkenness: Approximately 20-25% (if that); this is my 4th beer today after a Hooker's Nor' Easter, Rochefort 8, and Brooklyn Blast!

No. of Tasting: This is my 2nd big boy overall of this porter

Coldness: Opened, poured and tasted within about 2 to 3 minutes out of the fridge

Pour: Medium with a bit towards hard near the end to gain some head

Glassware: 14.75 oz. Porter/Stout glass (similar to a Stella glass)

Filtering: Unfiltered; looks thick and cloudy, but hard to tell with its black chocolate darkness

Coloring: Black chocolatey I guess; a dark brownish black (for risk of being redundant)

Head: A few millimeters

Summary: This beer has a rich, chocolaty taste. I wouldn't call it sweet. It's a borderline heavy taste and a strong flavor with what seems to me a dry finish. I'm still trying to get this rating system down right, but in my own words I would say this is a very good chocolate porter, and maybe if I was a bit drunker I'd call it great. Especially considering that I had opened this bottle a few days ago, I am very impressed it has kept its full carbonation as no flatness is detected. This latter half of the bottle is more enjoyable than the first, for some reason. Long Trail has created a winner. Considering they don't do a lot of porters (do they have any others?), this one is even more remarkable.

Photo of MDDMD
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a light brown head and some lacing

S-dark malt, cocoa, light coffee, hint of sweetness, very aromatic

T-dark roasted malt, cocoa, licorice, light coffee, moderate bitterness that overwhelms the flavors slightly

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-enjoyed sipping this, but would like it more if they dialed the bitterness back a little

Photo of maltman24
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into snifter.
Pours very dark with a nice tan head - moderate retention. The aroma has a moderate malt presence with dark chocolate or possibly coffee notes.
Flavor up front is malty bitterness (possibly from roasted malt or the roasted cacao nibs?). Chocolate presence is detected in the middle and finishes through the end. There is a definite perceived hop bitterness (albeit mild) as well. Mouth feel is medium body with a little smoothness through the finish.
Overall this is a really good beer. The cacao lends a certain bitterness that is unexpected (for my tastes) of a porter but a tasty offering nonetheless. I will definitely buy this one again if I see it in the stores!

to view more.
Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series) from Long Trail Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.