Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

very good
58 Reviews
For Trade:
Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series)Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series)

Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by SawDog505 on 11-28-2013

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 277
Photo of zshaft
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

pours nice dark black with normal head dissipating quickly. taste follows the nose and is bitter chocholate with some nice roasty flavors throughout the palate. overall nothing special but a nice drink and worth a try. there are so many outstanding stouts out there it's hard to reccomend this one.

 304 characters

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, light chocolate. Taste is coffee, roasted malts, some hints of chocolate, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

 260 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a very dark brown with a tan, fluffy, head. Lots of cocoa in the nose, with some bread. Dark roasted grains, malty sweetness and some bitterness. Enjoyable, but not a real quaffer - sip don't slurp!

 227 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is a touch below average and about a finger of irregular lacing is left.

4.0 S: Rich, deep chocolate with drying cocoa nibs. Roastiness, semi-sweet neutral maltiness. Lots of caramel and molasses with just a hint of coffee. The cocoa and chocolate are the focus.

3.75 T: Again lots of cocoa nibs and chocolate. Mild roastiness, on the sweeter side but not overly so, caramel, molasses. A bit tangy on finish.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Just the slightest bit chewy with a mild creaminess.

3.75 D: Tasty beer. I love cocoa nibs.

 652 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, bottled 15 Nov. 2013, served in a Belgian snifter.

Pours with a tiny head, most of which quickly disappears. Clear but very dark brown body is essentially opaque in the glass. Nice ruby highlights when held to the light.

Aroma: dark bread, chocolate, faint spices and a touch of liqueur.

Flavor malty sweetness nearly balanced with bitterness. Dark roasted grains with hints of roasted nuts, coffee, licorice, cocoa nibs, spices and dark fruits.
Nicely complex, interesting and balanced. High ABV is evident but not harsh.

Overall: this imperial porter is an engaging sipper.

 601 characters

Photo of SABERG
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 212 oz bottle dated 2015 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Deep and dark, bakers chocolate in color, a thin mocha cap persists thru out the experience.
S - Cocoa, fig, raisin, more cocoa, dark roasted malts and kiss of citrus.
T - Follows the aroma, dark fruit, cocoa, chocolate malts.
M - Full in body, a bit of slickness, nice carbonation clean up, a desert finish.
O - Very fulfilling offering, beautifully executed, rich and delightful.

 456 characters

Photo of Pukstopper
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has this at home for a week or so in a cooler outside in the cooold. Brought it in and poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark chocolate color with nice head and good lacing after the fade. Chocolate notes and some dryness from the alcohol. No real alcohol burn just a nice flavor with a little bitter bite that doesn't last. At 9.3% it has a nice mouth feel.

 359 characters

Photo of superspak
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Awesome appearance. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, fig, licorice, toasted dark bread, herbal, light pepper, light smoke/char, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, fig, licorice, toasted dark bread, herbal, light pepper, light smoke/char, and roast/toasted earthiness. Moderate roast/char and herbal/spicy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, fig, licorice, toasted dark bread, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a nice roasted bittersweet and hop spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from roast/hop bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy/bready, and fairly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English imperial porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,759 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My 500th beer rating on BA! A good one to boot!
Pours a nearly jet black, nice creamy tan head, persistent lacing.
In the aroma there is chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. The aroma is moderate and pleasant, not overly strong.
Some sweetness on the tongue by way of chocolate, however, this one also has a moderate bitterness due to the hops, the roasted malts and coffee. Slightly bitter finish. Good balance.
Very smooth, creamy and drinkable. Medium bodied, slightly viscous, and softly carbonated.
An excellent Porter.

 525 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, 2015 vintage. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a lot of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and some burnt/charred malt. I think the taste is similar to the aroma for the most part, but there's also some dark fruit and licorice noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and smooth with moderate carbonation. I liked this brew a lot, wouldn't mind trying this one again in the future!

 571 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Bought a year and a half ago and cellared to age, then forgotten about until recently.

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Clear very dark brown with ruby highlights along the sides and bottom. Inch thick offwhite head receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark chocolate and black coffee.

t: Follows the nose, blending into roasty malt and a moderate hop bite which at first lingers almost cloyingly in the back sides of the mouth and tongue. Mellows later; high ABV is evident with some building throat burn, but overall pretty well covered.

m: Smooth medium to full, very good body and carbonation tingle.

o: A very good tasting high octane chocolate porter with a sexy mouthfeel, at least when aged. A fine cooler weather and celebration brew. But be warned: strong enough to knock most porters on their baggage-toting arses.

 940 characters

Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

 300 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -4%
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.

 973 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
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:

 359 characters

Photo of mpedara429
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 515 characters

Photo of Omnium
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 470 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 708 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 695 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 298 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 969 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

 743 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 2,224 characters

Photo of far333
3.43/5  rDev -14%
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.

 471 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 1,029 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Culmination Chocolate Porter (Brush & Barrel Series) from Long Trail Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.