Imperial Porter | Central City Brewers + Distillers

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Imperial PorterImperial Porter

Brewed by:
Central City Brewers + Distillers
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Derek on 05-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 49
Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle, 2013 vintage - nice that they aged it for us a bit before shipping it east!

This beer pours a seemingly clear, dark cola brown colour, with very slight basal highlights, and two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent spectral webbed lace around the glass as things quickly sink away.

It smells of well-roasted, meaty caramel malt, coffee grounds, a very soft lactic sourness, bittersweet cocoa beans, wet ash, a bit of BBQ-d black orchard fruit, and the suggestion of earthy, weedy hops. The taste is quite in line with the aroma, the roasted quality dialing back the backyard meat smoker character, as the bready caramel malt comes out of its shell, alongside the coffee, bitter chocolate, hints of anise and black pepper, a still understated dark boozy fruitiness, cigar ash, and a rising citrusy, floral hoppiness - this is Central City, after all!

The carbonation is fairly sublimated throughout, just a minor fizziness to be found if you really look, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight for the style, and tacitly smooth, the only challenger being a straining at the seams alcohol astringency. It finishes on a strong drying trend - evenly split between hop and booze.

A tasty and enjoyable big-ass porter, the American brewing notes pulling it squarely in that direction after a brief flirtation with those Baltic temptresses. Lots of roasted character from cradle to grave, and maybe it's just the copious pictorial references to barrels on the label, but I'm now starting to wonder about that too - though nothing else overtly encourages that idea so far.

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Photo of Derek
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is really more of a (north) American Double Porter, perhaps leaning towards an English Old Ale.

Dark Brown with a light tan head, some retention & lace.

The alcohol is readily apparent on the nose, some light hop spicing (willamette?), a little biscuity nut and a hint of coffee roast.

Alcohol is up front in the flavour as well, more whiskey-like than wine, the bitterness, roasted malts & american hopping are all surprisingly delicate. I expected a little more punch, but this is a pleasant sipper for a rainy day on the coast.

Very well-attenuated with a drying alcohol finish.

This is a good brew, but surprisingly subtle for its strength.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bomber (2013) poured into tulip 25/9/14

A dark cola, enough clarity to almost see the other side under the foam, large tan head sits around for a few sips caking the side with spider-web lace

S coco powder and bakers chocolate, herbal, leafy, notes, quite earthy, almost top soil, some char and a little sour plum, I'm still getting some citric hops on a year old porter? stranger things have happened I suppose

T some coffee and again a little citrus but its faint, earthy, more char then the nose, nutty, burnt sugar, a little different from the nose but just as good

M medium bodied but bubbles cream it up a little, a little gritty, a bitter bite, just a little sticky on the lips, dark roast and a hint of pine on the finish

O this would've been like a BIPA when fresh, still lots of hops holding their own against all the dark malt, not exactly what I was expecting but solid beer nonetheless

2013 vintage bottled Jan,17,2014? A new arrival to Alberta and its already 9 months old? at least their IPA seems to be consistently fresh on the shelf out here, I'd drink this again for sure and would love too try a fresh bottle.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light aroma with some faint roast and coffee. There's a sharp roastiness to this, some faded definition on the finish. Expected a little more based on the reviews. While purchased recently there is a good chance that the bottle had sat in a warehouse for some time, as the listing says it’s retired.

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Photo of woemad
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle purchased at Mid Columbia Wine & Spirits in Kennewick, WA, for under $6 (right now I’m too lazy to hunt for the receipt). I picked this up on my way home from camping in the Umatilla Mountains. I have not yet seen this in my neck of the woods, but hopefully that will change, as Red Betty (or whatever it’s called in the U.S.) has been turning up in various places locally.

Poured into a shaker glass, this was a mahogany-ish color that took on a more ruby-like hue when held up to direct light. There was an inch or so of tan, bubbly foam that left lots of lace.

Initially, this smelled of molasses and booze. As it warmed up, things became more complex, with elements of dark fruits and smoke.

A little more bitter than the nose lets on, but it’s nowhere near to be to an objectionable degree. The bitterness, along with some dark fruit flavors, balances the mollassesy notes, with tobacco and whiskey hovering in the background. Although there’s a little alcohol heat, it’s more restrained than the initial sniff led me to expect. Moderate, dry hoppy zap to the palate at the swallow.

Relatively full bodied, with a sticky, coating mouthfeel.

This could pass as a mellow Imperial Stout. It doesn’t have the hops or bitterness in the strength associated with the great ones of that style, but there’s more similarities than differences. Very tasty. I hope this becomes available in Spokane, as I could see having this after dinner or as a nightcap. Incidentally, I noticed on the label that CC also claims to be a distillery, which makes me wonder if this was barrel-aged.

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Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Central City Brewing 'Imperial Porter' @9.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $13

A-pour is a very dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with a hint of crimson red peeking thru a small tan head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-a definate certain smokeyness !

T-the bourbon aging has given this beer a certain smoke taste , yet smooth enough to consider cellaring perhaps ... hmm

MF-ok/good carbonation , definate full body

Ov-nice beer , good porter , worth the big price , NO ,

prost LampertLand

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Photo of leaddog
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with two fingers of creamy tan head.

Smell - roasted malts, coffee bean, bittersweet chocolate, earthy hops.

Taste - Similar to the aromas. Initially hit with a nice punch from the roasted malts and coffee bean followed by the bittersweet chocolate and is rounded out with a pleasant bitterness from the earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant bitterness from the bittersweet chocolate and earthy hops.

Overall - Central City delivers a porter with an excellent flavour profile. The roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate are the stars of the show with the earthy hops providing a nice supporting cast. This is a definite stand out. Well done, Central City. Look forward to seeing what comes to Cowtown next from these guys!

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Photo of Bunman3
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mmmm. Good. This is an absolutely delicious beer. Smoke, chocolate, deep coffee and cola sensations. One might think they could rely on this beer as their primary food source because it oozes most of the guilty pleasures in life. I enjoyed this as a follow up to a supercharged Quadrupel on Christmas Eve, and it was the perfect way to cap off a busy day. It's a shame this is not brewed any more, so if you can find a few bottles, I recommend you snap them up!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed 12 oz. tulip glass on tap at Irish Times pub in Victoria BC. A nearly pitch black brew, no colored halo that I can discern, with a light khaki colored head. Very nice honeycomb-like lacing left on the glass. Aroma is smoky, charred, and vaguely sweet, some hints of dark fruit and caramel toffee reveal themselves but deep, dark, and smoky for the most part. Taste is an interesting juxtaposition of massive bready malts, wood char, dark fruit, and floral/citrus hops, although the latter are obviously very downplayed vis a vis Central City's other brews. Black and red licorice, dark chocolate, campfire ash, ladyfinger biscuit, booze-soaked raisins, and cigar each put in appearances, with some burnt caramel putting in a late appearance. One can taste the high ABV but this does not detract. Warms one up nicely. The rich doughy malts evoke an imperial pilsener, truth be told, albeit much darker. Smooth and slick mouthfeel, body lighter than expected (light to moderate in the broader scheme), and finishes bready and herbal/medicinal, with some faint grapefruit and caramel lingering. A slow sipper and in my view captures enough complexity to partially justify the price point (bottles sound a tad steep, if the reviewers below are to be believed). Cool find for this denizen of Alberta. Gotta get closer to the source.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only offered as a seasonal on site at the Surrey Central Brewing Co.

A: As dark as brown can be without being considered black with a creamy colored head that reaches about 1/2" and hangs around slightly on top for a while.

S: Boozy but inviting. Some malt.

T: One of the smoothest tasting porters I have ever had. Especially considering the alcohol content. Boozy finish that isn't overpowering. I could see people who could not get into more prolific dark beers like Murphy's and Guinness liking this one because of how well balanced the taste is.

M: Very slippery with medium carbonation and medium thickness. Extremely pleasant.

O: Excellent. The best and most balanced porter I have ever tried and will have one of these any chance I get.

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Photo of BCborn
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, $4.50 650ml, 2013 vintage, lots of bottles available at brewery, smooth and dangerous 9%.
one of my favorite beers, have a couple in the cellar aging.

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Photo of jellikit
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a very small amount of red when held up to light. Light brown, light foam head.

S: coffee. Chocolate. Nutty, caramel/burnt sugars. Faint.

T: predominantly coffee, toffee and chocolate with alcohol notes. Roasty. Not too roasty. I like roasted barley and black patent in small doses. This is well balanced.

M: medium high carbonation. Medium high body like Mel B. Dry.

O: very nicely done. Extremely Well balance of malt, roast, and alcohol. Will buy again. Just wish the aroma was a little more robust. But a great beer.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650ML bottle
A: black
S: sharp liquorice root, blended whisky; intense but not very broad or complex
T: black liquorice, black molasses, not a broad flavour; a sour finish that makes me pucker! That finish is really not very enjoyable.
M: full-bodied
O: a BIG BOLD beer but not complex or overly enjoyable.

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Photo of vikinggary28
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Never heard of this brewery before I saw it at my local Grocery Outlet, in California nonetheless. I see reviews out of Canada and Washington state only. Poured from bottle to glass. Looks almost black like a dark root beer. It has a beautiful off colour head with plenty of lacing. Smell is of a chocolate/coffee combo. Taste has a hoppiness that i didn't detect in the aroma, though it balanced well. Aftertaste was more malty than hoppy, like a porter should be. This beer kicked ass AND at 9% abv! I can't recommend a food with this beer because I believe Porters and Stouts are after meal sipping beers, but I could manage to see this one with a heavy meat like a lean steak or dessert afterwards. Ooops, I recommended it with food. It must be good!

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Photo of Hoptoria
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from 650ml bottle purchased for 7.99.

A- Pours a murky and dark brown (near black) with a slight ruby tinge. Slight brown head which leaves some lacing.

S- The best part of this beer. Great nose for a big BA porter. Smoky, with the expectation of a bit of alcohol burn.

T- Licorice, smoke, molasses, a little bit of a dark fruit character. I like.

M- Smooth, with an ever-so-slight creaminess and a lingering alcohol finish.

O- I was lucky to get a bottle at nearly half-off (original list price 15.99). For 7.99 this was a GREAT beer, and I should have bought a few more bottles. If I however, had paid $13-16, as it seems other have had to do, I would have been a little disappointed that this beer wasn't more complex. But this is another super solid offering and Central City are quickly climbing my brewery rankings.

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Photo of raiderob
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bomber into pint glass.brownish foamy head that fades away leaving light traces of lacing.smells of coffee and malt .taste of dirt that I like.smooth finish.Prost❗

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Imperial Porter from Central City Brewers + Distillers
4.01 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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