Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series) | Long Trail Brewing Co.

218 Reviews
Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series)

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Long Trail Imperial Porter features a complex, darkly roasted malt flavor complemented by a thin, creamy head. The abundance of malt is balanced with a variety of hops, creating a clean finish. The recipe has been a homebrew secret that was developed by one of our own brewers. We are proud to present Long Trail Imperial Porter...ENJOY!

56 IBU

Added by Bierman9 on 08-07-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 218 | Ratings: 378
Photo of biglite351
1.92/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - just a little res around the edges. Tight off-white head.

S - smells like those multi-color licorice bulk candies.

T - licorice candy again, but it has been sitting out in the sun. Hops and other bad things. I had this in a bottle and thought it was bad. On tap is worse.

M - medium coating with a slight tingle on sides of tongue.

D - I would rather have a Miller High Life. How is that for drinkability?

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Photo of nhindian
2.91/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by CharlieMurphy, thanks Nick!

A - Pours a darkish brown / red color which is kind of light even for a porter. Foamy bubbles make up the head, which is 2-fingers in height and is light tan. Retention is moderate, lasting a couple minutes, and leaves big bubbles in its wake. Lacing, however, is great, generously coating the glass with lace and bubbles.

S - This porter is surprisingly hoppy; a note that is evidenced immediately after smelling this. It's not exactly roasty, but the malts are focused on a semi-sweet chocolate tone. After that, it's all pine and citrus hops, which give off a strong, almost solvent, orange smell, like Orange-glo or some other cleaner. It's a 1-2 punch of malts and hops, but neither are incredibly pleasing or impressive, unfortunately.

T - A lot of the characteristics from the nose carry over to the taste, and although this is marketed as an imperial porter, if I had this blind I'd almost certainly call this a Black IPA. The malts are somewhat subtle, with too little roast besides some lingering in the finish, and disappear soon after taking a sip into a wave of hops. There's also some wood or oak notes I'm getting as well, which is confusing as I am pretty sure this hasn't seen a barrel.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with good carbonation. A little bit thin and watery in the transition from the malts to hops, and the finish is some roast and hop bitterness without much lingering aftertaste. It's smooth, I guess.

D/O - Drinkability is low. The smell is unappealing and the taste follows suit. Way too much hop presence here without a proper balance of malts. The fact that even after knowing this is an imperial porter I can't shake the feeling a Black IPA leaves me with a bit of a disappointment, especially when I was looking forward to this.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/31/2009. Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of wood, roasted malt, bitter hops. Flavor of parmesean cheese, roasted malt, some smoke. Hmm, I just didn't find this beer very complex or interesting. It was just an average porter for me, mediocre at best.

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Photo of yankeepride
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not sure of the release schedule of these, but the bottle had vintage 2011 on it. Got to enjoy a little of that classic porter "fall down" into the pint glass, and caught a solid whiff of some chocolate and only the very tiniest smoked smell. It was so faint I may have actually been dreaming it from wanting to smell more of it. The taste, however, was nothing like it smelled or looked. It was a pretty thin beer, and completely poundable for an imperial. What I really got as a dominant flavor was hops. Not powerful hops, mind you, just the most prevalent flavor. I didn't get very much at all of the classic porter flavors in this, and as a result, I'd rather just have this as a session brew. Good flavor at the price point, but for 8.3%, it didn't give a slow, satisfying glass of beer.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured cold and black from the bottle to a founders brewing goblet with a 1/2 finger, long lasting mocha head

aroma of molasses, smoke and dark chocolate in the wayback.

bitter espresso roast balanced up beside semi sweet dark chocolate, a bit of smoke after.

medium bodied, big carbonation, smooth, subtle bitter

overall - better than average, but not much - interesting and enjoyable, but i'm not writing home.

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Photo of KarlosT
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I love porters. I love imperial porters. I did not love this beer. Not sure why my palette deviates so much from the general perception of this beer.

For whatever reason, it tasted like a scotch ale to me.

Had it as part of a flight at Grill Next Door (Haverhill MA).

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Photo of Stunner97
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark black and very cloudy and murky, very nice tan thick foam head about half inch plus thick, very beautiful off the pour,

Smell- very nice espresso really overall dominates the first whiffs, slight bitter hops, but alot of coffee notes overall

Taste- A decent amount of burnt malts and coffee and espresso really dominate the flavor, the overall flavor is a little light but still decently nice, the finish is pleasantly coffee like more then anything else, slightly bitter hop finish which does check out the coffee a bit

Mouthfeel- Overall the mouth feel is a bit lighter then I would of liked, its almost a feeling of a tad watered own considering the alcohol, very light

Drinkability- This beer is not bad by any means but it just really lacks a lot of the complexity I would expect in such a big bear, Its very one dimensional and almost over the top in certain aspects, its not a bad beer but certainly nothing overall y great either.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours dark brown with about a finger of creamy tan head that settles down and leaves thin runny lace. The aroma is kind of faint but overall it's not bad. Mostly a chocolate right up front with a coffee undertone. Dark roasty malts support the aroma nicely. But again, it's pretty faint. The flavor is kind unimpressive but not offensive. Weak coffee flavor, weak caramel flavor and a faint chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I would like and the carbonation is surprisingly harsh. Again, not offensive, but not mind blowing. Drinks pretty well, not the best porter ever, but a sound effort.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.34/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An opaque dark brown body with translucent, ruby edges. Huge tan head that has good retention and nice lacing.

The aroma is really hoppy. Pine, citrus/grapefruit. The malt underneath has coffee and molasses aromas. The hops dominate the smell in a way that I did not expect from a Baltic Porter.

The taste is super hoppy also. Once again, hops are the main flavor in a way that I wasn't expecting from this style. The malt is the first flavor that pops with molasses and a touch of chocolate. Those flavors are annihilated by hops though. A ton of pine resin with some grapefruit, very bitter. A touch of coffee is noticeable in the finish. This beer tastes good, but it is not what I expect from the style at all; it really tastes like a fresh American strong ale.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of moderate in body and fairly well carbonated.

The drinkability isn't bad, but when I opened up a beer looking for a nice, malty, Baltic Porter on a cool night, I did not expect a hop bomb. This one would be an interesting candidate for aging though.

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Photo of david18
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a big fan of Long Trail Brewing (they're s sub of one of the Macro's, right?) but it was on tap at my local bar and I had to try it. It was not bad and a pretty good example of style.

Dark brown color with a dark head as well. Good aroma, with a hint of chocolate and definitely some coffee. Flavor is roasty but also a little sweet...almost under attenuated. A little strong to drink much of and little uninteresting to be a sipper.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally decided to pick this one up...

A: Very good looking. A nice 1 inch mocha colored head that quickly fades. Brew is a black with ruby highlights around the edges.

S: I find it hard to get a good scent off of this one. The only scent I do get after trying a few times is espresso and malt. Not much special going on here.

T: This one definitely had some good potential. Upon first sip I get hit with bitterness which I expect to be followed up by some flavor, which, to my disappointment, never comes. All I get is the bitter hops taste up front and not much flavor on the backend. Too bad.

M: Seems too heavy on the carbonation side making this not too smooth.

D: Eh, not too bad, but not too much special going on in this department.

All in all, I had seen this brew in local stores since I started getting into craft. I have to say that I would not recommend this brew for the craft beer drinker. Possibly a conversion brew for a mainstreamer looking to enter craft, but not the best example for them. Not one I'd recommend.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Massive rocky tan head when poured, this beer is close to being pitch black. Not a whole hell of a lot going on smell wise. I get some bitter chocolate and a bit of burnt coffee bean. Big and bold flavors of milk and dark chocolate hit the palate quickly, followed by some hops and a hint of marshmallow too. Mouthfeel is pretty hefty, but the heat of the alcohol is masked really well by the large tastes. I had no problem clearing off this bomber, and I doubt that you will either. Not a bad beer here by Long Trail. Probably their best so far in the Brewmaster Series. Cheers

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into a TBBC pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, opaque, with a one and a half finger tan head. Moderate visible carbonation.

S: Cacao, coffee, raisins, sweetness (molasses), and hints of soy.

T: Dark chocolate, cacao, raisins, and some acidity & tannins. There is some hop bitterness noticeable as well.

M: Medium to heavy body for a porter. Good amount of carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is noticeable but doesn't quite overwhelm.

O: This isn't really working for me, but it's not awful. Glad to have tried it, but I don't foresee another in my future.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

you know it's getting cold out when the big Imperial Porter's start popping up.

This one is a total black-out, 2" mocha brown sea-foamy head, sticky-icky lacing.

wow, the aroma is all hops, pinetree's and pineapple, smells more like a DIPA. Let this one warm up!!! do not drink right out of the fridge, it's more like a huge IPA unless you let it warm a bit. The chunky chocolate malt pops out later with some blueberry pie at the end.

A huge whack of bitter hops, cranked up to 11! Pine tree sap bitterness and some pineapple sweetness underneath, very dry feel with a thin bitter chocolate malt that almost makes this one on-style. There's some serious earthiness as well, the malt complexity is rather low for the style and a bit thin in the body for my taste. The malt lacks punch, but the hops do not! There is some black coffee roastiness in the back but it's hard to notice due to the attack of the hops. The feel becomes more more full bodied as it warms, with the coffee/chocolate malt becoming more up-front. Eat a nice assortment of Vermont cheeses to get a better malty flavor from this one. Better yet, lay it down for 8 months and then we'll see what we've got.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

072809 on the bottle.

Black in the glass, with a light brown head that has a decent texture. The head starts big and then dies down to an average cap.

The first thing I got from the nose was some burning "hop cousin." Good amount of fresh herbal hops in this one. The dark malts create a mix of chocolate frosting and dark fruits, but the hops come through the most. Some alcohol is detected.

The flavor is big, dark, and intense. The dark malts here create a burnt ash flavor that is detected mostly in the finish. The bitterness is solid, but it comes from hops and not dark malts or roast. The hops also contribute a slight mint in the finish.

The body on this beer is big, robust, and has a mouth coating thickness. The carbonation is moderate and creates a real creamy feeling, especially with the sips that have foam in it. The drinkability is a bit below average. The beer feels bigger than its ABV tells. I ended up leaving a few sips behind.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour was what I expected out of an Imperial Porter. However, from that point on, I was some what disappointed.
I enjoyed the chocolate aroma and was waiting to taste it. It was there, but I found that there was too much malt and hops here. It sort of throw off the chocolate and what I was hoping for a porter.
Last, it wasnt that rich deep porter full body that I was hoping for, a bit too light for me

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter glass:

Pours black with a thin tan head that lasts, leaving some rings and spots of lacing.

The smell is hoppy for style - citric and herbal - pungent, with chocolate.

The taste is of chocolate/caramel/coffee with a pungent, somewhat "green" hop accent.

Medium-bodied with alcohol well-covered.

There is something a bit "raw" here. I do love my hops, but here I don't know that it melds so well with dark maltiness. Still, it is well-priced and certainly worth trying!

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair porter, with a good drinkability but an uncommon hoppy bite to its profile.

Presentation: 22 oz capped brown bottle. Simple light cream label with brewery seals, name and serving indication. Notes bottling date (080910), and Alc. by Vol. (8.3%). Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges. good brown creamy head, fair retention, minimal lacing with some surface memory and a nice ring.

S - Tamed nose, roasted notes, malty with an emerging herbal and hoppy sense that announces things to come.

T - The roasted range is there, and nicely offered, chocolate, coffee... And then the herbal-hoppy range, with some resin even, closes the profile.

M - Medium body with fine carbonation, a touch thin that is then picked by the bitter closing.

D - Fairly drinkable but a bit off from style, not a bad thing, but the hoppy structure gives it a somewhat raw character.

Notes: First Long Trail for me, nothing remarkable but the price-quality ration is pretty good, so I would not care to give some of their other brews a chance.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a black body with thick tan head leaving a nice lace

S: Toffee, chocolate, and other sweet scents welcome you followed by a bit of hop scents.

T: A sweet roasted malt flavor upfront, typical of most porters. However a bit of a harsh hop bitterness really detracts from the flavor of this beer. Almost like burnt coffee.

M: A smooth full bodied porter with a nice carbonation

D: Overall not too bad, a nice cold weather warmer.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and very dark brown with wide, coppery chestnut edges. A fluffy, dark tan cap hung around for a while, leaving some chunky lace clinging to the glass. Good porter aroma, lots of dark malt, caramel, and grapefruit hops. Notes of chocolate held thing together nicely. Hop bitterness was pronounced, resinous, and overpowered the malts somewhat. Citrusy throughout, mostly grapefruit with some citrus pith/rind as well. Malt sweetness mingled with fruity sweetness, but chocolate and roast character was mostly absent. It finished with a hint of alcohol and warmth, plus lingering citrus bitterness. The malt had almost completely fallen away by this point, leaving only a slight sweetness on the palate. The texture was great, full bodied with creamy carbonation and a light dryness from the hops and dark grains. I have to say that I was a bit let down by this beer's flavour. I could tell it was highly hopped from the aroma, but hoped that the malts would still provide enough balance - which they didn't. I still enjoyed it, but feel that it would have been much better if it was more balanced.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage.
22 oz. dark brown bottle. Tiny born on date stamped on bottle.
It pours a oxblood-hued cola color with a foamy 2 finger mocha head and lots of patchy lacing.
An overly complex blend of smells range from coffee and malted chocolates, to apples, pears and citrus, to grapefruit and rum.
The flavors mirror the aromas, but the hoppiness pulls forward and cuts through the chocolaty maltiness. A tiny bit of tobacco is noticed. A slightly syrupy sweetness sneaks in towards the end.
The mouthfeel is normal for the style. Slick, full and smooth.
I like this beer, but it's a bit too bitter and astringent for an Imperial Porter.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria and served in a snifter.

Pours dark brown with a huge off-white head with large carbonation bubbles. This leaves some spotty lacing after some excellent retention that went with the several-finger head. The nose is roasty with some dark fruits, plums, and mild chocolate. Really strong on the plum/prune character. The taste gives fairly-strong dark fruit component and then adds in some roasted malt without too much else. Medium body and a dry finish. Very strange. Overall, just way too heavy on the dark fruit flavors, even when a bit expected in a Baltic Porter.

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Photo of corby112
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown that almost pitch black and completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two inger frothy creamy light tan head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the pint with rings of chunky, soapy lacing.

Deep roasty aroma with lots of dark bitter chocolate, roasted coffee bean, burnt toast, toffee, oatmeal and very earthy, piny hops. Surprisingly prominent hop character, especially for the style but the roasted dark malts still shine through.

Chewy medium body that is very hop forward, probably too much so for my liking with a lot of dry earthy bitterness that lingers throughout over a roasted dark malt body into a very dry bitter finish. Slight citrus character to the hops as well but mostly just dry and piny. Very roasty dark chocolate malts with hints of burnt toast, coffee bean, licorice, oatmeal, hazelnut, toffee and more bitter hops. The hops are way to bitter and dominant and they overpower the silky roasted choaolte malt flavors that I usually love in this style. An interesting take on the style but not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of claytri
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a nice black with a tan lacing. The aroma was faintly of coffee, dark fruits, and hops. It tasted of big roast malt on the front, and light hopping on the back end giving it a woody bitter finish. The feel was medium and wet. A fair example of the style, but not one I would be looking for in the future.

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Photo of nkersten
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into SA perfect pint at Philly airport. Impressive selection for an airport bar. Color is opaque brown black with a tall ran head that slowly fads to a cap. Smell is coffee, roasted malt, some licorice, a bit of brown sugar and caramel. Taste follows, bitter dark roasted malts and coffee, bitter hops, a bit smokey. Mouthfeel is medium body and medium carbonation. Drinkability is good for a Baltic but I think the carbonation could be lower- abv is well hidden.

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Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series) from Long Trail Brewing Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 378 ratings.
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