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 Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alewife spent a weekend up near Killington a few weeks ago. I mentioned to her that if she should get to Long Trail could she get me a bottle or 2 of this? Well, she gets back and has not 1 bottle, not 2, but a case! (Happy Birthday, she said...). She's a keeper!

Poured a couple of 12oz bottles (with upside-down Hit The Trail labels) into an imperial pint glass. Color is a deep, dark opaque mahogany. Can only get a true glimpse of the hue at the edges of the glass, with some backlighting. Head is creamy mocha-colored mound of mousse-like froth atop the liquid. Lacing is just all over the place, too. Pleasant aroma, with some toffee co-mingling with touches of dark-fruit. Almost akin to a rummy fruit cake. Body is a solid medium; no more, no less. As for the feel on the tongue, it is fairly smooth, with some light, bubbly prickliness.

Flavor comes in with an initial, mild sweetness, followed by some roasty, choco-coffeeish malts hitting the palate. These malts also contribute a bitterness which melds with a solid, floral hoppiness. Then add to this some fruitiness, in the fig/raisin ballpark, with the slightly sourish fruits and the hop bitterness lingering in a long aftertaste. Throw in a bit of warming from the 8% abv.... and you get a nicely drinkable bier. It grows on me, the more I quaff....

Thnx again, Liebch!!

(Note: This was the original version which came out in 12oz bottles, available only at the Brewery. Long Trail subsequently opted to distribute this widely in the present 22oz bomber version).

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of Satchboogie
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber poured into my Sam Adam's "Perfect Pint" glass.

A: Pours black with a little dark ruby red when held to the light. 2 1/2 finger light brown head that is super foamy and seems to last forever. Beautiful web-like lacing completely covered my glass.

S: Lots of roasted malts, chocolate, dark roasted coffee, spices

T: The roasted malt and coffee hit the palate strong up front with dark chocolate, sweet caramel, and spices mellowing it out. The alcohol is fairly noticeable, but in a pleasant way. Has good balance between bitterness and sweetness and finishes with the roasted coffee and alcohol esters.

M: Carbonation is fairly strong, but doesn't overpower the flavors, it's balanced well. Fairly viscous and chew, coats the mouth and has a nice warm to it thanks to the high alcohol content. Smooth finish for a strong porter.

D: This one drinks fairly easily, despite the noticeable alcohol, mainly because the bitterness is balanced out with a welcoming sweetness. It does hit fairly hard by the end of a bomber, so one is enough.

Overall, this is a great imperial porter for it's price range. $4.99 for a 22oz bomber of this quality is refreshing.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #33 (Oct 2009):

Just what we are looking for, dark and heady with a good cap of a head. Velvety with a rich, malty back; robust charred grain tones never become acrid. Dark chocolate creeps in, as does a mild roast of coffee to create sort of a mocha thing. Hops are not shy here at all, slamming down layers of mint, wild herbs and citric zest. The zest is muddled in a good way, sort of like a chocolate-covered orange slice. Sweet but very balanced. Hint of smoky charcoal in the middle with more of an espresso character in the finish.

The big body does not take away from the drinkability at all, albeit it is still a sipper. Further defining this reincarnated style that American brewers have taken for their own ... in an epic way, Long Trail has.

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Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-04-27 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque dark brown with a firm, 3-finger tan head that lingers and leave excellent lacing. There's a tinge of ruby around the edges of the glass when held to the light.

S - Chocolate malt, dark roasted grain, plum, oak wine barrel. Very nice.

T - Dark roasted grain, tart citrus, raisin, muted chocolate, mint, astringent, not too sweet, significant roasted/burnt and hop bitterness that lingers a long time. It's got a hearty flavor.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Less body than I expected. Not overly smooth. Somewhat prickly.

O - This is a fine brew, particularly if you're in the mood for the charred taste. It's not as soothing as a Founders Breakfast Stout; more like a Founders Imperial Stout with less body and ABV. I'd always be glad for a glass of this but wouldn't make it a staple in my fridge.

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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 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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew from scottg for winning SNF Squares Week 13, Thanks Scott!

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Black with a khaki color head that was thick and creamy, hung around for a long time and left a sheet of lacing behind.
The aroma I got was roasted coffee beans, molases, and dates/figs.
The taste is very good, roasted coffee with dark fruit a hint of espresso-like bitterness before finishing sweet, yet dry. Hmmm, hoppy burps, I like that - a lot!
Medium bodied with a super smooth feel that makes drinking this brew a pleasure.

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Photo of JayQue
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense dark brown color with just a little light coming through on the bottom of the pint glass. Good size light tan head with good lacing and head retention.

Smell is bready malt, port wine and a little chocolate. Very pronounced and good.

Taste is exceptional. Smooth bready malt, vinuous (port wine), a little hops bitterness in the finish and semi-sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is rich. The port wine and touch of hops add complexity.

I see this more as a light RIS rather than a Porter, but in either case, it is a nice slow sipper.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black body, trace creme/khaki head, splendid lacing

S: peach, grapefruit, pine, roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa

T: same as the nose, just an amazing roller coaster for your senses.
starts off citrus sweet, malt middle, then roasted coffee/bitter dark
chocolate finish

M: med/heavy body, smooth mouth

O: Long Trail has created something excellent here.
I will be getting more of this beer and trying
plenty more of their other offerings.


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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black-brown color with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some nice lacing in the process.

S - Aroma is full of lots of roasted chocolate and coffee smells. There is also just a touch of sweet dark fruit as well.

T - Starts off right away with a nice balance of roasted chocolate and coffee flavors. Through the middle, these flavors get a bit stronger and just a touch of sweet plum flavor comes through. The finish is again a nice balance of coffee and chocolate flavors with just a touch of alcohol flavor that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels smooth and just a bit thick and creamy. The finish is really nice and roasty.

D - Very drinkable. The coffee and chocolate flavors are really nicely balanced all the way through and make for a really tasty beer.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for sending this in our latest trade!'

Bottle dated 072809

A: Slides out of the bottle an absolutely angry shade of black with only a sliver of a slightly lighter shade of brown at the edges. Sitting on top is about three fingers of dark mocha colored foam that has the consistency of bubbly meringue. Absolutely gorgeous lace was left behind, polluting the glass!

S: Fantastic aromas of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, heavily roasted malt, cherries, fresh green hops, caramelized brown sugar, molassas, and a hint of citrus and whisps of smoke.

T: Wow! A three part clobbering of espresso, hops, and roasted malt. As it warms, flavors of dark chocolate, cherries, spiced raisins, brown sugar, fresh green piney hops, and french press coffee emerged.

M: This one touches all bases. Starts off smooth and slightly sweet. That leads into a middle that starts a drying trend, and then finishes bitter, hoppy, spicy, and with a tad more dry astringency.

D: What a fantastic beer! This reminds me a lot of Alpha Klaus from FFF which is my go to winter seasonal Porter. Thanks a million, Joe. This beer was incredible!

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Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I split of bomber tonight with my wife.

A: Opaque to the tenth power, with a nice medium brown head that sustained itself as a suds ring around the brew throughout the session. Mild spotty lacing.

S: Coffee for sure, followed by raisons, plums, and most definitely chocolate. It definitely had that sort of yeasty sizzle that I feel differentiates porters from stouts.

T: Fruity sweetness.... the kind commonly found in plums, and tons of cocoa on the end. The bitter coffee elements hit the palate, worked itself into my taste buds, but never overstayed its welcome. Moderately dry finish.

M: Nice and thick, like an Imperial Baltic Porter should be. The carbonation was fine, and the sweetness was very organic rather than manufactured sugary candy-like.

D: To me, this is a very competitive style. Even many breweries that are hit-or-miss with me make some damn good Baltic Porters. I would rank this one up there among them.

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Photo of bobsy
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm drinking so many Baltic porters these days, but its not planned. Anyway, on tap at Coles, so I grabbed a snifter.

Great black pour with a light mocha head that laced like a dream and had great retention. Rich, treacly aroma has notes of raisin, chocolate, dark fruit and smoke, which is spot on for the style.

The taste follows through, and this is a satisfying beer. Nice chocolate and coffee notes blending with dark fruit, and the surprising appearance of oat-like characteristics, which lend this a light smokiness. Medium-heavy body is well suited to the strength and the moderate carb keeps it from becoming cloying.

Another good baltic, and probably the best of the night (until Olfabrikken came along).

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 12/21/10.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip as per the picture on the bottle (normally I'd pour a porter into a pint glass). Body is black - some ruby shines through when backlit brightly. Head is a 2-finger chocolate-milkshake colored, with big bubbles. Leaves behind good lace.

S: Wow - this does not smell like a porter at all. And I for one will not complain. It's about juicy, citrusy, tropical-fruit-like hops. As it warms up I get some chocolatey malt underneath, but the hops still dominate. Interesting.

T: First impression: interesting. This beer straddled the line(s) between a Black IPA, DIPA and American Porter. Roasty malt is underneath, with some chocolatey malt and a hint of charcoal, but it finishes with juicy hops. Citrusy grapefruit and tropical fruit salad. Lingering bitterness does battle with a hint of roast and even smoke.

M: Lighter than expected given the strength of the nose and flavors. Call it medium in heft. Carbonation is soft.

D: Very good. I like this beer, though calling it a porter doesn't quite seem right. More like 60% Black IPA, 15% Double Black IPA, 25% porter. Somewhat similar to Victory's Yakima Glory, actually, though with a touch more porter characteristics (roast, char, smoke) than chocolatey.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long Trail- Imp. Porter

A- Dark flat black with a thick sea foam head. Thick lacing down the glass.
S- Dark roasted malts, big sweet pine hops, chocolate and molasses.
T- Big sweet pine hops blended in nicely with milk chocolate roasted malt and a touch of molasses, coffee bean, and a slight touch of grapefruit.
M- Very smooth and hoppy. Sweet hops with a slight bitterness. Roasted malts and a light dry chocolate bite.

Overall- Quite smooth and very tasty. A delicious Porter.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long overdue that I tried this before it went off tap

Dark brown with a tan head. Ruby in the light, but still opaque. The head dissolves rather quickly, but was approximately 1-2cm before doing so. The beer is well carbonated and has a dense complexion. I am intrigued and avidly await it's smell and taste.

Hoppy aroma, definitely a stronger porter,but a balancing sweetness comes through nicely. I am reminded of fresh cut grass by the hops. Similar to other strong porters I have smelled, the hops are less citrus than they are bitter. A warmer serving temperature would help to bring these flavors out more.

Tastes great, it's a calm, balanced porter that doesn't jerk around while driving your senses. I would say the hops provide a nice bitter to mix with the sweetness of the malt backbone. The carbonation helps bring out a subtle bite from the hops infusion + 8.3mL EtOH/100mL alcohol by volume.
Relieves the stress nicely from a rigorous week of exams.

Tangy, bitter, plentiful in calories, and a deep-down bad ass. I am familiar with this style and commend the creators for their porter interpretation. The beer is very smooth drinking and i would assert that there was careful ingredient selection (if there wasn't... eff you longtrail, you still made a good beer). I let the beer sit after filling (without opening of course) for the better half of a week (something I would not recommend), but the carbonation still came through strongly.

I could easily drink this growler by myself, but 2 pints will do the trick. I submit to you that you will enjoy drinking this brew (as many others have), however, you may also particularly enjoy its very affordable price tag. I have certainly paid more for a beer of this caliber and my tender wallet thanks me for not letting it take another beating. Jump into beers of this caliber and you will enjoy the smooth dark bitterness that they have to offer.

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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 wagenvolks
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Ranger Creek tulip. Dated 080910. Thanks to ShanePB for sending this one in our Hotter Than Hot BIF.

Great pour--perfect color is a deep russet brown hue with cola seeping in at the edges. The ecru head is stubborn, the lace thick, and the bubbles pearly. Aroma is rich in dusty, crumbled dark chocolate nibs and roasted earthy malt. A hint of vanilla spice and ripe plum in the background.

Tasty beer, amplifying the earthy roasted malt with a bit of char and lots of bittersweet chocolate. Some sweetness is present in the form of toffee and boozy dark fruits. Excellent mouthfeel maintains its Porter roots with an uppity carbonation level and drying finish, but gives a discrete nod to the Imperial status with a thicker body and a touch of chalkiness. Overall, a worthy beer from the Long Trail brewers. Definitely worth seeking out...

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Photo of Onenote81
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tutes3 for this bottle!

Poured into a goblet. Pours a thick dark black with a moderate-sized tan head on top. Dissipates to a thin ring around the edge; leaves some spotty lace. The nose is somewhat underwhelming for this big beer. I'm getting some faint coffee, cocoa powder, and a wash of citrus hops on the end.

The body is creamy smooth. Spot-on for the style. As far as flavor goes, this one is not big and bold up front either. Definite roasted malts are present with some slight alcohol burn. The aftertaste is dark coffee which is excellent. Mild cocoa presence.

This isn't the best Baltic I've ever had, but as I continued to drink this one, I liked it more and more. Not bad at all.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black body with nary a highlight. Dark beige head makes up for its lack of depth with rrocky character.

Big aroma of roasted coffee. Starbucks has nothing on this.

Roasty coffee rolls across the tongue, followed by a huge engulfing wave of dark chocolate. Firm earthy bitterness sneaks in to balance the sweetness.

Rich thick silky smooth mouthfeel.

Outstanding drinkability. It may be big but its damn tasty.

Thick rich chewy chocolately, a tremendous porter from Long Trail.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Dark brown, almost black. Lighter hues on the outskirts of the glass. Thick, bubbly brown head caps the beer. Very good retention. Thin rings of lacing left behind.

S: Very roasty. Woody and smokey aromas. Burnt caramel and maybe even a touch of maple syrup. Mild alcohol. Hops are earthy and herbal with some pine thrown into the mix. Very slight plum and currant esters.

T: Very big and roasty, just as the nose suggests. Caramel, chocolate, dry roasted coffee, a bit of vanilla. A charred roasted malt edge is very apparent. Esters divulge tastes of plum, cherry, and raisin. Earthy hops offer tastes of herbal spiciness, pine, and some slight citric fruitiness. Very long finish is dominated by roasted and burnt malt flavors. Roasted coffee, some nuttiness, and woody/smokey tastes all linger.

M: Full and thick. Very chewy, syrupy, and mouth coating. Not a beer to be trifled with.

D: Extremely big and thick. Definition of a sipper.

Notes: A huge beer. Imperial Porter? What the hell is the difference between this and an Imperial Stout? A very good beer, but I found it to be just a tad too estery for my liking. A little bit of cellar time would probably iron that right out though.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours an almost black dark brown color with a good sized frothy brown head. Lots of sticky lacing. Aromas of chocolate, citrusy hops, roasted malts and some coffee. Taste has a nice mix of hops, chocolate, some orange and a bit of a mocha finish. There is a lot going on with this beer. More hop flavor than I had expected. I have yet to have a bad Brewmaster Series beer by Long Trail. Worth grabbing again and the price is decent as well.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ot tap at blue dog chalfont.

A- comes my way with a nice two finger cap of khaki head atop a black brew with nice legs. Head settles after a bit to some suds and beautiful lace.

S- espresso and bitter sweet chocolate, dark berries and molasses. Port and dried fruits.

T- dark berries, dates, port soaked plums. Coffee and chocolate, hints peat and smoke. Dark malts and brown sugar.

M- medium to full bodied and mid level carb

D- huge flavor and amazingly drinkable. Of all the long trail brewmasters this is my fav.


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Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, deep ruby reddish color-really borders on black but has some very nice highlights. Good sized head. Very "inky", sweet, somewhat mild licorice aroma. Strong roasted graininess in the flavor. Almost comes off as a mild flavored stout. Slightly toasted flavor. Prominant hop bitterness but the grain flavor is very omni-present. Good mouthfeel. Very drinkable and enjoyable overall. I cannot get away from the grain flavors. While it doesn't detract in general it sure makes itself known. Worth a shot and was very fairly priced.

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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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