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

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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 218 | Ratings: 378
Photo of gskitt
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a black and opaque, light brown head, lots of of lacing.
S- Sweet raisons and molasses, with a scent like this taste must be great.
T- Complex, first thing that stands out is that sweet char of coffee and bitter chocolate, almost spicy on the finish. Hops most certainly makes an appearance here too. This is a really deep and complicated brew.
M- Sweet ad a little sticky, not in a bad way.
D- This is a really solid Porter and I would say that the drinkability of one or two would be enough.

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Photo of robhunta
4.95/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours dark red black/brown, exceptional brown head, poured three fingers thick, retention is good too.

S - intoxicating sweet aroma, period.

T - smooth chocolate and coffee flavors

M - A bit sharp for an imperial porter, but otherwise great

D - could be the most drinkable porter, imperial or not, I have ever had.

I love this beer.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thick mocha-colored head that retains well and creates sheets of lacing.

Aromas of chocolate covered cherries, light citrus and espresso.
The taste follows the nose with a roasted malt backbone and well balanced hops. The ABV% is almost non-detectable.

Mouthfeel is cream, full, slightly sticky. Nicely carbonated for the style with tiny bubble activity.

A well made Imperial Porter, an instant favorite of the Brewmaster series. Well balanced and smooth but complex enough to take your time to enjoy.

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

Aromas are full of dark roasted and sweet brown sugar/caramel malty character. Slight mild boozy character is also present but the dark grains really own this show.

The taste is loaded with lots of delicious toasted malts, roasted coffee grains and dark bitter chocolaty malt notes. It also has plenty of sweet brown sugar and caramel maltiness. I cannot detect any significant hop profile or alcohol taste but you can "tell" that they are there. On the palate it has a nice full body and firm texture with mellow carbonation.

Overall this was a very tasty and nicely complex Porter. I would defiantly buy this again or recommend it, especially because of the extremely reasonable $4 price point for a 22 oz. bomber. Long Trail is the best valued beers in the country to my knowledge, everyone take advantage.

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

22oz bottle courtesy of jyoungsbcp, into my Delirium Tremens snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a light sand colored head, not quite an inch that sticks around nicely. As it recedes there are some huge gobs of lacing. A few red highlights at the edges when held to the light. Overall a nice looking beer.

S: Smells of fresh roasted coffee, and a few notes of coffee. Dark breads and sweet malts. Lots of rich malty smells in this one. The more it warms the more the chocolate profile really starts to shine. Nice smelling beer and surprisingly no booze.

T: Nice flavors right off, a good mix of roasted malts, chocolate and a slightly earthy hop note as well all mixed in. The lingering flavor is mostly roast. There are some notes of fruit as well, its not a huge robust flavor, but there are some plums in there. Some dark chocolate notes shine in the lingering flavor.

M: Creamy body, not terribly thick but still has a bit of weight to it. Really velvety in the mouth. A little bit of alcohol warmth to finish things out makes for a great feeling beer. A little more heft would help this out a lot.

D: Not overpowering, or too in your face, just a balanced well made beer that packs a bit of a punch. The booze is very well hidden for an 8.3% beer and that would make this a bit misleading. Definitely a great beer for a cold winter night. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of ams0286
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the local A&P Liquors as one of the beers to pair with my wild boar dinner. Long Trail is always a go to for me, and having hiked some of it this past summer, I had to pick this up.

The head pours thick and creamy with a few small fish eyes, but quickly subsides (probably my "beer clean" glass), because the lacing on this is great. The beer is not completely black, but very close. A few extremely red hues come through when held to the light.

The smell is loaded with crystal and roasted malts as expected, but the hops also create a very large presence in the aroma. A very citric hop must have been used as I am getting lots of lemon from this aroma. Also present is pine from the hops and even a little bit of vanilla creeps through.

The taste is again loaded with both roasted and crystal malts but also the extremely citric hops. This is great and I can already tell that this beer will age nicely. The citric hops that come through remind me of an Indian Brown Ale that I brewed. It tasted just like this but without the roasted barley/Special B.

The mouth feel is less full than I expected. I suppose this pairs nicely with the hops making this more of a refreshing beer. I like that it is lighter in body that other Porters, but I'm not sure that it is heavy enough to be an imperial. The carbonation is right on for this brew.

As far as drink ability, this is a sipper. It is good and I enjoy it, but I think the hops are overboard in 2010 for this particular brew. If given a few more years to age the hops may mellow out, but allow the beer to age gracefully. I will be picking up at least one bottle of this to add to my cellar, and I will do my best to re review it next year!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baltimore Beer Week 2010. Fells Point. Max's Taphouse. Long Trail beers on tap. Nuff said. A long time aficionado of this Vermont brew, I was happy to see this, and several others, now available here in Maryland, the Crappy Beer Law State. This was my first taste of the Imperial Porter, part of the Brewmaster Series.

The color was very dark and impervious to light. On top is a thin crown of beige froth. The nose suggests dark chocolate and cocoa powder while the palate is overwhelmed by sweet goodness of the same. Perhaps a tad too sweet. The tongue is blanketed by a subtle balance of dark chocolate and a malty chewiness. While this will not go down as my favorite Imperial Porter, it was worth the quaff and a welcomed addition to the Long Trail family.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Robert at State Line highly recommended this to me. Who am I to say no to a gentleman like him?

Dark brown with a dense, brown head, creamy and delicious-looking, this beer looks great! A delicate sheet of lace forms as the head recedes to a disk. Highlights are reddish brown. The nose is surprisingly hoppy! Rather unexpected in this regard, I get a fruity, pine hop character. The floral character from the centennial hop does grow as it warms (and as an aside, makes me crave a Two Hearted). Roast is light, there's chocolate and some caramel. Aggressively-hopped porters usually aren't my thing, but this one is pretty good.

The palate opens with a very prominent hop character. They clearly used a lot of flavor hops here, I get some citrus, lime leaves, a little pine and some floral character. Strangely (or maybe not), the Nugget hop character makes me crave a Nugget Nectar. Bitterness is light, mostly grain-derived, and there's chocolate, roast, and some caramel. This is closer to a stout than a porter. The malt character isn't terribly complex, but it works - the caramel sweetness is medium-light, and the roast, a little lighter than I'd like. Chocolate is present as well, as a light cocoa flavor. Hoppy on the finish, there's roast and hop flavors, actually very well-balanced. A touch juicy as well, this beer is mildly sweet on the finish. Medium in body with low carbonation, this feels quite excellent on the palate, soft and creamy. I'm quite liking this.

I'm not sure I'd age this, the aggressive hop character makes me think this could become a cheesy, oxidized mess if aged too long, and the malt complexity doesn't seem to be quite where it needs to be either. Still, an excellent effort.

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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 Halley
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First beer review! Finally inspired when I have a work-related deadline, and decided to drink a beer instead. And after much prodding from Hank, my dear beer-nerd friend. Thanks, Hank!

A-Deep brown, very nice head--although it dissipates fairly quickly.

S-Subtle roast. Definitely not very strong. I like them to knock me over a little more.

T-Roasty and malty. Some chocolate, sweet notes toward the end.

M-Light and smooth, almost bouyant, especially for a porter.

D-Very drinkable and smooth. At 8.3%, could keep drinking for awhile; the alcohol is quite masked.

Overall, a very solid beer, especially for the price. I've never seen this before in MD, but would definitely get again if I saw it on the shelf!

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Photo of sway0925
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- pours a nice deep Starbucks coffee black with a nice caramel, toffee head that dissipates rather quickly.

S- Smells of roasted malt, sweet toffee, some caramel, a lot of coffee in this one.

T- Very well balanced. The chocolate and caramel flavors hit the palate first. It has a long finish, even after a few minuets i can still get a flavor profile on my tongue. there is a big coffee flavor which gives off a bitter taste.

D- For being 8.3% this beer really hides it very well and for this size makes this beer even better. This really stands up for being one of the best potters i have had in a while.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are nights when I get a beer to simply drink the beer and not worry myself too much with overthinking what I'm enjoying. This was going to be the case tonight, sipping this one with some strawberry yogurt pretzels... the flavour suddenly cut through the pretzels and I found myself taken back.

A: Nice, deep chestnut brown. Basically black, but there is a little bit of light that is able to illuminate the top when looking into the glass. Head leaves a nice, creamy smattering of lace down the sides of the glass.

S: A pleasant roasted malt aroma along with a touch of sweetness. Since it was the taste that came before a focused smell, I can honestly say that it is rather modest in comparison to the flavour. Nonetheless, it's a nice, deep roasted scent.

T: The flavour, as mentioned, was what caught me by surprise. Many of the standard flavours are there... roasted malt, a bit of a bitter coffee roast, some little hints of chocolate. The hopping stands out as being particularly well done, as well... for a more "malt-oriented" brew, the hops play quite a significant role in the experience. The balance is good, and the selection is very appropriate. There is a touch of smokiness that complements everything else quite nicely. All in all, a pretty pleasing taste!

M + D: Medium bodied, pretty straight forward, honestly. Just enough to leave a thin, slick film over the tongue which allows for some savouring of the flavours. Alcohol makes a special guest appearance, fairly notably in flavour, but also with a touch of warming on the finish. One to add to the rotation of great beers in the cooler months.

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Photo of yankiac
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark, almost black but with a reddish glow. Nice long lasting lace on this one.

S - Malty! This one hits the nose strong with chocolate and caramel aroma's

T - Very well balanced. The chocolate and caramel flavors hit the palate first but are followed up nicely by a subtle balanced hop profile.

M - Full bodied and robust. There is a slight hint of alcohol, but nothing overpowering; in fact it really adds to the complexity of the beer.

D - The high alcohol and full body prevent it from being sessionable. Regardless it wouldn't be hard to throw back 2-3 of these beers and have a very enjoyable evening.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice price of 5 bucks for a bomber of this at my local Giant Eagle.

A - Pours a dark amber. Almost pitch black but with a mild light tone. Head is massive with more than an inch of coca head.

S - Starts off kind of coffee with slight chocolate and a bit of booze.

T - ABV hides the bitterness of the coffee and malt a bit and vice-versa. Very balanced and drinkable.

M - Medium to heavy bodied. Mostly medium yet ABv gets cloying after a while.

D - Well it was brewed once (limited) and I am not sure if I want another but it really is one super charged porter. Liked the big flavor but could do without the big ABV. Pretty decent.

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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 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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Photo of jmdrpi
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. pours into pint glass almost black, with a tan head. some lacing. aroma is a roasty coffee smell.

taste is a nice balance with a little sweetness and slightly bitter roasted coffee flavor, bittersweet chocolate.

lower carbonation, a smooth thick body. drinkability is good, as its a tasty brew thats not too strong.

Edit: now had on tap. Extremely creamy with quite the lacing. Distinct rings on the glass. So bumping the appearence and mouthfeel

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

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle marked 090910. Sampled on November 2, 2010. There is a very dark mahogany brown pour with ruby hues along the edges. The head is about a half-inch thick, foamy, and leaving a clinging lace. The aroma is full of coffee, charcoal, and a dark fruity and hoppy balance. The body is nice and full and the head graces the lip softly. The taste tends to be sharp with a strong coffee sensation and a thin hopped finale. A true Porter. Like it.

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

I've had several Long Trail beers before - mostly the Double Bag, which I enjoy a good bit - but, I wasn't prepared for how good this porter was. Wow.

Jet black with a velvet luminescence (if that makes sense), it pours with a short tight mocha head which lingers well and drapes in thin sheets within the glass (a chalice used here) with an almost English-muffin-nook-and-cranny-type texture.

Just about smells like an Imperial Stout save for the characteristic sour/acidic tang that pops up just past the mellow roasty notes and delicate milk chocolate. A mildly medicinal, liqueur-like, alcohol essence opens up the sinuses and drives the aromas through. Heavy overtone - in potential weight/feel, not strength.

What balance! - in flavor and feel. No flavor really dominates here. Parts bitter chocolate, espresso, subtle licorice notes, with a distinctly porter aftertaste - smoothly stale and oh-so-lightly sour. Hops may factor only to the tiniest degree here, if at all. Waited for the afterburn of alcohol, but instead delighted when it rolled off warmly at the end.

This beer, I feel, straddles the porter-stout break like no other beer I've come across. Drinks like a Baltic Porter liqueur. Elegant and awfully tasty. Well done, Long Trail!

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Photo of morimech
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A confusing beer and even a confusing description on the Long Trail website. Whatever style of beer this is (I would call it a stout but I am not the brewer), it is pretty damn good. Pours dark brown and appears black in the glass. One finger of tan head forms and slowly settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. This is a hop forward beer with plenty of green cone aroma. Some are hops that you do not typically find in a dark beer like Amarillo and Simcoe. The hop aroma easily pushes the malt aroma aside but faint hins of chocolate and roastyness is detectable. The hops and malt are more balanced in flavor. Some chocolate and roasted malt that is complimented by the citrus and pine from the hops. More subtle dark fruit notes round out the flavor. A noticeable alcohol flavor and warmth near the finish. The only thing I wanted more in the beer is body. The IBUs and ABV are already high and this just does not have enough body to carry it all. Enjoyed drinking this beer on a cold, rainy day. Would definately like to enjoy this beer again someday.

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Photo of mattgreger
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew poured an amazing dark brown color with small hints of what can only be called red when you hold the glass up to look at this wonderful brew. Had a beautiful 2 inch mocha colored head that just sits there as you being to enjoy the brew. As head begins to fade, spiderweb like lacing remains.

The aroma was pretty good. Not as much as you expect looking at the brew, but still some wonderful nods that hit your nose as you take in the aromas from this one. Roasted malts and chocolate are the first distiguishable aromas. Its followed with some smells of dark fruits and coffee. Has bit of sweetiness and bitterness that round out this brew.

The flavor is pretty much a muddlement of all the above. As you progress through this brew from pour to last drop you get hit with a large punch of great flavors. Chocolate and malts at the forefront, then followed with a fruitlike flavor and some coffee, caramel, and other spice.

The mouthful is a full-bodied and smooth. The alcohol in this brew gives it a good warming feel as you consume this brew. Its a bit high for some, but they do a great job in hiding it in the brew. The complexity of this brew helps give it sweet and tangy character that you don't always expect from a porter like this. It was very good.

The drinkability of this brew might be a little hard for some. Just due to the full body of the brew. People who don't like heavy beers would not want to venture to this one. But anyone who enjoys a great porter, would enjoy this brew. I will definitly seek this one on tap again.

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Photo of noel2977
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a chalice...
A - an inch of large, bubbly foam. Nice lacing. Dissipated within 2 minutes. Nice, small beading lacing
S - malti-caramel sweet goodiness, with a hint of dark fruit to it
T - here is where it gets fun. Initially - a bold start, with dark fruit - raisins predominantly - that nicely mingles with mocha/coffee flavors. Sweet caramel plays nicely on the finish with maltiness. I'd like to see how the profile holds as this warms up a bit. Initially, it seems well balanced.
M - mouthcoating and creamy - a little cloying. Just the right carbonation for this.
D - 8.3% hides well - but this is a one-n-done.

Would definitely seek this out for a nice dessert-type treat during the winter.

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

Poured a dark brown with a small tan head with little retention and nice glass lacing.
aroma of dark roasted coffee and chocolate.
Very nice taste of a very black dark roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt.
Mouthfeel was smooth with a slight sharpness, medium body with nice carbonation.
This was a nice enjoyable porter, hopefully I'll have opportunities to enjoy again.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this bomber recently at Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT for $4.99. Served cold in a chilled tulip.

This oily black brew throws up a lovely mocha cake of solid stable foam 2" in depth. It leaves a thin but solid curtain of lace behind as it slowly recedes to form a great 3D structure of canyons and mesas. The smell is thick with roasted barley and dark chocolate, a little bright smooth hop and caramel trying to fight through. Taste is an incredibly intense dose of burnt toast with a mild chocolate edge, very dry and a bit acidic. A little thin and flat on the feel but not inappropriate. Some pine hop appears in the finish where it lingers with residual burnt toast.

As it warms and breathes, the acid and burnt aspects calm down and it sweetens up with a little more caramel for better balance. Pretty good porter but it seems to be missing something that keeps it from greatness.

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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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