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

Poured from a bomber (2011) into a pint glass.

A: Near pitch black (light shines through 4 mm) with a two-finger, tan head. Decent retention as the head gives way into some great lacing.

S: Milk chocolate and coffee. Mostly chocolate when cold; transforms into coffee as it warms.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front gives way to a chocolatey yet hoppy bitterness. A subtle and brilliant twist. Also some smoke that lingers with the bitterness. A good place for this beer to really shine.

M: Creamy but cut with a moderate level of carbonation. Very little alcohol sensation despite the ABV and a high level of drinkability for a porter.

O: A delicious porter that I wish they sold by the six or four of these bombers and I'm actually feeling it a bit. I would seek this out.

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Photo of Imsothirsty
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark oily brown. Huge foamy head quickly recedes down to a half finger but stays rocky.

Smell: What the? This cant be a porter its all hops on the nose, floral first followed by some really nice citrus and this bottle isn't even all that fresh. Just a tiny bit of coffee aroma.

Taste: Starts with a quick bittersweet chocolate hit followed by roasty coffee notes and some toffee, sadly the hops didnt make an appearance here except for maybe a smidge of bitterness, the alcohol was not apparent. The warmer it gets the more coffee comes out.

Body is a lighter than expected carbonation is medium, maybe a little high for a porter.

Overall this is a good beer, Im honestly not sure you can call this a porter because of the super strong hop aroma. If you love the smell of hop but not the taste and love the taste of roasted malts but not the smell, this could be your ultimate beer.

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Photo of SeussMD
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

How do you know craft beer is really making a dent in the marketplace? When you can find a bottle of Long Trail Brewmaster Series Imperial Porter at the Stop & Shop in Unionville, CT. 22 oz. bottle, "Vintage 2011." Stamp on the bottle says "090611," so one presumes this was bottled shortly after Irene tore through the state. Vermont Strong, indeed!

Poured into: My brand-new Boulevard Brewery tulip glass, which came in the four-pack "Smokestack Series" that I received as a gift. Should porter be served in a tulip? Don't know, but it's working here; it's bringing out the aroma beautifully.

Appearance: Black body, slightly opaque near the coffee-and-cream colored head a good two inches out of the first pour; subsequent refreshing about an inch. Decent lacing that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Divine (and this is where the tulip glass does its magic). Roasty-toasty malts galore, French roast coffee, a hint of dried fruit; hop notes are subtle at first and step to the forefront once it warms -- grapefruit peel, so I'm guessing those are the Centennials. The aroma says "drink me." Maybe the best aroma I've ever encountered in the style, and I love porter.

Taste: Hard to know where to start. Bottle was stored at about 50 degrees so it was never too cold, but the malts were more prominent at the cooler temperatures; slight coffee, caramel, dried fruit. The label says "robust malt flavor," but as it warms slightly, the hops take over the dance floor and start a mosh pit. By the end of the bottle all I could taste were hops. And oh yes, there's alcohol in here; the label says 8.3 ABV but it feels like 10 or more. Is this an IPA?

Mouthfeel: Slightly heavy but balanced as the hopped dryness starts kicking in. Head/lacing is creamy. Gets a little syrupy by the end of the bottle.

Overall: An American porter with the kick-ass brawn of a Baltic. Nicely done, Long Trail. And let the record show that my string of never having a bad Vermont beer remains unchallenged. Not a session beer -- as I said before, "Vermont Strong," indeed -- but certainly a satisfying experience. "Warming," let's say. Better at cooler temperature, before the hops cue up "White Riot" by The Clash and start breaking furniture.

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Photo of kennylopez
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mini nonic. (shared it with my older brother who doesn't usually drink good beer.

Appearance: it is quite dark black with a minimal head and no lacing.

Smells: slight roasted scent with a mild hop character that sets a tone.

Tastes: a bitter sweetness that has the roasted malt and a bitter hop note.

Mouthfeel: the 8.3% is smooth with the carbonation despite the head.

Overall: I payed $4 for a 22 oz bottle and shared it with my older brother and I must say it was a pleasure. It wasn't either of our favorites, but we both made a memory with it which is a reason I like sharing a brew with enjoyable company. I would buy another bottle for this reason, but ot worth a hunt.

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Photo of challenja
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served On Tap 4oz (pours) because I drink many many of these in a sitting at the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan DC.

A: Dark smoked chocolate, deep french press. A frothy 2 finger head that takes 3 minutes to dissipate.

S: Not super aromatic, dark cherries, malt balls, a french coffee presence.

T: This is a really awesome thick creamy dark chocolate french press bomb! Really heavy bitter dark chocolate and french press coffee ground madness! Heavy frothy smoked malt.

M: Heavy carbonation for a porter but it does it extremely well and its carbonation lingers well in-between in the gums and plays with my emotions like a succubus.

O: This is my favorite porter of all time! This bitch slaps the competition. Founders has taken a back seat to the new king!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with a two finger head, midway between white and tan, leave behind wonderful lacing.

S-Lots of roasted malt, some hops are present as well

T-Boat load of roasted malt, a little coffee, some chocolate. Ends with decent bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, somewhere between smooth and creamy

O-One of the Long Trail's best offerings. The bitterness at the end is a great touch.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this bottle from Wegmans -enjoyed chilled from a willybecker.

The color is black and opaque with a thick 3 finger medium tan cap, thick lace clings and bead is ultra fine with very good retention.
The smell is fruity and roasty with slightly hoppy aroma with a light woody scent and an intensely chocolate note in the malt iwth light citrus accents. Thick, viscous feel with moderately high carbonation and medium bitterness with a subtle roast and light creamy tinge with a subtle warming of alcohol in the texture iwth light drying finish and moderately spiced throughout.

The taste is toasty with a lithg brown sugar flavor with subtle citrus tinges and mild woody notes up front. The taste has more roasted coffee in the taste with light grapefruit coming from the hops as it warms with a mild amount of grain astringency and slight bit of bittersweet cocoa and a honee aspect in the woody/roasty finish w/ a mildly sugar taste as it warms with slight stone fruit element in the finish. Overall a nice hoppy porter with light alcohol flavor and pretty smooth for an 8.3% Imperial porter

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Photo of chugalug06
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated - 08/09/10

A - Awesome light straw colored head. Lots of big bubbles and foam. Brew is very black with slight red and purple. Nice lacing. Decent wafer of head remains too

S - Lots of awesome milk chocolate. Very roasty with slight caramel-ness. Some vanilla too. Not very aggressive for the style. A slight funk too.

T/M - Very silky and smooth. Great use of malt for to add to the texture and and flavor; robust and (slightly) smokey. No flavor is over-bearing. Slightly over sweet. Perfect carbonation and zero bitterness or heat. Leaves your tongue slightly dry and yearning for more!

O - Awesome brew. Very much enjoyed this brew. Smooth and delicious. If all IPs were like this one, it would be the only style I would drink... Highly recommended.

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

Purchased a bottle in 2010 and cellared it until 2012. Opened tonight and poured into stemmed glass. Dark brown colored body, and a very nice sized light tan head forms. No lack of carbonation here, still plenty left after some time aging. Great amount of lacing on the glass too. Smell was a bit hoppier than I was expecting, but it was still pleasant. Taste was a nice combination of roasted malt and up front hops. I had no idea this was a hoppy porter when I bought it, and I think some time really helped tame some of the edge. I really liked the balance of flavors. Mouthfeel was smooth but substantial. The 8.3% abv was still noticeable. To drink this beer fresh would really showcase the hops, but some aging probably helped to mellow this beer into a malty porter. I'd buy a 2011 version this time, as I think I recall it was fairly well priced, like only $6-7. A bargain.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is of the 2011 Vintage. It pours a jet black, with a slick, creamy look to it. No head to speak of, and some very faint light brown highlights around the edges. Aromas are highlighted by dark roasted coffee, with sweet background scents of chocolate and hazelnut. Also some cream characteristics on the nose. The beer's flavor is very forward on the tongue, with a heavily roasted and slightly charred character initially, and dark roasted coffee sortly behind that. The chocolate flavors come in dark, bitter waves as you drink this thin, solid bodied brew. There are some dark fruit highlights in the flavor profile, as well, but I am unable to distinguish them out. The aftertaste is very roasty, with a stale coffee flavor to it that is not unpleasant. The finish has a slight linger to it, and the bitter coffee and dark chocolate leave an air in mouth and on the palate. This is a sipper, and one that should be enjoyed slowly. Very strong representation of the style, and a very good beer, indeed.

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

As soon as the pour welled in the glass it was evident what this beer was going to be- Imperial!

Black as widower's weeds, with a short lived head that once welled but soon receded to the surface. Although a short lived head redeemed itself with a generous lacing the glass.

A small nose yielded notes of hops, toasted malt, coffee and a little caramel to round the olifactory edges.

The flavor is a potpourri of all things Porter-- a mixture of hops, toasted malt, caramel, coffee, yeast- with a lightness-- or more closely-- a light-heavy that at one moment is a light flavor and at another sip is a heavier stance that has stout-like characteristics.

The finish is a long lasting tangle of the initial flavors that reduce to a hops bitterness.

the mouthfeel is am addicting experience that made me want to keep emptying the bottle long after its contents was drained-- it was like a warm blanket wrap on an ice cold morning.

Overall- a glorious beer environment- truly a reference standard-- if I had to enumerate the qualities of a Porter this beer presented them..

After that mile long walk- a bottle of this stuff at the end makes the long hike worth it.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with the tiniest ray of light shining through. Big brown head with bubbled walls of lace.

Smells of dark roasted grain, coffee, burnt chocolate dough, tobacco, cedar and a heavenly floral hop aroma. Some peppery scents and smokiness as well.

Taste follows nose into an ideal roasted character with some malt centric sweetness and diving straight into an even citric bitterness. Pretty big hop profile for a "complex malt" porter as stated on the bottle. Love it! Some steely bitterness aftertaste.

Smooth with even carbonation..slightly dry

Highly recommended for porter fans

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It's just a beautiful beer. Black as night, topped by a thick creamy head of mocha foam that just sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: Wow! big big roast on this one backed up by some cacao. It smells like someone took a chocolate bar, covered it in coffee beans, then deep fried it. As it warms, the alcohol comes in through the aroma a bit more, as well as some dark fruits like plum, raisin, and fig.

T: The taste is pretty much exactly what you get on the smell. Fig, plum, raisin, roast, chocolate and coffee. Delicious!

M: Lower end of moderate carbonation, or higher end of low carbonation. The beer is full-bodied and coats the palate, finishes sweet with a lingering bitterness that finishes it out nicely.

D: This porter is a sipper. I generally don't like my porters this dense, but Long Trail has pulled it off.

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Photo of mntlover
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black with a nice big frothy dark tan head that falls slow and leaves gobs of lace down my pint.

Aroma is nice roasted coffee notes, some dark fruits, currants and a mix of croutons. Some light smoke, peat and vegetable like hop notes.

Taste is big on malt roast, coffee, good burnt chewy toffee. Nice smoky peat and currants again with some chocolate sweet notes to round it out. Decent amount of herbal like hop bitterness and lightly dry finish, hints of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is nice very smooth approaching full, suits the beer.

Overall very well done my first Long Trail brew wonder if their other brews are as tasty.

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Photo of Thads324
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours jet black with a thin crackling tan head. Head disappears immediately, leaves nearly no lacing
S: smells of sweet pumpernickel and a hint of burnt caramel. Some light roasted malts. Sweet and subtler bit of bitter coffee.
T: flavor is big! Slightly sweet and roasty. There's some caramelized sugar flavor, mixed with a hint of Italian coffee and a bitter hop finish, highlighted by earthy and grassy hops. Really nice.
M: super smooth and a bit creamy. Full bodied and well balanced.

A nice beer, easily drinkable, well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Botled on 9/21/11

Purchased @ Johnsons Market Place, New Durham NH

Price - $10.98/bomber

Appearance is pitch black with a one inch creamy light tan head. Long retention and wicked legs draped on the sides of the glass. A definite looker.

Aroma hits the nose first with coffee, burnt sugar, chocolate and roasted malt. Lighter than I'd like but still appreciable.

Flavor is similiar with all of the above along with a noticeable piney hop presence.

The mouthfeel here is a stand out in my book. Creamy and soft with a fair amount of carbonation. A healthy dose of hop bitterness beats it's way in adding to the balance along with some dryness.

Overall a pretty descent beer with it's share of hops. A good looking example of the style with a pleasent mouthfeel. Well priced too which adds to the score.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip glass. Pours a nice almost completely black, with a very attractive 3 inch dark tan head, with some lacing. Smell is smooth roasted malts, a little bready, some grass, and a hint of expresso. Taste is much more expresso, little smoky, and some citrus /grass. Body is on the larger side for the style, fairly dry, and nice carbonation. Very approachable for its abv. I like Imperial Stouts more than Imperial Porters, but this was really good and a reasonable price.

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very wonderful dark porter. I got the 1 pint and a half bottle which was bottled on September 29 of 2010. Drank it over a year later, poured into a pint glass.

The color is very very dark brown. The head was thin as I poured it, but you could see a brown colored carbonation. When twirling the glass the head re-appears but fades fast.

This is a beer you want to drink slow, and enjoy the taste. There is so much to it. Hints of different fruits, malty aftertaste and just a very strong alcohol taste at first. But when you breathe threw your nose, and really pay attention, there is a chocolate background in the malt.

Good mouthfeel, I like the way this one feels, it goes down easy.

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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 aficionado
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown body with tan colored 2-finger head and lots of frothy lacing which remains throughout the drinking experience.

You can smell this beer from an arm's length away. Seriously aromatic with tons of robust malts, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, and riddled with fresh Northwest hops. Reminds me of Stone 15th in a way albiet less bitter.

The palate is full of bitter coffee and dark cocoa. In your face with malt flavor and those piney, citrusy NW hops are also quite evident. More dry than sweet but there is a sense of fruitiness that comes from the yeast which is truly amazing. There's also a slight tobacco note to the taste. Some more chocolate sweetness would be nice, and I would like the bitterness from the hops to be less intense since the coffee notes also come off as bitter.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, which is typical for a porter. I would like it to be a bit thicker though. Overall, this is an excellent imperial porter. I have drank many of these bad boys and still want more.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - deep plum black. big caramel head that lingers. great lacing

s - roasted, chocolately, all malt. a slightly sour smell

t - absolutely incredible. light carb up front with sweet malts. works into bitter roasted flavors and ends with a delicious chocolate aftertaste.

m - thick, full, and frothy

o - amazing amazing beer. i love this style so i'm pretty biased, but this brew nails every aspect. i'm very fortunate to have an awesome person give this to me in trade for some of my homebrews. i will buy this whenever i see it and i highly recommend it

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Photo of stickynotes
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 10/8/11.

Poured into solo cup (all we had at camp!). Deep brown, some amber, a coffee colored head forms. Good retention. Smell is caramel, nice roasted malts, just a bit of hop presence. Taste is great, some caramel, roastiness throughout, slight grape sweetness, end with a little hop bitterness. Very slight warming from the alcohol and roasted in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, little carbonation. Overall this is an enjoyable and robust porter. Full of roasted flavors, gets richer as it warms up. Went great with B&M baked beans.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long Trail Imperial Porter - Brewmaster Series
Vintage 2011
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a opaque black with muddy brown highlights on the very bottom of the glass. An awesome fluffy head forms on top leaving magnificent trails of sticky lace all over the glassware. A good looking beer from the start.

Whiffs of chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Perhaps some dairy notes too.

This beer showcases a rich and roasted malt profile. Flavors of bittersweet chocolate, espresso and black olives. There is also a touch of sugary sweetness. An aggressive hop finish rounds out this beer. The hop notes are pretty intense for a porter with hints of black pepper, pine cone and even a citrus bite.

A "big beer" for sure and an enjoyable treat on this early Fall day. Good work Long Trail.

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Photo of abgba121
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours black with a thin, creamy tan head, leaves a nice bubbly lace

S: roasted malt sweetness accompanied by a slight coffee and hop nose on the back

T: an abundance of roasted malts, with a little coffee touch in the middle, well balanced by hop additions, some piney resin touches, has a lingering bitter and sweet finish

M: medium to thick, well carbonated

O: a great Imperial Porter, wonderful flavors of coffee and roasted malts and very well hopped

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Long Trail's imperial porter comes out black as midnight with a tan head with lacing on the glass. Aromas of coffee, espresso, and pine. A thick beer with a flavor of burnt coffee, espresso, and bittersweet chocolate, finishing with a moderate bitterness. Had it at Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington VT went very well with the Bonnieview Seaver Brook blue cheese.

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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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