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

Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series)Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series)
Liked This Beer
4.08 w/ 378 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 378 |  Reviews: 218
Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown like a rich Colombian coffee, although opaque it is ornately underscored by a garish strike of auburn. The beer's head first puffed up like a blowfish and then soon after dispelled like a puff of smoke, but not before it managed to leave behind plenty of evidence attesting to its former presence.

Conventional porters exude a rich malty sweetness but this isn't your conventional porter: it's hopped with a vibrantly citric, fruity, bright cast of hops and it flaunts it big time. Sure, there is still the semi-sweet chocolate and the heavy roast malts, plenty of them actually, but something delightfully tropical sneaks in there as well.

Talk about the Green Mountains! Hops factor into the taste as well. Bitter grapefruit, pineapple and pine bark seem at odds with coffee, molasses, nutty chocolate and dark fruits, but it turns out these tones compliment rather than contrast. The tongue is being tugged at both arms, one by sweet caramelly malts and the other by bitter resiny hops.

It's like indulging in a particularly fine chocolate ganache, drizzled in a balsamic-caramel reduction and paired alongside a fresh-pulled shot of espresso. Blackberries and cantaloupe on the side. It is rich and satisfying, but not so filling that I won't race my way through the second half of this bomber. The alcohol hasn't made a peep.

I love porters (especially the bulked up ones like this). My personal tastes aside, this is not the first truly spectacular offering I've had from this Brewmaster Series. People *should* be falling over themselves to get these releases. The brewery *should* be making them year-round offerings. I *should* shut up already and enjoy what's left in the glass.

 1,707 characters

Photo of billab914
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter glass. Poured black in color with a one finger tan head. The head faded out but it left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a nice sweet roasted malt flavor to it. It has some coffee, caramel and a good amount of chocolate to it. The taste is a lot like the nose in that the roasted malts, coffee and chocolate make up a lot of the flavor. It has a nice smooth, slightly sweet chocolaty flavor to it. it's a very nice flavor that fits pretty nicely with the style.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and moderately creamy. Drinkability is good, it's a very nice smooth porter with some very good flavors. Very enjoyable and nice drinking porter.

 716 characters

Photo of thequeen711
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours frothy into the glass, rich 2 finger beige head. Deep rich chocolate nose, and detectable hops in there. Taste is hops infused with chocolate and coffee flavours, an interesting combination to taste. Definitely a different type of taste. the initial hoppy mouthful is overcome by the chocolate and coffee. A very different type of porter, if it weren't for the hoppy bitterness in the initial sips, this could be a keeper. It is worth trying...You decide!

 461 characters

Photo of generallee
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1p, 6oz bottle into a pint glass. There is no date on the bottle but the abv. is clearly marked at 8.3%.

Appearance: This beer pours slowly and has a very dark, opaque appearance. Its head is thick and long lasting. It has a rick tan color and makes lots of spotty lacing on the glass as I slowly sip this one down.

Smell: Its nose is full of dark roasted and sweet sugary malty notes. There is a hint of hops as well as a mild boozy character.

Taste/Palate: This beer is loaded with lots of tasty toasted/bready, roasted coffee like, and dark chocolaty malt notes. It also has plenty of sweet brown sugary and caramel like to give it a good balance of dark roasted vs. sweet sugary maltiness. Hop flavor is mild but still adds another layer of complexity. The alcohol is noticeable throughout and adds nice mild boozy warmth to the overall character. On the palate it has a nice full body and firm texture with mellow carbonation.

Notes: This was a very tasty and nicely complex Porter. I would defiantly buy this again or recommend it.

 1,082 characters

Photo of steve8robin
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 1,038 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is dark black with no light get through and a brownish foamy head, some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little piny with a brown sugar flavor and some touches of dark malts.

The taste is of dark licorice and dark chocolate. Some molasses and bready notes to the aftertaste as it goes down.

Some warming alcohol feel since this is higher in ABV and has a bit of a kick. The feel is pretty moderate for the type of beer. Goes down smooth and has a good drinkability.

 535 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy tan head, with some nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a very nice chocolate/toffee/coffee note. The taste is malty, nicely sweet, with tons of chocolate/toffee/coffee. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew. I've had a few very tasty brew's from LT.

 428 characters

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer while I watched the Jets come up short against the Colts. While the game was a disappointment, the beer was not. Reviewed from notes from then.

The beer poured an extremely dark brown, with a light tan head on the smaller side, but it leaves very nice lacing. The smell was excellent. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate let their presence be known strongly. I also smell the now familiar (since I've been homebrewing), powerful scent of centennial hops. The hop profile is actually fairly complicated, with pine and citrus taking turns. Definitely something I'm not used to in a porter, but I'm certainly up for trying it.

The taste follows the nose. I really like the strong hops, and I'll have to look for more porters that use them. The taste has a bit of a dark fruity character that was absent in the nose, but the chocolate and coffee still dominate. A little booze on the finish.

The hops and the booze contribute to a very dry finish. Very smooth, and medium bodied. Carbonation seems a shade high for the style, but not distractingly so. Eminently drinkable, and the price is right for such a quality beer. Well done.

 1,146 characters

Photo of magnj
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very deep brown, coffee colored head leaves lots of lacing in the wine tasting glass.

S - Lots of roasted grain up front with the typical chocolate and coffee undertones.

T - Sharp up front, roasted grains and dark chocolate. Slightly fruity from the yeast, ends malty with hints of old coffee.

M/D - Sticky body but not too thick. Easy to drink, though a bit acidic. Really good value, something like $2.5 a bomber is a steal.

 434 characters

Photo of deanhead
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark coffee colored ale with a frothy toffee colored head. Adequately carbonated. a mixture of big bubbles and little bubbles in this frothy head, which settled to a nice lace clinging to the sides of my glass.

Taste is slightly tangy, almost like hints of acid aldehyde. a little on the thin side. Somewhat chewy with a citrusy aroma.

Rich and robust with roasted malts.

 374 characters

Photo of mgbickel
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from a tasting on 01/09/2010

Formed a thin, dark tan head. Not much in the way of lace left behind. The body is a black/ brown color that only allows light in around the ruby edges when help up at eye level.

Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts on the nose. Background aromas include hops (slightly) and caramel.

The taste is similar to the nose... roasted malts and coffee up front. Hops come through at the finish.

Mouth feel is medium and slightly oily with very little carbonation.

Drinkable for sure...will not hesitate to buy again!

 562 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll try to sound a little less excited from my review of this beer on tap. I was incredibly surprised how much I liked this beer on tap, and I liked it just as much in the bottle, perhaps maybe even a little bit more. I picked up the last available bottle at Granite Liquors in Weymouth MA a few months ago and saved it. I had a friend over this evening and we split it (yes he was worthy and a very good friend, our wives cracked open a bottle of wine, so we drank this one). Poured it into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass and this beer produces a nice tan colored creamy looking thick head with very generous lacing. The beer is very dark and close to black in color with brown highlights to it. Much like my on tap review, the hops are the first thing you notice on the smell. I didn't refrigerate this beer for very long (intentionally) so I could pick up a little more on the taste and I'm glad I did. The malts are a little easier to detect in the aroma now that it's not quite as cold. You can again pick up the chocolate and coffee hints, as well as the overall roasted caramelized malts, smells great! This is what beer is supposed to smell like! The taste is exactly on par with the smell, just in opposite order. It starts with the caramelized malts with coffee and chocolate hints, slightly smokey. Then it continues on to the great hoppy flavor (I think pine) and finishes with smokiness again. The mouthfeel is very good, very nice, full bodied and smooth. Again this is an incredibly drinkable beer. Truly a favorite porter of mine.

 1,547 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -13%
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.

 1,102 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Pitch black with a respectable, 2 finger, white head. The aroma is tasty, big chocolate mixed with dark fruit, pine and some medicinal notes. The flavor does not dissapoint, and it follows the aroma. It finishes with a lingering sweetness. It is highly carbonated and medium in body. I may have to go buy some more of this.

 371 characters

Photo of strohme2
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Also from my NH haul, but this one came directly from Long Trail.

This beer has a dark brown body with a small 1/2" head of beige, tiny bubbles.
Smells of bourbon, chocolate, coffee and vanilla.
Tastes like charred wood, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Dark fruits and black licorice come out in the end.
This porter coats the mouth and is smooth. There is no strong alcohol taste.
This is a good after dinner beer in my opinion. It goes down smooth. I am usually not a big fan of the "imperial" beers because of their big flavor and syrupy-ness. This imperial porter is definitely a better imperial for me. It has big flavor without overpowering my palate. Overall this was an excellent beer.

 694 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.57/5  rDev +12%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of DrunkPagan
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this porter. I love it in all the right and wrong ways. I'd propose to this beer if I could. Coming on the heels of the Coffee Stout and the Imperial IPA, I had high expectations, but worried they'd just take the coffee out of the stout and call it a porter. Oh how wrong I was.

Appearance: Perfect. This is what all porters should look like. It's dark, with the perfect slightly tan foam, and as perfect clarity as you could hope for.

Smell: Malty aroma balanced perfectly by hints of hops and a roasted scent.

Taste: This porter is smooth, rich, perfectly balanced, and thoroughly enjoyable from first sip right up to aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: You drink this and know you're drinking a porter. Not only that, you know you're drinking a near perfect example of the style. It coats your mouth with its flavor. I know there's a million dirty jokes you can make there, go ahead, I don't care.

Drinkability: I love this porter too much. If I could drink a case of it, I would. Then I'd be fat and have a failing liver, and wouldn't care. It's that effing good. I've had it in bottle form, too and it's still fantastic. But on nitro tap... My God, it's full of stars!

 1,172 characters

Photo of jasmith
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this almost on a whim, and was very impressed. I drank this after a couple Wolavers organic oatmeal stoudts.

I had a 1 pint, 6oz bottle from Capone's bottle shop.

Poured nicely, smell was good, and the taste was, and this is the first thing that came to mind, 'solid'. For my tastes, it was very well balanced, not too hoppy, and all around a great experience. Nothing was particularly exceptional, but every aspect was at a consistent high level of quality that I was left very impressed.

I would buy this again. Don't remember what the price was though.

 566 characters

Photo of JayNH
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown/black with a huge frothy head that lingers forever, leaving behind an impressive lacing on the glass.

S- The hops really jump out at you, with a hint of alcohol warmth. Subtle notes of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and dark fruit.

T- Quite hoppy and citric, the malt is subdued. Dark chocolate and a bit of coffee.

M- Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, alcohol is well hidden. Kind of thin though....

D- Very drinkable and pleasant. Definitely an American take on this style. Well hopped, but the malt side was neglected. This brew really could use some more body and a richer malt profile.

 622 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tootsie Roll brown that is right on the border between opacity and lucency when brightly backlit. Sunshine brings out tangerine and maraschino cherry colored accents. The coffee milkshake-like crown oozes character and is all kinds of sticky, while an attractive array of lace puts the finishing touch on a great looking beer.

The aroma was predictable given the ingredients list. Roasted and chocolate malt comes through loud and clear, as does the citrus and pine of an outstanding lineup of American hops. Nugget, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo are present to the tune of 56 IBUs. This should be mighty tasty beer.

Imperial Porter doesn't taste much like a Baltic porter. To be fair, LTBC doesn't call it one. It tastes like a highly-hopped American stout or porter. Imperial is a bit of a stretch, but that doesn't mean it's less than good. And drinkable. Given all the lupulins, are we sure that Long Trail hasn't relocated to the West Coast? The contrast between sweet, bitter and tangy is sublime.

A little more malt would have turned the flavor knob up another half turn and would have wrested some control away from the little green cones. Not that I'm complaining. Flavors include bittersweet chocolate more than coffee, as well as a tropical fruit juicy blast that would seem out of place if the beer wasn't so delicious. Drinkability just got bumped.

While not bad at all, the mouthfeel is too light and is too loosey-goosey for the style and the ABV. It promotes rapid consumption, but something more lush and perky would have pulled this score up another notch.

Brewmaster Series Imperial Porter is at least as good as Double Bag, which is the best Long Trail beer that I've had to date. Some might not care for the style-busting hoppiness, but a generous amount of the right hops makes pretty much everything better.

 1,837 characters

Photo of TLove
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really good imperial porter. An excellent example of the ability of a small, local brewing institution to really excel on the 22oz quality market.

There is a nice nose of chocolate and roasted malt, with a full body and complex roasted fig feel. There is a strong hop character to this that I've never quite experienced in a porter before.

The strength of this beer is quite surprising and renders a complexity in this that is silky and robust. The finish is solid and flavorful throughout.

 496 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a dense tan head that settles into a light ring with some spot lacing. Whoa, hop aggressive baltic porter. There is a nice citrus and tropical hop aroma as well as a solid roasted malt. The taste is of citrus hops as well as some piney notes, this is followed by a big roasted malt, some coffee grounds and light smoke. Full bodied and chewy with active carbonation, which makes the brew lively. Finishes with a roasted bitterness. Very nice hoppy baltic porter. I was pleasantly surprised by the citrus hop profile. I like the aggressive hop profile with such a big malty brew. A must try.

 620 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

Pours a near black in color with a thick khaki head that rose to nearly fill the tulip but fell somewhat quickly. Light lacing and ruby highlights around the edges.

The nose is of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, with a touch of ripe dark fruit. Very bright and vibrant nose, not overly complex, but solidly robust.

Huge roasted malt, a little bit of char, bittersweet dark Belgian chocolate, ground coffee beans, dark cherries and plums and a hint of warming in the finish. Once again, rather straightforward, but what it does, it does very well. Robust, full of flavor.

Medium to heavy body. Silky smooth with a lightly bitter, crisp finish. Some mild roastiness lingers and melds with some heat from the ethanol for a near perfect marriage.

The flavor profile here is spot on, the carbonation level is near perfect and the abv is barely noticeable. A joy to drink.

 909 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, opaque chocolate brown with a quarter inch creamy head that lingers for "awhile". Smells of nutmeg, chocolate, roasted malts, phenols, bread. Has a taste of toasted chocolate malts, has a mild booziness finish. The roasted chocolate is definitely dominating and lingers on the tongue for quite awhile after the sip. There is a very mild, almost undetectable hop profile. This beer is incredibly smooth, almost velvet-like, and very drinkable. Any Porter locver should really like this (I like it and I'm not a Porter lover.). The alcohol content is almost entirely hidden and paired with its smoothness, it will creep up on you incredibly fast. As I work my way through tha glass, , the foam sticks to the side (which is darn impressive), this beer is creamy smooth. My personal opinion, not being a porter fan, this is the best beer Long Trail brews.

 866 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 552 characters

Imperial Porter (Brewmaster Series) from Long Trail Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86% out of 100 with 378 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.