The Long Trail Imperial Porter is part of Long Trail’s ‘Brewmaster Series’ of beers. The Brewmaster series of beers is, as far as I can tell, limited release beers and are sort of a pet-project of the Long Trail brewers.
I’ve had one other Long Trail Brewmaster Series beer, and it was the Winter White. I LOVED it! It was a Weisbier, which is a style that I enjoy, but the Long Trail rendition was really quite good. Unfortunately, I do not see the Winter White on the Long Trail website – perhaps it was dropped? That’s too bad! 🙁
The Imperial Porter checks in at a respectable 8.3% ABV. I poured it into my snifter glass, just to be fancy! It’s a dark beer, as one might expect, and the first thing I noticed about it was the brownish-colored head. It was thick and frothy, and took a decent amount of time to go down. The lacing left by this beer was impressive as well, and there was always some frothy coating left on this beer. Nice.
The smell of this beer wasn’t a surprise really. Its roasty malt dominant, and some alcohol comes through as well, which isn’t usually something I like but it works well here.
Tatste is very similar. Roasty malt for the most part, and to me, there’s hints of bitter chocolate as well. As you know, this is an ‘Imperial’ porter, so the alcohol flavors do come through in a noticeable way – just not something that I’ve grown to like yet. Personal preference there.
The beer, while a bit too much in the alcohol flavors, does feel rather crisp and clean – there’s not a sticky feel or weird aftertaste at all. The Long Trail Imperial Porter is a nice drinking beer for sure. (I’d love to be able to try it on tap somehow!)
So, what do I think? Well, I think that the folks at Long Trail have another winner on their hands with the Imperial Porter. Its tasty, and while its dark as night, don’t let that fool you into thinking its a heavy beer. It’s got body, but it isn’t thick or sticky at all.
Its a perfect beer for the cooler temperatures as it provides just a bit of that nice warming that a higher ABV brew might do. Technically, this is a great beer, but I think I’d pass on it in the future only because I’m just not into the strong alcohol flavors that come through in the flavor. BUT, if you dig Imperial Porters, give this one from Long Trail a try while its still available.