Saturday, February 09, 2013

Long Trail Imperial Stout 2011 (VT)

So, the snow was coming down, and I had the fireplace going,  good movie on the VCR (yes, it was a moldy oldie - TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN),nd some pistaschios, and I thought, I need to try something really good.
So I dug around and found a Long Trail Imperial Stout 2011. A vintage beer....couldn't wait.
According to Wikipedia:
Long Trail Brewery is a microbrewery located in Bridgewater, Vermont, USA. It was opened in May 1989 by Andy Pherson, who now serves both as the company's president and brewmaster. The company's first brewery was located in the basement of the Bridgewater Woolen Mill in Vermont's Green Mountains, but by 1995 the company had become popular enough that it was able to relocate to a state-of-the-art brewery and visitor center (featuring an open-air deck overlooking the Ottaquechee River) in Bridgewater Corners, VT.
Long Trail makes a number of different styles of beer, mostly English-style top-fermented ales, but its flagship beer is Long Trail Ale, a Düsseldorf-style altbier. It also participates in the tradition of brewing a "Sticke" Alt (from a dialect German word for secret) known as Long Trail Double Bag, though unlike the German originators of the style, Long Trail makes Double Bag available year-round. During the 1990s it also brewed a Kölsch-style ale as a spring seasonal. In the summer of 2006 Long Trail added a hefeweizen to its list of brews. In the Fall of 2007, they changed the Blackbeary Wheat offering to full-year availability. It was previously Long Trail's summer seasonal brew. In 2010, Long Trail Brewing Company acquired Otter Creek Brewing and with it Wolaver's Organic Brewery.
This Imperial Stout is part of Long Trail's Brewmaster Series: This series of limited release styles is specially chosen by Long Trail’s Brewmaster to be brewed in small batches reflecting a variety of styles including Long Trail brewer favorites and experimental brews. The Brewmaster Series, available on tap and in 22 oz bottles at select locations, is easily identified by the special, In short, this is their big bottle series.
According to Long Trail, "Porter originated in the 16th century and was common term used to describe a dark beer, specifically a dark beer that was popular with the river porters of London. Porter shares a similar history with stout; both were used interchangeably until the term stout began to reference a porter of higher alcohol content."

So the Long Trail Imperial Porter is a very dark, rich, strong (8.3% alcohol) stout, not for the feint of heart. It has a bitterness units of  56 so it’s got some balance. They used such malts as: 2-Row, Cara Munich, Caramel 80L, Wheat, Roasted Barley, and Chocolate. And such hops as: Nugget, Centennial, Simcoe, and Amarillo. This being a vintage beer and an Imperial Stout, I gave it its due, and poured it into a large brandy snifter. It was the right move. The aromas came wafting out of the bowl. This is a big, complex beer. The head was mocha late in color, and didn’t pour too big, which was nice. Dark, bitter chocolate came out first, followed by a big roasty coffee, and a slight hint of anise. It had tremendous mouthfeel and really nice finish. This was a rich, well deserved treat!

I have long been  fan of Imperial Stout, and I especially loved this one. Fantastic!