Long Trail Brewery's "Culmination" is an Imperial Chocolate Porter.
How can this not be awesome?
Culmination- Imperial Chocolate Porter
Long Tail Brewing, Bridgewater Corners, VT
9.3%ABV, 46 IBU's..
Culmination is a part of Long Trails "Brush and Barrel Series", where the brewery teams with a local artist to brew a beer and the artist creates the art for the packaging. From the bottle tag- "Our hope is that artists and brewers draw creative inspiration from one another and push past the boundaries of their respective art forms".
The art for this bottle was created by Katharine Montstream, a landscape painter from Burlington, VT
The brewer is Dave Hartmann, a 20+year career brewer who had spent two separate stints at Long Trail (1992-93, and 2009-present).
The beer itself is an absolute work of art. Brewed with Pale Two-Row malt, Brown Malt, Midnight Wheat Malt, Cocoa nibs, Turbinado sugar, and Northern Brewer and Mosaic Hops, Culmination pours pitch black, thick, with a huge, airy 3 inch tan head.
The smell is awesome- strong fresh roasted coffee is immediately present. This transitions seamlessly to more of a roasted malt aroma.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, firm, and luscious, with perfect porter carbonation, which is to say moderate. There is very little activity.
Taste is burnt cocoa nibs, followed by bitter coffee and a nice smoke flavor. Finish has delightfully surprising hoppy bitterness.
This is a great porter. Love everything about it- the body, the strong, distinct aromas and flavors combine to create an amazingly drinkable 9.3% porter, with absolutely no alcohol taste or burn at all.
I highly recommend this beer.
And yes, I know Long Trail isn't really a "local" Massachusetts beer, but Vermont is close enough, right?