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Trailblaze Organic Brown Ale - Appalachian Brewing Company

Trailblaze Organic Brown AleTrailblaze Organic Brown Ale

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83 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 15.71%

Brewed by:
Appalachian Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Slatetank on 09-09-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rootdog316


3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this organic ale out of a bottle. It had been sitting in my fridge for about a year untouched. Had a reddish brown with a nutty malty nose. Dry, palate with a hint of cocoa and more nuts. Decent but forgettable. I'd drink it again, but I would not go out of my way to purchase it.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 19:12:21 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of matthiasbrau

New York

3.81/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I had originally tried this excellent organic brown ale on tap 9/8/2013 at the Appalachian Brewing Company on Chambersburg Road in Gettysburg. So good, in fact, that I bought a sixer to bring home. This review is for the bottled version, subsequently sampled chez moi on 9/17/2013.

A: hard pour into my Spaten mug reveals a dark root beer-like color, big head, nice lacing all the way down as I drank.

S: inviting malty and grainy aroma, makes me want to take a big swig

T: taste is bold and bitter, roasted grain, then the hops come on strong; no sweetness; delicious

M: medium mouthfeel, quenching

O: a well-balanced organic brown ale; perfect with bowtie pasta & fresh tomatoes/garlic/zucchini; thrilled I've got another five bottles to go

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 23:10:17 | More by matthiasbrau
Photo of philbe311


3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - One fingers worth of whipped slightly off-white colored head... Average as best retention... On the darker side of medium brown...

S - Limited and rather subdued... Lightly roasted malts... Faint coffee... Brown sugar... A slight hint of chocolate...

T - The flavors were more potent than I expected... Toasted malts and brown sugar to start... There are definite coffee and chocolate notes that make this one quite enjoyable... Some caramel sweetness mixed in as well...

M - Sleek and smooth... Far from robust and rather thin and watery... Little or no carbonation... Not much going on in this department...

D - Overall this one is quite sessionable... Aside from a mouthfeel that is a bit too thin and watery for my liking, there is no reason I couldn't put a couple of this back any given afternoon or evening... A solid representation of the style that is neither disappointing nor exceptional... I'm not big on "organics," but I get that is a nice selling point as well...

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2013 01:44:17 | More by philbe311
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a mahogany brown color with a big and thick cream colored head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a good level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a chocolate and caramel smells. Mixed with these are aromas of some roasted malt and a light aroma of a nutty nature.

Taste – The beer is drier then I would have expected from the nose. The taste begins with a roasted malt and lighter caramel sweetness. From the initial roasted malt, which creates a base for the taste of the beer, comes an increase in the caramel sweetness and some flavors of brown sugar. These sugar tastes get strongest at the middle and begin fading more toward the end. From the middle to the end, while the sugar flavors are fading, come flavors of nut and some hop flavors of an earthy and herbal flavor come into the taste. These flavors take the taste to its end where they leave a lightly bittered roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thinner to average side in its creaminess with a carbonation level being rather average. The medium body and carbonation made it rather easy drinking, although a slightly lower level of carbonation may have been more appropriate for the roasted and nutty flavors of the brew.

Overall – A decent, not too sweet brown ale with some nice hop flavors. A nice easy drinking brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 02:13:01 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Rukasu

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep, clear ruby red/brown with a one-finger frothy tan head

S - Faint smokiness, roasted malts, not much smell at all.

T - Hoppy/citric tartness up front. Biscuity roasted malts hints of grass, rosemary, autumn spices, and lemon on the finish.

M - Surprisingly light, though the tartness gets a bit harsh by the second bottle.

O - Decent brow ale, not my favorite style, but a good beer for an autumn afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 22:13:37 | More by Rukasu
Photo of TheMultiYeast


3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with some tan head and spotty lacing.

Hearty aroma with nutty biscuity malts, some sweetness, light floral hop profile, molasses

Grainy and toasty again on the palate..warm and nutty, smooth almond woodiness.

Smooth, light body, good midday beer.

Overall a good brown ale

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 01:42:12 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Rifugium


3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

FFirst had: on tap at the Collegeville brewpub

Probably my favorite of the beers I sampled from Appalachian. Which is weird considering I'm not a big fan of brown ales in general. Darker amber-brown pour, hazy but still somewhat see-through, with a small white head that retained fairly well and left a bit of soapy lacing. Toasted malts in the nose with an unexpected twist of hoppiness. More of the same in the taste, toasted grains, sweet malts, nutshells, floral and piney hops, uncharacteristically ample for the style, but actually creating a nice sense of balance, as opposed to the normal boring, flavorless, nutty-malt liquid that a brown ale usually is. So points for that. Light-medium body and decently drinkable. Pretty good overall, all things considered.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2012 12:55:37 | More by Rifugium
Photo of DIM


3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear cola brown. It was served to me with a smallish, big bubbled head.

s: Surprisingly strong leafy hops, brown sugar, and hints of cocoa.

t: Sweet brown sugar, chocolate, and a nice leafy bite at the end.

m: Slick and fizzy.

o: A pretty nice brown ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2012 00:16:59 | More by DIM
Photo of jmdrpi


2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

served from the tap at the Collegeville brewpub location, in a pint glass.

appears a medium brown color with a thin white head. not much head retention. not much aroma, just a bit nutty. taste is mild as well, just a bit of sweet caramel malt. body is thin and fizzy, I wanted more for the style.

overall - just kinda average and boring. not bad, just wouldn't seek out again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2012 15:35:30 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of tlazaroff


4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This pours a nice solid clear brown with dark amber highlights. The mocha head leaves nice lacing, and although it dissipates fast it still is frothy and never quite goes away completely.

S: "Ooh, that smells great." was my first reaction. This beer is big on the caramel notes. Some fruitiness in the tail end of the smell but it's not overwhelming. Light floral qualities too, but overall it's smells like a malt bomb.

T: Initially I get a touch of caramel which leads into this big toasted bread flavor. Not just any toasted bread, but homemade thick sliced italian toasted bread. The finish is sweet caramel. Bitterness is there, but it remains in the background and there is a bit of a carbonation bite on the first sip. This beer really showcases the malt.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a bit of carbonation bite as said in the taste. It's not bad, but it could be smoother.

D: Very easy drinking beer, this could easily be a go-to brown. Quite excellent.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 19:52:42 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of Knapp85


3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a nice looking deep brown color with a light tan colored head on top. The head fades and leaves a tiny amount of lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was sweet, roasted and a little nutty. The taste had some elements of chocolate in there that I found to be pretty nice. The mouthfeel of the beer is dry and light bodied. Overall it's a pretty good Brown Ale, not the best but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 01:52:42 | More by Knapp85
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown tinted amber, rocky cream colored head, little lacing. Pale notes of powdery chocolate with a leafy and grassy hoppyness at the front, nutty and roasty overall. Taste brings the components of scent but they are slightly muddy and damp. Medium bodied, decent moderate carbonation, dry and earthy on the palate. some decent notes help make this beer pleasant enough to drink but nothing standing out.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2011 15:37:00 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appalachian Trailblaze Organic Brown Ale

Pours brown, as expected, with an off white head and little lacing. Aroma comprised of caramel malt, and a big whiff of floral hops. In the flavor, pretty hop forward with an unexpected wall of bitterness and citrus notes. Caramel follows, with mildly nutty flavors, and a well balanced finish. Nice to see a brown ale with good hop character. Medium bodied and fairly smooth. Overall, a decent hoppy brown.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 17:53:18 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of mactrail


3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Rather harsh, dishwatery brown ale.

Quite attractive in the glass with nice lacing and a dark amber color. Not much aroma, slight nose of cereal. Kind of a sourdough hint. Nice enough mouthfeel, with good carbonation and a clean tang on the palate. But the flavors that take over are more like old fruit, citrus rinds, tea leaf dregs. Quite hoppy for the style but some malt to hold it down with a hint of sweetness.

Cleanly made, so it's a matter of taste whether you like this style. I just don't care for that aftertaste of dirty, earthy hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 04:36:09 | More by mactrail
Photo of nickthetick


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear dark copper with ruby highlights into and American shaker pint with a finger of tan head that leaves some spotty lacing.

S: nice deep roasted malts and very nutty and a little light roasted coffee.

T: right off the bat there is some solid, good nutty-ness. Caramel and deep malt sweetness balance what is a bit of a bitter hops. A peanut lingers on the tongue for a short time.

MF: a good heavy body, mild carbonation and pleasingly bitter and sweet.

O: a great brown ale, a bit nutty but good. And organic to.

Serving type: growler

05-21-2011 04:02:05 | More by nickthetick
Photo of stakem


3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken 3/3/11 on tap at the Harrisburg ABC location served in an oversized mug.

This brew appears a clear burnt amber color nearing brown but not quite. A finger of creamy off-white head appears and holds with decent retention. Some sticky webbing of lace clings to the glass.

The aroma is citrusy, floral and fruity with hops. This was a bit of an unexpected surprise, it is more hoppy and fresh smelling that I remember. A pleasant toasted toffee/caramel note backs the nose with some sweetness. A light touch of sulfur and minerals is present as the brew warms.

The taste includes toasty malt in the form of flavors of toffee and caramel. The hops produce an herbal flavoring lightly fruity and floral which is a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the malt. A light smokey aspect is thrown into the mix with minerals and sulfur bringing up the back. It has a lingering clingy herbal hop taste that lasts inside the mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with modest carbonation. It has more of a hop presence and freshness than I expected for a brown, let alone an "organic" one. The abv is hidden quite well but all together it is forgettable. This isn't something I would go out of my way for but the next time im in ABC I would drink this if nothing else new was on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2011 19:30:22 | More by stakem
Photo of nickd717


3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to ben4321.

Not as brown as most brown ales. It's more like a clear dark reddish-brown. A one-finger tan head sits on top and leaves good lacing and thick spotty foam.

The aroma is pretty nice, sweet and chocolaty with a little caramel. No detectable hop aroma really at all.

The flavor is a little on the sweeter side but fairly pleasant. Caramel, chocolate, and roast.

Medium-bodied and very slick on the mouthfeel with soft carbonation.

Overall, an above-average brown ale from my hometown of the 'burg. Not going to knock anyone's socks off, but it's reasonably tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 06:02:43 | More by nickd717
Photo of EgadBananas


4.18/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter, clear brown, almost mahogany color. An off-white half finger of head adorns. No lacing really.

Smell is nice with a good amount of roasted malts, with some brown sugar and a hint of chocolate.

Taste is beautiful. Lots of roasted malts, and there is a nice sweetness of brown sugar and even some bitter cocoa. One of my biggest complaints about browns in general is the metallic aftertaste...there's nothing dissatisfying about the aftertaste here.

Good and smooth, slightly soft, solid medium in body.

Good drinkability. Definitely one of the better brown I've had to date!

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 01:27:07 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of mtnbikerpa


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this brew at a recent brewfest. Poured dark brown almost a coffee color with a nice thick, foamy head. Deep rich malt-like flavor. Almost no hint of hops. Scents of mocha, roasted nuts and some soft vanilla flavors. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery for as heavy as the flavor is. Drinkable nature is very good, I could drink a couple of these.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 20:03:58 | More by mtnbikerpa
Photo of woodychandler


3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes.

Brought to me with a finger of light, off-tan head with low retention. Color was a cola-brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was slightly sweet with a cocoa-like odor. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a combination of a pleasant chocolaty sweetness and a slightly astringent bitterness. Finish was like bittersweet chocolate. Not bad and worth trying if for no other reason than it comes from PA's first USDA-certified organic brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2010 22:04:29 | More by woodychandler
Photo of DmanGTR

New York

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to an awesome BA who hooked me up during Flossmoor Friday's trade. Reviewing this as I drink.

A - Poured a deep maroonish brown that turned ruby in the light. Short lived pearl head that left patches of lace and diminished to a thin cap quickly. 4.0

S - This nearly smells like a barleywine to me in terms of hints of metallicness and oxidation. Somewhat sherry-like, although I'm pretty sure there are supposed to be more raisiny and caramely notes here. 3.5

T - Rich caramel and raisins (ah, that's what I'm looking for!), dusted with cocoa powder (very slight), and that oxidation metallicness again. Very light molasses in the finish. 4.0

M - Pretty rich bodied, smooth and velvety carbonation. 4.0

D - Very. I just finished the review and just finished the beer as well. All of 10 minutes haha. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 05:24:34 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of Jimbo87


4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't expect to like this. the only other brown ale i've really liked was dfh indian brown. this wasn't as tasty as that, but this is a great brew. Lightly roasted barley and hop. A good clean taste. Super drinkable. I don't know why this has gotten so many negative reviews. Since I'm not an expert on this style, maybe this is actually a below average american brown, but I doubt it. Don't spend a lot of time or effort trying to find this, but if you have the opportunity, definitely try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 02:38:48 | More by Jimbo87
Photo of BeerCon5


3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with about a one finger white foamy head.

The scent was mostly roasted caramel malts.

The taste was also of roasted caramel malts, some nuttiness, and very light citrus.

Light bodied, a little dry with moderate carbonation.

I had some reservations about this beer, simply because it was organic, not sure why. But I was surprised to find that it was actually pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 21:49:41 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of marvin213

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The little bit of head (gentle pour) fades quickly, though carbonation is clearly ample. A true brown ale--colored like maple syrup. It looks organic, as it's the color of fresh bark. It appears as the label describes it: fresh, pure, and brown.

I might be getting fooled by the au natural from the bottle description, but it's like foresty nuts and pine cones. There's also some chocolate on the nose. A squirrel would surely come beckoning to the origin of this aroma.

I taste the maple sweetness I see in the look. Maybe I taste some of the bark as well--more likely some roasted malts. I credit it for refraining from the burnt kind of taste in some browns, but I wish I could taste more of the Mr. Goodbar-type smell it offers. It's a pleasant roasted malt taste, and that's basically it. Might be a good one to share with the family during the Christmas holidays--mild enough for the older BMC traditionalists, but solid enough to represent everything better. In that sorta setting, the beer holds promise; otherwise, it's rather forgettable.

Roasted malts do not a bad mouthfeel make, but I again wish I had more of the nutty chocolateness I expected from the pre-taste examination. Carbonation is indeed ample, but missing is anything that could make the mouthfeel much better than average.

It's a blah brown. For comparison's sake, I'd say it's neither better nor worse than a New Castle. From an organic craft brewer way up north claiming to blaze a trail with this here brown ale, I'd honestly expect something better.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 18:23:42 | More by marvin213
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nicely. A bit clouded brownish amber with a nice tannish head. Flavor is out of wack though. Too tangy IMO. There is a spiced leafy thing happening as well. However, with food it seems to balance things out a bit. Perhaps that is just from flavor interference. Carbonation is a bit full. Eh. Could have done without this one I think.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 01:44:08 | More by RblWthACoz
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Trailblaze Organic Brown Ale from Appalachian Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.