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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown AleTröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

500 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 500
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%

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

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 05-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 500 | Reviews: 436 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 1sophrosyne1


3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed over half an hour in the Troegs tasting room after a recent batch was fortuitously returned to the brewery.

This trailblazer pours a deep but relfectively clear brown based on pleasing clarity. Against a backlight it's a glowing cordovan. The biege head leaves prominent lacing after hanging on for quite a nice while.

It smells of very toasty malt coated in moussy mocha. There's just a hint of strawberry accompanying spiced banana deep in the nose. Almonds and mildly bitter hazlenuts keep the fruits in check while holding a dram of pinesap. All these hang in pleasing balance beneath the rim of the glass, but it's a rather thin set of aromas dissolved in a watery air.

The leading taste is surprising--a piney, metallic wash that's interrupted by the buzz of carbonation that morphs into peppery spice. The remaining flavor experience is of a thin caramel coffee that drops fairly quickly into nibbles of nuts. It's rather short and sweet, and lacking in body that would make it more interesting. But with fatty, smoky foods that need a matched thirst quencher, this brew performs better.

There's not much depth to the way it lays in the mouth. Carbonation helps keep interest, but not for very long. A little chewy dryness does complement the nut flavors, though.

Overall, despite shortcomings in its components, this brew is a bit more than the sum of its parts. It can be drunk rather rapidly as it is without offending, and it sits beside complex foods very nicely. On its own, though, it just gets a little mundane.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2013 23:30:24 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of Kegatron


3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back on tap at the brewery after a couple of years on hiatus. Pours a deep clear ruby with a foamy off-white head. Nice retention that leaves a rich smattering of lacing down the sides. The aroma smells of floral and green citrus notes with a light sprinkling of toasted nuts and cocoa along the back. The taste switches things up, being more sweet and nutty (and just a smidgen of dark fruit) up front before giving away to bitter tingle of earthy citrus flavors. Dry and bitter on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium with a firm creaminess to the carbonation that flows nicely in the mouth. It's good to have the Rugged Trail back, as it is a nice and slightly Americanized take on an English Brown Ale. I'd hoping this is the first of many return appearances for this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2013 18:16:45 | More by Kegatron
Photo of thain709


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this a while back when they re-released a small batch at the brewery only.

A - Served with a dark brown that was pretty clear...ruby highlights stood around the edges...the head was light brown in color and was two fingers tall...slowly falls to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing

S - The nose wasn't very big...sweet malts showcased caramel and toffee...there was an underlying fruitiness

T - Caramel and toffee start things off...they let you know this beer has a sweet side to it...maybe a little too sweet at times because the roasted flavors don't come through too hard...there is a slight nuttiness which, again, would have helped cut the sweetness...there is a bright citric hop presence towards the end that provides a little bitterness

M - Medium bodied...smooth and sweet with a hop bite right at the end

O - It was really cool they brought Rugged Trail back because I never had the chance to try it when it was in full production...this one is really easy to drink, but I wish there was more nuttiness or roastiness to cut the sweetness

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2012 16:30:57 | More by thain709
Photo of orangesol


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The dead have risen! Zombie beer from the past back by popular demand. A small batch brewed on the Scratch system, tap only for the locals at the brewery.

A - Pours deep dark brown with a pillowy two finger tall white head leaving light streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, toffee, fresh roasted nuts, day old coffee, and a touch of molasses. Not the best smell but not the worst either.

T - Starts off with a bit of sweetness; mostly molasses and caramel; quickly giving way to hints of nuts, stale coffee, and a touch of hop bitterness. Grows a bit watery at the end of the glass but it was still easy to finish.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slightly sweet feel with a bit of chewiness coming through more and more as it sits in the glass.

O - I am glad to see this one back around, all be it for a short period of time. I have missed this one dearly as it is very easy to drink and the low ABV make it very sessionable. I shall get my fill while it lasts...

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2012 19:33:35 | More by orangesol
Photo of JayS2629


4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved this beer. I can't believe they stopped making it.

It pours a dark brown with a creamy tan head, descent retention and nice lacing.

The aroma was of toasted nuts, roasted malts, and dark cocoa with tons of earthy aromas. Grassy and citrus hops are faint in the back.

The taste is very earthy with nutty notes, a touch of coffee and cocoa and caramel througout. Grapefruit and grassy notes are faint in the background.

Nice balance, slightly watery, smooth

Easy to drink, quite delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2011 17:47:51 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Rifugium


3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at ? (notes don't specify)

Yeah, it's a brown ale...not really my style at all. Pours a murky walnut brown with a small layer of white bubbles for a head. Nutty, sweet aroma, a bit buttery. Toasted malts in the taste, nutty again, sweet, diacetyl, and a bitter finish. Not entirely bad, but just too sweet for me perhaps. Medium body, and not something I'd want to drink again, aka most brown ales.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2011 01:16:07 | More by Rifugium
Photo of woosterbill


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at the brewery into a snifter.

A: Clear body is a dark brown with ruby highlights; the small head disappears fairly quickly, leaving a small ring and only the faintest hint of lacing.

S Nutty, toasty, slightly smoky malt and a bit of dry, grassy hops (Fuggle, according to the accompanying literature). Not bad.

T: Follows the nose, with a focus on the rich, nutty malts. Nice smooth finish. Tasty, straightforward English brown.

M: Medium-to-full-bodied with lots of soft carbonation.

D: A bit over-powering with the nutty malts, the hops fail to provide much balance.

Notes: Tasty enough beer (and thoroughly to style), but hardly inspiring.


Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2010 22:49:13 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Deuane


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep, dark brown tinted copper--as dark as a beer can get and still be clear. A medium light tan head reduces to a thin cap and leaves ringing lace.

S-Light, nutty sweetness with subtle supporting caramel malt. Not overly aromatic but what aroma it does have is pleasant.

T-Light caramel sweetness with a touch of astringent oak/nut dryness. Good drying finish.

M-Medium-light bodied with decent lingering bitterness and nutty dryness.

D-Nothing crazy here--a solid, simple and tasty quaffer. A well built, easy to drink brew. The perfect kind of beer to use an introduction to craft beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2009 00:02:41 | More by Deuane
Photo of DeepSix


4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was poured into a pint glass. Dark brown color. Intital whiteish head, but then turned into a darker color lace afterward which was ever present.

A nose of chocolate, roast malts, maybe a tad of coffee

The taste a more pronunciation of the smell, all present along with maybe a hint of nuts, plus the hops at the there.

Mouth was definitely an English brown, but a little on the lighter side for them, mild carbonation.

Its funny how you might dislike something at the bar but get home and think about it...review it even, and like it more. With it's under 5 ABV you got an almost session beer here, could drink it all day, weather's a bit to warm for this to be drank all day, but after the sun goes down...

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 03:58:35 | More by DeepSix
Photo of dudecandle

New York

3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights with a small head, with decent retention, small cap.

S/T: Nutty, mildly fruity malt-based brew. The hops are pretty unnoticeable, but serviceable. It kinda tastes like a nougat-caramel chocolate bar with a sticky, bready finish. Very sweet.

M: Rather thin, but with a good, sticky finish.

D: Completely unaggressive, very mellow. I can drink this cold, warm, whatever. It's rather pleasant, but nothing particularly special about it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2009 21:03:56 | More by dudecandle
Photo of MetalHopHead6


3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap, in a pint glass, at the brewery.

As served, Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale was dark brown with reddish hints and no head whatsoever.

The smell and taste are dominated by something roasted until burnt, such as seeds or nuts. The finish has a hint of chocolate, but again, roasted dark, not sweet, chocolate. This does not have the sweetness of many other brown ales. The feel is smooth, if unremarkable, which along with the low alcohol content, makes Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2009 21:21:07 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Elmer Sudds. Arrived in a pint glass and appears a slightly hazed dark chestnut color with about an inch of creamy light tan foam. Taste and nose are of lightly caramelized malts, nuts such as pecans and hazelnuts, cocoa powder, very mild coffee. A bit watery with medium carbonation. Not too shabby, I'll seek this one out from time to time.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2009 05:35:07 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of Naugled

New York

3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice tan brown head, thick and creamy and lasting, clear darkish brown colored beer

S: good roasted slightly sweet smell, malt forward

T: nice pleasant flavor, roast and caramel malt is main contributer little bitterness present

M: nice smooth silky fee. carbonation is good, body is med and feel is light

D: very drinkable, not overly sweet or roasty or thick. A good session brown

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2009 19:53:55 | More by Naugled
Photo of gdfan47


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- pours a really dark brown with a little bit of white head and alot of froathy lacing
S- Coffee, nuts, malt, a touch of hops
T- starts off with a faint coffee smell, then some chesnut, then the malt and hops very refreshing
M- very carbonated, the coffee taste is very mild compared to the smell
D- very easy to drink , very low abv , like a more refined new castle

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2009 06:19:55 | More by gdfan47
Photo of rydogg666


4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Alright...for my first published beer review, I enjoyed a Troeg's Rugged Trail Ale at a little bar called Fox Tales in Franklin, PA pre-Steeler game.

It appeared MUCH darker - somewhere between dark dark brown and black - than the Rugged Trail on the Troeg's website (I looked it up for the ABV). By the time the draft arrived at my the table there was no head and no tracing as the drinking commenced. It could have been a session beer as their website advertised, but at this point in my life, what couldn't be? I picked up on a lot more hops and nut than I did any hint of chocolate, but overall I enjoyed the drink with my wings and fried mushrooms. My only disappointment was an almost imperceptible amount of carbonation. I would call this beer "flat" but enjoyed the taste regardless.

Hoping to finish this review up and have a nice, refreshing can of Shlitz beer in celebration of a Wake Forest victory!

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2009 02:21:52 | More by rydogg666
Photo of jsanto

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - dark / medium brown, and a caramel color head.

s - not bad, but nothing to write home about. smells like a beer.

t - better than expected, malty and caramel, slight chicory.

m - i liked it on tap, with a slight carbonation, and dark finish.

d - had 2 pints, but the selection that night was not the best.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2009 00:53:44 | More by jsanto
Photo of cpn920

New York

3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Cole's in Buffalo. Poured a dark walnut with a bit of red around the edges. Very small head with not much lacing. Smelled malty with hint of molasses. Taste was nice but nothing exceptional with mostly malt coming through with hint of chocolate. It was moderate carbonation with a slightly bitter finish. Overall a nice beer that you could have a few and have a nice evening.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2009 15:22:36 | More by cpn920
Photo of ckaufman


3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Geo's in Latrobe, PA...

A: Dark brown in color with a thin tan head. Good lacing with minimal head retention. Looks more like a porter than an English Brown... which is not a bad thing.

S: Not much in the way of smell... roasted malts with a minimal trace of hop aroma.

T: Lots of roasted malts with a nutty overtone and a coffee undertone. A little on the sweet side for a brown ale.

M: Slick medium body with a low amount of carbonation.

D: Very low ABV makes this beer very sessionable, however this is one of my least favorite beers by Troegs.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2008 20:04:53 | More by ckaufman
Photo of Kolsch


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this many times from the bottle, this is the first time I have had it on Tap.

Appearance: much more closely resembles a porter rather than a Brown. Nice 1 head and pretty dark as well.

Smell: smell is nutty caramel.

Taste: there is an initial bitterness up front from the hops. Taste is slightly chocolate and caramel, though not too sweet at all. Let this warm as it smooths out the bitterness.

Much prefer this on tap than from the bottle. Tap gives more hop flavor. Great session beer and one I will seek out again and again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2008 10:28:28 | More by Kolsch
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a below average khaki colored head that left a light ring around the glass. The aroma is of light roasted malt, kind of like weak watery coffee. The taste is of roasted malt with hints of chestnuts. Pretty one sided towards the malt, no hop flavor or aroma detected. The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation, finishes well balanced. It is a finely contructed brew but nothing is spectacular about it. It is refreshing and at 4.4ABV you can make a night out of drinking these

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2008 03:57:09 | More by Gmann
Photo of far333


4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut colored with a low off-shite head. Aromas of dark malts mixed with smoke and currant. Dry mouthfeel, a bit tannic, but full and rich. Lots of interesting flavors of cocoa, smokey charred wood, molasses, caramel, and some ripe cherry. Very smooth and balanced flavor, nothing too big tries to take over. A variety of flavors move in and out. Reminds me almost of a dry stout or porter. Really great beer, very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2007 18:59:21 | More by far333
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from the tap, poured into a tasting glass.

A - Pours a clear brown with some red highlights...small tan head that quickly dissipates to a small ring - good carbonation.

S - Roasted malt with mild cocoa and toffee hints in the background...not as nutty as I expected, but still solid.

T - Nutty flavors are much more pronounced, on top of a solid malty backbone. Yeasty, bready flavor came out as the beer warmed. Mild hops lingered in the background.

M - A tad bit thin, but otherwise a solid finisher.

D - Despite the slightly weak body, still a good brown ale. Definitely let this one warm up a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2007 02:20:06 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came a dark cola brown with some reddish orange highlights and a thin creamy white head. Smelled of roasted caramel and molasses malt with a slight sour coffee. Smelled intimidating sweet. Tasted of very sweet burnt caramel with a pervasive sourness. Finished clean with a touch of dark chocolate. Mouth feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. I’m a big fan of sweeter beers, but this was a bit much for me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2006 17:26:06 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with a nicely foamy head. Looks really tasty! Smell is nutty and malty but not much else and very faint. The flavor itself is malty with hints of chocolate, tiny earthy notes, and nutty undertones. The same foam that makes it look so nice lends it a wonderful mouthfeel as well; it's velvety and almost feels like a nitro. A decent enough session brew if you're in the market for a nut brown, but the flavor's not bold enough to really set it apart.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2005 18:29:49 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of bultrey

New York

4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft somewhere in Pittsburgh. You either like nut browns or you don't, I find. There isn't a whole lot of variation in the style, except for maybe DFH's India Brown.
But this is an excellent example of the style, a beautiful rich nutty, toffee flavor with just that edge of roasted bitterness. Mild hopiness keeps it all together and provides wonderful balance, really lets the roasted malt come through.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2005 20:49:29 | More by bultrey
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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 500 ratings.