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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale - Tröegs Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown AleTröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

438 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 438
Hads: 546
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 5
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 05-13-2002

Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale is back on tap in our Tasting Room for a limited time. Originally released as “Nut Brown Ale,” Rugged Trail was eventually given a makeover and became one of our first year-round beers. Rugged Trail boasts a deep bronze hue, rocky head, and subtle hop aroma. Toasted Amber and Chocolate malts impart a rich nutty character and creamy texture, making Rugged Trail an obvious quaffing delight! 5.0% ABV and 33 IBU. 2014 Availability: draft and growler fills only.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 438 | Hads: 546
Photo of ravenwork
4.56/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Troegs Brewery, bit too dark for a brown ale, but still a nice brown, and not amber, color, wonderful silky white foam, very tasty, and with pleasing lacing to the bottom of the pint. The flavor profile was robust, a good smooth blend of grain flavors, with a nice hop kick. The word was that the batch had been more highly hopped than in the past for Rugged Trail. It was posted as 5.2% ABV and 50 IBU. This is a very drinkable and satisfying brown. It's too bad brown ales aren't the American Beer du Jour these days.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like a nut brown. Gorgeous khaki head with a creamy density. Deep red-brown body with some light allowance.

Sweet hazelnut malts with coffee notes, herbal hops, earthiness, toffee, and a hint of harvest fruit. Delicate, yet robust.

Kind of a thin flavor. It's not marred by any metallic notes or sweetness. Light and dry. Breakfast coffee, almond, toffee, scorched earth, tree bark, hints of alkaline (cocoa/hop bitterness), herbal flavors, hazelnut, and a kiss of red apple. Quite nice, sans the lack of intensity.

Drinks easily. Very soft-bodied. Round and rolling, in the mouth. Lightly carbonated for an enduring session drink.

Happy that Troegs brought this back so that I could finally review it. Cheers!

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Photo of Birdmarg741
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A deep brown at first glance but when held up to the light a rich deep red. Pours with a thin head with minimal retention. Melts into a thin film that laces the top of the glass.

S: Smells strongly of bitter skins of nuts, malt, and vinegar. Light essence of coffee, mulch, and urea.

T: Tastes of smoke, acidic nutty bitters, vinegar, and earth.

M: Medium bodied - lighter than expected for its rich color. High carbonation, with a bitterness that wraps around the sides of the tongue, while smoke tingles the center.

O: A nice, very palatable brown ale. Too acidic and rancid for true balance in my taste. But certainly has a strong set of flavors that don't apologize for each other. Bravo for the effort - definitely worth a try!

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours an opaque, deep dark brown tone with a finger of beige head that recedes somewhat quickly into a circle around the collar of the glass; very nice walls of lacing. great looking brew.

nice, roasted malty aroma with notes of spice and nuts; nose pulls through in the flavor with an added mid-palate coffee character to it. very faint hoppy presence. good. not great, but solid and enjoyable.

IMO mouthfeel does not impress... to me it seems a bit on the watery side, average carbonation. good drinkability, however; the fairy tasty, inoffensive type of beer you could easily take a few of.

original review on: 10-19-2010

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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

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

I'm glad they made a batcdh of this again.
I poured this from a growler. It has a dark magonay color body with a 2" tan head. The smell is roasted malt and nuts. The taste starts off a little sweet, then the taste of roasted nuts come through on the middle to back of the tongue. Great mouth feel and overall a really good brown ale.

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Photo of orangesol
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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...

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Photo of JayS2629
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a medium-dark, earthy smell, as of fresh tilled soil. Mixed in with this are the aromas of lightly roasted nuts and toasted grains, along with a hint of chocolate malt.

On the tongue, the dark, nutty earthiness dominates the tastes, with many of the flavors from the nose translating directly over: roasted nuts and grains, and small amounts of chocolate malt. There's also a light caramel thread that runs through. Hops are light, but still faintly noticeable in the background as a bitter grapefruit fuzz. The aftertaste is a long fading off of the primary malt flavors, ending with a whisper of dark chocolate malts. The ale is more heavily carbonated that I would have expected, which takes away slightly from the flavors, making them seem weaker than they are.

Overall, while I do like the flavors in this ale, they seem weak, and the mouthfeel is a bit watery.

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Photo of mltobin
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A copper color with a larger one finger head to it. It has a smell that contains roasted nuts, malts, carmel, faint hops. The taste is a mix of roasted malts, coffee, nuts, some chocolate. MF is medium, a bit dry in the finish. A decent brown ale, but nothing that is going to blow you away.

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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.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.4/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this back on 3-22-09. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. This beer was a nice brown color with a tan colored head. So far so good. The aromas weren't bad it was semi sweet with some bitterness on the nose too. The Flavor just wasn't all there for me. Not sure why, it just didn't seem right. Kind of a little disappointing.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown color with a touch of red around the edges and a half-finger of tan-brown head. The head fairly quickly reduces down to a ring around the glass leaving some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of toasted toffee malts and a lot of nutty aroma. Also a nice hint of chocolate mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with some nice sweet caramel malts and a lot of nutty flavor. Through the middle a touch of chocolate comes through with just a touch of hops. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel hops, some nutty flavor, and a touch of chocolate that linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little bit sweet overall with a nice dry finish and some flavors that linger on the tongue.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of nutty flavors that blend really nicely with the rest of the flavors. The beer is fairly sweet, but not too sweet. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Pint Glass. Rugged Trail pours a deep brown color that is bordering on black. The head of this brew is about a half-inch thick, foamy, and disappears quickly leaving a small amount of lingering lacing on top of the beer. As the beer is drank, however, it leaves absolutely no lacing on the glass which is quite typical for the style. This nut brown ale has the exact scent I had anticipated for the style with nice scents of roasted nuts and a slight underlying caramel or molasses note. The taste of the beer is absolutely spectacular. The nut flavor is perfectly balanced with the slight sweetness and the roasted character giving an incredible depth to the brew that I have not seen in many other nut brown ales. The only other Nut Brown I have had that could match up with this brew is Samuel Smith's Nut Brown ale which I thought was also astoundingly flavorful. Contrary to what I had expected given its depth of flavor and distinct character, Rugged Trail drinks impeccably smooth and light. Overall, I absolutely loved this brew and I must say I'm quite disappointed to find that it is retired.

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a thin but dark brown, almost a ruby brown, with some light coming through. A very thin layer of head forms and quickly settles. LACING

S: Sweet, nutty malts. Faint caramel as well.

T: The malts are lightly roasted in taste alongside the nuttiness. Hints of chocolate here as well. Everything is very light, but in a good way.

M: Moderate to low carbonation, with a medium body a hair on the thin side.

D: This is one easy drinking Troegs beer, as most of them have been. Light and roasty flavors make for a good sessionable beer.

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Photo of kagent777
3.54/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle brought back from PA from Ken, Thanks! This one is pored into a goblet.

Appearance: I clear deep bronze/brown, with no head or lacing. Only the thinnest of rings around the glass.

Smell: Chocolate and hints of coconut. No hops to speak of.

Taste: Follows the scent. Roasty malts and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Seems a little thin, however the carbonation lifts this beer a little.

Drinkability: By no means bad, just not outstanding. This is one I would not seek out, but I would gladly drink it if offered. Easy to drink several with only 4.4 %ABV.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours an opaque, deep dark brown tone with a finger of beige head that recedes somewhat quickly into a circle around the collar of the glass; very nice walls of lacing. great looking brew.

nice, roasted malty aroma with notes of spice and nuts.

nose pulls through in the flavor with an added mid-palate coffee character to it. very faint hoppy presence. good. not great, but solid and enjoyable.

IMO mouthfeel does not impress... to me it seems a bit on the watery side, average carbonation. good drinkability, however; the fairy tasty, inoffensive type of beer you could easily take a few of.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Freshness date above front label is smudged away.

Pours a nice, clear, dark-tea brown. A tan head soon becomes a patchy ring. Smells good, of brown sugar, caramel malts, and a hint of nuttiness, like a good piece of brittle. I detect more of the chocolatey richness and bitterness from the first sip. May be just a bit thin, but the taste is filling and good. Nice dry but smooth finish. Easy drinkability. I'm bummed this one was retired.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown look in color.

S- Very nutty aroma. Hint of caramel and chocolate notes.

T- Nutty taste with chocolate and caramel sweet from the wort. Mild hops in the background.

M- Semi dry. The chocolate and caramel notes linger in the mouth the whole time with settle hops in the background.

D- I'm glad I got a chance to grab a 6pk since Troegs not making it anymore. Areal good tasting beer. It will be miss.


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Photo of wvsabbath
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Very dark tan/black

Smell - Carmael and some hops, malts, molasses and nuts

Taste - Well, very mild. The malt mixes well with the hops to give this beer the standard nut brown flavor. Nothing other then the malts stood out, nothing overpowering the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Just thick enough to coat the mouth, yet dry with little trace after the swallow. Your could go into any other style of beer after this one.

Drinkabilty - After having smuttynose and samuel smith, i almost want to call this a light beer. Its low alcohol mixed with it being so mild and smooth, i could rip though a 6-pack in no time. Would drink again but there are better nut browns out there.

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Photo of nukem5
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark and delightful on pour with solid 1/2 inch cap.

S: Very light malt and very little chocholate.

T: Nice malty taste but not alot, some dark chocolate notes.

M: Metalic not in a bad way but there with light body.

D: could be a nice session/ everyday beer.

And quite the contrary not retired just bought it with new label... its back from the dead.

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Photo of washburnkid
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why is this beer retired??? Reviewed from notes.

Just under a finger of beige head. Body is dark brown/mahogany, and there's a tiny bit of retention and not much lace to speak of. Aromas are chocolate maltiness dominating, but not explosive by any means. Acidity discernible in the aromas as well. Flavors are definitely chocolate. A nice tang that balances out, but the emphasis here is definitely on the chocolate biscuit malt, just what I'd expect from an English brown. Mouthfeel is high carbonation, seemingly making whatever acidity is there pop out. Lighter body, all in all a really easy drinking beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from cmurren25, thanks Chad. Pours a dark crimson color with a fine-bubbled tan foam. Fades fast to a bubbly sheen and leaves a bit of lacing.

Nose is milky sweet and cocoa malts. Maybe a little bit of nuttiness makes it in there as well.

Taste is nutty with a decent roast and touch of chocolate. Very good combination of malty flavors, I like it. Quite drinkable, and sessionable to boot at 4.4%. The nut flavors are very prevalent and varied...peanuts to brazil nuts to cashews. I wouldnt mind a bit creamier body and more malt presence, but I am still digging it, one of the better nut browns I have had.

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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 438 ratings.