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Long Trail Ale - Long Trail Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Long Trail AleLong Trail Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

398 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 398
Hads: 1,218
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 22.28%
Wants: 16
Gots: 213 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co. visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

Long Trail Ale is a full-bodied amber ale modeled after the “Alt-biers” of Düsseldorf, Germany. Our top fermenting yeast and cold finishing temperature result in a complex, yet clean, full flavor. Originally introduced in November of 1989, Long Trail Ale beer quickly became, and remains, the largest selling craft-brew in Vermont. It is a multiple medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 398 | Hads: 1,218
Photo of metter98
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a thin head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light aromas of caramel malts in the nose.
T: The taste is slightly nutty and sweet with flavors of apples, caramel and toasted malts along with some hints of spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. The finish is very clean.
D: I could keep drinking this beer all night long; it goes down very easily and is quite sessionable.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

not a huge amber guy, but I love me a proper altbier, and this is mighty proper. a beer ive fallen back to time and time again, and one of my favorite sessions when its ice ice ice cold. it has a dim scent of American and german malts, red and pilsener, with a crisp lager yeast right one cue, although this is an ale, it has that snappy cleanness to it, uncommon for the style, but perfect in this brew. love the barely there hop balance in the finish, almost English in that regard, with the grains being the dominant players. touch of sweetness, touch of bittersweet burnt toffee, touch of bitter hops, touch of fruity punch. outstanding feel, enough body to be a beer drinkers beer, but light enough, and brightly enough carbonated to be refreshing at the same time. if all ambers from the united states were like this one, I might set my ipa down and drink more of them. I absolutely love this beer, when, like I said, it is freezing cold. warmer not so much. a staple in my beer drinking for the last ten years or so.

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Photo of brentk56
2.92/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with a very modest head that lacks staying power; despite the lack of retention, the head does splash some lace around the glass

Smell: Caramel and cooked vegetal aromatics; DMS, perhaps

Taste: Caramel and apple/pear, up front, with a a bitter, herbal character in the middle that verges on a woody flavor; the finish brings out the vegetal elements detected in the aroma

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I guess this is Long Trail's flagship ale and I was expecting more of a traditional altbier style, but this was not particularly enjoyable

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazelnut-brown color with a white head and a touch of lacing here and there. The nose is some light earthy hops plus a bit of light grain and bread. The taste is really mild as well with a bit of grain and some lightly-toasted bread. Feel is a bit light with adequate carbonation. Very slight amount of bitterness. Drinks decently enough but I'm not terribly impressed.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.2/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a golden color beer with a small head and very little retention. Aroma of sweet malt is quite overpowering with no hops discernable. Taste is very sweet with some light malt presence. Hops are very hard to discern. Overall, this is a refreshing but also quite boring beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with gold highlights. It had a two-finger, khaki colored head of foam that left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of sweet caramel, floral notes and hints of citrus.

T - It had a nice sweet roasted malt taste with caramel flavor. There was also a mild citrus taste.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good beer. I was surprised to find an altbier and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dusky orange with amber accents. The cap of foam is dark cream-light beige in color and, although not large, does result in an attractive array of fine lace. The nose is aromatic enough, but isn't all that compelling. Lightly toasted grain coexists with an herbal hoppiness. It might win 'Miss Congeniality' but will be sent packing long before the finalists are announced.

The beer is more toasted on the palate than it was in the nose, so much so that well-toasted grain is the dominant member of the flavor profile. Again, there's a strongly herbal character that even crosses the line into spicy. Woody is also a word that comes to mind. Fruity is not. The finish is increasingly bitter, dry and clean.

Long Trail Ale is a decent American altbier. It really does nothing to warrant a second look from me, although I do appreciate its straightforward flavor and drinkability.

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Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a stop off in VT,had seen while living up there but never tried it.Poured a hazy orange/gold color with almost no head,aroma is light and subtley hopped with a light fruitiness as well.The beer has a decent balance of hops and malt but neither really stick out to make me want another,its not a bad beer but unspectacular in my opinion.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another nice extra from up north, this was a random call to finish the night for sure, lol

No head at all. I tried hard to get one to form, but only managed about a quarter inch. Copious amounts of side glass lace were streaming all down the glass. Lots of carbonation visible all the way up from the bottom. Looking pretty decent for sure. Aroma was light and crisp, full of hops and muted bready notes, a touch of rye grain. Very summer like aroma and very quick to take it. Did not linger and had that fresh cut off to it. Very pleasing. Needed to be a tad bit stronger, but very very nice none the less.

pine like bite and dry finish left you thirsty at the end of it. Some nice malts mixed in as well as a decent amount of sugar. Super light and crisp, absolutly perfect for a summer day. Really impressed with the taste here. Really good, and quite suprised actually. This one really had quite a smooth feel to it. Lots of carbonation rippled through nicely and a somewhat slick, but not that bad of a feeling. It was just light enough to really be a good drinker.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored body. Short off-white colored head. Limited head retention and lacing. Mildly sweet, grainy and caramelish maltiness in the nose. Malty and gently hoppy in the flavor. Moderate bitterness leaves it very nicely balanced. Medium-light bodied and gently crisp in the mouth. Overall, a very drinkable ale.

UPDATE: 25 June 2013
This beer has improved. I've bumped it's score from a 3.5 for appearance to a 4.0 as it holds a great head and leaves some really nice lacing about the glass. Additionally I think that in general the quality has improved. Worth trying.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great session beer right. A lower ABV, awesome taste and mouthfeel, and a good price. Long Trail takes on a lesser known style here by making an Altbier as their flagship, but it tastes great. One of my favorite beers to go to when I'm not sure what to get.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/20/07 at Two Jerks Pub in East Providence, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a medium white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, nuts, a little spice and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is well-balanced and very simple, with mostly flavors of roasted malts & pale hops and a little but of spice & nuts in the background. The after-taste is bready and slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, even though I like Double Bag better, this is a good beer to stick with for an evening. Since there are so few good Altbiers available, this one will hit the spot when you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap a few weeks ago and thought I would revisit to compare the bottled version. Picked this up at Giant in East York, enjoyed chilled in a willybecker.

The color is deep copper, almost bronze with good clarity and thick cap of beige which holds well and bead is fine with some carbonation visible in the ale. The smell is mostly hops which are herbal with a pleasant sweet malt accent and mild yeast tinge which comes off as a dried fruit-like odor. The smell has a slight spice note. The feel is very good with mild body for the style with fairly dry texture and moderate carbonation...lager-like in its low alcohol presence and subtle spiciness from the hop with very gentle sweet malt.

This has a very clean yeast flavor which is good with a nice body and mild grainy malt which has a toasted, yet not quite caramel flavor with some hops adding balance, the only thing lacking is a bit more malt could have helped as it seems to be light for the style. I really enjoyed this for what it is a relatively mild alt. It is refreshing and is not lacking in flavor, yet it does leave you wanting more in the taste and aroma.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber. Some tan head off a pretty firm pour, but still not much. Nose seems so muted, I can't seem to pull anything off it. Flavor is light and crisp with what might be just a touch of apples on there. The skins I think, actually. Sweet tang hits me in the back of the mouth. Feel is nice. Standard liquid feel, nice carbonation. Drinkable, yes. I just can't say that this is an unbelievable altbier at all.

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Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear amber color. Light head with a lasting single layer of fine bubbles.

Traditional amber smells; well-balance with moderate level of hops and slightly toasted malt. Appealing.

More creamy that the smell would indicate which means to me the malt dominates the flavor. The hop is most distinct just prior to the swallow. The aftertaste is shortlived, dry. Very good body with a higher than typical carbonation.

This beer is easy to drink with very few flaws. Not as interesting as I would like

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Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in a pint glass.
A hearty amber colored beer. More hearty and hoppy and less sweet than a typcial American amber, I think this is actually an altbier.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear, bright amber color, with a nice, fluffy, off-whitish head.
Aroma: clean and even, rather lager-like, slightly floral, mildly hoppy.
Taste: minor-key fruitiness on the palate, just enough malt to keep the flavor semi-interesting, slight citrus character. Very light in body, short finish, very light in every regard. When I used the phrase "minor-key" previously, that can be applied almost every-which-way here, for nothing in this brew strives beyond the simplest conception of what an ale has to be, at the very least. Incredibly boring.
I can imagine this would do, if it were found at the sort of establishment that served nothing but macro-swillish products, but certainly not the sort of thing I'd ever seek out or choose to drink on it's own merits.
Thanks to rabidawg for the sampling.

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Photo of jwc215
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a gass stein. It had an orangish-copper color with a bubbly white head that became a thin lace. The carbonation began as medium but quickly became low to moderate. There was not much of a smell. It wasn't bad, but very faint. The taste was a bit spicy, quite hoppy, especially for this type (though I do realize that it can very quite a bit.) Although it was a bit watery, it left a dry hoppy taste. I've had better, and I've had worse. Not bad, but nothing exceptional either.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer served on tap at the Purple Shamrock Pub in Boston, MA. Poured into a conic pint glass. I ordered this beer because it was the only beer in the bar that I had not already had and reviewed.

Beer is dark with no head and very low carbonation. The bar is dark so its hard to get an exact read on the color. I would say that it is brwonish to dark reddish. NO lacing on the glass at all.

This beer has a familiar smell that I often associate with weaker and / or poorer crafted brews. I will try not to judge it harshly. Its a sweet / fruit like red apple smell. No hop aroma or malts to speak of.

Beer is bland and smooth. Light body and goes down unmemorably. Too bad. I was looking forward to it.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes (11/25)

A: Dark amber with a 1/2 inch head with decent retention. Nice lacing though.

S: A little bit of hops, but much more malt, slightly bready.

T: Biscuity/doughy malt flavor with a little bit of hops mixed in. Slightly bitter finish from the hops.

M/D: Light to medium bodied, the carbonation helps this one out. Very smooth. Overall, very middle of the road, not great, but not terrible.

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Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown bottle with a bottled on date of 10/12/09

Pours a clear amber color with a finger of slightly yellow stained head. Slight bit of lacing and retension is lacking however it maintains a thin lace on top of the beer. Nose is a nice blend of faint hops, malt and some caramel notes. Taste is sweet with grains and a slight bit of spice hop character in the finish. It is a very clean and refreshing brew. Medium light feel and medium to high in carb. I havent had many altbiers to compare this one to but it's not bad. I would drink it again.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is hoppy with crystal and pale malts along side. The taste is decent. There is a good balance here between hops and malts. This beer is very refreshing and clean tasting. The mouthfeel is good. This is a light bodied ale with adequate carbonation. This is a nice micro-ale from Vermont. A good sessions ale with a fellow BA.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No boostin', yo! This actually came in a CAN from Pinocchio's, f'real, f'real! I am the first to review in this serving type, which is not terribly unusual, but it is notable.

From the CAN: "Take a Hike! Trail Friendly CAN".

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN. I subsequently employed an inverted Glug, resulting in a finger-and-a-half of dense, rocky tawny head with good retention. Color was a coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both sweet and spicy, like malt coupled with pepper. Interesting. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was bittersweet, a pleasant marriage of malt and hops. Some great lacing began to appear as I drank through it. Finish was tending towards bitter, so I am going to call it dry or semi-dry. Either way, it should give you some idea of what to expect. Not bad, and I am curious as to why they are characterizing it as an "Amber" on the CAN.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with a "bottled on date", on the label, of 6 weeks ago, nice FRESH beer! Pours a light almond amber, minimal head and not much lacing. Nutty, bready nose. Malt, malt and more malt characterizes this tasty quaffer from Vermont. Nutty and mildly roasted the sweetness of this brew is nicely rounded and full. Lightly hopped, it does finish with a snappy dryness and a slight chalkyness. Drinkable and refreshing. A classic Vermont staple brew.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear deep copper color with a decent sized fluffy white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells of sweet bready malt, toffee, hints of apricot and tangerine and a light herbal earthy hop aroma. Taste is sweet malts up front immediately followed by an earthy hop bite. Sweet toffee and a hint of butter contrasted with apricot, spice, pepper and a light fruitiness. Medium body with a dry finish, moderate to high level of carbonation with a sweet almost syrupy bubbly mouthfeel. This used to be the beer I drank when I went skiing 15 years ago, but I haven't had it in years. Sometimes when you try to go back it only serves to disappoint. Decent enough drinker, but really nothing special.

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Long Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.