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Long Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co.

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Long Trail AleLong Trail Ale

Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Vermont, United States | website

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 405 | Ratings: 1,271
Photo of fx20736
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6 pack from Wegmans Hylan Dr for $ 8.49 on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint served chilled.

appearance: medium-dark amber with a 2 finger craggy offwhite head that leaves plenty of lacing.

smell:spicy, faintly minty, herbal hops dominate the nose.

taste: toasted malt with a kiss of caramel, followed by a juicy, earthy hoppiness and a dry, mildly bitter finish.

mouthfeel: decent but not memorable.

overall: a tasty, interesting, beguiling beer. I'm an instant fan.

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Photo of Christopher22
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I am not as highly versed when it comes to different tastes as of yet, still have to improve my skills, but as far as LT goes it's my first foray into the altbier style.

Been drinking it for about 12 years now. It always seemed to have this different taste which I have come to love in that old friend kind of way. This is always my go to as far as a simple everyday beer goes. Seems to pair up with just about everything from burgers to a nice pulled pork.

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Photo of Theheroguy
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Long Trail Ale

Colorwise this could be seen as either light amber or dark pale ale. It reminds me of an English bitter. It has a firm malt base with a subtle citrus hop character. I can taste some sort of caramel malt/crystal malt character that is very nice. The sweetness is just right. I think far too many beers that have a hop presence as subtle as this one end up being too sweet. It is very easy drinking, unsurprisingly the label says this beer is cold conditioned and styled like a Altbier. The hops are noticeable missing from the aroma. I'm gonna go ahead and say this is hopped with northern brewer.... turn out I was correct! Although I missed out on willamette and mount hood I can't decide if its english or german though.

Smell 3.0 Taste 3.75 Mouthfeel 4.0 overall 3.75 look 4.25

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Photo of illpass78
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber with a one-inch yellowish head. Color is a little on the light side for the style. It's a good looking beer, though. Leaves considerable lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Smells very faint. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the nose. I don't think anyone drinks LTA for the smell, because there almost isn't one.

Taste: Smooth, refreshing and crisp. Some light caramel notes and some pleasant toastiness. It's a very easy-drinking ale. The flavor of Long Trail is a pretty excellent way to wean folks from BMC to more crafty styles. It's inoffensive and not overly bitter, but it's also flavorful enough that you know you aren't drinking macro crud.

Mouthfeel: Long Trail is very easy on the palate. That along with the minimal bitterness and inviting flavor make it pretty easy to see someone running through a couple of these in a session, if they're so inclined.

Overall: I find it really easy to believe that this would be someone's "favorite" beer. It's easy to like and a great starting point into more experimental and craftier beers, as I noted above. It's also handy because it pairs with almost any meal. I had one with some BBQ seitan, baked beans and broccoli and it really tied the meal together. Thumbs up.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Slipknot pint glass that my mother bought for me almost ten years ago. Ah, it's good to be back home. Bottleneck says 092513.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam.

S- Bready, semi-toasty malt graininess. Crisp with trace amounts of hops.

T- Toasty malt along with some light hop bitterness. The malt has a sweetness that I liken to certain Belgian beers.

M- Kind of watery and lame with medium-low carbonation and a medium body.

O- It's been a while since I've had this and it still holds up as an easy drinking yet flavorful session ale. Nothing special, but it's different from your average amber ale or lager.

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Photo of Omnium
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can > Pint Glass

A - Clear amber with two fingers of fluffy off whtie head, scattered groups of lacing.
S - Sweet caramel, a little grainy, some apple juice.
T - Caramel malt, a little peppery/rye kinda spice to it underneath, some sweet apple.
M - Ok, goes down smooth, a little tingle from the carbonation.
O - I guess its ok for the style, I'd much rather have double bag though.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice oft-burnt orange color with a thin, but full head. Scents of pears, apricots, and caramel rush to the nose. Malty, musty, grainy on the first sip. A touch of tangy fruity caramel flows throughout the palate. Mouthfeel is medium. Washes down clean with a slight twinge of hops. Very refreshing and an excellent session beer. Easy drinking. Almost like a lighter version of an octoberfest. Crisp and smooth. Very well crafted.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the fourth of the fall harvest sampler pack and it makes quite a cap for the four beers. I poured this with no head and no lace to speak of. Light brown and no carbonation. Not much of a nose. Maybe a bit of wine and grain, but not much else.

Mouth was bitter on the edges at the beginning, mellowing to a creamy swallow with a nice aftertaste of toasty grain.

Well, Altbier. Can't say I've had a lot of them, I'm sure I've reviewed a few. This one was, well, a taste treat. Light licorice, with a touch of alcohol but the bready toasty complex wine like tastes. Complex with nothing that hit a bad note.

Yeah, this was good. I'd get a sixer.

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Photo of Act25
3.37/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into stemless wine glass to start off TGIF.

A: Mostly clear mahogany with with amber. Head is cream colored and leaves a bit of lace. Looks & pours like an ALT.

S: The nose is aromatic after it warms, a little stiff at first. Not that compelling. toasted grain dominates with a bit of woodsy hoppiness. Back of the pack.

T: Well-toasted grain is dominant. Woodsy again comes to mind. No fruit, a bit of grass. The finish is bitter, but again woody and not that clean, makes me want a palate changer.

F: OK, a bit thin, feels mass produced. Better than a Newcastle, not nearly as good as a Sams.

Long Trail Ale is an OK American altbier. Good starter craft, good reliable. I'd take a Sams over it. Not great for a flagship. Good with burgers and Burlington fare.

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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 Roguer
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Very pleasing coppery red color. About a finger and a half of head. Solid, nice lacing. I didn't note significant carbonation. Pretty clear for the color.

S - A note of banana, some mild wheat and hops.

T - Banana on the tip of the tongue, again with the mild hops, a bit of a malty profile (but milder than a traditional red ale). Some wheat (less dry than rye, but similar) in the profile. Not bad. Mostly unremarkable, but not bad. Reminds me of Boston Lager, in that it's a slightly more complex drink with a lager's sensibility.

M - Exactly middling. Not bad, but not particularly good. A little thin, the barest hint of oil, no adverse feel from carbonation or alcohol. A little dry in the finish.

O - This is an ale that is cold fermented (lagered), and it drinks like it. This is about as perfectly as I can sum up a standard, basic ale, that isn't bad (and is quite drinkable), but is otherwise unremarkable. It doesn't stand out to me in any way, other than the slightly out of place banana aroma and flavor. I absolutely wouldn't mind having one or two of these, but I won't go out of my way for it, or purchase it over a good lager or a better ale.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Somewhere between honey and amber. A half inch of creamy white head. Some lacing on the glass. A continuous stream of tiny carbonation. Very clear and clean

Aroma: Burnt caramel and breadiness. Not much else. Sweet and malty

Taste: Follows the nose. Hop pressence is minimal to say the least. Nonexistent might be more accurate. There is a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste that I would associate with mass produced lagers. One dimensional and possibly a little skunky. Not crazy about this one

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and clean feeling. Watery and moderately light bodied

Overall: Looks and feels very clean but the smell and flavor leave a lot to be desired. Get their double bag instead if you have to choose. I wouldn't get this again. Not gross but not very good

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Photo of BTVflatlander
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served from an admittedly aged bottle into a NEBCO pint glass.

A: Clear, crisp amber. Not much else.

S: Malty caramel.

T: Slightly bitter, malt-heavy. Not a great deal of hop presence.

M: Pleasantly carbonated, not overly syrupy.

O: Long Trail's flagship ale is admittedly only slightly above average. That said, as far as flagship ales for breweries like Long Trail go, Long Trail Ale is ahead of the pack if only in that it is unique. Rather than being a simple APA or IPA, Long Trail opted for a lesser-known, German altbier and, in Long Trail Ale, they have accomplished what they presumably intended--taking over the Vermont beer market, that is. I would never turn down a Long Trail Ale, even if I have been drinking less and less of it as time progresses.

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Photo of Segelstrom
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice clear pour into a tumbler with little head retension. looks filtered.

S = not much smell

T - one of the beers best attributes. A nice mild hoppy flavor but not overbearing

M -OK, not overly carbonated

O - good to try but not for a steady diet

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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 JohnFatAss
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty copper colored beer.
The flavor is a little weak, but nothing bad, just not very flavorful
Exttremely easy to drink thanks to the 4.6% ABV.
Went great with the grilled pork chops I had for dinner.
Even though it lacks in the flavor dept. this beer is so enjoyable and so easy to drink, I have give it an overall of 4.5.

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Photo of greybeardloon
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date is smudged, but I can make out a 12 at the end. Based on how this came to me, it may not be the freshest.

A: Clear amber, little retention or lacing.

S: Mild spicy hops and some slightly sweet breadiness.

T: herbal and spicy hops against light caramel breadiness. Yeast comes through midway, and the hops pick up again and linger on the finish. The flavor initially seems thin, but it builds up as the cup empties. Nicely balanced.

M: Medium yet somehow creamy.

O: Very drinkable, especially at the sub-five abv.

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Photo of 57md
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear light copper with a thin layer of head that leaves a hint of lacing in its aftermath. The nose is unsurprisingly malty and bready. There is a hint of maltiness upfront. The body appears light at first, but a healthier body becomes apparent on the finish. The finish is also slightly dry.

This is a good beer - very sessionable - but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Kooz
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drinking this bottle on a bad night. Let's see what we have in store...

Pours to an orange/tan color with a slight, sticky head that leaves a nice lacing around the glass.

Smells of hops and some caramel or honey. Very nice!

Too bitter. There's some flavor there, but really the burnt bitterness of the hops is overpowering. I am not a fan of how this tastes.

Good mouthfeel for a Long Trail brew. Full bodied with a nice foamy-creaminess.

I wish the beer tasted better. I like everything about it but the flavor. It's one very basic, bitter note. I have to give this a sub par rating considering.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper colored, thin head that quickly dissipated. A nice, strong malty smell to it. The sweet malt is the first flavor, then mild bitter, grapefruit and a solid bitter ending. A kind of up and down taste profile but it works well together. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Enjoyable overall.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a copperish amber color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Nice and malty up front with some caramel sweetness and earthy hops. Fairly straight-forward

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a nice malt presence and goes into some light sweetness and earthy hops. Slightly grainy. Finishes with some barley and more grainy notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice hybridized amber/altbier. Nicely balanced and easy to drink. Certainly one of those fly-under-the-radar brews

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

A clear orange amber with a thickish head and decent lacing. Smell is sweet with some yeast and a firm toasted grain core. A healthy breadiness that offers up a caramel sweetness with light toffee undertones. Taste is quite malty with a firm leafy bitterness, some earth and a light mineral edge. Dry finish leaves more leafy hops and toasted multigrain bread crust. Feel is smooth and velvety in its carbonation. A great session ale and highly drinkable with an ability to go with just about any food you may throw at it. A solid brew

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Clear orange/brown. Effervescent. Pillowy cream-colored head has great retention. Lots of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

S: Caramel and bread, floral and earthy hops, earthy but clean smelling yeast character.

T: Earthiness, hints of bread and caramel, slight grain. Sharp stab of hop bitterness mid-palate. Floral hop taste. Finish of grain and caramel.

M: Robust medium body. Full and chewy. Seltzery carbonation adds a crisp, refreshing bite. Very satisfying.

O: This is a very under-appreciated beer. It's actually quite impressive what Long Trail has been able to accomplish with it. They've made a relatively obscure beer style into their flagship offering and turned it into the best selling beer in Vermont. Flavorful and full-bodied, but simple, approachable, and refreshing at the same time. Solid stuff, and a good quaff.

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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 curasowa
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, copper color with two fingers of fluffy head that settles to a ring with chunky lacing.

Aroma: A lot of sweet, caramel malt, with a touch of dish rag in the background. Earthy hop notes and a hint of sourness are in there too.

Taste: Some toasted caramel malt, but otherwise pretty thin upfront. Some resinous hop bitterness builds towards the finish with another splash of sweetness, but it's just kind of blah. The bitterness lingers on into a otherwise fast finish.

The Rest: This is one of those beers that's Ok if you drink it fast, but if you really taste it, it isn't so good.

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Long Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.