Hit The Trail Ale - Long Trail Brewing Co.

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Hit The Trail Ale
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198 Ratings

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Ratings: 198
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 9
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co. visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 12-31-2002

Hit the Trail is a deep amber ale with a rich and smooth flavor. Malty undertones of vanilla and caramel are kept in check by the addition of Northern Brewer hops.

24 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 91
Reviews by Ego:
Photo of Ego
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(music: Richard Johston - Foothill Stomp)

this seems to be readily available in south jersey (I found this in long branch but have seen it in red bank also)

not much head, subsides quickly, it is a brown ale.. and guess what.. it's brown. clear and clean looking like most long trail stuff. waves breaking on the shore slowly lacing... very solid.

chocolate coffee (not espresso), some sweetness from all the malt, burnt choc notes as well, maybe not the most complex thing I have quaffed but damn, I really like it.

taste etc...
light but not watery, the carbonation keeps it afloat for you to taste the bitter/sweet balance in the lingering aftertaste. The burnt notes are not apparent in the taste at all except maybe a HINT in the aftertaste if you really concentrate on the back corners of the mouth. I swear I can taste the vermont water when I drink long trail... it has a refreshing flair as well which isnt always associated with a brown. This beer doesnt go over the top in any way. The balance is well appreciated and respected here. You get a hint of the hopier long trail signature in there but it is more like a reminder than a sledgehammer to the head.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat for regular hanging out. Sure, it isnt as challenging as belgians etc but it is a damn fine drinking brew with enough to satisfy the beer dork within you when you arent being hardcore writing down ratings etc. I would serve this with something hearty like beef stew or ribs, maybe even italian red fare like chicken parm or caccitore.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty average brown here in my humble opinion,pours more of an amber than brown color with a pretty light head aroma is lightly vinagery and kinda funky.Taste is pretty harsh when cold as it warms becomes more of the style lightly earthy and sweet but nothing spectacular.A prety average brown nothing really sticks out.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a dark brown beer with a medium head that lasted. A tiny bit of lacing. It had a roasted malt and slightly grainy aroma. The taste was sweet, raisin bread-like, with a little bit of hops coming in. A pleasant beer, kind of middle of the road for this style of beer.

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown long neck bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

Appearance: A decent head at the initial pouring but the subsides to a semi-sticky ring of lace afterwards. Nice clarity in the old bronze-brown hue.

Smell: A bit malty with hints of butterscotch, ripe fruit and toasted malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very smooth off of the moderate carbonation and creamy medium body. Lots of malt flavour going from sweet to toasted. An even crispness of hop bitterness rolls across the palate to level things off. Faint buttery diacetyl, light fruitiness and a continual toasted malt flavour linger in the end.

Notes: Chalk this one up as another great session beer, paired well with a lightly spicy blackened chicken and caramelized onions.

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

12 ouncer tried, with bottled on dating on the label. Clear almond flows out of the bottle, insipid white head, dissolving to nothing, no lacing to write about. Nose is fairly weak, just perhaps a wiff of doughness. Not getting a great amount of malt/hops/flavor/complexity here. Clearly a subtle, British style Brown ale. Not impressed, LT makes better stuff then this.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a nonic glass from a long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap. Sent to me from Sudsdog 4 out of 6 Long Trails.

Clear,ruby red with a 2" creamy off-white head,fair retention with spotty lacing. Not much carbination the head totaly dissapated by the finish.

A good,clean inviting very moderate. Very nutty and fruity,burnt toffee.some grainy smells,perfumy,a slighty vinous English aroma.

Very clean taste,very fruity and nutty with some light carmell notes and nice tartness. Finishes with a pleasing bittersweetness and crisp tartness.

Very smooth mouthfeel with a grainy feel from the tartness.Goes down extremely well. Could get some lower ratings from a slight watery feel. I thought it was a good English Brown really enjoyable and highly drinkable.

Photo of far333
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber/copper color with an appetizing frothy beige head. The head settles very slowly, and leaves nice lace on the glass. Smells of sweet malt, a bit of yeast, and mild hops. Flavor is semi-sweet malt, nice and roasty, a bit of caramel. Brown sugar aftertaste. Very warm flavor, with smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This is really nice, one of the best I've had from Long Trail. Got to get more of these.

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

Pours a dark orange/amber with a moderate off-white head. Decent lacing down the glass. Smells weakly of floral hops and earthy malts.

The taste is middle of the road on the malt scale. Slightly buttery and nutty, but without a whole lot of distinction. Finishes with a teeny bit of hops a slightly sweet. Carbonation is moderate.

A "safe" beer if that makes any sense. It's taste seems pretty cookie cutter. It does nothing to disuade you from drinking it, but it doesn't make you want to run out to the store to get it either.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.12/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Long Trail- Hit the Trail Ale

Appearance- cola brown with a huge frothy head. Slight lacing.
Smell- Opened the beer and stuck my nose to the bottle. Smelled light lemon and grass. Poured the beer into a glass and there was a faint, and I mean faint smell of roasted nut.
Taste- I swear there is no taste at all!! This was bottled on 10/12/05 so thats 3 months old. I can barely detect some malt and coffe/ nut flavor. I could be making it up in my head though.
Mouthfeel- water. water. water.

Overall- what is going on here?! No flavor! I wasn't expecting much from this beer and it delivered even less. There is NO taste!

-maybe my tastebuds are too conditioned to IPA's

Photo of jmz62565
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a darkish red brown with a medium tan head. There is alot of carbonation in this beer. The smell is average with some malt sweetness to it,but nothing outstanding. The taste is a creamy malt sweetness with alot of carbonation. This is an interesting beer. The m/f is light with the aftertaste being somewhat watery. This is a decent beer that I would try again and one of the better American Brown Ales.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Long Trail "Hit The Trail Ale"
12 oz. bottle

I wasn't particularly fond of the way that Long Trail used American hops in their Hibernator Scottish-style ale because they just don't quite fit. I didn't find that they worked within the overall balance of the beer. Inappropriate hops, however, are not the case here. They've used Northern Brewer and they work out just fine, regardless of where they were actually grown (I'm assuming Pacific northwest). Northern Brewer hops are, in fact, fairly traditional for an English-style brown ale. In this case they add a bit of leafiness, mint-iness, and subtle grassiness at a level that's just strong enough to stand out from the nutty, chocolatey, and lightly caramel-ish maltiness. One valid question might then be, "have they used too much hop flavor as the style really calls for the malt to dominate, followed by the yeast character as the second feature?", and I think the answer is yes. However, this IS an American beer, not an English beer; and I feel that simply mimicking another beer or style really serves no purpose. If I wanted a true English brown ale I could buy one, and therefore this beer is unique. It remains "English" in nature but with a twist. As long as it works, and I think it does, then we should just let style go. With that said, hedonistically, I think it's quite a nice beer, and it's quite enjoyable. It's well-made with a good appearance and a nice balance. Additionally, it's fairly accessible and fits in with a wide variety of situations despite its darker appearance. Worth trying.

Photo of beerluvr
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an off white head of foam. Clear, light auburn liquid. Nose of very light coffee, roasted malt and brown sugar makes for an appetizing aroma. Bittersweet roasted malt with bubbly carbonation, nice subdued flowery hop zing follows. The finish dances on the line between sweet and bitter/dry. Super session ale...I put away a sixer of this stuff while in NH with no problem whatsoever.

Photo of UncleFrank
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Long Trail's Brown ale says it’s an American on the web site but I'm nearly positive it says it’s a Northern on the bottle. It may be both as its not quite like Brooklyn or Pete's yet hoppier than a Newcastle.

The color is caramel brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is a nutty/bready malt dominance with little hop, if any. The taste is bitter at first with malt to follow, attempting to balance. Crystal grain sweetness blends nicely with toasted grain body. Perhaps a touch of Special B. There just aren’t enough grains to keep the hops from establishing themselves from start to finish. Maybe this is where the "American" comes in. The finish is clean for an ale and all flavors just go away.

I like this beer because I like hops, not as a brown ale but as a session beer. A six pack of this may be on hand for the next football Sunday. Cheers!

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

I was able to purchase a single of this, it usually must be purchased in a twelve pack. It poured a nice amber reddish color. It was pleasant enough, good hops, tastey malts. This is a good after activity session beer. I could picture myself drinking this in front of a campfire. I wonder how it goes with s'mores?

Photo of bditty187
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear, ruby-brown in hue with a bronzy highlight, what a beautiful color. The head developed poorly, at the apex it was a half finger in height but quickly dissipated to a thin cap. After a few moments the cap faded to a collar. There was no subsequent lacing. The nose has its charm, it does lack in potency a bit thus I can’t completely grasp the aromas. I do detect some toasty, caramel malts. I absolutely adore this in Brown Ales. But I do not welcome the buttery, butterscotch notes. Strange sweet, flowery, fruity notes too. Airy finish. The bouquet is fair, not inviting but not off-putting. I’m curious to take a sip even though I hardly know what to expect. I like my Brown Ales to taste like small porters. This one does not. So I will judge it accordingly. There is a wide butterscotch flavor that muddles the palate, IMO. This forces the toasty, caramel flavors to the background. Some sweetness is found at the back, towards the finish before a charred taste emerges. This odd combination lingers into the aftertaste. I can tolerate it but I don’t love it. Weak hop bitterness; any true flavors contributed are not discernible. Overall, the palate is good enough but it needs to be paired with some grilled foods or at least some sharp cheddar cheese. Medium/medium-light in body, low carbonation but the mouthfeel is still pleasant. I like this beer. It is okay. But one 12-ounce bottle was enough for me. Thanks for the sample UnionMade… and the glass!

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

Clear, pale brown in color. Some sediment. Minimal tan head. Looks thin and light in body.
Aroma of lightly roasted, chocolatey malt. Earthy hops and brown sugar round out the nose.

Taste shows the same lightly roasty, chocolatey malt. Solid earthy/floral hop balance for a brown ale.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery.
Solid drinkability.

Overall, a decent, light-bodied brown ale, but not one I'd search out.

Photo of Hagbard
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with nice ruby highlights. A small white head forms and a nice continual stream of carbonation winds up from the bottom of the glass. The aroma is sweet with malt and touches of brown sugar. To be honest, the aroma is the worst part of this beer, because I love the taste. This seems to be a theme for me with Long Trail beers, I wonder why? The first thing I taste is brown sugar. This firms up into a beautiful malt backbone that has definite caramel highlights. The aftertaste hits almost as hard as the beer itself with the same malt composition. Even though all the tastes I've described are "sweet" smells, the beer itself isn't very sweet at all. This is a great attribute, sweet beers tend to be off-putting to me. The tastes are there without the cloying sweetness. This beer really surprised me in a good way. I wasn't expecting much, but this is a really great session ale that goes down easily and is never offensive.

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been made available on tap for the Barley House Restaurant in Concord, N.H. U.S.A. under the moniker of "Black Ice Pond Ale." Sampled on January 15, 2011. The pour was a decent looking amber brown/red with about a half inch of light tan head that leaves a delicate silkiness on top. The aroma is of sweet malts, yeast, and light nuttiness. The mouthfeel was medium. There is a sharp bitterness in the overall flavor coupled with a slightly hopped ending. Quite nice.

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

This is a 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery one month ago. It is chilled and served in a Chimay goblet.

A: The ale is a deep ruby-brown color that accentuates the ruby when held to light. Again, there is no head whatsoever.

S: The ale has a deep nutty malt aroma.

T: The malts again provide a crisp nutty flavor that is robust. The nuttiness slowly fades into a strong biscuity flavor that is unimpeded by hops.

M: The ale's nut profile is a welcome change in pace, providing a chewy mouthfeel.

D: The ale is very drinkable, especially when bottled, with the nuts and caramel really standing out.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dirty brown color ale with a rather large head with average retention. Aroma of caramel malt with some sweetness. Taste is also dominated by some roasted malt with a nice lingering caramel-like sweetness. Body is just above average with some good carbonation. Better then most standard brown ale out there but nothing to write home about.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.73/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ba Review #135
Served On: 03/09/2012
Glassware: Pint Glass
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: 12/28/11

This was in the winter 2011 Survival Pack.

Look: The beer poured a clear deep copper color. The head was a thin white cap of spongy foam. Carbonation bubbles were slow but steady.

Smell: No much going on with the aroma. I noticed some English Ale qualities, like some cracker notes and earthy hops.

Taste: First was a rather bland malty note, then an interesting spice in the middle. Maybe like a faint nutmeg. The finish was a dry cracker note. Aftertaste was fairly clean.

Overall this beer was typical of other English styles I’ve had. Rather thin with a couple signature notes that seemed to stand out.

Photo of cooter
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong, strong smell and flavor of chocolate--specifically, milk chocolate with added sugar, like a candy bar. Also smells of crispness, slight hops, and evenhanded malts.

Tastes of that sugared milk chocolate. In fact, taste is just like the smell. Slight nuttiness, and the back end lacks some backbone--ie, some wateriness.

It looks beautiful, by the by, in that it laces amazingly and has solid smattering of foam: not a full covering, but a robust miniscus and a heavy dusting across the top. Fully off-white. Bubbles vary in size.

Very drinkable. Little aftertaste, and what does remain is a back-throated chocolaty, nutty, sugary enticement. Mouthfeel punches its carbonation quick, strong, and promptly exits stage left, leaving only pleasantries. The front is unassuming and calm.

For a beer, it's good. For an English brown, it's good (exemplifies quiet but smooth but tasty and pleasant characteristics). But it's not my preference when it comes to brown ales in general--I want more nutty, more complex chocolate, more of a transition of flavors (see my Ithaca Cascazilla review), and it needs just a little work on aftertaste and multidimensional flavor. How's that for a vague hippy review? Solid beer, excellent transition beer, beautiful artisanship, but needs depth. Hooray Beer!

Photo of wedge
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with a soft white head that is more of a thin cap. Nice webby lacing. Light sweet malty aroma - toasted caramel, nuts, and a hint of fruit. Smooth malt flavor with a gentle sweet finish. Clean, medium mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Not worth seeking out on its own, but worth a try overall if its made available to you.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Although they don't put out the most daring products, Long Trail still remains one of my favourite New England breweries, and thus I was happy to be able to sample ther new(ish) Hit the Trail Ale.

It pours a nice but simple amber colour with a fairly thin beige head that is somewhat sticky overall.

The smell is primarily earthy and malty with some sweet buttery notes and some roasted malt aromas as well.

The flavour is very much like the smell but a touch sweeter, especially at the finish. Malt flavour is apparent throughout, with maybe even a touch of chocolate. Earth notes are less apparent in the flavour than they are in the smell, as this is not a hearty brown ale by any means.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery at times, though overall this one is very smooth and a touch creamy. I can't say that I was thrilled with it, but was far from disappointed as well. It's basically a solid, above average session-type brew from LT, which is not so surprising. I'm not running back to this one anytime soon, but I'd be happy to drink it from time to time as well.

Photo of scooter231
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty golden amber color with a slight layer of light head. Smells and tastes quite dry for a brown ale. Slight bits of sweetness make their way through, but you're left with a lingering sort of metalic aftertaste, and aftersmell as well.

Feels kind of watery and a bit chewy all at once, as if it can't make up its mind which direction it wants to go in. Decently drinkable, but I can see the metalic qualities become increasingly annoying and unappetizing. Not a bad beer by far, but certainly not one of my favorites. If you're going for Long Trail, check out their other beers first.

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Hit The Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.