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Hit The Trail Ale - Long Trail Brewing Co.

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Hit The Trail Ale
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BA SCORE
82
good

91 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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Reviews: 91
Hads: 199
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 9
Gots: 5 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 199
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
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. (355 characters)

Photo of oberon
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,564 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, caramelized malts, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste is sweet with flavors of honey and caramel up front. The malt character is hearty but not as much as most beers in the style. There’s a mild hops presence that provides a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style. The first time I tried this beer at a tasting along with the regular Long Trail Ale, I wasn’t very thrilled with either of them. Since then, I’ve grown a liking for most of Long Trail’s beers and although this beer tastes better now than when I first tried it, I’m still not liking it too much. (959 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker amber with basically no head. Nose is woody with a touch of caramel and just a touch of dust. Flavor is a bit woody with sweet tones. Robust and thick with flavor. Off the flavor alone I would say this is worth trying. Feel is nice on the liquid and good with the carbonation too. Extremely drinkable. Off the flavor alone, worth going for. This on-tap might be interesting. On cask...who knows. (410 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is fruity from the yeast and sweet smelling from the use of several specialty malts. The taste is refreshing. It has a slight brown sugar feel to it. It's a refreshing ale that is light yet retains a malty character. The mouthfeel is good. It is a light/medium bodied ale with good carbonation. This is a fine ale to break out for the part-time beer lover. (440 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another of tone77's many bottles for me to try and I guess that I should be thankful that none of them have been of a killer ABV. Still in all, I will be glad to get back to The CANQuest (TM) where I really belong.

From the bottle: "Take a hike!"; "A very smooth English-style brown ale"; "Our Northern English-style brown ale features three malted barleys blended to produce a light-brown brew with a smooth, sweet finish. Smooth brown, smooth down. Enjoy!"

The heat and humidity of the day may be affecting these beers as well as me. I got a massive two-plus fingers of thick, deep-tan head almost instantly, requiring that I back off of the pour. It all finally settled into mere wisps, but I do not fault the brewers, and instead the broiling temperatures. Color was a deep reddish-brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a nuttiness to it, not a bad thing in a brown ale. Mouthfeel was medium and man, was this a nutty flavor on the tongue! Squirrels would die for something like this. As a self-avowed hophead, not so much. Still, it was appropriate for the style and it sure beat drinking a sugary malt bomb. Finish was semi-dry and while I may not want more than one, it was certainly not a bad beer. (1,210 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Super crystal clear orange and light brown in color. Thick 2" head with big fluffy bubbles. Some spotty lacing develops. The aroma is extremely mild, as only some soft caramel is discernable. The flavor is mild caramel, bread, light bitterness, and hints of butter.

Mouthfeel is slighty towards the watery side, and lightly crisp at the start and finish. Drinkability is OK, but this is a little weak and dull on the tastebuds. If you want a very mellow brew for a session, this is one to get. (497 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a ruby-brown coloring, both vibrant and clear, with only a slight ring of film on the surface. Subtle, slightly watery nose, with hints of toffee rich and sweet, as well as some warming spices of nutmeg and all-spice. Flavors are light, as well, with a rich, roasty quality supporting sweet nut and subtle toffee characteristics. Very smooth and rich, but the lighter body keeps the palate manageable. Smooth, rich aftertaste that is light and sweet, with a crisp, clean finish. (532 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with hardly any head and no lace, light carbonation. Light crystal clear, copper color, malty and medium bodied with a hint of brown sugar in the aroma. Smooth (no roughness found) slightly sweet flavor and just a hint of hops. The best so far from Long Trail. (266 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (605 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking clear auburn. Slight beige head recedes to a collar in seconds. The lacing is pretty nice. Nice yeastiness on the nose mixed with brown sugar and toffee malt characteristics. Very nice. This beer has almost a full body and a nice little silky smooth mouthfeel. The flavors blend together nicely. Caramel and chocolate. Dates and yeasiness. Dry hoppiness and toasted maltiness. Very nicely down. Good solid brown ale. I like this brewery. (450 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great surprise to find this on tap in the hospitality lounge of the Sierra Suites Hotel in East Fishkill, NY this week! Had a couple and was hard to leave for dinner that evening. This had a fairly light, cider-like look. A little cloudy but I didn't notice much of anything sizable floating about. A fair head that held pretty well. The aroma has a light hops and slight citrus tone to it. I tasted a bit of lemon in this and a mild hop, fairly light with fine carbonation. This is very drinkable but tastey. Went well with our salsa snacks as well. Very clean stuff for something that's not filtered! Another hit for Long Trail. (637 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I like some of their other beers better than this....great looking bottle though
Pours an impressively clear amber color...whisp of a head but not much...

Nose is soft..some maltiness along with some fruitiness...body is pretty light..I don't care for the waythis feels in the mouth...too light...Not a full flavored beer, but it is nice in a subtle way..some nice toasted flavors...they are unobtrusive but nice...also some fruitiness (sweet apples)...not a real strong tasting beer..

Finishes slightly dry...

Decent brown but I prefer a sweeter, more chocolatey flavor...

I wouldn't buy this one again, but it is well made and if you like this type of brown go for it.. (684 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Color is a dirty cloud of brownish orange hue with a one finger high head of thinnish bone white froth that fades to a fine skim always present and leaves whispy strings and sheets of lace. Smell is a barely there slight sweet malt, a bit musty, nearly undetectable. Taste is a bit empty in front of very thin malts and goes no where until some uneven hoppy bitterness thats a tad harsh hits towards the end. Its not watery, it just doesn't offer much flavor really. Feel isn't bad actually, seems to favor a close mediumness, the only thing is its short lived. A very plain and ordinary tastin' beer IMO.

Still gotta give thanks to mickeys01 for the bottle. (661 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (274 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a beautiful brown color that’s tinted with an amber-bronze tone. The head is a little shallow and unremarkable, but the appearance of the liquid is truly enticing. The smell of this beer grows on you as you work though the glass…toasted malt and grains come out in waves. There’s just a little hops, and a nut and bread-crust character that’s terrific. Caramel as well. It’s a fairly dry beer, with a nice balancing bitterness. There’s bit of metallic taste. The body is a little light, borderline watery. All in all, though, it’s a very enjoyable and drinkable brew. (590 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a medium amber color with moderrate white head that fell to a thin coating. Left very nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is toasty, carmelly, with some fruitiness also present. Taste is strong on malt with some more caramel showing through. Finished sweet and fruity. A good , easy to dring beer. Good example of an English Brown Ale. (350 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (332 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is now available in six packs. It's very drinkable, and very well balanced.

It pours a nice dark amber color with a foamy off white head sitting on top. A faint malty aroma with a hint of hops greets you before each sip. The beer is medium bodied, creamy and mainly has flavors of caramel. Some hops make an appearance towards the end of each sip. A mildly bitter-sweet aftertaste is all that is left behind. (421 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.12/5  rDev -40.8%
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 (684 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
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! (1,472 characters)

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Hit The Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.