Long Haul Session Ale | Two Brothers Brewing Company

Long Haul Session AleLong Haul Session Ale
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 217

#63 ranked English Bitter | 4.2% ABV

Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
twobrothersbrewing.com

Notes: Year-round availibility. "Ale aged a minimum of 4 weeks in French Oak Foudres."
BA SCORE
81
Very Good
Long Haul Session AleLong Haul Session Ale
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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 217
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rusty pumpkin orange with bright tangerine edges and crystal clarity. Almost two fingers of golden beige fluffiness was produced on the pour. The foam looks good as it melts, as does a loopy necklace of delicate lace.

The aroma is primarily toasted malty with a modest earthy-herbal hop presence. Hard to say about the oak. If blinded, I never would have given it a mention. Not a great lead-in to the flavor, but let's let the beer speak for itself in that regard.

Two Brothers Long Haul Session Ale would be better beer if it dispensed with the oak and contained more hops. Then again, the brewery needed to distinguish this offering from the other 'J Series' brew, Resistance IPA. I'm not saying that oak aging and session ale don't go together, just that this one could have been done better.

The malts are gently toasted and caramel-like, while the hops (27 IBUs when fresh) add a balancing bitterness and less than abundant hop flavor. Probably something English. The beer has an odd sour fruitiness and a background phenolic quality that isn't vocal enough to completely ruin the choir. Probably a less than tidy yeast strain. Or a wild one. Come to think of it, I'm reminded of Blonde Bombshell from Indigo Imp out of Cleveland.

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the ABV and the brewer's intent. It never descends into wateriness and the bubbles are neither too scarce nor too abundant. Slightly better than average sounds about right.

Although TBBC Long Haul Session Ale sounds good on paper, it falls a bit short when beer meets taste buds. It might be worth a brief jaunt (single bottle) if you're curious about an oak-aged English bitter from an American craft brewery, but it isn't worth a long haul (sixer) for this BA.

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Appearance: Fairly small head leaves decent lacing. Color is amber. Looks alright.

Smell: Malt, hops, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Quite complex for a beer this easy to drink, there are flavors of oak, vanilla, fruit, malt, and hops. The beer finishes dry. Nothing is stellar here at all, but it is flavorful.

Mouthfeel: As it's a self-proclaimed "session beer", the mouthfeel is naturally on the thin side. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: While it's not something I'll necessarily seek out, I respect it for what it is: a truly sessionable beer that manages to offer considerable flavor and some degree of complexity. Not everything works perfectly, but it's better than about 90% of beers in its ABV range and that are as thin, and that's saying something.

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Long Haul Session Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 217 ratings