Long Haul Session Ale | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Long Haul Session AleLong Haul Session Ale
Long Haul Session AleLong Haul Session Ale

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Ale aged a minimum of 4 weeks in French Oak Foudres."

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 217
Photo of beerwolf77
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to blackearth for sharing this one.

Poured from a bottle into my glass.

A: scotch hued golden brown, tiny bit of light beige head, no lace

S: first thing that come to me is pickles, the french oak slowly rises out of the pickles giving of an alomost briny scent, sweet caramel malt with a hint of wet wood

T: rather malt forward, bread crusts with hints of spiced rye, mild sweet caramel in the dry finish

M: thin lightly carbonated body,

D: Overall a strange yet sessionable brew. All the flavors work to make this drinkable.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy coppery/scarlet red body. Thin beige head recedes to nothing quickly and the light rimming left behind leaves sparse lace. Aroma is toffee malts blended with nougat and oak tones. Base flavor is toffee/nougat malt base. Crispy and dry hop presence. Light oak notes. Everything is very even keeled and easy going. Decent enough.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at the brewpub as part of the tour as recommended highly by the tour guide...A light copper color with some ok retention...The aroma is super weird, malty caramel with spices, french fries, only a slight bit of oak...Taste is mostly malt a little oak, just boring. I'm senxing a trend here in their beers, light oak, not where would should be and boring.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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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Photo of KarlHungus
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy amber color. The head is an inch and a half in height, and recedes very slowly into nice sticky lacing all the way down the glass. This is a nice looking beer. The aroma is of toffee, vanilla, caramel, a hint of cherry, and toast. This isn't the strongest aroma, but it has very good complexity. The taste is similar to the aroma, and full of wonderful subtleties. The finish is of lingering vanilla and very mild cherry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will surely drink again.

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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light sour touch and a light caramel.

The taste consisted of a grainy crystal malt and a moderate sourness. Toasted malt at the finish.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a decent ale.

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Photo of morimech
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by date of 10/21/2010.

Pours a dark amber with a small head that did not last very long. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. In the aroma I pick up some diacetyl and a little acidity. A little vanilla comes out as well. I do not detect any hops which is unfortunate. I taste a lot of malt that gives this beer a bready nature. The diacetyl comes out again. Not a deal breaker in this style. Very balanced between the malt and hops. Hard to conclude that this beer has had any "special aging". I would place this beer more into the ESB style as it is more balanced than a Bitter. Light body with very low carbonation. Could of used a little more life in the body. About the only great thing about this beer is its low ABV which would make this sessionable. Just not that well crafted to want to buy this again though.

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Photo of Erish
2.67/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: medium brownish-amber, some haziness, a one finger head that vanishes quickly into a thin cap, lacing is adequate.

S: toasted grains, yeast funk, caramel sweetness, earthiness.

T: lots of yeasty funk, earthiness throughout, the oak comes across more woodsy than vanilla, toasted-burnt caramel sweetness, band aids, the middle pops with medicinal hops, there is flash of soy sauce, the finish starts metallic, then goes earthy, and a tart sweetness hangs with just a twinge of hop bitterness.

M: watery, adequately carbonated, there is a slight oiliness in the finish.

D: for as many flavors as I was able to pluck from this beer, I can't say I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first single purchased from the single's rack I just set up for my liquor store. A steal at $1.69 too.

A: Hazy light brown with a two and a half finger just off white head with some nice rolling texture on top. The haze is actually pretty slight, and when held up to light, the beer borders on amber golden. Lots of active carbonation. This looks pretty pretty to me. The head lacks dexterity and lacing though.

S: I was surprised at how the hops filled the air when I first opened this guy. They subside, though remain in a pleasant floral aroma, and a caramelized vanilla-y bread like aroma hangs over the pint. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon? I guess this might be a little too "sharp" though really it isn't sharp at all.

T: MMM. So flavorful for such a low alcohol brew, and yet so light. A lot of similar tastes as there are smells, though not much floral hops going on here. A mild oaky taste comes though, not oak like in a big RIS, more like what I imagine drinking from a fresh cut oak chalice would taste like...in a good way. But again, a little more bitter than I want in what I think of as more of a mild, though on this hot day, it's great.

M: Nice and sharp with a good carbonation.

D: Amazing. I can't believe this is only 4.2% abv. This is what craft brewers should be making to compete with BMC

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: hazy deep copper/amber. nice billowing thick chunky head.
S: aroma is big for a lower abv beer. nutty caramel and toffee dominate with some earthy, resiny hops and some hint of oak/wood.
T: caramel and toffee again, hops bring balance. oak/wood notes give both smoothness and a woody astringency (generally not my thing and certainly not for a session beer). finish is almost fully dry and long for a lower abv beer. strangely, this drinks like a small version of a barrel aged strong ale. not necessarily what i'm looking for in a session beer.
M: smooth, supple, a bit oily. seems much fuller-bodied that the abv would indicate. again, not necessarily what i'm looking for in a session beer. lacks a crispness (probably mostly from the oak aging) that i prefer in a session beer.
D: i like that they made a lower abv session beer. i like that they tried something different with the oak/barrel aging. i just didn't like the result too much.

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

This beer pours out a pretty golden copper with lots of cascading and plenty of activity. A white head sits for a time at around 2 fingers before dissipating, leaving a ring of lacing at the top of the glass and a few thin but sticky patches on the way down.
The aroma is moderate, not exactly faint but not particularly strong. There's a balance of caramel malts and floral hops with earthy and citrus notes and a certain herbal/mineral undertone as well.
I get more from the malts here, with plenty of a toasted biscuit and breads flavor from malts along with a light caramel sweetness giving way to a floral hops backbone. There's a very prominent green apple tartness to it as well, and right up front and lingering all the way through is a tangy flavor on the back of the tongue. The finish is tart and dry and lingers well, finishing with a mixture of hops bitterness and herbal tea leaf.
The body is on the light side of medium, plenty creamy with just a nip of crispness.
There's not much unsessionable about this one.

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Photo of blackearth
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Binny's Beverage Depot in Warrenville, IL. Pours a medium amber body with a thin white head. Aroma is of peach and fleshy fruit and lemon grass. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. The initial fleshy fruit flavors lead to a more caramelly and dusty finish. Very unique flavors. Good drinkability.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a traditional pint glass
Amber/brown in color, with a moderate head of foam
Aroma-Sweet malt
Taste-Sweet malt, counterbalanced with an oakey tartness and subtle smokiness
An interesting and flavorful beer for the relatively low ABV. Nicely balanced and certainly sessionable.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle best before some time in august drank from a standard american pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a finger of quickly fading off white head. small spots of lacing are left behind. lots of visible carbonation.

S- theres a faint nose on this one. a little bit of toasted bread like malts up front. a little bit of caramel adds a mild sweetness. the oak aging is unnoticeable.

T- the taste is equally mild. faint toasted bread and caramel malts up first. still cant find any evidence of being in the oak tanks.

M- light bodied and well carbonated. a nice dry finish to this one.

D- easy to put back a couple, and with the low ABV it wouldnt be a bad idea. the biggest drawback is the price tag, at 10$ for 6.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass) best before 8/13/10
A- This beer has a crystal clear brown body with a slight red hue and a light tan head that fades to lumpy clouds quickly. There is a strong carbonation of big bubbles.
S- This beer has a soft dry toasted note with a pungent hop hint in the finish.
T- The soft toasted malt note has a cardboard quality followed by a pungent green finish that is more bitter that flavor hops. There is a woody note that is soft but grows a bit as the beer warms. The hop finish is of Noble quality and a dandelion bitterness that stains the tongue after each sip.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizzy finish that cleans the flavors except for the hop bitterness.
D- Malt flavor is a bit old or dull tasting but it is quickly overtaken by pure pungent hops. This doesn't really taste like a session beer as the hops out of bounds compared to malt and other flavors.

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

On-tap at the Two Brothers Tap House. Served in a shaker pint glass.

A: Deep copper with a slight chill haze and a small soapy cap. Head retention is fair and a bit of lace is left behind.

S: Caramel and biscuits, plus a bit of black tea.

T: Mild and balanced. Toasted bread flavors make up the bulk of the experience. Bitterness is very mild, but has just enough pop to create nice balance. It brings a light earthiness to the table. Finishes rather clean.

M: The light body is slightly dry and has about the right level of fizz.

D: This is a well named beer, as it is a very easy beer to session with.

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Photo of samie85
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally consumed 4/30/10.

A-Pours a coppery red with a white, one finger head.

S-Toasty, bready, and chocolatey malt notes with some oak and earthy hop notes.

T-Light chocolate malt upfront with clean, earthy hops and some more oak and finishes with a light bitterness.

M-Light bodied with low to medium carbonation. It has an enjoyable slick feeling to it.

D-This was one really nice, easy drinking beer. I went into this one blind figuring that it would be something sessionable (duh), but besides that I didn't know what to expect. The chocolate malt notes pushed this beer over the top for me in terms of grabbing my interest.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: appears a brilliant clear copper with hues of red, creamy white 1 finger head, little lacing

S: the aroma is quite muted, not picking up much more than some sweet malts and a touch of caramel. Maybe a hint of hops at the end, but not very noticeable. Not picking up any oak.

T: well there is more flavor than the nose suggests, but not much. Some sweet malts up front with notes of caramel and bread, the oak is there but incredibly subtle and takes a backseat. This brew is refreshing and easy to drink, but there isn't a whole lot of flavor

MF: high carbonation, slightly sharp, very light bodied

D: this beer is intriguing in concept (oak aged session ale), but it falls short due to its lack of flavor. It is a decent session beer as it is easy drinking and low in alcohol, but nothing here stands out.

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Photo of champ103
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper/reddish color. At first a two finger white and bubbly head forms, and recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Some lace clings to the side of the glass.
S: Musky, grainy malt, and mineral aroma. Just kind of blah and nondescript.
T: Much better. Toasted grain, bread and biscuit. Sweet caramel malt. Very subtle, but enjoyable.
M/D: A lighter body with medium carbonation. Crisp and smooth. Easy to drink. I can put a few away without a problem.

A good choice for a no frills session. There is not a lot going on, but it is still very enjoyable. Recommended.

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

Poured a very clean copper color with a thick and fluffy white head, good lacing, long retention.

Had a very light and minerally nose.

The flavor is light and very malt dominated with a toated grain taste and a very mild bit of citrus hops in the finish. A bit of a musty yeast flavor is also noticeable.

The mouthfeel is light with a good bit of carbonation.

Easy drinking, fits the name, its clearly a low alcohol session style ale, not bad.

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Photo of jbrown1
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Long Haul Session Ale delivers precisely as advertised. This is a nice mellow brown ale with a little bit of that oak finish. Its got a light alcohol content and indeed a long haul session beer.

This poured a rich brown, with a nice head and plenty of lacing. This is malt and barley, and the barrel aging only adds a bit of finishing rather than taking center stage. This is a very tasty beer considering how light it really is.

This pared real well with a cheddar burger. This beer won't be one of the bold and brawny standouts, but that isn't what its designed to do, so don't be put off by its rating.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a thick fluffy head.

Aroma is minerally caramel malt and a mild earthy, yeasty character.

Taste is grainy malt, a bit of citrus, and an odd metallic sourness. Finishes nutty, with some light earthy hop.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

Overall...drinkable, but not memorable. Could do without the metallic quality.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown look, clear, with a decent head, looks like a american brown ale, but with more heft.

Deep malt nose, nothing stands out, but solid. Roasty, with notes of bread and earthiness, some notes of wood.

Taste is very deep for the abv, with a solid backbone and a nice balanced finish. Nothing great, but good complex tastes between the malt, some hops, and the French Oak. I can see this as a session beer to keep around, rivals their Domain Dupage which I like as well. Nice keeper for the abv.

Medium heft in the mouth, lightly carbonated, just a decent drinker for the seasons between summer and winter. Very drinkable, one to keep around as a regular. A very decent Bitter from this side of the pond.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been knocking these out at an insane pace for a time now and thought it might be time to get moving on reviewing this beer finally.

12oz bottle goes into the New Belgium tulip.

A: Pretty beer, great color. A dark and clear maple wood brown, like this beer looks like it took its inspiration from a fancy, big city lawyer's desk. Head fades into a quarter inch cap in a minute or two. Leaves behind lots of sandy white lace.

S: Very doughy and rich, I believe the barrel aging lends some of this character to this beer. Lots of dough, light caramel, but big on sweet, doughy breadiness, maybe a little bit of a vanilla/nutty barrel character, but sweetness leads the aroma followed a little way behind by a light and crisp apple.

T/MF: This bottle is a bit different than I remember it from the tap and in past bottles, little bit of a washed out/slight watery flavor mixed in the with what is described in the aroma. A few more sips and I am getting more out of this beer. The barrel character comes out a bit more, slightly woody and a bit of vanilla/caramel sweetness. The driving force behind this beer however is that big (for a beer this size) sweet, doughy hammer. The feel reveals a bit more than the taste does in that it leaves a slight dryness behind on the tongue. From beginning to end though it is solid. Full feeling upfront and all the way to the finish. Carbonation is light and feels cask-like, pretty good all around.

D: An interesting beer to end up in a barrel considering the hyped up beers being put in them today, but I really like what the barrel has done to this beer and think that subsequent versions of this beer could get even better. There are some weaker points to this beer where it seems things tend to wash together midway though the drinking session, but otherwise this beer adds up to a fine session beer.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Best By 8/13/10

A: Pours a crystal clear, tarnished copper color. One finger of off white foam sat on top for about a minute before melting down to a whisp of a skim and thin ring. No lace was left behind.

S: Hard to get much of a nose out of this. Toasted malt, caramel, red apple, and a touch of honey.

T: Exactly as above.

M: Pleasantly dry and bitter.

D: A decent session bitter that comes off as uncluttered, unfussy, and well, uninspiring. I'll revisit this as the weather gets warmer.

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Long Haul Session Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 217 ratings