Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown AleTröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale is back on tap in our Tasting Room for a limited time. Originally released as “Nut Brown Ale,” Rugged Trail was eventually given a makeover and became one of our first year-round beers. Rugged Trail boasts a deep bronze hue, rocky head, and subtle hop aroma. Toasted Amber and Chocolate malts impart a rich nutty character and creamy texture, making Rugged Trail an obvious quaffing delight! 5.0% ABV and 33 IBU. 2014 Availability: draft and growler fills only.

Added by purplehops on 05-13-2002

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Ratings: 553 |  Reviews: 439
Photo of Foxman
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a clear and flashy ruby brown, mildly carbonated. A single finger of light brown head soon settles to continents of froth. Pips of lacing populate the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, toasted malt mingles with earthy hulled nuts. A slightly doughy yeast note lingers lightly. A mild hoppy bitterness drifts lazily.

Upon sipping, there comes a leathery glide of roasted malt, initially sweet but promptly cooked down. A fleeting glimpse of green wood gives way to a mild, rather indistinct bitterness. The finish arrived quickly and passes the same, leaving a dull malt and hops legacy. Overall, the flavor is fleeting and bordering on sparse, in spite of a decent effect.

Light bodied, it washes across the palate with a whoosh, leaving little behind, though not utterly deviod of presence.

There's a modicum of earthiness and nice flavor, but it's thin and rapid in nature, meaning a blink could cost you much of the experience. It's better than average, and it never offends, but it's like a shooting star, gone just as it registers. Still, it flows nicely, making it decently drinkable. It's by no means stellar, but it's good enough to not turn away.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red-tinged brown, with a finger of foamy beige head, decent retention, and some nice lacing. Smell is a light walnut scent with just a hint of chocolate. Taste is more of the same, a nice gentle nutty roasty, a slight hint of chocolate, on the sweet side but balanced with the slight bitterness of the roast. Medium bodied with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. This is a really great brown ale, a wonderfully balanced and easy drinking session beer, definitely one of the best examples of the style I've sampled.

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Photo of elsinore
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rugged Trail pours out a clear dark brown with light hints of red, and a finger or two of head that lingered a little longer than I expected it to.
(Bottle is not freshness dated as far as I can tell, but the case is. I forget the date, but I remember that it was well within the freshness range.)

Smell, as noted, is a fairly gentle blend of nuts and malts. The carbonation and mouthfeel I thought were average -- not bad, not out of the ordinary, just right to be drinkable.
Taste is great. First there's a mingling of nuts and chocolate, neither overpowering, just a nice mix ... then a small amount of hop bitterness sweeps through at the end for a clean finish.
Very, very easy to drink, and an excellent example of its style.

I bought this beer because I wanted a break from super-hopped ales and complicated big beers -- which are both good; I just wanted something different.
I wanted something on the lighter, more quaffable side, but with character -- no bland yellow beers.
This is just the perfect brew for that kind of change of pace.
If I had any friends in this God-forsaken town, I would invite them all over for a long night of telling lies, talking smack, and drinking Rugged Trail nut brown.

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Photo of KFaulkner
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle from six pack purchased in Hagerstown, MD. No date, 4.4% alcohol. Poured into a small pint glass.

Appearance: Color is a deep brown with a hint of redness. Head formed from pour, about 1/8 inch, and quickly disappated.

Aroma: Nutty smell that resembled it's color; not particularly hoppy or bitter.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated. Tingles a little at the back of the throat. Not particularly hoppy, like aroma, but well balanced.

Taste: The taste is slightly sweet, with hints of chocolate and (duh) nuts; very mild. No discernable aftertaste. Delicious.

Drinkability: The woman at the store I purchased from asked how I liked this style of Troegs, and I mentioned that I had not yet tried it. She explained that she particularly liked Nut Brown Ales and I suggested Hobgoblin. I thought this was even better; well balanced, tasty and as I would expect an English Nut Brown Ale to taste. Recommended from a great brewery (although I may be partial as a close resident to the brewery in Harrisburg; Hopback Ale is their masterpiece).

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy tawny color with a bit of head that retains well and leaves behind splashes of lacing

Smell: Nice aroma of malted milk chocolate and hazelnuts

Taste: Very malty milk chocolate and hazelnut flavors up front; by mid-palate, a bitter coffee element creeps in; after the swallow, the malt and nut flavors return with a flourish, but that coffee emerges again at the very end; a bit aqueous at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a healthy level of carbonation

Drinkability: Nothing overly complex here; just one of the most drinkable browns you will encounter

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last of the bottles Chelsea sent from this brewery.

Deep ruby-brown, severely clear, with tan head that's a combo of big loose bubbles and little tight ones.

Smell is airy, yeasty, and just touch spicy.

A bit spicy to begin with- and a bit thin in flavour otherwise, but it blossoms out into a fruity, mellow sweetness, with just a hint of hop at the end. Very nice.

Carbonation hits up front and intensifies, then boils off. Not much of it at all after that. Liquid is hearty, but not thick.

Not a 'big' or extreme beer, but just good and solid. I was very pleased with it, and would make a session of it any day. Very drinkable. Well done.

Be well

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Photo of IceAce
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle with hard to read inkjet coding on the bottle shoulder...second line is 0914...which disappoints me as April 1st, 2004 as a production or an expiration date is not good news.

Pours chestnut brown with very good clarity. An aggressive pour right down the center netted almost a full finger of creamy tan foam. Nose is mostly earthy and nutty with just a hint of yeast hiding behind the curtain.

Entry is seemingly devoid of carbonation and transmits a thin mouthfeel. Midtaste is where this beer begins to shine as roasted malts bring forth a porteresque chocolate flavor as well as deep roasted walnuts.

The finish seems British from the get go as a Euro-style hop bite kicks off a walnut / chocolate finishing fade.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came a dark cola brown with some reddish orange highlights and a thin creamy white head. Smelled of roasted caramel and molasses malt with a slight sour coffee. Smelled intimidating sweet. Tasted of very sweet burnt caramel with a pervasive sourness. Finished clean with a touch of dark chocolate. Mouth feel was medium bodied with little carbonation. I’m a big fan of sweeter beers, but this was a bit much for me.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with no drink by or freshness date. The first thing I noticed about the appearance is the massive amount of bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. The color is a reddish brown with a good amount of clarity. The head is very small and thin, and, dissipates quickly to a small amount on top. There is a decent amount of lacing around the glass, however.

The aroma starts out fruity and nutty with some sweet caramel. After a while, I detect a nice buttery aroma followed by a touch of alcohol. The taste is a nice blended malt flavor that is followed by a slight bitterness. I can also taste a small amount of warming alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall, this is a very nice brown ale which is one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy tan head over a garnet-brown body. A rapidly fading head leaves behind some faint traces of lace. Aromas of lightly roasted and sweet malt. Fairly clean in the nose. Sweet malt flavors upfront are soon joined by a mild nutty character and roasted malt. Some faint hop bitterness in the background as well. Lean to Medium bodied with Moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth with a lingering maltiness.

This is a solid nut-brown. Rather subdued, but not lacking in flavor—ahh the power of moderation. The level of sweetness is nearly perfect and well-balanced to boot.

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Photo of jaluria
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a weak head that never fully develops, but remains present for quite awhile leaving behind a touch of lacing. Aromas of nutmeg, salted peanuts, and smoke; definitely catches my interest. The taste is mild, at best, with a subtle nutty flavor that comes out slowly over time and blends with the roasted malts also present. The relative blandness of this beer is not a bad thing when paired with the right smoked/grilled dishes. A good beer to relax with, if you're in the mood for something simple.

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Photo of mobyfann
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid around $25 for a mixed case...

The beer pours a very dark brown base, medium tinted head, nice head retention and a few signs of lacing on the glass. The smell is of its class when it comes to this style, but still 2-dimensional of malt and nut tones.

Same as the smell, a solid double combo ale. Smooth in the mouth, never harsh and the drinkability is solid as well making this a very well-rounded ale.

Final Thought: A clear step above Goose Island's Nut Brown Ale and this one may be of the best in the States...

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Photo of Phatz
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served at 49 degrees in my beer stein (and it improved as it warmed, I'd suggest letting this one warm)

Appearance: This beer pours a coppery color, small ivory head, dissipates quickly. Translucent but not transparent.

Smell: It has that typical Brown Ale smell that is a sort of earthy or something aroma; it’s hard to place. It made me think of horses? … Then I got a bit of nuts and cocoa like the powder, not sweetened chocolate. As it warmed the caramel became more and more apparent.

Taste: Caramel malts, nutty, oats, earthy. It was sweetish but not overly sweet. The sweet hits you up front but the finish is a pleasantly balanced bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: A bit dry on the finish and the aftertaste. Little carbonation, and a bit sticky. Moderately creamy. Decent but not special.

Drinkability: Definitely a sessionable beer for me. Easy drinking low ABV. Not overly interesting and certainly refreshing. Good for a social occasion when you are not focusing your attention solely on the beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jim and Allie for the bottle!
Polished mahogany. On the darker side of the brown ale spectrum. Dissipating head, dying out to almost nothing very early on. Chocolatey malt, mild ale fruitiness, with enough caramel sweetness to go around. Some nutty qualities, with a mild herbal hop note (fuggles?). Very smooth drinking, with a soft, sessionable english vibe. Chocolatey malt up front, a touch grainy and biscuity, mildly toasty sweet. Soft fruity esters hint at plum and cidery apple. Mildy hopped in the finish, herbal and drying, coupling with the chocolatey flavors well. A distinct walnut skin aftertaste.
Very british feeling, right down to the carbonation. Put this in a 500ml bottle and I'd be fooled. Quite flavorful and satisfying, without being burdened by loads of alcohol. It would make for an easy session. One of the best brown ales coming out of the US, I think. Not exactly a popular style, but I like it a lot. Good stuff coming out of this brewery.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. with no freshness date. Pours a dark leathery brown with a 1 finger yellow/tan head that leaves some lacing but reduces to nothing by the end. Smells buttery and nutty with some gentle hops. It is chocolatey with coffee, green hops, and a mild bitterness with a medium body. Perhaps my least favorite of their offerings, but still a good, sessionable beer.

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Photo of ski271
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium-dark reddish brown with a medium-sized, off-white, tight head that quickly diminishes to a thick film. The smell is… wow… big like a stout, with aromas of chocolate, nuts, molasses, caramel and very light pine. The taste follows with more big roasted malts but not quite as big as the aroma. Milk chocolate, plum, butterscotch, light coffee and light cookie flavors with some brown sugar and herbal notes on the finish. It has a medium-full body, smooth texture and low carbonation. Another very good offering from Tröegs that I would definitely buy again. This was one of the beers on tap at my wedding.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

crunchy, cartoony label fails to set me up for the luscious, dark beverage that would emerge from the bottle into my glass. darker than most browns, this beer wears a slight haze of density and substance. see-thru, but barely. lacing is pronounced and permanent. lots of deep roasted malt in the nose, in a sweet fashion. flavor starts out with a mellow coffee foof followed by a powerful yet smooth note of chocolate milk powder mix. finishes with a mild bitterness, a tootsie roll/hazelnut aftertaste and just the slightest bit of off-tasting metallic chalk reminiscent of an unbalanced hop choice. very slight.. warming seems to quell that though.. although i am undecided as to whether i'd prefer this cool or room tempish. one way or the other, it goes down smooth with the perfect creamy-meets-carb texture. troegs has continued to impress me and excel in all styles they offer in bottles.

regarding my mad elf review, hopefully a redo will be coming shortly. after trying it on tap, i think i might have rec'd a bad bottle. stay tuned, keep drinking troegs.

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Photo of beefytee
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Brewers Dozen
Poured out into a snifter, it may not be the perfect glass, but I really enjoy tasting with it.

The color is the best thing this beer has going for it. The finish is real nice as well, but the mouthfeel and aroma definitely leave something to be desired.

A relatively dry beer, very mild...too mild to be "subtle"...hopefully my opinion of that will change as the glass warms.

Nut brown ales are not my favorite in general, but I guess if a table full of nut browns was in front of me, I'd reach for this one...mainly because it is so mild.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A coffee color with visible carbonation. Pours with a small head that vanishes quickly and leaves no lacing behind.

S - A faint odor. It is a mild sweet malt character meshed with a weak coffee scent. Aside from the presence of carbonation, nothing else is detectable. The smell is better near room temp.

T - A subtle taste. An espresso flavor dominates. Slightly sweet and a little dry. The "nut" part of the name is a little evident . A mild coffee bitter aftertaste. Near room temp, the taste has more substance. A faint hops flavor appears. A bit of chichory and cocoa as well.

M - Thin and slightly refreshing. It is a tad drying.

D - It is alright. It is too mild to provoke much of a reaction. It is about what I'd expect coffee mixed with seltzer water to taste like. It is still fairly good. It would pair well with food, because it such a mild beer. I wasn't expecting extremes, but I was expecting a bit more.

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Photo of raven3131
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orange/copper brown with a thin head. Nose is soft with malt and just a hint of nuts. First sip is nice - with just a little hops if you go searching for them. Not too sweet, a little oak and walnut appeared late. An easy drinker, may have been better if I had let it come up in temp first, but average was all that kept ringing in my head...

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Photo of jakester
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from a sampler case I bought at the Beer Mart in Reading. I drank it in a pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty garnet with brown tints. A one finger head of light tan foam forms on top. This quickly settles to islands and a ring, with intermittent lacing on the glass. Carbonation looks medium.

Aroma is smooth dark chocolate, a little roasted malt, some citrusy/piney floral hops, very inviting.

First flavor is chocolate, followed by sweet caramel and burnt toffee. There are some light citrusy hops in the background, and fruity/nutty notes as well. This comes on sort of sweet, but finishes on the dry side. Tasty beer. Aftertaste is sweet and chocolaty.

Mouthfeel is smooth but tingly from carbonation. Finishes dry and refreshing; a well made beer.

This is a good English brown. It's dry and nutty, not too sweet, with just a hint of hops to keep you interested. I'd do this again, anytime.

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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased as part of sampler pack. Poured a clear, deep copper color with puffy tannish head. Smell is toasty, with notes of chocolate and caramel. Taste is heavy on the malt, coffee notes, little hops noted. Finish is a bit dry, but not overly. Good refreshing beer.

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Photo of battlekow
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, dark, translucent brown that glows red in the light. Not much head but pretty good lacing. Smells chocolatey and malty; I would prefer the malty smell be toned down a bit so that the chocolate/nutty/roasty characteristics were highlighted. Taste is predominantly chocolatey, pretty malty, not as bitter and roasted as I would expect from a "nut brown." Mouthfeel is a little dead. Underwhelming beer, probably should be called just a brown ale, not a nut brown.

Thanks to mntlover for the bottle.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice deep mahogany color-resembles a fine piece of furniture in color. Ok aroma-some caramel and slight coffee aroma. Rather sharp and bland flavor. Nutty tasting but somewhat acrid. Trace of maltiness Average body-a boost might bring the flavor up. Rather unimpressive overall. I want to say this is the first beer I had tried by Troegs more then 5 years ago and I wasnt impressed then. They can do better for sure. While this is an edit (07/19/07) from a slightly more postive review from 18 months ago I dont see this being worth a try, at least not for me.

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Photo of stephendedalus
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Appearance is a very nice reddish-brown. Good initial head, but fades quickly. Decent, lasting lacing. Smells just like it tastes: malty. Rugged Trail has a strong malt backbone with little hops contribution (some aroma, but I don't really detect bittering). Taste is, not suprisingly, somewhat sweet and smooth -- and coupled with the relatively low ABV of 4.4%, this makes for a tasty and easy drinking brew. Should be enjoyable year-round.

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Tröegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 553 ratings.
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