Long Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co.

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Long Trail AleLong Trail Ale

Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Vermont, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Long Trail Ale is a full-bodied amber ale modeled after the “Alt-biers” of Düsseldorf, Germany. Our top fermenting yeast and cold finishing temperature result in a complex, yet clean, full flavor. Originally introduced in November of 1989, Long Trail Ale beer quickly became, and remains, the largest selling craft-brew in Vermont. It is a multiple medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival.

25 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

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Reviews: 414 | Ratings: 1,313
Photo of PabstMan252
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice amber color with a smooth flavor. Also offers a great fragrance with a wonderful head piece. No after taste and goes well with just about anything. When this first arrives at your seating you will notice the color and realize that it looks like a lager however you will be pleasantly surprised how smoothed and non bitter this beer presents.
Please try...your taste buds will explode!

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Photo of scootpolute
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ '...'(I forgot the name) Locks Restaurant & the Bradley (Hartford) Airport into custom painted pint glass.

A - Pours golden, with a nice white head and some lacing.

S - Malts, Hops and some pine undertones-

T - Smooth & refreshing! A fresh malt & hop flavor at the top, followed by some citrus, then ending with a bit of pine-like spices...Pleasant & refreshing!!

M - Great carbonation! There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much pine/sweet flavors...

D - This is a great east-coast stand-by!! I don't appreciate the last several 'B and C' grades some of the other members have given Long Trail Ale. The previous beer drinkers claim that this beer appears to be 'too-macro...' For cryin' out loud, this is one 1st beers of the micro revolution (mid 80's to early 90's) & paved the way for what everyone tastes now...was a fan in the back 'in the day' and remain one :~)

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.7/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This major step forward in my search for the perfect craft-brewed Altbier came as a result of sitting on my family room sofa. Awhile back, I saw Mike Rowe cleaning yeast filters at the Long Trail Brewery on his TV show "Dirty Jobs." I was intrigued by the show and looked into the brewery only to find out that (1) I was eager to find their products and (2) they were only available in the in New Jersey and points north. So the last time I went to Philly on business, I traversed the Ben Franklin Bridge just to find some Long Trail in Cherry Hill. It was well worth the trip. And now I regret I didn't buy a case.

Rich, deep clear amber color with a nice tan foamy head that quickly disappeared but left a beautiful lacing all the way down. Clear malt with a buttery accent and a definitive hops scent hits your nose as you raise the glass and, when sampled, the flavor is both rich malt with a subtle sweetness that is at the same time just tart enough to keep you wanting more. Mouthfeel is rich enough to let you know it's a craft brew but thin enough (with just a touch of tingly carbonation) to make it oh so smooth. Excellent and very easy drinking with a (perfect?) aftertaste of bitter hops that make your mouth water in anticipation of the next swallow. Extremely true to the traditional German Altbier style but with a distinctly American edge that would likely appeal to a wide range of beer tastes if it were more widely distributed. A classic. And likely near the top of my list of favorite beers ever.

Fast Forward to 2017: Compared in a 4x American Amber/Alt taste test featuring Long Trail Ale, Fordham Copperhead, Troeg's Hopback Amber, and Union Balt Altbier. Still came out on top.

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Photo of jamesdr1968
4.68/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very smooth beer. I was really impressed at the taste - I'm not really familiar with the "altbier" style so I actually didn't know what to expect. I thought it would be more of a bitter taste but it's so smooth, extremely drinkable. A nice session beer.

One note: The bottles are labeled 6% ABV (BA's description says 5%).

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Photo of MTNboy
4.68/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was very impressed. I tried this beer while on vaction in Maine. I had heard good things but none of them did this beer justice. It was exceptional. It went down smooth and the flavor and aroma were great. I can't wait to try more beers from this company.

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Photo of Ranbot
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into a pint glass

A - Nice amber color with an inch of white head. Leaves some lacing on the glass. Partway through the gass the head dies down, a little quicker than I'd like, into a swirl of foam on the top of liquid.

S - Light bread, barley, and caramel malts. The hops are almost undetectable.

T - Strong malt flavor with caramel and grain. It's slightly sweet, but not overbearing or cloying at all. A light to moderate touch of floral and earthy hops compliment the malts and round out the flavor and linger into the aftertaste.

M - Light, chewy, and slightly watery mouthfeel with a crisp edge to it. It's refreshing, almost pilsener-like, but obviously it's a ale.

D - I could [and I do] drink this any time, any where, any season, any occasion. At a low 4.6% ABV there's a lot of flavor here.

Now I'll lay feelings and probably biases to bear....As a native Vermonter I love the Long Trail Ale. Walk into any bar in VT and chances are you'll find this on tap or in the cooler at the local store. But, despite it's saturation in the Vermont market it's a damn good beer to boot! There's nothing in your face about it, but the balance and drinkability is spot on perfect, and it's low ABV means you can enjoy several without too much worry of alcohol's less desirable side-effects. There is no occasion, season, time, event that I can think of that Long Trail Ale wouldn't be suitable for.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rich copper with a thick rocky off-whote head that gives way to good lacing.

S - Sweet pale and caramel malts with some herbal hops.

T - Great balance of malt and hops. Simple. Caramel and crisp. A hint of spice in the finish.

M - Light with good carbonation.

O - Great session ale. Perfect balance.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After having this one so recently from a bottle, I was eager to see how different it would be on tap. And it was ever so slightly different.

It was te same amber color, with almost no head... although that may have been due to the serving ethod.

The aroma was of Cascade and other aromatic hops, with some light pine thrown in. None of the sweetness the bottled beer had.

The taste was also slightly different... a little more bitter, no sweetness, and a bit of a bite to it. Very good. And very drinkable.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Pours a clear amber-red body with a half inch of off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells malty initially but gives a fair bit of American hops in the aroma also. Tastes equal parts malt and an American hop bitterness - grassy, piney, with some citrus. Light to medium in body with ample carbonation and a semi-clean finish. Reminds me more of an American Amber than an altbier. Either way, a very tasty drinkable beer. I can see buying this one on a regular basis.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Long Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is three fingers thick, with webbed lacing, and a medium mahogany amber body.

Smells like slightly toasted malts with earthy and full-bodied grains.

I taste a mildly zippier version of the scent, with a bit of candied fruit going on, and a small hop bite at the end.

The mouthfeel is medium with mild carbonation.

Overall, I'll give Long Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co. a 4.25. Nothing unique, just well-executed.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber in appearance, with nice foam. Smell is nice and sits well with us.
The mouthfeel is crisp and clean to the mouth. Leaves nicely letting you to want more. The taste is exceptional for this type of beer. Overall we are impressed, this is a good American Ale. Enjoy

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome, I love this beer, very nice light brown amber color nice tannish head
Light on the palate even bitterness
This beer has a smooth mouthfeel with malt flavors and a hoppy even a little fruity finish
Definetely an all around good beer to drink, It really goes well with many food items. I enjoy Longtrail Ale most with grilled foods.


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Photo of sudz42
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was drinking this when it came out in the 90's but haven't had it in about 10 years until recently. Their IPA used to be my standby. The altbier Ale is a good, sound ale. Good balance of malt and hops, with trademark ale malt-sweetness present. The finish is clean as mentioned in previous reviews, and that's a good thing in the land of heavy amber ales. The ale yeast is adding a distinctive fruitiness. Somewhat over-carbonated, but that's true of most American ales (bottled anyway). For the price (11.99/12) it can't be be up here in NE...neck and neck with Dundee's offering's from the ol' Genny plant.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear amber hued beer with not a single carbo bubble. Good size head that lingers and fades slowly.
Sweet malt aroma.
Tastes good with sutle fruitiness and sweet malt, bready or biscuit can be picked up also.
Nothing overpowering clean finish.
Leaves some lacing around glass.
Medium mouthfeel.
A go to beer
Drink well my friends

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Photo of TtheGrey
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at a bar near my house and was really impressed. Last night I bought the 12 pack in cans and had a couple. I believe this may become one of my staples henceforth. It was smooth and flavorful, with good balance.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a foaming white head.Good amounts white silky lace around my glass.The aroma was of hops with a biscuity smell also.The taste presented a medium to full bodied Ale with a malt thickness.The color had a light amber red hue and was maybe a little orange.Very easy on the mouth and smooth on the way down.The finish was of wheat and grains.Not very bitter with a clean dry aftertaste.A solid Ale I could drink with no problems.

Note:If you can get it on tap do so,because its alot better.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This perfectly clear copper brew is adorned with a skim coating of beige color. Pretty soon, all that remains is a bubbly collar that laces nicely. Great aroma. Crisp hoppiness blends with a smooth maltiness. Some fresh yeasty breadiness accentuates perfectly. The flavors are so clean and smooth. It's nice to know some brewers respect tradition and lager their alts. The clean toffee malt profile is paired nicely with an earthy, herbal hoppiness. The body is almost full and it feels nice in the mouth.

I'll tell you what. Long Trail know alts. (I've had the Double Bag before as well.)

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Photo of Larry_Moon
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Didn't get a sense of presentation or aroma as I consumed out of the bottle. Very full bodied for an amber with solid (but not over powering) presence of hops. A touch of bitter about the same time the beverage reaches your stomach (I love that!). While I appreciate that others have different expectations from an amber, this beer completely resonated with my pallet. Will soon be pouring this into an iced mug to observe the rest of it behavior.

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Photo of fx20736
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6 pack from Wegmans Hylan Dr for $ 8.49 on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint served chilled.

appearance: medium-dark amber with a 2 finger craggy offwhite head that leaves plenty of lacing.

smell:spicy, faintly minty, herbal hops dominate the nose.

taste: toasted malt with a kiss of caramel, followed by a juicy, earthy hoppiness and a dry, mildly bitter finish.

mouthfeel: decent but not memorable.

overall: a tasty, interesting, beguiling beer. I'm an instant fan.

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Photo of EPseja
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Pours a light caramel copper in color, with a pillowy, inch-thick head. Lacing is sporadic and head retention is sparse.

S - Crisp, light hoppiness with an underbelly of biscuity maltiness. Simple, but effective.

T - ESB-style maltiness up front, moving quickly to an excellently balanced middle where the flowery hops begin to peek in. The back of the throat mellows out the sweetness even more and brings in a moderately dry finish that rounds out the journey. Wonderful balance.

M - Gently fluffs up in the mouth with just the right amount of carbonation. Swallow has nice volume and creaminess.

D - The balance on this beer is like one perfect up and down of a see-saw, with the malts on one side, and the hops on the other. I swear, there's something about Vermont water that makes beers from there seem cleaner and fresher tasting. A wonderful session beer that can be enjoyed all day or night long.

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Photo of scottum
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a nice white head. Tastes sweet with a nice hoppy finish. A solid tasting alt. Not as good as Double Bag though. A solid brew available all over Vermont. Certainly worth a sample. Mouthfeel is smooth. Easy to drink all night.

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Photo of edchicma
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmmm. Perfect offering for the summer months. Light slightly fruity aroma. Nice coppery color that laced the glass sides quite nicely. Mouthfeel was somewhat light, but with enough body to keep me honest. Taste was nicely rounded with a pleasant, light aftertaste. Very drinkable...will definitely try other Long Trail offerings.

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Photo of bigone4
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beers to drink. Refreshing, smooth, crisp, and clean. Nice amber color with a frothy head. Smells light and fresh makes me want to drink it. Really a pleasurable experience. Leaves a nice flavor in the mouth. Not to malty and just the right balance of hops. I keep coming back to this solidly brewed beer. This is one brew that Long Trail really has done well with. It is enjoyable year round and reminds me of some good times during college in VT. This a great brew and a good choice to use if you are introducing new people to the micro brew world.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear copper with a solid sticky head. Nose is muted fruit, a twinge of metal, malt and floral/herby hops. Overall, it's solidly flavoured, but not smooth and not in-your-face. Well balanced malt vs. hops with a dry graininess and light toast. Neither light nor heavy, this beer is moderate in viscosity and also carbonation. Very nice and exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of beyah
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Nice deep shade of amber with a moderate head and long lasting lacing.

Smell - Smells very clean similar to a German Alt.

Tate - Very well balanced slight hops bitterness sitting on top of a very nice maltiness, a definate session beer.

Mouthfeel - very smooth not overly carbonated.

Overall - Well balanced, would be a good beer to offer a friend who is not into the craft brews we tend like.

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Long Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 1,313 ratings.
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