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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: 411 | Ratings: 1,292
Photo of masterbruewer
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber with thick white head an solid lacing. Medium carbonation.

The smell was similar to a pale ale with a nice hoppy smell.

The taste was a little malt with a hop taste that developed slowly. It ended up tasting a lot like a pale ale, but not at first.

The mouthfeel was average. Lite carbonation, subtle hop kick.

Very interesting flavor and easy drinking.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with a "bottled on date", on the label, of 6 weeks ago, nice FRESH beer! Pours a light almond amber, minimal head and not much lacing. Nutty, bready nose. Malt, malt and more malt characterizes this tasty quaffer from Vermont. Nutty and mildly roasted the sweetness of this brew is nicely rounded and full. Lightly hopped, it does finish with a snappy dryness and a slight chalkyness. Drinkable and refreshing. A classic Vermont staple brew.

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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 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 CRJMellor
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with clean white head.
Aroma is very balanced with a good base of malt on a perfumy hop background.
Flavor is lots of base caramel malt moving to mild but noticeable spicy hop bite. Pretty standard but tasty.
Mouthfeel is sweet and perfumy with just a touch of spice on the swallow.
Drinkability is good, very easy to put down, definite summer deck beer.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit of a dark amber colored pour with ivory white colored spongy blanket cover. Good looker. Fresh delivery from my friend in Bean-Town. 12 oz. Bottle with a freshness date print that I'll be darned if I can make it out, but no date in the box.

Balanced scents of malts and mild hops.

First flavor is malt, followed by a balance of sweet mild hops. Slight bitter aftertaste. Not much else to say. A rather one dimensional Altbier.

Crisp bubbly suds drinker. Body has mouth presence, for sure.

Last swigs: This could be a regular fridge filler if I could get my greedy little hands on it more often. Warm malty front to mild hops balanced finish. 100% knock around all-purpose brewskie. I hear that Long Trail Pale is super affordable. Thanks to my friend JBDubs for dragging this down from MA.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Voluminous and rocky head, a little ivory in color. Very clear amber liquid in the glass. Fresh malty nose, lightly toasted, delicate flowery hop notes. Firm maltiness on the palate with some biscuity taste fading into pleasant not-too-bitter hoppiness. Finishes light and more sweet than bitter, drying slightly.

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Photo of xgrigorix
2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Date of bottling printed on label.

Amber bronze colour. A rough pour produces one finger of dense off white foam. Some nice rings of lace are left behind.

Toasted malt, some carmel, & a hint of apple in the nose.

Pretty bland tasting stuff. Sweet toasted malt, a little bit of that apple flavour, and some floral hop notes. Medium bodied, slightly crisp w/ moderate carbonation.

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Photo of nomad
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Softly lustrous orange with an amber undertone, this beer sat well in a pint glass. A tough head of tightly-packed foam, it looks like it has been working out and taking protein supplements. A big warm beer in the glass.

Smells of lemony herbs, grape-sided German malts, and dark honey notes with a little spice to it, this beer is, alas, a bit understated.

Taste is lager smooth with ale-ish aggressiveness, notably peppery, dried herbs hop flavors. After a couple sips it tends to bring on a metallic/citric twang. Underneath is a round and full body, though not filling, of a roasty malt backbone with grapey flavors and a grainy texture. Progresses to a tart fruitiness tickled a dry and peppery finish. Thinner mouthfeel.

Designed to be drank is my first and last thought about this brew. Longtime Yankees complain of this beer's ubiquity and supposed mediocrity, but Long Trail is a refreshing beer that shows an examplary ability to pair with food. Ambered enough for calmer palettes but hoppy enough to keep a hophead happy. Made for food, made for the spring and fall. And cheap as hell!!

So whats everyone else's beef with this beer?

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Photo of ColForbin
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long Trail Ale has a deep golden color with a fair amount of carbonation giving rise to a 1 inch head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. Aroma has a nice balance of bready malt and piney hops. Taste has a firm malt base, some toasted notes, a little citrus, with a crisp hoppy finish. An extremely drinkable session beer, and since it can usually be had at $10 for a 12 pack, one of my favorites.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark amber colored brew with lager-like smooth malt and hop aromas. Nothing distinct here, but fresh and apetizing. Taste is similar with a nice hop bite and smooth robust malt. A nice middle of the road session beer, great for apres ski at Jay Peak, VT. Don't know that this tastes like an alt beer, but drink it anyway.

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Photo of etho1416
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of longs trails finest. It has a nice color and a nice hops flavor and aroma. It has just enough bite to be interesting, but not to much to scare away some people. It is a great beer to convert people who hate a good hoppy beer. The aroma is great, somewhat fruity, but not to much. A good beer all around.

 318 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Long Trail Ale was entirely unremarkable. It was pulled a clear, golden brown. It carried no head; in fact a scant film only vaguely hinted that the beer might conceive of such a thing. The flavor was generic, yeast and barley with a little hopping. I can't talk about balance, as there was no real flavor interaction. The beer was basic, perhaps a bit thin and watery. It neither neither succeeded nor failed. It's drinkable, but only something I'd select if it were a lone micro standout in a bar of macros.

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

A reasonably mild beer from vermont.

Pours a golden red, wiht a sticky head that lasted in part most of the way down the glass. Smells of Toffee, DMS and american hops.

Flavor pretty much mirrors that minus the DMS. Mouth feels smooth and rich. It's all very nice, and quite drinkable, but not outstanding.


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Photo of Stimack
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is probably one of the best know ones from Long Trail and is one of my least favorites. I guess it is their old stand by. Not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, just think that for the price you can a lot better tasting beer.

It pours to a golden color with a small head that dissipates quickly and has hardly any lacing to speak of. The smell is pleasant with a bit of a floral bouquet. The taste is a bit bitter and very crisp, pretty nice tasting beer. Over all it is not a bad beer, one that I would never turn down if offered. It's just not one of my favorites but that is just one person’s feelings.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.91/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear, bright amber color, with a nice, fluffy, off-whitish head.
Aroma: clean and even, rather lager-like, slightly floral, mildly hoppy.
Taste: minor-key fruitiness on the palate, just enough malt to keep the flavor semi-interesting, slight citrus character. Very light in body, short finish, very light in every regard. When I used the phrase "minor-key" previously, that can be applied almost every-which-way here, for nothing in this brew strives beyond the simplest conception of what an ale has to be, at the very least. Incredibly boring.
I can imagine this would do, if it were found at the sort of establishment that served nothing but macro-swillish products, but certainly not the sort of thing I'd ever seek out or choose to drink on it's own merits.
Thanks to rabidawg for the sampling.

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

The beer pours a dark golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is hoppy with crystal and pale malts along side. The taste is decent. There is a good balance here between hops and malts. This beer is very refreshing and clean tasting. The mouthfeel is good. This is a light bodied ale with adequate carbonation. This is a nice micro-ale from Vermont. A good sessions ale with a fellow BA.

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Photo of Hobbz
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my standard favorites when I can get it tap-fresh up in VT: a good social brew and a good one to begin sessions with. This is an Altbier-styled brew similar to both the famous Düsseldorf Altstadt and Northern German varieties: Not quite the intensity of the city's, yet more bitter than most northern styles (I would not label this beer simply a "moderately bitter brown ale" by the German standard, but might be so inclined by American ones). Not sure how much Munich malt is involved, or whether they lay-down the ale for a period of maturity, but when I drink this, I do not necessarily relate it in my head to an Altbier. Just great-tasting enjoyment.

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Photo of theozag
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long Trail's namesake ale was my favorite beer from all the Thanksgiving weekend tastings. I believe it to be a great American tribute to German altbiers. It pours a deep amber-brown with a touch of clouding in the glass. This ale's white head doesn't last long over your pint. It smells of bittersweet toffee and/or caramel (I couldn't really pin it down). LT Ale starts crisp, flavorful, and smooth. It is full bodied with dominant wheat and oat flavors. There are several suggestions of both sweet and bitter flavors present in each mouthful. It finishes cool, crisp, clean, and most pleasantly. Were I ever in New England again, I'd definately look for another bottle of Long Trail Ale.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent off-white head that left a good amount of lacing. The smell is like pungent grapefruity hops. Copper colored beer that's pretty transparent. Yum, great floral hop taste, a light malt base that's hardly there. The body is leaning too the light side, and the carbonation is solid. A good, not too bitter, easy drinking amber ale.

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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 ViveLaChouffe
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright copper an still with a creamy ivory head. not much lace to speak of. Smells quite hoppy with hints of spice and faint sour apple.

Taste is bitter. Bitter throughout for various reasons. Spicy malt flavors in there somewhere. Not sure of how to describe this but it tastes "grainy", like unmalted barley. Hoppy finish and aftertaste. This beer is crisp and easy to drink. Would make a nice session brew during a ski vacation. Solid.

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Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a stop off in VT,had seen while living up there but never tried it.Poured a hazy orange/gold color with almost no head,aroma is light and subtley hopped with a light fruitiness as well.The beer has a decent balance of hops and malt but neither really stick out to make me want another,its not a bad beer but unspectacular in my opinion.

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Photo of UncleFrank
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not many companies have an Alt as their flagship. Long Trail declares their independence by doing so and has been successful at it. The beer itself seems to be a blend of the characteristics of both the Düsseldorf and Northern German Alts.

The color is golden amber with a slight head. The aroma of malt is not distinctive. No hop aroma. The taste is bitter with the hops keeping a steady presence from start to finish. The malt is there to balance but I found it a bit thin. The finish is dry and clean like a lager which is wanted in the style. No fruity esters or typical ale notes.

The challenge is to describe my feelings of the beer vs. this not being one of my favorite styles. When looking at styles guidelines this beer passes all tests. I just find it hard to enjoy many of them; it’s just not my style. If you like Alts pick up a few and judge for yourself. Cheers!

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Photo of UnionMade
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a dark brassy amber, topped with a thin ring of head. Some weak blobs of lace, with the head never quite disappearing.
Aroma is malty, with a coarse grainy quality. Some clean lagery quality, either cold conditioning or german yeast. Mild apricot fruitiness, with a touch of butterscoth diacetyl. Hops are very herbal and grassy, probably a low alpha in quantity.
Flavor is initailly malty, traversing into a coarse grainy, husky flavor in the middle, which prevails through the beer and into the aftertaste. Mild german hops come through towards the end, providing a strange grassiness, coupled with an herbal flavor. A rubbery, shrimpy flavor comes through towards the end, with very light butterscotch diacetyl as well. Strange and "off" flavored, similar to some Magic Hat beers. Carbonation is smooth and small bubbled, with a weakish body.
Definitely not the best alt on the planet, but decent and drinkable. I don't care for the hops, but the malts are pleasantly coarse and rough hewn. i guess it's just not my thing.

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Long Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 1,292 ratings.
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