Hit The Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co.

91 Reviews

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hit the Trail is a deep amber ale with a rich and smooth flavor. Malty undertones of vanilla and caramel are kept in check by the addition of Northern Brewer hops.

24 IBU

Added by Jason on 12-31-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 199
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Long Trail "Hit The Trail Ale"
12 oz. bottle

I wasn't particularly fond of the way that Long Trail used American hops in their Hibernator Scottish-style ale because they just don't quite fit. I didn't find that they worked within the overall balance of the beer. Inappropriate hops, however, are not the case here. They've used Northern Brewer and they work out just fine, regardless of where they were actually grown (I'm assuming Pacific northwest). Northern Brewer hops are, in fact, fairly traditional for an English-style brown ale. In this case they add a bit of leafiness, mint-iness, and subtle grassiness at a level that's just strong enough to stand out from the nutty, chocolatey, and lightly caramel-ish maltiness. One valid question might then be, "have they used too much hop flavor as the style really calls for the malt to dominate, followed by the yeast character as the second feature?", and I think the answer is yes. However, this IS an American beer, not an English beer; and I feel that simply mimicking another beer or style really serves no purpose. If I wanted a true English brown ale I could buy one, and therefore this beer is unique. It remains "English" in nature but with a twist. As long as it works, and I think it does, then we should just let style go. With that said, hedonistically, I think it's quite a nice beer, and it's quite enjoyable. It's well-made with a good appearance and a nice balance. Additionally, it's fairly accessible and fits in with a wide variety of situations despite its darker appearance. Worth trying.

 1,564 characters

Photo of Omnium
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a really nice brown, finger head, good medium lacing
S - Roasted hazelnuts, toffee, slight hint of cocoa, some coffee roasts as well, amidst a smokey malt bed.
T - Taste kinda drops off from the flavor, but you still get a nice nutty ale, toffee, a mild bitterness with a touch of smoke.
M - Good flavors fade to a sort of unwelcoming lingering sour dry bitterness.
O - One of Long Trail's better beers, but still wayyyy off from the mark. I had a fresher one of these prior to now, but it wasnt much different.

 544 characters

Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Reddish-brown, but clear. Real frothy & creamy head. 2 fingers worth of head, then receded to about a finger and never went away.

S- Smoky, dark roasted malts. Has a burning wood kind of scent. Carmel/toffee as well. Some kind of spicy note is detected.

T- Toffee! Buttery quality as well. Dark roast malts, with that smoked thing going on. Finish is somewhat sweet, but not sweet for all that long.

M- medium mouthfeel. Starts watery, but sits more in the medium range overall. Moderate carbination. But overall very easy to drink.

Real good brown ale. I'd like to see less smokiness, and more malty sweetness, but can't complain anymore than that.

 656 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a ruby-brown coloring, both vibrant and clear, with only a slight ring of film on the surface. Subtle, slightly watery nose, with hints of toffee rich and sweet, as well as some warming spices of nutmeg and all-spice. Flavors are light, as well, with a rich, roasty quality supporting sweet nut and subtle toffee characteristics. Very smooth and rich, but the lighter body keeps the palate manageable. Smooth, rich aftertaste that is light and sweet, with a crisp, clean finish.

 532 characters

Photo of 57md
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark copper with a finger of head that leaves little behind except a trace of lace on the glass. There is some subtle nuttiness in the nose. The flavor is bready, but generally light bodied. The finish is semi-dry and makes for a pleasant end to a good, but certainly not exciting offering from a solid, but not exceptional brewery.

 346 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another of tone77's many bottles for me to try and I guess that I should be thankful that none of them have been of a killer ABV. Still in all, I will be glad to get back to The CANQuest (TM) where I really belong.

From the bottle: "Take a hike!"; "A very smooth English-style brown ale"; "Our Northern English-style brown ale features three malted barleys blended to produce a light-brown brew with a smooth, sweet finish. Smooth brown, smooth down. Enjoy!"

The heat and humidity of the day may be affecting these beers as well as me. I got a massive two-plus fingers of thick, deep-tan head almost instantly, requiring that I back off of the pour. It all finally settled into mere wisps, but I do not fault the brewers, and instead the broiling temperatures. Color was a deep reddish-brown with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a nuttiness to it, not a bad thing in a brown ale. Mouthfeel was medium and man, was this a nutty flavor on the tongue! Squirrels would die for something like this. As a self-avowed hophead, not so much. Still, it was appropriate for the style and it sure beat drinking a sugary malt bomb. Finish was semi-dry and while I may not want more than one, it was certainly not a bad beer.

 1,210 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber, light brown color, based on the look of it I would have guess amber ale over brown ale, not much of a head which is tan colored, fades fast and leaves only a couple small bits of lacing.

Smell is roasted malt with some good hints of nuttiness, bit of toffee thrown in as well.

Taste is malty with nutty toffee undertones, high carbonation, nothing explosive, mild flavors but nothing to hate either, medium to thin body, easy drinking if you feel like having another.

 489 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is dark amber to brown with a nice tan head that dissipates to bubbles.

Smell is very mild toasted malt, hints of caramel and maybe some light fruitiness.

Taste is clean pretty crisp, flavors are more pronounced than the scent initially some caramel notes, maybe some toffe and some biscuit or light toast with a lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is very crisp but balanced by some lingering sweetness.

Overall, a solid brown ale flavors are pretty straightforward with a touch of some fruitiness to give a it a more cask type flavor

 577 characters

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ba Review #135
Served On: 03/09/2012
Glassware: Pint Glass
Labeled ABV: -
Date/ Code: 12/28/11

This was in the winter 2011 Survival Pack.

Look: The beer poured a clear deep copper color. The head was a thin white cap of spongy foam. Carbonation bubbles were slow but steady.

Smell: No much going on with the aroma. I noticed some English Ale qualities, like some cracker notes and earthy hops.

Taste: First was a rather bland malty note, then an interesting spice in the middle. Maybe like a faint nutmeg. The finish was a dry cracker note. Aftertaste was fairly clean.

Overall this beer was typical of other English styles I’ve had. Rather thin with a couple signature notes that seemed to stand out.

 710 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Pours mahogany with a small cap of bubbly light khaki head that is short lived.

Nutty malt aroma with some brown sugar and hints of molasses in the background. A hint of wheat toast lingers in the background. Mild flavors on the pallet. Weak nutty flavors with a little bit of a floral hop twinge rounding this out.

The body is very light and the carbonation is suitable.

Not a bad beer but it seems to fall short on flavor. Nothing offensive, but there doesn't seem to be much going on.

 516 characters

Photo of Zraly
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown into a Dogfish Head glass. Nice, tight, light tan head with notes of brown sugar and malt.

Super smooth and clean, this is a nicely balanced brown ale. Predominant notes include toast, brown sugar, and a touch of butter in the finish. An earthy spice flavor comes through in the finish, rounding out the mouthfeel and leads to a crisp finish. Carbonation is good and is light-medium bodied.

Highly drinkable and made to session. If you like a good brown ale, you really can't go wrong here. Would be awesome with bbq chicken.

Really impressed with the things I've tried from Long Trail. Consistent in quality and hard to beat price-wise. Good choices for those wanting quality brew on a budget.

 727 characters

Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into large wine glass.

A: Dark brown, light brown head is minimal.

S: malty and fruity in the nose, plumb and brown sugar.

T: Ok. Mild sweetness. Hint of dark fruit but not as much as in the nose. Pretty standard English ale.

M: Mild carbonation. Reasonably smooth.

O: Maybe above average but in my opinion not amazing. Worth trying however.

 360 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a Bottled On Date of what looks like 093011. Pours a dark brown with ruby hues and no head. Aroma is sweet and malty. Somewhat earthy with some caramel and spices. Taste is somewhat subdued. Spices and some caramel malts but its a pretty light tasting beer. Not a whole lot going on. Thin mouthfeel as well. If it weren't for the flavor of the spices you usually find in Winter beers I'd say this is more of a spring/summer beer. Regardless, its nothing special. Overall, its an ok beer in the Survival Pack but I wont be seeking it out.

 554 characters

Photo of abgba121
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours a medium brown with very thin head and almost no lace

S: low profile, some malty sweetness, almost no hops. A light brown ale smell

T: light caramel malts, an average ale

M: somewhat on the thin side, good carbonation

O: a good brown ale, very smooth and easy to drink. It could use more depth though

 313 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been made available on tap for the Barley House Restaurant in Concord, N.H. U.S.A. under the moniker of "Black Ice Pond Ale." Sampled on January 15, 2011. The pour was a decent looking amber brown/red with about a half inch of light tan head that leaves a delicate silkiness on top. The aroma is of sweet malts, yeast, and light nuttiness. The mouthfeel was medium. There is a sharp bitterness in the overall flavor coupled with a slightly hopped ending. Quite nice.

 475 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off tap at Monty's Old Brick Tavern in Williston this beer is a contract brew. Only available at four locations under this name it can also be found under alternate names as it is THE contract brew produced by Long Trail. For example, I believe it is the exact same beer as the Church Street Tavern Ale Leunig's Ale et. al only under different names. The color of the beer was a classic copper with one finger of off-white head. The aroma was very light, toasted malt and only hints of hops. The flavors were very nutty, toasted malt, a little caramel malt and a touch of floral hops. Clearly very low in alcohol. Dry and slightly bitter at the end. The mouthfeel was ok, the body light and the carbonation medium. Balanced and sessionable but unremarkable.

 757 characters

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another one at the tasting at George Pearce's glass shop on Park Avenue.

A: The color was a mixture of brown and gold leading more to the clear side. Rather good head of a finger or so, laced up initially but fell quickly and sticking sometimes.

S: The nose had overtones of malts and some candy on the toffey side, and subtle floral bouquet and malts.

T: Followed the nose with malts hitting your pallet first and lingering longer with shy bitter hops following. Nice retention by the way.

M: This was the best part of the beer. Extremely smooth delivery and creamy body to back up the taste. I enjoyed the crisp sweet malt and bitter hops.

D: This was my second favorite batch from Long Trail. A good mixture leaning towards complex.

 741 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly thick with a medium tan head and dark drown body. Sweet malty flavor with some spice but not really any bitterness. Smooth and easy drinking and a pretty good Brown Ale. If you like Newcastle then give this one a try, you'll probably like it as well.

 257 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, caramelized malts, nuts and some hops.

T: The taste is sweet with flavors of honey and caramel up front. The malt character is hearty but not as much as most beers in the style. There’s a mild hops presence that provides a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style. The first time I tried this beer at a tasting along with the regular Long Trail Ale, I wasn’t very thrilled with either of them. Since then, I’ve grown a liking for most of Long Trail’s beers and although this beer tastes better now than when I first tried it, I’m still not liking it too much.

 959 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker amber with basically no head. Nose is woody with a touch of caramel and just a touch of dust. Flavor is a bit woody with sweet tones. Robust and thick with flavor. Off the flavor alone I would say this is worth trying. Feel is nice on the liquid and good with the carbonation too. Extremely drinkable. Off the flavor alone, worth going for. This on-tap might be interesting. On cask...who knows.

 410 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at AJ's Bar & Grill, Watertown, Conn.

A: Pours a clean looking amber brown. A nice one-finger head forms and retains itself for most of the brew.

S: Smells a little nutty, hoppy, and fruity all at once. None is too powerful, meaning the taste isn't likely to be either, but it's a fairly complex aroma.

T: Taste is a bit thin, but I found the hops and malts to be balanced very well. There is a little raisin mixed in with the hop, which is more present than I thought it to be, a nice surprise.

M: Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. There is the right amount of bitterness from the hops and no unpleasant aftertaste to speak of.

D: I could see turning this into a nice fall or outdoor session brew. It's low enough in alcohol, yet warming because of the aromas and color. Would definitely get again.

I usually judge Long Trail for making all of their brews just a hair different from the standard Long Trail Ale, but Hit the Trail is unique enough to be certified as an English Brown, and not a bad one to boot.

 1,033 characters

Photo of coalcracker
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sent down from Vermont. Born on date of 5/9/2007.
Appearance: Pours dark golden color with thick head.
Smell: Very nice scent- almost a bit fruity with some raisin/fig.
Taste: Nice balance of malts and hops, perhaps a bit skewed towards the hops (which jump out first upon tasting). Malt consists of light raisin, brown sugar to a mild extent,molasses. Taste is clean- no lingering aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a mild fizzy effervescense.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable- easy to quaff. Low alcohol content and li/refreshing nature would make this a great brew to take along to, say, a camping trip?

 618 characters

Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great surprise to find this on tap in the hospitality lounge of the Sierra Suites Hotel in East Fishkill, NY this week! Had a couple and was hard to leave for dinner that evening. This had a fairly light, cider-like look. A little cloudy but I didn't notice much of anything sizable floating about. A fair head that held pretty well. The aroma has a light hops and slight citrus tone to it. I tasted a bit of lemon in this and a mild hop, fairly light with fine carbonation. This is very drinkable but tastey. Went well with our salsa snacks as well. Very clean stuff for something that's not filtered! Another hit for Long Trail.

 637 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a nonic glass from a long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap. Sent to me from Sudsdog 4 out of 6 Long Trails.

Clear,ruby red with a 2" creamy off-white head,fair retention with spotty lacing. Not much carbination the head totaly dissapated by the finish.

A good,clean inviting very moderate. Very nutty and fruity,burnt toffee.some grainy smells,perfumy,a slighty vinous English aroma.

Very clean taste,very fruity and nutty with some light carmell notes and nice tartness. Finishes with a pleasing bittersweetness and crisp tartness.

Very smooth mouthfeel with a grainy feel from the tartness.Goes down extremely well. Could get some lower ratings from a slight watery feel. I thought it was a good English Brown really enjoyable and highly drinkable.

 781 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown. Looks watery, not much head or lacing. Smell is weak. Some roasted malt, and chocolate. Body is thin,and watery. Taste is ok,but weak. Malty, with some hints of fruit. This beer tasted watered down. Maybe I picked up a bad bottle.

 252 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hit The Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
3.58 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.