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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 199
Photo of far333
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber/copper color with an appetizing frothy beige head. The head settles very slowly, and leaves nice lace on the glass. Smells of sweet malt, a bit of yeast, and mild hops. Flavor is semi-sweet malt, nice and roasty, a bit of caramel. Brown sugar aftertaste. Very warm flavor, with smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This is really nice, one of the best I've had from Long Trail. Got to get more of these.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 1/4" tan head forms while pouring, but it doesn't stay long. Now there's just a tiny ring of suds around the glass and a few patches on the surface. The color is a dark amber as duly noted already. The smell of rich malt is present over the ale. In the flavor this maltiness opens up into a hugely complex taste. There aren't any apparent esters, so the malts and wheat in the flavor taste like what they are. Hit the Trail has a thin bodied mouthfeel. It's perfect for an early spring session.. but it would be acceptable in any season.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking clear auburn. Slight beige head recedes to a collar in seconds. The lacing is pretty nice. Nice yeastiness on the nose mixed with brown sugar and toffee malt characteristics. Very nice. This beer has almost a full body and a nice little silky smooth mouthfeel. The flavors blend together nicely. Caramel and chocolate. Dates and yeasiness. Dry hoppiness and toasted maltiness. Very nicely down. Good solid brown ale. I like this brewery.

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Photo of billybob
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice dark brown color, one finger head that fades to a ring on the glass, with a nice lace to the finish. smell is caramel and toasted malt. taste same with a faint semi sweet chocolate in the balance. mouthfeel is light, smooth, good carbonation and a clean finish. great session beer. wish i had a couple more right now.

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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.

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Photo of theo871
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Pours with a decent head, which dissipated rather quickly. Lacing all along the sides of the glass. Smell is rather sweet, malty. Taste is of sweet malt followed by a hoppy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slightly spicy. An easy beer to down more than one at a time. Recommended.

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Photo of kelticblood
4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a monster head!I bought a case of this at the actual brewery.They said it was only available at the brewery and that they just started brewing it again.I dont know how true that was but who cares.What a great pour the head looks like vanilla ice cream.It has a biscuity aroma that smells very malty and roasted.Left a white ring of lace around my glass.The color is a dark red cherry crystal clear with no sediment.The taste hits you with malt first off then mellows and smooths into the finish.Smells and tastes of molasses and brown sugar with a hint of smoke and roasted grains.None or just a bit of any hops are noted.A medium body with just the finish a bit watery.Very smooth and refreshing on the palate.Another awesome offering from Long Trail.Perfect for a brisk New England fall day.

Note: Just a bit more hops to balance out the malt

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Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown long neck bottle with a bottled on date on the label.

Appearance: A decent head at the initial pouring but the subsides to a semi-sticky ring of lace afterwards. Nice clarity in the old bronze-brown hue.

Smell: A bit malty with hints of butterscotch, ripe fruit and toasted malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very smooth off of the moderate carbonation and creamy medium body. Lots of malt flavour going from sweet to toasted. An even crispness of hop bitterness rolls across the palate to level things off. Faint buttery diacetyl, light fruitiness and a continual toasted malt flavour linger in the end.

Notes: Chalk this one up as another great session beer, paired well with a lightly spicy blackened chicken and caramelized onions.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an off white head of foam. Clear, light auburn liquid. Nose of very light coffee, roasted malt and brown sugar makes for an appetizing aroma. Bittersweet roasted malt with bubbly carbonation, nice subdued flowery hop zing follows. The finish dances on the line between sweet and bitter/dry. Super session ale...I put away a sixer of this stuff while in NH with no problem whatsoever.

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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.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out a nice clear brown with a one-finger head.

The aroma was of medium-dark malts with a slightly roasted aroma.

The taste was slightly bitter, lightly roasted, and a hint of caramel. Overall a very nice beer. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and recommend it highly.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with an offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is fruity from the yeast and sweet smelling from the use of several specialty malts. The taste is refreshing. It has a slight brown sugar feel to it. It's a refreshing ale that is light yet retains a malty character. The mouthfeel is good. It is a light/medium bodied ale with good carbonation. This is a fine ale to break out for the part-time beer lover.

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Photo of scottum
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long Trail brews this beer for the Church Street Tavern on Church Street in lovely Burlington, Vermont. It is a mild brown ale with a beautiful mouthfeel. This brew is oh so very drinkable. It rolls down into my belly with love. The 17 malts and hops give this a nice malty balance with some more subtile overtones. A great brew to drink all night!

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Photo of Citadel82
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good session brew. I could drink loads of this stuff. Not overpowering in any aspect.

Pours a rich copper brown with two fingers of rocky white head. Abundant lacing is evident. The smell is sweetish malt with a hint of floral/citrus. The taste is slightly sweet at first with a short dry finish. Very mush a good specimen of an English brown or a German Alt. Not sure what the difference would be except maybe the hop profile.

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Photo of Ego
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(music: Richard Johston - Foothill Stomp)

this seems to be readily available in south jersey (I found this in long branch but have seen it in red bank also)

not much head, subsides quickly, it is a brown ale.. and guess what.. it's brown. clear and clean looking like most long trail stuff. waves breaking on the shore slowly lacing... very solid.

chocolate coffee (not espresso), some sweetness from all the malt, burnt choc notes as well, maybe not the most complex thing I have quaffed but damn, I really like it.

taste etc...
light but not watery, the carbonation keeps it afloat for you to taste the bitter/sweet balance in the lingering aftertaste. The burnt notes are not apparent in the taste at all except maybe a HINT in the aftertaste if you really concentrate on the back corners of the mouth. I swear I can taste the vermont water when I drink long trail... it has a refreshing flair as well which isnt always associated with a brown. This beer doesnt go over the top in any way. The balance is well appreciated and respected here. You get a hint of the hopier long trail signature in there but it is more like a reminder than a sledgehammer to the head.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat for regular hanging out. Sure, it isnt as challenging as belgians etc but it is a damn fine drinking brew with enough to satisfy the beer dork within you when you arent being hardcore writing down ratings etc. I would serve this with something hearty like beef stew or ribs, maybe even italian red fare like chicken parm or caccitore.

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Photo of Hagbard
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with nice ruby highlights. A small white head forms and a nice continual stream of carbonation winds up from the bottom of the glass. The aroma is sweet with malt and touches of brown sugar. To be honest, the aroma is the worst part of this beer, because I love the taste. This seems to be a theme for me with Long Trail beers, I wonder why? The first thing I taste is brown sugar. This firms up into a beautiful malt backbone that has definite caramel highlights. The aftertaste hits almost as hard as the beer itself with the same malt composition. Even though all the tastes I've described are "sweet" smells, the beer itself isn't very sweet at all. This is a great attribute, sweet beers tend to be off-putting to me. The tastes are there without the cloying sweetness. This beer really surprised me in a good way. I wasn't expecting much, but this is a really great session ale that goes down easily and is never offensive.

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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.

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Photo of ski271
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium-dark brown with a reddish-copper tinge. 1 ½ cm of head after a fairly aggressive pour. Head is pillowy, antique white and diminishes to a moderately thick film. Smells of warm, smooth roasted malts with a light hop bite. Lots of sweet caramel and butterscotch, along with dark bread, light nuts, chocolate, citrus and very light sweaty yeast. Taste-wise, more bready malts up front, with a nutty finish and a little dark fruit in the middle. It’s body is a little thinner than I like and English brown ale to be (but it’s still ok), it has a lightly dry texture, very slight metallic finish and low carbonation. Overall, it’s not a bad brown ale. Nothing all that exciting, but a very satisfying and easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of jaluria
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Eager to try another brew from Long Trail having enjoyed some of their other selections.

Poured a lovely dark brown color that was suprisingly translucent. A soft head developed quickly, but dissipated quickly as well leaving behind little bits of lacing. Aromas of nuts, burnt toast, coal, and brown sugar seemed apparent to me; above average, but not entirely enticing. The taste was as might be expected with pronounced roasted flavors that were bitter-sweet. A rather smooth finish with lingering bitterness that added depth and texture to the beer. Slightly thin in my mouth, but coated my tongue nicely as the flavors stayed for some time. In terms of drinkability, I might be a bit bias as I happen to really enjoy Brown Ales (American & English) and find them to be among the most drinkable beers around. An enjoyable beer that represents the style fairly well.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of DrJivewire
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I believe, though I'm not entirely certain, that the very same brew bottled for the Church Street Tavern is also bottled for an Italian restaurant in W. Lebanon, NH called Lui Lui. At any rate, Lui Lui's beer is indeed brewed by Long Trail and it is an English Brown Ale, though definitely not "Hit the Trail."

A - Rich, dark caramel brown that's cut away when held up to the light to reveal gradations of rust orange.

S - Dense with malt, particularly caramel and light roast. The smell is definitely laced with nutty overtones but does not give an indication of just how nutty this beer really is.

T - The first part of the taste is what you would expect from the smell: full, robust, and malty. What I really love about this beer, though, is the finish. The nutty character increases linearly, culminating in a wonderfully warm and light roasted taste in the back of your throat that decays slowly. The peak in this character is a bit more intense than is typical for nutty ales, and that is precisely what makes this brew so enjoyable.

M - Mouthfeel is absolutely critical for brown ales, and the aspect of mouthfeel that is of primary importance is viscosity. Long Trail has gotten it right with this brew.

D - Very drinkable, a great accompaniment to dinner with friends.

I must admit that in general I'm not fanatical about Long Trail's offerings. This brown ale, however, stands with Double Bag and their unfiltered IPA at a cut above the rest.

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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?

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Photo of acarroll413
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the expressed purpose that, I wanted to drink more than just winter seasonals. So I tried this one. The color was a rich cola brown, nice head. It was quite smooth going down, much to my surprise. Overall I'd say this is a very good brown ale.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a 11/11/04 bottled on date marked.

I poured this into a imperial pint glass. Pours a light brown body and fluffy head. Head rentention is wholesome at first, but settles into a sticky lacing.

Aroma of toasted malts, caramel and sugar. Slight backdrop of fruit in there too.

Very smooth flowing brown ale with a sugary sweetness. Emphasis on a roasted malt and caramel flavor blend. Mini hop snap on the finish.

A bit more robust in comparison to the Long Trail Ale. As with most other LT beers, this would work as a good session beer.

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Hit The Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
3.58 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
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