Hit The Trail Ale | Long Trail Brewing Co.

199 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 |  Reviews: 91
Photo of changeup45
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +10%
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 Gambrinus1184
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
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 coalcracker
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Durge
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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 jcdiflorio
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
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 riversider76
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of billybob
4.13/5  rDev +15%
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 williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in a mixed winter 12-pack from Wegmans in Cicero (Syracuse), NY, bottled 10/6/05. Drank 9/21/06. Looks like I picked the wrong winter.

An opaque reddish brown color into a tulip-shaped Unibroue glass. Nice head. Lacing remains throughout.

Has a sweet, malty scent to it. The aroma accentuates the beer as you drink it.

Sweeter than most browns. Has a pleasant, malty flavor; you can tell it's there, but it's not overbearing. A smooth, sweet brown ale. The malt is overpowering, but lingers on the aftertaste.

A little lighter than I expected, but that fits this beer. You don't have to choke it down.

Don't know if I would drink a full sixer of this particular beer, but makes a nice change-of-pace brew in the Long Trail 12-pack. Perfect to balance you out if your last few brews were a classic over-hop. None of the Long Trail selections blow me away, but the price is reasonable and all their selections are above average.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dirty brown color ale with a rather large head with average retention. Aroma of caramel malt with some sweetness. Taste is also dominated by some roasted malt with a nice lingering caramel-like sweetness. Body is just above average with some good carbonation. Better then most standard brown ale out there but nothing to write home about.

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

This is a 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery one month ago. It is chilled and served in a Chimay goblet.

A: The ale is a deep ruby-brown color that accentuates the ruby when held to light. Again, there is no head whatsoever.

S: The ale has a deep nutty malt aroma.

T: The malts again provide a crisp nutty flavor that is robust. The nuttiness slowly fades into a strong biscuity flavor that is unimpeded by hops.

M: The ale's nut profile is a welcome change in pace, providing a chewy mouthfeel.

D: The ale is very drinkable, especially when bottled, with the nuts and caramel really standing out.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the long trail brewery in Vt.

A nice dark ale with a good amount a coffee malt and very little head. Rick Dark color and decent aroma, with very little hint of hops, the malt takes away from it. Sticks in your mouth after the swallow, so if you are going to drink it i would say dont switch to other beers cause it stays there. For me i think it would be a definitely decent winter type beer.

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Photo of bigone4
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Long Trail decided to take a great tasting and their best selling beer and spruce it up a bit. They kept it unfiltered and dry hopped it creating a nice offering. Nice dark brownish cloudy orangy red color with a nice creamy white head. Mild lacing around the glass. Smooth crisp light maltiness and hop smell. Nice mouthfeel light taste of malt very clean and refreshing. Had a nice aftertaste with some hoppy tones in the flavor. Great drinkability and very enjoyable. I would drink this beer if they offered it again. Good overall beer that I think anyone would find delicious. I had it on tap at the 2006 VT Brewers Festival. I was able to really enjoy it in the VIP tent. Sometimes one 3oz. taste is not enough!

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Photo of EStreet20
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a 20 ounce nonic.

A - Reddish brown in color with a two finger ofg white head. Looks pretty nice. The head sticks to the glass quite a bit and has some staying power.

S - Smells of dark malts with some of an earthy smell in there. Lacks that roasty smell I really like in browns but still pretty nice.

T - Taste is of some sweet malts with a roasty character on the aftertaste. However the taste overall is quite subdued. Not as flavorful as many brown ales.

M - Light bodied and a bit too watery.

D - Not too bad but not enough flavors standing out.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a dark brown beer with a medium head that lasted. A tiny bit of lacing. It had a roasted malt and slightly grainy aroma. The taste was sweet, raisin bread-like, with a little bit of hops coming in. A pleasant beer, kind of middle of the road for this style of beer.

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Photo of ski271
3.95/5  rDev +10%
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 Dewey0603
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a darkish red brown with a medium tan head. There is alot of carbonation in this beer. The smell is average with some malt sweetness to it,but nothing outstanding. The taste is a creamy malt sweetness with alot of carbonation. This is an interesting beer. The m/f is light with the aftertaste being somewhat watery. This is a decent beer that I would try again and one of the better American Brown Ales.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark shade of brown with considerable vanilla toned head. The head lasted the whole sitting, which is just what I was looking for.

Smell: Definitely malted barley with a hint of honey mixed with a slight floral essence. The hops were definitely there, but other than the flower aroma, I could not pick out a specific smell.

Taste: Intermingled bitter sweet taste from the malted barley and hops. The sweetness isn't as intense as other english browns i've had, and the bitter aftertaste was a little more prevalent, but still alright.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and bitter, it coats my mouth easily before striking at my tongue.

Drinkability: The taste is laid back enough to make this an easy session brew, but the bitterness makes it harder to throw down the hatch. I think it's a little too bitter, but overall I could quaff it easier than most beers, let alone sweeter brown ales.

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Photo of DrJivewire
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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 ChuckD
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the Summer Sampler poured into a chalice. Tawny, somewhat thick lacing atop a shiny brown body.

To the nose, the malts jump out exclaiming the sweetness to follow. Slight floral bouquet to be found.

In the mouth, the sweet malts are verified and add a nice smoothness to the tastes. Malt layers are found - caramel at first then tunring to a more charcoal type taste. Undertone of a hop character is present to cut some of the sweetness.

The feel is full and substantial - covering your mouth. It finishes dry and refreshing with an fresh organic end on the back of your tongue.

Musings: Another typical nice offering from Long Trail. Given the price point and availability - well worth the effort.

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Photo of wedge
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown with a soft white head that is more of a thin cap. Nice webby lacing. Light sweet malty aroma - toasted caramel, nuts, and a hint of fruit. Smooth malt flavor with a gentle sweet finish. Clean, medium mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Not worth seeking out on its own, but worth a try overall if its made available to you.

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Photo of jaluria
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
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 acarroll413
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
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 NJpadreFan
2.12/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Long Trail- Hit the Trail Ale

Appearance- cola brown with a huge frothy head. Slight lacing.
Smell- Opened the beer and stuck my nose to the bottle. Smelled light lemon and grass. Poured the beer into a glass and there was a faint, and I mean faint smell of roasted nut.
Taste- I swear there is no taste at all!! This was bottled on 10/12/05 so thats 3 months old. I can barely detect some malt and coffe/ nut flavor. I could be making it up in my head though.
Mouthfeel- water. water. water.

Overall- what is going on here?! No flavor! I wasn't expecting much from this beer and it delivered even less. There is NO taste!

-maybe my tastebuds are too conditioned to IPA's

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Hit The Trail Ale from Long Trail Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 199 ratings
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