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
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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 199
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 williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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 -15.4%
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 +2.8%
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 -15.4%
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 -2.8%
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 -8.4%
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 -1.4%
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 +10.3%
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 Dewey0603
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
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 -8.9%
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 +8.9%
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 ChuckD
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
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 -2.8%
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 +9.8%
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 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 NJpadreFan
2.12/5  rDev -40.8%
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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Photo of cooter
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong, strong smell and flavor of chocolate--specifically, milk chocolate with added sugar, like a candy bar. Also smells of crispness, slight hops, and evenhanded malts.

Tastes of that sugared milk chocolate. In fact, taste is just like the smell. Slight nuttiness, and the back end lacks some backbone--ie, some wateriness.

It looks beautiful, by the by, in that it laces amazingly and has solid smattering of foam: not a full covering, but a robust miniscus and a heavy dusting across the top. Fully off-white. Bubbles vary in size.

Very drinkable. Little aftertaste, and what does remain is a back-throated chocolaty, nutty, sugary enticement. Mouthfeel punches its carbonation quick, strong, and promptly exits stage left, leaving only pleasantries. The front is unassuming and calm.

For a beer, it's good. For an English brown, it's good (exemplifies quiet but smooth but tasty and pleasant characteristics). But it's not my preference when it comes to brown ales in general--I want more nutty, more complex chocolate, more of a transition of flavors (see my Ithaca Cascazilla review), and it needs just a little work on aftertaste and multidimensional flavor. How's that for a vague hippy review? Solid beer, excellent transition beer, beautiful artisanship, but needs depth. Hooray Beer!

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Photo of Suds
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a beautiful brown color that’s tinted with an amber-bronze tone. The head is a little shallow and unremarkable, but the appearance of the liquid is truly enticing. The smell of this beer grows on you as you work though the glass…toasted malt and grains come out in waves. There’s just a little hops, and a nut and bread-crust character that’s terrific. Caramel as well. It’s a fairly dry beer, with a nice balancing bitterness. There’s bit of metallic taste. The body is a little light, borderline watery. All in all, though, it’s a very enjoyable and drinkable brew.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My bottle of Hit the Trail Ale is dated 10/06/05, so it is perhaps a little past its prime. It pours a crystal clear brown with a tinge of red and a uniform white head. Aroma is some slight floral hops, along with some nutty and chocolatey flavors. Taste is nutty and malty and roasted. Finish is off-dry with some undefined bitterness. Mouthfeel is rather thin. Goes down easy, but a pretty unexceptional brew. Not to say that it is bad, but this is not my first choice among Long Trail's offerings.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a medium amber color with moderrate white head that fell to a thin coating. Left very nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is toasty, carmelly, with some fruitiness also present. Taste is strong on malt with some more caramel showing through. Finished sweet and fruity. A good , easy to dring beer. Good example of an English Brown Ale.

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Photo of Gattopardo
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Thick frothy head with solid bubbly lacing that stays nicely present. Dark copper color with plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Light malt aroma.

Taste: Nutty flavor with just a touch of bitterness on the finish that rounds it out nicely. Hops flavor becomes more pronounced as it warms, creating a pleasant balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, leaves a pleasant sensation on the palate.

Drinkability: More of a nutty than a fruity brown ale, easy to drink but doesn’t leave one with much.

The bottle specifies that this beer is a northern English style brown, and as such is intended to be drier and hoppier than the southern variety, and this brand seems to fulfill those characteristics.

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Photo of Gavage
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Super crystal clear orange and light brown in color. Thick 2" head with big fluffy bubbles. Some spotty lacing develops. The aroma is extremely mild, as only some soft caramel is discernable. The flavor is mild caramel, bread, light bitterness, and hints of butter.

Mouthfeel is slighty towards the watery side, and lightly crisp at the start and finish. Drinkability is OK, but this is a little weak and dull on the tastebuds. If you want a very mellow brew for a session, this is one to get.

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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 NEhophead
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, slightly rocky off white head that fades to an almost intact sheet after a few moments. Spotted and condensed lacing with good strength. Rustic copper with a few shades of deep brown in color.

Sweet caramel and molasses with an earthen, musty odor. Also, hints of floral hops.

Semi-sweet caramel and toffee flavored malt character. The floral hop character adds an astringency and prolonged bitterness from beginning to end. The finish is slightly dry followed by a musty and bitter caramel aftertaste.

Medium bodied; thin on the palate. The candied sugar feel seems to really lighten the body of this Enlish Brown. Grainy for the style.

A very mild version of the style. Odd combination of flavors, but nothing too unpleasant. Another?...I'll pass.

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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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