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 blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown filtered pour topped by an ivory ½” frothy cap.

Sugary “brown” scents pervade. Plenty of pancake malts to go around.

First swigs: Toasted malts and candied fruit. Cake malts. Dry signature LONG TRAIL Alt flavors. Stale root beer and some maple syrup.Spice wafer.

Last swigs: Basic brown spice wafer. Let’s not get too excited.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of shippos
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a clear brillant amber red witha a thin weak watery head. hints of chewy malt in the aroma along with some toasted and chocolate and caramel grain. More carbonation than expected witha thin mouthfeel...over all nothing great about this, it's ok if nothing else is available.

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Photo of scooter231
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty golden amber color with a slight layer of light head. Smells and tastes quite dry for a brown ale. Slight bits of sweetness make their way through, but you're left with a lingering sort of metalic aftertaste, and aftersmell as well.

Feels kind of watery and a bit chewy all at once, as if it can't make up its mind which direction it wants to go in. Decently drinkable, but I can see the metalic qualities become increasingly annoying and unappetizing. Not a bad beer by far, but certainly not one of my favorites. If you're going for Long Trail, check out their other beers first.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So far, the least sweet tasting brown ale I've had... which is kind of nice.
Finishes very, very dry; maybe too dry for the style? but I like it. I find it adds to the drinkability. Some sweet malt flavors are found, but hops are much more dominant. Not a piney kind of hops... not very sharp... but very drying.
Another solid offering from Long Trail... worth a try.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hit the Trail Ale....

Appearance-really dark brown color one finger of head that dissapears quickly, the dark color looks nice enough though.

Smell-a malty aroma with sugary flavors peppered throughout, not all that permeating immediately though, it took some work to find as the beer warmed up.

Taste-rather light on the beginning with sweet malt and a dark finish, effortlessly smooth and drinkable, this is not a hard beer to drink.

Mouthfeel-light, malty and smooth without much of an aftertaste, seems a fairly easy beer to put down.

Drinkability-only 4.4% alcohol and with all the characteristics above I think one would find this very drinkable.

Overall-while not the most breathtakingly flavorful brown ale out there this ale is refreshingly smooth and incredibly easy to drink for the style. Recommended to those new to the style or to craft beer.

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

Pours with a dark amber color. The head is a bit on the thin side, but the smell is quite nice and sweet. The flavor is sweet, a little hoppy, and slightly on the bitter side but very nice. The feel - at least this batch - is a little on the flat side, but goes down quite smoothly. A very enjoyable english style ale.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Although they don't put out the most daring products, Long Trail still remains one of my favourite New England breweries, and thus I was happy to be able to sample ther new(ish) Hit the Trail Ale.

It pours a nice but simple amber colour with a fairly thin beige head that is somewhat sticky overall.

The smell is primarily earthy and malty with some sweet buttery notes and some roasted malt aromas as well.

The flavour is very much like the smell but a touch sweeter, especially at the finish. Malt flavour is apparent throughout, with maybe even a touch of chocolate. Earth notes are less apparent in the flavour than they are in the smell, as this is not a hearty brown ale by any means.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery at times, though overall this one is very smooth and a touch creamy. I can't say that I was thrilled with it, but was far from disappointed as well. It's basically a solid, above average session-type brew from LT, which is not so surprising. I'm not running back to this one anytime soon, but I'd be happy to drink it from time to time as well.

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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 Billolick
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer tried, with bottled on dating on the label. Clear almond flows out of the bottle, insipid white head, dissolving to nothing, no lacing to write about. Nose is fairly weak, just perhaps a wiff of doughness. Not getting a great amount of malt/hops/flavor/complexity here. Clearly a subtle, British style Brown ale. Not impressed, LT makes better stuff then this.

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Photo of ProudBeerSnob
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in trad. pint glass. Color is a nice copper, not much aroma at all, slight brown ale type smell. This tasting is not as good as the last time I sampled this beer. Flavor and tatse are somewhat underwhelming. Very light bodied, especially compared to the Rogue brown I tried last night. Drinkability is good, simply because it does nothing to offend and does offer a fair attempt at the style.
I had come to expect more from Long Trail.

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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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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 mschofield
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear coppery brown, topped with a one finger khaki head, leaves partial webs of lacing.
Toffee, tea and bread aroma, wood, brown sugar, a touch tannic with nut and cream notes.
Toffee and bread taste, sweet, brown sugar or molasses note, nuts, chocolate note.
Medium bodied, easy to drink but a bit too sweet.

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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 bditty187
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear, ruby-brown in hue with a bronzy highlight, what a beautiful color. The head developed poorly, at the apex it was a half finger in height but quickly dissipated to a thin cap. After a few moments the cap faded to a collar. There was no subsequent lacing. The nose has its charm, it does lack in potency a bit thus I can’t completely grasp the aromas. I do detect some toasty, caramel malts. I absolutely adore this in Brown Ales. But I do not welcome the buttery, butterscotch notes. Strange sweet, flowery, fruity notes too. Airy finish. The bouquet is fair, not inviting but not off-putting. I’m curious to take a sip even though I hardly know what to expect. I like my Brown Ales to taste like small porters. This one does not. So I will judge it accordingly. There is a wide butterscotch flavor that muddles the palate, IMO. This forces the toasty, caramel flavors to the background. Some sweetness is found at the back, towards the finish before a charred taste emerges. This odd combination lingers into the aftertaste. I can tolerate it but I don’t love it. Weak hop bitterness; any true flavors contributed are not discernible. Overall, the palate is good enough but it needs to be paired with some grilled foods or at least some sharp cheddar cheese. Medium/medium-light in body, low carbonation but the mouthfeel is still pleasant. I like this beer. It is okay. But one 12-ounce bottle was enough for me. Thanks for the sample UnionMade… and the glass!

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Photo of UnionMade
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark coppery amber, kind of like weathered gold, topped with a frothy cream colored head. Decent head retention, keeping a thin foam through most of the pint, with some sticky cobwebs of lace.
The aroma is mainly a sweet caramel maltiness, a bit of toasted and crystal malt, with mild esters. A slight hint of chocolate. The esters are odd and indistinct, just kind of fruity/floral with no specific fruit flavors standing out. Some mellow, subdued hops, perhaps fuggles. A moderate diacetyl butterscotch aroma, with husky graininess.
The flavor starts with some toasty caramel maltiness, more toasty than caramel, traveling into a mild esteriness with hints of red ripe apple and some of that juicyfruit gum flavor. Some mild diacetyl butterscotch blends and enhances the caramel maltiness. Smooth, easy going carbonation, with a lightish medium body. Some mild herbal hopping comes through towards the end, with some spicy, earthy english hop flavor right in the finish. The caramel and diacetyl build through the sip, becoming quite strong in the end, balancing the hoppiness well. Some rough graininess in the finish, a hint of chocolate malt, lingering into the aftertaste with some butterscotch.
A decent beer, definitely one of Long Trail's better offerings, but nothing I'd go out of my way to buy again. I've had this beer a couple times, and it seems a bit different with each bottle. Retrying it, the diacetyl is less pronounced, with stronger hop flavor and graininess. In keeping with Long Trail's rough hewn sort of flavor, but with perhaps a little more complexity to keep you interested. A bit muddy, with an indistinct style, as is the case with most of Long Trail's beers. I just reviewed it for what it was, not following any sort of style guideline.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

dark copper/brown witha tan head. light raosted coffee aroma ith some other roasted malt characteristics, and some butterscotch. bitter coffee flavors, with slight nuttiness, chocolate, and caramel. faint burnt and smoke flavors too. medium bodied with relatively strong carbonation. it sort of interrupts the flavors a bit. overall pretty mediocre, but drinkable. needs less carbonation, a little less dryness and a little more flavor to make a decent brown ale.

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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 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 Stimack
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Brown Bottle
Bottled on 11/06/2004

Before I even started the pour I was able to notice hints of butterscotch and fruit. On the pour I noticed the crystal clear coppery color and about ¼ + inch white foamy head that dissipates quite quickly but has nice lacing around the glass. The smell once poured does seem to be of Butterscotch, some fruit and heavy sweet malt. The taste is of a lot of malt plus some (think it could have some more) hop!

Over all I feel it is a good beer nothing to get overly excited about but one that I would not mind having once in a while!

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Photo of Maestro
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice red/orange hue. There is little to no head. The nose is quite sweet and malty, but with a good hop balance. The taste is thin but loaded with bitterness. This is uncommon for brown ales. There is a winy, almost faintly vinegar quality. The mouthfeel is a decent, not very impressive. Drinkability is the hey to this beer. It would be a great session beer. A nice hoppy brown ale.

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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 yankeeheel
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange/amber with a moderate off-white head. Decent lacing down the glass. Smells weakly of floral hops and earthy malts.

The taste is middle of the road on the malt scale. Slightly buttery and nutty, but without a whole lot of distinction. Finishes with a teeny bit of hops a slightly sweet. Carbonation is moderate.

A "safe" beer if that makes any sense. It's taste seems pretty cookie cutter. It does nothing to disuade you from drinking it, but it doesn't make you want to run out to the store to get it either.

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

The head looks just like the one you get on root beer. Sweet malty aroma, almost like a lager. Dark amber in color, with a moderate amount of lacing along the glass. The taste is mildly malty, offset by a light dry hoppiness. Fairly light body, not much in the aftertaste besides the original flavors fading. Very drinkable, although I could go for a little more hops.

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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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