Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long Trail Ale

Like Otter Creek Copper Ale, Long Trail Ale is a German-style Altbier under section 7A of the BJCP style guidelines. Introduced in November of 1989, Long Trail Ale is the largest selling craft-brew in Vermont. This very drinkable beer is crisp, clean, and full of complexity. For sure a must try for any occasion.

Alcohol Content: 4.6%
International Bitterness Units (IBU): 30
Malts: Two-Row, Wheat, Crystal, and Chocolate
Hops: Northern Brewer, Willamette, and Mt. Hood

Medium: 12oz bottle purchased and poured into a pint glass (for best results, serve in a German-style "Stange" glass - a tall slender cylinder sometimes slightly tapered towards the bottom to increase hop and malt subtleties)
Price: $13.00 for a 12-pack Long Trail Sampler

Aroma: Has a distinctive sweet malty aroma and complex potpourri of minty, earthy, and woody hop characteristics. Upon pouring, it also releases a robust spicy herbalness. Somewhat similar to the noble hops used in Otter Creek Copper Ale but slightly more herbal. Fruity esters from an English ale yeast (Ringwood).
Appearance: Clear/ clean amber in color with a subtle copper hue. Very nice off-white foam that lingers around the rim of the glass and a thin layer of foam dissipates slowly across the surface. Contains large steady bubbling consistent with moderate carbonation.
Flavor: An initial sweet malty flavor rolls over the tongue followed by some bitterness and spicy undertones. Sweet flavors are consistent with the crystal malt (which also aids in head retention). As the complex flavors linger, a smooth, slightly nutty aftertaste slowly takes over and finishes very clean with no dry aftertaste. Consists of some fruity esters reminiscent of the English ale yeast.
Mouthfeel: A refreshing warming sensation with some creaminess and moderate carbonation. This Ale is very crisp and refreshing, with an overall smooth mouthfeel.
Overall Impression: Long Trail Ale is very well balanced with an equal amount of complexity coming from both the malts and hops. I suggest this beer to any beer drinker on any occasion due to its refreshing qualities and unique complexity that comes with any craft beer.

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