Browse Tag

long trail


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Double White (Vermont) – Herds the fresh, spicy froth of white ale into realms it doesn’t wish to go, at least in this guise. “Heavy” isn’t the word for what’s wrong with this. Perhaps it would be most accurate to say that it’s too pushy. (7/12)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Coffee Stout (Vermont) – Yes, coffee. Yes, stout. A good melding of two worthy beverages, perhaps a little heavier on the coffee than is the norm for these brews. It’s my sense that, whenever a traditional added-flavor beer style is attempted by domestic breweries, there’s more of that addition than is typical for the traditional referent. It’s true here, but while I often find the excessive flavoring bothersome or intrusive, in this case I actually prefer it to the stoutier version it mimics. It’s not very “serious,” but it’s most definitely enjoyable. (8/11)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Imperial Red Ale “Centennial Red” (Vermont) – I don’t, as a rule, like red ale. I’m not sure why. This is as forceful an argument to the contrary as has passed my glottis, pairing the usual acidity with a throbbing, red-light-district fullness. Pretty impressive, I have to say. (12/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Imperial Porter (Vermont) – I used to love porter, but now I tend to find it an in-between style that’s not as appealing to me as something clearer or something more opaque. This is a fair brew, browned and nutty with a caramelized anise lacquer, but I can’t quite warm to it. (10/10)

Is it dusty, too?

Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Double IPA (Vermont) – Lovely, lifted aromatics…I don’t, as a rule, enjoy sniffing beer, but this smells pretty enticing…with, yes, confident hoppiness but very good balance. There’s complexity here that forces one to pay attention. If I rated the things I drink, this would be the point score: I bought a case, and I haven’t bought beer by the case since college. (8/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Winter White (Vermont) – The more I drink of this, the more I like it. Blizzard spices and yeasty warmth are a good combination. (1/10)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Winter White (Vermont) – Really quite clever, combining the spicy lightness of white with the richer, heavier expectations of a winter ale, and managing to work this alchemy without sacrificing either style’s character or overall balance. (12/09)


Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Double IPA (Vermont) – I don’t normally like the hoppier styles of beer, and the one thing that bothers me about Long Trail’s regular ales is that they’re a bit strong with the hops. This one, however, works. It does because it finds that ideal point where the sweetness and aromatic excitement of the hops doesn’t simply burn with bitterness, but instead layers the ale with complexity. Impressive. (4/09)

A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup

Long Trail “Brewmaster Series” Coffee Stout (Vermont) – They got the coffee part right, lending just enough of it to meld without dominance. Unfortunately, the stout portion is a little lacking; it’s wan, without the heft it needs to bring enough substance to the mix. Just OK. (3/09)