UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012
I often find myself reviewing beers that I can’t find flaws in, and yet
I can’t bring myself to rate them as outstanding, best-of-the-best,
five-star brews. Such is the case of Long Trail Harvest – a great
American take on the traditional English brown ale style. It’s tasty,
smooth and medium-bodied. I think there are just one or two details
keeping it from being true greatness, but I’m not sure what they are.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
a reason they’re called brown ales, because they pour to a perfect
shade of brown, although in the case of Harvest I’d call it more of a
bronze/maroon color. The body is crystal clear and has notable
carbonation. A good amount of off-white, soapy head forms upon pouring
and never completely dissipates throughout the life of the drink.
isn’t much of an aroma to speak of; brown ales aren’t known for being
potent in the nose. It does hint at being a malt-based beer but isn’t
overwhelming. At least there’s no generic “beer smell” whatsoever.
often find that the greatest brown ales have a very sweet taste not
unlike cola. It’s hard to find a beer that is rooted in its malts
without tasting like cough syrup, but Long Trail Harvest gets the flavor
Upon initial taste I was reminded of Newcastle Brown
Ale, but its palate is not as strong. The flavor is caramel-like and
quite sweet but without being gimmicky. This is the kind of taste I look
for in a beer.
Probably another reason I
like brown ales so much is their easy finish. Long Trail Harvest drinks
as if it were water. It’s hard to find a beer with such genuine flavor
and craftsmanship that finishes so smooth.
bet this beer would scare off a lot of lightweights because of its dark
complexion. Usually dark beers have too strong of a taste and too heavy
of a weight for the casual drinker. Long Trail Harvest not only is
smooth as silk, but its weight is surprisingly light.
I was not
able to find out the number of calories per serving, but at only 4.4%
ABV it’s not the kind of beer that’s going to bog you down.
actually a shame Long Trail Harvest is only a seasonal beer because
it’s good enough to warrant year-round consumption. You owe it to
yourself to try it while you have the chance.