3.6AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Almost every brewery brews a pale ale - whether it’s a micro brewpub, a major craft brewery, or one of the macro’s "imprint" lines. It’s almost like it’s a requirement to get a brewer’s license. The style is usually solid and appeals to people of different taste ranges since it’s flavorful, but not extremely robust, and drinkable but not watery. It’s hard to make a pale ale that really stands out, but Long Trail Pale Ale comes pretty close.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
I poured a 12oz bottle into an English pint glass. This beer forms a huge head of rocky, off-white foam that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The color is a hazy shade of orange to copper and is extremely bubbly.
The aroma is surprisingly citrusy, with some noticeable floral notes as well. It could easily be mistaken for an IPA from the scent alone.
I should "disclaim" this review by mentioning I was drinking a beer that was bottled six months before I drank it. I was worried the beer might’ve gone bad but was genuinely surprised by how flavorful it was. Usually, American pale ales just satisfy me, but Long Trail Pale Ale went a little above and beyond and actually impressed me. Much like the aroma, the first swig had the hop bite of an IPA. It’s a clean, citrusy hop with a candy-like sweetness in the finish. The bitterness lingers for only a moment or two, leaving your palate clean in the end.
Perhaps it was due to the fact I was drinking old beer, but I definitely noticed the flavor mellowed out about halfway through. The palate didn’t change, as the clean hop taste shone through, but the intensity seemed to be muted. The bitterness increased and became a bit drier. Still, this is more than I can say for many beers of the style so it was still pleasing.
Long Trail Pale Ale is not too thick and definitely not too thin in terms of mouthfeel. The body is perfectly medium bordering on the light side. It goes down smooth and finishes clean.
Believe it or not, I couldn’t find the ABV statistic for this beer anywhere. I’d estimate it’s around 5.5% since it’s too robust to be much lighter, but doesn’t have the density of something heavier like an IPA. It would make a great session beer, especially for hopheads, and pair well with dinner.
Long Trail is one of those mid-level craft breweries known for making pedestrian beers of pedestrian styles and technically you could say that true for their Pale Ale. However, I’m impressed the brewery was able to add an extra touch to this brew and make it a little more memorable.