11/22/16 Long Trail Brewing Company's Harvest, An Early Thanksgiving Post

5:16 PM

Christmas is right around the corner, but we in the US have another holiday to get through before we start awaiting a large, magical fat man who will invade our homes via our chimneys and explore our under-trees. That's right, we have to get through Thanksgiving.

What better way to prep myself for Turkey Day than Long Trail's Harvest? I mean, on Thanksgiving we celebrate the harvest by stuffing our faces, right? I know that I'm excited for it and I expect you are too. So, let's get into the beer at hand.

Long Trail Brewing Company has a Vermont pedigree dating back to 1989. Originally known as the Mountain Brewers, the brewers that brought Long Trail Ale to the masses moved to a larger facility than their original home in 1995. Long Trail is committed to sustainability and partnering with nonprofits to better their community. If you'd like to read more about the brewery, be sure their "Our Story" webpage.

When it comes to Harvest, Long Trail's page for it divulges the following information: its a seasonal brown ale brewed with maple syrup that boasts a modest ABV 4.4%.

On the aroma front, I'm getting a typical brown ale aroma (nutty, slightly roasty) with a hint of sweetness that I attribute to the syrup. I like it a lot, and it does a great job of preparing me for the ale. Purrl cat kind of likes the brew, seeing as how she gave it four whiffs.

The flavor closely mirrors the aroma. It's a good, hearty brown ale in the font, with all its roasty (but not overly) nuttiness, and a mapley syrup sweetness immediately following. While I thoroughly enjoy the ale's flavor, it finishes watery and bland with a strange bite of bitterness. However, knowing that I like the initial flavor is enough to draw me back for swig after swig.

Harvest has a bright mouthfeel--it's flavor profile and fizziness (it's pretty heavy on the fizz) leads me to believe that "bright" is the best word choice here.

I was really hoping this would conjure up memories of Thanksgiving, but that isn't the case. Instead, I'm getting images of a half-remembered boy scout camp I visited one while I was in elementary school (probably third grade). It was dark and around Halloween. There was a faded red barn and hay bales and a rope swing over a small crevice that should have had a stream running through it but was dry instead. I vaguely recall someone not having a good enough grip on the rope and falling into the dry bank. There may have been hot chocolate.

I like Long Trail's Harvest, but--despite the aroma, mouthfeel, and great initial taste--the watery finish drags it down. I'm giving it a 7.0/10. It's an average beer, so don't let my rating deter you from trying it. But, in a world of great brews, I won't go out of my way to try this again.

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