Appalachian Brewing Co.
Trail Blaze Organic Brown Ale
An even pour gives a bouncing light beige head which begins to sit quickly but looks as though it will maintain good lacing. The clarity is excellent and the effervescence is lively and erratic in upward cascades.
The color is cola or root beer with a touch of orange. When not held to the light, it appears brown and slightly murky. The nose is cocoa and malt, wet bread with a touch of damp mud – a nice earthiness that belies the sweet gingerbread malts and toasted caramel. Light hops are evident as a slight fruitiness – almost like fresh strawberries.
The mouthfeel is good and the beer has some bite – more than you’d expect from a brown. The initial flavor is soft bread, followed by a roasted, almost burnt caramel. The hops take over just before you’re put off by the blackened toast quality.
The aftertaste is slight acrid, so it’s not quite a successful brown in my book. There should be a roasted finish as there is in Casco Bay’s brown, or a total smoothness, as in Newkie, but this one doesn’t quite hit the bottle on the cap, so to speak. The lacing is pretty good, starting as illegible cursive and moving eventually to wide, Pollock swaths.
I hate to be disparaging about any beer – and I enjoyed ABCs Susquehanna Stout – but this one needs some tweaking.