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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
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Highland Little Hump Spring Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Little Hump Spring AleHighland Little Hump Spring Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 264
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 6
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thagr81us on 02-11-2011

This American Pale Ale is meticulously handcrafted for full floral hop aroma and flavor. Brewed with grains from America's heartland - Simcoe for bittering, Amarillo and Cascade (both dry hopped) for aromatics - this beer finishes crisp and clean. Have a few and your freshly mowed lawn will still have arrow-straight lines.

32 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 264
Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Magic Hat shaker. Poured golden yellow with a one and a half finger pure white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, skunky hop, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, skunky hop, earth, and very subtle citrus. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Not one of the best of the style I've ever had, but still pretty solid. Really wish that the subtle citrus I got in the flavor would have been more pronounced and forward. It would have helped couple all of the aspects of this brew. Granted though it was still pretty nice to see a beer like this come out from Asheville. (754 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: served in a wide snifter, clear golden in color, floating a nice layer of white carbonation

s: lovely first sniff - grapefruit pith and grassy hop aromas first noticed, striking but well within APA bounds, supported by a body of clean pale malts, perhaps a slight biscuity but quite crisp and bright

m: carbonation around moderate, just a touch lively, with a body that's clean and light, but not thin

t: clean pale malts hold a balanced hop flavor profile that's a combination of fresh grass and dried grapefruit rind, mostly dry, a refreshingly acidic citrus bitterness takes over two-thirds through and occupies the finish

o: a great little APA that's balanced, interesting, and exceedingly drinkable

picked up a single back in NC (741 characters)

Photo of nms1987
4.74/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 3/22/11, enjoyed on 4/18/11

Holy crap. I don't understand how this beer is so good. This is the American answer to a great pilsner or bitter. Low alcohol (ABV not listed here or on bottle but elsewhere I've seen it listed at 4.5abv) but so much flavor.

Pours a clear gold with a white head.
The aroma is amazing, being quite fresh helps tremendously I'm sure but there is so much good ol American hop aroma coming off of this bad boy, but not in an overwhelming pungent sense and theres a wee touch of a sweet malt note. Its all very fresh and natural smelling.

The most impressive thing about the palate of this beer is now balanced it is. It could be very easy for a beer like this be hoppy but watery but instead this stuff is legitimately medium bodied but oh so crisp. There is enough light malt here to make the beer whole, instead of just hop-water. The hoppiness on the nose comes through on the palate as well. A nice pine-y or citrus rind sensation sticks to the top of the tongue and this finish lasts and lasts and lasts.
Completely refreshing, hoppy but in balance.

Though you wouldn't confuse it for a pilsner, its clearly an American ale, its great hop aroma and long, crisp finish really satisfies that same part of the palate.

One of the most perfect warm weather beers I've ever had. (1,320 characters)

Photo of StLThrash
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a 'build your own sixer' in Knoxville, TN. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. No expiration date.

A - pours a clear golden yellow with a 1 finger head. Left light lacing throughout.

S - very nice foral and citrus hop aroma from the Amarillo and Cascade dry hopping.

T & M - Very reminiscent of Sam Adams Noble Pils. Lots of hop character brought on by the Simcoe bittering hops. Very juicy and chewy mouthfeel.

Overall - a damn good beer. Best beer out of the sampler by far. Had some Sweetwater, Lazy Magnolia, etc... and this was by far the best. Will be looking for more on our trip to Myrtle Beach. (630 characters)

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a nice golden color with a generous white head, and lots of lacing down the glass. A wonderful tangy grapefruit scent greets the nose at opening. A tart grapefruit flavor is prominent in the taste, with a bit of grassiness as well. Finishes dry with a slight prickle on the tongue. This is a perfect beer to enjoy while relaxing on the porch on a warm spring day in the beautiful Southern Appalachians. (416 characters)

Photo of cnjohn19
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not going into much detail here, but this seasonal offering from Highland is fantastic...very light, crisp, with a strong citrus backbone...it screams spring is here in NC and i like it...great session beer...

song pairinings: broken bells "windows," bob marley "exodus," jack johnson just about any song... (308 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Granderson really?...really?Little Hump poured into a standard pint glass a clear light to medium golden with a thin white head that was gone very quickly.Wow I love Simcoe and Amarillo hop aromas,citric and deeply resiny,just fresh smelling.A little lighter in the body,it could use a little more structure.Big citric flavors,again just bright and fresh,the malt base is light with just a little biscuit sweetness.This is a quaffing fresh hoppy tasting ale,its great as is,give a little more malt structure and it would be nearly perfect in my mind.Great Amarillo hop burps. (575 characters)

Photo of Caml
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glassware: DFH Signature

Aggressive pour leaves a tall, very white but slightly loose head, dissipating after a bit into some strong lacing. Brilliant gold, very clear but not quite crystal.

Smells of herbal hops, bready malt, and yeast that come together to uncannily resemble homemade pizza dough. I dig, though perhaps a bit yeasty for an APA.

Hops are the feature flavor but there's more malt than I was expecting from a spring beer. I'd love to wax more on it but they mingle together in a way to pick apart. Moderately long hop finish.

Medium-bodied, amply carbonated, clean & very drinkable. Feels good.

I've been wanting one of of these after work every day since I bought the 6er, and it seems appropriate whether that particular spring day is marked by warm sun or chilly showers. Darn drinkable and very versatile with food. I hope Highland doesn't roll out the summer beer too soon because I'd love to sip on this for a while. (943 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow body with a dense and creamy head, minimal size, that leaves some spotty lacing.

S: A light grassy hop nose with notes of pale grainy malts & citrus fruits.

T: A light and crisp flavor of sweet pale malts balanced with bitter grassy hops.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, refreshing mouthfeel.

O: Very easy to drink. Great for spring or summer when you're sitting outside. Wish I could get this in NY. I think this may be one of top favorites from Highland. (488 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

"Brewed with grains from America's heartland, using Simcoe hops for bittering and dry hopped with Amarillo and Cascade for aromatics."

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden yellow color with an off-white head with decent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is pale malts and fresh citrusy hops. Smells like a nice fresh pale ale. Looking forward to tasting.

T- The taste like the aroma is pale malt up front with a nice little bite from the citrusy hops in the finish. Again, this one tastes fresh which probably makes all the difference in the world with a pale ale such as this one.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I though Little Hump is a pretty solid APA that is worth a try. I bought this when it first hit the shelves here so the freshness was probably a key to my enjoyment. (856 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highland's spring seasonal pours a clear golden body with a small white head. Average retention gives way to some sporadic patchy lacing.

Aroma is floral hops with a citrusy accent. Orange blossoms come to mind. A bit of grassiness in there as well.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied and crisply carbonated.

Taste has a dry and crackery pale malt base. Seems to have some English inspiration. Bitter floral hops dominate and are complimented by hints of citrus and grassiness. Finishes clean with a lasting dry bitterness.

An excellent session beer without any real alcohol presence. I would guess the abv is less than 5%, making for a fine warm weather brew. (664 characters)

Photo of BeatBama
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If only I could get more of this release...my local store is likely not getting more. When I cracked open the top to let this fine beer out of the bottle, I noticed a fresh citrus fragrance that reminded me why I like an APA. Highland hit it deep over right-center here with a well-balanced, fairly low-alcohol beer...a session beer at its core.

The color reminds me of a kolsch-style beer, or a light lager.

If only it were about 90+ degrees outside right now, because this is a very refreshing beer. After cutting the grass, three of these would hit the spot.

The mouthfeel is present, but releases quickly enough that I do not need to charge rent for staying around too long.

I have not been blown away by too many Highland beers, yet this one has my attention. (770 characters)

Photo of ComfortablyBum
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a New Belgium Tulip

A - Clear golden yellow with a thin dense white head. Big bubbled lacing lasting throughout the whole drink.

S - Grassy aroma with some earthy hops. A little bit of citrus hops coming through.

T - Bitter, but not to much. Definitely an earthy bitterness. Very light bodied. There wasn't much too it after the bitterness, but it finished clean.

M - It bit the tongue in a good way. The carbonation was just right. All and all I felt like it had a medium mouthful.

D - If you like the flavor it is definitely a sessionable beer. I could easily down a six pack of these without thinking twice. (632 characters)

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received as a surprise from my wife. Pours a very light golden color with a thick white head and a little lacing. Smells of fruity, grassy hops and a little light grain. Tastes of grapefruit, pine, grass and some nice light grains. Mouthfeel is medium with a nice crisp carbonation. Overall, I think it is a great rendition of its style, really nice one from Highland. (368 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a six pack. Thanks Chris.

Appearance: Clear dark yellow, white head, damn nice lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit and a bag of weed. A very light, sweet grain aroma.

Taste: Bitter hoppy grapefruit. Slightly grassy. Resiny. Light pale malt backbone with just a slight sweetness. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin body. Sticky hops resin on the finish. Refreshing, thirst quenching.

Overall: I really like the idea of a hoppy, low alcohol beer, but it never quite works out like I hope. This is good, but there's just not enough malt to stand up to the hops. I can see drinking lots of these on a hot day, or at the beach. (631 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very nice and deep dark amber with lots of carbonation visible coming up from the bottom of the glass. There was not really much of a head here, rather just a thin film of foam lace covering the top and a tiny bit of side glass lace down the sides. Overall fairly average look for me. The aroma was rather nice. An English IPA type of smell that was muc sweeter then your average british version. Instead of having the huge amounts of floral and citrus hops, this was much more earthy with a a nice grainy and grassy dominance that had a touch of bitter in it towards the end. This was rahter nice and had a good bread like malty back bone coming though in it as well

The flavor to was very nice especially for an English IPA. There started out a very nice grainy and grassy like hoppiness that was very dominant even from the beginning. This evolded nicely into a finely grained and bread like base that really pushed the envelope as far as hop much malt could go into this one while still keeping it true to its IPA roots. This then showed a touch of sweetness, almost caramel like, but more toned down then that. The finish was strong with dominant bitter Ero like hops draing out the finish and really drying everything out waiting for you to take the next sip from it. Very nice medium bodied IPA. To be honest I was quite impressed with this one and it really seemed to make a nice little addition to the Great Lakes Brews I have been trying as of late. Rich and almost creamy like in the feel the crbonation held up great throughout the entire session and really have nothing bad to say about this one here.

A really nice and different session beer for me here. I normally like the deep citrus bomb for my session ale, however this was quite different and really thoroughly enjoyed every last drop. I could really see this one as a classic session ale if I lived around here. It was really quite tight profile was and had little ABV which made it just about perfect. (1,984 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bone white foam, touch over one finger, very fine microfoam, too much so to even dimple, dissolves steadily to a respectable surface coating, the lacing forms as a thin sheet which gently breaks apart as gravity pulls it downwards. The liquid is a base yellow with a soft metallic orange edge, full transparency, only a few scattered bubbles to be viewed, slow moving at that. The nose has a cleansing, high-toned feel focusing on tangerine, mandarin orange, white grapefruit citrus and pretzel dough with a good dose of white pepper, granola and fresh grain cereal, at times it really does come across as pilsner-like, given its erect and lean nature there's ample sweet apricot, peach, nectarine fruit scents. Medium-bodied, sort of a stern mouth feel, not "serious" per se but built like an old school, traditional beer that is cleansing and mouth-watering while also strong enough to stand up to all kinds of food. The carbonation has a tight weave and it's damn dry from start to finish. Salt and pepper, pretzel dough to rye, quinine, dried lawn grass, all these tend to outscore the peach, apricot, apple fruit, even pushing the grapefruit, blood orange citrus back some. All that scrubbing leaves the palate alive and pulsating at the end, however, maybe fatigued as well. It brings the word "honest" to mind. Not sure I could drink more than two bottles in a sitting, though. (1,384 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, yellow-gold body with an inch of sustained, white foam.

Smell: A very faint hint of mild-mannered pale malts carried away, to far-off destinations by a trickling minerally mountain stream, hoppy citrus fruit notes, and an earthy grassiness tucked underneath.

Taste: A light, though not particularly sweet taste of pale malted barley in the fore. Sip of spring water. Lemon and white grapefruit follow, not particularly fruity, instead swaying towards being pithy and a tad citric. Hint of orange blossom. Moderate bitterness. Faintly grassy near the end from the dry-hopping. Dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. Some slight watery aspects to the overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Refreshing and crisp, it's a bit lean on the malts, giving a definite balance towards the hops, which are amply bitter, but not overbearingly so. Not bad. The low ABV is appreciated. (1,013 characters)

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle at 42 degree into a pint glass.

A: It pours a macro-esque pale-yellow with a finger of pure white head that recedes into a clumpy ring and laces better than expected.

S: Big juicy grapefruit, super fresh hoppiness, and some cereal malts.

T: Fresh grapefruit, orange zest, light grainy maltiness, and a touch of honey.

M: The body is very light and features above average carbonation, yet some flavors still linger.

D: This features lots of flavor despite being incredibly light and sessionable. (512 characters)

Photo of shand
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden colour with a finger of fluffy head that retains and laces well. Looks a lot more like a pilsner than a traditional pale ale. The smell on this, on the other hand, is amazing! Super bright hops, grapefruit and citrus, with a bit of a grassy aspect. Smells very good. The taste is also quite good, it's smooth, grassy hops and some nice tropical fruits and citrus aspects. A substantial amount of grapefruit here as well. Aftertaste is nicely hoppy. For sure, a taste profile closer to an IPA than a traditional pale ale, just lighter and more delicate in every way. A session brew for the IPA fan.

The mouthfeel is this brew's weak point. It feels too thin and also a just a bit undercarbonated. It's not unpleasant by any means, but isn't optimal either. The drinkability is quite good though, this is very easy drinking. I love that it's so flavor packed for how easy this is to drink. A great and surprising pale ale from a brewery I've tended to shy away from. It's just very easy-drinking and full of flavor for such a light brew. I'm looking forward to trying more from these guys - at least if I had some way of knowing they were fresh. (1,215 characters)

Photo of babaracas
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly clear gold with very fine sediment, two finger foamy white head leaves a couple of splotchy rings of lace. Smell: pale malt, grassy, spicy, lemon, a little musty. Taste: light bready component, grassy and spicy with a little citrus zest. Light bodied with fine, creamy carbonation. A nice spring (or maybe better in summer when it's not a high of 45 deg. in Asheville) sessioner. More like a PA pils than an APA. (427 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a small, pure white head of soapy bubbles. Sweet grapefruit aroma...lemons, apricots, a bit of peppercorn spice, and cereal malts. Flavor is a nice, light-yet-flavorful blast of hops. Leafy, citrusy, piney, grassy hops over a dry, grainy base. Very crisp and refreshing, light and drinkable with a respectable amount of bitterness. I hope this is still around when the weather gets warmer... (407 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always up to try brand new stuff from Highland, especially something that has "Hump" in the title. Just because. Pours a bright golden color with perfect clarity and a creamy, wet head.
The nose is so sweet and full of grapefruit citrus that it seems surreal.

The taste reveals that some of that sweet grapefruit has wondertwinned into hop bitterness but for plenty of the rest, the song remains the same. The hops take over early but the airy sweet candy comes back in the finish. There is a ton of flavor here. Even among APAs this is unique and very cool for what I figured was a one shot seasonal. I would love to try this one on tap after a day of hiking in the mountains. (680 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure of the abv, but labeling claims this beer to be sessionable. Saw one online reference that states this to be 4.5% but couldn't find anything official on the Highland site.

Very clear light gold pour with 1-finger near white head. Not much retention nor lace. Probably what they were shooting for, but it's just an average looking glass of beer.

Nose is very nice. Very fruity, with lots of grapefruit and tropical citrus.

Hits fruity with tons of grapefruit for the style. If this really is a 4.5% beer, they packed in a ton of flavor. Some malt backbone 2/3 through the sip with a light bready feel. This is a really nice glass of beer and a welcome craft addition, going up against the stronger abv's I've been enjoying lately.

I'll definitely get this one again. (779 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gold in color that's as clear as mountain spring water. Large soft white head quickly recedes to a tight lace on top of the glass. Looks just a touch watery. Smells like grapefruit with sugar sprinkled on top. Mmmmm!! This beer packs a lot of flavor for such a soft subtle beer. Lot's of tropical fruit flavors. Mango, Pineapple, Tangerine, Grapefruit. But where is that sugary sweetness coming from? Very flavorful yet in a suductive subtle way. Mouthfeel is very light which may help explain the softness of the beer. I could put a few of these away. When I saw the bottle I thought, "It seems like Highlands would do something a lot "cooler" for thier spring seasonal." After drinking this beer I feel this is the perfect way to welcome spring...with another tasty APA from the Tarheel state. (795 characters)

Highland Little Hump Spring Ale from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.