Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
4.11/5 rDev +2.2%
Huge thanks to, Wilson, for this monstrous drink. Cheers, dude! Glug, glug, glug from the hefty liter bottle. A chestnut brown liquid fills the glass with enough clarity to read the interwebs through the body. Ruby highlights accentuate the sexiness. The ecru head is short but stout, with the boldness of immovability. Lacing sticks in sheets.
The nose is complex but seamless. It won't hit you over the head but give you a massage instead. Ginger flashes upfront with candied citrus peel up next. Dusty cocoa, a touch of spicy hops, and rich caramel all seamlessly interact. Soda bread maltiness make for a subtly sweet base. Raisins and toffee rise from the depths with warmth.
While the nose was subtle and complex the flavor is straight up robust and comforting. Caramel, soda bread, and toffee all play large, complex roles. Raisin sweetness is soft and well rounded while the ginger adds a quick zip of vibrancy. The candied citrus peel is hidden but peeking its head free. A dusting of cocoa powder is the cherry on top. You've heard of comfort food; here's comfort beer.
The body weighs in at moderate. I thought this was a little low on the first few sips but as I drink more I don't believe I'd change a thing. A bigger body would be too large for such a well rounded, subtly but deeply complex libation. Carbonation is soft enough to allow each flavor to be processed while active enough to keep any stick away. Semi-dry finish.
Cold Mountain is a handsome beer. Every aspect is a hit in my book and spiced beer isn't usually my thing, in this case it's done with a deft hand and great knowledge. Smells delicious. Tastes immeasurably complex, well rounded and comforting. Tastes like a fruit cake that's actually good. Like how you think a fruitcake would taste if you've never had one and were told its ingredients. Delicious! Thanks, Wil!
04-05-2014 02:14:54 | More by joe1510
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a ruby-tinted caramel coloring with a thin, sparse, surface coating of foam. Aromas of roasted nut sweetness, plum, dates, raisins, berries, toffee and caramel in the backbone, and a subtle cinnamon spicing. Smells are rich, but light enough to refrain from overpowering. Flavors are roasted and rich forward, with a tart and tangy berry and nut sweetness blending on the palate, with some woody and subtle bitter highlights. The body is robust, but light, with a transition into a crisp, clean finish. The aftertaste is more of the caramel and toffee sweetness, although some fruity notes do linger through. Easy drinker and full of flavor.
03-13-2014 03:05:33 | More by GarthDanielson
4.3/5 rDev +7%
A: Copper amber body with a pretty and creamy tan head. Excellent head retention and lacing.
S: Complex nose including spices and malt aromas. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice notes.
T: Molasses, cinnamon, sweet malt & nutmeg flavors.
M: Smooth, creamy and warming.
O: Great winter warmer.
03-08-2014 19:53:57 | More by Paincane
3.46/5 rDev -13.9%
This one has gotten a lot of attention, especially around the holidays, I have tried it for several years and I do feel that it has lost something this year (2013). It has a nice dark color, the smell is very festive for which it represents. It has an almost egg nogg smell and to a certain degree taste as well. I like eggnogg and I like beer and I do believe that this one balances that pretty well. Most holiday/winter beers have too much of one spice or another but this one balances it pretty well. But, this year did fall a little flat to me. I enjoyed it, its a great beer and much better than most, but there was a bit less of the things I used to like about it and more of the just average ale taste coming through. I like a good ale and this would be a good one by itself, but for a quarter of the price. Overall, I will continue to have a pour of this around the holidays, when I run across it. One thing I would like to try is it on draft, but that is nearly impossible to do, it goes extremely quickly and you have to be at the right place at the right time. I am like Dr. John unfortunately.
02-07-2014 01:10:41 | More by humuloner22
3.71/5 rDev -7.7%
Pours a brilliant amber with a frothy, lingering beige head that leaves spotty lacing.
Nutty, toasted malt dominates the aroma, with a hint of specialty fruitiness and floral hops.
Flavor reveals soft underpinnings of spice, a backbone of toasted nuts, substantial malt fruitiness, and a lightly floral and fairly bitter hop finish. Cinnamon, perhaps nutmeg, and clove are very subtle...indistinguishable. Vanilla, cocoa, and oak surface in the aftertaste.
Body is moderate, with carbonation a touch high, and light alcohol warmth.
Aside from the malt fruitiness, metallic character, and slightly overly bitter finish, a very nice winter warmer. Like the subtlety of spicing. Good malt character, though it may benefit from even more.
01-26-2014 16:54:37 | More by barczar
4.51/5 rDev +12.2%
Typically not a fan of winter ales as I generally find them over spiced. This winter ale is definitely an exception.
A- Caramel brown to amber color with only a little bit of head, less than I was expecting, maybe I should have opened it sooner. Still a nice color though.
S- Wonderful smell, caramel and a bit of sweet fruit to it. Still smells slightly like Christmas without being overpowering in the least.
T- The smell of the beer did not disappoint. Lots of sweet fruit notes and just a small hint of those winter spices you expect. Vanilla and berries stand out a bit. A bit more alcohol flavor than I was expecting based on the ABV.
M- Quite creamy and nice to drink, certainly a go-to beverage for winter.
O- Easy to drink with hints of interesting spices that are very complimentary to the ale. Sweet flavors but not too sweet to drink by the gallon. I'd highly recommend this well balanced beer.
01-10-2014 23:17:25 | More by Jhansengranger
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.