Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -3%
From brentk56 in the SS'11 BIF box. This was probably my favorite of the offerings from Highland that included the E.S.B. and Christmas Ale.
This review borrows heavily from the style guide for Winter Warmer because this is one of the better I've had of the style and drinks less like an "American" and more like an "English".
"These malty sweet offerings tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. Big malt presence, both in flavor and body." This is absolutely the case here with the deep amber topped with a generous fluffy cap that leaves pleasant lacing.
This has little aroma, which is clearly going to knock the overall score, but the lack of a prominent aroma results in faint sweet malts, brown sugar and cinnamon.
The taste doesn't contain any overt spices more similar to "many English versions" which "contain no spices".
"American varieties...have a larger presences of hops both in bitterness and flavor." That isn't the case here. While there is a smooth, integrated hops presence it is not a larger presence than the malty sweetness.
Mouthfeel is even, medium bodied with a surprisingly crisp finish that owes a good deal to the trace hop bitterness that cuts any cloying sweetness or potential for lingeingr bitter/burnt spice flavors.
12-26-2011 23:56:20 | More by CooperEllis
3.98/5 rDev -1%
Swing-top bottle/growler poured into a Tulip Glass.
A - Pours a beautiful dark burgundy with a dense, creamy off-white head that settles to a thin cap, leaving soapy lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Sweet malt, vanilla, and a touch of spices. Fairly diminutive nose, not much going on here, even after it's warmed a bit.
T - Cream soda in beer form. Seriously, lots of authentic vanilla cream flavor with a touch of bitter roasted malt, spices, and a slight hop finish. A very unique tasting Winter Warmer, really stands out from the crowd.
M - A bit thinner then most Winter Warmers, maybe a touch watery. Probably a bit under medium-bodied overall, with a silky-smooth mouthfeel and good carbonation.
O - A very drinkable Winter Warmer, unique with it's heavy Cream Soda character. So delicious!
12-21-2011 04:07:48 | More by jsanford
3.6/5 rDev -10.4%
Pours a somewhat clear red-tinged brown with almost no head.
A cream soda aroma. Lots of vanilla with some caramel sweetness as well.
Tastes follows the nose. Lots of up front sweetness with a good amount of vanilla. Towards the end of the palate the cream soda aspect really comes to the forefront. There's a little bit of a metallic flavor in the aftertaste though.
This beer is a bit thin for a winter warmer and carbonation levels are good.
This is almost a great beer. I love the vanilla aspect and it smells sublime, but there are just a few minor things preventing this from being what it could. Still pretty enjoyable.
12-16-2011 23:37:23 | More by jmarsh123
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
Here we go again! Another year with the ever changing Cold Mountain Winter Ale =)
A: Rusty red tint with a thin cream colored head.
S: Malty vanilla with other various spices. The vanilla definitely stands out on the nose to me.
T: This is where this beer shines! After sipping, there is a rush of Vanilla, Cream, Soda, and Malt. These flavors then give way to a nice, slightly hoppy, and bitter finish. I do recommend serving this beer at room temp or maybe a little cooler to get the full flavor experience!
M: Medium-Low carbonation...perfect! I can't imagine drinking this beer if it were more carbonated than it is.
O: What a treat this beer is every year! It has become a tradition for me to crack a 12oz bottle of this every day after work for the couple of months that it's around..I find myself craving it while I'm at work. What more can you say? This is one of the best Winter beers out there!
I will say that this year has a bit more of a hop profile than I remember in the previous years. Not a terrible thing but I definitely do think I prefer last years vintage.
12-12-2011 18:24:21 | More by Bryson
4.61/5 rDev +14.7%
Oh Cold Mountain how I love thee. This is the pride of North Carolina Brewing and is something that us North Carolinians thirst for as the temperature drops. This review is from the 2011 version.
A: Reddish-copper color. Relatively clear with a nice looking white head and moderate lacing all the way down. A perky brew that just begs to be drunk.
S: Not a ton of aroma off the nose. Perhaps a few mild spices, i.e. vanilla, nutmeg, malts and a small undertone of hops.
T: Amazing. There's a great vanilla/cream soda thing going on here. Add in some great malts and a dash of hops and this is one fine beer! This particular version (2011) is a bit sweeter and less hoppier than the previous year. The balance of flavor is what makes this winter warmer an absolute winner.
M: Great taste. Very full-bodied with a nicely balanced malt/hop taste. As this beer slighty warms the vanilla and spice flavor becomes even more prominent. I've never had a beer quite like it.
O: This is an Outstanding beer. Highly drinkable and it's a must to split with friends. Do yourself a favor and seek it out.
12-08-2011 00:49:14 | More by kell50
4.95/5 rDev +23.1%
This is probably the best beer that comes from Highland Brewery, one of my favorite breweries in North Carolina, let alone anywhere. It's only a winter seasonal so if you see it, definitely buy a few because it' won't be out long.
It has a wonderful dark caramel color and balanced vanilla-caramel-malty smell. The taste (to me) is best described as a fuller and more bodied cream soda. Yes, beer that tastes like cream soda. It's amazing.
Buy this beer, you will not be disappointed.
12-06-2011 03:51:10 | More by ryancuth
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.