Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
Deep brownish red with a fluffy, soapy head. Smells exactly like frosting covered gingerbread cookies...wow. Sweet malty flavor nicely layered with ginger and other spices - mapley figs. Rich and complex. Solid mouthfeel with a fullish body and light carbonation. Pretty darn tasty winter ale...excellent on tap as well if you can find it.
01-12-2007 05:01:02 | More by wedge
4.6/5 rDev +14.4%
Wow, I was certain this beer was gone for this year when my friends and I visited Tyler's taproom in Carboro and found they still had this on draft! The waitress said they had pulled it aside several times so they would have it later than anyone else. The beer possessed a deep rich ruby color with a thin off white head that was moderately diminishing and left very spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of layers of malts with some mild spices present as well. The taste presented a very complex spice variety on top of a great malt backbone. There was a presence of both vanilla and dried fruit.The mouthfeel was low in carbonation and the alcohol was very well hidden by the spice blend. This is a very great beer for a cold winter night, I just wish it was available in stores for more than 2 to 3 weeks each year.
02-19-2007 04:23:39 | More by atsprings
4.24/5 rDev +5.5%
Surprise keg at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in an Unknown Brewing pint glass.
A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a solid sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.
S- Great notes of caramel, sweet dark fruit like sugary raisins, fig and some bready fruitcake all tied together nicely with a considerable hop aroma. Kinda ends up seeming like a light barleywine in the all-around bouquet.
T- Taste goes in the same direction with more dark fruit, brown sugar, maybe a hint of maple and even a nuttiness which I think may be perceptive due to the fact that it tastes so close to fruitcake. Once again, there's a solid hop presence behind all this which is what I think is the key to the complexity exhibited in the flavor profile.
M- Soft, almost creamy with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.
O- Apparently this beer falls in the "used to be so much better" class of seasonal releases but I think this is a great beer. Kind of on the light side for a winter warmer in regards to both ABV and malt content but I can't mention enough how the hops really make all the spices sing together in a unique harmony. A must try if you have the chance. So glad I was able to six months after it was released.
05-30-2014 02:59:54 | More by Immortale25
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
Pours dark caramel with brown hints, moderate dark white head bu leaves no lace.
Aroma of sweet caramel, toffee, bread, chocolate and some nuts.
Flavor of sticky, sweet toffee, molasses, honey, faint chocolate, cassis. No real bitterness at all.
Mouthfeel is relatively, light bodied hyper sweet with some moderately, dry bread tones and finishes with a hint of spicy hops.
Drinkability is good, very sweet which makes tough to put down a lot but very good.
01-28-2005 03:11:38 | More by CRJMellor
3.85/5 rDev -4.2%
Thanks to Deuane for sharing a bottle of this at his recent tasting. Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into my glass and appears a clear deep cooper, almost brown color with about a finger of light tan head. The aroma and taste remind me of an orange tootsie pop. Notes of caramel and cocoa are also evident. The taste is much more complex than the nose would lead you to believe. Medium bodied and satisfying with medium carbonation. I'm looking forward to tracking a few bottles of this down next season.
03-23-2009 03:11:31 | More by ClockworkOrange
3.78/5 rDev -6%
The beer pours a clear rusty amber with almost no head. The nose is a tremendous caramel and a slight woodiness (maple). The taste is just as sweet with almost no spice and almost no carbonation after sitting a few minutes. There is almost no alcohol present either. Overall it's an interesting beer to have mid summer, but it's not too bad.
05-26-2012 22:54:42 | More by ThePorterSorter
4.24/5 rDev +5.5%
Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip
A- pours a nice cherry red with a half finger tan head that sticks around for awhile. Nice looking beer, minus the head
S- huge aromas of raspberries and cinnamon coming through...wow, excellent and very unexpected
T- a nice punch of raspberries to start, then moving into some nuttiness and a little cinnamon to finish. Very unique, and very good
M- medium bodied, on the thicker side. Maybe a little too much body
O- most winter warmers are overspiced and generally taste the same. This one though, it's a nice changeup from the normal, and something that's done very well. Well done, Highland
02-25-2013 22:08:06 | More by bigfnjoe
3.55/5 rDev -11.7%
Beer pours a clear amber color, no head to speak of, thin lacing and no retention.
Brown sugar, candy, and vanilla on the nose. Good start.
Taste is decent, same as above. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. Slides down really smooth.
Was anticipating more with this one with all the hype. All in all a solid brew, good quality.
02-04-2012 02:29:55 | More by DaPan
4.7/5 rDev +16.9%
Big flip-top bottle. Thanks Sam. Pours a brown/amber color with a small head that hangs around nicely and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is a wonderful balance of diacetyl, chocolate and caramel. The flavor is right on with the aroma. Lots of caramel and chocolate with a diacetyl that reminds me of marshmallows. The body is on the light end of thick and the drinkability is very good.
12-29-2005 20:03:43 | More by clvand0
4.4/5 rDev +9.5%
Served in a perfect pint
A - It is copper colored with amber highlights. I think it had an inch of tan head. It was gone so quick that I missed it.
S - I was surprised to get a noseful of chocolate and caramel. It smells like a candy bar.
T - The taste matches the smell with intensity and ingredients.
M - Medium
O - This beer tasted nothing like I expected. I expected the typical nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, etc. It is loaded with intense chocolate and caramel. I'm surprised how flavorful this beer is considering it's a winter warmer and this is June. I would drink the shit out of this each winter if I were in the distribution area.
06-16-2012 00:12:24 | More by buschbeer
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
2.33/5 rDev -42%
bottle courtesy of DrBayern
Rich maroon brown with a fluffy beige head. Smell is sweet, malt, vanilla, cream and perhaps some butteriness or butterscotch. Kind of reminds me of scotch ales, which i'm not too keen on. Taste is smooth vanilla, cream and caramelly malt. A good beer, in all honesty, but something about the strong sweet vanilla like aroma that was a bit cloying or unpleasant to me.
02-24-2008 18:47:49 | More by JDV
3.95/5 rDev -1.7%
Got this '07 vintage in a growler from Loki in GatM. Thanks, Kipp.
A-Pours a clear ruby amber with a thin tan head and no lacing.
S-Sweet caramel malt, a bit of toffee and a little alcohol warmth.
T-Sweet caramel, brown sugar and some raisin with a little bit of nutmeg. Very nice.
M-Medium bodied, almost a bit thin for the style.
D-Tasty, very nicely aged. I will enjoy the rest of this growler.
09-15-2009 01:02:43 | More by sholland119
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
Thanks to scifan for the bottle.
A: Nice looking browning copper color. Quite a bit of clarity for this beer. A quarter finger of white head with minimal lacing. Really nice looking when held up to the light.
S: Really great malt nose. Smells like an oatmeal cookie. Dmeadows shared a fliptop at a Captain Lawrence release and that bottle had much more cookie in the taste and nose but it is still there. Quite a bit of sweetness as well.
T: Oatmeal cookie. Just a great taste. No spice which is great because often this style is too spiced. Tons of malt finishes very clean.
M: Little syrupy. Full bodied.
D: Really great beer and one of the better examples of the style I have ever had. Thanks again to scifan for the bottle.
01-13-2010 22:45:13 | More by aerozeppl
4/5 rDev -0.5%
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale, out of a 22 oz. bomber, courtesy of dkachur - thanks!
Appearance: Pours a slightly dull brown amber body, slightly orange perhaps, capped by a two-finger, tan head. The retention is average, though it does leave huge, sticky clumps of bubbly lacing, almost Swiss cheese like. Lots of fine bubbled and fast effervescence, too.
Aroma: Incredibly sweet and caramelly, doughy - I'm going to go so far as to call it cookie-like. Or perhaps graham cracker-like. Yess, excellent. Hints of cinnamon and ginger round out the nose. Very pleasant and inviting, definitely reminiscent of winter.
Taste: More of the same, and that's a good thing. Lots of earthy, roasted malts, like graham crackers and gingersnaps covered in dirt, but, way more appetizing than that sounds, promise. Flourishes of maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses round out the malt notes, and hints of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, similar to the nose, make an appearance too.
Mouthfeel: Thick, but with more than enough carbonation to even it out, making for a light though slightly uneven beer. Does even out a little as it warms.
Drinkability: Nothing wrong here. The abv% is low (I think the bottle said 5.6%?), flavors and aromas strong and pleasant, warming without the heat, and the mouthfeel light but not too light. Just a nice, easy-going brew.
03-16-2009 00:55:23 | More by CrellMoset
3.5/5 rDev -12.9%
A: Deep amber color. It's filtered nicely, as you can still see through it pretty well. Thin layer off white head. Faded pretty quickly.
S: Holiday spices. Some hop notes. More on the earthy side than fruity. The holiday spices really dominate.
T: You get a little hop bitterness up front, then that holiday spice and malt pick up in the middle of the mouth.
M: Medium bodied.
12-27-2012 14:40:23 | More by inlimbo77
4.65/5 rDev +15.7%
Bomber generously provided by GCBrewingCo. The bottle in my hand tonight is different than the one pictured on this site. I think the bottle I'm enjoying now was patiently aged by Mike for two years. I reviewed one of the pictured bottles about 6 months ago and loved it so much I've been trying to get more ever since.
Pours a half-finger light brown head over a crystal clear brown-rust liquid. Smells...like gingerbread cookies! Biscuit malt, sugar dough, light sweet ginger, and hazelnut. Tastes...like gingerbread cookies! Graham crackers, maple-flavored sugar candies, caramel, sweet hints of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Biscuity malt, but also just a ting of a sour that I think doesn't quite fit. The graham crackers persist during the swallow and the caramel develops into more of a toffee. The aftertaste has some chocolate and is quite dry on the flat of my tongue. Medium in the mouth, but its got a relatively thick viscocity. Carbonation is mild and quite in tune with the flavors in this beer.
This beer is an example of flavors that are well balanced and complimentary. None of the flavors rise to dominance or fade under pressure from other flavors. Instead, they tumble around like vegetables in a simmering stew. Dancing along the surface and bumping gently into others, sending each off in a new direction. I absolutely love this beer and am already thinking about how I might get a case of this when it's next released.
08-05-2005 04:10:11 | More by mentor
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.