Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -12.9%
pours a bright amber-ruby hue with a frothy two-finger head that holds for a while and leaves pretty decent gobs of lacing down the glass.
aroma of brown sugar, caramel malt, hints of vanilla and some spices. a touch of earthy hops.
taste is interestingly deep although somewhat confusing. decent malt backbone accentuated by both a decent green herbal hopping and some funky vanilla and spice. it reminds me of cream soda mixed with a hoppy amber. and I haven't decided if that's a good thing.
the body is fairly light and the carbonation ample, which is good, because there's a definite lingering hop bitterness in the finish that is a step away from cloying. as is the odd sweetness. it's an odd dichotomy.
all in all, I can't say I'm completely impressed by this one. I love a good vanilla and spice winter brew, but this one may have just missed the mark a tad. not my favorite offering from Highland, but I could see warming up to another glass if I was in the right mood.
02-23-2011 03:39:55 | More by djeucalyptus
3.93/5 rDev -2.2%
Notes from 01/02/2011:
22 oz. bottle at 45 degrees in a snifter.
A: This pours a completely transluscent dark brown color with red hues - much like sweet tea -and a finger and a half of slightly off-white head that does not last, nor does it lace very well.
S: Strong milk chocolate, lots of nuttiness, caramel, and bread malt. It smells like a tasty dessert.
T: Roasted nuttiness, vanilla, caramel, and an oddly perfumey aftertaste that is not entirely unpleasant.
M: It has a medium-thick body with some creaminess and long, lingering flavors.
D: I wish it would either have bolder flavors and become a sipper or have a thinner body and become quaffable. The thick body and weaker flavors combination is odd.
01-12-2011 14:26:45 | More by bucklemyshoe
4.15/5 rDev +3.2%
A- Pours a deep orangey brown hue with a thin, coffee head which adorns this beer all the way down.
S- Smell is faint sweet malts, hard to detect much else.
T- Taste is very sweet, malty with christmas spices and a hop backbone.
M- A bit thin and very carbonated.
D- Very easy to drink. Not what I think of when I think winter warmer but delicious none the less.
01-24-2008 02:54:37 | More by Lothore
4.03/5 rDev +0.2%
Clear, dark brown with very little head and nearly no lacing.
Heavy aroma of fig and raisin and a little sharp alcohol.
This is one of those beers that tastes much different than it smells. There's a roast, crisp chocolate taste to this beer that's unlike anything I've ever tasted. There's a bit of dark fruit and bitter, but it hits you at the end and plays only a small role.
Pretty high carbonation which lends to the crisp flavor. A refreshing winter warmer?
At first I though this would be a pretty low to average beer judging by the look and smell of it. The flavor is out of this world, though. I recommend it.
12-01-2007 02:21:29 | More by bboven
4.58/5 rDev +13.9%
Appearance: Clear, bright red color with a lacy head.
Smell: Very interesting and unique aroma on this beer. Strong scents of berries (strawberries maybe?) and a bit of a citrus not as well. It has a very enticing and good smell.
Taste: Wow. Cherry with a light maltiness topped with a spices, strawberry, brown sugar, and cinnamon. There is a nice balance of pine/spruce type flavor in there as well. The beer finishes with some sweetness and tanginess. It is a treat in the mouth.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth and clean in the palate. The flavors blend so well and balance on the palate that one cannot help but enjoy this fantastic brew.
Drinkability: I was a bit sad that I had only one bottle of this to drink. Since finishing this bottle I keep wishing I had more. This is a great beer to drink with dinner. I paired it with some BBQ chicken, rice pilaf, and green salad and this beer complimented it all very well. I could drink this beer all day if I could get my hands on more of it.
03-08-2005 18:09:40 | More by BrewMaster
4.38/5 rDev +9%
A- Dark brownish red color. Poured a super creamy 1 finger head. Awesome sticky lacing.
S- Raspberry, cranberry, caramel, and a touch of vanilla. Dank hops come out as it warms. Very inviting.
T- Sweetness. Got better and better as it warmed. Rich caramel, earthiness, raspberry, cranberry and vanilla. Cinnamon comes out as temp rises. Slight hop presence.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy on the tongue.
O- I really enjoyed this beer. I took it to Xmas dinner to share with family, but drank 95% of it myself. I loved the uncommon flavor combination of the berries, vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon. Nicely balanced, as well.
12-26-2013 15:06:42 | More by tmm313
4.47/5 rDev +11.2%
1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle without freshness dating.
Pours clear copper-tinged brown, with thin creamy tan head and great lace retention. Smells enticingly spicy and doughy. Primarily orange, ginger, cinnamon, and anise on a cookie and caramel malt base. Flavor strongly favors the Christmas spices. Doughy anise, ginger and orange are dominant notes and form something of a less-fruity liquid fruitcake. Finishes with gently drying hop touches, big black pepper, and cinnamon. Nicely balanced body keeps this easy-drinking throughout. Very good and the best of the Highland brews I've sampled so far.
01-07-2007 18:47:41 | More by dgallina
4.1/5 rDev +2%
Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.
Pours a dark brown and amber color with crimson highlights. A finger of tan head retains pretty well and leaves behind some nice lacing.
Malty nose with lots of spices and vanilla. Maybe some cocoa and orange peel, as well.
Pretty sweet flavor. Milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, vanilla. The spices aren't as pronounced as they are in the aroma, although they come out a bit with some warmth. Maybe a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish.
Lighter body than I expected, but it's still easily medium. Dry finish. Incredibly smooth and easy drinker. Plush feel. Absolutely no alcohol detected. I'm definitely going back to buy the 1 liter swingtop version.
05-11-2009 03:13:52 | More by Gyle41386
4.03/5 rDev +0.2%
Dark red color with an off-white head that retains well and gives good lacing. Wonderful smells of cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, and caramel. I'm digging the taste. It's got a little bit of hoppyness for balance, but this mostly tastes like cinnamon-sugar bread with a little bit of allspice and a caramel finish. Carbonation is on the higher side and body is bordering light. I'm very happy with this beer and will need to get more of it next winter. Great job, Highland!
12-28-2008 01:10:08 | More by badbeer
4.2/5 rDev +4.5%
Dark copper color on the pour, crystal clear body. Single finger off white head which finished in a thin layer.
Spices really come through in the aroma. A nice spiced blend of nutmeg and ginger and a touch of cinnamon. Hops are prevalent with a little pine.
Taste is much more powerful that any other winter warmer I've had, although I still don't find it loaded with flavor. This type of beer is just a bit subtle, but delicious. Overall it has a bit of a caramel sweet body which comes through to start with, then the spices come on with a very nice crispness. Spices are much like the aroma, nutmeg and ginger. Then a bit of hop bitterness comes in and the spices come back in the finish.
Mouthfeel could be a touch thicker, but does a good job coating the mouth well to let the spices come though. Drinkablity is great. This is a very refreshing brew with a nice crispness.
01-12-2006 02:55:10 | More by blitz134
3.7/5 rDev -8%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a translucent red with high visible carbonation and a small off white head. Smells of dark roast grain dominated by caramel. Tastes of slight chocolate and coffee but with a little hop bite. Nice grain balance. Beer is medium bodied and goes down smooth. Overall an above average beer.
07-08-2013 00:51:10 | More by cyclonece09
4.22/5 rDev +5%
Thanks to Bhalter8 for sending this along. Poured a nice amber color into my glass with a thin white head. The nose smells like candy, more specifically candy canes. It's very subtle but noticeable. The taste does not disappoint. Lots of candied sugar, sweet malts, with hints of nutmeg and ginger bread? It's not overdone or trying to do too many things. It's complex but blends well. The spices are right on, not too overpowering. Medium body, excellent mouthfeel and very very drinkable. This is by far the best winter/seasonal/spiced beer I've had to date.
12-09-2009 18:56:12 | More by PretzelCity
4.35/5 rDev +8.2%
Pours a pretty medium dark amber with a 1 finger beige head and very good lace. Nice smells are there although they are faint. Brown sugar, cinnamon, raisin. This beer is like nothing I have ever had before. I get a big vanilla flavor mixed with some brown sugar, allspice, and raisin. Leaves a unusual, but good, bitterness on the tounge. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Smooth and complex. Nicely balanced. Very unique. Get some of this if you get a chance.
12-04-2005 02:31:09 | More by sabrills70
4/5 rDev -0.5%
A-Pours a beautiful amber with a billowy slightly off white head. There is some nice cascading and lacing left on the glass.
S-Sweet and malty with a hint of vanilla.
T-Much like the nose as vanilla dominates. It starts out sweet but then ends with some lingering bitterness. There is a nice balance between the hops and malt, with the malt getting a slight edge.
M-Thick and creamy.
Overall, I am somewhat torn by this beer. While I did enjoy drinking it, it didn't have much complexity. It tasted just like vanilla coke which seemed both a positive and a negative. I gave it a solid 4 across the board and would definitely drink it again, but it doesn't come close to Anchor's annual offering.
01-30-2010 17:52:49 | More by thegodfather2701
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.