Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +10.2%
22oz bomber, brought from nc by blackie, on his tractor
appearance: pours light but richens up in the aggregate to a deep copper color, a light foamy beige head forms and leaves a light lacing around the rim
smell: loads of spices - nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, touch a clove...definitely smells of the season...gingerbread, light chocolate, graham cracker aromas..smooth hoppiness, touch of pine
taste: quite tasty, very delicate...tastes like gingerbread, quite nice cinnamon flavours, a very light chocolate flavour in the background...some clove, nutmeg, and other spices of the season...fresh but subdued lightly piney hops, perhaps a touch of pumpkin
mouthfeel: a little thin, moderate carbonation, very delicate on the tongue
drinkability: very drinkable
01-17-2006 02:14:57 | More by dirtylou
3.05/5 rDev -24.1%
22 oz bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. No date or info listed on the bottle.
Thanks to my man Onenote81 for the cool sticker and coasters to accompany this brew! I love swag!
A - Beautiful, deep burnt amber in color with great clarity and a short, short-lived, off-white head. Good lace adorns the glass after it's depletion.
S - Sugary hazelnut and vanilla syrup like what's used in flavored coffee drinks. At first there was a blatant Willamet hop earthiness and rustic quality. Toasted Munich malts are in the background and fairly thin. Smells a little fake.
T - Bland toasted amber and caramelly Munich malts with subtle hop notes. Again, the vanilla and hazelnut flavors are far too sugary and syrupy in nature.
M - It's a bit thin and watery in body with a lightly dry finish. Weak bodied for a winter warmer.
D - Not awful or really offensive in any way, although the syrupy addition is a bit cloying. It's just too thin and spice-less for a winter warmer. I'm not exactly sure where the A- positive buzz is coming from with this brew. Thanks for a beer I've never had Jon, I do always appreciate the chance to try 'em!
03-08-2011 02:15:39 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.95/5 rDev -1.7%
Obtained in a trade with Brentk56. Thanks a bunch!!
To start off, I have the 1L taped swing top bottle ...it's very cool looking.
It pours into my New Belgium chalice a very nice amber with a smallish head of foam. It doesn't stick around very long and I'm left with just a ring around the edge of the glass and there's just a tiny bit of lacing.
The smell...I'm getting a huge whiff of vanilla, malt, and some other spices.
The taste is also very big on the vanilla with a nice burnt caramel malt backing it up. Swishing the Ale in mouth, I get a bit of citrus tartness and some chocolate notes and that has me smacking my mouth. This is a very unusual tasting sample of the style and I'm liking it.
The finish is on the bitterish side with flavours of hot cocoa and it leaves a pleasing long lasting aftertaste. I'm not getting too much warming so either the abv is fairly low or it's really well hidden. A *very* nice drop indeed. I'm glad I got this one in the trade. :^)
06-10-2007 16:29:30 | More by Bitterbill
4.38/5 rDev +9%
A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated and good lacing.
S: A nice aroma of sweet malt, spices and a somewhat fruity quality.
T: Tasted of malt, cinnamon, some other spices, and mild fruit (at least that's what it seemed like to me). Nicely balanced, clean flavor.
M: A good amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.
D: A very good winter warmer. Extremely drinkable.
01-10-2010 17:53:11 | More by avalon07
4.03/5 rDev +0.2%
2010 Vintage. Served from a 1-liter swing-top bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured a deep copper with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cloves, coriander, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, cloves, chocolate, and caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this one had some pretty nice spice mixtures going on here. It was very well balanced up-front and then came through with the typical warmer spices on the tailend. This one is a must try if you are a fan of winter warmers.
11-29-2010 12:32:21 | More by thagr81us
4.28/5 rDev +6.5%
Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass ruby red in color. Has great clarity, decent retention and good lacing.
Sweet caramel malty scent balanced by a delicate floral hop bouquet. Smells pretty simplistic, but nice, clean and fresh.
Wow, this goes down easy. Smoooth. Creamy malt bill followed closely by a nice hint 'o hops for a nice clean finish. Hints of cola, sorghum and coconut. Very fresh and balanced taste. I have been impressed with the few Highland offerings I have had so far. Would have no problem buying some more of these.
01-24-2009 20:05:54 | More by twiggamortis420
4.25/5 rDev +5.7%
Lush blurry cranberry red color with a slim, compact capping of lightly tanned creamy foam. Light lacing sticks low across the glass in a thin sheeting.
Aroma is fairly malty with a candied corn sweetness with some soft nuttyness and lower developed dark fruityness that seeps in a bit of cherry and raisin paste. Maple, vanilla, and toffee really begin to emerge as it sits a while.
Taste is a solid malty treat with a soft supple thickness displaying the whole way through, yet uncloying to the palate in any major fashion and making for a nice sipper. Flavors are well rounded and muted with deep, saturated dark fruityness. Mingling raisin, prune, plum, and dark cherry across the front and middle where the peak then hits with a very nice subtle turn into a bakery fresh softness of cocoa, cinnamon, maple, vanilla, and toffee. Which in itself has one uniquely fine drying effect thats all encompassingly great to behold. Excellent balance in flavors and tone. A very tasty subtle treat.
Body is about medium with a soft creamyness that coats the palate well and really sits nice once the peak hits. Then the finish ensues onward into a bakery goodness thats fresh and wonderfully drying without a whole lot of anything but ghostly remains of one well crafted beer leaving an impression on the taste buds.
A soothing drinker of a Winter Warmer. Subtle, malty, with an infused quality of bakery fresh doughnut toppings and fillings. Nice stuff.
04-13-2007 01:08:33 | More by tavernjef
4.3/5 rDev +7%
Poured, it has a lovely dark brown color with a nice thick head. Aroma is spicy with a strong hint of cinnamon. The pleasant, zingy taste is malty with spice hints and very little bitterness. It goes down smoothly and is very satisfying. This holiday beer is a delight any time of the year, good by itself or as an accompaniment to a light meal.
04-22-2007 23:40:22 | More by Cyberkedi
4.13/5 rDev +2.7%
Woohoo! First tick for 2011. I picked this up over Thanksgiving in Asheville after being very impressed with a pint I had on tap (2010 Winter edition).
A beautiful, clear mahogany with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention, there isn't much to show for lacing apart from some patchy foam. Clarity is exceptional, this is a particularly attractive beer. The nose is great too, like I remember it being. A touch of spice is present with cinnamon and mace, I also get some brown sugar and a prominent vanilla note. The combination is dessert-like, but this still smells light. Hops are mild, there's some earthy, mildly leafy and mineral-like hop aroma present. Solid.
The palate opens with a blend of light brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon. A light but simple sweetness, a blend of brown sugar and burnt sugar is present. Notes of vanilla and maple appear in the mid-palate. Drying on the finish with the hops asserting their presence, there's a blend of earthy, leafy bitterness and lingering vanilla. Light in body with medium-high carbonation, this is an enjoyable beer. I preferred this on tap, where it was a lot creamier, but even out of a bottle, it's still the best Winter Warmer out there.
01-04-2011 02:28:03 | More by DefenCorps
4.15/5 rDev +3.2%
Appearance This was brownish-orange in color with a full, beautiful head.
Smell The deep malts and caramel came out huge at the nose along with some monster sugars. I could also pick up a tinge of alcohol as well. Everything came together nicely at the nose.
Taste The big, chewy caramel malts dominated this Herbed/Spiced beer. It seemed more like a Brown Ale, but it was tasty nonetheless.
Mouthfeel This was medium-bodied and well-rounded in the mouth. The balance was this ales strong point, IMHO.
Drinkability This was very complex yet amazingly smooth. It was a pleasure to drink.
05-07-2004 02:24:41 | More by RoyalT
4.83/5 rDev +20.1%
Hazy auburn bronze color with a beige head. A nice spicy aroma and taste (nutmeg and cinnamon) reminiscent of cinnamon toast. A toasty warm feeling great for wintertime. Medium bodied (leand full) and very smooth. Similar to Harpoon Winter Warmer in terms of spice intensity.
[2001 version (1 liter swingtop bottle) Tasted 11/23/02]
11-25-2002 12:02:17 | More by RBorsato
3.98/5 rDev -1%
A- Pours a dark brown color with a light tan colored head that leaves sporadic lacing around the glass.
S- The aroma is nice and malty with a good dose of cocoa and spices. I'm surprised at the amount of cocoa in the aroma, it really adds a nice dimension. The aroma is fantastic and immediately reminds me of the holidays.
T- The taste is a little on the sweet side with a lot of malt and cocoa flavors but there are just enough spices in the taste to help balance the sweetness out.
M- The mouthfeel is a little lighter than I would expect from a winter warmer.
D- This one's pretty drinkable, I'd be interested to find out what the ABV of this beer is. It doesn't seem to be all that high so it is a pretty solid drinker.
02-07-2009 04:30:42 | More by cjgator3
4.22/5 rDev +5%
A clear but dark mahogany color with a fair off-white head that settles quickly to a whispy ring with decent lacing. The aroma is a solid chocolatey malt with herbal hops. Not huge but very pleasant with a kiss of ginger nutmeg. The flavor brings lots of tasty sweet vanilla and an herbal bite. There's a nice toffee malt blended in for what I find to be a really nicely balanced brew. It's medium bodied with a smooth somewhat viscous feel and a decent fizz to liven things up. This vanilla theme offers some spice notes that are subtle and fulfilling final touches on this very enjoyable seasonal ale. Very drinkable too!
12-30-2009 03:57:55 | More by Durge
3.88/5 rDev -3.5%
Thanks to Bucketboy for the opportunity to try this one. 22oz. bottle served in a standard pint. Pours a translucent amber with a quarter inch, loose, off-white head that quickly disperses into a thin band around the shoulders. Some strands of lacing appear during the tasting, but exhibit poor retention. Nose is somewhat muted - light to medium malt with a suggestion of spice. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some caramel/toffee notes. The spice seems to be be nutmeg. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation which contributes to a semi-dry finish. All and all a pretty drinkable beer for the style. Not at all cloying with enough flavor to make this quite quaffable.
01-21-2011 01:06:17 | More by Jwale73
3.86/5 rDev -4%
rereview 12oz bottle into a FW tulip. 10/30/13 bottling date consumed 3 weeks later.
Pours a dark amber color with a nice inch thick head. Aroma is almost nonexistent...maybe a tad of caramel? not much at all. The taste is quite different though...a bit sweet with a good amount of caramel and toffee flavors that linger on the palate for quite awhile. Biggest thing about this beer is its drinkability...you could drink it all day and in a hurry... almost light bodied with mild carbonation.
Overall this is an old favorite among North Carolinian's and honestly shouldnt get such high marks nowadays. Its still good, just not amazing.
06-24-2012 00:39:02 | More by Axnjxn
4.45/5 rDev +10.7%
appearance: The pour into my snifter creates a low, off white head that quickly recedes to only a collar around the glass. The color of the beer is a very nice reddish mahogany.
smell: considerable carob aroma, light holiday (pie) spice, hops very hard to find but they're there. Reminds me almost perfectly of my grandma's sweet potato casserole (toasted marshmallows, brown sugar, spice, butter, sweet potato). *Melted marshmallows, candied orange, crystallized ginger, vanilla, toffee.
mouthfeel: The carbonation is maybe slightly less than medium, as is the body.
taste: The same carob I found on the nose is big here. Again I am reminded of sweet potato casserole. The spice is less noticeable on the tongue. Plenty of hops provide a good balance, becoming most evident after the initial flavor rush. *Graham cracker, sassafrass.
drinkability: very easy drinking for such a flavorful beer.
This is my first ever Higland Cold Mountain Winter Ale. A very intricate and complex beer. *I revisited this beer after a couple months to attempt to isolate some more of its nuances.
2006 Release: I was going to make another review for this year's, but it seems pretty simlar to last year. Same rich brown color, and nice retention of the slight head. Buttery cookie dough, spicy bread, and vanilla notes. Light, floral hops. Cinnamon-sugar toast. Seems to be a higher hop profile than last year, but it could just be fresher. At present, the hops block out a little of the aroma and flavor.
2011: Fairly consistent with years past. A Christmas classic for the home state. I will add that, now that it's described on the bottle, there's an evident hazelnut aroma. Picked up a bomber at Bottle Revolution in Raleigh. Gonna let the old scores stand.
11-29-2005 07:19:24 | More by blackie
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
Received as extra in a trade.
A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear mahogany hue with a good two finger creamy off white head that faded to leave a thin quarter inch blanket and nice lacing.
S - Nice caramel and toffee along with biscuits and malts. Very gentle spice notes.
T - Taste is nice, light caramel and sweeter toffee. Twinge of metallic notes and faint typical winter spices. Actually some alcohol too, which, is rather odd.
M - Mouthfeel is a bit on the thinner side. Light carbonation here.
O - Overall, not a bad beer, just everything is a bit too subtle. Plus, I shouldnt be getting alcohol in a 5.8% beer.
01-24-2013 18:08:16 | More by rudzud
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.