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Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Cold Mountain Winter AleHighland Cold Mountain Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

563 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 71
Gots: 50 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: RBorsato on 11-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thereal_adam
3/5  rDev -25.4%

thereal_adam, May 31, 2014
Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Immortale25, May 30, 2014
Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

wrightst, May 22, 2014
Photo of CM31
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

CM31, May 18, 2014
Photo of speak72
4/5  rDev -0.5%

speak72, May 06, 2014
Photo of toucanslam
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

toucanslam, May 01, 2014
Photo of joe1510
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz Swingtop

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!

joe1510, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of PA-Michigander
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

PA-Michigander, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

GarthDanielson, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of TeeJay
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

TeeJay, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Paincane
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Paincane, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of EinFesteBurg
4/5  rDev -0.5%

EinFesteBurg, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of HopsForBrains
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

HopsForBrains, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of cp45
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

cp45, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

jopezu, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of Trappist77
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Trappist77, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of humuloner22
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

humuloner22, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of Furley80
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Furley80, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Canti4341
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Canti4341, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of swgwilt
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

swgwilt, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of westy_far
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

westy_far, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of KevinZ2301
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

KevinZ2301, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of ThreeFishes
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

ThreeFishes, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of benloho
4/5  rDev -0.5%

benloho, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of barczar
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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.

barczar, Jan 26, 2014
Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.