1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Highland Wild Ale - The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Highland Wild AleHighland Wild Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 38
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Belgian breweries have made Scottish Ales for years. Beginning during World War I, the breweries in Belgium made beers for Scottish troops stationed in their country and continue to do so today. We here at Olde Burnside Brewing have decided to return the favor by brewing a Belgian style sour. The Belgians have always allowed nature to help "brew" their beers by utilizing the natural yeast and bacteria present in the air to impart the wonderful tastes and aromas that Belgian beers have to this day.

Our Highland Wild Ale starts as our award winning Ten Penny Reserve that we made "wild" by aging it in some bourbon barrels that had some "helpful" bacteria. These bacteria added a wonderful tartness and acidity to an already spectacular ale. Almost ruby red, the beer is unlike anything we’ve made at Olde Burnside and we hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we did making it.

Slainte!

(Beer added by: jimmy82063 on 11-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Greenplastic615:
Photo of Greenplastic615
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Greenplastic615, Oct 03, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mertzy81
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a deep chestnut/amber color with a bit more head than a typical sour.

S- Smells tart. Some funk, grapes as well as some malts poking thru. This is one of the best smelling sours I have had the pleasure of. The scottish ale/sour combo here is amazing, though please do not think this is not sour, it is!

T- Wow! this is way above my expectations. Much the same as the nose but there is a ton of tartness to this.. Very well done. The carbonation is spot on here, prickly. Not a hint of the 10% in the taste, and I mean at all.

M- a bit heavier than the sours that i am used to but that is to be expected when the base beer is essentially a scottish ale. This beer is great.

O- I have to give this an A+. Not perfect in all aspects but for me, this is just the perfect beer. I could seriously drink this everyday. Sounds like a homer reveiw here being from CT, I know but get your hands on this it's the real deal IMO. Cheers!

Mertzy81, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of steveslow
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

steveslow, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of Stigs
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz swingtop bottle - served in a small tulip

A - pours with a short lived layer of fuzzy, offwhite foam, settling to a filmy ring. slightly cloudy, deep ruby in color.

S - oddish sort of vinegary, grape and wine like fruitiness. additional hints of raisin, plum, vanilla, and a funky mustiness.

T - sweet and biscuity off the bat, turning slowly to a more lactic sourness, led by crushed red grapes and tart green apples. hints of purple sweet tarts, caramel, and pressed green apples. finishes rather clean, with a faint bit of bourbon and smoke. real nice!

M - medium bodied with a nice creaminess, aided by moderate yet prickly carbonation. finishes on the tart and puckering side, with a pleasant stickiness that cleans up nicely after itself.

O - solid beer. hope to see more like this from Olde Burnside in the future - pulled off quite well. a lovely sipper...seek this out.

Stigs, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of GimmeGumballHead
5/5  rDev +17.6%

GimmeGumballHead, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of DanE
4.25/5  rDev 0%

DanE, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of jimmy82063
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally found this

Poured into a brandy snifter....

A) Nice golden hue, slight head a bit of lacing.

S) Grapes and Funk...thats great!

T) For those who like sours (me) this is pretty damn good. The brewer is pretty well known for their scotch ales, that said you get the malts to follow up on the yeast.

O) Would really like to know how this ages...

jimmy82063, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of OatmattStout
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

mahogany in color with nice head and subtle lacing.

esthery fruits in the nose

taste with a nice malt sweetness which is immediately taken over by a great tartness. Big chocolate covered cherry element to this beer that makes it unique and delicious. toffee and vanilla flavors abound with a lingering tart drying finish leaving you waiting for next sip. The bourbon barrels really impart a nice woody dryness and finish i love in good bourbons.

So much going on here but really works together very well.

overall an incredible beer no doubt.

OatmattStout, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

innuendobrewskiman63, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of Gfunk720
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adrian for this share. Reviewed from notes, 500ml bottle.

A - A cloudy reddish brown, pours with a nice white head that fades quickly.

S - A pretty malty but funky sour smell. I get some oak, vinegar, and some caramel smells. Quite nice!

T- The initial flavor is pretty smooth and malty with a bit of oak, quickly transitioning to some lactic sourness and a prounounced dry vinegar funk. Aftertaste is quite tart and vinegary, with more oak.

M - Good body for a sour, with slighly lower carbonation, Nothing wrong here.

D - My expectations were low for this beer, but it really was quite good. I've had plenty of the base beer, but never thought it would become a sour. Gonna have to find some more of these. Without a doubt the best sour beer made in CT.

-GFunk

Gfunk720, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -5.9%

HopsHopenstein, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -5.9%

ShanePB, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of raythealeman
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

raythealeman, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of ghamel
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

ghamel, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this. Swing-top bottle, 1/2 liter.

3.5 A: Swing-top opened with a loud POP! First pour gave me just about all head. Several minutes later I got a full glass. Lightly hazed deep amber color. Three fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention is super good, but some of that might come from maintenance bubbles. A short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: This maintains a lot of the base beer (which I haven't had, but it's a reasonable assumption) and it smells great. Lots of caramel with toffee underneath. Plum, prune, and some raisin fruitiness. Bourbon is complementary, but adds a pleasant earthiness. The wild portion is mainly funk (in the nose at least). Musty basement, dry-rotten wood, and hay.

4.5 T: The taste introduces some acid and sourness. It's not overbearing and it works well within the context of the other flavors. It's mainly a tangy lactic acid, but there is some acetic in there as well. The bourbon earthiness and leather mixes extremely well. The base still offers plenty of caramel with lesser amounts of toffee and molasses. Lots of plum, raisin, prune, and dates. Oak and vanilla. This is pretty sweet for a wild and it works out to be quite enjoyable. I have no doubt that the excess carbonation is from this beer not being fully done, but the result is probably better than with the extra time it'd take to ferment it out. Very tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. The carbonation level is fine. It seems like the beer itself doesn't hold much of the excess. Not that creamy, but somewhat velvety if you can understand the differences I mean between the two words. Super smooth.

5.0 D: Very tasty wild. Well developed with tons of awesome flavors. So easy to drink and the alcohol never becomes an issues at all.

DavoleBomb, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of KevSal
4/5  rDev -5.9%

KevSal, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of phorestfreak
5/5  rDev +17.6%

phorestfreak, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Arenbeer, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Robtobfest
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz blue swingtop into a Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a deep chestnut/amber color with a bit more head than a typical sour.

S- Smells tart. Some funk, grapes as well as some malts poking thru. This is one of the best smelling sours I have had the pleasure of. The scottish ale/sour combo here is amazing, though please do not think this is not sour, it is!

T- Wow! this is way above my expectations. Much the same as the nose but there is a ton of tartness to this.. Very well done. The carbonation is spot on here, prickly. Not a hint of the 10% in the taste, and I mean at all.

M- a bit heavier than the sours that i am used to but that is to be expected when the base beer is essentially a scottish ale. This beer is great.

O- I have to give this an A+. Not perfect in all aspects but for me, this is just the perfect beer. I could seriously drink this everyday. Sounds like a homer reveiw here being from CT, I know but get your hands on this it's the real deal IMO. Cheers!

Robtobfest, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of JohnK17
4.25/5  rDev 0%

JohnK17, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of ucsbmullet
4.25/5  rDev 0%

ucsbmullet, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
2.65/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to nmann08 for sharing this bottle last weekend. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a muddy amber color with a thin off-white head and not much in the way of lacing. Thin collar. The nose brings forward plenty of heavy malts with sourness in the background. Lactic and acetic both make an appearance along with some dark fruits and cherries. Flavor is pretty powerful in terms of sourness with too much acetic character for my tastes. Same for the feel. Not too bad, but not something I really enjoyed.

Thorpe429, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of shufon
4/5  rDev -5.9%

shufon, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a 2 year old cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep mahogany with rich garnet highlights and just a little bit of misty sediment floating in the middle of the glass. A large creamy and spongy beige head foams up 3 cm even with a gentle pour. The head fades gradually to a thick edge layer and thin surface layer across the top of the beer.
The aroma is tart cherry and vinegar with a bit of musty blanket and stale bread. Quite a complex and funky nose. Appropriate for a wild ale, and appealing for this sampling.
The first sip reveals an average body and fine fizzy carbonation that tingles on each sip.
Flavor is what would be expected from the nose with some sweet cherry for a second that then roles to tart and bitey vinegar and some funky yeast notes. The finish is very dry and tart with a bit of chalk and stale bread again. IT is a mix of complex flavors and the dry finish encourages further sips.
The beer is enjoyable and the 10-11% is hidden the entire time. Funky well made beer.

sulldaddy, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Thads324
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this at the store!
A : pours a deep copper with reddish tones. A good light tan head of tiny bubbles. Sticks around much longer than most sours. Pretty good lacing. Nice looking blue swing top bottle.
S : smells of a bit of bread and yeast. Tart berries and old fruit juice sitting on a table. A bit of sweet vinegar. A bit of woody earthy dirt aromas, but I'm not sure if that's the barrel or hops.
T : starts sweet and a bit smokey. The tartness starts off early and hits hard. The flavor reminds of the candy shock tarts. It's a little fruity, tart more than lip puckering sour. There's a little sweetness like butterscotch beneath the whole tart flavor. Finishes with a bubbly and sharp sourness with cherry and oak vanilla flavors beaneath the sour bite. The flavors are very pronounced, and the depth and complexity between sour and malty sweet are enjoyable. As the beer warms you start to taste even more oak and cherry vanilla sourness.
M : medium body and vibrant but not overbearing carbonation.

A deeply complex flavor and wide ranging aromatic beer. While its less sour than most I really enjoy the solid flavor and drinkability. Very little alcohol present here. Very nice.

Thads324, Jan 28, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Highland Wild Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.