1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
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)
View: Beers (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml swing top bottle into a snifter.

I've been waiting anxiously for this beer to be bottled since hitting it hard at the Burnside beer fest this Summer. Wasn't disappointed with this version at all.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a one inch frothy and popping offwhite head that dissipates steadily, leaving a tight but short lasting ring of lacing. Pours a hazy red brown. Leaves a wall of lacing that rides back to the liquid on the beer's legs.

Smell: Sweet, fruity malts (like in a really fruity strong ale like Founders Curmudgeon or Brooklyn Monster, sort of hard candy sweet), some tartness, and a large grape presence. Mild vanilla cake and faint woodiness underneath. Some caramel starts to show up after a few minutes.

With time and warmth, the aroma really opens up. The grape and hard candy stay, but the oak gets a lot more pronounced and some molasses and heavy malt from the base beer come out. The blends produced are great... it's less like different notes than different chords. The elevated sourness and grape go surprisingly well together with the different pastry and oak notes.

Taste: Sour up front, with a creamy finish. Mild pucker, oaky aftertaste. Sugariness not so nice with the sourness up front, and a bit of a watery character. Second sip brings more noticeable (but not abrasive) booze up front, and some nice complexities within the sourness.

Any doubts or qualms I had disappear as the beer warms--let this beer warm up. There's a lot going on here. Some smoke and leather come out, along with the bold and balanced malts of the base beer (Ten Penny Reserve, a great beer in its own right), which taste surprisingly natural and complimentary with the mild grape, lactic sourness, and occasional acetic flavors. Long oaky finish that coats the mouth... this is something I love in a wild ale, though I know some others consider it a flaw. Not really any bourbon influence to be found.

This is the sort of adventurous flavor you want from a wild ale. Sometimes it's dry, smoky, roasty, but the next thing you know it's powerful tartness, fruit notes, sugary pastries, all well served by an oaky vanilla background. I'm loving every sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, sometimes sugary, often puckeringly tart, mild alcohol heat, moderate to high carbonation. Sometimes very dry, sometimes very juicy. As interesting as the flavor, though not as consistently excellent.

Overall: I have a real soft spot for dark, malty beers put in barrels with wild yeast or bacteria. This is that kind of beer done really well. Every whiff and sip gives you a new balance of several flavors, and they're all good.

Also, I really like sour beers that can deliver tons of depth and distinct flavors without being so acidic that drinking them feels like having heartburn on purpose. This beer is sour while still being soft enough. Very enjoyable.

My hometown brewery really went above and beyond on this one. Will be grabbing as much of this as I can.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 00:44:13 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 03:21:28 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of baybum
baybum

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

10-12-2013 13:56:32 | More by baybum
Photo of Greenplastic615
Greenplastic615

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

10-03-2013 16:44:15 | More by Greenplastic615
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.9%

10-03-2013 12:30:15 | More by ShanePB
Photo of DanE
DanE

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev 0%

09-29-2013 17:35:20 | More by DanE
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -5.9%

08-17-2013 02:43:24 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of vonnegut21
vonnegut21

New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

08-05-2013 14:52:37 | More by vonnegut21
Photo of popery
popery

California

4/5  rDev -5.9%

07-12-2013 15:52:57 | More by popery
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev 0%

06-23-2013 16:19:14 | More by jaxon53
Photo of Mertzy81
Mertzy81

Maryland

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 08:48:00 | More by Mertzy81
Photo of ucsbmullet
ucsbmullet

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev 0%

01-20-2013 22:54:12 | More by ucsbmullet
Photo of HopsHopenstein
HopsHopenstein

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -5.9%

11-25-2012 16:20:15 | More by HopsHopenstein
Photo of wdarcy77
wdarcy77

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

11-04-2012 14:13:53 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 01:04:31 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of hlaus
hlaus

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

06-16-2012 01:05:14 | More by hlaus
Photo of stevec32
stevec32

New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-07-2012 00:49:30 | More by stevec32
Photo of Brunobstyle
Brunobstyle

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.6%

06-06-2012 20:05:52 | More by Brunobstyle
Photo of innuendobrewskiman63
innuendobrewskiman63

New York

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

06-04-2012 07:18:09 | More by innuendobrewskiman63
Photo of AdamP
AdamP

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-03-2012 19:39:19 | More by AdamP
Photo of bbadger
bbadger

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

06-02-2012 16:26:42 | More by bbadger
Photo of MatthewWilde
MatthewWilde

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Dark ruby red in color, heavy internal carbonation, pours a strong off-white head, a slight haze

S: Interesting nose, very sour/tactic acid smelling, combined with citrus, dried fruits, and a good amount of alcohol

T: Complex and delicious, perfect acidic flavors, citrus fruits, finishes with a definite buttery/creamy note, a great wild, touch of alcohol

M: Highly acidic, but still balanced, refreshing and drinkable, seems alive on the palate, incredibly mild fruity aftertaste, not drying

O: An excellent example of its style, acidic, fruity, and yet smooth, would love to have tried it with some age

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 22:27:02 | More by MatthewWilde
Photo of laymansbeerfan
laymansbeerfan

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

05-07-2012 19:16:16 | More by laymansbeerfan
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.6/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to sideshowe for sharing.

Pours a dark ruby/caramel brown color with a one finger off white head that quickly settles into lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with lots of funky bugs, lactic funk, dark fruit and caramel malts.  Herbal with a subtle oak character.

Tart, puckering medium body with acetic vinegar, dark fruit, caramel and sweet malt with a lingering, overpowering diaceytl flavor.  Hints of sour cream, ranch dressing and vegetable oil.  Starts off strong but finishes really with a really weird dairy feel. Buttery, tangy diaceytl pretty much ruins things.  Everyone else said that the aftertaste reminded them of cool ranch doritos  Not much bourbon but there is some oak and funk up front.  

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 07:09:09 | More by corby112
Photo of sailorastro
sailorastro

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

04-27-2012 11:28:43 | More by sailorastro
« 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 66 ratings.