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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
94
outstanding

68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 39
Gots: 10 | 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
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GimmeGumballHead
5/5  rDev +17.6%

GimmeGumballHead, Jan 27, 2012
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

phorestfreak, Nov 15, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Brunobstyle, Jun 06, 2012
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

BrewtifulMind, Dec 13, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Racnee, Dec 08, 2011
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Winslow, Mar 07, 2012
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5/5  rDev +17.6%

GrindFatherBob, Nov 15, 2011
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 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 innuendobrewskiman63
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

innuendobrewskiman63, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of laymansbeerfan
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

laymansbeerfan, May 07, 2012
Photo of Adrianized
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz swingtop.

Pours a brown with copper tones.  Head quickly disappears to leave behind only a thin ring of an offwhite head.

Lots of soured red grapes, some apple cider, and a hint of oak and bourbon.  Plenty of funk, too.

Wow this has a lot going on.  Ripe and sour tart grapes, big funk, oak and a touch of bourbon.  You can get the scotch ale base in the background.  The 10% ABV is totally hidden to me.  Finishes very sour. This is Olde Burnside Brewing Co.'s first sour, and it's hugely successful. The best Connecticut brewed sour I've had.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a wonderful, light effervesce.

Overall with was a hugely pleasant surprise.  I didn't know this existed and now I'll need to look for more.

Adrianized, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of dayan
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml blue swingtop into a Duvel tulip.

A: Big frothy head that dissolves quickly. A little lacing atop a cloudy chestnut body.

S: Citrus, cedar, tobacco, a little smoke - not totally surprising given the base beer, but a little misleading as to the eventual taste of the product.

T: A bold, lactic oud bruin, with increasing levels of malt and oak as the beer warms up; the Scotch ale character takes some time to develop, and provides an interesting counterpoint to the initial tartness. As it warms, some really complex interplay develops between the sourness and the oaky backbone.

M: Lightly carbonated and a little creamy, finishing very dry and crisp. Very smooth drinking considering the ABV. Not nearly as much of a palate-killer as it could be, which might be its best trick of all.

O: A surprisingly well-crafted beer overall, considering it's the brewer's first attempt at a sour. There isn't much to compare it to in terms of sour Scotch ales - it's a strikingly unique and forward-thinking beer, one of my favorite out-of-nowhere finds of 2011, and a beer I'll be happy to revisit again.

This is really worth seeking out if you like unusual American sours; Olde Burnside's distribution is very limited, and I've only seen this at a couple bottle shops around Hartford. I recall having this on tap at BCTC11 and being pleasantly surprised; it should only get better with age.

dayan, Dec 08, 2011
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
Photo of Pahn
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.

Pahn, Nov 11, 2011
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

steveslow, Jan 30, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

ghamel, Dec 05, 2011
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

chrispoint, Jan 05, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

stevec32, Jun 07, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

pjs234, Dec 22, 2011
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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

sailorastro, Apr 27, 2012
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Highland Wild Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.