Highland Imperial Kashmir IPA | Highland Brewing

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Highland Imperial Kashmir IPAHighland Imperial Kashmir IPA

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 09-23-2007

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 188
Photo of Arbitrator
1.83/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. 2007 vintage, tried at the end of July 2009. Sent (and recommended) by Uwftke26.

A: Pours a cloudy amber body with orange tones against the light. Has a fairly generous 2 inches of head with pretty good retention, taking between 5-10 minutes to collapse into a lighter cap on top of the brew before I can start drinking. Thick scoops of lace down the sides from the head, and light register marks as I sip.

S: Lots of caramel malts with something of a nutty bent to them, and some barnyard notes (infected?). Grapefruit and herbal hops next. I'm surprised it's still hoppy for something that is two years old.

T: Tilted slightly toward sweet caramel with nuts and molasses, with citrus hops making a play toward the latter half of the taste. It pulls to a resiny finish with a lingering bitterness. It's not bad, but just kind of unimpressive. I really don't think the hops held up well.

M: Medium bodied. Fizzy carbonation, but not enough to clean the resin off, giving it a slightly oily feel. Definitely boozy still, with some heat on exhalation.

D: It was pretty interesting to try, but I couldn't figure out how to respond to this beer. It's not really a great IIPA, and the malts aren't complex enough to make it a good barleywine... Just kind of a muted compromise between both. I'm not sure what I was supposed to get out of this one.

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Photo of AlexFields
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a very clear plain amber, large and impressive head but the color is pretty dull.

Nose has a strong and nice malt character, fairly bready, decent hoppiness too with pine and maybe some light fruit and floral notes, this smells pretty sweet and malty overall which usually I hate in an IPA but I enjoy the nose on this for whatever reason.

Taste is pretty unusual--very malty again, lots of bready character, some nice spicy and floral notes, some grassiness maybe, light bitterness. Not aggressively hoppy.

Pretty nice mouthfeel, good carbonation and really creamy feel, some booze though and this is too malty or an IPA to be super drinkable. Pretty thick and chewy feel.

This is okay--not really my type of IPA, I still enjoy it despite it being a malt forward IPA with very little citrus, but at $11 a bottle I won't be buying it again.


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Photo of AndoBrew
3.07/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

*did not mind would not buy*

app: kinda a let down in the shade of copper, i wish it was more rich. nice head!

smell: nice hop smell, tiny hints of some malt goodness, but very hop foward. smells like a good mix of hop flavors, some reason i doubt it will have them though. small hint of cheap candy takes the 4 away.

taste: not bad, seems like a straight foward d ipa, not that fancy or important tasting. it seems to have some cheap malt candy flavors making up the booze taste in it, though they are mild. hops are narrow and unexciting mostly back of the throat acid, dont get me wrong there are plenty of flavors in the beer, none really shine though. nor do they balance together into a great glob. a watery finish.

mf: watery and to thick all at the same time.

drinkable?: yeah. not a big tounge catcher though.

all n all an ok good beer, some cheap off flavors, nothing special.. imperial??

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Photo of CWiggins
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Limited availability beer from Highland. In the Raleigh/Durham area I've only seen it at Sam's Quik Stop in 22oz. bombers. I couldn't resist picking up a bottle this week; Highland's output is high quality, and, although I don't crave every style they make, a few of their brews are my favorites.

This Imperial IPA pours a dark copper with gold highlights. A thick, foamy head formed, probably the result of too fast a pour. I find the haziness of the color very intriguing; IPAs aren't usually this cloudy. Hops dominates the aroma, while malts and a bit of citrus round things out. Flavors of piney hops, light malts, and a little sweet tropical fruit (mango, specifically) are exhibited here. What really grabbed my attention was the texture: it's smooth and relaxed, not big and aggressive like so many Imperial IPAs I've experienced. It's silky, with a great balance of flavor and sublteness. Well done!

Oh, the alcohol is well disguised, so take it easy!

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Rocking the Kashmir? Pours a mostly clear amber color with copper highlights. A good pour left a soft white head with good retention and lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose is more along an East Coast IPA. Malty notes come out with grainy and light caramel notes. Some light toasty notes as well. The hops have more of an English feel with a mixture of earthy notes with a floral and rose like aromas. The rose is more of a sweeter hoppy note versus estery. There is some noticeable yeast notes as well. Would have liked more hops on the nose.

The taste is more on par with a US IPA. The malt actually comes out more than the hops. A caramel malt flavor that is boarder line syrupy. Almost has a unattenuated feel. The hops are balanced well. A good zip from the bittering hops. There is a mix between pine and floral for finishing hops that leave a green finish. Noticeable yeast and alcohol notes come out. Some minor esters but really off setting heat.

The body is moderate to full with the underattunation feel to it. Overall a bit distracting with the alcohol coming out. The negative, I would have liked more hops as well and a clear flavor. The positive, a nice blend of hops. More on the "eh" side of IIPA's.

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Photo of pwoods
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours an attractive bloody amber. Two solid fingers of stiff tight head forms and holds like a champ. good lacing.

S: Spicy hops with a muted citrus backbone. Big, super sweet, chewy malts.

T/M: Bitterness seems muted. So does the citrus. Big sweet malts, chewy and syrupy. closer to a BW. Very juicy but not citrusy. Alcohol is pretty big. Body is thick and chewy with moderate carbonation.

D: Not a favorite. Pretty big ABV.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.29/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Rusel_G for the bottle.

Appearance: Perfectly clear burnt orange. Nice hints of dark gold at the edges. Head is off-white with full of large bubbles, creamy, and leaves a small clumpy cap. Sheets of sticky lacing and notches mark the glass with each sip. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: A bit of booze over a big sweet malt base. Syrupy with a ton of caramel and toffee sweetness. Biscuity with some serious cooked and caramelized malts. Hop profile is all over the place. Loads of grapefruit flesh with some pithy undertones. Deeply floral. Sweet and some pine. Oily.

Taste: Hoppy syrup booze. Crazy cooked sugars. Runs the gamut from caramel to toffee to a hint of molasses and brown sugar. So much malt sweetness. Sharp alcohol on the back is a bit more pronounced as the beer warms. Nice punch of citrus and some bitter pine. A bit leafy and floral. Some artificial pineapple lingers. Warming makes it a bit too sweet overall. A touch of butterscotch.

Mouthfeel: Wet and oily. Super slick and smooth. Moderate carbonation helps. A bit of drying alcohol on the back.

Overall: An improvement over the standard, but a bit of a mess overall.

A big boozy malt bomb that's aggressively hopped. I know it's a blurry line, but this really hits as a super hoppy barleywine with all the crazy malt things going on. A bit unbalanced and over sweet, but good and definitely worth the time.

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Photo of MrBendo
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to limesmut for the bomber.
Hazy orange with a medium head. Aroma of earthy caramel malt and tropical fruit hops. Flavor was earthy with pine and tropical fruits that was very balanced with the sweetness of the caramel malts. Some spice in there also.
Nicely spicy and bitter finish. Alcohol is well hidden. A bit too 'balanced' for my taste.

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Photo of phideltashaggy
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into my Chimay goblet.

A- Orange/light copper that is difficult to see through completely. Thin, white head that dissipated quickly.

S- initially smelled bitter and a slight bread smell. With a few more sniffs, lots of pine and resin came through. As it warmed, citrus overcame the pine a little. Herbal notes came through as well.

T- Not as much of an alcohol taste as I was expecting from the gravity. Some light caramel and bread come through in the middle of the taste, while a nice bitterness kick off the taste and stick in the back of your mouth. Some malty flavor sticks around as it warms up some. Resin notes form hops hang out a while as well. Not as much citrus in the taste when compared to the nose, even as it warmed.

MF- Thin initially, but the hops wrap my tongue in a little sweater, waiting for the next sip.

Overall, this is possibly the best IIPA I've had (I'm generally not big into them, for what it's worth). This is not "too much", which is what I usually say about Imperial IPAs (I'm a bit of a puss.) This is a nice brew to sip on in a cold night in January after class.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Loki for this one.

Appearance: Pours a hazy unfiltered amber, turbid and almost opaque. The head rises to an inch and then slowly settles into a ring.

Smell: Tons of oily hops balanced by an equally large malt backbone. Mango, pine, grapefruit and honey all come to mind.

Taste & mouthfeel: Honey-like sweetness, tropical fruit and citrus with a resiny bitterness beneath. This is rich, sweet and fairly heavy for the style. The finish brings out a bitter earthy hop note that lingers on the palate for quite a while. Balance and complexity are excellent; this is a well-made DIPA. While I generally prefer this style to be lighter in body and malt presence, I still enjoyed this.

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Photo of rallison
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to limesmut for this one!

This thing pours a great looking cloudy reddish amber color with a 1 finger white head that leaves nice lacing and a wonderful ring on top of the beer. A very nice looking beer indeed. First whiff, and I smell juicy hops and caramel/toffee sweetness. So far so good!

Wow. The flavors are big here. Big backbone of caramel and toffee sweetness. Piny and juicy hops. Alcohol. Unfortunately, there is an undesirable astringent quality that is accentuated by the alcohol. The rest of it kind of reminds me of Devil Dancer, but unfortunately that odd astringency knocks the score down quite a bit. Could've been a 4.5, but now I cannot give it more than a 3.5. Bummer.

Mouthfeel is rich, somewhat syrupy, and very nice on this cold night. Drinkability is decent at best given the astringency issues.

If they could get the hops right in this one, I'd love to have this again. Until then, I'll pass.

Edit: Lowered taste to 3.0 - the flavors just do not come together or work well here after having finished about 12 ounces of it.

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Photo of bort11
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle received as part of the BA Secret Santa '07. Thanks BRoss242!

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Very tall initial head that gradually recedes to a swirling cap. Color is a reddish gold, slightly murky.

Smell has a rich floral hop explosion. A bit grassy as well. Taste is a little overpowered by the alcohol. It is very brash with the hops, and a bit spicy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. I think this wold have benefited from aging a bit to mellow out.

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Photo of GJ40
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC.

A - Amber color with a slight haze and a moderate white head.

S - A mix of fruity hops, yeast and malt. Not as hoppy as I expected after reading the label.

T - My first reaction was that this was more of a scotch ale based on the malty, earthy and smoky flavor. There is a lot of hop bitterness but not a lot of hop flavor.

M - This is a thick and chewy beer.

D - This is just too sweet and not hoppy enough for a DIPA. One was plenty.

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Photo of sholland119
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very murky orange amber with a thin white head and little lacing.

S-Very malty with some hops behind and a hint of something like brown gravy. Weird, not bad but weird.

T-Taste follows the nose with a lot of malt throughout with some hop bitterness in the finish. A little light in the hop character for my liking but not bad.

M-Oily and rich at the same time. Nice.

D-A pleasant sipper but too high in alcohol to have more than one.


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Photo of wedge
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1st Bottle

Lightly hazed orange-amber. An inch of off-white foam quickly settles to a sticky cap. The aroma is surprisingly light - spicy, minty, piney. Smells obviously dry-hopped in a grassy sense. Oranges and brown sugar...a swirl stirs up some alcohol. This is different stuff. Woody-like flavors upfront. Sticky hops and alcohol...but different than most. Juicy, sweet, grassy green hoppiness and hints of maple syrup. Maybe too much young dry hop flavor for my tastes, the malts don't quite have enough to match everything else. Mouthfeel is a little chewy and warming, finishing with a drying bitterness that isn't overdone.

The flavor is significantly bolder, but I prefer the aroma more at this point. Its hoppy, its strong, its got a good solid bitterness, and its different. Not anything like your atypical West-coast variety, this is more green, earthy, and minty. An interesting beer but probably a little young to be really good when I cracked this bottle 2 or 3 months after its release.

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Photo of scvance
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours a brilliantly clear deep gold color with a thick, long lasting, fluffy, white head. High carbonation levels are visible. Smell is quite mild, some caramel notes, and slight alcohol. Taste is quite strong in alcohol, that really hits up front and lingers throughout. There is also a lasting sweetness, as well as a long lasting bittering finish. The sweetness is a little strong for my tastes. Medium carbonation present in the mouthfeel, and this beer is quite viscous.

I enjoyed this beer, however, it does not remind me of the original Kashmir which I really like. To call it "Imperial Kashmir" seems a misnomer when you relate it to the original. Overall, this is a good IIPA, however, for the price, I expected more.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Phosphorescent ochre (when backlit) with pumpkin peel edges. The relatively dark color of the ale makes me think that Highland added a considerable amount of caramel malt rather than just doubling Kashmir IPA's ingredients. I like it, though, and I really like the whipped creamy, sticky, pale orange colored crown. There's an impressive amount of lace too.

The aroma says that caramel malt is definitely present. Citrus fruity hops glide along on an English toffee base. For what is supposed to be an outrageously hopped DIPA, the nose is disturbingly balanced. This is the first, and hopefully the last, chink in the armor.

I hate to say it, but Imperial Kashmir IPA is a disappointment. There's way too much sticky malt gumming up the works. As always, it comes dangerously close to obliterating the hop flavor and seriously impinges on the hop bitterness. There's still an impressive alpha acid raspiness on the finish, however.

Think American barleywine rather than DIPA. All the brewery had to do (when building on Kashmir, which is a very nice IPA) was stick with pale malt, increase the malt by a factor of 1.5, increase the hops by a factor of 2.5 and max out the ABV at 8.0% (it's too noticeable here). I'll bet anything that that beer would be better than this one.

As far as specific flavors, I've pretty much already described them. Melted caramel, bitter grapefruit pith and ethyl alcohol. Warming doesn't change much, but it does firm up the mouthfeel a tad.

The beer is moderately viscous and borders on sappy and sticky. Correction: it is sappy and sticky. If you like big beer, you'll like it. If not, you won't. Good job on keeping the bubbles in the background.

I had very high hopes for Imperial Kashmir IPA. It turns out that it's my least favorite beer from what I think is North Carolina's best brewery. I don't really care if this 'Limited Edition 2007' offering sees the light of day in 2008 and beyond unless Highland does some major tinkering. Thanks Loki.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : POurs a cloudy amber color with a nice, tightly bubbled head that sticks around and dots some lace

Smell: Big caramel malty aroma, with hops persisting underneath, even after all this time; still quite boozy, too

Taste: Opens with a huge caramel base that becomes very bitter by mid-palate, with an aspirin-like bitterness; after the swallow, the bitterness fades a bit as the sweetness rebuilds to control the finish

Mouthfeel: Very big and sticky, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: When this was younger, I objected to the aspirin-like bitterness (I prefer more citrus); with a bit of age, that flavor profile is now taking a back seat to the malt, but it is still there

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Photo of MacQ32
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a near clear light orange gold with a finger of near white head. Rentention is a little weak, moderate outer ring crawls up the glass a bit, lacing is swell.

S - Sweet (slightly bready) caramel malts, slightly resinous hops, citrus/sweet fruits (grapefruit).

T - Very bitter, hop intensive, dry and resinous up front. Citrusy qualities are detectable but the alcohol definitely dominates. Aftertaste is astringent and slight dry bitterness. Alcohol outweighs any other flavor.

M - Medium bodied, decent carbonation. Somewhat chewy

O - Pretty tasty but the alcohol too dominant relative to the other flavors imo

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to khiasmus for this one.

Pours a nice dark brown reddish ruby color with a nice fluffy stark white head that retains well, and leaves good lacing.

Nose is all malt. Some faint hops in here, but nothing massive like one would expect in a big IPA.

Taste follows, but there is some more hops in here than the nose indicated, although not much. Malt profile is enormous. Incredibly sweet. Hop bitterness starts to show up more towards the end, but is still quite faint. I kind of expected this, as this one does have a bit of age on it, but it is still enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is nice, a bit too viscous, but overall pretty good.

Drinkability would be much better if this one still had the hop punch that it may have had at one time. Now it is a bit harder to drink.

OVerall I think this may have been a quality DiPA at one time, but at this point (this review is here solely for those who still have some of this laying around) it has faded quite a bit i think. Unless this one was one hell of a malty IPA to begin with, I would say this one is well past its prime. Still an enjoyable beverage, but it seems to be a shadow of what it once was. A good beer.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Hop City (Atlanta, GA). 7.99. No bottling date but this is a pretty recent re-release. Served in a Terrapin goblet.

Pours a clear but faded amber gold with three quarters finger white head which fades to a thin layer and leaves a good deal of lace.

Smells of earthy and floral hops with traces of pine and sweet citrus.

Taste packs a bitter wallop. As in the nose, the flavors seem more floral and earthy bitter hops. Strong bready, sweet malt presence. Pine, citrus rind, burnt caramel and pepper. Very little noticeable alcohol despite an abv topping 10%.

Oily, slick and approaching chewy medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Bitter floral finish with a kiss of booze.

A different take on the imperial IPA. Far better than their standard Kashmir IPA in my opinion but still not what I typically look for. Still, no regrets as a one time purchase of something "just a wee bit different" and I had no problem finishing the whole bomber.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from both WeisGuy & mikesgroove, so a big "Thank you" goes out to them. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong citrus flavor and some caramel. Then there's a good hops presence that comes in and is quickly follow by the sting of alcohol. The malt character is on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, decent representation of style, this is a beer that you can drink for a while until the ABV catches up with you, but there are better 2IPA's out there.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split between three people. Color was ruddy orange with a good soapy head. The smell was intense hops but not pine or citrus. the taste was very hoppy with some tropical fruit flavors but not quite a West Coast. The only complaint I had with this beer was the astringency on my tongue. it got worse as I got to the bottom of my glass. Still, nice to be able to try this one.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to unclejedi for this one.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark rich copper with a somewhat foggy look that has a big chunky two finger off-white head that slowly dies down to a nice layer that remains throughout. Smell is a light floral perfume like aroma with a bit of pink grapefruit in the nose as well. Minor caramel malt with a bit of dirty earth scent too. Taste is a syrupy pine hop flavor with a big caramel malt presence. Some earth hop flavors with a drying effect as well. Some dry wheat flavors seem to appear in the aftertaste that is a mix of dry hops and brown sugar. Thick almost full body with a tingle of carbonation. Some decent drinkability but it's big mouthfeel hurts it a bit. Solid DIPA, but there are many out there that surpass it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

Mildly chill hazed copper colored ale with a nice tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with more than a trace of ethanol. Strong malt backbone here with lots of caramelized sugar in it. Little bit of spice and hay in this one, more than usual for this beer style. Good menthol, mint, pine and grapefruit aromas. Eucalyptus aroma rides on the ethanol fumes.

The taste begins a little sweet and woody with a big melons and malt syrup flavor. Wood and melon is pretty much the major flavor here. Higher fruity hop flavors are missing here.

Mouthfeel is OK.

OK but really tastes more like a Barley Wine. Malt is stronger than the hops here and leaves me want tropical fruit flavor in my glass. OK I guess.

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Highland Imperial Kashmir IPA from Highland Brewing
3.94 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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