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Highland The Shining Rock Lager | Highland Brewing

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Highland The Shining Rock LagerHighland The Shining Rock Lager
25 Ratings
Highland The Shining Rock LagerHighland The Shining Rock Lager

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NClifestyle on 05-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by EGledhill:
Photo of EGledhill
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of wcudwight in the Baseball cards and beer bif

poured into the hickory crawdads pint glass also courtesy of him.

A. brown body with a nice white head.

S.smells of malt, a little hops, and a sweet caramel

T. starts off malty and sweet, as it warms, the hops starts to show through giving a nice change of pace

M. Ok mouth feel. nothing overly impressive.

D. good sessionable beer. Easy drinking. Great for the warmer months.

Glad to have the chance to have tried this one. Good pick

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Judging by most of the other reviews of this beer Iam more in the minority in really thinking this is an excellent bock.Poured into a pokal a clear deep bronze with a thick creamy almond colored head,rich buttery caramel stands out most in the nose but a herbal leafy noble hop presence is there and fits in very nicely.Full creamy mouthfeel makes the beer more inviting,flavors are of dare I say it again rich buttery caramel and toffee with an underlying toasted almost doughy feel finish with a herbal smack, there is a generous use of hops in this bock no doubt.I really really liked this beer its full flavored with some balance a great smaller bock beer,another great one from one of the most underrated breweries in the country.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark caramel in color, clear, with a very thin white head. Head dissipates almost immediately to the thinnest white ring. A few clinging bubbles but no real lacing.

S: Caramel malt is soft on the nose but most prevalent.

T: Malt. Lots of sweet caramel malt. Finish is more malt but the linger is a bit cleaner with the best indication that there are actually a few hops in this brew.

M: Moderate to heavy mouthfeel due to the considerable presence of malt sugars. Everything comes together well and stays together well all the way through.

D: Enjoyable but not what I expected really. Most of the Highland brews have a considerable hop presence and I thought this one would too. Not so much. However, this still has the quality that I have come to expect from this brewery and was still enjoyable to drink. Good bock.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery amber with nearly 2 fingers of creamy off-white head. Solid layer of retention skims the surface and sticks around, leaving some nice looking lace behind. The aroma is fairly sweet with notes of caramel, bready malts, some citrus tang, and just a bit of floral hops under all of that sweetness.

The taste is caramel and toffee sweetness mixed in with a firm bready base and some juicy citrus that rides along underneath. Just a bit of noble hop bitterness pulls things back but doesn't interfere with overall malt profile. Finishes on the lips with a smack of tang and sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just a little beef to it but the overall feel is generally smooth and creamy.

This was an overall good representation of the Bock style. Sweet and chewy but relatively still easy to drink. A solid effort from Highland.

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Photo of wedge
2.46/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear amber color with a small creamy head. Grainy, earthy aroma...not your typical bock-y scent. Clean but missing a certain toasty element. Sweet grainy flavor, kind of harsh in some ways, burnt characteristics, with some vegetal notes here and there. Somewhat earthy and almost rye-like. Medium bodied and fairly smooth. Meh, I'm not all that impressed. First of all, this is no bock as it is right now. It kind of reminds me of some CBC brews with hints of DMS. This is not a good thing. I think the "usual Highland twist on style" didn't work out so well this time.

Disappointing...the recipe needs a few tweaks guys.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown, basically black in color with no light coming through this one at all. Smooth look to it with a nice half inch of creamy off white head that lasted on top for the entire glass, well it is still going!

The aroma was all caramel malts and hints of light nuts. Really just wonderful with a light roasted character to it as it warmed and a very nice and full profile. The flavor though was just top notch. Had to be the fullest, creamiest bock I have probably ever tasted, if not easily top three. Rich flavors of caramel and roasted nuts rolling in. Light herbal notes, clove maybe, touches of sweetness

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Photo of wcudwight
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper color with some shiny golden hues in the middle. Nice khaki colored head with shades of pale orange in it. Kind of like orange sherbert.
Sweet malts in the aroma. Also a smell whole grain bread and honeysuckle.
The flavor is dominated by the sweet malts and grain flavors. I notice sugar cain and brown sugar. Some dark fruit flavors hide in the background. Maybe raisins. Or better yet raisin bread. I also taste some rye even though I know that wasn't added to the beer. Very sharp grainy finish. This beer has a lot going on in it, flavorwise, but it's kind of going all over the place. If Highland can tame this wild stag then they truely will have a magnificant stallion.
Mouthfill is medium to full and creamy.
The graininess gets harsher as the beer warms and the glass empties. Otherwise the drinkability would have been a 3.5.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a slight khaki head with light retention over a clear, orange-brown colored beer

s: sweet German bock malts bring a nutty caramel-honey aroma and a range of fruits, grassy noble hop aroma, solid malt body

m: carbonation just around medium, with a clean medium-full body, almost creamy

t: moderately sweet, nutty German malts balanced with a moderate noble hop flavor and light bitterness, notes of dark honey, cleanly fruity, a touch of nutty roast in the finish, great progression of flavor

d: at the top of the NC bock heap, shows very good balance and composition

single bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh, the first in a long overdue line of seasonals from Highland (excluding the Cold Mountain, of course)

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Photo of daliandragon
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm always pleased to try new local stuff, especially when it's from a proven commodity as this Asheville outfit with the piper on the label. This bock pours a transparent deep orange with a cap of big bubbles for a head. Aroma is obviously malty with some yeast wisps. Sweet, nutty, and fresh all at the same time, this is exactly what I think a bock should smell like.

I feel a little let down here, at least initially. You get a solid jab of malt here, with some dark fruit backing (figs, perhaps) that leaks alcohol flavors more heavily than 6% would figure to. The sweetness seems to be tempered by late hops, which although not bad, seems to be against the style. You are getting plenty of complexity for your money, with woody and even smoky notes joining those already listed but it's not as coherent as I had hoped.

This is a decent bock but I doubt if this one will prove to be as popular as Highland's other labels until they can tighten it up a bit. Interesting, though, and worth trying.

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Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing back from N.C. for me!

Pours slightly hazed orange with a thin off-white head that almost disappears, but comes back with gentle swirling. Minimal lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with some floral/herbal Continental-type hop spicing.

The taste is of caramel candy/toffee - sweet turning to a bitterish, herbal finish. It has a touch of warming alcohol and some woody dryness in the finish.

It it on the full-side of medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a nice, unique, interesting, strong lager/bock with a caramel candy sweetness but a bittering balance.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's always a treat to see something new by Highland on the local shelves, and since we're so used to seeing their standard fare, this one really leaps out. ("Lager? Highland's brewing a lager? Hmm.") So I picked up a single bottle for sampling.

It pours a beautiful dark amber; the head was thin and off-white in colour. Earthy aromas dominate the scent, while toasted/burnt malts add a certain something. It really smells like the roasting grains one often encounters when entering a brewpub. Heavy malts dominate the taste. There is a bit of sweetness, and a nice mildly hoppy finish, but those malts just won't let go!

Crisp, clean, medium-bodied, and not overly carbonated.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of drperm
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another (new) winner from our friends at Highland.

Perhaps I'm somewhat biased, living in close proximity and wishing to patronize a local brewer, but Highland consistently receives highest marks from me for most if not all of their offerings.

This is their first distributed foray into the lager world, and it's quite a hit.

20-oz Draught at Barley's in Asheville.

It's quite sweet at first blush, keeping in mind that it is a Bock -- sweet in the way that a good Irish whisky or an Old Fashioned is sweet, but the alcohol notes (it is, after all, 6% ABV) is well-masked and the sweetness is never off-putting or rough. The winning touch, though, is the finish/palate: it goes down smooth and dignified with that certain je-ne-sais-quois signature end-of-sip flourish that I love about Highland. I give the drinkability a solid 5 due to the fact that I could envision drinking pint after pint of this stuff without tiring of it.


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Photo of cvstrickland
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle with no freshness date poured into my Highland etched-logo shaker pint yields one of those, "I didn't read the bottle very carefully" moments and a gorgeous clear surprise... not the standard pale-straw 'lager' I was expecting, but a pale ale-style amber body capped with a thick top of pale ecru foam with sticky retention. Upon the drinking, sticky, misshapen lace marks the sip lines. Excellent.

Smell is nice and clean with a little fruity malt and earthy hops. Not too much happening here.

The taste contradicts the meek and mild nose, big time. The drink is rich and full-bodied with darkly sweet caramel and a husky note of chocolate met with solid, earthy hop bitterness and a little spice. The finish is lightly fruity, sweet, and crisp, with a single dark note of coffee. An impressive and very drinkable seasonal.

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Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for the hook-up on this one that I let slip away!

A-Clear, deep copper with a medium off-white head. Head reduced to a thin ring that left nice lacing behind.

S-Sweet caramel malt well supported by a healthy dose of biscuit, A background hint of citrus/floral hops.

T-Sweet caramel malt with an underlying toffee sweetness. Healthy biscuit backbone keeps it all grounded. Sharp spicy hop bite helps balance the sweetness out. Nice twang in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with a nice residual sweetness and hop bitterness. Quite smooth and creamy overall.

D-Nice stuff....another example of a lager with flavour craft brewery. This one surprised me a bit and ended up being much better than I expected.

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Photo of SiriusAth
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stange. Pours a clear coppery amber with orange highlights and a one inch off-white head that drops to a collar fairly quickly, some bands of lace gripping the walls.

There's a nice and rich caramel malt aroma, backed up by pepper and spiciness from the Mt. Hood hops. As the beer warms there's a fresh bread dough aroma intertwining with the aforementioned ones. Smells yummy and comforting.

Shining Rock starts malty and delicious with a solid caramel sweetness wrapped around butterscotch candy, then crosses into a subtle bitter and spicy melange that fades with some honey-like sweetness.

Medium bodied, creamy, with a somewhat coating mouthfeel; good carbonation.

Malt has always been my first love in beer, although hops are a very very close second, and bocks are my favorite lager style. That being said, Shining Rock is a humdinger of a brew that hits everything I love in beer: solidly malty but supported by a nice spicy hop bite, and imminently easy to drink. Nice job.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have been hearing about the new Highland offering all week, and finally got to try it on tap. Now just need to find the bottle version to compare.
Highland's website has a bit of info listed: "This shining example of our spring seasonal has a complex malty body which is enhanced with traditional spicy noble hops. This Bock is a medium body lager with a smooth, crisp finish. A creamy head tops this fine Bock with the usual Highland twist on style.
IBU: 25
Alcohol content: 6% by volume
Hops: Mt. Hood

*Contains Wheat"

That said, I did not know it was a bock at the time, but that makes sense now. The bartender said it's a spring lager, so I was expecting something lighter.
Beer poured up a medium amber color with a nice, thick off white head, moderate lacing, and very lumpy.
Aroma was slightly sweet and malty, bread like, with a touch of hop, but not much.
I was thrown a bit by the taste, sweeter than I was expecting, but now the Bock classification fixes that, and it's in the right realm.
Mouthfeel was medium, not as carbonated as would be expected.
It was warm out, so I moved onto Foothills Hoppyum, but I will definitely seek out this beer again. Highland makes solid beer.


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Photo of NCSUdo
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Deep copper brown under a very small white head. Very little retention and lace.

S: Very malty. Not too sweet.

T: Again, malty, a decent amount of bitterness and a little bit of alcohol. Kind of ho-hum.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, pretty smooth, carbonation is just right. OK drinkability, but not a lot of redeeming qualities overall.

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Photo of atsprings
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp, clear, bubbly copper with a decent off-white head. Aroma was sweet toasted malts. The taste is a decent malty flavor with some sweet fruits and a touch of bitter hops. The beer is medium bodied with a hint of crispness. This one is a mildly enjoyable spring beer, but may have lost something in the bottle, I remember the sample I had on draft at the World Beer Festival being MUCH better.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Dark amber colored with a nice sized, white head. A little frothiness to it and some lacing as well.

Aroma is plenty malty with a touch of hops. Plenty of sweet caramel and some toffee.

Sweet and malty flavor profile. But interestingly, there is a little hop bitterness kick toward the end. Lots of fruitiness. Mostly softer fruits. Cherries and a touch of strawberry. Fairly complex flavor.

Light to medium bodied. Good drinkability. I look forward to seeing this one each spring.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was poured from the 12oz bottle into a Stange.

The beer pours a transparent amber with a decent sized fizzy off white head and a bit of lace. The aroma is slightly fruity with lots of caramel. The flavor is caramel as well, but a bit astringent as well. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a high level of carbonation and its slightly sticky. Overall, I with that the flavor was a bit smoother, but maybe this isn't my style. Also I could use the carbonation toned down a bit.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear chestnut brown with a fluffy beige head that has good retention and modest lacing.

Aroma is sweet and nutty, with lots of malt notes and a hint of dry wood.

Flavor is similar, rather sweet upfront with caramel and toffee and roasted nuts. The hopping in the finish is very subtle. Overall too malty for me.

Body is mediumish, slick, creamy, and smooth. I honestly couldn't drink more than one. I'm stoked to see new brews from Highland, but this one needs some tweeking.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to atsprings for the local hook-up

12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

Pours a beauty of a golden-amber hue with a soft custard head that stays & sticks. Torrents of carbonation rising up to the clear body fuel the fantastic foam retention. Aroma is a mix of grassy wheat & barley, spiced hops, and a touch of sweet maltiness. A little light for the style, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I forgot that I'm not much of a Bock fan (or Doppelbock, for that matter). However, Shining Rock does a decent job in the taste department, with notes of fruit cake, cane sugar, bitter grasses, dried apricot, floral hops, and some booze. The mouthfeel is syrupy and sweet, as the heavy body leaves behind a cloying maltiness and hint of alcohol. I think I might've enjoyed this more on a warm day, and it tastes like a beer that would pair well with some funky cheeses, so I'll give it the benefit of a doubt drinkability-wise. Would I buy it? Probably not.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lovely! A nice, deep amber body with a well-formed, frothy, white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted, biscuity malts with an overlaying note of spice.

Taste: Toasted caramel and biscuit crumbs with an everpresent spice character, a bit like cinnamon, and a medium sweetness. Dry nuttiness. Spicy hops, restrained bitterness. Finishes decidedly sweet though, with a taste of toast and honey.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Whaddya know, it's pretty good! Having done zero research beforehand, I was wrongly assuming Highland was just cranking out some bland, basic lager. Shame on ME.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into stange on 8/11/08. Thanks to Kegatron for bringing this back from a recent trip down south.

A - Clear deep amber coloration with some reddish tones and one-finger fluffy off-white head that receded and left a bit of lacing around the glass. Very nice body clarity with a moderate amount of slow-rising carbonation bubbles.

S - Lots going on in the aroma, including a spicy hop presence that I was not expecting, with hints of pepper and grass. Malt is primarily sweet caramel with notes of toffee, syrup and molasses. This brew has a strong bock nose with a mild whiff of alcohol and also a dark fruit presence reminiscent of ripe plum and black cherry.

T - Starts off on the sweeter side with hints of caramel, toffee, molasses and maple syrup, but eventually gets a spicy kick with the entry of some peppery and light grassy hops into the mix. Some toasted graininess emerges in the backend that complements the spicy hop presence and sweet maltiness.

M - Medium body with slick, creamy texture and moderate carbonation resulting in a bit of tongue prickle. Fairly robust, chewy mouthfeel overall. Finish is sweet with a mild hop bite for a bock.

D - Overall, this brew has a nice complexity in aroma and flavor that surprised me. Everything really seems to gel together nicely in this one. Thumbs up to the folks at Highland Brewing!

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Highland The Shining Rock Lager from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 25 ratings
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