Highland Brewing

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Märzen / Oktoberfest
Ranked #381
Ranked #42,021
3.64 | pDev: 12.36%
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Notes: Bavarian-inspired. Asheville-made. This Märzen lager is smooth and well-rounded with toasty malt character.
Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 336 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by OldManMetal:
Photo of OldManMetal
OldManMetal from North Carolina

3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The thin, brief-lived head, slightly off-white and pebbly, doesn't amount to much (nor does the lacing it leaves), but the beer itself- crystal-clear, pale amber and abundantly sparkling- is quite striking. The aroma is moderate in strength: a toasty, slightly sweet malt with a hint of spicy noble hops and faint alcohol undertones. On the palate, it is balanced: mild noble hoppy bitterness over a light toasty malt foundation. The finish is a distinct flash of malt, followed by a hop bitterness and a very slight sour note that linger a bit. Mouthfeel is quite prickly from the very fizzy carbonation, and is thickish for the light-medium body. This is a creditable, smooth-drinking, well-balanced lager, and does not have the heavy caramel maltiness and seasonal spices that some American Octoberfest beers sport. (12 oz bottle, 41 days after pkg.)

Aug 22, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though astute at making well crafted Scottish and Irish ales, it seems that Highland Brewing has no problem stepping out of their comfort zone in creating lager beer with spot-on festival-type taste with great finesse and understated complexity.

Opening with a light golden appearance, there's a tinge of orange highlights that peak through the very light haze. A bright white head billows up from the beer's body and tops the beer with a cottony froth. Great withstanding foam and well-defined lacing brings the beer's appearance to a very classy close.

Its distinctive aroma is of toasted barley, bread crust and a sweetness that's just shy of caramel. Lightly nutty and savory- the malt character is simple yet refined. Swirling about the malts are a delicate floral scent from noble German hops to give the rounded nose a sense of honeysuckle.

Certainly more robust than your typical German lager, its lightly toasted character delivers delicate savoriness straight to the taste buds. Delicate malted milk character is pleasantly starchy, while light bread crust, soft cashew and an elegant sweetness that never reaches caramel. Lightly spicy in its finish, there's just enough hop bitterness to balance the malts and to keep its finish crisp. Surprisingly, the floral upstart gives the initial taste a slim fruit note to ride along side of the malt.

Mid-light on the palate, the beer is creamy as soft carbonation emerges from starchy malt structures. The lager remains that way through early and middle palate but finishes crisp, clean and almost minty.

Clawhammer is a surprisingly convincing Oktoberfest. Highlands smartly avoids caramel flavor or over-hopping for balance. The fest beer is effortless in its drinkability but is also full of character and charm.

Sep 16, 2013
Photo of 88caprice
88caprice from Virginia

3.14/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

Look: Clear, with a nice copper color. One finger head that dissipated quickly. Minimal thin lacing. Active bubbles.
Smell: Very faint malty smell with a slight tart edge. Very little aroma at all. No alcohol in the nose.
Taste: Some mild malty notes with some slightly tart "high notes." A hint at some breadiness that never fully comes through. Taste matches style, but lacks richness.
Mouthfeel: Goes down easy, very drinkable. Medium light body that's a bit thin. Active carbonation early on, but feeling flat by the end of the glass.
Overall: This is a decent brew that could pair well with a nondescript mood. All the style attributes are there, but nothing stands out or grabs attention. If you're in an Oktoberfest mood, this one falls short of a Paulaner, Seirra Nevada, or Duck Rabbit (IMO).

Nov 18, 2015
Photo of tfsimpkins
tfsimpkins from Florida

3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sep 29, 2016
Photo of blbarnett3
blbarnett3 from Virginia

3/5  rDev -17.6%

Aug 04, 2014
Photo of sansho
sansho from California

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Sep 26, 2012
Photo of Ljoreilly
Ljoreilly from Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Jul 25, 2014
Photo of RedneckBeerz
RedneckBeerz from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Oct 20, 2013
Photo of Jamstone714
Jamstone714 from Florida

3/5  rDev -17.6%

Nov 20, 2012
Photo of SouthernBuckeye
SouthernBuckeye from South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Aug 28, 2014
Photo of ckk527
ckk527 from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Oct 20, 2012
Photo of RockinRob925
RockinRob925 from Florida

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Oct 14, 2013
Photo of ZinFanDave
ZinFanDave from Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Minty Aromas. Flavors not unpleasant.

Oct 06, 2013
Photo of TrickkyGangsta
TrickkyGangsta from Florida

3/5  rDev -17.6%

Oct 31, 2012
Photo of jeanphony
jeanphony from New York

3.75/5  rDev +3%

Oct 01, 2012
Photo of Mantooth
Mantooth from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Sep 13, 2013
Photo of stouty5
stouty5 from South Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Feb 01, 2012
Photo of spedprof
spedprof from West Virginia

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Oct 13, 2013
Photo of rabiddawg
rabiddawg from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Sep 20, 2012
Photo of joeyrvv
joeyrvv from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Jan 04, 2012
Photo of yaksurf
yaksurf from North Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.6%

Aug 25, 2014
Photo of StateMech
StateMech from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Hyhat
Hyhat from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Oct 12, 2012
Photo of BigTrubble
BigTrubble from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Sep 25, 2013
Photo of 40ontarget
40ontarget from Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Aug 25, 2014
Clawhammer from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 336 ratings