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Highland Black Mountain Bitter | Highland Brewing

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Highland Black Mountain BitterHighland Black Mountain Bitter
47 Ratings
Highland Black Mountain BitterHighland Black Mountain Bitter

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wagenvolks on 12-18-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 41
Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a sixer of this before I went away as I has not had it before and was eagerly awaiting its arrival. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/15/2009.

Very nice pour here with a clear amber color and a nice bit of white foam up on the top of the glass. Lots of carbonation coming up and off of it and nice slow and gradual settling of the layer of foam. Smooth and mellow flavor here as I take a nice crisp and clean sip of this one. Really very well done here as I move through the profile. Clean and crisp hop profile with a nice and mellow tea like flavor mid palate. Picking up some of this on the smell as well. Light grain and tea like smells and a really nice and mellow light citrus touch. Smooth delivery and a clean finish left this one on the tongue just long enough to make you come back for another touch. Really nicely sessionable I was able to pull through really nicely on this and was looking for another right away.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.02/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised when this beer came served in a pint glass on draft. The bartender was also surprised. We both expected a bitter to be darker. Then I see it classified an APA on here. I am not sure about style, so I will not judge it by style.

Appearance: A light golden body with plenty of carbonation bubbles creating a thin layer of white foam on the top of the glass. There is slight lacing as well.
Aroma: Grainy, lemons, floral, citrus
Taste: Very balanced between a cracker like malt flavor and grassy lemon bitterness in the mineral dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Pretty well carbonated with a light crispness.

Overall an enjoyable beer, but just not what I was expected. I would throw in more crystal malt and less carbonation. Well... after it warmed near the end of the pint, it was nearly perfect in mouthfeel.

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Photo of ecmoon3
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of PDXHops
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint. Muted golden body with a foamy white head that lingers and laces pretty nicely.

The nose is full of wet hay, cereal grains and light citrusy notes hops. Smells very 'clean' and fresh, and tastes so, too. Nice little nip of grassy bitterness that's well showcased by the crisp and dry finish. A touch of nuttiness, a touch of sweetness. Subtle yet focused. A well-constructed, balanced and enjoyable beer. Recommended.

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Photo of jammapamma
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will compare this to other english bitters like Tetley's. My impression of the style is that it should be smooth, creamy and not much else. It think it's important to explain expectations, because I saw people ding it for "low carbonation", it's a british stlye, it's supposed to be low in carbonation, that's what makes it smooth and creamy.

Highland took a different approach. Their version has more hops, still English hops, but hoppier than any other English Bitter that I've had. My personal preference is that this flys in the face of the style, but whatever.

Aroma- EKG hops, not much else.
Taste-light malt character that is subtly biscuity with pleasant grainy notes, which is quickly taken over by a light, clean hop character. Both are mild, but the hops definitely win in the fight. I hate to compare this to SN summerfest, but that is a very similar hop character. I know that SN summerfest is a lager, but the hop character similarities are stunning. I don't consider that an insult.

I like this, I do. I could drink this all night long and probably will several times this year. I was foolishly hoping for an authentic tasting English bitter and this is not it. Highland chose to go with a less creamy mouthfeel, with more hops to make this more "refreshing." It is more refreshing, but I can't help but to slightly bitch about the beer being out of style. It's not a true English bitter, but it is a very good, light, crisp summer beer.

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Photo of beer2day
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale yellow gold with 2 fingers of fluffy light cream head. Decent retention. Sparse lace.

Nose is very earthy and with a little hot toddy twinge. Very malty with a hint of herbal hops.

Very smooth hit. Creamy texture gives way to some fairly intense, tart bitters in the finish. Surprised at how bitter it gets. Lots of malt body for a beer this light. Definite English feel to it, compared to some of the Sammy Smiths.

Very easy to drink and at 4% why not throw down a few?

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Photo of parkerss
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Highland Brewery.

A-Pours a clear copper with almost no head
and minimal lacing.

S-Faint hop aroma, citrus notes.

T-Crisp and clean and mildly bitter. Nice
balance of hops and malt.

M-Smooth, light mouthfeel. Dry finish.

D-Very nice session beer, I wish I had more

I want to thank Paul at Highland for serving me up this first organic offering from their brewery.

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Photo of kels
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours from the bottle into my pint a hazy golden shade. The occasional bubble rises up through the beer to skim of white foam that remains from the initial, quick-faded 1/2 finger head. Lots of slippery white lace dots the walls of the glass.

Aroma is dominated by distinctly toasted grains. A very light citrus hop is just barely detectable.

Very bright and refreshing beer. Extremely carbonated and very clean feeling. Taste is a nice balance of toasted grains and lemony citrus. Bitterness has a nice bite, but not aggressively. Taste is a little on the watery side. Very simple, straightforward and pleasant. Light, crisp and highly drinkable. Surprised this is a winter seasonal. This would be perfect on a hot summer day.

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Photo of blackie
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed as an English Bitter

a: a fluffy white head caps the clear golden ale, average retention and light lace

s: bready pale malts support a simple, dried citrus hop nose, aromas of dried grasses

m: lively carbonation around medium in level, light-medium body

t: pale malts are not quite bland but the beer does seem a touch watery as a whole, the malt does however lend a nice grainy flavor upon which the hops are applied, dried lemon peel, bready, clean and crisp

d: sessionable, as it should be

sixer from Whole Foods, Cary, NC

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Photo of mntlover
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow color touches of haze not much at all but not clear. White head head by small sparse bubbles rising, not much of a head its small so is the amount of lace its small also.

Aroma is classic english grassy small amounts of lemon noted on bready malt background. Aroma is good suites the style, smells nice crisp and you know its going to be refreshing easy drinking brew.

Taste before we start not sure why this is under APA for style might be why the marks are not great, the bottle clearly states its an English bitter and it is quit decent one on par with other British ones i have had. Taste is like the smell light crisp bready malts with good grass notes and touches of lemon that leave a decent lingering bitterness. Nothing over the top here this is a good easy drinking session brew, hell its even organic if that appeals to you.

Mouthfeel light side nice crisp clean smooth easy drinking brew, carbonation is good enough for some pep no extra.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable bitter smooth easy drinking, don't see me buying more now but come June and its hot and humid out this one sure would hit the spot.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty golden color with a thick white head and a good amount of lacing. Smells of grassy hops and other bittering agents. It actually smells bitter. Tastes of grassy hops and bitter hops and plenty of bready notes. Really bitter from start to finish! Awesome. Drinkability is nice.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Pours a bright gold hue; a small white head of rocky bubbles makes an appearance and fades quickly into a broken foamy cap that sticks around and leaves some speckling on the glass.

An extremely mild aroma of grassy hops is all that forwardly shows itself in the nose.

Palate is equally mild, with some thick bready malt flavor that morphs into a lightly bitter, grass-like hoppiness, falling into a somewhat watery fade that leaves behind a solidly dry and bitter finish on the back of the tongue. Body is light-to-medium, leaning more toward the light side, with a carbonated character that is similar to everything else in this brew: mild.

Easily drinkable and sessionable, but compared to Highland's other offerings, this is a bit of a let-down, especially for a seasonal release. The first USDA Certified Organic release from this brewery will certainly catch the eyes, but it won't hold on to the taste buds.

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Photo of skeeordye11
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Transparent golden yellow with a very thin white head that falls quickly back into the liquid

S- Malt predominates. No dectected hop aroma. Good, but nothing special.

T- Very smooth. Malt upfront, with a touch of hops on the exhale. Balanced and very tasty.

M- Thin, but very refreshing.

D- Very good! I could totally drink a sixer of this daily. Recommended to all.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Translucent gold with a white bubbly head that dissipates quickly.

S-Not much on the nose, but there is a detectable balance between hops and malts.

T-A nice balance between the hops and malt like in the nose. It has a grainy/grassy note, but a nice refreshing bitterness. Nothing overpowering at all.

M-Thin and watery.

D-Its low abv., light flavor, and watery mouthfeel make this a very sessionable beer.

I have had much better from Highland, but if you want a decent craft beer to session this could be an option.

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Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off this is no APA this is an English style bitter,the label is confusing though calling it a pale ale,and then in the fine print description calling it an "English style bitter".Poured into a nonic a dull light to medium golden with a thin wispy head that was gone in a flash.Aromas are toasted with light caramel sweetness and biscuit malt,lighter mouthfeel makes it easy going down.Obviously malt tilted with firm toastiness up front with lighter caramel/biscuit sweetness with a gentle herbal hop smack in the finish.A beer intended to be quaffable but with flavor,it succeeded but it wont blow ya away.

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Photo of thryn
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An ever so slightly hazy amber, with tiny bubble of carbonation dancing to the top. Head is white and about a finger thick, but drops to a layer of foam nearly immediately.

Smells of grassy hops and some bready malt. Slight buttery smell.

Taste follows, though the hops are less forward on the palate. Balance is good, though the diacetyl is a bit too prominent. The bottle says this is an English bitter, though, and I'm going to review it as such rather than as an APA.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with very minimal carbonation.

Overall a drinkable brew and a decent bitter, but nothing special. I really like Highland and I think they make some solid beers, but this adds to my wondering about the challenges of organic brewing.

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Photo of mwa423
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear gold with almost no head, some head would have made this an easy 4.0

S - Mostly malty backbone with a bit of steely hop bitterness.

T - It's a good example of the style, bready english malts chased by hops down the throat, a more traditional english hop.

M/D - Mouthfeel is very creamy, I would think this was out of a nitro-bottle if I didn't know better. However, the thickness and breadiness of this really make me glad I have one to try and that's all.

 477 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, courtesy of and enjoyed w/ dkachur - thanks! Poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly light and pale yellow, transparent bodied beer, full of lively and effervescent carbonation, spritzy, fine, and fast. The one-finger of foamy white head has average stick and retention. The lacing itself is clingy, foamy, a little bubbly, fairly nice.

Aroma: Very light and pale, slightly dry and biscuity, graham cracker-like in places, with a shallow and slightly tart hop presence, reminiscent of lighter citrus and hay.

Taste: A definite toasted malt presence, accompanied by some paler, sweet notes and a leafy, slightly minty hop presence that comes across very well. The balance is pretty good, decent for the style, even if it is a little simplistic.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly light and crisp. The body itself isn't too thin, but the sheer volume of carbonation in this one really cuts through whatever body is there - very light and airy on the tongue, which works well for the style and flavor profile.

Drinkability: Pretty high, I'm gonna have to say. This one may be dangerously sessionable - it's just a straightforward, balanced, relatively simple ale. I could definitely see myself enjoying a few pints of this at some North Carolina bar some spring or summer evening. Give it a go.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold and pale yellow in color. Thin head that disappears quickly. Lace sticks nicely to the sides of the glass.
Typical English bitter aromas of pale malts and a grassy herbal scent.
Grassy herbal hops in the flavor. Plenty of malts to balance it out. This beer won't "wow" you with flavor but I don't think it's really supposed to. It's meant to be a nice light easy drinking sessionable beer and it hits that profile spot on.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a dimpled seidel (and in utter disregard of whatever the hell style of beer Black Mountain BPA actually is), the brew pours yellow-gold with a milky white cap of foam. The head recedes to a large bubbly collar that deposits flecks and wisps of lacing onto the sides of the mug.

The smell is mild and grainy with a touch of lemony citrus and sweet green grass.

The taste is cereally, mild, and toasty with a splash of lemon and a mild buttery quality that fits into the flavor profile just fine. Mild bitterness introduces a somewhat nutty finish that dries the palate as it lingers upon it.

This particular bottle is light-bodied and significantly undecarbonated, but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very pale yellow with a thin whispy white head on top. This disappears as quickly as it came. Some thin spottly lacing sticks along the glass edge. Nothing special. I was surprised at how pale this was though. I was expecting it to be darker for some reason. Smells grassy and grainy. Smells like a sourdough. Some slight lemon zest in there as well.

Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but I didn't mind it. Flavor was of a tad sour grass mixed with a nice bitter bite. The bitterness is not overpowering in any way, it's just there enough. Finishes a little citrusy as well.

I enjoyed this drink, and could see myself having a pint or two at a time.

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Photo of DrJay
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Clear gold with a whitish, soapy collar and thin skim of fine bubbles. A bit of stickage and decent head retention. Grassy, floral, and light citrus hop aromas with mellow sweet malts. Solid bitterness with a light malt presence, just a bit of toasted grains and honey sweetness. Same hop characters, but with additional spiciness and a bit more citrus in the finish. Light bodied with average carbonation. Fairly crisp. Pretty tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of wrwhite174
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ffejherb
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 5/20/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Clear golden/light amber body with mild carbonation and one-finger bright white head that settled to a thin patch and left spotty lacing around the glass.

S - Mild noble hops impart a slight citrusy and perfumy character, though the hop presence is very subtle overall. A slight honey character offers a bit of sweetness.

T - Sweet and slightly grainy malt character provides the foundation, with some honey and ripe tree fruit offering plenty of sweetness. A subtle grape presence also persists through the finish. Finishes with grainy malts and scant citrus hops with a lemon zest tang.

M - Light bodied with a watery texture, only slightly oily perhaps. Medium carbonation with a pretty thin mouthfeel overall. Slight bitter finish with plenty of residal sweetness on the palate.

D - Pretty decent session brew, but not one of my favorites from Highland. However, it is a pretty light and easy-drinking warm weather beer.

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Highland Black Mountain Bitter from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 47 ratings
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