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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 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.

 613 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a brilliant clear gold with a couple fingers of foamy brite-white head. A thin fizzy layer of retention actually sticks around for a while, leaving some moderate sized swathes of lacing that stick to the sides. The aroma is extremely floral and citric smelling with some light toasted malts behind it. Pleasant enough but there isn't a real lot in there.

The taste is similar, with grassy hops and lightly tart lemon citrus controlling the majority of the profile but I'm picking up that same toasted malt character as well, and this time it's got a bit of butter on it as well. The finish is a bit sweet with a touch of lingering bitterness but it unfortunately peters out way to soon. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied with a moderately smooth carbonation but this is just coming off as a bit too thin and watery at times.

Refreshing and easy drinking, I just wish that there was a bit more to this (especially in the body). Decent for the style I suppose but I expected a little more from this Highland beer.

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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 jwc215
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to decaturstevo (of RB) via jcwattsrugger for this!

Pours straw yellow (slightly hazed) with a thin white head. Some small strands of lacing stick.

The smell is grassy with an "English" aroma in the back.

The taste is of herbal (aspirin-y) bitterness with a light maltiness (and some water). There's some bread/yeast that is pretty bland. It has a dry, leafy, a bit grassy, finish.

The feel is thin and on the watery side.

There is a chalky/powdery dryness that didn't make it as easy to drink as it could have been. It does have an "English bitter" character, though more "bitter" than the typical example - a bit too though - a bit more malty flavor wouldn't hurt it. Good enough to start off with and move on... (and, why this is a "winter" seasonal, I have no idea...nothing "winter" about it...a "change-up" from the typical??)

 844 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of corby112
2.71/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

Pours a hazy golden amber/orange color with a thin foamy white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

The aroma is kind of bland with a balance of earthy pine hops and pale, biscuit malt.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of earthy, bitter hops and pale malt notes. Hints of pine and subtle citrus as well as slight earthy, grass notes. Crisp, clean and easy drinking with a slightly dry finish.

 460 characters

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.

 489 characters

Photo of Bung
3.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Fairly bright golden pour, minimal white head. Some malt and citrus pine in the aromas, hints of grass, all pretty subdued though. Taste is similar, some malt and bitters. A bit musty, enough carbonation, light bodied. Certainly a session beer. Not a whole lot different than some macro lagers, Yuengling and such. Not bad, just not great. They have definetely done better.

 380 characters

Photo of glid02
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a clear straw/gold color with a thin white head. The head recedes quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top that leaves almost no lacing.

Smells of toasted malt and butter with hints of hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The buttery flavor is more predominant in the taste department, but the roasted malts are still there. The only real hop presence is in the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but it still manages to go down without much problem.

Drinkability is alright. I know this is supposed to be a simple beer, but it's too simple.

Overall this isn't a horrible beer, but there are plenty other Highland offerings out there that are better than this, the Black Mountain Bitter is only worth a shot for curiousity's sake.

 815 characters

Photo of gford217
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of OldStyleCubfan poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a fluffy white head that dissipates very quickly and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is pretty unimpressive with mostly toasted grains and light malts. There is maybe a hint of grassy hops in the nose, but not much.

The taste is slightly better with a much more noticeable grassy hop presence up front with the same light bready malt base as in the aroma. The finish is dry and slightly bitter.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with decent carbonation though it could use a little more body overall.

This is a fairly drinkable pale but really basic overall with minimal hop presence. Not bad but nothing too complex or flavorful.

 735 characters

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

 540 characters

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.

 1,016 characters

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.

 668 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Flying Saucer, reviewed from notes. Served a crisp pale orange with a thin diminishing head that leaves slight lacing. The aroma is some slight Earthy hops and sweet malts, not much there. The taste is a decent balance in the initial with slight Earthy hops in the finish. The beer is light crisp and refreshing, but somewhat watery. I must admit, this is the most mediocre beer from Highland I've had yet.

 416 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for throwing a bottle of this organic brew my way. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a shaker glass. Appears a clear bright yellow color with barely a quarter inch of foam. Smells of grassy grains with citrus undertones. Tastes of bready grain, and ever so lightly toasted malt. Crisp with a medium body.A nice drinking beer you don't have to think too hard about, just enjoy it.

 394 characters

Photo of farrago
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thin, loose head, gets close to one finger and then dissolves swiftly, likewise minimal lacing. Very clear light orange to yellow in color, fully transparent. Big curious whiff of banana upon pouring, knits in over time with the grains, wild rice, rye and straw bundles, not a lot of malty counterpoint, note of dried butter like it was left on the breakfast plate that morning. Light-bodied, as in the nose it is open and easy to assess, but mostly so because of its relative lack of complexity. Everything comes in small portions, be it orange to lemon citrus, soda bread, biscuit, straw or hay, wheat, apricot to peach pit styled fruit, or used tea bags. The carbonation is on the low side, so what's there tends to sag. The banana thing knits into the whole more here. Releases swiftly through the finish, slight bitter astringency left on the tongue. Not deeply flawed at all but lacks the stuffing to hold your interest.

 926 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.

 1,322 characters

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.

 1,142 characters

Photo of Lantern
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

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.

 696 characters

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?

 484 characters

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.

 433 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful bubbles during the pour; fun watching them twist and swirl. The small head disappears very quickly, no lacing. Brilliant and sharp clarity.

Smell: Toasted biscuit, malt, citrus, light caramel, hops

Taste: Similar to the smell, with a lingering hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied, a little too much carbonation.

Drinkability: One-off, plain vanilla and wouldn't try again. Too simple. Organic natty light.

 441 characters

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.

 459 characters

Photo of Strix
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wouldn't call this an APA, label calls it an English Bitter.

Pours medium-dark yellow with a fluffy head.

Smell weak, lemon and English hops.

Taste muted, but pleasant. Grains, lemon, yeast, and bread present. English hops in there somewhere.

Mouthfeel about average.

A good candidate for a session beer, but on the simple side; This could use a little more flavor.

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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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