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Auld Asheville Vintage Ale | Highland Brewing

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Auld Asheville Vintage AleAuld Asheville Vintage Ale
Very Good
72 Ratings
Auld Asheville Vintage AleAuld Asheville Vintage Ale

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CampusCrew on 12-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of mhaugo
2.5/5  rDev -37%

Photo of nick76
2.68/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is sweet and has quite a bit of cardboard. The appearance is brown with a medium head that falls fast. The taste is like the aroma and not very good. The palate is average for the style. Overall I am not that impressed with this beer and it is not a bad beer. It's just not that good.

 294 characters

Photo of mothman
2.73/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into duck rabbit snifter.

Pours 1/4 of khaki head. Color is a rustic burnt brown.

Aroma: Caramel and bready malts. Some toffee. Dried fruits, plums, and raisins. Some sweetness. A bit of cherries. Not to bad, but not warming like an old ale should be.

Taste: Very barlywine like. All malt. Toffee, bready, caramel. Dark fruits, plums, raisins, dark cherries. A lot like the aroma. Not boozy or warming.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and fizzy. A bit high carbonation for an old ale. Medium to full bodied. Ends dry with some booze finally showing.

Overall, not a very good old ale. No where near hair of the dog style. Not to drinkable. A bit let down with this one. It tastes more like a barlywine than an old ale.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-review April of 2011

Pours a slightly hazy ruby red with a creamy light tan head. The nose has a bright bruit flavor of apple and pear with some herbal spice but a hint of a metallic twang. The taste falls off hard, the fruitiness is still there but clear oxidation creates a strong note of paper and cardboard. Carmalized brown sugar adds the malt balance on a medium body falling off with a light carb in the back. Too sweet and a bit heavily oxidized.

Review 3/5/10

A-pours a deep reddish mahogany color. A tanned head with one finger of it. Little retention and head

S-the nose is very sweet but a little light. A light caramel and bready malt seems to set a foundation for malty sweetness in the form of dark fruits. Some dark cherries, ripe plum, notes of rum raisin.

T-this is a malt explosion. Hint of toasted biscuit and caramel are the foundation in which the malt sweetness builds off of. Some cherries start off, ripe plums, rum soaked raisins. There is actually a light hop presence with a touch of citric and bitter hops at the finish.

M-very smooth and syrupy with a nice medium to full body. Its wet and juicy with very low carbonation in an absolutely perfect way. It finishes wet and firm not giving in.

D-this is a very solid old ale. This is actually becoming a favorite style, although they all are, right? It’s a little boozy but had some great balance for the style. Great dark fruitiness and a nice little hop presence.

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Photo of PDXHops
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into an oversized snifter. Dark mahogany body with some ruby highlights. Minimal lacing from the modest light tan head.

Nose is a little woody, a little boozy, a little fruity. Pleasant, if not overly complex. There seems to be more development in the flavor department (year-old bottle). Butterscotch and toffee are fairly strong, and a tobacco quality is emerging. A vague spiciness. Too fizzy with the carbonation and, while certainly boozy, it's not really warming.

Overall impression: Given the modest cost, I'll try this again in another year or so if I run into a new bottle just to see if it improves. Nothing to seek out. Disappointing offering from a generally solid brewery.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a murky reddish brown color with very minimal head that collars around the glass. The aroma is very slightly sweet with some hints of spice. Nothing to special. The taste is pretty sweet up front with some fruit type flavors and an ending of bitterness. Slightly boozy. Not sure about his one. Caramel types as well. Overall, a beer I am glad I tried but nothing I would go out and grab again right away. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a snifter. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head. Wispy head. Low retention, low lacing. 

Aroma is sweet and biscuit malt with a strong yeast aroma. Odd aroma though. 

Beer is sweet and big in body. Decent I guess. Odd on the finish. Not a great beer. It is OK but not really loving it. 

 315 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Highland's 15th Anniversary Auld Asheville Ale has brewed to celebrate our tradition of brewing fine quality ales and lagers. This version of an English Olde Ale has a bold profile from fine British Malts, woodsy and estery aromas from traditional British Ale yeast, and bittering from Styrian Bobeck hops. The addition of Sterling hops provides a hint of spiciness in the nose. These flavors combined with a bright cheery redolence create a savory "Auld Ale" that will warm the dreareiest of winter nights."

A 22oz bottle is dispensed into a snifter. Cloudy and murky sort of raspberry chocolate colored beer emerges and is topped with a very small and slight, dirty brown head. This one almost looks like some sort of liquid chocolate drink one would find at a trendy nightspot.

Aroma was alcoholic and malty. Not much going on here.

Kind of sweet up front but followed with some hop bitterness. Big and chewy on the tongue. Full bodied like nobody's business. Not my favorite Highland beer but I can see the appeal.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of cmurren25. Pours a hazed copper color with a small sheen of light tan bubbles.

Nose is very sweet and caramely malty. Some toffee and light smoke as it warms.

Taste is very caramely - almost burnt. Salty hop remnants at the end with another pop of smoke. Pretty soft on the palate. A bit of oxidation is here and the hops have long since faded. Seems like it is kinda stuck somewhere in between a Scotch Ale and an Old Ale, just does not quite do it for me. Highland brews seem to be either a love it or 'meh' experience for me and Auld Asheville definitely falls in the latter category. A bit too sweet for me.

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Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ROBORB for sending a bomber of this Highland brew to the flatlands of Minnesota; this is the last bottle from a springtime brew swap.

Pour is a deep, verdant red, though I don't actually know what verdant means, it seems to fit. Smell is rich with dark fruit hearts, sweet malts...almost exactly how I'd imagine a fermented plum might smell on my countertop.

Auld Asheville Vintage Ale mixes genres oddly. Fruits are abundant, figs, raisins, plums, perhaps a hint of cherry & pear. Deep, sweet malts accent the fruity sweetness, but are offset nicely with a backdraft of bittering hops on the downside. The overall impression is of a fast, hard-hitting ale. Alcohol, hidden so well in these fast times, is out of the closet here.

Good, solid, beer. I feel like I should be enjoying this more than I am, because all the pieces are in place to make this a serious winner...but I just like it, don't love it. Why? Good question. No clue. Huh.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Extra in a recent trade. Let's see...

A: Iced tea colored with a tiny white head that quickly fades leaving no lacing on the glass. Decent.

S: Banana and booze upfront. Sweet malts and sugars in the middle with a hint of oak on the backend. Decent.

T: Hmm, kind of a strange blend of hops and malts. It seems like they don't work together well in this brew. Hints of banana, sugar, and caramel on the backend. Decent.

M: Nothing special here.

D: Goes down easy, but kind of like water. Good.

All in all, this is ok. Not much special going on here. Not worth hunting down. Many other old ales to try before this one. Eh, just eh.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From 2009. Color is caramel. Smell is mild oxidation. Caramel. Taste follows along. Mild oxidation and caramelly. Thin to medium bodied. Overall, this aged pretty well. Glad to have tried it

 198 characters

Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a malty burnt amber with a small tan head that fades to a small collar and light film of microbubbles

S - Nice and malty, but not roasted - just clean dark malts. Smells alot like a barleywine (Behemoth esp.) Could do for a stronger aroma. Some dark fruits come through as it warms - raisins mainly.

T - Very similar to the nose. Strong malt backbone, without much spice or nuttyness, or dark fruits. Some raisins, and figs but not much.

M - Pretty typical for the style, maybe a bit light

D - Not a great old ale, but nice to see whats out there

 561 characters

Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of mikereaser
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber chilled into 10oz glass

a-deep amber color topped off with a tight white cap no head really..zero bubbles present..the graduation of color from bottom to top of glass is quite nice...

s-fairly neutral to be honest..a slight nose of sweet malts and a rustic smell...no hops present...

t-nice subtle dry fruits and sweet malts...a vinous character is there...a very slight bit grassy and finishes a bit dry on the palate..

m-oily and coats the mouth well..the hops really stand out to me in the mouthfeel with their resiny character...taste lingers for a while..carbonation is low but is what i expected with a beer of this style.

d-drinkability is excellent...the overall package is enough to satisfy and not make this a challenge to drink or think about all the complexities while drinking... just a good drink

overall i am impressed with this release from highland...they are a brewery that is hit or miss with me...but the $5.50 a bomber price and the abv and the whole package make this a hit ...will pick up a few more to cellar for a while and see how this one progresses..

 1,091 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to SincereNC, I always enjoy a good old ale or barleywine. This was definitely an old ale and the abv made it very easy to drink. Ruby color, smells fruity and tastes liek old ale should. Not quite thick enough for my taste as I prefer something like Old Stock but this was easy to kill the entire bomber. Overall, not a bad old ale at all and I was glad to have tried it.

 391 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Chip's in Kill Devil Hills.

Pours a great clear reddish-brown color with a lasting off-white head.

Aroma is sweet caramel, spice, and honey. Smells pretty nice.

Flavor is very sweet but good. Caramel and toffee, sweet honey, and resinous hops.

Somewhat syrupy on the palate with medium-full body.

A pretty solid beer overall - really enjoyed it. Sweetness doesn't bother me as much as it does others, and I appreciate a beer like this for its complexity and general tastiness.

 493 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - nice look on the pour; darkish caramel, iced-tea color. A thin cover of dull white, not much there or in the lacing department.

Aroma - starts with a juicy, fruity smell, some background coffee support. Sets up light but still decent.

Taste - sweet caramelly malts, good toasty component in there. Alcohol and hops combine for some spice and zap. Tasty but pushes the malts away a little before I'm done with them. Decent hop follow on the aftertaste, even and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - good smoothness, yet the carbonation provides good balance, crisp enough to be an old ale without feeling gassy. Could have a little bigger body, but I like it.

Drinkability - a satisfying find from the Myrtle trip. Fresh or aged, I recommend.

 751 characters

Photo of farrago
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head gets to about a full finger then drops down swiftly to an aggregation of larger bubbles around the rims, has enough stickiness to create broad, thin webs of lacing. Super-cloudy amber-brown with a semi-brightening copper tinge, mild switch to orange rust around the rims. The nose has a natural denseness to it, like sediment which has settled over time. Mix of Italian plum, blackberry, pear, red apple scents, allspice and nutmeg as well, violets, no real super-sweet notes, by the same token, nothing that comes close to attack of the hops from outer space, maybe some pepperiness as it drifts off. Medium to full-bodied, which is a way of saying it manages to stay limber given its inherent density. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg spice there but it's really the honey, molasses which gets it to cling to the mouth. The citrus and flowers are mute, more cola and cocoa powder. Not estery, fresh with clearly defined peach, pear, plum, cherry fruit and a certain raw nuttiness. Molasses, beeswax, brown sugar frame the finish but it's never too sweet. When you account for what is present as well as what is absent, this is a very competent beer which made a clear decision to err to the side of safety over planting a flag in the sand.

 1,242 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left soapy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and sweet. Notes of toffee and caramel dominate with some mild citrusy hop presence.

T - Good toasty malts with a biscuit flavor. It has a good deal of dark fruit flavors, too, like plum and raisin. There was a subtle grapefruit hop kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a warming alcohol heat.

D - This is a very nice old ale. I'd like to try one with some more age on it.

 542 characters

Photo of Otsaika
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very deem Amber color, with not quite a half inch of head, very nice.

S: Very earthy, with maybe a hint of coffee?

T: Lots of flavors here. Figs, plum, and coffee come to mind first, followed by a bit of yeast, and a definite alcohol presence that isn't overpowering. Reminds me of Founder's Porter.

M: A bit thick, but goes down well.

D: Definitely a good beer, but not something I think I could drink more than maybe two of.

 441 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a one-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of mild caramel, indistinct spices, and earthy hops, in that order. As it warms the nose sweetens just a bit.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Muted caramel malt flavors up front give way to earthy spices and hop flavors midway through the sip. A bitterness kicks in right afterwards and intensifies through the ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall one of the better beers I've had from Highland. A nice, solid beer that doesn't have any real flaws. Worth a shot.

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Auld Asheville Vintage Ale from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 72 ratings
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