Auld Asheville Vintage Ale | Highland Brewing

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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.

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 71
Photo of atsprings
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel snifter pours a crisp dark copper with a decent lasting eggshell head that very slowly diminishes to a ring as I let the beer warm. Aroma is loads of burnt caramel malts, molasses and slight dried fruits. The taste is a very complex blend of caramel, molasses, bitter cocoa, dried fruits, leather and cinnamon among many others. The beer is somewhat heavy bodied, but a very enjoyable sipper, especially as it warms close to room temperature, a meal in of itself. This is a very enjoyable beer, a worthy release for their 15th anniversary!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tartan-printed bomber bottle is presented cellar-cool accompanied by a small Duck-Rabbit snifter, and upon the decrowning and the ensuing pouring, the dark brown vessel yields a brew that is brightly-clear and fiery cherry-amber in color. A short collar of self-replenishing pale ecru foam decorates the surface of the liquid and freckles the sides of my glass with sticky dots of lacing.

The aroma is quite fruity, with floral notes of pear blossoms, ripe plums, and fresh red apples mixed into a melange. The juicy fruitiness is backed with a savory, roasted-nutty, medium-dark kilned maltiness that is well-grounded by dry, earthy woodiness and highlighted with a dash of spicy green hops.

The taste is sweetly fruity with a notion of apple brandy-infused caramels drizzled with mild molasses. More tangy treefruit notes coupled with a palpable and warming alcohol presence offer a highly aromatic evaporative one-two punch that contributes to Auld Asheville Vintage Ale's savory liquoriness, and the effect fits the drink just perfectly. A darkly toasted quality reminiscent of the wonderfully mellow nuttiness detected in the aroma provides a firm, balancing backbone to the apple-and-pear-infused-spirit character. As the brew approaches room temperature, the fruit-factor fades quite a bit, leaving a note of muted caramel softening the sherry-like booze factor and pushing the nuttiness into a lesser role in the flavor profile.

The drink is on the lighter side of full-bodied and is graced with exceptionally fine carbonation. The 9.5% ABV brings quite a bit of belly-warming with it, making AAVA a super-fine sipper for a chilly early winter afternoon. A highly worthy brew from a crew I've come to expect nothing less from; excellent job Highland, and happy Anniversary to you!

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Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bomber to an imperial pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Smelled of sweet malts, a little caramel and hops.

T: Tasted like it smelled. Sweet malt, a more pronounced caramel note and an underplayed hoppy finish. The alcohol wasn't as prevalent as I thought it might be.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A drinkable Old Ale. Very well-balanced.

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Photo of vertigelt1
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Travelling through Asheville, NC, had lunch at The Mellow Mushroom, and enjoyed a number of local brews. Had the Highland 15th Anniversary "Auld Asheville Vintage Ale" on draft, best selection of the afternoon.

It pours muddy and murky into the pint glass with barely a half finger of sandy head, leaving spotty lacing as it goes down. On the table, it's ruddy brown, against filtered sunlight, it reveals highlights of mohagany and burundy leather.

The nose carries sweet malts, dried dark fruits, alcohol, and some sort of nut, with a slight hint of grassy hops.

The nuttiness Is borne out in he taste. Somewhere between an English strong ale and a Scottish/red ale. The grassy hops definitely come out in the finish. Alcohol is there but not overpowering in the taste.

Mouthfeel is all over the tongue with the tingle of alcohol and slight fizz. A little thin but definitely not weak or watery.

Surprisingly smooth for a 9.5 ABV, this strong ale could easily deceive one into drinkIng more than one ought. I feel like I could drink more than a couple of these in succession. But the richness in taste belies it's alcoholic origins, to a pleasant warmng end.

The t

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
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 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 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..

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

22oz bottle - split and shared on christmas day

purchased up at brawleys in charlotte

appearance: poured into a pint - murky, muddy amber-mahogany body, light beige head with light retention

smell: interesting mix of tropical and passion fruits, caramel, piney hops, booze

taste: bright tropical fruits, passion fruit, chewy caramel, lingering booze/bourbon, piney and tropical hops. very interesting beer - honestly dont see what age will do to this. i like it, but think the reviews will level out a little over time

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy, lingering hop bite

drinkability: good

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Photo of CWiggins
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Sam's Quik Stop in Durham this week. Earth Fare in Brier Creek just received a case and should have in on the shelf in a day or so. At $4.99 a bomber it seems like a good deal, especially for 9.5% ABV ale.

It pours a dark brown with reddish highlights, and a decent head formed at first although it quickly dissipated into a rim-sticking group of dense bubbles with a few streams crossing the surface. The aroma is a bit stunted, but I notice hints of wood and spices; it's quite similar to many winter warmers I've enountered. The flavor is really superb; there is a nice fruity front that gives way to a woody, malty center, and the whole thing is capped off with a mildly bitter (but still malty) finish. The lingering aftertaste is chock full of the main flavors. It's not overly carbonated, and feels great on the tongue. At 9.5% it may not the best choice for indulging, but it's hard not to gulp it down.

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Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see this arrive in Greensboro,I snatched a few of these up today.Poured into a snifter a deep mahogany with a sticky one finger off white head that held well.Wow big juicy fruit in the nose along with some port-like fortified notes,there is a slight woodsy element that comes thru that compliment the sweetness well.Sweet dark fruit and alcohol play a big part in the flavor profile,there is also a woodsy/spicey flavor that really comes out as the beer warms along with some leather.Its warming,chewy,and a sipper,everything a Old Ale should be.A fantastic Fifteenth Anniversary beer,perfect for a cold winter day like today.

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Photo of carolinahophead
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Highland Brewing Company's 15th Anniversary Auld Asheville Ale.

Appearance : Poured a lovely brown color. Reminded me of a British brown ale.

Aroma : This brew has a winter woodsy bouquet with some light roast malt present. Nice spices are there along with some european hop aromas.

Taste : What a wonderful smooth taste with holiday red fruit combined with a long finish.
Nice bitterness leading to the balance of this ale, can't even notice the 9.5 % alc.

Mouthfeel : Medium body and well balanced. This would be great with a hearty meal during the long winter nights. It gets better the longer you leave in your mouth.

Oveall : This is definitely a holiday treat. Get one to drink now and then another one to let age. Thanks Highland for 15 years and hope there more to come. Congrats !

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Kickbacks

appearance: deep dark dark brown, but not nearly ebony.

smell: liqour aroma, much like a brandy with strong alcohol aroma

taste: not how it smells at all. heavy hopped and zero alcohol taste, very smooth and almost sessionable. at 9.5 I was surprised....

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: awesome beer and one of kind. Stlye was difficult. I would ahve put it an english barleywine but I had to respect their label. Maybe an Imperial Old ale. new BA stlye?

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Auld Asheville Vintage Ale from Highland Brewing
3.96 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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