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Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale | Highland Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
317 Reviews
THE BROS
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Highland Cold Mountain Winter AleHighland Cold Mountain Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RBorsato on 11-25-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
317
Ratings:
755
Avg:
4
pDev:
20%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
152
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 317 | Ratings: 755
Reviews by KajII:
Photo of KajII
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Shaker Glass]

The pour was a clear reddish medium brown with an average (1-2 finger) light brown frothy head that was mostly diminishing, down to a light scattered film with a medium collar and fair sticky lacing.

The aroma was quite complex with a toasted bread malt, light spruce hops and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, toffee and dark fruit (figs and dates).

The taste was a bold malty sweet with a decent fruit presence along with hints of chocolate and caramel from the get go and was present pretty much throughout, it then progressed slightly with a mild bitter hoppy taste, a touch of coffee and a light toffee sweetness towards the finish. The flavor lasted a bit longer that average following the swallow, with a bitter sweet taste lingering on the taste buds for quite a while longer.

Mouthfeel was just below medium in body with a dry, creamy texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall this was an extremely tasty, well balanced Winter Ale. I will say with everything this brew has going on it was blended superbly well, which allowed for a smooth and very enjoyable drinkability...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

 1,204 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of rasafrasit
2.26/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

People around Asheville go manic for this stuff but to me it tastes like a Target potpourri candle: saccharine in sweetness, overloaded with pungent "spices" and little or no true body. This beer is all hype and no substance.

Look: nice amber color and decent head
Smell: like your grannie's guest bathroom
Taste: overloaded with "flavors" but basically a gimmick beer
Feel: slightly syrupy but inoffensive
Overall: I'd rather drink a soda

 443 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Far from opaque, this beer had more of an amber hue and had a large head when agitated. The aroma followed the palate being largely uninteresting with minimal notes of spice of any kind and only the faintest bit of maltiness to its flavor. While it improved marginally as it warmed, I found this beer to be largely disappointing and certainly not worth its price tag.

 367 characters

Photo of NCMonte
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

My favorite Asheville Brew, um... at the moment. Malt forward, nice spice, great drinkability... My go to until my stash is depleted... Sigh.

142 characters

Photo of AthensBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Spice cake with cream cheese frosting.

38 characters

Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one at Old Town Draught House here in Greensboro.Nice darker auburn color with nice creamy head.Real nice smell of nutmeg and other spices with fruity tones,smelled very appetizing.Something to warm up to for sure good and hearty,medium bodied not to heavy so pretty easy to drink.Good winter style ale from a good craft brewer down here.

 349 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This was brownish-orange in color with a full, beautiful head.

Smell – The deep malts and caramel came out huge at the nose along with some monster sugars. I could also pick up a tinge of alcohol as well. Everything came together nicely at the nose.

Taste – The big, chewy caramel malts dominated this Herbed/Spiced beer. It seemed more like a Brown Ale, but it was tasty nonetheless.

Mouthfeel – This was medium-bodied and well-rounded in the mouth. The balance was this ale’s strong point, IMHO.

Drinkability – This was very complex yet amazingly smooth. It was a pleasure to drink.

 615 characters

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color on the pour, crystal clear body. Single finger off white head which finished in a thin layer.

Spices really come through in the aroma. A nice spiced blend of nutmeg and ginger and a touch of cinnamon. Hops are prevalent with a little pine.

Taste is much more powerful that any other winter warmer I've had, although I still don't find it loaded with flavor. This type of beer is just a bit subtle, but delicious. Overall it has a bit of a caramel sweet body which comes through to start with, then the spices come on with a very nice crispness. Spices are much like the aroma, nutmeg and ginger. Then a bit of hop bitterness comes in and the spices come back in the finish.

Mouthfeel could be a touch thicker, but does a good job coating the mouth well to let the spices come though. Drinkablity is great. This is a very refreshing brew with a nice crispness.

 887 characters

Photo of oteixeira
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of Walker8810
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice brownish hue with decent head. nice lacing.
aroma of cranberries of all things but it is a spiced winter brew.
mouthfeel is velvety smooth. goes down very easily.
tastes malty sweet w/ vanilla overtones and little hop flavor.
i normally don't like spiced beers but this one isn't overpoweringly spiced. still tastes like a good ale. i probably wouldn't drink it on a regular basis as it is not my favorite style but it is a really good example of a winter ale. definitely goes good w/ the season.
cheers.

 519 characters

Photo of babyhobbes
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks unclejedi for this beer and Beer Powerball!! Woo!

Pours a red color with a creamy off-white head. The creaminess of the head makes for a wonderful mouth-feel, too. Smells all malty and sugary. Tastes the sweet, with a weird chocolatey taste (seriously) aftertaste. It's good. Terribly drinkable as well.

 311 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of lcanova
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of merlin48
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 edition, just extracted from a fresh case. One liter swingtop bottle crowned with clear plastic shrinkwrap. Served slightly chilled into a St Bernardus goblet.
Pours a clear, dark mahogany body that exhibits a radiant ruby clarity when held to light. Small khaki head quickly falls into a lasting collar and cap. Sporadic sheet lacing is satiny in appearance. The radiant ruby body boasts an exceptional and regal appearance.

Aroma is more subdued than the 2004 version, but is quite intriguing. Toffee, red McIntosh apples, vanilla, and a mysterious floral note comprise the bouquet. My ladyfriend has an excellent sense of smell, and says the floral note is roses. It seems like heather to me. Very lightly spiced compared to last year's version, and there are some vague spicy notes that I can't yet identify.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Carbonation is moderated, but still manages to produce a nice tingly sensation.

Taste is exceptional, yet enigmatic and challenging in its superb complexity. Caramel, buttery toffee, fruity red apple, and a floral note that adds a mystery hop bitterness that provides an ideal balance. Spiciness is nicely restrained, with hints of vanilla and allspice. No hint of alcohol, but I suspect that they've cranked this one up a notch, to 6.5 to 7% abv. Lots of flavors and ingredients at work here, mingling together in an exquisite balance. Spices are a minor player compared to the 2004 version. Very tasty, very unique, and stunning in its wonderful drinkability.

The 2005 Cold Mountain is complex and enigmatic. lots of things going on here that are beyond my limited comprehension, but this is an exceptional experience. Very unique, very tasty, and an absolute pleasue to drink. I spent an hour with this liter, and enjoyed every sip. Very smooth and goes down way too easy. So tasty, I was tempted to crack open another liter. Would love to have a keg of this for a Christmas party somewhere.

 1,956 characters

Photo of mmcurran
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of badbeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark red color with an off-white head that retains well and gives good lacing. Wonderful smells of cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, and caramel. I'm digging the taste. It's got a little bit of hoppyness for balance, but this mostly tastes like cinnamon-sugar bread with a little bit of allspice and a caramel finish. Carbonation is on the higher side and body is bordering light. I'm very happy with this beer and will need to get more of it next winter. Great job, Highland!

 477 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 Liter wax-sealed bottle courtesy of the great NC BA Loki.

Appearance: Popping the top resulted in a satisfying "Pfft" of gas out of the bottle and this lovely poured a beautiful DEEP and clear ruby red with a massive, billowing tan-colored head that just refuses to yield, die down, or otherwise behave itself. Big splotches of lace line my oversized glass.

Smell: Dominating the aromas are the great combination of wintry spice and caramel sweetness. There's a "toasted cinnamon" kick to this that was awesome. Some other dark fruit aromas as well. "Busy"? Hell yeah.

Taste: Nothing disappoints here. Very well-balanced with an initial sweetness tossed with spice that quickly becomes tempered by a hoppy bitterness. At the end, a toasty malt shows up to please the palate. Only a very slight alcohol flavor noted right at the very end. Superbly balanced.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Definitely a big, creamy, coat-your-palate beer we have here! Thick, chewy in character. Drinkability is definitely a 5.0. So very well-balanced, flavorful, and easy to drink. I'm very, VERY glad to have finally been able to try this gem from North Carolina. If, in a few years, the ABV limit is raised, this would be a candidate for pumping up the ABV and see what happens. Seek this one out, gang. You'll be glad you did.

 1,322 characters

Photo of dankjohn
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dougiekirkman
4.56/5  rDev +14%

Photo of juicebox
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mte1972
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Mantooth
3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I've given this brew a shot many times. Folks in NC go crazy for it, but I cannot for the life of me understand why. I don't care for the color - too light. I don't care for the nose and taste - the spices are barely present. I can't stand the feel - super thin beer. It's definitely better out of the bottle than it was on draft. It's an okay beer and that's it. If you've not had it - you're not missing anything.

 415 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of yankeeheel
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium ruddy brown with a nicley proportioned, inch high, cream coloreed head. Smells weakly citrus and raisin like.Starts off slightly caustic when cold but changes over to a more well rounded fruity malt profile. Brown sugar, cinnamon, raisin, and cough syrup come to mind. Finishes sweetly with an underlying astringency that gives it some backbone. Moderate mouthfeel. A very nice winter brew. Hope I can get an 05 version to sample.

Thanks to GCBrewingCo for the sample.

 486 characters

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Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.
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