Highland Wild Ale | The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

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Highland Wild AleHighland Wild Ale
70 Ratings
Highland Wild AleHighland Wild Ale

Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian breweries have made Scottish Ales for years. Beginning during World War I, the breweries in Belgium made beers for Scottish troops stationed in their country and continue to do so today. We here at Olde Burnside Brewing have decided to return the favor by brewing a Belgian style sour. The Belgians have always allowed nature to help "brew" their beers by utilizing the natural yeast and bacteria present in the air to impart the wonderful tastes and aromas that Belgian beers have to this day.

Our Highland Wild Ale starts as our award winning Ten Penny Reserve that we made "wild" by aging it in some bourbon barrels that had some "helpful" bacteria. These bacteria added a wonderful tartness and acidity to an already spectacular ale. Almost ruby red, the beer is unlike anything we’ve made at Olde Burnside and we hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we did making it.


Added by jimmy82063 on 11-05-2011

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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of mltobin
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BranfordBound
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really went out of my element when I picked this one up. I've had a few stuff from Olde Burnside before and I only really liked the Ten Penny Reserve. So I picked this one up because it said it was a wild ale, thought it was cool. Walked away with a really awesome beer. It's on the sweeter side, notes of cherries and plums. A big tart and somewhat vinegar note and some funk swirling around. Doesn't really hint at 11% except for a warm sensation when it goes down. Easy to drink and I walked away pretty impressed.

 517 characters

Photo of antilogic
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of JohnK17
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a 2 year old cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a deep mahogany with rich garnet highlights and just a little bit of misty sediment floating in the middle of the glass. A large creamy and spongy beige head foams up 3 cm even with a gentle pour. The head fades gradually to a thick edge layer and thin surface layer across the top of the beer.
The aroma is tart cherry and vinegar with a bit of musty blanket and stale bread. Quite a complex and funky nose. Appropriate for a wild ale, and appealing for this sampling.
The first sip reveals an average body and fine fizzy carbonation that tingles on each sip.
Flavor is what would be expected from the nose with some sweet cherry for a second that then roles to tart and bitey vinegar and some funky yeast notes. The finish is very dry and tart with a bit of chalk and stale bread again. IT is a mix of complex flavors and the dry finish encourages further sips.
The beer is enjoyable and the 10-11% is hidden the entire time. Funky well made beer.

 1,028 characters

Photo of baybum
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Greenplastic615
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of DanE
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of vonnegut21
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of jaxon53
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Mertzy81
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a deep chestnut/amber color with a bit more head than a typical sour.

S- Smells tart. Some funk, grapes as well as some malts poking thru. This is one of the best smelling sours I have had the pleasure of. The scottish ale/sour combo here is amazing, though please do not think this is not sour, it is!

T- Wow! this is way above my expectations. Much the same as the nose but there is a ton of tartness to this.. Very well done. The carbonation is spot on here, prickly. Not a hint of the 10% in the taste, and I mean at all.

M- a bit heavier than the sours that i am used to but that is to be expected when the base beer is essentially a scottish ale. This beer is great.

O- I have to give this an A+. Not perfect in all aspects but for me, this is just the perfect beer. I could seriously drink this everyday. Sounds like a homer reveiw here being from CT, I know but get your hands on this it's the real deal IMO. Cheers!

 939 characters

Photo of ucsbmullet
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of wdarcy77
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this. Swing-top bottle, 1/2 liter.

3.5 A: Swing-top opened with a loud POP! First pour gave me just about all head. Several minutes later I got a full glass. Lightly hazed deep amber color. Three fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention is super good, but some of that might come from maintenance bubbles. A short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: This maintains a lot of the base beer (which I haven't had, but it's a reasonable assumption) and it smells great. Lots of caramel with toffee underneath. Plum, prune, and some raisin fruitiness. Bourbon is complementary, but adds a pleasant earthiness. The wild portion is mainly funk (in the nose at least). Musty basement, dry-rotten wood, and hay.

4.5 T: The taste introduces some acid and sourness. It's not overbearing and it works well within the context of the other flavors. It's mainly a tangy lactic acid, but there is some acetic in there as well. The bourbon earthiness and leather mixes extremely well. The base still offers plenty of caramel with lesser amounts of toffee and molasses. Lots of plum, raisin, prune, and dates. Oak and vanilla. This is pretty sweet for a wild and it works out to be quite enjoyable. I have no doubt that the excess carbonation is from this beer not being fully done, but the result is probably better than with the extra time it'd take to ferment it out. Very tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. The carbonation level is fine. It seems like the beer itself doesn't hold much of the excess. Not that creamy, but somewhat velvety if you can understand the differences I mean between the two words. Super smooth.

5.0 D: Very tasty wild. Well developed with tons of awesome flavors. So easy to drink and the alcohol never becomes an issues at all.

 1,783 characters

Photo of hlaus
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Brunobstyle
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of AdamP
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of MatthewWilde
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Dark ruby red in color, heavy internal carbonation, pours a strong off-white head, a slight haze

S: Interesting nose, very sour/tactic acid smelling, combined with citrus, dried fruits, and a good amount of alcohol

T: Complex and delicious, perfect acidic flavors, citrus fruits, finishes with a definite buttery/creamy note, a great wild, touch of alcohol

M: Highly acidic, but still balanced, refreshing and drinkable, seems alive on the palate, incredibly mild fruity aftertaste, not drying

O: An excellent example of its style, acidic, fruity, and yet smooth, would love to have tried it with some age

 635 characters

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Highland Wild Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 70 ratings