budweiserblows (35) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 5, 2005
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Best seasonal ale Iíve ever tasted. The only reason I canít give this beer a perfect score is that at first glance/sniff, it doesnít immediately reveal itself as the incredible beer it is.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - DEC 3, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a transparent dark copper brown with a dense covering of off-white head. Aroma of heavily sweet chocolate candy and caramel malt with some floral attributes. Body starts with a lot of pure milk chocolate hovering on top of sweet caramel malt and black licorice with some mild holiday spice. Finishes clean with a sublte bitterness attempting to balance the sweet chocolate. Overall an interesting and drinkable brew with an unexpected amount of chocolate within.
GeneralGao (3614) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - DEC 2, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught at The Flying Saucer in Raleigh, NC. Clear light brown color with off white head. Smelled like sugar cookies. Flavors included chocolate, spruce, vanilla, root beer, and a hint of raspberry. Moderate carbonation. Very satisfying winter beer.
slang (654) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2005
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Great looking dark ruby ale. Clear. Very malty with spices and vanilla. Cinammon and gingerbread. Fuk yeah for Highland, this is the best Winter Ale Iíve had all season. Very good in the ways of drinkablitity and complexity. Get this beer... today!
aracauna (2925) - Georgia, USA - DEC 1, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Finally a winter spice beer that I really like this year. Pours a blackened ruby with a good khaki head. The aroma is bright and fruity with fresh herb and spice aroma. Probably some vanilla, something sweet like that I thought was rasberry to start with, but not Iím leaning toward some herb or spice. Thereís a lot going on with this one and I really dig whatís there.
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2005 22 oz. bomber. Clear deep amber, medium off white head. Vanilla apparent in the aroma and flavor. Brown sugar, maybe a touch of nutmeg on a sweet malt base. Barely noticeable hop presence during the finish, which nonetheless remains on the sweet side.This is a pretty good seasonal, unusual spices, but enjoyable in the right setting.
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 28, 2005
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
22 oz, snifter. Medium, tan and creamy head rests upon a clear brown-red beer. Strange leafy spices approach the nose. Shades of vanilla, cocoa, brown sugar and nutmeg ensue. Watered down taste is moderately sweet throughout with a slight hop kick in the end. Odd tea leaf aftertaste. Medium bodied with a very water texture and moderate carbonation.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 25, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a bottle. Pours a deep red color with a frothy white head that lasts. Some dark fruit aromas along with a sort of anise/liquorish smell thatís rather unique. The flavor has notes of cinnamon, liquorish, curacao, and plum. Complex and unique. Soft on the palate without being flat and incredibly complex without being overwhelmingly spiced. A fantastic winter warmer.
NachlamSie (2536) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 14, 2005
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
UPDATED: FEB 26, 2010 draught. This brew pours a dark, rich red with no head really. Thereís a malty fruity aroma. Quite a boquet, I couldnít isolate anything in particular. One of the brewers at Highland told me that since the NC 6% cap has been lifted, this yearís Cold Mountain Ale would be higher alcohol than before. Not sure how that affected the taste. It was full and tart with a persevering sweetness. Thereís also just a small spiced aspect reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, and toasty brown sugar. The finish has a bit of smoked wood chips. Nice, but this made me think more of an autumn seasonal brew.
[Jan 2, 2009]
On tap at The Ship. Man, I still do not understand why this stuff flies off the shelves in North Carolina when so much other superior beer is available, even from Highland itself. I purchased this one today because in Gatlinburg, pickinís are slim. This is a red, clear pour with a decent head. Spices are definitely in the aroma, and give the beer a soda-like identity. I am reminded of cola, licorice, cherry, and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is medium. This is a pretty sticky brew in a candyish way. Nutmeg is definitely noticed along with the sticky soda type sweetness. I want something heartier, bolder for the winter months. This is a sticky sweet spiced beer. Makes me think of cola .
[February 25, 2010]
Big quart bottle. Last time I tried this I decided once and for all that I donít like it but my buddy brought some back and offered me a glass, so here we go again. The aroma is overly spiced. It reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Lots of heavy spiced, sweet cereal flavor is all over this. It kind of reminds me of cream soda with Cinnamon Toast Crunch in it. I do not like this.
Ayumbomb (63) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - NOV 11, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
The great thing about this beer is that all these critiques offer their opinion of what spices where in the beer, but the combo is always going to be different. This has been my favorite Highland. Iíve found myself proud of Asheville for such an excellent ale.