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 (2541) - 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.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 14, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
After its release from the 1 liter swing top brown bottle, it resides in the glass a slightly hazy deep amber to copper color with a moderate in size frothy light tan head that erodes rather quickly leaving a satisfactory sheet of lace to cover the glass. Nose is sweet malt with hints of vanilla, nut-like, caramel corn also comes to mind, and fresh and appetizing, start is somewhat sweet with a decent grain presence and the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is benignly acidic with a delightful hop spiciness and quite dry aftertaste, a quite drinkable beer that I savored over a couple of days
Pigfoot (2268) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUL 19, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hmmm, itís hot-as-heck in July, 90+ all week long..great time to break open a winter warmer, right? Right!
22-ounce bomber poured into 16-ounce goblet, a deep brown hue, nearly plum in places, with slim cocoa/cola-toned head.
Aroma: dark fruits, and nuts, sweetness, molasse and maple syrup, sugar beets, ripe and spicy...very interesting, and quite unique.
Taste: yum, ...same flavors noted in the nose reappear on the tongue. Full-bodied, and incredibly smooth, while delivering copious amounts of sweet, delicioius flavors. A rich and relaxing brew, sweet candyish flavors, a hint of toffee, a wiggle of caramel. Ends a bit dryly, much appreciated.
Yum, I say again, tas-tee!
What could be better for a mid-summer morning?
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - FEB 21, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2005 Slightly thin, solid brown malt. Very complex, but very subtle spice profile. Hops are very background -- not particuarly present. Drier than expected for a winter seasonal. Coriander, cinnamon, marshmallow, chocolate, vanilla, etc.
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 14, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled at Summits Wayside Tavern...Highland is great Southern Brewery...Lightly hopped and spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg primarily...Followed by the slightest present of Cascade and Mt. Hood hops..Nice chocolate int the middle...This is a really nice beer and I wish more people got to try it
wilkie (1208) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - NOV 30, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught (winter 2004-2005). Brownish-red, clear with a medium beige head and lots of retention. Lots of cherry in aroma, and slight caramel. Flavor is cherry, accentuated with a little malt, and a nice ginger? spicy bitter,tart finish.
UNCCTF (477) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2004
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte. Wow, Highland just never ceases to amaze. Deep brown with a medium off-white head that retained throughout. Flavor was mildly hoppy with not as much spice as Iíd anticipated, but a lot of cherry flavor that made this one very interesting. Iíve now collected the whole set from Highland, and theyíve all been great. Bravo.
00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - NOV 18, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 21, 2006 Pours a dark amber color with a small head. Flavor is very nice with a spiced flavor and a nice cherry finish. Aroma reminds me of Christmas time.