wnewberr (100) - Huntersville, North Carolina, USA - OCT 8, 2012
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Caramel and vanilla aroma. Vanilla flavor. Great clarity but head disappears quickly. Full palate but not a big fan of the oaklike aftertaste.
ludhaber (85) - Massachusetts, USA - MAR 22, 2015
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
March madness 2015. This is for the 2008 version. So this has aged quite a bit. The aroma is complex with limited hops but interesting malt, vanilla and caramel. The taste is smooth but getting toward the wine side at this age. The spices are very well blended into the overall flavor.
nimrod (73) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JAN 17, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Shared 22oz. Pours dark copper with good head and nice lacing. Smells like Christmas - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sweet malt. Palate has a little carbonation but mostly slightly creamy malt. Taste is dominated by spices, some earth and resin, and sweet malt. I was surprised by this one. Good brew.
aplus01 (71) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 2, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Reddish copper in color with minimal head. Aroma is dominated by the vanilla. I caught the slightest hint of raspberry or possibly imagined it. As it warmed the cinnamon became more prominent. The taste was all vanilla and malt. The cranberry and hazelnut flavors contributed little to this beer. The ingredients list was busier than the finished product which is a good thing. Not sure iíd have enjoyed a strong raspberry cranberry cinnamon vanilla flavor combo. Would recommend for the novelty if nothing else
Zaprozdower (66) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - DEC 25, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
For me, best winter beer around. Vanilla and other spices somehow makes me think of peanut butter (doesnít sound great for a beer but is)! No non RIS Iíd rather have a 6 pack of in the winter.
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.
Caleb1035 (63) - , North Carolina, USA - NOV 29, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle. Pours to dark body with caramel colored head. Aroma is of malt and spices. Taste is a nice ...chocolate and spices. Slighty thin mouthfeel but overall the palate is smooth. Will have again, this is an excellent choice.
drewdogg (62) - USA - AUG 19, 2007
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had bottle from 2006-07 winter. Very nice chocolatey ale with medium body. Hints of nutmeg, cinamon, vanilla, and caramel. Probably the best winter seasonal I have ever had as Highland has resisted the temptation to overly spice the beer or add gimmick flavoring like candy cane or licorice as some other south regional brewers do with their winter seasonals. I will definitely look for this beer again when it is in season this coming winter.
BarleyandVine (56) - Stockbridge, Georgia, USA - DEC 1, 2012
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a beautiful auburn-brown with a white head that lingers as a small lacing. The aroma is gentle malt with a hint of fresh hops. Clean & inviting the first taste. First sip...Wow!
An amazing explosion of vanilla, fruitiness, possibly cinnamon and other fruity flavors. Very drinkable!
Finishes lingering vanilla and nutty.
Do a quich swish and pick up an interesting taste of vanilla complimented with toasty-Brady malts, hazelnut and an interesting fruit background. Taste Cold Mountain with a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nector.!
frozen_glass (51) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 20, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
All the bubblegum sweetness and minty freshness of a candy cane is packed the in the aroma. Translucent brown color, with a fleeting tan head. Sweetness dominates the flavor throughout, supplemented by bitterness in the middle, but the flavor isnít overwhelming. Medium body and carbonation. A pleasant, but weak and very sweet, winter beer.