muenster (345) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draught at Brewgrass Fest ’08, then from a bomber. Much more impressed by the bomber, possibly related to the level of intoxication at the Brewgrass Fest. Anyway, rating applies to bottle. Pours black with some brown on the edges, a small tan head sits atop. Aroma is very nice, not as intense as many Impy’s, but very well rounded: coffee, chocolate, some sweet vanilla, and an alcoholy note similar to bourbon barrel aged stouts. Don’t think this one was aged before release though. Flavor is quite nice, baker’s chocolate, coffee, and a bit of stand-out hops. Finishes a bit ashy and bitter, like a good dry stout. The mouthfeel remains smooth and somewhat creamy through most of the bomber, which I finished with ease. Really straightforward in approach, and as a stout this is an awesome beer. Too bad that it is lumped in the Imperial Stout category, because I don’t think it will achieve the recognition it deserves. Compared to some of the richest, thickest Impy’s it probably seems a bit weak, but on it’s own merits this is a truly fantastic stout.
ross (2141) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - OCT 2, 2008
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Phil. Thanks. I was really excited to see this one being released. Pours out a pitch black color with a nice tan head on it. Smell is awesome. Toffee, chocolate, vanilla, a touch of bourbon perhaps?, some hops, grass, and coffee. Taste sweet and smooth. Thick but more of a session type imperial stout. Easy to drink. Plenty of coffee and chocolate involved. If aged a few months this beer will be really better than it already is. The hops provide an off flavor that I am not sure I was crazy about. However, this is a really good beer, the best thing Highland has ever made, and a runner up to Sexual Chocolate. Nice stuff.
OldGrowth (3204) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - SEP 30, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle, from brewery. Good aroma, bittersweet. Chocolate, licorice, banana (when cold), coffee. Brownish black color, little to no head. No lace. Bitter sweet flavor, like aroma, a bite of baking chocolate basically. Medium body, creamy smooth mouthfeel, bitter dry finish. Good, though tad hot, didn’t seem imperial enough to me. Flavor wasn’t as good as aroma, very straight foward bitter chocolate taste, aroma had more going on.
jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - SEP 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle. Really impressed with this one. Best offering from highland to date. Huge and malty with a nice hop finish. Alcohol well hidden.
Collint (475) - Sylva, North Carolina, USA - SEP 29, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at Brewgrass 2008. Picked this one out to drink early becuase it ran out fast. Pours a black beer with a thick tan head. Aroma is coffee and and cream, with a little note of chocolate. Creamy bitter beer in the flavor. I was super exited about this one and I was suprised. Highland balanced this beer very well, nothing to overpowering. Very smooth and delicious!
Suttree (6043) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 28, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 3, 2008 Black, thick brown head. Very nice coffee and chocolate aroma. Flavor is more chocolate and coffee, and then hints of hickory, too. Very rich and satisfying.
Hank1980 (966) - Athens, Georgia, USA - SEP 25, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Poured dark with a tan head. Aroma of bitter coffee, not much in the way of chocolate. Taste is also pretty heavy on the coffee and bitterness, which is pretty nice. Finish is bitter. Nice smooth body.
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 25, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft sample from Brewgrass. Creamy black pour with creamy bubbles in a deep tan head. Man, this was better than expected. Doesn’t go too far on either the side of the chocolate or the coffee; really hits a nice bitter mocha middleground. Not too sweet. Surprisingly delicious and unique in this category, I think. Silky smooooth, too. Look for it.
Perm (151) - Tryon, North Carolina, USA - SEP 25, 2008
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Had this at the Brewgrass release -- first beer I went for!
It’s amazing stuff.
Appearance: Black, black, with a creamy-colored head. Inviting, in the way that a 7:00am java is inviting.
Aroma: Mocha, malt, hops. Something near the end...I can’t quite put my finger on it....I want to say almost "fishy," except it’s pleasant rather than gross...
Taste: Chocolate! Nice roasted malts and smooth hops finish it off.
Palate: Smooth, the definition of smooth. How is this 9.5% ABV???
Overall: Absolutely amazing. Why is this not brewed year-round and always on offer?
Serving type: on-tap
00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - SEP 25, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Had a cask version of this at the brewery. Poured a deep brown almost black color with no head. Aroma was malty with notes of choco, coffee, and molasses. Flavor was nice. had a robust malt back bone with a hint of burbon to it. I asked the brewer if this was barrel aged and he smiled and said i should be picking up burbon notes in it. Over all this was a very good beer. Not sure the difference in the bottled version as I was told they are different, but ill let someone else enter that beer in as not to upset the gods.