NicerInPerson (337) - North of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 27, 2007
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
The aroma was malty and nutty with a strong caramel impression and some toasty notes. A light spice was present and some dark fruits. The amber beer was lightly hazy and had a yellowish compact head which did last enough to lace the glass. The flavor was malty with a strong citrusy hop flavor and a substantial bittering to backup the malt presence. The citrus hop flavor was a bit of grapefruit and a smidge of orange and as the hop flavor faded on the palate a strong caramel presented itself coupled with a biscuity and toasty flavor. The malt and hop balance was well done and made for an enjoyable pint. The body was medium full and with a moderate level of carbonation the beer was creamy in mouthfeel. The beer went dry into the aftertaste with lasting biscuit and toast and the only hints of alcohol came in the flavor and in some light warming that occurred after consumption. A very nice beer to celebrate the last brew from Downtown Asheville. 1 liter flip top bottle purchased at the release party.
MrManning (1982) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 16, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A treasure courtesy of muenster. Growler.Thanks so much Chris. Iím treating myself to this tonight because Iíve been down on my luck, and things are starting to get better slowly. Deep, dark copper/amber topped with a frothy white head. thereís a good amount of lace left too. Powerful hop aroma, which Iím guessing is cascade. Lots of piney citric goodness. Bready malts with loads of spice and perfume. Flavour is full out resiny hop goodness, pine, orange peel, and lots of sweet and balanced rye bread malts. Hints of oak and smoke as well. Very bold finish, well attenuated, excellent balance. Well done Highland, and thanks Chris for being so generous, much appreciated.
SpringsLicker (2931) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 3, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours clear deep amber with a large off-white head.
The aroma is big in itís malt profile.
Some bitterness that builds to a dry finish rounds out and compliments the flavors that the malts provide.
Thanks to kp for sharing this at the pre cask tasting.
aracauna (2920) - Georgia, USA - JAN 27, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yay kp. He brough some to the pre- Cask Ale fest gathering just for me (or so he said). Really not much in the way of a scottish ale, but makes an excellent American Strong. Great big sticky hops. Good malt.
beerguy101 (5244) - Newark, California, USA - JAN 1, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This American Strong Ale pours a medium orange gold color from a 22oz bottle. Small sized white foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet, touch of spice. A medium to full bodied American Strong Ale. Malts are caramel and sweet, cookie and bready. Hops are slightly piney and a touch spicy. Nice balance. Touch of smoke and peat, maybe some cinnamon. Interesting beer, Very smooth and warming throughout. This is one of those beers that just have to fall into that American Strong Ale category. There is nothing else to describe it. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 6, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours with a deep red-brown with a thick head and lots of lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a slight roasty note. The flavor is sweet and malty with a little rosty/smokiness and a grassy, sweet hop note and a little pine. Full bodied, tingly and a touch warming.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - NOV 27, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a hazy brownish-orange color with a small off-white head. Caramel malty aroma with notes of alcohol and some hops. This was followed up by toasted bread and then earthy and sweaty notes. Malty flavros start this off and some hops come out on the finish.
Fish (440) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 22, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I too waited in the rain for my six jugs oí imperial gaelic ale. This has actually been the first beer Iíve rated in a good long while. The only new stuff I was drinking this summer and fall was a bunch of Eastern European/ Russian lagers which were available all of the sudden at this slavic market in town. Nothing really impressive with those. This beer that Iím drinking now, however, is another story. This beer is a treat. Yes, I stood out in the rain for mine too (woot!) And it was well worth it. What a treat. And brewed locally. I would say, this brew holds its own with any of the rogues. Pours a deep ruddy amber color. With a fluffy tan head which left ok lacing behind. Burnt prune alcohol aroma. Strong, sticky palate fades to a substantial hop kick. Nice. This beer treads a fine line between strong ale and barleywine. If lacking in any way, itís malt character. I could have used some more there. Otherwise a fantastic beer, Points for being the best NC brew Iíve had in a while. Asheville must be so proud of you, Imperial Gaelic!
NachlamSie (2532) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 9, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2006 Giant liter jug: Pours really deep ruby with a tall, thick white head that soon forms mountainous terrain and never really disappears. The aroma is peppery and piny with toffee and biscuits. I picked up a bit more spicy hops in the aroma this time around. Dense peat and toffee coat the palate with many semi sweet cigar-like qualities. Less of the hops are noticed in the mouth, but theyíre there to add light touches of pleasing acidity. The brew has much less noticeable alcohol after a couple of months and it seems a tad more dense as well. The burn is very appropriate and basically just an afterthought. The finish is moderately dry with a good array of spiced notes like cinnamon, cacao and tobacco. This is a nice drink.
Suttree (4733) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 8, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2006 I guess after reading previous reviews of this, I was expecting a really hot, alcoholic brew, and that probably played into lowering my expectations. But this was pretty tasty - very tasty, in fact. Cloudy brown, with a nice white head. Really nice aroma of walnuts, vanilla, toffee. First sip is earthy and nutty, with hints of vanilla and a touch of oak. Slight winey character, too, but definately in the background. There is some alcohol heat, too, but it never overwhelms, even as the glass rises to room temperature. Is it worth the hype the brewery put into this? Maybe not, but I do think this would be a great fall seasonal.