kramer (6682) - Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 16, 2007
25 oz bottle, via NachlamSie. Pours a clear dark orange to amber body under a small tight bubbled beige head. Fairly heavy lacing remained. The nose is very sweet, yet there’s still a good amount of resiny hops. Some candy sugar, toffee, caramel, slight alcohol, dates, and light spices. The flavor is nicely balanced, a turbandino sugar and sweet maltiness leads off, then the resiny hops keep it from becoming too sweet, Finishes with a lingering bitterness and some tobacco notes. Mouthfeel is full bodied and really soft for such a big beer. Perfect soft carbonation, sweet, but no where near cloying or sticky. I really liked this, I thought it might be too much, but it’s really pretty mellow. The hops still tasted pretty fresh, would not have guessed that this was an 05 beer. BlackDonald (1126) - Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA - JAN 23, 2008
We popped this over Thanksgiving, and it had been siting for well over a year. We wanted to drink this and the Imperial Kasmir back to back for comparison. I have to admit I was impressed with how well it has stood up, the nose was largely fruit forward and still very hoppy. This had really mellowed into this slightly sweet caramelly with some sweet toffee candiness. Delicious! ChainGangGuy (4894) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - FEB 4, 2009
Appearance: Pours a surprisingly hazy, dark mahogany-hued body with a thin, bubbly, off-white head.
Smell: Toasty malts with a decent dose of sweetish, fragrant caramel with mellowed hop notes of dried citrus peels and a spicy herbaceousness.
Taste: Pale malts, lightly toasty, with sweet tastes of aged caramel and toffee candy. Faint fruitiness. Though the bitterness has long since diminished, and is now mild at best, there’s still a fair share of hop flavor left to enjoy, including tastes of citrus, wood, and a few leafy herbal undertones. A few more final fruit hints on the semi-dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: After around 2 years and 4½ months after it’s official release on the day following the Bluegrass Beer Festival in Asheville, it’s still an enjoyable beer. However, it seems to be beyond its peak, so if you have a bottle left, I’d get around to it sooner rather than later. muenster (345) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - OCT 6, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2006 Liter bottle. Pours dark mahogany/burnt orange with a bubbly beige head. Aroma is hoppy, with notes of sweet malts and caramel. Flavor has a nice citrus/piney hop character similiar to a good IPA, and a sweet maltiness and alcohol finish like a barleywine. Thoroughly enjoyable. NachlamSie (3467) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 9, 2006
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 they’re 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.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 6, 2006
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. MrManning (2009) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 16, 2007
A treasure courtesy of muenster. Growler.Thanks so much Chris. I’m treating myself to this tonight because I’ve been down on my luck, and things are starting to get better slowly. Deep, dark copper/amber topped with a frothy white head. there’s a good amount of lace left too. Powerful hop aroma, which I’m 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. douglas88 (9057) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 8, 2010
1 liter swingtop bottle with signatures all over the label thanks big time to brentk56. 2006 vintage. Let me start by saying that Highland is one of my favorite breweries. Pours a clear dark amber color with a massive off-white head. A great aroma; hoppy pine, caramel, sweet fruit. The flavor is also great; sweet caramel and fruit mix, still lots of piny hops here after nearly four years, sweet and rich. A great smooth mouthfeel. Another winner from Highland Brewing. I’d love to try this fresh. Please make this again Highland. beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - JAN 1, 2007
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. NicerInPerson (337) - North of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 27, 2007
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.