Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale

This brew has been on my beer wishlist since last winter because I have heard so many great things about it.

How stoked was I to find it last week, and in a big 22 oz bomber!

The description on the label states that this is a, "Hearty winter brew, lightly hopped with hints of spices to provide a complex flavor profile - Perfectly suited to the winter months and holiday feasts." I don't know where all of you live, but we kind of skipped the winter season around here and jumped straight to late Spring/early Summer. It was almost 70° out there today!

I took advantage of that fine weather, and at lunch headed out for a nice run. A couple miles and a little sprint work was all it amounted to, but even after a cold 10-minute shower I still couldn't stop sweating the rest of the workday! I guess I was just thirsty, and thinking about this brew all afternoon...

Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale is a 5.2% ABV, hazy, reddish-amber colored brew with a two-finger rocky head of off-white lace. The beer's recipe changes the spices up each year (you see why it remains on my wishlist), and this version smells sweet of caramel and earthy barley.

The first sip is actually not as sweet as expected from the nose...There are obviously lots of dark, rich malts but I also get a full palate of other lighter grains and those spices. Chocolate rises up in the middle, and as it warms buttery caramel and some mellow hops come into the finish.

This is a really great beer from Asheville, North Carolina - a steadily rising juggernaut in the craft beer community - and the town just got the news that Sierra Nevada will be expanding there for their East Coast production and distribution. I wonder when they will be hiring....

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