As the rest of America tries to thaw out from the “blizzarmageddon” (aka Polar Vortex), I’m in one of the few areas that didn’t get snow and where the weather is as schizo as your last girlfriend. But even if it doesn’t feel like winter where you are, this weekend’s brew is sure to keep you nice and tight as it is one of the best winter seasonals; this weekend Highland Brewing’s Cold Mountain Winter Ale is What’s on Tap!
As the oldest brewery in one of America’s “Beer Meccas,” Asheville, North Carolina, Highland Brewing has been producing great ales since 1994. I am a huge fan of Highland; I have had all of their beers, both year round and seasonal, and I have yet to find one that I do not love. However, their spiced winter seasonal, Cold Mountain Winter Ale, might be my favorite.
Deep amber in color with a heavy vanilla smell, Cold Mountain is one of the few sweet beers that is also very drinkable. On each sip you get the vanilla flavor but the beer’s malts also comes through with each sip. As I continue to drink I notice some fruit flavors, caramel, and a slight hoppy bitterness; basically this winter ale has a lot going on, in a very good way!
One of the downsides to drinking craft beer is that some taste the same; uniqueness is a luxury that few beers and fewer breweries possess. But if you love Winter Ales, or if you just want to try a different brew, Cold Mountain Winter Ale should be at the top of your list. Tonight I am pairing the sweetness of Cold Mountain Winter Ale with some Cajun spiced chicken as I think of the snow day that I will not be getting!
Alcohol by Volume: 5.2%
Color: Deep Amber
Malts: 2-Row Brewers Malt, Pilsner, Vienna, Chocolate, Wheat, Caramel 40, Caramel 60
Hops: Cascade and Mount Hood