Review Date 12/22/2004 Last Updated: 7/02/2014
Cold Mountain 2005 is a bit different from last year. It seems a bit darker, light brown in color with a soft creamy head and a sweet, candyish nose that hints at rum and raisin. The palate is spicy and perfumey with more of the rum raisin notes, molasses, a hint of chocolate, notes of spice cake and plum pudding, candied fruit, and licorice. A very well spiced and complex ale that works well against a brown ale base. Reminds me of a light old ale or Yorkshire ale to a degree.
Update: July 11, 2012:
This year, I decided to save a bottle of Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale for my annual Christmas in July celebration. Obviously, this is the 2011 edition I am drinking, and Highland changes this beer a little each year. Reading the side label, I see this year's batch is brewed with "natural hazelnut extract, natural raspberry extract, natural cranberry extract, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks."
Pouring the beer into my Highland beer glass, I get a light brown colored brew with a moderate creamy head formation and an inviting toasty nutty malt nose. Taking a sip I get a beer of medium moutfeel with delightful toasted nut maltiness, a hint of chocolate, and definitely the fruity raspberry. A blanket of vanilla covers it all, and the cinnamon dries in the finish. The cranberry is not so apparent, though perhaps lending the hint of sour tartness my taste buds perceive. Grassy herbal hops provide aroma and bitterness.
Just a wonderful beer, as tasty in July as December, and perhaps the best edition of this beer yet. As a result I'm bumping it up half a star. A bargain at $5.49 for the bomber.
Update July 2 2014: Christmas in July is here again, and I'm celebrating with a Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale. $5.99 for a bomber is a great price, and my bottle was filled on 11/7/2013. Just perfect for a hot summer day, the spices and raspberry really come through perfectly. Happy holidays!
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.