It’s nice to see
so many breweries making so many fine ales and lagers here in the south. By
no stretch of the imagination is the south challenging the Midwest, New
England, or Pacific Northwest as one of the nation’s premier brewing
centers. But it’s still nice to say you can walk into a bar in say,
Asheville North Carolina and easily obtain some decent local brew.
Something from Highland Brewing would be a nice choice, and you could
do far worse than their tasty Kashmir IPA. Sold on draft, in
six-packs and in 22 ounce bottles, Kashmir boasts a generous hop bill of
Stryian Goldings, Mt. Hoods, Fuggles, Magnums, and Willamettes (per
Highland). The result: 60 IBUs of hop lovers bliss.
Sixty IBUs may seem like a lot, but of course the malt here balances some of
that out. Highland says the beer is in the classic IPA tradition of hoppy
pale ales shipped from England to the troops in India over a century ago.
That seems to be the case indeed.
Kashmir IPA pours to a yellow orange color with a light creamy head
formation and a lively hop nose. The palate is nice and chewy with lots of
caramel malt, and consequently the brew has decent body and a smooth,
slightly full mouthfeel.
In addition to the malt, there are plenty of hops, too. They don’t
overpower, though I realize that as a hophead that could be a relative term.
To many, this beer will seem quite bitter indeed, though for a seasoned beer
veteran it will be less so.
Still, hop aroma permeates the beer, and in the finish intensifies into a
grassy, slightly grapefruity crescendo. A good dose of hop bitterness
deposits a lingering bitter buzz on the tongue, too. That makes this a tasty
little IPA indeed, more in the English style than the American except for
the grapefruity notes.
If there is one element that is a bit missing its alcohol. Which is not to
say that Kashmir IPA does not have alcohol, because it does. But it’s on the
lower style for the side at 5.6% (7% or so is the norm for IPA). That is not
by choice, however, since North Carolina limits the alcohol content in beer
Hopefully, that will someday change. When I bought this beer in Asheville, I
was chatting with the staff at the liquor store about how ridiculous such
laws are. There is a grass-roots movement afoot in that state to change the
law, and I wish them much luck. Georgia recently relegated such a law to the
ash heap of history. And rightly so.
In any case, you can still enjoy this beer if you find yourself in North
Carolina, South Carolina, parts of Tennessee, and now Georgia. Try it with a
plate of spicy Mexican tacos for a real treat.
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.