One of the most sought after beers right now in North Carolina is Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale. If you don’t live in the state you may have never heard of the beer. At one time it was a little known beer only released in flip top liter bottles and then you had to know someone to get some and typically had to buy a case of six to get them. The beer actually started in 1997 as Winter Ale and the blend of spices and flavors changes every year. I first got my hands on some in 2003 and over time it has become significantly easier to find. Now if you are in the Asheville area that might not be true, but typically bottles can be found nowadays in other areas of the state and often it will appear on draft. I must admit I’ve not been a fan of the past few incantations, but this year the beer is pretty tasty. Quite a bit of vanilla and hints of roast in the aftertaste with some nice spice undertones. The label lists all kinds of things on it including hazelnut, raspberry, cranberry, vanilla beans, and cinnamon and all work together to create this beer. If you haven’t grabbed a bottle, get on it. This will not last long and it is already sold out in many stores.

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