Highlights Highland Mandarina IPA, Gaelic Ale, Pilsner & Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

imageIt’s always fun sampling some of the new and interesting craft beers, that are hitting our shelves, and of course one of my favorites is Highland Brewing.  Today we not only get to sample some exciting Highland Brewing beers, but we also get to test drive some of their new can packaging…so off we go.
Back in June I sampled Highland Brewing Pilsner, and at the time it had recently made the move to year-round status.  This was a perfect summer beer, but as it now makes the move to cans, I think it’s even better.   Designed by head brewer Hollie Stephenson, Highland Pilsner has some really nice malty flavors, due in part to the 100% German pilsner malts.  Add in four Hallertau-region hop varieties and you have a really nice and classic German pilsner with a very drinkable crisp and dry finish.  If you’ve already had this beer in bottles, you’re going to love it in cans.
Up next we poured Highland Brewing Gaelic Ale and this Highland Brewing local favorite is also making the leap to cans.  Gaelic Ale pours a rich deep copper color with lots of caramel and slightly fruity aromas.  There’s loads of caramel malt flavors balanced nicely with some spicy and herbal hop flavors and a really nice mouthfeel.  The beer finished with citrus and almost roasty flavors for me and at 5.8%-AbV I can see why this is Highland Brewing’s flagship beer.  We drank this beer directly from the can and I think it will become a great new package for outdoor activities.
I couldn’t resist sampling Mandarina IPA next and I definitely wasn’t disappointed by the beer or the can packaging.  As you would expect, this beer greets you with buckets of citrusy hop aromas, thanks in part to the Hull Melon and Mandarina Bavaria hops.  You can’t miss the orange and citrus fruit aromas and they really dominate the flavor profile (in a good way).  I really liked the bitter citrusy hops and the prominent juicy orange flavors in the middle.  At 35 IBU, this beer isn’t a terribly hop-forward IPA, but the 5%-AbV makes it the perfect easy-drinking fruited IPA, and we really enjoyed it as exactly that.  This beer is also packaged in 12oz cans, and I think they are a really good fit for Mandarina IPA (try it for yourself).
Finally we wandered away from the cans and sampled Highland Brewing Thunderstruck Coffee Porter.  This American porter pours a deep and dark brown color with a really pretty tan head.  The aromas are loaded with roasty aromas and a prominent coffee aroma as well.  The flavors begin and end with coffee, and in between there were some really nice roasty and creamy vanilla flavors.  The beer finishes dry, and at 5.9%-AbV, this one is a much lighter AbV and lighter bodied porter, but very drinkable and well balanced.

A big thank you to Highland Brewing for giving us the opportunity to try some of their latest beers & packaging.  These are all really drinkable beers, and I think the new 12oz cans really fit perfectly with the beer styles.  These Highland beers are available now so b

e sure to try all four beers for yourself…

and when you do, be sure to let us know what YOU think.

About Bil Cord

Founder, owner, author, graphic designer, CEO, CFO, webmaster, president, mechanic and janitor for Producer and Co-host of the WILK Friday BeerBuzz live weekly craft beer radio show. Small craft-brewer of the craft beer news sites and one-man-band with way too many instruments to play.

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