Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, NC
Available on draft and in 6-pack 12-ounce cans
High Pines, Highland’s fresh, new Imperial IPA is said to feature “citrus and blueberry hop flavors with a touch of fresh mountain pine.” I’m not sure I get all those notes. But during a recent tasting, I really enjoyed the complex aromas and flavors of this big, bright and balanced beer.
Brewed with two-row, rye, Munich and Carahell malts, and a panoply of Mosaic, Simcoe, Centennial, Comet, El Dorado and Apollo hops, it captures the tradition of classic West Coast IPAs. Fans of juicy IPAs may find it overwhelming. So be it. I loved the old-school interplay of sweet malt and resinous hops.
At 9% alcohol by volume, High Pines is well named. Its combination of bitter, sweet, hoppy, and somewhat dank aromas and flavors work well with smoked and grilled meats, salty cheese and charcuterie. As weird as it might seem, cheesecake with graham cracker crust can be a surprisingly good pairing, too.
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