So as prolific as IPAs are, even making fun of how often I seem to review them is starting to get old. I don’t have it in me to come up with something else witty for tasting yet another IPA. That isn’t to say anything negative about this IPA itself. My experiences with Highland Brewing have been very favorable. I’m also pretty sure I’ve had this beer in the last year and can’t remember any negative qualities, so I am holding out hope for a good review.
I do have to root for Highland Brewing because it is a North Carolina beer, and being brewed in Asheville, is not terribly far away from where I currently live. According to local legend, Asheville has become one of the major craft beer capitals of the nation. It seems like Charlotte is working to catch up with that title, but that is another post.
Kashmir IPA is 6% ABV, so it’s strong enough to have a kick, but not enough to knock you completely on your butt. It pours out a light golden color and had a head that started small but hung around for a good long while after the pour. It did not seem to coat the glass like some of the others I have tasted lately, but it is far from unimpressive.
The smell is very unique. This isn’t an aromatic beer, but the aroma has a very light hint of sweet strawberry. It makes me think of jam or preserves. There is a sweetness that cuts into this beer’s scent that makes it very intriuging.
The flavoring of this beer reminds me of a melody from a piece of classical music. It feels like it dances around from one end of the scale of tastes from sip to swallow. It has a neutral tartness at the beginning that is hard to define, yet quite refreshing. It seems to sizzle on the tongue, indecisive of where to go. It reminds me of throwing a slice of lemon in your drinking water. You know it’s there, and it’s changing the flavor, but it’s so subtle that its hard to identify if someone didn’t point it out.
As this beer slides along your tongue as you go to drink it down, the intricacies of the flavor blossom out. There is a hint of cranberry in there. Also maybe a touch of blueberry. I would also go so far as to say a touch of butternut or pumpkin squash was hiding about in there also.
The finish definitely reminds you that this is an IPA. The body of the hops makes its presence known and gives your tongue, if not a pop in the nose, definitely a slap in the face. It’s a bit of a wake-up call that blends well with the sweetness this beer tapers off to.
This is a finely crafted beer, but I do not think i can list it as a casual drinking beer. It’s complexities almost make it too exhausting to drink regularly throughout a night, and the flavors are too loud for me to recommend for a casual night out drinking with the guys. This is a beer to be savored. I would drink this at home after a hard day’s work, with nobody around to interrupt the experience. Maybe I would watch the sunset, or read a good book on my balcony. I wouldn’t want to interrupt this beer, it just seems to have too much to say.