Mountain Goat ‘Hightail XXV’ BA Dark Ale


“This is Hightail Ale, but bigger and bolder than ever before. To celebrate 25 years we’ve given Hightail Ale the Rare Breed treatment, ageing it for five months in Cognac barrels. We also kept a bit of the brew to age in Pedro Ximenez barrels, before blending it together. The cognac barrels provide smooth, oaky characters, with a slight Chardonnay-funk, while the Pedro Ximenez barrels add a rich aroma of sweet, overripened raisins. The blended brew is smooth, soft and sumptuous; a fitting tribute to the beer that started it all.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Cola-like pour with a thumb of fizzy tan head which gradually peels off and forms a halo. Not a whole lot of lace to speak of.

Aroma: Oooft! This smells magnificent. It has a Barleywine-ish quality to it which is impressive considering at its core it’s just a humble old Dark Ale. Then again the jacked up ABV (10.2%) and the time spent in Cognac barrels certainly adds to that expression. Tonnes of residual sweetness, dark fruits, caramelised pear, five spice, orange flambé and Malibu Rum. Yuuuummmm!

Flavour: Tasty AF! Without a doubt a big step up from the original Hightail Ale. Insanely sweet and caramelised but exceptionally well balanced. Just the right amount of toasty malt, oak and spice to offset the toffee, caramelised pear, maple, dark fruits and Cognac. Something kinda earthy in there as it finishes toasty, sweet and oaky. Good duration too.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy-set as we anticipated. Still, it holds a good weight with a smooth and gelatinous texture. Low-ish Co2. The 10.2% ABV is very well behaved.

Overall: Wow this is a seriously impressive drop from MG. It seems so long since the glory days of Rare Breed beers in 600ml bombers but they’ve nailed this one. Kudos MG!