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Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Imperial Black Mocha StoutHighland Imperial Black Mocha Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 38
Gots: 11 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mikesgroove on 09-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
VINTAGE: Limited Edition 2008
Thanks to a very generous BA for throwing this in, as an extra(!).

Happily, this one pours black. Backlighting it reveals a wonderful tinting of deep ruby red color. A half finger head of dark tan colored foam makes the head then recedes to a filmy surface covering. The lacing is in abundant little spots, which are quite sticky.

This nose is full of big-time chocolate notes. Tons of milk chocolate, a fair amount of dark chocolate, some cocoa powder and even some light hints of tootsie rolls. Great presence of nicely roasted malts. Mild touches of coffee, which seem very inviting. Very light hints of dark fruits.
A wonderful nose, indeed.

Milk and dark chocolates vie for the title of most dominant, right off the bat. There is an underlying roastiness, rounding it out. Light hint of cream. Both caramelized sugar and an almost candi sugar-like sweetness. Light traces of vanilla. Light traces of dark fruits, especially cherries, keep popping in and out. Some dark roasted coffee beans, just shy of bitter, are present in the finish.

This has a medium body, with a slight oiliness to it, and a low-to-medium level of carbonation. It is extremely smooth and almost silky.

The 9.50%abv is certainly hidden well enough. You find it when you stand up though. This beer has a light warming touch to it, but sneaks up to attack you from behind when you aren't paying attention.
Very well done, Highland! I wish that I could have a whole lot more of this stuff!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 00:16:15 | More by coldmeat23
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jadjunk


3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"The next brew in our renowned Imperial line, this hearty stout is rich with coffee and chocolate notes, all achieved solely through the use of special roasted barley grains. The complex malt character blends the velvety sweetness of specialty grains with the creaminess of a classic stout. No flavorings have been added to this product." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial Stout. This was a one-off brew introduced in 2008, and is still available in select markets in Athens, Georgia. Available in 22 oz. bottles and previously limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a mocha brown head of a crisp, creamy appearance that quickly subsides. Body tone is dark brown near black. Retention is below average, lacing is nonexistent. 3

(Smell) 6 years of storage may have sharply impacted the aroma and flavor of this beer. Moderate roasted malts and a dash of muted cocoa give way to bold fruit notes of figs and raisins, as well as a bit of tartness and funk that are gaining ground. Not a lot of depth nor complexity is to be found in the aroma, and the chocolate, roasted malts and especially coffee have all long been diminishing. Potency is medium. 3.25

(Taste) Up front a thin, yeasty fruit profile of raisins transitions into a pronounced heavy roasted malt and charred wood finish, both very bold and unwavering despite the age of this beer. Not a lot of residual sweetness remains to balance the specialty grains, and neither chocolate nor coffee make a notable appearance in the flavor. Any previous hop presence is nullified entirely. Ultimately the greatest undoing in the flavor is the lack of sweetness to compliment the body which creates an unmistakable imbalance and generates a much lower drinkability. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is thin, oily, mildly roasty. Carbonation is soft, adds some slight froth and a bit of creaminess but doesn't influence the texture much. Body is medium for an American Imperial Stout, medium/heavy overall. Alcohol presence is medium. As before mentioned, the imbalance of sweetness to body lowers drinkability and suggests that the yeast in this bottle have fermented a bit too long for the beer's own good. 3.5

(Overall) My recommendation for any potential buyers of this fairly old beer: don't go for it. While certainly at one point a great and tasty stout, 6 years has done it in. My hopes are that Highland rereleases this beer at a later date, so I can enjoy it's full potential. For the record, I could not legally drink in 2008 so there is no way I could have enjoyed this vintage "fresh". 3.5

Highland Brewing Company's
Imperial Black Mocha Stout

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 01:25:15 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of Shaggy9356


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

02-27-2014 03:07:02 | More by Shaggy9356
Photo of Kegatron


3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

12-12-2013 23:28:16 | More by Kegatron

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

07-22-2013 22:08:48 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of rderedin


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

06-29-2013 15:09:54 | More by rderedin
Photo of beernads


2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

06-12-2013 08:19:33 | More by beernads
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.2%

02-24-2013 01:26:29 | More by djrn2
Photo of brandoman63


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

01-18-2013 03:44:25 | More by brandoman63
Photo of BierBliss

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

01-13-2013 01:06:00 | More by BierBliss
Photo of ncstateplaya

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

11-27-2012 16:11:29 | More by ncstateplaya
Photo of sendbeer


3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

11-03-2012 14:31:16 | More by sendbeer
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev -1.2%

10-14-2012 14:17:12 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Brewsed

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

10-05-2012 15:43:48 | More by Brewsed
Photo of mtbdonn


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

09-02-2012 17:09:10 | More by mtbdonn
Photo of ThickNStout


4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop (Athens, GA). 8.99. 2008 vintage. Served in a snifter. 

Pours murky near black with deep chestnut edge. A few tan bubbles quickly vanish before you could really call them "head". No lacing. 

Smells of roasted malts, figs and coffee. A slight noticeable booze presence while it's still cool. Nice. 

Taste is a smooth mixture of coffee, dark fruits, chocolate and roast. The alcohol is always there in the background but is much harder to notice as it warms up and the other flavors stand out more. A great mixture of imperial stout flavors. 

A creamy medium body with next to no carbonation. 

Overall I'm pretty happy with this. I enjoy the standard Black Mocha Stout and this has just kicked everything up a few notches. The 3+ years of age I'm sure has helped the alcohol settle some and brought out more of the dark fruit flavors. I kinda wish I'd picked up more than just one bottle. 

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 18:15:12 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 release acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the Little Guy 2 BIF, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin beige head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with the combination of coffee and dark chocolate that the name “Black Mocha” would lead you to expect. Then a hearty roasted malt character and a lot of creaminess quickly follow. The hops presence is very mild as it should be with this type of beer. However the sweetness gets to the cloying-point leading to a bitter-sweet after-taste.

M: Smooth and pretty viscous, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down ok, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, I have heard that coffee-flavored beers don’t age well but I have had some that refute that theory, this beer is certainly not one of them as it seems, to my regret, that after 3+ years I’ve may have let this beer sit for too long. I believe that the intense mocha sweetness needed a fresher hops presence to achieve a better balance.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 00:14:25 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up in BA secrect santa '11, brewed 2008. It pours jet black, medium white head, light lacing. The aroma has coffee, chocolate, burnt malt notes. Lots of coffe and chocolate, no hints of booze, slightly bitter finish. The beer is medium/full in body, good carbonation. A real enjoyable brew, worth seeking out if yoy can find it.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 00:34:57 | More by bonkers
Photo of THECPJ


4/5  rDev -1.2%

02-11-2012 21:49:36 | More by THECPJ
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

01-30-2012 07:45:59 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of EasyReader

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

12-31-2011 19:38:11 | More by EasyReader
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage

A- Body is a dark brown nearly black hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger creamy tan head which nearly immediately fades to a thin collar.

S- Yep. Smells like an aged RIS. Very heavy on the anise and raisin. Overripe and wrinkly. Little to no chocolate or alcohol to detect.

T- Very similar to the nose. Lots of dry raisin, anise. A hint of chocolate hits the back of the palate at the finish-but its mostly dry and boozy with a slight roasted malt bitterness and a touch of anise.

M- Very dry medium to heavy weight body with low to medium carbonation.

O- Overall this is a decent beer but it seems to have past its prime. The chocolate and mocha has faded a lot and the anise and raisin has come forward, a lot, and its kind of like drinking a dry, overripe plum.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 05:11:08 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of corby112


3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

Pours pitch black with a half finger light mocha colored head that quickly settles into a thin ring.  Minimal spots of lace left behind.  

Slightly roasted aroma with lots of dark malt notes.  Hints of chocolate, oatmeal and coffee bean.  Subtle alcohol.

Medium bodied with lots of silky chocolate maltiness that adds some sweetness to counter the deep roasted characteristic.  Roasted but not as bold as I expected.  Hints of oatmeal and dark chocolate and coffee bean.  Subtle lactic creaminess smoothes things out and makes this beer very quaffable.  Slight alcohol sweetness adds balance but there is hardly any heat at all.  Abv very well masked.  

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 20:50:11 | More by corby112
Photo of iadler


4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another bottle courtesy of jsanford. Cheers Jacob!

2008 Vintage

A- Pours a jet black with a two finger mocha head that leaves gobs of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Flourless chocolate cake batter, faint coffee, roasted malt and a bit of nuttiness.

T- Follows the aroma with flourless chocolate cake batter with some espresso beans and some roasted malt.

M- Low to medium carbonation and medium body with a syrupy mouthfeel. Very smooth, where is that 9.5%?

O- I was pleasantly surprised with this, as the flavors have aged very well. This would make a great dessert beer that would pair well with some ice cream.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 19:26:01 | More by iadler
Photo of birchstick


4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to gford217 for hooking me up with this retired beer!

A - pours black as night with a nice looking chocolate colored head

S - smells intensely of rich, dry dark chocolates with a bit of brownie character to it as well as strange as that sounds

T - roasted, dry malts start this off. Dark chocolates from the nose blend with more subtle milk chocolate to turn this into a delicious liquid desert. The mocha has definitely faded from this as I really don't get much coffee from this except up front. That being said, the chocolate malts were awesome and filled in for the mocha nicely.

M - full and a little under carbonated; a little dry from the malts

D - I had no idea what to expect from this, being that is a coffee stout that is almost 3 years old. I was very satisfied with the aged result and would encourage Highland to make this one again as it was delicious...I would have loved to try this fresh!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:52:06 | More by birchstick
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Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.