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Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

Highland Imperial Black Mocha StoutHighland Imperial Black Mocha Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.63%


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 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

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
3.31/5.00

Serving type: bottle

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

Georgia

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
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
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 PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

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
corby112

Pennsylvania

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
iadler

Illinois

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
birchstick

Colorado

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
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note's from Captain Lawrence Rosso Batch 3 release / tasting:

Very excited to try this being that I really dig the black mocha stout (and this is retired). Really dark, really nice looking…not much head, swirl builds it a little bit. Really nice look to it. Mmm…smells great, dark fruits, typical ris smells. Very very nice smell. Flavor follows the nose, but a bit more bitter than I expected, but dark fruit dominated RIS. A little thick and a little heavy…good one though, glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 03:06:20 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber from 2008 pours a dark crimson color with a small brown head. Decent retention and lacing.

Nose is an interesting mix of Rice Krispies, burnt cocoa, dark chocolate and a little bit of blackberry fruit.

Taste shows some heavy roast - very coffee and alcohol oriented. Light oxidation lends it some Cocoa Puff cereal flavors. Some vegetal matter is a bit off-putting, cabbage almost. Too roasty, too much burnt flavors. I might have waited too long to open this beast...or not long enough...either way, it was not nearly as good as I was hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 17:50:29 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Bennettrox for the want!

LE 2008. (only year brewed?)

Pours a very dark brown, black in deeper areas of the glass. Head was a very light brown, less than a finger, and didn't really leave any lace. The aroma is bustling with big chocolate notes, roasted notes, and a very nice subtle, but inviting coffee aroma. Those big chocolate notes follow into the taste, along with, for it's age, a very impressive coffee taste. It's bitter and roasty, with a nice sweetness. Upper medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Sits nice, but a bit thinner than it should be. But overall, this was a great stout. I went in expecting the possibility of little to no coffee due to age, but it was very nice and very enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 02:38:02 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

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
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle poured into a sniffer care of KickBacksSteve, thanks man! Shared with friends on 1/22/11.

This brew appears black with a dark brown head that holds tight around the edges of the glass. A light swirl revives the cap and produces some spotty lacing.

The aroma of this brew is roasty with a hint of licorice and dark fruit. Some fresh grainy character evolves smelling somewhat chocolate-like. As strange is this sounds, there is some weird combination going on in this aroma that reminds of fruity pebbles cereal.

The taste of this brew is bitter and roasty that is a pleasant combination imparted equally from citrus hops and the level of roast to the grain. Just like in the aroma, there is this unique resemblance to fruity pebbles cereal. Why am I referring to this? I don't know, it's been years since I've even seen this cereal let alone tasted/smelled it. This brew lingers with a dark grain character leaving a roasted an somewhat musty taste in the mouth.

It is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Quote drinkable and roasty with a pleasant bitterness I enjoy and look for in stouts. Worth a try but the cereal and fruity indications have me scratching my head in confusion.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 19:13:54 | More by stakem
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark shade of brown, with a short-lived tan head.

S: Plenty of chocolate and caramel malt along with some light coffee. There's also a heavy brown sugar aroma.

T: Flavor is very charred and a little acrid. There's a light syrupy chocolate/toffee, and a little coffee in there among all charred bitterness. I also got a little nuttyness, which is something I rarely notice in a RIS. Finishes with a lingering roastyness.

M: Medium to thick, with full frothy carbonation. Still a little hot in the back despite the age.

I've had some good beers from Highland, but not overly impressed here. Too ashy and hot for my tastes. Also, I wouldn't bet on it getting any better from this point.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 03:56:22 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage. Poured into my town hall snifter:

A - Pours a solid black. Light kahki head develops at first but dies very quickly into nothing but a slight foam ring around the edges. Lacing is almost non existent.

S - Nice chocolate, fudge like flavors, slightly cake like as well. Kind of a candy roast but not really the black mocha smell I was expecting. Coming from a non-coffee drinker I really don't mind this missing flavor. I really do enjoy the smell.

T - A real roast, chalky flavoring. The candy and chocolate fudge I smelled are not in the taste. This is where the mocha and coffee flavoring really show through. The flavor is actually kind of dull; it might be due to the aging or maybe it was already like this but it is OK.

M - The carbonation is on the lesser side. Again, the chalky, drying, bittering feeling is throughout. This is on the lighter side and not so thick, but there is a syrupy aspect to this beer too.

D - Its just an OK beer. The smell is just great, but the rest of the beer is just kind of good at best. I was really excited to try this since it was a 2008 vintage but I'm not getting too much out of this beer. I'd give it a 3.75 but I have to kind of down play this part.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 05:21:28 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of Verecund
Verecund

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout, received as an extra from mikesgroove. Opened on 01.14.2011; 6.6 oz poured into a snifter. The other 16 oz used to make ice cream.

Fittingly black, with a half-finger tan head that recedes to a contact about the glass. The body looks a little thinned out.

Surprisingly rich nose. There's some oxidized-imparted sherry, an earthy roastiness that's faded into the stale coffee grounds aroma. Bittersweet chocolate. I'm quite taken with this nose. It reminds me of a two-year old Expedition Stout: rich, sweet dark maltiness, molasses, some complementing oxidation, a small bit of dark fruit, and a former hop bitterness that transforms into a slightly astringent, herbally/tobacco note.

Taste is nice, but not as rich as the nose. Really old coffee grounds and bittersweet chocolate. Some roast on the front and herbal on the finish. Slightly hallowed out, I think, and past its prime.

Just under medium-bodied (slightly too thin), a nice dryness on the back of the palate.

Much better than I expected and impressive given that no flavoring adjuncts were added here. If you've got it, I'd open it sooner rather than later, but it's drinking nicely.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 03:35:56 | More by Verecund
Photo of MADhombrewer
MADhombrewer

Oregon

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

2008 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance- jet black and pours syrup like. Brown sugar colored head that doesn't stick around for very long.

Aroma- coffee and dark chocolate and vanilla are very prominent. Very little alcohol smell.

Taste- the coffee is not as prominent in the taste as it was in the smell. Dark chocolate and vanilla are there, though. I think something is missing, but I can't pinpoint what it is. Maybe if the alcohol was a little more pronounced it would add that missing element.

Mouthfeel- thick would be the only word I can think of. It coats you whole mouth and sticks around. Yum.

Drinkablity- very easy to drink. This is a smooth operator. Even though it is easy to drink I don't know if I would have another, even if I had one to drink, based on the 9.5 abv.

Great beer. I think that this would be better fresh or with only a year on it. I think something has dropped off while it was going into the 2nd year.
Thanks to cbros for this!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 02:08:48 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of biglite351
biglite351

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - slight strip of red at the edges. Creamy brown head leaving mo lacing.

S - Dark chocolate and roasted malts. Some fruit, raisins, in the after taste.

T - fruity malts with some coffee and dark cocoa. Bitter in the follow through.

M - light coating with a nice tingle on the sides of the tongue.

D - the bitter after taste makes it a one bottle only.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 21:57:28 | More by biglite351
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle, shared by Bobby8405.

A - This pour strikes a sinister pose; black as tar, oily as a gulf seabird, and with an inch of persistent mocha froth. It looks very good.

S - It smells of cinnamon and delicious roastiness, not so much mocha though. Raisin-y maltiness is available too.

T - Initially it is perhaps less dynamic than the nose, but is still very enjoyable. Mellowness is its greatest characteristic, as it is quite a big brew to be so understated. It has a sublime balance between big stout roastiness, a rich EBW maltiness that borders on sherry-like vinousness, and is rounded out by the spiciness one would expect in a Quad or BSDA. And yet it is still an Imperial Stout, through and through. Very subtle, very complex.

M - Big, oily, mouth-coating and softly carbonated. Good stuff.

D - This is a huge surprise, I wasn't expecting to be so enthralled with this dark horse. Damn good.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 14:58:35 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Pete.

Beer is black and appears thick as its poured into the glass. Beer has a thin tiny head of brown bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Beer smells like sweet coffee and chocolate.

Beer is medium bodied and quite sweet as a lead off. Its strong in the chocolate and coffee. Its thick in the midpalate. Beer is kind of like fudge. The coffee and milk sweetness comes later in the palate, quite good overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 18:10:12 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Azurelimits for opening this up at a recent tasting.

Pours a midnight black with a thin mocha head. Nose is dominated by dark chocolate fudge along with a tiny amount of espresso and roasted malt. The taste brings the chocolate forward a bit more. Slightly sweet, but more toward dark. Espresso flavors are present underneath along with a bit of molasses. Feel is nice and heavy with good carbonation levels. Really glad to be able to try this one; I'll have to seek more out from Highland.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 22:07:39 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for this one.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a fairly large off-white head.

S: Plenty of roasted malts and coffee on the nose. Some mild chocolate notes underneath, with a bit of a dark fruit character underneath.

T: A good bitterness is quite noticeable right away, as is the coffee and roast. There's a mild acidity, which I normally don't find appealing in a stout, but it isn't horrible here. Some bittersweet chocolate helps to provide some sort of balance and there is a mild coffee grounds note on the finish.

M: The body is medium with a fairly lively level of carbonation.

D: Another beer that hides the alcohol quite well, probably due to all the different flavors going on. A pretty nice beer, actually.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 15:38:00 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tan head. Smells of sweetened coffee and light somewhat powdery chocolate. The taste is very similar and relatively light, with some bitter chocolate notes and some leather on the end. Smooth and very easy to drink. This is not one of those big, viscous impy stouts, but for what it is it's quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 15:32:38 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of JohnQVegas
JohnQVegas

Tennessee

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2008 vintage marked on bottle, purchased at Bruisin' Ales in early May 2010.

Pours pitch black with a one-finger, fluffy brown head that sticks around for maybe the first couple of sips. Not much in the way of lacing, but seriously, this is a 2 year old Imperial Stout.

Nose is roasty, with a nice espresso note up top, bit of bitterness from that, a bit of dark cocoa underneath, nice acidity, and a spicy, complex alcohol note that brings in a bit of licorice. A bit of a musty, leathery note from the aging that fits in nicely. More than anything, pleased that this certainly reminds me of the regular Black Mocha, and quite true to the name.

Taste follows suit. Crisp black espresso up front, a bit of a snappy bitterness that fits nicely and is in no way out of place, with an underlying unsweetened dark chocolate note wrapped around some burnt sugar. There's a crispness to the bitterness; the spicy alcohol bite works with that, leaving a beer that's complex, well put together, angular, and right in between subtle and bold. I like this one a lot. Finish packs a bit of heat, some light dark fruits to go with the intense roastiness, maybe just a bit of licorice, and the last remnants of the alcohol fading away with one last burst of heat.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, carbonation is full and a bit sharp, maybe just a bit sticky, and with a clean-ness from the roasty bitterness.

Drinkability is good. Maybe just a bit much alcohol left, but still really nice - balanced, big without being hulking. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 01:51:55 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of csmiley. Thanks, dood!

Vintage 2008

Imperial Black Mocha Stout pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. I don't see any light cutting through at all. It's opaque. The head is very modest. It's mocha colored and only rises to about a finger or so. It falls quickly. Lacing was very, very light.

The nose is good. It features an excellent mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The chocolate variety smells mostly bittersweet. Coffee/espresso scents follow, and really complement the malty scents well. There are secondary elements of prune, plum, pepper, and molasses. Alcohol is mixed well and doesn't smell strong at all.

The flavor is rather impressive. Chocolate and roasted malts are the centerpiece and hold things together very well. They have a bittersweet flavor that's a little cocoa-ish. It's not sweet at all. Roasted coffee is strong in the mix. As a coffee fan, that's a-okay by me. Dark fruit flavors add an interesting flavor, but I'm not altogether crazy about it. It is plum and prune. It doesn't add much, but I don't hate it either. Molasses rounds it out. Alcohol is masked well and goes unnoticed. Finishes with a malty, tangy dark fruit flavor.

Imperial Black Mocha Stout has a medium body that's really nice and smooth. With a little warming, it's svelte and creamy. Impressive. Carbonation is light and adds to its plush feel. Drinkability is good. This is good beer that goes down easy. Yes, it is big and nearly 10% abv, but it's deceptive. There's nothing about it that suggests it's that strong.

Highland Brewing did a really nice job with Imperial Black Mocha Stout. This is good stuff that's really satisfying. There's very little here to criticize. Personally, I think the dark fruit flavor is just a tad too strong, but it is interesting and adds some nice depth to the overall flavor. That's the only qualm I have. Impressive stuff. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 04:43:36 | More by prototypic
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Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.