Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
10-23-2011 20:50:11 | More by corby112
4.13/5 rDev +2%
Another bottle courtesy of jsanford. Cheers Jacob!
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.
09-09-2011 19:26:01 | More by iadler
4.05/5 rDev 0%
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!
07-31-2011 02:52:06 | More by birchstick
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
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.
07-05-2011 03:06:20 | More by cosmicevan
3.43/5 rDev -15.3%
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.
06-11-2011 17:50:29 | More by twiggamortis420
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
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!
05-30-2011 02:38:02 | More by EgadBananas
4.43/5 rDev +9.4%
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!
02-20-2011 00:16:15 | More by coldmeat23
4/5 rDev -1.2%
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.
02-09-2011 19:13:54 | More by stakem
3.45/5 rDev -14.8%
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.
02-04-2011 03:56:22 | More by GeezLynn
3.73/5 rDev -7.9%
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.
01-16-2011 05:21:28 | More by joshuaseresse
3.73/5 rDev -7.9%
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.
01-15-2011 03:35:56 | More by Verecund
4.05/5 rDev 0%
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!
11-15-2010 02:08:48 | More by MADhombrewer
3.1/5 rDev -23.5%
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.
11-12-2010 21:57:28 | More by biglite351
4.6/5 rDev +13.6%
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.
10-15-2010 14:58:35 | More by ktrillionaire
4.33/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
10-08-2010 18:10:12 | More by drabmuh
4.38/5 rDev +8.1%
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.
10-06-2010 22:07:39 | More by Thorpe429
3.78/5 rDev -6.7%
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.
09-20-2010 15:38:00 | More by womencantsail
4.33/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
08-26-2010 15:32:38 | More by Georgiabeer
4.25/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
08-13-2010 01:51:55 | More by JohnQVegas
4.18/5 rDev +3.2%
Bottle courtesy of csmiley. Thanks, dood!
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.
05-23-2010 04:43:36 | More by prototypic
4.5/5 rDev +11.1%
Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to afausser for this one. 2008 vintage.
3.5 A: Black color. One finger of creamy medium brown head with poor retention and spotty lacing.
4.5 S: Lots of great aromas packed into this one. Sweet chocolate throughout, coffee with lots of cream, bittersweet chocolate after that, and a strong roasted barley base. Touch of alcohol, but only a touch.
4.5 T: Coffee with cream dominates this time. Bittersweet chocolate, plum fruitiness, and blackstrap molasses. Roasty burnt flavor is fairly strong, but it's overly strong.
4.0 M: Lighter heavy body or perhaps heavier medium body. In any case, pretty good. Moderate carbonation, smooth with a slightly burnt aftertaste. Creamy. Could be a little thicker and chewier.
5.0 D: Damn good beer. Very similar in a lot of way to BBVD (my favorite impy). Wish I had some more of these. Might need to put up an ISO.
05-21-2010 01:27:53 | More by DavoleBomb
4.05/5 rDev 0%
Beer: Imperial Black Mocha Stout
Brewery: Highland Brewing
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
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everetends - May 10, 2010 80
Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
3/3 10/12 16/20 3/5 8/10 2010
22 oz bottle I picked up from Hop City in Atlanta quite a while back. This is my second experience with this beer after having it on tap at the Thirsty Monk in Ashville, NC. Figured I would save the review for this bottle so I could take my time with it. Served up in a snifter. 2008 vintage.
A: Pours a dark black body that is nice and glossy. Body is completely opaque, no light getting this sucker. A somewhat vigorous pour yielded a little over a finger of dark mocha colored head. The head is a little bit fluffy and bubbly. It falls somewhat quickly to bubbly top cap. Lace is bubbly, and thin but it does have a little bit of stick to it and is scattered on the glass. Some of it does slip back in due to a sheen that is left on the glass from the liquid.
S: First thing that hits you is a beautiful roasted quality on the grains that translates beautifully as finely roasted coffee beans. Just wonderfully aromatic in this regard. Getting notes of coffee beans, espresso and mocha coming out. There is a little bit of dark and milk chocolate coming out as well. Although this isn't the most complex aroma, it is what it claims to be and the fact that they didn't use coffee or chocolate in the brewing process (so says the bottle), this is fuggin amazing.
T: Pretty much like the aroma but with some pros and cons. The roast really comes across in the flavor. Where it brings out some very clean aromatic notes, in the flavor it comes out a little burnt at times. The mocha and coffee notes are very present, but they just seem to be slightly over roasted and add a sometimes harsh bitterness. The chocolate is nice and comes out as almost like a chocolate milk made with some dark chocolates. There is a little bit of hop presence (citrus?)coming through on the backend that tries to cut a little of this sweetness.
M: This beer is sitting on the full side of medium in body. Has some smoothness and creaminess to it for sure, but it isn't crazy thick by any means. Carbonation is a little high for the style and for my liking, has just a little bit of bite to it. Otherwise this is sweet on the palate with a little bit of roasted bitterness on the palate. Aftertaste is chocolate milk and a mocha with a heavy roast.
D: Once again, if the claims on the bottle are true . . . DAMN! This beer is quite an accomplishment. It is as advertised and that aroma is pretty killer. The flavor does suffer a touch from the heavy handed roasting, but it is still damned tasty. I have to keep myself from drinking this too fast because it is so easy drinking. I enjoyed this on draft and just as much out of this bottle. Will have to see if I can track down a few more bottles of this next time I am at Hop City.
Serving Type: 22oz Bottle Vessel Type: Snifter Price:NA
05-10-2010 05:26:50 | More by everetends
4.45/5 rDev +9.9%
appearance: black beauty. Really a dark brown with a nice surprisingly full head.
smell: coffee, vanilla, chocolate, some hop bitterness. full and complex.
taste: Wow. Malty and coffee like with a hoppy balance and a dry finish.
A little light on the mouthfeel but very smooth and drinkable.
05-01-2010 01:12:45 | More by cindyjeffsmith
4.35/5 rDev +7.4%
Bottle vintage 2008. Pours black with some translucence around the edges of the glass, smallish mocha colored head, but it sticks around in a ring with some nice compact beading. The aroma has generous amounts of chocolate syrup, chocolate malt balls and a touch of a herbal hop balance. Just based on how chocolatey this smells, I give it high marks. Body is a bit thick but could be more robust for the style, luckily the carbonation is mild which lends to savoring this one. The flavor has is vinous with good dark chocolate, the finish brings cocoa powder, cookielike malts, and some floral hops. This is a really nice and surprisingly mellow brew with lots of lovely chocolate. I'd like to drink it again.
04-01-2010 03:19:20 | More by vacax
3.15/5 rDev -22.2%
Received this as an extra in a trade a while back. 22oz-- Bottled in Sept. '08.
A: Jet black pour with 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates to thin ring quickly. Minimal lacing.
S: Malty with lots of soy sauce and molasses. Not getting much coffee or chocolate at all.
T: Pretty similar to the smell. Not much chocolate or coffee to be found. Dark fruit, molasses and lots of soy sauce. There's also a finishing bitterness that doesn't taste like hops. Strange.
M: I'd put this somewhere between thin and medium. Slight carbonation.
D: Not sure what to say here. The taste is off-putting and it's at 9.5 abv. Moderately drinkable, I guess.
I had high hopes for this beer. I've had some nice beers from Highland but this was a big disappointment for me. The thinness, the strong soy aroma and that bitterness (tannins maybe) really killed this beer. Maybe this should have been had when it was fresher.
03-31-2010 02:43:59 | More by Adamdc
Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.