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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Highland Oatmeal Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

540 Reviews

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Reviews: 540
Hads: 1,236
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 39
Gots: 153 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-17-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 540 | Hads: 1,236
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark brown in color with a decent khaki colored head retention.

The smell is soft and chocolatey with a great malty sweetness.

Flavor is of roasted sweet malts. Cold pressed coffee. I don't notice chocolate in the flavor like I do in the aroma. Some floral hop bitterness going on as well.

This beer is very flavorful for something only medium bodied. It's really not a heavy beer at all, very easy drinking, but highly flavorful. (451 characters)

Photo of chamberscreek
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An excellent porter. For some reason, seemed lighter bodied than I expected -- might not have IDed it as a porter in a blind test. Nice deep coloring, with an appropriate head on the pour. Dominant coffee/chocolate notes, with the oatmeal and mild bitterness hanging back just so. Maybe the most drinkable porter I've had, with a nice flavor punch. (348 characters)

Photo of tedvr
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a medium caramel head. Smells of caramel and malt. Taste of caramel with a little chocolate in the background. Overall, a very nice smooth porter. (171 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I was pleased to see this Oatmeal Porter by the new (to me) Highland Brewing Company. I tried their Gaelic ale and some other brews, too. This oatmeal porter has 5.8% ABV.

Look-It pours a dark black with a faint reddish tint in the light. The head vanishes and leads to a delicate lacing on the glass.

Smell-It smells of toffee, spices like nutmeg, and also some cocoa beans.

Taste-The taste is like the smell, but with more cocoa and toffee. There is also a hazelnut component that comes through nicely. What’s interesting is I do taste a little bit of hops which I didn’t expect from this beer, but it went nicely with the chocolate and toffee malts.

Mouthfeel-I’d say it is a close medium-bodied feel with a sweet feel. The coating on the tongue is coffee and a mild hop resin.

Overall-This beer is refreshing and bold, but variable and well integrated. It has a mild hop component and the malts and body offer so many flavors to let this beer earn the title of Oatmeal porter. Cheers! (999 characters)

Photo of BeerBrose
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a miniature snifter.

Look: translucent leathery brown, nice tight bubbles with apparent lacing throughout.

Smell: Toffee, Nuts, Sweet malt, leather.

Taste: Coffee like roasted malts, hazelnut, oats in the finish.

Feel: Thick body, heavy on the palate but finishes smooth.

Overall: Very Very drinkable and delicious porter. (356 characters)

Photo of Zach136
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pretty close to pitch black, but some light definitely slips through the edges. Not that I mind. Head is nice beige, good lacing.

Aroma: Notes of roast and earthy (bordering on vegetal) hops. Slight hints of chocolate and dark fruit.

Flavor: Big roast, bordering on burnt. Earthy hops, chocolate and dark fruit in the background as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, burnt linger. (395 characters)

Photo of GrinkoN
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Dark, lots of head that sticks around
S- roast malt, chocolate,
T/F- slight chocolate, oatmeal finishes, roasty bitterness, medium body
O- Was alright, seems like a starter stout and it was. (194 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 12/3/14. Pours dark as a starless night. World Class head volume, lacing and retention.

Nice nose of roast and slight chocolate over a subtle malt sweetness.

Light medium body with a smooth texture that has hints of creaminess. Superb carbonation with a nice prickly effervescence from the middle on.

The flavor profile is intense enough, well balanced and reasonably complex. It begins with a blend of roast and weak chocolate that never really delivers a flavor punch. The middle has a slight bitterness and is where the oatmeal quality can be detected. The finish is a slow fade of light roast bitterness. A good starter for the porter/stout style since it has the classic flavor components but delivers them in a "light" style. (745 characters)

Photo of Bonzo
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint glass. Cola color with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades quick S: Caramel and roasted malts T: Caramel and light chocolate. Bitterness up front but finishes slightly sweet O: Good and smooth but nothing to set it apart from others (244 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, opaque brown color with tan head. Roasted malt, oats not surprisingly, and a hint of cocoa on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes smooth. (164 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, oats. Taste is mild, roasted malts, a bit of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer. (214 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled Jan 6th 2015.

A one finger tan to mocha head forms but dissolves to a thin puck fairly quickly. A good dark walnut brown to mahogany body with some interesting amount of clarity and some good chestnut colored hues on the edges all through the glass.

Fairly solid bouquet. Creamy sense of milk chocolate, mild roast and a very small hint of acridity though. A hint of sweet grape comes out a bit as well but very tiny.

Real interesting palate, but also kind of odd. Very fine and tight carbonation which comes out like mineral water. Mouthfeel cuts like a knife and brings out a mineral blast and hop bitterness that comes out like a metallic wash. There is a bit of creamy texture to this but also some big astringency. Much of the chocolate character is really lost as well. Really nice aftertaste notes of pipe tobacco and roasted grains though, a little bit of vanilla and then some washing milk chocolate after only some time.

The mouthfeel on this is really distracting unfortunately, taking away from some real interesting characters of the beer, but it improves over some time. Drinkable no problem, but comes off as a lost opportunity to make a better beer. (1,235 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A straggler from a summer trip to Tennessee. Highland is not available in my state. I was attracted by the Scottish theme of the brewery name and label art.

a: Clear dark ruby with an inch thick beige head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Chocolate and coffee

t: Cold black coffee and smoke with a moderate hop bite. Smoky and bitter finish which soon mellows out.

m: Medium, fairly smooth, lots of carbonation tingle.

o: A good porter, drinkable and flavorful. Perhaps not quite as silky as some oatmeal porters and stouts, but the flavors make up for it. (596 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown black color with a little vision of bubbles coming up through the glass when held up to the light. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank drank too.

Smell: Bready and sweet oats, roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, ashy smoke, and some caramel.

Taste: Same as above. Some earthy notes and bitterness in there.

Mouthfeel: Some bitterness, smooth, light bodied, low to medium carbonation, and slight chewy notes.

Overall: The oatmeal brings some subtle notes to this beer. It goes in a stout more often, but this one is a keeper even though you don't find it in a porter. (738 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Thanks, Darren.

A: Opaque brown with a tan half-finger head that dissipates fast. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Chocolate malts do a duet with caramel. Nice.

T: Smokey and robust. Dark chocolate, malts and caramel with a pinch of peat on the finish. A bit of hops pop up, too, but not offensively bitter. Sweet. Smooth.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: A very nice surprise. Would drink more of this little beauty. (452 characters)

Photo of pagriley
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

A- lighter color than I expected for a porter. Poured dark amber when held up to light.
S - hints of coffee, toffee and malt. nice
T - A touch sharper than I expected but nice - would be good with food and could put away a few
M- smooth but not too heavy. very drinkable

Overall a nice beer - received in a trade and very glad I got the chance to try (354 characters)

Photo of EHopkinsi
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Pours black, with a three finger foam head. Foam hangs around a looong time. Nice mouthfeel; silky, like it says on the bottle. Nice, but not bold, malty flavor. Nice hoppy finish. Noticeably thinner mouthfeel once it is warmed up, so take time to enjoy it but don't dillydally.

A very good porter. (304 characters)

Photo of Grugalug
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown color and shows some very nice ruby red highlights when brought into the light. Carbonation bubbles are evident in spite of the dark color. It leaves an attractive 1.5-2 finger head that is tan in color. The head doesn't stay around for too long, and as it dissipates it leaves some nice lacing. Looks wonderful. (4)

S- The smell is predominantly roasted malt, and coming out of this is mostly coffee with a subtle bittersweet chocolate character. Perhaps a hint of raisins and the like, and no hop presence that I cant detect. Certainly intense but not terribly complex. (3.5)

T- Very smooth and easy to drink. Malty and slightly sweet, the oats really add to the smooth quality. The beer finishes with a roasted coffee intensity that can catch you by surprise, along with a hint of bittersweet chocolate and raisins or dates. Just enough hops for a nice and balanced bitterness. (3.85)

M- Not as much body as I was expecting to be honest. For me it was a bit too much carbonation that may have contributed to this. It is very silky thanks to the oats no doubt. (3.25)

O- A very nice and interesting take on the American Porter. This is the only Oatmeal Porter that I have ever seen, and I must say I wish that there were more out there! I can't regularly get this beer which is a damn shame. Very tasty, too much carbonation and not as much body as I would personally like is what kept this from being a truly outstanding beer in my opinion. Nonetheless, definitely would buy again if given the opportunity. (3.7) (1,588 characters)

Photo of tlennon0815
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of porters and this brew is no exception. The appearance is dark dark brown...you would think its black until you hold it to light. The head is a off white...almost tan colored. Smell is just what you expect of a porter, kind of a caramel, chocolate, creamy smell with a hint of bitterness. Taste is just as it smells. Up front you get a nice milk like taste with chocolate undertones with a touch of bitterness at the finish. Very good brew indeed! (465 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark brown, almost black, coloring, with chestnut highlights around the edges, and a wispy, thin, clingy, off-white head. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, toffee, and hazelnut, with roasted characteristics to round out the sweet edges. Flavors are chocolate forward, both milk and bittersweet, with a bolt of bitter roasted coffee, crème highlights, and hints of roast throughout. Very balanced on the palate. A dry, light body keeps the drinkability up. The aftertaste is more of the bittersweet chocolate, and the beer has a smooth, dry finish. Solid porter. (617 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Unfortunately, noticed this was bottled in 8/13.

Pours a clear deep brown with ruby highlights and a frothy khaki head that leaves sticky lacing add it dissipates.

Chocolate, toffee, oats, and nutty malt form the initial aroma, with hints of fruity specialty malt character adding contrast. Hops are lightly floral.

Flavor follows suit, with fruity specialty malt notes opening the profile and quickly being dominated by deeply roasted malt. Not overly bitter, and the dark chocolate tones are a nice treat. The balance is roast and chocolatey, but toasted and nutty malt add complexity.

Body is a touch full with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth. There's a touch of astringency art the finish.

Great balance of roast and chocolate, with enough bitterness to not be sweet, but not enough to seem charred or to overwhelm. Love the rich chocolate character. I could do without the fruity notes. (910 characters)

Photo of Amalak
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a lovely, flavorful brew. It has a good chocolate and caramel sweetness. With a coffee flavor, it's more towards a toffee fullness. It's a bit dry. Full-body feel. The aftertaste is a bit metallic and wears off quickly.

Extremely dark brown, almost black. There's a good foamy tan head with a good deal of lacing. It has a bold malty scent, some coffee and caramel hints. (381 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Very dark reddish brown, almost black. Forms a puffy 2" inch head that dissipates slowly leaving significant lacing.

Aroma: roasted and smoked grains, coffee/chocolate, earthy hops

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and creamy. Slightly sticky.

Flavor: complex for a session ale. This porter is robust with flavors of creamy oats, bitterness of chocolate and coffee, and an earthy hop bite, definite smokey flavor.

Overall: A very good porter if you enjoy smoke flavor (not my personal taste) (498 characters)

Photo of Tyler_Sly
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The flavor is about what you'd expect from a porter but the oatmeal is almost absent. The body on the beer is nice; actually a bit heavy for a porter and almost more closely related to a stout. It's really the slightly smokey aftertaste that I'd say qualifies this beer as a porter.
Would I get this beer again? Maybe.
Would I suggest this beer? Eh, it's okay.
Would I change anything about this beer? I'd give it a heavier oatmeal presence but other than that I probably wouldn't do anything. (496 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black-brown with a huge creamy tan head that rockily settles from four fingers to two. Excellent retention; spotty lacing.

Sweet and malty. Molasses, dark fruit, licorice, nuts, vague herbal hops.

Soft and smooth. Very nutty with some strong, quick bitterness on the finish. Nuts, bitter chocolate, Coke, coffee. Simple, but good.

Medium bodied with some carbonation and a velvety feel on the whole. Very drinkable, and smooth (the oatmeal, methinks).

Very nice porter.
The beer pours really nice, with a sturdy head and lots of it. It has a pretty subtle nose, but it does carry pleasant nutty and roasty aromas. The beer tastes really good and is all-in-all a very straightforward, tasty, drinkable beer.
Would have again; worth trying if you are around where it is brewed. (807 characters)

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Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.