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Highland Oatmeal Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,088 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 36
Gots: 70 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 09-17-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,088 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beldin96
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, almost Black. It has a one finger tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: You get lots of roasted malt, caramel and light coffee on the nose. As well you get a little sweetness.

Taste: Some coffee bite, and dark chocolate flavors. There is a nice creaminess going on, that is similar to espresso. On the back end there are some light hops that help balance out the beer, and cut some of the sweetness.

Feel: Very Smooth over all. There was not much carbonation. It had a medium to heavy body.

Drinkability: The beer was very easy drinking, and would be willing to go back for more.

beldin96, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Macky20
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe. Half finger of toffee colored thin head with very little retention. Aroma is on the light side but consists of milk chocolate, some oatmeal of course and a hint of brown sugar. At first taste my impression is that the beer is too thin, but then I remember to concentrate on the taste. It's much drier than I would have thought. The beer is described to be very malty, but I'm not getting the same impression as it doesn't balance well with the bitterness really. Roasted chocolate on the palate with a touch of bread. Mouthfeel is too thin, but even with the lack of carbonation and balance the beer is one I might pick up once in a while if I'm in the mood for a porter and the choices aren't remarkable.

Macky20, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of rivalrome
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes highly recommended from my friend up in NC. Served in a CCB pint glass at 51ºF.

Pours a rich mahogany color with very little visible light able to make it through. Forms a small, creamy one finger head on the surface. Lacing isn't too prominent.

Smells very earthy and hints of roasted malts and fruits. Nothing special initially jumps out at me whenever I taste the beer; I was expecting it to be a lot more sweet.

Tastes similar to the smell, very earth and has an element of burnt coffee as well. It has a hoppy aftertaste; something that I wasn't expecting. I'm not getting much of an oatmeal flavor as I was hoping for. It feels a bit thin for a porter, and the mouthful tastes bubbly and carbonated with hints of bitterness.

Overall, slightly disappointed by this one given my friends' review. It's very atypical to any porters that I've had with "Oatmeal" attached to it, and it's highly carbonated, yet thin body is unappealing. It's taste isn't the worst; it just doesn't have the loving taste of a microbrew.

rivalrome, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Jadjunk
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#24. My first Highland brew review. I've had this before; it was pretty awesome. Time for a review.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Pours a 2 finger depth thick foamy head that retains decently. the surface remains shrouded for the most part with foam after the surface clears, leaving some modest-sized bubbles and a caking of thick tan-white foam. Lacing is light. Beer is very dark, halfway between dark brown and black. Only some red tones shine through this beer. Carbonation is light, but easily visible on the sides of the glass. Aside from head retention, this beer is an eye toy. 4

(Smell) Quite earthy and bold, I get some smells of malty chocolate and toffee flavors. Bold malts remain easily detectable and give this beer a slightly sweet scent. Oatmeal is faint. The scents mesh favorably. Couldn't alienate drinkers for the smell to be more intense, but it's far better smelling good, yet light rather than bad plus pungent. 3.5

(Taste) Well rounded flavors are easy to pull out here. I get mild coffee tones, chocolate and oats, none of them overpowering the other. Begins with a touch of smoky malty sweetness with a curveball of slight bitterness at the finish, probably from some faint hops that do a good job at rounding out the flavor. It's very good. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy and smooth. Carbonation plays a minor role here in simply keeping the beer from going flat. For a medium-bodied dark beer, there are few negative attributes for this beer. It is nice and full with flavor. I don't get any watery product or iffy and unfavorable aftertastes. It finishes a touch on the dry side, but overall it's a pleasant drinking experience. 4.5

(Drinkability) I could have and wish I did have plenty more of these ready to go. Medium body keeps this beer from being a taste-bud powerhouse but it remains interesting and flavorful enough to create a great drinking experience. ABV is kind and no flavors here will overwhelm the drinker's palate. I feel inclined to suggest this as a beer drinker's regular. 4

Verdict: This is a great beer for nearly all beer drinkers. Those who fear venturing into porter territory will be pleased to note this beer's subtle qualities and flavor provide a well balanced taste and little mouth pain in the finish with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Therefore, this could be a star candidate for light beer drinkers but lacking to one or two who prefer bolder flavor. Being a porter fan myself, I'd say that this is certainly an excellent candidate regardless should it be available in your supermarket to try. You've got nothing to lose. A- (4.15)

Jadjunk, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of KidsDoc
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A: nothing special; nearly black, opaque, almost no head. Thin, tan head, fine bubbles

S: darks malts, chocolate, subtle nose that blossomed as the beer warmed, faint floral hops picked up late

T: initially a little off with almost a hint of vinegar; as it warmed it had a nice roasted taste with smooth malt, roasted grain. long, dry finish

M: quite full bodied but a bit excessive carbonation. still was very smooth

D: a smooth drinking, filling porter. A little too filling and the carbonation made for some excess belching

KidsDoc, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and poured with a finger high creamy light beige head that died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose, which also has some hints of chocolate and coffee.
T: Flavors of oatmeal and slightly more prominent in the taste, which also has flavors of chocolate and a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels quite dry and has a medium body along with a moderate amount of carbonation. The dryness is especially prominent in the finish, which is also a bit creamy.
D: The beer is quite drinkable because it isn't that filling and doesn't have a high amount of alcohol content. Drinking more than one of these at a time wouldn't be that difficult.

metter98, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of garbercury
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Generous extra from BeerLovinGrl...Poured into snifter.

A--Deep red tint to the otherwise dark, opaque brew. Minimal lacing.

S--Minimal smell to this one. Kinda faint notes of malt.

T--Malt, Oatmeal is definitely there, nothing noteworthy.

M--Decent mouthfeel, not too carbonated, smooth.

D--Very solid for its style. What can I say, I have been spoiled by big beers, but certainly very decent beer...

garbercury, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-Poured an amber color into my ovsized snifter, but settled as a deeper brown with a white frothy head. was expecting something darker...

s-Malty, milky, watery, with a touch of roasted.

t-Follows the nose, but sweeter. There is a bit of spicing which rounds the beer out nicely. quite tasty, a good beer, not an amazing beer. one that I would eagerly look for on tap.

m/d-overall, a bit thin and watery, but not over the top. easy drinker, but leaves a bit to be desired. not the thickness that I'd expect from a beer with the word oatmeal on it.

cosmicevan, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of jpro
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Having had this on a few occasions, I finally decided to give it a review (from notes)...

A: Pours near black into a pint glass with a light tan, creamy head that manages some very slight retention and doesn't leave much lace.

S: Roasted malts and maybe some earthiness. Nothing too bold, for sure.

T: Well, roasted malts - perhaps even charred malts; a touch bitter on the finish, but kind of in an acrid way.

M: This is where this beer really falls short for me... the mouthfeel is thin and borderline fizzy... not what I'd expect from a beer utilizing oatmeal as a key ingredient.

D: An average porter... despite the acridity, it does manage some level of smoothness, but overall not something I'll be picking up again anytime soon.

jpro, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of GallowsThief
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A - Deep, dark caramel brown look. Moderate creamy brown head. Just a little bit of lacing but it sticks.

S - Has a great malty smell bit it is very light. Nice and roasty as well.

T - Nice forward malt taste as well. Just a small hint of chocolate. Nice sweetness when it finishes.

M - Very light carbonation. Thinner then expected but does coat the mouth nicely. Light to medium bodied. Leaves a sweet creamy taste.

D - This is a nice porter. Drinkable for sure. Get some drink some!

GallowsThief, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this as an extra from Tilley4 -- thanks, bro! Review is from notes taken on 12/15/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark chestnut brown and shows some lighter chestnut/ruby highlights when held up to the light; starts with a one finger, loose and creamy tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a thin and shattered wisp with an uneven, frothy ring around the center; body is dark and nearly opaque, but not murky; a few spots and strands of lacing are left behind.

Smell: The scent is earthy, roasty and nutty maltiness, but not very robust or anything -- certainly solid though; some slightly hints of bittersweet cocoa powder creep out as it warms.

Taste: Much like the smell, the taste is very earthy and nutty and has a bit of a slightly burnt coffee roast to it that adds just a touch of bitterness; I really like the nutty aspect to this beer, and while it's not overly complex, it is very tasty and solid.

Mouthfeel: The body is near medium in weight, and the carbonation is there, but it's fairly soft and smooth -- my understanding is that brewing with oatmeal helps keep the body smooth; a thin, dry sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: This beer is super solid -- the weight isn't very heavy and the ABV is quite moderate at under 6%, nothing wrong with making this one a session beer; the slight sweetness balanced with the nutty and roasty flavors would also make this a great after-dinner beer; hats off to Highland, this is a great offering.

bamadog, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of CheckmateBrew
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a nice Oatmeal Porter with lunch....

A - nice dark and black, but I am taking off for a a small head...

S - Malts, coffee, but I was expecting a little more hops

T - A very nice and smooth beer. Lots of malts, that goes down very smooth.

M - Very smooth, just the right amount of carbonation and texture. Not too thick, not too thin, just right

D - I wish that I was not tasting at lunch....I would have ordered another one or two. A very good and drinkable beer

CheckmateBrew, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of thedoubler55
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black very dark, almost no head at all, and very slight lacing around the glass

S - Very malty, lots coffee and some hint of oatmeal

T - Similiar to a very dark espresso, really not much taste of oatmeal at all, some slight hops at the tail end as well.

M - Medium-bodied, very odd for a porter.

D - Light for a porter, I would say drinkable because of its medium body, easy to go down, one of the better Highland Beers

thedoubler55, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Radome
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from 12 oz bottle to snifter.

A - The color is pitch black with some red highlights when held up to light. The head is tan and thick, creamy and long lasting. Very attractive.

S - The aroma is malty with a bit of roastiness. There is also a sweet chocolate milk aroma. I don't get any hops in the aroma, but maybe a hint of alcohol.

T - There is a moderate hop bitterness up front that blends into a burnt, smoky taste. There is no malt in the middle to round things out. The aftertaste is like cigar smoke. This is more acrid and burnt than I expect in a porter--more characteristic of a stout.

M - The body is moderate with fizzy carbonation. No apparent creaminess or oiliness from the oatmeal.

D - This is a fairly acrid porter, verging on a stout. I don't detect the positive characteristics usually given by oatmeal. Not a bad beer, but not a great example.

Radome, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Chaney
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first of the three beers I had on Thanksgiving.

A: Poured a pitch noir, with about a finger and a half beige head, with great retention throughout the session.

S: Faint, yet distincive scent of oat (and rye?), with a bit of fruity and/or hoppy notes buried inside the black sludge as well.

T: Not coffee-like at all, but that was a good thing in this case. Medium-bodied, but extremely bitter on the finish ...perhaps a bit too for my liking. However, it had a nice roasty or BBQ quality that was cleverly executed.

M: It's not too thick, but I don't think that was what Highland was going for here. The carbonation was pleasant enough for the style, and this reminded me a lot of some of the rye beers I've tasted as apposed to the porters. The lacing was minimal.

D: On vacation last year to the Smokies, my wife and I drank tons of Highland stuff, and for that, the brewery will forever be nostalgic to me. In the two 12-packs that we siphoned down over the span of our awesome vacation, the Oatmeal Porter was one of our favorites (along with the Black Mocha Stout). I will definitely revisit this brew again from time to time.

Chaney, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 23 November 2010. Huge thanks to 'cwguy5' for this extra in our ORF/BA Blackout trade!!

Poured into a standard nonic, color is black, poured aggressively for a 2-finger head that reduces to a pretty 1-finger head, and then to a nice foam layer. Lacing is semi-sticky, resembling spider-webs while drinking. If the lacing were stickier, I'd give it a perfect score for appearance....4.5 ain't too shabby.

Aroma. The perfect balance of roasty roasty malts...love it. Notes of some semi-sweet chocolate, oats and rye. As the glass gets lower, it appears to be a deep deep brown color with a streak of burgundy. Taste consists of sweet roasted malt (maybe some lactose?), brewing licorice, and a semi-bitter aftertaste. Light to medium bodied beer. Okay. Very impressive porter. I would consider this a session beer. And would love some more of this. Thanks again to 'cwguy5' for this extra!

ToAzwethinkweizm, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of legatovibrato24
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black, ruby when held to the light. Small head with good lacing on the sides of the glass. The smell is dominated by roasted malts.

The taste is great, roasted malt and chocolate notes without seeming overly heavy. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I would have expected, with solid carbonation. Great character in this porter, more so than a Yuengling Porter which can at times seem thin and watery.

Very drinkable porter, I could see this one getting me into trouble. A great choice if you're in the mood for a dark beer, but don't want to go all the way with a stout.

legatovibrato24, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on a chilly fall day on the back deck. The Highland Oatmeal Porter was accompanied by a Nicaraguan full bodied cigar, some sharp NY white cheddar cheese and crackers. I was intrigued by the idea of an oatmeal porter being a fan of porters and oatmeal stouts.

Reddish/black in color with a small creamy head even with an aggressive pour. The thin head stayed put throughout the pint and left some lacing. Not a bad looking beer at all, but not its best quality. As the ale warmed, a really creamy head would form after a gulp that was lovely, but faded quickly.

A wonderful smell/taste of roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate and a hoppy character that unexpectedly jumped out and caught my attention. I drank porters for years before I began my interest in craft beers, but I don't remember this much hop presence. Perhaps my palate is developing. It balances the sweetness really well. Absolutely delicious!

Low to medium carbonation and a warming sensation make this a highly drinkable beer. I feel like I made the perfect choice given my mood and circumstances. Not too full, but never watery, something I dislike in a porter. While probably not the best choice for a sessionable beer, I will drink another right away.

Edit: I find myself coming back to this porter all the time. It is fast becoming my favorite American porter.

airheadmtrcycle, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of StoneTSR
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: 12oz. Bottle poured solid black into a pint glass with a very odd head. It was partially creamy, almost Guinness-like, but it was partially bubbly as well.

SMELL: Only a faint hint of a nose. What is there is a smoky invocation of roasted malt.

TASTE: Starts off smoky and nutty, but still sweet. A bit of an oak flavor which gives way to the roasted malt of the nose. It finishes with a strong chocolate close.

MOUTHFEEL: Not as oily as some other porters. The Oatmeal Porter is fairly well carbonated yet still goes down smooth.

OVERALL: Smooth and easy to drink for a Porter. Not being as oily and creamy was a plus in my book. For someone who prefers the hops and bubbles of an IPA this one is outside my comfort zone, but was still a very good beer. A challenge every once in a while is a good thing.

StoneTSR, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at Dave's Downtown Taverna in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark black color with one finger of tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, oats, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, bitter coffee, oats, and hops.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A very easy drinking porter that focuses a lot on its roasted malts. Very solid, would definitely drink again.

mdfb79, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of DanThomas
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Straightforward dark black with a few red tints. No head.

S- Not much on the nose, maybe because it's still pretty cold. I can get some dark roasted malt, hints of roasted coffee.

T- Pretty solid all around. Not overly complex, but it's got a nice, dark roasted profile, excellent balance, and a long smooth finish offset by some hops.

M- Top notch. Very smooth, robust, and thick. This really makes the beer for me.

D- Could drink this all night. It's an ideal session porter. Very enjoyable!

DanThomas, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a near-black shade of brown, with a thin beige head that disappears a little too quickly.
S- Aromas of roasted malt, some oat presence and dark chocolate.
T- Same as in smell. No coffee flavor, which is just fine. The roasted malt isn't at all bitter either. Slight hop presence Simple, yet good flavor.
M- Smooth, yet not creamy.
D- This is a good but not great one for me. I enjoyed it, but it just lacked a certain punch.

jsprain1, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of ZX6Chris
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A-Blackish brown. Not alot of head on the pour but a swirl of the glass unleashes a good amount of tight white bubbles.

S-Milk chocolate, that metallic atom that I'm finding alot of beers having. Not alot going on but it's pretty nice.

T-a little milk chocolate and a mild amount of roast and bitterness on the finish. Maybe that burnt coffee flavor?

M-Feels medium bodied but watery at the same time. Seems flat.

D-Ok. Easy drinking mild beer.

ZX6Chris, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of esv
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Dark Black. 1/4" head. Light Lacing.

S) Very light roastiness. The smell of chocolate malt. Nice grain.

T) Mildly sweet, hint of bitter. Very balanced. Light roasted flavor. Mild coffee.

M) Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

D) Good drinkability. Good example of a easy-going porter.

esv, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with a russet head and good lacing.
Smells of roasted oats, roasted malts, chocolate malts, and some mild hop aroma.
Tastes of strong roasted oatmeal, roasted malts, brown sugar, chocolate, and some toffee. Great complexity of flavor.
Mouthfeel is very thick and nice.
Very drinkable. A very nice brew.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 10, 2010
Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.