1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Highland Oatmeal Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,079 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,079
Reviews: 524
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 36
Gots: 69 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Highland Oatmeal Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,079 | Reviews: 524 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Durge
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another happy encounter at the Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro, NC, this one has a dark black brown appearance with a decent light tan head and great lacing. The aroma suggests a very mild chocolate yeast. Kind of weak but pleasant for what you can sniff out of it. The flavor offers a slightly sour charcoal malt and yeasty lime. It's medium bodied with very tiny carbonation, somewhat silky with a dry charcoal, sweet licorice finish. I don't get much toward the oatmeal idea, mostly tart, tangy ideas. It's pretty drinkable stuff though, a tad thin, but generally a good porter very much worth a try.

Durge, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S- light roast lots of coffee and dark chocolate. There is a little bit of grassy hops as well. The nose its a touch on the weak side but it doesn't ruin things.

T- much better that I was expecting. This is the best one of the Highland bunch that Ryan have me, thus far.

Bitter cocoa and grassy hops, lots of coffee. To bad the coffee isn't really nice and fresh tasting.

M- Maybe a bit thin and over carbonated but its still pretty enjoyable.

MbpBugeye, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from IDrinkGas in a recent trade. Poured into a goblet. The pour is dark brown with a thin tan head that sits atop with very thin lacing. The head quickly vanishes into nothing. This one smells very sweet. It's not unappealing, but damn! I initially get a big nose of sweet bakers chocolate followed by a faint aroma of oats and grains. I'm really hoping this isn't as sweet as it smells.
It isn't. It's slightly sweet but it's actually quite good! I was getting down for a second. Has a good sweet chocolatey flavor that is rounded out with a bit of a good bold coffee taste and dark roasted malts. I'm actually really into this one. Thanks to the oatmeal, the mouthfeel is very smooth and silky. It's a bit thick and syrupy, but overall, it's really quite nice. Definitely one I'll enjoy drinking and would mind stumbling over a couple more of these.

Bendurgin, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of lespaulrocker
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Blackstone Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Dark, a dark mahogany color, can barely see light through. Almost no head, I think that was due to a bad pour. Left medium amounts of lacing.

S: Sweet. Really sweet. Malty, with a hint of oats and maybe some roasted coffee.

T: Coffee and chocolate, malts, sweet but not too sweet. A little bitter at times. Sweet, chocolatey finish.

M: Creamy. A little bit too much carbonation for me.

D: Fairly drinkable. It took me a little while to get through one pint but it was my first drink in about a week.

Overall, I was a fan of this. Another good offering from Highland Brewing.

lespaulrocker, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of honkey
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Very dark brown. Looks more like a stout to me actually... Very close to black with a thin tan head that doesn't last. Lacing sticks to glass.

Smell- Roasted chocolate

Taste- the taste is very good, but again, this seems like a mild stout. Pleasant roasted flavor dominates.

Mouthfeel- smooth and pleasant. Low end of medium carbonation.

Drinkablity- I could easily drink a few of these without problem. Would not be my choice for a session beer, but definitely a solid brew.

I am not convinced that this is truly a porter and not a stout, but I enjoyed it very much. It seems like it would be tint on the boarder of porter/stout guidelines.

honkey, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Crittervision
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed on 2-24-10

inch-tall light and poofy head with fluff like weihenstephaner hefe. looks like coffee, tan head, body like coca cola, spotty lacing, great retention.

smells lightly of espresso, malty, metallic, hint of chocolatey sweetness, sugary cream, hints of bitter roastiness.

taste is coffee mid-palate, then bitterness, no sweetness, some smoke, dried grains, dry oats, sour smokey that is evident as the carbonation is noticed.

medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, light.

Crittervision, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one on a trip to GA. 12oz bottle...

A: Super dark with slight ruby highlights around the edges when held to the light. Small 1 inch tan head that quickly fades. Good.

S: Mmm, some nice cocao and vanilla mixed upfront with some hints of bitter oatmeal. I also get some subtle hint of port. Has a very good blend of scents bouncing around. Very good.

T: Very watery coffee bean roastiness upfront with some oatmeal hop in the middle and some very subtle chocolate and cocao on the back. Ok.

M: Medium body with a very good carbonation.

D: Goes down easy with the mild blend of flavors. Very good.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Not great, but just ok. There are many better in the style. It's a good solid beer if it distributes to your area and you're looking for an easy drinker. Otherwise, don't bother trading for this brew.

steve8robin, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.
Served in Pint glass.

Another bottle courtesy of JohnQVegas. Thanks Dustin.

Pours a deep dark brown with reddish hints in the legs. Good 2 finger head with 2 finger head, decent retention and some lace left behind. Deep red in color as I look more and more...

Smells of roasted chocolate malts, caramel malts, and black malts. Nothing too mindblowing. No hop presence, but it is a porter!

The finish is kind of dry.

The body is unimpressive. I was hoping the oats would rocket this thing into amazing territory, but no dice. It feels flat and dull. Medium fullness.

I guess I could drink this... but why bother?

AleWatcher, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a dark brown color with a fluffy tan foam. Pretty creamy but fades quick. leaves some nice lacing.

Nose is surprisingly light, with some dark chocolate, creamy oatmeal and cocoa. Takes it easy on the sweetness despite this range of malty scents.

Pretty hoppy for an oatmeal brew, lots of pine-needle bitterness. Roastiness accentuates that and it lacks the creamy smoothness I have experienced in most of the other Highland offerings I have had (Gaelic, Black Mocha and Cold Mountain). I dont get much oatmeal in the mouthfeel or flavor either. Ok beer, but far from HBC's best by a country mile.

twiggamortis420, Sep 25, 2010
Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 1,079 ratings.