Highland Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

430 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 430
Hads: 977
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 16.45%
Wants: 44
Gots: 125 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 12-09-2002

Highland’s most robust beer, having a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor, all achieved solely through the use of special roasted barley grains. It is black in color with a very clean finish and moderate hop flavor.

While the porter style was developing, some brewers produced a stout porter and over time generated a new style known simply as stout. These beers traditionally contain a distinct roasted malt flavor and can run the gamut from a dry stout, such as Guinness to a sweet stout such as Watney’s Cream Stout. Our Black Mocha falls in the sweet stout range and derives its chocolate and coffee tones from the use of appropriate roasted malt grains and is very often used as an after dinner libation or an accompaniment to dessert.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 430 | Hads: 977
Photo of pauldave1976
1.7/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Not good. Lower than average. Will not waste my money again. I would expect a lot more out of a brew from Asheville, North Carolina. Seemed really plain and pretty sad for a "craft" beer.I guess it s par for the course, as I feel the exact same way about the rest of their beers. I would like to try some of their one shots to hopefully redeem them in my mind.

 360 characters

Photo of maybrick
2.16/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Broguht in for review in our Monday evening group on 3/18/2007. I'm eager to have more southern breweries joining the ranks of the industry. I was very disappointed in this one however. It was so thin in the taste, mouthfeel, and I don't know if this was just a not so great batch or a real representation. Mocha stouts at least to me should be thick, lusirous, and have strong notes of the coffee. This just didn't.

I certainly will try it again when once I again encountered and will happily update this review with those results.

 535 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
2.25/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

tis dark brown with amber highlights and loud bubbles, quickly fizzing away and leaving few little bubbles tracing the glass. not very impressive, and from the look of the head, I'm wondering if it isn't a tad infected. the aromas are faint: coffee and bitter chocolate, not much else.
tastes of disappointment: there is definitely bitter chocolate and a bit of coffee, a slight metallic taste, and water. f'in water. very thin-bodied, the chocolate is really the only redeeming quality here. the coffee is faded, not doing too much. slight bit of roast.
very disappointed in this one. fortunately, another bottle just arrived today, so I'll have one more shot at this. See you on Thanksgiving.

Tried the other bottle I had, and while it wasn't as bad as my first experience, it wasn't remarkable enough for me to change my review from my initial impression. I'd probably give my second chance at it a C or C-..

 912 characters

Photo of nc41
2.65/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Looks nice smells nice. But ..:. I agree with the last review I read, tastes like a peppermint patty, it burns like hot pepper on the throat. I don't like that profile much to add to the burning it's over carbonated for the style. My throats hot, if I was just going off the heat this is generating I'm guessing 2x Mexican Cake. One will give heartburn , two might make you sick.

 379 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
2.72/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a bottle of Highland's Black Mocha Stout that my brother brought back from his trip down south. It got a little cold tonight so I thought a Stout would hit the spot, I am a big fan of Coffee Stouts so I am interested to see how this beer stacks up, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty plain and looks just like their other labels. It poured a nice flat black color that barely took a slight ruby highlight when held to the light. It had two fingers worth of fluffy medium tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of lacing. This is a good looking American Stout, I just wish it had a little more lacing..

S- The aroma starts off with some dark roasted malts with a lower amount of medium sweetness that impart some nice roasty and milk chocolate aromas. After that comes the coffee which is the star of the show and when mixed with the rich chocolate aromas it really does take on an aroma that is very similar to a Mocha Latte. The aroma is pretty straightforward and nice, very mocha like just as advertised.

T- The taste doesn't seem to live up to the aroma. It starts off with a large amount of dark roasted malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart some roasted and milk chocolate flavors with a good amount of black coffee that seems to stick out the most. After that I get a charred taste with an astringent finish and a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a charred and slight black coffee like after taste. After the nice aroma I was expecting and nice Mocha Latte like flavor but instead I got a beer that tasted more like a cup of bitter black coffee, I am disappointed.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a higher amount of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel needs work, it needs to be thicker and not so carbonated.

Overall I wasn't too impressed with this beer and I thought it was a slightly bellow average American Stout that claims to be heavy on the mocha, but instead of mocha all I got was flat bitter and over roasted black coffee. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, the bitter astringent finish and the lack of the flavor living up it's name would prevent me from wanting more then one, and it's a little tough to finish this glass. What I liked most about this beer was it's aroma, it was pretty nice and had some nice mocha like aroma to it. What I liked least about this beer was the taste and mouthfeel, they were both off for the style and didn't work well with this beer. I wouldn't buy this beer again, and I don't think I would recommend it to anyone, there are lots of better Coffee Stouts around. I was pretty let down with this beer and so far I have yet to be wowed by any beer from this brewery, but I am still willing to give them another chance, better luck next time guys, this one needs a lot of work to compete with the better Coffee Stouts, but if it tasted as good as it smelled it might have had a chance, but that just wasn't the case with this beer.

 3,127 characters

Photo of Vierenner
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt malt in smell and taste ... they should have stopped the roast before the burn and smoke. It dominates the flavor and hides whatever else might be hiding underneath. I don't even taste the mocha (or coffee or chocolate). I feel like I was tricked into purchasing.

 269 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.81/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Another from ryan as part of a nice gift from his trip to brewgrass.

A- semi light looking. A redness shows through. Small head but nice lacing regardless.

S- Lots of roast akin to roasted peanuts.Some cocoa and a good deal of coffee.

T- more nutty roastiness. Its nothing special. quite bitter from both hops and roast.

M- Way, way too carbonated. it makes the thinner body feel worse

 390 characters

Photo of n2185
2.92/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark brown with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts with some creamy chocolate aromas. Slightly smokey towards the end.

T: Lots of roasted malts flavors with some semi-sweet chocolate. There are smokey flavors as well as a touch of char in there.

M: Medium body with fairly low carbonation, this beer is a bit watery feeling.

O: The words "black mocha" in the name imply a stout full of robust coffee and chocolate flavors. The actual beer doesn't taste anything like mocha. If you put this next to a regular American stout and asked me to pick which one advertised itself as a mocha stout, I wouldn't be able to tell you. It's not a bad beer, but it's very average.

 736 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
2.94/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, thanks to my most recent bif.

black. impenetrable. lead to an x-ray machine. creamy 1-finger khaki head with strong bubbles but otherwise a characteristically rigid creamy topper. sticky and consistent foamy walls of lace cascade down and.. freeze! looks like a solid stout and looking at it makes me happy.

aroma: rich african roasted coffee beans in a sea of heavy cream. java presence is key and in the forefront of the nose. as advertised, no less. slight raw grassy scent, venturing into boiled carrot territory as warmth comes. not the best and starting to worry me.

flavor passes the ball back to coffee, which imparts a shockingly metallic bitterness with roasty peanut-skin furthering the abrasive off flavors. warmth again brings problems, in the flavor it's a sour yeasty weirdness. possesses some of the fresh coffee berry-like flavors but fails to balance them with any consistent richness that one would expect from such a brew.

drinkability is fair and its a little thin for the self-proclaimed 'most robust' beer in the highland lineup. ok coffee beer. just ok. not really recommended, but i might have had a bad bottle with all the sourness i experienced.

 1,197 characters

Photo of kbuzz
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my trusty snifter. No date to be found.

A: Fairly dark, not completely opaque, but only some light brown around the edges. Half finger khaki/tan head faded to a thin ring around the glass. Quite a few bubbles bubbling. Pretty average appearance, but not bad.

S: Nice dry Irish Stout aromas. Nothing overpowering, but very pleasant on the nostrils. Roasted malts dominate along with some slight bittersweet chocolate. Just a touch of coffee, but I really had to search for it. Also a mild spicy/earthy hop presence.

T: Hmmm. Kind of an ashy, burnt tobacco taste up front. A little odd. And definitely a hop presence to note here. Mid palate, you get the typical roasted, chocolate malt characteristics along with like a leather and tobacco quality...but then it ends again with that straight ashy, burnt log taste.

M: Nice for the ABV...maybe a medium thin beer, but it's carbonated well. Leaves a nice film on the mouth.

O: It's definitely a little different than other lower ABV stouts I've had. They go really far with that roasty/char/ash characteristic. As I warmed up to it, it wasn't so bad, but it certainly wasn't desirable. I actually think a bit more sweetness could have balanced this out better. This is all bitter and roast...with barely a touch of chocolate. An average beer.

 1,320 characters

Photo of mentor
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a half finger of tan head over a dark liquid. Smells potent dry roast, mild baker's chocolate, some Fuggle-type hop, and earthy.

Tastes dry roast, almost acrid. Little sweet tries to fight it off, but the little that's there is countered by a md-strong carbonation (too much for my preference). Has an emptiness I'm not fond of. Like a small beer or a beer made from over-washed grains. Acrid and ashy. Light body and meh drinkability.

 442 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnQVegas for a couple of these. Dustin warned me that they might not be super fresh... So I will be willing to edit my review when I come across bottles I know to be fresh. (note- nothing about his beer lead me to believe that it was "passed its prime," or that I was drinking a "bad bottle.")

Reviewed from dictated notes during my "Clean out my cellar weekend."

This pours a lot like a cola. Deep brown color. It is translucent, but not transparent. Beige colored small head and spotty lacing. Doesn't look bad, but doesn't wow me.

Nose is real weak. Very faint. Some roasty malts and chocolate notes. That's about it. Not the nose I'd expect from a beer with Mocha in the name. There is no category for "chocolate stouts," so this reviewed compared to other American stouts-- if there were a category for chocolate, this would score very low on the nose...

Taste is very sweet up front. Slight dryness on the finish. Not offensive, but nothing really flavorful. A slight coffee-esque bitterness mingles with the dryness on the finish.

Kind of watery but with decent carbonation. Not how I like my stouts.
As for drinkability--- this been is so inoffensive and middle of the road, that if I were somewhere where it was my only option, I could easily drink several of them.

Overall-- a very run-of-the-mill beer with nothing to seperate it from the pack. Not worth seeking out, but not so bad that you should refuse one if offered.

 1,453 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black glass shows some ruby edge when back lit. Dirty tan head drops to a thin cover and collar which laces well.

Smell: Dusty, earthy hop with a malt extract base. Mild coffee note.

Taste: Bit of brown paper bag oxidation; no date on the bottle so the brewer takes the hit. I don't make the rules, no, wait, I do make the rules.
Under that there is a fair amount of dark roasted barley with a very mild cocoa note. Some earthy hops that I want to say are Fuggles (nope, website says Chinook & Mount Hood).

Mouthfeel: Light body, pretty thin actually, light to moderate carbonation, very dry finish.

Overall: Just didn't do it for me. More Porter in taste than Stout, didn't really get much "mocha", just a very bitter cold coffee note.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

 790 characters

Photo of sonicdescent
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one was an extra for a trade that I unfortunately didn't keep good enough track of. I know I've been sitting on it for a while, not sure why that is as this is a favorite style of mine, but here we go.

Pour is a near opaque black with hints of brown when held up to light. Head starts off well enough but quickly dies down. The upside there is some good lacing on the glass that brings this one above average.

The smell worries me quite a bit. I get a lot of coffee but it brings to mind some of my lesser favorite in the style such as Atwater Block's Vanilla Java porter. The coffee smell is overpowering and doesn't have that nice coffee bean smell I like (likely attributed to roasted malt) but straight, strong coffee. It overpowers everything. I can't punish for lack of character, but it is a bit one dimensional, and not entirely one that has me dying to taste it.

Unfortunately, taste follows suit as this one is a bit one dimensional on the coffee side. It is so overpowering that I can't discern much else in the way of character.

Mouth is good, no real complaint here. I prefer my stouts to be thick and near flat, this is a bit more toward the middle of the thickness scale and rather bubbly, but due to the overpowering nature of the coffee, this actually makes it more drinkable.

Overall an average brew that I won't likely revisit.

 1,357 characters

Photo of uvachief
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nitro turbo draft. The stuff pours nice with nice head. Smells like peppermint which is nearly repulsive to me. Ru oh..tastes like peppermint. One taste was all I needed. Not my cup of tea. Thin, watery stout that tastes like peppermint. Groan.

 251 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, courtesy of lunch on BA. Pours a dark brown color with a 1 finger tan head of tiny bubbles. Some lace left as it settles. Dark roast notes in the nose along with leather and some dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and a little lighter than I thought it would be. Dark roast flavors dominate the flavor but not overly so. For the roasty taste I am a little surprised there isn't a more bitter end to this but rather only very slight and end a little dry. Overall, it a decent beer but not really a huge stand out by any means. At only 5.6% though, its pretty robust without being to boozy.

 594 characters

Photo of fsunole
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a very good appearance, a nice head and aroma. However, it was rather strong on the taste side of things which I guess should be expected from a mocha stout. It is just not as smooth as some famous irish stouts such as guiness and murphy's.

 254 characters

Photo of waltonc
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with tan head. Smell is an unassuming blend of dark roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Flavor too. Fairly dry and slightly bitter. For the low ABV, this is pretty tasty. Body is medium with medium carbonation. Overall, a decent stout, but not something I'd rush to get again. Not sure why this is in a bomber instead of a 12 ounce bottle.

 352 characters

Photo of nick76
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma is sweet and heavily toasted with chocolate, coffee, molasses, and hops. The alcohol is very much present and more than I was expecting for a beer with only 5.3. The appearance is black with a tan head that develops quite nicely. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is average for the style. Overall a nice stout but not a great stout, I don't like the bitter, acidic finish.

 390 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thin black pour with dark tan head;fruit and chocolate whispers; thin mouthfeel/lite tongue coating;coffee bean and thin malt start; light and easy to drink; I like how the coffee flavor is just barely there; chocolate malt and a little hop bitterness round out the finish; a very drinkable lite stout.

 302 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a sizable tan colored head.

S: Plenty of coffee on the nose with some good roasted notes as well. Light bittersweet chocolate, too.

T: Again, lots of roast and coffee come through. The chocolate quality is not really there, but there is a strange presence of smoke to this beer.

M: The body is a bit on the thing side, perhaps, with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I don't really know about this beer. I enjoyed the aromas, but the weird smoke/peat character on the palate and the lackluster body were a bit off-putting.

 567 characters

Photo of LittleDon
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pint at Spirits in Cary, NC on 6/29/11.

Black, with a short lived head and no lace. Faint coffee aroma. Thin body and medium high amount of carbonation. Mild coffee flavor in front that improves on warming. Slight burnt sugar finish with some acidity. Borderline 3/3.5 beer. Flavor is enough to push it over the edge.

 320 characters

Photo of JamisonM
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: small head, black body with brown highlights. dark tan head.

S: sweet chocolate roasted notes

T: roasted malts with sweet chocolate

M: light mouth watery finish med to low carbonation

D: fairly drinkable but less so as it warms

Overall: not very impressive and not very memorable

 288 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rhode17 for sending this one my way.

A: pours dark brown, some brown around the edges, not opaque, minimal brown head

S: medium roast coffee comes through big time on the nose, paired nicely with notes of cocoa, not picking up much malt character in the background

T: coffee is present and bitter, somewhat thin in flavor, no depth...very one note. The nose suggests much more significant flavor.

MF: thin body, high carbonation

O: Well the aroma leads on to a delicious beer, the taste however is a tad lackluster. This beer lacks a backbone.

 559 characters

Photo of JDV
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours basically black with slight ruby edges and a big tan head. Smell is rich, creamy roasted coffee beans and very fresh and balanced. Taste is a touch metallic at 1st and noticeably thin bodied. Roasted malt and a medium to strong coffee flavor, but the flavor and body are just too thin, and kill this otherwise nice beer. Smells good, but the rest is average at best.

 372 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.