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

Not Rated.
Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

430 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 430
Hads: 970
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 44
Gots: 119 | 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
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Reviews: 430 | Hads: 970
Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Appearance: This one's mostly dark brown in color. There's a little light getting through giving it some ruby highlights. The head is a light mocha color and stands about two fingers tall. It disappeared pretty quickly and left a spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: The nose is a tad light in terms of strength, but still does a pretty nice job. Roasted malts come through strongest, but chocolate malts aren't far behind. It smells a little sweet. A bit milk chocolaty, if you will. Coffee is very, very light here. I'm hoping it's a little stronger in taste. Smells a little grainy. Alcohol isn't noticeable in the least.

Taste: Will wonders never cease? This is much better than I was expecting. Roasted and chocolate malts provide a nice combo to kick it off. They're an interesting tandem here. It starts off with a nice roasty flavor, but quickly switches gears to a sweet, milk chocolate delight. There is a stronger roasted coffee flavor here, but it is more complementary in nature. It's nowhere near as strong as it is in some coffee stouts. It works well here. Very well. Tastes like there's some light hopping as a slight bitter surge emerges. Finishes sweet and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium in body. Nice and smooth. It'd be a little smoother if it were thicker, but it's good as it stands. Drinkability is very high. It's got a really nice flavor and abv is pretty modest. It goes down really, really easy.

Black Mocha Stout has surprised me. I really wasn't expecting it to be anywhere near this good. Yeah, a little more strength (and coffee) would go a long way in the nose. A thicker body might improve it a little, as well. But, those are very minor complaints. This is excellent beer. Definitely pick one up if you run across it. Thanks, Chris. (1,827 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown/almost black with some garnet tinges around the bottom and a finger of poofy tan head that retained very nicely and left some good lacing. The aroma is pretty straightforward with roasted malt, chocolate, a twinge of coffee, and some light floral hoppiness in the backend.

The taste packed with everything that makes a roasty Stout great. Roasted gains, chocolate sweetness, some burnt coffee bitterness, and just a tingle of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is full and creamy with a nice carbonation.

Wow, this guy packs exactly what I like in my American Stouts. Fantastic full flavors and a low ABV that make this one easy drinking flavorful beer. I'll definitely be seeking out more of this in the future. (777 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nicely executed American Stout with distinctive, but not overwhelming coffee notes. Poured jet black with a thin mocha head. Up front just a touch of sour before the malt and coffee kick in. Well balanced hops stand slightly off stage and the roasted malt takes center. (271 characters)

Photo of Enola
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark but not the darkest I've had. It is mostly black with a faint hint of burgundy. It has a slight smell of coffee. It has a taste that is similar to a chocolate beer. A fairly bitter beer. Little head. I could drink these a lot. According to Highlands website, this beer will now be offered in 12 oz. bottles. Highland is a good brewery. I intend to sample each of their beers. I would try this one again. (421 characters)

Photo of battlekow
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's right out of the fridge, and this thing already tastes good. Huge roasted malt/coffee flavor with hints of chocolate. The smell is initially a little gross, kind of iron-y and bloodlike, but even after just a couple minutes of warming it improves greatly. The nose stabilizes at something reminiscent of sweet iced coffee with hints of caramel. Nice full body and creamy mouthfeel. I'll echo the sentiment of slight hoppiness on the finish, but it could be burnt malt I'm tasting.

I'm very thankful to NClifestyle exposing me to some of the great beers coming out of North Carolina these days, with Black Mocha Stout certainly among them. (646 characters)

Photo of drperm
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kicking off my 2008 spring vacation with this one.
12 oz Bottle.

Appearance: Black like good coffee. No light getting through this thing. Thin lacing of a tan head, fizzles out even thinner as it sits. Appealing.

Aroma: Need to wait for it to warm up a little! Right off the bat, French-roasted espresso beans and semisweet dark chocolate. Mild classic hops lurk under the coffee-and-cocoa surface, followed by a twist of caramel and straw.

Flavor: Nice! A good thorough bitterness that continues to hearken to 70% cocoa dark chocolate and good gourmet coffee. A nice semisweet twist near the end rounds out the picture, and those mild hops keep it interesting. Excellent!

Palate: Quite pleasing. Silky and just a touch oily, much like fresh coffee beans. Just spritzy enough to not feel flat.

Overall: Another clear winner from the good folks at Highland. I've got one more of these with me that I owe it to myself to save and have with my scallops & shrimp. This is an excellent American stout and all-around enjoyable quaff. Bravo. (1,041 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce bottle with no apparent freshness date poured into a pint glass yields a dull-black body with a fat two-finger creamy mocha head that retains at a fluffy sheet and leaves thin rings of lacing all the way down the glass.

Rich, aromatic coffee with cream, chocolate-covered caramels with a charred, woody note of dark roasted barley meet an uplifting whiff of fir trees, greeting the nose and grabbing at the soul.

Coffee leads the flavors, dark and roasty, complemented sweetly by a malty chocolate blast and a touch of molasses. As the drink warms, a nice tangy, winey note adds some flair. The drink is smooth and medium-bodied, permitting the flavors to really dance around with each other, and finishes with a nice dry bitter note that is also of coffee, slightly astringent and especially satisfying.

The drinkability is excellent and this beer is an ideal complement to breakfast or brunch, or perhaps as a dessert by itself. I can see it sitting happily alongside hickory-smoked bacon, a couple of over-medium eggs, with grits, orange juice and brown wheat toast. (1,082 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty solid black with a two finger mocha head that shows some staying power. My nostrils are filled with scents of chocolate, coffee, and pine resin, but heavy on the milk chocolate. The taste is wonderful, kind of like a kicked up dry Irish stout with chocolate added. Enough roast and hops to keep everything balanced. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation, medium body. This is a great sessionable stout. Light enough to quaff, but flavorful enough to stay interesting. If these were more available to me I would buy them, a lot. (559 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony

smell: good mocha-chocolate aromas

taste: a nice little stout, not powerful. great winter session beer. rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: a sesionable solid stout (309 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Opaque. Thin head that quickly disappeared. Sparse lacing. Looks like a Pepsi.
S: Chocolate, Coffee, Sweet
T: Coffee, some bitterness, roasted grains, taste like Starbucks Mocha Frapachino.
M: Seemed a little thin for a stout, but no major complaints.
D: Very well balanced. Very Drinkable!
Notes: Some beers look real pretty and disapoint the tastebuds. This beer is the opposite. Looks nothing special, but is a very solid stout. (440 characters)

Photo of CBlack85
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours nearly black with dark brown and ruby highlights. A very nice tan head seems to last forever, and leaves very little lacing.

The smell is full of roasted malts, and chocolate. There is also a fair amount of coffee in the background.

The flavor is exactly what you would expect from the aroma, lots of roasted malts, chocolate, hints of coffee. The real surprise is the hop presence, not overwhelming, but definately noticable.

Surprisingly easy to drink for a stout, very well balanced, but big enough not to be boring.

As usual Highland does not disappoint. (615 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super Bowl Stout Tasting...bomber into a sample glass.

A well-retained, golden brown head floats atop a dark, cola-colored brew. Light lacing. Milk chocolate and malts (think "Whopper" candies) make for an enjoyable aroma.

Taste is laced with a powdery cocoa presence & roasted, smoky malts. Baker's chocolate and hops pull through on the finish to make for a nice bitter aftertaste. It's a bit watery and undercarbonated to be an upper-tier mouthfeel, though. I would certainly buy this again, however. Highland rarely disappoints, and Black Mocha Stout was no exception. (575 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An translucent black body displays ruby-mahogany hilghlights below a full head of frothy dark tan foam that holds quite well and leaves thin rings of craggy lace about the pint. The nose is mocha-like and caramelish. It's medium bodied and smooth across the palate with a mild caress on the tongue from its restrained carbonation. The flavor is fairly rich and complex with notes of dark malt acidity, yeasty fruitiness, caramel, coffee and chocolate. It's well-balanced by a firm bitterness, and it finishes dry with a lingering note of yeasty fruitiness and some lightly roasty mocha. Very well done! (602 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany/purple black with a 3 fingers mocha head. Good head retention & very good lacing

S: Slight roastyness

Taste: Slight roastyness & choclate up front. Slight licorice notes & fruittyness come to the fore as it warms. Finishes choclatey & roasty

MF: Medium with great carbonation

Drinks really easy, nice quaffable stout! (344 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a motor oil, super dark black with a creamy, thick tan head that sticks around and leaves nice thick walls of lace down the sides of the glass.

The smell is of roasted malts, robust coffee, bakers chocolate and some caramel. Nice burnt notes, a touch of campfire and some faint earthy notes.

The taste follows the nose with a nice punch of roasted malts and rich coffee. Dark chocolate notes melt in the background with a touch of caramel sweetness. Nicely rounded out earthy notes with a touch of dark fruit complete a well balanced flavor.

Rich, thick and smooth. Overall a very enjoyable sipper. (607 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shazaam!!!! No, not the "awesome" Shaq movie. I am talking about how great this beer is! This is one great brew from Highland brewing that I am going to try to get more of, even though it's hard as hell to find in these parts. It was a black color with a dark tan head. The head was thick and frothy for a little while, and then died down to a spotty laceing. The different smells detected were chocolate, espresso, and little hints of alcohol, as well as faint hints of citrus. The biggest smell that stood out was the espresso though. The taste was similar to the smell, but also had a creaminess to it. Once again, the espresso was the stronger taste of the whole group. Overall this was a very smooth beer that ranks very high with me against it peers. If you ever have the chance to try this one, don't let it go. (818 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a huge mocha head; sticks nicely and leaves a wonderful spattering of lace

Smell: Milk chocolate, with hints of coffee and char

Taste: Roasty and chocolatey up front, with an underlying though subtle citrus fruit flavor arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the coffee takes over, though the other flavors remain present underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; just a touch thin to my palate

Drinkability: Much better than I remembered, this is a really flavorful stout that packs a wallop for being less than 6% (586 characters)

Photo of Graebner
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black, but if you look closely there are some ruby highlights. Develops a couple of fingers of brown head, goes down to a finger in a few minutes. The head on this one is unusual; it features very large bubbles, looks almost like a half-done pancake on the griddle. Interesting.

Smells strongly of mocha, chicory, wet dog, hints of iron, anchovies and fair amounts of herbs. Even a faint scent of blood. Very complex smell, makes you want to get that first mouthfull.

This beer is a cornucopia of tastes. Starts out bittersweet, goes to bitter-sour, but all the while you're being pleasantly overwhelmed by subtleties. I taste (in rough order) pine, butter, starfruit, olive oil, paprika, caramel, flour tortilla, the list goes on. Every sip reveals another facet of this beer. It definitely keeps me sipping, but also keeps me savoring...there's always something new.

Mouthfeel is also above average, even for the style. Starts out with the tingling of the CO2, and to a greater or lesser extent that's there throughout. Feels thin but not watery as you take it in, but thickens up appreciably over the middle of the tongue. By the time it's reached your throat, it's feeling even a little more caramel-like silky-smooth.

Overall this is an extremely well done beer. Delivers stoutness, smooth, rich, and delightful mouthfeel, and, perhaps most importantly, flavors upon flavors. It's complex, it's tasty, it's overall a very drinkable beer, and I'll readily buy this again. As with any stout, you might not want to sit down for more than four of these, as I have a feeling they'd sour eventually. Apart from that though, there's no reason not to snuggle up to one of these. (1,701 characters)

Photo of Gyle41386
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Review #150!

Pours a deep, dark brown color, bordering on black. Three fingers of fluffy, light brown foam peak out over the top of the glass. The foam retains well. Loads of lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Tons of roast in the nose. Big coffee aroma, and there's some caramel and chocolate in there to slightly mellow it out.

Roasted barley is probably the dominant flavor here. There's a very nice chocolate espresso quality, as well. I'm not much a coffee guy, but I'm really enjoying this beer. There's also some slight citric hop bitterness. Very tasty, and no one flavor overpowers another. Rich flavor.

Medium body. Very rich and creamy texture. Carbonation might be a little too lively for my liking, but it's not unpleasant. Very smooth drinker. Great finish. This is damn good, and, luckily for me, very readily available in my area. (896 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, chocolate brown with meager russet highlights at the edges. The wonderful looking crown (darker than khaki, lighter than umber) resembles coffee ice cream as it melts. It's also spectacular in the lace department. What a start!

The nose is impressive as well. It's bursting with a roasted maltiness that pretty much nails the style. Cacao-intensive chocolate keeps freshly-ground coffee beans at the periphery. Since the dictionary definition of mocha is either a type of coffee or a chocolate-coffee mixture, I wonder if coffee was used here?

Black Mocha Stout, like just about everything Highland brews, is very good, drinkable beer. If you aren't afraid of hops (Chinook and Mt. Hood), to the tune of 25 IBUs, then it might even be great beer.

The flavor just does reach the point where my brain says '4.5' (when it comes to beer, my brain thinks in terms of numbers, not letters). What's remarkable is that such an incredibly flavorful stout should be infinitely sessionable as well. The ABV may be slightly too high for that purpose, but palate fatigue shouldn't become as issue, even after multiple bottles.

Brown sugar-coated roasted barley is the shining star of the show, with huge splashes of chocolate liqueur, espresso and molasses. The hops provide an ideal amount of countering bitterness, as well as a citric spiciness, courtesy of Chinook. I've poked and prodded and can find no weaknesses whatsoever.

The mouthfeel is a quality affair that is pretty close to dead-on for the style. Only a wee lack of heft keeps it from earning the big numbers. Nitpicking? Probably.

Do North Carolinians know how lucky they are to have Highland Brewing? These guys are immensely talented and deserve much more recognition than they get. As a music critic once said about The Cars first album, 'drop the needle anywhere and prepare to be impressed'. The same can be said about Highland beer. (1,909 characters)

Photo of ThorsHammer
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

While not pitch black, this beer is rather opaque. Poured a two-and-a-half finger head. The head dissipated in a moderate amount of time, only leaving a small amount of delicate lacing. The smell is of chocolate and coffee -- definitely inviting. Roasted malt comes through in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, not overly heavy. This beer is exceptionally drinkable, which is not a bad thing. I rarely drink more than a beer or two, but I might make an exception for the Black Mocha Stout. IMO, this beer compares favorably to most American Stouts. (561 characters)

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Black Mocha Stout is black and completely opaque with a khaki/crema-looking head.

The aroma is of deeply roasted malt and strong coffee with perhaps a little unsweetened chocolate. The flavor is rich with a coffee bitterness that I really like. The bitterness is almost balanced with a malty sweetness, but stays more bitter than sweet. To me Black Mocha Stout tastes very porter-like. Again, Highland has demonstrated they really know how to choose just the right hops and they use them in just the right proportion. I like all the Highland beers I've tried so far. I'm becoming a real fan. I am going to make a road trip up to the brewery one day.

The mouth feel is not as creamy as some may prefer in their stouts, but it compensates with a medium to medium/plus textured ale that I could enjoy 12 months out of the year. It's not thin or watery by any means, but substantial and satiating, a real belly warmer.

Overall, I really like the qualities of Black Mocha Stout. Again, it has many characteristics I normally find and like in a great porter and yet it is a stout. I would have to rate it up there with the very best stouts I've tried. (1,188 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger creamy tan head. There was good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a strong burnt grain and soft chocolate malt.

The taste was upfront bitter burnt grain and coffee. Mild creamy chocolate malt as well.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy with a dry finish.

Overall a superior stout. Very complex and very sessionable. Need to score some more. Thanks to brentk56. (432 characters)

Photo of cjohnson
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty solid black with a dark cappuccino colored head about a finger in width that fades quickly, but leaves a nice lacing.

Smells like coffee, but not quite as pungent.

Tastes like coffee and equally as pungent. Roasted coffee is definitely the predominant flavor, with a lot of dark chocolate bitterness as well.

Pretty light mouthfeel; not too terribly carbonated.

Very drinkable and a solid stout. (414 characters)

Photo of montageman
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bought from Brawley's on a trip last September - Michael's personal recommendation.

Pours a dark coffee brown with a rich tan head that goes away slowly leaving some heavy lacing. The smell is dominated by roasted coffee, which is a good thing. There's a slight bit of chocolate in the nose as well. The taste is where the chocolate shines. There is strong coffee flavors up front with some dark chocolate throughout & a bit of a sry hop finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, just like a good stout should be - could be a little richer though. As my dessert tonight, I could drink another bomber. I wish I had some more of these. High Recommendation. (660 characters)

Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.