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Highland Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

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

828 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 416
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 39
Gots: 57 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 12-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 416 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZX6Chris
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black, reflective, beautiful. Dark tan head that fade quickly but rejuvenates itself with a swirl of the glass. Bubbles stay around the edge and provide a top for the beer.

S-Milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee.

T-Mellow roastyness. Mild flavors. The aroma doesn't come through like I want. Cocoa. The bitterness and coffee roastyness comes through in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, mildly carbonated. Nice mouthfeel.

D-pretty easy drinking. All in all a good beer. I could drink a few of these.

ZX6Chris, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

womencantsail, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
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

MbpBugeye, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of clayrock81
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a black body w/ one-finger tan head that died slowly and some lace. A rich, sweet buttery smell with chocolate, roasted, bread and hints of coffee malt all intwined into the aroma. Smooth, slightly chewey and creamy with a bready feel and minor amounts of sweet caramel and chocolate. Unfortunately not well-balanced as the roasted and coffee malts seem to be more powerful than anything and leave a husky, dry backbite. A very minor fruity hop presence in shadows of the malts leads to a very good but not spectacular stout.

clayrock81, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of johnnnniee
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

johnnnniee, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you, Calton!

Pouring black with a dense, brown head with excellent retention and intricate lacing, this is an excellent looking stout. There are the faintest reddish brown highlights too. The nose is intense. Mild pine hop character with a rather strong acrid malt component, there's also a ton of heavily roasted malt and some chocolate. There's also a moderate sweetness present. As it warms up, it does open up and grow more rounded.

The palate opens with a rather prominent bitterness with moderate acridity. My palate does grow accustomed to it rather quick, and I grow to appreciate the unsweetened cocoa and rather bitter coffee grounds that are present. There's some rather simple sweetness in the mid-palate, and this beer does dry out on the finish with a lingering coffee-grounds bitterness. A touch of grainy astringency is also present. Hops aren't Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, the high bitterness does get taxing after a while. This is among the more intense stouts I've had in recent times, almost worthy of being called Mikkeller Black-lite. Still, this is quite enjoyable.

DefenCorps, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Beejay
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with a nice tan head, full of large bubbles.

S: Dark chocolate dominates the smell. Roasted and coffee notes round out the aroma.

T: Starts out with some chocolate. Roasted malts and coffee dominate the middle. It ends on a slightly tart or tannic note.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation is a bit high for the style.

D: Tasty, a good stout all around, but not one that stands at the front of a line up.

Beejay, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of 828beagle
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a Highland pint glass at the Mellow Mushroom in Asheville. A nice midnight black with a thick beautiful two finger beige head. Beautiful lacing effect throughout to the last drop. Black gourmet cappucino smell. Bittersweet taste of a full box of fine Belgium dark chocolates and nutty truffles. An indulgent work of art. Rather heavy but that's to be expected. It feels like you ate a full meal after you've had a couple. Not a session beer by any means but a nice change up every once in a while. I like it better than most other stouts I've had and I think it's better crafted than most of the other brews by Highland. I highly recommend it.

828beagle, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of Rhynes2
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one didn't realy wow me too much. It's right on par with a standard mocha stout and it's good but it does nothing to really stand out from the crowd. Poured a pitch black with a nice foam head of about an inch and a half. Great malt smell. Initial tastes of chocolate with that fading into a nice roasted nut flavor. About 3/4 through this beer I had an Oreo and I gotta say that this beer does go extr

Rhynes2, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to Cashew70 for this one.

The black mocha stout appears a very dark brown color with a redness about the edges and less than a finger of dark tanned head that doesn't retain all that well.

The aroma of this brew has a lot of dark chocolate character with hints of licorice. Taste follows suite with plenty of dark grainy flavor with a roasty grain bitterness upfront through a medium body with a moderately low level of carbonation. Slight frutiness almost like rasins through the body is a little out of place. Other flavors noted are bitter dark chocolate and a hint of licorice but not as evident as in the nose. The lingering flavor of dark grain tasting like chocolate is quite enjoyable. For less than 6% it has some warmth to it in the back of the throat.

Overall a pretty decent brew. I would drink this one again.

stakem, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Steelcurtain
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer. I love this brewery in general.

A- Typical of the style

S- Typical of the style, which is good

T- A bit different taste than other stouts. Very roasted and coffee in taste

M- Good medium feel

D- Depends on the weather. Its not something I would order on a breezway in july.

* Have enjoyed on both tap and from bottle.

Steelcurtain, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jet black pour with basically no head whatsoever, which is surprising considering how thin & light it feels on the palate as you drink. Aroma is mostly just made up of roasted malts. Flavor is similar but with just a hint of mocha/chocolate in the finish. Glad I tried it, but not really something I would seek out again.

thetomG, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours black as can be with a one finger tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, coffee, and vanilla. The flavor was of malt, chocolate, and coffee. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a very nice stout. It was not lacking in any aspect but also didn't blow me away either. However, I am glad that I have been shipping these as extras in some of my trades. It is a must try if you get the chance.

thagr81us, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a perfect black with no foam, just a ring of tan bubbles around the glass

S - chocolatey roasted malts

T - roasted malts upfront with a blast of coffee and chocolate in the finish, mostly chocolate though

M/D - smooth and light bodied for a stout, great tasting, could have a few with dinner and want more for dessert

mikereaser, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 22 Nov 2007.

Medium brown lacy head. Medium carbonation. Opaque black color. Aroma is quite roasty, coffeeish, brown sugar, molasses. Lots of roasty burnt flavor predominate throughout. Burnt toast. Mildly sweet, slightly acrid/sour. Sweetness increases as it warms. Medium body. Moderate alcohol. Finishes roasty bitter.

Not quite as much coffee/chocolate as expected.

htomsirveaux, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received via a generous trader...

A: Pours a dark brown with lighter brown edges when held to the light. Dark tan head that recedes rather quickly.

S: Debittered chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of hearty bready, crusty, and burnt.

T: Lightly toasty malt, a bit acidic, mild coffee. Slight sweetness brings a hint of cocoa powder.

M: Light body and low-medium carbonation. Silky smooth.

D: Light body keeps it refreshing and easy drinking.

darklordlager, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of mklinger
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Jet black with a nice thick tan/mocha creamy head. Really nice lacing left behind, too. Good looking beer.

Aroma was not overly assertive, but it's a session strength stout, so that's OK. Some roast & malt. Fairly subdued.

Flavor was solid. Roasted barley with faint coffee & chocolate. Bit of hop bitterness, but not a lot. Rich malty character. The only thing I don't get much of is a mocha character. If I was told this was a sessionable dry stout, I'd say, "darned right!" But advertised as a Mocha Stout I'd say it's a bit under characterized.

Mouthfeel was rich and full for a session strength stout. Nice. This is a very easy to dry dry stout. I liked it a lot more than my Smell & Taste ratings would indicate. Very balanced!

mklinger, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

AleWatcher, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of RickS95
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black, like midnight in a glass with a pillow of tan on top.

A mix of smoky chocolate and coffee fill the nose.

Mostly coffee taste, with the bittersweet chocolate acting in the background.

An explosion in the mouth, lots of big flavors, with a creamy feel and a slightly bitter finish. Nice lacing.

Despite being somewhat bitter, this goes down easy and begs you to drink another.

RickS95, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of MrStark
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance is dark brown almost black with a one finger tan head that dissipated in a couple of minutes.

Smell is a nice blend of malt, coffee and some chocolate in there as well. The aroma is not particularly strong but is pleasant nonetheless.

Taste is a nice roasted malt, with the mocha standing out pretty good and a bit of chocolate in the finish. There is a bit of bitterness in the end but overall its fairly balanced with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. Its a nice easy drinking stout with a pretty good flavor. Nice for a session beer as well. Its not the most complex I've had but I would have it again.

MrStark, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of Thur123
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an opaque dark chocolate color with a slight khaki colored head. The smell is roasted coffee and bitter chocolate with a slightly sweet and herbal hop edge.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is nice and assertive chocolate and coffee malt. The coffee flavor is well balanced and anything but astringent. Bitter chocolate and an earthy floral flavor help keep the coffee in check. The end of the flavor has cola notes and maybe a slight crème taste. The mouth feel is over all fine, but perhaps a bit thin for the style. But certainly not too watery. A good and somewhat special Stout, would be glad to try again.

Thur123, May 28, 2010
Photo of wspscott
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass (no date)

A: Pours with a one finger dark tan head that drops almost immediately leaving a thin film on the surface and a bit of lace.
S: The roasted malts are very obvious with a little bit of sweetness in the back.
T: Lots of roasted malt along with quite a bit of chocolate malts, no hint of hops, but there is enough roasted bitterness that this comes across as very dry.
M: My first impression was over attenuated, I have decided that the attenuation is reasonable, but I would like a little bit more "chewiness". The carbonation is a little high for the style, a little too much "tingle" on the tongue, but not unpleasant.
D: A very solid stout, well balanced and easy to drink, not super complex. I will happily finish off the six-pack, but I am not sure I would buy again. Worth trying.

wspscott, May 25, 2010
Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black, doesn't allow for light to pass through. No head at all.

Smell: Very strongly smells of coffee and mocha

Taste: Excellent coffee/mocha flavor. Not very complex. Is kind of blunt.

Mouthfeel: Nothing too impressive, pretty typical. Is smooth with slight carbonation.

Drinkability: Is good and strong, which may take away from the drinkability if you're consuming more than one. For one bottle, I liked it. It had such hearty mocha flavor which I enjoyed.

It's solid but nothing overly special. It's worth picking up a single.

aasher, May 22, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/19/09

10/21/09 etched on the bottle

Very dark brown on the pour, settling near black. One & a half finger mocha-colored head holds 50% after a few minutes, leaving a good amount of lacing. Thinner retention throughout with frequent small spots of lacing.

Bittersweet, malty aroma. Coffee beans & roasted coffee hints with a penchant for bitterness. Espresso undertones. Chocolate offers a sweeter counterpoint. There is some toffee in there with a faint semblance of vanilla. On the whole, the nose isn't too strong, though.

Chocolate hits upfront & is more apparent to taste than in the aroma. Subtle, earthy hop notes follow. Wisps of toffee throughout. Coffee & roasted malts are present as well with the former exhibiting a bitter twinge around the edges. It's well-integrated; nothing stands out as the strong suit.

Full bodied, though at times it seems a tad thin. Moderately low & creamy carbonation. Residual notes of roasted coffee linger on the finish.

Drinkability is pretty good; I just wish it were a bit more intense. It seems to play it safe.

Ryan011235, May 13, 2010
Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass, very dark brown with a very thin cream-colored head, almost nonexistent lacing.

Nose was fairly benign. Coffee with hints of chocolate, slight hop presence. Smell improved slightly as it warmed.

Taste was a little better than the nose. Coffee is more pronounced, followed by bitter chocolate. Seems a little tart for a stout.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little sticky on the tongue, very low carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good. Wouldn't go out of my way to get this, but wouldn't turn it down if offered.

bigbluebeerguy, Apr 30, 2010
Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.