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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.
very good

431 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 431
Hads: 987
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 44
Gots: 135 | 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: 431 | Hads: 987
Photo of bosox941827
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been reviewing lots of IPAs lately so this is quite a change. 22 oz bottle, poured cold into imperial pint glass; allowed to warm as I tasted.
A - Dark as night with a reddish hue when held to light, thin ring of crema on top
S - Roasty, chocolate-y malts
T - Sweet and roasty all the way through, with just a hint of hops way at the end after the malts have resolved on the tongue, but really roasted malts are what predominate here, as expected
M - Not as thick as one might think, really quite pleasant in the mouth w/just a bit of carbonation
D - Very, surprisingly for such a hearty beer

Though a bit one dimensional, this is not a bad beer. Would probably prefer a bit more hops in the mix, but really can't get too vocal about that given the style. Overall a decent beer that I would buy again.

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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.

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Photo of raszputini
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite standard Highland products. A solid chocolate style stout. Pours black with a tan lacy head. Smells of roast, coffee and chocolate. Taste is dominated by roasted malts and a blast of chocolate. Very understated hops. Overall a very sweet stout.

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Photo of finepaws
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum, yum, yum! Had this one at Biltmore House in Asheville. I saw mocha, I saw stout, knew I had to have it. Waiter seemed impressed. "Excellent choice" he said. I grinned. (Beer snob!) It came in a glass, duh, thick dark color. Nice caramel head. Didn't last throughout, but did lace the sides. Smelled like mocha java coffee. Tasted like it too, with a thick feel. I really enjoyed this one. Next to youngs dbl chocolate, I'm thrilled. Guess what, I can't find this one in a store either....waaah!

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Photo of caresville
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i am ashamed to say i have never heard of this beer until i received it in RIS BIF from jyounger30. huge thanks to that man for this manly beer!! i love it!!

a- black as night with a fluffy mocha head (aggressive pour) that turns into a mocha ring within 90 seconds. wonderful lacing throughout pint glass.

s- sweet caramel, black coffee with mocha (duh), licorice and the color black if thats possible.

t&m- i love this stuff. not too thin and not sludge either. right in the middle. warms and sweetens insides of the mouth immediately. caramel nips and black dunkin donuts coffee are the two tastes that come to mind every sip. lucky for me, i love both. hints of brown sugar, molasses, licorice, raisins and almonds are also very very present.

d- complex but simple. sticks to the basics. easily one of my top 10 favorite stouts ever. not paper thin and not motor oil sludge. easy drinking all the way. great stout for someone who would love to get into the style!!

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Photo of smittybrew83
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pop the cap and poured a good looking dark reddish brown brew into a pint glass. there is a one finger sized head that is a darker tan color, which quickly dissipates to lit film over the beer. In the glass the beer is a nice black with no light shinning through but with a bit of a thin appearance.
The nose which there isn't much of is of roasted malts and faint chocolate.
The taste is of bitter coffee and chocolate but only slightly. overall not a ton going on with the flavor. but it does have some good flavor hidden at the end.
The mouth feel is very light with quite a bit of carbonation. with this style i would like just a bit less carbonation and a bit more body.
Overall not a great beer but still drinkable.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark chocolate brown that goes solid black as it collects in the glass. Big bubbly tan head with really nice retention and lacing.

S - Bold semi-sweet dark chocolate and light roasted coffee.

T & M - Chocolate is more bitter than the sweet nose would lead you to believe. Mild roasted undercurrent and espresso. Some hop bitterness flashes here and there, but mostly strong coffee flavors. Mouthfeel is creamy but a tad light for a stout.

D - Pretty good flavors and overall nice mouthfeel make this easily drinkable.

Another good beer from Highland, though I'd prefer their Oatmeal Porter or Gaelic Ale.

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Photo of Chadpaq
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1.79 single at Total Wine.

Poured this baby into a tulip. Extremely dark, with minimal light penetration. Sported a two-fingered tan head that receded extremely slowly, leaving a filmy surface on the beer in its wake. Hot cocoa-esque. Lots of particulates floating around that looked a lot lock miniscule chocolate shavings.

My favorite aspect of this beer was how it did a number on my olfactory senses: Coffee-infused chocolate, similar to a drink I might pick up early in the morning at 'Bucks. Not too heavy, but certainly not too light. I was only fairly excited about trying this beer prior to pouring and sniffing, but now my tastebuds are juiced up and ready to roll.

The taste, although excellent, let me down a bit from the first two aspects of the beer. That's hardly a slight, though. It's very chocolatey, specifically when it comes to the more bitter, cocoa-esque aspect of the treat. It also has mild traces of a nice Colombian coffee in it as well. Very delicious. My only complaint: I'd like it to be a bit heavier.

The mouthfeel's smooth, similar to hot chocolate. Velvety, even. However, there's almost too much carbonation, which detracts from the smoothness.

This beer's damn drinkable, one of the aspects that its slight lack of body helps it accomplish. I could easily drink three or four of these. But from a good stout, I'd rather be on my ass after one.

I think a quick fix for this beer would be more malts. But I hesitate using the word "fix" because there isn't much wrong at all with this baby. Another excellent brew from my in-state boys.

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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.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my go to stouts here in Lynchburg.

A: Nice medium head and black body. Amber appears around the edges only when held up to light. Moderate, sticky looking lacing is visible.

S: Pretty nice aroma. Dark cocoa comes through along with burn malts. Hop aroma is negligible.

T: Aptly named as Black Mocha Stout, the mocha smacks you in the face immediately. Bitter chocolate is used, so it becomes overwhelming if it is not sipped from the front of the tongue to the back. This brew is very hefty and flavorful for 5.6% abv. As such, the mocha is balanced by a nice roasted malt flavor.

M: This beer is the king of smooth. This and Founders Porter are the smoothest, silkiest dark beers I've had that are not on the Russian Imperial Stout level. It really caresses the palate.

O: This is one of my go to stouts for a reason: it's quite good.

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Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night, creamy looking head but not huge. Smells softly of espresso and chocolate. Taste is not quite as delicate. Roast notes are bright. There is a dryness, too, sort of reminiscent to almond skins or peanut shells. The body is lighter than expected from the title as a "black mocha" which makes me expect a Frapacchino. Little to no sweetness, as dry, nutty and roasted flavors take over.

Really quite enjoyable. With a body not quite as creamy as expected, I am pleasantly surprised. Roasted flavors start to drain your palate after a while, but the first two are fantastic.

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Photo of DanThomas
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful. Opaque black/brown, thin foamy head and lots of lacing. This is what I want a stout to look like.

S- Deep, warm roasted scent with dark chocolate accents. The smell is very smooth.

T- The dark chocolate is most apparent. Roasted barley takes over towards the back. Dry finish with little/no bitterness.

M- Carbonation is nice on the finish. It's a little thin, but the flavor adds a lot of depth.

D- So good. This beer is an interesting sort of cross between a dry stout and an imperial stout, and it works really well. Lovely stout.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours dark, thin head. Flavor isn't as bold as I'd prefer, but not wimpy, either. Mouthfeel is a little light, too; but again, not bad. Hoppy finish is nice.

Kind of an "easy drinking" stout; not massive like I generally prefer my stouts, but definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of WAP
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black-brown with a nice, fluffy, 1.5" head that shows nice retention. Aroma is of roasted malts, a little coffee-like, with a nice hop backing.

Flavor profile is smooth coffee with some bitter chocolate notes, complemented by a slight piney hop finish. Very nice and well-balanced.

Mouthfeel is a little watery for the style, but still nice. Drinkability is very good, not at all filling, I could have a few of these.

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Photo of clemsonbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a medium brown head. Very thin lacing that hangs around a little. Smells of dark chocolate and HEAVY malt. Tastes of coffee and dark chocolate with thin hoppy balance. Mouthfeel is heavy in a good way. Very smooth strong coffee palate. This a great dessert beer. I had this in a beerbar/restaurant in Clemson, SC with some cheesecake. Wonderful combo. I will definitely try this beer again when I get the chance.

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Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Dark, smoky and drinkable with a sublte malt tanginess to it.

Poured thick and dark like black molasses. Completely opaque even up to a bright lamp. The only color is the reddish-black refraction coming laterally through the edges of the 1/8" thick glass pint walls.

Two finger head the color of milk chocolate that had the endurance of an ultra marathoner. Right after the pour my brother called and we talked for 10 min before my first taste. It still had a uniform 1/4" head with solid wallpaper around the edges where the head had fallen.

The mass of the head was more cohesive to the center than adhesive to the glass. It seemed to congeal in the center like a large curd of buffalo mozzerella yet moved freely along the edges of the glass as I gently tipped it side to side.

On the nose was coffee with a highly burnt roast and a little sharp hop underneath.

First taste was very smoky and medium bodied. Not the kind to stick to your ribs. There's a subtle tangy maltiness that I think defines this beer beyond a run-of-the-mill roasty stout.

There's nothing overly complex about this beer but it's well balanced and suprisingly un-dry. Perhaps contributing to it's overall drinkability. I could put down 2 or 3 and not feel overwhelmed. Says a lot for a stout.

Finish is smoky and mild without a lingering aftertaste. Living in Asheville I'm a big fan of Highland and this doesn't disappoint at all.

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Photo of carolinahophead
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Hoge for getting this brew at the Flying Saucer Charlotte...
A : A deep black coffee color ... like it should be. ( Nice glass lacing )
S : What a wonderful rich dark chocolate aroma, with the great roasted malt coming though.
You can appreciate the quality.

T : The taste is a smooth mocha and of rich dark roasted coffee ... It would be great with a cheesecake

M : This stout is easy to drink and well balanced. A medium mouthfell with alot going on.

O : Another great winter/early spring brew from Highland Brewing Co. The draft version is awesome. A real treat. Its available in bottle too.

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Photo of brewcore
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

A: Very dark. Very little light transmitted. Agressive pour yields a two finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malts. Some burnt malt. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee in the background.

T: Slightly sweet malt up front quickly followed by the expected roasted chocolatey malts. Considerable hop bitterness for a stout which gives the chocolate tastes from the malts that mocha bittersweetness. Interesting tobacco finish; akin to a good cigar. Rich tobacco notes.

M: Low to moderate carbonation. Average mouthfeel for a stout.

O: I normally do not care for anything with a (IMO) noteable tabacco-like finish, but I do like this. I do not get as much mocha out of it as I expected but it is not missing. Would drink again.

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Photo of jburris64
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my new favorite beers. This one whee poured from a bottle into a pint, had a very dark, almost black coloring, with a light tan head. Stout flavor bitter but did not bite. Smooth with a pleasant after taste.
Nice lace on the rim, coffee and chocolate notes on the nose.
My only complaint is I didn't freeze the glass.

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Photo of travis224
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty descent stout but nothing to write home about. Pours almost black with a weak white head. Chocolate and coffee on the nose. Some lacing left on the glass. The taste is fairly bitter with some coffee and chocolate notes. Pretty easy to drink. Don't love it, don't hate it. A descent session stout.

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Photo of roopy40
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic. Bottled on 5/13/09.

A - Black, opaque -> light isn't getting through this one. I like the tan color of the head that is created after the pour. Definitely looks like a creamy mocha coffee and this excites me.

S - Coffee, chocolate, buttery smell, very inviting, I can't wait to dive in.

T - A very good balance of coffee and chocolate in this offering. Creamy and rich taste to it as one would expect from the name.

M - Creamy, good medium carbonation. Chocolate really lasts on the finish. The body is medium to thin. The creamy texture of it really makes this an enjoyable experience.

D - I could take a few of these down without much of a problem and it isn't too rich like some stouts can get. The ABV is just right to be able to session this, though I think just a few on a cold northeastern evening paired with some organic chocolate truffles would be just fine.

Thanks to klevelandrocks for this great extra in our trade. I'm glad I was able to sample this.

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Photo of DeaconBluez
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle. pours dark black color with brown around the edges. heads is there when poured but makes a quick exit. smell is of bittesweet chocolate with some hints of coffee. taste is very close to how it smells. the mocha flavors of this beer is very noticable.mouthfeel is pretty solid, not creamy but not either. overall, a very drinkable beer that is not heavy on the abv but has a lot of good chocolate/coffee flavor.

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Photo of Maltmaiden
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black/dark brown. Carbonation bubbles are visible. Small but persistent head

S: Cocoa and very toasted malts. some hops. Molasses. Not as much coffee as I was expecting...more chocolaty. Vanilla. Metal?

T: Toasted malts and bitter cocoa powder upfront. Coffee beans. Earthy hops. Touch of vanilla. Root beer. And that weird metal again?

M: Maybe too much carbonation. Goes down easy though.

O: good but too much bitterness and carbonation than I like in my stouts. Won't go out of my way to get this again.

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Photo of Mandark
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively into a Sam Smith pint glass, the head rises high, taking over half the glass before settling. Nice lacing as it decays. In fact, the chocolate brown head appears to have a powdered cocoa-like cast to the surface.
Smells of bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, some raisin and tobacco. A bit of plum in there as it warms, maybe. All these combine in the taste to form a delicious, not very sweet at all stout. The mouthfeel is just right, not syrupy, with just enough carbonation to make it percolate on the tongue. Smooth and easy to drink, but deceivingly full-bodied and filling.
A good beer, indeed.

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Photo of Lordhelmit
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark. Typical of a stout, especially one with black mocha in its name. Poured with very thin had which dissipated quickly into a thin film. Slight lacing.

S - Smells really fantastic man. Smells like coffee and chocolate, with grapey notes as well. Smells hugely like coffee. Well...like a mocha latte or something >.>

T - Taste is also fantastic. Tastes pretty much how it smells. Coffee, chocolate, bit of darkc hocolate bitterness on the finish. You can definitely taste the lightly roasted malt too. I do taste a hint of dark fruit somewhere int here. It's slight, but it's there.

M - Average carb, full body

O - Very tasty, but really honestly nothing too special. I feel like I've drank it before when I had other stouts. Nothing really stand outtish.

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Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.