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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

430 Reviews
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Reviews: 430
Hads: 978
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 44
Gots: 127 | 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: 978
Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 12 oz. brown bottle was adorned with the typical Highland Brewing Company motif with a Scottish theme. The pour appeared reddish brown and clear out of the bottle, but in the glass it was very dark brown and nearly opaque. The head was khaki in color and one finger thick. The aroma was that of a dark roasted espresso, with a smattering of chocolate. The taste was drier than I was expecting, as the dark coffee and roasted grain flavors supplanted any residual sweetness. Not much chocolate coming through in the taste to justify the mocha in the name. But despite that, this was a very delicious stout with a pleasing palette. A little hint of tobacco juice in the finish was followed by a brief hop flourish. Prickly and granular mouthfeel stopped just short of being chewy. This turned out to be a solid stout all around the board, so I am glad I bought the sixpack instead of a single bomber.

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Photo of ThorsHammer
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of cbros
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from pint bottle into tulip pint glass.
A- little or no head, dark, chocolate brown almost black in color.

S- aroma of mocha, that is present but not strong. a sweet, musty, and chocolaty smell.

T- nice mixture of stout with a everpresent mocha taste. the stout flavor is a little stronger than the mocha flavoring but does not command your attention.

M- it feels heavy and fullbodied. this is definately a stout.

D- I paired this beer with brownies that my wife had made and I think that that pairing proved a success. Obviously since this is a mocha stout they should go well together. But what I liked most about it was not that both had chocolate in them but that the subtle nature of ths stout didn't overpower the taste of the dessert. It simply added to the experience. I would pair this beer again with a chocolate dessert that, even though on the heavier side, does work well.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

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Photo of rodrot
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery during a tour. This beer poured nearly black with a 2 inch creamy head that left a layer of lace on the glass. Aroma was of coffee, chocolate and flowery hops. Taste was very roasty and coffeeish with a good bitter kick of hops. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth and made the beer easy to drink. Body was medium. This beer reminded me of a slightly lighter version of Sierra Nevada stout. Very tasty and worth picking up a bomber or 2.

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Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

Pours a deep brown clear beer with a good tall brown head.

Smell is sweet with a strong coffee edge and dark roasted malt sourness. Sweet scents have a maple syrup scent. Chocolate and vanilla are under the heavier scents.

Taste is very mild and heavy on the coffee at the start. Only problem here is that the tastes stay too timid. This could be bolder like the Founder's coffee stouts are. Good coffee stout but the flavor never goes anywhere.

Mouthfeel is OK but light.

Damn this beer was a let down; the smell had so much promise. This is a beer that shows how appealing to everyone satisfies no one.

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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.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highland Brewing Company's Black Mocah Stout - thanks to Pugman - poured from 22 oz. brown bottle.

The beer poured blakc with a finger of tan head that didn't retain very well or leave any lacing down the side of the glass. The beer smelled incredibly of darkly roasted malts with dark coffee undertones. The beer's flavor was of chocolate, burnt malts, and a lightly hopped finish. This is a tasty brew that's super drinkable. If I could get my hands on this one more often, I would definintely reach for it more often.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours a very deep brown, almost black, color with a small light tan head that settles to full coat over top. A medium cascade of bubbles can be seen working up the sides. Aroma is a good combination between roast and chocolate. There is a kiss of sweet coffee in there as well. It has good balance between the sweet and the sharper roasted notes. Flavor is nice as well. Solid roasted notes that are mellowed by the lightly sweet chocolate, finishing with a mild coffee. It has a very creamy character to it that really rounds out all the flavors, keeping them all a little ligher than I would like. This one could use a little more forcefullness. This carries over into the mouthfeel, as it is somewhat creamy, with a light carbonation. It's moderate in body. I enjoy this one, but it just seems to lack anything that makes it stand out. It's tasty, just a little unlively.

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Photo of doppelmeup
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After sampling this at the World Beer Fest in Raleigh, I was really looking forward to having an entire glass. So here is my review.

Poured a glassful into my Duvel tulip. Very dark, nearly black. Thick head with pretty decent lacing.

Aromas of cocoa and espresso. Not much hop presence.

Taste was very good. Bittersweet cocoa, black coffee, slightly sweet with a coffee bitter finish. Nice tasting, but a bit on the thin and watery side.

Mouthfeel was this beer's downfall. It really felt watered down. I kept wanting the flavor to have a fullness and depth to complement the nice taste, but I kept getting a watery finish. I'd love to see this beer with the ABV jacked up a bit.

Overall, this was very drinkable. I'd drink it again, but at $5 for a bomber it was a little on the pricey side.

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Photo of John1985
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stout pours an opaque black with a generous head. The head stuck around and laced nicely around my glass tankard mug. Malty aroma, nice roasty flavor up front with notes of chocolate and coffee. Brief bitter finish and mouthfeel was a little watery for the style. A little too drinkable for my taste but the stout was very flavorful.

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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 SilentSabre
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Oh wow! This is very tasty indeed. Poured a very, very dark reddish brown. Almost black, but not quite as one can still see light around the edges. Chunky off white pitted head. Decent retention and nice lacing. Lots of chocolate and a good bit of coffee. Smell is virtually void of hops. Taste is unbelievable! Caramel, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and for a brief moment, there is indeed a quick sting of hop bitterness. Finishes fairly dry. Mouthfeel is quite a bit thinner than I would have licked it to be, but the carbonation level is nice. This is a fantastic stout.
Blessed Be

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Photo of nickss
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown.... very nearly black... the head is thick and nitro-looking (obviously it is not nitro-ed, but the consistency of the head is very similar).

Huge aroma... surprisingly fruity and moderately bitter... noticeable mocha in the nose.

The flavour is one of bitter mocha, dark fruits and berries, and a generous wallop of malt in the backbone.

The mouthfeel is absoutely perfect for this style... thick, creamy and subdued... as I mentioned before... the consistency of a nitro, yet this brew still maintains is flavour.

Quite drinkable... another winner from Highland... I wish this stuff was easier to find, although I have heard that this problem will be remedied in the near future.

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Photo of Graebner
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of Jredner
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate and mild coffee aromas. Black in color. Head is odd...bubbly on the sides, but creamy across the top. Flavor is a touch metallic in the fore. Some decent roastiness in the middle, but there is an odd rancid sweetness, like of old chocolate in the finish. It is not intense, but the flavor is there none the less and it hurts the beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from AKSmokedPorter as part of Secret Santa 2005. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dark brown head above the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head fades slowly, with heavy sticky brown lacing. Aroma is dark chocolate and light coffee. Taste is as the nose indicates, with the mocha very nicely balanced. Mouthfeel seems a bit thin, but it is definitely smooth, and drinkability is excellent for the same reasons. A brew I would be glad to revisit, if the occasion arises.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark opaque brown and black with a large tan head on the pour that deposits chunks of lace to the pint.
Aroma is chocolate, roasted coffee bean and some nutty amaretto type notes.
Flavors are relatively complex, especially as it warms and flavors of chocolate, caramel, toffee,s ome dark citrus and some roasted coffee bean and peanuts and almonds all seem to make an appearance.
Mouthfeel is medium boided wth a solid creamy feel.
Drinkability is high for a somewhat complex brew. Highland continues to impress as it develops and expands its offerings.

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Photo of battlekow
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle provided by AKSmokedPorter via BS-BIF.

Pours a dark coffee black with a thin tan head that recedes.

Aroma of black coffee and roasted malts. Smells like a gourmet coffee.

Taste is more heavily weighted on the coffee side. Has a dark black coffee flavor with a slight roasted malt taste. A slight bit of hops are present at the finish, along with a coffee bitterness.

Body seems on the thin side for such a robust flavor.

This is quite a drinkable stout, if you're in the mood for some coffee.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - very dark, I can just barely see some ruby red around the edges. A finely-bubbled but thin mocha head drifts quickly down to a thin covering.

Aroma - good charred malt, slightly smoked aroma, some chocolate syrup depth as well.

Taste - delicious roasty malt up front, dark and soothing. Dark chocolate mixes with the charred flavor well, turning briefly sweet, then burnt like charcoal. The finish is a mellow trifecta of chocolate, roasted grain, and burnt coffee beans.

Mouthfeel - moderately smooth, low key carbonation, great residual.

Drinkability - a top selection from Highland, a big shout out to merlin for bringing this one along for trade.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. No freshness date. A tall, creamy head forms and then dissipates at a pretty slow pace, leaving a nice fuzzy top to the beer. An almost completely opaque beer, but when held up to the carolina blue sky, I see the tiniest bit of light penetrating the bottom of the glass.

Tons of coffee notes with toffee and caramel and chocolate as well. Smells like a good beer to be having on this fine morning with my breakfast. Lots of roasted malts. Great smell.

Taste like a strong cup of coffee. A bit of citrus hops come in there as well. Great chocolate malt flavor that is perfectly balanced. Silky smooth and creamy. Very tasty.

Perfect mouthfeel. Very smooth and clean. A great beer in my opinion.

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

this is some beautiful stuff. i've never seen it on tap here in town (greensboro) so i was stoked to have a few pints tonight at the lager haus.
extremely dark, didn't see any red or maroon edges. thick, dark tan head of creamy, tight bubbles.
smell of chocolate, cocoa that blended into caramel coffee. very sweet smell.
taste was similar, but not burnt, or not as much as you might expect. lovely taste, almost milk stout like, but not quite that sweet.
creamy, thick, and lovely mouthfeel.
i drank 4 tonight, without thinking, you tell me how easy they go down?
highland is an up and comer; all of their beers are great, and this one is near the top of the heap. i'll take cold mountain as the spectacular, seasonal, amazing beer, gaelic as the primo session brew, and black mocha as the smooth grandaddy of the bunch.


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Photo of Brewfan
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black as night color into my Hennepin chalace. Medium tan head dissipates rather quickly leaving a nice blanket of tan lace clinging to the glass and a slight oil-slick film covering the beer.
Aroma of rich Dutch chocolate, cocoa powder and some slightly burnt coffee maltiness.
The cornerstone of this beer is definately chocolate, good bitter chocolate, with coffee and malt coming in a distant second. Slightly acidic on the back of the tongue with some hops bitterness coming through.
Drinks quite smooth with a light carbonation. Medium body and a creamy mouthfeel make this a very drinkable stout.
I love a good stout, and this is definately a good stout. One of the better American stouts that I've encountered.

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Photo of redwolf1
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 22 ounce bottle at Thanksgiving dinner. A wonderfully dark beer, almost black with very dark brown tones. An extremely rich foamy, tan head was present after pouring. Good retention too which after awhile became very good lacing around the glass. Right from the beginning, you can smell the roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of toasted bread. The smells clearly prepare one for the taste, rich dark malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is a very mild hoppy undertone that creates a certain crispness to the beer. Some stouts can be overpowering being sipping beers at best, but this one has a nice clean finish. This is definitely a keeper from Highland! Went very well with a turkey dinner, too.

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