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

Highland Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

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Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

430 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 430
Hads: 969
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
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: 969
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +22%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (759 characters)

Photo of NClifestyle
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

cheers... (841 characters)

Photo of Brewfan
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (733 characters)

Photo of redwolf1
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (715 characters)

Photo of ElGordo
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 22oz bottle a deep black with dark brown highlights. No light has a chance of passing through. Head is a good two fingers of coffee-colored, big-bubble creamy foam and has some staying power. Aroma of rich, roasted dark malt with a hint of chocolate and a touch of molasses sweetness. Palate is more of the same - rich roasted malt, chocolate, and espresso, accented by the faintest hoppy bitterness. Body is a bit thin for the style, but still nice and creamy. A good offering that hearkens back to the best of the pre-popped cap days here in North Carolina. (574 characters)

Photo of cracgor
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with a nice head of tan froth. Good retention. Smells like burnt chocolate. Tastes like an awesome chocolate coffee or espresso. Full of charred goodness. Is much lighter in body than I expect, but it is still a medium bodied stout. Very drinkable. An enjoyable well balanced delicious malt. Another great beer from highland. (336 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

De-bottled with a dark brown mahogany hues topped off with a quickly settling khaki head that becomes a slick of a frothy island on the surface.

Aroma is a pleasant roasted malt and sweet cocoa mixed in with a rummy hint.

First swigs: Toasted rye bread, some smokey hints. Dry finish with a cocoa linger. Metallic coppery twinge. Some overripe banana and molasses.

Medium bodied. Soft feel. Restrained carbonation. Easily drinkable. Nothing too over bearing.

Last swigs: Liquid burnt pumpernickel toast. An average stout. While in Charlotte, I was lucky to find and try some Highland brews. This one didn't disapoint, just didn't go anywhere new either. Pretty cheap deal: $3.49 for a bomber at Brawley's. (719 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 ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Green's (Buford Hwy location).

Appearance: Has a typical black-brown stout coloring with a thin biege-colored head.

Smell: A slightly sweet, candied aroma with a touch of roasted coffee and milk chocolate. Very inviting!

Taste: Chocolate-coated malt flavors abound, flanked by the rich coffee essence. Coffee au lait. A slight suggestion of hops provide a bit of balance to this great brew.

Mouthfeel: Luxurious on the tongue, with a modest amount of carbonation. Very creamy. This beer is a joy to experience from start to finish. Exactly medium-bodied with out leaning towards being heavy or thin. Perfect.

Drinkability: This beer's well-balanced character, makes it a true session stout. A great choice any time of day, any time of year. Delish!

Find some. Treasure it. (803 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm...mocha!

This tasty brew pours a little on the dull side - a frothy tan head falls down quickly leaving no lacing on the glass. The stout itself is a dark black but the thinness is visible around the edges.

The smell is very inviting with some very clean pure notes of coffee (even though Highland is very emphatic that there are no adjuncts - only roasted barley) There's a fairly sweet smell in the nose as well - almost hot chocolate like.

The taste is similar with very pronounced chocolate and coffee notes. There's a pronounced sweetness to go along with those notes keeping the stout far away from bitter or astringent. There are echoes of smoke and a bit of molasses in this very malty brew.

Mouthfeel is pretty light - this is a light bodied stout. Carbonation is on the low side and there's no oily residue left on the palate. There's enough bitterness from the roasted grains to leave a clean finish. No appreciable hops notes to be found.

A nice drinkable stout with lots of the complex characteristics of a "big" brew but without the high alcohol levels or overpowering flavors. A good compliment to a warm fire on a damp evening.

[thanks to mntlover for this nice brew - Highland makes some nice stuff!] (1,240 characters)

Photo of blitz134
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had to get this beer on a trip through Asheville, it seems Highland doesn't distribute this one very far from its brewery. At 2.89/bomber at Asheville's wine mart, a couple made it into my grips to travel home with me.

Very nice pour. Chocolate milk colored 1.25" head which reduced pretty quickly to a thin layer of bubbles. Body isn't quite solid black, seems to have the slightest touch of brown to it. Red highlights around the edges of my imprial pint glass.

Aroma is strong with roasted malts. A nice expresso coffee aroma with bits of chocolate toffee swirled in. Some sweet undertones of dark fruit, maybe a touch of plum and raisin sweetness. A touch of caramel sweetness to round it out.

Dark coffee dominated which really comes through at the finish. Loads of toasted flavors but not as much chocolate and toffee comes through in the taste. I'm not a coffee fan, but this one is really nice. Not as complex as some others but well constructed. Lacks some of the chocolate characteristics that are expected, but makes for a good coffee stout instead.

Mouthfeel is medium, not really creamy, but more of a thin oil consistancy on the tounge. Feels somewhat crisp too. Drinkability is superb, not a crushing abv level and plenty of refreshing taste and you have a winner in the drinkability department. Highly recommended. (1,344 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impenetrable black beer with a nice tan head. As black as any stout you'll find.

Roasty aroma with some dark fruits. Slightly sweet.

Burnt-edged on the tongue, hoppy and chocolatey with roasted sweetness all around.

Nice and chewy, but smooth at the same time. Great mouthfeel.

A very drinkable stout that brings Highland's uniqueness to the style. I hate that this beer is a bit harder to find than their other brews. Can't wait to have it again! (459 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 GClarkage
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

08/21/05- Received via a trade with AlexJ.

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no freshness dating. Poured into my Englander pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown, almost black pour. Pretty good sized chocolated colored head and well placed lacing.

Smell- Lots fo dark bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee as well. Moderate roasted scents too.

Taste- Almost like a Swiss Miss hot chocolate flavor to it. Some roasted coffee beans and some mid range dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel- This one is overly carbonated for me, especailly for a stout. It almost feels at times I'm drinking a bit of a chocolate soda.

Drinkability- If the carbonation were toned down and smoothed out this would really be a top notch stout. The soda texture kinda ruined the whole experience for me. Even though, it's still not that bad if you can put that behind you. (854 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with "blackie", found at brawleys in Charlotte

appearance: dark, near black, creamy tan head, nice lacing. Overall a nice liking stout

smell: rich dark coffee, toasted malt, chocolate,

taste: nice and chocolatey, milder coffee than scent suggested

mouthfeel: a little thin I thought, medium body

drinkability: quite drinkable, interested in seeing if a bigger version of this beer will be on the way in the post pop the cap era of NC beer (472 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to cmaruschak for the opportunity to sample this one. Shared this with him and mmmmbeeeer.

Appearance: A deep black pour with cola edging. A thin almond carbonated head that quickly disappears and rings the glass nicely. Head retention is a little shaky.

Smell: Sweet chocolate, roasted barley, nutty, and toffee notes all hit the nose.

Taste: Dry cocoa, french roast coffee, pecans that form the nutty base to this taste. A creamed coffee flavor and stronger coffee presence overall dominates the flavor as this beer warms in the mouth. A nice dry bittering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and nicely balanced with some carbonation.

Drinkability: Easily a session beer for me. It borders dangerously close to a porter in my book. The lighter roasty flavor and mouthfeel profile make me think porter but I'll respect the brewers call for the style on this one. Recommended. (906 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a black color with a one finger tan head that lasts for about a minute. Tiny lacing is tossed about.
Smell is of roasted malt with chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit and cream mixed in.
Taste is of coffee, dark malts, and cream.
Mouthfeel is of velvet, and slightly roasted malt in this full bodied brew. (322 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ooooh, I know I'm in for a ride, already. I've poured into the glass and the beer fills it with an impenetrable ebon, capped with lush, rocky cocoa tan froth. And the aroma, wafting out from the start is intoxicating and right on the money. Let's go in for a stronger sniff...

Ahhh!!! Rich, deep coffe and chocolate, lightly roasty, toasty, a big of of bittersweet beans, but sweetened up some, very delicious...cocoa is an imprtant element here...

Taste: simply a wonderful thing going on in the mouth. All those flavors mentioned in the nose combine beautifully for a dark, delectable symphony on the palate. Rich and sweet, chocolatey, but still enough bitter to keep the thing in check. Immaculate integration, exquisite balance, almost flawless. I could drink this forever...damnably good. It feels great to meet once in a while such a fantastic creation as this, and know that stupendous stouts aren't just conceived once in a while,from the usual suspects, but are cropping up all over the place, created by a host of talented brewers across the U.S.A! (1,065 characters)

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz "dinner bottle" courtesy of Ninjaworm.

Pours an opaque black with slight brown and ruby hues. Head is small, but still a dense and well formed chocolate milk color. Lacing is nice, as is retention.
Smell is roasted malts, faint coffee, cocoa, just a hint of dark fruits (figs, raisins). A little vanilla, caramel and just a faint whiff of hops.
Taste is roasted malts up front but soon fade away to coffee, slight vanilla, and a very nice hot chocolate. Hops are present but by no means overwhelm the amazing flavors in this beer. Very nice.
Mouthfeel is good, definitely coats the tongue and is enjoyable from beginning to end.
Overall, I could really see myself having more than one of these beers in a sitting. At 5.3% abv, it's a great session beer, and the flavors in this are downright amazing. A top notch beer. (831 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Inky black with beautiful crimson highlights and a creamy beige head that leaves lace mapwork as it recedes back into the abyss. Excellent head retention.

Creamy chocolate and black malts woven together with notes of mocha latte, chewy caramel, and a whisper of pine and floral hops. Smells perfect.

Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner! Dark roasted malts on the forefront fade into flavors of well-creamed coffee and chocolate turtle brownies. There's a perfect amount of light floral and sticky pine note to provide perfect balance. This is a stout that could be enjoyed from dawn til' dusk, by itself or with an array of foods, and tastes best out of the cellar.

Medium to large body with very light carbonation and a slick and silky mouthfeel. It definately has an oily texture that really coats your palete. It finishes with a mouthfull of semi-sweet dark chocolate flavors and a hint of bitter coffee. Delish. I think Shakespear Stout has a new nemesis. (970 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 silver0rlead
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black pour produces about an inch of head with a little bit of lacing

Smell is of roasted coffe mixed with chocolate, like a cup-a-joe mocha latte

Taste: strong roasted malt taste at first, then a fine coffe and dark bittersweet chocolate ending with a dry, bitter finish. A fine american stout, makes me proud to live in NC with a beer like this made here. Complex, tasty and smooth with a creamy, latte like mouthfeel that makes it go down easy. A great session stout if there ever was one thought slightly filling. It's probably fairly rare to find, especially outside NC but if you ever see one grab it, it may be the last and is a great value at $3.49 a 22oz bomber (681 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3.79 for a 22 oz bottle at Peabody's, in Boone. Pours into an imperial pint glass a dark, opaque brown body with a tightknit tan head that rises a couple inches before gradually falling into a cap and island chain lacing. Aroma is chocolate, roast Kona coffee, and a distinct note of almond/hazelnut nuttiness. Mouthfeel is creamy and light medium bodied, with low medium carbonation. The taste features bitter, dark roasted malts which mingle happily with the chocolate covered almond and nut flavors. Espresso and smooth roasted coffee notes compliment well. A vague suggestion of citrusy hops creeps into the mix, adding additional complexity. Somewhat light bodied for a stout, but not a major drawback.
This is Highlands' best offering, other than the very limited release, Cold Mountain Winter Ale. Black Mocha seems to be somewhat of a rarity, itself, based on my repeated failures to find it in the North Carolina mountains. I'm looking forward to this brewery's move to expanded quarters, so they can brew more of their top shelf offerings like this one. (1,066 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour black with hints of red brown head that falls quickly. Smells a little subdued roasted malt and coffee with light citrus hints. Tastes much larger then smell roasted malt with hints of coffee, chocolate with light hop kicker near the end. This beer is just a pinch light for a stout but the drinkability is awsome ever drink has my mouth wanting more. I have found a good warm weather stout here not overly heavy just right. Only had 2 bomers wishing I had more. (467 characters)

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