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

428 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 428
Hads: 960
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 44
Gots: 113 | FT: 1
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: 428 | Hads: 960
Photo of dvmin98
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Living in Charlotte, I really enjoy a lot of the Highlands stuff. This was my first taste of BMS.

Appearance: Nice, deep dark color. One finger head that stuck around for 30 secs or so

Smell: Nice chocolatey tones. Good nose overall.

Taste: Nice sturdy stout. Stuck to the front of my tongue

Mouthfeel: Too carbonated for me in regards to a stout. My tongue was much more tingly than other stouts I'm used to

Overall its a good stout that I would drink again, but it would be better if it wasn't so carbonated (514 characters)

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

Interesting concept, a Scottish style brewery in the middle of Asheville, NC. Thanks to JonnyGalt for this interesting beer.

A creamy looking mocha colored smaller head that sits there for a bit, and leaves a high water mark of lacing notched as I sip, over a dark almost black beer, with slight hints of molasses colored light sneaking through when held directly to the light.

Nose is pure black malts, like nightmarish black malt aroma, dark as hell. Some coffee in there, a bit of fresh roasted coffee beans and a bit of roast, a bit of mocha with that as a hint of cocoa starts to sneak in. A light caramel aroma, hint of fluffy nougat and maybe a bit vanilla.

Taste starts rich and creamy, almost milky or lots of oats, then roasted malt, a hint of acrid almost burnt roast, and burnt roast. Some coffee, little roasted coffee bean and hint of burnt coffee, and light charcoal like. Some baker's chocolate comes in lightly in the background and brings the mocha quality out more. A little caramel and fluffy nougat again. Some bitterness but mostly from the roast, maybe a hint of earthy hops. Finish is a bit sticky and syrupy quite rich and mouth coating, a bigger bitterness fairly earthy bitterness and lingering roasted malt, light coffee and chocolate lingering.

Mouth is thick and rich, quite creamy, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, lots of coffee, mocha, roast, and very rich and creamy thick for being just 5.6%, although it does bring a bit of acrid burnt flavors from the roast, but not too strong. Overall a nice tasty beer. (1,548 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1563rd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter
12oz

I didnt find a bottle date
Thanks to BlackBelt5112203 for this one

App- It was a nice base stout. A bit of a black color with some browns all around. A good deep center. The head was a good tan 1 finger loose bubbling and nice clinging beer. Looked good in the glass.

Smell- The roasted malts are overpowering on this one and do little to smooth this out. The hop addition adds another layer but competes too much vs. layering the beer. I dont find the mocha or chocolate aromas at all.

Taste- I thought it was pretty good. A bit too ashy and thin on the mocha. A bit of the hops couldve been dropped down a bit to make this a more smooth drinker vs. being prickly and stinging. The flavors are a bit lined up and come at you 1 at a time vs. being integrated and layered. As this warmed it was a bit of a dark cherry flavor with a little bit of a bakers chocolate flavor as well.

Mouth- A light body stout. I know its an american stout, but this was a bit too thin and watery for me with a bit of a high carbonation. Residual flavors on this were some ash, roast, smoke and bitter. I get no mocha still even as warm.

Drink- It was okay. Wasnt a mind blowing hidden gem. Solid offering that I feel would be served to dial down the roast and up the smooth factor. I think this wouldve been better with a food pairing. (1,376 characters)

Photo of Moss
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours an expected dark black with a light brown 2 finger head. Leaves good lacing.

S - Smells like coffee and mocha from the roasted malts. Smells sweet.

T - Tastes as it smells with the coffee and chocolate taste. Much like what I expected from this beer. Sweet but has a good finish from the hops with the bitterness to even it out.

M - Medium bodied and creamy with light carbonation.

Overall - Good beer, would have again. (434 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with off-white head. Smell is of roasted coffee.. delicious. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, very sweet with some great roasted notes. Smooth and clean with great texture and finish to it. Tasty stout and definitely above average for the style, a great addition to the mixed 12 pack. (308 characters)

Photo of Josiah2729
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a half finger of tan head. Not much head retention, but decent lacing.

Smell: Dark roast coffee all the way, slight dark chocolate scent.

Taste: Dark roast coffee, followed by dark chocolate flavors, hint of bitter hops toward the end with a little malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium thickness, very slight carbonation, creamy texture at the end.

Overall: Nice stout, will try again. (455 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

Highland's Black Mocha Stout pours a solid black, with about a finger and a half of tan foam capping the beer. Head retention is pretty good, and there's some spotty lacing left around the glass. The nose has a nice, fairly potent coffee aroma. Dark chocolate provides a solid background note. The flavor profile follows that outline exactly. Lots of coffee up front, an impressive amount for a beer of this size, and then dark chocolate creeps in and adds a little depth so that the beer doesn't just taste like cold chocolate. The mouthfeel is just a little disappointing, in that it's a bit watery. I know the beer's not even six percent as far as ABV, but I'd still like the body to be a little bit more sturdy for a stout. The carbonation is nice and understated though. Minor mouthfeel issue aside, Highland's Black Mocha Stout is a really nice beer, I'll be checking out more offerings from the brewery next time I'm down in North Carolina (1,000 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured an opaque black with a little tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet chocolate with roasted coffee and brown sugar and cream.
T: It tasted like dry roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate, with some pumpernickel and cream. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with some carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had a nice scent and taste with solid body. The finish was pretty smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nothing special, but an enjoyable brew. (485 characters)

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

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
No date or info. (5.6% ABV)

Thanks to Onenote81 for another North Carolina Beer!

A - Deep, dark brown in color, this beer looks just about as close to black as it gets. A tall pour creates a dense cocoa head with great retention and thick gobs of lace clinging to the glass.

S - Highland's Black Mocha Stout is abruptly roasted upon first whiff, suggesting cold black coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and of course, mocha. Maduro cigar wrapper and faintly musty walk-in humidor give it a nice touch while this assertively earthy aroma swirls around.

T - Massively roasted, this rich beer is a dark beer lover's dream; cold coffee and chunky bittersweet chocolate with a hefty helping of dry mocha flourish among the earthy, dry hops.

M - Thick and rich, Highland's Black Mocha Stout is one of the most full-bodied beers I've had in recent memory. Smooth on the palate, a dry, earthy finish keeps the acrid bitterness of the roasted malt from becoming too much.

O - Share not with light beer friends, Highland's Black Mocha Stout is as robust as they come, especially at a lower alcohol level. Acrid bitter roast takes hold of the tongue while the smooth body helps even out. This would be a terrific cool fall day beer. (1,258 characters)

Photo of soulfly1492
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Mild chocolate. Mild roasty notes. Some green olive and anise, not sure how that will turn into a good thing.

Appearance: Black, but not opaque, can see some dark ruby color at the edges. Medium brown head is tall. Little retention and good lacing.

Taste: Bold enough. Cocoa. More roasty than the smell indicated. Light anise. Hops are floral and lightly bitter. The bitter anise comes out mostly at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Mild to moderate carbonation. Slick and oily, finishes just barely dry.

Overall: Nice balance, not overly sweet. Savory overall, but the aftertaste could be more pleasant. (623 characters)

Photo of BeerDocT
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a room temp. "Piraat" tulip.

-Appearance 4.0: Jet black with a quarter inch khaki head. Head disappeared faster than you could say "Jack Robinson," but left pleasant frothy swirls on top.

-Smell 3.5: Very nice notes of toasted grains and a deep, dark malt. The bouquet is, however, subdued.

-Taste 4.0: Up front: cool liquid with a hint of grassiness. This was followed by a smooth, smoky and subtly sweet, slightly chocolate middle. Finish was dry with very light hop notes. Aftertaste was long and primarily a very pleasant dark chocolate.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Excellent level of carbonation that enhances the taste of the beer. All other elements of mouthfeel were very smooth and enjoyable.

-Overall 4.0: Satisfying, but at the same time not pedestrian in any way, shape or form. This stout has a body that is almost too light, but its other elements work together in such a way as to make you just enjoy the taste. One of the few session stouts I can think of. Worth picking up if you see it. (1,009 characters)

Photo of Arborescence
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pitch black, pours a head of medium thickness and moderate duration; creamy.

Aroma: Fairly mild: chocolate, malt, and milk -- no distinct hops or roasted aromas.

Taste: Malty, with the bitterness of chocolate kicking in, not too strong though. Lingering aftertaste with a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and round, medium bodied.

Overall: Good stout, of medium robustness with a dominance of malt and just a little bit of chocolate. Not the best in its category, but above average. (498 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L - Black color with ruby-tinged edges and a 3-finger frothy tan-brown head. Great retention, pretty nice lacing. Looks good.

S - Roasted barley and lots of bready, toasty malt. Hints of chocolate and no sign of coffee. Really not as much chocolate or coffee as I’d like to see from something called “Mocha Stout.”

T - Molasses, sugar, and chocolate sweetness followed by solid roasted coffee bitterness. Not a lot of complexity here, but it shows the “Mocha” aspect a lot more than the nose suggested.

F - Light-to-medium bodied, more tingling carbonation than I expected, sticky mouthfeel, and a moderately dry and bitter finish. Bitterness and coffee taste lingers for a decent amount of time.

O - This is an average stout. It looked promising after the pour, but the rest of the beer was only average. The nose did not yield much at all, and the mouthfeel is a little bit too watery for a stout in my opinion. The taste had a little bit more chocolate and coffee than the aroma suggested, but still not enough to make this one anything special. I’m glad I tried this, but I won’t be getting it again. (1,181 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
2.72/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a bottle of Highland's Black Mocha Stout that my brother brought back from his trip down south. It got a little cold tonight so I thought a Stout would hit the spot, I am a big fan of Coffee Stouts so I am interested to see how this beer stacks up, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty plain and looks just like their other labels. It poured a nice flat black color that barely took a slight ruby highlight when held to the light. It had two fingers worth of fluffy medium tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of lacing. This is a good looking American Stout, I just wish it had a little more lacing..

S- The aroma starts off with some dark roasted malts with a lower amount of medium sweetness that impart some nice roasty and milk chocolate aromas. After that comes the coffee which is the star of the show and when mixed with the rich chocolate aromas it really does take on an aroma that is very similar to a Mocha Latte. The aroma is pretty straightforward and nice, very mocha like just as advertised.

T- The taste doesn't seem to live up to the aroma. It starts off with a large amount of dark roasted malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart some roasted and milk chocolate flavors with a good amount of black coffee that seems to stick out the most. After that I get a charred taste with an astringent finish and a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a charred and slight black coffee like after taste. After the nice aroma I was expecting and nice Mocha Latte like flavor but instead I got a beer that tasted more like a cup of bitter black coffee, I am disappointed.

M- Smooth, slightly creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a higher amount of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel needs work, it needs to be thicker and not so carbonated.

Overall I wasn't too impressed with this beer and I thought it was a slightly bellow average American Stout that claims to be heavy on the mocha, but instead of mocha all I got was flat bitter and over roasted black coffee. This beer doesn't have good drinkability, the bitter astringent finish and the lack of the flavor living up it's name would prevent me from wanting more then one, and it's a little tough to finish this glass. What I liked most about this beer was it's aroma, it was pretty nice and had some nice mocha like aroma to it. What I liked least about this beer was the taste and mouthfeel, they were both off for the style and didn't work well with this beer. I wouldn't buy this beer again, and I don't think I would recommend it to anyone, there are lots of better Coffee Stouts around. I was pretty let down with this beer and so far I have yet to be wowed by any beer from this brewery, but I am still willing to give them another chance, better luck next time guys, this one needs a lot of work to compete with the better Coffee Stouts, but if it tasted as good as it smelled it might have had a chance, but that just wasn't the case with this beer. (3,127 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black glass shows some ruby edge when back lit. Dirty tan head drops to a thin cover and collar which laces well.

Smell: Dusty, earthy hop with a malt extract base. Mild coffee note.

Taste: Bit of brown paper bag oxidation; no date on the bottle so the brewer takes the hit. I don't make the rules, no, wait, I do make the rules.
Under that there is a fair amount of dark roasted barley with a very mild cocoa note. Some earthy hops that I want to say are Fuggles (nope, website says Chinook & Mount Hood).

Mouthfeel: Light body, pretty thin actually, light to moderate carbonation, very dry finish.

Overall: Just didn't do it for me. More Porter in taste than Stout, didn't really get much "mocha", just a very bitter cold coffee note.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample! (790 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

not quite opaque brown with a very small light mocha head that sticks at 1cm in height, lacing well.

molasses and chocolate are very strong in the aroma with a good amount of licorice and bitter coffee behind that.

charred malts give way to a molasses sweetness which is balanced by a roasted bitterness. reminds me of a decent oatmeal stout, but doesn't provide much more.

light, yet creamy bodied with an odd, though not entirely unpleasant bitterness that lingers.

ehh. there are so many better porters and stouts that I wouldn't seek this out. the "black mocha" name is really just a marketing ploy as it doesn't have any more coffee or chocolate flavors than any other decent stout or even many porters. (712 characters)

Photo of MrMegaton09
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Tall Pilsner Glass

Into the glass this beer is very dark. No traces of light through. Very nicely colored head, sort of a chocolate cream color.

Lacing is average, head dicipates quickly.

First thoughts on the smell of this beer, figs. Plain and simple, at least in my opinion. Very sweet.

For taste, a good amount of dryness. I get hardly any traces of any coffee notes at all, if so very very unnoticable. I take away more of a malty sweetness that reminds me more off toffee than anything. Still a good tasting beer, just not quite what the label implies.

Overall, average beer for me. A good drinkable stout, that really didn't stand out anywhere else. C+ (678 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another excellent trade from cvm4. You know my tastes, sir. Poured into a snifter

A: Dusky black with amber highlights. A tan, half finger head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving a tan circle around the glass. Thick lacing.

S: roasted malts, chocolate, licorice

T: Chocolate, caramel, malty. Full bodied. Slightly astringent. Lightly burnt; hell, let's just call it smoky. Low hoppiness. Coffee finish.

M: medium; creamy. Good carbonation.

O: Robust. Very drinkable. Even better as it warms. I'd be interested in trying more from Highland. (550 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pitch black body with thick caramel head. Chocolate on the nose, hint of oats. No coffee, but not a bad thing. Im thinking more of a milk. Hint of bitterness.

Very dry up front. Its more bitter than i was expecting. Very dark, almost black chocolate. Very full of chocolate. I mean the name is Black Mocha. Light body, finishes very smooth. (341 characters)

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

Got this is in a BIF trade form OSUBeerStudent. Thanks again man!

Well, "black" is not the right word, but I'll give them "really, really dark brown to the point that it's nearly black in the glass". But that's true of almost every stout. It raises a nice, tan head that collapses down after a little while. The lacing is in bands, measuring the depth of each draw.

Typical aroma profile of a coffee stout with roasted malts and coffee (with a touch of cream), a little chocolate and a very slight hop presence.

Mostly toasted notes on the tongue with a dab of milk chocolate and a hint of coffee, but just barely. No hops at all, but that's not a negative for me. The body is about medium and there's no hint of the alcohol, making this a really easy drinking stout.

If I'm ever in Asheville, I'd love to try this on-tap. I was actually a little more impressed with their Gaelic Ale and I regret not having reviewed it now. (930 characters)

Photo of jktedder12
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed stout glass. Quarter inch head remained for several minutes leaving some lacing on top. Definite coffee aroma. Fairly strong, bitter coffee flavor. Dry mouth with just a hint of caramel. Full body, nice overall flavor. (259 characters)

Photo of xybreeder
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a nice dark/black color, with a medium to light head. Head retention is nice throughout consumption, and head color dark brown. Very slight lacing.

Smell - Roasted chocolate overtones, not as strong as I was expecting, but still nice aroma. Mallt & caramel are also present.

Taste - Chocolate, but should be for a mocha, right? Bitterness is in check giving the beer a very nice balance. Also think I'm tasting a little Black Patent grain, good stuff. Also picking up a very slight pepper taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, was expecting a fuller body with the bottle description, but body still is very pleasant. Might be slightly over carbonated (probably to appeal to the masses), but not enough to impact the taste in a negative way.

Overall - Better than average stout, especially for the chocolate fan. Seeing a head from start to finish was also nice. Definitely recommended for the choco stout lovers out there. (939 characters)

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

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

Pour very dark brown in color. It looks black, but if you get a little light behind it, it's actually more of a dark brown. The head only stood about one half of a finger following a medium pour. Hit has since settled to almost nothing. Very little head retention and/or lacing.

The nose on this one is pretty mellow, but I'm getting some roasted malts and a good amount of chocolate as well.

Taste is smooth and roasty up front followed by a burst of chocolate flavor. Very little in the way of hops/bitterness on this one. A hint of coffee towards the middle. Smooth finish.

Medium bodied with a creaminess that rounds things out on the back end. Carbonation is pretty low key.

A really nice stout overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: Despite the name, the brewery uses no coffee or chocolate in this beer. The chocolate flavor that they achieve is really impressive. Really nice for a stout that is so low in alcohol. It looks a bit thin initially, but this one surprised me a bit. (1,020 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 01-29-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Black beer with ruby edges when the glass is held to light. Medium-sized tan head has a fair amount of retention and leaves nice rings of lace behind.

Big chocolate aromas, with toasted malts and coffee notes. Taste is rich, with a chocolate semi-sweet flavor. Also get a bitterness as from dark roasted coffee, to the point of being astringent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied, with a dry finish of chocolate and a bit of hop bitterness. I also get some powdery feel along with the astringency mentioned in the taste.

Overall a good stout, however I think it could use some more chocolate and sweet notes to balance out the coffee and hop bitterness and be closer to what Highland describes on their label/website for this brew. (880 characters)

Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to HopDiggityDawg for great locals for locals trade.

Pours straight black with one finger of tan head. Aroma is all roasted malts: chocolate, coffee, tiny bit of burnt food on the pan that you left in the oven that still had some scraps on it, little bit of sweet caramel. Really well balanced on the nose, nothing super intense but well balanced. The taste is more of the same, lots of roastiness balanced with just a touch of hop bitterness. The mouthful is nice, smooth, full and very drinakble. Overall this was a really nice beer, nothing that will blow your mind but a solid choice for any occasion. (613 characters)

Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.