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Highland Black Mocha Stout - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

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

874 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 417
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 38
Gots: 70 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 12-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 417 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of movingtrain
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The marketing for this beer is interesting. It is called "Highland," it features a bagpiper on the label, and it's brewed in Asheville, NC. Brewery was founded in 1994.

Pours jet black with reddish hues around the edges. Decent head on top.

The first aroma in the nose is dark roasted coffee grounds. This gives way to hints of dark chocolate, molasses, some vanilla, and dark fruit. The overwhelming aroma here is the coffee...like coffee grounds after they have been brewed. Rich, earthy, and decadent.

The flavor follows suit, tasting a bit like brewed coffee, and more like soaked coffee grounds. The flavor is a bit medicinal, as well as bittersweet. There are serious coffee notes (as noted), along with semi-sweet chocolate, tangy dark fruit, toasted malts, vanilla bean, slight hoppy bitterness, and, well, more coffee (like cowboy coffee, where the grounds are thrown into the pot with the boiling water--no filter).

Overall, this is a nice, dry stout. There are some excellent flavor notes here, and some interesting aromas. I am glad to have tried it.

movingtrain, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of brandoncox
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque black and brown pour capping off with a nice fluffy khaki head.

Dark roasted coffee and sweet nutty chocolate on the nose.

An intriguing roasted robust coffee flavor with hints of cauppocino and an almost hidden vanilla appearance. Great balanced malty body.

Carbonation is spot on. You won't find the creaminess here but it makes up for it on the finish. Finishes dark and just a little bitter, but more of a roasted bitterness that doesn't fatigue your palate.

I could start every morning with a bottle of this. An awakening coffee brew on the senses.

brandoncox, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. I love this beer's big brother. Hopefully this will be close.

3.5 A: Despite the name, this is more of really dark brown, than straight up black. Just one fingers of creamy light brown head that falls quickly and leaves a ring of lacing.

4.0 S: This smells a good bit like the big brother. Sharp, almost sourish cocoa. Moderate roast. Coffee to a much lesser extent. Sweet molasses and dark caramel.

3.5 T: Good, but missing the richness of the imperial. Again, sharp cocoa powder, light coffee, moderate roast, and just a touch of caramel sweetness. Mild bitterness that is moderate for the style.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lighter than I'd prefer and missing the creaminess I love in the imperial. Smooth though.

3.5 D: Decent beer, but failed to capture what I love about the imperial version.

DavoleBomb, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of waltonc
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with tan head. Smell is an unassuming blend of dark roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Flavor too. Fairly dry and slightly bitter. For the low ABV, this is pretty tasty. Body is medium with medium carbonation. Overall, a decent stout, but not something I'd rush to get again. Not sure why this is in a bomber instead of a 12 ounce bottle.

waltonc, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Black Mocha Stout is black and completely opaque with a khaki/crema-looking head.

The aroma is of deeply roasted malt and strong coffee with perhaps a little unsweetened chocolate. The flavor is rich with a coffee bitterness that I really like. The bitterness is almost balanced with a malty sweetness, but stays more bitter than sweet. To me Black Mocha Stout tastes very porter-like. Again, Highland has demonstrated they really know how to choose just the right hops and they use them in just the right proportion. I like all the Highland beers I've tried so far. I'm becoming a real fan. I am going to make a road trip up to the brewery one day.

The mouth feel is not as creamy as some may prefer in their stouts, but it compensates with a medium to medium/plus textured ale that I could enjoy 12 months out of the year. It's not thin or watery by any means, but substantial and satiating, a real belly warmer.

Overall, I really like the qualities of Black Mocha Stout. Again, it has many characteristics I normally find and like in a great porter and yet it is a stout. I would have to rate it up there with the very best stouts I've tried.

airheadmtrcycle, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle won in a bet with av waitress in Asheville for eating the three meat combo at her bbq bar. Little did she know i'd hiked nearly twelve miles that day.

Appearance: dark caramel brown, almost molasses. Think looking, light head.

Smell: roasty malts, a hint of coffee. I got loads of barnyard on the nose. Really quite pleasant.

Taste: pretty one dimensional with the roasted malt, not much in the way of coffee or chocolate, which I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: pretty thin, fair amount of carbonation, not too full (but at 5.6% would you expect much body?)

Overall: a nice beer. Seemed more like a porter to me than a stout, but still very nice. I'll look for it some more next time in in the asheville area.

myspoonistoobig, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a motor oil, super dark black with a creamy, thick tan head that sticks around and leaves nice thick walls of lace down the sides of the glass.

The smell is of roasted malts, robust coffee, bakers chocolate and some caramel. Nice burnt notes, a touch of campfire and some faint earthy notes.

The taste follows the nose with a nice punch of roasted malts and rich coffee. Dark chocolate notes melt in the background with a touch of caramel sweetness. Nicely rounded out earthy notes with a touch of dark fruit complete a well balanced flavor.

Rich, thick and smooth. Overall a very enjoyable sipper.

JayS2629, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Dodo2step
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask for this beer in NC

A- dark black like motor oil. A dark brown fluffy head that is about a finger and half. Tight lacing on the pint, it sticks like glue.

S- a light coffee smell but not much more than that. Maybe some chocolate malts.

F- a dark roast coffee flavor. Coffee black no cream or sugar. A burnt finish, woody as well.

M- creamy and thick bodied. Aftertaste is burnt coffe like.

O- not bad and goes down fairly easy but its so thick that you dont want to chug it. The coffee flavor could have been brought out more in the nose but it isnt bad.

Dodo2step, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of LittleDon
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pint at Spirits in Cary, NC on 6/29/11.

Black, with a short lived head and no lace. Faint coffee aroma. Thin body and medium high amount of carbonation. Mild coffee flavor in front that improves on warming. Slight burnt sugar finish with some acidity. Borderline 3/3.5 beer. Flavor is enough to push it over the edge.

LittleDon, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of n2185
2.93/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark brown with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts with some creamy chocolate aromas. Slightly smokey towards the end.

T: Lots of roasted malts flavors with some semi-sweet chocolate. There are smokey flavors as well as a touch of char in there.

M: Medium body with fairly low carbonation, this beer is a bit watery feeling.

O: The words "black mocha" in the name imply a stout full of robust coffee and chocolate flavors. The actual beer doesn't taste anything like mocha. If you put this next to a regular American stout and asked me to pick which one advertised itself as a mocha stout, I wouldn't be able to tell you. It's not a bad beer, but it's very average.

n2185, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Meerkey
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Tan head, burnt umber, slightly ruby at edges

S: dark chocolate, coffee grounds. bitter.

T: tastes the way it smells. a slightly sweet finish comes through the bitterness.

M: Carbonated and clean. lingering bitterness.

O: Nice mouthfeel. Not that bad, but not one I'd turn to when I'm in the mood for a stout.

Meerkey, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of babaracas
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The name says coffee and the label says chocolate, let's see. Pours an opaque dark reddish brown with two fingers of tan foam, leaves a few thin rings of lace down the glass. Smell: mild roast, caramel, faint baking chocolate. Light smoke note. Taste: caramelized sugar, dark fruit note, slight acidity, even less dark chocolate. Semi-astringent grainy finish. Medium bodied, drying but sweet finish. Decent, but nothing great.

babaracas, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to CBlack85 for this one. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a solid black color with just a thin ring of beige head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma had a very faint coffee scent upfront with the usual roast and malt scents behind it. On the tongue the beer had big roast flavors belied by the aroma. The solid coffee flavors didn't overwhelm the beer.

The body was good, although perhaps a bit light for the style. Drinkability was good, the beer went nicely and didn't leave any lingering coffee taste in the mouth. Overall, a nice enough brew. Nothing special, but worth a shot if you see it.

beertunes, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

AlexanderSelby, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of chickenflea
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a style that a lot of people get right. Highland is no exception. The beer pours dark mahogany with a medium to small head. The aroma is very good and true to the style with rich chocolate and coffee mixture and malt. Medium body with a watery texture. Green apple notes on the front end, but the taste is quickly overwhelmed by coffee bean and burnt toast. Reservedly sweet. Bitter finish with a slightly tanic aftertaste. A good beer. Refreshing with plenty of flavor without being too heavy.

chickenflea, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of scifan
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a nice tan head that hangs out for a bit. Has some dark brown highlights along the edges when held to the light. This is a nice looking beer. Leaves some nice lacing when the head calms down.
Smell is a nice blend of smooth chocolate malts along with deep roasty aromas as well. One doesn't overwhelm the other instead an almost equal blend complements the other nicely. It brings to mind dark chocolates and coffee.
The first sip reveals a fantastic flavor. A nice smooth chocolate flavor hits the tongue first then followed by a strong roasted flavor. This is one roasty little stout. That aftertaste sticks with me for awhile which is quite pleasant.
Mouthfeel is where this beer falls a little flat. Its just too thin. I realize this is just a regular stout just wish it had a touch more heft to it.
Overall just a great session stout with a relatively low abv and great flavor.

scifan, May 19, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black as night, dark oil like liquid. Huge tan head had a very very slow fade and left lots of lace all the way down the glass. Looked just like a stout should look....thick.

Smell was very robust, deep roasted coffee and dark german chocolate. Hints of a sugary or caramel sweetness as well. Taste was very thick and complex. Big deep roasted flavor, almost a burnt taste to it. Lots of flavors of coffee and german dark chocolate. Cery thick feel, but not syrupy, great carbonation led to a great silk like feel. Nice big hoppy finish left a very long lingering burnt aroma, I could literally taste it for 20 mins after the last sip, very outstanding full flavor. Overall this was awesome, the perfect desset beer as a good stout should always be. I found no hint at all of any alcohol, nothing but great aromas and flavors.

mikesgroove, May 17, 2011
Photo of Mandark
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Mandark, May 10, 2011
Photo of Azurescens
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/27/11

A: Pours black with tan head, dark brown around the edges when held up to the light

S: Nice and smooth with roasted malt, chocolate and nice coffee that doesn't overpower the other aromas. Very little alcohol or hops to speak of.

T: Similar to the smell, sweet dark and caramel malts with chocolate and rich coffee. Some hop bitterness with very little detectable alcohol.

M: Slightly thin body for a stout and a fair amount of carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking stout.

O: Good combination of flavors but a little thin and under-powering. No major complaints but nothing really exceptional going on here.

Azurescens, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of johnnybgood1999
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

johnnybgood1999, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Lunch
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this a few times as extras from some generous down south traders, thanks!

Poured into an Old Rasputin nonic pint. Pours dark brown with creamy tan head of about two fingers. Looks good to me. Smell is subtle with some roast, coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and day old coffee grounds. Taste is similar with slightly old coffee standing out the most. Over all this is a decent American Stout and I would have it again, but this is nothing special.

Lunch, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color, with a light mocha colored finger of head.

Aroma is roasty, slightly chocolaty, and a bit of coffee. It's sort of muddled and unenthusiastic.

The taste ramps it up. Nice mocha notes, bittersweet coffee notes, chocolate, cacao, and big roasted malt notes.

The feel is great. Velvety smooth, medium bodied, creamy, and slightly drying.

Overall, quite a good coffee stout. Doesn't wow on the aroma, but the taste and the feel make it a good experience.

EgadBananas, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint glass..

A- Pours a very dark blackish brown with hints of amber around the edges. Pretty vigorous pour gave a nice large foamy tan head. Went down at a moderate speed and left two lace rights towards the top of the glass.

S- Yes... Great roast/coffee aroma with a subtle but delicious chocolate mixed in. Also, get a slight toffee/fig smell to really round this out and make it smell like a great mocha stout.

T/M- Wow, incredibly smooth roast! There is wonderful balance here between all the malts and the hops. I normally don't get much of a hop flavor in my stouts (nor like it a lot) but this one does well with it. When I take each drink I get- coffee, then grass, then a more pronounced roast, then a down and dirty earthy mud flavor that actually goes very very well with everything. Not quite as much chocolate in the flavor as I would have expected from the name and the aroma; but this is still great. Moderate carbonation and a medium body make this a well rounded drinker.

O- I was very surprised by this beer. I haven't had anything from Highland before, but I will go back and get some others now. I really really liked the earthy hops that shone through and balanced so well with the malt and other flavors. I will be getting this again as this is a great drinkable stout with an interesting but amazing flavor.

TheGordianKnot, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug.

After loving their Little Hump spring seasonal, I thought it was about time to try more from these guys. This brew pours a pretty deep black, not quite completely opaque but very close to it. The head is minimal for the style, leaving only tiny wisps on top. Lacing is pretty alright. The aroma is nice, good roastiness with some earthy chocolate. There's also some coffee in here, not too much though. Just a nice smelling stout. When this brew hits the tongue, some great roastiness comes in with some nice bitter chocolate. There's also some great earthiness to this brew along with some subtle coffee flavors. Just a great stout, nothing too complex, but very delicious and very affordable.

The mouthfeel is just about right, it's highly carbonated and fairly thick. The drinkability is exceptional, this bomber was quite easy to finish off. A great stout from Highland that I recommend, especially for the low price that it commands.

shand, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra from RBald42. Thanks Ryan!

The beer is very dark brown with a light mocha head (I seem to be drinking a lot of beers that look like this lately). The aroma brings a big wave of coffee beans and roast. The beer is malty, with a moderate amount of roast and coffee in the flavor. The coffee aspect could be a bit fresher and/or higher quality, as fresh, strong coffee can be wonderful in a stout (obviously). The body is a bit thin, but as this is a pretty drinkable, easy going stout at <6%, I suppose that's to be expected, at least to a certain degree. Overall, not a bad beer.

Huhzubendah, Apr 02, 2011
Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.