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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

906 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 906
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 41
Gots: 89 | 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:
Beer added by: Jason on 12-09-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 906 | Reviews: 425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grayburn
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another good offering from the folks at Highland. It pours a midnightish brown, bordering on black. Dark tan head that laces alright and sticks around.

The smell and taste are both dominated by a roasted chocolate malt flavor that is quite nice. Other notes include some light licorice and just a wee bit of alcohol to round things out.

The mouth is a bit over carbonated, but otherwise melds the flavors together well with its medium body. Definite drinkability for this one, it goes down easy and it's abv is low enough to enjoy a few.

Photo of jbone78
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bad boy from a trade with Mackd Beer. It was a good trade. He called me from his brew store and gave me the play by play.

A- Poured black into my pint glass with a very tan lacey head. Looks good.
S- Not much to write home about, but you can get a hint of chocolate out of it. Not terrible, but great is not the best word.
T- I really like the taste of this beer. It is not too thick and at the same time it does have nice chocolate, malty and other sweetners in there.
m- I mentioned the body already. It is not a thick beer, but you have good malty flavor. The hops blend well not to take too much from the malt character.
D- I might contact Mackd Beer to send me more of this one.


Photo of Oxymoron
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What other color with mocha be? Pours a black midnight color just as advertised. A thick off tan head with good retention and lacing through the tasting though did hide to the edge of the glass after some time.

The noses is rich in malt. Noticeable chocolate and roasty malt aromas. Some astringent black malt. A hint of black marker but blends well with the coco noses. A light coffee note but I was really expecting much more out of this. Some minor DMS but not over the top. Some nice esters to balance with plums, figs and a sugary raisin smell.

The taste is more on par with the coffee theme. A good blend of chocolate, malt and coffee notes that are very distinct yet blend well with each other. As the beer warms the coffee notes take a slight lead over the other malt notes. Noticeable roast and black malt notes with a hint of lactic quality. There is distinct yeast flavor that is a bit out of place. Some yeasty sudsy notes along with esters, mostly figs and plums. Finishes a bit sweet with more of a coco finish.

The astringency really comes out at first but then the malt and lactic quality really settle everything down and leaves a smoother texture in the finish. Carbonation is light and would like to see a touch drier in the finish but still a very nice brew. Overall a very good beer with a nice mix of coffee and chocolate.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one was an extra for a trade that I unfortunately didn't keep good enough track of. I know I've been sitting on it for a while, not sure why that is as this is a favorite style of mine, but here we go.

Pour is a near opaque black with hints of brown when held up to light. Head starts off well enough but quickly dies down. The upside there is some good lacing on the glass that brings this one above average.

The smell worries me quite a bit. I get a lot of coffee but it brings to mind some of my lesser favorite in the style such as Atwater Block's Vanilla Java porter. The coffee smell is overpowering and doesn't have that nice coffee bean smell I like (likely attributed to roasted malt) but straight, strong coffee. It overpowers everything. I can't punish for lack of character, but it is a bit one dimensional, and not entirely one that has me dying to taste it.

Unfortunately, taste follows suit as this one is a bit one dimensional on the coffee side. It is so overpowering that I can't discern much else in the way of character.

Mouth is good, no real complaint here. I prefer my stouts to be thick and near flat, this is a bit more toward the middle of the thickness scale and rather bubbly, but due to the overpowering nature of the coffee, this actually makes it more drinkable.

Overall an average brew that I won't likely revisit.

Photo of theghost3
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a 1-finger cafe au lait head. Moderate lacing.

Smell is mainly chocolate with roasted malts. Taste is strongly roasted chocolate malts. There's a hint of molasses and bitter hops. Mouthfeel is creamy but not as thick as I like in a stout & slightly acidic.

This is a drinkable stout. If you like dark chocolate, this is for you.

Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brownish black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and a lot of chocolate. 

T- The taste like the aroma is dark and roasty with a lot of chocolate flavor and some coffee as well with a moderate hop bitterness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a pretty tasty brew that is definitely worth a try.

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 22oz bottle.

A- Pours thick. Black in color. No head really at all.

S- First I smell the alcohol but it is nice because it is not a big smell. I also smell chocolate and a little bit of coffee.

T- I taste a lot more coffee in here than I smelled. I also taste the chocolate. The best thing I like about this beer, though, is that the alcohol flavor is to the point that almost goes overboard but doesn't.

M- Mouthfeel is great! I love the way it stays in your mouth long after you have swallowed. It is thick and sticky! Nice!

D- Because of the 9.5% I could probably only do two of these in a row, but i could talk myself into a third if it was a Friday night.

I received this in a trade from cbros. Can't wait to see what else North Carolina has to offer!

Photo of indiapaleale
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My last bottle from a recent trip to NC...

Pours a murky and mysterious abyssmal black with a beauty of a thick off-white head that clings and stays like nobody's business.

Smells are very much like one would expect (coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, caramel) with the exception of a certain peppery smell. Hard to explain, kind of like someone ground some black pepper on top or something.

Taste is a very rich mouthful or dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and dark malt. Delicious! Malty goodness, lots of sweet and toasty flavors blending together just like a coffee house mocha. I pretty much dig any beer with that word in the name.

Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy, love it!

I wish I had 5 more of these!

Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger, medium brown head on an opaque black body. The head leaves nice, thick lace as it settles.

S - Distinct coffee notes in the nose, espresso and chocolate. Some nutty malt and a bit of caramel as well.

T - Lots of coffee up front with some unexpected, earthy wood notes as well. Malty flavors in the middle, caramel and roasted nuts. The finish is dark but not bitter, with unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and some carbonized flavors.

M - Moderately thick body, medium carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - A nice coffee stout, with a very realistic coffee flavor. Not overly dark or rich, but it has a reasonable level of complexity and it is quite well balanced.

Photo of maximum12
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to rnogart who sent this brew to me quite a while ago. Too many coffee beers led to this waiting patiently in the fridge for a few months. Here goes!

Black. Smells solid, if that's a word to describe an odor.

The coffee that isn't real evident in the nose is a bit player behind the warm roasted malts, second fiddle where it belongs, & the two bond like long-lost sisters. The coffee is nicely understated, the chocolate barely perceptible.

The least attractive portion is that the Mocha Stout is just a touch thin; I don't drink coffee because it's thin & watery, & it's a sin for stouts of any stripe. Still, that's just a touch below average & this is an easy-to-down stout.

Good beer in a style that tends to get lost for me underneath the pile of big bodied stouts that I've been digging. Nice.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic Imperial pint glass. The stout appears a nearly black color with about an inch of lingering, pillowy dark ecru foam. Nose and flavor are of dark roasted grains, bittersweet cocoa, mocha, bakers chocolate, coffee beans and a hint of vanilla. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with ample carbonation. A great version of the style. Worth seeking out.

Photo of beer2day
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a very nice two-finger deep cream head. Decent retention and very nice lacing. No carbonation visible through the inky black here.

Big chocolate aroma. Notes of roasted malt and some malty sweetness as well.

Very smooth on the tongue. Initially sweet with a bitter chocolate finish along with the roast flavor that makes for a great ending.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a mug.

A--Deep, deep opaque black. Very motor oil-ish, which I'm into. Cappuccino foam head is a little past a finger, dense, and lasting. Oh man, I'm in for it with this puppy!

S--Even better: rich, chocolaty goodness. Actually there's more espresso on the nose than chocolate, to my nose. Tons and tons of bulky bitterness--biting, dares you to sip it.

T--I only sipped it once; past that it was a gulp. Great one-two sock of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee bitterness. Interplay between the two is strong and lasting to well past the finish. Long, puckering from the roast ending to the taste. In the beginning middle there's some sort of Graham cracker thing going on, too, after it warms that lends a bit of s'more action. The words s'more and beer get along well, it would seem.

M--Thick, full, and plummy. Viscous without being sludgy. I like!

Keep 'em coming. I had about five of these the first night I tried them. Good thing I took notes after the first...

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a huge mocha head; sticks nicely and leaves a wonderful spattering of lace

Smell: Milk chocolate, with hints of coffee and char

Taste: Roasty and chocolatey up front, with an underlying though subtle citrus fruit flavor arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the coffee takes over, though the other flavors remain present underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; just a touch thin to my palate

Drinkability: Much better than I remembered, this is a really flavorful stout that packs a wallop for being less than 6%

Photo of beeragent
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a dark ruby almost black, forming a 1/2 inch mocha head. Not much lacing is visible on the glass.

S - Strong roasted malt aroma along with a noticeable coffee presence mixed in.

T - Delicious thick roasted malts dominate the palate, with a nice coffee flavor coming through in the middle, followed by a slightly bitter chocolate finish.

M - Heavy bodied with very light carbonation. Extremely smooth finish with a flavor that stays on the palate after the swallow.

D - Great full flavor, very complex in the taste, along with a nice thick body. This is exactly what a good stout should taste like. Aside from the not-so-great appearance, this beer has all the characteristics of what a stout should be. Definitely an all-nighter sessionable ale.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Review #150!

Pours a deep, dark brown color, bordering on black. Three fingers of fluffy, light brown foam peak out over the top of the glass. The foam retains well. Loads of lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Tons of roast in the nose. Big coffee aroma, and there's some caramel and chocolate in there to slightly mellow it out.

Roasted barley is probably the dominant flavor here. There's a very nice chocolate espresso quality, as well. I'm not much a coffee guy, but I'm really enjoying this beer. There's also some slight citric hop bitterness. Very tasty, and no one flavor overpowers another. Rich flavor.

Medium body. Very rich and creamy texture. Carbonation might be a little too lively for my liking, but it's not unpleasant. Very smooth drinker. Great finish. This is damn good, and, luckily for me, very readily available in my area.

Photo of degerbah
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Friends brought this back from North Carolina for me, poured dark brown to black with no head at all. Smell is heavy caramel malt. This beer just looks intimidating. It doesn't have the viscosity that I associate with an RIS, but it still looks full bodied.

MOG Coffee! This has beer has more mocha coffee taste too it than some cups of coffee I've had. Kind of like if someone turns off the coffee pot at work and lets it cool off. Thi isn't exactly fair though, it is actually light enough that it's somewhat refreshing, even with its surplus of flavor.

I would definitely buy this again if it were available, I'd keep this in my cellar for special situations if it were available in my state. I have to say, I really liked this.

Photo of Breedlove
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very black. Poured with about 2 fingers of head. Moderated lacing. Looks very Stout-ish, it that was a word.

S: This beer smells lovely. Lots of coffee (obviously) but some vanilla too. This semms just like a mocha stout should.

T: Great! Big choclate and coffee. Sweet up front nice and bitter in the back. Nice.

M: Just about right. Not too thick, but chewy enough.

D: I could dring a bunch of these. Great stout. I am a fan.

If you had not had this beer I would check it out. One of the most drinkable coffee stouts out there. That is all.

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black like the oil I put into my car this morning. Very thin tan/brown head, almost too thin to see, but it is pretty.
There is a strongish malt smell with a hint of expresso.
Very smooth malty taste through the front.
Huge backlash of coffee taste that sticks for a bit. Some sips it's a good taste, others it tastes like watery used grounds. But mostly a solid coffee taste on the end here.
Very drinkable, not a session beer but something you could drink through without complication. Not over powering.

Photo of Proteus93
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black pour with a billowing tannish coloured head. Some nice sheets of lace stick around the walls of the glass.

S: Off to a good start on the nose. There's no indication that there is chocolate added to this brew, and I don't believe there is... but it smells like there could be. It's a nice, clean scent - literally like the mocha it labels itself as, really. The roasted malt scents and subdued hops round everything out for a fabulous smelling beer.

T + M: While a nice tasting brew, I don't get the same kind of complexity over the tongue as I did with each smell. It's more of a straight forward light coffee along with moderate chocolate and roasted barley flavours. Mouthfeel is a little slick but lacks some of the creaminess that I might hope for. It does finish quite clean as the bottle claims, but in some ways almost too much, maybe.

D: It's nice to have another lower ABV, 'non Irish-Dry' to add to the rotation sometimes... I'd be curious to try to the 'imperial version' to see how that compares, as I'd find this one to be just about perfect if only the flavour were a little richer and the mouthfeel a little more weighty.

Photo of dfillius
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1/2 finger of dark tan head that remains as a nice ring later on. Very dark brown liquid. A good looking stout.
S: I can smell it from a few feet away. Mocha is strong in this one. Coffee, creamy chocolate, faint whiff of salt air, butterscotch in the background. Is the mocha smell fake?
T: Roasted grains, but no chocolate or coffee at first. Kind of bland at first, but it is cold. Flavor doesn't increase much with warming. Mostly bitter grain.
M: Bland and silky - satiny almost. Roasty bitterness.
D: Good, but lack of flavor inspires me to not drink more of this.

Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Appearance: This one's mostly dark brown in color. There's a little light getting through giving it some ruby highlights. The head is a light mocha color and stands about two fingers tall. It disappeared pretty quickly and left a spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell: The nose is a tad light in terms of strength, but still does a pretty nice job. Roasted malts come through strongest, but chocolate malts aren't far behind. It smells a little sweet. A bit milk chocolaty, if you will. Coffee is very, very light here. I'm hoping it's a little stronger in taste. Smells a little grainy. Alcohol isn't noticeable in the least.

Taste: Will wonders never cease? This is much better than I was expecting. Roasted and chocolate malts provide a nice combo to kick it off. They're an interesting tandem here. It starts off with a nice roasty flavor, but quickly switches gears to a sweet, milk chocolate delight. There is a stronger roasted coffee flavor here, but it is more complementary in nature. It's nowhere near as strong as it is in some coffee stouts. It works well here. Very well. Tastes like there's some light hopping as a slight bitter surge emerges. Finishes sweet and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium in body. Nice and smooth. It'd be a little smoother if it were thicker, but it's good as it stands. Drinkability is very high. It's got a really nice flavor and abv is pretty modest. It goes down really, really easy.

Black Mocha Stout has surprised me. I really wasn't expecting it to be anywhere near this good. Yeah, a little more strength (and coffee) would go a long way in the nose. A thicker body might improve it a little, as well. But, those are very minor complaints. This is excellent beer. Definitely pick one up if you run across it. Thanks, Chris.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color with a frothy yellow-golden head that fades slowly. Nice looking beer.

Mocha coffee nose with cocoa and chocolate. Smells sweet and fresh. Pretty straightforward, but really good.

Is there oats in here? Sure tastes and feels like it. Oh-so silky smooth and creamy. This beer kicks some ass, delicious. Chocolate malts and coffee flavors are the main attraction here as there seems to be a deficiency of hops. Does not taste as big as the nose indicates, could use a bit more body. All things considered, it is a damn fine beer that I would love to have regular access to. Nice pricetag as well.

Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. Near black pour with a rather white head that did not stick around long. Roasty aromas, malt with some coffee and light chocolate. Taste matches with roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Something I can't quite put my finger on like lactose or something. Normally would not bother me but this is not supposed to be a milk stout. Finish is ok but something with the lactose and slight metallic maybe? I've had this several times but this time seemed a bit disappointing. Probably did not help that I followed this with a Founders Breakfast, which was much more commanding of a presence. This still seems thinner than I remember. Worth trying, but this is a little underwhelming.

Photo of joepais
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brentk56 for sending this want along in his black booty package 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of tan head that turned into some nice lace. The body was a true stout black in color, no light coming thru at all

Aromas of roasted malts, and coffee, as well as a light chocolate smell are detected in my nose. The flavors follow the nose it is predominantly roasted malts and the associated flavors it brings. A nice feel in the mouth medium to thick not to much carbonation on the tongue

A good stout nice to drink and I think I could easily drink a few of these in a sitting.
Good work Highland

Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 906 ratings.