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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

439 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 439
Hads: 1,010
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 48
Gots: 145 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

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: 439 | Hads: 1,010
Photo of StoutHunter
2.72/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
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!

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Photo of silentjay
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of MrMegaton09
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
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+

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of Naugros
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of jktedder12
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of xybreeder
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of Morey
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of sommersb
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extra from Jpvw, thank you!

A: Poured into 12oz. tulip. Moderate fluffy mocha head means I have to let it settle a bit to pour the last bit in. Pours a deep mahogany, sits pretty close to black in the glass. Looks heavier than it is. Plenty of nice lacing clings all the way to the bottom.

S: Bitter earthy hops mingle with a healthy dose of cocoa powder and over-roasted coffee.

T: Bitter cold press coffee starts things off, with a hint of dry dark chocolate and smoke. Some floral, dry hops round things out for a fairly bitter experience, with the smoke lingering.

M: As noted above, less body than expected but still solid. A hint of creaminess and moderate carbonation give this one a nice smooth finish, while the bitter hops round things out nicely.

O: A nice stout which delivers as advertised. There is plenty of "mocha" presence, along with a nice hop balance and some smokiness that make this a very drinkable stout. A touch too bitter for my taste, but solid.

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Photo of tvv375ia
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-very dark brown/black with a hint of ruby at the edges

S-milk chocolate, and coffee dominate the nose with some roasted carmel malt

T-the chocolate changes to more of a dark chocolate in the taste and the coffee is still around on the finish

M-good carbonation and medium to heavy body

O-good solid stout that could make an everyday drinker for me if it was available here.

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Photo of Dope
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown pour with a large, dense light brown head. Retention is quite good. Lacing is excellent.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt and coffee in that order. Maybe a touch of cream.

T: Chocolate, roasted malt and then a strong bitter coffee component in the aftertaste. Interesting transition. Creamy throughout.

M: Nice medium heavy body, despite the low ABV. Creamy and smooth.

O: Pretty much as the name describes. Tastes like you would expect a mocha stout to taste. Chocolate and coffee mostly with cream in the background.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Arrived completely black with just a hint of a highlight at the edges when held to light.  A small tan head sits on top but doesn't last very long.  Minimal lacing left behind on the edges of the glass. 

S: Aroma is dominated by chocolate with some roasted barley, coffee, and a touch of hops.  Really nice aroma.

T: Chocolate, again, is dominant in this one.  Sweet chocolate up front, followed by roasted barley and coffee, providing a bit of a bitterness to balance out the sweetness up front.  Hops are almost indistinguishable, but may be getting lost in the bitterness. 

M: Lighter side of medium-bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.  Despite being somewhat thin, it's creamy and smooth on the palate.  Starts out sweet and transitions to a slightly bitter finish with a nice drying effect. 

D: Nice little stout that is tasty and very easy to drink.  Nothing unexpected, but it held my attention and could probably do so again.  My only complaint would be the thinness of the body and feel.  

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Photo of LaCoursiere
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no bottled on or best by date. Got this as an extra in a trade but forgot who sent it, sorry. Poured into a tulip glass

A - Impenetrable obsidian black with a one finger tan head. A nice collar and lacing remained after dissipation.

S - Roasted malt and faint molasses and hot chocolate notes.

T - Roasted malts, bakers chocolate, coffee and a faint sour note that I can't place, but it's not unpleasant. Not much sweetness. The sweetness that is there is embodied in the faint chocolate flavors. There is a pleasant lingering bitterness from the roasted malt.

M - Light bodied but not thin. Slick and smooth on the way in with light and fine carbonation that is pleasant.

O/D - This is a pretty nice beer that is very drinkable at the ABV and flavor profile. It's a nice light stout.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Not exactly black in color, but pretty close to it. Dark brown with lighter brown highlights when held up to the light. Tan head with good lacing to it.

I let this sit for a few minutes before cracking it open, it's still cool at this point, but no longer cold. Smell is good, but not quite what I expected. The bottle indicates that this beer has a "moderate hop flavor." However I find the hops to be the most dominant feature. Certainly some roasted grains and barley with a blend of coffee and chocolate, more chocolate than coffee. Smells good, but not as robust as the bottle indicates.

Taste is a step up from the smell. Pretty big all around all the flavors are pretty sharp, it tastes very sweet and very bitter. Sweet roasted grains (brown sugar and caramel, coffee and chocolate together. Then the final flavor is an earthy hop flavor. I would use the term robust in the flavor.

This is a good beer, but I think Highland struggled in the moutghfeel department just a tad. This beer is certainly robust and big in flavor, no doubt about it full bodied. Good carbonation level, but all of the flavors are pretty sharp. The problem is everything starts off really sweet then ends really bitter, there's no easy transition in between.

This is a really good beer, don't get me wrong. I like it a lot and so far I like the brewery. I might like the Oatmeal Porter a little better, but this is a worth second. Nice job Highland.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Just received a few hours ago from woolyb in the Good Beers BIF. Thanks for sending this! Chilled and poured into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown on the pour but it's looking black sitting in the glass. Rocky brownish/tan head forms but does dissipate quite rapidly. Very minor lace on the glass walls, along with a tight bubbly ring around the edges. For a lower ABV stout, this is what I've come to expect.

S: Roasted dark malts, cream, milk, a touch of dark chocolate and a hint of smoke towards the end. The slightest hint of a piney hop presence comes out as it warms. Certainly not the most aromatic beer but it does justice for what it is.

T: More roasted dark malts are up front with just a bit of chocolate. A milky and watery character seems to dilute the flavor a bit with some bitter coffee notes towards the back end. The finish has some dark chocolate nibs. It's a very reserved flavor profile though it has enough to make it enjoyable.

M: Very thin and watery, it's a shame. Though, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised as I get this a lot with low ABV stouts. Still, it comes across too thin. Lots of carbonation albeit somewhat creamy all around.

There's really nothing wrong with this stout. It's a very middle of the road, easy drinking and still enjoyable stout. I would have liked a bit more of a full mouth feel to the beer, as well as more of a show of either the chocolate or coffee - mocha *is* on the label!

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Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black like a stout. Thick, foamy mocha colored head upon pouring, but most of it disappears. The smell has a hint of chocolate. It's pleasant but not very strong. The beer is pretty light-bodies and drinkable for a stout. Tastes like a normal stout with chocolate. What I do praise them on is how they used the chocolate. I am not a huge fan of chocolate stouts that are overbearing. This one seems to get a good balance here. I get a good taste of it that supplements the taste of the beer, but not too much to where I can taste it over the beer. Overall a pretty good beer from a pretty good brewery.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. No visible best before date.

A: Rich, creamy, bubbly, off-white head makes an immediate impression before fading down to a more reasonable level. Very dark -- black-brown and dense; almost imperceptibly susceptible to guilt.

S: Creamy-rich and full of chocolate. Slightly roasty, but the tinge of bitterness seems to come more from hops? An excellent smell.

T/M: Scrumptious. The mainbody is light, but creamy, with an understated carbonation. Sweet milk chocolate is dominates the majority of the taste, but an undeniable coffee note on the late aftertaste lingers for ages. Upon further reflection, mayhap a bit *too* light. I'd like just a little bit more body in this beer.

O: Overall, I was very pleased with this beer. I admittedly expected little due to the very low price tag (~$3.75, iirc) but my expectations were exceeded in a dramatic fashion. Not a dramatic stout, but a solid beer in which one could indulge without worrying about poor quality. Sweet, rather than bitter, drinkable and pleasant. My biggest complaint is that it becomes noticeably less exciting with time. I would much rather have a 12 ounce bottle than a 22 ounce.

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Photo of brewcore
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

A: Very dark. Very little light transmitted. Agressive pour yields a two finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Good lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malts. Some burnt malt. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee in the background.

T: Slightly sweet malt up front quickly followed by the expected roasted chocolatey malts. Considerable hop bitterness for a stout which gives the chocolate tastes from the malts that mocha bittersweetness. Interesting tobacco finish; akin to a good cigar. Rich tobacco notes.

M: Low to moderate carbonation. Average mouthfeel for a stout.

O: I normally do not care for anything with a (IMO) noteable tabacco-like finish, but I do like this. I do not get as much mocha out of it as I expected but it is not missing. Would drink again.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Im sampling this as part of my Turkey day minibrewfest with family. Pouring this one from a 22 oz bottle at cellar temp into a wine glass as that was what was available for the night.
The beer pours a rich deep motor oil brown to black hue with frothy tan head foaming up 2 cm. The aroma is roasted malt and some dark cacao notes like a rich choclate bar. maybe some brown sugar mixed in and a bit of coffee ground hits. Overall the nose is appealing, while not punch you in the face robust definitely complex and rich scents.
First sip reveals a silky smooth textured beer with an average body and gentle spacious carbonation, almost like a cask.
Flavor is what the nose advertised with roasted malt and coffee grounds and a bit of molasses mixed in for good measure. I dont get any hop presence nor ABV. The beer is amazingly easy to drink and I finish the glass much faster than anticipated. Quite an enjoyable beer that I would definitely buy again if it floated around on shelves here. Pick up a bottle in the south and enjoy a well-crafted American stout.

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Photo of scott9890
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received as a gift, what a great gift someone must like me, The Allens.

A-Pours like I like my women...thick and black! Two-finger head.

S-Smells great roasted chocolatety malted goodness.

T-Like lucky charms wonderfully delicious. Roasted, malted and chcolatey.

M-Like my women should be thick, black, slightly bitter, but oh so yummy!!!

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING MISSY AND JOE!!!

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

Pours jet black with a nice 1.5 finger dark tan head.

Smells of dark roasted malt with some coffee and dark chocolate.

The taste is of heavily roasted malt with a slight burnt taste. There is a little bit of coffee present as well. This beer has a nice bitterness on the back end and finishes quite dry.

Overall I think this is a decent middle of the road stout. Nothing outstanding but a solid go-to beer when I am in the mood for an easy drinking stout.

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Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.