Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee PorterHighland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

480 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 20
Gots: 66 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Highland Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hippityhophead24 on 11-10-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 108
Reviews by TWM:
Photo of TWM
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance- very, very dark, nearly black. Little visible carbonation, thin head that generally lasts for the entire glass (currently drinking #6 of the six-pack, all of them had the same head for the entire glass).

Smell- A little coffee, hint of caramel, but mostly the earthy smell of a dark ale or porter. Definite hints of the bitterness in the smell

Taste- Lovin' it! Enough coffee to warrant the name without overwhelming the porter flavors. Taste changes through the sip from earthy to chocolate to a slightly bitter coffee aftertaste. Very pleased that Highland didn't try to sweeten their coffee brew, and allow it to remain very much a porter. I drink my coffee black, so this is hitting all the rights notes for me. Not a big hop flavor- the hops seem to add a bit of richness rather than much overt flavor of their own.

Mouthfeel- good but not as creamy and smooth as some porters. However, the feel seems just right for this combination of flavors.

Overall- as a dark-ale loving, black-coffee drinking fan of bitter beers, this one is making me quite happy!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro,or at least it was,it blew after my pour.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark brown cola color with rich creamy-like off white head atop.A heavy dose of French roast coffee in the nose with underlying bitter chocolate and molasses sweetness as well.A little heavy handed in the coffee department for my taste on the palate but its still a nice porter,mild molasses sweetness and a hint of vanilla underneath the coffee roast and earth.Again it's a great porter but for me just a tad to much coffee flavor.

Photo of chinchill
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Highland pint glass.

Pours with almost no head, although a thin ring and some lacing are still there some minutes later. Opaque, dark brown; more clear than cloudy.

Aroma of coffee, dark malts and noble hops, in that order of strength. Taste largely follows, although the roasted malts are much more evident in the flavor. While the aroma suggest espresso, the flavor is medium roast coffee; a load of coffee flavor nonetheless. Excellent level of mild bitterness; nice use of hops to provide a shade of spicy flavoring in this malty/coffee mix. There's a subtle hint of dark fruit here too. Fine finish and lingering aftertaste.

M: a bit under-carbonated; medium body; slightly dry finish.

O: a fine, dark coffee beer with a bit more coffee than malt flavor and aroma.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for this one. Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark black color with a one finger tan/brown colored head on top. Not much retention, reducing to a cap of foam on top, minimal lacing.

S: Lots of coffee, some roasted malt, a little bit of chocolate too.

T: There is some coffee flavor in the beginning, but it falls off quickly, leaving a dark, roasted malt flavor with nothing much else going on.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Surprised at how quickly the coffee was gone in the flavor profile. Decent, but not a beer I would see out again.

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

Dark, basically black, opaque brew with a light brown bubbly head. Head is an inch high initially, and fades to an 1/8" leaving some slick, spotty lace behind. Smells like a coffee beer extravaganza...creamy chocolate/cocoa, roasted (not bitter) coffee, sweet caramel, a little fruity and a little nutty, with some milky vanilla. Taste is packed with a solid coffee punch. It matches the smell well though there is more hop presence. Cocoa, coffee, and musky pine hops. A pleasant bitter kick comes as well. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with carbonation that's subtle but prickly. Coffee-like minus the bubbles. Body is good but I would have no objection to this feeling a little fuller. This is a very good coffee porter overall.

Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a quarter of an inch of cappuccino colored head that is dense, foamy, and has fantastic retention. The nose is subtle with mild notes of coffee, chocolate, and some citrus primarily lemon zest. The flavor is intriguing because it has notes that most porters wouldn't. I get notes of coffee and chocolate which were expected but also some fruit, citrus, and mild floral hop finish. The finish leaves a fruity aftertaste reminiscent of a Now And Later candy. There is also some wheaty notes throughout that seem to soften the body and mellow the flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little dry, and well carbonated. The dryness detracts a little from the body.

This is a refreshing beer. It has some fruity qualities that seem to set it apart from the rest of the crown. I enjoyed and wouldn't mind having it again.

Photo of Oldmankeebler
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad porter but nothing special. It is an average porter with a coffee after taste.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Turdferguson for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger frothy, light mocha colored head with low retention. Beer is a light, opaque black. Lacing is layered and thick with great cling. A solid looking brew.

Nose is coffee beans, roasted malt, and some liquorice. Moderately aromatic. Decent and as expected for the style.

Opens light espresso with hints of liquorice. Some roasted malt in the middle peaks through but its quickly overtaken by more coffee and espresso notes. End is more coffee with the same finish and aftertaste. Like the nose, very straightforward but pretty enjoyable.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Light and relatively smooth in the mouth and silky but thin going down. Finishes messy with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Could use a touch more body but still pretty good.

A solid beer that's very sessionable. This coffee porter doesn't try to do too much and as a result, it does what it's supposed to very well. A great replacement for iced coffee in my book!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body with a moderate cream head. Transparent at the edges. Thick collar of foam around the surface.

Smell - Strong coffee aroma. Some chocolate comes through from the beer, but it's mostly coffee.

Taste - Really strong coffee flavor. The beer is mostly lost back there, but some bitter chocolate comes through as well as some hop bite. The combination of coffee, chocolate, and hop bitterness becomes abrasive in the finish.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation, thin body, bitter finish. None too pleasing to consume, although it could be worse, I guess.

Overall - Some sips are decent, others are harsh. Coffee just seems to overwhelm everything in this.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a VERY dark clear ruby/near brown, with 2 fingers of rich light mocha head. This retains with a ½ finger or so of froth which leaves back a foamy cascade of sticky lacing. The aroma has a ripe smoky twang to it from a mix of cocoa, toffee, green citrus and coffee. The hops in particular give a nice fresh leafy pop in the nose.

The coffee flavor is there in the taste but isn’t overpowering, as sweet notes of chocolate and caramel kicks in next, which in turn give way to bitter green citrus along the rear. Roast and hops finish this dry and bitter with some lingering acrid smokiness on the tail end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mellow creamy prickle to the carbonation. This movies rather nicely, with just enough crispness to it from those hops.

This was a pretty decent take on a Coffee Porter, with a good balance and flow to the flavors and an easy enough body to keep this on the drinkable side on things. I’d like to see them put this in 12 oz bottles at some point.

Photo of mscudder
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint.

A - A black hue with a massive, thin-bubbled, tan head. Retention and lacing are both fantastic.

S - Sweet cocoa powder with a thin amount of coffee behind it.

T - Mild Roasted coffee paired with a fair amount of chocolate. Little bit of caramel and molasses to speak to of. Finishes with a roasted dryness infused with dark chocolate. I like it.

M - A rather thin medium body that has a creaminess to it. Touch of bitterness on the finish I could go without.

O - This is the best brew I have had from Highland. I found one offering at $7.99 for a sixer. That is a mind boggling great deal.

Photo of Treyliff
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours black with a small creamy light-tan head that retains nicely, leaving behind some shirt lasting lace

S- chocolate malt with some slightly burnt coffee, some fruity esters, burnt popcorn

T- smooth chocolaty malt flavors up front, the coffee is subtle but balances nicely with the chocolate, burnt popcorn continues into the flavor, leaving a bitter finish.

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy and silky mouthfeel with a smooth finish

O- the smooth chocolate flavors were almost spot on with the added coffee, however the burnt taste detracted from it overall. I wonder if it was the actual coffee selection that caused this

Photo of KYGunner
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deepest and darkest of browns, this Porter pours with a bubbly fleeting head that had a short life and frothy thickness.

Mmmmm, roasted coffee. The aroma is roasted whole bean coffee with hints of chocolate malt and smoke.

The flavors hold true to the nose with fine roast of coffee beans and an under current of chocolate malt and smoky char. The smokiness really comes out more prevalent in the taste.

The feel quite thin almost to a watery character. There is a nifty warmth, despite the lower ABV, and a spiciness.

Overall, I'm very impressed with Highlands rendition of this Porter. It holds more qualities of a coffee stout but who cares when it's good.

Photo of Rchap1
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just picked this up about a week ago, finally cracked one tonight. Served in a pounder pint.

A: Nice and dark as it pours, leaves a deep brown full-finger head. Lots of bubbles, looks like it's got a good deal of carbonation.

S: You definitely pick up a lot of the coffee, but also get a fair amount of roasty malt, and a tiny little hint of chocolate, which I would expect to find in most coffee porters.

T: A little thinner than I expected, but decently tasty. I was hoping for more of the coffee to come through, but the malt flavor definitely tops it. It has a good dry flavor, but is a bit thinner than I would like.

M: Again, a little on the thin side. Nice and bubbly though.

Not a bad brew, I've certainly had better coffee porter before, but this is fine for an everyday drink.

Photo of jsanford
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark black with a very creamy mocha-colored head that settles to a nice cap, leaving sheets of lacing.
S -Lovely coffee-forward aromas of mocha, chocolate, vanilla, roasted nuts, and caramel. Very nice, but not overwhelmingly intense like some coffee beers.
T - Sweet coffee-and-cream, caramel, dark chocolate malt, and roasted nuts. Very drinkable despite the strong coffee flavors, sessionable almost.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a medium body and solid carbonation.
O - A really solid new brew from Highland, I'd love to see more of this!

Photo of Vec2267
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a tan head that falls quickly but laces nicely

S - Coffee

T - Roasted (to the point of burnt) coffee, a slight cocoa and nuts

M - Medium body but very satisfying, any heavier and it would have become syrupy

O - Very easy to drink, very smooth, nothing harsh

Another fine beer from one of my favorite brewers.

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

Pours a very dark brown under a slim, bubbly tan head. Bold coffee upfront in the aroma along with some dark, bitter chocolate roast. Roasted, mildly sweet coffee flavor. Pretty straightforward, which isn't a bad thing. Baker's chocolate, nuts, maybe a little molasses. Smooth and medium bodied with a touch of wateriness. Dry in the finish. This certainly delivers in the coffee department.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown, nearly black in color with a nice little puff on tan colored head on top. Nice lacing as it drops down the sides leaving a broken crown along the top. Aroma is solid coffee, with light notes of lactose and touches of something sweet balancing in there as well. Rich coffee notes with light touches of sugar are the way to go here. Smooth, easy sipper as each taste seems to bring more of the coffee flavor up to the forefront. Lighter feel then I would have expected but with the more the adequete carbonation it really seems to work here.

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

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is dark brown/black with ruby highlights. It had a couple inches of mocha head.

S - I get some fresh coffee and roasted malt.

T - At first I get some roasted and burnt malt. As it warmed the coffee came though loud and clear.

M - Full

O - At first I wasn't thinking this was going to be a good beer. After it warmed and the coffee came through it is quite enjoyable.

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

have had this in a couple formats since release, rating a single bottle picked up at bruisin'

a: served from 12 ounce bottle into a wide snifter, this anticipated coffee porter produces a brief flash of mocha head that falls back to a thin ring, the beer itself a deep brown-to-black in color

s: awesome medium roast coffee nose - smooth barley roasts and roasted wheat mingle in, combining to produce dark fruit and chocolate aromas, mild hop aroma with some slight grassiness, some other presence here - vanilla, toffee, cocoa - but it all comes back around to that lovely, pure coffee aroma - not at the top, but up there with the best coffee aromas I’ve found - rich with a clean, cold-steeped character

m: carbonation on the lower side of the moderate range, body a fuller medium, smooth

t: fresh, rich medium-roast coffee flavors underscored by notes of toffee and semisweet chocolate, not too heavy and in keeping with the porter style, some sugars on the front and middle with a delicate, cleanly flavored hop bitter lingering with strong coffee

o: really like the combination of porter and coffee - provides the nice roasted barley and sugars that you’d find in a stout, while allowing more of the bean to shine through, and the coffee character, of course - it’s fantastic, nice use of Midnight wheat as well (a new variety to me) - helping to keep things clean and balanced while contributing its own roasted character, easy drinking and very enjoyable

beans roasted by Dynamite Roasters in Black Mountain - they produce some quality beans and have a really nice shop in town

Photo of ThickNStout
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brown w/ tan head. Thinish w/laid back coffee & charred malts. Nice but lacking something. 

22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 3.99. Served in a pint glass. 

Pours a very dark brown with 2.5 fingers tan head. 

Smell is mild coffee and milder roast malts. 

Coffee is the most predominant flavor. Some roast, a little bakers cocoa and something bitter astringent that doesn't quite fit. 

Medium light feel with moderate carbonation. 

Not bad but there is something missing. The coffee flavor is a great start but it never quite takes off from there. 

Photo of devilben02
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black from the bottle, with a foamy, mocha-brown head. The aroma is distinctly reminiscent of coffee and milk, with a bit of milk chocolate and some kind of dry mineral character beneath. The flavor is pleasantly mild, with a light coffee bitterness and lactose sweetness predominating, although some herbal hops and bittersweet chocolate are also present. Overall, although the flavor is a bit dominated by the coffee character, it doesn't change the impression of this beer as a pleasant, drinkable porter.

Photo of ltd4n
4.78/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best porters, ever. There is sometimes a lingering aftertaste but I think that depends on the age/batch.

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

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Nice tan head, moderate retention on a dark ruby, almost black body. Nice lacing leaving behind clear film. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee with a mild sweetness (like coffee cake) in there somewhere. Taste includes a nice roast, mild sweetness with coffee in the aftertaste. Very easy to drink, quite sessionable and tasty.

Photo of schwemjw
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: a rich black with a creamy tan head.

S: Strong roast dominates the aroma. Bits of chocolate swirl in and out. Dark coffee and a bit of a nutty sweetness.

T: Once again, a very dark strong roast. full coffee flavor. slight earth bitterness. the finish is a tad nutty with a little bitter cocoa. bitter coffee roast finish.

M: Thin with a long bitter coffee finish.

O: A very solid offering. The mouthfeel is fantastic i think. Light and easy to drink but packing a punch with flavor. a perfect winter session porter! /85

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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.