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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee PorterHighland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

107 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 499
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 23.91%
Wants: 24
Gots: 86 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 499
Photo of cwoods
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Maybee Im biased since Im from NC but, I cannot help but LOVE this brew. Beer has a great poor with a nice frothey head. The smell is pleasant and leads you into coffe porter bliss. Its everything I desire in coffe porter and is one of my top 5 beers. Not a thing I would change about this beer, just wish it was availabe year round.

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Photo of austin_page
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Very nice dark inky color, a little bit of brownish hue, brown head, nice lacing and retention. I could tell I was going to enjoy it just by the sheer darkness.

S- Smells really good, you smell the coffee right off the bat, smells a bit roasty, mild malts.

T- There's kind of a hoppy pinch when it first hits the tongue, roasted/ almost caramel/ nutty malt kind of taste, you can definitely taste the rich coffee and malt, they blend very well, this can be compared to Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake stout, since a porter with coffee is essentially a stout.

M- Slight carbonation, smooth, goes down just like coffee, coffee after taste, leaves you wanting another after another if you're a die hard coffee fan and beer nut.

O- Overall a very nice stout since Highlands Mocha stout tastes mostly of cocoa powder and has plenty of room for improvement, I couldn't come up with a decision at Whole Foods as usual, but I saw the last sixer and know I know why, its simply delicious and I know it won't be around long.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is mainly quality roast coffee and sweet chocolate, like a mocha from a good coffeehouse. It pours a nearly-black opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, almost Guinness-like tan head that stays around for a bit. Superb flavor is more like coffee than porter - quality coffee, like something from Starbucks or Caribou Coffee, not cheap instant. It also has a subtle malty undertone and a hint of licorice. Sweetness and bitterness balance each other nicely. Texture has plenty of fizz and above-average body. Maybe it won’t leave you thunderstruck, but it’s an outstanding brew.

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Photo of jucifer1818
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at brewfest, and it was also the first one I had.

an what a beer to start with! this is by far the best coffee beer I've ever had.

You can actually taste the coffee, and it feels like a cup of cold black coffee, which if that's what you want....this is the perfect brew for you

Its body Still felt a little too light for my taste, but its strong coffee flavors really make up for this.
my only retreat was not having a scoop of vanilla ice cream to add to it!

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Photo of dbell23
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my New Belgium tulip glass. Very dark brown/black with two fingers of beige head.

Smells of cofee(duh) and milk chocolate.

Tastes of delicious coffee with chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel is a little more carbonated than I like in a porter/stout but still very good

Overall this is one of the best coffee stout/porter that I've had. Delicious.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great local option here. This is a somewhat seasonal release from Highland.

Appearance: Dark black but not totally light absorbing. Looks like a stout in many ways, a little thicker in the appearance than you typical porter.

Aroma: Coffee hits you right there, it has a nice balance of malts and roasted coffee, some vanilla notes and just a hint of something sweet to balance it out.

Taste: Very well balanced beer. Not too much coffee but enough to make it interesting. Vanilla and sweetness are there to counterbalance any of the roasted malt and coffee bitterness. Truly well balanced for the style. Mouthfeel is velvety and spot on!

Overall: I really love this beer from Highland, I would venture to say this is the best Highland beer I have ever had.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque garnet hued elixer with a sweet biege head and ample lacing.

A bit muted on the coffee, but seems to have a nice fruity type english yeastiness that blends well with the roasty grain goodness as the coffee takes a back seat.

Cream filled coffee smoothness that gives way to a nice roast grain bill finishing off with that nice smooth english yeast fruitiness. I assume the english yeastiness is from the cask conditioning, and it plays a vital role here.

So smooth and so creamy with just the right amount of fruity yeast.

WOW, my guys at greens have helped us brew lovers out. Fantastic cask ale, soft and smooth with all the highlights. Well played Wes & Joseph, Thank you and keep up the good work.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another coffee beer?! As Mac from "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" often quips, "Youre Goddamned Right"! I bought a 12 pack of this from Sam's Blue Light in Durham, NC. On the side of the 12 pack, Sam's posted a sign that read "Lawsuit from AC/DC pending". I thought that was pretty fuckin funny.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass an opaque black color with a half finger sized, creamy tan head. Lacing is decent and head retention is nice as well.

Aroma is beautifully coffee filled. Raw, fresh roasted, burnt toasty goodness. This is the kind of coffee aroma I like in my beers. Almost like espresso. Not a whole lot else but I dont really give a shit.

More coffee in the flavor, and more deliciousness. My only gripe about this bee is the rather thin and watery mouthfeel. Give this one some body and substance and you have something world class here. I still loved this beer and commend Highland for trying new stuff and always staying local when possible.

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Photo of scvance
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a pitch black color and leaves a thin, very creamy, tan layer of head. Excellent retention and lacing all the way to the end. Smells very roasted, chocolate and coffee, with a slight earthiness. Taste is amazing, dark full roasted coffee notes right away that fades to a bittersweet chocolate flavor. The mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and smooth. Medium carbonation and full bodied. Overall this beer is excellent, it was hard finding anything wrong with it. One of the best coffee porters I've tried. The taste and feel really just put it over the top. Excellent.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, amzing beer for not being an imperial. Very sessionable big flavor porter. Little or no residual sweetness. Lots of coffe flavor but not overdone by any means. Just a perfectly excuted coffee beer and a great new addition to the brewery. Love the labels/and name. Great cold weather, bbq beef, and chocolate dessert beer.

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Photo of hippityhophead24
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark in color with light brown head that dissipate quite fast. Thin light brown lacing around the glass.

S: being that its getting colder outside, my sniffer is a little off, but I get a little chocolate notes with lots of roasted coffee beans.

T: nice full flavor robust porter. Tiny hints of chocolate and pretty heavy on the coffee. I get more of a freshly roasted coffee taste instead of freshly brewed coffee. Little bit of sweet caramel notes mixed in as well.

M: medium bodied, nice and silky smooth on the tongue. Nicely carbonated as well for a porter.

O: I think this is another great one by Highland. If you're a coffee porter/stout fan, I would pick this one up to try!

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown-to-black color with a nice 3-finger frothy, bubbly, tan head. Really nice retention and some great lacing.

S – Amazing roasted malt aromas with coffee, chocolate, and some molasses. There’s a touch of lighter dark fruit aromas such as figs and cherries, too. Again, just a touch of those – the big roasted malts and coffee are front and center.

T – It starts off sweet with chocolate, molasses, some vanilla, and some dark fruit flavors. As the taste progresses, the fruits become more prominent until spicy and earthy bitter noble hops appear and build toward the finish. At the finish, as the hops start to fade, the big roasted coffee bitterness comes in. This is a tasty beer.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with great carbonation, a creamy and smooth mouthfeel, and a bittersweet and slightly spicy finish. Roasted coffee bitterness lingers at the back of the throat for a really nice amount of time.

O – This is a great porter. It’s full of both sweet and bitter roasted flavors and aromas and has a fantastic mouthfeel. This is one of the fullest-bodied porters that I’ve ever had; most that I’ve had are usually lacking in this category. Highland really impressed me with this one. Cheers!

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Photo of avalon07
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, muddy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing.

S: A very strong coffee smell, with some chocolate thrown in as well.

T: Tasted of coffee, predominantly, with some chocolate, malt and a little hops. While the coffee does dominate the flavor, it's still very tasty.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A wholly enjoyable, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Vec2267
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head traditional oversized snifter. Base of bottle says Filled 09/15/15.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Great mocha aroma that's moderately sweet, has solid dark roast coffee presence and includes notes of chocolate, caramel and vanilla.

T- Big coffee flavor that's only lightly sweet and works well with the roasted malt. Somewhat bitter hop/roast quality. Dark roast coffee aftertaste.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- I think they might've put more coffee in this beer this year because it's even better than previous years' batches.

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Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow - what a complex, delicious beer! Of course, if you don't like coffee and don't like bitter brews, best you not give this one a try.

Pours a dark black with a foamy, tan 1" head. The smell is of roasted coffee with slight caramel/candy overtones. Taste is, you guessed it, a strong hit of coffee, bitter, and just an overall complex, satisfying mouthfeel. Clearly this is not a session beer, although if you wanted to have a few of these over the course of 4 or 5 hours, you'd be in for a satisfying treat.

With Thanksgiving coming up, this would be a great dessert beer.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my more anticipated new NC beers to try, so I was excited to see this one on tap at City Bev in town. A huge rocky tan head capped this mother off. The nose was strong with roasted coffee and chocolate powder. I really am digging the freshly ground aroma. Nice strong coffee presence. The body is moderate-to-full, yet still drinkable. The alcohol level must be low, because this one is disappearing quickly. Big coffee notes, chocolate, slight nutty presence melded within. Dang. This one delivered. My new favorite Highland offering. Now to seek out some bottles...

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Photo of birchstick
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours an opaque black color with a chocolaty head that disappears rather quickly

S - nose consists of heaps and heaps of roasted, nutty coffee with dark chocolates also in the mix

T - opens up with bitter, chocolaty, burnt coffee notes. From there, these flavors separate and take turns being the dominant flavor on the palate. Kind of crazy how the flavors begin together, separate, and then come back together before ultimately giving way to roasted coffee.

M - mouthfeel is full and complements the beer well

D - overall, this is a really nice coffee porter. To me, this is one of the better ones out there, especially at the price point and availability (if you live in the distribution area). If you like coffee and like stouts, this is a perfect marriage of the two beverages.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours very, very dark brown, almost black.  A small one-finger tan head sits on top and recedes slowly to a thin film and ring.  Moderate lacing left of the edges of the glass. 

S: Coffee is the dominant characteristic on this one.  Bitter coffee up front with roasted barley, caramel malt, chocolate, and a touch of vanilla.  I was taken by surprise by this one.  Really smells excellent. 

T: Follows the aroma well, with a pretty strong espresso flavor and roasted barley up front.  Sweetness sneaks in behind the bitter start with some chocolate, caramel, and vanilla.  The sweetness is pretty subtle, letting the coffee shine.  

M: Medium-bodied with a good bit of carbonation.  Creamy and almost a bit prickly on the tongue.  Carbonation could be toned down just a bit, but it's still rather enjoyable. 

D: I had several of these over the course of the night and would like to go back to the local SC pub I had them at.  I wasn't expecting much, but really enjoyed this.  One of the best, if not the best, beer I've had from Highland so far.  

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Photo of Mojo
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

There is nothing I don't love about this. Sure there are better beers, but this one is just right for me tonight. <ha ha> It pours a deep obsidian with a big two finger caramel colored head, average retention, and average lacing. The nose is coffee, chocolate, molasses, toffee, and caramel. Taste follows the nose. Mouthfeel is okay, but nothing too special. Try it, you'll like it as the old commercial goes.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recommendation by the guys at Sams. Hm lets see.

It pours almost black with no head. What bubbles and head are left are off white.

Smells like breakfast stout. Oh lord, I think Highland may have it based on the smell alone. Hints of dark chocolate come in as well. Smells like a lighter version of FBS. A little less balanced as well.

Taste is full of coffee and dark chocolate mixed in with alot of roast. It actually reminds me more of Founders Porter than FBS, except it has more coffee. The coffee presence reminds me Bell's Java Stout than FBS. It tastes like a cup of strong coffee. Taste isnt really overwhelming, but its there. It kind of leaves a dry nutty feeling, probably from the coffee.

Body is light, and almost bitter. It definitely feels bitter. Black coffee and roasted malts really take over. The coffee really destroys your palate and makes it difficult to really get a sense of whats going on.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled November 1, 2011. Served at around 55F.

Pours dark brown to black with a two finger brown head that leaves spotty lacing and holds a small creamy cap.

Aroma is roasted premium coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malts, straightforward, but good...especially the coffee.

Flavor is coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, some caramel & bread, some acidity and bitterness but there is some underlying sweetness not unlike a sweet stout. Minimal to no alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little creamy with good carbonation.

Very tasty coffee brew. The coffee comes through best in the aroma but still is pretty front and center in the flavor as well.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost black with light tannish head, good lacing

S - coffee, lots of it

T - coffee with a slight sweet/sour taste, light hop tingle finishes much like ground coffee.

M - smooth, creamy, coffeey, with good hops, medium body and medium carbonation

O - Very good local coffee porter. I like it. There are other coffee porters I like as much or better, but this is a good drinkable coffee porter. I buy a six pack or two at least every season.

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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.