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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee PorterHighland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

104 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 482
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 4.91%
Wants: 20
Gots: 70 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 482
Photo of johnbion22
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pint pour. Very thin to nonexistent lacing on glass. Coloring is dark muddy brown. No noticeable coffee nose as I was expecting. Good taste to the middle and back of the tongue; coffee is noticeable. Nice lightly bitter finish at the front of the tongue...like coffee.

I like this beer and wanted to rate it higher. Just could not find the justification to do so. (372 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
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.  (578 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this strong beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was black for sure and it poured a nice tan head. Unfortunately the head went away fast. Lacing was great however. The smell of this beer was very strong coffee and so was the taste. WAAY tt strong coffee. If you like coffee extract suck on this beer. I will not buy again. (339 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dense, tan head that has great persistence (collapses to a nice, thick froth) and laces nicely. I'd swear this was a nitro stout, the head is so smooth, consistent, and rich. Slightly acidic, toasted malt aroma. Black. A very acidic, bright front. Floral hoppiness and fruity coffee notes with a medium bitterness. Finish brings back the coffee with a lingering floral/green hoppiness that blends well with the coffee's acidity.

This isn't bad, but it's a bit plain. It's quite acidic (coffee+porter renders this not too surprising), and so I think that has a tendency to overwhelm a lot of the other, more subtle flavors. (632 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a medium brown with a nice frothy tan head of small and midsized bubbles.

S: Aroma of burnt coffee, toasted malts and brown ashy mocha. Slight hints of chocolate also peek through.

T: The flavor is mostly roasted malt, some bakers chocolate and some bittering hops. Some slightly vegetal flavors also mixing with the acridness of the coffee flavors. The finish is rather flat..

M: Mouthfeel is light for a porter with a mild carbonation. It is however very smooth for a coffee porter, and not as bitter as some others which make them less appealing to me.

O: Overall this isnt bad. I probably wouldnt seek it out but it is relatively drinkable for what it is worth. (680 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.17/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours a seemingly black hole singularity black, but upon shining a light through the beer, tiny highlights of pure red make it through. Forms a finger-thick head of very pale tan, which dissipates quickly into a ring.

S: That's definitely a coffee porter smell. What seems to be a medium-roast coffee odor mingles with some earthy peat and faint chocolatey notes.

T: Medium roast coffee does indeed meet earthy peat in this action-packed thriller starring mostly medium roast coffee and earthy peat. While the flavors aren't bad, the flavor profile is rather simple.

M: Creamy and full, avoiding the watery finish that plagues many a porter.

O: Not a bad porter. Not particularly complex, but solid for what is there. (782 characters)

Photo of Rchap1
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of DIM
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No date on the bottle so I can't say if this was an older sample. The coffee flavor was weak and slightly sour with some hints of cocoa. There was a fairly long, lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel was slick and fizzy. This wasn't offensive or anything, just kind of bland. (273 characters)

Photo of Chris_Walley
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Probably better than I give it credit for, I just like my coffee hot and my beer cold.

Yes, I just broke all rules of reviewing a beer. Let's chalk it up to me being a novice at this and hope I learn to put a little more thought into my next review.

Cheers (258 characters)

Photo of WrathsU
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Black as night body. Thin white head that recedes quickly. No lacing apparent.

S - Strong coffee smell up front. Very earthy and roasty in aroma. Some sweet vanilla and caramel towards the end.

T - A ton of coffee flavor up front. Very bold tasting, similar to espresso. Moderate astringency and mineral taste after the coffee which isn't pleasant. Some roast towards the end.

M - Heavy-medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slight alcohol burn.

O - An overall decent beer. A lot of minor things could be improved. I'd like a lot more complexity in the flavor to start with. The coffee contributes to the astringency but it's a bit over the top still. (669 characters)

Photo of carolinahophead
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a surprise a new seasonal by Highland Brewing Co. Asheville NC.
The beer pours a medium dark color with a somewhat small creamy head.
You do get the coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Let this one warm up and the aromas come alive. The mouthfeel is light to medium, I would like more body for sure . The carbonation with average and the finish is like drinking a high end coffee.
Thanks Highland for creating a new brew to enjoy. Thunder can be heard my friends... (480 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (579 characters)

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark, reddish brown, but clear. The head looked like the foam on a cup of espresso, although it was thin and faded with hardly any lacing.

S: Rather tame in the aroma department. I detected toasted malt, of course, and some orange rind, and a faint hint of coffee, but nothing robust.

T: Acrid, heavily-toasted grain is the first flavor, followed by acidic coffee. I caught just a hint of tart fruit before a mixture of bitter coffee and bitter hops take over in the end, lingering well although turning a little harsh toward the end.

M: Well carbonated, and initially moist; fairly thin; the finish is dry, just short of astringent

O: Decent, but the finish (both flavor and feel) detracted somewhat from the experience. It seems like they almost got it, but need to tweak the recipe/process just a touch. (818 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat aggressively poured into a standard pint glass. A seriously big, fluffy head of dark tan develops over the opaque and deeply brown liquid. Retention is good after it setlles to a very thick film. Good lacing.
Smell is burnt malt, wet cardboard and coffee grounds. All balanced but....
Taste is toasted, no burnt, malts, coffee, cardboard and not much else.
Medium bodied, medium effervescence. Drying somewhat. Aftertaste is slightly ashy from the burnt malt. A good beer but not a great one. (501 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of light brown, creamy/frothy head. Retention is good overall and very good given the coffee involved. A short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Smell of coffee dominates, though I will admit that it's reminiscent of stale coffee. Plenty of roast, moderate sweetness, and hints of molasses. Still, decent.

3.5 T: Coffee rules the taste as well. Solid malty base. Chocolate shows up for the first time along with the molasses. Good.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

3.5 D: Solid throughout. (628 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger tab head on a dark black body with some light passing through. Little lacing. Aroma is a little light coffee and chocolate notes. Not much else. Sweet and mildly smokey porter flavor with a light coffee note throughtout. They didn't go crazy with the coffee on this one. Lighter body than I was expecting with moderate to high carbonation. Overall a standard coffee porter, very drinkable but not super memorable. (425 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour with 1+ fingers of medium khaki head. No retention and light sheeting of lace around the glass.

Nose is medium to dark coffee with a hint of roasted chocolate malt. Combines to give a decently rich aroma.

Taste is a little bit of a downer. Coffee becomes stale. Earthy, dirty, unfinished flavor. Very little chocolate balance.

Feel is about right, maybe a bit on the heavy side.

Overall, a good effort from Highlands. Just missed my mark. (464 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Ok so I wasnt really paying attention while I poured an although there is nearly no head to speak of I may have poured a little too gently into my sweetwater globe glass. Pours a near black with a very thin lacing, almost no retention, lacing is fair.

S- Definitely very roasty, coffee and roasted malts w/ some spice. Mild hop character, kinda of smokey, maybe some vanilla too

T - Pretty good, very coffee forward, a little smokey, vanilla is there as well. A nice very mild hop biterness. Roasty + Hop bitterness meet nicely.

M - Very light, too light for my liking. Appropriate carbonation. Some lactose/unfermentables would compliment this very well but take away from the roastyness at the same time.

O - Taste is good, smell is good, pour is ok, mouth feel is much too weak. Overall decent, if I wanted to drink 10 porters I'd probably go to this but I like mine more rich and robust (898 characters)

Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a thin coffee, black color with a tan head that fizzles away quickly but leaves a good ring of lacing.

S - Dark chocolate with some earthy malt tones and some fresh oats.

T - Dark chocolate and a burnt coffee flavor. Some malts in there too.

M - mild/medium carbonation but a flat finish.

O - Not bad. Prefer their oatmeal porter. (348 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown pour, half a finger of head quickly diminished. smells of milk chocolate and light coffee roast notes. kind of a watered don coffee taste, dark roast bitterness, a bit of a "bean" taste. a lighter medium body with high carbonation.
nothing too impressive from this one, but i also feel like i'm not being fair rating anything after having just drank CBS. again, nothing impressive, but it is a decent tasty treat. (425 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an snifter on 4/30/13

Dark brown with a leaning toward black once in the glass. 1/4th inch tan foam. Soapy skim and some bubbles remain. A few trails of drippy lace.

The aroma is quite nice, actually. Roasted coffee, chocolate, coffee beans blend together with a hint of peanut butter. The wheat adds a subtle grainy layer. Very smooth. The taste is not as smooth though, nor the feel. At least initially, the medium body is shaken with harsh carbonation though it is able to be swirled out over time. The coffee is pretty strong but not overly bitter. It's plenty roasty but in a tangy, rough manner. Undertones of chocolate. Modest hop notion.

It seems like a pedestrian porter but the coffee addition makes for a more interesting beer. I enjoyed both bottles I had. (783 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours an almost opaque dark brown with some red at the edges where the light hits. There is a layer of off white head with a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: This one smells like a nut brown with some coffee undertones. There is a slightly sweet nutty malt note here. The coffee isn't particularly strong.

Taste: The coffee is more prevalent here than it was in the smell. I'm getting roasted malt along with dark fruit and dark chocolate. The finish is roasty and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium beer with large bubbles and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a solid enough coffee beer. Nothing too special, but not bad either. (706 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presents two fingers of dark brown foam, islands of larger bubbles create an uneven surface, not the longest retention so it smoothes out as it settles, while thin the lacing sticks for an extended period. Spotless black liquid, now and then you see a few tiny bubbles make a run for the surface, very thin orange band around the glass bottom. The coffee roast in the nose is thick but not heavy and, actually, not as overly dominant as expected, chicory, lemon peel, bitter dark chocolate and a few coconut flakes slip in, some mint or other herbs, dry nostril texture with no real fruitiness, penetrates like an arrow. Medium-bodied, unyielding at moments, yet releases enough to flow forward. As before, the coffee roast is not bitter nor aggressive if omnipresent. Any nuttiness equally met by lemon to grapefruit citrus accents, especially as aided by mineral water flavoring. Sweeter grains and blanched nuts center it. The carbonation has a light fluffing sensation, peters out by the finish. Its lack of ostentation a big plus. Still, for its complete lack of flaws does not particularly compel you to have another. (1,123 characters)

Photo of 160Shillings
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Fruity ale yeast esters, roast malt aroma, roast coffee aroma

Appearance: Very dark brown color, pours with a half inch of tight medium brown head that collapses into a firm lace over the surface of the beer.

Flavor: Roast malt flavor, dry but not quiet burnt. Finishes with coffee which is surprisingly mild, more French roast than espresso.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation, not astringent.

Overall Impression: A moderate robust porter accented with medium roast coffee

Comments: A good, if not quiet exceptional robust porter. The coffee adds some interest without dominating the beer. (617 characters)

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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.