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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: 85 | 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 jmdrpi
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft, served in shaker pint.

Black in color, nice off white head that stays. Pleasant coffee aroma, roasty, some chocolate too. Good balanced taste, nit too acidic or bitter. Medium to thick body and mouthfeel.

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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 TX-Badger
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malts, and some raw cocoa notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more coffee.

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Photo of Clint_Yoho
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into NoDa snifter

L: Extremely dark brown bordering on black. About a finger of tan head with good lacing. After the head faded it left a halo around the glass.

S: Roasted coffee and chocolate malts dominates the smell.

T: Roasty malts, coffee and a slight sweetness.

F: Medium body. It's actually lighter in body than it looks.

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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 johnbion22
2.63/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4/5  rDev +2.8%

32 oz Growler. Pours a nice dark brown, almost black in color. The coffee notes come thru easily. Nice coffee flavor on the taste as well. Pretty good porter

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of Chris_Walley
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

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.


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Photo of Foyle
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: ½” creamy off white head, beer is nearly black—almost no light penetration. No carbonation bubbles visible.
Aroma: Coffee, Roasted Barley, Dark Chocolate
Mouthfeel: medium to heavy bodied, moderately carbonated, rich, finish is similar to dark coffee.
Flavor: A coffee infused porter that tastes exactly as advertised. Coffee/Expresso is the dominant flavor. In addition there is some chocolate malt, toffee, and a mild hop presence. I don’t pick up a great deal of fruit flavors as the brewer advertises, maybe some orange peel and a little raisin. Overall: very good cold weather beer, I would not be able to down this one in Summer. A give this beer a solid A grade for the style.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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Photo of WarEagleJeep
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black, dark cherry red at the edges, with a thin tan head that disappears quickly.

S: Roasted coffee, dark roasted grains, faint chocolate.

T: Rich coffee, chocolate malt, and a smokey aromatic finish.

M: A little thin for a porter but good carbonation and enjoyable crisp finish.

O: A pretty simple coffee porter, a bit on the thin side, but a good fix for a coffee flavored winter beer.

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Purchased this brew a while back, it has been aging nicely since it was filled on 10/8/13, so it's time to give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a waft of coffee and milk chocolate. Pours into a SAPP like motor oil with a dark tan micro-bubble three-finger head. Color is jet black and opaque. On the taste this brew hits up front with a spicy sweet start, then transitions to a nicely balanced buttery coffee flavor with a subtle bitterness that then gets chaulky and fades with the sweetnesss for a semi-sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is solid and carbonation is spot on. This is a very tasty brew, I am currently enjoying it for dessert but it would suit many occaisons.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged a couple of bottles from my 10 dollar mix a six section at the local House of 1,000 beers.

A - For under 6% it pours quite thick, very viscous dark black color with mild ruby hues at the base. Head is thick well over an inch of mocha goodness that seems to stick around forever.
S - Roasted coffee notes, ashy chocolate, and some vanilla malt base. Pretty in your face coffee.
T - Taste is good for the ABV its sweet chocolate water taste meets a filters coffee blast and finishes off with some vanilla malt sweetness. Not very lactic or acidic and it goes down smooth.
M - Light to medium kind of watery but its to be expected for the ABV.

Overall its a actually a well crafted low ABV coffee porter. Not as big or chewy as I expected but I can easily down the two I got. Worth a try!

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Photo of Treyliff
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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

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Photo of schwemjw
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
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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Photo of KYGunner
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a mug, the beer is a very dark, brown-to-black coloring with a wispy, filmy, light tan surface head. Aromas of rich, dark roasted coffee, with a hint of nut sweetness. Simple nose, but very inviting. Flavors are heavily bitter and roast forward, with a blast of coffee, dark and rich like coffee grounds. Very bitter towards the back end of the palate, with subtle hints of chocolate becoming present into the aftertaste. Dry, mid-bodied, with a bitter roast linger into the smooth finish, slightly dry finish. Solid beer with heavy, robust flavors, but remaining very drinkable.

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Photo of Omnium
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out black with two fingers of fluffy tan head that fades fast, no lacing.
S - Big roasts of dark chocolate, coffee, and toffee malt. Some light undertones of a earthy type.
T - Lots of big roasted malt with coffee beans, toasted caramel, some baking chocolate, slight earthy hop underneath.
M - Decent feel, a tad dry and bitter at t e end.
O - Excellent coffee based beer. Tons of good roasted flavor and aroma.

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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 delta490
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- poured a deep clear brown with a thick creamy tan head. Head has great retention and leaves big lacing

S- deep roasted malt and robust coffee

T- Lighter than the aroma would indicate. But it has a nice rich coffee flavor blended with the tasty porter

M- lighter again, but still pleasant. There's a little fizzy quality to it

O- a really good coffee porter. Not quite the best I've ever had but a good one nonetheless.

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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 dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown bordering on jet black with some light amounts of gentle carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark cola brown + garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces to a few small to medium sized patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of freshly ground espresso/french roast coffee with some lighter aromas of roasted malts and chocolate.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with a touch of molasses sweetness and a hint of vanilla. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of espresso/french roast coffee and some light flavors of bittersweet chocolate. Overall there is a light amount of bitterness that lingers for a short amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: As an avid coffee drinker, this beer really spoke to me...wonderful coffee aromas and flavors dominate this beer. I would definitely recommend this one and will likely grab a couple more of these while it is available (since it is a seasonal).

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simply put, you don't get robust-er without going "stout", this dark ale borrows toasted elements from a lot of different angles to reinforce its toast character and without going all roast. Its a very bold beer that's certainly got me thunderstruck.

Opening with the darkest of brown but not black, the ale quickly separates from its froathly whipped top. Seemingly opaque from darkness alone, its mocha-stained head is like meringue as it builds its creamy density, shows long staying power, and laces the glass with well-defined collaring.

Bold french roast-type coffee is roasty, nutty and rich with scorched earth- its coffee aroma is joined by dark chocolate, seared toffee and charred toast to follow. Roasted walnuts, campfire char and woodish hops weave into a scent that's sharp and toasty-acidic heading into taste.

Silky malted milk joins with the char for a boisterous but gentle taste. Its coffee taste is light and smooth even with its earthy and light espresso taste. But the beer's backbone of caramel, toffee, burnt toast and natural coffee flavor perfectly supports the coffee aditions with its own darkness and mysterious tendencies. As the beer finishes, its dry malt taste is cut short with woody hop notes that are easily mistaken for coffee bitterness and charred bite.

Just as silky in texture as it is in taste, the sweetness wraps around the tongue with gentle seduction. As the char wants to pang away at the soft tissues of the mouth, its acrid sharpness is buffered to perfection, even as the sweetness and carbonation trails off. In finish, is almost as if the malts gently lay the taste buds down to rest for the night. However, its caffeinated kick and its alcohol spice says, "the party's on!"

Though its quality is high and its taste is masculine- the beer has a humble understated demeanor likely because its a porter and not a stout. This really allows the finesse of the coffee to stand out beautifully.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: on tap into a liter mug, dark brown with a nice tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy on the roasted coffee, big malty espresso, light bitter hops

T: toasted malt, coffee, quite light flavors, finish dries with a light hop flavor, coffee bean bitter flavors

M: medium bodied with good carbonation

O: nice coffee porter, flavors are balanced and not overpowering

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