Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter - Highland Brewing

Not Rated.
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee PorterHighland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

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BA SCORE
88
very good

454 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 454
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 19
Gots: 52 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hippityhophead24 on 11-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 454 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
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 womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Rich.

Pours dark brown in color with a tan head. Definitely a lot of coffee on the aroma. Also a fair amount of sugar with a soft spice quality. A bit of dark chocolate and some roasted malts as well. The coffee comes through on the palate, as does the coffee and roasted malt. There seems to be a hint of vanilla sweetness on the back end of the flavor and there is just a little bit of bitterness, too.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.69 at Charlie's Beer and Wine in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours what appears to be an essentially black body with a full, thick finger of medium-tan-hued foam.

Smell: Roasty, coffee-accented nose with a touch of bitter chocolate and increasingly fainter, lighter notes of caramel, pale malts, spicy hops, and fruit.

Taste: Roasty coffee and bitterish chocolate mingled with the base pale malts. Some thin traces of caramel, maybe even a fat drop of molasses in there as well. Very low fruitiness. Modestly spicy hops aided a bit by the roast, the carbonation, and wheat. Roasty finish with some of that dark chocolate lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation, though there's an added skosh of crispness on the tail end of the swallow.

Overall: A solid, enjoyable coffee-infused porter.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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 nickfl
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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 russpowell
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of oline73
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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).

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

A quite nice porter with noticeable, but not too heavy coffee accent. Pleasant overall. Pours fairly inky black, but with a quite light viscosity. Only a short head, and that does fade somewhat quickly, but still, a fairly pretty beer. Very nice, and noticeable, black coffee aroma. Nutty, somewhat roasty, and with a slight molasses note. Dryer on the palate, with nicely balanced roastiness, coffee notes, and a light maltiness and lightly bitter finish. A little slick in the mouth, but overall quite nice.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.4/5  rDev -13%
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 chinchill
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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 tdm168
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 454 ratings.