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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 kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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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 oberon
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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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 oline73
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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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 mdaschaf
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  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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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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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 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 barczar
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque onyx with a billowing frothy mocha head that slowly displays, leaving sheets of lacing.

Coffee is evident when the bottle opens, accompanied by nutty malt.deeply roasted, fruity notes are accented by a hint of chocolate and char.

Flavor follows suit, with deeply roasted malt, almost burnt, and coffee beans dominating. There's a subtle toasted and nutty character, almost toffee-like, in the aftertaste. Chocolate is subdued.

Body is fairly full and lush, with moderate to low carbonation, and light alcohol warmth.

Glad I had this in the early afternoon, as it's a great replacement for coffee. I'm not a huge coffee fan, but the underlying toffee character keeps me going back for more. Slightly acrid, but not as bad as some.

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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 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 AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown beer, looks black in the low light. Two fingers of brown head rose up and left a decent bit of stick and bubbles on the glass.

S - Rich chocolate that's slightly unsweetened, bit of vanilla, good coffee. Malts are slightly roasted with some bitterness that comes through from the coffee.

T - Good bitter coffee, complimentary chocolate, bit of roast. This is a pretty solid tasting porter that has some good cocoa and coffee taste. Surprisingly good stuff with no offensive flavors at all.

M - Medium bodied beer with medium carbonation.

O - Good beer, drank three of these with no problems. Has a nice flavor profile and is also easily available.

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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 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 cosmicevan
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked this up in NC the other day.

a - opened and filled my duck rabbit snifter. poured a deep rich black with a milky mocha creamy head. lacing was kind of sticky and head hung out for a bit.

s - robust milk chocolate and coffee. frappacino anyone? very stouty. very much like something you'd be served in a coffee shop.

t - flavor is a bit interesting. at first very muddled, but as i got adjusted to the gourmet coffee flavoring i noticed some of the charred porter flavors that i love. seems like a bit of an odd combination still.

m - mouth is a bit thicker than your average porter, but nowhere near a stout.

o - overall the coffee is an interesting addition. i find myself wishing it was a stout and not a porter that they blended the coffee with. the coffee flavoring is nice, but not a perfect match for this porter. it is non-offensive though and an easy drinker.

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