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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

104 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 482
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
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 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 ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (852 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is dark brown/black with ruby highlights. It had a couple inches of mocha head.

S - I get some fresh coffee and roasted malt.

T - At first I get some roasted and burnt malt. As it warmed the coffee came though loud and clear.

M - Full

O - At first I wasn't thinking this was going to be a good beer. After it warmed and the coffee came through it is quite enjoyable. (421 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (1,036 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black glass glows lightly brown with back light. Holds a respectable dark tan cover that laces with tides.

Smell: Malty chocolate coffee. Definite dusty, earthy porter hop as well, but the malt and coffee are firm, forward, and lasting.

Taste: Almost chalky character, partly from the dark roasted grain, partly from the balanced bitter, partly from the bone dry finish. Enjoyable flavors balance each other leaving a complete, round profile.

Mouthfeel: Again, the dryness gives that milk of magnesia chalky character, think the low carbonation and heavy body play into that as well.

Overall: Beer punches above it's weight. Loads of flavor, heavy body, under 6% abv. A head scratcher, but an enjoyable glass.

Cheers to Illudium for the sample! (761 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
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. (722 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 cwoods
4.8/5  rDev +24%
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. (333 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark, brownish black, no head

S - roasted coffee beans

T - coffee, slight smoke, vanilla, malts. Smoky lingering finish.

M - good mouthfeel, decent smoothness, some sharpness on the front of the tongue. Carbonation medium low.

O - Cant vote for this over their oatmeal porter, but it is a solid porter, especially if you are into coffee flavors. (361 characters)

Photo of shand
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

I've been impressed with the Highland brews I've had recently, hoping this one keeps the trend. It looks the part, pouring a pretty solid black with a small head. The aroma is very roasty, with roasted malts, coffee, and a little bit of a chalky smell. The taste is also good, offering a solid amount of coffee flavor over the roasted malt base of the porter. There's really not much else to report taste-wise, but it's done very well. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with just a touch of prickliness, and the drinkability is good. Overall, it's a good coffee beer. (622 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 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 womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of Arborescence
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, pours a modest but creamy head.

Aroma: Roasted coffee beans, hint of chocolate; not overpowering.

Taste: Coffee is evident, but it’s fairly mild. There’s not an awful lot of character or body to this beer. It’s satisfying though, and the hint of coffee (less than you might expect from the aroma) does give it a bit of something extra — I suspect that otherwise this might be a rather bland porter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice and smooth.

Overall: Decent beer, I do like it, but it's not a match for its peers. (546 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 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)

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 tastybeer
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, basically black, opaque brew with a light brown bubbly head. Head is an inch high initially, and fades to an 1/8" leaving some slick, spotty lace behind. Smells like a coffee beer extravaganza...creamy chocolate/cocoa, roasted (not bitter) coffee, sweet caramel, a little fruity and a little nutty, with some milky vanilla. Taste is packed with a solid coffee punch. It matches the smell well though there is more hop presence. Cocoa, coffee, and musky pine hops. A pleasant bitter kick comes as well. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with carbonation that's subtle but prickly. Coffee-like minus the bubbles. Body is good but I would have no objection to this feeling a little fuller. This is a very good coffee porter overall. (732 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown under a slim, bubbly tan head. Bold coffee upfront in the aroma along with some dark, bitter chocolate roast. Roasted, mildly sweet coffee flavor. Pretty straightforward, which isn't a bad thing. Baker's chocolate, nuts, maybe a little molasses. Smooth and medium bodied with a touch of wateriness. Dry in the finish. This certainly delivers in the coffee department. (391 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Peabody’s into a dimpled mug.

A: Pours black, or close to it; light khaki, half-finger head dies down pretty fast and doesn’t leave a lot of lace; some coca-cola highlights when held to light; looks like a pretty standard porter.

S: Wow... coffee is pretty huge on this beer; there’s also some musty / earthy hop notes in there, too. Roast malt is there, but is blown away by the coffee aroma.

T: Well, coffee. Some sweet malt, but mostly coffee.

M: Full-bodied and creamy; the carbonation is high enough to add an extra layer of texture to this beer which is pretty nice.

O: A pretty impressive coffee porter... If you’re going to do a coffee brew, might as well go all out! This has got some serious java aroma and flavor - a real nice change-of-pace brew. (788 characters)

Photo of Misfit138
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Very dark brown with a frothy tan head

S- Very much coffee rostiness

T- Really tastes like coffee, hints of chocolate and roasted malts

M- Medium in body fair carbonation

O- Enjoyable coffee porter for sure. I prefer their oatmeal porter over this, but this is a good one to have on occasion. (335 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a dark black with a very creamy mocha-colored head that settles to a nice cap, leaving sheets of lacing.
S -Lovely coffee-forward aromas of mocha, chocolate, vanilla, roasted nuts, and caramel. Very nice, but not overwhelmingly intense like some coffee beers.
T - Sweet coffee-and-cream, caramel, dark chocolate malt, and roasted nuts. Very drinkable despite the strong coffee flavors, sessionable almost.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a medium body and solid carbonation.
O - A really solid new brew from Highland, I'd love to see more of this! (585 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Deep and dark brown to black. Minimal tan head that receded quickly. Touch of lacing.

S – Very nice bold coffee smell, almost an espresso. Light vanilla.

T – Very mellow brew here. The smell makes you think the taste would be more aggressive. Has a nice light coffee flavor. Not overpowering. Roasted malts. Touch of vanilla. Not really any sweetness. Coffee bitterness finishes it off.

M – Medium bodied brew. Low carbonation.

O – Good not great. I love my coffee porters to be aggressive and this one is not. The nose is outstanding but does not pack as much punch in the taste. Still a solid beer. (668 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)

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