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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: 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 Omnium
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (446 characters)

Photo of Clint_Yoho
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (356 characters)

Photo of mscudder
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint.

A - A black hue with a massive, thin-bubbled, tan head. Retention and lacing are both fantastic.

S - Sweet cocoa powder with a thin amount of coffee behind it.

T - Mild Roasted coffee paired with a fair amount of chocolate. Little bit of caramel and molasses to speak to of. Finishes with a roasted dryness infused with dark chocolate. I like it.

M - A rather thin medium body that has a creaminess to it. Touch of bitterness on the finish I could go without.

O - This is the best brew I have had from Highland. I found one offering at $7.99 for a sixer. That is a mind boggling great deal. (608 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
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! (795 characters)

Photo of TWM
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance- very, very dark, nearly black. Little visible carbonation, thin head that generally lasts for the entire glass (currently drinking #6 of the six-pack, all of them had the same head for the entire glass).

Smell- A little coffee, hint of caramel, but mostly the earthy smell of a dark ale or porter. Definite hints of the bitterness in the smell

Taste- Lovin' it! Enough coffee to warrant the name without overwhelming the porter flavors. Taste changes through the sip from earthy to chocolate to a slightly bitter coffee aftertaste. Very pleased that Highland didn't try to sweeten their coffee brew, and allow it to remain very much a porter. I drink my coffee black, so this is hitting all the rights notes for me. Not a big hop flavor- the hops seem to add a bit of richness rather than much overt flavor of their own.

Mouthfeel- good but not as creamy and smooth as some porters. However, the feel seems just right for this combination of flavors.

Overall- as a dark-ale loving, black-coffee drinking fan of bitter beers, this one is making me quite happy! (1,111 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 Foyle
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of csparace
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell (3.75) - holy Moses. It's like someone hit me in the head with a bag of coffee. It's really interesting how prevalent and accurate it is. Unfortunately it smells like cheap coffee.... Over roasted and plain

Appearance (3.75) - medium thin pour. Pitch black color. Small head that fades fast. No visible carbonation.

Taste (4.25) - the coffee is not nearly as overpowering as I feared it would be. Is give it a 3/5 in intensity. You do get a little bit of that over roasted flavor I picked up on in the smell. A milky chocolate flavor is also pretty big.

Mouthfeel (4.25) - generally refreshing and sessionable. Alcohol is undetectable and there is an overall smooth feeling. Bitterness is not high which I think adds to the drinkability.

Overall (4.00) - I think this is a pretty awesome beer. The coffee flavor is spot on enough that I feel I can think about that flavor by itself and it's quality. It's not overly complex so I appreciate it's drinkability. (973 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (801 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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). (1,244 characters)

Photo of Jacurdy60
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours a pitch black viscous liquid with a pretty thick, coffee colored head with decent retention. Foam leaves a fair amount of lacing

S-Roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, slightly wheaty, subtle hops

T-Bitter, roasted coffee precedes the semi-sweet chocolate and finishes with a slightly bitter hop taste. Coffee is overarching and makes its presence throughout the entire palate.

MF-A little too crisp and dry for a porter. Medium bodied and not too robust

O-A tasty porter. Well-balanced, nuanced, and none of the notes are too overpowering. (553 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of slentz
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my homeboy Dave for this bottle in our recent trade.
Bottle to tulip at about 50 degrees.

A: Pours the color of coffee and very dark in the glass. No light penetrates. Easy pour leads to a finger and a half of super fluffy mocha colored head. Head seems to stick to the sides of the glass like glue producing some nice lacing. 4.5

S: Smell is of super strong coffee with a touch of sweetness and a hint of vanilla, chocolate, and some underlying malts. Smells like a coffee house. 4.0

T: Nice bitter coffee flavor that lingers for a long time. After the coffee subsides get a taste of the malts and slight hops. This is a really good beer. 4.0

M: Nice carbonation although a bit thin. Would like to see a bit more body here. Nice coating on the teeth and gums. All in all pretty damn good. 4.0

O: Overall a really nice beer....very enjoyable. Really glad I got to try this. 4.0 (893 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 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 JamesBondGA
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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 (159 characters)

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

My first Highland beer in quite some time.

Pours out black with about 2 fingers of a mocha/tan head.

The aroma has a decent amount of coffee in it along with bittersweet chocolate, some subtle caramel sweetness and a little bit of hops.

The taste is also mainly dominated by coffee and then that fades to some milk and dark chocolate notes. There is a little bit of caramel sweetness and a touch of grassy hop notes. This is pretty bitter, with not only coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, but some hop bitterness too.

This is full bodied and has a nice, rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Very tasty, very easy to drink, but could be a little more balanced. Definitely try if you enjoy the style. (701 characters)

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

A-dark dark brown, almost black, with a thin layer of white lacing across the top

S-Smells like black iced coffee, caramel, and dark malt. Very nice.

T-tastes of very dark coffee, sweet chocolate and caramel, light roasted malt.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, very smooth

Overall this was a very nice beer, easy to drink, with a good balance of flavors. Could easily have another. (397 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

May have just found my go to cold weather porter (locally brewed). Dark brown color that light can barely pierce. Mocha head. Bittersweet nose that comes out nicely as it warms. Dark chocolate tones in the flavor with bitter coffe flavors. Bittersweet malts. Medium body. This wod be excellent if aged in a bourbon barrel. (322 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 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 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 Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of RochefortChris
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a dimpled mug and almost completely black. Excellent coffee aroma and full mouthfeel. Along with coffee hints of dark chocolate and taffy which make for a nice balance of flavor. I actually expected more out of this as I enjoy Highland's beers. Nothing great but overall a very nice beer. (300 characters)

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