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Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter - Highland Brewing

Highland Thunderstruck Coffee PorterHighland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

359 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 359
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%

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: 359 | Reviews: 97 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ThickNStout


2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
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. 

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 00:40:50 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of womencantsail


3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 02:21:48 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Arborescence


3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 02:19:41 | More by Arborescence
Photo of mdaschaf


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 16:55:04 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of 160Shillings

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 04:19:32 | More by 160Shillings
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 23:30:10 | More by tastybeer
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 23:07:42 | More by wedge
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 03:37:51 | More by jpro
Photo of Misfit138


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 03:24:29 | More by Misfit138
Photo of jsanford


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 04:34:25 | More by jsanford
Photo of GallowsThief


3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 01:32:37 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of WrathsU


3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 01:17:03 | More by WrathsU
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presents two fingers of dark brown foam, islands of larger bubbles create an uneven surface, not the longest retention so it smoothes out as it settles, while thin the lacing sticks for an extended period. Spotless black liquid, now and then you see a few tiny bubbles make a run for the surface, very thin orange band around the glass bottom. The coffee roast in the nose is thick but not heavy and, actually, not as overly dominant as expected, chicory, lemon peel, bitter dark chocolate and a few coconut flakes slip in, some mint or other herbs, dry nostril texture with no real fruitiness, penetrates like an arrow. Medium-bodied, unyielding at moments, yet releases enough to flow forward. As before, the coffee roast is not bitter nor aggressive if omnipresent. Any nuttiness equally met by lemon to grapefruit citrus accents, especially as aided by mineral water flavoring. Sweeter grains and blanched nuts center it. The carbonation has a light fluffing sensation, peters out by the finish. Its lack of ostentation a big plus. Still, for its complete lack of flaws does not particularly compel you to have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 00:55:53 | More by farrago
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 20:16:16 | More by tdm168
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another coffee beer?! As Mac from "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" often quips, "Youre Goddamned Right"! I bought a 12 pack of this from Sam's Blue Light in Durham, NC. On the side of the 12 pack, Sam's posted a sign that read "Lawsuit from AC/DC pending". I thought that was pretty fuckin funny.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass an opaque black color with a half finger sized, creamy tan head. Lacing is decent and head retention is nice as well.

Aroma is beautifully coffee filled. Raw, fresh roasted, burnt toasty goodness. This is the kind of coffee aroma I like in my beers. Almost like espresso. Not a whole lot else but I dont really give a shit.

More coffee in the flavor, and more deliciousness. My only gripe about this bee is the rather thin and watery mouthfeel. Give this one some body and substance and you have something world class here. I still loved this beer and commend Highland for trying new stuff and always staying local when possible.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 20:38:17 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a thin coffee, black color with a tan head that fizzles away quickly but leaves a good ring of lacing.

S - Dark chocolate with some earthy malt tones and some fresh oats.

T - Dark chocolate and a burnt coffee flavor. Some malts in there too.

M - mild/medium carbonation but a flat finish.

O - Not bad. Prefer their oatmeal porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 02:39:14 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of Vec2267


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a tan head that falls quickly but laces nicely

S - Coffee

T - Roasted (to the point of burnt) coffee, a slight cocoa and nuts

M - Medium body but very satisfying, any heavier and it would have become syrupy

O - Very easy to drink, very smooth, nothing harsh

Another fine beer from one of my favorite brewers.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 23:08:55 | More by Vec2267
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 20:49:15 | More by chinchill
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 00:43:21 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of JayS2629


3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty rich black with a one finger foam that fades fast into a tan fuzz.

The aroma is full of coffee, cocoa, and earthy tones. Faint whiff of fruity yeast notes.

Nice, but a little on the bitter roasted end of balance. Perhaps a bitter coffee and cocoa combo that had roasted barley, burnt sugar notes, and some nutty elements.

Feels like a porter, a little dry

Overall, an easy drinking beer with loads of roasted coffee flavor. Easy enough to drink and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 03:56:49 | More by JayS2629
Photo of CampusCrew


4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, amzing beer for not being an imperial. Very sessionable big flavor porter. Little or no residual sweetness. Lots of coffe flavor but not overdone by any means. Just a perfectly excuted coffee beer and a great new addition to the brewery. Love the labels/and name. Great cold weather, bbq beef, and chocolate dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:01:41 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 14:33:36 | More by avalon07
Photo of carolinahophead

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a surprise a new seasonal by Highland Brewing Co. Asheville NC.
The beer pours a medium dark color with a somewhat small creamy head.
You do get the coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Let this one warm up and the aromas come alive. The mouthfeel is light to medium, I would like more body for sure . The carbonation with average and the finish is like drinking a high end coffee.
Thanks Highland for creating a new brew to enjoy. Thunder can be heard my friends...

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 04:04:30 | More by carolinahophead
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Turdferguson for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger frothy, light mocha colored head with low retention. Beer is a light, opaque black. Lacing is layered and thick with great cling. A solid looking brew.

Nose is coffee beans, roasted malt, and some liquorice. Moderately aromatic. Decent and as expected for the style.

Opens light espresso with hints of liquorice. Some roasted malt in the middle peaks through but its quickly overtaken by more coffee and espresso notes. End is more coffee with the same finish and aftertaste. Like the nose, very straightforward but pretty enjoyable.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Light and relatively smooth in the mouth and silky but thin going down. Finishes messy with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Could use a touch more body but still pretty good.

A solid beer that's very sessionable. This coffee porter doesn't try to do too much and as a result, it does what it's supposed to very well. A great replacement for iced coffee in my book!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 02:44:06 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Rchap1


3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just picked this up about a week ago, finally cracked one tonight. Served in a pounder pint.

A: Nice and dark as it pours, leaves a deep brown full-finger head. Lots of bubbles, looks like it's got a good deal of carbonation.

S: You definitely pick up a lot of the coffee, but also get a fair amount of roasty malt, and a tiny little hint of chocolate, which I would expect to find in most coffee porters.

T: A little thinner than I expected, but decently tasty. I was hoping for more of the coffee to come through, but the malt flavor definitely tops it. It has a good dry flavor, but is a bit thinner than I would like.

M: Again, a little on the thin side. Nice and bubbly though.

Not a bad brew, I've certainly had better coffee porter before, but this is fine for an everyday drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 20:17:19 | More by Rchap1
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter from Highland Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 359 ratings.