Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout | Highland Brewing

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Highland Imperial Black Mocha StoutHighland Imperial Black Mocha Stout
136 Ratings
Highland Imperial Black Mocha StoutHighland Imperial Black Mocha Stout

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 09-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 136 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to afausser for this one. 2008 vintage.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of creamy medium brown head with poor retention and spotty lacing.

4.5 S: Lots of great aromas packed into this one. Sweet chocolate throughout, coffee with lots of cream, bittersweet chocolate after that, and a strong roasted barley base. Touch of alcohol, but only a touch.

4.5 T: Coffee with cream dominates this time. Bittersweet chocolate, plum fruitiness, and blackstrap molasses. Roasty burnt flavor is fairly strong, but it's overly strong.

4.0 M: Lighter heavy body or perhaps heavier medium body. In any case, pretty good. Moderate carbonation, smooth with a slightly burnt aftertaste. Creamy. Could be a little thicker and chewier.

5.0 D: Damn good beer. Very similar in a lot of way to BBVD (my favorite impy). Wish I had some more of these. Might need to put up an ISO.

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Photo of everetends
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer: Imperial Black Mocha Stout
Brewery: Highland Brewing
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.50%
Reviews Average High Low
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Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
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Serving: 12oz Bottle22oz Bottle750ml Bottle500ml Bottle375ml Bottle330ml BottleDraughtGrowler12oz Can16oz CanOther Vessel: Pint GlassBottleFlute GlassGobletMugPilsner GlassSnifterStangeTulipWeizen GlassWine GlassOther Price:$ Vintage:

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everetends - May 10, 2010 80
Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
3/3 10/12 16/20 3/5 8/10 2010

22 oz bottle I picked up from Hop City in Atlanta quite a while back. This is my second experience with this beer after having it on tap at the Thirsty Monk in Ashville, NC. Figured I would save the review for this bottle so I could take my time with it. Served up in a snifter. 2008 vintage.

A: Pours a dark black body that is nice and glossy. Body is completely opaque, no light getting this sucker. A somewhat vigorous pour yielded a little over a finger of dark mocha colored head. The head is a little bit fluffy and bubbly. It falls somewhat quickly to bubbly top cap. Lace is bubbly, and thin but it does have a little bit of stick to it and is scattered on the glass. Some of it does slip back in due to a sheen that is left on the glass from the liquid.

S: First thing that hits you is a beautiful roasted quality on the grains that translates beautifully as finely roasted coffee beans. Just wonderfully aromatic in this regard. Getting notes of coffee beans, espresso and mocha coming out. There is a little bit of dark and milk chocolate coming out as well. Although this isn't the most complex aroma, it is what it claims to be and the fact that they didn't use coffee or chocolate in the brewing process (so says the bottle), this is fuggin amazing.

T: Pretty much like the aroma but with some pros and cons. The roast really comes across in the flavor. Where it brings out some very clean aromatic notes, in the flavor it comes out a little burnt at times. The mocha and coffee notes are very present, but they just seem to be slightly over roasted and add a sometimes harsh bitterness. The chocolate is nice and comes out as almost like a chocolate milk made with some dark chocolates. There is a little bit of hop presence (citrus?)coming through on the backend that tries to cut a little of this sweetness.

M: This beer is sitting on the full side of medium in body. Has some smoothness and creaminess to it for sure, but it isn't crazy thick by any means. Carbonation is a little high for the style and for my liking, has just a little bit of bite to it. Otherwise this is sweet on the palate with a little bit of roasted bitterness on the palate. Aftertaste is chocolate milk and a mocha with a heavy roast.

D: Once again, if the claims on the bottle are true . . . DAMN! This beer is quite an accomplishment. It is as advertised and that aroma is pretty killer. The flavor does suffer a touch from the heavy handed roasting, but it is still damned tasty. I have to keep myself from drinking this too fast because it is so easy drinking. I enjoyed this on draft and just as much out of this bottle. Will have to see if I can track down a few more bottles of this next time I am at Hop City.

Serving Type: 22oz Bottle Vessel Type: Snifter Price:NA

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: black beauty. Really a dark brown with a nice surprisingly full head.
smell: coffee, vanilla, chocolate, some hop bitterness. full and complex.
taste: Wow. Malty and coffee like with a hoppy balance and a dry finish.
A little light on the mouthfeel but very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of vacax
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle vintage 2008. Pours black with some translucence around the edges of the glass, smallish mocha colored head, but it sticks around in a ring with some nice compact beading. The aroma has generous amounts of chocolate syrup, chocolate malt balls and a touch of a herbal hop balance. Just based on how chocolatey this smells, I give it high marks. Body is a bit thick but could be more robust for the style, luckily the carbonation is mild which lends to savoring this one. The flavor has is vinous with good dark chocolate, the finish brings cocoa powder, cookielike malts, and some floral hops. This is a really nice and surprisingly mellow brew with lots of lovely chocolate. I'd like to drink it again.

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Photo of Adamdc
3.16/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a trade a while back. 22oz-- Bottled in Sept. '08.

A: Jet black pour with 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates to thin ring quickly. Minimal lacing.

S: Malty with lots of soy sauce and molasses. Not getting much coffee or chocolate at all.

T: Pretty similar to the smell. Not much chocolate or coffee to be found. Dark fruit, molasses and lots of soy sauce. There's also a finishing bitterness that doesn't taste like hops. Strange.

M: I'd put this somewhere between thin and medium. Slight carbonation.

D: Not sure what to say here. The taste is off-putting and it's at 9.5 abv. Moderately drinkable, I guess.

I had high hopes for this beer. I've had some nice beers from Highland but this was a big disappointment for me. The thinness, the strong soy aroma and that bitterness (tannins maybe) really killed this beer. Maybe this should have been had when it was fresher.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured up black witn no light passing through. One finger medium brown foam subsides to 1/8 inch frost in about a minute. This just looks thick in the glass when you give it a twirl. Nice.
Smell is cooked dark fruit, roasted malts, molasses, and earthy hops deep down. Taste is super sweet dark malts and fruit with a quick of an earthy hop bitterness that smooths it out. Mouthfeel is nice and heavy, the way I like my stouts. Almost oily, chewy even. One can definitely tell this is 9%+ as the booziness makes its presence known. This is a very solidly crafted, terrific example of what an American Double stout should be.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Jet black, tan head, leaves fast. Not much lace.

S - Sweet roasted malt and soy sauce.

T - Deep sweet roasted malt with a side of soy.

M - Fairly carbed, good coating, balance a little to the cloy.

D - A heavy sweetish beer. Not for a session.

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Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber thanks to Nick3. I had tried this at GABF before and liked it.

Pours just about black with a medium-sized tan head and some good lacing.

Aroma is coffee, chocolate, and roast. Pretty good, and fitting for the style. The coffee is not overdone.

Flavor is very good, although a little tannic, with chocolate, coffee, and roast. Not too much coffee, but it's definitely there.

Medium-full bodied, fairly dry, yet somewhat smooth on the palate.

Very good drinkability for the style. An impressive imperial stout overall, not quite elite but very tasty.

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Photo of jbone78
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this bottle from the brewery. Poured black with a tan head. This bottle is about four months old and has more of a chocolate taste than the fresher bottles. Light carbonation. I remember liking the regular Black Mocha stout better, for some reason? I also mixed this with the Cold Mountain Winter Ale, which was awesome!


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Photo of Popkas
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour is a flat black with a tiny bit of head. A bit plain looking. The nose is very muted - I get a bit of roasted malts, cocoa and maybe a little coffee, but really not much. The taste is pretty solid with a nice blen of the roasted malts and chocolate - fortunately, these are much more pronounced on the tongue than they were on the nose. The mouth feel is medium which is a little thinner than I would like. Not a bad beer at all, but not among my favorites.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a blackish color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of foamy, tan-colored head and pretty good lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and possibly a little dark fruit. A very aromatic beer.

T: Tasted like it smelled: cocoa, coffee, roasted malt and a little hoppiness. A well-rounded flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Full-bodied and chewy, as an Imperial Stout should be.

D: A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this burr at the Charleston Burruschange.

A - Dark brown, almost black, with a dark tan head. Really, not unique among imperial stouts nor remarkable, but solid and reliable, like the missionary position.

S - Really a tremendously impressive smelling burr. The multitude of delicious ingredients thrown into the brew are evident, smartly layered, and really enticing. Coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, sugar, yadda yadda. They're here, and they're spectacular.

T - The arrow is pointing far t'ward the sweet side in terms of stout qualities in this tipple. Sweet cocoa and chocolate syrup envelop a strong coffee and roasted malt push.

M - Hey it feels good to ma mouth.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 limited edition bomber, poured in increments into an oversized snifter.

Pours extremely dark brown with brown highlights. A half finger of tan head reduces to a skim fairly quickly, but sticks around with a swirl now and then and leaves pretty good lacing.

Burnt malt aromas are softened with cocoa powder. Smells a bit woody and a bit boozy, and quite appetizing overall. Tastes much like it smells, which is to say, pretty darned good. Very nice balance between the roasted and chocolate flavors. Almost dry, not a lot of sticky sweetness. A bit of stinging bitterness at the swallow yields to a burnt and boozy finish. Medium-thick with moderate carbonation and a rather slippery body.

Overall impression: Nice offering from Highland. I wonder if the regional market could support this on a regular basis; I know I'd buy it.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brown. Zero visibility. Produced a half fingers width of tan head. Reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S- Reminded me of ST's aged Choklat, just not as intense. An intoxicating aroma of chocolate...almost like Hershey's chocolate syrup. Also picking up a bit of alcohol in the background.

T- Chocolate is very forward in this one. Very simple, but very tasty...until the end that is. Right when I thought I had a mini-Choklat, this unpleasant, charred flavor came through at the very end. To sum it up, liquid chocolate, molasses and alcohol with a charred finish.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation. Could have used a bit more viscosity, but still had a really smooth quality to it.

D- If only it wasn't for the ending, I could drink this bottle easily.

Overall, really surprised as to how much they were able to showcase the chocolate flavors in this beer. I only wish the charred flavor was not there. Regardless, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Strong, smoky, oily aroma has components of good roast coffee, unsweetened chocolate and molasses and is slightly sweet. It pours a deep, opaque, dark-chocolate brown with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled though not persistent tan head. Mouth-filling flavor is like a good unsweet mocha with an undertone of molasses and a hint of sweetness as well as a touch of hoppy bitterness. Texture is thick, rich, smooth and fizzy. This is one lip-smacking stout, a must for any stout lover!

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Photo of Brewfan
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved from Oobawa in the Dee Snider's Twisted 666 BIF. '08 Vintage

Consumed out of my La Fin Du Monde tulip. Pours an almost black body with a very nice dark tan head. Really had to look hard for the dark brown outline around the beer. Very dark. Full head of tiny bubbles with decent retention. Leaves some thin lacing behind as the beer dissapears.

Immediate nose of chocolate and coffee. Sweet, like a mocha shake. Roasted coffee beans and dark, bittersweet chocolate malt. Taste is right there with the nose. Chocolate is the prominant flavor with coffee coming in on the back of the tongue. A little bit of vanilla, but not much is getting past the bitter chocolate.

Big bold mouthfeel. What you would expect from an American Double Stout. Quite nice actually. 9.5 abv never really makes itself known.

Overall, very nice. Would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of callisbeers
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stein. Nice dark color with a good thick tan colored head. At first I thought this was going to be drain pour. Was thinking how bummed I was going to be for making this the final beer of the night. There was a flavor in there I just couldn't overcome. However, as the beer warmed up, it became more and more enjoyable. The coffee flavor was not overwhelming nor was the abv. All in all an average imperial stout. I might try one again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: A completely black color that when poured produces a nice half inch of dark creamy fluffy head. Thin streaks of lace form as I drink.

S: Strong aromas of coffee and dark chocolate malts flood the nose. Hints of toffee also come through to deepen the profile.

T: Slightly bitter coffee taste is followed by dark chocolate malts. As I let the beer linger on the tongue, I can make out cherry, dark fruits, caramelized and nearly burned sugars. There are also some vanilla notes that I can taste, seemingly from oak barrels or chips. The taste finishes with a touch of warm alcohol on the palate.

M/D: Smooth and creamy texture. The carbonation is almost nonexistent, so the beer slides over the tongue to the swallow. Slightly sticky in the finish, the aftertaste sticks with you...nice coffee and cocoa flavors. Very drinkable, and very compelling. A good one to share, as it is kinda heavy...

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Photo of Onenote81
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

400th Review!

Pretty pumped to see a few bottles of this left on the shelf. Poured into my tulip glass. Pours a thick dirty oil-black with a thin tan head on top. Retention is weak, and there is no lacing present. Smells of dark fruits, hints of chocolate, and some mild roasted characters. This isn't as roasty as I thought it would be. Smells more sweet than anything.

The mouth is creamy and smooth. Carbonation level is moderate. Slight astringent bite on the finish, but nothing too harsh. The flavor is more fruity and creamy, like the scent. I was expecting big chocolate flavors, but am struggling to find much. Some bitter coffee finishes this one out. All in all, this wasn't what I was expecting and it wasn't as balanced as I had hoped either, but still a good beer. Glad I got the chance.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for hauling this back from NC for me. A 22 ounce bomber bottle - 2008 vintage. Poured into my Tröegs shaker glass. Appears an opaque black color with about two fingers of creamy dark tan foam. Nose and flavors are of bittersweet chocolate, slightly sour dark cherries, prunes, dry bitter coca powder, mocha, nearly burnt dark brown sugar, quite a noticeable char. Decent body, better than average, and amply carbonated. This would score a tad better with me if it wasn't for the lingering and unpleasant burnt, bitter notes that carry on in the aftertaste.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tiny, short lived tan head.

Scent of chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, sugars, and roasted malts with a hint of alcohol.

Taste of roasted malts, coffee, dark fruit, sugars, and charred oak. A good Imperial Stout, but falls a bit short of being great.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with good carbonation.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter

Pitch black with a one finger light brown head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Strong raisin and coffee in the aroma. Dark roasty black malts.

Toffee, coffee, and a lot of molasses. Slightly acerbic, acidic, and comes with a lot of carbonation. The alcohol makes itself present as the beer warms.

The alcohol and the sharpness of the beer really lowers the drinkability. A well rounded stout for those who like coffee versions.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The temps were in the low 70s here for the first time and there's just the slightest of fall in the air so I grabbed this out of the cellar and chilled it for a bit....

Poured into a Duvel tulip..

An oily thick black inky looking liquid with a 1 inch caramel head...very beautiful looking stout... Very dark and very foreboding...

Very dark roasted chocolate malts with hints of toffee and raisins or maybe cherries.. Definitely some sweet fruitiness.. Almost like a holiday dessert...lovely aroma..

Sweet dark roasted malts followed by a little bit of a hop kick that ever so slowly melds into a delicious coffee-like finish where the fruits surface again as well as some chocolate... Working really nicely with this cool breeze blowing thru now...

I've never been disappointed by anything I've had from Highland and this brew is no different...its a delicious brew... Very enjoyable...

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Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Somewhat oily, dark black pour. Limited dark tan head. Some descent lacing. Aroma is a bit subdued. Roasty aroma, bakers chocolate, molasses. Slick solid medium/full body. Flavor balanced between a good amount of chcocolate malts, chalky cocoa and molasses. Light vanilla and coffee. Finish has some roast malt and coffee, but not the overly bitter that many others were getting. Drinkability is pretty high, alcohol is non-existant and this is not real warming or filling. A real good big beer. The stouts are the standout at Highland.

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Photo of marvin213
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's as dark as the pitch, and the thin tan head retains itself even after I run in-house errands for the wife and kids. I wish the head was a bit more foamy, and it doesn't completely cover the top, but man--this stout is BLACK.

The smell is straight chocolate. I mean this is like liquid chocolate malts. I do smell the alcohol as it seems to warm even my nose hairs. The label, however, mentions coffee, and I can't say I detect any of that.

Chocolate and alcohol--like the smell--smack the palate. These two ingredients make up the taste forefront. Though I didn't smell the coffee, it's like raw beans subtlely provide a background for the beer's core. This beer's been sitting in my relatively dark cold beer fridge for months but, I tell ya, the 9.5% alcohol sure does taste imperial. I don't think even time will really mellow this one.

Warm chocolate in the mouth feels very good. It reminds me of sneaking the freshly baked fudge to my bedroom as a kid. I similarly just fill my mouth, let my cheeks bulge from liquid, and...sit there.

Chocolatey alcohol zing has its place and all but, like a true dessert, you should probably watch your serving size. Both the sweetness and the alcohol-feel detract from drinkability. It might prove ideal with some strawberries with your lady-friend, but this isn't the RIS you kick back and celebrate with among your boys.

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Highland Imperial Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 136 ratings