Highland Oatmeal Porter | Highland Brewing

very good
563 Reviews
Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 09-17-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 563 | Ratings: 1,351
Photo of Daktah
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark brown, nearly black, with a very small off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly and left a little lacing. Smell is mostly coffee and roasted malt, with noticeable cocoa. Definitely a little bitter at first taste - like others mentioned - but then turns semi-sweet with a little chocolate and a subtle caramel flavor. Great balance of hops to even out any sweetness. Very solid and tasty beer, and not overly heavy. Easy enough to drink a couple of these in a sitting.

I seem to forget about Highland when I'm in the beer store, but am always happy each time I come back to it.

 604 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear dark mocha body beneath an inch of creamy off-white head. Ok retention, good lace. Nice.

S: Mmm. Lovely. Lots of coffee, oats, and brownie batter. Very rich.

T: Coffee and pure malt up front, with some dark chocolate and earthiness toward the finish. Cocoa powder on the dry aftertaste. Quite nice.

M: Lively, slightly prickly carbonation in a medium body. Just ok.

O: Really, really nice 6-pack Porter - one of the best on the east coast. I'd take it over Smuttynose Robust Porter any day.


 545 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

pours a nice dark brown color with a half inch white head. mild, pleasant cocoa malts on the nose. taste is quite flavorful. good chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a great malt backbone. tad of bitterness at the end. medium bodied with low carbonation. not too light.

overall a very enjoyable porter. one of, if not the best, of highlands year round offerings.

 400 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No bottled on date on the label or the bottle.

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass yielded one finger of thick and clumpy head that was a darker shade of tan. Over a few minutes the head dissipated to about a quarter-finger and lasted the remainder of the session, and also left some very nice lacing. The brew was very dark brown and opaque.

S: This beer did not have much detectable aroma at all.

T: The taste began with some sweet dark roasted malt and a hint of some very tasty, almost burned, oatmeal. Next, some grassy and earthy bitter hops kicked in for balance.

M: The body was smooth and just barely crossed the line from medium to heavy.

O: This oatmeal stout just missed the mark. It did not have much sweetness or grainy, dark roasted bitterness and coffee-like flavors. And, the hops just did not seem to fit the malts. It was not a bad experience, but it just did not work together for me. But, the tasty oatmeal did go some way toward redeeming this beer for me. It is a good and solid offering in the oatmeal porter and stout style, but it just did not make it to the top tier.

 1,105 characters

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. No discernible bottling date.

Look- Nearly opaque ruby brown with three fingers of dense toasted marshmallow foam. Glass is completely covered in an opaque sheet of lace.

Smell- earthy, pungent, milk chocolate and coffee grounds. Undertone of clean herbal hops.

Taste- Almost a black triple-brewed tea flavor than the coffee I was expecting. This is followed by a touch of sweeter marshmallow, cocoa, and a toasted nougat flavor. Finishes with light char, almost smoky but not overly assertive, and a bit of lingering bitterness. Hoppier than your average porter, but it works quite well. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, not as full as I was expecting from an oatmeal beer. Fairly dry, moderate carb that could be softer. I could have another.

Overall- Pretty good, a few tweaks could really bring this one over the top. Oatmeal character could use a little more uumph, but it's noticeable and a nice take on a hoppy porter. Worth trying, and I'd pick it up again if I saw it.

 1,034 characters

Photo of jjanega08
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a nice deep brown basically black color with a thick finger of head on it that holds great retention and awesome lacing. A really nice looking brew actually.

S= Smells nice and roasty with a nice chocolaty smell. The chocolate is actually anice milk chocolate smell. Good buiscuity aroma to it that makes the chocolate more milky.

T= The taste is great. A nice mix of roast and a sweet malt character that you usually don't get from a porter in my experience. The sweetness isn't too bad though. it's a solid candy sweetness that holds up nicely to the roast.

M= Velvetty smooth.

O= This is a great beer. I love a porter and I love oatmeal stouts. This is the best of both worlds. The sweetness is a little different but this is a nice mix. Seek this beer out.

 796 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue, with a 2-finger, tan head that slowly dissipates down the side of the glass leaving a great trail.

S: Good malt, chocolate, and coffee aromas.

T: Sweet flavor with a generous roasted malt base with hints of chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: Excellent oatmeal porter – nicely blended give great flavors and aromas.

 415 characters

Photo of tewaris
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown, medium head, medium retention. Some lacing. Charred and acidic aroma with elements of dark fruit, mostly prunes. Tart and dark with some roast toward the end and a generally clean finish. Medium body, high carbonation. Drinkable and certainly not a bad beer. However, it will have a hard time standing out.

 318 characters

Photo of TheDinger
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. A nice deep brown, nearly black pour with a generous 2 finger tan head. Smell was very coffee up front with a bit of chocolate and wood quality. Taste was where this was a bit disappointing. Comes off very strong coffee and a bit metalic. Almost no oatmeal quality IMO. More like a stout than porter. Taste is somwhat distracting with some burnt wood notes. Feel is a bit dry and stout like with some cream at the end. Overall- It's an okay/average beer. The taste was the biggest letdown. Too metalic and woody. Heavy coffee like a stout. Worth a try, but I won't be back-

 609 characters

Photo of kneeland
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not much of an oatmeal thing going on here. I got more of an IPA taste. That was drinking out of the bottle. Then when I tried it in a pint glass, it got better. Hints of chocolate, pretty stouty, very rustic with malt.

The appearance is really nice. Really dark, but it isn't too heavy. And the head is a pleasant surprise. Tan, foamy, it sticks around a while and keeps thing afloat.

Overall I'm not in love with it, but I don't really have anything negative to say about it either.

 486 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours almost black with just a hint of light sneaking through, dark tan and creamy head that reduces to a small layer skimming the top with a bit of lace around the edges.

S- dark roasted malts with notes of melted chocolate and coffee, smooth oats, faint hop spiciness.

T- Roasted malts with a bit of sweet chocolate, underlying coffee taste, finishes sweet and chocolaty with a bit of hop spiciness. Malty linger.

M- medium bodied, low carbonation, silky and creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable!

O- very drinkable porter, even sessionable. Not quite as strong as I prefer but would try it again.

 604 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a very deep brown color with a huge tan head. When held to the light, ruby streaks can be seen shinning through the brew. The thick billowy head fades rather slowly eventually dropping down and leaving a great level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is a good dose of sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Mixed with these are light caramel smell and the littlest bit of earthy hop.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and very light chocolate flavor. As the taste advances the sweeter chocolate flavor dwindles in strength. At the end, a light earthy hop bitterness comes to the tongue and with the loss of the sweet chocolate leaves a roasty and dry flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is average in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. The lower carbonation is good for the flavors, but a bit of the thicker body would have been good for all the roasty and the lighter hop flavors.

Overall – It had a really nice look and smell, but the taste was a little too dry and simple with a mouthfeel that could use some more thickness. While not bad it is a brew I wouldn’t go to on occasion.

 1,235 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost jet black, nice tannish frothy head. Nice roasty smell. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, great silky smooth texture to it. A little subdued on taste, but nice maltiness with hints of chocolate and caramel, some hops detectable on the back end. Smooth and easy to drink, great drinkability.

 305 characters

Photo of chickenflea
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost a black pour, it is covered by a fading tan head. Mostly roast focused nose where biscuity, but burnt dark malts lean more towards chocolate than coffee. Nutty and leafy/earthy on the palate. The oatmeal contributes a certain roundness on this semi-thick ale with moderate carbonation. A competent dark ale, but more like a stout than a porter. Lacks a little maltiness. Finishes clean.

 393 characters

Photo of InsolublePancake
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep, dark garnet that appears nearly black without holding it up to the light. A half inch or so of head forms upon pouring and sticks around for a while.

S- Nice complementing cereal and cocoa aromas. Actually it reminds me a little bit of Cocoa Puffs, bringing back some fond childhood memories. Only this is definitely better. There's also some sour malt and a slight burnt aroma.

T- More sour malt and a big charred edge. It's a bit thin on flavor, with just a little grainy character to go along with the char flavors. Finish is slightly bitter with a flavor like burning tobacco.

M- Rather thin but very smooth and creamy, so it goes down quite easily.

This is a decent porter with some really good characteristics, but it's also a little bland in the flavor department (probably the most important aspect, in my opinion). It's worth trying, but it's not one of my favorites.

 889 characters

Photo of JCaweinstein
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color, one finger light tan head that has some large bubbles in it. It's moderately carbonated.
I taste mostly some bitter hop flavors as well as bitter chocolate. As the beer warms the oatmeal flavors start to be become more apparent.
The aromas are chocolate and and oatmeal with no hop aromas being detectable.
It's a thin bodied beer that starts bitter moves into some chocolatey semisweetness and finishes with a bitter coffee like aftertaste.
I think this beer is ok, I picked it up in a mixed 12 and will enjoy the remainder but probably wouldn't spring for this again.

 590 characters

Photo of matttttYCE
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint glass. Head is about a finger high, light tan froth, and fades to a light dusting and ring. Beer is not quite jet black but a discernibly murky dark brown.

Aroma is of sweet and lighter malts and light-medium roast, bitter chocolate, with mild smoothness and silky oat scents, hints of light coffee, and muted hops in the background. Pleasant.

Malty sweetness, roasted/mildly burnt malts and oats, coffee presence that is not strong but present lets say and nice. Beyond that some chocolates, more so cocoa powder, as well as some bitterness beyond that of the coffee and such that I attribute more to a decent hop profile, though not a strong one mind you.

Mouthfeel is quite balanced and smooth. Is there a word for a consistency that is a bit more watery than creamy? That's what this is. Light-round carbonation. Almost marshmallowy body, sounds crazy but, it's light and airy but smooth with some substance kinda like a barely roasted marshmallow.

Overall damn decent beer. Of course I tend to have an affinity for smooth drinking porters. Oats and a bit more of a hopping than you'd expect are what set this one apart. Would gladly have this porter again, it's quite nice.

 1,187 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black w tan head. Very nice appearance.

S- malty and chocolate

T- nice chocolaty and roasted flavor. Dry and hopped finish.

M- pleasant but a tad dry on the pallet in the finish.

O- a very well made oatmeal American styled porter. Definitely recommend.

 261 characters

Photo of soulfly1492
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Pleasant aroma. Mild black malts, mostly sweet, mildly bitter. Mild brown malts. Sweet oatmeal and grain. Some chocolate and molasses. Decent dose of citrus and floral hops.

Appearance: Very dark brown. Holding this brew up to a bright light shows high clarity. Looks like root beer. Medium brown head pours tall. Good retention and tons of lacing.

Flavor: Starts sweet and roasty, black and brown malts. Roasty coffee notes kick in. Next comes the floral hops and mild alcohol. Mild grain.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low body. Mostly watery. Finished moderately dry. Carbonation is very mild but does sting slightly.

Overall: Not exactly thick and savory. Better flavor as it warms up, more malt sweetness and hop bite. Good roasty noes and nice hop balance. Not a classic example, could use a bit more malt character. Quite a good brew nonetheless.

 852 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a dark brown with a one inch white head, that leaves behind some lace. Smell is chocolate, biscuit, carmel, smoke, and some tobacco. Taste is the same intensity, with chocolate and carmel coming threw most, flavor is simple, but tasty. Body is medium for its size, nice carbonation, not dry, and drinkability is good. This is a nice porter, not earth shattering.

 401 characters

Photo of CptMerica
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Attractive dark chocolate like color

S: Pleasant and hoppy but weak. I felt like I had to stick my nose in to get it.

T: Really good. Toasted nut and chocolate is the way I would describe it.

M: Light and crisp. Surprisingly refreshing for a porter.

O: Really enjoyed it. Best beer for the price that I have ever had.

 325 characters

Photo of socon67
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC

A - Pours cola brown with decent foam retention and lacing. Settles quickly.

S - Smells like chocolate, with some malty scent. Not roasty, and tends to be sweet.

T - Flavors of chocolate malt, sugary candy, and a bit of maple syrup. A bit thinner than I'd like for a porter, but a solid taste anyway.

M - Feels light, smooth, and has enough bite to make this a tasty porter. Could have a second one.

O - Solid porter, and was great with my meal. Kind of a lighter version of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Porter.

 548 characters

Photo of DCon
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 12 FL. OZ. bottle of this from Ingles Grocery Store in Asheville, NC & added to my Mix-A-Six Pack for $8.88. Poured from the Blue/Dark Tan labeled bottle w/ the Highland Scotsman on the front into my 16oz Grand Teton Brewing Co Pint Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Tons of roastiness and sweetness hits the nose first. Then a light amount of coffee comes around. Light-medium hop aroma too.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, tan head that has fantastic retention. Has a very dark brown body with decent clarity. Leaves thick rings of lace behind.

Flavor- Strongly malted and very sweet from the beginning. Very well balanced between the malt and hop. Lightest bitterness level at the finish and slightly toasty.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Sweet, and leaves bit of toastiness on the palate.

Overall Impression- Maybe its just me, but I couldn't find much oatmeal at all in this one! Very sweet and roasty but just couldn't find this characteristic. Would say this is a nice Porter and very well balanced. Recommend if available!

 1,088 characters

Photo of Arborescence
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, pours a nice thick head that lasts for a while too.

Aroma: Very mild, just a hint of roasted malt.

Taste: Soft and malty, a nice round flavour typical for oatmeal stouts and porters. Lingering aftertaste of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, balanced.

Overall: It's a solid oatmeal porter, better than average, but nothing amazing.

 361 characters

Photo of xybreeder
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Nice dark, stout like appearance, small amount of head, lacing is light.

Smell - Roasted dark malt dominates the nose, slight smoke smell as well.

Taste - Roasted malt flavor also dominates the taste, with a hint of oats on the back-end. Also getting chocolate in the middle, with little to no bitterness (nice!). Chocolate also lingers well after consumption. Very good tasting brew.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light carbonation, about spot-on for this style. Not too much as far as body goes with it falling in the medium to light range. Makes it easy to drink quickly though!

Overall - This was my first brew from the Highland Brewing Company thanks to a good friend of mine who brought me some from out of state (thx Wendell!). I was impressed with the drinkablity of this brew as it wasn't too bitter, not too heavy, and promoted a nice roasty, chocolaty taste throughout. Might be a little better with more of an oat profile, but overall a very nice brew!

 973 characters

Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,351 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.