Highland Oatmeal Porter | Highland Brewing

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Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter
Very Good
1,370 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,370 |  Reviews: 565
Photo of DaveBlack
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Not much to look at. Pours a just-less-than-opaque reddish brown, maybe a finger of head with very little retention. Some light lacing, but not a whole lot.

S: Smells great. Caramel malts, coffee, a slight oaky/smoky aroma. Smells sweet, but not overly so. Smells deep and rich, but still complex. I am really liking the aroma of this beer.

T: tastes like it smells, but the flavors seem somehow muted. Still get roasted/chocolate malts and coffee, but the taste is bitter, and the finish has a fair number of hops, which also add to the bitterness. I like that it's not as sweet as many porters, and it's an ok flavor, but it tastes more like burnt coffee than anything else.

M: medium-heavy body, relatively light on the carbonation. Goes down easily.

D: A drinkable beer, but not one worth seeking out. If you like over-roasted coffee then you might want to give it a try.

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Photo of RTJakarta
2.53/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The Distillery.

Poured a nice dark/near black color with a little head.

Smell was pretty par for the course. Little bit of a coffee and oatmeal.

I didn't find the taste to be as big as I was expecting. Really light and coffee-ish. The lingering aftertaste was definitely the highlight, though. I liked that more than the actual drink. :x

Light and easy in the mouth.

Easily drinkable for me because it was easy to go down without such a big taste. Although because of this, I'm not too quick to pick it back up. I like a bolder flavor in my dark beers.

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Photo of PreacherBrewer
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark dark brown with a generous tan head.

S - Smells of roasted malt and oatmeal.

T - Sweet roasetd malt and chocolate. Light oatmeal flavor. Hops are subdued.

M - Lighter than expected. I'd say moderate?

O - A darn delicious porter. Would be quite sessionable if the ABV dropped 1%.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a deep tan head that falls slowly to a thick blanket. The nose is light roast, some chocolate, hint of molasses and you can get a sense the smoothness of the oats. The taste is Rich and sweet roasted malt up front. Really smooth and wet to begin with then the slightly dry roastyness comes in. A little char on the aftertaste. The body is medium and silky smooth. Carbonation is south of medium. Overall this is a smooth and tasty porter.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a Bells Annivesary pint, observing a black beer with ruby hints. Half inch tan head with great lacing.

S - An earthy, burnt smell dominates. Reminds me of camping and burning marshmellows over an open flame as a youth.

T - Roasted grains with a dose of chocolate and hints of grainy oats and peppery spice. There is a hint of hop bitterness in the finish, although I consider it slight, not "well balanced" as the brewer indicates.

M - Nice creamy sweetness and perfect carbonation.

D - Pleasant, easy sipping porter with unique character.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After an aggressive pour, this brew ended up about a 3/4 inch tan head that quickly receded to half that, with some thick, sticky lacing left behind on the glass. Pretty dark looking, almost black with nice red hue. Aroma is nutty and grainy, some chocolate and a slight bit of coffee with a touch of hops. Has a real malty backbone, nice roasted profile with some nutty characteristics noted, possibly the oatmeal giving it this unique twang. Biscuity malt feel to it, thick on the mouthfeel, nice smooth after taste with a touch of bitterness. Some interesting hoppiness shines through on this one as well, bit of christmas tree pine blends in with the light and dry bakers chocolate flavor nicely. Carbonation is just about right, bit on the high side but it accents the beer well. Nice aftertaste noticed, slightly bitter with a touch of hops. Overall, this is a good beer, full of flavor, nicely balanced.

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Photo of BigBry
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another single picked up in Raleigh.
12 oz. brown longneck bottle. From the label: "A unique Highland creation, this robust beer is black in color, very malty with hints of chocolate-roasted flavor and a well balanced hop character. Just a wee bit different."
Deep, dark brown (but not really black). The tan head leaves thick rings of lace down the glass. Smell of sweet malts, roasted grains, a bit of coffee-like bitterness. Good flavor. Sweet, but not overly so, roasted malt. Coffee, cocoa, chocolate are present but not overpowering. Creamy smooth, full body but not as heavy as an oatmeal stout. Smooth, highly drinkable porter. Thumbs up.

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Photo of beldin96
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, almost Black. It has a one finger tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: You get lots of roasted malt, caramel and light coffee on the nose. As well you get a little sweetness.

Taste: Some coffee bite, and dark chocolate flavors. There is a nice creaminess going on, that is similar to espresso. On the back end there are some light hops that help balance out the beer, and cut some of the sweetness.

Feel: Very Smooth over all. There was not much carbonation. It had a medium to heavy body.

Drinkability: The beer was very easy drinking, and would be willing to go back for more.

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Photo of Macky20
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe. Half finger of toffee colored thin head with very little retention. Aroma is on the light side but consists of milk chocolate, some oatmeal of course and a hint of brown sugar. At first taste my impression is that the beer is too thin, but then I remember to concentrate on the taste. It's much drier than I would have thought. The beer is described to be very malty, but I'm not getting the same impression as it doesn't balance well with the bitterness really. Roasted chocolate on the palate with a touch of bread. Mouthfeel is too thin, but even with the lack of carbonation and balance the beer is one I might pick up once in a while if I'm in the mood for a porter and the choices aren't remarkable.

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Photo of rivalrome
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes highly recommended from my friend up in NC. Served in a CCB pint glass at 51ºF.

Pours a rich mahogany color with very little visible light able to make it through. Forms a small, creamy one finger head on the surface. Lacing isn't too prominent.

Smells very earthy and hints of roasted malts and fruits. Nothing special initially jumps out at me whenever I taste the beer; I was expecting it to be a lot more sweet.

Tastes similar to the smell, very earth and has an element of burnt coffee as well. It has a hoppy aftertaste; something that I wasn't expecting. I'm not getting much of an oatmeal flavor as I was hoping for. It feels a bit thin for a porter, and the mouthful tastes bubbly and carbonated with hints of bitterness.

Overall, slightly disappointed by this one given my friends' review. It's very atypical to any porters that I've had with "Oatmeal" attached to it, and it's highly carbonated, yet thin body is unappealing. It's taste isn't the worst; it just doesn't have the loving taste of a microbrew.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#24. My first Highland brew review. I've had this before; it was pretty awesome. Time for a review.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Pours a 2 finger depth thick foamy head that retains decently. the surface remains shrouded for the most part with foam after the surface clears, leaving some modest-sized bubbles and a caking of thick tan-white foam. Lacing is light. Beer is very dark, halfway between dark brown and black. Only some red tones shine through this beer. Carbonation is light, but easily visible on the sides of the glass. Aside from head retention, this beer is an eye toy. 4

(Smell) Quite earthy and bold, I get some smells of malty chocolate and toffee flavors. Bold malts remain easily detectable and give this beer a slightly sweet scent. Oatmeal is faint. The scents mesh favorably. Couldn't alienate drinkers for the smell to be more intense, but it's far better smelling good, yet light rather than bad plus pungent. 3.5

(Taste) Well rounded flavors are easy to pull out here. I get mild coffee tones, chocolate and oats, none of them overpowering the other. Begins with a touch of smoky malty sweetness with a curveball of slight bitterness at the finish, probably from some faint hops that do a good job at rounding out the flavor. It's very good. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy and smooth. Carbonation plays a minor role here in simply keeping the beer from going flat. For a medium-bodied dark beer, there are few negative attributes for this beer. It is nice and full with flavor. I don't get any watery product or iffy and unfavorable aftertastes. It finishes a touch on the dry side, but overall it's a pleasant drinking experience. 4.5

(Drinkability) I could have and wish I did have plenty more of these ready to go. Medium body keeps this beer from being a taste-bud powerhouse but it remains interesting and flavorful enough to create a great drinking experience. ABV is kind and no flavors here will overwhelm the drinker's palate. I feel inclined to suggest this as a beer drinker's regular. 4

Verdict: This is a great beer for nearly all beer drinkers. Those who fear venturing into porter territory will be pleased to note this beer's subtle qualities and flavor provide a well balanced taste and little mouth pain in the finish with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Therefore, this could be a star candidate for light beer drinkers but lacking to one or two who prefer bolder flavor. Being a porter fan myself, I'd say that this is certainly an excellent candidate regardless should it be available in your supermarket to try. You've got nothing to lose. A- (4.15)

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Photo of KidsDoc
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A: nothing special; nearly black, opaque, almost no head. Thin, tan head, fine bubbles

S: darks malts, chocolate, subtle nose that blossomed as the beer warmed, faint floral hops picked up late

T: initially a little off with almost a hint of vinegar; as it warmed it had a nice roasted taste with smooth malt, roasted grain. long, dry finish

M: quite full bodied but a bit excessive carbonation. still was very smooth

D: a smooth drinking, filling porter. A little too filling and the carbonation made for some excess belching

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and poured with a finger high creamy light beige head that died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose, which also has some hints of chocolate and coffee.
T: Flavors of oatmeal and slightly more prominent in the taste, which also has flavors of chocolate and a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels quite dry and has a medium body along with a moderate amount of carbonation. The dryness is especially prominent in the finish, which is also a bit creamy.
D: The beer is quite drinkable because it isn't that filling and doesn't have a high amount of alcohol content. Drinking more than one of these at a time wouldn't be that difficult.

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Photo of garbercury
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Generous extra from BeerLovinGrl...Poured into snifter.

A--Deep red tint to the otherwise dark, opaque brew. Minimal lacing.

S--Minimal smell to this one. Kinda faint notes of malt.

T--Malt, Oatmeal is definitely there, nothing noteworthy.

M--Decent mouthfeel, not too carbonated, smooth.

D--Very solid for its style. What can I say, I have been spoiled by big beers, but certainly very decent beer...

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a-Poured an amber color into my ovsized snifter, but settled as a deeper brown with a white frothy head. was expecting something darker...

s-Malty, milky, watery, with a touch of roasted.

t-Follows the nose, but sweeter. There is a bit of spicing which rounds the beer out nicely. quite tasty, a good beer, not an amazing beer. one that I would eagerly look for on tap.

m/d-overall, a bit thin and watery, but not over the top. easy drinker, but leaves a bit to be desired. not the thickness that I'd expect from a beer with the word oatmeal on it.

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Photo of jpro
3.21/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Having had this on a few occasions, I finally decided to give it a review (from notes)...

A: Pours near black into a pint glass with a light tan, creamy head that manages some very slight retention and doesn't leave much lace.

S: Roasted malts and maybe some earthiness. Nothing too bold, for sure.

T: Well, roasted malts - perhaps even charred malts; a touch bitter on the finish, but kind of in an acrid way.

M: This is where this beer really falls short for me... the mouthfeel is thin and borderline fizzy... not what I'd expect from a beer utilizing oatmeal as a key ingredient.

D: An average porter... despite the acridity, it does manage some level of smoothness, but overall not something I'll be picking up again anytime soon.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A - Deep, dark caramel brown look. Moderate creamy brown head. Just a little bit of lacing but it sticks.

S - Has a great malty smell bit it is very light. Nice and roasty as well.

T - Nice forward malt taste as well. Just a small hint of chocolate. Nice sweetness when it finishes.

M - Very light carbonation. Thinner then expected but does coat the mouth nicely. Light to medium bodied. Leaves a sweet creamy taste.

D - This is a nice porter. Drinkable for sure. Get some drink some!

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Photo of bamadog
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this as an extra from Tilley4 -- thanks, bro! Review is from notes taken on 12/15/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark chestnut brown and shows some lighter chestnut/ruby highlights when held up to the light; starts with a one finger, loose and creamy tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a thin and shattered wisp with an uneven, frothy ring around the center; body is dark and nearly opaque, but not murky; a few spots and strands of lacing are left behind.

Smell: The scent is earthy, roasty and nutty maltiness, but not very robust or anything -- certainly solid though; some slightly hints of bittersweet cocoa powder creep out as it warms.

Taste: Much like the smell, the taste is very earthy and nutty and has a bit of a slightly burnt coffee roast to it that adds just a touch of bitterness; I really like the nutty aspect to this beer, and while it's not overly complex, it is very tasty and solid.

Mouthfeel: The body is near medium in weight, and the carbonation is there, but it's fairly soft and smooth -- my understanding is that brewing with oatmeal helps keep the body smooth; a thin, dry sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: This beer is super solid -- the weight isn't very heavy and the ABV is quite moderate at under 6%, nothing wrong with making this one a session beer; the slight sweetness balanced with the nutty and roasty flavors would also make this a great after-dinner beer; hats off to Highland, this is a great offering.

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Photo of CheckmateBrew
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a nice Oatmeal Porter with lunch....

A - nice dark and black, but I am taking off for a a small head...

S - Malts, coffee, but I was expecting a little more hops

T - A very nice and smooth beer. Lots of malts, that goes down very smooth.

M - Very smooth, just the right amount of carbonation and texture. Not too thick, not too thin, just right

D - I wish that I was not tasting at lunch....I would have ordered another one or two. A very good and drinkable beer

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black very dark, almost no head at all, and very slight lacing around the glass

S - Very malty, lots coffee and some hint of oatmeal

T - Similiar to a very dark espresso, really not much taste of oatmeal at all, some slight hops at the tail end as well.

M - Medium-bodied, very odd for a porter.

D - Light for a porter, I would say drinkable because of its medium body, easy to go down, one of the better Highland Beers

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Photo of Radome
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from 12 oz bottle to snifter.

A - The color is pitch black with some red highlights when held up to light. The head is tan and thick, creamy and long lasting. Very attractive.

S - The aroma is malty with a bit of roastiness. There is also a sweet chocolate milk aroma. I don't get any hops in the aroma, but maybe a hint of alcohol.

T - There is a moderate hop bitterness up front that blends into a burnt, smoky taste. There is no malt in the middle to round things out. The aftertaste is like cigar smoke. This is more acrid and burnt than I expect in a porter--more characteristic of a stout.

M - The body is moderate with fizzy carbonation. No apparent creaminess or oiliness from the oatmeal.

D - This is a fairly acrid porter, verging on a stout. I don't detect the positive characteristics usually given by oatmeal. Not a bad beer, but not a great example.

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Photo of Chaney
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first of the three beers I had on Thanksgiving.

A: Poured a pitch noir, with about a finger and a half beige head, with great retention throughout the session.

S: Faint, yet distincive scent of oat (and rye?), with a bit of fruity and/or hoppy notes buried inside the black sludge as well.

T: Not coffee-like at all, but that was a good thing in this case. Medium-bodied, but extremely bitter on the finish ...perhaps a bit too for my liking. However, it had a nice roasty or BBQ quality that was cleverly executed.

M: It's not too thick, but I don't think that was what Highland was going for here. The carbonation was pleasant enough for the style, and this reminded me a lot of some of the rye beers I've tasted as apposed to the porters. The lacing was minimal.

D: On vacation last year to the Smokies, my wife and I drank tons of Highland stuff, and for that, the brewery will forever be nostalgic to me. In the two 12-packs that we siphoned down over the span of our awesome vacation, the Oatmeal Porter was one of our favorites (along with the Black Mocha Stout). I will definitely revisit this brew again from time to time.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 23 November 2010. Huge thanks to 'cwguy5' for this extra in our ORF/BA Blackout trade!!

Poured into a standard nonic, color is black, poured aggressively for a 2-finger head that reduces to a pretty 1-finger head, and then to a nice foam layer. Lacing is semi-sticky, resembling spider-webs while drinking. If the lacing were stickier, I'd give it a perfect score for appearance....4.5 ain't too shabby.

Aroma. The perfect balance of roasty roasty malts...love it. Notes of some semi-sweet chocolate, oats and rye. As the glass gets lower, it appears to be a deep deep brown color with a streak of burgundy. Taste consists of sweet roasted malt (maybe some lactose?), brewing licorice, and a semi-bitter aftertaste. Light to medium bodied beer. Okay. Very impressive porter. I would consider this a session beer. And would love some more of this. Thanks again to 'cwguy5' for this extra!

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Photo of legatovibrato24
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black, ruby when held to the light. Small head with good lacing on the sides of the glass. The smell is dominated by roasted malts.

The taste is great, roasted malt and chocolate notes without seeming overly heavy. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I would have expected, with solid carbonation. Great character in this porter, more so than a Yuengling Porter which can at times seem thin and watery.

Very drinkable porter, I could see this one getting me into trouble. A great choice if you're in the mood for a dark beer, but don't want to go all the way with a stout.

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Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint on a chilly fall day on the back deck. The Highland Oatmeal Porter was accompanied by a Nicaraguan full bodied cigar, some sharp NY white cheddar cheese and crackers. I was intrigued by the idea of an oatmeal porter being a fan of porters and oatmeal stouts.

Reddish/black in color with a small creamy head even with an aggressive pour. The thin head stayed put throughout the pint and left some lacing. Not a bad looking beer at all, but not its best quality. As the ale warmed, a really creamy head would form after a gulp that was lovely, but faded quickly.

A wonderful smell/taste of roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate and a hoppy character that unexpectedly jumped out and caught my attention. I drank porters for years before I began my interest in craft beers, but I don't remember this much hop presence. Perhaps my palate is developing. It balances the sweetness really well. Absolutely delicious!

Low to medium carbonation and a warming sensation make this a highly drinkable beer. I feel like I made the perfect choice given my mood and circumstances. Not too full, but never watery, something I dislike in a porter. While probably not the best choice for a sessionable beer, I will drink another right away.

Edit: I find myself coming back to this porter all the time. It is fast becoming my favorite American porter.

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Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,370 ratings
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