Highland Oatmeal Porter | Highland Brewing

very good
560 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 pezoids on 09-17-2002

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Reviews: 560 | Ratings: 1,346
Photo of NClifestyle
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance is almost black. Actually, a deep, dark ruby color, with a thick head of khaki creamy foam, tight bubbles with random deep breaks, some lace scattered about the glass. Cream drops to a thin layer on top of the dark liquid, similar to a coffee drink.
Smells are dominated by malt, roasty and bready, with a touch of oatmeal in there as well. Not an overpowering smell, but quite nice.
Taste is sweet coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of lemon hops in the back of the mouth. However, the hops are secondary, as the solid malt taste hits all over the tougue and mouth.
Mouthfeel is amazing with this beer. Nearly full, creamy and smooth, there is almost no carbonation with this porter. On a cold night, I could drink many of these, and compared with other American porters, I would search this one out again.


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Photo of MSchae1017
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

The beer pours a very dark brown with hints of amber. There is a sizeable frothly off-white head that holds well and laces well. It smells of roasted and nutty malts. There is also some sweetness balanced by some bitterness in the smell. The beer really shows its strength in its taste. Initially you can taste the roasted malts. This is followed by some sweetness but is balanced nicely with bitterness so that the sweet character is not overpowering. The beer finishes with a slightly nutty character possibly hazlenut. The beer has a good thickness and carbonation along with some dryness that complements the beer nicely. This is also one of the smoothest beers available. Overall this is a fantastic regional beer that I will reach for again and again.

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Photo of gbarron
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack in NC on my way back home from Xmas.

Appearance - extremely dark brown, virtually opaque. A little light gets through the top and bottom. Frothy head about an inch high, then settles down in a nice, tan creamy top. Brownish head reflecting appropriate porter ingredients.

Smell - roasty, coffee smell. Very little hops - mainly roasted malt aroma. Hints of apples? caramel? Almost smells a little like cooked oatmeal (or maybe I'm being too influenced by the name).

Taste - yummmm. Lots of roasty flavors, tastes like a good cup of coffee. Hop bitterness quite evident, however. More balanced than other porters I've had recently. Roasted malt bitterness at first gives way to some piney hop flavors followed by a sweet malt backbone. Sort of missing that green apple flavor I find in Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout.

Mouthfeel - surprisingly dry and light bodied. Very smooth, silky. A little overcarbonated for my taste - tingles on the tongue.

Drinkability - I wouldn't mind sitting down with a few of these. Very, very tasty and drinkable beer that won't fill you up too much. Would be great with a nice steak or cigar.

Overall - a very tasty product from a reliable, creative brewery. Highly recommended.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to AlexJ for this one...
An extremely dark brown with a half finger of tan head...half of it sticks around and produces very nice lacing.
Sweet milk aroma with a pinch of hot chocolate in the nose.
The taste is pretty good...nowhere near the sweetness I was expecting and a nice addition of hops to bitter it up in it's finish. Well balanced flavors of coffee and chocolate...not pushing any envelopes here and very glad to see that. The alcohol is well hidden as it should be.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, the carbonation is where I like it and goes down very easily.
A nice offering from Highland.

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

Picked this up on a trip down to knoxville. This is a very good porter that you should try to pick up.

This beer poured out into a nice thick creamy head. Tasting notes of coffee and hops although there was hardly any oatmeal to be found here. That did not take away from this beer as it was great anyways.

The beer was smooth and had a nice consistancy in the mouthfeel.

A very good porter for those who can't get enough of them. I will pick this up in the future.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a massive 2-3" head that slowly receded and left quite a nice lacing. A good-looking porter, to be sure.

Smell is assertive, with lots of roasted malts and coffee at the front with some delicate chocolate notes at the back. Little bit of hoppiness in there lends it a slight grassy scent, but not too much.

Flavor is nice, a rich chocolate-and-coffee flavor with plenty of roastiness and a light hop bite in the finish for a little extra bitterness. Not as much plum/fruit flavors as some porters, but they're definitely in there, albeit a bit low in the mix. Finishes with more chocolate, a hint of vanilla, and a roasted creaminess.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, almost velvety, and medium-bodied.

Overall: A nice, smooth porter with a solid roasty character. I'd like to try this one with a nice steak.

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

appearance: A vigorous pour creates a .25" tan head that recedes into the beer. The ale is a very dark, reddish brown in color.

smell: Aromas of light roasted malts and a nice fresh, spicy hoppines are present. The hoppiness level of this porter is outstanding; higher than most porters I have sampled, yet perfectly balanced. Maybe some caramel and very slight bitter chocolate in there.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is between medium and high. The body of the beer is a light medium.

taste: The earthy roastiness is perfectly blended with the considerable hop characteristic. Slight chocolate flavors are found after the sip. Perfectly balanced. The finish is of a lingering bitterness and roasted barley.

drinkability: Wonderfully drinkable for an American porter.

11/16/13 bottle - still gorgeous with a dense, rocky mocha head. very solid porter with plenty of rich, balanced flavors of cocoa, malt, and toffee. the perfect twinge of midpalate sweetness. pleasant moderate mouthfeel, light carbonation, drying roasty finish. a classic that stands the test of time, and always worth a purchase. not gonna change any scores, but i feel more of a 4.0 mouthfeel these days.

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Photo of nickss
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep dark brown... nearly black... with ruby tinged highlights. Moderate 1/2" cap of foam, which gradually subsides to about a 1/8" khaki cap. Huge gobs of lace cling to the sides of the glass as I take my drink.

Big grainy tones with some oats tossed in. Quite a bit of malt smell on the backbone, but not overpowering.

BIG oat taste. Some mocha, or chocolate pervades the taste, with the malt backing it up. Extremely smooth... very nice. Almost a nuttiness to this one... delicious.

Nice creamy mouthfeel... very inactive on the tongue... simply thick and coating.

I could certainly put my fair share of these away... entirely inoffensive beer with an incredible oaty flavor... definitely one of my favorite "bang for your buck" beers.

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Photo of Enola
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another solid beer by Highland. If your looking for a good porter this is it. A very dark color. Thin head. Smell is of roasted grains. The mouthfeel and drikability on this one are both excellent. I have bought this beer on several occasions and will do so again in the future. I love the taste of oatmeal beers.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Thanks MuddyFeet

appearance: pours a rich dark brown with some ruby highlights, thick creamy tan head with nicely patterned lacing.

smell: thick malts, dark chocolate, some ground coffee...very rich and inviting

taste: rich and smooth, nice malty nature with a slight amount of hops in the background, dark chocolate is more present than oatmeal, which is fairly faint...theres some light mocha flavors, a certrain mild dark fruit sweentess too.

mouthfeel: medium bodied, nice and creamy

drinkability: easy drinking, i have knocked back plenty at a time in the past!

I go back and forth on this beer, probably because I have had a bunch of them. It was in the very early rotation of craft beers 4 years ago or so. I had been turned off of it lately, but this bottle was great. I'll be sure and drink some in NC over the holidays

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Photo of swid
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to NClifestyle for sending this North Carolina beer my way.

Highland Oatmeal Porter pours a black color into my pint glass. When held up to the light, a dark amber color is seen as the light scatters on the edges of the glass; almost (but not completely) opaque. A 1/4", finely-bubbled, tan head forms and collapses down to the edge of the glass. Moderate lacing. The aroma of this beer is fairly restrained; caramel, chocolate, and a little roasted coffee, along with a mild citrus hop aroma.

This porter may not be anything exceptional to look at or smell, but more importantly, it's very pleasant to taste. The initial taste is quite sweet, with chocolate, caramel, and oat flavors. After a little bit, the well-balanced and delicate citrusy hops and roasted flavors come through. The mouthfeel is where this beer truly shines. It's thick, yet light, with a pleasant amount of carbonation; mildly wet. The oatmeal provides an oustanding silky smoothness on the tongue and it goes down smooth, with a caramel aftertaste and only a hint of bitterness. It's as smooth as a nitro-tap, but with all the flavor intact.

Overall, this is one tasty porter. If I could get it around here, it would probably become a regular resident of my fridge. Recommended.

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Photo of hyuga
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice looking black beer with a thick tan foam that thins, but stays at a good drinking level.

Chocolate and lightly roasted oats in the aroma with some leafy hops.

Flavors start off with some sweet but still dark chocolate flavor and roasted oaty goodness. Spicy, leafy hops show up here and there, staying behind as a reminder of their definite presence in the aftertaste. Finishes very leafy with some woody sweetness. Very nice.

Chewy and thick, milky smooth. Flavors are not huge, but that doesn't take away from the body.

This is currently my favorite NC brew. It's a great session beer that doesn't kill the tastebuds, nor does it fail to give you satisfying, solid flavor. Good to have around all of the time.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mntlover for delivering this delightful interpretation of a porter...

The pour was a bit more impressive than expected - a moderate pour yielded an overflowing head of cocoa brown foam cascading over the side of the glass (thankfully I pour right next to the sink!) The brew is near black with some shades of amber when held to the light and eventually the head died back to leave plenty of lacing on the inside of the glass.

The nose was a bit on the light side with some roasted malt notes and a bit of coffee but not much else...

The taste was quite delightful with a nice balance of caramel, coffee and molasses. No real hops to speak of but the bittered malt was a good balance to the (slightly) sweet notes. Again, nothing really strong or overpowering here but the tastes were well balanced.

Mouthfeel has got to be where it's at with an oatmeal porter and they've got this one down very nicely. For a jet black drink this is surprisingly light bodied with plenty of carbonation left over even after the energetic pour. The beer was terribly smooth on the palate and left no oily residue on the tongue. Very mild bitterness to finish with a lingering echo of caramel. This has a lot of the same smoothness you'd find with a nitro-pour stout but without the deadening of taste...

All in all a very drinkable brew. I have a friend in Asheville who drinks two Highland Oatmeal Porters every evening and now I understand why: it's a light, smooth, tasty drink that invites another. Again, thanks to mntlover - I'd never have had a chance to try this regional pleasure.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Highland Oatmeal Porter pours from the bottle a lovely deep charcoal black with a creamy tan head on top that leaves some spotty lacing. Aromas of roasty dark malts, chocolate chunk, some dark fruitiness, a hint of coffee and bitter green hops. Nice.

First sip brings a smooth roasty, toasty, slightly smoky maltiness accentuated by chocolate notes and light hints of bitter coffee grounds. Some green, mildly piney hops work there way to the back of palate as this porter finishes quite dry. A tad bit chalky on the roof of the mouth, but overall a nice brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth carbonation that works quite well. I could easily sit down to a few of these as it's one of my favorite styles...but I do feel there are better porters out there that I would probably choose first. Thanks to kmpitz2 for the opportunity.

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Photo of rousee
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark purple-black with a small head. Minimal lace. Smell is dark malts, caramel and coffee.Ok I guess oatmeal too.. Very nice. These are all apparent in the taste too. Excellent quenching mouthfeel. Quite smooth too. Methinks highland pretty good brewers. One of the better oatmeal porters/stouts I have tried.

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

A: Black and dark brown at the top. Pours a tan creamy head that dissapates to a lacing on the rim of the glass.
S: Roasted chocolate, gourmate coffee smell. Has a little sweetness that is nice.
T: To me has a little more bite than their stout. Balanced hops and malty. A mild bitter aftertaste.
M: Well carbonated. Tingles the tongue a little. Maybe a little thin.
D: Very, Very drinkable. Now that is readily available in my area is becoming my standby beer. Somehow this beer fits any situation for me. Had one last night around a campfire and the same evening over a nice meal with my wife.

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

Nice look in the glass...almost like a cola (dark ruby when held to the light), but with a tan head that starts off a healthy two-finger, and quickly falls to a half-finger. The bubbles are a bit large and loose. Looks great, but not perfect.

The smell makes me think of light brown sugar mixed with hops...it seems a little gritty, but in a pleasant way.

Has a taste that's fairly cola-like right off the top. Shortly after, a nice almost ashy spiciness kicks in, and the spice stays until the end, getting stronger as the flavour fades. There's also a nice smokiness up top that I rather liked.

Very fizzy, swelling a bit up front, then giving way to a liquid that's just on the heavy side of invisible. You really don't notice it much at all after the carbonation fades..

I find this one rather drinkable, but without a strong personality. Granted, sometimes it;s good to have a 'comfort beer'. This one fits that well.It would be a good standby for when you want something dark, but not overbearing.

Be well

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Photo of mattcrill
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: A shoe leather clear brown pour with a tan wispy head. Minimal carbonation notes throughout the body. The head quickly disappears and rings the circumference of my snifter.

Smell: Cocoa powder, oatmeal, Hershey's chocolate, and roasted malts all mildly pleasant on the nose.

Taste: Bitterness up front. Very nutty and earthy. Pecans, walnuts, and hot chocolate are up front. There is some lingering hop bitterness and I definitely get the oatmeal flavor going on at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with a slightly bitter and lingering finsh.

Drinkability: Pretty easy going down. Very well done but nothing too exciting. It takes an awful lot to impress with Edmund Fitzgerald readily available. Recommended.

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

08/11/05- Received from BA member AlexJ via a trade.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness date. Poured into my Englander pint glass.

Appearance- Almost total black pour, 2 fingered dirty chocolate colored head. Very nice lacing.

Smell- Mostly some super dark malt and a bit of coffee.

Taste- Heavy sweet malted action going on. Nice espresso taste throughout. Maybe a touch of chocolate. Not as much hops as expected.

Mouthfeel- A bit creamy and a nice carbonation level.

Drinkabilty- A good porter for sure. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of gimmehead
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black with a quickly recerding beige colored head

Smell: smoky and bitter roasted malts; some sweet chocolate, and maybe some vanilla notes

Flavor: bittersweet roasted malts with some caramel sweetness and a decent amount of hop bitterness; not all that flavorful

Mouthfeel: very thick and smooth, velvety on the tongue

Drinkability: fairly bland flavor and not very exciting, but the aroma is good and the mouthfeel is awesome

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Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" tan head above the translucent dark burgundy/brown brew. Head is frothy and hangs around, with nice lacing. Aroma is lightly of dark grains. Taste is dark malts, rounded out by the oatmeal character. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, as you would hope, and drinkability is nice as well. Nice brew, very sessionable porter, for sure.

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: The idea of an Oatmeal Porter has been pretty enticing to me over the years because of the added smooothness factor, and now I finally get to try one.

APPEARANCE: Jet black with the faintest mahogany highlights around the outside. Medium tan head; tight bubbles. A little bit of lacing, but wondering if I properly rinsed out the glass from the dishwasher before pouring…

AROMA: Dark chocolate, dates, red wine, clove and nutmeg. Sure hope this beer lasts until Christmas! Not much hop character at all.

FLAVOR: This is one mild brew with a lot of flavor. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to some hop flavor on the sides, little bit of fresh-roasted coffee coming through as well. The dates in the aroma are not as present as they were in the aroma, but they’re there. Hops peek their head over the wall just a bit as the beer warms. You can really taste the effects of the oatmeal here; there’s a smoothness and a earthy-grainy sweetness in the back you don’t normally see, save for Oatmeal Stouts (hey – that makes sense!). Nothing off, and certainly interesting – and tasty to boot!

MOUTHFEEL: It doesn’t get any smoother than this. As close to perfect as you’re going to get.

DRINKABILITY: At 5.8%ABV, it’s getting close to the danger zone for this lightweight, but it’s so tasty and interesting that I could see myself having more than one of these – just pass the pretzels, wouldja? Didn’t notice the alcohol until my cheeks started tingling… this one went down too fast. Wow!

OVERALL COMMENTS: A thoroughly unique brew, and empirically worthy of at least a taste should you ever get the opportunity. Always thought that Oatmeal would do well in a porter, and after this brew, I can see I wasn’t wrong.

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

Black in color with a healthy sized tan head. Clingy scatterings of lace were left on the side of the glass as a small cap of foam remained. Light roasty aroma with a sweet maltiness lingering about. Some light coffee as well. A bit mild but inviting. Roasted malts and a mild dark chocolate upfront. Sweet malt notes and some bitterness are there. Finishes on a lingering roasty note. Great flavors but it needs a bit more of them. Medium and creamy mouthfeel works well. Easy drinking stuff that goes down quickly. A solid brew that is very sessionable.

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

12 oz. bottle courtesy of hoppedup in BIF 21.

Almost black body, some red highlights show through topped with a tan head that lacing in thin rings.

Smell is roasted barley with slight flowery hops. No off aromas.

Tastes rich and thick. Deep roasted barley with light chocolate malt and some oat. Light bitterness makes it easy on the palate but is still strong enough to make itself known. Finishes with a very light flare of caramel sweetness.

The oatmeal gives it just enough body to thicken it up a bit and make this a very rich and full porter. A damn good sample if I must say so, yet another brew I will have to find if I am in NC in the future.

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

Bomber provided by GCBrewingCo. Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a 1/2 finger brown-tan head over a very dark brown liquid. Very dark mohogeny brown when held to light. Nose is chocolatey with a touch of molasses and some alcohol. Some dry rough hoppy, like the middle of a piece of dried out driftwood (freshwater) that's just been cracked open. Taste is mostly chocolate with noticable coffee-ish roast beneath, as well as bitter/sour (perhaps from black patent). There is a rough grassy near the end that's a bit combative, but a re-emergance of the chocolate in a more syrupy tasting form fights it off. The mouthfeel isn't as smooth and creamy as I was expecting, perhaps because the coffee and hop put an edge on the beer. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Although the beer leaves my mouth dry, I'm left with enjoyable memories of sweeter chocolate. Not a tremendously complecated beer, but definitely enjoyable.

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Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
3.87 out of 5 based on 1,346 ratings.
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