Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Highland Oatmeal Porter | Highland Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
553 Reviews
Highland Oatmeal PorterHighland Oatmeal Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
553
Ratings:
1,324
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
17.88%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
211
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 553 | Ratings: 1,324
Photo of nickss
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 763 characters

Photo of Enola
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 321 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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

 862 characters

Photo of swid
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

 1,268 characters

Photo of hyuga
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 728 characters

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 1,596 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 848 characters

Photo of rousee
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

 324 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 599 characters

Photo of UncleFlip
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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
-UF

 1,032 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 802 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 558 characters

Photo of gimmehead
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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

 451 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 458 characters

Photo of fretlessman71
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

 1,772 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 555 characters

Photo of KoG
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

 663 characters

Photo of mentor
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 927 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost pitch balck, but with some light sneaking around the edges. Thick foamy head that first receded to a cool looking cap, then to a pretty thick film. Nose is a bit of coffee. Taste is a strong kick of coffee beans. Can't really find the oatmeal (that comes through more in the full and heavy mouthfeel). Dark chocolate flavor also leaves a dry feel in the mouth. Little bit smokey. Fairly drinkable, but it would burn my taste sense if I stuck with these all day.

 474 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Ninjaworm (thanks, Oak, for providing my beer for the week).
Pours a deep brown with a slightly off white head. Head is well formed, and retention is pretty good. Lacing is a bit lacking, but with the style, it's not that surprising.
Smell is roasted malts, chocolate, some vanilla, oatmeal, and just a hint of hops.
Taste is chocolate, roasted coffee, a bit of vanilla, and quite a bit more hops than I would have thought. A definite smoothness is brought about by the oatmeal in this one.
Mouthfeel is nice, smooth, coats the tongue, and just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Overall, another fantastic beer from Highland. I really should have bought more of this stuff when I was in NC. I haven't had a single beer from this brewery that I didn't like.

 794 characters

Photo of ybnorml
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A very dark brown beer with rich mahogony highlights. Has a small creamy light brown head. There is a rich malty aroma with a light chocolate note a bit of coffee in the background. The flavor starts with a good promising roasted malt character. This robust goodness is short lived however. The finish is a nasty metallic aftertaste that sticks to your teeth and gums. Removing any joy you were getting from this brew.

 418 characters

Photo of kingjames1
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark ruby, with good light brown lacing.

Smell - wonderful, just like it says, an oatmeal porter. Oatmeal, coffee, some toffee, and that nice roasted malt aroma. Smells like a wonderful breakfast bread with a dark roasted coffee.

Taste - this seems to be a let down after the wonderful aromas. I've rarely had a beer that smells better and richer than it tastes. Hops bitterness, some coffee flavors, a little bit of sweetness (not much). Hmmm.

Mouthfeel - good, fine carbonation levels.

Relatively drinkable, but probably won't have another one tonight.

 582 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark ruby, light just makes it through. A thin cream head doesn't cover the surface completely and leaves an occasional patch of lace.

Aroma - heavy aroma of roasted coffee beans. Straight up, that's it. Good enough for me!

Taste - dark roasted malt with a sweet chocolate mix. Just a blip of hoppiness at the end. Ends on the sweeter side with light caramel and coffee bean flavors.

Mouthfeel - heavy, smooth, evenly carbonated, perfect.

Drinkability - a fine treat supplied by merlin48. Great stuff!

 527 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a chilled 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. The beer is a gift from a college buddy of mine who lives in NC now.The beer pours pitch black with a beige fluffy head of 2 cm foaming up easily. As it slowly recedes, there is larege frothy latticework on the glass.
Aroma is lite with chocolate and roasted malt coming through and a bit of cheerios (oats).
First sip reveals a smooth creamy textured brew with slightly intense and prickly carbonation.
Flavor is what's expected from the nose. Some sweet brown sugary malt up front that rolls to a roasted and slightly dry finish.
The beer is very easy to drink with no hint of abv. A nice overall beer that I would buy if in NC for sure!

 700 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, nearly opaque ruby brown with a frothy tan head. Smells of smoky chocolate and sweet malt. Some bitterness in the nose.

Taste of subdued smoky chocolate. Sweet malt but a drier bitter finish, coffee and hops. Medium bodied. Not going to bludgeon you over the head, an understated porter. Creamy and sweet. Not bad. A session beer to be sure. A good winter fallback?

 382 characters

Highland Oatmeal Porter from Highland Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 553 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe