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Highland Black Mocha Stout | Highland Brewing

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Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Highland’s most robust beer, having a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor, all achieved solely through the use of special roasted barley grains. It is black in color with a very clean finish and moderate hop flavor.

While the porter style was developing, some brewers produced a stout porter and over time generated a new style known simply as stout. These beers traditionally contain a distinct roasted malt flavor and can run the gamut from a dry stout, such as Guinness to a sweet stout such as Watney’s Cream Stout. Our Black Mocha falls in the sweet stout range and derives its chocolate and coffee tones from the use of appropriate roasted malt grains and is very often used as an after dinner libation or an accompaniment to dessert.

Added by Jason on 12-09-2002

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Reviews: 447 | Ratings: 1,048
Photo of biggmike
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer courtesy of a trade with barefootbrewer. Pours a beautiful black color with decent tan head that dissipated rather quickly and did not leave much in the way of lacing. Aroma was roasted maltiness and chocolate. Flavor was also malty with chocolate and coffee notes. Mouthfeel was good. This was a nice stout.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ncvbc for the trade.

Pours a nice dark color with an inch of mocha colored foam.

Aromas of nuts, chocolate, caramel, cocoa, and some earthy hops. There's also a good presence of chocolate and roasted malts. I'm also picking up hints of vanilla wafers, brown sugar, and hints of roasted barley and some kahlua. Indeed it smells like a starbucks mocha frappuccino. Great chocolate profile in this stout.

The taste has more roasted barley and roasted malt flavor with a dry, semi-bitter, chocolate aftertaste. There is more roasted barley in the initial taste as well as the finish than the aroma leads to believe. Good but a bit disappointing considering how good it smells.

Feels just a tad over carbonated and finishes a little thin.

Pretty solid stout, I just thought that it would have more chocolate in the taste.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown/almost black with some garnet tinges around the bottom and a finger of poofy tan head that retained very nicely and left some good lacing. The aroma is pretty straightforward with roasted malt, chocolate, a twinge of coffee, and some light floral hoppiness in the backend.

The taste packed with everything that makes a roasty Stout great. Roasted gains, chocolate sweetness, some burnt coffee bitterness, and just a tingle of hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is full and creamy with a nice carbonation.

Wow, this guy packs exactly what I like in my American Stouts. Fantastic full flavors and a low ABV that make this one easy drinking flavorful beer. I'll definitely be seeking out more of this in the future.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to barefootbrewer for this great extra!

Appearance is a deep black color with a thin lighter-tan head that kind of goes away almost completely. A very attractive color, deep without seeming too thick.

Smell is inviting, with lots of strong roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Sweetened with molasses and warmed with some roasted nuttiness. Hints of something more earthy, tree bark and other tannins.

Impressive delivery of taste, with great tobacco and nutty qualities that become more roasty and grainy at the finish. Soft chocolate lingers throughout. A very nice hop presence noted in the middle with some higher end balance of flavor. Very light sweetness, but mostly a dry roasted flavor, finishing with a darker grainy toasty aftertaste.

Feels smooth, with a good body and slight chewiness. Not too thick or syrupy. Very soft carbonation adds a good touch.

Nicely drinkable beer, with a moderate ABV and excellent balance. Full, but not heavy, I could easily drink a few of these.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, chocolate brown with meager russet highlights at the edges. The wonderful looking crown (darker than khaki, lighter than umber) resembles coffee ice cream as it melts. It's also spectacular in the lace department. What a start!

The nose is impressive as well. It's bursting with a roasted maltiness that pretty much nails the style. Cacao-intensive chocolate keeps freshly-ground coffee beans at the periphery. Since the dictionary definition of mocha is either a type of coffee or a chocolate-coffee mixture, I wonder if coffee was used here?

Black Mocha Stout, like just about everything Highland brews, is very good, drinkable beer. If you aren't afraid of hops (Chinook and Mt. Hood), to the tune of 25 IBUs, then it might even be great beer.

The flavor just does reach the point where my brain says '4.5' (when it comes to beer, my brain thinks in terms of numbers, not letters). What's remarkable is that such an incredibly flavorful stout should be infinitely sessionable as well. The ABV may be slightly too high for that purpose, but palate fatigue shouldn't become as issue, even after multiple bottles.

Brown sugar-coated roasted barley is the shining star of the show, with huge splashes of chocolate liqueur, espresso and molasses. The hops provide an ideal amount of countering bitterness, as well as a citric spiciness, courtesy of Chinook. I've poked and prodded and can find no weaknesses whatsoever.

The mouthfeel is a quality affair that is pretty close to dead-on for the style. Only a wee lack of heft keeps it from earning the big numbers. Nitpicking? Probably.

Do North Carolinians know how lucky they are to have Highland Brewing? These guys are immensely talented and deserve much more recognition than they get. As a music critic once said about The Cars first album, 'drop the needle anywhere and prepare to be impressed'. The same can be said about Highland beer.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent initial 1 1/2 finger head that dissipates to nothing halfway down the glass and starts leaving no retention.

Smell is of roasted and chocolate malts with caramel malts. Graininess on the nose. Slight hint of licorice and mint. I can't tell if it's in my head or actually there.

Taste is sweet upfront with caramel malts followed by a nice chocolate malting balanced by a roasted malt characteristic. Mocha chocolate adds a chocolatey sweetness. Hop bitterness is low and serves to cut through the sweetness. Undertones of mint are apparent as well as licorice.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A very tiny bit high on the carbonation.

This beer is easy to drink especially for chocolate lovers.

Thanks to barefoot brewer for the sample.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good little stout here. I was pleasantly surprised.

Nice dark pour, no head and not much in the way of lacing either.

Smells really good. Very chocolatey and dark and of course with coffee as well.

Much richer than I was expecting from a low ABV stout. Full of dark coffee and chocolate flavor. Very nice.

Nice surprise with this one. Will definitely be having this one again when I can find it.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I admit to being a wee prejudiced in favor of stouts and porters, which is why I tend to rate them high if they're good. However, this one does deserve kudos. Color is a deep sable, almost black, and opaque. Aroma is fairly strong, smoky, with rich roast coffee overtone. Flavor is very smooth, tasting rather like roast coffee with hints of chocolate and just a whisper of hops. I heartily recommend this one to all porter and stout fans.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Deep black under a decent sized tan head, some lace and retention.

S: A nice roasted malt, really surprised at the malt character as it exhibited a pretty nice sweetness as well, a bit of smokiness and some slight hints of chocolate.

T: A spicey, pepperish character up front, finishing in a roasted, coffee-like bitterness and dark chocolate, some grassy hop character as well. Leaves a bitter, dark chocolate flavor in the mouth. You really have appreciate a beer with so much flavor.

M/D: Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is just right to aid the full body and also give a hint of itself on the tongue. Drinkability is fine as well especially at 5.60%. Pretty solid stout.

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Photo of kuranes
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Beer is thick and black with caramel-colored head. This beer pours well and the beautiful head was the first thing that struck me about it.

S: Deep chocolate scent with undertones of coffee. Also present is a light, fruity/hoppy sweet smell that balances well with the stronger scents.

T: Initially smooth and malty, with a moderate hoppy bitterness that builds to finish. In the hoppiness, I taste chocolate. The balance between smooth malt taste and hoppy finish works really well for this beer. The chocolate flavor is also a nice touch.

M: Thick with moderate carbonation. A little sticky.

D: Excellent brew. I am continually impressed by the quality of NC microbreweries and Highland is surely one of the best. This beer complemented some pumpkin and cream cheese cake very well. Inexpensive and delicious, I will be drinking the Black Mocha Stout again soon.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from WeisGuy, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee and hints of dark fruit and hops.

T: The taste is very smoky and traditionally malty, with strong flavors of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and some dark fruit that comes out more as the beer warms. There's a decent hops presence that tries to sneak its way through and while it gets beaten out by the malty and sweet flavors, it still provides a decent balance. The after-taste is smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth with a good amount of crispness, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is quite clean for a style that is usually on the sticky side.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, slightly filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good and flavorful beer to sit back and relax with. A bomber or two while watching a movie is the perfect role for this beer.

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Photo of clemsonbrewer
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a medium brown head. Very thin lacing that hangs around a little. Smells of dark chocolate and HEAVY malt. Tastes of coffee and dark chocolate with thin hoppy balance. Mouthfeel is heavy in a good way. Very smooth strong coffee palate. This a great dessert beer. I had this in a beerbar/restaurant in Clemson, SC with some cheesecake. Wonderful combo. I will definitely try this beer again when I get the chance.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid id dark as night and has excellent carbonation. The dark mocha head comes up 3 fingers and fades slow leaving some lace.

The smell is of chocolate and bits of toast.

The taste is good bits of chard toast, coffee and chocolate notes. The bitterness is spot on. This beer is as advertised.

The mouthfeel is good, no fault here good body and carbonation make a great drinking stout.

The drinkability is good, I will be looking for more of these soon.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, deep brown-not quite black in color. Heavy roasted aroma with a slight hop bite to it. Burnt and roasted flavor. Slight nuttiness to it. Good hop bitterness. Slight coffee taste. Decent mouthfeel. Good stout-was expecting a bit more mocha/coffee flavor from the name but that could just be me.

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Photo of bradford
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired through a trade with stopbarking
Looks good on the pour, dark black, very little light getting through. Thick but not viscous like a Dark Lord or Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Head was an off white, brownish color that thinned down very qyuickly
Smelled okay, lots of roasted malts and bittering hops present in the nose
Taste was the same, overly roasty for my taste and quite bitter for a 5.6% American Stout.
Mouthfeel was good, pretty thick and palate coating
Drinkability is not so high. Not a bad beer, just very assertive in the roastiness and bitterness

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Photo of Vancer
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Blackie, bren56 and limesmut sent samples of this classic stout! GRACIAS !

Just look at this – almost a pure black pour, with a sticky foamy head of tan. Leaving a sheet of lace on my diamond encrusted Corsendonk tulip.

Big whiff of a coffee porter type brew, malty with dose of chocolate thrown in for good measure. Smooth quaff of a sweet stout, tad thin, but still a quality drinker. Lightish alcohol puts this in the session type category.

Tasty treat.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't bought this for a couple years so a bomber seemed appropriate. In fact, I had it before Stone's 11th Anniversary...not nearly the same beer but in terms of what it is I feel it was better with ease. A deep dark pour with a nice tan head. Smell was of roasted grains. Chocolate and a little sweet mocha in there. Taste was very nice. Deep roasted chocolate and coffee again with a nice nutty undertone that is quite refreshing. A nice hop presence toward the end. Silky and clean mouthfeel and almost too easy to drink. Highland knows how to make some very sessionable beers, this one included in a quality list.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Inky black liquid topped by two fingers of dense, khaki head that sticks around for a while. Leaves a trail of lace along the sides.

S: Big, robust, roasted chocolate malt aroma combined with mellow but assertive hops. This beer smells like it has great balance, so we'll see how this one turns out.

T: Heavy roasted malt up front that eases off ever-so gently by a transition that is just hoppy enough to smooth it out and round out the flavor profile. Finish is actually refreshing, and the aftertaste is the original lingering roasted malt base. Superbly done, with impeccable balance.

M: Again, balance is the key here. Maintains enough carbonation for a silky mouthfeel, but does not get in the way of the flavor. Some residual slickness on the palate.

D: The skillfully crafted taste of this beer is evident. It's got more balance than a tight-rope walker, and is sure to please anyone who's a fan of the malty stuff. Very easy to drink and even more easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured thick black with a thick tan head

Smell - Hint roasted malts, chocolate and coffee.

Taste - Taste of roasted malts with hint of hops in the bitterness. Also slight hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Thick with a medium amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - This was a decent beer. Had a nice taste to it not too bitter.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a thick black with a huge brown head. The smell is roasted and malty. There are coffee and mocha aromas noticeable as well. The taste is chocolate/mocha initially followed by some roasted flavors and bitterness. The varying flavors seem to meld well. The mouthfeel is full but not chewy – somewhat creamy. Overall, I think this is a tasty and well balanced stout that I’d definitely recommend.

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Photo of meechum
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown to black very opaque in the glass with a thick creamy tan head of about 2 or 3 fingers that subsides to a nice lacing

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee (obviously) and a hint of wood or burnt bread smell it was good

T - Very good slight bite upfront from the hops giving way to roasted malts and molases and mocha then giving way to a touch of chocolate with a oaky taste at the end

M - I thought this was a medium thickness in mouthfeel with a right amount of carbonation

D - Overall the drinkability was great. This was a wonderful stout and delivered on the promise of the style and labeling. It was everything my taste buds were waiting for. I would love to have a six of this on hand any time

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Photo of fsunole
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a very good appearance, a nice head and aroma. However, it was rather strong on the taste side of things which I guess should be expected from a mocha stout. It is just not as smooth as some famous irish stouts such as guiness and murphy's.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly ebon with a large foamy cap of deep yellowed brown spongeyness. Keeps a huge skim/capping present for great length and lacing is spread out in lots of spots and a few stringy thingies.

Good aroma of soft cocoa covered bread, brown sugar, and mocha coffee ice cream with a bit of dry nuttyness on top.

Flavors are a bit nicer and quite fufilling in tone and richness. Good amounts of chocolate malt, some nice evenly set drying to it as it soothes into a semi creamy coffeeness and roastability. Tiny burnt notes flick about along with some dry husks and cocoa. A very easy going character of evenness and smoothness. Good balance of chocolatey sweetness mixed with coffee dryness and slight bitterings of burntness.

Feel is soft and creamy with a nice delicate dryness throughout. Body dances well in the medium areas, kinda gets more tang as it warms with a bit of oatyness. Very soothing and nearly silky in some ways.

This one grew on me, at first it didn't seem like it was gonna knock my socks off but as it went along it became a very inticingly fun brew to drink. I think the overall subtle tones in flavor and body really worked well together and made for a very approachable drinker of a stout! Thanks to mjgardner for the hookup of Highland!

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Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a Dark Lord day trade with some NC folks.

A: The stout pours quite dark, with a coffee-esque color. Nothing seems to make it through the glass and the dark depth of the beer. The head was quite thick, 3 fingers, on pour and almost overflowed the glass. As it settles, the ale has left an extensive lacing throughout the glass.

S: The aroma coming off of the beer is roasted malt, burnt bread with a strong chocolate aroma.

T: The stout is serviceable, having a strong malt body, bready with a strong roasted element that adds a depth to the body. That roasted body releases some chocolate and caramel flavor as well. The flavors, overall, are restrained and lack the pizzazz that a good stout should have. The flavor squarely puts this beer into the decent realm.

M: The mouthfeel has hints of roasted malt and chocolate and ends on an enjoyable note with a chocolate flourish. The flavor comes through a tad too late though for me.

D: The low abv and nice mocha finish redeem the beer, creating a decent flavor that, while it won't transcend the stout style, it won't turn you off from stouts either.

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Photo of mcallister
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown but showing transparency bordering on rust at the edges. Head is minute and fades quickly. Some sediment floats wonderously about.

What a nose on this beauty. Liquid dark chocolate with sweet mocha aromas laced with vanilla and caramel. Nutty aromatics and some butterscotch. Black berry and black cherry aromas as well. Damn fine smelling beer and hard to drink as it smells so divine.

Very fine low ABV stout. Not as impressive as the nose would suggest, but impressive nonetheless. Main knock I have is the mouthfeel. Which seems to be way to thin and watery and leaves nay a finish. Flavors are much like the nose without the amount of melted caramel. Mocha, vanilla, dark chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, mollasses, black cherry, caramel with a cream brulee wondering. Some roasty notes as well. Could have been higher on drinkability if not for the lackluster mouthfeel.

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Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,048 ratings.
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