Highland Black Mocha Stout | Highland Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
448 Reviews
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Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States
highlandbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
448
Ratings:
1,052
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
11.05%
 
 
Wants:
52
Gots:
177
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 448 | Ratings: 1,052
Photo of fishead
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been a Guinness drinker most of my adult life, but it's difficult sometimes to find a good Stout at the grocery store, and only a few of the better bars and pubs carry Guinness on tap. That being said, I am always on the lookout for a replacement for my Guinness whenever I'm out and about.

Highland Creek Brewing has started selling a 12pk assortment that my local grocery store just started carrying. They have dropped the old Guinness Draft cans with the foamer gizmo, so I was seeking something other than boring and bland to fill the 'fridge, so I picked up the assortment, having enjoyed Highland Creek's other brews when I've run across them.

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the case and pulled out this bottle of Black Mocha Stout, cold and inviting, with a hint of coffee and chocolate, it has a very similar look and feel to the Guinness I love, but with a very unique and enjoyable twist in flavor.

I enjoyed this new beer so much, I started to search about it, ran across this site, and decided to sign up.

Looking forward to may another of these, my new favorite! And it's local too!

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Photo of Dave1999
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a foamy tan coloured head.

The smell is coffee,dark malts and milk chocolate.

The taste is coffee, milk, roasted malts and slightly bitter chocolate.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick with low carbonation.

Overall a pretty good coffee beer, the coffee isn't too strong and easy to drink.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and thin wisps of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves scraggly lines behind on the glass.

S- Semi-sweet dark chocolate aroma with some vanilla and caramel.

T- Taste follows suit with more chocolate notes and dark roast. Not much bitterness but there's a mild char aftertaste. Very smooth and somewhat luscious with barely any alcohol detected.

M- Slightly creamy and a bit chewy. Medium carbonation and a robust body.

O- A very subtle yet flavorful stout with just the right amount of chocolate making for excellent drinkability.

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Photo of Brenden
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A black stout it certainly is, just barely any light coming in at the extreme edges. The head that grows, about medium brown in color, rises to a respectable height and holds up quite well. It drops slowly and leaves thick, webby lace clinging as it does.
The smell surprises me; I had a Highland beer or two when I visited Ashville a few years back and didn't remember this kind of quality. A nice, strong malts base gives off just enough roast and a slight touch of char that doesn't offend, and there's a nice creamy cocoa element coming out along with it.
Tasty, and with the chocolate and coffee coming forward with the strength I desire, I'm just pleasantly surprised by this brew overall. The malts are firm and flavorful. There's a bit of leafy hoppiness coming out for depth, mingling with a note of dark fruits and lightly charred woods to put a little edge on the char into the finish.
This fits into stout territory without being overbearingly heavy or weighty, making it almost infinitely sessionable. It loses a little of the heft and just a touch of crispness comes through, but the creamy feel is constant, even as the finish goes a little drier.

 1,163 characters

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

Appearance: Very dark, almost black; medium frothy tan head, long lasting, excellent lacing

Aroma: Roasted malt with chocolate and coffee notes

Taste: Roasted malt, creamy mouthfeel; slightly biiter grains in the start with a bit sweet in the mid; finishes dry and nutty/bitter aftertaste; well balanced and not too bad

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 396 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> New Belgium globe glass

The pour yielded a dark ebony color with a one finger foamy caramel-colored head with awesome retention and lacing. The smell was dark chocolate and licorice. Taste follows the nose. It is big and sweet up front, kind of milk chocolate with a sour sweetness. The finish builds slowly. At first it doesn't appear to be anything there, but it slowly build to a rich , bitter and satisfying mocha taste. Mouthfeel is very average, leaning toward being a little thick. All in all a nice offering.

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Photo of Damian
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pint 6 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to my dad for this bomber

With an aggressive pour, a one-finger tall crop of saddle brown foam topped the shimmery, near pitch black liquid. The head faded to a thick, clingy collar. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose was incredibly unique. Not at all typical for an American stout. Super smoky. Peat smoked malts were apparent. Strong prune and raisin notes. Lots of leather and tobacco. Somewhat sherry-like with an interesting oxidized quality. As the beer warmed, chocolate fudge was noticeable. This reminded me a lot of an aged old ale.

The flavor profile was much more typical of the style. Quite roasty and dry. Roasted malts appeared on the front end. Hint of caramel-like sweetness. Raisins came through in the center. Touch of black coffee. The finish was ashy with a charred, slight bitterness. Overall, not very complex.

The liquid was thinner and lighter bodied for the style. A touch watery with a very mellow effervescence. Slightly creamy on the palate.

This is a very strange offering from the folks at Highland Brewing. The nose was amazingly complex but did not represent the style well, and the flavor profile contained hardly any mocha character. This seemed like a beer that simply went awry.

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Photo of marley2112
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 5/7/13. Served in an imperial pint glass.

A - Very black, undertone of dark red in the right light. An aggressive pour resulted in a thick head that left traces behind all the way up the glass. Best stick on the head I've seen from an "everyday" beer.

S - Upfront is heavy on malt, nice balance of coffee and cocoa. I don't get as much of the roast/burnt in the nose as I do on the back end of drinking.

T - Definite cocoa/coffee, but as it warms the taste of vanilla and dark fruit are there, still nicely balanced.

M - As good a mix between creamy and carbonated as a stout should be.

O - Highland makes some of my favorite go-to beers for various styles, and this is no exception. An easily drinkable stout that still delivers something interesting.

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Photo of pauldave1976
1.7/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Not good. Lower than average. Will not waste my money again. I would expect a lot more out of a brew from Asheville, North Carolina. Seemed really plain and pretty sad for a "craft" beer.I guess it s par for the course, as I feel the exact same way about the rest of their beers. I would like to try some of their one shots to hopefully redeem them in my mind.

 360 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with pomegranate highlights and creamy beige head that instantly sheets, rings and laces.
Ash, oily espresso and burnt sugar on the nose.
Sultana, char, dark caramel, some roasty sweetness and moderate branch hop bitterness.
Cocoa bean finish and dry linger.
Smooth, medium, chewy.

Big and round, roast forward, but smooth and even. A very clean but solid stout that's neither an RIS nor Irish nor hoppy - unusual these days.

Happy first taste of Asheville.

 474 characters

Photo of fountainofyouth
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Guinness-style tulip 20 oz. glass.

Appearance: Pours a very big head that retains well, off-white in color. The body is an imposing near-black and impenetrable to light. Lacing intact.

Smell: The smell is becomingly complex, with some sweet malt and light coffee mixing with a hint of booze. There might be a tiny bit of citrus hops, but I'm not sure. Most of what dominates is sweet brown malt.

Taste: Overall very good, although I wish it had a teensie bit more punch to it. Roasted barley is there and some coffee grounds, although there is a little bit of malt sweetness too that keeps it from getting too ashy. Hop presence is minimal.

Mouthfeel: The coffee grounds (or something) add a grainy, dry feel to the beer -- and I don't dislike it. The carbonation is restrained and doesn't interfere with the flavor.

Overall: I could be temped to buy it again. Definitely a worthy contender for the style. People used to drinking slightly sweeter dark ales might find it too imposing.

 1,017 characters

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

Pours a dense, tan head with nice lacing. Deep, rich toasted malt in the nose; big notes of coffee. Black. Acidic and bright, with toasted malt throughout. Builds into a medium floral hop bitterness. Finish is toasted malt throughout.

Overall, I like this. No coffee in it, but it tastes VERY much like it does have it. I wish it was a touch less acidic, and a touch MORE toasted malt.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a dark brown/black pour with a finger of head which actually gave off some nie lacing. nice head retention as well. smells of coffee beans rise immediately, followed by chocolate and a very nice roasted nut smell. the flavor is a very mellow and smooth blend of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, roasted grains, and macadamia nuts. medium in body with pretty low amount of carbonation.. feels a bit on the lighter side (watery).

overall, this is a solid beer. not sure if it's a seasonal or a year-round, but it's pretty damn good nonetheless. very subtle, but dead on as far as stouts.

 581 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Received an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark brown hue with a good one finger dark mocha head that slumped down to a light quarter blanket.

S - Aromas of good roasted malts, chocolate, and nice roasty black coffee. Very, very pleasant.

T - Taste is nice. Similar to the nose. Good bitter coffee notes, roasted malts, creamy chocolate notes. This is quite tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy, lowly carbonated, but a bit thin. Not bad though

O - Overall A solid beer. Wish it was a bit thicker. Still, not bad though.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a pitch black color with a small fizzy dark-tan head that reduces quickly and nearly dissapears, leaving no lace.

S- dark chocolaty roasted malt, chocolate syrup, also some dried dark fruit, raisins, cherries, pure vanilla extract at the end. This one smells like an inviting chocolate bomb.

T- the dark fruit notes continue to the palate, the chocolate tastes like a dark cocoa with a hint of vanilla. The finish is smoky with some charcoal, finishes dry with just a bit of hop.

M- light-medium body, low carbonation creamy mouthfeel with a velvety finish. The body seems just a bit thin for the style.

O- this aroma of this one was pure chocolate, but the taste seemed to fall a bit short of the expectations from the aroma. It was still very enjoyable, and would be a good choice for those looking for chocolate flavored stouts.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep color, basically black all around, only some slight dark brown around the very edges; tan head, thick on the pour leaving medium lacing. Deep mocha on the nose; creamy, sweet coffee, roasted barley, and bittersweet chocolate and cocoa beans. The flavor follows right along - the coffee profile was actually a bit stronger than expected (not a bad thing) and combats the mocha for the number one spot. The mocha has a bitter underlaying with sweetness and creaminess coming in to round it out. Hops show up in the taste that were not really present in the aroma; kind of dry, leafy, herbal, ashy. The bitter character balances well, hits a little on the back of the tongue. Some char flavors, not necessarily smokey, but charcoal and deep, burnt, roasted barley and malt. Reasonably creamy body, medium-thick but not syrupy, middle of the road on the carbonation scale.

Very good mocha stout, nice creamy body and lots of flavor for being only 5.6% ABV. You could certainly put a few of these down in a single sitting and be okay, as well as satisfied.

 1,065 characters

Photo of Maltmaiden
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black/dark brown. Carbonation bubbles are visible. Small but persistent head

S: Cocoa and very toasted malts. some hops. Molasses. Not as much coffee as I was expecting...more chocolaty. Vanilla. Metal?

T: Toasted malts and bitter cocoa powder upfront. Coffee beans. Earthy hops. Touch of vanilla. Root beer. And that weird metal again?

M: Maybe too much carbonation. Goes down easy though.

O: good but too much bitterness and carbonation than I like in my stouts. Won't go out of my way to get this again.

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Photo of brewdude1982
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a pint I had in tap at Wakefield tavern in Raleigh.

This is a dark beer much like one would expect from a stout. Good lacing and a thick head with lots of tiny bubbles. It has relatively no smell but then again I am stuffed up. The taste is very much coffee and roasted dark malts. It is a pleasant change from some of the other stouts that I have had recently. This brewery is making beers that range from mediocre to great in my book.

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Photo of JDVance742
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a DFHead tulip glass.

Appearance is a beautiful, deep, ebony, like a low carbonated cola.

Head is super thick and medium length of staying around, pretty good lacing. Can see every sip going down, however not completely defined.

Smells like an extra chocolate mocha. Heavy roasting(coffee provoking, chocolate evoking), light hints of vanilla, wood fire burning in the other room scent on the background.

Taste parallels the scent, with the roasted malt jumping to the foreground and the chocolate slipping to the light end. Parallel to the lessening of chocolate flavor is the more pronounced vanilla and cream flavors.

Mouthfeel is a bit lacking in comparison to the overall experience, carbonation comes through a bit tingly, and lacks in full body to accompany the bounty of other experiences, but too much good going on to really go too low on this score either.

Overall I'd give it more of a 4.3. A pleasant beer, even after sitting to warm for twenty to thirty+ minutes.

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

A - A pitch black as night color, no clarity, and 1 tall finger of head. Nice tan lacing left on the glass. Impressive!

S - Roasted malts and chocolate are very prevalent. A touch of hop bitterness

T - Tasty! As expected by the appearance and nose. Chocolate, coffee beans, slight sweetness, which I like in my stouts. Well balanced.

M - Smooth. Medium carbonation. Creamy.

O - Best Highland brew I have had, by far. Excellent stout! Love it. WIll seek it out again

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Big Boss pint glass.

Pours a pitch black color with a 2 inch thick head. Smell is...not much. I detect a faint coffee aroma but not much else. The taste is not much better. A mild coffee flavor with a slight bitter finish. It's okay. Light body and medium carbonation. Wish this were heavier, feel leaves something to be desired.

Overall this is a drinkable beer but you can do better. I wouldnt turn it down but this is not Highland's best offering.

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Photo of dvmin98
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Living in Charlotte, I really enjoy a lot of the Highlands stuff. This was my first taste of BMS.

Appearance: Nice, deep dark color. One finger head that stuck around for 30 secs or so

Smell: Nice chocolatey tones. Good nose overall.

Taste: Nice sturdy stout. Stuck to the front of my tongue

Mouthfeel: Too carbonated for me in regards to a stout. My tongue was much more tingly than other stouts I'm used to

Overall its a good stout that I would drink again, but it would be better if it wasn't so carbonated

 514 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting concept, a Scottish style brewery in the middle of Asheville, NC. Thanks to JonnyGalt for this interesting beer.

A creamy looking mocha colored smaller head that sits there for a bit, and leaves a high water mark of lacing notched as I sip, over a dark almost black beer, with slight hints of molasses colored light sneaking through when held directly to the light.

Nose is pure black malts, like nightmarish black malt aroma, dark as hell. Some coffee in there, a bit of fresh roasted coffee beans and a bit of roast, a bit of mocha with that as a hint of cocoa starts to sneak in. A light caramel aroma, hint of fluffy nougat and maybe a bit vanilla.

Taste starts rich and creamy, almost milky or lots of oats, then roasted malt, a hint of acrid almost burnt roast, and burnt roast. Some coffee, little roasted coffee bean and hint of burnt coffee, and light charcoal like. Some baker's chocolate comes in lightly in the background and brings the mocha quality out more. A little caramel and fluffy nougat again. Some bitterness but mostly from the roast, maybe a hint of earthy hops. Finish is a bit sticky and syrupy quite rich and mouth coating, a bigger bitterness fairly earthy bitterness and lingering roasted malt, light coffee and chocolate lingering.

Mouth is thick and rich, quite creamy, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, lots of coffee, mocha, roast, and very rich and creamy thick for being just 5.6%, although it does bring a bit of acrid burnt flavors from the roast, but not too strong. Overall a nice tasty beer.

 1,548 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1563rd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter
12oz

I didnt find a bottle date
Thanks to BlackBelt5112203 for this one

App- It was a nice base stout. A bit of a black color with some browns all around. A good deep center. The head was a good tan 1 finger loose bubbling and nice clinging beer. Looked good in the glass.

Smell- The roasted malts are overpowering on this one and do little to smooth this out. The hop addition adds another layer but competes too much vs. layering the beer. I dont find the mocha or chocolate aromas at all.

Taste- I thought it was pretty good. A bit too ashy and thin on the mocha. A bit of the hops couldve been dropped down a bit to make this a more smooth drinker vs. being prickly and stinging. The flavors are a bit lined up and come at you 1 at a time vs. being integrated and layered. As this warmed it was a bit of a dark cherry flavor with a little bit of a bakers chocolate flavor as well.

Mouth- A light body stout. I know its an american stout, but this was a bit too thin and watery for me with a bit of a high carbonation. Residual flavors on this were some ash, roast, smoke and bitter. I get no mocha still even as warm.

Drink- It was okay. Wasnt a mind blowing hidden gem. Solid offering that I feel would be served to dial down the roast and up the smooth factor. I think this wouldve been better with a food pairing.

 1,376 characters

Photo of Moss
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours an expected dark black with a light brown 2 finger head. Leaves good lacing.

S - Smells like coffee and mocha from the roasted malts. Smells sweet.

T - Tastes as it smells with the coffee and chocolate taste. Much like what I expected from this beer. Sweet but has a good finish from the hops with the bitterness to even it out.

M - Medium bodied and creamy with light carbonation.

Overall - Good beer, would have again.

 434 characters

Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,052 ratings.
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