Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Highland Black Mocha Stout | Highland Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout
Very Good
1,075 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,075 |  Reviews: 454
Photo of BatDaddy
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark chocolate brown that goes solid black as it collects in the glass. Big bubbly tan head with really nice retention and lacing.

S - Bold semi-sweet dark chocolate and light roasted coffee.

T & M - Chocolate is more bitter than the sweet nose would lead you to believe. Mild roasted undercurrent and espresso. Some hop bitterness flashes here and there, but mostly strong coffee flavors. Mouthfeel is creamy but a tad light for a stout.

D - Pretty good flavors and overall nice mouthfeel make this easily drinkable.

Another good beer from Highland, though I'd prefer their Oatmeal Porter or Gaelic Ale.

 620 characters

Photo of mentor
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a half finger of tan head over a dark liquid. Smells potent dry roast, mild baker's chocolate, some Fuggle-type hop, and earthy.

Tastes dry roast, almost acrid. Little sweet tries to fight it off, but the little that's there is countered by a md-strong carbonation (too much for my preference). Has an emptiness I'm not fond of. Like a small beer or a beer made from over-washed grains. Acrid and ashy. Light body and meh drinkability.

 442 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nearly black, with just a light hint of ruby in the edges of the glass. A foamy brown head forms on pouring, eventually dying down to a ring. A little bit of lace on the glass.

Smell: I pop the cap and coffee aromas just pour out into my nose. Chocolate and roasted malt support.

Taste: Roasted malt quickly leads to cocoa flavors and a ton of coffee. Chinook and Mt. Hood hops come in later, never driving the bitterness too over the top. The hops are light, the coffee really drives the bitterness. Finishes with a ton of coffee left to spare.

Mouthfeel: This falls a little bit short on the mouthfeel; it is creamy but not quite as much as I would like.

Drinkability: Has the flavor of an imperial stout, but drinks a lot easier. Quite enjoyable.

 815 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-Poured a watery amberish brown into my oversized snifter with a thin off-white head that didn't hang around long, but a swirl of the glass brought back some life to the head and left subtle lacing trails along the side of the glass.

s-Very malty. Soft hints of chocolate and coffee seems more porter like to me than stout-like since the smell is so soft and almost watered down, but not in a bad way.

t-Really comes to life in my mouth. Great malty flavor. Crisp with subtle chocolate and coffee. It is different in that the flavors are nicely balanced and not in your face like a lot of what's out there.

m-Subtle tingle and pretty light. Watery without being watered down. Cooling and refreshing...surprising for a stout.

d-I really thoroughly enjoyed this brew. I question calling this a stout...seems way more porter like to me, but none-the-less I could easily throw back several of these in an evening. It is light and soft.

 936 characters

Photo of DarthRadb
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as motor oil with a decent three finger head that quickly fades into a 1/4" head.

Smell: I smell Coffee first, then the Chocolate Nibs, then a faint Alcohol smell. Its a very interesting and pleasant aroma.

Taste: Tastes very similar to how it smells, strong Coffee taste quickly followed by bittersweet Chocolate flavor, it has a nice bittersweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very Light for a Black Chocolate Stout.

Drinkability: It's very easy to sit down and drink 2 or 3 of these in a sitting. Very light and refreshing for it to be a Chocolate Stout. It's got a decent ABV, but still low enough you can drink several bottles and still be good to go in a social setting.

Overall there are other Chocolate Stouts I like much better but for the cost and availability these are a regular beer in my fridge.

Best of All Asheville, NC is only about an hour and a half drive from where I live so I'm supporting my homestate economy buying this wonderful beer.

 977 characters

Photo of garbercury
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerLovinGrl for one of many extras...Poured into a snifter late into a wonderful Xmas night...

A--Thin appearance, opaque. A tad bit of lacing and retention.

S--Faint notes of chocolate and coffee on the nose...

T--The taste is quite good, you get the "mocha" in this one, a combo of fudgy chocolate and coffee. Nice flavor and finish.

M--Somewhat thin, but fine for the style.

D--This is a very good beer, I would recommend this beer if you are looking for a flavorful stout that is more on the "sessionable" side.

 531 characters

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

Got this in a trade from Tilley4 -Thanks J.

Poured from 12 oz bottle -

Poured used oil black with one finger head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin lacing ,decent carbonation .

Smell - Roasted malts , coffee

Taste - Coffee with chocolate overtones,roasted malts ,mild hops.

Drinkability - the flavors are well blended and balanced, not a real high abv for a stout which makes it a easy to drink brew.

 410 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I received this as an extra in a recent trade. Review is from notes taken on 12/22/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours the standard deep dark brown/near black and starts with a 1/2 finger loose and creamy tan head that fades immediately to a thin, very incomplete skim and a thin, uneven ring around the surface; body is dark and opaque;

Smell: Lots of dark, burnt roasty espresso malts; bit of a creamy, milky chocolate; bit of a dry, cocoa powder; nothing too over the top and it lives up to the name sake on the label.

Taste: My first impression is that it's actually just a bit thin, but it does have some nice and robust burnt coffee/espresso roastiness and there is a bit of an earthy nutty, perhaps even grassy hoppiness, that brings about a touch of bitterness; the milky/lactose aspect is there, but definitely subdued; just a bit of a coppery/metallic tinge in the back.

Mouthfeel: As noted in the taste, the body is just a little thin, but solid enough for an American Stout (I always do wish these could be a little thicker and heavier though); body is between medium and light in terms of weight and the carbonation is spot on -- nice and lively but not even near sharp or detrimental to the overall experience; a moderately thick, semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth and it really holds the nutty/bitterness well into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Nothing overwhelming, but definitely a great tasting good drinking beer; nice flavors and sweet nose combine for a pleasurable experience, but could be a bit more robust, and the body could be a little thicker.

 1,619 characters

Photo of Ego
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

from my trip down to the obx

black as crow, one finger of head rises up and scampers away rather quickly, a quick swirl brings back some foam and the lacing is pretty good here actually, looks like a stout.

mocha with dunkin donuts coffee (not starbucks), bready malt like cocoa powder in the background, very much akin to milk stouts I have snorted, nothing outrageous here just a nice solid mix.

taste etc...
the body seems a bit light, the carbonation might be a touch too heavy, the layer of nestle quick on the tongue after is very nice though, there doesn't feel like enough body to hold the bold flavors in your mouth too long, so the flavor sensations are a bit fleeting. For a stout this is easily drinkable as there is nothing overbearing whatsoever to prevent further forays into sip-ta-tude. The aftertaste is perhaps this brew's best companion, in fact it leaves a better impression than the actual consumption of the libation. The afterglow is indeed nice here, got a cigarette?

true to the style but nothing out worldly, worth checking out if it doesn't cost you and arm and a hooker.

 1,128 characters

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

$1.79 single at Total Wine.

Poured this baby into a tulip. Extremely dark, with minimal light penetration. Sported a two-fingered tan head that receded extremely slowly, leaving a filmy surface on the beer in its wake. Hot cocoa-esque. Lots of particulates floating around that looked a lot lock miniscule chocolate shavings.

My favorite aspect of this beer was how it did a number on my olfactory senses: Coffee-infused chocolate, similar to a drink I might pick up early in the morning at 'Bucks. Not too heavy, but certainly not too light. I was only fairly excited about trying this beer prior to pouring and sniffing, but now my tastebuds are juiced up and ready to roll.

The taste, although excellent, let me down a bit from the first two aspects of the beer. That's hardly a slight, though. It's very chocolatey, specifically when it comes to the more bitter, cocoa-esque aspect of the treat. It also has mild traces of a nice Colombian coffee in it as well. Very delicious. My only complaint: I'd like it to be a bit heavier.

The mouthfeel's smooth, similar to hot chocolate. Velvety, even. However, there's almost too much carbonation, which detracts from the smoothness.

This beer's damn drinkable, one of the aspects that its slight lack of body helps it accomplish. I could easily drink three or four of these. But from a good stout, I'd rather be on my ass after one.

I think a quick fix for this beer would be more malts. But I hesitate using the word "fix" because there isn't much wrong at all with this baby. Another excellent brew from my in-state boys.

 1,578 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Blackish brown in color. I would have liked to see a bit more head, but what I got was about a half inch of brown foam that disappeared pretty quick.

S - Coffee, malty and hints of chocolate

T - Coffee and malty, again. The chocolate taste is best described as "bakers chocolate" in my opinion. The tastes really balance out quite nicely. This is definitely a good tasting beer.

M - Smooth and creamy with just a hint of aftertaste. Medium carbonation. Lighter feeling than most stouts I've had.

What a nice little stout these fellows! Given the relatively low ABV, and the rather pleasant yet lighter feel of this beer,this baby could be drank all day long during the holidays or just plain chilly weather!

 715 characters

Photo of Spica66
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this in trade from thagr81us. Thanks, Calton.

Poured into tasting glass and shared with gwuilliums (who promptly broke his while we were bottling Batch 12- talk about alcohol abuse!!).

A: Very dark and somewhat viscous pour. Excellent dark khaki head formation and retention. Lacing as you drink. Very, very nice.

S: This smells like the name implies. Dark coffee and roast barley. Very mocha!

T: Both of us really enjoyed the taste. Dark roast coffee and just a touch of astringency on the finish (something we strive for in our own stouts). Some slight hoppiness is present as well.

M: Medium-bodied and round and nice. Just what a stout should be. I am tempted to give it a 5...

D: I am going to set up a trade for an enormous amount of this beer. It is perfectly drinkable.

 787 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Cavalry Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Reflective, black in color with ruby-amber highlights at the top and bottom of the glass. A sudsy, one-finger head of brown foam settles quickly into a slick, bubbly coating with weak retention and leaving almost no lace.

S: Sweet, spicy notes with coffee, herbal hops and an earthy malt aroma. Chalky, bitter, fruity smell also.

T: Roasted, bittersweet malt blend up front with thrusts of hazelnut coffee and bitter, chocolaty malts. Mid-palate is a bitter, herbal, earthy malt and hop blend which finishes with a bit of tobacco and smoke, along with the slightly resinous finish.

M: Full-bodied and a little slick with a bit of a sticky, oily finish.

D: A good amount of roasted malt balanced with bitter hops, this American stout is slightly above average I'd say. The brew gets more complex and mellow as it warms, but all in all the "mocha" seems more like a gimmick than a front-running flavor. Not bad and worth a try if you're in the market for a decent stout.

 1,045 characters

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

A nicely executed American Stout with distinctive, but not overwhelming coffee notes. Poured jet black with a thin mocha head. Up front just a touch of sour before the malt and coffee kick in. Well balanced hops stand slightly off stage and the roasted malt takes center.

 271 characters

Photo of deapokid
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to sixthglass for this one!

Purplish black body with a pencil thin ring of brown foam. Carbonation is moderate and steady and lacing disappears without a trace. This possesses the average look and viscosity of an American Stout.

Aroma is sweet and syrupy, packing in rich chocolate, mild vanilla and slight, alcoholic notes. I expected some roasted character in the scent, but this is more cocoa than coffee.

The flavor provides the roasted nuttiness that had been missing in the nose, coupled with a subtle dark chocolate and deep, chewy malt. Light flecks of vanilla and caramel round out the flavor profile.

The tingly carbonation provides a sizzle on the front of the tongue, while the dark roast coffee conclusion counters with an all-encompassing dryness.

It seems a little heavier than its ABV, but that's only due to its bold flavors and malty backbone. All in all, this is a very nice stout from the Carolinas that I'd love to try again.

 962 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

tis dark brown with amber highlights and loud bubbles, quickly fizzing away and leaving few little bubbles tracing the glass. not very impressive, and from the look of the head, I'm wondering if it isn't a tad infected. the aromas are faint: coffee and bitter chocolate, not much else.
tastes of disappointment: there is definitely bitter chocolate and a bit of coffee, a slight metallic taste, and water. f'in water. very thin-bodied, the chocolate is really the only redeeming quality here. the coffee is faded, not doing too much. slight bit of roast.
very disappointed in this one. fortunately, another bottle just arrived today, so I'll have one more shot at this. See you on Thanksgiving.

Tried the other bottle I had, and while it wasn't as bad as my first experience, it wasn't remarkable enough for me to change my review from my initial impression. I'd probably give my second chance at it a C or C-..

 912 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours engine oil black with a thin caramel, large bubbled ring around the crown of the glass.

S - Predominantly roasted mocha, bitter chocolate, and mild charcoal. The aroma is a little weak, but still very good.

T - Mimics the nose with very large doses of roasted coffee that overlays the tongue like a blanket, minimal mild bittersweet chocolate, and a clean lingering bitterness.

M - Thin medium bodied and fairly dry on the finish.

D - Pretty good.

 462 characters

Photo of DanThomas
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful. Opaque black/brown, thin foamy head and lots of lacing. This is what I want a stout to look like.

S- Deep, warm roasted scent with dark chocolate accents. The smell is very smooth.

T- The dark chocolate is most apparent. Roasted barley takes over towards the back. Dry finish with little/no bitterness.

M- Carbonation is nice on the finish. It's a little thin, but the flavor adds a lot of depth.

D- So good. This beer is an interesting sort of cross between a dry stout and an imperial stout, and it works really well. Lovely stout.

 552 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black color with a tan head and some lacing. Smells of deep dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes of chocolate malts, roasted coffee and some caramel. Toffee in there as well. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Drinkability is good.

 251 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - It appears like a medium-bodied Dry Stout-type brew. The head is very dark, more the color I would expect from an Imperial Stout. Impressive rings of lace form on the side of the glass, despite the rather spare nature of the froth.

S - Immediately discernible are notes of brutally roasted coffee and unsweetened cocoa. As I dig deeper, I detect a smooth oatiness and a grassy hop element.

T - The taste falls short of the promise tendered by the aroma. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable brew. Specific flavors impressions include a slight green bitterness up front and on the finish, a generally pleasant albeit watered-down roastiness, and a hint of chalkiness that casts a pall upon the brew.

M - Fairly thin, and yet it coats your mouth with a slick and oily finish.

D - Go for the Imperial version, it is quite outstanding. This beer is merely a notch above decent.

 878 characters

Photo of klikger
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Thanks, Dad!

A - Black in color, with a half-inch foam top which recedes quickly, leaving fair lacing.

S - Somewhat dark chocolate & not much else. Not bad, though.

T - Semisweet chocolate malt up front, with some milk and piny hops quickly joining the party. The finish is dark chocolate, coffee beans, and hop bitterness. Not too many notes here, but the flavors present are spot on.

M - Pretty light for a stout with so much flavor, but a little bit creamy at the same time; carbonation is good.

D - Very drinkable - chocolate without being too sweet, hoppy enough to satisfy, & under 6% ABV.

Easily the best Highland beer I've had to date. I'm looking forward to drinking my other bottle in the next couple of weeks.

 763 characters

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

A: Black mocha is an apt moniker for this one, as the color is jet black and the creamy head forms up a light mocha color. A fairly copious amount of lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Lightly sweet dark chocolate, caramel, and a pleasant citrus hop presence in the background. Not incredibly overpowering, but balanced and fully adequate for a sessionable stout.

T&M: Smooth dark chocolate and coffee flavor, with a hint of lactose that reminds me of a good milk stout. Some slight licorice and date flavor on the finish. Enough roasted flavor to keep it in stout territory. Body is full with an exceptionally silky feel. I cannot imagine a better mouthfeel for a standard stout.

D: A highly drinkable stout with a fantastic mouthfeel. Prost to Highland for crafting such an enjoyable "everyday" stout. The subtlety and care in creating this beer are readily apparent.

 868 characters

Photo of ZX6Chris
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black, reflective, beautiful. Dark tan head that fade quickly but rejuvenates itself with a swirl of the glass. Bubbles stay around the edge and provide a top for the beer.

S-Milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee.

T-Mellow roastyness. Mild flavors. The aroma doesn't come through like I want. Cocoa. The bitterness and coffee roastyness comes through in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, mildly carbonated. Nice mouthfeel.

D-pretty easy drinking. All in all a good beer. I could drink a few of these.

 517 characters

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

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a sizable tan colored head.

S: Plenty of coffee on the nose with some good roasted notes as well. Light bittersweet chocolate, too.

T: Again, lots of roast and coffee come through. The chocolate quality is not really there, but there is a strange presence of smoke to this beer.

M: The body is a bit on the thing side, perhaps, with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I don't really know about this beer. I enjoyed the aromas, but the weird smoke/peat character on the palate and the lackluster body were a bit off-putting.

 567 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.81/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Another from ryan as part of a nice gift from his trip to brewgrass.

A- semi light looking. A redness shows through. Small head but nice lacing regardless.

S- Lots of roast akin to roasted peanuts.Some cocoa and a good deal of coffee.

T- more nutty roastiness. Its nothing special. quite bitter from both hops and roast.

M- Way, way too carbonated. it makes the thinner body feel worse

 390 characters

Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,075 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.