Highland Black Mocha Stout | Highland Brewing

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Highland Black Mocha StoutHighland Black Mocha Stout
Very Good
1,087 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

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Ratings: 1,087 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of DmanGTR
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap tonight at World of Beer.

Poured deep, dark brown with a light tan head. Lasted throughout the entire experience with scant lace. Decently assertive aroma of coffee and cocoa, light hints of roasted grain and sweetness. This, again, is a rather one-dimensional beer. But the taste makes up for it. Nicely roasted coffee beans, blended mellowly with dark chocolate to yield a creamy, mocha/cappuccino flavor. It's like cappuccino superimposed on Guinness Foreign Export Stout (w/e it's called). Finishes with a rich chocolatey and toasted grain character. Body is a touch thinner than expected but the carbonation makes for a creamy and velvety experience. A nice beer to have after dinner with some cookies or something. I approve.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, courtesy of lunch on BA. Pours a dark brown color with a 1 finger tan head of tiny bubbles. Some lace left as it settles. Dark roast notes in the nose along with leather and some dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and a little lighter than I thought it would be. Dark roast flavors dominate the flavor but not overly so. For the roasty taste I am a little surprised there isn't a more bitter end to this but rather only very slight and end a little dry. Overall, it a decent beer but not really a huge stand out by any means. At only 5.6% though, its pretty robust without being to boozy.

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Photo of clark123456
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highlands Black Mocha Stout:
A: Very dark and not cloudy. The head was very light brown in color, small bubbles, and didn't lace the glass very much, but there was some lacing.

S: Somewhere between caramelly and malty. A slight, very slight, burnt coffee smell.

T: Light caramel flavor and I'm not getting much roasted flavor. The finish is very bitter, but not likely from hops.

M: Crisp and clean feel with some mouth coating.

D: This beer is drinkable, but I wouldn't select it for a session beer.

Overall: This beer is not bad, but I'd select another beer given a chance.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a fan of IPAs, but since I'm brewing I'm venturing into other styles to attempt to round out my skills.

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Photo of JamisonM
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: small head, black body with brown highlights. dark tan head.

S: sweet chocolate roasted notes

T: roasted malts with sweet chocolate

M: light mouth watery finish med to low carbonation

D: fairly drinkable but less so as it warms

Overall: not very impressive and not very memorable

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that slowly died down and left wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and the chocolate flavors particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with a dry finish.
D: The beer goes down quite smoothly but there's nothing really unique in the flavors that would want to make me try this again.

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Photo of beergod1
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby/black with a foamy tan head. Nose is lightly roasted malt. Flavor is simple, some smokiness but smooth and tasty. Coffee, chocolate, and a little hop presence on the palate. Not a Great brew. as I found out about the 5 brews I tasted from Highland, but a pleasant, easy drinking stout.

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Photo of readbaron
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

extra courtesy of Onenote81

Pours a dark, dark, dark brown with a hint of tan foam. Looks a bit clear and thin on the pour.

Smells strongly of malts, with some burnt coffee and a bit of sweetness - chocolate and possibly dark fruit as well.

Taste is more mellow than you'd expect from the smell. Still quite good, but subtle. Malt up front, a tiny bit of coffee, then a fairly strong sweet finish. Very smooth all the way through, but the finish is a bit watery.

Mouthfeel is very good. Thicker and heavier than I would have thought from the pour. Very creamy and well carbonated.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a black body with a mostly lasting brown foamy head with a decent amount of lace.

S: Strong aroma of dark roasted malts, subtle coffee notes, a little bit of smoke, & dark chocolate.

T: A dry upfront roasted malts flavor followed with a coffee notes, a hoppy bitterness, and dark chocolate. Very well balanced beer.

M: Full-medium body, medium carbonation, & a rich and robust texture.

D: A night day to day American Stout. Not something I would consider amazing, but I would drink 1-2 of these. There are better ones out there in my opinion, but why not try it if someone hands it to you?

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 6/14/10 served in Highland Brewing pint glass.

As the name implies this is dark even for an American stout: opaque black with barely detectable brown highlights except directly under bright light; modest tan head.

A good bit of bitter chocolate flavor for a beer containing no chocolate. Hops evident to taste, especially the finish, but not obvious to nose. A slight bit smokey to the nose but no smokiness on the palate. Roasted malt is prominent in both aroma and taste. Contrary to "Mocha" in name, I can detect little if any coffee in the aroma and a minimal level in the flavor until the finish. The flavor is rich, well-balanced and refined.

M - very smooth; low carbonation; medium body

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Photo of jsdunlop
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black, nice looking full head, moderate lacing.
S: Full of aroma, vanilla, toffee, light coffee, milk chocolate
T: Roasted malts, nice light coffee presence, slight notes of chocolate and vanilla, mild bitterness to finish
M: Smooth and creamy feel to it, moderate carbonation with a lighter than average body.
D: A bit light for the style as far as body goes, other than that, a solid stout, be nice to try this on tap.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured dark brown in color with a very thin tan head barely covering the beer. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it left just some traces of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is not surprisingly chocolaty. I get some sweeter milk chocolate along with some cocoa flavors out of it. A moderate roasty flavor with some coffee to it comes out as well. Pretty nice aroma overall for a beer under 6% abv.

The taste shows a dark chocolate flavor at first. Midway and into the finish it gets a little sweet with some milk chocolate and malt coming through. In the finish I also get some bitter-sweet chocolate along with some roasty, slightly burnt flavors that linger. Nice chocolate flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. it has a bit of creaminess to it as well, which I liked. Drinkability is good, it had some very nice flavors to it but also drank pretty easily for a chocolate flavored beer. Pretty solid beer overall.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The Highland Black Mocha Stout pours a midnight black with a moderate tan head that retreats rather quickly leaving a nice lacing as it goes.

The aroma is awash with roasted malt with hints of coffee and cocoa. The taste is good, with a nice balance of sweet and bitter. The roasted malt adds much to the flavor and the bitter finish is nice and refreshing.

The one thing that is lacking is the mouthfeel. The beer is a tad watery, unlike the Highlands Oatmeal Porter which has a nice creaminess. All-in-all a good beer, though.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of mentor
3.01/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.17/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of DarthRadb
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of garbercury
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Ego
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Chadpaq
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of gopens44
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of Spica66
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Highland Black Mocha Stout from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 1,087 ratings