Beer Review: Highland Brewing Company's Black Mocha Stout
This evening’s brew was another great Highland Brewing Classic known as the Black Mocha Stout. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Highland had packaged this brew, along with several other favorites in its Mountain Sampler pack. Cheers again to Highland Brewing for being Asheville’s first brewery since prohibition—they definitely set the tone for craft beer in that city.
The beer poured a dark, opaque brown-black color, courtesy of the dark roasted barley used in the brew. Toward the top of the glass and towards the bottom, some light trickled through the darkness, giving the beer a deep, dark red-amber color. The beer also had a frothy, tan head which was disappeared after some time, yet reappeared upon a quick swirl of the glass.
On the nose, I detected strong aromas of coffee and bitter chocolate. I would also say there may have been the slightest, faint molasses note as well.
As I took a sip, I immediately noticed the dryness and bitterness of this beer, again, a characteristic of that darker malt. Those strong coffee notes were confirmed, as were the bitter chocolate notes as well. The beer was full and hearty, and I couldn’t help but think back to the British porters drinking a similar brew back in the 18th century when this beer was popularized. It just seems like the working man or woman’s beer—full of flavor and satisfying. Despite the fullness, I found myself continually reaching for the glass. I would definitely say that it was easy to drink; however, I am big fan of darker ales. The beer finished off with a slight hoppy presence. This was by no means forward, but it was an interesting and welcome element—I would say more along the floral or herbal side as far as hops go.
This was a very tasty stout which definitely lives up to its namesake. Those coffee flavors were definitely pronounced, but this beer housed and balanced it well. Cheers! #BeerReview