It happens to us all
A Review of Black Mocha Stout by Highland Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/14/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
So even some of us who know better make mistakes from time to time. I grabbed a six pack of these and couldn't wait to get them home and have one. In my rush to get everything else out of my vehicle, when I grabbed the six pack, I just sat it in my fridge. Then I forgot about it for a day. Mistake!!! This beer is a perfect example of why a stout should never be served cold.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a high quality stout is to drink it cold. That's right, I'm telling you that you should never drink or serve a stout ice cold. Your stouts should always be served chilled at best. Maybe pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and that's it. I usually keep mine in a cabinet that's out of direct sunlight, and it actually keeps them slightly below room temperature which is perfect. I can grab one out of the cabinet, and serve it as is. However, in this instance, I had left them in the fridge overnight. It happens to the best of us. I really should have just taken them out, put them in the cabinet, and waited another day before I had one. But I have no patience when it comes to trying a new stout. So I went ahead against my better judgement and poured one anyway.

When I poured it, it was black like a good stout should be and had a nice amount of a tan colored head. It took a while for the head to retreat, but I blamed most of that on it being cold. I tried to get in there and pick up on some aromas and what I noticed first was malts. It was more of a burnt malt smell as opposed to a roasted malt. That's a little different than what I'm used to in a stout, but not in a bad way. I admit I was intrigued. I got a bit of an alcohol smell as well, but nothing too strong, and there was also a hint of hops coming through.

To this point, everything seemed to be right in line. Then I went in for my first sip, and I knew I had not gotten away with my initial mistake. I couldn't taste anything. Seriously. I couldn't pick out any flavors. It wasn't the beers fault, it was mine. It was still cold. So I did something for the first time since I have started doing reviews. I walked away. I was not going to make this brew pay for my screw up. I just let it sit on my counter for about an hour to come down to room temperature. Luckily for me, this beer is very forgiving. When I went back to it and went in for a taste, I was greeted by some lovely roasted coffee and malt flavors with alcohol mixed into them up front. That's a first for me. I'm used to getting my alcohol flavor in the middle and on the back end. Pleasant surprise. It worked well. Through the middle and tail end of the taste, you get a funky mix of bittersweet chocolate and hops. Again, it worked well. Nothing too overpowering. And all you are really left with in the aftertaste department is a faint coffee and chocolate taste. Nothing bad there at all.

The mouthfeel on this one is slightly lighter than I would like in a stout, but its not so light that its distracting. I think my only complaint would have to be the carbonation. It seems slightly higher than any other stout Ive had. Now that may be a preference thing on my end because when it comes to my stouts, I would take them with the least amount of carbonation possible. Be that as it may, if the only thing I have to complain about the beer is its carbonation, then I would think its safe to say its a pretty good beer.

I think this is a pretty good showing from Highland in the stout department. I could go through a few of these with no problem. I'd tell the novices that this is a great step up from your normal pub standard stout. You all know who I'm talking about. And for the more experienced drinker, I'd say that its a good session stout. It is not overly complex. It's a bit on the lighter side. It's not so heavy that you will be full after 2. I think that pretty much anyone could drink this one. It's not a thinker, it's just a good drinker. Hmmmm....that was a pretty profound statement.

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Black Mocha Stout by Highland Brewing Co.
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