February 4, 2013 – Highland Brewing Company Black Mocha Stout
It’s been quite a long time now since I’ve had to actually get up and go to work, and I’m afraid my long absence has not left me prepared for the reality of that. Normally I’m in bed before now on weeknights, or am well on my way, but as I was hanging out my work clothes to be ready for the morning, I realized I hadn’t posted today’s blog. Far be it from me to leave you guys in the lurch, so here we go.
I last had a beer by Highland Brewing back on January 10, the Oatmeal Porter. I remembered liking that and my review backs that up, so I grabbed the black mocha stout out of the fridge. Coffee drinks have been on my mind lately, with the Cream and Sugar Please at Peg’s Cantina proving to be an incredible drink, and the impending release of Cubano Espresso by Cigar City, so this was a pretty clear choice.
The beer pours with a one finger khaki colored head that dissipates almost immediately, and is tar black in color. No light is getting through this one. I’m reminded of a quote by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation / Stand By Me / The Big Bang Theory fame: “Never trust a beer you can see through”. I don’t know that I’d entirely agree with him but it’s served as a useful rule of thumb for a lot of my craft beer loving life. The smell was overwhelmingly of mocha, as one would expect, and roasted barley, with scents of chocolate and dark fruits – particularly I thought I smelled black cherries – serving as an undercurrent for a complex but not competitive “nose”.
The taste is quite bitter, as is fitting with the mocha label. Chocolate and cherries do dance around the smoky sweetness, and while this isn’t the most overwhelmingly lip-smacking beer on the market, it is quite tasty. If you’re going to buy one, buy two, because this is quite drinkable and would pair well with the right food – I’d suggest something like barbecue, to let the smoky flavors complement each other.