Highland Oatmeal Porter

By on April 4, 2011 @ 6 PM (1 Comment)

Every now and then we get to try a beer from the very state we live in and that’s just a privilege. Today the beer comes from Son Beer Love’s adopted state of North Carolina (home for the last 7 years, so it’s common law now) and the city of Asheville, about 2 1/2 hours from Charlotte where the Beer Love Family (East) lives.

Highland Brewing Company is well-known and respected for their craft beers, and the city of Asheville itself is known for it’s respectable and quirky beer community. Today we’re hitting up the Highland Oatmeal Porter, one of our favorite brews from Highland.

The Oatmeal Porter comes in with a 5.8% ABV and 32 IBUs. It’s packaged up in a 12 oz bottle which we poured into a British pint glass for our review and got a starting beer temperature of 54.5 F.

Our initial pour gave us an average 1 1/2″ frothy light brown head that dissipated quickly and left a decent trail of head lacing. There was a little bit of carbonation to the almost black body. Upon closer inspection though it’s actually a dark ruby brown color that, though dark, is clear.

For our aromas we got chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, roasted malts, light toffee, black licorice, and smoke. A vigorous swirl gave us a new smell – some nondescript dark fruits hiding deep in the depths of the head.

For our initial flavors we got a moderate sweet, light bitter and light salty that evolve in the finish to a moderate sweet, moderate bitter and very light salty. The tastes come in with coffee, oatmeal, roasted malts, black licorice, smoke and some more of those dark fruits (still unidentifiable).

The finish length is average, the mouthfeel is creamy, the tongue hit is middle to back and there’s a fair amount of body lacing. On our patented malt to hop scale it comes in one click to the left of balanced on the malty side.

For our bottom line notes we got a yes to drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony and buy again. We got a no for memorable and wow factor – it’s very good but it’s not revolutionary.

Overall, the Highland Oatmeal Porter is well-crafted and a nice treat. Not the most complex beer we’ve had by any means, but very good. It’s got a rich mouthfeel to it – nice and creamy – a bit of a lip smacker. The oatmeal really complements the porter style well and gives it a wonderful texture. It gets really good as it warms too – even at room temperature – it enhances the character of the beer really well. In that regard it totally passes our 60 degree test.

If you can find it, it’s totally worth picking up a 6 pack. If you like the dark meat you won’t be disappointed!

Highland Oatmeal Porter Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)


1 Comment (Add Your Comments)

  1. Michael says:

    I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this brew the first time I tried it. While I think it is distant second to Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout when comparing oatmeal brews, it is certainly worth a repeat buy.

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