Originally posted on January 25th, 2014.
Brewer’s today use a vast array of ingredients to be many different types of beer, and more and more experimenting with new ingredients to brew with. One of my favorite ingredients to use in brewing a beer is coffee. Coffee is generally used in Porters and Stouts, and rarely used in IPA’s. Here is a local North Carolina beer, Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, NC) Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, which uses fresh fair trade/organic coffee beans from Black Mountain NC’s Dynamite Roasting Co. Thunderstruck pours a deep black color with a two and a half finger beige head that sticks around for a little while then forms thick ropes of lacing. I couldn’t see much light coming through the glass, but when held to the light the beer has a dark ruby color. I also found no signs of carbonation bubbles. The aroma on Thunderstruck is like a fresh cup/pot of coffee. There is a big roasted aroma that reminds of fresh coffee beans/grounds. There is also a slightly sweet scent. The taste on Thunderstruck is roasted like a nice cup of coffee with hints of faint sweetness and touches of bitterness. I found a nice hint of a chocolate note on the taste as well. As this beer warms it beings to have less of a roasted taste and more of the sweetness comes through with more hints of bitterness. The mouthfeel is full with a nice richness and has a nice coffee-like finish with little roasted sweetness. The aftertaste is like finishing a semi-sweet cup of fresh coffee. I enjoyed this Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, so I am giving it A-. Highland Brewing really did a good job of brewing a solid coffee porter, and not some ‘coffee-like porters’. Thunderstruck has a good balance among the coffee flavors and the porter flavors and really shines through on the aroma and the taste. I would love to have this again, and I do highly recommend this Thunderstruck Coffee Porter. So go out and try Highland Brewing Company’s Thunderstruck Coffee Porter and see what you think of it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!