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Highland Brewing Co. | Thunderstruck Coffee Porter

Highland Thunderstruck
Christopher Hilliard

ABV: 5.8% | IBU: 26

With a name like Thunderstruck Coffee Porter, the expectation is clear. Highland Brewing‘s winter seasonal should bowl us over with its coffee essence.

The best way to start is with a hard pour. The sweet aroma of roasted coffee beans wafts over the rich, foamy head and the deep, dark color echoes the sight of a bold cup-a-joe. The second half of the experience (taste, texture) confirm and fulfill the promise of the first half. A bold coffee flavor dances on the tongue with a touch of chocolate and just enough bitterness to keep it interesting. The texture is silky smooth with a pleasant café aftertaste that fades soon after drinking. The smell, however, lingers in the back of the throat and in the nostrils erasing any doubt you just tasted a high-quality, coffee-infused brew from one of North Carolina’s finest breweries.

Being a winter seasonal, Thunderstuck is only available in the colder months. Fortunately for us, we’re just now at the start of the cold season. So don’t waste any time! Get to the store and try some!

As for where to get it, Highland’s website has helpful Distributors and Beer Finder pages. On the former you can you find it all over the southeast. Basically, south of the Mason-Dixon line…


… and as far west as Tennessee and Alabama. If you want specifics, go to the Beer Finder page. Just input which product you want (in this case, “Thunderstruck Porter”) and at what sort of business you want to find it (“any” is an option). Then provide your range and location. It listed 20 places within 5-ish miles of my location, so it’s safe to say it works.

If you happen to be in the southern part of Durham, North Carolina (near Southpoint Mall), I recommend checking out a special new retailer called Bull Craft Bottle Shop. They’re special for a couple of reasons. First, their location: inside a Char-Grill restaurant. The site says “beside”, but they share a door and a ceiling. Second, they exclusively sell North Carolina beers. They also have several NC beers on tap. So, while you’re waiting for your food to be ready, you can walk right over, get a pint (or a bottle), and enjoy it anywhere on the premises. They also host beer tastings and are very knowledgeable of the North Carolina beer scene.

If you’re ever in the area, and I know some of you are, you should stop in and pick up the Thunderstruck Coffee Porter while you can.

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