Posts Tagged With: milk stout

Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk

Beer: Mother’s Milk
Brewery: Keegan Ales
Style: Milk Stout
ABV: 6.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint Glass
Drinking Establishment: Toast Uptown
Primary Consumer: Ally & Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque, pitch black, with a substantial, dense tan head of 1/2 an inch when poured.

Scent: Creamy, milky caramel, like a Goetze Cow Tale or dulce de leche ice cream.  Also a hint of banana, but in banana cream pie form. (Desserts on the mind, much?)

Flavor: There is an undercurrent of espresso–a slight bitterness that is almost hoppy.  But this bitterness is cut by sweet creaminess, specifically like heavy cream (as opposed to regular ol’ milk).

Feel: Creamy and on the thicker side.  Low carbonation.

The Mother’s Milk Stout from Kingston, NY brewery Keegan Ales is solid. The brew is creamy and sweet, but thanks to a little bit of bitterness, it’s not as cloying as a Milk–or Sweet–Stout has the potential to be (just like homemade whipped cream–it isn’t like the overly sugared ready-made versions you’d buy at the supermarket).  It’s not the best of the Milk Stouts tried, but it’s still quite enjoyable.

Concluding remarks: For those who aren’t into super sweet beers, and still want to venture into the Milk Stout realm, this is the the one for you.

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Left Hand Milk Stout

Beer: Milk Stout
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Co.
Style: Milk Stout
ABV: 6.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint Glass
Drinking Establishment: Tiemann Place
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Near black body. I know I keep using the same description, but yeah…cola body with nonexistent head, save a beige rim of froth filled with carbonation bubbles. Lacing exists, but fades quickly.

Scent:  Big sweet malt, mocha, and cream aroma. 

Flavor: Robust roasted malt taste. It reminds me of some of the milder Porters I had in January, actually. Slight sweet milk flavor in there, too. 

Feel: Thin-to-medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation.

Concluding remarks: I’m going to give it to you straight: this tastes like a solid American Stout, with just a little extra sweetness. It has the slight charred taste of a Stout, but this beer isn’t bringing me to a place that reminds me of milk, a milkshake, an egg cream, a float, etc. etc. etc. other milk products. But, you know, for under $2 a bottle, I’m not complaining. This brew has a nice sweet toasty taste. If it had to embody a food product, it would be the wondrous Milk Toast dessert:

BREAKING NEWS: Left Hand has apparently repackaged its Milk Stout in Nitro bottles! (Think Guinness cans.) Read a review here. Definitely keep a lookout for this one. Left Hand says the Nitro should hit NYC on March 22.

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Hitachino Nest Beer Lacto Sweet Stout

Beer: Hitachino Nest Lacto Sweet Stout
Brewery: Kiuchi Brewery
Style: Sweet Stout
ABV: 4.0%


Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint Glass
Drinking Establishment: Tiemann Place
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Murky purplish dark brown body with a…wait, where’s the head? In lieu of a head, a few carbonation bubbles loaf around the edges and in the center of the glass.

Scent: Sweet rice wine vinegar and light caramel malts. 

Flavor: Very distinct sweet milk taste paired with a slight malty and astringent flavor.

Feel: Shocking body-to-carbonation ration. Extreme carbonation on a very thin body. Strange. (Though the carbonation does mellow out if you give it ten minutes or so–clearly, I couldn’t wait.)

Concluding remarks: Hitachino Nest Lacto Sweet Stout is a Japanese take on an English classic. And how does the Northeast Asian counterpart fare? Strange, just strange. The carbonation is brutal. The initial taste passes as a Stout, but the lingering taste is a strange bittersweet milk-water-soda. Really, considering the low ABV @ 4%, I would categorize Hitachino’s Sweet Stout as a weird, exotic soda rather than as beer. In case you were wondering, this exotic milk soda is brewed with “pale, crystal caramel malt and authentic Lactose (milk sugar, 10% of grain bill).” Thanks, Hitachino, I will go mix one up right now. Well, no, because I really find no point in drinking this again.

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Southern Tier 2X Stout

Beer:  2X Stout
Brewery: Southern Tier
Style: (Double) Milk Stout
ABV: 7.4%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint glass
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque cola body with a nonexistent head.

Scent: Mooooove over malts, this smells entirely of milk. Also, kind of like cream soda, with a big citrusy hop note at the end. 

Flavor: Not as creamy and milky as expected. Instead, there’s a powerful burnt malt presence which manifests into a coffee, then chocolate flavor. However, at the very end, it tastes like downing a cold glass of milk.

Feel: Medium, smooth body with a nice bit of carbonation. Maybe a little too carbonated given the style, but pretty great nonetheless!

What could have been a very sweet beer turns out to be a wonderfully balanced gem of a beer that coats your mouth with satisfying lactosugars. However, the alcohol content is a little low given the fact that this tastes kind of “hot” (i.e., my cheeks turned bright pink after half of this beer from the alcohol presence). The flavor profile is one of the more complex that I’ve experienced so far. It goes through a number of stages: stage 1, cream; stage 2, roasted wood; stage 3, citrusy hops; stage 4, charred malt/acidic coffee; stage 5, a return to wood. But, at the end is a milky goodness that eventually gives way to more hops. In less words, Southern Tier’s 2X Double Milk Stout is trying to do too many things at once, but ends up being pretty alright.

Concluding remarks: All in all it is a fine, complex beer. But, if you’re looking for the comfort of a sweet, balanced Milk Stout, this ain’t it. Nevertheless, it’s solid and enjoyable.

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STOUT STYLE PROFILE: The Milk Stout

Over the course of the next few days, we will be posting a series of Milk Stout reviews. The following is a brief on this Stout variety for your (and our) edification.

What’s in a name?

Milk Stout is also often referred to as a Sweet Stout; less frequently, a Mellow Stout or Cream Stout.

What’s in a Milk Stout?

The defining element of the Milk Stout is its inclusion of lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Since lactose is unfermentable by the ale yeast, it adds a sweetness to the Stout. Back in the day–the 19th century day–brewers actually put up to 10 ounces of whole milk into a Milk Stout. This is no longer modern practice.

What region is the Milk Stout from?

Southern England, originally.

When was the first Milk Stout produced?

The concept of the Milk Stout likely came from the practice by barkeeps of serving a shot of milk alongside a Stout to help “ailing workers as a source of midday rejuvenation.” (Who’s going to join me in reviving this cultural practice?) Brewers sought to capitalize on this practice, adding milk to the beer and marketing the brew as “healthy,” with restorative effects similar to those of milk. An English brewer patented a Milk Stout recipe in 1875. They eventually realized they could save money by just adding lactose instead of the milk. In 1946, when the UK was under strict food rationing during wartime, brewers were banned from suggesting that there was milk in their beer. The name for the lactose-beer was changed from Milk Stout to Sweet Stout. This was not an issue in the US, where we can find dozens of appropriately-labeled Milk Stouts!

Just what the doctor ordered (credit: beer-pages.com)

What are the common characteristics of a Milk Stout?

Milk Stouts are generally creamier and fuller than non-Milk Stouts. They are usually more balanced and much sweeter than regular Stouts.

What are some of the most popular Milk Stouts?

Sam Adams Cream Stout, Hitachino Nest Lacto Sweet Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Southern Tier 2X Stout, Moo Thunder Stout, Lancaster Milk Stout, Three Floyds Moloko, St. Peter’s Cream Stout, Castle Milk Stout, Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout.

Beer and Milk Love (credit:jbrookston, flickr)

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