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Left Hand Milk Stout - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Left Hand Milk StoutLeft Hand Milk Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,688 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,688
Hads: 6,477
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 24.74%
Wants: 275
Gots: 1,227 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002


Milk sugar in your stout is like cream in your coffee. Dark and delicious, America’s great milk stout will change your perception about what a stout can be. “Preconceived notions are the blinders on the road to enlightenment.” Udderly delightful.

Collection: Perennial
Style: Sweet Stout
Color: Black, 47 SRM
Body: full
ABV: 6%
IBU's: 25
PLATO: 15.5°
PKG: 6-Pack, Keg
Malt: Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich, Roasted Barley, Flaked Oats, Flaked Barley and Chocolate
Hops: Magnum and US Goldings
Other: Lactose
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 1,688 | Hads: 6,477
Reviews by BeardedRiker:
Photo of BeardedRiker
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honestly, who doesn't like Left Hand Milk Stout? I don't think I've met one person who doesn't. Since it's so damn good, I decided to try out their nitro version. Usually I don't prefer nitro versions. They make things feel too smooth for me and I like my stouts to have some sort of heaviness to them. Let's see what the nitro has done with this beer.

A word of advice, when you pour out this beer, do what the bottle says. If you pour it like you would most stouts then you'll get basically no head. The bottle says, "Pour hard," and that's definitely what you nee to do. When you do that, at first you'll wonder why there still isn't any head, but then you'll notice the cool-looking bubble dance below the surface rising to the top. Eventually you'll get a decent head. It took me a couple of the beers out of the six pack to get it right. The head forms very slowly, as described, and still doesn't get too big. It barely reaches a finger in height, but where it lacks in tallness, it makes up for it with aesthetics. It's off-white and insanely foamy, like a cappuccino foam. There's basically no lacing but a quarter inch head remains on top throughout drinking. The beer is black but a mostly opaque ruby color when up to a light. Looks like a tasty beer.

There are the usual aromas here of slightly bitter and roasty coffee, chocolate, and slightly tart dark fruits. However, since this is a milk stout there is a more pronounced sweetness. I also get a moderate malty aroma as well, mealy. It doesn't have a strong smell but it's pleasing to the nose.

The maltiness shows up more in the taste and it mingles with the pre-described characteristics of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. For me it takes awhile for the flavors to hit me and when they do i seems like it's toward the end. It's almost as if it lacks taste in some ways. Roastiness lingers a bit after drinking. I do prefer the more robust stouts but even considering this to be more moderate in flavor, it's not too satisfying. Good flavors but not enough.

This further reinforces my general dislike of nitro beers. It's insanely smooth, as should be expected. It's creamy but not as much as I expected. Really, to me it's so smooth that I can hardly feel it. There's the saying, "Melts in your mouth." Well, I could almost describe this beer to be like that. Once it's in the mouth you it doesn't take long for it to disappear. It's starts out with a medium body but then goes away quickly. Not much carbonation to be felt.

Well, it has good stuff going for it but for me the nitro takes away more of the good. It's got the aromas and the flavors, but they're not enough. It's so smooth that there's hardly any feel to it. I'm making it sound worse than it is. I guess it's just not my style.

 2,771 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of uvachief
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Pours dark and impenetrable. Full 2 g fingers of head from draft. Smell grains and sugar. Coffee. Chocolate. Very light in the mouth. Not heavy. Definitely a light ABV. Reminds me of Guinness. Lighter. Hints of cream in the mouth. Subtle chocolate and coffee going down. No bitterness. Very drinkable. Won't face plant you. Smooth but leaves me wanting a Founders Breakfast. I'm not as fired up about it as others.

 430 characters

Photo of desireonrepeat
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Very watery, unexpectedly sweet, not a favorite

47 characters

Photo of Marty
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had high hopes for this beer. Poured a dark brown with a slight amber hue, not pitch black like some other stouts that I really enjoy. The light brown head made a brief appearance, but quickly subsided, leaving not a trace of sticky goodness on the glass. This beer is not very complex; it's sweet alright, but somewhat thin and watery, and not very aromatic. I don't think I'll pick this one up again.

 404 characters

Photo of hotpauko
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Quick review from a hophead. From tap, after a taste from wife's had to get a pint. Quality beer very similar in look, feel and taste to Guinness. Review is outside after a spicy meal. Good look, nice foam retained throughout. Mouth feel was nice and smooth if you got a little foam, but was a little thin w/o. Overall taste was of a good dark stout, coffee apparent with a smoky ambience, but def not as strong and robust as some others. I can see how others really like this beer and I enjoyed it esp at the start, it just leveled off after. But overall well worth a try or a 6.

 580 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.
Pours with a large, medium-density tan head over an opaque body.

Aroma: perhaps my imagination but some dairy odors seem to join the dark roasted malts.

Flavor: slightly sweet: Excellent sweet-bitter balance for style. Some hops and hint of dark chocolate and coffee apparent in the roasty aftertaste.

Feel: very smooth, medium body. Well carbonated.

 399 characters

Photo of stratusjeans
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I absolutely love this beer. I originally bought it to be my Day-Off Beer, but it's great to start a vacation or just to have on the weekends or for dessert.

Appearance: Looks black, until you realize it's a dark caramel color tinted few shades of red. Poured into a Pilsner glass with a very thin dark tan head. Very inviting.

Smell: You can smell the lactose which gives it a nice sweetness and somehow smells very fresh. It could be me, but I have a hard time pinpointing additional aromas.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium to full bodied beer with a lingering heaviness.

Taste: The sweetness comes forward, but dissolves to dark coffee. They really work together and balance nicely with the roasted malt. The flavor hangs on your tongue for a long while.

Overall: A fantastic beer that I try and keep on hand at all times.

 829 characters

Photo of Guas99
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Smooth and creamy with a velvety finish, no bitterness.

55 characters

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured nicely black with ruby red hue,light head caramel colored head that left a nice lace.Smelled of very bitter chocolate,tasted nece and sweet with chocolate and burnt tones,very creamy in texture,like drinking desert.Nice hop flavor to balance out at the end,I really enjoyed this stout.

 292 characters

Photo of Dekhar
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The nitro-bottle works as advertised here creating a massive lava explosion of beer foam that works its way up the glass. The beer is a very dark brown and the head is a very pretty lighter brown. I hate to be taken in by the gimmick, but this is a really cool-looking beer.

Smell - The nose has some nice roasted malts along with some stiff coffee grounds and a bit of chocolate. The milk aroma is faint.

Taste - The milk comes out much more at the taste and the roasted character is significant.

Mouthfeel - This is smooth like a milk shake and medium-bodied with almost no carbonation.

Drinkability - You could gulp this down in two or three swallows it is so smooth and light in the cheeks.

 711 characters

Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of TxHopHead4
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of tectactoe
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a rich black color - black as night. Seriously, this is one of the darkest beers I've seen. NO light gets through this sucker, unless you hold it directly in front of a 60 watt bulb, and even then, only the deepest browns come out. The head is a light tan color, very thick and creamy in appearance, leaving little to no lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, sweet chocolate with some roasted malts. The nose is very inviting.

Left Hand Milk Stout is super creamy and thick, it literally feels like vitamin D milk in your mouth. The taste starts off with bittersweet chocolate chips and dense, chocolate milk. There is a slight coffee background in the first few sips that gets more and more noticeable the more and more you drink (and the warmer the beer gets), until the coffee bean/espresso flavor is fairly prominent near the bottom half of the glass. This beer is very malt heavy (chocolate sweetness, coffee bitterness) with almost no hops or floral flavors to speak of. Low to medium carbonation leaving a very slight snap on the back of your tongue.

This beer is very nice. Sweet and silky smooth, easily drinkable, and fairly robust in flavor. Overall it's pretty great, especially given the price. Not to mention, it's available all year round.

UPDATE: 3/16/2013 - not going to write a separate review for the Nitro version. I'll just update some stuff. Flavor was a little less-explosive than I remember it, but it was still damn good. Bits of cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt wrapped in a soothing blanket of sweetness without going overboard. Mouth feel with nitrogen is amazing; super creamy and out of this world. Head lasts until the end of the beer, too.

 1,692 characters

Photo of ricke
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-03-07. Served in snifter. Best before 15 May 2009.

A: Almost black, but held by the light it reveals clear dark brown colors. The head is small, lightly cappuccino colored, settles fast and leaves minimal lacings.

S: A soft but still rather powerful, very round smell. Lots of sweet chocolate. Some coffee, chocolate syrup, noticeable vanilla, Reminds me of chocolate milk. Strangely, the alcohol is also detectable.

T: Duplicates the smell to a great extent. Some roasted malts, plenty of sweet chocolate, notes of coffee, milk, milk chocolate and quite a lot of vanilla. No fruit aromas to talk about. Sweet flavors definitely dominates. In the finish there is a very restrained bitterness, dark fudge, some soy sauce and notes of licorice.

M: Very smooth, rather full-bodied, soft carbonation.

D: Among the best milk stouts I've tried. Not your biggest stout, but very smooth and calm. Quite bold flavors considering the low ABV.

 959 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Typical of the style, the beer is pitch black and the thin head goes instantly with not much lace. The nose is deep roasted dark malt, alcohol, and burnt chocolate.

Tastes like the same roasted malt I picked up in the nose with very smooth chocolate tones, smokey notes, and a burnt aftertaste. A very subdued sweetness is over the whole. This is a restrained, artful sweet stout. Those who really like it fulsome will be disappointed I think.

The mouthfeel is really wonderful it is creamy and has a nice oomph, but manages to escape opressive weight.

 560 characters

Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ccapurso
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of tbryan5
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Herze
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of Shakerman
4/5  rDev +2%

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Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.