1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Left Hand Milk Stout - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Left Hand Milk StoutLeft Hand Milk Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,201 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,201
Reviews: 1,612
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 153
Gots: 376 | FT: 4
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:

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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,201 | Reviews: 1,612 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ


3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm about to milk this 12 ounce bottle for all its worth. On to the beer:

THis milk stout is opaque in color with tawny hues. The head is more creamy than anything else, with some retention and lacing. Some roasted coffee notes with creamer hit the nose pleasantly. Tastewise, there is a slight creamer sweetness to this brew, but the stout part prevails. Like an oatmeal stout. Coffee ground astringency, the kind of roastiness I like from my stouts. Faded smoke flavor brushed up towards the end. Lightish-medium body, with a faint burn of alcohol.

A pleasant stout from Left Hand. Not too sweet, not too roasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 03:31:39 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of BierFan


3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Small tan head. Black body, brown at the edges where the light shines through.

Smell: Sweet with lots of caramel and chocolate. Little bit of roastiness to it.

Taste: Sweet. Bitter chocolate and roasted coffee.

Drinkability: I'd have no problem knocking back several of these in an evening. Yummy stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 03:05:12 | More by BierFan
Photo of ricke


4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 16:23:49 | More by ricke
Photo of americanbeerbuzz

New York

2.65/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard chilled sixteen ounce pint glass. Rigorous pour leaves about an eighth inch white head. No lace. Deep black color is indicative of stouts though I wouldn't have guessed it was a milk stout on flavor. Tastes and pours more like an espresso or coffee stout. I was expecting a creamier flavor. Thought he mouthfeel is typical the aftertaste is a bit flat.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 22:41:38 | More by americanbeerbuzz
Photo of dukedevil0


3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single 12oz bottle from Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL.

A: Pours a slightly thin black with barely any off-white head.

S: chocolate both dark and milk, coffee, roast

T: just like the smell; some chocolate, coffee and roasted malts...less sweet in the flavor

M: highly carbonated, slightly thin almost like a porter

D: easy to drink, flavor is similar to some imperial stouts i've had just not quite as heavy

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 03:39:27 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of goatgoat


3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark opaque black with woody brown highlights. A thin coffee head forms and falls quickly. No lace.
Aroma is mildly sweet and roasted with a slight chocolate note. A bit of coffee.
Taste ups the aroma. Much more chocolate. Sweetness is balanced by a bitterness that keeps it in check. More coffee than chocolate in the finish.
Full, smooth feel.

A smooth tasty stout. Definitely one to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 02:01:06 | More by goatgoat
Photo of cagocubs


4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with an offwhite head that leaves some lacing. Taste up front was sweet with hints of chocolate/molasses sweetness with roasted malt. This beer has an amazing mouthfeel. It is smooth with great mouth coating and wickedly smooth. Overall a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 03:54:52 | More by cagocubs
Photo of BeTheBall


3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark color with a foamy head that quickly dissipated. Aroma was of roasted malt, biscuity. Taste was very mellow and smooth malt and bread up front. On the back of the tongue and throat I found the flavor diminshed. Where I expected some balance from hops at the end, there was just more malt, sort of fizzles. Mouthfeel was quite good; nice carbonation surrounds the mouth. drinkability is OK, this is not strong tasting in any way, I just found that I almost got bored with the taste profile and lack of hop balance.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 14:27:50 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of BMoney575


3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled on 2-27-09
Bottled on 1-28-09

Pours a very dark color, almost completely black. No sizable head, and thin, quickly fading lacing.

Smell is huge roasted malt, lots of chocolate and a little coffee. Extremely enjoyable.

Taste is very sweet, with a good roasted malt and flavors vanilla and oak. Surprisingly complex with a good bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is good, maybe a touch too thin.

Drinkability is good, enjoyable flavors with a reasonable abv.

Overall, a good beer and a great session stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 23:53:29 | More by BMoney575
Photo of webbcreative


4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 25, 2009

Black, with just a hit of reddish color on the edges when held up to the light. 3 finger head. Smells really good, has a coffee smell. Taste has that coffee come through more, and chocolate, there are hops, but they balance this brew out perfectly! This is one mighty fine brew! One of the smoothest beers I have had! Great beer...

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 02:44:02 | More by webbcreative
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought online from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam...

Poured almost completely black with only the slightest hint of brown when held up to the light... Creamy tan head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded slowly to decent covering... some nice sticky lacing clings throughout..

Aroma - Dark chocolate mixed with some caramel, some faint smokiness, cocoa, light vanilla, roast malts, coffee, quite nutty, brown sugar...

Taste - Light roasted malt bitterness, creamy dark chocolate, definite treacle / caramel sweetness, maple syrup, strong dark coffee, slight liquorice notes...

Feel - Smooth and creamy... medium / full bodied... at just 5.2% this is a very drinkable brew...

Overall - A very good and well balanced stout... recommended...

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 10:59:28 | More by mdagnew
Photo of david131


3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A very clear dark brown with some red hues in there. The head is light brown with some pretty good retention. THe head saves the appearance of this- without it, it would look like a watered down porter.

S- Very rich chocolate, maple syrup, some coffee, and a bit of grain. Very rich and full smelling, and I dig it.

T- Sweet chocolate, maple syrup, toffee, and coffee. Kind of complex and pretty nice.

M- Not quite as milky and smooth as other milk stouts I have had, but this still has some nice qualities. Maybe a bit too sticky sweet and lacking a little body.

D- A pretty rich, but enjoyable beer. It's got a lot of flavor for the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 04:33:31 | More by david131
Photo of ljbrisson


4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown, almost black into a goblet with a 1-finger bone-white head. Aroma is chocolate, berry sweetness, some breadiness. Taste is some toasted grain, lots of sweetness with chocolate and vanilla notes, as well as a hint of char. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with not too much carbonation, expected for the style. Drinkability is massive as this is a very unoffensive brew which is one of my personal favorite styles, as well as a low ABV. Overall this is a great beer and if I could find it in a 6-pack I may pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 00:22:59 | More by ljbrisson
Photo of cbw1978

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 11/5/08 and poured on 2/16/09 into a pint glass at around 55 degrees. Bottle instructs you to "Please Keep Refrigerated" even though stouts should be served warmer. I tried to let it warm up enough but I got impatient/thirsty; this review reflects that.

Appearance - Dark brown to black, translucent when pouring and at the edges and bottom of the glass. Khaki head that came up to just under 1/2 inch, then reduced within a minute to 1/8 of an inch, and then to nothing except at the edges. Top of beer appears oily and reflective, with small amounts of carbonation rising up in pockets at the top. Almost no lacing as I drank - what little there was disappeared fairly quickly.

Smell - Head was sweet and roasty, the roasty smell having almost a sour edge. As the beer got warmer, more sweetness and malt scents emerged.

Taste - The roasty notes dominated the beginning, not the sweetness that I expected from a milk stout or from all of the talk I heard about this beer. Now I'm definitely worried that I didn't let it warm up enough. There was not a very complex taste at first - then beer began to warm up from my hand on the glass and the passage of time, and a gentle sweetness emerged that was very rewarding.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat thick and syrupy, despite the translucent look that the beer had upon pouring. Carbonation levels gave me a tingle on the tongue and roof of my mouth, which calmed down somewhat with time.

Drinkability - At first, I felt somewhat bored and underwhelmed, like this beer was filling without a lot of bang for the buck. But a sweet malty smoothness emerged further down in the glass that told me that if I had waited for it to warm up a little more before pouring in the first place, I might have wanted another.

Umami - All in all, a good beer that I will try again, this time with the patience to let it come up to proper serving temperature.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 23:08:14 | More by cbw1978
Photo of billybob


3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

almost black in color, small light tan quickly fading head with a spotty lace. smell is strong with coffee aromas. malty sweet coffee taste smooth silky mouthfeel with a good carbonation. nice taste, enjoyable beer. not a session beer but a good desert beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 20:59:38 | More by billybob
Photo of madtowndmb1


4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mohagany-brown with almost no head, but there is a tan layer that developes on top. The smell is heavy on malt and hints of some sugar and chocolate. The taste is great! There's chocolate, burnt sugar and it all lingers with almost no maltiness. This has been my go to milk stout for several years and it never fails!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 15:16:25 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of tigg924


4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark brown, quarter inch head

Smell: different smell, expresso and sweet/maybe slightly spoiled milk

Taste: small expresso, big vanilla, sugar, and cream

Mouthfeel: Wow--very smooth, creamy, thick, heavy, super sweet finish

Drinkability: I know it is a bit high, but a very sessionable stout...I could easily have a six and right now this is my new benchmark for this style

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 04:28:08 | More by tigg924
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red color when held up to the light with a frothy 2 finger tan head. Excellent lacing but merely ok retention.

Sweet lactose, roasty malts and dark chocolate on the nose. Not much in the way of hops or fruit. Pretty straightforward, but pleasant smelling beer.

Smooth, low carbonation easy drinking stout. Roasty sweet malts are balanced somewhat by a mild hop bitterness and a touch of dark berry fruitiness. Medium body and slides down the throat with ease. A fine American example of a milk stout and perhaps the most accessible. It's not going to bowl you over with flavor or alcohol, but would make a great cool weather tailgate beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 02:52:12 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of xxHelderxx


4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot about this beer so when I saw it today at the store I figured I'd give it a try. Plus I need the cap for my collection.

This beer poured very dark, almost black with a relatively thin (true to style) head that dissipated rather quickly. The nose of this brew is dominated by a roasted coffee scent with hints of sweet chocolate peeking through. The taste is very similar to the nose but with a bit more sweetness. I was surprised at how easy this was on the palette. Its got everything you look for in a stout but is more drinkable than any I've yet tried. The mouthfeel is smooth, not very creamy but easy on the tongue as there isnt much bitterness in the aftertaste. This beer is extremely drinkable and would make a great session beer for someone who loves stout or may be a little intimidated by the typical bitterness many stouts offer. I'll be buying it again and recommending it for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 22:53:37 | More by xxHelderxx
Photo of Jayli


4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep dark brown, almost black. About a finger of mocha colored head that recedes rapidly. The nose was sweet and slightly nutty. There is a strong chocolate and mild coffee scent to this beer. The taste was smooth and sweet, the added lactose sugars adding a rich component to the flavor. Burnt coffee notes mix with some dark chocolate tints. The mouthfeel was good - slightly thin feeling, but also slightly creamy. I really enjoyed this beer. It's highly drinkable and will be a session beer for me in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 20:00:33 | More by Jayli
Photo of bbeerman


4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A..Dark, dark brown (yes, it's very dark). A good little head, but not exceptional. Decent lace left behind.

S..Nice malted scent here. A hint of the milk is present as well.

T..Wow, what a beautiful taste. Toasty malt notes and milk essence. Somewhat like a liquid bread (e.g. Paulaner Salvator).
I like the flavor of this beer very much.

I served it chilled (in the refrigerator about 45 minutes) in a 16oz shaker pint glass. Not a beer to get too cold; just below room temperature is best.

M..Full/heavy body beer. Nice and creamy (like Guinness draughts used to be).

D..Easy drinking stout. Great taste, decent mouthfeel and wonderful warm feeling as it is consumed. Two or three are perfect for a cold winter's day or night. I would imagine best served with hearty meals (e.g. thick stews, steaks, chops, etc.).

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 14:31:06 | More by bbeerman
Photo of jujubeast6000


2.85/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 2/17/2007 (Draft @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a dark black color, average tannish head, lasting. Weak aroma(could be the smoky atmosphere), hard to describe. Coffee, chololately, water taste, creamy. Clean aftertaste. Light tasty drink. Not too complex, but good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 03:47:02 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the BSF bar, GBBF 08. Coming in a 355ml brown bottle, BB 15/12/08, served cool in a straight pint glass.

A: pours a deep dark brown colour with reddish hues when seen against light; the tan frothy head comes big and tight, retaining the thickness very very well throughout the drink. Carbonation level unknown.
S: notes of bitter-sweet roast coffee, gristy dark malts, roast walnuts, syrupy black sugar fill the nostril joyfully; hops lag behind and stay restrained, as well as the soothingly sour edge of roastiness. Semi-sweet, semi-roasty, thick & dense, just enticing for a stout (and not VERY hoppy for the balance).
T: lovely... nut-flavoured fudge, roasted malts, herbal syrup, and coffee-flavoured milk(!!) are closely followed by a slowly increasing bitter wave of aromatic hops as much as of roasted malts. A belated entry of sour dark fruits seems to offer a kind of balance for the malts and hops, ringing a (little) bell of Porter even. Slightly thick in the finish, but not cloying in any sense.
M&D: full-bodied (110%!) for a 5.2%abv. stout, very light in carbonation and soft indeed to make this a quaffable dark ale. The rich yet smooth mouthfeel comes from the oats and milk sugar for sure, but it is the quietly bitter and slightly chewy edge as well as the delicate sourness that really sums up the palate beautifully.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 20:46:14 | More by wl0307
Photo of sgoodship


4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at EV1 Liquors in Evanston. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost black. It popped up a nice soft tan head. As the head drops, there is immediate and impressive lacing. The head retains a thick ring and surface dusting.

S: Beautiful. Roasted malt, some blackcurrant fruit and sweet milkiness

T: Nice sour roasty malt flavor with coffee bitterness. There may be a hint of bitter hop. Has the nice, expected lactose tang that comes with the finish. Ends in a sour milk and roasty, bready malt aftertaste. Very nicely done. As it warms, the sweetness and tang combine to give the impression of blackcurrant. A nice addition to the profile as it evolves. Unfortunately, it lost a little oomph toward the end. The flavor could be bigger in my opinion.

M: Full bodied but medium carbonation keeps the mouth feeling quite light. Smooth and creamy except for the active carbonation.

D: I really like this stout. I haven't had a huge amount of this style but this rates highly amongst the ones I have had. I am pleased I have 3 more of these to go. It's a very enjoyable brew and I'd be happy to recommend it and keep some on hand.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 04:33:07 | More by sgoodship
Photo of heath1agnew


3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance- dark brown in appearance with one finger head that retained fairly well. lacing was visible.

smell- smelled of sweet roasted malts

taste and mouthfeel- taste was more sweet than roasted and mouthfeel was fairly thick and creamy.

drinkability- this really filled me up but it was a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 16:15:28 | More by heath1agnew
Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,201 ratings.