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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.

5,879 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,879
Reviews: 1,652
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 182
Gots: 664 | FT: 3
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
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Ratings: 5,879 | Reviews: 1,652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Valmor88
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Went to a bar hoping to get this on tap. They ran out, but at least had a bottle for me.

A: Very dark color with a chocolate head. Decent head retention, that leaves some lacing.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate.

T: Chocolate-y, slightly bitter dark chocolate actually. Roasted malts are Has a creamy/smokey finish.

M: Highly carbonated and full bodied. Very nice and milky.

O: Not a bad beer. Not too sweet, and an easy drinker.

Photo of samie85
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviwed from notes; originally 10/21/11.

A-Pours a oil slick black with a Guinness-like tan cap.

S-Light roasted notes with a bit of chocolate.

T-Roasty upfront with loads of chocolate, and finishes bitter with dark chocolate and earthy hops.

M-Thickness like a milkshake that coats your mouth but finishes with a light dryness.

D-Incredibly easy drinking and very easy to pair with food. Has some complexity, but isn't overwhelming in terms of flavor.

Photo of divineaudio
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip. bottled on date marked but unreadable.

a - a hard pour gets me a black liquid with a finger of creamy, tan head. after calming to a film i'm left with big streaks of lacing.

s - like a freshly prepared mocha latte. notes of raisin, dark cherry, slight cola vibe.

t - mostly chocolate malt up front with a little roast and notes of dark fruits. sweetness is obvious but not overpowering. has a bit of a bitter twang in back for balance.

m - full bodied with a fine co2 profile. exceptionally smooth with the right amount of carbonation.

o - a solid beer all around. very drinkable and enjoyable. will certainly be buying more of this for the coming winter.

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

A - Poured a nice two finger head with hard pour per the instructions on the bottle. Such a creamy looking head on this thing and it looks exactly like a cappuccino. Body is black as night.

S - Not very strong, but some coffee and a little nutty-ness. Some sweetness and overall well balanced but weak.

T - Lots of coffee, chocolate, and cream. Just as you would expect and the right amount of sweetness for a milk stout. Finishes with an ever so slight burnt/coffee flavor.

M - This is very smooth and seriously drinkable. Very good carbonation.

O - It is a simple beer that is well made. Not a lot going on in any category, but nothing to complain about either. I could drink this often, even during the summer.

Photo of isualum12
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from a buddy since we don't get it in Idaho. Glad to try left hand for the first time

Appearance: pours with a cream brown thin head. really not an impressive head for a stout. black as the inside of the closet that you were scared of as a kid.

smell: It was alright. I could smell the bourbon on it with carmel. lots of carmel....almost a little carmel and marshmellow smell. yes a little sweet.

Taste: yep carmel, yep a sweet stout with a little kick at the end. It is smooth at first on with the thought of MILK but it doesn't hold true through all of the flavor.

mouthfell: little bite on the end with the beginning being a smooth. There is a kick on the end for sure. I think the carbonization is to high for this beer but I am not a fan of lots of carbonization...

Overall it is a nice beer and I am glad I got my hands on it..

Photo of LacquerHead
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Friendly Spot in San Antonio

A:It poured pitch black with a dark brown cascade that settled to a tan foamy head.

S:It had a roasted aroma that was more on the chocolate side.

T: It didn't burst with flavors, but I enjoyed what this beer offered. It had a milk chocolate taste with flavors of coffee and vanilla that danced around in the background. Every now and again I would get a taste of hops - delightful.

M: a little bit on the thin side.

Overall: this was a silky smooth stout. Very enjoyable and I could probably drink several pints of this and not get tired of it.

Photo of Spider889
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Was able to get a sixer of this the day after the release at the brewery. I love the branding on these bottles... too bad BA won't allow a dual picture for this beer.

Bottle states to pour it hard, and even has a bar code you can scan with your phone which links to a YouTube video of how to properly pour it.

Poured into a pint mostly because I'm afraid to pour so rough into a smaller vessel. Plus the pint's good enough for Left Hand in their own video, good enough for me.

Once you pour, there's a moment of fear - will it spill? Will it look like a proper nitro stout? It pours a cloudy, murky hot chocolate color, but soon enough the anticipated cascading takes place, and the beer settles a deep black color. As this is happening, a frothy, thick mocha head rises to nearly two fingers in height. Overall an impressive looking beer poured from a widget-less bottle!

My first bottle a couple weeks ago seemed lackluster, though I was tired from traveling, sunburnt and slightly fevered from altitude sickness after a long hike in the mountains, etc. So I was very pleased when my memory served incorrect on this beer.

The aroma is full of all the sweet dark chocolate and coffee that the regular Milk Stout embodies. The nitrogen also lends a subtle softness. This may have the effect of dulling some of the aroma, but it also makes the beer infinitely more inviting and drinkable.

Tastes great, too. Chocolate truffle powder shows itself as a flavor and a texture. Quite sweet, as expected. The coffee flavors are missing largely compared to the regular, but I enjoy that this isn't identical in every way. Mid sip you get sticky Hershey syrup along with toasty dark grains. The finish is slightly bitter.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel - pillowy silk in a glass, it is! I say, I say! Sticky sweet. Unctuous.

Overall this beer is worthy of the Brewery hype. They're touting this as one of the great modern beer innovations, and claim it to be "taking America back" from foreign beer tyranny. I fully expect to one day see this beer in every bar where Guinness currently stands.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz nitro bottle poured hard into a Left Hand imperial pint.
Bottled on: 09/20/11 printed on the neck, "Pour hard", Please Keep Refrigerated.

A - The short-lived cascading from the hard pour leads to a tall, dense tan head with impeccable retention resting gently on the near black beer. Slivers of clear mahogany brown show through below the thickly caked on lace.

S - Thick, rich milk chocolate and dusty cocoa ooze out of the dense head. The roasted malt impacts a fair amount of coffee characteristics too. Dry with earthy undertones, just a touch of lactose sweetness balances through the finish. Creamy and inviting-smelling!

T - Bold roasted malt explodes with coffee and chocolate flavors abounding. Sweet milk chocolate and lactose sweetness are balanced by a dry cocoa finish.

M - Mouth-filling full-bodied (not viscous, mind you) and intensely creamy-smooth Milk Stout Nitro is a complete treat on the tongue. Just a bit of the acrid roast bitterness and slight dryness comes through to balance the sweetness nicely.

O - Left Hand has taken their Milk Stout, a benchmark for the style already, and elevated it even further. An exceptional beer, the smooth, creamy feel works flawlessly with the robust roasted flavor of coffee and chocolate. I don't know that Left Hand's process is "revolutionary" but it's certainly not a gimmick. It's straight-from-the-tap-like nitro without a pesky widget. Don't pass up this Milk Stout!

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured as directed by label; "hard". Brewed on date clearly stamped on bottle.

Pours black with two fingers of compact head atop a nearly black body. Not as impressive of a "cascade" as Guinness Draught.

Smells of sweet milk chocolate and roast barley. This smells exceptionally sweet and mellow with a decent roast flavor.

The flavor profile is much the same as the carbonated version, which is awesome because often nitrogen seems to mute flavors and produce an overall less interesting beer. This however doesn't follow that pattern, as the flavors of milk chocolate, light roast coffee and light roasted barley are all still present and full fledged.

The mouthfeel is exceptional. Truly this is mastery of the nitro style, this is smoother than many of the Irish and British nitro stouts. Wonderful, full, amazingly creamy, and goes down with a highly enticing touch of dryness (otherwise this feel is all about creamy-sweet.

Conclusion: Huge success. This is better than I expected, and I like it more than the regular version. The first bottled nitro-stout produced on U.S. soil. A giant claim to fame I say, and not just s gimmicky stunt either- this beer is quite tasty.

Photo of Crundy
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: poured black but dark and caramelly where the light shines through, very little head but a light mocha color

Smell: alcohol, milk and coffee smell, some sweetness as well

Taste: sweet roasted malt, coffee and , creamy sweetness,
slightly bittersweet finish

Mouth feel: very creamy, subtle flavors, full bodied

Overall: solid beer, wasn’t too impressed by the smell but it tasted pretty good; though the flavors were somewhat subdued. It gives the impression like you’re drinking a cold café con leche. Good dessert beer.

Photo of UnionMade
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a sixer of the new, bottled "nitro" version of the milk stout. Not sure if this counts as a different beer. I'll assume it's the same recipe.
Looks pretty black, with a small beige head forming on the suggested vigorous pour. Just dump it in the glass, it won't foam over.
Smells pretty nice. If I were blindfolded, I would smell this and assume someone was holding an iced coffee shop concoction to my nose. Cream, cocoa and coffee.
The flavor opens extra soft and smooth from the nitrogen. Full coffee and cocoa flavors with a distinct lactic sweetness. Negligible hops. Finishes somewhat dry and bittersweet. Pretty clean, with no off flavors aside from a touch of butteriness.
My non-beergeek buddy described this as "Guinness meets Starbucks". I thought it was pretty accurate.

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, bottled August 4th of 2011, into a Blue Star Brewery Pint Glass.


This head is hardly there, it is a nice tan though. It's the standard nice pitch blackness with a red outlining that I expect from my stouts. Nice lacing is very apparent down the glass though.


Nice roasted malts are present. The coffee smell on this is quite amazing. The smell is a great example of a nice quality stout. It's not overpowered by either of its two main characters, but its just rightly balanced.


It feels as if a nice cream-like taste hits the palate first. The coffee and dark chocolate comes amazing back and forth on this taste. A slight bitterness comes in, but its quickly forgotten by its sweetness.


For a milk stout this is nicely creamy as promised. This has a mild carbonation and if anything I'm coming to this for it's cream rather than carbonation. The body is mild if not almost smooth.


I could've bought this as a sampler, but instead I bought this as a 6 pack. I don't regret this move at all. I probably finished this glass a bit too fast than I thought I was going to. This is a Stout that is an easy knock back and damn it's delicious.

Photo of chetripley
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Samuel Smith Pint Glass. Purchased in the Pick Your Own 6 pack at Mariano's.

Expecting certain characteristics that I have encountered with stouts before I was surprised it didn't have them. Very little carbonation, not as sweet as I expected, and more chocolate aromas too.

Mixed with the chocolate aroma was some nuttiness, and warm and welcome feeling. This stout had a very small beige head with not much carbonation acting up.

Taste was strong and slightly sweet but more bitter than I expected. The label mentioned the non-fermentable sugars that were added for sweetness, but I can't imagine how it would have tasted without them because there was very little sweetness anyway.

Overall, a good one, but not my favorite.

Photo of JoLight
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a typical stout, with an almost brown head that doesn't last, and not much lacing is present either.

It smells of roasted, dark malts and some alcohol sweetness.

It tastes like fermented coffee with a hint of alcohol sweetness, and the hop bitterness is nearly undetectable. Extremely smooth and easy drinking. It's much more mild in bitterness than Guinness but almost packed with more flavor in my opinion.

It's crisp, refreshing, and good just as well for cool weather and heavy food.

This is a good beer. Go buy it.

Photo of stickynotes
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, impenetrable, some amber at the edges when held to light, fine head, color of coffee with too much cream. Smell is roasted malts, sweet caramel, some grape. Taste is overall sweet and roasted; caramel, roasted, some coffee, some sweet grape. Mouthfeel is heavier, some carbonation, smooth. Overall this is decent. Sweet and roasty. I probably will not buy this again because the flavor strike me as a little weak at times. Still this brew fills the style and is enjoyable to drink.

Photo of Heatwave33
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at The Coffee District into a Shipyard Pint glass.

Color: Black with a creamy beige head.

Smell: Sweet aromas from the chocolate, cream and malt.

Taste: Cream, chocolate and a nice malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a good carbonation. A dry finish too.

Overall: Very tastey and easy to drink. The consistancey is just like milk. Love the aroma and taste. Cheers!

Photo of DaveBlack
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had bottles of this beer before, but never on tap. Unfortunately it was served ice cold, and I had to wait a good half hour before it was a decent temperature to drink a stout.

A: Looks like a stout ought to look. Totally opaque and black as midnight. The head is relatively thin and is a light brown. The retention is virtually forever and the lacing is quite heavy.

S: Deeply roasted malts. Lots of coffee, chocolate and caramel. Smells sweet and delicious.

T: This is one tasty stout. Very heavy on the chocolate malts. The taste is coffee and chocolate, with an emphasis on the chocolate. The milk sugars add a sweetness which balances out the bitter roasted malts, an also the heavy hit of hops that keep the beer balanced.

M: Heavy body, light on the carbonation. A rich, sticky robust mouthfeel which matches the taste.

O: A very solid stout. Lots of sweetness, along with the dark roasted malts and a nice balance of hops. There might be (and are) better stouts out there, but this is definitely better than many, and a very good one.

Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Nitro bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 9/20/11

A- Pours very dark with a beautiful two finger tan khaki head. Head sticks around forever and eventually turns to a small cap. Incredibly lacing all the way down, this beer's a looker.

S- Aroma is of chocolate, coffee with cream, and roasted malts.

T- Definitely on the sweeter side. Taste is of milk chocolate, more coffee with cream and sugar, very light vanilla note. Leaves a nice toffee after taste.

M- Smooth and creamy--that's for sure. Medium bodied. Carbonation is on the low side.

O- Very easy drinking milk stout, would be a great dessert beer. Great offering from Left Hand.

Photo of ilovebeer84
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times before. Not a huge stout fan, but this one stands alone...

A. Opaque. Looks like soda and let's almost no light through. Head disappears fast but leaves lacing for quite some time.

S. Smells like coffee and dark chocolate. Definitely get a sweet aroma from the glass.

T. Almost identical to how it smells. Rich, robust and sweet. Not much carbonation to it and goes down very smooth.

M. A little thin for how it smells and looks, but it goes down easy which makes it a great session beer.

O. A great milk stout. I'm not a huge stout fan, but anytime I see this beer around in the mix a six section I always grab a couple!

Photo of cmq103
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack from Canals Hamilton in the Hamilton Marketplace, which was poured into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark cola brown color and an aggressive pour resulted in a nice 1/2" light brown creamy head. My only complaint is the head did a Houdini on me and disappeared rather quickly leaving me with just a thin ring. Although the head reduced quickly, the lacing clung tightly, clearly revealing the height of the original head. This beer appears a bit thicker than your average beer, but not in a syrupy way.

Smell: Coffee, oats and chocolate is what I get right away in the nose. A light amount of sweet caramel and vanilla too.

Taste: Moderately sweet roasted oats, sweetened black coffee and chocolate. Almost identical to the smell. The milk sugars give this beer the perfect level of sweetness. When you taste it for the first time you'll understand what I mean. The roasted oats and sweetness blend perfectly for this style. Very impressed...

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation with a very creamy texture on the tongue. A little heavier than a dry stout, but not much.

Overall: I love the stouts, especially the RIS style. Left Hand makes an excellent beer that, to me, could qualify as a "session" stout. As a matter of fact, I'm gonna pour me a second bottle. I wish this came in a 1/6th keg on the east coast. This would definitely occupy one side of the dual tap kegerator. Well done Left Hand, well done...

Photo of GarrettMD
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - After a fairly aggressive pour, there are only a few trace tan bubbles lining a ring around the top. The beer itself is Completely opaque, a rich deep black. No visible carbonation.

S - A nice balance of the roasted malts in any stout and the sweetness from the lactose. The milky sweetness is definitely present, but complementing the roasted barley and chocolate malts that form the base, helping to make sure the "bitter" aromas don't completely dominate.

T - Extremely well balanced. Still, same as the aroma, where the lactose sweetness is only in the background helping to tone down the roasted malts. Up front is a rich chocolate roast flavor followed by hints of coffee with mostly roasted malts. All the while, there's a lingering sweetness that rounds everything out. Chocolate is by far the dominant flavor in this beer, but that fits seeing as milk and chocolate couldn't go any better together.

M - A little thinner than expected, but still heavy bodied. Very little carbonation, not sure if it is supposed to be like that or not, but that might be what's causing the thinner than expected body. Finish is slightly drying and sweet. During the taste, the lactose coats your mouth with a sticky sweet flavor, but in the finish that disappears and it starts to dry a bit. Roasted malt flavors linger the longest.

O - Very well balanced example of a milk stout. Nothing is too in-your-face screaming "There's milk in here!" but you can tell that it is. Does a good job using the milk to improve the base stout rather than making the stout entirely about the milk.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

had it on a nitro tap at illegal pete's in denver. i have enjoyed this one countless times from the bottle, but thought it might work well on the nitro. i was mistaken, their tap system must have been off, bartender didnt even charge for it. came oout totally flat. with that in mind, i'll review this beer as from a bottle, because it is excellent normally. pours a shiny dark brown color with a thin tan head. nose is sugary, creamy, and deep. taste is sweet from the residual milk sugars, and robust from the dark roasted malts. you might get a cavity from drinking too many of these, but its a very well made beer. one of the better milk stouts out there, just stay away from the nitro tap at pete's!

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

Spider889 gave me one of those new nitro bottles of this that Left Hand just debuted. "Poured hard" into a Perfect Pint. Bottle dated 09/20/11.

I poured hard, and at first I thought I wasn't going to get the typical nitro cascading effect. It started out looking very lackluster. The act of pouring created a bunch of loose air bubbles that sat on top, but then came the nitro froth. I got a really good, albeit quick, cascade effect that concluded into a thick, dense, creme colored cake of froth. It lost some height fairly quickly, but wants to hold at about a half finger. Lacing is mostly only on the side of the glass from which I am sipping.

It seems to start off suffering from the muted effects of the nitro serving, but eventually the foam recedes and the beer warms and things open up nicely. Lots of bittersweet chocolate mixed with sweeter milk chocolate and tons of cappuccino. There is the faintest bittering roast that keeps things in check.

Very chocolatey. Its damn close to Young's Double Chocolate, which is something of a benchmark for beers like this. Lots of milk chocolate and cappuccino. On the back end notions of grassier hops are called fourth but this is mostly a milky, chocolatey, sweeter stout.

I'd say the nitro serving suits this beer very, very well. The carbonation feels very low, but there is still plenty of life that dances on the tongue, keeping this beer from feeling flat. It has a really good creamy feeling that slides around the mouth. It makes me take much larger sips than I should be.

Quite well done. I was skeptical at first, but I really enjoy this very much. Lets hope that the prices on this stuff are going to remain low once it rolls out into the rest of Left Hand's markets. I'll likely visit this again at that time, or order up a nitro poured pint at a bar.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a finger of off-white head.

S: A slight smokiness along with a lot of the roasted malt. Not all that much lactose/sweetness to it. Some toffee and molasses to it as well as roasted malt.

T: Quite a bit of smoke and roast to this beer. Some sweet lactose flavor and a bit of toffee, too. A little bit of chocolate flavor to it as well.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Not a bad milk stout, though the smokiness was a bit strange.

Photo of raymo55
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My 2nd review
From 12 oz bottle to a snifter

A - dark with no light getting through...extreme lacing and a small golden ring for a head

S - small hint of coffee with a nice semi sweet cocoa scent

T - crisp dark chocolate taste with a robustness that goes great with the sweetness of the milk

M - goes in and down smooth but not a sweet aftertaste you would expect...more bitterness

O - not really sold on any milk stouts yet but a nice basic starter

Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 5,879 ratings.