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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

5,964 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,964
Reviews: 1,670
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 198
Gots: 744 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,964 | Reviews: 1,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mastodonj
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The new Nitro version of their milk stout pours a nearly black, opaque beverage with a creamy beige but small (1/2 " or so) head.
Smells of chocolate, vanilla maltiness
It's a complex brew with enough hops to keep a bitter edge and a clean finish. All this makes it very drinkable.
The fine bubbles provide a great mouthfeel.

Left Hand claims that they have been working on this bottled nitro for years. They've accomplished a nice effect without adding any internal nitro gadgets which would have made recycling more difficult and added to production costs.

Photo of blakelive784
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz nitro-bottle served into a pint glass:

A - Pours a lovely black color with a light brown and very creamy head of two fingers. Lacing and retention are both amazing. Thank you nitro.

S - Amazing roasted malts, coffee and cream. Definite bitter chocolate notes present. Moderate strength and very inviting.

T - Creamy chocolate/roasted malts with a very enticing sweetness. Coffee comes through on the climax. Incredibly well built.

M - Silky smooth and wet. Full bodied. Ideal.

D - This beer was very good before, but the nitro took it to the next level. Almost exemplary for the style. Give it a try.

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

reviewing a six pack:

A: dark brown, with white lacing, served in pint glass, little to no head.
spare lacing, even after I swirled it some.

s: The lacto milk sweetness is more detectable in the bottle versus draft. Semi sweet Dutch like MILK chocolate nose. No hops of course as expected in the style. as it warms past 50F I do get some fresh sugar coffee whiffs.

T: Richer dark malty backbone that's gives a coffee/chocolate taste with more milk and sugar sweetness, this one seems to style. It coasts the mouth well and leaves a very pleasing after taste of sweet coffee, not really a milk chocolate taste though.

m: thin light body, refreshing though for the style. Some what flat but after fits the style. carbonation is on low side. If it was a little heavier I would like it more.

O: well all can go by is my taste buds, but this bottle version is night and day over the draft, maybe I just need to find another place to try these on draft, maybe....then again maybe I just hate draft beer. I do then to like bottles version better. Anyway I would buy this again. nice beer.

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

Pint (nitro) at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI

The pour is beautiful and cloudy that ends up pitch black in color with a solid two fingers of head that fades really slow. Lots of long-lasting lacing on the glass the whole time drinking.

Coffee smells abound and it tastes like the coffee and some chocolate. Lots of malty sweetness to it.

The mouthfeel is an excellent creamy smooth.

Overall, the Milk Stout was awesome, and I hope to have it off a nitro-tap again.

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

Had this at Station 2 in Richmond, VA - pint

Pours amazing.. man.. nitro. yes.

massive pillow head and slow fading lace is just a damn beautiful thing. Smells nice and smooth and the taste follows, perfectly malty and thick almost like a desert. Mouthfeel is the star obviously because of the delivery, silky smooth like a milkshake.

If you've never had a milk stout on nitro just do it.. man o man

Photo of vincicle
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is lack lustre at best in its original non-nitro bottle, but a repackaging of the beer as a nitro bottle (with a much improved label as well) has created a much better project. The beer is a favorite, desert cold weather beer at the tap room on nitro and they took the popularity to the bottle. It is a rich chocolatey milk stout with a medium sweetness. The flavor profile is fairly subdued and they is nothing revolutionary about the brew.
The color is dark/black imposing
The nose is underwhelming even for a stout with a slight roasted coffee/cream scent
The taste is strong enough to put off drinking it fast but not balanced enough for a real sipper.
The feel is certainly smooth as you would expect
Overall an average beer that is better from the nitro tap.

Photo of tjkinate
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not too impressed with this one.

A: Damn near black bodied brew that was topped with a creamy subtle head that displayed decent retention.

S: Malty up front that fades into semi-sweet chocolate then coffee. No residual smell, backend reminded me of water.

T: Brew just tasted watered down to me. I have been drinking a lot of big stouts so I drank an obsidian stout from Deschutes to check my pallet. Nope, this brew is just watered down coffee and dark chocolate.

M: Thin, kinda dry.

O: Nothing else to report.

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

*Nitrogenated on Tap*

Left hand Milk Stout pours a deep dark ruby brown (appears black until held up to a light). The head is off white but super frothy.

Its smell is pretty typical and stout-like (roasted malts), the strength is pretty middle of the road.

The taste immediately represents that this is a milk stout with an amazingly sweet front. However the middle has pretty average roasted flavors, but it flows nicely into milky and creamy notes. The finish is long, yet unusual for a beer as the creaminess lingers.

Its mouthfeel is incredible; obviously this is enhanced by the nirto-tap. The feel paired with the flavors is like a milkshake.

Overall, having Left Hand Milk Stout nitrogenated was an interesting experience. The positive was creating an amazing mouthfeel that fits perfectly with the style. However, the downside was the "Guinness effect". Using nitro with the beer made a lot of the roasted flavors very mild and tame. In the end, I think it would be worth a try if anyone comes across it.

Photo of DavidST
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh off a nitro tap, this is a black color with a nice densely packed tan head. The smell is pretty light, but its of roasted malts. The feel is medium, slightly thin for a stout, but nice and nitro creamy. The taste is pretty good, not very heavy, some roasted malts with a sweet milk sugar finish, very light on bitterness.

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

This is the beer that I like to describe as Guinness' sweet little sister. The lactose keeps this beer sweet and that is what keeps me coming back. It is almost like a creamy chocolate milk, but with a slight hoppy bitterness at the end. The nitro really adds to the creamy nature of the beer and is a must when it comes to this beer. I have sampled this out of a bottle and with a nitro-tap. Huge difference. The bottle version is ok at best while the Nitro-tap is very, very nice. I enjoy Left Hand and am not disappointed with this beer. The brewpub is definitly a stop on my next Colorado road trip.

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.

Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,964 ratings.