1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

5,977 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,977
Reviews: 1,672
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 199
Gots: 757 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,977 | Reviews: 1,672 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WreckDiver
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most people have covered the bases... so here is a twist!

I really like this beer, it's smooth & creamy like a milk stout should be. Probably one of my favorite milk stouts.

Now if you want a twist & are not stuck on being a purist...
(I love good beer, but after you've had this a few times...
give this a try) Mix about a 1/3 of a glass of youngs double chocolate with 2/3's of Left hand Milk stout... you get a beer lovers version of Chocolate Milk! Awesome!

Photo of Janderson91
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark reddish brown. Mahogany color around the edges of the glass. Tan colored one finger head which recedes to a thin ring around the edge. Leaves very little lacing.

S - Smell is very milk chocolatey with some roasty malts in the background.

T - More bitter initially than the nose. Pretty roasty and hoppy up front with some lactose in the back. Nice sweet finish.

M - Mouthfeel is nice. Medium bodied.

D - Finished off a 12 oz bottle pretty quickly. I really enjoyed this.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is black and just a shade away from opaque; just a little bit of light passed through when I held it to my lamp. Two fingers of creamy, tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a bubbly lacing, thin film, and ring around the edge.

Smell: I could smell cocoa as soon as I popped the cap. In the glass it has a delicious chocolate aroma, which is a blend of both roasted dark chocolate and sweet milk chocolate. It also has a nice roasted coffee presence, too. There is a little vanilla and toffee in there, as well, and it also has a bit of nuttiness.

Taste: The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and the taste follows suit. It has a backbone of roasted chocolate and roasted coffee malts, which is balanced nicely with the sweetness of milk chocolate and milk. Other reviewers say it tastes like coffee with a lot of cream, and I will have to take their word for it; I don't drink coffee. The roasted bitterness I expect from a good stout is there, but it is kept at bay. As the pint warms, the bitterness diminishes and the lactose creaminess takes over; the vanilla from the smell emerges at this point to contribute to the smoothness. During one sip I caught a little bit of alcohol sharpness, but it was only once.

Drinkability: Color me impressed. I did not expect much, but Milk Stout has proven itself as a tasty and deserving treat. Though not spectacular, it is very well crafted and drinkable.

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nearly opaque reddish black with a nice one finger light brown head. Sticky lacing on the head but it dies down quickly.

S - Chocolate and roasted coffee with plenty of sweet smelling malt. Slightly nutty.

T - Initially quite sweet up front with plenty of smoky coffee flavor and some dark chocolate. Sweet and creamy the whole way with some noticeable earthy hops in the finish. Slightly boozy in the finish is all that I can think to complain about.

M - Super smooth and creamy, lightly carbonated.

D - This one would be a great winter session stout because the alcohol is quite reserved and it is overall just a great tasting well balanced dark beer.

Really liked this one and I will be picking it up again. My first offering from Left Hand as well, I enjoyed it!

Photo of negroobserver
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

COLOR: Rich Black color with reddish tones. Served with about 3/4 inches of thick creamy head, which leaves significant lacing as drunk.

SMELL: Smells sweet with a light nutty quality. Strong coffee/chocolate scent and some earthy notes as well.

TASTE: Sweet at the front. Balanced in the middle with mild bitterness at the end.

MF: VERY SMOOTH with rich flavors and a creamy texture. Medium carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: Very easy to drink, but as with most stouts, it's a little heavy.

OVERALL: Very rich and smooth drink. I found it very easy to drink and very enjoyable. This would make an excellent summer stout (if served ice cold). The sweetness of the beer is complementary and NOT overwhelming. Excellent balancing of the sweet and bitter qualities. I'm not a big fan of stouts, but this is one that I could enjoy regularly.

GRADE: A-/A (possibly even an A+)

Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times from the bottle and nitro-tap in the past, picked up a single for a review.

Pours dark brown, dark red highlights when held to the light. Very small tan head after an aggressive pour, quickly becomes a slight cap leaving some lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, even slight char/smoky notes. Not as sweet as I expected but good.

Coffee with lots of cream is the first thing that comes to mind for the taste, also getting dark chocolate and molasses. Some grassy hops. Slight vanilla. Silky mouthfeel although a bit over-carbonated.

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip

A: Dark brown to black color, with about a single finger of creamy white head.

S: Nothing fantastic about the nose of this beer. Smells stouty...Kind of a mild coffee/malt aroma.

T: Now the taste brings it. This is a very nice smooth drinkable stout. The lactose is fore front (which I liked) with some coffee and vanilla been back drop.

M: Great texture. Nice body.

D: A very sessionable stout. I could sit down and have 4 of these no problem. Great stout on the sweet side of the spectrum.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, light tan finger of head. Bits of splotchy lacing. Jeeze Louis, Left Hand really needs to learn out to darken up their stouts...

Aroma is rife with coffee notes, roasted malts, sweetness, and cocoa.

Taste is of bitter chocolate, coffee, milky sweetness, roasted, toasted malts.

Feel is medium in body, almost creamy texture, low carbonation, and clean

Drink ability is good. Despite the piss-poor appearance, this is a pretty good sweet stout.

Photo of pburland23
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stout NYC.

Pours a dark black with a thick white head. Smells like dark chocolate, roasted malts and a slight touch of coffee.

Taste is slightly sweet, nice job of not going crazy with the extra sugar. The sweetness meets a pleasant roastiness to complete a nice tasting beer.

The mouthfeel was a little thin for a stout, but the carbonation was adequate and at 5.2%, the drinkability is nice.

Photo of Jeffo
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

Note: This is a new recepie. Bottle lists 6% ABV.

APPEARANCE: Brown pour makes a one finger, off-white head with decent retention. Sits black in the glass with little carbonation evident, and relatively transparent. Head dissipates into a thin film and a ring. A splotchy wisp and ring remain, leaving a little lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malt and some decent coffee and espresso notes. Hints of vanilla and some lactose sugars in there as well. Definitely a milk stout. Medium strength and quite enticing as well.

TASTE: Some roasted malts and some decent coffee or latte flavors. Sweet vanilla and lactose is there, but not as much as the nose had indicated. Mild yet lingering aftertaste is somewhat sweet, with some roasted malt and coffee in there. The flavors could be a little bolder and forthcoming, as it doesn't quite live up to the nose. What is there is still quite enjoyable though.

PALATE: Smooth enough, but not quite as creamy as hoped. Medium body with medium carbonation, goes down fine and finishes relatively dry on the palate. No bite at the end. Fine here, but could be a bit fuller and creamier for the style.

OVERALL: A very pleasant milk stout, though this new 6% brew simply isn't quite as good as the original. It's missing that bolder flavor profile that I loved the first umpteen times I had it. It is still a quality milk stout, no doubt, and I will drink more of it in the future, but it is not quite as impressive as it once was.

Note: Tried a nitro bottle and found it to be of similar quality. Not as nitro-esque as a Guinness nitro bottle per se, but still in the same style. Enjoyable, though the score would remain the same.

Photo of epicness
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours with very black body an off white head.. Not completely black as there is a bit of red hue present along the edges.. The head disappeared completely on me within seconds. A quick swirl reveals that the beer does leave quite a bit of lacing on the glass, although that too slides down back into the beer fairly quickly. Just based on the appearance it seems a little bit more watery than I would thought.

S: Heavy uo front on the roasted malt scent.. I'm having a hard time smelling the chocolate or coffee that some claim to find in this brew. A tinge of sweetness follows the roasted malts.. A sweet milk like scent. I guess the proper terminology would be "lactic notes." That milk scent isn't powerful by any means, but it is there.

T: Definite roasted malts up front on the taste although not as heavy as the scent would indicate. It's actually much more well balanced than I would have though based on the scent. The roasted malts quickly give away to a mild sweet cream flavor. There's also a bit of a fig taste to the beer that seems to be mixed in with the cream flavor. They seem to hit you at about the same time. The finish on the beer is kind of hard for me to put my finger on. A get this slight twinge of sourness, almost like spoiled milk, but it quickly goes away and leaves the roasted malt flavor.

M: Low to medium bodied with little to no carbonation present. I expected this beer to be much more full bodied even after I claimed that I felt the appearance did seem a bit watery.

D: Definitely a very drinkable beer. I wouldn't call it sessionable though due to the sweetness. Seems like after 2 of these I wouldn't want anymore.

Photo of AllFineThings
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a very dark hue with a two and a half finger head that quickly dissipates into a lingering foam around the edge with pretty good lacing.

smells like coffee, chocolate.

Has a rich smooth taste, with some milk smoothness, a big noticeable heavy dose of coffee, some chocolate and hazelnut.

Very smooth, and sessionable.

can drink these all day, is seemingly heavy and yet very very smooth--btw-the web-site says these are 6% abv,anyway very very very good!

Photo of PhatAtUT
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours dark, with thin quickly dissipating head. aroma is pretty meh. not much there. smooth slightly creamy taste. a little thin. roasty chocolate taste.pleasant taste and easy to drink, but just a little too thin for a top score. not too complex but still enjoyable.

Photo of Zundo
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A Heavy dark brown with cherry tint. very thin off-white head that laces decently.

Smell: Roasted chocolate, nut and and faint coffee.

Taste: A smooth milky chocolate upfront, followed by roasted flavors in which there is some nutty and fig flavors. This transitions to faint coffee flavors with hop bitterness. Finally there is a milky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This stout is not as heavy as I would like, but its close. There is a milky creamy stickiness.

Drink: This is a pretty easy drinking stout.

Photo of MoustacheHero
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the best beer I ever drank.

a: The beer is super dark, with a beautifully contrasting creamy head.

s: Aromas of roasted barley, sweet lactose and crystal. Very pleasant.

t: Heavenly, smooth, and very creamy. Sweet and toasty flavors in perfect harmony.

m: Velvety and creamy. Thick without coating your mouth and throat.

d: The only thing stopping one from drinking it all day is the 6%. Goes down smooth and delicious.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with 'bottled-on' date on the label. The ABV as per the website for a 2010 bottle beer was 6%.
Dark brown to near black color with some light penetration along the surface edges. Little to no head, but some really nice lacing.
As soon as I cracked the bottle open I got a nice chocolate (leaning more towards drinking chocolate) aroma. Hints of roasted malts, cocoa with faint coffee coming through.
Very good mouthfeel, close to a full-bodied stout. The taste is predominantly of roasted malts with some smoke flavor coming through. The finish is of nice bitter chocolate which lingers for a while. The chocolate seems to take over as the beer warms up.
This is a delicious stout and every sip left me wanting more.
Drinkability is very good. Paired it with some Lindt milk chocolate with raisins and it was pure goodness.
One of the better milk stouts I have had. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of mbusster88
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with very black body and tan head. Not just black with some red around the edges. Head does not last long and is not all that thick.

S: Very roasty in the nose up front. Get some lactic notes there to. Not a large amount of cream or milk aroma but a fair amount of overall dairy smell.

T/M: First flavor is creamy and roasty. Really nice dairy quality to this, although not as thick I thought it was going to be. Thin body and a lack of an overwhelming creaminess make this one just ok.

D: Decent beer but nothing special that I probably won't be getting again for a while. Really didn't do anything for me.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a very dark brown with zero head. No lacing and virtually no carbonation. Aroma is very sweet. Chocolate, molasses, some vanilla and coffee aromas. Taste is a vanilla/coffee mix. Not a very powerful coffee taste, more on the light side. Kind of tastes like a coffee with cream and sugar in it. Mouthfeel is on the thin side. A bit disappointed by this offering. Left Hand makes a lot of good beers but this one is alright. Not bad, not great.

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

Appearance: Poured dark brown in color with a small but thick light tan head.
Smell: Burnt sugar with hints of coffee
Taste : Sweet coffee with slight vanilla undertones
Mouthfeel: Soft light carbonation
Drinkability: Very drinkable could easily put down a six pack in no time
Overall: Enjoyable beer and a good representation of its class.

Photo of Retsinis
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had this on nitro tap at the Hungry Monk in Chandler AZ.

The beer was poured & served into a standard pint glass. Pitch black color, with a two inch head that remained nearly the entire time I was drinking it, likely due to the nitro tap. The head was tan, and stuck to the glass.

The Aroma's were of light coffee, vanilla hints, some smoke, toast, with the strongest scent being milk chocolate & dark chocolate.

The taste was a lot like the smell, but better. Flavors of coffee, creamy vanilla, sugar, and milk chocolate, all of which is balanced by the slightest tinge of hops bitterness.

The mouth feel is silky smooth, sweet, with a creamy finish.

While I don't have a lot of experience with milk stouts, since they are rarely made in California, which is a shame, this one was just right given the cold winter weather that night, and it was after dinner. Overall it was a like a chocolate milk shake, but it was a beer, so more enjoyable.

Photo of pioppo
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber. A not much persistent dark beige foam.

S - In first, the malty aromas spread out. In particular roasted and candy. Then comes the coffee and the cocoa.

T - Poor of bitterness. It's evident the milky cocoa flavour tipical of the style!!

M - A little flat beer even if it's a fine one.

D - I don't like so much milk stouts but this beer is in line with the style so is a good drinking!!

Photo of kellyst
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a light dark brown/black with almost no head. This beer is a little too carbonated for a stout. Aroma is of roasted grains and sweet malts. No noticeable hop aroma. Flavor is ok, roasted grains and lactose sweetness. The body, however, is way too light for this style of beer, and even seems lighter than the 5.2% abv. Perhaps it's the high carbonation? Whatever it is, this beer is a "stout light" and doesnt compare well to the best examples of the style.

Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in bubble pint glass. Poured black with 1/2-inch of creamy, tan head that had good retention and lacing.
The aroma had a nicely rich roast scent at first, but deeper in the nose the roast kind of faded and left just some grainy malt notes. On the tongue the roast was very subdued and sweet malt was pretty much the noticeable thing.

The body was good, solid and smooth. Drinkability was also good, the beer went down smooth and easy. Overall, I'm not that impressed with this beer. It's not bad by any means, just kinda bland and unmemorable.

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

Surprised to find this on tap at Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, and it was a great beer with some of the best pizza of my life. Served in a pint glass.

Pours deep dark black with slight amber/ruby hues. Head is tan/off-white and a full two fingers of very creamy and lacing nicely. Nose is a toasty cream, reminds me more of milk than any other milk stout I've had.

Full of toasted malt with a tinge or milky sweetness. Definitely coffee and a tinge of requisite bitterness, creating a nice balance, although not a full flavored as I've come to expect from this style of beer. Love the full body and drinkability of this beer overall, and it was a good match with some tremendous pizza.

Photo of kbutler1
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Bottled 9/22/10. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown color with what start off with a tan head that slowly settles to collar around the glass and leave a nice lace. Milk chocolate aroma along with some leather and the slightest notes of coffee. Medium mouthfeel with a milky smooth textrure. Sweet start with notes of chocolate and ending with a slight bitterness. Minimal leather flavors as well. The milk sugar really makes this a smooth and velvety beer.

Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,977 ratings.