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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.
very good

5,464 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,464
Reviews: 1,620
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 168
Gots: 474 | 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
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Ratings: 5,464 | Reviews: 1,620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chadbrew
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am glad I grabbed this one. It is a refreshing change of pace from all the big Russian Imperial Stouts and other way over the top stouts. The appearance is a rather simple deep ruby-brown with surprisingly little carbonation (OK I'm a little disappointed). The smell is roasty and coffee but not overwhelmingly so. The taste is a creamy sort of bitter chocolate milk, slight tartness that is good. I like the body also; it is not too thick and heavy.
If this were more available I would definitely throw this into my rotation.
Cheers Left Hand!

Chadbrew, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of UncleFlip
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A welcome addition to the handful of beers available in Alabama.

Pours nice and black, with a one finger tan head. Head falls somewhat rapidly, leaving wet lace behind. Held to the light, this one is very clear, with a ruby-brown look to it.

Smell is roasty and sweet, with some coffee overtones.

A chocolatey sweetness hits up front, morphing into a flavour not unlike ancho chilies, then into a coffee-like overtone. There's a slight coconutty background here, but not so strong as in Moloko Plus. The finish has a it of bitterness and sweetness mixed well. Maybe not the best in style, but I kinda like it. [Also, some friends who were out of Guinness say this stuff makes the best car bombs they've ever had! :)]

A little more carbonation than I like in a stout. Body is a little thinner than I'd like.

Despite its shortcomings, I rather like this one, and plan on making it a regular in my fridge, now that it's available here. Not a world-class beer, but a good solid 'every day' beer.

Be well

UncleFlip, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of NClifestyle
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12fl.oz. bottle, with bottled on date of 3/9/05. I just bought this beer last week from total wine and more, hmmmph.
I could smell the sweetness from 2 feet away as I popped the top of the bottle.
Pours up a few shades lighter than pitch black, clear dark brown around the edges. A 2-finger thick head of creamy-tan colored foam rises, but drops pretty quickly. Sheets of lace on the glass.
Smell is milk chocolate, almost but not quite coffee, and very similar to coca-cola. A hint of alcohol/earthiness is present as well.
Taste is malt, but not overly strong, before a tangy coffee and cream flavor takes over. Roasty in the mid mouth, with a moderately bitter coffee aftertaste. If there are any hops present, I'm not getting them, just a roasted stout flavor. Not as sweet as I had expected, but definitely more sugar flavor than Guinness or any other dry Irish stout.
Mouthfeel is medium with enough creamy carbonation to make your whole mouth tingle. Smooth and slick, not that dry.
Drinkability would be high with this one. Like many stouts, it goes down easy, and is less-filling that you might imagine from the appearance. A good milk stout. I prefer Mackeson, but would not turn this one down.


NClifestyle, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of circuitmonkey
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was poured into an imperial pint glass from a cool bottle. I later realized toward the bottom of the beer I liked it more when closer to room temp.
Poured a thick cream colored head, with good retention.
Appearance was very dark brown.
Mild aroma of coffee. Taste is completely dominated by the coffee malt. Beer is overall sweet with very faint hop character.
This is only the second milk stout I have tried, but I would say I would definitely be willing to buy this beer again in the future.

circuitmonkey, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty average. I guess my standard for milk stouts is Mackeson XXX. And this one doesn't quite measure up.

I'm not getting the mouthfeel and/or sweetness that should indicate a milk stout. More of a quasi-coffee stout. A little smokiness and some pleasant roasted notes.

A good, drinkable stout, and we're always salivating at the prospect of getting more variety in this state. But it doesn't seem to me like this really hits the style spot on. If you hadn't told me it was supposed to be a milk stout, i think i would have rated it higher.

Bonhoeffer, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of Fish113d
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pouring into a pint glass chilled from the bottle, it pours chocolate brown w/ some slight ruby hues. A 1/8" tannish milky foam quickly rushes to the surface, and then quickly dissipates to a slight edge layer.

Aroma reminds me of chocolate milk (hey, they got cows on the bottle with brown spots!). Some slight caramel hits my nose, and a bit of eathy hops helps balance this one out. If not for the hops, it would smell too sweet, but it's just right.

Sipping, lots of sweet chocolate milk flavor rushes up front with SOME slight bitter hops. Swallowing leaves a sweet mochachino finish. Very very tasty! WOW! I also get some coffee roast on the finish.

Body is nicely balanced. Carbonation isn't overwhelming, and the body is full and creamy! Very nice.

Overall, I loved it! I've never had a beer that I could sit a glass of chocolate milk next too and after tasting have a hard time figuring out which one IS the actual chocolate milk. Some will shy away due to the sweetness, but I really liked it!

Fish113d, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Rileys

had this one a few times down in raleigh from 6-12

appearance: pours mahogany, nowhere near black, some slight ruby tinting, tan bubbly head forms, leaving not much other than some rimmed lacing behind it

smell: sweet chocolate, lots of cream, sweet chocolate milk, cocoa powder, sweet heavy malt, faint coffee, nutty chocolate malt

taste: i remember liking this and my opinion hasnt changed much...chocolate milk is dominant, this one puts the milk in milk stout for me...cream, semisweet chocolate, chocolate covered coffee bean, sweet caramel, toasty malts, a little roastiness

mouthfeel: perhaps the weak point, the mouthfeel and the appearance...a little thin i thought, with some moderately assertive carbonation

drinkability: very drinkable

dirtylou, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

One day I had bought a cigar and I needed a place to smoke it before it went bad. I decided since it was a Sumatra Cigar I should drink Sumatra coffee with it. I ended up having to go to starbucks to fulfill this. The clerk was outside and he told me about this saying it was 'THE BEST BEER.' I decided to put this turtleneck-wearing yuppy's opinion to the test.

10.59 at a Discount Tobacco Outlet.
Poured black with a tinge of red hues. The bubbles were strange in the fact they were big and brown but disipated instantly. Kinda a wierd head almost like malt liqour. Smell is like chocolate syrup and a very faint scent of instant coffee (still good though.) Taste was SHOCKING. Burnt malts or hops. I'm not sure. I guess malts because it is a stout afterall. The burnt thing is really active here more than anything i've ever tasted. I mean we're talking smokey espresso. I had bought a Irish Cream Stout before, and to my surprise it wasn't too good. This had almost the same saddening effect. The burnt bitter taste is super lingery. You only taste the sweet milkiness when you sip it. There is a bit of instant coffee taste to it a bit. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky. It is also pretty drinkable. I mean for a stout it's probably a bit thinner than most - it's between a porter and a stout I think.

I'm puzzled with this beer. It's neat cause it's different. I'll say that, but I mean this guy totally didn't know what he was talking about I think course we live in a minimal good brew area for the most part until recent two months. I must say though if you like coffee you would probably like this. I'm not sure but my guess is that since it tastes like coffee quite a bit more than most coffee hinted brews and this guy who is a barista loved the hell outta it - i'd say it would probably work. I'm going to say I'm not buying it again cause I'm not paying 10 bucks for something this OK. I'm sure it's someone else's thing though.

CaskofFlyingDog, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with a small beige head that fritters away to a film while leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: Milk chocolate and a bit of roast in the aroma

Taste: Starts out chocolatey with hints of caramel and finishes that way, too; slight bitter coffee at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and easy to drink; enjoyable

brentk56, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of CultureJamMN
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep cherry color, with a modest head that fades quickly. Lacing was minimal.

The smell here is of maybe light cream, semisweet chocolate, a hint of coffee, and maybe even a little burnt toast.

Taste is of french roasted coffee with sweet cream. There is a toastieness that comes out... nice malts.

Excellent feel in the mouth. Smooth and creamy, with the malts adding a savory aspect that makes a very good milk stout.

A very nice milk stout. Something i would reccomend with dessert. This would be great with a nice piece of chocolate cake, or black forest cake.

CultureJamMN, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of jamie2dope
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had seen this beer sitting on the shelf at my local store and finally decided to give it a whirl. Poured nearly black with some ruby hues showing up when holding it up to the light. Head retention was about average, with a medium to light white head that faded quickly. Smells I picked up were sweet cream, milk chocolate, and mild coffee. There was also a bit of a burnt character to the smell. Taste was very much like drinking an ice coffee, with the chocolate accent pulling through towards the end of each sip. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied. Although this was a very drinkable brew, I dont think I could handle more then one or two at a time, the sweet character of this beer became a bit too much. If you are a fan of the milk stout style, this is a must try. If not, still worth a try. Cheers

jamie2dope, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'll admit it - I'm left handed! That was part of the novelty of buying this beer for me, but I had heard good things about this brewery and when I was up in Massachusetts for the holiday party at the Harpoon Brewery, I picked up some of this for the holidays here at the house. I have grown more and more accustomed to stouts recently as my tastes have expanded and matured, but this was the first milk stout that I've ever tried. I must admit, it was very good!

Most stouts I've had were very dark and bitter, many with notes of caramel and espresso. This was a lot different! It poured very dark, but there were very faint burgundy red edges to it when I held my pint glass up to the light. It wasn't bitter, but almost tasted like the way I drink my coffee before I put my sugar in it. The lactose balances things out well, but neither the sweetness or the bitterness is overpowering and they counter each other very well. The head was excellent when I poured the beer out and I could smell the roastiness and caramel and chocolate mix from very far away. This more than made up for the lack of lacing as I sipped this beer!

I like a milk stout because it's easier to adjust to for the novice beer drinker. The 5.20% is not as strong as some of the stouts I've enjoyed recently, and it has the warming and soothing power of a morning or post-dinner coffee. Not a lot of burnt notes or creamy thickness here, but the mouthfeel is still wonderful between the way the beer foams up and the slight roasting that lingers on and on. Between the freshness date on the bottle, the balance, and the taste from start to finish. I really enjoyed this brew and it was certainly worth the shot I took on it!

JerzDevl2000, Jan 04, 2006
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with garnet tint. Tan cap. Light lace.

S - Chocolate. Cream. Light coffee aroma.

T - Sweet lactose. Light roasted malt. Coffee with cream. Nutty. Earthy in finish. A little bit of hops detectable at end. Very nice milk stout.

M - Full-bodied. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Long roasted, nutty finish. Filling.

D - Great drinkability. I will drink more of this.

Photo of danielocean03
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a hint of red, half finger head diminished quickly to an off-white ring of lacing. Smells sweetly of cream adn coffee and a natural nutty flavor with a hint of chocolate. Light yet smooth and creamy mouthfeel , starting sweet and finishing with a slightly bitter aftertaste like a weaker coffee. This is my first stout, and I enjoyed this beer.

danielocean03, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer appears to be super black from afar but put it to the light and you are able to detect a red hue . This was a good size head that gave a coffee like smell. RIght off the bat I am thinking this is a smoked porter then the taste leans toward a stout. Overall, a great beer and I am upset I only bought the single.

WeymouthMike, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a tan ring for the head. Quite a bit of carbonation going on.

Smell is burnt malt, sweet chocolate, and bitter coffee notes.

Taste is rather sweet as expected. Coffee flavor is quite strong, a bit of nuttiness, and chocolate flavors. Finish is dry as it should be.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. A little lighter feel than for a standard stout.

The sweetness and overall 'lightness' make this an easy drinking stout. Not bad as far as milk stouts go.

Blakaeris, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of ChiSox05
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate caramel with oats taste. Definitely some mild black coffee in there too. Deep brown red in color with suspended sediment, vanishing head, spotty lacing. Thin, nutty milk chocolate malt aroma and sweetened condensed milk. Faint coffee, smells right, could go with a chocolate doughnut. Near medium body, leaves some burnt chocolate malt on the palate, tapers off slowly. Carbonation works just right shaking out the flavors here. Exceeded expectations, didn't look especially bright. After finishing this one I wish I had another, a lot of good smells and tastes built in, not exceptional, but a sixer of this is money well-spent.

ChiSox05, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of maddamish
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Winking Lizard pub.
Served in a bottle.

This is one of the sweeter stouts that I have had. A bit watery but that was made up by the coffee/chocolate milk taste that this brew provided.

Update: I had a sixer of this down in Knoxville. Although sweet, there is a hint of bitterness that does creep in on the aftertaste. it does sport a creamy head when poured but quickly disappears with minimal to no lacing.

This was my second Left Hand brew that I had this weekend and it something that I would seek out again in the future.

Notes: This was my first milk stout and it has inspired me to seek out more of the style. Please give this and other milk stouts like this a try. (Mackeson xxx is great too!)

maddamish, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Redbones with dinner on December 9. Typed up from notes taken while drinking and eating.

Poured a shady shy of black. Slightly tan head with a bit of stringy lace. Nose was chocolate but toned down like powered cocoa.

Heavy in the mouth and creamy in a way it almost resembled milk. Strong cocoa flavor. Kind of like when I was little and I would steal a spoonful of powdered hot cocao from the bucket when my Mom would make it. The cocoa creeps up the back of my troat to sit its pungent aroma in my nostrils. Just a slight hint of vanilla as well. Nothing in the way of hops.

Kind of too rich to be particularly drinkable but fine enough for a pint or two. If I saw it again and was in the mood for a very sweet and heavy stout I would not refrain from ordering a pint.

MuddyFeet, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of benito
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The liquor store in Leadville recently started carrying this in bombers, and compared to the six packs at $8 a pop, this is a bargain.

Like Left Hand's Imperial Stout, this pours a midnight black that, when held to the scrutiny of light, turns into a deep ruby...something like a chocolate covered cherry. The head is nothing much to speak of, and it
dissipates rather quickly leaving only a ring of foam around the edge of my glass.

The bouquet is heavy on chocolate--tempting indeed--and rather smooth, with virtually no sign of hoppiness or even the ho-hum roastiness so often found (sometimes unnecessarily) in stouts. However, there is a nice bitterness and dryness to the taste itself, which is particularly noticeable in the finish. The sweetness of the milk/cream makes for a smooth body and mouthfeel that has a strong cocoa flavor. The pepperiness kicks in towards the middle of the mouth and holds on to dominate the end: a nice, cleaning characteristic.

This is an exemplary milk stout from Left Hand with a good body and flavor profile. Generally, this may be (IMO) the best beer that Left Hand makes. Good thing those bombers are cheap!

benito, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Left Hand's Milk Stout pours out a very dark brown color with little head. The aroma is roasted malt and oatmeal. Sweet malty flavor with lots of cocoa and roasted coffee. Thankfully, it never gets too sweet. Lightly hopped finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Never sour or astringent. Enough carbonation to help the sweetness from being cloying. Pretty good drinkability. I really enjoyed the smooth creamy flavor in this beer.

beveragecaptain, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of DrZarkov
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is an obvious chocolate smell to it and a bit of coffee.
Both the chocolate and to a lesser extent the coffee can also be tasted. Pretty strong milk taste. Not quite like milk though, sweeter, more like creamer. Pretty rich and sweet. Very low bitterness. As for mouth feel its pretty light. I was expecting something heavier and thicker, and think it would be a little better if it was.
Over all drinkability is pretty above average, but nothing amazing. I can think of lots of other beers I would rather have. If you haven't tried it, its probably worth a try.

DrZarkov, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of cheers2beers
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass

Appearance: This beer pours a black liquid with an off-white head.Meduim amount of laceing clings to the sides.

Aroma: The nose detects coffee beans,malts,and raisons.Even a slight wood can be found.

Taste: The palate is much like the nose,Coffee beans,dark chocolate,caramels,malts and the raisons are still present.No wood flavor, but you can taste a little hops in the finish as it bitters on my togue.

Mouthfeel: The feel is thin,easy drinking,slightly fizzy in the finish.Would have liked to see this one a little thicker mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This can very easily become a good session beer.Reasonably priced,not too high in alcohol,not cloying, but just right.I would recommend to try.


cheers2beers, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of jaluria
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A lovely dark brown color with a slight tan head that leaves behind minimal lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, caramelized sugar, butter, and condensed milk. The taste is a bit unusual for this style; in a bad way. The sweetness of the beer is apparent upfront with a very dry, bready aftertaste that can best be described as 'chalk-like'. The hop profile for this beer doesn't not compliment the malt character causing the beer to be less sweet than it can be. Distinct tartiness in the aftertaste reduces this beers drinkability and overall enjoyment.

jaluria, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of Dubblebock
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand's Milk Stout is an impressively packaged and executed beer. The graphics stuck out on the shelf, the bright-looking cow covered in left-handed handprints looked funny and inviting. The pricing was good, $6.99 for the sixer at Austin's Central Market.

The pour was quite good. Not exactly inky-black, but still pretty opaque. The head was bouncy and taut, and had a nice light chocolate tint. The nose was sweet and slightly nutty.

The taste was smooth and sweet, the added lactose sugars adding a rich component to the flavor. Burnt coffee notes collided with dark chocolate tints. Definitely more complex than the usual stout.

The mouthfeel was good, very robust and muscular. Highly drinkable, especially on a nice, cool Autumn evening.

I really liked this beer. It would be a good beer to wean someone off of Guinness Draught with. I have to give this one a hearty recommendation.

Dubblebock, Oct 26, 2005
Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,464 ratings.