Left Hand Milk Stout - Left Hand Brewing Company

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Left Hand Milk StoutLeft Hand Milk Stout

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very good

5,888 Ratings
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Ratings: 5,888
Reviews: 1,654
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 184
Gots: 673 | 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: 5,888 | Reviews: 1,654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ljbrisson
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of cbw1978
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark brown, quarter inch head

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

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

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

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

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.85/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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

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

Photo of wl0307
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of heath1agnew
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

smell- smelled of sweet roasted malts

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

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

Photo of sonicdescent
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to angelmonster for this excellent beer from his first trade!

Appears a very slightly see through shade of brown with a thin head that dissipates into a hurricane shape with a crown.

Smells of that sweet oaty malt smell with hints of chocolate and coffee from it's bigger impy brother.

Tastes very good and creamy, what I had expected out of Bell's DCS. Nice bitter chocolate hint up front followed by a coffee end with a thick mouth and low carbonation all the way through. Very good from a style that should be so simple but somehow gets screwed around with.

Drinkability? I don't think I can get this particular Left Hand beer here, but I wish I could get a case. Great stuff.

Photo of HappyBivouac
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a-pours a dark red/brown. surprisingly watery and transparent in appearance. a little bit of a head of a lot of tiny light tan bubbles. actually not that far off from the appaearance of cola.

s-smells of sweet cream and a definite chocolate & espresso character. actually it makes me think of a really rich espresso ice cream. not bad at all!

t/m- tastes pretty sweet, heavy cream, baker's chocolate and espresso. hops actually make themselves known, though not intrusively. Coats the mouth but goes down very slick, almost too much so. the body is not unlike that of an iced coffee with a little bit of cream. carbonation is barely a factor.

not a bad little milk stout! quite enjoyable, drink it along with dessert if you want something of a lower alcohol content.

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

I've had this one quite a few times. I really like it.

Pours a dark black color-- surprisingly you can see through it a little when held up to the light..but then again this is a sweet stout-- not a strong one. The head is pretty good and dissipates into a small layer

Smells outstanding. Alot of sweet roasted malts. I like the coffee and chocolate undertones-- a trace scent of hops for balancing

Tastes much like it's smell. Sweet roasted malts....alot of chocolate and coffee. Very creamy taste in general and just a tiny bit of hops for balancing from keeping this from being too sweet. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is very creamy-- hence the milk stout label.

Drinkability is excellent-- especially for a stout. I could have a bunch of these and not feel ridiculously full

Overall-- be sure to give this a try if you like stouts-- especially sweeter ones

Photo of preshamilton
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- The color is a dark black. So dark, light cannot even be seen through it when held up to the light. The head is a light brown, about 3/4 and inch but dissolves quickly.

S- Mild hints of cream and chocolate.

T- Rich and creamy but not over powering sweet. Not bitter, tastes of creamy chocolate, almonds, hazelnut, and hints of coffee.

M- Very smooth but thick.

D- I would love to have many of these but the thickness would only allow for 2-3. Great beer! I am lucky to have a bar close by who has this on tap.

Photo of disastermouse
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black, opaque goodness, head disappears quickly.

S: Smells like a dark bread with a tiny bit of chocolate rising from it.

T: Yum! Very bready, chocolate, a smidge of coffee. Not much hops.

MF: Medium...doesn't sit in the mouth, doesn't dance - but I don't think this style is supposed to.

D: Feels like a meal, you can really only drink a few of these.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to nonic.

A: Very dark brown with an off-white head about two fingers. Some lacing but mostly from the initial pour.

S: Smells very milky with coffee and roasted malts.

T: Tastes just as it smells, strong milk and roasted malts with a bitter coffee finish.

Overall Pretty good, fits the style well and is very creamy and smooth with little carbonation. Too think to drink more than maybe two of though.

Photo of mralphabet
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Dark brown/black with a hint of red thin head, with big bubbles.

S: Toffee, sweet milk, chocolate and coffee.

T: The Milk flavor is right there... with coffee and sweet chocolate right in the mix... malt flavors hit you in the end and the after tastes is a little bitter more milk to finish things up.

M: Medium bodied with an almost syrupy feel, but not too thick. Nice carbination to boot...

D: Nice 'n Sweet, flavors are nicely mixed.... Second favorite Milk Stout, after Duck Rabbit.... Well with trying and easy to drink.

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

Looks exactly like you'd expect - black, nice tan head with great retention.

Taste is very smooth, milk chocolaty, little roasty, some sweetness.

Mouthfeel is super thick and creamy - you totally savor it before swallowing.

No annoying anything going on here, a very nice balance. I will be trying this again soon.

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

The beer pours a deep black color with a thin tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice black patent scent, but not much else. It has a rather dry aroma. The taste is above average. It has a rich black malt flavor with a dry, yet slightly sweet finish. It is very dark and hides the lactose addition. It's not as sweet as other milk stouts I've had. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with a little lacking in carbonation. This is a decent stout, but nothing more. It has a one sided flavor and aroma and is undercarbonated. It's one and done for me

Photo of DousedInStout
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep, dark brown with a small head. The head dissolves almost immediately, and leaves a thin tan lacing. The aroma is sweet and dark chocolatey, with a touch of caramel. Milk chocolate is the first taste, then a mild bitterness from the hops comes in. I get a hint of dark cherries in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, and carbonation is a bit harsh.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to xpimptastikx for this one!

pours a rich caramel brown building to a near-black in glass. Raisin highlights at the edge. A thin half-finger light mocha head emerged before fading to a very light ring that deposited a spot of lace here and there.

aroma is rich and vibrant, with strong roasted malt dominating. Caramel aroma, hinting at burnt toffee sweetens nicely. hints of cocoa and chocolate come through, as does a bit of roasted coffee beans. more of a roasty and caramel character than other milk stouts.

Deliciously sweet, roasted malts intermingle with hints of milk chocolate and mocha. hints of burnt caramel and coffee. A touch of hop bitterness prevents it from being too sugary. Fairly simple with just enough going on to be interesting - deliciously so.

Mouthfeel is solid. A touch light as far as sweet stouts go, but i'm not complaining. None of the cloying slickness or syrupiness that some have. Clean, a touch crisp, and moderate carbonation suits perfectly.

Delicious and drinkable. Definitely glad I have a few more bottles of this one. A bit different from other milk stouts I've had, but in a good way. More roasty, woody, and charred, and a bit less syrupy and chocolate-bar sweet. Definitely could have a few more right now.

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

Pours dark brown to black, head maxes out around 1/2" then dissipates immediately with pretty much no lacing at all. Smell is dense and acidic, taste is immediately coffee, toffee, and milk chocolatey. Mouthfeel is medium for a stout but has an acidic, alcohol overtone. Drinkability is just average on this one, there are much better stouts to be had.

Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 5,888 ratings.