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Ambidextrous - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ambidextrous
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BA SCORE
85
very good

49 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Spider889 on 01-28-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Darkmagus82:
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a as a dark brown brew boarding on black with a small tan colored head. The head fades rather quickly leaving a nice level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a milk chocolate and creamy smell. Notes of sweet caramel and vanilla mingle with the chocolate and cream, creating a sweet milk chocolate smell. Mixed with these sweeter aromas are hints of oak and some smoke which bring in a greater dimension of roastiness to the nose and balance out the sweeter smells quite nicely.

Taste – The taste begins with a strong sweet and roasted flavor. The sweeter flavors are a mix of caramel and lactose sugar with the roasted being of a chocolate, malt and light coffee taste. The flavors upfront produce a nice milk chocolate like flavor on the tongue that is soon meet with flavors of dark fruits and some vanilla. While the dark fruit and vanilla sweeten the taste even more, other flavors of oak and some smoke help balance out the sweet. These flavors take the taste to its end where the booziness of the brew becomes more noticeable (but never all overpowering). In the end a nice creamy roasted milk chocolate flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side as might be expected for a brew of its strength and statute, with a carbonation that was rather low. The body and carbonation were fantastic for creating a creamy and smooth texture that very well complimented the milk chocolate flavors of the brew and made for one very enjoyable drinker.

Overall – A thick, sweet, roasty and tasty brew. All the flavors, smells and feel of the beer mix together in a great way to produce a sweet yet very drinkable and savory brew.

03-25-2013 00:05:38 | More by Darkmagus82
More User Reviews:
Photo of NilocRellim
NilocRellim

Minnesota

3.69/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured from the tap.

The beer poured a very nice looking clear copper-ish colour.

There were clear notes of malts, cinnamon, and other earthy spices t the nose.

The beer tasted very balanced with malts, cinnamon, orange, with a spiced-hop finish. Very mild and pleasing.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

01-28-2014 18:09:32 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

3.06/5  rDev -19.5%

Had this on tap in a 12oz snifter glass at The Beer Trappe in Lexington, KY.

A. Dark brown, somewhat see through. Snifter was filled to brim with out any head.

S. small hints of dairy, coco.

T. Hollow, watery, small milk taste, alcohol. Kept thinking to myself- why isnt this more full-bodied?

M. watery

O. Unimpressed. I would not order this again.

01-25-2013 16:51:19 | More by weonfire
Photo of Omensetter
Omensetter

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

01-25-2013 04:16:47 | More by Omensetter
Photo of dumptruck81
dumptruck81

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-15-2012 11:04:17 | More by dumptruck81
Photo of hiphopj5
hiphopj5

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

02-21-2014 21:07:10 | More by hiphopj5
Photo of Magery
Magery

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

05-03-2012 00:34:20 | More by Magery
Photo of stampfler07
stampfler07

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

01-13-2013 21:47:05 | More by stampfler07
Photo of CWhite
CWhite

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +31.6%

03-19-2012 19:53:12 | More by CWhite
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Pours a very dark brown with some dark ruby highlights with a thin but persistent light tan head that leaves some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with the barrel, coconut, vanilla and bourbon oakiness. As it warms I can get more of the base beer highlighted by dark and milk chocolate, espresso, slightly burnt toffee and slight sweetness.

The tastes begin with roasty and sweet maltiness with dark toffee, lots of cocoa, a touch of oak, light vanilla, toasted caramel and more boozy dark toffee. The barrel oakiness and booziness increases more on your palate as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with minimal carbonation. The finish is mildly creamy and smooth but not as much as I would like for a Milk Stout, the barrel/booziness adds a distinct dryness that counterbalances the potential smooth finish.

Overall this was a nice sipper and a good offering from Left Hand but by no means a good Milk Stout; barrel-aged stout, yes, but the creamy smoothness is thwarted by the oaky, dry Bourbon barrel flavors. Still good but not what I was expecting.

04-27-2012 13:32:53 | More by claspada
Photo of pathman
pathman

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

07-14-2013 16:54:30 | More by pathman
Photo of -NESTO-
-NESTO-

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

09-16-2013 22:10:26 | More by -NESTO-
Photo of 3agle87
3agle87

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

01-20-2013 01:05:22 | More by 3agle87
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

05-18-2013 12:35:17 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of UpToMeBeer
UpToMeBeer

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

02-18-2012 12:46:06 | More by UpToMeBeer
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -12.4%

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

Apparently, Dave had kept this keg in his cooler for about three years. Fair enough, man. This stuff pours a midnight garnet-brown topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises walnut, oak, very light roasted malts, and toasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, with more toast, a touch more roast, lots of oak, some dark chocolate powder, and some light molasses in the background. That oak is certainly dominant. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, this stuff is just too oaky for its own good, perhaps a symptom of its greater-than-usual age. Still, not a bad beer, just one that doesn't seem to have held up.

05-16-2013 23:30:34 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of DustinSWB
DustinSWB

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

02-09-2014 16:09:16 | More by DustinSWB
Photo of rkarimi
rkarimi

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%

07-06-2013 03:06:40 | More by rkarimi
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -21.6%

Described as an "oak-aged imperial milk stout."

Price was a bit steep, even at non-happy hour prices, but this is the type of thing to sell fast, and I work nights so will miss the next week of happy hours.

Served in a Bodega tulip.

Black, short head of balsa wood coloring. Spotty lacing.

The aroma was making me feel quite disappointed at first: generic black malt and muted sweetness which I must attribute to virgin French oak (not sure how this was aged though). Over time and warmth the oak becomes more floral and pungent - more cues to me that this is likely French oak.

The flavor immediatly quells my worries. This is indeed an Imperial version of Milk Stout, and the regular version is one of my favorite beers. How do I know this? The beer is smooth as all hell, you taste none of the 10.5% abv. Also, coffee undertones carry through the beer wonderfully - one of the aspects of Milk Stout that I love so much. The oaking isn't really apparent at first, but after a while a faint graininess grows on the palate, as does some thick tannic and vanilla qualities.

There are notions of chocolate and bitter earthy hops. And so the oak grows. Chewy and freshly hewn - at times it becomes a bit much - are we standing in a furniture store?

The mouthfeel is soft with low carbonation. Again the alcohol is barely noticed.

Overall this is a decent beer for those looking for an oak bomb, but certainly one to sip and take in stride. I wouldn't mind coming across this again in the future, but only at a third the price. I do however feel like ordering a nice, robust yet infinitely more drinkable, regular Milk Stout after this.

Notes:
So as I am drinking this the Bodega Facebook page advertizes Ambidextrous as aged in bourbon barrels. With continued warmth I GUESS I can see that, but I still feel like it tastes more akin to a beer aged on oak chips/spirals. And, so the oak grows... I am liking this less and less for the oak character. It lacks balance and is starting to add a minty/medicinal tingle to the back of my throat. Perhaps I just wanted to like this beyond what it actually turns out to be...

01-28-2012 21:48:10 | More by Spider889
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +15.8%

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of smoke, sweet malt, alcohol, hops, and slight oatmeal. Fits the style of a Milk / Sweet Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight hop, slight pine, and hint of pale malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and feel.

01-04-2013 16:18:38 | More by Tone
Photo of Pitmonkey
Pitmonkey

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

02-12-2012 10:04:09 | More by Pitmonkey
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

07-02-2013 23:44:00 | More by robwestcott
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Strikingly rich and with a fruity-sweet complex notion, this oak aged Imperial Stout is a confident blend of the estery Sweet Stouts but at the strength of 10%+.

Ambidextrous pous with a deep brownish garnet color that's not quite black, and with a mild haze that restrains light impediment. A dainty off white head floats the beer but dissipates rather quickly and without much evidence of lace. Certainly lighter than expected for Imperial Stouts, but somewhat acceptable for Sweet Stouts.

Aromas favor a sweeter and fruitier profile of grapes, plumbs, and apples- all of the candied variety with a lighter roast character. Chocolate, mild coffee, and light smoke round out the aromas with the oak aging hardly detected. Low on hops and spice, the sweeter aromas prevail.

Delicious, once again, with a softer roast profile that shies away from the espresso, cocoa, and heavy toast flavor that Imperial Stouts usually provide. But the flavors of Sweet Stouts shine with the balanced sweetness of powdered sugar, dark fruits, and a slight sherry wine taste. A very succulent and sweeter Stout that balances heavy away from hop bitterness, citrusy taste, or bold roast notes.

Full bodied for sure, but with a lighter overall impression because of the lower rate of carbonation that impedes creaminess. Mouth coating with a sweeter cola-like taste, the beer provides a deep and lingering finish of fruit and sweetness instead of roasty dryness. Alcohol warmth is suppressed by the sweetness that rivals in finish and aftertaste.

Ambidextrous is a tasty Sweet Stout of imperial proportions. Although the alcohol is well hidden and the oak is seldom noticed, the Stout falls short of the expectations of Imperial Stouts in terms of espresso roast, bittersweet chocolates, and a drier finish. Similarities to Hitachino Lacto Sweet Stout come to mind with each sip.

03-01-2012 17:47:56 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of LusciousJackson
LusciousJackson

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

A tip from PhineasGage put me in the position to try this little draft only within walking distance from home.  Gotta love great craft beer finding its way to the middle of Illinois.   

Poured from the tap into a English style Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout glass this beer is a deep dark brown with chestnut highlights when the light strikes it right.  A thin mocha head forms immediately but retreats quickly.  Lacing is minimal but considering the ABV it's still a looker of a beer.

Aroma is what I would expect in that I immediately get some of the same chocolate and roast that I'm used to from good old fashioned Milk Stout, but it's quickly backed up by vanilla and dark fruit.   It's a delight to sniff. 

Similar to the aroma, it tastes exactly like you would imagine an "Imperial Milk Stout" in that it's notes of roast and sweet are sharing the space with vanilla and oak.   Those dark fruit aromas come through with just a hint of tart.  As it warms, the ABV shows itself with a bit of a tingle on the exhale.  

The body is lighter than what I had expected, but seems to work for the beer.  If the heavy oak was too thick it may have been overpowering.  Despite the initial head not lasting, there's noticeable carb throughout.  

I like it.  Quite a bit actually.  And it's more understated than it's loudmouth bourbon barrel aged brethren.  A quality beer from a brewery that I've yet to find a "miss" from.  Bravo Left Hand, very nicely done!

03-11-2012 00:39:19 | More by LusciousJackson
Photo of adman08
adman08

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

A-Taps very very deep brown, nearly black. A small amount of off-white head.
S-Very rich, chocolate aroma with some coffee/roasted malt and a slightly sweet aroma.
T-Excellent balance of sweet caramel malt flavor and roasted malt with coffee notes. There's a hint of chocolate with some woody smoothness and a distinct creaminess. Great balance.
M-Very thick and smooth with a slight sweetness and very creamy.
Overall, despite the high abv this is an extremely drinkable beer. Very smooth and very well balanced. Nice blend of rosted malt and sweet caramel malt flavors.

03-03-2012 16:27:24 | More by adman08
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Ambidextrous from Left Hand Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.