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Ambidextrous - Left Hand Brewing Company

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very good

50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 4
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:
Beer added by: Spider889 on 01-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by NilocRellim:
Photo of NilocRellim
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of weonfire
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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.

Photo of Omensetter
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of dumptruck81
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of hiphopj5
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Magery
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of stampfler07
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of CWhite
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of claspada
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of -NESTO-
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of 3agle87
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of DustinSWB
2.5/5  rDev -34%

Photo of rkarimi
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Spider889
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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...

Photo of Tone
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Pitmonkey
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of robwestcott
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of LusciousJackson
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of adman08
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Phelps
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a snifter at Tops.

Black as night, with no chance of light coming through. The head is thin and very light tan.

In the nose: dark chocolate and sweeter cocoa, a touch of anise, some vanilla, very vinous oak and mocha.

A little harsher in the flavor. Very young, fresh oak. In the front, it’s kind of rough, but there’s a different story at the swallow, when sweeter dark chocolate, a little vanilla and maybe some dark fruit roll in.

Very nice, creamy, medium-full body. Moderate prickly carbonation breaks it into a little fizz. A hint of alcohol in the nose at the swallow.

Not bad. Not the best oak-aged stout, but not the worst. Could use more toast and stout flavor. Seems too weak to withstand the aging.

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Ambidextrous from Left Hand Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.