Castle Milk Stout - South African Breweries plc

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Castle Milk StoutCastle Milk Stout

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44 Ratings
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Ratings: 44
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.23
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
South African Breweries plc visit their website
South Africa

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-13-2003

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by Ilacquin:
Photo of Ilacquin
3.21/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a rather pleasing experience, doubly so as it was the only stout I could find on a 3 week stay in South Africa.

Starts out with a very pleasing appearance, dark with a ruby tint and a short, creamy head which left light lacing on the glass. Aroma was a little light, malt and chocolate.

Taste was pretty good for a mass produced milk stout, a little cloying with sweetness, but pleasant overall. Plenty of roasted malt, but not much else.

Mouthfeel was thick, about what youwould expect.

Drinkability was good, but 6% ABV may prevent you from enjoying too many.

More User Reviews:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with some curried vetkoek from the Biltong Bar in Rustenberg SA. A fine fine meal, and the best Biltong in South Africa. Pours a nice dark color with tan head. Nose is of some malt and copper. A slightly coppery taste as well, and a bit dry for a milk stout. Some roasted malt and a touch of vanilla, but very very watery for a milk stout. I can understand due to the hot climate. An ok brew, but nothing very special. a nice oasis in a sea of macro lagers.

Photo of dirtylou
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

340ml bottle, some liquor shop in Sandton, SA

appearance: pours into a tumbler, dark cola body, thin foamy tan head with light retention

smell: cloudy hop profile, chewy malt sweetness, cocoa powder, light caramel

taste: ah yes wet cardboard...moderate cocoa powder and milky sweetness...i have heard this is the best beer in the nation so wow!

mouthfeel: light, mildly creamy

drinkability: OK

Photo of jahsausage
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

[my 340ml bottle was 6.0% alc/vol]

When poured this beer is a deep brown, I hesitate to call it "Black" because Light still shows through it. The head shrinks quickly and is maybe a little insubstantial but is definitely a lot more long lived than many other beers. The smell is mild but definitely shows hints of the roasted/burnt coffeish aromas one would expect from the style. The first impression/suprise is the relatively thin mouthfeel and restrained taste, the bottle alleges "a touch of bitterness" which is about right. As it is a milk stout one would expect it to be a bit sweeter than average and this is definitely the case.

It is a pleasant drink, it hides its strength well, I think I would have rated it higher if it had not claimed to be a stout and instead had called itself a "dark ale" or some such. On the other hand, my main experience with Stouts has been with Irish-style "Dry Stouts" so I wouldn't be suprised if I am judging this beer with the wrong criteria.

Photo of akorsak
3.15/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 oz bottle that my sister brought home from a recent visit to South Africa.

A: The stout is a dark brown, pretty much black, concoction. Nothing escapes its darkness. The stout poured with a two finger head that has retained nicely.

S: The nose is an intensely sweet aroma, full of slightly tart lactose. There is also a strangely unpleasant graininess that is quite thin and tinny.

T: The lactose is reasonably strong here, providing a nice acidic kick that stands up against the dark malts. The body is dry, contrasting nicely with the lactose sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is sour with the strength of the lactose. It's not the best milk stout but it is serviceable.

D: One bottle is enough. The flavors mix nicely but they are restrained and thin.

Photo of Jredner
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Courtesy of SSBrennan. Body is black with a lasting, thumb thick head that is tan and creamy. Mild detergent, toasted grains and sweet malt. Mildly thin body, but not alarmingly so. Sweet molasses/cane sugar fore with milf roast notes, chocolate. Some sugar and cream notes, but no coffee. Finishes with a mild burnt bitterness. Not bad really.

Photo of vacax
3.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is black with a generous two finger light brown head, decent retention and lace. Worty sweetness on the nose, some lactose adding to it, balanced with some dry roastiness. Toasty and smooth malt character up front, lightly fruity, sweetness quite subdued, smoothing out the roast nicely until the finish, when it creeps up with a burnt taste. Carbonation is nice, moderate and seems natural, but body is quite light. Overall a decent drinking milk stout, not too sweet, not too roasty, pretty good.

Photo of stumac
2.25/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I totally dig the bottle...props to my South African brah Onslow's mom for this one...

this brew pours up black with the most beautiful brown head ever! the nose is metallic malts. Now I love Metallica, but not in my beer please. I taste metallic malts, very bitter, not too much "Milk" or sweetness in this stout. medium bodied, high carbo. Not too great. Maybe if I lived in South Africa and this was all I had, it would be better. But I think I'm gonna just mosey on down to the store and pick me up a sixer of Left Hand Milk Stout and call it a day.

Photo of mdagnew
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast..

Poured a deep dark brown / almost black colour. Burnt brown head poured pretty thick, foamy and meringue like then faded to light covering with thick edging... some light lines of lacing ring the glass...

Aroma - Toasted bread and lightly roasted malts, some dark brown sugar sweetness, roasted nuttiness, some blackcurrant, raisin and black grape fruitiness, very light oatiness, some faint smokiness coming through, leathery hints...

Taste - Light roasted milk chocolate notes, toasted malt loaf, caramel and molasses sweetness, again some dark berry fruits, light nutmeg traces, grainy notes coming through, quite a lot of sweet nutty hints, some pepperiness...

Feel - Smooth initially then a little sharpness comes through... medium bodied... dangerously quaffable at 6%...

Overall - A decent enough milk stout - might be a little sweet for some though... worth a try..

Photo of Mustard
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.5oz. brown bottle; no "best before" or "bottled on" warning; purchased as a stray single for $1.79 from the Wine House in West LA.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown; ruddy notes come out if held to a light; rocky, cocoa-brown head; decent retention; moderate lacing.

Aroma: Primarily of roasted malt; hints of earthy, woody type hops.

Taste: Moderately sweet upfront with a light bitterness in the finish; predominant flavor characteristic is of roasted malt; earthy, woody hop flavors; faint chocolate notes; light bodied; creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Notes: Flavor profile does not come across as very stout like; somewhat reminiscent of a macro style dark lager, save for the mouthfeel.

Photo of Pilch217
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the rating has to be made in relative terms to the offerings of where its being drank. whenever it was being sold in tanzania, it was a no brainer. interesting thought - this and some generic bailey's and generic whiskey made our own personal Tanzanian car bombs! they were suprisingly good, i recommend mixing and matching at your personal pleasure. castle milk stout is a solid brew, nothing expectional but quite enjoyable

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 340ml brown glass bottle, with a neck, obverse and reverse label. The neck label says “Goodness in every glass, Brewed to be rich and dark”. The front label is dark blue, silver and cream colored. The words on the label remind me of old English brews long gone, as the term “Milk Stout” was outlawed many years ago in the UK/EU, because milk was not used in the production of the beer. Idiots!!

Appearance: Dark black turbid look that settles with a tan brown head that eventually breaks to reveal a collar head. The thin covering builds at the edges and leaves minimal lacing. Excellent inherent carbonation exhibits its rejuvenation character when the beer is tipped and swirled.

Nose: Dark roast malts with a strong bitter aspect.

Taste: Roast malts, mixed with a bitter dark chocolate hint. All entrained in a charismatic dark lager style beer that had a very bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, this fools the mouth into thinking that the light mouthfeel is actually wholesome. Quite thin on interrogation.

Drinkability: Easily sent down the road to purgatory. I found the beer to be drinkable, even in respect of the fact that it’s a Big-Boy offering. I don’t care too much about styles or rules, but this is not bad for a mass-produced beer.

Overall: OK, so it’s made by SAB; Son-Ass-Bitches of the World, but you know what, this is not a bad beer at all. I would drink it again for sure; I would love to try it on draft.

Photo of NatalBrewingCo
2.11/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Purchased in Durban South Africa. 340ml bottle poured into a Guinness glass.

a - Pours a dark ruby/black color with a medium but quickly dissipating head.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and sugar.

t - lactose, roasted malts, and chocolate again. More lactose flavor than in the nose. Syrupy sweet.

m - strong body and light carbonation.

o - Credit to SAB for attempting something darker than their standard lagers, however this beer doesn't come off much better than their standard fare. It has an unnatural syrupy sweet flavor that is tolerable once but could be very unpleasant for a session. Unfortunately stouts are very rare in South Africa but if Guinness is available than this an easy pass.

Photo of hunteraw
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What a refreshing change from the widely distributed beers you see everywhere in South Africa! Yes, it's an SAB product, but it's solid and such a relief when you're tired of drinking AML.

Appearance: interestingly, I had two cans of this in one sitting (and many bottles later), but each can was a different color. I'm not sure if this is marketing, or that one can was older than the other. Pours an opaque black, small tan head. Garnet highlights at the bottom of the glass and good lacing.

Smells roasty, with a hint of sweetness. Tastes pretty good, according to the label there's maize in here but I can't pick it up on my palate. Roast, a bit of lactose sweetness, and a hint of coffee at the finish.

Finishes well, mouthfeel is a little light for the style, appropriately mildly carbonated, though, which helps. Drinkable stuff, and a welcome alternative to the macro lagers that are much more widely available. It's a shame this one doesn't have a wider distribution.

Photo of donnebaby
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Despite the bottle talking about the incredible head I would be witness to, there was only random haze after moments. Black still body, served quite cold. Smell was hard to detect, and didn't arrive even after warming, only some spots of molassas and alcohol.

Taste was light malts in a smooth thick body, with a certain sweetness that lasted. Trace hops. Medium carbonation. Light for a stout I felt, and smooth to the point of being boring. Drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of Chrisheartsbeer
3.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quick Review:

Color: Dark murky brown in color.

Smell: Soft coffee notes (very subtle), with more of the roasted malt smell on the back.

Taste: Sweet but not overpowering in the sweetness. The faint hint of chocolate nibs is nice and the milk (which is also subtle) balances is well.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel leaves a bit wanting. A bit thinner than it could be.

Overall: This could be a fantastic beer with more time devoted to developing it more.

Photo of masgniw
2.34/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

This is one of the only stouts available in South Africa. Heck, it's one of the only non-lagers you can find.

A: Very dark with a deep coffee-brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Rich nutty tones that are accompanied by coffee and chocolate. Also an acidic bite that will make you scrunch your nose.

T: Starts chocolatey and nutty. Finishes acidic and bitter. All of the flavors seem a lot more overwhelming than other stouts.

M: Well-carbonated and satisfying consistency.

D: Very tough to have more than one in a sitting. The strong characteristics of this beer take its toll on your senses.

Not a bad beer overall. But, there's a lot left to be desired. If all of the flavors were turned down just a notch, I think it would suit the drinker much better.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

340ml bottle 6%

Appearance: A very dark beer, but not quite black, tan brown head that dissipated rather fast, leaving almost no lacing.

Smell: Dark malts, lactose with a hint of toffee, on the whole very appealing.

Taste: Rather disappointing after the smell, the dark malts are nicely present, but the sour lactose are dominant. It rounds off with a rather bitter finish.

Mouth feel: Relatively smooth and mildly creamy.

Drinkability: Well i finished the bottle, a first for an SAB beer, 2 bottles would probably be the limit- but as I said not bad.

To round off not bad - in fact quite good for a mass produced beer, I would love to taste some more beers of this style.

Photo of Onslow
4.12/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being from SA, my scores are higher than most, but this beer has good memories attached to it, plus when you have it fresh, it can shine! A delicious dark beer with a nice thick head at the start. A true stout with a almost woody-smoke smell and a delicious full flavor. It's a truly delicious South African Stout classic!

Photo of dansmcd
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - dark molasses, almost black, thin creamy head and light ring lacing.

S - mild roasted malt aroma, chocolate milk and smoke.

T - follows the nose, just a light, drinkable stout with mild, pleasant but simple flavours.

M - nice and silky smooth, carbonation is right.

O - good starter stout, extremely sessionable.

Photo of ADZA
3.16/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark cola colour with nice carbonation that leaves a one finger head that disspates quite fast,it has aromas of dark plums and dark roasted malts,it has an average mouthfeel with a sweet dark roasty malt flavour filling the palette,ive heard this is SA's premier dark brew just glad ive got more choice.

Photo of drpimento
3.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the good fortune of trying this beer a couple of times around Jozi today. Pours with a large, foamy, uniform tan head and a little lace. Color is a clear, dark mahagoney. Aroma is malt, roast, bit of cocoa, and chestnuts. Flavor is like aroma and is well balanced between bitter, sweet, tang; fleshed out with those flavors as well. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. Very drinkable.

Photo of SSBrennan
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown with a dense tan head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is roasted malt and bitter with the bitter hops dominant but not particularly complex.

The beer tastes strongly of bittering hops but overall is a little bland. None of the sweetness I expected. It almost reminds me more of a dry stout. As it warms the beer shows more complex flavors with sweeter malt evident.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and lacking the richness one would hope for.

The relatively light body of the beer and its clean taste lends itself to being highly sessionable.

Photo of Naerhu
2.18/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Bottle claims that "a special yeast fixes the unmistakable flavour and creamy head". Well after the first 10 seconds there is no head, so it was hard to tell if it was creamy or not. However what remainded of it was brown and clumpy. Brown and clumpy are not characteristic of "creamy" to me.
Aroma: Chocolate cola.
Taste: chocolate cola, with an odd bitterness. There are less bubbles than cola, but the bitterness just leaves an odd after taste.
Mouthfeel: Oddly thin, not creamy.
Drinkability: This is drinkable, but not unless I am being paid for it.

Photo of slitherySOB
2.31/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Great appearance on this beer!!! Castle milk stout pours a beautiful, dark ruby colour that lets no light escape its surface. Creamy, foam 2 finger head with terrific staying power. Lace coated the inner surface of the mug. B-E-A-utiful. Goes downhill from their. Smell was a little pungent. Sweet, syrupy smell. But it's a milk stout, it is supposed to smell like that, I guess. Nose detects alot of brown sugar, sweet barley, molasses, butter and sugar syrup. Tasted bad. Not awful, not terrible, just bad. Unpleasant. Very, very sweet. My tongue picked up primarily brown sugar and molasses. Very little malts, no hops whatsoever, and a diacetyl aftertaste. Not pleasant. Too damn cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel was thick, syrupy and sticky. Put some maple syrup in a dry stout mouthfeel. I would not want to drink this again. But I did, to make sure I am giving an accurate review. I am.

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Castle Milk Stout from South African Breweries plc
76 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.