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Milk Stout - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Milk StoutMilk Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

981 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 981
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 44
Gots: 71 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
We are proud to offer this traditional English Sweet Stout that's bursting with roasted barley flavor. A dark ale, Milk Stout has just a touch of sweetness provided by an addition of non-fermentable lactose sugar.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 981 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edskirk3
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In 12 oz bottles, no freshness info.

Pours opaque black into a Cognac glass with a thick creamy tan head. Retention is OK but not legendary. The pour is like motor oil. I'm hoping it will taste much better than that.

Big dark chocolate and coffee aroma, I love it.

Sure enough, that's how it tastes too. Roasted and very slightly bitter. Chewy mouthfeel, no doubt from the lactose boasted on the label.

I would (and really want to) have another one, and also seek it out in the future. Perhaps a tad too strong and too heavy to session with, though.

Definitely a great dessert beer. Pair it with cookies or peanut butter on toast.

edskirk3, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of tmp155
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barely visible head atop a black coffee body when poured. Smells somewhat like a mocha made with french roast or other extra bold coffee and dark chocolate. The roasted coffee flavor is dominant, but you encounter a backbone of malt and hints of burnt toast and roasted nuts as well. I wouldn't consider it for a session, but it is a good beer to relax with after a long day.

tmp155, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours deep dark brown-almost black with thick dark tan head. Head fades to 1/2 finger and has great retention. Little lacing is left behind in the glass. Red hues can be seen when holding the glass up to the light.

S- Toasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, and sweet coffee. Smell has medium potency.

T- Dark bitter chocolate and hints of roasted coffee up front. Finish tastes like smooth creamy chocolate milk. Finish is very clean and nothing lingers on the palate.

M- High carbonation and medium weight body. Carbonation seems to vanish for finish and this beer goes down suprisingly smooth. Body is excellent but much lighter than other stouts I have had.

D- Wow. I love this stuff. It has all the greatness of a stout and the light mouthfeel makes this a very sessionable and very drinkable stout. I will have this one again. Can't wait to try others from the Lancaster lineup.

PittBeerGirl, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe my favorite of the Lancaster beers, right next to the Amish Four Grain. It wasn't nearly as creamy as other sweet stouts, like a Mackeson Triple Stout. Comes off more like a full American or English Stout (Middle Ages' Black Heart). The grains don't taste like coffee so much as just black patent malt. There also seems to be a missing complexity to this beer, or rather, the flavor might just be too plain. Still it's a stout to enjoy with a meal or after.

tempest, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of StonyB
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Lancaster Milk Stout is a beer I've tried previously, though rarely. This sample was purchased at Riverside Wine Merchants in North Bergen, NJ. 12 oz brown bottle, dark gray label with bold white lettering. And a cow's head. This is a Milk Stout, after all...

Appearance - Pours smoothly into my pint glass. Decent, somewhat creamy head of dark foam, though it dissipates a bit more quickly than expected. Color is deep brown, though not quite black, as a hint of transparency can be seen when held to light.

Smell - Strong aroma of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and coffee. Maybe a little chocolate milk? Pleasant.

Taste - Mild roastiness. A wisp of milk chocolate, though coffee grounds are more prevalent. Not nearly as malty as one might expect for the style. Not an assertive beer; it's just kinda "there". No wow factor.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly thin, lacking in body. Yes it's a milk stout, not a cream stout, but some richness should be presumed. Sadly lacking here.

Drinkability - Moderate ABV and light, easy to down texture make this a good session beer. But since the taste doesn't grab hold and draw you in, I'm not sure if you'll want to make this one of your go-to beers.

Compared to my gold standard for sweet stouts, Mackeson XXX, this offering by Lancaster leaves much to be desired. Disappointing.

StonyB, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of charlesw
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opaque, dark brown/black. You've really got to pour it to get some head and that is gone quickly.

Smells... Toffee and bitter chocolate. Hmm. Chocolate like steeped chocolate malts (kind of a chocolate flavor but no sweetness).

Tastes a litte weird, I guess. I'm expecting full and rich and sweet and malty. I get light and maybe even fruity/citrusy hops. Citrus aftertaste. So... Really, not what I was expecting at all.

Seems a little fizzy. And, of course, that with the citrus really does not help this one.

I'm done with these. I'll try blending the rest of this beer with a rich and malty amber - to try and bring out more of the characteristics I'm looking for.

charlesw, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 16oz draft pint in a classic conical pint glass

BAside: this is always on tap at the Independence Brew Pub in the Philly Airport.

I am a big fan of this beer in the bottle, and always look forward to a draft pint when traveling. Nose is classic and wonderful - black coffee & milk chocolate form a lush mocha aroma, traces of black licorice, burnt caramelized malts, faint echo of some smoke. A fat finger's worth of mixed, mocha stained foam laced in ribbons before fading to a edge ring and thin sheets of cover over a "black in a good mood" hue of the deepest burnt umber.

Its smooth & velvety, creamy, mocha strong with fresh expresso bitterness over a semi-sweet milk chocolate backdrop. The coffee is silty, thick, bitter and plays a foil in mouthfeel as well as taste balance to the velvet creaminess of the milk chocolate. Burnt caramelized malts hide in the background. It grows even more bitter with coffee bite on the palate, getting thicker & siltier, sharper, hops emerge on the backbeat but keep it low. Its sharper & more bittersweet, less smooth than the bottle version, but thats OK. The finish is again bittersweet with black coffee & now dark chocolate, even a little of that licorice and char from the nose, leaving a coated mouthfeel and a more bitter than sweet aftertaste thats a bit filmy and just a little chewy.

A very pleasing beer. Not as good as the bottle version in that its not as sweet or smooth, but still a very good stout. Haven't done so yet, but would love to pair this with a chocolate cake. It did go surprising well with my roast beef sandwich with horseradish. When I am in Eastern PA I actively seek this out and you should as well. Definitely a high recommendation.

BuckSpin, May 23, 2007
Photo of cichief
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A- Very dark, nearly black, with a light brown head.

S- Sweet, malty with a sour hint.

T- Sweet, malty chocolate, with a dry-sour finish.

M- Smooth, medium body, dryish finish.

D- Overall a very good beer, maybe too sourish for some.

cichief, May 12, 2007
Photo of pavandal
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured into my mug a thick black. There was a small head on top that dissolved down to a bubbly foam. The foam left a soft layer on the sides of the glass as I drank.

When I smelled it, I noticed at first a caramel smell, followed by a kind of rusty scent, which isn't a bad thing per say, it's just the closest thing I can approximate.

What a great tasting brew we have here. it starts off with a kind of citrusy burn, followed by a sweet wave with a soft coffee flavor riding on back. Delicious!

This brew wasn't heavy like most stouts, it was a nice drinker. You can have af ew of these and ot feel full, which is nice.

pavandal, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of cixelsydima
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark caramel,deep amber color with a 1 finger head that dissapates rather quickly,yet resumes quite well with a swirl of the pint.
S: Dark fruits...plums,chocolate.
T: Slightly roasted coffee and malt flavors,a good balance of sweet and dry,finishes with a hint of alcohol.
M: Velvety,creamy smooth with an effervesent finish.
D: Very nicely balanced.Good stuff.I could easily spend an afternoon or evening,or for that matter,an entire day drinking this stout.

cixelsydima, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice brew sent by woodychandler for the super bowl ‘O” beer bet.

If the label hadn’t told me “Milk Stout”, I would have guesses RIS. I noticed many similarities with a RIS; deep black pour, frothy tan head, aroma of anise and raisons. Then the quaff, a real solid dark chocolate, although sweet. Small notes of burnt toast and the infamous anise finish.

Full and chewy, a very rich milk stout, one that I could drink all night long. A fine winter or cooler weather spring brew.

Vancer, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of zymurgy4all
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a good standard stout. It has a nice long lasting head, and a roasted malty aroma and flavor. Hints of chocolate are present in the immediate aftertaste. Medium Light body, and slight chalky aftertaste. Not immediately sweet, but a slight sweetness is present. Good stout overall.

zymurgy4all, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of mjc410
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The pour into my Sam Smith glass raises a big-bubbled two finger head, the color of lightly creamed coffee. The head falls gradually, and leaves slight slick lacing. The body is essentially opaque, with brown highlights at the edges. The nose is very roasted, and smells quite a bit like cocoa powder, without any sugar. The taste isn't quite as bitter as might be expected, as some sugar shows up. It has a nice, mocha character, that still has quite a bitter kick. The mouth has a nice body, but with too much carbonation. Still, a stout that I like getting from time to time.

mjc410, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dry coffeeish stout with a long lactose finish. Good bubbly head. Bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Coffee aroma. Understated carbonation. Overall serviceable and satisfying but really not a great taste, the lactose was a barrier of sourness to smoothness, and I didn't want MOOre of it.

Sammy, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a thin head that soon becomes patchy.

The smell is of dark malty sweetness - coffee, some chocolate, and milk.

The taste is like roasted coffee with milk and sugar, though not overly sweet Dark fruits - plums, hint of raisins - balance it out nicely.

It's smooth and creamy with a medium body that becomes more full as it warms (though stays in fuller side of medium).

This is easy to drink, with a nicely balanced complexity to it. A nice, aromatic, tasty milk stout that is not overly sweet, but sweet enough for the style. Good brew here!

jwc215, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of AltBock
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with a depressing cloudy sky gray colored label. In the center of the label is an oval with a head shot picture of a Holstein cow. Only one word can describe the cow and that is FREAKY! Just look at the dead stare that Holstein is giving to the consumer. The look on it's face suggests that the cow knows when he or she is going when they get on a truck. They know they're not coming back and that look just screams it. It's either that or cow is drunk. Behind the cow and the name of the beer is a vintage picture of the brewery or a slaughterhouse. The reason for the thought of a slaughterhouse, was the fact that at the bottom of the picture they have pictures of cows. Why would a vintage picture of a brewery have pictures of cows? It just has to be a slaughterhouse. I just noticed another freaky thing on this label. On the left side below the barcode and to the right of the address is a head shot of a man that's giving a "he's going to kill you look." Is it a picture of the brewer, president of Lancaster Brewing, or the man who runs the slaughterhouse? I don't know, but whoever it is, it doesn't need to be there. This is another brewery that doesn't mark a date or batch # anywhere on the bottle or label. I should also mention that the cap had the seal of the PA Microbrewers Guild. I didn't know there was Guild like that around. The stuff you learn everyday.

Appearance: When poured into a Bell's Brewery standard pint glass, the beer was a Milky white with white foam at the top. No No, it was actually a dark Black Angus black color. I don't think it could get any blacker than this. No light could shine through it, except for at the top. It had a tiny head of tan colored foam that didn't bother to stick around for very long. It did however leave a film of tan colored lace and tan colored rings around the glass. Very little tan colored lace, if that.

Smell: When I first smelled the beer, I didn't care for it. That's because it smelled like a wet dirty cow eating roasted barley that was way past it's prime. When it warmed up, it got better, but it was still very light. When warmed up, the aroma was that of roasted malts (regular malts, not rotting ones), a dab of caramel, a pinch of chocolate, and maybe a sprinkle of hops in the background. The initial aroma of a wet dirty cow just ruined it for me.

Taste: This is where it made it up after the aroma fiasco. The first thing I noticed, was that a big robust roasted malt flavor came sweeping off a Lancaster field and into my mouth. After that came the roasted coffee beans, bitter hops, and the Amish made caramel and chocolate. Yummy! Sometimes that taste did get sour from the roasted malts, but so much that it ruined the taste completely. I sure hope when people pick this up, they're not expecting a huge taste of milk. They're going to be pleasantly surprised when it tastes like roasted malts instead of milk.

Mouthfeel: After a dominating roasted malts taste, there wasn't much of an aftertaste to it. I thought it became watery (not too watery though) and thin after the tastes have subsided. It was in the mouthfeel where you can feel the ton of carbonation this beer has.

Drinkability: As long as you don't have to smell the initial aroma, then this beer is actually quite enjoyable. I could see this becoming somebody's session Milk/Sweet Stout. Would I try it again? I would probably give it another shot, but after that, I doubt I would buy it again. If you like your beer with plenty of roasted flavors in it, then you'll be MOOved by this one.

AltBock, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of jdg204
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I grew up in Lancaster County so I felt a definite obligation to try some of their brews. This one definetly made the Lancaster name proud.

Appearance - Nice thick black color with a nice, thick brown-ish head.

Smell - Smell was strong in roasted malt and coffee. Nice smell, which could've been more potent.

Taste - Very nice taste, moderate sweetness with very strong coffee flavors. The lactose really comes through strong too providing a very unique undertaste.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation was a bit strong and I feel overwhlemed the flavor a bit. Other than that, the texture was nice and the aftertaste was very pleasant.

Drinkability - This was my first "Milk" Stout, and while I expected a bit more sweetness this was definetly a winner. Let it warm up a bit to really bring out the best flavors. The lactose definetly provided a unique class of stout which was very enjoyable, I say try this beer!

jdg204, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to HimerMan for this extra he included in a trade.

a - pour a deep black with the edges appearing dark brown, one-finger tan head with no retention, no lacing

s - deep roasted malt aroma, slight sweetness

t - sweet dark roasted malt dominates the taste, finish is dry and has a nice bitterness

m - medium-bodied, creamy smooth, dry finish

d - pretty drinkable, alcohol not noticeable, dryness of the finish my limit drinkability somewhat

Good solid milk stout, but nothing spectacular here. Definitely worth a try. Could see this being a decent session brew for a cold night.

WeisGuy, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of number1bum
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Original Review - 1/22/07; gave it a 4.15

Pours dark black with a decent 1/2" pillowy-looking coffee-colored head, with nice lacing and decent retention. Smell is of sweet, roasted malts, and definitely lactose. Taste is sweet but not too sweet - roasted malts, some coffee, sweet lactose. Really nicely balanced and not overly sweet. Mouthfeel is creamy, a bit dry on the finish. Overall this is a wonderful stout. Very drinkable and delicious.


Updated Review - 11/3/08; 3.45

When I had this nearly 2 years ago I really enjoyed it, but this time around it's a shadow of the beer it was then. My palate was far less developed then, so I'm not sure which has changed more, my taste or the beer. I know that this version is contract brewed by Lion, and I can't recall if the previous bottle was contract brewed as well or brewed at Lancaster, but I do know that I don't enjoy this nearly as much. Much more astringent, slightly charcoal-like roasted character. Not a whole lot of lactose sweetness at all. Somewhat thin, and astringent as previously mentioned. Very mediocre stout this time around.

number1bum, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black with an opaque body with a thick creamy tan head that last and last leaving rings on the glass with each sip. There is no sign carbonation even on the edges of this glass.

S- The smell of big black malt with dark roasted grain aromas with a slight sweaty note but it is a very good smell. There is also a slight sour cream hint with some soft cookie dough and graham cracker note as the beer warms.

T- The taste of dark roasted malt with a coffee malt flavor is followed by a nice bitterness from dark roasted grain. As this beer warms the smell of chocolate nibs and dark chocolate notes.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice velvety texture that is very smooth and fits the beer very nicely.

D- This dark complex beer has a creamy texture and is very drinkable. This is one of the best stouts I have ever tasted and it is just delicious. I will be buying this by the case the next time I get to PA. I even sniffed the glass many times after this beer was gone.

rhoadsrage, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler freshly filled a few hours ago.

A: The stout is a midnight black color, allowing only faint ruby red highlights to shine through. The head is a small white band.

S: The stout has a deep roasted, almost burnt, aroma that exudes hints of milk and chocolatey sweetness.

T: The stout has a bold flavor, not skimping on either the milk nor the stout parts. The roasted malts are thick and toasted, coming across with an acidic dryness that lingers in the mouth. The lactose quickly follows the dryness. It adds a distinct, almost sour, sweetness that works well against the dryness.

M: The dryness and the sweetness play well off of each other, creating a very nice feel.

D: It's been 6 months since my last review of milk stout and I believe that my earlier ones cut it short. The biggest difference is that this is fresh from the brewery (vs. contract brewed and bottled or on-tap at a third-party establishment). The stout is a formidable, excellent beer when served properly.

akorsak, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of Bierman9
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this 12oz bottle, a gift from BierReise, sitting in my cellar fridge for a bit now... Well, time to stop neglecting the poor (pour?) sucka...

Poured it into a small tulip-style glass... Black, black, black.... completely opaque. A thin, tan head formed and dissipated just as quickly, leaving some tight foam around the rim. Nose is quite pleasant, with mucho choco abounding with a lovely sweetness. Body was, to my surprise, thinner than I expected, checking in at something below medium. It was fairly smooth, though still a mild letdown here.

Flavor came across more bitter than sweet; another dashed expectation. The malt is a bitter, dark choco type, with a slightly burnt aspect to it. It's not a turn-off, but I expected some sweetness, especially after the enticing aroma. Some light, mildly floral hopping checks-in near the finish, which is on the dryish side. Overall, a pleasing, middle-of-the-road Milk Stout. Danke, BierReise, und Prosit!!

overall: 3.7
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


Bierman9, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pour black with a minimal amount of ruby opaqueness to light. The head is tan and quickly resolved to a ring of foam.

Smell: The beer smells like very sweet dark roasted cafe mocha.

Taste: The beer has a very pronounced sweet medium roasted cafe mocha flavor. The hops produce a flash of bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is just shy of medium bodied. The beer is silky smooth to drink. This is a very tasty beer. I just would have prefered something not so sweet.

nlmartin, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of ski271
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a small, creamy, light brown head that sticks around for quite a long time, sticking to the glass in splotches as I slowly put this one down. Wonderful aroma! The roasted malts are some warm, full and inviting. Coffee and chocolate are most noticeable. The taste is fairly sweet, but not over the top like milk stouts can often be. More chocolate, coffee, light molasses, and a touch of vanilla. A nice mildly-nutty finish, very slight sourness and a silky-smooth mouthfeel keep me coming back for more. Wow this beer was good. I’ve had this beer many times out of the bottle, but this was my first trial of it on tap. Not sure if it’s just because of how my tastes have changed since the last time I had this or if it truly is considerably better on-tap. I remember the bottled version being pretty good, but this wowed me!

ski271, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of SwillBilly
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a thin tan head that fades very quickly with minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Hints of sweet chocolate, caramel and roasted coffee.

Taste: Starts with semi sweet chocolate and coffee notes dominating, the middle is fairly non-descript leading to a finish that lacks any punch. You do get some roasted malt in the finish with some hops trying to poke through but easily lose to the roasty malts. The roasted malts leave a dryness in the mouth after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Rather thin and watery, not what I was expecting at all. Carbonation is fine.

Drinkability/Notes: Lancaster Milk Stout is a decent milk stout, but there are better examples out there. The mouthfeel is too thin and water y for the style. There seems to be something missing in the flavor profile, yes you get the little bit of a chocolating sweetness and a bit of coffee thrown in but it seems that is could use something more. The roasted malts in the finish makes this in my opinion. A decent beer but not one that I will be clamoring to get in the future. Definitely easy to drink but if I have a choice I'll choose another option. Average at best.

SwillBilly, Oct 28, 2006
Milk Stout from Lancaster Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 981 ratings.