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Milk Stout - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Milk StoutMilk Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,038 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,038
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 48
Gots: 102 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002

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.
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Ratings: 1,038 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
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


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.

Photo of ski271
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
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!

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.

Photo of clickpush
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: draught to pint glass @ Independence Brew Pub's Philadelphia airport location. Served at the bar with a large two finger dark brown head over a black body. The head is fluffy and pock-marked as fades. Lots of bubbles visible along the inside of the glass. Excellent lacings remain after the slow, several minute long descent.

Nose: Peanuts, chocolate, malty and, unfortunately, a bit too faint. Pick up on the roasts of the malts and a pinch of hop balance, but not powerful enough to be thoroughly enjoyed.

Mouth: On the first sip gentle roast flavors coat the whole mouth and they last long after the swallow. Notes of chocolate and fruits add a touch of sweetness the counter the dark roastiness. Mouthfeel is great - consistently prickly all the way through.

Delicious and fun to drink!

Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. This brew pours a deep brown, almost black, color with a very light head that falls to just a few waves of foam over top. This one is pretty still, with a random bubble popping up. This one is too dark to tell the clarity. The nose on this one gives notes of very solid roast with lighter chocolate and a really nice lacto character that gives it an edge, but is not too strong. I dig it. The flavor is also nice. It is dominated with the lacto character, definately letting me know this one is a sweet stout. Behind that, there is a solid roasted character. I'd like a little more chocolate character in this one, but it is still a good brew. The mouthfeel is on the thick end of moderate, with a light carbonation. Overall, this one is a nice brew. It has a great lacto character, and that is what I want in my milk/sweet stouts. I would definately have it again.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a well aged ( about 10 months) 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, The liquid is an opaque Black with a huge foamy head that fades quickly to revile a smart 2 finger mocha head in time just a hint of lace is left.

The smell is of burnt toast with a surprisingly sweet flowery note.

The taste is again of a very burnt chuck of rye bread with a sweet creamy dark espresso finish.

The mouthfeel in coating but Thin as a lot of the carbonation was spent in the pour.

Drinkability in ok quite quaffable but not good enough to keep buying more. MK

Photo of Callenak
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in a trade.

Was excited about this beer, not only because of the Lancaster name, but because I'm not sure if I've had a milk stout before.

A: pitch black, with a small tan/brown head.

S: Roasted with a hint of sweetness to it. Nothing unlike most good stouts

T: Very sweet for a stout. Loads of chocolate with just a little bitterness to it.

Not a bad beer, but nothing spectacular. I wouldn't go out of my way to get one again.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass at 40 degrees.

Pours an almost-black with minimal head that didn't stick around too long. Strong scent of coffee with caramel and maltiness. Very unique taste..comes off like a burnt, chocolate milk. The coffee taste lingers for awhile. You better enjoy it cold though, because it loses something when warmer.

Photo of jlmjl
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Great label on this bottle of beer, its the first time Ive seen a cow and word Lactose on a beer bottle.

A - Real dark with a brown thin head. The beer looks like the color of Guiness which I would assume all stouts should look. Head did not last longer than 20-30 seconds with minimal lacing on the glass. As I am a big swirler when I drink, this beer does not hold up to my habit.

S - All I smell is coffee

T - Not to bad .. I am not a big stout drinker. It again has a strong coffee taste. The taste, to the beers credit hangs in the mouth consistantly for a while. No bad after taste. It doesnt really kick you either though, a little ho-hum in the overall flavor department

M - WET , I dont think the beer feels like it looks. I think its a little watery going down.

D - I enjoyed this beer. Also to its' credit, the last sip taste like the first. again, fairly consistant. It appears to be a pretty good product from someone who does not reach for stouts ... Clearly not a session brew, not more than two at a time. I would not buy this.

Good opening club selection - looking forward to another stout for comparison one day

Photo of jackorain
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from fridge cold bottle into pint glass.

A-Pours the color of used motor oil. Obvious viscosity in the pour with a glug glug. Formed a 1/2 inch thick dark tan very attractive head that dissapated suprisingly quick. Some nice lacing of the remaining thin coat of head.

S-roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate.

T-Initially sweet malt with light coffee and light chocolate undertones with a slightly hop bitter and astringent finish. As the beer warmed up though, the coffee and chocoalte became more pronounced and flvor became more balanced overall. Quite good for a Stout fan like me.

M-Thick full body, kind of higher carbonation that I like at 1st, but when it warmed up this dissapated leaving a nice thick smooth brew.

D- better than average but it is no session beer.

Photo of doubleipa
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewery. I love stouts, but this was the first "milk stout" I've had. Another nice stout to add to the collection. Brown, almost black color, with bery little head. Typical coffee, chocolate aroma, but not as intense. Also had something a bit different to the aroma - a little bit of hops. Taste matched the aroma. The added sweetness from teh lactose added anice component. This is definitely a stout I could drink earlier in the day than I usually drink them.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured almost black with a small dark brown head that dissipated almost immediately.

The smell was all roastiness with only the slightest whiff of sweetness, but pleasant enough.

The taste was once again roasted grain with a thick cream tasting finish. Way too thick- as if you had chugged a glass of heavy whipping cream. This also affected the mouthfeel, which was too thick and clingy (not sweet). Very odd milk stout- I get almost none of the sweetness from this variety, but plenty of creaminess. I'm not a brewer, so I can't account for why this is. Slightly interesting due to the grain/cream combo, but not really a success.

Photo of jaluria
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured an almost black color with a medium-dark brown colored head and loads of carbonation. A few touches of lacing were left behind in my glass. Aromas of cream and dark chocolate seem to dominate. The taste is sweet with a very subtle roasted character; mostly cream-like sweetness. Just a splash of bitterness in the finish, but almost entirely sweet. Halfway through my pint, I lost interest in the beer as the sweetness became too much. A bit unbalanced and rather lacking in complexity or texture. Somewhat oily in my mouth without a creamy or smooth finish. Not nearly roasted or smoked enough to be a stout, and not creamy enough to be a milk stout. An average beer all around.

Photo of therica
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm... what to say... I bought a 6-pack that I noticed at a small local liquor store in Williamsport Maryland. I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured "Milk," okay-- milky smoothness. Later, when I opened the first bottle, I noticed "brewed with lactose" at the bottom of the label. Lactose?!?!? What's the deal?!?!? Apparently this is some sort of fad, given the number of beers pulled up searching for "milk stout" on this website.

My impression-- great... no, hmmm.... smooth creamy (what?!? creamy?!?!) mouth-feel and sensation as the first swallow went down. Interesting. No bad bite, no overwhelming over or undertones, just ... nice... smooth.. and... creamy?!?!?

First belch-- like I'd just drank some milk and followed it with my favorite beer. Hmmm... Is this good or not? Is this beer good, or not? Yes no yes no... okay so now I am totally confused!

Conclusion-- I probably won't go buying this stuff, again. I'll probably enjoy the other 5 bottles as moderate novelties. I'm not put off by the creamy taste or belch. It just seems to detract slightly from what impresses me as an otherwise rather outstanding stout. I doubt that I could drink more than 2 of these at a sitting. I might choose something else if I were at a party and had choices. If this was the only beer offered at a party, I'd be fine with that. Confused yet?

Photo of KFaulkner
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I first had this beer as a sample at the Harrisburg Brewer's Festival. I picked up a six-pack shortly after, somewhat thanks to the busty young lady at the Lancaster stand wearing a "got milk stout?" shirt.

Holy head Batman! This beer was poured into a pint glass and foamed up quickly and thickly. The head took it's time too and I had to wait a minute or two to pour the rest of the bottle.

This is a good example of the style though, with toasty tastes of malty chocolate and nutty goodness. It goes down smooth but has an aftertaste that I can only describe as "burnt."

It looks great in the glass though, and the head is a force to reckoned with; staying for a long time and leaving a nice smudgy foam on the sides of the glass as it subsides.

Nice job Lancaster; much better than your Strawberry beer.

Photo of bjohnson
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black--almost like a moonless night in the country. Slight one finger caramel colored head that has good retention hugging the glass.
S: Aromas of caramel and chocolate with a sweet smooth, milky smell. Coffee notes come out on second sniff. Good smelling milk stout.
T & M: Tastes of caramel, coffe, and chocolate malts arrive at the taste buds first. Nice smooth delivery that slips through the mouth easily. Velvety and soft throughout the mouth. Good slight sweet aftertaste. Good level of carbonation kicks in between the initial coffee taste and the sweet aftertaste. Almost tastes like a mild iced coffee.
D: Highly drinkable stout. Very good tasting and definately worth a try.

Drank while watching Festival Express.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date. It pours black with ruby tinges and a small, fizzy tan head that reduces to a collar. It smells lightly acidic, with roasted malts, coffee, and maybe some earthy malts. It has a light, highly carbonated body that evens out quickly, becoming almost creamy, and reveals roasted malts, faint green hops, coffee, and a milky acidity, all of which combine to make it taste almost like a coffee/milk concoction you'd find at a cafe. Overall a pretty good milk stout, but not one I'd seek out again.

Photo of HimerMan
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - served in a Murphy's pint glass.

Solid black pour with a creamy/frothy head about 2 fingers high. Very nice roasted smell with a widespread coffee and cream smell and taste.

Overall - very easy to drink with huge roasted overtones throughout this very sweet stout. So simple to drink, and goes down fast without a burn or hurting flavor.

Alcohol not present at all, cream evident - yet, not a strange sweetness that often comes in sweet stouts.

Really awesome beer - I am glad these are readily available in this area. I would look for it on tap to compare the taste.

Definitely a great milk stout; incredibly smooth and refreshing.


Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It came to me a deep brown, not quite opaque, but very stingy with light. Light brown head, perhaps a finger, dwindled soon to patchy islets of froth. Curlicues of lacing decorated the inside of the glass.

The aroma offered cut of dark roasted malt along with a milk-sweet lactose air. A mild hops presence dueled with molasses and dark coffee in the background.

Upon sipping, the edge of burnt malt was blunted by the lactose sweetness, as well as by the notes of toffee and chocolate. A smoked roasted malt sensation came through in the middle, along with a more grassy hops indication. The finish was nicely bitter, with the merest flash of residual milk and malt before bitter lingered. It's a beet deeper and darker than I expected, but it was overall a nice mix of elements.

A ways short of medium bodied, but more than light, it was thinner than the flavor would presage, and it was around just long enough to deliver the flavor, and no longer.

As mentioned, I expected something brighter in the taste of the beer, but the darker malt pieces fit well enough with the lcatose sweetness and tang. It's got a little bit of an ABV, but it never exposed itself to me as I drank it, so I imagine it could be sneaky. While not a style toward which I generally gravitate, I'm not sorry I had this, as it went down smoothly and it showed some care and consideration on the part of the brewer to bring the ingredients together as well as they were.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Black brew with a monsterous four finger creamy tan head with impressive retention. Lacing is thick and pretty. Nice look.

S - Mostly bland grassy hops with a touch of light grain backing, a bit of toffee and molasses odors as well. Not exactly what I expected.

T - Foretaste is strong bitter coffee with a light grassy hops. Aftertaste is lightly bitter and grassy.

M - Thin and not so smooth, pretty refreshing though.

D - Pretty good. Sessionable and pairable with food. The flavor isn't anything too special, but it is a beer that I would not mind having again.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Lancaster Milk Stout pours from the bottle a deep charcoal color with a very light tan head. Sticky patches of lacing form. Does look nice in the glass. Aromas begin with a deeply roasted malts, big toffee chunks and notes of chocolate and burnt coffee. There's a light burnt sweet milk aroma as well. A really enjoyable brew to smell.

First sip brings a roasty dark maltiness upfront followed by a nice mix of toffee candy, cocoa and plenty of burnt coffee. A touch of sweet milk works its way in nicely. Slighty burnt with a good mix between sweet and bitter. This is a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with steady carbonation. Good body overall. This is a tasty milk stout that strays to the roastier/burnt side of things. Wouldn't mind sitting down to a few of these...also mixes great with the Strawberry Wheat to make a chocolate covered strawberry. Thanks to woodychandler for leaving these Lancaster brews with me!

Milk Stout from Lancaster Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,038 ratings.