1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Steel Toe Stout - Ska Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Steel Toe StoutSteel Toe Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 20
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in an English Pint glass]

The pour was a thick dark black with an average sized (1-2 finger) frothy light brown head that was mostly diminishing with just a little residue left to cling to the glass thus producing some really excellent lacing.

The aroma had a strong scent of a burnt chocolate malt and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of toffee, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and lactose.

The taste was a nice malty sweet and very smooth with a note of toffee and chocolate in the beginning and finished with a sweet chocolate-coffee flavor that had a milky caramel presence at the end. The flavor lasted an average duration after the swallow which was just long enough for the milky chocolate-coffee flavor to settle in.

Mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full in body with a nice creamy texture and a soft carbonation.

Overall a nice smooth creamy tasting Brew with a great drinkability.

KajII, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of CarolinaKev
4/5  rDev +7%

CarolinaKev, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of amart80
4/5  rDev +7%

amart80, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of hundo
4/5  rDev +7%

hundo, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of TheSquire23
5/5  rDev +33.7%

TheSquire23, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautful rich black with lots of creamy tan head. Medium retention, pretty slow fade with nice rings of lace left over.

The aroma is of chocolate and coffee mostly with some rich caramel and toffee notes and vanilla hints with some cramy edges and dark fruit notes. Spicy, but low profile hops.

The taste follows with rich, dark cocoa and black coffee bitterness with a rich, almost cloying dark chocolate and cream taste. Little bit of dark fruit like plum and raisin, but faint notes. Tons of toffee bleeding through to make it a bit too sweet and cloying with the milky lactose background. A good milk stout, but a little cloying overall.

Thick, creamy, smooth but a little sticky.

Overall, very drinkable and enjoyable. Rich, complex, but one and done cuz its a little too sweet and cloying.

JayS2629, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, no bottle date notched. Pours crystal clear dark brown color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger light tan head with nice retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap that sticks around. A small bit of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and spicy hops. Nice and standard stout aromas with nice strength. Taste of milk chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, and light spiciness. Fair amount coffee-like bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, creaminess, and spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel and smooth drinking. No alcohol noticed other than a slight warming after the finish. Overall a very nice and drinkable sweet stout; though it wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting. Nice balance overall though.

superspak, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of TheRealDBCooper
5/5  rDev +33.7%

TheRealDBCooper, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a dark cola color. The head starts out dark tan and rather small, then dissipates to virtually nothing. Minimal lacing. There is an aroma of coffee and roasted malts. They don't mislabel this beer, it's definitely a sweet stout. The sweetness comes through at the beginning with the burnt malt and dry bitter chocolate taste. It finishes dry. The mouthfeel gets knocked because this beer is watery, and feels like a cola to me. Overall, I wanted to like this beer, but it just didn't add up to much. With a name like "Steel Toe" I'd expect something a little more ... solid. I'm glad I didn't buy a sixer.

JuicesFlowing, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On nitro at Local Option in Chicago.

A: Very black. One finger super creamy head. Decent retention and nice lacing.

S: huge dark fruits. Underlying chocolate and coffee.

T: Reminiscent of a quad. Dark fruits, cherries, figs and raisins. Sweet. Coffee finish.

M: Medium light body. Super creamy. Medium high carbonation.

O: Good, not great. Love the nitro. Amazing mouthfeel even though a bit light.

doughanson78, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Side of label has an area for date to be notched/stamped but has no such markings. However, neck stamped BEST BY 12/15/11, pretty much only visible when bottle is empty.

Appearance - Black body. Two finger light brown head with great stick and good retention.

Smell - Coffee, cream, and chocolate. As delicious smelling as this style always seems to be.

Taste - Sweet. Slight alcohol. Coffee body without being very bitter. Great balance. Mild-ish from what I've seen so far from the style.

Mouthfeel - Possibly a little more watery than other examples of the style, but still creamy and medium bodied. Slight solvent/astringent finish/aftertaste which is mild enough not to detract from it at all. Head offers both some frothy creaminess and some extra solvency.

Overall Drinkability - Decent example of the style. May not be the best option available, but if it's the only milk stout in your area, you won't be disappointed.

ZenAgnostic, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured more of a dark brown than black with some ruby highlights,a thinner mocha colored head atop.Sweet lactose and caramel aromas along with dark roast and some roasted nut.Nice and smooth feel with little carbonation,sugary flavors upfront wih caramel and molasses,a nice drying roastiness in the finish.Not overly complex but its smooth and pretty flavorful.

oberon, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint ale glass.

Color is very dark brown. Head is very thin, which quickly disappears. Minimal lacing, with no carbonation.

Aroma is a mixture of chocolate and coffee, unburnt and pleasing.

Flavor is a bit light for a stout. Again chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla. Nice touch.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy, but smooth and lingers in the roof.

This stout is just what the label says, a working class milk stout. Great for the end of a hard day.

KansasBeerLover, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Received as an extra in a recent trade. (Cheers!)
Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
Best by: 12/15/11

Aroma: Light chocolate, cola, and coffee notes. Not bad in the aroma dept.

Appearance: Dark espresso brown. A very hard pour, however, results in VERY minimal bubbles. Looks like there's a significant carbonation issue with this one.

Flavor: Nice, sweet milk chocolate, some tootsie roll, and a vinous note. Bitterness is enough to provide a little bit of balance, but does not hang on through the finish.

Mouthfeel: A thick, slick, syrupy body, which is excellent for the style. Unfortunately, though, this one is highly under-carbonated; almost completely flat. This significantly diminishes the enjoyment of this beer.

Overall: On a positive note, the flavors and body of this beer are great. On the flip side, however, the serious lack of carbonation (not to mention any foam) is a big problem. The beer reminds me of a good homebrew that I've tasted prior to racking to the bottling bucket-- it's just not a finished product. If you can find it adequately-carbonated on draught, try it. Otherwise, I'd recommend avoiding this one.

mdvatab, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an abyssal midnight black letting absolutly no light through. a quarter inch mocha head. smells of dark roasted malts and alcohol. taste is so smooth, with a delicate mouthfeel expanding to every corner slowly and richly. this beer even has a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. not over the top sweet like some of these can be, very drinkable. fantastic!

StonedTrippin, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of molegar76
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of bottle just a bit cooler than room temp. Poured into a pint glass. Slight creamy head that disappeared to thin layer with light lacing. Color is super dark brown. Almost no light passing through. Smell is awesome. Chocolate maltiness with a starbucks coffeehouse smell. Taste is good with same choc maltiness with hint of cream and breadiness. Overall a pretty good brew. Good mellow aftertaste.

molegar76, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at Local Option.

The 2011 Bachelor Party Extravaganza's keepin' Local Option bumpin', y'all! This proof pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of oatmeal foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate powder, a touch of molasses, and a vein of vanilla. The taste brings in more of the same, though the roast is muted a bit, and the molasses has dropped out almost altogether. Still, this stuff tastes pretty nice. The body is a straight medium, with a lovely nitrogenation and a subsequently really smooth feel. Overall, a rather tasty little stout, one that surely benefits from its straightforward recipe (and the nitro-tap treatment).

TMoney2591, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of StoneTSR
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting for this one for a while. While living in Chicago (where we get plenty of Ska products) I never saw this beer. But now, living in Boulder, I see it all over and have been itching to get to it, but am just now, a month after the move, getting to dive in.

APPEARANCE: This thing is BLACK. I think it might even be more black than Bourbon County Stout. Absolutely zero light penetrates this beer. A light beige, half-inch head formed as soon as I poured it, but quickly slipped away leaving a few wisps of foam on top.

SMELL: Lots of coffee and lots of roasted malt. A bit of bread is also faintly detectable.

TASTE: Coffee is the star of this show and it builds from the front to the back of the sip until a strong, bitter coffee aftertaste is left on the palate. Along the way, hints of chocolate come through with the roasted malt from the nose lurking in the background.

MOUTHFEEL: The Steel Toe has a pretty lively feel for a stout. The carbonation provides a nice sparkle, but at the same time it has a certain smoothness to it that encourages much larger sips than I've used to taking. I haven't decided if that is a good or a bad thing yet.

OVERALL: At 5.4% this is a very sessionable beer and packs a ton of flavor into a beer without too much alcohol in it. It is very drinkable as well. I will be reaching for this again sometime very soon.

StoneTSR, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of GarrettB
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sweeter and deeper in its chocolate tones than most milk stouts, the Ska Brewing Steel Toe Milk Stout is almost a dessert substitute. The coal black black body hints at the deep, enveloping chocolate flavors insude. In the nose I find scents of freshly unwrapped premium chocolate (the kind you cringe when buying, even if it’s for a special occasion) with chocolate malt and a nice, rich dairy freshness in the nose. The flavor is oozing with even more chocolate, more sweet than bitter, and recalls slices of decadent chocolate cake had at fancy dinners in the past. The boisterous carbonation washes away the flavors in the aftertaste, leaving behind a short but very intense burst of chocolate astringency. Milk stouts are engineered with lactose sugar in mind, but the Steel Toe is a special example of just how sweet a deep, dark beer can get with a heady dose of lactose. I never find it cloying, but I also know that a drink that sweet doesn’t seem like a beer sometimes. All the same, darn good drinking, and practically begging to be paired with a nice vanilla ice cream.

GarrettB, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of YourMomDrinksBud
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a mug.

A- Ebony body with a creamy off white head. Deep red accents around the edges under intense light. About a finger and a half of froth that leaves excellent lacing. Carbonation is visibly streaming up the sides of my glass.

S- Chocolate, dark fruits, and vanilla.

t- tastes like chocolate milk made with bitter chocolate. Notes of coffee lead into dark figs. Finishes creamy and smooth with a hint of vanilla.

m- full bodied considering the abv and style. Very velvety and smooth, small alcohol presence but it is well masked.

o- A fine milk stout. Well balanced and easy drinking.

YourMomDrinksBud, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into imperial pint glass...

A- Very dark brown. Pours a finger light khaki head, very creamy and sticky.

S- Nice soft roasted aroma. Great milk chocolate covered caramels in there also. Wonderful smell.

T/M- Tart! Damn, why do so many milk stouts have this slightly sour dark fruit taste? Otherwise a subtle roast and burnt toast flavor. The flavor is all around weak. As it warms the tart drops off mostly but nothing else shines through to create a better profile. Medium/light body and moderate carbonation- not as creamy as I like them.

O- I've had better milk stouts but also worse. This one just didn't have a lot behind it to really make me think highly of it. It was decent and drinkable, but could have been better; especially if the tartness wouldn't have been so prominent for first half of the glass.

TheGordianKnot, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - For a Milk Stout the appearance is quite good, nice supple lacing and pours a two finger head. Brew is purple color with lots of black. Head is close to white, quite interesting for the style.

S - Creamy, oaky, and rich. Lots of vanilla and caramel. Caramel dominated the grand majority of this brew. Awesome scent! Very smooth and lactic scent.

T - Great balance with malt and hop... Very smooth and elegant, definitely a breakfast beer! Definite chocolate notes, but not even close to overbearing. Caramel dominates along with good hop.

M - Overly carbonated, but doesn't take too much away from the brew. Light-medium bodied. Great flavor balance in this brew. No bitterness whatsoever.

O - This brew is awesome! Definitely the best Milk Stout I've ever had. Super solid, creamy, and rich; just like the nose represents. This is an awesome, well-rounded brew. A must try if you're able. Top of it's class.

chugalug06, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Pretty standard black/brown. Smaller off white head, receded to almost nothing pretty quickly.

Aroma is milk chocolately, cocoa and some roast malt.

Tons of lactose sugar up front. Fades to a milk chocolate. Then some cocoa and very slight roast. There is a little off cardboard that seems to be the only flaw. Finishes with more chocolate. Just a bit too one sided for me really.

Just over medium bodied, coats ok. Carbonation staves off being too sticky, but doesn't quite overcome the sweetness of the brew. Goes down pretty easy still.

Worth trying this at a good price point.

Bung, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 11 Sep 2010. Poured in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker (RIP).

Medium sized light brown head. Moderate carbonation. Very dark brown with ruby highlights, not quite opaque. Aroma is sweet and roasty, cocoa, chocolate and lactose. Taste starts out similar to the aroma, becoming a bit coffeeish through the finish. Medium body. Creamy milky mouthfeel. Aftertaste of mocha espresso bitterness. Mild ethanol.

Should have got more than one bottle of this...

htomsirveaux, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of bort11
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pub glass. A thick tan head stands about a half inch. It has the texture of whipped cream. Body color is a brown so dark it is nearly black. There are raisin colored highlights around the edges.

Smell has a mild milk chocolate aroma. Sweet with a hint of bitterness. The taste has a pronounced dark roasted bitterness, with an even more pronounced lactose sweetness. It is a perfect cafe mocha blend.

For me, the mouthfeel is the best quality of a milk stout, and this is no exception. The body is creamy and smooth. A very chewy texture, though goes down lighter than expected.

bort11, Apr 13, 2011
Steel Toe Stout from Ska Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.