8 Maids-A-Milking
The Bruery

8 Maids-A-Milking8 Maids-A-Milking
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Stout - Sweet / Milk
3.85 | pDev: 12.21%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
8 Maids-A-Milking8 Maids-A-Milking
Notes: 8 Maids-a-Milking is the 8th beer in our "12 Days of Christmas" series, and we'd be udderly crazy to release anything but a milk stout. So we made an imperial milk stout to stand up to whatever Old Man Winter throws our way from now through 2019 with the final release of our series. 8 Maids-a-Milking is brewed with lactose, which is commonly referred to as milk sugar. It's the only type of sugar that is unfermentable by yeast, which adds more perceptible creaminess and sweetness to the finished beer. This mouthfeel and sweetness is complemented by robust layers of milk chocolate, subtle spice accents from our house Belgian yeast and roasty, cafe elements indicative of our take on the style. Celebrate the seasons with the best of both worlds: enjoy some now, and lay a few down for up to 4 years to be enjoyed upon the release of 12 Drummers Drumming.
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 381 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Bottle to snifter. Bottled 9/11/15.

LOOK: Deep dark black, small light brown head, very good retention.
AROMA: prune, plum, cocoa, raisin.
TASTE: milk chocolate, brandy and/or bourbon even though this is not barrel aged--must just be the 11.3% breaking down and concentrating over 5+ years in the bottle. Creates a nice bite in the finish and cuts the sweet chocolate.
FEEL: mostly flat, but with a underlying bubbly character. smooth, but there is a chalky texture in the finish. medium-to-full body.

Not bad for a 5 year old milk stout.

Interesting and great to try these old Bruery Christmas beers that are different each year. I've now tried 8-12 as well as this years partridge in a pear tree.


Jan 09, 2021
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brown and creamy head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a dark chocolate brown with a shiny and oily texture that looks nice.

The smell has a nice mix of different dark notes. The main seems to be a roasted malt note mixed with a latte note created by the lactose and milk chocolate. The sweet note from the lactose also seems to come out on its own without the roasted notes.

The taste is great and really shows off how well the different notes mix together to create a chocolate latte note. The taste consists of a roasted malt and chocolate note alongside the sweet lactose note, which completely changes the taste from what could have been a chocolate heavy beer.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body with a tingling carbonation note and creamy texture.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer and the best so far of all of the other beers. The different mix and work well together. Also, it feels fresh despite being aged for a year.

Jan 04, 2021
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Stooven from Illinois

2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Can't read the bottle date. Purchased in December 2019 in Northbrook, IL. From glancing at the reviews below, I got one from the bad batch. Really sour. Not enjoyable.

Jan 27, 2020
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CaptainHate from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 ml bottle at Lupulo's in Santa Cruz and split with my son in law. Poured dark brown with an average sized tan head into an oversized wine glass. Aroma was nicely sweet with milk chocolate having an undefined spice tinge. Flavor was chocolate cream with the alcohol well hidden. Mouthfeel retained the flavors nicely while still being light and refreshing. An exemplary milk stout that is right in the Bruery's wheelhouse and an excellent addition to their Christmas series.

Feb 01, 2019
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rudzud from Massachusetts

2.64/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black with a good thick head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of infected lactose and dark fruits. There are some dark fruits oddly enough.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of creamy sweet malts, hops there are nice soft barrel notes. Really terrible trash notes as well.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, little slick.

O - Overall this was a very terrible very sweet and get infected beer.

Serving Type: bottle

Dec 01, 2018
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jlindros from Massachusetts

2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split with rudzud
Pours a nice thick foamy creamy head and big lacing, great retention, decent legs too, very dark molasses brown basically black color

Nose is awful, sour dark malts like, weird acidity and sourness, candy funk and acrid roast notes, powdered cocoa, quite infected

Taste what the fucking fuck is this, one of the worst things I've had in a long time, semi sour and flemmy, acidic notes, little powdered cocoa, little bitterness and sad everything combined, slight metallic, soured caramel, some bitterness late

Mouth is med to fuller bod, nice fizzy carb, a little alcohol, creamy notes

Overall just bad, so many bad things combined

Dec 01, 2018
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a tulip glass. This beer yields no crown whatsoever and sits pitch black in the glass. Very sweet with the amount of chocolate that comes through and also brings a creaminess. The body for the style doesn't let down and that's why I tend to like these imperial milk stouts better than regular milk stouts. Bigger bodies.

Jan 30, 2018
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deadonhisfeet from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Imperial Milk Stout aged 2 years in my cellar. Poured from a bottle into a Bruery tulip. The pour is very dark, not quite black, and sports an impressive 2 finger crown of fine tan foam with very good retention. Odd nose with a lot of maltiness, a little roast, and a spice that I can't quite place. I want to say marzipan, but that's not it.

Full body with a creamy feel. The flavor is a little on the sweet side for my tastes. Lots of sweet malt, toffee, and a little cola up front. I can almost taste raw malt extract (not saying they use it, just that this is the flavor that springs to mind). The cola flavors intensify a bit towards the back of the palate. The finish is rich with lingering flavors of malt and cola.

A little unbalanced for my liking. Tons of malt, but could really use more roast to balance it out. I probably wouldn't buy this again.

Jan 08, 2018
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WickedBeer from Alabama

3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wades Wines 12 Days of Christmas Tasting. 12/22/17. Agoura Hills, CA. This bottle was a 2015 release.

Pours a deep brown color with no head and minimal lace retention.

A pretty weak nose, even after warming bit. Some of the Belgian spice and yeast characterstics I’m interpreting more as tart wine notes. Not getting any chocolate or coffee as would be expected.

A mild flavor profile as well, however definitely more complex. Bitter coffee and just hints of milk chocolate..slightly bitter with some nice malt qualities... subtle booziness in the finish.

Smooth and sticky, medium bodied, and with a lingering molasses flavor and even feel.

A good addition to the series but nothing that stands out. A very mild Imperial in my opinion, and although it was tasty, I was begging for more.

Dec 23, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color. Thin white to off white foamy head quickly dissipated. The smell started off with sweet and spicy Belgian notes. Dark fruits with some milk chocolate. And then the dark chocolate. The flavor brings together all of the previously mentioned aromas about to blend. Sweet Belgian chocolate leads dryly into the aftertaste and slides into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body (guessing the age probably lowered the body). Carbonation felt really smoothed out. Overall, Belgian imperial milk stout, well, I never heard of one until I had this. Great stuff.

Jun 27, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This might be the best one yet of the normal 12 days of Christmas lineup. Finally, something not Belgian!

Anyways, pours dark brown, not overly viscous at all given its abv strength. Good carbonation, head formation and retention. Aroma was lactose sweetness and shit I guess I was wrong kind of, some belgian phenolic notes.

Good creamy taste and mouthfeel despite the carbonation not being lacking. Hides abv amazingly well. Mild chocolate notes, not roasty or bitter. I'm not saying the yeast was oppressive, but it did kind of clash with what would have been a top tier milk stout. Still good.

Jan 09, 2017
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I let this one sit for a year before cracking it open on the 12th Day of Christmas 2016-2017.

Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges and a full finger of beige head. The nose has distinct notes of Belgian yeast. The flavor is reminiscent of a hybrid ale - a cross between a sweet stout and a strong Belgian dark. The finish has almost chocolaty notes and the alcohol is held in check nicely.

The brewer states that this offering can be aged for up to four years which marks the completion of their 12 Days of Christmas beers. I am thinking that at least a year more than I gave it would have helped the disparate flavors blend together better.

Jan 06, 2017
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a little flat. Aroma features strong Belgian xmas ale / quad notes - lots of cherry liqueur, some fig and phenol spice - with undernotes of roasted malt. There is a sweet note from the lactose that doesn't jive with the other smells. It is an interesting mash-up, with the Belgian yeast / phenol winning most of the joust. The only stout notes are just a little roasted malt towards the backend, and a lactose way at the end. Upfront it is all big quad notes - cherry, rum cake, fig & date - and I actually like the contrast of styles for the most part. It is very creamy and smooth, though a bit thin for how robust the flavor profile is. If you approach it on its own terms and don't expect a traditional stout then I think there is a lot to savour here.

Dec 25, 2016
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Small head that settles to no bubbles and therefore no lace...at all. The color is deal brown where no light passes.

Interestingly, I get bubblegum initially in the smell. Afterward, I get chocolate smells reminiscent of a Porter, not a Stout.

There's an initial flavor of raspberry, along with the corresponding sourness. After this, I get a sweetness but not from lactose--more like berries. The aftertaste is creamy (8 maids a milking?). I also get more berries. The body is full and the effervescence diminished. Overall, this is interesting and unexpected.

Dec 23, 2016
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark and thick cola-colored body, dense light brown head that fades to a ring. Nose gives off a lot of dark fruit, subtle warmth, robust roasted malts, and even unexpected hints of bourbon barrel spice, which I'm all for. The flavor also breaks the threshold of ethyl acetate to give off a dark fruit flavor verging on an alcoholic heat, but the sweet malt swoops in to veer it into the domain of sticky sweetness with only mild warmth perceptible. The body also is sticky, lots of residual sugars linger, with a heavy weight and slickness to it.
About what I'd expected from an Imperial Milk Stout; the sweetness can mask the heat only so much before it itself becomes dizzying, and including intense bitter roasted notes would kinda disqualify it from the sweet stout category. Overall highly enjoyable, but I prefer a few regular-strength milk stouts to one monster like this.

Nov 05, 2016
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ReviewingUnderInfluence from Canada (AB)

4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Imperial milk stout from The Bruery? Had to get it! This brew has the imp stout flavours you'd expect like coffee, chocolate leather, but has an definite Quad vibe from that Belgian yeast. Wickedly decadent mouthfeel! A great one for fans of both styles

Aug 09, 2016
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/30/2015. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, vanilla, cream, light coffee, raisin, plum, fig, apple, cherry, date, pepper, clove, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, lactose, and moderate fruity/spicy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, vanilla, cream, light coffee, raisin, plum, fig, apple, cherry, date, pepper, clove, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted dark bread, vanilla, cream, dark fruits, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, lactose, and moderate fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and yeast spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly silky/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a great Belgian imperial milk stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, lactose, and moderate fruity/spicy yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. Not overly roasty, but well rounded on stout complexity; without too much yeast influence. A very enjoyable offering.

Jul 05, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured into a snifter t oa black beer topped by a very dense and well retained light tan head that fades quite slowly. The thickness really reminds me of a nitro beer
S: Smells of sweet fruity esters and spicy yeast
T: Taste is fruity and spicy yeast with a good bit of sweetness. Roasted malt and milk chocolate come through at times as well but the yeast really steals the show on this one. Swallow is roasted malt and more milk chocolate with hints of coffee and even more of those esters and spice.
M: Very full and velvety on the palate with soft but adequate carbonation and a drying finish
O: Overall this one is definitely a style bender. Really interesting flavors with a lot of belgian influence from the yeast that kind of overpowers the base beer. What I will say though is that it is very good but if you want a traditional stout this one will leave you disappointed. I'm curious to see how the barrel aged version will taste.

Jun 09, 2016
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AngusOg from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Saw that this one had been marked down significantly with some of the other holiday beers, so I decided to go ahead and tick this one rather than pass on it like I have with the last couple in this series. I'm not sure if I have ever had a Belgian style milk stout, but I liked it. It worked well with the way the extra sweetness from the lactose plays and contrasts with the spiciness from the Belgian yeast. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. A big beer at 11.3 abv, so made for a perfect night cap. I split the bottle over 2 nights, and drifted off and slept like a baby both nights.

Apr 12, 2016
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Reedbrew from California

3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bit strong. Overwhelmingly the flavor is of Belgian yeast. It's good but not something I'd actively seek out. For a milk stout there are better options and for Belgian yeast character I prefer Chimay.

Mar 14, 2016
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Pourharddrinkslow from South Carolina

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours thinly, black in color, a nice, foamy head that alas, doesn't last very long. Smell of milk, cinnamon, ginger. Taste is light and balanced, A milky creaminess with a moderate sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden. Traces of malt and cocoa at the end. Very creamy, low in carbonation. This is a great milk stout.

Mar 10, 2016
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gopens44 from Virginia

3.07/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Deep, dark body with a massive beige head that I really couldn't tame while pouring, but it dwindled to a thin layer soon enough with very little lacing at all.

Nose starts out with overwhelming Belgian yeast character but the longer I inhale, the more that the taste fades into more crackery, maybe biscuity until it finally settles in with, of all things, that corny Coors or Miller Light smell. That's not great I guess.

Taste is fairly vinous first and foremost. Press forward and we get a touch of fruit, like plums perhaps, before that corny thing creeps in.

Despite having a pretty silky feel, this thing is wildly dry on finish, leaving behind a touch of heat in the throat.

Not one I'd recommend as it's a bit messy and nowhere near worth what I paid for it. I could very well be done with Bruery products.

Mar 07, 2016
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a minimal town head. It is super creamy on the palate with loads of sweet chocolate and just the right amount of bitterness to cut it. A big beer that needs to be split. Very well done!

Feb 25, 2016
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Sathanas from Canada (AB)

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Super creamy and enjoyable beer. Tons of dark fruits, some dark and milk chocolate, hints of coffee, leather, mascarpone cheese, vanilla and brown sugar. Super creamy mouth feel. Absolutely amazing milk stout!

Feb 24, 2016
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JackieKu from Taiwan

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

A: Deep brown. Poured 3 fingers high of head, short retention.
S: Raspberry and cheery. Starfruit. Moderate toasted aroma.
T: Slightly raspberry. Toffee. Moderate chocolate and coffee. Some hints of coriander. Somewhat sour. Medium sweetness. Moderate bitterness. Medium short finish with toffee flavor.
M: Full body. High carbonation.
O: A great mixture of stout and Belgian dark ale (quadruple). It's fruity, caramelized malty, and roasty. Really complex, smooth, and delicious.

Feb 24, 2016
8 Maids-A-Milking from The Bruery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 381 ratings