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: 81 | Ratings: 376 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by biboergosum:
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biboergosum from Canada

3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, a pleasant recent arrival up here in Alberta, and perfectly timed (not a normal thing for agents around here) seasonal offering. The 8th iteration means, of course, a beery representation of those 8 comely maids-a-milking.

This beer pours a solid, light-destroying black, with subtly eerie orangish basal edges, and a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and kind of bubbly brown head, which leaves some approaching sandstorm lace around the glass as it lazily falls away.

It smells of bittersweet hot chocolate powder, funky yeast, gritty caramel malt, mildly spoiled dairy, indistinct seasonal spices, fruity hard candy, and a swirling, yet not quite alighting metallic booziness. The taste is neutered milk chocolate (the gelding performed by the testy and edgy Belgian yeastiness), sauced apple, pear, sour cherry and plum fruit, wet ash, some middling toasted caramel malt, more past their best before date lactic notes, sugary anise, still indeterminate savoury spices, and an alcohol measure that knows how to keep those busy maids happy.

The carbonation is fairly low in its present reading on the trusty ol' froth-o-meter, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, once all those niggling essences are rendered meaningless by cognitive dissonance (aka that well-hidden elevated booze factor).

Overall, a large, and very imposing Yuletide-themed brew, that much is certain. The milkiness of the milk stout seems to be all over the spectrum, which aligns with the typical Belgian yeast wanderings to throw this reporter's palate into one hell of a loop (feedback or not, TBD). Another sassy rejoinder from this brewery, in their take on the 12 days of Christmas.

Dec 02, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Xenoreactive from Virginia

2.27/5  rDev -41%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

An embarrassment of a stout. I am not sure if this keg was soured or off, but this an intrusive and appalling flavor which made me regret even asking for it on draft. Sour and malted yeast notes overtake this entire beer as soon as it warms up 10F. Pitiful. Poured out 80% of it.

Jan 20, 2016
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Bruery in Placentia, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, Belgian yeast, cocoa powder, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with peanut butter, cocoa powder, spice, and Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with noticeable cocoa and spice qualities, but the Belgian yeast dominates in both the smell and taste.

Serving type: on tap.

Oct 12, 2015
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durlta from Iowa

2.08/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

My first beer from the Bruery that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. To be fair, I notice this trend in a lot of imperial milk stouts, but this tastes especially rancid: sour milk dominates and bleeds into the feel.

Dec 23, 2015
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MattF from California

1.88/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Had on tap at the Bruery Tasting Room on 10/11/15.

Pours with a surprisingly dark head for the style. Aroma is malt, unsweetened chocolate, and a cardboard-like earthiness that hides any roasted nuances this beer might have.

Taste is much the same, a very muddled mess of off-flavors and lacking in the signature sweet roasted chocolate characteristics you'd expect from this style. Carbonation was slightly but excusably over and mouthfeel was perfectly viscous for an Imperial Milk Stout.

Milk Stouts are one of my favorite styles and I was extremely excited when I heard about this year's Twelve Days bottling. I was assuming I'd get a big milk stout with some of that signature Bruery charm for Christmas, unfortunately it feels more like getting a pair of socks stuffed with coal.

Oct 14, 2015
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oberon from North Carolina

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

Came in a snifter jet black with a deep creamy beige head that left a soapy-like finish behind.Slight yeasty notes in the nose along with dark bitter chocolate.Sweet milk chocolate flavors with a hit of yeasty phenols that I didn't care for much,even a slight sour note in the finish.All the aspects of a good milk stout are there but not a huge fan of the yeasty Belgian phenols.

Jan 18, 2016
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour with a nice creamy ring around the top, somewhat bubbly.

S - Yeasty aroma with some banana-like aroma, creamy and milky.

T - Yeasty, boozy, spicy on the back end, some chocolate (but with a spicy edge), roasted malt, lingering taste is lactose-like with some roasted chocolate bitterness.

M - Medium body to full medium body, wet finish.

O - Unique. Interesting. Wouldn't buy it again but glad to have tried it.

Dec 20, 2015
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Ranbot from Pennsylvania

2.82/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

So, this is an interesting beer for sure, but not for me. It's got all the workings of a classic English-style imperial stout, but fermented with Belgian yeast that brings dark-fruit esters to play among the roasted malts. It's rather sweet, which I assume is from some heavy additions of lactose... the "milk" part of this beer. Some hot alcohol is apparent, and hops are barely detectable, but these were as expected, so no fault there. There is a slight medicinal flavor that I didn't like so much. However, what really brought this beer down for me was the mouthfeel... it felt slimy, which is a descriptor I have never considered using for a beer before, but slime was all I could think of after getting most of the way through this bottle. Maybe I am being overly critical, but the mouthfeel completely ruined the experience of this beer for me. So, while I give it some points for being a unique and interesting blend of styles, I can't recommend it.

Dec 15, 2015
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SpeedwayJim from New York

2.1/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

750ml capped bottle into a Grrrz teku. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 3 finger light mocha colored head with decent retention. Beer is pitch black but a touch thin. Lacing is stringy and layered with excellent stick. Great looking beer.

Nose is huge notes of tart copper, coffee rind and sour milk. A touch of roasted malt and more metal. Not very good.

Opens toasted malt, almond, syrup and a nutty tartness. More roast in the middle with a sour milk and ash presence. Hard to drink. Ends ashy with a spoiled milk sour accent. Same aftertaste. Yikes!

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down aggressive and tart. Finish is messy with a long, lingering, filmy aftertaste. Ok.

Easily the worst milk stout I've ever had and in the running for worst beer. I don't know how they were able to get the sour milk in there but please, please someone take it out! Disgusting. A complete drain pour.

Dec 05, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is really unimpressive, at least compared to my expectations for both the series and the producer. i think its easily the weak link to this point, but maybe we will see it improve over time. this was on tap at the pint room in littleton, and really is missing something. has a nice almost black glossy glassy appearance with just a short white head on it. looks nice, but smells a little one dimensional, and a little heavy on the milk sugar. in the flavor too, it almost covers up the dark roasty elements of the grain, and it seems to bring out the alcohol to a level thats stronger than it should be, and the beer looses some of its smoothness as a result. i get a hint of sweet nut, maybe hazelnut or walnut in the middle, but all the lactose takes it over too. i had this not knowing if there were any weird ingredients, so i am thinking about stuff like candied nuts and pomegranate molasses and stuff, but none of that is in here, so im not sure whats producing some of these strange flavors. its a well made beer, but im not really sold on the recipe itself. again, easily my least favorite beer in the series of the ones i have had, but probably still worth picking up to see how it ages. hopefully its just too young...

Nov 18, 2015
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Shnanign from Pennsylvania

3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 06, 2015
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emptyglassagain from Massachusetts

3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nov 25, 2015
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nyrblue2 from New York

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 12, 2015
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Zach136 from Georgia

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

Dec 24, 2015
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imonhiatus from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wow. hands down, far and away the highlight of the seires. really nice imperial milk stout. nice roast and char and great milk chocolate flavor. really dug this one and had no issue taking down the full bottle. ISO the back version of this.

Dec 13, 2015
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jbaker67 from Pennsylvania

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

Dec 25, 2015
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Dizzy242 from Massachusetts

3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Apr 26, 2016
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sanitarium16 from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 14, 2016
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MattGrimley from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 25, 2015
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batt6343 from Texas

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

Dec 20, 2015
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 19, 2017
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waddellc2 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nov 20, 2015
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zenithberwyn from California

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

Nov 28, 2016
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thatoneguymike from Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 11, 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
8 Maids-A-Milking from The Bruery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 376 ratings