Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #364
Ranked #8,347
3.97 | pDev: 8.06%
Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Kentucky, United States
Very Good
Notes: Not your typical "Jelly of the Month Club" beer. Dark roasted malt and bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavor and aroma burst from this pitch black milk stout. The full body and sweetness are derived from the addition of lactose (aka milk sugar) which is not fermentable by beer yeast. A healthy dose of English Kent Goldings hops provides a counterpoint to this ale’s rich and complex maltiness.
Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 715 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of puck1225
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tall can into a tulip glass. Very dark brown color with good head and lacing. Chocolate and slightly herbal smell. Pleasant sweet chocolate taste. Dark toast and a hint of licorice. Nice and smooth. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of WickedBeer
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Keg labeled #434. On tap at Loosa Brews, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Deep pour, nearly black. Medium viscosity, pretty heady off the draft line. Two fingers of beige foam settle above the beer but drop back down and leave heavy lace behind on the inside of the glass.

Dark, roasty, malty nose. A touch of milk sugar sweetness, but predominantly light roast coffee beans and a mild, slightly nutty malt quality serving as the predominant forces here.

Good flavors here, avoiding the watery texture associated with a lot of sub-par milk stouts. Flavors of sweet iced coffee, with only a touch or roasty bitterness. The malt backbone returns, softened by undertones of vanilla.

The mouthfeel is predominantly soft, with a present carbonation and a mildly thin feel. It’s not watery, but I would have liked more of a fullness from it. Finishes with some residual bitterness and a touch of boozy warmth on the way down.

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Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can into a Belgian snifter. Appears to be a 17 Dec. 2019 BB date stamp.
Pours near black, opaque, and with a rather weak tan head.
Relatively hoppy aroma. Partially hidden ABV. Significant sweetness up front but moderately bitter by the finish with a touch of sour in between. Moderately strong flavor for style.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amazingly flavorful sweet stout with depth and balance - I was fooled at first and thought it was a regular stout. Pours a deep, dark rich brown color, almost black in opaqueness. A little tan head and spotty lingering lacing that looked nice. Smells of dark roast coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, light roasted nuttiness. Taste follows the nose, and there’s a great balance between the sweeter flavors and the mild bitterness of the roast coffee. Smooth, slightly creamy, mild mouthfeel that was nice and not too light. Just the right amount of carbonation. A very impressive milk stout.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - prettt much black with a good tan head and sticky lacing
Smelll - great toast caramel
Taste - toasty lightly sweet caramel malts
Feel - full body light carbonation creamy body
Overall - great full body creamy caramel malty beer

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Photo of rapayn01
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My wife and I went to the brewpub during the Super Bowl and I ordered this as part of a flight. It tasted of coffee and roasted malt with a bit of milk sweetness. It's good, even though I usually don't like sweet stouts.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 16 oz can poured into a snifter. The beer pours a rich dark chocolate color with a dense yet fleeting khakhi colored head of 1 cm. The foam remains as a thin edge layer and a wispy island in the center of the glass.
The aroma is rich and malty with roasted notes and some milk chocolate and a dose of coffee ground. But overall this nose is on the sweeter malt side. First sip reveals an average body with silky smooth texture and a very fine and gentle carbonation that caresses my palate as I drink each sip. Very nice physical traits on this brew.
Flavor is as expected from the nose. I get some sweet milk chocolate and a bit of brown sugar. There is some roasted notes and a bit of coffee, but the sweet malt dominates the roast character here. Sweet milk chocolate lingers after each sip, not quite as sweet as an easter candy, but definitely not dark chocolate.
The ABV is absent from any ID and if the hops are EKG I dont get much of a profile here.
This is a nice milk stout and worth trying if you like the style.

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Photo of stercomm
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep black with slight tan head. Smell is chocolate, coffee, caramel, toasted malts, slight sniff of bourbon. Taste is much the same with a sweetness as well, the bourbon taste is very evident. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, coats the mouth. A very nice stout, would rate it right up there with Left Hand's Milk Stout.

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Photo of Beersnake1
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with little head. Nose is chocolate, sweet, nuts, and a touch of coffee. Taste is sweet chocolate, lactose, nuts, and a bit of tobacco. Mouthfeel is creamy, as expected. Overall, a really nice stout.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can

Pours opaque black, tan film for a head dissipates to a bit of lacing.

Smells of cocoa, licorice, mesquite, biscuit, brown sugar, oatmeal and oak.

Tastes of cocoa, brown sugar, toast, walnut, mesquite, burnt wood and molasses.

Medium body, light tingly carbonation on the tongue.

Beautiful looking stout with a great aroma. Flavor is above average, a bit on the dry side. Drinks slow and smooth. Worth trying.

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Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oh man. Just picked this up from the craft beer shop I work at. I am blown away. This blows Left Hand Nitro out of the water, and that's saying something.

Poured from pint can to pint glass after allowing to warm up a few degrees. Pitch. Black. 3 fingers of dark tan head that really sticks around for a while. Decent lacing.

Nose is sweet cafe mocha with lots of cream. There's a caramelized pecan aroma to it. Smells very sweet. Vanilla with a little touch of maple bourbon as its warming up.

Palette is roasted malts that gives the impression of semi-sweet cocoa, dark roasted coffee with cream and sugar, and an almost smokiness to it. The hop and roasty bitterness is VERY tame.

Lost of lactose creaminess gives this an almost creamy mouthful - no, not almost - a CREAMY mouthfeel, without being viscous or overly chewy. But still a little chewy. The sweetness really comes out in this. I'm not huge on stouts , so I don't have much to compare it to, but this is a pretty sweet beer. And I thoroughly enjoy it. The sweetness imparts a chocolate milk impression. It's not dry. It's not bitter. It's well balanced and fairly complex for the style. It's not cloying, but it feels rather like a dessert beer. If you like sweet milk stouts, then this is an absolute must.
I've been looking for a uniquely sweet and creamy milk stout, and I have definitely found it. I will be keeping this in the rotation, without doubt. This is very fine.

Edit: it's warming up a little bit, and the booze is coming through much more, ONLY on the nose. A surprising boozy scent for 7% ABV. I'm getting strong notes if Irish whiskey and cream. Like Baileys. That maple/pecan/bourbon is really picking up. Carbonation is on the lower side, but average for the style. It's not flat by any means, and it's very comfortable, and not thin, OR syrupy. The hoppy - fruit character is coming out a bit more. That juiciness, but it's playing well with the flavors. It's starting to become rather filling, but I also just had dinner, and another pint (a sour ale) not 45 minutes ago. Overall, this is excellent. - someone who doesn't care for stouts.

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Something a tad artificial in the taste that I tried to get past, and only at times could. A bit overly carbonated, which makes it look too foamy, though that didn't stop it from having a nice creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pitch black with a foamy brown head. Excellent retention, with rings of streaky lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, burnt toast, mocha, black coffee, caramel, burnt sugar, almond milk, light smokiness, charcoal, and vanilla.

T: Huge dark chocolate, mocha, black coffee, caramel, burnt sugar, and burnt toast flavors. Lightly sweet with vanilla and almond undertones, with a massive roasted complexity. Hints of soy sauce and black licorice as well. A touch earthy on the back end. Finishes with a nice lingering roasted bitterness.

F: Medium-plus, almost full-bodied. Well-carbonated. Seems almost over-carbonated, but this can gushed, so it might be slightly defective compared to previous cans that offered a thicker and more creamy body.

O: Overall, an outstanding milk stout. It has all the flavor, complexity and mouthfeel of a bigger imperial stout.

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Photo of bnes09
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black, opaque appearance with foamy tan head and plenty of lace shapes on the glass. Roast, lactose and corn meal on the nose. Flavor follows with the emphasis on the roast. Not too sweet. Well carbonated. Sturdy, not quite full, yet solid medium body. Creamy. Very nice.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet cocoa notes with light roasted malt notes is very dessert-like. Taste is a mix of sweet coca notes with some black chocolate, some light roasted malt with some residual sugar notes. Body is full with nice creamy notes with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable dessert stout.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I've missed this brewer's stuff, even though my vendor (Saveon) has been selling it for at least a year.

This one is a really big milk stout. All black and beautiful, with a great, roasty and boozy aroma. It tastes a little less oversized than the smell, just kind of normal for a big stout, but not nearly as boozy as the smell. The whole thing works well, and generally feels like a bigger stout than it is.


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Photo of argock
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16 oz can into a tulip

A: black with brown edges and almost 1-finger beige head that fades quickly and leaves spare lacing.

S: delicious coffee, toffee, caramel, and frosting aromas with light nutty character

T: Flavor is decent but its impression is hurt somewhat by the less than optimal feel. Coffee in the beginning and the end, a little harsher than it needs to be, gives way to sweeter caramel and prune notes. Pretty heavy roast in the mid to late palate and moderate bitterness throughout.

M: very chalky bitterness and seems overcarbonated to leave a somewhat harsh feel and none of the creaminess it could have

O: Good in some areas, poor in others, it is hard to go with AtG at their price point when it’s not too clear what you’re going to get.

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Photo of AngusOg
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A drinkable and "balanced" coffee stout, meaning it has enough coffee presence to be relevent, but not so much that you can't taste taste anything else going on in the beer, like the roasty stout qualities and the hint of smoke in the finish. Tasty, but nothing worth going out of the way for.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hand carried tall boy from TN.

Appearance: Black glass holds a tan head that drops off without much lace.

Aroma: Chocolate, roasted barley, mild sweetness.

Taste: A bit of sour overwhelmed by caramel sweetness, chocolate, and finishing out slightly dry and roasted. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body, slight chew, almost flat carbonation, dry finish.

Overall: Clean beer, great taste, complex enough to savor, easy enough to quaff. Wish I had access to more.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark, dark. Poured a four finger, head that only slowly faded away. Chocolatey, and with a ending bite. Mouthfeel is nice. Interesting blend of sweet and hoppy/alcoholish bite at finish.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 16 oz can into a conical pint glass at Growlers Beer Bistro in Tuckahoe, NY.
A: Pours a clear, dark mahogany color with a three-quarter inch tan head. Solid retention and Belgian lacing.
S: Aromas largely of deep roasting, akin to bacon, with perhaps a floral note coming through, as well.
T: Tastes largely like bacon or smoked pork; almost indistinguishable from a rauchbier.
M: Medium to full bodied with solid carbonation.
O: I would not attempt to compare this to Milk Stouts, as the flavor characteristics are inconsistent with that style. Again, more a dunkel, Rauchbier based on look, smell, flavor, and mouthfeel.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a nonic pint to a deep black topped by a dense two finger light tan head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of milk chocolate sweetness with some roasted malts and a hint of coffee
T: Taste is milk chocolate with some light coffee and roasted malts with some slight hints of smoky wood. A little meaty in some places too. Swallow is more milk chocolate sweetness with some lingering roasted notes and slight coffee
M: This beer is on the heavier side of medium with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little too high for my liking but it keeps things moving across the palate. The beer has a slightly drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really solid milk stout. It has some good flavors and complexity but it definitely is on the sweet side of things. Worth a try if you can find it though.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a nice looking dark hazy brown really close to a black color. A one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated within less than about forty seconds leaving some moderately messy lacing. The smell had a big luscious sweet milk chocolate with a superb roasty to robust coffee, maybe a lil bit of espresso running in to balance. The taste was mainly sweet with an ample back up of the roasty coffee to try and balance. A nice sweet to roasty blended aftertaste slides into a nice sticky finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonation runs fairly light allowing the roastiness to really grind out the feel on my tongue. Wait, did I say grind, haha, not really, this is so smooth with the roasty milk chocolate running into my tongue. Bitterness, oh what bitterness, haha. Overall, what a wonderful milk/sweet stout that I would love to have again. Oh wow!

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Photo of kitch
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 1 pint can with no clear canned on or best before date. Poured into a Spiegelau Stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black colour with a three finger mocha coloured head after an aggressive pour, that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving some lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, molasses, coffee and chocolate with a light smokiness.

Taste: Sweet milk coffee that was on the watery side, with a hint of caramel, chocolate, vanilla and maybe smoke.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: It’s easy to drink as it’s quite light, but it was also on the watery side. Some stronger coffee or even smokiness would have improved this Stout.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$ 4.76 (Including tax)/16 oz can ($ 0.297/Oz) from Oppermann’s, Saginaw, MI.
Undated can stored at 43 degrees (Hotel reefer temperature). Served at 48 degrees (per can instructions) in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – initially none. As the head retracts some chocolate and weak roasted malt appear. No coffee.
Head large (maximum five cm, aggressive pour), tan, medium density froth, below average retention, diminishing to an irregular four to five mm ring and thin layer with some rocky islands.
Lacing – below average – narrow ring of tiny bubbles
Body – dark brown/black, opaque. As the level in the glass drops to where I can see down through it, it is chestnut brown and clear.
Flavor – a little chocolate, a little roasted malt, no coffee. Actually just sweet enough to offset any roasted malt bitterness. Flavors are well balanced – nothing pushes to the front. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium, creamy, soft carbonation.

One of the better milk stouts I’ve had – well balanced and not too sweet.

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4.25.

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35K from Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 715 ratings