Absence Of Light
4 Hands Brewing Co.

Absence Of LightAbsence Of Light
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Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #154
Ranked #4,397
4.09 | pDev: 7.09%
4 Hands Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Absence Of LightAbsence Of Light
Notes: This is the new and improved Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout. This is a beer that deserved to stand on its own, so we re-branded it and gave it a bit more body. The beer is now 7.1%, but still holds the same flavor profile you all love from years past.
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 347 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of danducati
danducati from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I never would have thought a peanut butter stout would be any good, but this...is!

* Smell - eh, nothing special. A bit of a peanut butter smell, but mild, not overwhelming.
* Head - thin, brown, and doesn't last long.
* Flavor - nice peanut butter flavor.
* Taste - mild, smooth, not bitter.

Not cheap at $11+ for a 4-pack, but definitely worth trying.

Nov 14, 2020
Photo of Captain69
Captain69 from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

absence of light is a great name pours very dark brown with good head that stays all the 4 hands beer are a great pleasure to drink very chocolate flavor

Apr 19, 2020
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a thin, creamy, tan head.
Smell of sweet chocolate and peanut butter. A big caramel malt presence as well.
The sweet chocolate and peanut butter taste ends in a little bitterness. Presence of coffee. Chocolate is on milk chocolate side, but gritty like baker’s chocolate. Coffee bitter on back end.
Silky smooth mouthfeel, on the thinner side.
Overall, wonderful PBPorter!

Apr 09, 2020
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 11/14/19

Pours a deep, near jet brown with dull mahogany and ruby accents; two fingers of tight, fluffy dark khaki foam show great retention to yield a thin, spotty cap, inconsistent frothy collar, and a moderate spatter of lacing clinging to the glass.

Aromas offer strong notes of peanut wafer coursing through the bouquet upfront, with wisps of vanilla cracker between a burgeoning background of a steady, quiet chocolate flow intertwined with a distinct malty roast on the close.

Taste offers smooth, milky chocolate with a roasted peanut undertone to largely dominate the profile; a quick burst of vanilla cream appears on the back end before a drying, semi-bitter roast finishes.

Mouthfeel shows a stiff medium body, semi-creamy and consistently smooth, and amplified with a milder puffy carbonation; straightforward and light in the mid-palate, with a slight roasty resin/bitterness coming through on the thinning but ultimately crisp finish.

A milk stout embracing a drier, slightly more bitter side of the style, and offering a more refined take on the wafery peanut tones common in many advertised peanut butter beers. The chocolate provides a nice balancing factor and pushes through a lighter though more natural-feeling sweetness as the roasty char of the stout base remains nicely intact.

Feb 26, 2020
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can, unsure of the date, poured into Tallgrass globe snifter.

Has a brownish-black body with a creamy beige-grey head of 2 fingers. Recedes to 1 with webby lacing.

Aroma is of peanut butter powder and hot tin, with slight dry cocoa.

Flavor brings a lot of bitterness forward, definitely not a pastry beer. Plant-y hops, dry cocoa, slight milk chocolate, and hints of peanut butter.

Feel is slick but a little lighter bodied than I'd expect for a 7% stout. Resinous throughout and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No heat. Resiny finish with slight dryness.

Overall not the gargantuan I thought it would be. It's enjoyable, but marginally. I expect peanut butter beers to be pastry beers, which this one certainly is not. Too much bitterness for me.

Edit : as it warms it becomes a little sweeter and the sharpness rounds out. Looks like this one is best at room temp.

Feb 08, 2020
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absence of Light has a medium, beige head, a dark brown appearance, and very minimal glass lacing. The aroma is of peanut butter and dark malts. The flavor is similar, with cocoa, cream, coffee, and no bitterness. Mouthfeel is into heavy, and Absence of Light finishes medium dry.


Jan 14, 2020
Photo of MissouriMule
MissouriMule from Missouri

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

Despite the name, the ale pours dark but not opaque. Bubbles quickly dissipate. The taste is sweet chocolate and malt, fading to malt and pleasing bitterness. Mouthfeel is less full than expected, with optimal body and carbonation. The peanut butter flavor is natural and applied lightly. Aftertaste is much better than competitors like Horny Goat Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter. Some may find the peanut butter too faint.

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of Mark-Leggett
Mark-Leggett from Missouri

3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can. Dark with a large tan head and some lacing. Smells of chocolate and peanut butter. Flavor is the same, peanut butter is there but needs more. Smooth creamy mouth feel. Solid milk stout.

Jan 09, 2020
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin brown head that dissipates to almost nothing, with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, peanut butter, light cocoa and a little lactose. Flavor follows, with peanut butter, dark toasted malt with a hint of char, light cocoa; finishes with mildly smoky malt and genuine tasting peanut butter. Medium bodied with light creaminess. There seem to be a number of peanut butter stouts around now, and I'm really liking them. This one starts a little unassuming, but even though peanut butter forward, everything tastes well balanced and the flavor carries through into a lingering cocoa and realistic peanut butter finish.

Oct 18, 2019
Photo of Vixie
Vixie from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The name fits the look, black beer with maybe an inch of a tan head.

I can really smell the peanut butter in this, with nice hints of chocolate. Smells a lot like a peanut butter cup.

Peanut butter and chocolate blend nicely up front, also hints of chocolate and coffee. Pretty flavorful beer.

Like others have noticed, it has a nice smooth feel, just a touch lacking in body.

This is a really nice stout. Has a lot of flavor, and they all blend well. I was worried it might be too sweet, but actually was nicely balanced between sweet and bitter. Very much worth a try.

Jun 12, 2019
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wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Near black with creamy light tan head. Smell is peanut butter and roast with chocolate and a bit of fruitiness. The is substantial but not overpowering peanut butter with roast and a bit of dark chocolate and licorice. Sweet and bitter with a piney hop character in the finish, which I feel is a little strong and doesn't work perfectly. Medium-high bodied.

Mar 10, 2019
Photo of zonker17
zonker17 from Texas

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprised by the solid execution here. Not much retention, dark brown, no lacing. Nose a roast grain. Taste brings the peanut butter and chocolate. Feel a touch thin.

Mar 01, 2019
Photo of stephens101
stephens101 from Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Charcoal black with a big and handsome tan froth that sticks.

Toasted grain, black licorice, faint cacao and a touch of peanut butter in the aroma.

Tastes of peanut butter, black licorice, a hint of syrup and end with slight notes of pine for balance.

Good and creamy with a bolder than expected medium body that is welcomed. Apparently 4 Hands added some heft to the body on this one, and definitely wins with that choice.

Hard to get a regular stout to intrigue me these days, but this one really hits the spot.

Feb 19, 2019
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz undated bottle is as advertised, lightless, and floats a good 1in cocoa colored head of foam before dissipating to just a thin cap of broad islands with erratic lacing.

Aroma of peanut butter is prominent and is joined by milk chocolate flavor and a slight hint of booze. Remainder of peanut flavor on the back of the mouth.

Having a smooth mouthfeel that leans a lighter medium, but lingers a little.

Overall, quite good.

Feb 18, 2019
Photo of colts9016
colts9016 from Idaho

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I admire this label on this beer. A chocolate monster on a spoon for the design is a fabulous idea. The beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The pour on the beer produced a two finger light tan head with poor retention. The head is creamy and foamy, leaving no lacing on the glass. The color is SRM 36 dark brown nearly black. The beer is opaque. The appearance does not give much away with the beer. I was hoping to see a persistent head with lacing, alas it did not happen.

Initial aromas in the beer are milk chocolate and dark roasted malts. Next, I smell molasses, dark roasted malts, roasted peanuts (like chunky Jif peanut butter), cereal grains, milk, toasted sugar, and bread.

The flavors in the beer are Jif peanut butter, caramels, toffee, bread, toasted sugar, grains, milk, molasses, dark roasted malts, milk chocolate, mild roasted coffee, oats, a touch of smokiness, and an earthiness (like dirt but not).

The mouthfeel of the beer is creamy, silky, and smooth.

The body of the beer is full, medium carbonation, and a full finish.

This beer is stupid good. I love the mouthfeel of this beer. The one thing I would have like to taste is a thicker body to give the beer more girth. The harmony in the beer is good; however, I wanted more of a seamless flavor profile. I am able to taste the chocolate, peanut butter and so forth but wanted it more intertwined. A tasty beer none the less and a must try for any stout lover.

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Tavour. Black pour with a slight foamy head, fades to flat. Aroma is peanut butter, hint of chocolate. Taste builds out the peanut butter cup vibe, sweet, nutty and dark chocolate. Smooth and slick, and really delicious.

Feb 15, 2019
Photo of Benish
Benish from Wisconsin

3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black color with a white frothy head that quickly disappeared. Not much for presentation but then the smell came as something delectable. Strong aromas is peanut butter and chocolate. Absolutely nothing artificial about it. Very nutty, almost like candy. The PB flavors were maybe a bit more muted but still enough to appreciate. It has a little peanut butter brittle taste that mingles with light cocoa and coffee. Very sweet, just as sweet as the PB cups. Mouthfeel is very silky smooth with a
medium body. Overall: an abundant aroma of PB that does not fall short!

Feb 08, 2019
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4 Hands Absence Of Light Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout, 7.1% ABV. Pours black with a slight ring of tan head. Nose is peanuts and chocolate, taste follows, slightly sweet, low bitterness. Decent mouthfeel, overall outstanding. Very drinkable.

Dec 25, 2018
Photo of M_C_Hampton
M_C_Hampton from Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark red brown with a short tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, has some particulate

S: chocolate and peanut butter as advertised, malty and quite sweet

T: slight bitter lemon hop up front, quickly moves to sweet chocolate, hazelnut from the malt more than peanut butter, finish is sweet

M: thick and sticky

O: dessert beer

May 12, 2018
Photo of dd53grif
dd53grif from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color with a foamy head that disappears quickly. Aroma is peanut butter, coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes of peanut butter and chocolate. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Smooth and creamy mouth feel.

Mar 31, 2018
Photo of KingTen144
KingTen144 from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Delicious smell, with lots of peanut butter. Taste is great, with a similar dominance by peanut butter that almost tastes like the beer is a candy melting in your mouth. That said, the feel is a touch lighter than would be ideal, with the slightly thin texture diminishing the experience somewhat. Overall a great beer, especially for the price!

Feb 21, 2018
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date on the 22oz bottle.
L: Pours a dark brown with a one finger head that fades away quickly, no noticeable lacing.
S: The label says chocolate peanut butter stout, and that's exactly what it smells like, it's noticeable as soon as you open the bottle.
T: Again, just as the label says, plus a hint of bitter coffee.
F: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated.
O: Surprisingly good, I expected something ridiculously sweet, but that's not the case at. Easy drinking, moderate ABV, thoroughly enjoyable.

Jan 14, 2018
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Georgia

3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tons of peanut butter on the nose. Smooth and light on the palate. Peanut butter grows through the sip.

Cream, chocolate, roast, dark fruit.

Thin bodied.

Dec 23, 2017
Photo of AlexR
AlexR from Missouri

4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Out of the peanut butter-chocolate stouts I've had, this one has the strongest peanut butter flavor. That's not a bad thing, because it also has some hops that make it through, as well. It smells sweet and peanut buttery, and the name Absence of Light could be used to describe the pitch-black appearance in a glass. The flavor definitely changes with temperature - the chocolate and hops grow more evident as it gets warmer. Overall, this is an enjoyable beer to sip on through the whole bomber.

Dec 14, 2017
Photo of NoahEllison
NoahEllison from Missouri

4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4 Hands makes good drinking beer. Its not a top of the line brewery by any means, but what they do they do well. And this beer is no different. Think Reeses Peanut butter cup in liquid form. One of these by a fire on a cold night is awesome!

Nov 10, 2017
Absence Of Light from 4 Hands Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 347 ratings