Bittersweet
Left Hand Brewing Company

BittersweetBittersweet
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Style:
Stout - Sweet / Milk
Ranked #121
ABV:
8.9%
Score:
92
Ranked #3,399
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 6.76%
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
307
From:
Left Hand Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  32
Gots
  85
SCORE
92
Outstanding
BittersweetBittersweet
Notes: This big stout gets aggressive with a boost from Allegro Coffee’s exotic mocha java blend. The coffee’s dark cherry flavors and spicy undertones weave into the rich milky sweet stout like a chocolate-covered espresso bean melting on your tongue. Bitter then sweet. Sweet then bitter. It’s bittersweet.
Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 307 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aptly named. Jet black pour with a minimal tan head. The coffee flavor is not shy. It is sharp, like espresso, and while the lactose does have a presence, it's pretty much dominated by coffee. Chocolate flavor is underneath, in support. The 8.9% ABV is nicely buried, but by the end of the glass, this Imperial Stout packs a punch.

May 31, 2021
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schoolboy from Ohio

3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I went to World Wines last week, ALMOST fully vaccinated. I bought a huge bunch of great brews to take to my three year old granddaughter's birthday party (she really appreciated all the brews). This one stayed home, for tonight.

It opens very disappointingly with just slightly above average head - not very nitro (it does keep on giving). The aroma is strongly coffee (stout). The taste is nicely bitter (not that much sweet, but some). The aftertaste sits bitter too, and very clean (no booze or anything funky).

Recommended. It's good and tasty but ... disappointing more than amazing.

Apr 19, 2021
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a huge creamy tan head.
Vibrant, saliva-inducing, freshly roasted coffee aroma.
Pops of dark chocolate and cacao upfront which immediately transitions into freshly roasted coffee, a bit nutty, black coffee and creamy milky lactose sweetness which balances perfectly with the roasted coffee bean bitterness. Super balanced.
Creamy in feel, moderately carbonated, slicky and oily initially but the palate is scrubbed clean.

An excellent imperial coffee milk stout. Fantastic job here.

Feb 23, 2021
Photo of izraelc
izraelc from New York

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

Pours dark. Light foam. Mild sweet aroma. Big sweet coffee body. Rich and bitter malt finish. Creamy and smooth. Not too rich. An excellent milk stout.

Jan 24, 2021
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had both the regular version and the nitro and I have to say the nitro version is way better much smoother and creamier but they both have pretty equal tastes of smooth bittersweet chocolate mixed with a slight coffee twinge and finishes rather sweet again with some dark malts. The ABV is well hidden and the price is on point at around $3 for each offering. Would get it again!

Jan 17, 2021
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 7/15/21. 12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours almost black; small khaki head that fades leaving solid retention and lacing. The aromas have a nice blend of coffee, cocoa, caramel and vanilla with the coffee leading the way. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More coffee leading the way. Some dark chocolate. More vanilla and caramel in the mix. It's probably more bitter than sweet. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's sharp, fluffy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a pretty solid coffee stout. It's bold but balanced. The coffee shines. I like their nitro version more than this based off of memory, but this is still nice. Well done. I like it.

Dec 27, 2020
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TooLucid from District of Columbia

3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4-pack the other day; I was craving a nitro, they got me with 'bittersweet'. The flavor is good. A strong bittersweet chocolate dominates the profile, but it's not a dark chocolate like you'd may expect, definitely very milky in taste. Not a lot going on otherwise, the finish is your standard well-crafted stout with the 'milk' flavor lingering throughout. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't bother getting it again unless it was on sale. There are certainly better milk stouts and nitros out there. Although as a combination of the two it doesn't disappoint. Almost an afterthought; I did notice the coffee throughout but it was exceptionally subtle. For coming at almost 9% ABV this brew hides it well! If it wasn't for the warm sensation while drinking it, I'd think it was half that.

Nov 19, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a thin wisp of an off white to tan head that settled at a nice pace. Lacing slid into the beer as it went down. The smell had a superb sweet and roasty coffee blend with sweet milk chocolate tones running blissfully into the beer. The taste was coffee sweet, the roastier portion slid more so into the background. Quick sweet milk chocolate aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body. Fairly sessionable with a slight dry to bitter feel pouncing on my tongue. Overall, I’d say milk stout- yes, as an "imperial" style, yeah, I think I can see it. Still, I’d have for me again, nice all around!

Sep 12, 2017
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BJB13 from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best By 7/12/17
22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip style pint glass.

This is the first Milk/ Sweet Stout I have ever tried. After seeing what was available to me and checking the reviews for a solid choice I settled on Bittersweet.

It looked real nice pouring black with it's decent khaki head and some lacing. The nose wasn't as strong as I would have liked but still had decent aromas of coffee, roasted malts and a hint of dark fruit I believe, coming through with only a slight whiff of alcohol. The nose was reinforced by the same flavors, again with just a hint of alcohol. Smooth and in my opinion striking a good balance between bitter and sweet, I really appreciated the lack of cloying sweetness and found that it finished fairly dry with slight lingering bitterness. At medium to full body It was a little thinner than I expected. This, the mild carbonation and the lack of overly sweet booziness made for one of the quickest bombers I've ever emptied.

While I will need to try some others of this style to better educate myself the bottom line is that I really enjoyed this and will drink another.

Apr 03, 2017
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Bisco42 from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Very, very good for milk Stout. The coffee is balanced and the alcohol is subtle. I will continue to purchase this as long as it's available. One thing I wish it had more of is a burst of coffee.

Feb 09, 2017
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap 1/22/2017 at Battleship Brewhouse in Fall River, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep and very dark brown color, with a large very dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, lactose, roasted malts, chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong coffee flavor up front. Then some mild background flavors of chocolate and molasses come in. The roasted malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Jan 23, 2017
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$ 10.79 (Including tax)/bomber ($ 0.490/oz) at Oppermann’s, Saginaw, MI
Bomber dated BB 04/17/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter. It is allowed to warm to between 50 and 55 degrees, per label instructions
Aroma – coffee, coffee, coffee!
Head – large (Maximum 4.3 cm, aggressive pour), tan, frothy, diminishing to a three mm ring with drag marks and a thin partial layer
Lacing – fair. Narrow complete rings of tiny bubbles with a few small ones thrown in. Short stalactites are also present.
Body – dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – the coffee so instantly present and over whelming in the nose is actually quite subdued to the tongue. The initial tasting is a lightly creamy slightly sweet milk stout. The coffee tags along for the aftertaste and contributes some bitterness. Malt and hops are not evident in the nose nor are they noticeable in the flavor. Alcohol and diacetyl are also absent.
Palate – medium, slightly creamy, soft carbonation.

This is one of the better beers that Left Hand has produced, IMHO.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.5.

Jan 19, 2017
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AustinWadkins from Iowa

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured blackish/cola like with a minimal head that quickly collars around the glass.nitro is quite visible

Nose includes lots of black coffee, hints of chocolate, vanilla bean, roasted malts

Taste is creamy coffee up front followed dark chocolate, next is a creamy delightful vanilla bean after taste with roasted malts

I LOVE THIS BEER! Great beer for starting your weekend off or an after dinner desert. Creamy delightful mouthfeel all the way through and with an 8.9 abv, there's little to complain about! Left Hand you've done it again!

Jan 09, 2017
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KRubes from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Vigorous pour into a tall tulip glass. Served at 55 degrees. Jet black with a beige, spongey two-finger head.

S - Cold pressed coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt.

T - Chocolate candy bar, lactose, vanilla, coffee. Chocolate milk anyone?

M - Velvety, smooth, medium body.

O - A great dessert beer. Surprised to read it clocks in at 8.9% ABV. Drinks at least 2-3% below that. It's been a while since I've had a LHB beer and I'm not a huge fan of nitro, but this one does it for me. Well done.

Dec 30, 2016
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gonger from Iowa

3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours black coffee black. Decent head, dissipates quickly, no pancake, a little lacing. unimpressive smell. Thinner than I expected. Taste is disappointing. Sweet coffee, raisins in the front, bland in the middle and alcohol/sour milk in the aftertaste. Too much lactose tastes like baby formula. Unbalanced. A high ABV milk stout maybe not a good idea. Glad I tried it but once is enough.

Jul 11, 2016
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste: sweet, maltose milk smooth, coffee, some alcohol kick.
Malty, lactose, toasted coffee bean aroma.
Black, opaque, with a tan delicate lattice. Medium/full body.
After dinner ale.

May 10, 2016
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DenverHopHead from Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle; into a snifter.
Apperance - dark, but more cola brown than black; medium khaki head that fades to almost nothing quick. No lacing.
Smell - vanilla bean ice cream with hints of espresso!
Taste - flavors don't quite match the nose, more chocolate milk and latte!
Feel - creamy and mild body; very easy drinker at 8.9%!
Overall - this one grew on me; started off feeling a bit bummed about it, but it came to life and finished strong!

May 01, 2016
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oberon from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Came in a goblet nearly jet black except for a little reddish brown on bottom,a creamy-like deep beige colored head atop.The coffee roast really stood out even more than the chocolate cut the chocolate is there along with mild earthiness.Slightly thinner than I was thinking it was gonna be but not anything that takes to much away from the beer.Starts out with a good amount of the sweet fruity and chocolate flavors melding into a dryer bigtime roasted finish.It's quite sweet at the onset but the roast is a nice finish,not bad.

Apr 13, 2016
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Plum-tinted black with a thick finger of lasting tan head that leaves sheets of lacing. Medium-roast coffee with some slight cherry notes, and then a heavy wallop of sweet cream, make up the aroma. Surprisingly coffee-forward taste, even a week before the best by date. There's cherry again in the coffee, as well as some earthy flavors. The cream is there, too, but it takes a backseat. There's also a short-lived bitterness to the aftertaste. Dare I say it? Bittersweet. It's medium bodied with moderately-high carbonation. Not world class, but quite solid.

Apr 11, 2016
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Dark brownish black color with medium bubbles on the body and descent tan head rising to maybe half a finger's length with a vigorous pour. Drops to nada after the first sip.

Smell: light chocolate which comes off simple with a bit of sweet light cream coffee.

Taste: Just like it smells, sweet cream and coffee with touch of brown sugar and milk chocolate...nothing like what I reviewed a few days ago but worth talking about.

Mouth: Dry but exceptionally sticky with medium carbonation and full body.

Overall: Good brew but nothing to go crazy about. Better options out there but still gets you where you need to go. Salud.

Feb 28, 2016
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a midnight black with a thin tan head. Very light amount of lacing.

S - Aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

T - The taste is black coffee and dark chocolate. Th coffee and chocolate are followed by sweet lactose. The finish has roasted malts and black coffee.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Great coffee stout. The flavors are on point. Nice addition to the Left Hand lineup.

Feb 27, 2016
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timmy2b from New York

3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a stout glass. Dark Brown pour with a tan head of about a finger. Large amount of bitter coffee which lingers on the tongue. Flavor is heavy on the coffee and a light amount of chocolate but the lingering bitterness is a little much and it is a little on the dry side. Overall it is decent and I would drink again.

Feb 26, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a Porter Bar goblet. BB date stamp of April 2016.

Pours very dark reddish-brown with a weak bubbly head. Smooth, medium body. The aroma carries a very nice mix of black coffee and dark roasted grains with a hint of chocolate. The flavor follows, with the grain bill and coffee in excellent balance, although the coffee dominates in the lingering aftertaste. Lightly bitter overall but, as the label says, bittersweet.

Feb 14, 2016
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle $8.99. I bought this when I couldn't find any coffee Bourbon County and I was pleasantly surprised. Typical stout appearance. Tones of fresh coffee beans in the nose and in the flavor. Just a tad of sweetness, chocolate, great stout.

Feb 14, 2016
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AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, best before date of 4/12/16. Pours semi-transparent brown with a medium sized tan head. Smells of medium roast coffee, light roasted malt, sweet lactose, and cocoa. The taste follows exactly; roasted malt, coffee, lactose, and cocoa. Some mild sweetness and bitterness. Thin body and higher, prickly carbonation. It's a good stout with a nice lactose presence, but could use more body and less carbonation; it's similar to some porters.

Feb 14, 2016
Bittersweet from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 307 ratings