Left Hand Milk Stout | Left Hand Brewing Company

very good
1,756 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Left Hand Milk StoutLeft Hand Milk Stout

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:

Milk sugar in your stout is like cream in your coffee. Dark and delicious, America’s great milk stout will change your perception about what a stout can be. “Preconceived notions are the blinders on the road to enlightenment.” Udderly delightful.

Collection: Perennial
Style: Sweet Stout
Color: Black, 47 SRM
Body: full
ABV: 6%
IBU's: 25
PLATO: 15.5°
PKG: 6-Pack, Keg
Malt: Pale 2-row, Crystal, Munich, Roasted Barley, Flaked Oats, Flaked Barley and Chocolate
Hops: Magnum and US Goldings
Other: Lactose

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,756 | Ratings: 6,785
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Left Hand Brewing - I have yet to partake of one of their offerings to disappoint, and Milk Stout is no exception.

A beautiful dark stout, it does have a weak head with no staying power and much to do about nothing when it comes to lacing. However, the aroma is almost perfection - distinct hints of chocolate and roasted malts, the same can easily be distinguished when it comes to its taste. The mouthfeel is slightly astringent at first, is certainly carbonated out of the bottle, but it eases back as the brew sits. I think I've had some better ones from LH and but this one is certainly one of the better milk stouts in its class.

 639 characters

Photo of basaywhat
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a beautiful amber black with a super thick tan head. Smells of coffee and vanilla, bit of French vanilla. Taste is similar, extremely creamy, and very smooth.

 178 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown color, almost black.
S: Very sweet and chocolate based smell.
T: Tastes somewhat of coffee. Very powerful milk sweetness, it'd be hard to not detect the mil flavors in this one. Not enjoying it as much as I thought, but decent if you want a sweet milk taste.
M: Heavy mouth feel, perhaps a medium bodied feel for this style of beer.
O: Overall, I was underwhelmed. Though, it wasn't bad. I would definitely recommend this to those who want a sweet milk stout.

 484 characters

Photo of LaurenZ
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was very dark and creamy looking, the head is thick, brown and foamy. Aromas are of chocolate and coffee. The taste is sweet and malty. The carbonation is light. I enjoyed this beer.

 192 characters

Photo of Angela1956
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Personally, I hate stouts. But this one I actually could drink. It's dark brown in appearance, looks creamy and opaque with a brown head. Aroma smells like coffee and cream, and even cocoa. Tastes sweet, chocolatey, malty and creamy. The aftertaste lingers on the tongue. Overall a pretty good beer that I think most stout lovers will enjoy.

 342 characters

Photo of KatieSmith
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This milk stout had good chocolate flavors to it. Although it wasn't really "milky" it was pretty good in flavor. It looked more like a coca-cola when simply seeing it in a pint glass. Was not what I was expecting but was still a fairly enjoyable beer, however I have had better milk stouts by Left Hand.

 306 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Left Hand Milk Stout, 6% ABV, 25 IBU. Pours thick, opaque, no head, coffee smell. Coffee taste, coffee bitter finish, some sweetness. Not bad, would get again.

 159 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

OK. I get it. Milk lactose makes this style sweet; Left Hand makes the style's most popular; and I'm liking it.
The logic is overwhelming: I'm a sweet guy ! (Funny how beer can bring transcendence to situation in which little else makes sense.)

Looking this milk stout in the eye, it has not much to say for itself.
Smelling it says toasted chocolate malts and "I won't surprise you."
Tasting this milk stout says my nose was correct.
Feeling it says I've taken this "-ing" too far... but I like how heavily toasted malt keeps the sweet in check.
My original notes said "have this next time with dessert."
I did so with an assortment of cookies and a bowl of vanilla ice cream. (Proving again my good judgment.)

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You Die," Left Hand's rendition deserves to be there because its BA ratings has an insurmountable lead and because it led American brewers to save this British style (essentially lost by the 1920s.)

 957 characters

Photo of fullerly
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really like this beer because it isn't the average beer
Mocha flavor like a coffee with a slight barley and bitter taste
overall sweet and I would order it out while eating desserts
drank this along side a dark chocolate molten brownie

 236 characters

Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black shade of brown with a one finger, khaki colored head.

An unmistakable sweetness coming from the lactose blankets the entire aroma. Other than that, the nose is typical for a stout, coffee, mild tobacco and dark chocolate with roasted malt. Smells really good.

Flavor follows the nose, predominantly tasting of dark (bitter) chocolate, milk (sweet) chocolate and tobacco-esque dry roasted malt. A slight burnt cream taste on the end.

Mouthfeel is quite silky and airy with medium carbonation. Light to medium body - slightly watery.

Overall: The sweetness can get a little cloying at times, but this is a great beer.

 634 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a virtually opaque black with a thin off-white head. Initial impression is, interestingly, kinda flavorless and thin. (In all fairness, I'd just tried a Dieu du Ciel Solstice D'hiver barleywine so perhaps ANYTHING would seem thin and flavorless by comparison. Maybe "subtle" is the proper descriptor.) There are definitely roasted malts and a milky sweet caramel/cocoa undertone. Mouthfeel is medium (I prefer thicker) and carbonation is medium (I prefer less). Finish is very neutral, in keeping with the rest of the experience.
Not bad, but certainly not exceptional. I had this on nitro and that was also underwhelming. Not something I'd seek out.

 699 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with blackish tone. Nice moderately stiff khaki head that was relatively durable. Nose: sweet and malty above all, but with a thin tingle of something else. Taste: sweet and robust, a chocolate aspect, with some hops, though they made a thin line above the full, round malts. Almost chewy at times. Slick mouthfeel, but recedes to a pleasant mild aftertaste. Very enjoyable. Would rate higher for me if it were more complex, but certainly a worthy sweet stout as is.

Bottle pour to glass, bottle stamped "BEST BY 0?/2?/2016" (I think it was 5/28, but in any case it did not taste old).

 597 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 6% abv

Appearace- Pours a dark brown borderline black with a reddish tint. Light tan head quick to dissipate.

Smell- Caramel, sweet chocolate.

Taste- Sweet caramel, with a milk sugar smoothness. Chocolate milk flavor in a sense due to the quick shot of cocoa that follows. Light undertones of mocha come in as well. Beer finishes sweet yet crisp with a touch of smokiness and vanilla.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A pleasant and clean milk stout. Quite smooth and spot on for the style.

 562 characters

Photo of Knutson_16
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Very dark, almost black with a cream colored head. It was not what thought a milk stout would look like. I was anticipating a light colored beer, so the dark color was initially surprising. The label on the bottle was very appealing in itself and got me excited to drink the beer even before pouring it.

Smell: This stout smelled mildly sweet with some obvious notes of vanilla, coffee, and oats. It did smell a little bit smoky and nutty but wasn't as noticeable as the coffee aroma.

Taste: At first sip, there were mostly nutty and coffee notes, which was then followed by a sweet toffee flavor. Less distinct yet still present were some chocolate and vanilla notes. Overall a semi-sweet, malty tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer was thinner than I originally anticipated it to be, but I enjoyed the smoothness of the beer. It did however, leave a strange filminess in your mouth that lingered long after drinking it.

Overall: A fairly average beer. It was appealing to the eyes and smelled delicious, but the taste was disappointing. I was expecting a different flavor altogether. Especially with it being a milk stout, I was anticipating a sweeter, more "milkier," creamy taste. It was an average beer.

 1,227 characters

Photo of Kristie_Duve
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears the same color and body as root beer. Smells strong flavor, but sort of unpleasant and unrecognizable. Taste was very enjoyable- coffee and chocolate hints with milkshake notes. Dessert, after dinner beer.

 213 characters

Photo of taylorzeee
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown, small headed stout with a coffee and and caramel scent. At first taste, the beer is smooth over the palate with a rich, chocolatey taste. This is a very mild beer for a stout, which I am usually not fond of. But, overall this is a delicious chocolatey beer with just the right amount of "dark roast" feel to it.

 325 characters

Photo of bwood06
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A - Hard pour produces a 1 finger head that is khaki in color and is creamy in appearance. The head dissipates very slowly. The beer itself is black in color an opaque with light carbonation visible on the very edges of the glass with small bubbles rising moderately quickly towards the surface. 4/5

S - Milk chocolate, lactate, and brown sugar really come out in the aroma and cover up most everything else. There is a bit of cold pressed coffee and herbal hops that comes through along with a bit of dark roasted malt and dark toasted wheat bread. Overall a very roasty aroma with a touch of sweetness. 3.75/5

T - Toffee, caramel, and brown sugar lead things off with a sweet punch that is punctuated by toasted wheat bread and a bit of pumpernickel bread that brings out the malty profile. Cold pressed coffee and milk chocolate both open up in the middle of the tasting along with a bit of lactate. Herbal hops finish things off with just a slight lingering bitterness from the hops and coffee. 4/5

M - Light carbonation burn up front which leads into a medium body with a bit of a syrupy feel. A bit crisp and light at times with an ever so slight drying on the back end that does not linger. 4.25/5

O - Well balanced between sweet, bitter, and earthy with a focus more on roast than toast. Medium to heavy body allows for a multitude of food pairings or drinking on its own. Complex but simple at the same time in terms of flavor and aroma. Enjoyable drinking experience. 4/5

 1,535 characters

Photo of turbot48
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Jet black w/ Tan head
S: Coffee and stouty
T: Coffee, caramel, malty, slightly sweet (just right), smooth
F: Silky smooth. Another great Colorado Brew!

Lefthand redefined the stout for sure. I thought it was going to be way to sweet before tasting. There's just enough sweetness

 282 characters

Photo of CConti
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love stouts. I like Left Hand brewing company. I was looking forward to a nice full bodied beer. What I got was a very smooth, easy drinking beer. While this is supposed to be a Nitro beer, it did not have any of the tiny cascading bubbles you normally associate with a Nito. Overall it is a nice beer to drink when you are going to have a few. However, if you want just one REALLY GREAT beer, this is not it. The Goose Island Bourbon street series is amazing. As are the Bourbon street series from Abita.

 509 characters

Photo of Brisket415
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from local grocery store at room temperature. Placed in fridge to chill, removed and let stand on table ten minutes. Single 12 oz. bottle, unfortunately no glass to pour into. Appearance: tough to see due to being in bottle. Looks dark and hardly transparent, cannot see head obviously. Smell: chocolate, slight coffee notes, nutty, maybe a little raisin. Taste: solid taste, represents this class well. Chocolate up front, creamy milky following, dissipates with chocolate on the end. Very light. Mouthfeel: very pleasant, lightly carbonated, lacking in the body imo for a stout. Overall stays true to it's name very creamy and hints of chocolate from start to finish. Have tried better stouts but it is an inexpensive beer that is still enjoyable. A: 4 S: 3.5 T: 3.5 M: 3 O: 3.5.

 791 characters

Photo of adamhdg
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Pitch black in the glass but pours a beautiful deep darkness
S: No equivalency when comparing smell to that deep darkness. Light smell of grain and chocolate.
T: Slighty chocolate with a hearty bread
F: A mild carbonation on the tongue with a lingering syrup
O: With a seriously novice tongue, delicious, but left me wanting something more.

 346 characters

Photo of Groenebeor
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours black as night with a small tan head that disappears quickly.

S: Dark toasted rye bread, and plenty of malted shake (that's the lactose talking).

T: Huge chocolate notes, malted milkshake, dark toast, and lots of residual sweetness. It's really freaking good!

F: Silky smooth, like chocolate milk.

 311 characters

Photo of Sazarac
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Creamy beer where nitro tap is a must. Please don't review this beer if you're drinking it from a bottle since only a nitro tap can do it justice, aroma of burnt malt, feel of cream and the lightest coffee. People come just for this beer. @boroughmpls

 252 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: pours dark but not black. Looks black in the glass with no head
S: mild sweet chocolate. Not much here though.
T: chocolate, then sweet cream, then back to chocolate to finish it. Very good.
F: medium thickness, can feel the carbonation too much for my preference.
O: very nice surprise for me. It's best quality is the taste and that's the one I look for most.

 366 characters

Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark, Black, thick, 1 1/2 inch khaki head, really good lacing down the glass

S: Smell a little weak, sweet malts, maybe a bit of chocolate

T: Sweetness from the dark malts and lactose, a bit of chocolate, a tiny bit of bitterness

M: Medium

O: This beer has some good qualities but it is a bit average. I like that I can find it most places for about $10 a sixer, I bought this one at the local Publix. I also really like the style and it does a decent job of representing it I just wish some of its qualities were a bit more pronounced.

 550 characters

Left Hand Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 6,785 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.