Portsmouth Milk Stout | Portsmouth Brewery

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Portsmouth Milk StoutPortsmouth Milk Stout
Portsmouth Milk StoutPortsmouth Milk Stout

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: English Sweet / Milk Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Medium-bodied and black in color, this unique stout is brewed with thirty pounds of lactose, an unfermentable milk sugar that imparts a very smooth, roasty character in this “sweet” stout.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 96
Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the modest cap leaves a few squiggles of lace

Smell: Milk chocolate and tart cherry

Taste: Milk chocolate, up front, with the tart cherry flavors taking over in the mid-palate; chocolate-covered tart cherries linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This bottle has a few years of age and the lactose has become lactic; I understand that was not the original intent but I kind of like it

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Photo of davey101
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. Purchased from the brewery back in early June, 2012.

A - Dark black body, impressive three finger high light mocha head. Solid lacing and retention. Beer settles down to a thin cap with thick edging.

S - Milk chocolate, coffee, roasty malts, light vanilla and a touch of lactic sugar sweetness.

T - Sweet with notes of milk chocolate and vanilla. Finishes lightly bitter with roasty malts and some of that distinctive sweet stout twang. Mouth feel leaves a lot to be desired. Somewhat on the thin side.

O - Pretty average milk stout. Still damn tasty and highly drinkable.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bottle from inlimbo77; thank you! Poured into a DFH snifter.

Pours a dark brown color with some lighter, almost cherry colored hues towards the edges of the glass. A thin veil of tan head develops, but dissipates to a ring and some swirling legs across the surface of the liquid. Small, scattered bubbles cling to the glass as lacing. The aroma is rather subdued, with not a whole lot jumping out. What is noticeable, however, is very inviting: light cane sugar, toasted marshmallow, hints of milk chocolate, caramel, and a bit of roasted malt. The flavor is similar, consisting of light cacao, sugar, caramel, milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of charred wood and dark cherries. Very well balanced and more complex than the nose had let on. Mouthfeel is very smooth for a stout, and feels a bit thinner-bodied as is par for the style. Finishes cleaner than expected, with only a slight marshmallow aftertaste. Overall, this is a well done, easy to drink milk stout that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of fvernon
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A part of a wonderful trade from dpowers - thanks! Bomber with no known date (although from the brewery's cooler, so probably not that old). Poured into my portsmouth brewery snifter.

Out of the bottle it is a black cherry red, but takes on close-to-black colors once in the glass. No head at first, then a building crescendo of beige bubbles rise up to provide a nice, albeit incredibly short-lived, tan head. Traces down to a ring around the sides of the class quickly. The smell is primarily of a chocolate malt ball, and taste is a bit thin at first but quickly translates into a chocolate malt shake with a surprising and satisfying hop bitterness at the end.

It's a little under-carbonated, even for the style, and also a bit muted in the nose and initial taste, but the majority of the sip is rather nice with a good finish. Definitely an enjoyable, easy-to-drink stout.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber purchased at the brew pub bottle shop on 1/22/12. Big thanks to my sister for picking up while in town on business. Poured into DFH signature glass on 1/27/12. Split 3-ways.

A: Pours a deep dark brown. Not a lot of head. What's there is a light tan color. Lacing bits. Shocked to see ABV feet.

S: Soft milk chocolate and coffee. Smells really inviting. Not like some of the abrasive smells that you might get from a bigger stout (RIS or coffee forward ones).

T: Really a nice smooth little sip. A little soft coffee bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Then you get smooth milk chocolate and some coffee on the middle of the mouth. Not a ton of bitterness on the close, it's pleasant. The carbonation is nice and helps the beer maintain an almost silky feel.

M: Full bodied. But not like and imperial with total mouth coat.

O: I actually really enjoyed this one. I wish I could have tried next to the coffee version to see the differences. Very solid representation of the style IMO. Another solid beer from Portsmouth.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Portsmouth Milk Stout
22 oz brown bottle bomber
Served in a hotel glass

While in Portsmouth this weekend I picked up a couple of bombers from the mini store attached to the brewery.

Pours a jet black with a khaki colored head. Opaque in appearance with awesome trails of sticky lacings decorate the glassware. A truly nice looking beer.

Whiffs of roasted coffee beans, chocolate and slightly herbal too.

A really tasty stout that is smooth with a great roasted malt backbone. Flavors of chocolate and coffee with a sugary sweetness. Reminds me of chocolate syrup. The beer finishes with a mini hop snap.

A well crafted beer that is super drinkable.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at the pub on a pint. Pours dark brown with a finger of mocha head that settles down with sticky lace.

The aroma is fruity with some roasty malts and a little bit of a sweet dark fruit aroma. The flavor is roasty with a bit of a roasty flavor and a bit of fruity sweetness to round it out.

Creamy and full full on the body with soft carbonation. Overall pretty good brew here. The cask really helps bring out the flavors.

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Photo of Phelps
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared by ejyoung an pitted against several other milk stouts at an AZ Cooters tasting. This was poured into my Lost Abbey stemware.

Black, opaque, and topped with a fizzy tan head that pops away after a few seconds. The top layer is wispy, with a very thin lingering ring and thick streaks of lace.

The nose: tangy dark chocolate, deeply burnt bread, cocoa powder, some soy, some sourdough.

The flavor is fairly sweet throughout. Toasted sourdough bread and milk chocolate, with hints of soy in the background. Upon the swallow I get some deeper dark chocolate and maybe even some sourish tang.

The body is a bit thin for the style, sitting maybe at medium-light. Carbonation is gentle and there isn’t even a hint of alcohol.

Portsmouth’s milk stout is nicely sweet, but too tangy for my tastes. When taken with the insubstantial body, this one just didn’t stack up to the other brews we tried.

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Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Tim – thanks!

Pours black with a tan head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate and lactic sweetness.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Moderately roasted malts up front are quickly smoothed by the addition of semi-sweet chocolate and lighter sugars. The sweetness subsides near the end of the sip, ending with a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, a well done example of the style. I wouldn’t mind having this again in the cooler months, certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic light stout i was thrilled to be able to try this one tonight.

A very, very nice pour here. Pitch dark, with a really nice three inches of head on the top of the glass, which all settled down very nicely with some of the best side glass lace I have seen in a very long time, very rich and full and just very nice looking.

The aroma was decent. Rich roasted malts, hints of sweetness rolled in throughout the profile here with a very nice overall presentation to it. Some notes of chocolate as it warms up as well. The flavor was more of the same. Rich roasted malts, hints of chocolate and a light bitter dryness to it, but it lacked the punch of a really good tout, not much complexity here at all. The feel was nice, full bodied with good carbonation kept it alive, and light enough to be thrown down fairly easily, in fact, rather nicel.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into cervoise

This beer pours a dark brown with lighter brown edging. Good, very light tan, head formation. A few lace strands stuck around. Smell is chocolate and coffee with distinct sweet sugars. Taste is much of the same but I get this acidic sour flavour on the back end. Not pleasant. The chocolate does show up front along with some vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium and easy to drink, could afford to be creamier. Overall it is ok, not great. That sour kick in the back does not help.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one in a fantastic trade with CooperEllis... John hooks it up!! Shared this bottle with the usual supects a few weeks back.

Pours with a dark tan head.. short lasting with a nice cap above the expected black brew.

Nose is pretty mild up front... the malts show as lite French Roast and a bit of lesser milk chocolate... hoppiness is low, but still discernible and relevant... good with warmth.

Flavor is about spot-on for style.. a bit of sweetness brings the dark malts to the front.. the roastiness is mild and has a nice cocoa and a slight coffee presence... nice sweetness on the finish helps tie things together.

lite/medium body and still digging it.. a few pours later are still damn good.


Thanks again John.. We need to do this again soon ;-)

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Photo of dgugliuzza
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a Sam Adams pint glass...Big Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this one back from Portsmouth.

A- Pours black with a beautiful cascading effect of light brown head. Great head retention...foamy and bubbly.

S- Smells sweet and roasty. Hints of milk chocolate and even some brown sugar mixed in. Toasty and nutty malts with no hop character.

T- Nutty and sweet. Hints of chocolate, but not as much as I detected in the smell. The brown sugar seems to create the sweetness; however, it is not overly sweet.

M- Creamy and a bit thin. Medium carbonation with a milky smooth consistency.

D- Exceptional drinkability for a milk stout. Not overly sweet or heavy. More on the creamier smooth side. This is one silky smooth milk stout that I'd love to try again if i ever find myself in Portsmouth.

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Photo of TakeTheMonyNrun
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark, almost black color - little to no head

S - A very malty scent, some alcohol

T - Delicious taste, sweet malts and slight milky flavor

M - Very creamy, slight carbonation

D - Goes down very smooth, about ready to hit the second half of the 20 or so oz. bottle.

Overall a great beer, though not the best I've had from the Portsmouth Brewery, this one definitely doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap before KTG 2010.

Pours a moderate to deep brown color with a bit of an off white head. The nose is some slight roast as well as a bit of chocolate and coffee. The taste is nice with a bit of milk sugar and light chocolate and coffee. Moderate feel with good carbonation. Drinks quite well and has a really nice feel from the lactose.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Not much fizzle and sizzle to this one; little to no head. Just a few bubbles on the top. Typical black body here. I'm sure it looks better poured from the tap, but here, a little disappointing.

Smells like sweet maple roasted goodness. Like a not very creamy iced coffee almost. Yum.

The taste starts out with just a hint of roastedness and finishes with a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness. No real hop presence is detected.

Average mouthfeel; I've come to expect a nice creaminess from stouts and this does not deliver there. I have high expectations for Portsmouth Brewery stouts here.

All in all a serviceable beer and one that can be definitely enjoyed based on aroma and taste alone. In this incarnation of the brew, however, it cannot be considered among the best. I am slightly curious to try it on tap though.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark brown color. Poured a thin, wispy head that dissipated to a skim. Laced in thin, inconsistent rings.

S: Sweet toasted malts; chocolate, toffee and coffee. Definite lactose and vanilla aroma.

T - Taste is consistent with aroma. The sweet lactose lingers through a light bitter.

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Very sweet with minimal carbonation. A sweet lactose/vanilla lingers long in the finish.

D: Flavorful and good look and feel. Just a little too sweet (maybe not quite balanced).

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Photo of STEG
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Used this to cool off after the mikk chipotle porter.

Appearance - Pitch black sandy colored head. ok retention no real lacing.

Smell - Not much going on, light chocolate, light coffee, skim milk.

Taste - Sweet malt, earthy hops and a skim milk like character to it.

Mouthfeel - Light, slightly creamy, a bit airy

Drinkability - The relatively low abv combined with the taste and mouthfeel

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a dark black with ruby/amber highlights with light shining through. It has a creamy tan head that leaves lots of residual lacing.

S. Lots of dark malt with some coffee and a hint of caramel.

T. Coffee with some milky creaminess and a light roasty bitterness on swallow.

M. Creamy and very smooth with a med body.

D. Looks and tastes wonderful. Smooth and creamy as a milk stout ought to be.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Generous extra by 6daysbottomocean

22 oz bomber poured into my snifter glass

A - Super dark brown with very minimal head. Nice lacing left on my glass.

S - Sweet smelling. Condensed milk, maybe, along with mlik chocolate, butter, toffee, maybe buttered popcorn. I'd be concerned with diacytel on this, but it's a milk stout...so I think it's correct. We'll see what happens in the taste.

T - Taste is of condensed milk, butter, toffee, and milk chocolate. There's some minimal roast from the malt, but not a whole lot. The milk qualities definitely dominate. it's kind of almost too sweet for a stout.

M - Fairly medium body with minimal carbonation. A sweet finish left after each sip.

D - It's good. I kind of wish I had a few others to split this with though.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nitro tap poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a dark black/brown with light ruby hints. Nose is sweet an malty and coffee. Quite nice.

Taste is malty, but dry and quite toasty with a light finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft, with light carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of Casey10
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful milk stout exspecially on tap. It is a dark mocha color. It has flavors of light chocolate in the background. While I didn't get a lot of notes on this I just wanted to make sure that I updated what a nice refreshing easy drinking stout this is and would definately have again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 7/24/10 notes.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of vanilla, roasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and cream.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A nice milk stout. Some nice vanilla and chocolate balance. Would try again.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kelp for allowing me the chance to get my hands on this as well as a couple of other Portsmouth bottles over the last couple of months. I am a big milk stout fan so was looking forward to trying this one.

A - Pours a rich looking dark brown with a tan/mocha head.

S - Consistent with the style, a nie blend of coffee, chocolate, and malt dominate.

T - A very nice mix that includes rich malt, a pinch of dark chocolate, sweet lactose, and hops. I did not find it over the top sweet and actually had a slight bite from the dark choc and hops but it finishes sweet in the after taste. Very nice blend of flavors in this one.

M - Very nice, tends a bit toward the thin side but a nice rich feel regardless.

D - Very good, could comfortably drink a lot of this.

A really solid effort and very glad I got the chance to try this one out compliments of a greater trader in Kelp.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a 22oz bottle with my wife; poured ½ of the bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. The aggressive pour yielded a small, thin layer of tan foam. The head had little retention and poor lacing qualities. The body is dark brown, borderline black with amber edges.

The nose is mostly roasted malts and coffee with some weak chocolate characters in the background.

Wow...the taste blows the nose away!! You are hit with a heavy cream flavor that gets sweeter toward the center and fades by the finish. The roasted coffee and malt flavors take over and bring the drink to a bitter closing. The aftertaste finds the cream flavor again...sweet and chewy!

Medium mouth feel, watery creaminess with very mild carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer that I would love to keep in stock. If you ever get a chance to have one...I would highly recommend!

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Portsmouth Milk Stout from Portsmouth Brewery
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 96 ratings