Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout | Elysian Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
106 Reviews
Split Shot Espresso Milk StoutSplit Shot Espresso Milk Stout

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by suncrust on 04-25-2012

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 512
Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out like a cup of espresso though a modest head replaces the brownish film; not much retention or lacing, however

Smell: Coffee with a hint of a burnt character

Taste: Coffee flavor up front, in the middle and in the finish; just a hint of lactose in the aftertaste; oddly fruity and sweet, almost as if it were a coffee soda

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Perhaps a year in the bottle did not serve this well but the beer is not particularly impressive - the body doesn't hold up and the flavors seem a bit underattenuated

 588 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. From notes, because internet outage.

A: Pours a very dark brown color and a one finger head of mocha (lol) shade. The head's texture looks like similar to whipped cream on top of espresso (wut), and its retention is pretty good, too. A creamy ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: There a some nice - if subtle - black coffee notes emanating from the glass, but what makes it quite good is how well the supplemental notes of cream and vanilla blend with the coffee. Not only does it take the edge off, but it creates a nice dessert quality. Really nice if rather simplistic.

T: Coffee hits the palate first, turning into a more general roasted note shortly after. The finish is creamy and vanilla-y, with a faint touch of confectioner's sugar. All in all, it's a decently balanced coffee stout: the blend between the sweet and roast works well, but I could always use a bit more coffee.

M: A bit on the thin side. Carbonation is also somewhat strong. Other than that, it's neither too sweet nor too dry. Having said that, it isn't eminently chuggable like some coffee stouts can be. Still don't care.

O: A solid coffee stout. While it isn't the most exciting, it's still a nicely balanced example of the style. I could easily drink this again, and even buy it again.

 1,305 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Black color. About one finger of tan, frothy, short-lived head.

4.5 S: Deep roastiness without any burntness. Abundant lactose and coffee. A touch of vanilla. Everything comes together in a wonderful harmony.

3.5 T: Coffee is dominant in the taste. The lactose isn't as strong as I'd like and the vanilla is no longer detectable. Still, it's tasty. Dry roastiness.

2.5 M: Mouthfeel on this isn't too great. It feels more like coffee than a milk stout. Lighter medium body. Not creamy at all. Smooth though.

3.0 D: Normally I'd give this a 3.5, but the nose was borderline and the mouthfeel was weak.

 637 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours pretty darn close to black with a 1/2 finger of light tan head.

Smell. Dark coffee and dark roasty malts with a bit of sweet milk chocolate. Yum.

Taste. Dark roasted malts, sour old coffee, not a lot of sweetness. Flavours are a little washed out ...maybe I was just expecting more from the appearance.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Coffee taste was okay but the beer wasn't big enough to back it up.

 450 characters

Photo of papat444
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kump for this one.

Poured from a bomber, no #freshbeer info.

Dark brown pour, milky espresso flavor mixed with baker`s chocolate and a bit of dark chocolate. Retention is decent. Body is a bit thin though it does have a nice bitter coffee finish.

 258 characters

Photo of Svingjo
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured an opaque dark black with a thin tan head that disappeared fairly quickly. There is definitely roasted espresso, dark chocolate and a bit of bread on the nose. At first I don't get much flavour but there is that espresso and chocolate in the aftertaste that lingers for a short time. Funny enough that as it warms up the flavour profile does change a bit almost reminding me of a cold Double Double from your local coffee shop. The carbonation balances the mouthfeel down a notch to a high medium. I think this one of those beers that would benefit as a nitro just to smooth it out a bit more.

 610 characters

Photo of 57md
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a dark chocolate brown color with a finger of fluffy beige head that dissipates quicker than expected. The nose has a mild sour note which is very odd for a milk stout. The flavor profile is very sweet – sugary sweet. The essence of chocolate is present but in much more muted terms than expected.

At the risk of sounding redundant – this offering fell short of expectations.

 394 characters

Photo of IllNate
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with brown highlights and a good helping of tan/brown head. Good retention. Aroma is big on coffee, I think mostly from the coffee, but also complemented by the dark roast malt. Quite a bit of lactose in the nose as well and a small helping of hop. Taste follows with big coffee and dark roasts. Sweetness there too though and a balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth yet bitter, both coffee and hop I suspect. Overall a great beer. My first milk stout.

 468 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been interested in this one. Pours a nice black coffee with a bit of light mocha foam and no lace. Smells of coffee and hints of lactose sweetness. The coffee is bold and almost spicy with hints of soil and tobacco - nice nose. Flavor comes through delivering quite a bit of lactose sweetness, actually so much it reminds me of non-dairy creamer. Cocoa, bitterness, coffee, smooth roastyness. I like the flavor, but I can see how some would perceive it to taste "cheap". Full bodied with a reserved carbonation and wet finish. Overall decent beer, and something really approachable for all, but I wouldn't buy more than a couple times a year if always around.

 659 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a nice deep ebony colour with a nice tight creamy head.

S - Creamy coffee and a little smoke

T - Up front some creamy notes that are followed by coffee and smoke, finish is smooth.

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation

O - A very solid low ABV stout

 306 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a small tan head. The aroma is full of lactose and cream with some coffee notes. The flavor is full of chocolate and coffee notes, with some lactose thrown in. I also get a hint of roasted malt in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 288 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour results in a very slight fizzy khaki colored head the quickly disappears... What remains is a very slight lacing and thin to moderate collar... Carbonation bubbles can be seen bursting through the surface... The color is a deep brown that allows a bit of light to leak in around the edges providing a light reddish hue of undertones... The aroma is exactly as expected and rather enjoyable... Mild espresso is at the forefront of each and every whiff... Next in line is the roasted malt... Finally there are hints of vanilla and caramel... The flavor profile is much more muted than I would have expected based on the stellar aroma... Everything seems to be watered down a notch or two... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Some fizzy carbonation to start... Chalky throughout... Has some characteristics similar to espresso (minus the carbonation)... Not a bad beer, but nothing to memorable either... The aroma is stellar, but all other facets are average or only slightly better...

 1,013 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fills the glass with blackness. Some lighter brown comes through in the light. The head is khaki, fluffy, and laces the glass.

The aroma is probably the best the thing going with this beer. Immense coffee jumps out first with some sweeter chocolate, caramel and vanilla notes.

Drinks pretty light on the palate with medium carbonation. The flavor delivers a lot of coffee and roast with some sweetness underlying.

 415 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating to be found on the bottle or label, but this is a late winter/early spring release, so it's probably a couple months old at this point. Poured into a standard tumbler glass.

Appearance - Pours a rich, dark tree bark brown color body with a luscious two and a half finger camel colored head that has a big bouquet of larger bubbles rising out of the middle of the glass. Retention is moderate, and as the head fades to a half finger layer of foam, it leaves thick streaks of silky lace on the side of the glass which eventually fade to sticky webs of lace.

Smell - Roasted malt and light coffee beans are the predominant flavors, with some additional notes of lactose sweetness and milk chocolate. There isn't a whole lot of depth to the smell, it's pretty straightforward and simple. I wish the coffee element was more of that overpowering aroma of fresh ground beans.

Taste - Semidark chocolate on the initial sip, with that distinctive lactose sweetness that is so often present in milk stouts. The coffee is just as subdued here as it was in the aroma, and while this is a few months old at this point, I'm a little surprised that it's so far in the background. Tastes more like a coffee and cream stout than a coffee stout, and the name, "espresso", is completely out of place.

Mouthfeel - Body is on the full side of medium, with moderate to low carbonation. Sweet finish and mild aftertaste.

Overall, a beer that just didn't live up to the name. With a name like "espresso", I expect, overpowering, bitter, coffee grounds on the smell and taste. And part of the problem is that there are so many really good coffee stouts out there these days that this one, even though it's far from a poor beer, it just doesn't move the needle in relation to it's comparables.

 1,823 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly full black, with a nice little brown head that dissipates somewhat quickly. Didn't really leave any lace.

The aroma was more sort of a sweet iced coffee smell. Some definite lactose, milky sugar notes, some chocolate and slight espresso notes.

Taste was again, milky sweet, with a sweet coffee note, bits of roasted malts.

It was creamy, upper medium in body, smooth, and easy to drink.

A bit more of a sweeter coffee beer, which was good, but not the best I've had for sure.

 495 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Nice rich black color. Presents with a 1 finger tan head. The head recedes leaving some wispy lacing.

S: Black coffee - the kind a lady named Flo' would serve a trucker at a diner. This is a no doubt - punch to the nose coffee scent.

T: Slightly bitter coffee. I feel like there is something else in there maybe a hint of chocolate - but it is lots of coffee (but not unpleasant).

M: Overall mouth feel is nice but a little less smooth than I would expect for a milk stout. Slightly more carbonated than would be ideal - but nothing too bad. Goes down well.

O: If you do not like coffee this should be avoided. It is very coffee forward and coffee in the mid and late - it is coffee everywhere. I am not a coffee drinker but I enjoy this beer. I like that Elysian just said, "ah screw it let's not nibble around the edges - let's just make coffee with some stout in there." I like this and will drink it again. I am excited to suggest it to a few friends that are coffee drinkers.

 988 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, earth, dirt, char, and burnt espresso aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, brewed espresso, and espresso grounds flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with espresso characteristics that come through slightly better in the taste to me.

Serving type: on tap.

 686 characters

Photo of Act25
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Elysian is adventurous Seattle brewer, a city famous for craft and coffee. But this one is mid-pack.
I am an avid expresso drinker, drink it half-caff all day long, and often side by side with beers, and sometimes poured into a beer. So no stranger to coffee. However, almost as much as with fruit juices, I much prefer to add my own than have the brewer add it.

A: Pours opaque black coffee body, just like from my espresso machine, a little darker, head fades to about the same crema. Good lacking. A bit lacking in body.

S: The Coffee is not over-done. It's all dark roasted malt, wood char, hay. with hints of coffee, espresso, and cream. A bit too subtle

T: Follows smell, malts with more bittersweet espresso, more like a dry stout, drier than expected, from there it's a nice finish well balanced between sweet and bitter, good tingle, good long finish, lands slightly sweet but not cloying.

M: A little thin compared to most milk stouts, smooth, chalky, medium-light body.

D: A light-drinking stout, roasty with plenty but not too much espresso and milk. I'd prefer a full on milk stout like Left Hand or Nitro.

 1,127 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: just about opaque black body, couple of fingers of tan foam

S: dark roasted malt aromas, with hints of coffee, espresso, and milk

T: bittersweet espresso, drier than I expected, some milk sugars and roasted malt chocolate flavors; mellow bitterness

M: smooth, slightly chalky finish, slightly coating on the tongue, medium-light body

O: a decent and light-drinking stout, mellow and roasty with ample espresso and milk characteristics; not a beer I'd go back to, but I'm not usually inclined to drink "light"-feeling/tasting milk/sweet stouts - if you dig that style, particularly with an espresso infusion, this will probably rate higher for you than me.
Don't hesitate to give it a try.

 696 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Deepest brown with direct light only breaking down 1/2 inch - with a slightly cloudy or murky clarity. Creamy tan head billowed up 1 finger and settles down leaving a very slight lacing.

S: This might seem impossible however it smells like coffee spiked with coffee mocha liqueur. Some toasted malts and bitter coco, notably missing a hops note.

T: Coffee coffee coffee - delivered as advertised, some deep toasty malts and unsweetened coco. The lactose taste is just there and lends to a sweetness that improve the deeply roasted malts. I could start my day with this beer.

M: On first sip I found myself feeling as though I was drinking a coffee pop/soda, or a carbonated drip coffee. It's highly carbonated and somewhat thin for a stout.

O: This could be an excellent brew if the mouthfeel offered a richer experience on par with the scent and the taste. Overall, still enjoyable and might still reach for it with my eggs benny.

 942 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a dark black color body with a thin tan head.
aroma is of roasty malt and some chocolate.
The taste has cofee, roasted malt and chocolate.
Mouthfeel is very nice and overall a very tasty beer.

 200 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deep-deep brown nearly black color. When served there was a big brown head on the brew that faded over a moderate amount of time to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweet coffee smell mixed with a good dose of milk chocolate. Behind these aromas is a roasted malt and light vanilla smell.

Taste- The taste begins with a roasted malt and coffee flavor. Upfront it also has some sweet chocolate flavors as well. These sweeter flavors dwindle as the taste advances with the chocolate becoming more bitter and the flavors of coffee/espresso getting stronger. While near the end a quite sweet lactose taste comes to the tongue making the beer on the sweeter side and balancing out the bitter with more sweetness. In the end the flavors when mixed together leave a mocha cappuccino flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The creamier body is very nice for the flavors of the beer and really accentuates the dark chocolate, coffee and roasted flavors.

Overall – A pretty tasty stout. With it not being too heavy, it having a creamier feel and nice sweeter finish it is quite pleasant to drink and a nice beer to sip after a meal.

 1,320 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at The Pony Bar on the UES today at their Elysian event. 14 oz. pour in a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of espresso, cream, roasted malts, coffee, sweet milk chocolate, and bitter chocolate. Nose reminds me of coffee iced cream, which is pretty nice.

t - Taste follows the nose pretty closely. Tastes of espresso, coffee, cream, milk, vanilla, roasted malts, and milk chocolate. Very nice.

m - Light body and low carbonation. Body is very thin and it seems a little bit undercarbonated; probably the only bad part of the beer.

o - Overall this is exactly as it sounds, and a pretty good beer. The nose and taste have a lot of espresso and sweet milk/cream and chocolate, as opposed to more of a coffee grind flavor that some coffee stouts have. Very good nose and taste, though the mouthfeel is too think and not carbonated enough. Worth checking out and would have it again.

 995 characters

Photo of woemad
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $5.99. There’s a logo promoting the 2012 Seattle Beer Week on the lower left portion of the label, which is fitting as this was the official beer of said celebration. According to the fine print, this was brewed with coffee from a Seattle roaster called Lighthouse.

Poured a very dark brown color that gave up nothing when held up to light. Small, mocha-colored head that dropped quickly, leaving a foam collar.

Roasty, coffeeish aroma. Pretty much what I expect whenever I sniff a porter, but I tend to expect a little more complex an aroma from a stout, coffee stout or not.

The taste is a little more complex than the smell. Bitter, dark roast coffee and sweet chocolate flavors vie with one another. There are acidic notes throughout, with things ending on a dry and ever so slightly sour milk note. If it were possible, I’d give this a 3.75 instead of a 4.

The body is somewhere between medium and full. The mouthfeel is velvety and sticky.

A good, not great coffee stout. The coffee and milk stout flavors are fairly well balanced, but the dry, sour aftertaste keeps it a one and done bottle, not something I’d want to session.

 1,201 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought a six-pack of Split Shot Milk Stout in a grocery store, Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black walnut color, with a thin tan head on a aggressive pour.

Smell is a smokey charcoal aroma.

Tastes predictably like coffee. Charcoal flavors, coffee and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, smooth and lightly carbonated, bordering on flat.

Overall a a decent milk stout. It could be a little creamier, but it's good. It's also better warmer.

 464 characters

Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout from Elysian Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 512 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!