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 Eisen
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a schooner from a 12 oz. bottle: A thick, cafe colored head that sustained throughout with layered lacing. Smells like a late. Tastes like a spiced/burnt late. Very good and great example of the style. Could use more heat from more alcohol.

 252 characters

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 n2185
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: roasted malts with bitter chocolate and strong, roasted coffee. Not much else going on, but what's there is nice.

T: roasted malts here as well with semi-sweet chocolate, robust coffee, and a bit of char. The finish is slightly bitter.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is nicely carbonated and avoids being watery, though I'd prefer it be a little creamier.

O: an enjoyable coffee stout, overall, especially for the low abv. Robust and with a lot of nice coffee notes, this beer is drinkable and tasty.

 621 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

3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Elysian Split Shot

Appearance: Elysian’s milk stout pours a Coca-Cola looking dark brown/black color, minus the head (which is minimal and khaki colored) and obvious carbonation. There are alcohol legs here, which is shocking considering the low ABV. The lacing is pretty average and has decent retention on the glass. Overall, this looks like a pretty basic stout.

Aroma: The aroma is very one-note: coffee, coffee, and more coffee. There is a nice roasted quality there, as expected, along with a slight sweetness from the lactose. Dark fruits are suggested, but are not prominent at all. There are also suggestions of cocoa beans and baker’s chocolate.

Taste: The taste mostly follows the nose, minus a lot of what little complexity there was to begin with. This basically tastes like carbonated, creamed coffee. There is very little sweetness, a nice creaminess, and coffee bitterness, but not much else. There just is not enough going on here to really give it anything more than slightly above average marks.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is far too prominent to mesh with the rest of the flavors. It just feels odd to have carbonated coffee. There mouthfeel is too thin, as well. A higher ABV would probably help this one out a lot, mixed with a more syrupy, stout feel. The lactose is entirely absent here, which usually lends a desirable, creamy texture. Alas, the palate is entirely a miss for this beer. It just does not match the style, and really ruins what good things this beer has going on.

Overall: This beer has a lot of great potential, but it is mostly squandered. The aroma and taste match up well, but are too simplistic to really make for a great beer. This beer is merely good, before factoring in the mouthfeel. It ends up just being a typical, average stout in the end. 13.5/20

 1,809 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Elysian's "Split Shot" Espresso Milk Stout @ 5.6% , served from a 650 ml bottle ,
A-pour is a very dark brown with a small quick tan head leaving no lace along the stein
S-Seattle based 'Lighthouse Coffee" , not at all overpowering , mellow
T-smooth , espresso/coffee tasting , not as bitter as I was expecting
MF-nice carbonation , ok body , so smooth on the palate
Ov-for a Seattle based coffee/beer I'm surprised at how mellow the espresso smell & taste is , not surprised by the overall product , a worthy choice as official beer of "2012 Seattle Beer Week"

cheers LampertLand

 583 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 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 Jomolieri
3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is the beer that prompted me to write a review. For all the great beers I've had I haven't bothered because everyone else was already raving about them.

Elysian makes some outstanding beer but this just isn't one of them.

This beer is bursting with flavor but in ways that I just found all wrong. I couldn't figure out if I was drinking a beer or a coffee.

Part of the problem maybe that I know coffee. This beer tasted like burnt coffee. If you're a real coffee drinker you know the complexity coffee can have and I just got hung up on how strong the coffee flavor was but how burnt and undeveloped it was. I would never drink coffee that tasted like this so I found it a sad excuse to consider such a strong flavor of burnt quality to be acceptable because it was in a beer.

It did have a nice smoothness and a pleasing sweetness so I do think Elysian has some great stout making abilities but marrying it pleasingly with coffee didn't work out too well with this one.

 981 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 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 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 jellikit
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark. Black. Slight red hue when held to light. Thin head. Thin lacing, clings to glass.

Smell: great coffe aroma.

Taste: smoothe. Roasted barley. Coffee backer.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Not too heavy not too thick for a stout. Medium heavy body. Think Jessica Simpson at her peak.

Overall: great coffee stout. Smoothe drinker. I like stouts that don't use a lot of black patent. This is a good one. Coffee tones are just right.

 451 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 Hoptometrist
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass

A- Poured very dark with a little light coming through, a small soapy mocha head that left no lace

S- Big sweet milk chocolate aroma, lots of roasted coffee, and a lot of dairy character typical of a sweet stout

T- Very big milky character to this beer and very sweet milk chocolate up front. Tons of coffee ground bitterness on the finish and some sweet dark fruit notes.

M- Silky and creamy mouthfeel, prickly carbonation, medium body

O- This is as advertised a sweet stout with a big coffee overload. Very robust and sweet flavor, even with the big coffee flavor and bitterness, the sweetness still seems to dominant more. Reminiscent of a mocha with tons of milk or cream with whipped cream on top. Lots of great flavors and little over the top, definitely worth seeking out.

 836 characters

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the brewpub in Seattle.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color that's nearly opaque with faint chocolate brown edges and a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Robust roasted malt aroma that's countered by sweeter malt notes and lactic sugar.  Strong roasted coffee presence but not burnt or acrid smelling. Hints of dark and milk chocolate, toffee and oatmeal give off complexity and the lactic sugar provides some sweetness/creaminess.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a robust, deeply roasted coffee flavor that's countered by sweeter malts.  Not acrid or overly roasted with subtle smokiness, espresso, dark chocolate and oatmeal.  This is countered by lighter chocolate, toffee and hazelnut as well as some lactic cream.  Still a heavy coffee flavor but well balanced and enjoyable.

 869 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for trading me this brew! Thanks Hollis!

poured into duvel tulip.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 1 finger of brown head. Drops quickly to a small ring with large bubbles.

Smell: This is my favorite part of this brew! Big fresh roasty expresso! Peanut butter! Yeah...without a doubt I get a definate peanut butter note out of the nose. A mixture of dark chocolates and milk chocolates.

Taste: Big roasty expresso coffee that does not have even a hint of bitterness. Milk chocolates and dark chocolate. Hint of lacto milky notes almost like creamer for a coffee. Beer finishes with a touch of chocolatey sweetness and a mild expresso note.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Really drinkable milk stout! No alcohol detected. Just a touch thin, but it does make the beer suffer from a thinner mouthfeel.

Overall: I loved the smell of this beer. Its not super complex, but elysian definately made what they set out to do! Great beer! Suprised it does not get more love from people who review it.

 1,052 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 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 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 rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, chalky black, thin cap of khaki head. Scent brings dark roasted espresso bean, cream and sugar, light notes of nuttyness. Tatste strong with roasted bean and freshly brewed dark coffee, good sugar and cream notes, finishes with a strong peanut buttery note. Fuller side of medium, smooth with some graniness. Solid milk stout all around.

 343 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

More like a dry stout, fresh on tap at Cole’s. Licorice and roast aromas. Off notes, like mold,which is likely the lactose milk part that sometimes emits this, more like goat cheese and coffee unhappily married. Dry finish. Above average mouthfeel though oily.

 262 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown topped off with a fizzy off white head. Very reminiscent of cola.

S Lots of roasted coffee and not much else.

T Again lots of roasted coffee with nothing else present. Reminds of me something you might get at Starbucks.

M Smooth creamy body.

Overall this is an interesting beer. If you are like me and love coffee then you will like this beer. However if you are looking for something a little more beer like avoid this as the coffee dominates this beer to an extreme degree. Its almost more like drinking iced coffee then a beer.

 596 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My usual disclaimer: I don't drink coffee and I don't like coffee. But I do like beer and give coffee beers a fair shot. Served in straight pint glass. Poured the expected black with just a thin cap of tan head that had zero retention or lacing.

I could smell the coffee even as the bartender was pouring the beer. when he handed it across the bar, the only aroma was coffee. No grains, no malt, no yeast, no spice, no beer aspects at all in the aroma. The flavor was the same, all coffee, no beer. Maybe this is what the brewers were shooting for, so I'm not giving the flavor profile the lower score I think it deserves.

The body was average for a milk stout, smooth and a bit creamy. Drinkability will, obviously, depend on your taste for coffee. If you love the stuff, you will love this beer. Overall, you could get one of these instead of an iced coffee at Starbucks and be just as satisfied. I don't mind roasted notes in beer, and if there is a hint of coffee to complement the the malts and grain in a beer, that's acceptable. But when the adjunct in a beer so completely overpowers the basic "Beeriness" of a beer, that beer has gone off the rails. I cannot recommend this beer to the non-coffee lover.

 1,214 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber; official beer of seattle beer week

appearance: served in my hilliards can-pint, ebony body, creamy 1/3" mocha head with really no retention

smell: heavy espresso notes, cream, roasted malt

taste: A really nice coffee stout and quite frankly, one of Elysian's stronger offerings. Lighthouse Roaster was the purveyor of choice - a local roaster with adequate, though inconsistent, product.

mouthfeel: smooth, roasty

overall: a nice coffee stout and a nice choice for SBW

 487 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!