Milk Stout | Lancaster Brewing Company

very good
469 Reviews
Milk StoutMilk Stout

Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We are proud to offer this traditional English Sweet Stout that's bursting with roasted barley flavor. A dark ale, Milk Stout has just a touch of sweetness provided by an addition of non-fermentable lactose sugar.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-01-2002

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Reviews: 469 | Ratings: 1,174
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dry coffeeish stout with a long lactose finish. Good bubbly head. Bitter aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Coffee aroma. Understated carbonation. Overall serviceable and satisfying but really not a great taste, the lactose was a barrier of sourness to smoothness, and I didn't want MOOre of it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch light brown head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Nice rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of toasted bread, chocolate milk, and cinnamon bark. Something about the smell is super appealing to me. Taste is of roasted coffee beans, cocoa powder in milk, and dark malts. I get a slight cinnamon powder on toast taste on the finish with a slight cocoa powder bitterness. A good level of carbonation while still being smooth and creamy. Overall, this is a solid stout from a brewery I had never heard of before now. I am glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember having this beer on an Easter Sunday and letting my grandfather try it. It hated it, he likes his cream ales and stuff but at least he gave it a try. The beer was a very dark black color. Had a big time toasted flavor. I expected it to be a little more on the sweet side. Wasn't really getting much of that. It wasn't a bad stout, I'd try it again.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is close to being black in color - traces of reddish amber are visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to a light source. It poured with a short beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to medium aromas of lactose are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of lactose along with notes of milk chocolate and hints of roasted malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness; no sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little thin on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink but seems to be a little lighter in body compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, nice looking fluffy tan head on it. Medium bodied, nice sweetness to it... also a good roastiness comes through. Not overpowering on the taste, I feel it could use a little higher ABV to get some more taste in there but it's definitely a nice solid beer. An above average stout for sure, a nice creamy beer with great mouthfeel.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black color with a frothy beige head that lasts throughout but leaves various strands of lace

Smell: The predominant aromas are chocolate and roast, but underneath that you can pick out some espresso notes

Taste: Starts with a nice roasted malt flavor that adds a bit of chocolate by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops add some bitterness and provide balance; a bit charred for a milk stout but not objectionable

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very filling and rich but I don't think it is particularly well-balanced

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Photo of kojevergas
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I love this style. I don't think I've had anything from the brewery afore. Acquired via mail as part of a beer of the month club me sister signed me up for for me birthday.

A: Pours a half finger head of lovely tan colour, fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention - especially for the merely average ABV. It retains for about thirty seconds. Colour is a predictable solid black.

Sm: Milky with lactose - I can't say I'm surprised. Also pleasant caramel, wonderful roasted barley (an excellent sign in the aroma of a stout), pretty strong capuccino, and hints of something more rich - perhaps chocolate. Some coffee. A moderate strength, aroma, but truly a remarkable one in its complexity and depth. I'm quite fond of the aroma, and I'm hoping the flavour delivers on its promise.

T/Mf: The roasted barley is subtly present for the first act only, with the silky smooth milk notes taking over afterwards. The effect is lovely, more in terms of mouthfeel than flavour perhaps, and helps it avoid feeling too much like a porter. The capuccino, coffee, light chocolate, and subtle caramel flavours that soon reveal themselves are quite complementary to the foundation, giving the beer a rich complexity whilst maintaining an impressive balance. It drinks smooth and wet, but with enough coarseness on the open from the roast and enough thickness to keep it feeling bold. It's never too much or too little, though the mouthfeel could use some more cream (I'm nitpicking). I'm pretty impressed with this beer. Bravo.

Dr: It drinks very easily. I could down this one all night, and I'd be glad to. The alcohol never comes through (not that it's high or anything). A lovely little milk stout that gets me excited to try more beers from the same brewery. This is one I'd love to try on nitro-draught. I'd definitely pick up a six pack of this. I wish it was more available in California.


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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikecharley for this extra at DLD!

Into a pint glass, it had a nice puffy cap of foam, with a smooth, dimpled surface. The foam had a chocolate milk tint, and it left some spotty irregular lace. Roasty aroma and a touch lactic. Rich roasty taste, dry and lightly bitter in the finish. Unsweetened chocolate, coffee, the usual stout suspects, with no cloying sweetness. Feel is nice and smooth, almost creamy, very easy to session i'd imagine. A solid Milk Stout, it's nice all around with no flaws...

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Tedwarhc for this bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown with a thick, creamy dark tan head that sticks around for quite awhile before falling to a thin cap. The nose brings some light toffee and cream plus a bit of roast and chocolate. Faint coffee as well. The flavor is roasty with a bit of chocolate and cream throughout, especially in the feel. Light carbonation. Toffee is out of place and doesn't really fit, affecting the nose, flavor, and palate. Not terrible, but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Rare Vos Glass.

Pours 1 and 1/2 finger of creamy tan head. Fades down to a thin ring. No lace left. Color pours caramel brown but settles black.

Aroma: Sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Some milk and caramel flavors as well. Light coffee.

Taste: Sweet milk chocolate. Roasted malts. Coffee flavors. Caramel and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and very roasted.

Overall, a decently drinking milk stout. Some nice flavors here. One bottle shouldn't be too much.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a light almond colored head that dissapates pretty quick,aroma is of french roast coffee deeply roasted.Taste is incredably coffeeish with a slight malted milk taste I like the intermingling flavors of coffee and lactose very tasty beer I will get again if given the chance.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Should be a good night cap, thanks to Noslenwerd in another one of our huge trades.

A: Rising head gets to about 2 fingers over a pitch black creamy looking liquid. The head is darker in color and very thick and frothy looking.

N: I could smell this from a few feet away on the pour, lots of malts, some nice milk chocolate, lactose, little roast and coffee finish it off.

T: Starts with roast actually, roasted malts and hints of coffee. That is followed closely with lots of milk chocolate. Creamy chocolate and lots of lactose creamy feel. If it were a little sweeter I would almost think of the the little cartons of chocolate milk I used to have as a kid. Some darker malts also sneak in there.

M: A little lighter on the body, but very creamy and smooth, and good carbonation.

F: Still a little lightly sweet on the finish, with even more lactose coming out. It really makes you feel like you just drank a glass of fresh chocolate milk on the finish. Pretty refreshing. A slight stout like bitterness also tickles on the finish. Overall a pretty nice beer, drinkable, tasty, doesn't go over the top in any category, perhaps a little too much lactose if anything.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, very deep brown (almost black) with reddish-mahogany highlights. The creamy, light tan head holds well and leaves nice lace. Sweet chocolate and soft roastiness greet the nose. The body is medium with a soft, very-fine bubbled carbonation that provides the expected creamy mouthfeel and helps to emphasise the malty flavors. The flavor is distinctly chocolatey and caramelish with a firm roastiness; but it's not overly rich or full, which helps to give it a good drinkability. It finishes drying with a short lingering note of sweet chocolate and restrained bitterness. Well done! An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from guzzle211, courtesy of BA March Madness 2009 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lactose, milk chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out creamy and sweet with strong flavors of milk chocolate, lactose and black coffee. The malt character is hearty but not quite as heavy as most stouts. There's a very mild hops presence which is where it should be for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice mild and dark beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: ?

Another quality LBC selection. Don't remember where I first had this, but I've had it on tap and bottled. Pours and opaque black with little to no head. Dark malts in the aroma and semi-sweet chocolate. Similar taste, with roasty malts and semi-sweet chocolate up front with some bitter coffee notes coming through. Smooth, heavy-medium mouthfeel, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-edged mahogany that is nearly as photophobic as the blackest double or Imperial stout. The three finger cap is the color of toasted oatmeal, a good color match that gives the beer that classic stout 'black and tan' look that I enjoy so much. The surface is more pebbly than rocky, has an average life span and deposits a meager amount of sudsy lace.

Milk stout has a good milk stout nose. Moderately roasted barley is uppermost, with plenty of bittersweet chocolate, strong black coffee and a hint of sugared vanilla bean. Thankfully, it doesn't have that sourish, lactic smell that some versions have. I'm really looking forward to upending the glass.

This is a rock-solid stout that is bursting at the seams with flavor. Not only that, but the flavor profile is impressively wide-ranging, containing all of the malty elements noted in the nose, as well as citric hops (Cascade overpowers Styrian Goldings). It's more hoppy than most milk/sweet stouts, and is, therefore, more balanced in terms of sweetness and bitterness.

Vanilla is still lurking and adds an additional amount of flavor interest. I'm impressed that so many complementary flavors are present and that they're present in the proportions that I prefer. Although warming brings nothing new to the table, each successive sip provides further evidence of this beer's solidity and drinkability. I'm quickly running out of beer to analyze. With a bigger, stouter body, it just might be a world-beater.

Lancaster Brewing Company impressed me with Gold Star Pilsner, so my hopes were fairly high for this one as well. I don't feel like shouting 'mooove over Mackeson', but I did enjoy every last drop and wish that I had another bottle or six. I'd be drinking a lot of Milk Stout if I lived in or near Lancaster, PA.

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Photo of russpowell
4.56/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a chestnut tinged ebony with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Lactose & cocoa

T: Follows the nose, along cream flavor & dryness up front. Lactose sweetness, dryness & a touch of iron are all there as this warms. Finishes sweet, dry & with cocoa cream

MF: Smooth & creamy with minimal carbonation

Drank sooo easy, easily in my top 2 of straight up milk stouts, yummy!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Lancaster Brewing Company on Eisenhower Blvd. in Harrrisburg, served cold in a shaker pint.

A - A midnight black appearance that is almost completely opaque w/ a 1/2 inch of basic tan. The head collapses quickly leaving a film of lace. A really beautiful stout to behold before taking a sip.

S - A very roasty coffee-like aroma w/ a smooth cream note. The roasted barley aroma is strong and a nice creamy/nutty odor accents the strong dark malt presence.

M - Light body w/ intense roasted notes. Almost chalky, but not bitter w/ a mild sweet compliment. The feel is refreshing w/ an high carbonation level and slightly roasted touch w/ nutty malts in the finish.

T - Very full flavor of french roast coffee w/ sweet cream and an almost peanut skin-like dry edge. The flavor has a nice balance of dry malt and creamy sweetness that is not overdone. The coffee flavor starts nutty and gets more charcoal-like at the end of the swallow w/ pleasing light essence from the moderately high carbonation. The taste is not cloying as you might expect from a milk stout with more complimentary sweetness than anything and you might be surprised that it was a milk stout if it wasn't labeled that way. I enjoy the mild nature as the glass goes empty.

D - A tasty well brewed and full flavored ale w/ a modicum of restraint just as tit nears intense range it is mellowed by the light body ans subtle sweet element. This ale is refreshing satisfies the dark malt craving. I could drink this for breakfast w/ the very high drinkability factor.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.99/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Going through my notes I realized that I had not put this review up on BA yet.

A: The pour is a dark, dark brown color with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: The nose is not very pleasing at all. There is some roasted malt, hints of chocolate, and a slight sweetness. However, there is also something a bit "off" about the aroma that I can't quite pin point (maybe a touch sour?).

T: The flavor is a slight improvement over the nose with some decent roasted malt and cream flavors with a touch of sweetness. I can't say that it's especially good though.

M: The body and carbonation are about standard, with the body being a touch thin.

D: The pedestrian flavors and rather unpleasant nose really put me off of this beer. I think I would pass on this one if offered it again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/15/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with one inch of dark tan head. Roasted malts, some cream and vanilla, dark bitter chocolate, chalk, and bready malts. Light to medium body, low carbonation.

Overall a pretty average milk stout. Not bad but nothing to write home about. Wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in the trusty Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Always up for a good milk stout. This one pours an opaque black-brown topped by a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises molasses, roasted malts, and a hint of cocoa powder in the background. The taste is very similar, though the molasses is toned down slightly, and the cocoa has transmogrified into a bitter dark-ish chocolate flavor. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Overall, a decent stout, but not much in the way of lacto sweetness or creaminess...just a normal dry stout. Still pretty good, but not really what I was looking for.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I see that I first reviewed this over twelve years ago! Back then, LNCBC was the only game in town, but they paved the way for Lancaster City & County combined to have more breweries & brewpubs than any other county in the Great & Mighty Commonwealth. Their bottled beers are contracted through The Lion in Wilkes-Barre and for a while, they paled in comparison to the brewpub-brewed drafts, leading me to generally shun LNCBC bottles. This should be an interesting revisitation of an old friend.

From the bottle: "Thank you for supporting Lancaster Brewing Co. - Cheers"; "Still the best, we're proud to present America's original Milk Stout. Notes of chocolate and coffee play counterpoint to a mild sweetness from the addition of milk sugar."

Having Pop!ped the cap, I let go with a heavy-handed pour that resulted in a brief finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head. I watched as it slowly wilted in the face of tonight's heat & humidity. Color was solidly Black/Opaque (SRM = 44). It was so black that there was absolutely zero light penetration. Nose had a roasty, slightly smoky, bittersweet chocolatiness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but not missing it by much. This had a more bittersweet chocolate taste than I remember, but that is actually okay by me. I remember it being very sweet, but this was more palatable to me. The smoky, bittersweet chocolate was really a revelation and the slight coffee bitterness also helped to make this a non-sweet Sweet Stout. Finish was semi-dry, not even semi-sweet! I stand corrected on my stance on their bottles.

A nice, dark beer that arrived with a decent tan head, which retained well. There is a definite coffee scent present, of a nature that put me in mind of coffee ice cream. The nitrogen pour results in a very creamy mouthfeel. The finish reinforced my initial thoughts of coffee ice cream. This is definitely a sweet stout! I could see this as an accompaniment to to a dish of vanilla ice cream and it is highly recommended with Strawberry Wheat as "a Chocolate-Covered Strawberry".

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Buffalo Wild Wings in Owings Mills, MD.

The beer appears near black with a half inch of beige head. The aroma offers a strong lactic presence, with additional notes of chocolate, vanilla, roast. Milk chocolate is the dominant flavor. The beer finishes with a hint of bitterness and toasty bread. Creamy at first, with some zesty carbonation mid to late palate. A solid example of a milk stout.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have heard many good things about Lancaster brewing and this beer, so I saw it at D's and figured it's about time I give it a try. Pours a very deep almond brown and leaves a fairly thin tan head on top of the body leaves a nice trickled lace down the glass with every sip. The aroma are soothing tones of mild chocolate, and dark roasts creating a warming sensation like taking some freshly cracked coffee roasts in very nice and mild aroma, there is a bit of a huskiness there in the finish of the aroma. The taste is well balanced between bitter sweet creamy textured tones and the harsh dark roasts that leave such a great flavor on the palate. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, but not heavy or cloying in any way very creamy textured mouthfeel making this one very good stout. I could sip on this beer when in the mood for a good creamy stout, I like the cap it says Lancaster Brewing "better beer".

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken on 2/15/10.

Pours black in color with a finger of tanned head. Nice amount of lacing on the glassware. Nose is roasted grain, little bit of chocolate and coffee character. Slight citrus hops in both the aroma and taste. Flavors mostly of burnt grain bitterness blended with the hop presence. Light feel and lightly carbonated. Lingering taste of bitters via burnt grain and hops are left clinging inside the mouth. Overall not bad and for the sweet stout classification it is very low key on the lactose and sweetness which makes it that much more drinkable as-is compared to other overly sweet milk stouts.

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Milk Stout from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,174 ratings.
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