Mackeson Stout
Whitbread PLC

Mackeson StoutMackeson Stout
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English Sweet / Milk Stout
Ranked #755
Ranked #39,976
3.58 | pDev: 11.73%
Whitbread PLC
England, United Kingdom
Mackeson StoutMackeson Stout
View: Beers
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by HoustonTX:
Photo of HoustonTX
2.87/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Poured a very dark brown, with a frothy brown head. Average retention.

S - Smell was of light malts, creame, and coffee.

T - Taste is quite sweet. Notes of chocolate, toffee, and milk sweetness. Almost espresso like. A tad too sweet for my tastes, but it wasn't horrible. Drinkability gets knocked down, due to it being hard to have more than one of these. Mouthfeel is creamy.

An alright Sweet Stout, just not my type of beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of joecast
3.04/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours deep black with a large fine brown head which settles to a thin lace.
starts out with a light roasty, almost burnt aroma that turns more floral candy sweet as it warms a bit.
mostly candy like sweet flavor as well. yeah, ok, its a sweet stout.
mouthfeel is super creamy smooth. really nice going down.
not sure if i can review this totally on style as its the first sweet stout ive had (that i can think of). stuck with a 3.0 for taste as i thought, "well, if its supposed to be sweet, it sure is".
overall, not bad, just a bit more on the sweet side than i would like.

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Photo of dauss
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 330ml can. 3% ABV. Stamped on the bottom, but unable to decipher. MAY 06 L5149SL 04:40.

Appearance: Its black. No color gets through this beer, a small tan head forms, but dissappears quickly.

Smell: Sweet malty aroma with generous amounts of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Sweet and thick malt body. Its smooth, slightly roasty with chocolate and coffee. Light spicy hop flavor with very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: fully and leaves this thick malto dextrin like coating in your mouth. It doesn't have that cloying thick feeling like the Mackeson XXX.

Notes: Its highly drinkable. At 3% ABV, you could drink this all day. It isn't as good as the Mackeson XXX. Just think of Mackeson XXX, but cut the flavor in half.

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Photo of cypressbob
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small 330ml can

Pours with a dark brown body, almost black with very little light penetration, head is decent, with fairly good retention

Smell is malty, but very strong in esters

Taste is very sweet, I havent had mucn experience with sweet stouts but this is pretty sweet, with a dry malty aftertaste, some hint of honey and caster sugar

I'm generally a fan of dry stouts, strong foreign stouts and imperial stouts, this is ok but far too sweet

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Photo of horshack7
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass is a black beer with a beige head.

Aroma: Milk sugars, roasted malts, coffee and some espresso, semi sweet chocolate, hops are roasted dark but not to the point of being burnt. Plums, mild raisins, light grape notes.

Taste: Bready bite a little sweet like molasses. Dark coffee, dark roasted hops and malts with notes of semi sweet chocolate. Dark fruits, plums, figs, raisins. the mouthfeel is relatively smooth with a light hop bite.

Notes: Certainly drinkable overall it's decent. Cheers.

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Photo of TheJudge
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This looks like a nice beer. Deep and dark, beautiful to behold. Nice off white 1 finger head that holds for the entire pint, good lacing. Smells good too, chocolat malts dominating the aroma. But I was not quite prepared for the taste. Sweet Sweet Sweet. It tasted like they added a tablespoon of sugar to my glass. Overpoweringly sweet. Which is unfortunate, because you can detect a fine underlying malt. I could never have more than one of these

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Photo of slowdaddy
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of KoG
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of wl0307
3.41/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

According to British beer writer Roger Protz's new book "300 Beers to Try Before You Die", the modern day Mackeson Stout is "the only major survivor of a once widely produced type of dark beer known as milk stout", but had to scrape the word "milk" from the label in the 1960s due to the government's concerns of misleading effects of some labels, for the beer contains no milk but only milk sugar, or lactose. Although the brand Mackeson as of today is owned by the Interbrew/InBev group, the beers (Stout and Export Stout, 4.2%abv.) are both brewed by the Young's in London on its behalf. And the fact that it's now produced by one of my favourite breweries, Young's, really triggers my interest in trying this beer for the first time in my life~~ (having seen it on the shelves in so many supermarkets for such a long time). The BB date is Oct. 06.

A: in a 500ml jug it pours a deeply mahogany to black hue, coming with an effervescent, thick fluffy and foamy tan head slowly breaking down and exposing Ciabatta kind of bubbly texture, leaving uneven but fine lacing along the way~~
S: semi-sweetish dark malts with a slightly sour-sweet fruity edge, like that imparted by wheat in Newcastle Brown Ale I reckon. Sweetened coffeeish and creamy toffeeish maltiness dominated but not overpowering. Overall simplistic and soft.
T&M: "milky"-smooth texture of roasted barley and semi-sweet upfront, with restrained hint of dark fruitiness at the back and an bittersweet aftertaste of roasted nuts; semi-dry finish without any unwanted sticky touch. Not as sweet as I'd imagined from the name "sweet/milk stout", the overall flavour is rather moderate against a creamy texture throughout. The mouthfeel slightly thins out at the end of tasting, but I think it happens rather naturally to a beer at only 3%abv.?!
D: overall this small beer doesn't disappoint at all. Certainly not something to make people WOW, esp. given a lot more complex stuffs available on the market nowadays. But given its history as the only remaining sample of classic milk stout since 1907, I'm rather enjoying a glass of living institution and that's fascinating enough~~

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with dark red-brown hilights and a low to moderate head. Faint roastiness on the aroma with perhaps a little milk chocolate, but otherwise aroma is very low.

The faint roastiness dominates the flavour upfront lending a faint dryness and astringency that balances the sweet milky body very well. Carbonation is low and finish is nicely dry.

A very nice sweet stout and doubly impressive for the 3% ABV content.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml can bought from Sainsburys...

Poured completely black - no hint of colour when held up to the light... Creamy tan head poured quite thick and faded to almost nothing.... very patchy lacing...

Aroma - Dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, light roasted malts, slight dustiness, nutty hints, peppery notes, biscuity...

Taste – Quite sweet toasted malts, bitter chocolate, slight liquorice notes, some smokey traces, sweets creamy / milky aftertaste...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy with a slight tingly sharpness underneath...milky coating covers the lips.... Medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable - maybe slightly too sweet to have a lot in one sitting...

Overall - An excellent stout.... recommended !!

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Photo of hunteraw
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Taste in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong.

Jet black in appearance, fair-sized tan head. Some lacing. Aroma is predominantly of roast. Some coffee and a sour edge as well. Roast at the beginning of the palate, some coffee, slight sourness. Very distinct kahlua aftertaste. Medium body, carbonation fine. On the sweeter side, but finishes dry. Fairly drinkable, glad it's available here in HK.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Luxurious cappuccino velveteen head stands tall atop an impressive, nearly opaque black coffee body with autumnal red highlights. Good retention and light lacing.

Smell: Barley tea, sweet milk chocolate swirled with caramel, malted milk, mild coffee, and dark chocolate. Smells like a beer that might be brewed by Hershey's.

Taste: Sugary sweet and grainy. Light metallic notes. Loads of fresh milk, caramel, brown sugar, and Dr. Pepper. East Kent-ish hops add a nice herbal edge but do little to balance the sweetness. Good, but it needs a bit more balance and depth.

Mouthfeel: Soft, thick, chewy, and slick. Surprisingly, not all that syrupy considering the sweetness.

Drinkability: Too sweet, but still pretty drinkable. An obvious match for dessert.

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Photo of crwills
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one really surprised me. I purchased a little can of this little (3%!) beer at a grocery store in Edinburgh (Scotmid). Didn't get a chance to drink it while I was there, so back it came. I assumed it would taste about the same as the 'Sweetheart Stout' (2%) I tried there, which is one of my lowest reviews, but - happily - it didn't!

Anyway, there's nothing too spectacular about this one, but I enjoyed it at least a little bit. Poured the standard stout black into a pint glass, with almost no head. Faint, dry, woody aroma, almost Guinness-like, but with some sweet milk-chocolate notes. Flavour is a mix of dry Irish stout, some mild chocolate, and smoky tobacco -- but all very light, making this black beer surprisingly refreshing. Clean aftertaste and light mouthfeel avoid the heaviness that some stouts impart as well.

Although I wouldn't intentionally seek it out, it is certainly better than average in several respects.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +39.7%

Photo of
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Blu Bar in Arlington, TX.

Pretty much opaque, brown/black in color. Small, cocoa colored head.

Hard to get aroma b/c of smoke in bar. What came through was mainly chocolate.

Flavor included raisins, some roast notes and chocolate. A very sweet beer, no hops to speak of. Only bitterness came from roast.

Medium to heavy in body. Carbonation seemed low. Not drying.

OK, and to style. Not to my taste, as I prefer more hops. For someone looking for a stout without pucker, give this one a try.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I know I've had English Mackeson's, but most recently I had one brewed in the Caribbean (St. Kitts, I think). It was not very cold and so the taste shone through.

It was stout-like in appearance (really dark) and the head seemed substantial enough. The taste (at a warm temp) was very sweet and syrupy. There was sufficient hops to know that this was Mackeson.

The whole experience was fun and I think the Caribbean version is very close to the real thing.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not bad. this beer needs a bit of roasted charcteristic and more unfermentables for a better mouthfeel.

retention fades decentl quickly as well. good mil flavor but I want more body and a bit of roasted charcteristic.

minty hop aroma lends itself nicely.

hugely disorganized review from my phone

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark color, tan head, slight retention.

Aroma is malty, chocolatey. Coffee, notes, no real hops aroma.

Flavor is very sweet, dry, roasty.

Mouthfeel is silky, dry finish, nice low carb for the style.

Definitely drinkable, but a tad sweet for my taste. But that's a personal preference...this is certainly a good example of the style.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I first met my wife, back in the 70's, she was a nurse at a RAF Hospital in Germany. Cans of this beer were kept in a fridge for pregnant ladies and mothers of new born babies, to help them produce milk and keep their iron intake up.

She used to sneak some out for me sometimes.

This can is newer though and Whitbread have sold their sole to Inbev, having killed a few breweriers off themselves.

330ml can, best before March 2007, drank on 1st April 2007, so it is out of date.

Poured into a Gordon thistle glass it looks fantastic, a very dark body with a huge foaming fawn head.

The aroma is malt and more malts, burnt sugar and biscuits.

Sweet and burnt toffee flavours mix with the malt taste, well it is a sweet stout, what was I expecting?

Tastes linger, you would never guess this is only 3.0% in acoholic volume, not watery at all.

A trip down memory lane for me, a pleasant one at that, I'll have another in 30 years time.

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Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of aniano
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review.

I've always found Mackeson to be the most enjoyable of all the sweeter stours. The flavor has a nice balance of sweetness and body with distinct hints of chocolate. The aftertaste may be a bit much for some.

Pours nicely.

An exceptional after dinner beer.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Garnet black with a cratered creamy cafe au lait head. Roast, brown sugar and a disturbing lactic tang on the nose. Chocolate milk and thin maple syrup, a slightly sour middle and some branch and tobacco leaf hops to end. Sugary finish and soft linger. Light, creamy, thin.

For the gravity and style, does pretty much what it's supposed. Kinda like a stout milkshake. Has it's time and place.

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Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of schuim
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted a bottle, that was far beyond best before date. The beer had gone completly flat (no foam at all). That was very sad, because the aroma of the beer was very promissing; pure chocolate, cacao, raisens and tar.

Due to the missing gas the beer tasted odd, but still the sweetness (milksugar) and chocolat tones were there. A very dry after taste off charcoal and some dryed fruits.

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Mackeson Stout from Whitbread PLC
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 47 ratings