Guest Post: Left Hand Milk Stout

By on April 7, 2009 @ 10 PM (5 Comments)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest rating from The BeerFathers’ Circle of Trust – this one comes to us from Scott over at

Left Hand Milk StoutBeing a Lefty myself, and also a lover of good Milk Stouts, I am really looking forward to trying this Milk Stout from Left hand Brewing Company out of Longmont, Colorado. This Milk Stout has some serious recognition for its goodness! It won the 2006 and 2008 World Beer Cup Gold Medal in the Sweet Stout category, and a Silver Medal at the 2008 GABF for Milk Stout. Not bad!

If you’ve been following The Brew Club for any time, you’ll know that I’ve really taken a liking to these Milk Stouts lately, and I hope that maybe you’ll give one a try as well. For some reason, every time I tell someone about a Milk Stout – they get the impression that there is literal milk mixed into the beer. That would be gross. This is not the case! With Milk Stouts, or Sweet Stouts, lactose is added to the mix to give the beer some sweetness. Lactose is milk sugar and it doesn’t ferment in the brewing process. People with lactose intolerance don’t know that they’re missing with these beers! So that’s the story, loosely, of what a Milk Stout is.

So far, I’ve tried four other milk stouts, and this Left Hand Milk Stout will be number 5. I’d also like to say Thanks! to The BeerFathers who are responsible for hooking me up with this beer to try for you! He’s another Milk Stout fan, and I hope to see what he thinks of the Keegan Ales Mother’s Milk and Lancaster Milk Stout soon! Let’s get on to the beer, shall we?

First, I apologize for the Ice Tea glass that I had to use for this tasting. Remember folks, its not about looks, and all my ‘real’ beer glasses are in the dishwasher so this vessel will have to do! Getting on to looks, this 5.8% ABV stout beer poured into my glass in the typical dark way expected form Milk Stouts. Dark, dark, dark. Let’s just say this beer is basically black, OK? It created a smallish head with a nice beige color, also typical, and in short order the head reduced to a thin beige coating on the beer. Swirling this milk stout in my glass a bit, there was a little bit of bubbly lacing – but it wasn’t clingy.

Smell. Well what can I say? The Left Hand Milk Stout smells like a Milk Stout should! Roasty malt flavors infused with the unmistakable sweetness of the lactose sugar. Nothing surprising here but I think the Left Hand might have a slightly stronger coffee or chocolate smell than the previous milk stouts I’ve had.

Let’s give this beer a taste now eh? It has a big roasted malt flavor, and much like the scent you can pick up on the sweetness in the taste quite easily, but it is not overdone. There is more of that coffee flavor in the taste, as there was in the smell, more so I think than the other milk stouts I’ve had. The body is medium to heavy – there’s some body to this beer! Still, this ale is very smooth, and very drinkable. There’s just the slightest hop bite and no alcohol sting – this beer could be the definition of smooth and creamy! I also found that as I sipped this Milk Stout, the flavors became even more pronounced, so I would suggest you let this one warm up a bit to get the fullness of the flavors.

There is a lightly bitter aftertaste that is agreeable, and the beer leaves a bit of a sticky coating in your mouth, but this isn’t a bad thing considering the type of beer it is.

Overall, I’m going to give the Left Hand Milk Stout a solid 4 star rating. I think as a Milk Stout, its one of the best I’ve had, but I still think the Lancaster Milk Stout is just a touch better overall. Still, if you are a fan of Milk Stouts, I don’t see how you can go wrong trying one of these from Left Hand Brewing.

Editor’s Note: uses a five star rating system while The BeerFathers use a 10 point rating system. Their 4 turns into our 8, simple as that.

Guest Post: Left Hand Milk Stout Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

5 Comments (Add Your Comments)

  1. Well, I have to say this is an awesome review! Seriously, this was a really enjoyable beer – thanks for hooking me up! If you’re into Milk Stouts, Left Hand is a must-try!

  2. Jose Morales says:

    As a fan of stouts and porters, I consider the Left Hand Milk Stout my favorite stout, at the price. I have tasted their Left Hand premium with more ABV % and their own oak barrel 20 ouncer. The three are great. But the last two are harder to find. I liked the Milk Stout so much that I have made my local bartender in Chicago, Quencher’s, and my liquor store and friends, also fans of this “piece of craft/art” beer. By the way, if there is a way to get it shipped legally, at least a couple of boxes to Puerto Rico, let me know…

  3. FCGrabo says:

    Your review of Left Hand Milk Stout was featured on



  4. John says:

    Father and Son Beer Love actually reviewed the Left Hand Milk Stout as well. We liked it an awful lot too.

    For our aromas we grabbed chocolate, coffee, nutty, roasted malts, dough, black licorice, brown sugar, cream and milk. It smells a lot like a cafe au lait you get down in New Orleans.

    For our tastes we got everything in the smell, plus toffee and vanilla. It’s a mildly sweet stout which is perfect. We’ve done some that were terribly sweet and that’s just not what you want. The creaminess of the beer offsets the sweetness and it’s a great balance.

    Our bottom line notes were a yes to drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony and buy again. We had a no to memorable and wow factor. It’s a good milk stout but unless its your first one you probably will say something more like “ahhhh” than “wow.”

    Overall, we gave it a solid 7 out of 10.

    Even if you’re lactose intolerant, we say pop a lactase, find a milk stout and drink up. Whether it’s the Left Hand or another, they’re all pretty great. We’re obviously big fans.

    – Father and Son Beer Love

  5. Linda Sherwood says:

    Love the Left Hand Milk Stout . I would give it a 9 out of 10. Really good.

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