Friday, December 14, 2012

Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro

Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout Nitro

We had an unexpected stop off at the store on the way home from work today, and I saw a little something on the shelf that I hadn't seen before. Milk Stout Nitro by Left Hand Brewing. It caught my interest. I love cream stouts. I'm a fan of Left Hand Brewing's Milk Stout. I guess I'm not a refined enough beer drinker to know what I should expect out of a nitro draft. Two out of three ain't bad, so I went for it.

 What It Is

The first time I had one of these was somewhere around 15 years ago at Squatter's brew pub in Salt Lake City. They called it Milcreek Cream Stout, and it was the richest stout I've had to date. I'm still trying to find another one that matches it, so I grab a new one every chance I get. I guess I'll just have to break down and maybe brew one myself this summer. In any case, the milk stout is a stout brewed with lactose which doesn't ferment, so the beer comes out with a sweeter richer flavor than a standard stout. If you like stouts you'll probably love this. If you don't like stouts, you'll still probably like this. 

Impressions

This beer runs about 6.0 ABV, so it's not so bad for a cool winter night kicking back and watching some Sci-Fi, and trying to shut down for the week. 
The first thing I noticed was the little instruction on the side telling me how to pour this in to a pub glass, admire, and enjoy. Kind of a catchy little label, so I went for it. 
The first thing I noticed was a really very inviting looking beer. Thick, creamy head. It looks very inviting, and fairly substantial, like you could jump right in and take a bite. 
Next a little sniff provided the slightest skunky smell. 
Disclaimer - I don't understand the late obsession with hopping the shit out of anything that brews. I like hops, but not nearly as much as the larger hop addicted community. 
After sitting for a few minutes that backed off and was replaced with more of a creamy coffee scent that was quite a bit of a step up from the first impression. 
A sip of the beer isn't really all that much more exciting. It really is a little flat, a little less than I might like in a stout, but tolerable. The flavor has some touches of coffee and that slight astringent stout flavor, and just a touch of that creamy goodness that makes a milk stout what it is, but generally, there's just not much to it. What you get up front is just about all there is to it. 

Conclusion

Would I buy this again? No. 
Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad beer. In fact, you could call this a reasonably good beer, and I'd consider it much better than many of the standard stouts I've enjoyed in the past. The problem is that it's not a stand-out for me. It's a pretty good milk stout by Left Hand Brewing who happens to also make an excellent milk stout that you'll probably find sitting on the shelf right next to this. So, given a choice between this, and the original milk stout, my choice is pretty easy. 
Anyway, I have 5 more of these. I better get to work on resolving that situation.