Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having. That’s the tagline of this Longmount, Colorado brewer Left Hand Brewing Co’s Twitter presence. As I approach the bar at Port Street Beer House and observe the orders for a seemingly endless collection of beers, one bottle calls out to me from the fridge. Milk Stout. Exactly what I’m looking for. This beer’s reputation precedes it; awards galore already won, most recently Gold in the European Beer Star Competition.
Sunlight streams through the windows on this cold, crisp autumn day as I reverently carry the bottle and a stemmed glass to the table. This is not your father’s stout. No sense of vast volumes of heavy blackness tinged with bitterness here, thank you very much. This is a full-bodied sweet stout, an English style beer from the late 19th century. Espresso coloured, with coffee traces and slight vanilla notes, this is an incredibly velvety smooth experience from start to finish. Any hints of bitterness are more than balanced from the inclusion of milk sugar, which is defined as “a sugar comprising one glucose molecule linked to a galactose molecule”. Galactose? Space milk? All I know is that the inclusion of milk sugar into the brew has had a fabulous effect. Sweetness and chocolate overtones make this a very enjoyable experience. Normally at this stage in the review I have some beer left in the glass, but the glass and bottle are both empty already.
Left Hand Brewing Co’s philosophy is about balance. It’s fair to say that they’ve achieved a great balance between traditional style and modern interpretation, between the Magnum and US Golding Hops, the myriad malts (from Crystal to Flaked Barley and Chocolate) and the milk sugar sweetness, and between the relatively high ABV content and inherent drinkability. Next time you’re stuck or spoiled for choice, go for something different. Take a chance on this Milk Stout, and you’ll be far from disappointed.
Brewer: Left Hand Brewing Co
Brew: Milk Stout
Style: Sweet Stout
Words by: DJ Adams – http://www.pipetree.com/qmacro/