Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lancaster Brewing Milk Stout

Type: Stout
Origin: Lancaster, PA
Price: $9/6-pack
ABV: 5.3%
NSP: 12.54 (unscaled)

Next one from the craft beer club. It's not often that I'm in the mood for a stout, which is why this one's my inaugural stout review. On this particular evening, I'm not sure that I'd say that I was in the mood for a stout, but I wasn't not in the mood for a stout, and I guess that's close enough.

First off, this the first milk stout I've ever had (the only one I've ever really been aware of is Left Hand's, but I've never tried it), and I had to make sure I knew why it differed from a regular stout. Apparently, instead of being loaded with dextrose or maltose or some other sugar brewer's yeast can take to pound town, it's got a bunch of unfermentable lactose in it (hence 'milk'), so it runs towards the sweet end. And it also means that if you're lactose intolerant, milk stouts may make you piss right out of your ass. Though if you're LI and dumb enough to drink something called milk stout, you've pretty well earned what you get.

As you can see from the picture, this is darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night. It smells pretty delicious, with a nice dark roastiness and coffee. It gives the impression that it's going to be pretty rich, but once you take a sip it's surprisingly light. The milk sweetness is pretty potent right up front, and is pretty tasty because it's not at all cloying. It transitions quickly to a bit of sourness...at first I thought it was kind of gross ('sour' and 'milk' combined is rarely a good thing), but it grew on me as I kept drinking it. And you know what was there at the very tail end of the finish? Walnuts. What's that all about?

This beer was in a unique position- being my first milk stout, it had the potential to push me towards trying more of them, or making me swear off of them forever. Now, I'm not going to rush out and start hoarding milk stouts, particularly as it's starting to warm up here, but damn if I didn't enjoy this one. So I guess the craft beer club comes up aces again.


  1. You should try Left Hand Brewing's Nitro milk stout. It has a similar lactose content to Lancaster's milk stout, but the nitro makes the experience very smooth and satisfying. Also, if you want to key in on the lactose sweetness as opposed to getting caught up in malt bitterness and sourness, try this drinking technique; instead of pouring the beer in your mouth, press your lips to the glass and sort of siphon it into your mouth.


  2. You should try the Duck Rabbit Milk Stout not as sweet but just as satisfying. A little more to the chocolate coffee taste. Made in FarmVille NC.