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Beer Review #325 Milk Stout Nitro

Left Hand Brewing Company has been having fun putting their excellent stouts in bottles with nitrogen carbonation. My last example was reviewed here. I’ve seen very few breweries going the nitro route as it can be difficult and expensive. In most cases, nitrogen carbonated beers are done in a can with a widget, but not Left Hand.

Their normal Milk Stout is one of my favorites. It strikes all of the right balances and really shines as a example of the style. When I saw the nitro version of their Milk Stout, I bought a case, a rarity for me. The beer pours a smooth black. There is very little head what the resulting head is tan in color. The nose is sweet but chocolatly. The major chocolate note that I get is dark chocolate with some hints of milk chocolate. I didn’t get a lot of roast and there was no hop aroma to speak of.

04-21-02On the first taste I was overwhelmed with how smooth this beer drinks. From start to finish this is a complete beer. A nice caramel and milk chocolate sweetness starts off the beer and then flows into a chocolate and roast explosion. The roast isn’t overly bitter, but it’s there and helps balance the beer. The chocolate is also bitter, the way dark chocolate is, and provides some great flavor. I love the progression of flavor in this beer. It leaves on a slightly sweet note with bits of dark chocolate bitterness hanging on. It’s a complete drink, plain and simple.

I love Left Hand’s regular version of this beer, but the nitro version kicks it up a notice. It has great flavor, balance, and drinkability. For a stout, it’s not overly thick or filling. It sits right in the sweet-spot of beers for me. I highly, highly suggest this beer.



Beer Review #317 Double Chocolate Milk Stout

03-10-03Over two years ago now I reviewed Lancaster Brewing Company’s Milk Stout. It’s one of the best milk stout’s that I’ve come across next to Left Hand’s version, which I shockingly haven’t reviewed yet. I was at the beer store today minding my own business when the image of a cow being covered in chocolate assaulted my eyes. The words under the aforementioned cow read “Double Chocolate Milk Stout.” Naturally, I bought it.

The bottle says that this is a stout brewed with cacao nibs. It comes in at 6.8% so for a double, this isn’t on the crazy scale alcohol wise. This stout pours a pitch black with a thin tan head. I have no idea if it is clear or not as it is a dark beer. The nose is solidly chocolate with a slight malt sweetness. There are no hops or heat to be found on this one. It honestly smells like a chocolate milkshake.

On the first taste I got all chocolate. It’s not milk chocolate, chocolate, but rather dark chocolate, chocolate. It’s a mix of bitter, roasty, and odd sweetness. I say odd sweetness because you don’t expect to get a sweet flavor on something that comes off as bitter as this one. The bitterness sits on the tongue and lingers for a long time after the drink has left. I tastes like you just drank a 60% cacao chocolate bar. It’s impressive, if you like dark chocolate.

For a milk stout this one isn’t overly sweet or thick. It stays medium in mouthfeel and drinks easily. Lancaster Brewing Company really doubled down on the chocolate (dark not milk) and hit a homerun in my book. I really dig dark chocolate. The bitterness and sweetness balance nicely, but, as with most dark chocolates, the bitterness wins in the end leaving you wanting more. Well done. (more…)

Beer Review #158 Sam Adams Chocolate Bock

The second beer that I had from the Sam Adams Variety pack this year was their Chocolate Bock. I had this beer when it came in a nice 750 ml bottle and had a metal logo glued to it. I remember liking it, but it has been a long time since I had it, and the review of the old Chocolate Bock never made it onto the site. So what better time to review Boston Beer Company’s “new” beer.

Chocolate Bock pours a nice dark brown color, not back, and has a tan head. The head was a few shades darker than the Holiday Porter’s head. The nose was fun of dark chocolate notes (shocker). I found it a bit ashy as well. After a few whiffs I decided that it smelled like Coco Puffs. A little weird, yes, but who doesn’t like Coco Puffs?

Sam describes this beers as an “ale with cocoa and natural flavors.” I have no idea what natural flavors they are talking about but this beer comes out with lots of nice chocolate tones. What I really liked was that there were many layers to the chocolate. There were periods where it seemed like a milk chocolate and others when it went to the more bitter end of the chocolate arena. I found it to taste a bit like a hoppy, cold hot chocolate. Another thing to note with this beer is how smooth it is. The chocolate flows in and flows out while hitting a number of different chocolate chords.

I don’t remember the chocolate offering so much to this beer before but I quite enjoyed it. Everything was very smooth and balanced. The flavors are bold, but they don’t scream at you. Another solid beer from Sam Adams that I would consider approachable to seasoned beer freaks and new comers. (more…)