New Brew: Sweet (Milk) Stout

It’s time for a new brew! For Thanksgiving, we’re bringing back our milk stout. For those who missed it last time, the milk stout is an older style of stout, flavoured with lactose (there isn’t actually any milk in it, despite the plethora of amusing dairy-related advertisements – here is last year’s breakdown of the milk stout’s history, for those interested in a refresher course). Lactose is the sugar that naturally occurs in milk; it’s very complex, which means that the yeast can’t break it down during the fermentation process.


There are many great ads, like this one ca. 1900.
There are many great ads, like this one ca. 1900.

Instead, the lactose remains in the beer, lending it a subtle sweetness and silky mouthfeel. This beer is a brown-black in colour; holding it up to the light, I just glimpsed some lighter brown. Dark chocolate and coffee aromas were evident on the nose, and it starts off feeling like our usual stout: rich, coffee-chocolate tastes and a fully body. But then, that lactose sweetness emerged (maybe a hint of vanilla, hard to articulate just what it is), just enough to lighten things up. It is a very rounded beer, smooth and heavy on the tongue. Expect a long finish on this one – I can still taste the sweetness! 

We have some milk stout in the fridges now, and we’ll bring down more for this Thanksgiving Day weekend. It’s a complex, satisfying beer, perfect for rounding off that Thanksgiving dinner! 



PS. For those amongst us who, like me, are sadly lacking in the lactase enzyme (i.e., you lactose intolerant types)…there is lactose in this beer. There isn’t very much, but it is there. I have not noticed any discomfort after tasting it, but everyone’s tolerance level is different – we’ll always remind you about the lactose, but you know yourselves better than we do!



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