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Milk / Sweet Stout

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Just over a century ago in 1875, John Henry Johnson of Lincolns Inn Fields first proposed the idea for Milk Stouts, also referred to as Sweet Stouts. Unfortunately, he never got to see his dream realized, but thankfully others who saw the potential for a milk beer took up his idea. The first lactose stout was finally brewed in 1907 by Mackeson of Hythe and was sent to the market in 1910.

The key difference between Milk Stout beers and any other style is the addition of sweet unfermentable lactose. Traditional Milk Stouts taste uniquely of milky burnt sugar, with malt sweetness, chocolate, and caramel dominating the flavor profile. Hop aromas and flavors are practically nonexistent, but serve to balance some of the sweetness in the Stout. The pitch-black color of Milk Stouts contradicts the lower ABV range of 3-6%. Typically, sweet stout beer pairs well with spicy barbecue, Mexica mole, and chocolatey desserts.

Since the development of Milk Stouts, a wide variety of new flavors and varieties have emerged. Left Hand Brewing released a nitro Milk Stout, which features flavors of brown sugar and vanilla cream with hints of roasted coffee. The nitro also contains a thick whip cream like head and a slight hop and roast bitterness in the finish. Left Hand Brewing also came out with a Chai Milk Stout consisting of a unique blend of spices such as cloves and ginger. The spices are tamed and smoothed by the sweetness of the Milk Stout.

Belching Beaver Brewing began their rise to the top when they revamped their Milk Stout making a peanut butter Milk Stout. With flavors and aromas of peanut butter, dark chocolate, and coffee the beer is smooth and delicious. 4 Hands Brewing produced a chocolate Milk Stout which as I'm sure you can guess tastes like dark chocolate, chocolate malt, and more chocolate. This chocolate lovers dream is largely due to the addition of two pounds of cocoa nibs to each barrel the craft beer is brewed in. Another variation that has become increasingly popular is the Imperial Milk Stout, bold and rich with notes of chocolate, but lacking the burn you would expect from a Stout with an ABV of 10%.

You now have a whole list of some of the most unique and best Milk Stout flavors to try so grab a chilled Nonic pint glass and start trying them out! Taste a number of Milk Stouts by joining our Craft Beer club!


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