What’s up with all these coffee milk stouts lately? Coffee stouts, of course, are nothing new, but lately I’ve seen a number of them based on milk or cream stouts. I suppose that makes sense, really, but to me the most unique remains Narragansett Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout. That one is based on the official state drink of Rhode Island, and, well, if you want to know more, go back and read the review.
Latest entry into this style is Stone Coffee Milk Stout, from the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, California. Stone remains one of my very favorite breweries, and they crank out world-class beers for consumers to enjoy. Generally these days I am more likely to pick up a single than a six-pack, but knowing Stone so well I did indeed by a sixer of Stone Coffee Milk Stout.
From the painted bottle label:
There’s no shortage of talented people at Stone, and each makes their presence known in their own unique way. Brian Gallagher, a brewer who learned the art of fermentation in the UK, used the beer you now hold, a New World take on a traditional English milk stout, as his vehicle for personal expression. Originally brewed as a limited edition offering at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, this coffee-laced milk stout quickly became a favorite among Gallagher’s peers. Made bittersweet and creamy while remaining smooth and easy-drinking thanks to the addition of milk sugar, it’s clear in one sip why this is a brew we needed to share with fans everywhere.
Stone Coffee Milk Stout is easy drinking at 4.2% alcohol by volume, and easy on the wallet at $9.99 for the six-pack. That’s about average these days in my experience. The beer has 40 IBUs and an “enjoy by” date stamped on my bottles of 12/05/14.
Stone Coffee Milk Stout pours to a black (but not opaque) color with a thick creamy tan head and a sinfully delightful nose of black coffee and licorice. Taking a sip, the beer has a smooth medium body of roasted malt with hints of caramel, a subtle burnt fruitiness, licorice, mint, chocolate pudding and lots and lots of roasted black coffee flavor. The beer finishes dry with roasted barley bitterness, like a strong cup of Joe although that derives its bitterness from roasted coffee beans rather than barley.
All in all, a quite tasty beer, though I think a little more creaminess might be in order to call this a milk stout. To be sure, the lactose does add some body and milky smooth character. Am I being greedy for wanting more? Perhaps. Still and all, this is a very delicious beer with a lot going on, and I do like the relatively modest alcohol content that lets you have more than one or two. This is the second such beer from Stone this year actually, the other being Stone Go To IPA.
With luck, this one will show up on tap at Taco Mac, too…..
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.