Category Archives: Milk Stout

Stone Coffee Milk Stout

rating_excellent82 points

Coffee Milk Stout. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Coffee. Milk. Stout.

The combination of those words together soothe the soul, conjuring images of relaxing in a comfy chair beside a warm fire.

stonecoffeemilkstoutThey’re in sharp contrast to the three words that make up the jarring name of one of our local liquor stores — “Liquor Wine Discount.” I guess you have to give them credit (“or debit?”) for cutting-to-the-chase with that name. But that’s just a terrible name for a store. Dreadful. But I digress.

Coffee. Milk. Stout. Ah, now we’re back on track.

Stone’s take on this sweet stout impressed our panel from the initial pour. It’s black as night and super thick, with a nice light tan head with decent lacing. The head dissipated quickly, causing one panelist to dock it a point on appearance. I guess when you’ve been doing this as long as we have, you start to get picky.

Smell was also judged very high, with strong notes of smoke, cream and molasses.

Taste was very good, with a strong flavor of coffee with smoky overtones coupled with a smooth, coating mouthfeel.

The panelists were slightly less impressed with the beer’s aftertaste, though. While the flavors of smoke intensified after the coffee taste trailed off, a couple of panelists noted the flavor as bitter and somewhat ashy. Still, the panel overall felt the aftertaste was good.

Stone’s offering is not a session drinker due to its rich body and intense flavor. But while some may classify it as a “one-and-done,” it is a smooth sipper that you’ll enjoy to the bottom of your glass. Because of this, our panel judged drinkability favorably.

So kick your feet up, relax by a cozy fire, take a deep breath and a long sip, then repeat after me.

Coffee.          Milk.           Stout.         Ahhhhhhhhhh.

(Appearance 8.86, Smell 8.29, Taste 25., Aftertaste 15.29, Drinkability 24.43)

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Wachusett Milk Stout

rating_excellent82 points

My dad, Bob Festi, has been on a milk stout kick as of late, and the panel couldn’t be happier…because it provided us a respite from his donations of Shock Top.

He’s always been a fan of stouts, but his current infatuation began when a friend gave him a beer called Moo Thunder by Butternuts Beer & Ale.

wachusettmilkstoutFor weeks following, he was a man possessed — searching package stores far and wide.

Unfortunately, his search ended fruitlessly, even after sending an inquiry email to the brewer looking for a relatively local place to purchase it. (“Relatively” meaning a 50-mile radius from his home. The man loves a scenic road trip.)

Well, he never heard back from the brewer, but his quest did produce what he felt was a similar offering — Wachusett Milk Stout.

Similar because a) it was a stout, b) it came in a can, and c) it had a cartoon cow on the label.

And while it was “no Moo Thunder” — his words, not mine — it was an acceptable, if not less- delicious substitute.

It was pretty obvious he wasn’t as big a fan of Milk Stout since he shed two cans by kindly donating them to The Basement Beer Tastings. Mind you, we never received even an empty can of Moo Thunder when he procured it.

So, here it is, Bob Festi’s guilty pleasure of Wachusett Milk Stout, “because, damn it, Butternuts Beer & Ale can’t be bothered to take five minutes and tell me where to find their friggin’ delicious beer?!”

And that’s the “clean” version of his quote.

Panelists thought highly of Milk Stout’s dark brown, almost black appearance with hints of red when held up to a light.  A decent brown head was also observed.

The smell was all smoke, although panelists were mixed on the strength of the aroma, with some finding it lighter than others.

Smoke also showed up immediately in the taste…and that’s pretty much where the panel’s observations ended.  There was a little bit of sweetness detected, and one panelist called the taste “ashy,” but the smoke really seemed to dominate.

The smoke also carried through into the aftertaste.  Despite seeming to be a one trick pony, the beer was enjoyed by all panelists.

The panel was much more descriptive when commenting on the beer’s mouthfeel.  “They should call this ‘Skim’ Milk Stout,” said one panelist. That best summed up the panel’s view.

Yes, it tasted good. But everyone seemed to be expecting a much heavier stout, with an extremely creamy (milkier) mouthfeel.  What the panel got instead was best described as a “beginner’s stout” — a little light and a little watery.

The views on the mouthfeel ended up benefiting Milk Stout, though, since the panelists all scored drinkability in the mid-20s.

Having never tried Moo Thunder, we’re just going to have to take my father’s word that it’s the superior Milk Stout.  Alas, since we’ve been unable to find the Thunder in our locale, Wachusett will have to do for now.

And, judging on Bob Festi’s previous donations to our panel, we’re pretty sure it would beat any milk stout Shock Top could produce.

(Appearance 9, Smell 8.75, Taste 23.75, Aftertaste 16, Drinkability 24.5)

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