Nitrogen infused beers are not a new concept. In fact Nitrogen can be found in Guinness’ draught and canned offerings via small widgets containing the gas. Nitrogen helps to deliver the creamy head one usually associates with proper stouts, along with that thick mouthfeel one has come to expect from these dark libations.
Left Hand Brewing Company has found a way to deliver this experience in their bottled offering, the Milk Stout Nitro. Now it’s important to note here that lactose found in Milk Stouts is not fermentable via beer yeast, so this contributes to the smooth and creamy bitterness. Pair this fact with the nitrogen, and this is going to be one smooth, creamy brew.
With the instructions “Pour Hard” labeled on the six pack as well as the bottle itself, the drinker is reminded to pour this beer into a pub glass at a 180 degree angle. Once the sud is completely emptied into the glass, it resembles dark matter inside of a glass. Pure black, almost resembling a flat Coca Cola soda pop. This is until the Nitrogen begins to kick in. At this point, hundreds of small brown bubbles begin cascading along the side and towards the top of the glass – forming the beautiful, thick, creamy tan head which invites the consumer to enjoy that first rewarding sip.
My experience with Milk Stout Nitro was quite pleasant. Once poured and settled, the aroma contained hints of chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee and burnt sugar. The first sip was smooth. So smooth in fact it was unbelievable. A nice thick, creamy smooth mouthfeel. The upfront taste was of lactose, with coffee and chocolate soon to follow. A pleasant aftertaste lingered of toffee and chocolate.
This is definitely not go-to beer on a hot summer day, however if you’re in the mood for a dark stout and are tired of Guinness, Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout Nitro is a great choice. You’ll enjoy watching the nitro bubbles develop into a creamy head. You’ll enjoy the sweet roasted malt flavorings. The chocolate, the toffee, the vanilla and everything you could possibly ever want in a proper dark stout is waiting for you in this offering. It’s just waiting for you to discover it.