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Beer of the Week: Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

A can of Left Hand Brewing Co Milk Stout Nitro next to the Caps and Taps tulip glass it has been poured into, both on a log. The beer is a very dark brown with a thick creamy head

Left Hand Brewing Co describe their Milk Stout Nitro as 'America's stout' and to be honest they've got a good claim to that. A pretty early craft brewer generally, having been founded in 1993, they popularised milk stouts and pioneered nitro craft beers as the first craft brewery (and first American brewery) to package nitrogenised beer without the little plastic widget that rattles around in cans like Guinness. Because of all this, they were also arguably the first American craft brewer to really challenge Guinness. 

When you remember to pour Milk Stout Nitro properly i.e. inverted and hard, it pours beautifully, with a super creamy, tightly-foamed head, and the creaminess just carries on through as you drink it. Gently chocolatey and fudge-y on the nose, on the palate it's full-on mocha, with roasted coffee flavours blending with chocolate milk, plus a little bit of cinder toffee.

I think one of the things that makes this stand out, and keeps it at the top of the class even with so many contenders now, is that unlike other milk stouts, this is not actively sweet, but rather just lacks the assertive bitterness of a regular stout. That's not to say there's no sweetness, or no bitterness either, but they're so well balanced that neither is particularly overt. Its creaminess and thickness is just reassuring and comforting, and I don't want to brag but I have to say I think a little cabin in the Lake District might be the best place ever to have this beer; the ultimate cosy stout in a super cosy location. If you can't get there though, I reckon a blanket and a good Christmas film (no it's not too early) would be a pretty good substitute.

A hand holds the stem of a Caps and Taps glass containing Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro up to the sky. The beer is a very dark brown, almost black, with a thick, light, creamy head

Poppy Simon

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