Stone Coffee Milk Stout Review

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Stone Coffee Milk Stout Review

Stone has been running through some interesting styles in their seasonal selections, as of late. A regular saison was off the beaten path for them, and in a different sense, the new Stone Coffee Milk Stout is also a nonstandard selection. You may think “Well, I’ve had stouts from Stone before,” and that would be true of their high-gravity line, represented by both W00tstout and the classic Stone Imperial Stout. But oddly enough, the brewery has never released a regular-strength stout in wide release, much less one with coffee and lactose. So it may be a more novel decision by the Escondido brewing giant than you realize.

In terms of its presentation, the beer is quick to remind the drinker of both the additives in its name. It reminds one of nothing so much as a latte in its aroma, very roast-heavy, but with the distinctive note of frothed/scalded milk. There’s super dark chocolate there as well, and more than a whiff of smoke. It smells a bit like an espresso cafe that allows cigars out on the back porch.

The unfermentable milk sugars make themselves especially pronounced in the mouthfeel, which is very full and creamy. For a beer of only 4.2% ABV, it coats the tongue and lingers for quite a while, the true definition of a brew that feels bigger than it really is.

Coffee flavors are a given of course, present and bittersweet without being overbearing. The lactose softens and rounds the edges, adding a bit of tang and not what most would describe as overt, sugary “sweetness.” There’s also a good charge of American bittering hops present here, perhaps a bit more than one would expect from the style, but hey, this is Stone we’re talking about. That’s the kind of thing one should expect.

Ultimately, this isn’t a brew that is reinventing the wheel or its genre, but it stands up well against stalwarts such as Left Hand Milk Stout while bringing some coffee into play. Lovers of sessionable, roasty stouts will likely find it right up their alley.

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
City: Escondido, CA
Style: Coffee milk stout
ABV: 4.2%
IBU: 40
Availability: Seasonal, 12 oz. bottles