Left Hand’s been holding us stout lovers down for a while now with their full bodied, lusciously sweet, creamy milk stout. At 6.00%, its English style balances a fluffy lactose flavor with pleasing chocolate and coffee complexity that’s roastier than most. So even though “roastier” isn’t actually a real word, the announcement of their Seasonal Raspberry milk stout in February brought some welcome variety to the game and a whole lot of anticipation that was definitely real.
At first pour I was delighted to find the gratifying mammoth light brown head of its classic predecessor sailing upon a dark brown sea, and the aroma of cocoa, raspberries, and a sparse hint of oats meeting my nostrils without much of a pursuit. The combination of the velvety lactose that easily tames any bitterness, and the booming raspberry flavor make this an agreeable beer for just about anyone.
The light mouthfeel and blending of milky and sweet flavors give way to the same overall luxury without the boldness typical of a stout, finishing with the discernable chocolate and coffee essences that really dazzle in the original. This milk stout mutes some of the strong features that sometimes alienate (see what I did there) the Southern California crowd when approaching this category of dark beer, making it friendly, and let’s face it… fruity fun. Though they’ve taken the ABV down gently to a 5.7%, Left Hand Brewing hasn’t cut any corners on flavor or intricacy. This seasonal delight is the perfect choice for a light daytime kickback or an evening sesh that could do with a little berry PickMeUp.
Despite the uncommon amalgamation, this marriage definitely works and Left Hand Brewing leaves us yet again, looking forward to whatever sweet, or not so sweet sensations they dream up next.