Tag Archive: Sweet Stout

Kiuchi: Hitachino Nest: Lacto Sweet Stout (Japan: Sweet Stout: 4.5% abv)

Visual: Black. Froths up nicely into a nicotine stained style brown head.

Nose: Lactose. Milky coffee. Light roasted coffee beans. Touch of smoke and some nuts. Cloying milk chocolate.

Body: Sweet sugared milk. Malt chocolate. Egg yolk. Milk chocolate as well. Slightly fizzy tingle.

Finish: Milk chocolate. Cadburys cream egg centres.

Conclusion: Did some break a few Cadburys cream eggs into a beer or something? For that matter how would that even work?  Despite the aroma’s hints at coffee this is predominantly a sweet and slick chocolate stout, with of course, a heavy milky lactose influence which is what led to the cream egg comparisons.

It is easy going flavour wise. There is distinct character to each element, if not a particularly wide range of flavours. Pleasant, quite sweet indeed and easy to drink.  While there isn’t much of an edge to it there are some roasted nuts to keep the lactose in balance. In general it works more by carefully balancing the intensity of flavour rather than by using contrasting flavours to keep the balance.

The lactose cloying sweetness is very evident, but without getting too souring. It keeps to the simple formulae of the beer working at the sweet end of the scale.  Overall while not great it is a simple bit of fun.

It keeps a smooth texture, slight fizz and carefully weighted flavour to bring is this none too intense stout that can be drunk happily for a while.

Background: Picked up from Brewdog’s guest beer section. Not much to say on this one, Hitachino Nest have been pretty good so fr if nothing exception. I’m not unbiased on Japan or Brewdog. Sweet stouts rarely seem to have a real breakthough beer in their ranks but tend to be enjoyable.

Bristol Beer Factory: Vanilla Milk Stout (England: Sweet Stout: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Opaque black. Quite the fizzy hazelnut brown head which is small and quickly diminishing.

Nose: Roasted nuts. Quite fresh lactose character. Really rich. Toffee. Slight thick cream. Milky chocolate.

Body: Caramel and vanilla. Milky coffee.   Moderate bitterness. Toffee. Slight sherbet lemon and a hint of fizz to the texture. Only a hint mind you. Some nuttiness and milk chocolate.

Finish: Milky coffee. Bitter. Vanilla and toffee pavlova. Roasted nuts.

Conclusion: If there was one thing Bristol beer Factory does well, its stouts.  Thankfully they do a lot of things well, but still, especially stouts.  Unlike a lot of the craft scene they really excel in the full range of stouts, not just the Imperial Stouts which usually get the most attention.  This is a good honest sweet stout, the slightly more unusual end of the stout scale.

This variant on the already excellent milk stout makes full use of the vanilla to slightly sweeten it and bring out the toffee and caramel notes. This makes an already impressive and easy to drink milk stout much more rounded.

Some will find that it’s ratcheting the sweetness up a bit far for their tastes. Me, I’m loving the extra umph it brings, and there is a good solid bitter and roasted nuts holding at the back. Present but not intruding.

To find flaws, and thus not gush embarrassingly, the texture is a tad fizzy at time when a smoother play would work better. Also as referenced before it is maybe a tad sweet, but this is Yahtzee Croshaw level nitpicking here. A more likely flaw seems to be that the twelve stouts of Christmas is going to make me look very long and hard at what exactly goes on the “My favourite” tag, as if it keeps up this way the list may end up a tad stout heavy and I have tried so hard to keep a good balance of styles.

The twelve stouts are off top very good start with this great sweet session stout.

Background: One of the twelve stouts of Christmas released by Bristol Beer Factory. While I have tried their Milk Stout and Ultimate Stout before, this is the first of the new beers from the pack I have tried. As is evident from the name it is a tweaked version of the highly rated milk stout, having added, yes vanilla into the mix.  Frankly, stouts tend to be where BBF excels so I was looking forwards to this.

Hofbrouwerijke: Hofblues (Belgium: Sweet Stout: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Well I thought de Dolle was hard to get out of the bottle in a non explosive manner, and then I ran into this thing. Opened the bottle a tiny crack to find the beer spurting out in a thick whipped ice cream nozzle style. I had to catch the froth in two glasses before in finally stopped overflowing. Whew.

When settled it’s a dark hazy brown with a nut coloured, lace leaving head.

Nose: Dry roasted peanuts and pistachios mix. Crushed mint. Quite earthy.

Body: Slick. Nutty, mainly walnuts. Slight sour cream and light herbs. Bitter, lots of dry malt and milky chocolate.

Finish: Sour dough, more nuts. Bitter chocolate. Quite bitter and dry overall. Salt, turmeric and brown sugar.

Conclusion: Ok, I’ve already covered the beers excitable nature in the visual section, right. Check. Ok, wow that was a tad explosive. Anyway, now that is out of the way let’s get onto the beer.

It’s always a tad odd seeing a stout come out of Belgium, they tend to be quite rare, but most often they are worth checking out.

The beer doesn’t come in thick like a lot of stouts, but is very much roasted and just slightly sour.  It’s kind of like Guinness Foreign Export in the sours styling. Very easy drinking for a stout, especially because of the aforementioned sourness. Nicely restrained ABV as well.

Quite earthy texture and main body, somewhat the same feel you would expect from a farmers lunch, and that isn’t a construction I can complain about in this case.  For all that’s it has that simple down to earth feel its got a punch of flavour, and that sweet touch hidden within works every nicely into the mix.

If anything then it is that oddity that is a sessionable stout. Flavoursome, but not overpowering, a decent set drink for a gathering, if not the hot day that usually accompanies a session beer.

Background: Picked up from Gent, I’d heard good things about this beer but had not seen it anywhere else before.  Generally I’m quite the fan of Belgium takes on stouts. Chilled slightly due to insane heat wave we are suffering right now. A small amount of the bottle was lost due to its bloody explosive nature.

Bristol Beer Factory: Milk Stout (England: Sweet Stout: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Kinda black, with a caramel brown head.

Nose; Light ash and treacle, quite creamy and with milky coffee. Slight nuttiness, quite aniseed filled and obvious liquorice.

Body: Smooth texture, condensed cream dominates the flavours but not sickly. Treacle, liquorice and aniseed. Hint of black cherry and coffee.

Finish: Nutty, dry charring. Milk and milk chocolate. Slight sour fruit.

Conclusion: This is an amazing stout, lots of body, liquorice, chocolate and milky lasting finish. It does everything just right. Harsh edged at the extremis, but smooth and sweet in the core.

It’s got a heck of a body for its middling ABV, and seems like the treat of a nights drinking. In fact it’s taken so long to tasting note it as I usually use it to treat myself after I’ve already done a tasting note of two.

This beer is bonfire night beer treacle and spice, Christmas beer weight, and autumn nuttiness and milkyness. All in all a smooth seasons drinking.

Amy of the Royal Oak says “its Good”, and I would not wish to differ.

Old Chimney: Black Rat Milk Stout (England: Sweet Stout: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Black moderately thick body with a ha’ inch of brown bubbly froth of short lifespan.

Nose: Treacle, milk, oysters and milk chocolate.

Body: Quite sweet, some charring and black toffee. Slight egg white. Brown bread, mocha froth and grated chocolate flake. Turkish delight (The commercial mainstream chocolate covered type)

Finish: Aniseed, more charring, lactose and liquorice.

Conclusion: A quite light and easy drinking stout. Simple and satisfying. Unlike a lot of old chimneys products it doesn’t seem to stretch the range very much, thus sits comfortably in the competent, tasty but unexceptional range.

Well made though, no regrets in drinking it as it has a decent flavour and body. All the elements are well crafted and balanced, and the flavour slowly grows as you drink – the sign of a well crafted ale designed for multiple pints – in fact I am still drinking as i write and the subtle growing texture is impressing me more as I progress through the pint. Still not wildly experimental, but my respect for its well crafted nature has grown significantly.

For all its lack of experimentation it still holds your attention.

Wells and Youngs: Mackeson Stout (England: Sweet Stout: 3% ABV)

Visual: Frothy coffee cream head on a still black body.

Nose: Caramel, treacle and cream. Slightly milky (milky coffee). Roasted nuts. Surprising rounded for so low ABV. Christmas herbs and spices.

Body: Smooth, nutty. Just slightly fizzy and frothy. Charred wood. Cola. Sugar. ( Together makes for cola bottle sweets?)

Finish: Treacle, lots of roasted nuts. Quite sickly sweet – cream and condensed milk. Caramel. Almonds.

Conclusion: What an unexpectedly robust beer. Despite its low ABV and canned nature it still manages to come out with a lovely nose and a decent sweet stout body.

Its almost sickly sweet, so despite the low ABV you would not want to drink that many in one go, but it makes for a fine stout to go with a fish or pork meal.

Also I have found it makes for a good stir fry sauce.

A remarkable cheery can of joy.

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