Milkstachio

Image courtesy of Hop Butcher for the World

Image courtesy of Hop Butcher for the World

Hop Butcher (Chicago, IL) makes some pretty wonderful beers, and the Dan Grzeca label art makes each one that much better.  Milkstachio (6.0% ABV) is a milk stout brewed with cacao nibs and supplemented with natural pistachio flavor.  It’s deep, deep brown but it pours like its just deep brown.  Milkstachio sports a luscious chocolate milk-colored head.  Whiffs of chocolate and vanilla in equal amounts greet the nose, with just a hint of earthiness.  Smooth-bodied with a full mouthfeel, not heavy and not thick, Milkstachio is an absolute pleasure.  Cocoa flavor, mild sweetness and a touch of hop dryness are all present, but not overly assertive.  Well-balanced and well-crafted, Milkstacho makes a nice dessert beer, but hell, have one for breakfast, it’ll be just as tasty.

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Very Mad Cow Milk Stout

Courtesy of Revolution Beer, LLC

Courtesy of Revolution Beer, LLC

Interplay of flavors and aromas make Very Mad Cow Milk Stout a winner, but I get ahead of myself.  Very Mad Cow is part of Revolution Brewing’s Deep Wood Series of barrel-aged brews, and has spent 6 months maturing in bourbon whiskey barrels.  Pour this black beauty and smell heaven unfold in front of you.  Bourbon, chocolate and alcohol greet the nose, with a hint of mellow pipe tobacco way at the back.  The 1-finger head thins to a single layer and the 1/4″ of lace that is left gently slides into the beer as the level drops.  There’s an all-encompassing sweetness that is very appealing, due to the use of lactose during the brewing process.  Very Mad Cow’s silky, velvety texture and overall smooth character is enough to enrapture even the most casual beer drinker, but once the beer is truly tasted and savored, the whole story begins to unfold.  Tastes of cocoa, booze, caramel, vanilla, dates, coconut and a coffee-light finish (in conjunction with the alcohol and some hops I presume) imparts a satisfying dryness.  All of these flavors are there to enjoy, but none are overpowering, showing that Very Mad Cow has mastered its balancing act.  If you don’t like bourbon, Very Mad Cow might not be for you.  For me, possibly THE BEST BEER I’VE EVER TASTED!

100/100  Milk Stout, or stout in general, or beer in general.

Polish Moon

Image courtesy of Milwaukee Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Milwaukee Brewing Company

There’s something romantic about the name Polish Moon.  Reminds me of a song from the 1940s or a painting by Kaspar David Friedrich.  There’s also something romantic about drinking local, or at least semi-local.  Polish Moon, from Milwaukee Brewing Company, is a big, black milk stout that pours with a head so big you’d better plan to pour slowly or your counter will be the recipient of a froth wash.  But that head is a beautiful one, with random-sized bubbles and lots of sticky lace.  The beer itself is black, as previously noted, with earthy, roasty, yeasty, coffee notes.  The texture is very smooth and creamy, and the milk sugars used in brewing add a pleasant sweetness that tempers the other, more assertive flavors.  The finish is dry, bitter, and pretty much what you’d expect, given the coffee and roastiness you’ve been tasting.

Polish Moon is actually named after the 4-sided Allen-Bradley clock tower with it’s 40′ diameter clock faces, its location being in a predominately Polish neighborhood on Milwaukee’s south side.

Worth a try, and an 82/100 Stout on the beerbliographer scale.

D. Usual, this Big Darkness is for you!