Beer Wednesday: Mother's Milk Stout by Keegan Ales

While in New York recently, I tried a local beer from Hudson Valley-based brewer Keegan Ales. I usually prefer to try local brewers when I'm somewhere new, and I'm glad I did, because I really enjoyed Keegan's Mother's Milk Stout.

The rare milk stout / cream stout style is right up my alley, because it involves the bold, rich flavors of a stout typically smoothed out by a creamier texture. Well-distributed examples you may have seen before include Sam Adams Cream Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, or St. Peter's Milk Stout. Mother's Milk has now become my favorite example of the style.

Despite its very dark color, the beer has none of the bitterness you might expect from a dark stout (unlike, say, the Bourbon County by Goose Island). It is actually somewhat sweet, although there is a slight chocolate, nutty flavor that comes through. I even thought it went a little towards subtle hazelnut flavors (or a sweet, nutty flavor anyway). The malt of the stout comes through, but I would have preferred a slightly more roasted malt backbone to give a fuller body. As it is, Mother's Milk has a medium body and is very smooth to drink. The milk component manifests itself primarily as a creamy flavor on the back end of the taste, and as a sweet aftertaste.

Both the Beer Advocate score and the ratebeer score seem low to me. But it could also be that this beer is a great match for my palate. I am more in line with these reviews from Twin Beer and Brew York City. I think that The Brew Club, one of my favorite review sites, pegged Mother's Milk well when they compared it to a sweet stout with the smoothness of a Guinness.

I paid $5 for a pint on draft at a restaurant; I don't know its cost at a store. It has 6% ABV. I would definitely recommend this beer, especially to people who are curious to try this rarely seen but interesting style.

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