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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
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"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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Des de Moor


Left Hand Milk Stout

Beer sellers:

ABV: 6%
Origin: Longmont, Colorado, USA

Milk Stout

A typical US craft brewing success story in one of North America’s fine beer heartlands, Colorado, Left Hand first brewed commercially in 1994, on the initiative of home brewer Dick Doore and his old friend Eric Wallace. Its original name was Indian Peaks after a nearby mountain range but this turned out be in use already as a beer name by another brewery, so the brewery became Left Hand after a local Arapahoe chief. The operation has subsequently expanded several times, buying out Denver’s Tabernash brewery in 1998, and now has a capacity of 41,000hl (35,000 US barrels) a year.

Left Hand’s wide range does a good job of bridging the gap between approachable but quality everyday beers like its flagship Sawtooth Ale, and more esoteric stuff like barrel aged beers and wheat double bocks. One interesting stalwart is this successful and multi-award winning inspired by the near-vanished style of sweet milk stout. In Britain sweet stouts have tended to low gravities of 3% or less, often with added unfermentable lactose sugars extracted from milk. Left Hand’s answer is at a rather more robust gravity, and the ingredients on the website no longer list lactose, but it has added chocolate instead, with two-row pale, crystal and Munich barley malts, roast and flaked barley, flaked oats and Magnum and US-grown Goldings hops at a modest 25 IBUs.

The result is nearly black, with a deep mid-brown head. A malty liquorice, coffee and fruit cake aroma has hints of soft fruit, leading to a smooth oily palate with flavours of cola, roast and a definite gummy sweetness, though well controlled and not cloying. Strawberry fruit emerges before a dry, roasty and gently hopped finish that develops rich roast coffee notes and a pleasantly sticky sweet quality. A great modern twist on a neglected style.

Read more about this beer at

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