This seasonal Chocolate Milk Stout uses cocoa nibs and shells from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company. Aromas are rich with fudge nut brownies, milk and cocoa, a hint of cofffee, and a light minty hop note. The palate focuses entirely on sweetened milk chocolate, with lactose to provide that characteristic milky feel. Midway comes a minor transition as a combination of both roasted malts and light leafy hops merge onto the palate for an earthy, dark roast flavor. It develops an abundant cola flavor as a rising carbonation pulls the beer away from its lactose beginnings, and suddenly it tastes and feels a bit more reminiscent of a traditional stout. Earthy hop notes then trail off post-finish. Flavor delivery is quick and efficient with short sustain.
I think this has more hop character than any other milk stout I can recall, but this isn’t an issue for me. I personally like the shift from sweet/milky to roasty/semi-coarse, because they’re doing the chocolate milk thing, but in the end reveals a more traditional stout. If you like porters and stouts, imagine that but with lactose. If the idea of chocolate milk beer sounds appealing to you, I recommend it. If you don’t, maybe you should get your palate examined.
Hops: Nugget, Willamette
Malts: 2-row pale, flaked oat, chocolate, crystal 85, carafa III special, roasted barley