Lugene is a seasonal Milk Stout available January through March. Its named in honor of the farmer who’s been feeding his cattle the spent grain from Odell’s brewing for the past decade. Once again, their design team has created another beautiful label (I think Odell has the best brand identity in the business). Aromas contain loads of chocolate with traces of roasted grain, dairy cream, and a whisper of sweet syrup outlined by vanilla.
The palate begins with milk chocolate sliding in slowly where it rests on the lower register. This still involves a little hops and yeast, so of course it still tastes like beer, but it gets as near to the flavor of real chocolate milk as is possible. Toward the finish, a slight hint of roast arises, followed by kola nut. It’s totally packed with lactose, coming across ultra thick and milky. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, wet, and well-rounded with fine carbonation.
You would seriously never guess this is 8.5%, and I’m impressed how well the alcohol weaves its way into the palate, especially since this doesn’t depend on the facade of hops for cover. I think they’ve really nailed the chocolate milk flavor and feel, at least better than any other Milk Stout I’ve ever had. Lugene would appeal to anyone that loves chocolate, maybe even those who don’t drink beer. I know I’ll keep buying this at least once or twice a year. I recommend it.
Fort Collins, Colorado