Friday, January 21, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXXXVI)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the stout-hearted men and women at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help provide the all the bracing you need to see your way through a long, hard winter.

And when it comes to beers suited for the short days and long nights of winter, it's hard to top a well made stout. There are many varieties within the stout family including porters and coffee and oatmeal stouts. One that I was not too familiar with was milk stout:

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers, along with other stouts, such as Guinness. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson's, for which the original brewers claimed that "each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk". In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word "milk" from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.

Remember moms, whatever you're drinking, your baby is drinking a few hours later. So go ahead, have another pint of milk stout. You'll sleep better tonight and so will they.

This week we feature another offering from Tallgrass Brewing Company in Kansas; Buffalo Sweat Stout.

We love this beer here at the brewery, and think you will have one of those “I’ve never-tasted-a-beer-like-that” kind of moments when you try it!

What we really like about this beer is the smoothness that brewing with cream sugar brings to the palate. This smoothness balances out the copious quantities of roasted barley used in the brewing process to create a rich, complex, and delicious beer. If you have not been a stout drinker in the past, give this beer a try. It might just change your mind about how dark beers should taste. It tastes so rich, but is surprisingly easy to drink!

Can has a brown background with a snorting buffalo head with brown and black sun rays above.

STYLE: Stout

Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%

COLOR (0-2): Deep black. 2

AROMA (0-2): Toasty malt with a bit of chocolate. 2

HEAD (0-2): Tan. Light volume, decent lacing. 1

TASTE (0-5): More roasted malt flavors with hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Flavors are rich, but well balanced. Smoother with less of a bitter finish than most stouts and with more carbonation. Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel, and very drinkable. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Smooth and a little smokey. 2

OVERALL (0-6): The guys have Tallgrass have yet again come up with a unique take on a fairly common style. Buffalo Sweat is a smooth, sweet but not too sweet, easy-drinking stout that I would favorably compare with Guinness (although Guinness is a dry stout and Buffalo Sweat is more of a milk stout). Despite the somewhat off-putting name (what's next, Goat Piss Pilsner?), this is a nice addition to the world of stouts. When many craft brewers decide to produce a stout they pursue the imperial style, which is heavier with a higher alcohol content. While I enjoy a good imperial stout as much as the next guy, having more variety within a particular beer style is always welcome. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 15