Riley's Brewing 'Cowlifornia' Milk Stout

Riley's Brewing Cowlifornia Milk Stout 1
Riley's Brewing 'Cowlifornia' Milk Stout. 5.5% abv. 40 IBU. Dense black color. Half-finger of creamy mocha head. Good retention and lace. Nose of roasty dark malt, ground coffee, cocoa powder. Woody, herbal notes emerge as the temp rises.

Front taste of black coffee, milk chocolate, toffee ribbon underneath. Aftertaste of light ground coffee, mild spice, dark chocolate, warm brown sugar, mild plum, with a sweet finish. Thin-medium body. Mouthfeel is cool, creamy, rich, sticky on the back end.

This is a wonderful milk stout. Sweet, rich, round, malty, roasty. The dominant tastes here are coffee and chocolate, and they alternate from dark to mild throughout the session. The lingering sustain of the aftertaste is coffee and milk with distant notes of cocoa and dark fruit. A lovely beer with just enough body, just enough complexity, to place it above most others in category.

In a world of bourbon barrel aged imperial this and that, triple IPAs, and quads, it's rare that I see a simple milk stout, rarer still to see one done well. Like brown ales and pales, I find most milk stouts are pedestrian at best. This one brings to mind the classic but sadly discontinued Mackeson XXX Milk Stout, one of my favorites from the old world. Riley's is slightly thinner in body but still worthy of comparison, which in itself is high praise. Well recommended.

From the brewery:

"A sweet and creamy mouthfeel from milk sugar and flaked oats is harmoniously balanced with a rich, roasty finish from darkly roasted malts. Expect notes of semisweet chocolate and coffee with some light caramel character from this decadent and luscious sweet stout."
[source: bottle]

Riley's Brewing Cowlifornia Milk Stout 2

Riley's Brewing Cowlifornia Milk Stout 3