America’s Stout

Sometimes you need to throw caution to the sea and do what your heart desires.

You just have to let your inhibitions fly and do what you want.

I say, screw the thermostat- I’m going to drink a stout when I want.

Yeah, it’s summer and even now in Oregon it is still too hot outside to wear pants comfortably, but I will drink a stout dammit.

I will admit that it is very nice to drink a big, bold, dark beer in the fall and winter since that style of beer tends to be more hearty and have spices and flavors to make the seasons come full circle. But just because it is warm outside it shouldn’t stop me from enjoying a great beer.  The weather will not allow me to miss out on a beloved beer style.

On all of my social media accounts, I follow many breweries and other beer related pages from all over the country. With my daily scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter I always get beer envy because there are delicious brews out there that aren’t available in Oregon, sadly. Unless I take initiative and see if the brewery I’m interested in has a beer locator on their website and then plan accordingly.

A brew that captured my imagination and tastebuds, if only it was in Oregon! Alas, it wasn’t.

The beer I had been wanting to drink was The Nitro Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing in Colorado.

I’m in love with dark beers and of course dark beer on nitro makes me act like a moth towards a light, and then the notion of a nitro-bottled beer excited me even more.

lefthand-milk-stoutI follow Left Hand Brewing on social media and I would see America’s Stout featured many times on their pages, either cascading from the black bottle into an awaiting glass; or sitting proudly in a photo in all its glory.

This is one of the most iconic stouts in American craft beer and I’ve been looking for it at every bottleshop and taproom I’ve visited in Oregon- all the way from Portland to Bend. I finally decided to go to the brewery website and look on their beer finder to see if it was even possible to drink the milk stout in state. I found a few places across the river that sold it, I.E. Vancouver, WA. So I had some time at work one day when I found this out, and I texted Jason that I’ve finally found it; and I asked if he was game for a Vancouver trip- and of course he was.

We crossed the green bridge in our travels to find the elusive stout and our first stop was Ben’s Bottle Shop. This was a great store and taproom that I would definitely visit again. They have a great selection of beer from around the country and they carry a few beers that I’ve never seen before from breweries I like and found some new favorites. Then, hiding on the bottom shelf was what we set out our day to find- the Nitro Milk Stout….AND the Milk Stout. Quickly, as if someone were behind me trying to get the same beer, I grabbed two of each kind and held on for dear life to the shopping basket.

When we got the beers home at the end of the night, I couldn’t wait to pop open the beer and drink every last drop.

The stout poured true to its nature as a dark and thick liquid that captured my soul. I was surprised by how well this beer held up with the nitro addition in the bottle, because the stout was creamy and smooth in mouthfeel. Tasting of milk chocolate deliciousness with a hint of vanilla and roasty malt, this brew disappeared quickly from my glass. The best characteristic of a milk stout is that addition of lactose that lends itself to that smooth mouthfeel of the beer.

I’ve never had any other beer from a bottle or can that was charged with nitrogen instead of just CO2, I didn’t even know it was possible.

Left Hand Brewing is the first American and the first craft brewery to master packaging nitrogen beers and expanding the enjoyment of a nitro beer at home without the tap.

There is nitrogen added into the beer during bottling, and just like on tap, the beer is given a more velvety body and less bitter bite in the aftertaste. When I poured the Milk Stout in my glass I also noticed the same type of head and head retention in the beer as any other beer poured from a nitro tap; A soft, off-white and puffy head on the beer that kept its spot floating on top of the beer as the level of beer descended down the glass.

I really enjoyed drinking this beer because it was a completely new brewery for me to try, a brand new beer, and also a new type of bottled beer. When I think of the perfect creamy stout, this beer comes to mind and then I’m reminded of the great day I had going to find it and taking it home. And I can’t wait to take the trip again to get more Milk Stout.

Prost!

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