By Kevin Burns, Beer Columnist
One of my favorite breweries in New York is Keegan Ales in Kingston. In addition to making great beer, they are the closest microbrewery to my hometown of Ellenville. I have previously reviewed their Joe-Mama's Milk Stout, which was created from their original stout, Mother's Milk.
In a past interview, I asked Owner Tommy Keegan to talk about Mother's Milk's origins. “There’s a lot of dry stouts out there, so we wanted to be different. We actually started out making an oatmeal stout, but then we added a 50 lb bag of lactose to the first batch. It was an experiment, you could say."
The lactose is a sugar that yeast can’t ferment (eat) so it remains in the brew, giving it its sweetness, and a creamy finish, hence the name.
Mother's Milk pours a dark black color, with a big head. The aroma gives of hints of coffee and chocolate with a big roasted malt backbone.
The first sip is sweet, and the malt becomes very apparent in the middle, with a very nice mouthfeel. The finish is short but pleasant. The beer is sweet throughout but holds up well and does not fall apart. The head dissolved fairly quickly, but left a tan, thin lace that is further proof of the wealth of malts in this beer.
Overall, this is a great, great beer. The lactose adds a certain creaminess to the beer which works extremely well with the dark malt. The beer is able to balance complex flavors, lactose sweetness and an great mouthfeel, all without being overwhelming.
I have found Mother's Milk to be one of the more diverse stouts around when it comes to pairing with food. It can be enjoyed anywhere from the first course with a black bean soup, all the way through dinner with a rich strip steak and finished with a chocolate tort for dessert.
Producer: Keegan Ale
Price: $2.25 (12 oz. Bottle)
Rating: (4 out of 5 | Delicious, Distinctive )