Black Lab Milk Stout is one of Modus Operandi’s seasonal beers. It’s been put into cans for winter 2016.
Now that they’re canning limited releases too, enthusiasm for the brewery and their beers is set to move up a notch.
Alongside the range of hoppy beers they produce is this sweet stout. Releasing it in the coldest month of the year is a brilliant idea from the Northern Beaches brewery, not least because it fits in with seasonal trends.
The Black Lab name is a tribute to the Modus Operandi brewery dog (every brewery needs one), called Stout.
Stay Stout Through The Winter
Milk stouts are brewed with lactose which provides sweetness and contributes to a silky smooth mouthfeel. This beer is no exception.
This luxurious texture makes it feel perfect for winter. There’s a sense of indulgence from the beer that feels like it should keep you warm through the cold months.
The liquid is jet black and the frothy head is a rich, demerara sugar colour. It gets the mouth watering.
As soon as the hiss escapes from tugging on the ring pull, familiar milk stout aromas fill your nostrils. It’s sweet and grainy. Stick your nose into the glass and it’s even more intense, with rich roasted malt and an enticing sugary smell.
There’s a light touch of caramel in the aroma and the slightest bit of milky coffee.
A Cacophony Wrangled Into Harmony
The first sip is an initial barrage of burnt sugar, toasted grain, white bread, bitter dark chocolate and creamy sweetness. All these flavours begin to meld together and form a flavour profile that’s harmonious and balanced. It’s just what you want from a milk stout.
What follows is a surprising amount of lingering bitterness.
It’s something of a characteristic of Modus Operandi’s American-inspired, hop-forward approach to brewing. Although this beer couldn’t be considered hop-forward in any way.
Black Lab is a beer built around its malt backbone and the primary component is its sweetness which remains in the forefront and in the mid-palate, combining with the bittering hops to deliver a bittersweet finish.
There’s a tingling carbonation on the tongue which is unexpected from looking at the beer. And while it does fizz across the mouth a bit, it’s not overwhelming and soon subsides to leave the smooth, silk-like texture of the liquid coating the tongue and roof of your mouth.
The appearance and aroma lead up to this highly anticipated mouthfeel and it completes the beer.
Cheers To Seasonal Beers
Black Lab Milk Stout is perfect in a 500ml can. At close to a pint, it’s just right to sit on during a cold winter’s evening.
If you’re inclined to pair it with food, warm homemade chocolate brownies (with a scoop of ice-cream if you’re being extra decadent) would be a perfect combination.
Sydney craft beer lovers will be hoping for more canned seasonal releases from Modus Operandi as the months roll by. If this Black Lab Milk Stout is anything to go by, their excitement is justified.
From: Mona Vale, NSW
Beer style: Milk stout
Pair with: Warm homemade chocolate brownies
Have you tried Modus Operandi’s Black Lab Milk Stout? Leave a comment and share your experience.