I know I just reviewed a stout, but what can I say, I am a sucker for dark beers, especially when the cold weather and rain starts to hit. This one is one the other side of the spectrum completely from Gigantic’s Most Most Imperial Russian Stout, though.

Hearthstone is a brewery based in North Vancouver that claims to be Vancouver’s newest craft brewery. However, knowing the rapid growth of BC’s craft beer industry, this claim could prove to be rather short-lived.

They haven’t been around long, but have some really interesting sounding beers in their line-up, including an 8% graham cracker ale for the holidays ( I would love to try this!). I’ve not seen too many of their brews locally, but hopefully that will change as their distribution grows.

In case you were wondering what a milk stout is, it is a milder type of stout created in the late 19th century by porter brewers who were losing business to mild ale brewers. The addition of lactose to the brew kettle made the brew much sweeter and less bitter than a standard porter or stout. They were originally marketed as nutritive beers, because they contained lactose, and early brewers claimed that “each pint contains the energizing carbohydrates of ten ounces of dairy milk.” How far nutrition science has come!

Bottle: 473 ml canIMG_20161010_021029.jpg

ABV: 5.5%; IBU: 19; SRM: 45

Price: $5.5 a can

Description: This dark and broody milk stout is full bodied and perfect to cuddle up next to a fire with. A solid and robust drink that has been aged on cacao nibs and shells provided by the East Van Roasting Company.

Tasting notes:

This beer pours out a dark tan colour with a nice creamy head that is second only no a nitro can.

The aroma was of chocolate malt, cacao, and a touch of vanilla. The taste was of chocolate, nuts, coffee, and a hint of licorice and vanilla. Hops are present but mild and take a backseat to the big malt flavours.

This is an easy-drinking light-to-medium bodied stout with lots of sweetness to offset the bitterness that many associate with the style, this is thanks mostly to the chocolate malt and the lactose added to the brew kettle.

If you know someone who doesn’t says they don’t like dark beers, then this would be a great gateway drug, much like Hoyne’s Dark Matter and Philips’s Chocolate Porter.

Rating: 3.5/5