Modus Operandi Black Lab Milk Stout

Total Score: 7.05/10 Coffee1DarkFruits1Chocolate1Nonicpint1

Today’s adventure in beer is [dun dun-dun dun-na]: Modus Operandi’s Black Lab Milk Stout. The in-joke with the name of the beer (which I looked up) is due to Modus brewery having an unofficial mascot: A black Labrador named “Stout”. This is of course a clever name for a black Labrador which works on many levels, Stout being another word for obese and Labradors being renowned for being insatiable dogs that will keep eating until… forever. I’ve never met a Labrador that could control its hunger. So this Milk Stout should be pretty well done – Modus are, for me at least, one of a select few Aussie brewers who usually get their beer mouthfeels right, oh yeah and flavour in general. Time to tuck in.

Poured from a 500ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Looks good so far – dense/creamy 2 centimetre tan head that ever slowly compacts down, deep cola coloured body that is probs opaque but it’s always hard to tell with Stouts… wait the head is suddenly dissolving into almost nothing – oh dear! 6/10.

S: Rich coffee cherry goodness with a smattering of dark chocolate, hints of dark fruits a roasty character. Fingers crossed – but it would be amazing if this came within a glimmer of their brilliant limited 2nd birthday release: Caribbean Queen… however that brew actually had loads of chocolate brewed into it, I’m not sure if this will come close, the aroma is pretty standard Stout stuff here. 7/10.

T: Sorta halfway between the (dark) fruitiness of a Baltic Porter and a regular old Milk Stout. Flavours are alright, though it is definitely one of Modus’s more restrained brews with notes of: Red coffee cherries, milk/dark chocolate, dark fruits (prune, raisin) and a long roasted dry finish. Again – decent but not a shining star in Modus’s oeuvre. 7/10.

M: Once again Modus does a great job here – I’ve had a few Aussie Milk Stouts recently and none of them have this nice medium bodied, silky smooth texture. There’s a touch of thinness to the carbonation that detracts from a perfect score but this is otherwise excellent. 8/10.

D: Again with Modus there is an expectation to be wowed out of the gates, however this Milk Stout is proof that not every Modus beer has to be “PHWOAR!” sometimes a bit of restraint can go a long way. In the case of Black Lab this is a nice, easy-drinking Milk Stout with decent texture, cheers! 7/10.

Food match: Welcome to stew country! Irish stew specifically.


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