GarrettB (1091) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 4, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 27, 2011 I like a brew that purports to be tough and strong; a beer that can be manly enough for the blue collar worker, but sweet enough to satisfy his suppressed appetite for sugar. And apparently thatís the demographic that the Steel Toe stout is aimed at. The pour is slow and oily like the Exxon-Valdez spill, floating up a medium brown and fuzzy head thatís a few millimetes shy of capping the whole surface area of the brew. The aroma has the summer scent of fresh leafy produce, like spinach, with the added bitterness of fresh coffee beans. A marginal scent of raspberry, and the heavy smell of heavy cream gives this a predictable sweet touch. Out of this aroma I also catch a puff of candy corn - a staple to any American child celebrating Halloween, but I also get a heavy metallic element in the aroma that makes the Steel Toe a bit off-putting. The flavor is a dark maw of malts, chocolate and a semi-sweet balance, but seems flat and deflated. It is a nice respite from bitter stouts, though. Also, like in the aroma, I stumble on a chemical and metal flavor that is unpleasant and sticks around your throat like a thorn until the aftertaste. Still, this does nothing to malign the beerís sugary intent, especially as it is still housed in your mouth. Dry fruits and a lactic sweetness give the tongue a sugary coating that is a nice substitute for dessert, but these industrial flavors are just too much for me.
------- in July, 2011
Sweeter and deeper in its chocolate tones than most milk stouts, the Ska Brewing Steel Toe Milk Stout is almost a dessert substitute. The coal black black body hints at the deep, enveloping chocolate flavors insude. In the nose I find scents of freshly unwrapped premium chocolate (the kind you cringe when buying, even if itís for a special occasion) with chocolate malt and a nice, rich dairy freshness in the nose. The flavor is oozing with even more chocolate, more sweet than bitter, and recalls slices of decadent chocolate cake had at fancy dinners in the past. The boisterous carbonation washes away the flavors in the aftertaste, leaving behind a short but very intense burst of chocolate astringency. Milk stouts are engineered with lactose sugar in mind, but the Steel Toe is a special example of just how sweet a deep, dark beer can get with a heady dose of lactose. I never find it cloying, but I also know that a drink that sweet doesnít seem like a beer sometimes. All the same, darn good drinking, and practically begging to be paired with a nice vanilla ice cream.
SuperDave (1932) - Beautiful Sunny Mesa, Arizona, USA - JUL 21, 2008
2.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Clear black pour with minimal foamy tan head. Roasted maly and grain aroma. Burnt coffee flavor. Watery on the palate. No big deal.
JK (4603) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - JUL 15, 2008
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Lactose aroma. A little sweet with more lactose in the aroma along with lightly roasted malt. Black in color and average palate. I don’t like lactose in my stouts but this one does an OK job with it.
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUL 15, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark pour medium brown head, spotty lace. Pleasant roast aroma almost smokey. Coffee and cream type flavor. Nothing on the milk stout from D/R
Guerde (1183) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - JUN 30, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
(bottle from Sparky27, thanks Eric!) Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma is strongly roasted, with a ton of roasted malt, a touch of smoke, charcoal, beef jerky, and dark roasted coffee. Taste is not as highly roasted as the aroma would lead on (which is a good thing) but thereís a lot of dark roasted coffee, with a sharp somewhat tart/bitter berry skin taste near the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, not bad.
KAF (448) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - JUN 27, 2008
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks to Guerde. Dark pour with a thin off white head. Beets on the nose as well as pet food. Coffee, cocoa and lactose in the taste.
badgerben (4502) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - JUN 19, 2008
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks to Guerde for sharing. Black color with no head. Chocolate and chalky aroma. Very obviously a milk stout by the taste. A still slightly sweet lactose flavor, a bit of chocolate and some roasty malt. Solidly done.
Sparky (2243) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 18, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours a deep clear brown with one finger tan head and spotty lacing. Nose is toasted malt, chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Taste is sweet upfront with roasted coffee and chocolate in the finish. Medium, semi-creamy mouth feel. Better than I expected.
kyzr (1153) - Belgrade, Montana, USA - MAR 30, 2008
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Dark brown pour with small brown head. Roasted malty nose. Flavor is much the same, with that au sec pot of coffee flavor that sticks with you at the end.
alexsdad06 (5870) - Ohio, USA - MAR 24, 2008
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
12 oz. bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a small fizzy rapidly disappearing beige head. The aroma is roasted with a hint of burnt malt. The flavor is mildly sweet, along with the roasted character from the nose. There is the faintest hint of coffee. A touch on the thin side, smooth drinking. Nothing I would seek out in the future.