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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: Minnesota
  • Style: Coffee Beers Milk / Sweet / Cream Stout
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV: 10.0%
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass: Snifter
  • Food Pairing: Chocolate
  • PHM Grade: B+

Surly Four Double Espresso Milk Stout

Written by

After several months of sitting in my fridge and repeated trips to and from my parents ending in unsuccessful sampling, I have finally come to the perfect tasting time. Amidst the feet of snow on the suburban Minnesota lawn out the window, and a long night ahead, a beer brewed with coffee seemed the perfect combination. Relax and re-energize, right there in the same bottle.

It looked a typical stout, dark as can be, perhaps a few dark brown tones around the mostly black center. The head was puffy, fluffy almost, like a frosting-topped cupcake. It dwindled before my first sip, but laced like the shed skin of a snake, in tan strips above the opaque liquid. The scent is sweet, molasses, brown sugar and roasted coffee beans. Its one of the few stouts that I could tell you was brewed with coffee, before being told that it was by the label or a review from The Perfectly Happy Man (wink).

Its incredibly smooth, although not as thick as many stouts. Almost somewhere between a heavy porter and your standard stout. The bitter of the coffee and hops kicks in full gear on the finish. It is a linger of burnt and roasted grains and coffee. That finish hangs on for a long time, too. Compared with other milk stouts, it is definitely dominated by the coffee and roast elements, rather than the sweetness of the milk sugar. There is a caramel hint, right at the outset, that is soon overtaken by the others. Overall, the fourth Surly special creation was an enjoyable one. I’m definitely looking forward to Five next month!

Surly Four Double Espresso Milk Stout, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
  1. Never heard of Surly Brewing but looks like I’m going to have to go find a bottle. I am really liking stouts these days, well some of them. This sounds like it’s the right kind, right up my alley 🙂 I wish I knew more about what kind of stout I don’t like. It seems to be these types, the smooth, sweet ones that I like. I had one this weekend that felt like I got kicked in the mouth.

    Jacklyn — January 3rd, 2011, 10:27 PM
  2. Jacklyn I am totally the same way with stouts … some of them are too roasty and bitter for me. The ones I really enjoy usually have some form of coffee, vanilla, and/or chocolate in the recipe. If I were you I’d look into trying Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodite Stout. It is made with cocoa and vanilla bean and it’s got a lower ABV of 6.5%. I also just had Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout which is another good one with low ABV.

    Taylor — January 4th, 2011, 9:39 AM
  3. If you like the coffee notes you might try
    Oakshire Brewery – Overcast, Espresso Stout
    Twisted Pine Brewing – Big Shot, Espresso Stout

    for sweet and mellow without the coffee
    Left Hand Brewing – Milk Stout (the nitro version makes it even smoother)

    But stay FAR away from these robust dry Stouts. Unless of course you develop a taste for the strong smoky, tarry, leathery stouts or you’ve done something particularly inappropriate and feel you need that “kicked in the mouth” feeling as penance.
    Deschutes Brewing – Obsidian Stout
    Moylans – dragoon, Dry Irish Stout
    Coalition Brewing – Hanzo Stout

    Shane — November 4th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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