The Left Hand Brewery in Longmont, Colorado opened for business on January 22, 1994. Started by college buddies Dick Doore and Eric Wallace, the idea first came to light when Dick received a home brewing kit from his brother in the early 1990’s. Their first attempt was Sawtooth Ale, which has since become Left Hand’s most popular brew. Today, Doore and Wallace make over 3 dozen beers, distributed in 29 states. One of their limited offerings is an Imperial Coffee Milk Stout they lovingly named “Bittersweet.”
The beer pours an opaque deep dark brown that appears almost black in the glass. The one finger mocha colored head shows decent retention. Once the head dissipates a light lacing remains atop the beer.
Aromas of dark roasted coffee leap from the glass. While coffee is definitely the dominate note in the bouquet you’ll also find notes of milk chocolate, malts and roasted nuts. Rounding out the bouquet are notes of dark fruits, black cherry, and a hint of spice.
The palate starts with flavors of rich roasted coffee that presents with a certain bitterness. Next comes a sweet creamy lactose note. Along with the lactose you get notes of sweet dark fruits and chocolate. The sweetness succumbs to the rich, slightly bitter coffee note that lingers on the finish.
The appropriately named “Bittersweet” definitely offers up both bitter and sweet notes. A great beer from the folks at Left Hand that would pair perfectly with an aged cheddar, coffee crusted tenderloin or Tiramisu.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints