We've been designing, brewing and most important of all tasting a new beer that'll be available in the next couple of months. It's going to be a Milk Stout at around 4.1% abv. Now a milk stout is not a common beer any more. It was once, in the form of Mackeson's, a popular beer with "ladies of a certain age" who drank it for "purely medicinal reasons".
It's made like a normal stout using a pale malt base with darker malts and grains to give its colour and its roasted, chocolately taste. Where it differs is in the addition of lactose (milk sugar) which is unfermentable by yeast. This means you can add gravity to a beer without adding alcohol. It adds a level of sweetness too although since lactose is perceived by humans as only 1/5th as sweet as table sugar it's a subtle sweetness that works really well with the chocolate notes.
Matthieu de Gottal (@gottalchocolat) is an official "Friend of Egghead Brewery" and has been the source of a little extra something in this beer in the form of some whole, raw cocoa beans which we crushed and added to the mash. I used only a few of these beauties but their flavour is absolutely detectable alongside the chocolate flavours from the malt.
So what have we ended up with? A hugely unfashionable beer that is delicious. Now despite being fairly light in alcohol, I can't imaging down half a dozen pints of this in an evening. It's a beer for contemplation in half pint form and as such we're looking to put it into Keykeg.
And the name, well there was only going to be one winner - Ermintrude.