As mentioned in our review of Zero Five, Thornbridge Brewery have won many awards for their beers, with judges often citing their mastery of flavour combinations. The Indepedent newspaper has labelled the brewery as one of the first key players in the UK’s craft brewing scene, and as part of that scene they have helped reignite interest in some of the more ‘forgotten’ beer styles, such as stout and porter.
Little By Little is one such stout, this one being of the milk stout variety – a sweeter, creamier dark ale, which gets its characteristics, as well as it’s name, from the addition of lactose. Yeast is unable to ferment lactose, which means the sweetness remains in the brew. In the past, milk stouts were seen as nutritious, and famously prescribed to nursing mothers in an attempt to help lactation. However, does this style work as an alcohol-free tipple?
Pouring into a glass the ale is a dark brown, almost black colour, with a thick beige head. Once again though, this doesn’t hang about too long, so enjoy while you can. The nose is strong with aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate, with a touch of burnt sugar. Thornbridge’s Zero Five also had great aromas, but the taste eventually let it down. Let’s hope we don’t run into the same problem here!
I’m happy to say that the flavour experience that was teased by Little By Little’s aromas is fully realised when it comes to the tasting. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a hint of smoky caramelisation, a touch of toffee sweetness and a pleasant lingering bitterness. I was worried it would be too sweet but this is not the case. Low sugar content, but still rather carby.
Marketed as indulgent, this is certainly going to be my little treat every so often. Deep comforting flavours also mean that for me, it’s hard to tell that the alcohol isn’t there.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.5% alcohol by volume
27.5 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Water, Barley, Wheat, Lactose, Hops, Yeast
Thornbridge Little By Little Non-Alcoholic Milk Stout Review
A luxurious tipple with deep dark flavours. One to keep in the fridge for times of indulgence.