Nitro Milk Stout and Blithering Idiot Barleywine

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Clint Yeastwood

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HBT Supporter
Dec 19, 2022
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Here's another one of my noncontroversial beer reviews.

The other day, someone told me what a juice bomb was. It sounded like beer for people who think they look cool drinking beer but don't actually want to learn to like beer. I thought I should try one to see what all the complaining was about. After that, I learned what milk stout was. I looked it up because it sounded disgusting, and I learned it was stout sweetened with lactose. I wondered whether that made milk stouts juice bombs.

I've always liked using crystal malt to add sweetness to balance IBU's, so I thought maybe I would like juice bombs. I got myself a can of Nitro Milk Stout, thinking it might kill the juice bomb and milk stout birds with one stone.

It comes in a big can with a nitrogen thing in it. When I poured it, I got the cascading-bubble effect, but unlike a Guinness from P.J. Clarke's on 3rd Avenue, this beer seemed to lose its bubbles in a big hurry. I don't know why.

It had a nice creamy head, and it tasted like any other stout, except that it was extremely sweet and lacking in bitterness. At first, I thought it might grow on me. I would think of it as a sort of beer milkshake. After a few pulls, I couldn't take it any more. It was gross. I'm not saying it's a bad beer. It's just not for me. To me, it tastes extremely unbalanced. Like Guinness with simple syrup stirred in. I can't figure out why anyone would brew a thing like this. Is it for millennials raised on 62 different flavors of Mountain Dew?

Maybe Nitro tastes better with CO2 to counter the sweetness. "Carbo"!

I only have one beer per day, so I don't force myself to drink things I hate. I pour them out no matter what they cost, and then I go get things I have some hope of enjoying. I was going to pour this out, but then I remembered I had some Bell's Two Hearted IPA to clear out of the fridge. I decided to try a half and half. If it didn't work, I could at least say I tried.

It was no good. The hop aroma throat punch from the Bell's and the exaggerated sweetness from the Nitro did not get along, so down the sink they both went.

I decided to open a Blithering Idiot barleywine. I have been planning to make a heavy amber beer from one of my own recipes. I love the one I make. It gets better and better as months in the keg pass. I thought I'd check some similar-sounding beers out.

Blithering Idiot produces a very nice head, but the aroma is a little hard to take. It's impossible to describe, but it's like rancid candy. A little bit like caramel. A little bit like horehound. A little stale. There's a smell in there that reminds me of the smell of Carnation evaporated milk. Maybe Watney's Red Barrel or Whitbread would smell like this if you spilled it on the floor and let it thicken for a month. When you really inhale the aroma, it's extremely heavy and a little sickening. I don't know if it comes from the malt or the yeast or what, but it's not for me.

The beer itself is pretty bitter, but it's also very sour and extremely sweet. Sort of like the sauce from sweet and sour pork with hops added. Sourness and bitterness are two completely different things, but some people don't know it.

Someone must have worked hard to get all these sensations going, and I'm not saying this beer isn't skillfully made or worthy of an audience. Maybe it gets prizes and deserves them. It didn't go down the sink. Maybe it's a great beer. I just think it's a beer other people will like more than I do.

If you like extremely sweet stouts without a lot going on in the hop department, Nitro Milk Stout may be for you. If you like overpowering, sugary, complex, sour, bitter barleywines, you may love Blithering Idiot.

I wish I hadn't wasted my daily allotment on these beers. I could be drinking a Brother Thelonious right now.

I kind of wonder if young people who don't actually like beer have taken over the micro industry.
I didn't notice I was sick until yesterday afternoon, and I'm already down to a crummy feeling and a nose that occasionally runs for a while and then quits.
So, yes? Or was the beer adventure before you got sick?
Just curious - I have avoided Covid so far, don't know what it's like first hand, but the smell/taste thing would make me sad...

I am not positive I've had it, but I have had about 4 mild sicknesses that could have been covid and which did not seem like anything else I had had.

The first one started out with conjunctivitis and photophobia. I thought I had flashed myself while welding, but it turned out that was not the case. I threw up several times and then had diarrhea of a type that was even more disgusting than usual. Got over it fast, except for the eye symptoms. Those took days. Covid causes conjunctivitis in some people.

I was visiting Turkey, and I got brief nausea and diarrhea and then several days of pretty bad nose-running. Colds and the flu don't fit those symptoms very well.

In Egypt, I had a runny nose that would not quit, and I got dehydrated, too, but I was okay to walk miles every day in 114-degree heat.

I took drugstore tests but always tested negative. Those tests are really bad, however. Apparently, you have to be sure you take them at just the right time.