Jan 2, 2015

Against the Grain 35K

35K was my first introduction to Kentucky’s Against the Grain Brewing back in late October of last year. I had heard of the company in passing, but that’s not made me first pick up this bottle. The artwork for the company’s labels are engaging (bizarre?) to say the least. And really, sometimes for me, that’s all it takes to intrigue — and ultimately end up purchasing the beer.

This 7% ABV milk stout is thankfully not a reflection of the interesting label artwork. That said, it’s also not as straight forward an example of the style as many of its peers either. It feels like a combination of a robust stout, an oatmeal stout and, ultimately, a milk stout — all good things.

Against the Grain 35K photo


35K pours an opaque black with a lasting cap of creamy, brown foam.


A soft roast of dark coffee, light grain/oats, smooth lactose presence, hint of licorice and a good amount of cocoa fill the nose smoothly.

Against the Grain 35K photo


To begin with, 35K is not as sweet or as “milky” as several examples of the style. It has a robust and earthy character reminiscent of a Russian imperial stout, the smoothness of an oatmeal stout and the light lactose character of a milk stout. It’s quite an interesting and complimentary array of flavors. A soft roast, cocoa and hint of licorice all present themselves throughout the experience. I’d like the brew to be a bit fuller on the palate though.


This is a tasty, untypical (is that a word?) milk stout. I love the earthy character and overall flavor of 35K. Like I said, I’d prefer it to be a bit fuller, but as it stands, this was an excellent introduction to Against the Grain. I look forward to sampling many of their other products in the future.

Rating: 4/5

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