The Garage Marshmallow Milk Stout pours into the glass with the promise of decadence. However, the initial excitement fades as it reveals a rather deceptive appearance. While presenting itself as completely opaque black, the liquid, upon closer inspection, resembles more of a clear cola brown as it flows from the can. The ample mocha-colored foam, although persistent, fails to compensate for the discrepancy in expectations.


The olfactory experience begins with a peculiar blend of root beer and cream soda, creating an aroma that, regrettably, leans towards the artificial side. The scent carries hints of vanilla extract, introducing a fragrance that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated marshmallow essence remains elusive, as the concoction of scents fails to evoke the envisioned campfire setting.


Venturing into the flavor profile, the Garage Marshmallow Milk Stout offers a medley of licorice, cocoa, vanilla, and root beer. However, the promised marshmallow presence is noticeably absent, a somewhat expected outcome given the nature of marshmallows being a blend of corn syrup, gelatin, and vanilla extract. The taste experience, while intriguing, doesn’t quite align with the advertised marshmallow focus, leaving room for disappointment.


With a medium-bodied constitution, the beer boasts a commendably creamy mouthfeel. The use of unfermentable lactose sugar in milk stouts often leads to a sticky or syrupy texture, but Garage Brewing manages to steer clear of such pitfalls. Surprisingly, considering its 7.1% ABV, the brew leans towards the lighter end of the spectrum, thanks to a balancing act involving ashy bitterness from roasted malt. The subtle spiciness reminiscent of root beer adds an interesting layer to the overall mouthfeel.


Garage Brewing’s Marshmallow Milk Stout undoubtedly enjoys popularity among its fanbase, and there’s a rationale behind it. The beer, despite its deviation from the anticipated marshmallow flavor, offers an enjoyable experience with a focus on vanilla and roasted malt. The fundamentals, including carbonation, sweetness, and mouthfeel, are commendable. Whether it delivers on the promise of a root beer float or the ambiance of marshmallows by a campfire is subjective, but as the weather cools down, it stands out as a playful dessert beer. For those new to Garage Brewing, this introduction to their core lineup showcases a beer that, while not hitting every note, still manages to charm with its unique characteristics.

In the realm of critical beer reviews, it’s imperative to scrutinize the discrepancies between expectations and reality. Garage Brewing’s Marshmallow Milk Stout, while not a perfect rendition of its advertised profile, succeeds in delivering an engaging and palatable experience. The critical lens underscores the importance of aligning promises with execution in the dynamic world of craft beer.