Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Odell Brewing Co. has been quenching thirsts since 1989. Doug, Wynne and Corkie Odell founded the brewery and have steadfastly maintained a philosophy of giving back to the local community through charitable organizations and volunteering. They have also been focusing on the sustainability aspect with a goal of becoming a zero-landfill business by 2020.

Today’s beer, Lugene, is a reflection of that progressive mindset. It is not unusual for a brewery to provide its spent grains to local farmers but Odell has been doing just that long before it was the cool thing to do. Odell has said:

 While repurposing our grains may not save the world, it matters. Every decision we make at OBC is with a conscience, a purpose and a desire to better ourselves, our environment and our community.

Odell Lugene bottle

Lugene is the farmer’s name and his dairy farm is where the spent grain, hops, and yeast from Odell end up. Those happy cows in turn provide lactose for the chocolate milk stout that bears Lugene’s name.

The pour is jet black with a large caramel colored head. Aroma is straight chocolate toffee latte; milk, coffee, caramel, and of course chocolate are just beaming out in waves. There are no sign of the 8.5 percent ABV in the nose.

First thing on the palate is the ridiculously smooth and rich mouthfeel. Lugene is creamy, full, and slick while not being flat or cloying. The flavor follows the nose pretty close with coffee and bittersweet chocolate taking center stage. The malt is definitely there but lends a supporting role making the beer taste exactly like liquid brownies or triple chocolate cookies dipped in sweetened coffee.

Odell Lugene

It’s very clean and not muddled like many of the other chocolate beers I’ve had. As it warms up a slight black pepper note comes through along with an increase in the overall bitterness.

Odell Lugene
BREWERY: Odell Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Fort Collins, Colo.
STYLE: Imperial Milk Stout
ABV: 8.5 percent
IBU: 18
PRICE: $8.99
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce bottles
Overall, Lugene is one of the best milk stouts I’ve had. The chocolate notes are massive and blend perfectly with the dark malts. The lactose is kept in check so the sweetness is not cloying. The 8.5 percent ABV is not found until it hits the head swimmingly. Liquid brownies FTW.
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