I'm doing well in the low alcohol beer stakes. Manns Brown Ale satisfied me earlier and now a few cans of Mackeson Stout picked up during a trip to Northern Ireland are doing the job just as well. I've had an interest in Mackeson stout ever since my father declared that one of my first attempts at a home brewed stout tasted like it, and recited with gusto the now defunked Mackeson advertising slogan: "It Looks good, tastes good and, by golly, it does you good!" He remembered clearly the days when this stout was recommended to nursing mothers and anyone else in need of nourishment. Nowadays such statements fall foul of all kinds of advertising standards political correctness insanity despite the obvious truth to the statement. It is nutritional, and taken in moderation is a valid and welcome part of anyone's diet.
Looking back it is no surprise he drew the comparison between my stout and this one. Mine was made from heavy, sickly bitter sweet dark liquid malt extract and finished up with a high final gravity, providing plenty of residual sweetness. That's what Mackeson stout gives up too - a sweet/bitter mix with plenty of body. The full body and sweetness comes from the addition of lactose, a sugar that brewers' yeast cannot metabolise, leaving it in the finished beer. Once again, like Manns this little beer is satisfying and full despite the wee 3% abv. I must admit to having more respect for Manns because the brewers have made the beer satisfying through skilful use of malts and mashing, while brewers of Mackeson stout use lactose to pad things out, which let's face it, is cheating. It is a shame that Inbev now produce this lovely little beer because it is the very antithesis of big industry, in its little can that provides all of one unit of alcohol.