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Sour Series: Rake Beer Project | Raspberry Mylk Atomic Milkshake Sour

Rake Beer Project Raspberry Mylk

“Atomic” mylkshake sours are what happen when a brewery gets tipsy off their own supply and sparked up with inspiration. Rake Beer Project’s new Raspberry Mylk takes creative license from their Imperial Milk Stouts juxtaposed with their flagship line of popular, ever-rotating smoothie-style Joose beers to devise a high-ABV, heavily-fruited hybrid.

Sarcastically self-described by owner Josh Rake as an “abomination,” the concept instead teases a loose intersection between milk and juice that’s hardly offensive. Instead, it’s a playful novelty consistent with Rake’s “What the hell, let’s try it!” attitude.

Stout Side

Raspberry Mylk, released earlier in February, slurps at 11.7%. ABV. The grist mimics that of a white stout—malted oats and wheat, absent of dark malts and any roasty or chocolate characteristics–reminiscent of American Stouts.

The addition of a small to moderate charge of lactose brings the welcomed nuance of a Sweet Stout after which Mylk is named. This subtle thread helps balance the tartness of the fruit by adding a whisper of sweetness and contributes to a softer mouthfeel than that of highly acidic sours.

Sour Side

Though Mylk may trail off in its representation of a Stout, it stays tight to the tracks in its
identity as a fruited sour. Rake co-pitched live lactobacillus along with a blend of their favorite Farmhouse yeasts before they “fruited the f*ck out of it,” Josh said. In addition to conditioning it on vanilla beans, the beer boasts two pounds of raspberries per gallon of finished beer.

“Due to the large amounts of fruit in this beer, we added fruit at multiple times during fermentation,” Josh explained. “Typically, we add fruit after the first day of fermentation, about halfway through primary fermentation, and after primary fermentation has finished. These huge beers can stress the yeast a bit, so beyond simply adding the flavor of its respective fruit, these additions supplement our yeast with nutrients that give it strength to finish fermentation.”


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Variants & Packaging

If they haven’t dropped by the time of publication, expect at least two more variants soon. Strawberry Mylk and a more limited run of Key Lime Pie Mylk (weighing in at 11.9% ABV and 11.2% ABV respectively) will get the same treatment as their raspberry predecessor—two and a half pounds of strawberries per gallon and conditioned on vanilla beans and buckets of limes, graham crackers and vanilla beans.

Mylk is packaged in clear 500 ml Champagne-style bottles to showcase their vibrant, natural colors. As a result, consumers may notice a modest amount of fruit sediment settled at the bottom of the bottle, but not to worry! Josh said, “The fruit’s pulp is intentionally left in this beer to contribute to a fuller, milkier mouthfeel when poured properly into a glass.”

A couple of easy rolls of the bottle on a table prior to opening will circulate the pulp back into the solution, so yeah—get those dregs.

And, just like Rake’s notoriously thiccc Joose, this beer is packaged at the height of its flavor profile and meant to be consumed fresh so drink your glass of Mylk right now.

Raspberry Mylk 

After agitating the sediment and pouring the beer into a stemmed glass, its bright, one-inch magenta head with tight, tiny bubbles dissolves as quickly as it forms. The beer is a deep, opaque boysenberry color, especially attractive when struck by light.

I didn’t notice any sediment resettling in my glass (or the bottle, for that matter). But, I did drink all 17 oz (in two pours) probably quicker than I should’ve, not leaving it much time uninterrupted. Do not screw around and forget that this beer is over 11% ABV.

The aroma is unmistakably raspberry, with mildly noticeable alcohol. Flavor mirrors, with the raspberries leaning toward underripe than too sweet. The vanilla is present if you’re looking for it—even more so as I slowed my sipping.

The lactose is perceived perhaps more on the mouthfeel than adding noticeable or unwarranted sweetness. However, I expected it to contribute more prominently to a richer, softer experience. It does have a lot of fruit to compete with.

Its impressive (or sneaky) ABV is masked by the fruit intensity, but alcohol warmth lingered for up to a minute after the swallow, as did the fruit’s acidity. Every sip begs for a bite of dense pie crust because all that fruity filling is already in the beer.

Photo credit: Jason Ley

Raspberry Mylk would also pair well with cream cheese breakfast strudel, dark chocolate, a summer salad with pecans and goat cheese or a bowl of Cap’n Crunch—with whole milk.

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