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Neapolitan Milk Stout - Saugatuck Brewing Company

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Neapolitan Milk Stout
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very good

93 Reviews
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Reviews: 93
Hads: 618
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 32.82%
Wants: 41
Gots: 135 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jips on 07-03-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 618
Photo of emerge077
2.41/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1-28-2013 Tap: 3.5
Tried a draft sample to see if it lived up to the horrible bottles I had last month. The aroma was similarly of fake strawberry syrup, but the roastiness of the stout did come through a little bit more behind it. Flavors were similarly sweet and artificial at first, but in the end the base stout came forward quite a bit more flavor-wise also. Overall it was actually far better that the bottles... just going to chalk it up to inconsistency, or poor treatment of the first bottled batch that arrived in Chicago.

12-17-2012 Bottle: 2.45

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark brown when poured and black in the glass. Huge billowing head of tan foam that rises above the rim in a convex dome, leaving sheets of sticky lacing behind. Great head retention, long lasting and the surface skim never breaks. So far so good.

Aromas of artificial strawberry cough syrup and vanilla extract. Very medicinal and fake... not to mention the bad childhood memories of taking cough syrup it conjures up. Yuck.

Flavor also has a similar artificial, medicinal strawberry note to it, though the base stout seems good enough. Mildly roasty with a medium level of sweetness, slightly dry and bitter finish. Medicinal note lingers throughout unfortunately, marring an otherwise decent base stout. Just plain weird. Not sure why they released this, it struck me as odd right off the bat. This is a brand new arrival to the market too, doubt it would already be infected.

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Photo of MaximalC
2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chestnut color with a minimal khaki head. Aroma smells of coffee grounds with hints of salted caramel and lactose.

The taste features a strident, chemical bitterness that exceeds black coffee along with some lactose up front, followed by one of the most off-putting finishes I’ve ever encountered. After the initial barrage subsides, the palate is assaulted by a crescendo of pure aspirin. I was leary about the label’s touting of “artificial flavors added”, and unfortunately those words rang truer than I would have liked. The moderately high carbonation and medium body afford a smooth enjoyable mouthfeel; it’s just a shame it has not the taste to match.

Overall, this is a bitter, synthetic mess that isn’t worth the time to try.

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Photo of emyers
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: pours near black with a huge light brown head. Head takes up more than half the glass with just a slightly aggressive pour.

Smell: at first I get mostly chocolate malt, but as I continue to inhale it smells exactly like a neopolitan. Somewhat unnervingly, actually - it doesn't really smell like a stout with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla added, it smells like ice cream. Still, I like ice cream so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

Taste: keeps that weird neopolitan is-this-actually-beer thing going...it's not working as much for me as in the aroma. It tastes more like one of those neopolitan flavored hard candies than a stout... Flavors are pretty artificial.

Mouhfeel: body is very thin for a stout, yet it's fairly highly carbonated - not the best combination for a stout, but at least it stops me from confusing this for a milkshake.

Overall: picked this up because I was curious...ultimately I would have liked it more if it tasted like a stout with strawberries, chocolate, and vanilla added instead of the neopolitan version of mikes hard lemonade. Maybe that isn't a fair comparison, but hey, that's what I'm tasting.

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Photo of GrahamDN
2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pretty much just black, showing only faintly brown highlights at the edge. Basically nails the Neapolitan notes on the nose, with strawberry ice cream standing out over an inseparable vanilla-chocolate undercurrent that evokes Irish cream. It doesn't really smell like actual strawberries, vanilla, or chocolate though--it smells like ice cream. Aromatic coffee and subtle licorice notes from the roasted malts underscore the dominant aromas.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, there's a weird side to this beer. Somehow it's easy to overlook, but when you first pour this beer, you can smell black olives if you're thinking about it, and you can miss it just as easily. It seems to disappear as the beer warms though. Strange.

Sweet!--which is, I guess, appropriate--with a smooth texture. The flavor has all the same elements as the smell, but less balanced, dominated by a distorted strawberry character.

An interesting gimmick beer, but nothing to seek out. Not likely to buy again.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was a pretty raunchy brew that lived up to its name. Isn’t the point of having strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream that you get three different flavors in one—not that the three get mixed together?
It pours a thick black color with light cocoa foam. The aroma is all about a milk stout’s sweetness with a combination of chocolate-strawberry and a light cocoa note. The flavor is sharply sweet, and becomes overly cloying as it opens. There’s a strawberry-tinged harshness with a lactic tartness and a sharp finish. It definitely does taste like a Neapolitan ice cream cone—only melted down with the flavors mixed together.

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Photo of AnchorDrops
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured in glass goblet.

A-Pitch black with moderate head that dissipates somewhat quickly, light lacing

S-Sugar, some strawberry

T-Very sweet, with artificially tasting strawberry up front, some vanilla, and very light chocolate roasted malts in the finish.

M-Medium carbonation, somewhat thick for the ABV

O-The sweetness dominates, as do the somewhat cloying flavors of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. It was definitely drinkable but nothing I will buy again.

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Photo of divineaudio
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

a - pours dark brown with a thin cap of tan head that calms to a film pretty fast. leaves a few legs of lacing in this glass.

s - mostly milk chocolate, but there is a hint of artificial strawberry and vanilla.

t - artificial strawberry flavor over a chocolate malt base. has a bitterness like burnt coffee on the back of the tongue and a weird chemical aftertaste.

m - medium in body and very creamy. adequate carbonation.

o - would be great, but the chemical flavors kinda ruined this one for me. i wish they had brewed this with real strawberries and aged it on vanilla beans instead of using a bunch of flavorings. probably not returning to this one.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - low head. Dark opaque. 3.5

S - smells very much like ice cream. Hints of roasted barley. 4.25

T - burnt paper. Faint hints of strawberry stems. 2.5

M - decent creamy milk stout 3

O - smells and tastes didn't match. An oddity. 2.75

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Photo of jtingue
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Dark chocolate brown in color, only easy to see through at the edges. Pours with 3 fingers of coffee head, which quickly dissipates to a thick layer on top of the beer, leaving nice lacing.

Smell. Very sweet on the nose, but overall a very weak nose. Its really just a slight lactose sugar sweetness, with a hint of roastyness in the background.

Taste. Starts out with a sweet strawberry that tastes so similar to to neapolitan it promises its uncanny. This has an underlying roastiness which blends into a bourbon like vanilla flavor, again like the ice cream it tires to replicate. The strawberry, again comes back and leads into a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel. Very thick body, with a tight but prickly carbonation.

This one is a bit over the top for me. It does live up to its name quite well, but at the sacrifice of making a good beer. In actuality it is kind of a sweet mess of a beer, but that is what you expect so you kind of just ignore it.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Smells like if you mixed together all the flavors in the carton of ice cream, dominated by the strawberry. Artificial strawberry up front, with a lingering chocolate bitterness in back. This is just ok. Couldn't drink a lot of this.

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Photo of jera1350
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I like this beer and it does smell and taste like Neapolitan ice cream, but artificial flavor and color added? Really? I guess the ice cream is probably artificially flavored also, but this is supposed to be craft beer and this just feels like a shortcut. Scores would be way higher if they could make this naturally.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to willseph for the bottle.

Appearance: Straight black. Starts with a sizable darkish khaki head. Super creamy. Ok retention. Drops to a super faint cap with a thicker creamy collar. Some clingy splotches of lacing.

Smell: Creamy lactose thrown over a solid roasted malt backbone. A hint of fake vanilla and a touch of a vague jammy fruitiness. Roast drops some hints of almost char. Cocoa and chocolate in good measure. Milky sugary sweetness. Does a good job of mimicking a melted bowl of the ice cream. Malts keep it in check, offering some caramel and molasses. Very slight hint of earthy hops on the back.

Taste: Roasted ice cream. Legit. Solid lactose sweetness. Straight up sugar coupled with some deeper caramel and molasses notes. Very lightly fruity, but it pushes a bit more jammy than fresh. Lingering hint of artificial vanilla. Deeply roasted with some coffee and a good bit of cocoa bitterness. Strawberry jumps up a bit as it warms. A slightly burnt edge coupled with some char. Warming smooths it out a bit, but leaves a clingy sugary sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium, almost smooth body. Moderate carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

Overall: Cook this shit out of that ice cream!

Sweet and roasted and almost burnt. It's good, but the roasted malts and sweetness don't ever really come together. Still, it's better than average.

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Photo of Chaz
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep-ruby red in color -- black to the eye, and topped with a decent enough lookin' medium-to-darkish tan head. Good lacing, good head retention.

BUT THAT NOSE! ZOMG, dood! It smells like an ice cream truck filled with Twizzlers overturned after hittin' a dairy cow! Even though I avoid chick flicks, am not lactose intolerant in the least, but this will still be brutal goin' down.

First sip and BAM! Over-powering sweetness and confectioners sugar, fake-ass strawberry jam and weird, citrus off-notes all bombarding my puny mortal palate. Even the aromas are there in the nasal passages, sawing and hacking at what was left of my finely-tuned nose. As far as sampling goes for tonight, this is a "one and done" affair.

Underneath the strawberriness there's the lactose sugar, sure enough, so it is on style to that degree. There's something like a silky-smooth texture as well, also par for the course for your run of the mill milk stout when properly executed. Top marks for that, alone.

No real vanilla goin' on (probably a good thing...) and chocolate notes are minimal, aside from some traditional (porter) roast character.

There's some bitterness to counterbalance the sweetness, but not too much.

"Natural and artificial flavors. Caramel colors added." - UH OH! Don't look now, but the 'Food Babe' is 'bout ready to pitch a fit! But aside from her (or anyone with lactose issues -- don't go near this, please) I believe that this would make for a most excellent 'chick beer', my brothers and sisters. So when you are curled up on the couch watching "Mean Girls" for the fifteenth time with your newest Millennial sweetie, you might want to slip her a couple of these, if ya know what I mean. And you enjoy yo' 40 and 420. Ahem.

Overall this is well-done for what it is, but it just ain't my bag, baby.

Pretty fresh (12/01/14 if I'm reading the second line of the code correctly.)

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Photo of bluHatter
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep dark licorice black with 2 fingers of solid, dark brown head that leaves nice lacing.

S: Lots of cocoa, dark chocolate and just a touch of strawberry.

T: I taste a lot of strong chocolate and toasted malts. Very light strawberry on the back. Some bitterness.

M: Full bodied, nice and thick without quite turning into syrup.

O: A nice chocolate stout with some strawberry undertones. Fair warning, this stuff gave me a terrible headache. Might just be me.

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Photo of jdb288
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Draft at Beer Exchange.

Pours med. brown with minimal lacing and head. Taste is almost cloyingly sweet. Some creaminess, strong berry notes. Almost finds the balance with the roasted malts but falls just a but short. I'd have to say the vanilla and chocolate flavors are far exceeded by the strawberry notes here.

This one's worth a try.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a dark brownish black, seemingly undercarbonated, with only a small ringlet in place of a head; minimal lacing. Mainly cocoa and dark malts in the aroma, light notes of berry-like sweetness. In the taste, again dark malts and cocoa were dominant, moderately roasty with a bitter twinge, lactose sweetness, but nothing that really came out as "vanilla," and a artificial strawberry syrup sensation in the background. Medium body, a little wacky/novelty-ish in the flavor department, but I guess it was enjoyable enough to be drinkable. It probably would have been a fine sweet stout without the strawberry flavoring.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown with a slight red tint to it. Small milk chocolate layer of foam sits on top

S - Bitter chocolate that gives it a slight roasted aspect. There is also a nice creamy strawberry milk presence

T - Bitter espresso and chocolate up front. Slight strawberry as well as a slightly chalky vanilla. Overall, it's too bitter for my tastes and tastes slightly artificial.

M - Medium yet smooth and creamy body that goes well with the overall beer

O - Interesting beer that picks up the flavors of the ice cream. It smells just like the ice cream. The only knock I have is the chocolate is slightly bitter / overpowering and it has a slight chalk / artificial taste

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Photo of barnzy78
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
A - black with a milk chocolatey head, decent retention
S - roasted barley, molasses, caramel
T - lots of roasted barley, caramel, faint vanilla and strawberry
M - medium-full body, creamy
O - I see where they were going here, but I'm not so sure it delivered. Still a pretty good stout regardless of the Neapolitan effort.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth beer, but all the extra flavors (vanilla, raspberry) taste very artificial. Leaves a bad aftertaste so while the smoothness is fun, the rest makes me want to pass.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a glass mug

A: Pours seriously black. No light through this beer. Unfortunately, that is due to added caramel color. No matter though. A small, dark brown head forms on top and quickly fades to a foam ring.

S: Dark roasted malt with hints of chocolate syrup and vanilla.

T: Immediately get chocolate covered cherries, (although I think they were going for strawberry) but in an artificial way. More like it's chocolate syrup and cherry/strawberry syrup from a squeeze bottle. Then a little bit of roasted malt with subtle notes of vanilla extract in there. Lingering chocolate fruit finish. Actually not a lot of sweetness.

M: Fairly helft body with carbonation being on the low side. A little bit of oily slickness that briefly leaves the mouth coated.

O: I like the idea behind this beer, but I really wish they didn't have to use artificial flavoring and coloring to make it a reality. Still, it is fairly enjoyable. Makes me think I might actually like a real cherry stout.

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Photo of Cresant
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured this 12 oz. undated bottle into a Sam Adams glass. The super dark brown body had a solid, tan head that lasted a good while.

The smell was strawberries and chocolate! The aromas intensified as it warmed.

The taste was perfectly captured in the name of the beer. Neapolitan ice cream flavors. Cocoa nibs and strawberries. Vanilla too. Cherries, big fruity flavors. However, a strange artificial flavor character overcame the beer as it warmed. That was disappointing.

The body was medium density and creamy. Adequate carbonation.

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Photo of kevanb
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout tulip glass.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, thick, viscous and opaque with a billowy two fingers of light khaki head that has nice retention and leaves huge swatches of lace. The aroma is very unique, neapolitan is the perfect description, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, a touch of roasted grain and raspberry jam, but this is quite interesting, very sweet and definitely has a lactose type aroma that really evokes the sensation of ice cream. The flavors mirror the nose, strawberry at first, a touch sugary and artificial but mildly jammy, long sweeping sensations of milk chocolate, light vanilla bean, rich malted grain with a tinge of roast and chalkiness. The mouthfeel is decent, a bit thin and carbonated, coats moderately well, creamy texture, very smooth and soft finish that is lightly dry.

Verdict: Quite the interesting beer, definitely a unique and spot on interpretation of Neapolitan ice cream. It's a bit sweet for me and the oddly roasted quality at the finish doesn't seem to fit, though it helps to balance the beer at least. Lovers of a dessert stout will find this right to their liking.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-chocolate, dark malt, little fruit

T-dark roasted malt, chocolate, strawberry, caramel, little vanilla, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent milk stout, the strawberry flavor is a little bit too artificial

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Photo of tectactoe
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak. Pours a black, black color with dark brown highlights only around the outer edges of the beer. Nitro tap gives a fine bubbled head, tan and creamy, moderate lace. Aroma full of coffee with cream and sugar; burnt caramel and brown sugar, roasted, sweet malt, and a light touch of milk chocolate. The mouth is slick and silky, but a little bit thinner than I was expecting; roasty and wet up front, sweet cream, hints of french vanilla and melted milk chocolate. Iced coffee comes to mind, packed with cream and sugar. Some faint dark fruit sweetness; light grapes and ripe, juicy plum. The sweetness of the malt is apparent and just slightly outside of the "almost too much" area. Hope profile is small, slightly ashy and floral; I think a stronger hop bitterness would help the balance a little bit. Chocolatey, sweet aftertaste.

Not bad, but I wonder what this would be like with a little more hop presence. The nitro tap gave a nice, creamy head but the beer wasn't quite as robust as I would have liked. Overall, a decent beer, but something I probably won't revisit.

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Photo of BB1313
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/21/14. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours dark brown, almost black with light getting through. This one has ruby red hues and a small off-white head that disappears quick and doesn't leave much lacing or retention. The aromas have a sweet strawberry fragrance. The chocolate malts are there. Some blueberry. Some vanilla. It kind of smells artificial, but it still smells nice and is pretty unique. The flavors are definitely bittersweet. It starts off tart with the first few sips, but the tartness vanishes quickly. More strawberry and blueberry. Lots of roasty dark chocolate notes. Vanilla bean is there. Subtle coffee notes, especially in the finish. It has a nice bitterness in the finish as well. It borderlines having an artificial taste up front, but this one has a nice finish to it. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking. It becomes even more enjoyable as it warms.

This starts off rough around the edges at first, but everything basically comes together at the end. This is a unique beer to say the least. I went into this thinking I would love it, but I ended up just liking it. It even had moments when I was questioning it, but I give them credit for this one. They basically deliver exactly what they advertised. It ultimately reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream.

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Neapolitan Milk Stout from Saugatuck Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.