Neapolitan Milk Stout - Saugatuck Brewing Company

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Neapolitan Milk Stout
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very good

92 Reviews
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Reviews: 92
Hads: 614
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 41
Gots: 131 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 92 | Hads: 614
Photo of WoodBrew
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wow....great beer saugatuck! Pours an opaque with ecru head and no lace. The scent carried hints of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. The taste was a nice medium bodied stout with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a solid offering.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A- Pretty opaque black. Small brown head.

S- Mostly strawberries and coffee. Some vanilla like sweetness.

T- Strawberry, coffee, small amount of chocolate and vanilla. More roasty than expected. A touch too sweet but it is a dessert beer.

M- Nice, full, viscous.

O- Not too bad, the strawberry comes through the most and the chocolate is more of a coffee but pretty decent.

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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 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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Photo of azkkr
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Quite weird. I think this is actually what they intended, but it truly tastes like icecream. Not convinced I like it, but it's definitely something to try.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a one-finger tan head.

S - Aroma of strawberry milk, vanilla, and chocolate.

T - Folows the aroma. Sweet strawberry milk, dark chocolate, and vanilla in the front. Roasted malts produce a light bitterness in the finish that help balance the sweetness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish.

O - This is the adult version of neopolitan ice cream. While it leans heavy on the strawberry there is enough balance to make this an above average milk stout.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Poured black with a mocha-colored soapy head that left light splashy lace.

S- Artificial strawberry ice cream, vanilla, caramel, and roasted malt notes.

T- Lots of that artificial strawberry ice cream flavor, milk chocolate, and vanilla. It finishes with just enough roasted malt and bitterness to keep the sweetness in check.

M- Smooth, medium body, and finishes dry.

O- Sure it is gimmicky idea for a beer, but this beer exceeded my expectations, It tastes exactly like a neapolitan beer milkshake. The strawberry flavor is definitely reminiscent of the the little ice cream cups with the wooden spoons, but in this case I don't mind that artificial taste.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Mike for this one, a pitch black pour with a finger or so of creamy dark tan head. Aroma is indeed as advertised, milk chocolate, vanilla, red berries, and caramel with a whiff of ash. The sweet cream and berry notes become more prominent as one sips, although the opposite is true on the palate, with the chocolate and roasted barley notes increasing in salience. This crossover effect between nose and palate added to the experience to me ... Perhaps the strawberry is overdone, although the sweet cream, vanilla, coffee, and caramel elements gave me something else on which to focus and there was a robust charred barley note poking out that prevented things from becoming too sweet. I am reminded of dehydrated astronaut ice cream rather than the stuff in the big yellow bucket. Wonderful mouthfeel, silky smooth and rich but not overly thick. Finishes with faint grassy hops and light ash. Quite tasty all told, with some childhood nostalgia thrown in for good measure.

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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 biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, 6% ABV, with a lot more, um, 'Neapolitan' looking label on my version - lots of pink, brown, and cream colours.

This beer pours a pretty solid black abyss, though with prominent basal cola highlights, and three fingers of puffy, frothy, and densely bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent layered webbed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of well, the titular ice cream 'flavour' - sugary milk chocolate, candied strawberry, and creamy vanilla - a hint of equally dosed coffee, and even fainter toasted caramel/toffee. The taste is more chocolate-ensconced caramel than anything, as the fruitiness and vanilla sweetness remains, but detached from the whole, as it were, with some further low-key mocha notes, and a suggestion of leafy, earthy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is active enough to provide structure and support against the potentially catastrophic cloyingness, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, the hops and mildly metallic alcohol taking a wee ounce of flesh. It finishes on the sweet side, but not overly so, the same stuff keeping the mouthfeel in order carrying that favour through to the end.

A pleasant enough rendition of a milk stout, one which well captures the essence of that youthful ice cream treat. Too bad, then (like many of those 4L pails of yore, I'm sure), that artificial flavours are listed as an ingredient.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received as an extra in a trade.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a monstrous 4 inch head. It's incredibly fluffy and inviting looking. Bit ridiculous, though. There's a good amount of sticky lacing.

Smells exactly like neapolitan ice cream, it's crazy. Huge amount of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cream.

And, it tastes exactly like neapolitan. They got the sugary creaminess down pat. It's not too sweet, luckily, though- the bitterness of the roasted malt, and the bitterness of the chocolate itself kept it in check. The strawberry flavor is slightly artificial- but so is the strawberry flavor in Neapolitan ice cream, so I'll let it slide. Without being told it was a "neapolitan milk stout," I would have been able to clearly tell.

This one is just about the creamiest beer I've ever had, rich, creamy, and silky, with a slightly higher-than-I'd-like amount of carbonation, contributing to the monster head.

A most excellent effort.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 9.23.14 and enjoyed from a snifter

A pretty fantastic approximation of neapolitan ice cream, with some nice twists on the three traditional flavors.

On the nose there's roasted coffee, roasty chocolate malts, tart strawberries, and faint vanilla. The strawberry tends to dominate the nose, but not always: there's a healthy dose of coffee and roasty chocolate. The taste follows the nose perfectly, though there's no coffee flavors here (it's not a coffee stout, so no worries). Nice rich dark chocolate, sweet and tart berries, and sweet cream. There's lots of sweet notes here, but they're played off perfectly against the roasted chocolate malts. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, more like a porter than a stout. Not thin by any stretch.

I love this beer, and am glad to see it back in distribution in Toledo.

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Photo of Arty_Man
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

This beer is great. Enjoyed it at Whole Foods while shopping a while back served on Nitro. Can't wait for it to be back in distribution this fall.

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Photo of StoutGeek
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Had this beer at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp in Chicago and was extremely surprised at how complex the flavors were in this beer. It tasted just like the ice cream... had to get a few refills on this one!

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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 Brenden
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A heavily dark, shining though almost completely black brew pours from the tap into the glass and settles with a firm, thick medium brown head that retains itself well and leaves behind strong patching.
From the get-go, it's pretty impressive how close to the mark this beer is. Strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate, it's all there from the first sniff to the last sip, and consistently. There's a light roast, and the malts let you know it's still a stout, though it isn't especially roasty or heavy. The sweetness of the strawberry and vanilla aren't cloying, either, and the chocolate in particular is curbed to make the other elements as (or more) noticeable, but all in all the brewers pretty much nailed it. I haven't been particularly impressed with Saugatuck until now.
Smooth and well carbonated but not too crisp, this beer has a nice body, a certain robustness without being huge, and a great creamy feel.

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Photo of nikoelnutto
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Kingma's market in Grand Rapids- 4 pack for $9.49. Poured from a bottle at 48F into a pint glass.

Appearance- The blackest of black in color and poured with medium-high viscosity. Off-white head rose 1/2 inch with a gentle pour into a clean glass. Head is very fine and lacing clung to glass and hung out in middle for most of drink

Smell- Smells like your average sweet stout. Mostly dark malts with the vanilla shinning through stronger than the strawberry. Just average.

Taste- I thought this was going to be a "girly" stout, but it was not. Full bodied, lots of roasted character delicately balanced with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors that are JUST barely there. Finishes with mostly creamy strawberry, but not overpowering. Saugatuck was wise to downplay the strawberry and let the milk-stout style rein true.

Mouthfeel- Mild to moderate carbonation that (at the right serving temp) gave the beer a frothy mouthfeel and definitely made me think of a chocolate shake. Lots of body but not overpoweringly sweet and thick. Genius, in my opinion.

Overall- Didn't expect it to be outstanding, and would call it so. I am a beer snob and brewery owner who is not ashamed to say this "novelty" beer is a great one.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 1/9/2014. Pours lightly hazy nearly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big fresh strawberry, milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, toast, light coffee, vanilla, cream, light floral, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast malt, strawberry, and cream notes; with good strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, toast, strawberry, vanilla, cream, light floral, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, strawberry, vanilla, cream, light floral, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of dark/roast malt, strawberry, and cream flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy, smooth, and slightly slick/chalky moutfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent milk stout! All around great balance and complexity of dark/roast malt, strawberry, and cream flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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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 TheNelser
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This stout had just the right amount of the fruity strawberry and vanilla that I expected. Perfect color on the head. I had it at about 50 deg. F. The fragrance was exceptional. The finish was nice - not too malty or hoppy. Carbonation was just a bit too much. It is one of my top 10stouts. I even liked it better than Bell's K'zoo stout.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a deep brown color with one finger of a fluffy tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a tons of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is just what you would expect from a Neapolitan. It is big of a chocolate aroma mixed with other sweeter smells of vanilla and caramel. Complementing these smells nicely is a big milky lactose smell as well as some notes of roastiness, producing a milk chocolate bar like smell. The final of the Neapolitan aromas, that of strawberry, was quite noticeable as well, with it taking on a strawberry puree smell. Overall very rich and delicious.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate taste. The lactose chocolate flavor has nice notes of vanilla and a light bit of caramel mixed within. More milk and cream flavors enter the tongue more in the middle of the flavor profile, sweetening the brew even more with it taking on a almost hot cocoa like flavor. The strawberry that was detected in the nose comes to the tongue at that time, starting out lighter, but really growing in intensity as the flavor moves on to the end. The strawberry itself if quite authentic tasting, almost as though you can taste a bit of the pureed flesh of the berry. In the end, with the strength of the strawberry nicely complementing the chocolate and vanilla flavors of the brew, one is left with a nice Neapolitan ice cream flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both were fantastic of the rich flavors of the brew and made for a mouth coating feel that bathed the tongue in all the wonderful flavors.

Overall – A very tasty take on a rich chocolate milk stout with the addition of the strawberry in there. This was a very tasty brew and makes for a wonderful dessert beer.

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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 Justin_Neff
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black body. Produces a thick, dense, fluffy, tan colored head. The retention and lacing on the head is incredible.

S: Chocolate. Vanilla. A bit of roasty malts, but underlying everything is the waft of sweet strawberries.

T: Chocolate upfront. Roasty. Hazelnut and butterscotch. Berry sweetness lingers in the finish - It's strong, but not artificial.

M: Full body. Low carbonation. Velvety creamy. A bit of boozy warmth in the finish.

O: Tastes exactly how it's described. Well done, not fake, like many other sweet stouts. Recommended.

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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 tomciu
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured into a glass from the bottle.

a - it's dark with a hint of ruby. very poor head retention. an aggressive pour allowed for a proper head that quickly dissipated. lacing was poor as well.

s - despite the appearance, the smell was impressive. it smelled just like neapolitan ice cream. it really made me want to dive right in a drink it all up.

t - the taste was well balanced. between the sweet notes and the bitter notes there was a dance that made my taste buds happy. strawberry was very present as well as a chocolaty character from the roasted malt. vanilla was present in the background.

m - thick and creamy with good carbonation, though i felt like something was missing.

o - a very nice experience though one that i do not need to experience for a while. i would recommend this beer to people who like sweet stouts, especially novelty stouts such as this one.

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Neapolitan Milk Stout from Saugatuck Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.