Neapolitan Milk Stout | Saugatuck Brewing Company

very good
138 Reviews
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Neapolitan Milk StoutNeapolitan Milk Stout

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jips on 07-03-2011

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 835
Photo of Vierenner
2.3/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not sure about the strawberry flavor ... kind of bizarre. I don't think I like it and it sort of ruins the overall experience. Put down for a few minutes to enjoy dinner ... a sip after dinner was quite disgusting ... had to pour the rest down the drain.

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Photo of emerge077
2.41/5  rDev -37.9%
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 -32%
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 -27.1%
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'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 -25.5%
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 -25%
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 -24.5%
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 Mlkluther
2.94/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Well, a lot of people seem to like this one so I was hopeful. However, I found the flavours in the beer to be unbearably artificial. There was the familiar ashy flavour of a stout mixed with sickly artificial flavour.

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Photo of divineaudio
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
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 -20.6%
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 -19.8%
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 1000lbgrizzly
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown, nearly black, body, foamed milk-looking tan head, slightly course. All of this is somewhat ruined by the acknowledgement of caramel color being added. Nose is sweet, with chocolate and overly sugary strawberry. Taste is primarily candied, syrupy fake strawberry, artificial milk chocolate, chemical aftertaste, and mild vanilla. One taste is pretty sweet but also pretty tasty, then comes the retro-olfaction, where the chemical components emerge, alongside wet granite/soil. Very off-putting. Body is medium weight, too highly carbonated for the style.
I liked this beer a lot my first few exposures, but the more I taste it the more the artificial nature of it stands out to me. The chemical, nasty aftertaste is too powerful to ignore, despite the pretty tasty initial sip. I wonder if this would be possible to produce using real ingredients? I like where the brewer's head is at, but the actual product took too many shortcuts.

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Photo of JiminKY
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A lot going on in this beer. You totally get the whole realm of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry of neapolitan ice cream. As a one off, standalone dessert, it would be okay, I guess. Certainly not a session or good food accompaniment.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

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 -16.2%
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 -15.7%
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 -14.7%
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 -14.4%
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 57md
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this on nitro tap.

Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges. Once everything settled there was about a finger of head. The nose is quite bland. The flavor profile is very sweet (even considering the style) and the mouthfeel is syrupy.

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Photo of jdb288
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
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 -13.1%
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 -10.8%
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 -9.3%
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 Tsar_Riga
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Fairly standard stout color, dark brown, almost black, and essentially opaque. The head of tan fades away, and no real lacing.

S - All I smell is strawberry and a sweet malty note. Perhaps a hint of vanilla. The fruit is way too forward.

T - Again, the fruit is far to the front, sweetness and strawberry flesh. Middle gets the hint of vanilla. The close introduces a more bitter element, suggesting unsweetened cocoa. The fruit is cloying, and it overshadows the more positive notes of malt and vanilla.

M - Slightly sticky but manages to avoid being too heavy.

O - Not my thing, with fruit too forward but not as much chocolate or vanilla as I'd have preferred. So while the elements of Neapolitan ice cream are present, the fruit steals the show.

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Photo of do_ob
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Medium brown pour and actually very dark in the glass. Black in appearance with only faint highlights of brown when held to light. A thin, khaki lacing rests on top. The nose, while artificial, does smell like Neopolitan icecream (vanilla extract, strawberry, lactose). There's also a strange, synthetic vegetal aroma to this beer..not sure what I'm picking up there, but it doesn't mesh well. Decent taste, actually. Vanilla extract, cream, lactose, dehydrated strawberries, and caramel malt. Relatively artificial tasting, but better than I would've thought. Decent feel on this one. Thicker than a lot of milk stouts, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Overall, not bad. Not as good as it could've been, but far from bad.

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Neapolitan Milk Stout from Saugatuck Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 835 ratings.
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