Saugatuck Brewing Company | BBA Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout
Living in Michigan as a beer lover is pretty much the best. You can’t throw a beer bottle without hitting a brewery, particularly in West Michigan. Because of this, our standards are quite high, and we do not suffer bad beer to live. In the same note, to stand out, breweries must be more than above average at something. Saugatuck Brewing Company is one such brewery, and what they excel at is making layered, complex and all around tasty beers. One of their mainstays is Neapolitan Milk Stout, a beer I particularly like, and have said so on this website. Because of my nice profile, Saugatuck contacted PorchDrinking.com and asked if we’d like to profile the barrel aged version of Neapolitan, their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Neapolitian MIlk Stout, to which I immediately said hell yes.
ABV: 10% | IBU: 36
The BBA Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout is part of Saugatuck’s limited release barrel-aged series, and features as a winter release. The beer takes the original brew and, according to the Saugatuck website, “amps it up a bit.” They added malt to increase the ABV from 6 to 10.5 percent, and aged the beer in bourbon barrels for 12 months. The result is an increase in flavor and richness, and takes the beer from the original ice cream to a creamy Gelato.
Feels Like the First Time
You don’t often get to try a beer again for the first time, but that’s what it felt like when I drank the Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout. I’m just as surprised by the balance and their ability to get each flavor into every sip in this beer as I was when I first drank the original. Bourbon is certainly present, but complements and enhances the vanilla, chocolate and raspberry rather than standing on its own. The thought and care that went into aging this beer is clear. The brewers at Saugatuck wanted to keep the essence of the original and improve upon it with the tools available to them, and did so successfully. The barrel did exactly what it was supposed to and nothing that it was not.
Unfortunately, the 2018 Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout is no longer available for purchase. However, Saugatuck Brewing Company will introduce the 2019 version on November 2, 2019, at their annual Barrel Aged Bootleg Bash. I can’t wait.