Last year seen my first encounter with Neapolitan Ice Cream Pale Ale by Yorkshire giants Northern Monk. Back for 2018, this time in a big boy 440ml can, I decided I had to put it to the test again. Here's what Northern Monk have to say about it:
"First, it began as a terrible idea. Then, it ended in a terrific result. We're talking about a pale ale brewed to mimic the shades of the classic Neapolitan ice cream with additions of lactose, strawberries, and chocolate sauce. Neapolitan Pale Ale became such a sleeper hit in 2016 that many of the Monks consider it one of the high points of the year as did many of our fans. Its soft creamy mouthfeel and nuanced sweetness are designed to trigger your sweet childhood memories... a reawakening of your inner child by means of a grown up bevy.
This year we've upgraded to tall boys and crammed in even more sunshine to this modest pale ale. Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla come shining through and hark back to those days by the beach."
I was pretty favourable on this beer last time round, giving it a 4.5 out of 5, so I was looking forward to seeing if it could get any better...
Neapolitan Pale pours from the can a bright golden amber colour, leaving a big foamy white head. Straight away you get LOADS of strawberry on the nose, along with a sweet creaminess and a hint of vanilla - this smells nothing like a beer! Flavour wise you instantly get the creaminess from the lactose - it is so smooth! There is then more strawberry...loads of it, which is mixed with sweet vanilla, however the chocolate flavours seemed to be lacking slightly for me. That doesn't take away from the taste of the beer however - it still tastes great. For me, this quite a bizarre drink, as it is lacking any of the maltiness, or bitterness that you would typically expect from a beer- but again, it works!
Overall, this was another stellar beer from Northern Monk - one absolutely perfect for summer. However, I don't know what it is, but I don't seem to be as blown away by this as I was first time round. Sure, it is still a great beer - one that I definitely recommend that you try, but it just seemed to be missing that initial "wow" factor that I remember when I first tried it. It could be something to do with the quality of "Ice Cream Ales" coming out of Aberdeen lately, but it just doesn't quite top last years effort for me.
Neapolitan Pale gets 4.25 out of 5 from me 🍻