Silk Nextmilk is a plant-based blend starring oat mik, soy milk, and coconut milk, among other, less pithy ingredients. It comes in both whole fat and 2% reduced fat varieties (this review focuses on the whole fat option). Rather than claiming to faithfully imitate dairy milk, Silk boldly declares that this alternative “tastes so rich and creamy, you won’t miss dairy.” I’m such a milk lover that I might as well be Miss Dairy, so we’ll see about that…
How is it?
I can only describe the process of transferring the Nextmilk from carton to glass as a “glug.” Even before the taste test, it certainly looked rich and creamy. Side-by-side with a glass of dairy milk (Nextmilk on the right), I found that the Nextmilk seemed the teensiest bit darker in color, but the really noticeable aesthetic difference was that the Nextmilk was so thick that after the first swig, a conspicuously cloudy coating clung to the inside of the glass for the rest of my sipping session.
My first impression of the taste was “mildly nutty,” which is not shocking given the ingredients list. Fittingly, it reminded me of both oat and soy milk. Knowing that there’s coconut in the mix also explains the faint hint of sweetness I detected, but overall it’s more earthy than sweet. Excuse me for being particular about semantics (I’m a textbook editor, it’s literally my job!), but I’d actually change the branding to “texture so rich and creamy,” since I feel like that’s where this Nextmilk really shines. The taste is certainly pleasant, but I was mostly impressed by the smooth consistency, so full and satisfying it even kept my hangry mood at bay between meals.
Anything else you need to know?
The carton proudly proclaims that this milk shares the same six key nutrients found in dairy (Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, and Riboflavin), and it does all that while being free from not just dairy but also gluten, carrageenan, and artificial color and flavors! In my personal opinion it also makes for a pretty luxurious bowl of cereal.
While you won’t mistake Nextmilk for its dairy cousin, it’s a plantastic substitute for any number of audiences, no matter if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, a novelty-seeker, or just craving some velvety texture.
Purchased Price: $5.99 Size: 59 fl oz carton Purchased at: Foodtown Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 110 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
What is the Creamy Chocolate Silk Ultra Protein Drink?
It’s Silk’s attempt to get into the lucrative protein drink industry. Along with this one, there are also two other flavors — unsweet and original.
While it’s a “soy protein beverage,” it pretty much looks and pours like soy milk. How much protein does it have, you ask? Twenty grams per one-cup serving. That’s 40% of your daily recommended intake and slightly more than double the amount in regular Silk Chocolate Soymilk. Plus, Ultra has half the sugar of chocolate milk, 35% of your daily recommended calcium, and 130% of your daily vitamin B12.
How is it?
It’s chocolatey and chalky. It’s chalkolatey.
Although I’ll admit, it’s not the chalkiest chocolate plant-based milk I’ve had. That sad, sad honor goes to the Suja Chocolate Organic Plant Protein Milk I tried a few years ago. It was so chalky that I can still remember how much so it was all these years later. It’s like a bad food memory that’s tattooed on my brain, like that time I drank bacon-flavored soda or learned I have a shellfish allergy.
However, to make Silk Ultra’s texture significantly less noticeable to not noticeable at all, might I recommend adding it to cereal or iced coffee. For some strange reason, it fades when used in those ways. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s soy magic.
When it comes to chocolatiness, and this could be my imagination, it seems to be slightly more so than regular Chocolate Silk Soy Milk. But overall, the Ultra version pretty much tastes like the original one, except, you know, chalkier.
Anything else you need to know?
I’ve read that regular chocolate milk is an excellent post-workout drink because it has the right balance of protein and carbohydrates. And I’ve learned through personal experience that regular chocolate milk is an awful pre-workout drink. Oh, also egg nog.
The midnight black carton looks cool.
Because it tastes like regular Silk Chocolate soy milk, I’ve been enjoying Creamy Chocolate Silk Ultra. Also, I love the efficiency of getting 40% of my protein in just a cup of it. Its chalkiness isn’t a complete deal-breaker for me. Then again, isn’t that quirk par for the course when it comes to protein drinks. It would probably be a huge endeavor to make them not so chalky.
Purchased Price: $4.29 Size: 59 fl oz Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 190 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of total sugars (includes 10 grams of added sugars), and 20 grams of protein.
I like almond milk. It gives me a break from soy milk, which gives me a break from regular cow milk, which gives me a break from soda, which gives me a break from water, which gives me a break from food, which gives me a break from having a conversation with someone who won’t shut up about The Walking Dead. I’m sure it’s a wonderful TV show, but I’m not going to watch it. So you don’t need to convince me.
I also like pumpkin spice and am not sick of everything being pumpkin spice-ified. So seeing my two likes together in one carton made me as excited as a Walking Dead fan minutes before a new season starts.
Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog isn’t the first pumpkin spice product from the brand. It has a pumpkin spice soy milk, which I enjoy and have purchased a few times. Since Silk has added pumpkin spice to their almond milk, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see the autumn spices with their coconut milk, cashew milk, and whatever nut milk Silk develops in the future. My money is on Brazilian nut.
Silk’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog has wonderful scent. When I pulled back the safety ring and took a whiff, it was like what I imagine motorboarding two pumpkin pies would smell like. It has an orange tint that looks like the result of a Creamsicle that’s been completely melted into a puddle mixed with the tears of a child who’s crying because he or she dropped that Creamsicle. Its texture is about the same as almond milk, not as creamy as soy milk, but not as thin as skim milk.
But its texture is also a bit weird and I’m not sure how to describe it. I guess it has an artificial creaminess to it. Actually, now that I think about it, all Silk products, thanks to thickening agents and emulsifiers, have an artificial creaminess, but this nog seems different than the other products.
While the beverage’s aroma reminds me of the Thanksgiving dessert staple, its flavor does not. The spices are there — with cinnamon being the strongest, followed by ginger and nutmeg — but instead of pumpkin pie, its taste reminds me of cinnamon pancakes drowning in Mrs. Butterworth’s or Aunt Jemima. Yes, that does sound tasty but not at all what I was hoping for and I did not enjoy it much.
Also, I don’t know if many people care about this, but this beverage is nutritionally empty. A cup of Silk’s almond milk has 45 percent of your recommended calcium and 50 percent of your recommended vitamin E. A half-cup of this provides no calcium or vitamin E. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, so how could it not have any vitamin E?
If you need a non-dairy pumpkin spice beverage fix, there are other options. I know there’s Almond Dream pumpkin spice-flavored milk and Califia Farms has a pumpkin spice latte with almond milk, but I haven’t had them so I can’t compare. But I can compare it with the Silk Pumpkin Spice soy milk and I think the soy milk version is much better tasting.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 50 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)
Item: Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Nog Purchased Price: $4.69 Size: 1 quart Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 4 out of 10 Pros: Free of soy, dairy, gluten, lactose, cholesterol, eggs, casein, and carrageenan. Smells nice. The Walking Dead (so everyone says). Cons: Free of decent flavor. Provides no vitamin E, which is weird because it’s made with almond milk. Not as good as Silk’s pumpkin spice soy milk. Weird texture.
I consider myself very lucky to have no food allergies. I’m allergic to dust, pollen, weeds, grass, animals, and I suspect just “going outside”, but I have no aversion to lactose, gluten, or anything else food-related.
This is fortunate for me, since I have very little self-control. If I ever became lactose intolerant, I would probably spend the rest of my life sharting myself, because I love dairy products and you’ll have to pry a slice of pizza with extra cheese out of my cold, dead hands. I’m assuming I died from diarrhea-related dehydration.
Many others are not as lucky as I, however. Fortunately, for those with an intolerance to cow milk, there’s soy milk!
I’ve known a few moo milk-drinkers who have tried soy milk and been all, “Ew, gross, this tastes and feels nothing like real milk.” Well, no, because it’s not cow milk. Please try not to faint from shock when something tastes different than something else because it’s made from completely different ingredients. God forbid you eat a tofu burger; you’d probably have a heart attack. Or not, because you’re much more likely to have a heart attack eating red meat.
I say all this like I’m the greatest lactose intolerant/vegan sympathizer out there. In reality, I’m a total asshole and constantly make fun of my hippy friends who are vegetarians, and deal out juvenile fart jokes to anyone I know who can’t eat dairy.
That said, I’ve quietly cheated on cow milk with soy milk quite a few times in my past. It had nothing to do with health – in fact, I generally have a natural aversion to anything that’s good for me – I just like the way it tastes, specifically the vanilla and almond varieties.
When I saw that Silk had come out with “iced latté coffeehouse drinks”, I immediately thought of Starbucks bottled Frappuccinos, and wondered how the two would compare. Before you get your panties in a bunch over the fact that lattés and cappuccinos are different, consider that these are pre-made store products, not drinks created by your favorite barista.
Silk’s Iced Lattés come in two flavors – vanilla and mocha. I chose vanilla simply because I prefer it over chocolate. Don’t get me started on people who think vanilla isn’t a legit flavor – I just spent two paragraphs defending soy milk, which goes against every opportunity-for-mockery bone in my body. Those are most of my bones, by the way.
Silk’s website sez: “Be your own barista with smooth, refreshing Silk Vanilla Iced Latte. A wholesome blend of Silk soymilk and espresso from premium Arabica coffee beans, our Iced Latte is deliciously dairy-free, with no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors and no high-fructose corn syrup. Coffeehouse-quality taste, conveniently located in your home fridge.”
Right off the bat, I like that they don’t use HFCS, because I’m a total snob about that. On a sarcastic note, I also like that they’re too lazy to use the é in “latte”, despite it being obviously present on the carton. Hey Silk, it’s not that hard to learn alt codes. Or copy and paste the symbol off of Wikipedia, which is what I’m doing for this éntiré réviéw. See how easy that is?
Now then, to the drink itself.
Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink is a little thicker than normal Silk soy milk, but not quite as thick as a Frappuccino, or a latté you’d get at an actual coffee house. This is to be expected, since soy milk is generally more watery than moo milk. I don’t usually mind this, but when you start getting into fancypants coffee territory, viscosity is important, and Silk juuuuuust missed the mark on creaminess.
What it may lack in texture, Silk iced latte makes up for in flavor. I could immediately taste the vanilla, and it wasn’t just “soy milk vanilla”, it was “shot of vanilla syrup” vanilla, which is important in a coffee drink. It also had just the right amount of sweetness, which is something I can’t even say for some other coffee drinks – I’ve had some vanilla lattés that were so sweet they made my stomach hurt afterwards.
As for the coffee itself, I found its flavor to be a little lacking. Not in quality, but in quantity. There was a nice coffee finish, but it was too muted. I like my share of fru-fru coffee drinks, but I also want it to actually taste like coffee. In a perfect drink, I like my vanilla and coffee flavors to be about 50/50. I felt like in this drink, it was more 70/30.
Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink isn’t perfect – the consistency is a little too thin, and the coffee flavor too muted – but if you’ve been looking for a lactose-free, gluten-free alternative to Starbucks bottled vanilla Frappuccino, this drink isn’t too shabby. The non-HFCS sweetness and vanilla flavors are pleasant, and it does actually have some caffeine in it. Although the carton does not specify how much, the Silk website says it has 64 milligrams of caffeine per serving. All in all, it’s a decent off-the-shelf coffee soy drink.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 100 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 20 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Silk Vanilla Iced Latté Coffeehouse Drink Purchased Price: $3.49 (on sale; regularly $4.59) Size: Half gallon Purchased at: Albertson’s Rating: 7 out of 10 Pros: Nice vanilla flavor. Juvenile fart jokes. Just the right amount of sweetness. Caffeine. No high-fructose corn syrup. Cons: Coffee flavor was too muted. Sharting. Could have been creamier. Silk’s copy writers being too lazy to put an accent mark over the “e” in “latté”.
Good. Keep lying to them and recommend that instead of plain white milk, which “Santa” throws out anyway, they should pour a glass of Silk’s Mint Chocolate Soymilk to go with the cookies they leave out for Santa.
If your children ask you why Silk Soymilk Mint Chocolate, tell them leaving the special seasonal flavor of soymilk might encourage Santa to leave them a better gift, like a pony, a mommy and daddy who don’t fight all the time, or the greatest gift of all, a $1,000 iTunes gift card.
Of course, if they leave out the mint chocolate-flavored soymilk for Santa, they won’t wake up to any of those awesome gifts, unless you robbed a ranch or Apple Store. But you can console them by saying, “Maybe Santa didn’t leave you a pony because you were a little too naughty this year. What do you have to say for yourself? Is there anything you’d like to admit?”
Why lie to your children in order to get them to pour a glass of this flavored soymilk for Santa? Because you’re probably tired of plain white milk, Silk Soymilk Mint Chocolate is tasty, and because, admit it, lying to your kids is so easy to do.
Children are so dumb… I mean, gullible… I mean, innocent.
No, on second thought, since I don’t have children, I mean dumb.
I think Silk Soymilk Mint Chocolate is good enough to make up for the compounded lies and therapy your offspring might have to go through to get past trust issues. Also, if you have no guilt or conscience, I believe the soymilk will taste much sweeter.
Unfortunately, the soymilk’s chocolate flavor wasn’t what I was expecting. I was hoping it would be as chocolatey as Silk’s regular chocolate soymilk, but just like the drinks at strip clubs, it was slightly watered down. However, the soymilk has the right amount of mint flavor. There’s just enough so that you know it’s there, but it doesn’t overpower, much like the amount of cologne a gentleman puts on.
The Silk Soymilk Mint Chocolate isn’t perfect, but I think it’s the best of the three Silk Soymilk holiday flavors, which also include Nog and Pumpkin Spice. Also, I think if you add a little Baileys Irish Cream, it will make the toy below slightly less annoying, if your child asks Santa for it.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 90 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 300 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 30% calcium, 30% vitamin D, 4% folate, 8% magnesium, 10% iron, 25% riboflavin, 50% vitamin B12 and 2% zinc.)
Item: Silk Soymilk Mint Chocolate Price: $3.79 Size: 1 quart Purchased at: Target Rating: 7 out of 10 Pros: Best tasting of the three Silk Soymilk holiday flavors. Lactose, dairy and cholesterol free. No saturated fat. Tastes good warmed up. Ponies. Contains a bunch of vitamins and minerals. A $1,000 iTunes gift card. Cons: Unexpectedly weak chocolate flavor. Slightly disappointing amounts of protein. Seasonal flavor. Watered down drinks at strip clubs. Your children having to go to therapy due to trust issues caused by being lied to. Annoying Christmas gifts.