Dragon’s Milk (New Holland Brewing Company)

Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

11% ABV

31 IBU’s

23° Plato

Malt: 2 Row, Munich, Caramel, Crystal, Black, Chocolate malt, Flaked barley

Hops: Glacier, Nugget

Yeast: American Ale

Adjuncts: Michigan beet sugar

Aged 90+ Days on oak bourbon barrels

From: Holland, MI

Brewery’s Notes: “A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.”

Not shockingly, the beer pours like motor oil. Thick, and dark. It gives a hint of coffee-tones as it pours, but once it hits the glass, the beer is an impenetrable fortress of darkness. It is completely opaque. The beer does form a small scrim of off-white bubbles, which are pale for the style, but which fizzle off quickly to a dainty ring. When splashed against the sides of the glass, the beer leaves a thin, shimmering set of legs, and a Hawaiian archipelago of lacing. On the nose, the beer smells of sweet bourbon, chocolate, and booze. The bourbon and booze blend together nicely to suggest maraschino cherries when I swirl the glass, which I approve of. There’s also some mallow, and light oak, which gives a nice structure to the scent. As it warms, the oak grows to a bristly tannin. On the tongue, the beer tastes chocolate sweet with a lurking boozy sweetness, too. The middle of the sip travels slightly towards lactose sweetness, before dropping into roasty bitters, subtle oak tannin, and a bready sweet finish with mellow booze. In flavor, the beer strikes out towards Hershey’s chocolate syrup with some dark oatmeal bread thrown in. These flavors meet thick coffee roast in the middle, tangling with the coffee and acquiring sweet bourbon character that slowly oozes herbal, oak tannin. The finish is rich with chocolate, oak tannin, and booze. The aftertaste is a nice mellow lingering of chocolate and bourbon booze. In the mouth, the beer feels almost full bodied, yet creamy and smooth, with a light chewiness. Carbonation is soft, and nearly negligent on the tongue. When the beer leaves, the tongue is left slightly skimmed with heavy spittle, with a light astringency on the tongue. The beer is a little flabby overall, and could us a little more attenuation to sure it up. It also feels a little lighter in body than I hoped. Overall, this is a nice middle of the road bourbon barrel stout. It’s not impossible to find, yet it’s nice to sip. The yeast could eat through a little more, and a little more bourbon character would be nice, but that is me nitpicking. This is a nice stout from a brewery that makes nice stouts. I think I prefer Night Tripper, but that’s just personal tastes. This is a great, easy(er) to find barrel aged stout.


3 thoughts on “Dragon’s Milk (New Holland Brewing Company)

  1. Nice review. I am a big IPA fan, but this Fall, I started really trying different Midwest stouts and porters. This was one of the first stouts I tried and I probably should have waited. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy an occasional Makers Mark neat, but the bourbon/ alcohol finish really overpowered the overall taste for me, which otherwise was really good. This is one that I will probably give another try, especially because it is so readily available where I live. But the first go around was a little more than I bargained for.

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