New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk. Year Round Barrel Age Stout Review

The great artist and proven native earth dweller Frida Kahlo once said, “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are a bourbon biscuit. 

I say, “Take a long sip off a beer if it smells like a bourbon biscuit

A bourbon barrel aged stout isn’t always the most attainable of pleasures to come by, they are usually seasonal, in part due to demanding process and I imagine partially because of their natural, autumnal sophisticated fire-side ambiance. Finessing yourself a bit of this style of beer is often a trying treasure hunt for even the swarthiest of beer bellied warriors, but luck would have it that rain or shine, winter, spring, summer or fall, you’ll be likely to find New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk on call.

Uniquely, Dragon’s Milk starts in a freshly emptied bourbon barrel, where it spends about three months just soaking up all that whisky flavored goodness and priming the barrel for its next of kin. After the first batch is pulled, a second is left to max and relax for another three months, bringing the benefit of more oaky essence to the brew and less bourbon than the first.  The integration of the two batches creates a quality product that begets a speedy maturity in comparison to most other beers in this category.

Clocking in at a striking 11% ABV and boasting a mere 31 IBUs, you can understand why despite its reputation as a strong sipper, this beer is a fan favorite. It flaunts quite a generous mouthfeel too, and just enough carbonation to showcase its classic character.

Pouring with a modest tan head and a lovely show of spider web lacing, the aroma of bourbon immediately kicks up and wafts about. Strong but smooth, the notes of vanilla and oak flavors shine through with a hint of molasses that isn’t too cloying, but without a doubt, bourbon is the dominating player in this encounter. So whether you’re looking to make first contact with bourbon aged stouts, or you’re a seasoned traveler in the spiked stout universe, New Holland graciously eliminates the awkward unfamiliarity of limited availability and delivers a beer that grants the most elementary of earthlings access to a taste of cultivated sophistication… Even if you don’t have a buttress of Windsor handy, and your mahogany rich study isn’t teeming with copious leather-bound books…