New Holland Dragons Milk Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

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c86cf1aa402c11e3948e22000a1f9d45_8I have always been on the fence about Bourbon/ Whisky Barrel aged beers.

In most cases it always ends up seeming like the Bourbon flavors overtake the taste to the point that they become the main focus, and take away all the flavors that you loved about the standard versions.

If not for all the praise and recommendations that Dragon’s Milk garners, to be honest I would have probably passed on it, or at least split the 4 pack with someone.  Coming it at, on average, at $16 a 4 pack, it is on the extremely pricey side.

New Holland describes Dragon’s Milk as: “Dragon’s Milk is a 17th century term used to describe the strong beer usually reserved for royalty. This strong ale was aged in oak for over 120 days. The aging process extracts flavors from the wood, which contribute to its complex character. Hints of bourbon flavor perfectly compliment its roasted malts to produce a beer fit for a King.” 

My pack was from this year so it is definitely on the hot side.  Pouring jet black, with next to no head, (the picture was take less than 30 seconds after it was poured) and no lacing to speak of.  Served at around 55-60 degrees.  I think I need to play with the temp some more,  maybe fridge temp?

Nose was of Bourbon with a bit of vanilla, which always seem to go hand in hand and are very complimentary of each other.  Taste was the same, a very smooth bourbon,  the burn was there but not over the top. I found it to sit at the forefront but in a refined way, a Bourbon Barrel flavor with manners.   Mild hints of Soy Sauce.

Mouth feel was oily, and slick, and there was next to no carbonation.

I have seen most reviews mention Chocolate, but I seem to be one of the few that did not get any.  I am thinking that the vintage may have something to do with that?

In the end, this a good beer, a very good beer.  I do wish though that i could pick up on more flavors though, but that is only a personal preference.  For fans of Barrel Aged Beers this one will be amazing.

Personally,  I plan on saving at least one or 2 bottles and trying them again in a while, a bit of aging would probably make this one perfect.



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