New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) - New Holland Brewing Company
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Ratings: 2,888 | Reviews: 1,089 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by beerismysavior:
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5
Aroma: slight woodiness, vanilla presence, alcohol in the nose, cocoa
Appearance: pitch black, beige colored head, microfine bubbles, head dissipates quickly, moderate head retention to the glass.
Taste: definite alcoholic presence, slightly metallic, no presence of oxidation, slight char character
Mouthfeel: Highly viscous, lots of residual sugar hangs on the ‘stach/lips.
In need of inspiration, I reached for two things last night. A fresh New Holland Dragon’s Milk and my headphones. I clicked on Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and started to write this review. I gave the beer a steadfast pour into my miniature beer glass. The brain synapses began firing and I knew what was happening… Homebrew. I’m standing in my New Jersey apartment, covered in sweat, hungry, and a little buzzed. I’m casually sipping a heavy ass stout listening to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and eagerly awaiting for the boil to finish. Early days of homebrewing in college.
Nothing in my life will ever again be quite like that. I’ll never forget the relentless drive, continued exhaustion, destroyed floors, sore hands, jammed fingers, burnt thumbs. You see, Houses of the Holy was meant to die in a parents’ basement somewhere in New Jersey. We brought it back to life on an old school record player and it transformed our understanding of the world. Brewday was the most sacred time; phones were rendered useless, cares were tossed aside, TVs were turned off, and nothing could deter our much desired pain. It was masochistic. We would bust our ass for 8 hours doing all-grain mashes on our only free day. Nothing could take these precious moments from us. Broke, hungry, crazy. The way we wanted to live back then. I know now that our reward was not the beer we produced, but the experience we shared.
I’ve not gone astray from my roots, but begun budding into a legitimate plant. I’ve matured into more of an adult, dedicated my life to being a beer professional. This is the first beer that has brought me back to the early days in a long ass time. It seems fitting that we associated so strongly with a record that had the same effect, and religious allegory to boot. You see, listening to this, drinking these types of beers is when it all became divine for me. I never even saw the seventies, but when brewday rolled around I don’t imagine we were any different than a bunch of 20 somethings back then. We were technology students, doing everything in our power to stand in contrast to all of our peers, avoid being a soulless ladder climber. We liked listening to vinyl, making beer on a not-so-technical system and avoiding our early adult life concerns.
Dragon’s milk is not the best stout I’ve ever had, I’ve tried far too many at this point to say that any one stout is the best I’ve ever had. My understanding of beer has grown great in its complexity, and every part of me is proud of this. Another part of me misses these early days, when I was falling in love for the first time, finding my calling in life. A fresh New Holland’s milk stout it sticky sweet, sort of like an amateur homebrew might taste. Back then, I had a favorite style. It was sticky sweet, super-alcoholic stout. I’d drink these during the boil, contemplating everything and nothing all at the same time. Occasionally I’d just sit back and listen to the music.
My palate has refined, and I’ve transgressed having a favorite style. This beer, and this album, brought me back, if only for a moment. This is why I do this, this is why I dedicated my life to it, and this is why I give a damn. These are rare moments when I recall some of the greatest memories in my life. Age and experience will do this beer well, much like it has done well for me. Thankfully, I have several to lie down for a couple months. Maybe it will taste just as great several years later, I know Houses of the Holy sounded just as amazing 40 years ago. This beer will forever be a tribute to late adolescence, the beauty that age may bring, and the power of finding my true calling in life.
I’ll never forget what fresh New Holland Milk Stout tastes like; young, rambunctious, and filled with passion.
Serving type: bottle
07-31-2012 02:44:53 | More by beerismysavior
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is a 2013 vintage.
Appearance: Pours a black coffee color, with some hints of brown around the edges and leaves a finger of spritzy tan head that fades almost immediately to nothing.
Smell: Nice, full aroma: roasted malts, licorice, coffee, mild dark chocolate, toasted oak.
Taste: Toasted malts, toasted oak, coffee beans, vanilla, alcohol, hint of dark chocolate. Fairly full flavor, with some good complimenting components that play well with each other (particularly sweet and bitter).
Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a light to medium body (for a stout). Finishes with a bit of heat.
Overall: I thought this was a decent stout. Nice stout flavors, along with some bourbon barrel influence, make this one an enjoyable brew. A bit thin in the body but pretty well done for what it is.
Serving type: bottle
04-15-2014 19:30:20 | More by Resuin
3.98/5 rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
On tap at The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.
Pours a dark opaque black with a one inch head and not much lacing.
Smells include dark roasted malt, vanilla, and some oak.
Not much bourbon flavor in this BA stout, it's more of an oak and vanilla story. Some chocolate and roasted malt flavor. I might be spoiled now by other intense versions of this style, but this seems slightly muted. Good flavors, but would prefer a stronger barrel character. Quite sweet, slightly cloying.
Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, coats your mouth. Not much alcohol present.
A good beginner's BA stout, I think, but not one of the greats.
Serving type: on-tap
04-14-2014 13:11:40 | More by GreesyFizeek
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,888 ratings.