Did you know New Holland Brewing makes spirits? I didn’t until I came across their Beer Barrel Bourbon. They have a full line of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and liqueur, but their bourbon aged in barrels that contained their Dragon’s Milk Stout obviously stood out to me.
You’ve probably heard of New Holland’s Bourbon Barrel-aged Dragon’s Milk Stout. It has an “Excellent” rating on Beer Advocate. It’s one of the most popular, and widely distributed, barrel-aged Stouts. New Holland’s Beer Barrel Bourbon spends three months in the same barrels before being bottled.
Tasting Dragon’s Milk and Beer Barrel Bourbon side by side was a real treat. The influence they have on each other is apparent, and both are improved by the other’s contributions.
I used the Beer Barrel Bourbon in an Old Fashioned with 5 by 5 bitters, simple sugar, and a maraschino cherry garnish.
Now, since you’ve made it this far, I’ll let you in on something: I don’t know anything about spirits. I mostly stick to beer and wine. I won’t pretend to actually review this bourbon. It certainly tasted bourbony, but I can’t tell you how it compares to other bourbons. I do think those last three months in a beer barrel adds some unique and enjoyable flavors.
I do feel qualified to review Dragon’s Milk Stout. The thing that stands out the most for me with this beer is how much bourbon influence it has, without any added bourbon heat. This is as smooth as you’re going to get for an 11% ABV beer. I’ve never enjoyed bourbon flavor more!
I also enjoyed the Beer Barrel Bourbon “neat,” and that also tasted bourbony.