Monday, August 15, 2011

New Holland Dragon's Milk (2011 original review)

I guess I never realized until recently just how much I enjoy barrel-aged beers. Some people call them a cliche at this point, but if the beer tastes great then who cares? This beer certainly isn't cliche, since it's an imperial MILK stout that's been barrel-aged. I've never had one of those before. This is another beer sent to me in a trade with Dan "The Endosymbiosis" Harper (thanks again for the beer! I only have one left from our recent trade).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 14, 2011
I received a 22oz bomber in a trade with Dan "The Endosymbiosis" Harper (thanks, man!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown to black hue, completely opaque. Forms a small, dark tan, soapy head which dissipates quickly, but leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Milky dairy-like scent with slight farmhouse funk with a typical stout aroma backbone. Vanilla flower, wood, and spiced rum quite prominent as well.

Taste: Barrel-aged imperial stouts tend to be monsters on the palate, but Dragon’s Milk is much closer to a soda pop with lots of chutzpah. Up front it’s very sweet, almost sugary in fact. There’s a cola-like flavor with accompanying sweetness - almost as if contained aspartame. Light vanilla crème and woody, earthy flavors develop through the middle of the palate. The end is all alcohol with plenty of warmth, but amplifies and complements the vanilla character -creating for a taste not unlike crème brulee. The only problem is the palate doesn’t really develop even at warmer temperatures. I think a vintage with a year or two under its belt would be pretty amazing, though.

Mouthfeel: Thin and fizzy like a soda with some life left in it before it goes flat. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: While Dragon’s Milk might not be the best imperial stout ever, it probably wins the award for most drinkable. The thinner mouthfeel and sweet, but not cloying palate enables it to be drank like flat cola. The alcohol is certainly prominent, but never distracts from the genuine stout palate and the aftertaste is remarkably clean. In fact, the beer is borderline refreshing while in the mouth.

Overall, New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk is an amazing beer in many respects. It doesn’t quite earn my highest rating, but what it lacks in complexity and richness it makes up for in drinkability. All stout lovers need to try this beer.

Grade: 9/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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