Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Holland Brewing Co. - Dragon's Milk (2010)

Part of New Holland's High Gravity Series, Dragon's Milk is an oak barrel-aged stout. I'm drinking the 2010 vintage, and enjoying this brew brings me back to my first taste of it at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh earlier this year. They only poured it at specific times, so we (me & The Awesome One) had to battle a crowd for a spot at the front of the line for the 3:00 pour. Well worth it.

10.0% ABV

Dragon's Milk has a deep, black color, and is nearly opaque with a subtle warm, brown highlights when held up to a strong light. It has a velvety, but shortly retained, tan head that leaves a bit of sticky lacing.

Dragon's Milk has a strong, caramel aroma, complemented by the distinct smooth, woody, vanilla scent left by oak barrel aging. As it warms, the aroma gets a bit dusty and sour, but not nearly enough to spoil the experience.

Taste & Feel 
This full-bodied ale has a soft, creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is robust and sweet and while caramel and vanilla are most prominent, there's also a touch of chocolate milkshake. Roasted malts and woody oak flavors balance against the sweetness. A nice, boozy bourbon taste appears toward the finish, which leaves a slight alcohol tingle and a sweet, cigar-like aftertaste.

Exceptional. This is a complex, well-crafted beer that tastes great on its own.  The high alcohol content puts severe limits on its sessionability, but the big flavors will stand up to pairing with the most hearty and robust meals. A must-try and a solid "A"

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