New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

First brewed in 2001, New Holland Brewing describes Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout as, “A stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.” Sometimes flowery descriptions provided by breweries fail to materialize once one sips the beer, but not Dragon’s Milk. Although all beer ratings are subjective, most rate Dragon’s Milk highly, with good reason. Dragons may breathe fire, but the immense salvation provided by the mere sight of this delicious beer will douse any flame.

  • ABV: 11% | IBUs 31
  • Grains: 2 row, Munich, caramel, crystal, black, chocolate malt, flaked barley
  • Yeast: American Ale
  • Hops: Glacier, Nugget

From the geeky details, one can easily ascertain the whereabouts of Dragon’s Milk base flavors and aromas, the basis for which makes a great BBA. One should remember, sticking any old beer in a barrel will not do — it must first be good on its own. Dragon’s Milk is born from a terrific brewing recipe.


Underneath the flavors infused by the barrel aging, is a bready beer that presents strong chocolate and toffee-forward traits, as well as black licorice, brown sugar, and plum. And then the barrel-aging notes enhance the already terrific beer.  In truth, the barrel-aged notes are more subtle than other BBAs, but the aging allows the vanilla to shine in this brew, which is something to behold. Not too sweet, but instead oh-so-well-balanced. Alongside the vanilla, of course, one will enjoy a bit of oak and Kentucky bourbon along with some booziness that rounds-out the entire experience.

In short, it’s delicious.

While the beer is fantastic for sipping., a proper pairing of Dragon’s Milk with a meal or dessert enhances the experience. Pair it with red, stewed or smoked meats; decadent chocolate desserts; or pungent cheese. You will not be disappointed. 

I guess it’s no surprise that a brewery that also distils might know a thing or two about how combine beer and booze.  New Holland Brewing also offers three other Dragon’s Milk Reserves comprised of Raspberry and Lemon; Coffee and Chocolate; and Vanilla Chai Spices.

New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout Varities
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No matter which one you choose, Dragon’s Milk Reserve, notably Bourbon Barrel Stout,  is perfect for those who like their beer a little boozy, a little sweet, a little bready, and a little robust.


Check out these other Dragon’s Milk Reviews on Sommbeer:


Mathew Powers

Mathew Powers

Forever part of the Sommbeer family, Matt's journey from beer geek to beer writer has included regular contributions to Chilled Magazine,, and his blog, "A Pint of Chicago," for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. He's also published non-beer-related items on various magazines, "webzines," and Ebooks. But, Sommbeer was, is, and always will be his home.
Mathew Powers

One thought on “New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout”

  1. If a beer on par with KBS was sold at Costco and every gas station would we still go crazy over it? No but we should.
    I’ve loved this beer when it was first introduced and still love it. No, it doesn’t have the complexity of a KBS but it is still crazy good, it just happens to be readily available. To some, it’s availability at every gas station and Costco detracts from it’s appeal – but not for me. Sell it everywhere and I’ll buy it everywhere.


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