New? New Holland Beer Hits Town



I'll admit it, I'm not the biggest geography expert when it comes to European beers. (Despite the fact that I somehow won the geography medal in seventh grade at MBA.) So I've been know to confuse New Holland Beer with their better known competitors from "across the border" at New Belgium Brewing. But a new beer from New Holland that has recently hit town has made me sit up and take notice, and maybe remember the difference a little better.

New Holland has just introduced their Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout to Music City, and it's something pretty special. Aging beers in bourbon barrels has been a craze for over a year now, but the roasted malt undertones of Dragon's Milk interplay quite nicely with the vanilla and toffee contributed by time spent in repose in new American oak barrels.

The fact that New Holland claims that this is the first beer aged in new American oak barrels in several years does raise the question of whether a "new" barrel can really be a "bourbon" barrel. If it's new, then it hasn't had bourbon in it. I did a little research, and apparently there was a popular New Holland product that was described as an ale instead of a stout and claimed to be aged in oak instead of bourbon barrels.

Since a stout is technically an ale, I guess this could just be the same product with a new label, and I certainly tasted a lot of oak and not much of what I could discern as bourbon on the palate. Nonetheless, I did really enjoy the beer. So I ask you Bitester beer bosses, is this a new product or just a relaunch? New Holland ain't talking, so I'm counting on you to enlighten me about this dark beer.

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