Beer of the Weekend #654: Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

My next LV deadline is approaching so I need to figure out what I will recommend in February. I don’t think I’ll recommend Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout, brewed by the New Holland Brewing of Holland, Michigan, but I wanted to try it anyway.

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle. “Vintage 2014” is written on the back label and there are a couple codes printed on the shoulder, but there is no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: It pours a non-opaque black into a tulip glass. One finger of grayish-tan head leaves a bubbly ring, a skim, and spots of bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is a pleasant blend of roasted malt, chocolate, black licorice, molasses, plum, raisin, maybe cherry, and booze. The woody, barrel-aged effect is noticeable as well. There are also scents of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste: The first sip is boozy and dark. The mouthfeel is dry but full-bodied. The booze is noticeable in each sip but it is not overpowering. It’s prominent, though. The barrel aging has imparted a nice woody flavor reminiscent of whiskey. There are also flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit (mostly raisin), and a little black licorice. Vanilla becomes quite prominent as the beer warms.

Drinkability: This beer is tasty but pretty boozy; after drinking half the bottle, I am really feeling the alcohol. It’s drinkable. Personally, though, I’m not a big fan of barrel-aged beers.

Fun facts about DMBBS:

-Style: The brewery calls it “Bourbon Barrel Stout.”

-Price: $7.99/bottle at John’s Grocery in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 11 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: Listed on the beer’s webpage are “red meat, smoked foods, balsamic, rich cheese and dark chocolate.”

-IBU: 31.

-According to the New Holland website, DMBBS was first brewed in 2001. I don’t think too many people were drinking barrel-aged stout back then, or even knew there was such a thing, so it must have been quite an oddity. Of course, I wouldn’t really know. Back in those days, Rolling Rock was my favorite beer. (Speaking of Rolling Rock, it has been a long, long time since I drank it and I have yet to review it. I think a reunion with a box of Rocks is long overdue.)

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

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