Beer: Dragon’s Milk by New Holland

  • Photo by Alysia Burton
By Columbus Alive
From the February 2, 2012 edition

About the brewery

Love or hate the state, Michigan has a strong suds scene with a handful of remarkable breweries. Among them is New Holland Brewing Company. Established in 1996, the operation continues to intrigue with year-round selections like Mad Hatter and high-end concepts like El Mole Ocho. Its best work lies in the High Gravity Series, which includes Dragon’s Milk.

About the style

Brewers build stouts to stand out. They power them with robust flavors of burnt grains, coffee, toffee and nuts. Often these are the beers that hit you in the face with their dark color, strong smells and chewy thickness.

So it’s no wonder why stout-makers use aging to adjust flavor, boost potency or increase attitude. Many craft beers on local shelves have been aged in whiskey barrels, wine casks or other artisan containers. New Holland ages Dragon’s Milk in oak barrels, allowing the beer to soak up a woody, nutty flavor.

About the beer

For those who’ve had any experience with aged ales, New Holland’s delicacy will seem more inviting than intimidating. Its nose is bold, oaky and laced with alcohol. Its body is thick, dark and opaque. Flavors of vanilla, cocoa, roasted grains and brown sugar linger smoothly, like when you savor a spoonful of chocolate mousse.

Want John Ross to review your favorite suds? Email jross@columbusalive.com.