New Holland–Dragon’s Milk Reserve
There are a handful of different ‘Reserve’ beers carrying the Dragon’s Milk Reserve name. There’s one with raspberry and lemon, one with vanilla chai, and others, but this is the Triple Mashed beer. It’s an absolute monster with 17% ABV that really does a number on one’s palate. According to the bottle, this beer pairs well with the stinkiest cheeses, the darkest chocolates, and a day off. Roger that.
Pouring into a New Belgium tulip glass, the body is dark as night and fairly thick. You should receive a spoon so you can spoon the beer into the glass. For a short time, a head about a finger thick can be seen. It’s a very light brown, but before you know it, the bubbles recede into a thin foamy film, mostly around the edge of the beer. For a beer with such a high alcohol content, it’s surprising to see much of a head, and more surprising to see any lacing. Also, you can see my dog, Monty, photobombing the picture.
The nose is like you would expect from a dark beer with high alcohol that’s aged in barrels that formerly housed spirits. There’s a strong roasty note, along with some earthy scent (oak from the barrels), and a punch of Bourbon. Get too close or sniff too long, you’ll feel the burn in your nose.
Your first sip starts off innocently enough…a gentle chocolatey taste. As the beer works it’s way black, a bit of coffee begins to emerge. Finally, the Bourbon shows up in the swallow. Not too bad you think. You wait a second and the warming turns to full blown heat. When the fire tapers, hints of licorice appear.
Dragon’s Milk Reserve is a syrupy feeling beer. With all that malt that went into making a beer have 17% ABV, it’s fairly sweet and early on smooth and creamy are words that come to mind. However, that’s simply to tease you because soon enough the Bourbon brings the heat and bitterness to combat that sweetness. This beer is quite full-bodied and filling. I don’t know that I would want a second bottle of this because I’m afraid of losing all feel in my mouth and I don’t want my teeth to disintegrate.
Through it all, it’s a really good beer with lots of flavor. If you take your time to sip it, it goes down relatively easily. Unlike the regular Dragon’s Milk that only rings in with 11% ABV, I can’t drink a handful of these in a night. The alcohol and heat forces you to slow down, and enjoy/savor this beer.