Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Fancy Pants Sunday: New Holland Dragon’s Milk Scotch

Ron Swarner

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You fancy New Holland Brewing Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Scotch Barrel-Aged With Marshmallow & Dark Chocolate 2020 Reserve 2

Fancy Pants Sunday: New Holland Dragon’s Milk Scotch

Holland is the largest city on the shores of Lake Macatawa, just north of Saugatuck, Michigan. Its much-photographed Big Red Lighthouse stands by the channel that connects Lake Macatawa to Lake Michigan. It has a lovely downtown area with a large number of restaurants, shops, galleries, high-end boutiques, and brewpubs, including New Holland Brewing Company, the focus brewery of this week’s Fancy Pants Sunday: New Holland Dragon’s Milk Scotch.

Just 24 short years ago Jason Spaulding and Brett Vander Kamp were lining up investors to get started on their goal to make beers that were unique to Western Michigan. Eleven years later they were making more than 7,500 U.S. barrels a year at their New Holland Brewing. New Holland brews a number of beers including porters, ales, and stouts such as Dragon’s Milk, a year-round stout at the brewery. First brewed in 2001, the stout uses two-row, Munich, caramel, crystal, black, chocolate malt, and flaked barley grains along with Glacier and Nugget hops to achieve its roasted, malt character. It’s also made with Michigan beet sugar and aged for more than 90 days in the brewery’s oak bourbon barrels that give it its signature flavor. The brewery owns New Holland Artisan Spirits, which features their Beer Barrel Bourbon from aged beer barrels, a Zeppelin Bend single malt whiskey, and a Zeppelin Bend Reserve, which is aged in sherry casks and a Beer Barrel Rye. It’s logical the brewery ages its imperial stout in barrels of booze, including Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Scotch Barrel-Aged With Marshmallow & Dark Chocolate 2020 Reserve 2 (11%).

Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Scotch is a blend of Highland and Speyside scotch barrels for just a hint of peated smokiness that accentuates the roasted notes of the stout, with obviously added marshmallow and dark chocolate. The aroma has a subtle blend of marshmallow, caramel, cocoa powder and chocolate. The scotch is there but not overwhelming in the aroma department. Malts are there, too. Marshmallow leads the taste, with some coconut, and caramel. We pick up more dragon milk chocolate than dragon dark chocolate. Scotch does its thing, but doesn’t dominate. This creamy stout is actually dangerously drinkable.

You fancy New Holland Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Scotch Barrel-Aged With Marshmallow & Dark Chocolate 2020 Reserve 2. You also have a really long name.