New Holland Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies

Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies 11% ABVDragon's Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chiles
American Stout
New Holland Brewing

Strong bourbon aroma wafts up to my nostrils as I pour the beer into my goblet glass.  The same bourbon aroma I’ve become fond of when drinking a Dragon’s Milk; of which I have had many.

This Dragon’s Milk is different though, and I’m worried going into the tasting of the brew.  I like spicy foods, but am not a huge fan of spicy drinks.  Maybe this beer will turn me around.  Let’s find out, as I open up beer 494 on my Countdown to 500 unique beer check-ins on Untappd.

I take my first sip.  The front is that of a normal Dragon’s Milk, incredible bourbon flavor which continues through the middle of the beer.  I’m waiting for the chilies to come in, and BAM they come in at the finish with a punch.  This is definitely a spicy beer.  The chilies take over one’s palate and while not necessarily setting my mouth on fire, it’s pretty damn close.

I’m weird.  I like to smell my beer before each sip.  With this beer that odd behavior becomes confusing to my senses.  The spicy pepper flavor from my previous sip is still lingering in my mouth while my nose is picking up on the sweet bourbon scent of the beer.   Then I take my next sip and POW the spicy chili flavor is back with a fury.  Whew, this is going to be a sipping beer for sure.  I may have to grab some cheese soon, to try and even out the spicy toasted chili flavor bombarding my palate.  I’ve said before that beers have “bite,” this beer truly has a spicy bite to it that doesn’t mellow.

With my fourth or fifth sip I get some of the chili aroma in the nose, that or this spicy beer has infiltrated my entire sinus cavity, via my mouth.  For those who are fans of spicy drinks, I highly recommend this beer.  For those who are not, I’d recommend passing or just trying a 4oz taster’s worth.

Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies is a stout aged in oak barrels, so far so good it’s the same as the regular Dragon’s Milk, with chili de arbol peppers added to the barrel for the duration of the aging process.  That last part is what makes all the difference between this beer and the regular Dragon’s Milk.

New Holland has come out with a Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Raspberries.  I hope I can get my hands on one of those bottles.  I’m a bit more of a fan of hints of fruit in my beer than peppers.  Look for this new Dragon’s Milk release to arrive soon at a store near you1.

Okay, maybe I was being a bit of a baby earlier.  Even though I was born and raised in Texas apparently my palate is still sensitive to intense peppers.  I must say that as I get to the bottom of my first glass, though the heat from the beer is ever present, it is more enjoyable than painful.  Either the spicy beer flavor is growing on me or my taste-buds are going through pepper fatigue.  Either way I am enjoying the beer more now than at the start.  An ever present reminder that with most beers it is best to go through a full glass worth to truly appreciate what you are drinking.


  1.  Assuming you live in a state in which New Holland Brewing is distributed. 
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