Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Raspberries 11% ABV
New Holland Brewing
Three weeks ago to the day, I reviewed the Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies. While overall I enjoyed the experience, the spicy kick-in-the-mouth flavor of the beer was a bit more than I’d like to go through again. In that post I mentioned that New Holland would be coming out with a Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Raspberries, which I anxiously awaited. I was worried it wouldn’t arrive at all, as my local market hasn’t seen hide nor hair of the regular Dragon’s Milk for going on a month.
Then one wonderful day this beer appeared on the shelves. A single case was allotted my beer emporium of choice and I eagerly pounced upon the opportunity to buy a bottle. I knew I wouldn’t be able to review the beer for awhile as I was in the midst of my Countdown to 500, and had already planned out the beers I would review for that theme. Now unshackled from previously scheduled review commitments I can drink this beer, revel in it, and of course type out my thoughts.
I struggled mightily to make this a stand alone review and failed miserably. So I will cave into the desire to compare and contrast this beer with the Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies. First and foremost this beer has no spiciness at all, and while I was expecting a strong sweetness in the beer, the sweetness is subtle and balanced with a slight tart flavor from the raspberries.
The difference in strength of flavor comes from when the adjunct ingredients are added to the barrel. The chilies are present in the barrel throughout the aging process with the Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Toasted Chilies. Whereas with this beer the “local raspberries” were only “added to the barrels during the final stages of conditioning.” This helps to explain the subtle and not overpowering raspberry flavor.
This must also explain why I find this beer has a slightly different overall character to it. The raspberries seem to have dulled the bourbon aroma and ever so slightly dulled the bourbon flavor of the brew. For my palate, the dulling is not a bad thing at all. Unlike the Reserve: With Toasted Chilies, I actually enjoy this beer more than the regular Dragon’s Milk, which is high praise.
Some great news for people with similar palates as mine, and those who enjoy the spicy brew, New Holland will be selling both of these beers in 4 packs of 12oz bottles coming in November of this year, 2015. They will also be releasing two others in 4 packs, Dragon’s Milk Reserve: With Coffee and Chocolate (I audibly gasped in joy when I read this) and a Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Triple Mashed Bourbon Barrel Stout, which will sit at 14% ABV. I’m soo looking forward to November now. Which one are you most looking forward to drinking?