New Holland Artisan Spirits began distilling in 2005, immediately laying down American Single Malt. Several Bourbon experiments later, Beer Barrel Bourbon became available in late 2012, eventually becoming the staple of the whiskey program.
New Holland Artisan Spirits began distilling its first American Single Malt whiskey in 2005. Several Bourbon experiments later, Beer Barrel Bourbon became available in late 2012 and eventually became the staple of new Holland’s whiskey program.
Beer Barrel Bourbon is first aged for “several years” in new American Oak barrels, then finished in Dragon’s Milk beer barrels for three months, giving it a unique flavor among other bourbons.
Mash bill is 70% corn, 25% Barley, and 5% Rye.
Third Party Reviews and Tasting Notes
It’s young, corny Bourbon to be sure. The nose is heavy with grain, somewhat hot with smoky campfire notes and — curiously — a toasted marshmallow character at times. There’s continued grain on the palate, but the body has a unique texture to it. New Holland calls it “biscuity” but it’s more like a foaminess or frothiness to me — imagine the head on that pint of stout and you have a sense of it.
As it opens up in the glass, this whiskey begins to burn off some of its grain character and exhibit more of the sweetness we expect from Bourbon. Here it takes on a butterscotch character, with some burnt toast and allspice along for the ride. Really interesting stuff, but I’m still trying to get my mind around the unique mouthfeel.
A nose with heat, molasses and wood. On the palate there’s malt with a little more heat. The finish is [short and] sweet… not necessarily in a good way.
This is most definitely a mellow bourbon, with no harshness or tannins from the oak present at all. You get a lot of caramel, a little corn, a little oak, a fair amount of sweetness, and some chocolate. It’s not the most complicated bourbon in the world, but it’s fun to try to pick out the impact of the beer. I’m certain that the hint of chocolate is picked up from it and I’m about 50/50 on whether the rounded edges and mellowness is due to the additional aging in the beer barrels or the fact that it’s only 80 proof. It’s definitely an easy drinker, even straight.
It’s impressive how much the Dragon’s Milk imparts on this whiskey. The classic malt backbone of a stout is present, and the beer-y, malty notes come out loud and clear. My only issue is this: it’s too damn sweet. It’s the sweetest aspects of the beer that are imparted on an already (I’m guessing here), sweet whiskey. I would love to see a release of this using older Bourbon so that beer would have more oak and fruit to play off of. Maybe someday that’ll happen, and if it does, sign me up!