Monday, February 12, 2018

New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve: Salted Caramel

The Stats
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11%
Current Ratings...
- Untappd: 4.23/5
- Beer Advocate: 4.19/5
- RateBeer: 3.89/5

"Dragon’s Milk Reserve Salted Caramel is the ultimate liquid indulgence. Smooth and creamy with notes of sweet vanilla and caramel sugar"

Typical stout appearance with a black body and ruby red edges. I got less than a finger of light brown head.

That caramel is right there on the aroma. It is most definitely sugary and reminds me of the thick, gooey, inside of a decadent chocolate bar. There is a minor salt aroma, but it zaps in and out kind of like when your tongue hits something salty and you wince up and make the pucker face. Behind that is a strong, bitter chocolate smell. This reminds me of a Caramello candy bar. This is a dessert beer first and foremost as barrel character is lacking except for some oak a bit of bourbon sweetness.

Like the nose, the caramel takes control on the taste. Chocolate is just as big here, and again, makes for a sugary, caramel-filled candy bar. This isn't just a one-trick pony, though. I'm getting a lot of cherries here which reminds me of great Russian Imperials and I do detect some roasty notes hidden deep down. Some vanilla flavor from the barrel is also here, but like the nose, bourbon is almost lacking completely but the residual, sticky sweetness is what is left behind. There's even hints of black licorice, anise, and some molasses too. A bitter aftertaste lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel is full with perfect viscosity. There is no alcohol taste at all and not even warming on each sip. With so many sweet flavors you'd think this might be too sugary to enjoy, but this actually drinks smoothly and is ideal for dessert.

While the bourbon barrel influence may have been missing for the most part, the Salted Caramel Reserve succeeds as a well-balanced dessert stout. I was hesitant going into this as the caramel aspect worried me a bit, but I was not only relieved, but delighted a the final result. This easily could have been an overly sugary stout that required an insulin shot after consuming, but the caramel, chocolate, vanilla, etc balanced out and left a dessert beer without the cloying sweetness.


Check out the review for the standard New Holland Dragon's Milk which made my Top 10 of 2017!

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