New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

After aging for several years in new, American oak casks, this bourbon is finished in former Dragon's Milk Ale barrels.
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Inspired by the double-barreling process used at some of Scotland's most revered distilleries, Brett VanderKamp — New Holland Brewery and Artisanal Spirits's master distiller — decided to start aging whiskey in used beer barrels. Scotch, which is traditionally aged in ex-bourbon casks, is often double-barreled, or finished, in sherry casks. "The notes of sherry add another layer of complexity, color and richness to the Scotch," explains VanderKamp. "I thought we could do the same thing for whiskey."

While many craft brewers will attest that aging beer in whiskey barrels adds flavor and complexity to the beer, Beer Barrel Bourbon goes to show that the reverse is also true: aging whiskey in beer barrels results in a more complex and unique whiskey. After crafting Beer Barrel Bourbon at his distillery, VanderKamp ages it for several years in new, charred American oak casks. After the bourbon has matured, it is double-barreled, or finished, in casks that were formerly used to mature Dragon's Milk Ale.

Dragon's Milk Ale is a high-gravity beer, meaning it initially has more sugar and density before fermentation than ordinary beers. The name itself can be traced back to the 17th century, when beer reserved exclusively for royalty was referred to simply as "Dragon's Milk." The crown jewel of New Holland Brewery's portfolio, the ale is matured for 90 days in oak casks that are then used to mature Beer Barrel Bourbon. The beer barrels add notes of roasty malt, along with deep vanilla undertones to the bourbon, and complement its subtle undertones of toffee and caramel.

"The craft beer movement has sparked a real curiosity in average beer drinkers, who say to themselves that they don't need to drink the same product anymore," says VanderKamp. "We want to do the same thing with whiskey drinkers."

Whiskey barrels make great beer and it's time beer returns the favor.

Pick up a bottle of Beer Barrel Bourbon today!
More Information
Proof 80 (40% ABV)
Distiller/Bottler Name New Holland Artisan Spirits
Size 750mL
Initial notes of biscuits and warm doughy bread, along with subtle undertones of vanilla and toffee. Notes of roasted nuts, dough and malty hops follow, and ultimately lead to a sweet caramel finish.
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