Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Honey and Toasted Barrels
Company: New Holland Spirits
Distillery: New Holland Brewing Company
Release Date: November 2023
Age: NAS (Company’s website states aged more than 5 years before finishing)
Mashbill: 70% Corn, 25% Malted Barley, 5% Rye
MSRP: $90 / 750mL (2023)
Dark cherry | Apple | Baking spices | Vanilla custard | Raspberry jam | Toasted oak
Blackberry | Fig | Luxardo Maraschino Cherries | Butterfinger candy bar | Raw honey | Complex baking spice mix | Rich & velvety
Punchy with loads of spice up front | Rich dark fruit | Tobacco | Leather | Long
2023E nicknamed “Color Tour” captures the unique taste of Dragon’s Milk bourbon, and layers in richness and depth by finishing in both toasted and honey barrels.
New Holland Brewing Company has a unique style that I first noticed in 2021 with their Bottled in Bond Batch 01 release. They distill on a prohibition era pot still as opposed to the more common column still. The bourbon has a mashbill that swaps the typical rye and malted barley percentages, with 25% malted barley and only 5% rye. This often results in a bourbon that has a lively flavor profile with unique summer fruit and citrus notes. Their toasted series takes that one step further, finishing in toasted barrels. For this single barrel release, they also finished in a honey barrel, making this a triple-barreled bourbon. 2023E is one of four expressions that will be released at the company’s New Holland Pubs and New Holland Tasting Rooms on Saturday, November 18th.
2023E, which was nicknamed “Color Tour,” maintains Dragon’s Milk’s unique underlying flavor profile, but layers in tons of depth from the toasted and honey barrel finishes. The bourbon’s dark color almost gives it away, as this is a bold pour. It’s filled with intense flavor that comes in the form of more complex spice, deeper fruit notes, and hints of sweet elements such as vanilla custard, Butterfinger candy bar, and raw honey. The sweeter flavors are counterbalanced by more savory ones including toasted oak, tobacco, and leather.
“Color Tour'' is a fitting name for this bourbon, because there’s a lot going on with it and it pushes the flavor profile in a lot of different directions. Like many whiskeys, the more you sip it, the more flavors you can draw out of it…but in this case the depth of flavors is greater than usual. It’s one minor fault is that it does come across hot at times, but that’s either a factor you can lean into or simply reduce by adding a splash of water, which doesn’t temper the flavors much. “Color Tour” is another standout release from New Holland Spirits.