Award-winning New Holland bourbon pays homage to company’s origin

Courtesy New Holland Spirits

New Holland Brewing Co. is taking home major awards in the spirits world.

Its new bourbon, Dragon’s Milk Origin Small Batch, recently won a double gold medal (highest honor) at the 13th annual New York International Spirits Competition.  

“It’s an annual competition where they take different whiskeys from around the country and blind-taste them and then award them with a gold, silver, bronze and, in a rare case, the double gold rating, which we were thrilled to get,” said New Holland brand manager Adam Dickerson.  

The company’s distillery, New Holland Spirits, was awarded Michigan Bourbon Distillery of the Year as well.

“It is a huge honor considering the quality of whiskey coming out of Michigan these days,” Dickerson said.

The company started distilling spirits in 2005 and has been making whiskey since 2008. Origin Small Batch has been aging since 2017.

“It’s named to pay homage to the origin of the brand,” Dickerson said.

Origin Small Batch is part of New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk portfolio. According to Dickerson, Dragon’s Milk Barrel-Aged Stout is the No. 1 (by volume) stout brewed in the U.S., available in all 50 states. The only other stout that outsells it in the U.S. is Guinness, an international brand sold in more than 120 countries.

“We never would have put our money on Dragon’s Milk being the beer that would make our brewery take off,” said Dickerson.

Dragon’s Milk spurred its own brand, which encompasses a portfolio of beers, including a white stout and an aged ale. Now, in addition to a wide array of beers and seltzers, bourbon is marketed under the Dragon’s Milk brand.

“We are thrilled with the quality of whiskey we are emptying from barrels these days,” said Brad Kamphuis, head distiller at New Holland. “Patience isn’t always easy, but we are now able to regularly bottle whiskeys at 5-10 years old, which is incredibly exciting.”

The new award-winning bourbon will be available year-round. Part of what makes this bourbon unique is it’s distilled on a Prohibition-era pot still in batches of 100 barrels or less, according to the company’s website. It has a high-malt mash bill, meaning it has a higher amount of barley than most bourbons (20%). It’s bottled at 95 proof and is the oldest bourbon sold by New Holland to date.  

Origin Small Batch bourbon is available locally at Meijer, most bottle shops and at New Holland’s retail locations in Grand Rapids and Holland. It’s also available in select states outside of Michigan, including Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas and California.

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