I recently decided it was time to get familiar with the Manhattan, a legendary drink utilizing whiskey, rye, or bourbon. I picked up a bottle of Beer Barrel Bourbon from New Holland Brewing in Holland, Michigan.

The bourbon is aged for a length of time before it spends its last few months inside a “second use” barrel of Dragon’s Milk Stout (which is a stout aged in bourbon barrels). The barrel’s life cycle of bourbon to stout and back to bourbon imparts an interestingly smoky, malty sweetness to the finished product.

Elemental signs of coffee, sweet malt grains, chocolate or caramel all come out strong. The crew over at Barrels and Mash reviewed it and astutely claim notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, and cereals… with a silky mouthfeel.

I poured a myself a Manhattan . Then another. And then one more, just to be sure that I really liked them. It turns out that I really did like them! After that, I was feeling adventurous… I broke out the Fernet Branca and poured a Toronto… maybe that was a little too much adventure for me…

newhollbeerbourb-1.jpg?w=517&h=708Beer Barrel Bourbon by New Holland


Rinse a rocks glass with 14 oz Sweet Red Vermouth (just swish around in the glass and then dump it down the sink) and then throw in some ice
Pour 2 oz Beer Barrel Bourbon
4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Orange Peel garnish


2 oz Beer Barrel Bourbon or your favorite Canadian whiskey
1⁄2 oz Fernet-Branca
14 oz maple syrup (only 100% real maple syrup!)
4 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Orange Peel garnish

Pour everything into a rocks glass with ice. Stir thoroughly in the glass for at least 30 seconds, probably more. Take the orange peel garnish and expel the oils into the glass by quickly squeezing the orange over the glass. Rub the little slice of orange peel around the rim quickly to leave traces of the oils behind for a nice olfactory experience for the drinker.