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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,272 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,272
Hads: 4,681
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,246 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,272 | Hads: 4,681
Reviews by cowboy83:
Photo of cowboy83
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like this one a lot. Seems I'm an "outlier," so I need to elaborate. The bourbon flavor does make it a bit harsh, but that's balanced by a smooth creaminess that makes a great combination. The heartiness of the underlying stout itself is top notch as well, but I'm really not one to go into flowery descriptors so this will have to do. (338 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014. 11.00% abv listed on the label. At long last I am finally getting around to trying the legendary New Holland Dragon's Milk that I always see.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark cola color but appears a near opaque black in the glass. Barely conjures a half finger of mocha head that disappears fast. Some good fat sticky lacing.

S - A buttery creamy aroma. Vanilla, cream, oak wood, mustiness, caramel. A very moderate but pleasant aroma. The creamy / buttery vanilla characteristics are dominant though. Mouthwatering, to be sure.

T - Taste follows the nose: cream, vanilla, caramel, oak wood, and some hot boozy bourbon warmth. Sweet and sugary, with some underlying notes of chocolate and dark roastiness. A touch of dark fruits.

M - The feel is extremely smooth & creamy, with mild bourbon alcohol heat.

Overall, a very enjoyable and underrated bourbon barrel stout from New Holland.

New Holland Dragon's Milk -----4/5. (982 characters)

Photo of DaneBramage
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: dark chocolate in a tall glass
S: chocolate with hints of cocoa
T- chocolate and cherries with cocoa and coffee hints, more robust flavor than your typical stout or porter
F- malty, bitter aftertaste
O- a local restaurant just got it on tap and I'll be having it again, went well with almond chicken salad. Not as good as Founders Breakfast Stout but still very drinkable. On a side note, I got home after drinking it and took a 2-hour nap, it damn near knocked me out. Double stouts tend to sap all of my energy. (519 characters)

Photo of rafer21
4.98/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, definitely a sipping beer. But amazing flavors and aroma. (62 characters)

Photo of robgutie
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I think this gets overlooked becasue its so widely available but a really great stout. Stronger whiskey notes than other similar overall enjoyable. (147 characters)

Photo of Hoploaf
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best stout commercially available. (45 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Coming out of the bottle the liquid is a very dark brown and once it is in the glass it appears nearly black. Shining a light through the back of the glass results in some very pretty, ruby red highlights standing out against the black backdrop. The head fizzles up to about a quarter-inch before fading into some patchy wisps that stick around on the surface of the beer for nearly the entire glass. Lacing is minimal.

SMELL: There is a ton going on here, with big vanilla, chocolate and caramel aromas. The combination smells a lot like fresh baked brownies. A hint of oak and a touch of roasted coffee beans is also present.

TASTE: In the nose, the vanilla, chocolate and caramel were all pretty equally represented, but in the taste the chocolate wins and comes through strongest. Vanilla and caramel tie for second as a hefty dose of coffee and oak bring up the rear of the field. Hints of anise and dark fruit also dance around the palate, especially towards the finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Of course the body is big, but not as big as you might expect. The Dragon’s Milk goes down silky and smooth with a strong, but not overwhelming sweetness. The balance is actually quite nice with a subtle bitterness coming from the coffee notes.

OVERALL: Since New Holland’s arrival in Colorado this has quickly become a go-to for me. I love big, imperial stouts and I love bourbon barrel-aged beers…it’s a treat to be able to have both any time of year now. (1,484 characters)

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Sampled November 2014 from bottles in pint glass. Tasted both the 2013 and 2014 vintages side-by-side.

Appearance: Very dark color. Tan head was not very thick and it did not last as long as some other stouts.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee aromas, with a smell of some sweet chocolate. Nice combination of aromas.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors, with a little hops for added dimension. Could also taste a hint of the oak barrel, which added another interesting dimension. The combination of strong hops and roasted malts and strong alcohol give this drink big powerful flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth, almost creamy.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination of malt, coffee, chocolate, and hops flavor with oak barrel influences. The label lists 10% alcohol, and it does taste like it. This is definitely the taste of an excellent stout. The 2013 is more intense than the 2014. Do not know if this is due to the year it was made, or whether it is due to the year aging. (1,053 characters)

Photo of KellyScottMad
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! This is a great beer. At first I thought it was a little to boozy, but after settling in on the bottle it was a nice warmth and flavor on the palate. I would put this Imperial stout at #3 on my list of best aged stouts. (227 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ALL "5's" across the board! Sampled last night on 6/18/15. Comes in a 4-pack at the local Hy-vee and contains right at 11% alcohol (ABV)! Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 12 ounce 'Empyrean Brewing Co.' snifter glass.

Brew pours super close to a pitch-black in color with about a 1/2-finger foamy beige head. Lots of 'ring-like' lacing is seen when sipped. Aroma is of roasted malts and cocoa powder for the most part. Bit more going on with the taste as there is a hint of dark fruit (cherries?) along with a hint of vanilla also. No 'boozy' taste either as you might think with the 11% alcohol! Nice finish but does have a very mild bitter finish that lasts about 2 secs. Close to full-bodied with perfect carbonation, which isn't much as most types of this style are. You aren't going to drink more than 2 of these in a sitting I'm thinking. ;) A fantastic brew and a 'must try'! (926 characters)

Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look-Pours a very dark color.(basically black) The head is very small and sticks to the sides for the most part, a nice burnt/tanish color. Very nice appearance.

Smell-I immediately get the smell of bourbon(that boozy zingy aroma you get from bourbon), and I can also smell a slight sweet scent of vanilla and chocolate. I can definitely smell that bourbon though.

Taste-Very robust. Just like bourbon this beer is meant to be sipped on. I can taste notes of vanilla and chocolate. The flavor of bourbon is pretty present as well. The three flavors I get really do complement each other. The flavor is very complex and again robust.

Feel-Its thick, but not too thick. I go back and forth on the carbonation, some sips are carbonated and others aren't.

Overall-I got this beer from a good friend of mine who is quite the beer connoisseur, and so if he thinks it's good it most likely is good. With that being said, I am no stout expert. But what I do know is this beer is very special. It has the most complex flavor of any imperial stout I have tried. I have to say, I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher score. It was a delicious beer and a real treat to have.
One thing though, don't drink more than two of these beers... This beer will surely put you on your ass. (1,274 characters)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature. (3,306 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown with a one finger tight head that settles quicly leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,some nice caramel aromas along with some malted milk and some of the oak left behind very nice.Very lactic flavors for an old ale malted milk and deep woody flavors along with some chocolate with alate sourness wich I didnt care for much.A very flavorful big beer but not a fan of the sour finish. (406 characters)

Photo of davemarc87
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of tectactoe
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of the first "big" stouts that I tried on my expedition into the craft world. Now that I've had many more, I can review this one respectively. Pours a very dark brown color, black in spots, with super-deep ruby shades at the very edges of the glass and top of the beer. The pour isn't as thick as you'd expect for a typical 10% ABV stout.

The tan head is pretty small and recessed, but hangs around for a while before vanishing into a simple ring around the glass. The nose is pretty heavy on this one; booze, dark cocoa, oak and woodiness, sugary vanilla, sharp, dark figs and dates. Sweetness is far more apparent on the nose than any kind of bitterness, typically expected for heavy stouts.

The taste of Dragon's Milk is far more powerful and commanding than the aroma would ever lead you to believe. Hefty handfuls of roasted malts begin to the lay the groundwork for this complex monster. Musky, wet oak and wood chips, burnt brown sugar, molasses, dark, bitter cocoa beans, sharp vanilla sweetness, and most of all, heavy booze. Many 10%+ ABV beers do all they can to mask and hide their alcohol content, but not Dragon's Milk - the booze is right on the front lines.

The booziness adds a huge level of robustness and power, causing you to respect it with slow sips and a drinking session likely to go beyond a half an hour (at least). As expected, this beer just continues to open up with warmth. The booze gets stronger, the vanilla is sweeter, the cocoa is darker and more bitter. I don't sense much of a hop presence in this beer. It might be there, but I sure as hell don't taste it. The mouth is silky and slick, albeit still a bit more thin than wanted/expected. Carbonation is pretty subdued overall, but it's not really a nuisance.

My tastes have changed greatly over time, and Dragon's Milk doesn't quite impress me as much as it once did. However, it's still not an awful choice considering there aren't many "year round" bourbon barrel aged stouts on the shelves. It's a bit too hot to enjoy in any quantity, but it's a relatively decent introduction to the style. If you remotely like Dragon's Milk at all, you're gonna love plenty of other BBA stouts. (2,182 characters)

Photo of Hoppin_mad
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of MadScientist
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep, dark ruby brown almost black with good clarity. The head is a medium light brown with small compact bubbles and average retention.

S: A moderate oak aroma having mostly chocolate and vanilla characteristics with a light touch of cinnamon. There is moderately-light malt sweetness with some roasted and chocolate malt aromas. There are no hops aroma.

T: Rich malt flavors with oak and some bourbon like character. The oak brings a fair amount of vanilla that plays well with others, complimenting the chocolate and roasted malt flavors. The is a moderately hops bitterness with no hops flavor. A light touch of fruity ester having a little bit of fig and prune-like flavors. The balance is about even between the malt sweetness being countered by the hops bitterness and the alcohol. The finish is slightly sweet with a roasty, chocolate aftertaste.

M: A creamy, medium-full bodied beer with a moderately-light carbonation. No astringency and a slight slickness on the tongue. The alcohol is very apparent, being a touch boozy at first but its a gentle warmth afterwards.

O: A nicely balanced oak aged stout with some alcohol warmth. (1,149 characters)

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of brownbeer
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage

Dark brown with russet highlights and a sandy brown head.

Bourbon is the first thing I notice upon putting my nose in the glass and inhaling some of the liquid:) Toasty cocoa and oak notes hangin' out with some vanilla and molasses biotches. Not overdone or overpowering aroma, it's just pleasant.

Some boozy heat on the tongue, but that's okay being that there are noticable bourbon notes for it to stick to. Toasty caramel, chocolate, and bourbon flavors lead to a warm feeling in my tummy; the body has some soft richness, but could use a touch more. It's no oak aged yeti, but I have faith in aging a bottle or two of this for a few. Mellow this sucka out. (676 characters)

Photo of abeerdude
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of Tiernan
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks like black satin.
Smells like the barrels it aged in. Very boozy. Woah.
Look out! Punched in the face with those barrels. Chocolate. Vanilla. Bourbon. Spiced hot cocoa.
Hot hot hot feel. Very boozy, but in a good way. (223 characters)

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,272 ratings.