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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,278 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,725
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,280 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,278 | Hads: 4,725
Photo of bsp77
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with minimal head and no lacing.

Smell: Plum, molasses and alcohol are most apparent at first, with just touches of vanilla and oak. As it warms, the vanilla and oak characteristics expand.

Taste: At first it just seems very sweet and boozy, with vanilla, oak, molasses and dark fruit. The taste also benefits with time, taking on rum-like qualities. However I started the beer around 55 degrees, so it is not like I started it too cold.

Feel: Low carbonation, full chewy body. Very warming, as it almost burns like hard liquor. Seems more boozy than 10%.

Drinkability: Good sipper, even if it is too simple. The oak, vanilla and rum-like qualities are nice; just wish the base beer had a little more character.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010: This is a Stout, 10%ABV aged in oak barrels. (it says stout on the bottle damn-it!)

A: Poured into my sniftner, this beer pours a black body with a lighter then normal stout tan head. Nothing too impressive as the head dissipates quickly.

S: The aroma is that of chocolate covered vanilla beans. The boozy background and lack of complexity grounds this brew to a 4.0, but I love how much the vanilla shines.

T: The taste consists of light notes of chocolate, heavy spice notes that you would find in a Belgium quad, vanilla (but not the smoothness of vanilla itself), and at cold it tends to be a little boozy. Let this one warm up before drinking, it mellows out the boozyness and makes this stout much more enjoyable.

MF/D: Mouthfeel wise, this beer is lacking fullness that I've come to enjoy, and because New Holland could have hid the ABV a tad bit better, the drinkability will suffer too.

Overall, this beer is a treat. Maybe it is a new style....black ASA? This brew has qualities of both a stout and an ASA in one, but with a name like Dragon's Milk...why not make a milk stout?

Thanks strikertown for being a generous trading partner.

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Photo of quad07
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at UFS, $5.99 for a 22oz dark brown bottle with a pry off cap. No bottled date or freshness date that I could find. 9%ABV.

I poured it into my large 23oz beer glass and did not produce much of a head at all. The head was a light tan color that did not leave much lacing behind. When held up to the light it appeared a very dark brown almost a motor oil color with slight reddish highlights around the edges. You could see the very tiny bubbles struggling to the top like most high gravity beers.

I like the smell! You could smell oak barrel ageing with some smoke and raison. I could not smell any hops or floral aromas.

Now when I tasted this first thing I noticed was liquorish and anise and a small amount of carbonation on my tongue. It was surprisingly sweet with creamy liquorish texture. Very little hop taste. After the third or fourth sip some slight bourbon like flavors were present and a very notable warming affect.

I could not finish the whole glass because after it warmed up it was to sweet or rich and I had enough. I felt very hot and was ready to open a window. Would be great to share or needs to be in smaller bottles.

I really liked this ale but it was too much for me at one sitting without a meal.


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Photo of TheDTrain
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently the D Train has been trying a lot of New Holland's brew. Per usual, Dragon's Milk was good but not great....certainly can't justify the $4.00 I paid. Pretty creamy yet quite dry on taste. Some good vanilla tones and a very pleasant oak/booze blend on the back end.

I feel this is a brew that tried to be complex, but everything gets too muddled together. The higher the price tag, the higher the D Train's expectations. The Force is strong in this one, but Dragon's Milk is not a Jedi yet...

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very dense, mahogany liquid when viewed without light behind it, but showing dark ruby colors at edges when held up. Has a very small light tan head that recedes very quickly leaving light tracery on the surface.

S & T = Scents of vanilla, cocoa powder, sweet treacle. Most of the smells also show up in the taste but there is also a plastic taste and a certain thinness up front, by mid-palate though there are good tastes of cream moderated by slight bitterness of oak, vanilla and cafe latte without any sugar added.

M = Medium to medium-heavy body, very good mouthcoating, creamy full soft feel.

D = I do like this beer, but somehow it just doesn't draw me to each sip like I would prefer. I find after half a bottle I've really had enough. Good, but not good enough.

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Photo of jtingue
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Very dark with a brown color around the edges where only some light penetrates. Pours with a finger of head that dissipates to a nice thin layer around the side of the glass. Lacing is great, just clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell. Very complex with many layers hitting the nose. The most distinct is that of bourbon as well as a very sweet vanilla. There is a strange, but pleasant honey-like sweetness that fills your nostrils.

Taste. Starts out with a quick burst of sweetness that is quickly taken over by a flavor that is similar to bourbon in both its flavor and its alcoholic presence. This is followed by a milky and vanilla-like sweetness. This is once again takne over by the bourbon flavor which slowly transitions to a dark fruit flavor. The finish is quite dry and reminiscent of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Nice creamy body. Some carbonation, but not too much for the style.

Unfortunately the worst part of this beer is its taste. Everything else is spot on for me. There is just too much bourbon and not enough complexity.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer in tulip glass: small head, little carbonation, decent lacing, and very dark brown; cannot see through.

Nose is mocha, oak, and hint of bourbon. Not much hop presence, can also make out vanilla & brown sugar.

Taste is of malt, mocha, and that sweet bourbon finish. The bitter oak lingers for quite some time and leaves the mouth dry. Very creamy mouthfeel and chewy as well.

You certainly need to be in the mood for one of these. My last experience with a similar beer lead to a day of upset stomach. Not a bad offering but I would certainly not seek it out since the style is not my cup of tea but would recommend to anyone into this style.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The head builds like a stout with a light tan color. The color is like a dark cola. No real lacing.

Light Vanilla extract aroma, some sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

Again, the flavor of vanilla without much sweetness. Finishes a bit thin. Slight sweetness in the middle, but then becomes dry towards the end. There needs to be some more depth here and a bit more fruit. There is some slight booze flavors, but not much.

Body seems a little thin for the flavor profile and the barrel aging. I think a bit more body compliments these notes.

This is a good beer, but with a couple tweaks could be great. I felt mostly disappointed as I made my way through the bottle.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, with a rich two finger head. Nose is of licorice and wood. Taste- bourbon flavour is quite pronounced, along with the oak. Quite hoppy as well. Sweet iniitially, but that melds into more of a hotness from the booze. Finish is dry and woody. Interesting beer. Carbonation is on the low end.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black/tan, not much head or lacing. Kinda flat and looks like a soda.

Smell - Oak, malts, alcohol, vanilla, some chocolate, spices and brown sugar.

Taste - A sweet oaked flavor starts off. A rich chocolate and vanilla flavor with oaked malts is the main flavor. Alcohol is present, as is added brown sugar. Theres a coffee taste mixed in with all the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Its really sweet, so mouth gets kind of aroused, then stung from the high alcohol. Aftertaste is rather odd, like cheap immation vanilla and oak.

Overall - This beer is just too sweet. I dont care for the carbinated vanilla and oak. Its not undrinkible but nothing i want again. I want a stout oaked beer, not a chocolate and vanilla treat. Maybe drinking kbs and oaked arrogant bastard has ruined me...

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Photo of bbeane
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler. Despite an agressive pour, thin off white head... no retention or lacing. Pretty much black in color... faint light shines through when held up to the light, making the beer appear to be a dark ruby color

S- Faint aroma of alcohol, molasses, raisin, dark fruits... almost has a 'wood' smell

T- Tastes like dark fruits, molasses, raisin... faint alcohol taste. Pretty smooth. Much better tasting/flavorful then the weak smell leads you to believe

M- Somewhat watery, medium bodied despite the dark heavy appearance... very little carbonation

D- Nice flavor + High ABV= somewhat drinkable. I don't think I'd ever go out and buy a whole case, but I'd drink a few out at the bar

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 27 Oct 2008.

Used my 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter for this. Samll foamy beige head. Medium carbonation. Very dark brown color, not quite opaque. Smells of coffee, licorice, dark chocolate, mushrooms. Starts sweet and roasty. Almost like cold hot chocolate. Good roastiness and chocolate throughout. On the sweet side. Oak not really noticeable. Alcohol well hidden, seems light. Hint of vanilla in the finish. Medium body. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Overall very nice.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This pours a very dark brown color, and has just the slightest little ring of head on it. Appears to be very low in carbonation.

S - The smell is booze, bourbon, and chocolate. There are also notes of vanilla and a hint a dark fruits.

T - The bourbon and alcohol hit me first. Then, notes of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla came at me. The finish is boozy and slightly bitter. The oak taste lingers in the mouth.

M - This beer has a thick body and has almost no carbonation. It also seems to coat the mouth and really hit each taste bud on the way down. It is also slightly warming.

D - I would say this is decently drinkable. It goes down fairly easy, but i would prefer if the alcohol bite was toned down a bit. Overall though, I think this a good beer, and I would suggest giving it a try. I'd buy this one again.

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Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of MadeInTheMitten
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my mouth.
1/2 way through this bad-boy. It's a lot smoother than I expected. Although, it does have a bite on the back end, but a very pleasant bite! The oak and vanilla notes keep lingering until the next drink! It's also not too strong on the bourbon taste, which is a plus for me. I like hints of it, not a "BAM, IN YOUR ASS" bourbon taste. Very solid stout in my book.I would recommend to any stout drinker!

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Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, minimal head, clear

Smell: cream, sugar, oak, burnt malt, and cocoa

Taste: the oak dominates, but there are hints of milk chocolate, coffee, and burnt malt towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, prickly, moderate to heavy body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A good not great strong ale. You must like oak for this one to appeal. This one is sweet but not overly so. The dominate oak gives this some bite and is biggest reason why this one is a one per sitting beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A clear but very dark brown colored ale with a wispy light brown head. This is easily as dark as a porter.

The smell is sweet and boozy with lots of oak and malt and a trace of Bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, oak and caramel are all in here, so pretty much bourbon.

The taste starts semi sweet and malty with a strong vanilla flavor with a bit of a chocolate after taste. A bit malty but the oak barrel dominates the taste of this beer and it is mostly vanilla and caramel. This could be more complex.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Easy to drink without a doubt but it lacks so zip I think. Tasty but it needs more complexity besides the vanilla and wood.

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Photo of nhindian
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter. Bottle provided by and split with russwbeck, thanks Russ!

A - The deepest brown you can get without being black slowly slips out of the bottle, filling the glass until 2.5-fingers worth of creamy, tan head cap the pour. Head has pretty low retention, but some moderate lacing makes up for it.

S - The smell is complex for this. Getting a lot of wood, vanilla, slight bourbon traces from the oak, as well as the chocolate and coffee familiar in this style of beer. Some caramel. Alcohol is noticeably apparent.

T - Taste is surprisingly more sweet than anticipated, before transitioning into a smooth then bitter finish filled with chocolate, vanilla, slight smoke and bourbon, and a bit of a tannic component as well in the finish. The sweetness upfront mixed with the bourbon notes harken me back to Backwoods Bastard. Alcohol makes a strong appearance throughout.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy and full-bodied. What I really liked about this beer is it's well-blended and smooth. Very easy drinking and flavorful.

D - Drinkability is moderate. It's a well-flavored beer, but it's a heavy hitter for sure. I'm glad I split this bottle as it would've been tough to get through the whole bomber. As of now, it's a pretty hot beer, so hopefully some time in the cellar could mellow it a bit more.

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Photo of burner
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

it's sunday afternoon. i am relaxing and watching nfl redzone ! just opend a 22 oz. bottle of dragons milk,ale aged in oak barrels.

A- the appearance is average. there is nothing special happening. the color is dark like cola. there was very little head. what was there disapated quickly with just a slight tan ring.

S- the aroma is slight, you really have to get in there. you will get notes of malt,vanilla and of course oak

T- the taste is what saves this beer. rich and sweet, not too sweet just a rich malty sweet. caramel and vanilla in the front. oak in the middle and alchohol finishes with oak rounding it out.

M- the mouthfeel is good. its not thick or syrupy. for the complexity of flavors it feel smooth. there is just the right amount of carbonation.

D- drinkability is average only for the reason that it is rich,and higher in alchohol. i really liked the flavors and easily drank the 22 0z. myself. that said i wanted something lighter to cleanse my palate. really enjoyed this ale and would recomend !

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Photo of genog
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Gallo's tap room.

A- pours into a small snifter (10oz) a deep dark, black color.

S- I was caught off guard by the real oak barrel smell. I thought I was going to start drinking a whiskey.

T- The taste is smooth at first with subtle notes. The oak resonates on the back of your mouth once you swallow. Quite powerful at first.

M- If I remember correctly there was very little to feel. However, I did have to wait a while to drink this b/c it came out of the tap very cold, too cold.

D- I don't know if I was drinking this at the wrong time, not in the mood, or not eating a complimentary food to go with this drink. I had to struggle to finish this beer. Did not seem to get better with increasing sips, in my opinion.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears to be very dark mahogony in color. Tan head that is minimal in size and dissipates at an abrupt pace. Remains as large bubble on the surface.

Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, nutty, caramel. Plenty of malt in this one. Not a whole lot in the hops department. Plums, raisins, black cherries, and slight, smokeless tobacco aroma.

Big tasting. Brown sugar and raisins really seem to be the dominant flavors here. Toffee, chocolate as well. Quite complex. As the beer warms, the complexity deepens. Really, kind of sweet; a little too sweet for my liking. No real bitterness of any kind except for a slight tinge toward the end of the sip. The bourbons flavor really starts to leach out as the beer warms. I started this one out too cold but as it warmed, it turned out pretty good.

Not a bad beer. This one is definitely a sipper. Thick and creamy on mouthfeel. Alcoholic in taste, aroma, mouthfeel, etc. A bit much for me. I would easily share 22oz with two other people, leaving 9oz, plenty enough, for three people.

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Photo of jakeyb
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Dragon's Milk Oak Barrel Stout from New Holland definitely lives up to it's name: it's intense creamy flavor blends beautifully with the mocha/vanilla aroma and nutty finish. Very smooth for a stout, probably due in no small part to its oak-barrel aging. Though it carries a worthy ABV of 8.5%, it's presence is barely perceptible. Heavy mouthfeel, with a slight sticky-sweet taste left lingering on your lips. My only complaint is that I got almost no head with very little lacing even with a vigorous pour. Not an incredibly complex beer, but a pleasant desert-like drink that pairs nicely with these cold Michigan winters.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown color; looks more like a porter than a stout. Very little head off the pour, which then fades to absolutely nothing. No lacing to speak of.

S: Smells just like bourbon. Very little else peeks through the strong whiskey surface. A little of the chocolate malts make an appearance on the backend.

T: Wow, that is bourbon stout right there. Thick bourbon boozy kick, with the oak coming through, milk chocolate and vanilla hints, and some bitter roasted malts to finish. The booze is too upfront here. Tastes like a good stout with a bourbon shot dropped into it.

M: Average. Medium-bodied, no carbonation, with the ABV front and center. Hot!

Side note: After pairing the second half of the bottle with a piece of chocolate cake, this really took on more life. This is a pairing beer if anything.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tannish colored head settling over clear deep brown liquid. Strange nose on this one, aromas of funky plastic and milk chocolate perhaps? Tastes of leathery astringency, anise, and woody tannins wrapped in a slick oily mouthfeel. The 10 percent alcohol is very well cloaked here. Finishes with more dryish woody character behind some malt sweetness. A strangely interesting brew, I'd love to age a few and see what develops over time.

Thanks to CRJMellor for the bottle.

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Photo of beveritt
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass. Label is a paint on with the shape of a dragon flying around a wine barrel. No freshenss date, but listed as 19 degrees Plato and 9% ABV. Kind of hard to find this int he index, whoever entered all the New Holland beers saw fit to put New Holland in front of every beer. No kidding, huh? That's who makes it? Printed under the cap is the single word aroma.

Appearance: Pours with a 1 inch tan head. This settles into a thin coat of foam and a ring around the glass. The beer itself is almost opaque, with a mahogany tint around the edges.

Smell: Sweet cherry vanilla notes mix with an oak aroma. Slightly sweet alcohol smell.

Taste: Initial taste is of a slightly fruity, vanilla oak. Maybe cherries or plums? Finishes with a stronger oak and bourbon flavor, though the alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A good sipping beer; very complex. I wish I had a 12oz bottle and not a bomber. Not sure if it is available int he smaller sizes, but a bomber is a bit much for this hig ABV.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.