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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

1,277 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,277
Hads: 4,721
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 276
Gots: 1,278 | 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: 1,277 | Hads: 4,721
Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint glass. Bottle purchased from Downtown Wine and Gourmet in Harrisonburg, VA.

A - Very little head, even with an aggressive pour. Not much retention but does show an off-white lacing around the edge of the glass, which fades as I drink. Very dark brown/black, although I see a bit of red reflections in the bottom of the glass when held up to the light.

S - Smells strongly of chocolate, dark fruits/cherry , and a hint of oak. Dark cherry and raisins is what really comes through.

T - Taste follows the nose, although the chocolate and dark fruits come through more than the oak. I also get some raisins and molasses. Works pretty well, although the finish was a bit boozy. Not surprising with the double digit ABV. I would have liked a bit more oak in the flavor.

M - Very smooth. Perfectly carbonated to my liking for the style. Medium bodied and a bit creamy. The mouthfeel is what impresses me most on this beer.

O - Overall, it wasn't bad, but didn't live up to my lofty expectations. It didn't blow me away. I think that I would go back to this one because I don't have trouble getting it, which is rare for a barrel aged stout, but would not prefer it to some of the other barrel aged I have had.

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Photo of Rope
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pilsner glass.

Dark, but not black. Thin white head, one finger.

Oversweet vanilla, not hop presence.

Good, a standard in barrel aged stouts. More sweetness than anything else.

Thick, black oil like a good stout should have.

Reliving and old beer, and it works as a drinkin' beer but nothing special.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a light head and not too much lace, but a sufficient amount not to get docked. Nose is nice with notes of oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, and some light coffee. The taste doesn't mix these together quite as well, but is still pretty good. Good feel coming from all different directions and quite drinkable for the big beer that it is.

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Photo of johnkale
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice head dies down awfully quickly to a meager lacing. Color is opaque, near black.

S - wood, dark fruit, more wood, vanilla, a little alcohol

T - this is where this beer is best, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried cherry, oak, fairly sweet, pleasantly warm in the finish

M - Not as as thick as I would have liked, and could have benefited from some more carbonation, but that's sometimes a problem with these barrel aged brews.

D - Decent, awfully candy like, and while it doesn't hide the booze it certainly integrates it very well. Could have stood for a body to match the sweetness.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a bomber into a pint glass. It was black with very little head but lots of lacing. It poured fairly thick. You could definitely smell oak and vanilla with roasted malts. It was very thick and surprisingly sweet from what I remember from the last time I had it. The malt taste was also overpowered by vanilla. I have to say it was too much. I've read other reviews saying the alcohol was too much, but I didn't think it was too boozy. I had this out with friends before, but this time I drank it at home. I was less impressed with it this time, so it'll be some time before I have it again.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep dark brown with ruby colored highlights. The head was three fingers of large bubbles topped with a disk of firm camel colored cap. It actually looked like there was a biscuit floating on top of my beer. Lace started impressively thick.

Smell was toasty caramel malts, sweet dark raisin and buttery toffee. Alcohol was suprisingly well hidden. As it warmed chocolate became more detectable.

Taste was a big and malty front, fruity sweet raisin and alcohol middle, followed by a slight black cherry straight from the tree tartness in the finish.

Medium-heavy body. Velvety creaminess to the mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

I'm not really sure what style classification this one belongs in. It is unique in my experience.
The ABV kept me from from giving it higher drinkability points.

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Photo of cetherid
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured into a pint glass.

an extremely dark brown brew. minimal head.


The first thing you smell on this beer is bourbon. an "oaky" bourbon with a little vanilla.


very malty with a hint of vanilla. then the big bourbon kick at the very end.


a smooth drink, but packs some heat w/ the alcohol. a little burn on the lips and tongue.


IMO, one and you're done. This is a very strong brew. one can understand why you only get a 4 pack. would almost be a chore to have another.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label gives ABV 9%, 19 Plato and I should expect oak, vanilla, and carmel notes.

Aroma: Warm and inviting blend of vanilla, carmel, creamed coffee, and a touch of some woody, earthy undertones.

Appearance: Inky black and dense. Jet black from edge to edge. A tight, sudsy, and creamy biege cap forms.

Flavor: A lactic twang hits the palate first followed by sweet oak, a brush of vanilla, raisins, a bit of smokiness, and just a touch of tannic astringency. I think there is some Brett-funk going on there too.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation but enough to keep it interesting. Medium bodied and just a touch slick. The lactic acidity lingers after each taste.

Overall impression: Kind of interesting. This is what a wood-aged beer should be. It should accentuate not dominate the characteristics of the beer. That being said, without the wood aging, this would be a pretty one dimensional beer. The wood aging fatigues the palate pretty quickly. Worth a try.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest on 2/15/08: Hmm, this tasted like a stout to me. I also tasted coffee, raisins, and prunes. There was a background sweetness in the taste. Enjoyable.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

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Photo of cnally
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kind of a gross name. Can't really see myself sucking on a dragon tit.

The appearance is a dark dark brown to the point of black, with nary a head, only wisps of light brown fizz.

Aroma is a peaty, mossy, smoky burnt malt, that little bit of wort that bubbles over your brewpot and singes in the burner plate.

Wowza. Think this picked up a little of the whisky flavor? Jeezis. Huge alcoholic flavor, burning the tastebuds. Fat dark malt, burnt grain, very grassy and rusty. Dark fruits abound, fig, currants...very deep flavor but insanely unhinged.

Very hot feel, like a shot of alcohol. A little watery for the style.

A loose cannon of a beer that has plenty of redeemable qualities and a good flavor, but is massively unbalanced and wild.

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Photo of BierFan
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been cellaring this since November, but I heard from a fellow BA that it doesn't cellar well so I decided to drink it now. No "brewed on" date so I have no idea how old it really is. Poured from a 22 ounce brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hard pour produced a 3 finger tan head. An almost black body only has slight ruby hues shining through when it's held to a light. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mostly alcohol with a fair bit of vanilla as well. The same vanilla aroma that I got from New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole Wheatwine and Black Tulip Trippel, which makes me think that perhaps they use the same yeast for all of their "High Gravity Series" beers. I wish that the oak or malts were stronger in the smell, but they just aren't.

Taste: Lots of vanilla, if there was any oak in here before it's gone now. Kind of disappointing because I've had one of these that was fresher and the oak was really noticeable and delicious. Aside from being currently oak-less it still tastes alright and has a very creamy but kinda light mouthfeel to it.

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Photo of Lordhelmit
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh. I am disappointed. 1 bottle costed $6, had an epic name/label....and it looked fantastic when I poured it. Beautiful persistent off white head and just about pitch black color. The smell was very mild. What I did smell was mostly bourbon/whiskey. A bit of roasted malt. Taste was a huge let down. Tastes like cough syrup. I don't taste coffee, or chocolate, a bit of bourbon, mostly an artificially flavored dark fruit cough syrup. That was the mouth feel too, like a cough syrup. Disappointed. Won't buy again.

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Photo of dank203
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

very drinkable. really heavy on the dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon. sweet aromas, milky. hints of roast. medium to thin feel, not chewy or thick. alcohol is hidden well. good drink for the ABV. flavors aren't really grabbing me this time. I've had better bottles of this, this one's okay

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Photo of FarmHouseJam
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, possible red coming through when held up to very bright light. Sort of a light body, with alot of carbonation and alcohol coming through. Mild head light brown to white color. Not much on the oak flavor, age would probably help round out the flavor of this brew for me at least.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark and black as night. Creamy brown head that leaves nice lace rings all the way down with each sip.

S. Booze, wood, earthy, figs or raisins.

T. Heavy bodied sipper that has a complex blend of smokey and okay ale that takes great flavors from the oak barrels and almost resembles a stout. A bit of s dry finish.

O. Smooth and rich. I had a vintage 2011 so it was in my basement for over a year. I'll be interested to see how different it is if its fresher. Overall very solid and worth a try.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz courtesy of the generous Northertimber.

Poured night black with a head that grew like it was on steroids! I'm not kidding, this head would not quit. I have a 20 oz nonic but I could only get half of this into it without running the risk of having it tumble over the edge. Looks very tasty. I lower my head and take whiff ... white wine? Yep, I'm smelling white wine, a little vanilla and lots of citrusy acidic orange. Very strange. A taste treats me to an almost overpowering white wine taste coupled with vanilla, chocolate, and a very sour taste. Each time I sip I taste something else, a feeling that is very engaging. I'm not wild about the taste of this beer, but it is damned interesting, enough to give it a higher score than I might have just because it lends to serious ponderance. As interesting as it is, a second is not in order.

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Photo of HoppyHomo
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this beer right after finishing the Game of Thrones books. Anything to do with Dragons I'm a fan of.While im not the biggest fan of Oak aged beers, i have to say that this is a good tasting beer.

I would compare this beers blackness coming out of the Bottle like oil found on Jeb Clampetts farm. The beer pours a dark black with a light head.

The first sip is smooth, and at 10% alc its not over powering. It really is something to behold; halfway through the bottle and im already feeling it. But then again im kind of a pussy.

Overall while not being a huge fan of barrel aged stouts i have to say this was pretty impressive.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is Coca-Cola's drunk uncle!... pours a thin caramel color, like coke, has a few wispy bubbles, like coke, smells and tastes like, you guessed it, coke!.... a few cherry notes, a little chocolate, a bit of booze, but really just a bottle of the real thing, with alcohol!

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Photo of vic21234
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage 12oz poured into a snifter.

A- Pours dark with a minimal cream colored head that quickly fades.

S- Hints of chocolate and vanilla malts. Alcohol smell is apparent.

T- Quite a bit of alcohol sting with a malty finish. Slight hints of roasty characters.

M- Heavy, light carbonation, alcohol.

Not a bad beer, but not much going on. I feel that the alcohol taste overpowers everything else.

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Photo of thain709
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009

A - A deep brown body with ruby tinged edges...the head was almost non exsistant from the start...it formed and was gone...no lacing

S - The oak notes were present as soon as the cap was taken off...slight chocolate and vanilla notes as well as dark fruits

T - The oak flavors really come out when this beer is cold...the are subdued once the beer warms up a little but it still makes itself known throughout the entire beer...as the beer warms more of the roasted, chocolate notes come out...there is a touch a vanilla cream mixed in as well

M - Medium bodied...slightly thin and dry

D - The oak notes made this beer taste like it was 10% when it's only 8.5%...I liked the beer better when it warmed...the oak aged really overpowered the stout part

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FINEBEERGUY for this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and a slight whiff of Play-Doh. Taste is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and extremely sweet raw/natural sugar. There is a mild roasty bitterness that quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation for a stout with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barrel aged stout but it is extremely sweet and cloying.

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Photo of GJ40
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Peace Street Market.

Black in color with some light coming through. A small tan head. Aroma is molasses, oak and alcohol. The oak is a bit much for me. The flavors follows with oak dominating the experience. It's just too much for me. Some oak to augment the other flavors would be nice but here it just overshadows them. The mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation is low.

Too much oak for me. I tried to separate that out in this review but it clearly influences it.

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Photo of Goliath
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black with amber hues around the edges. Ther eis a thin light tan head that develops on top of this brew with poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is weak, but notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla are present.

Taste is alright, some chocolate notes but not mluch else.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Easy to consume, but flavor is lacking.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage bottle poured into my Delirium snifter, Dragon's Milk is dark brown with a light tan head leaving light, scattered lace.

Smell is not to robust, oak and coconut, with a little roast.

Taste big, there's loads of vanilla, caramel, alcohol, and some wood notes as well. Not the most elegant beer, it's really quite a monster, although not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, decent viscosity, very dry on the finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. Even though the 10% ABV is obvious, it's clean. The flavors aren't too well integrated but generally satisfying.

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Photo of argock
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear oversized wine glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.75.

A: Very dark mahogany with creamy mocha 1/2 finger head with scant lace.

S: Vanilla, coffee bean, and light bourbon aromsa enhance dark malt and herbal, earthy hops

T: Not as full-flavored as I would have imagined. Very woody and more sour than the aroma betrays. Lots of wet cardboard flavors blend with herbal, earthy hops. But the flavor is too woody and alcoholic to be top-notch.

M: A bit thin in feel with light carbonation that enhances drinkability. Aftertaste is woody and a bit boozy.

D: Too sharp and woody for my taste. Improves with warming but not enough to generate much enthusiasm.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.