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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

1,273 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,273
Hads: 4,685
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,249 | 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: 1,273 | Hads: 4,685
Photo of rapidsequence
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. $8.

Appearance: Dark brown-black with dark red highlights. The beer is not flat, but there is not ample carbonation. There a thin head with a hard pour, but after 30 seconds, there's only a few wispy collections of tiny bubbles. When the glass is tipped, some thin lacing clings, then slides back down the snifter into the beer over a minute or two.

Smell: Very oaky. Rich and sweet caramel malt. Lots of vanilla. Some chocolate. There is detectable alcohol. It smells rich and delicious. I am a sucker for barrel aging.

Taste: I'm a little disapointed with the taste after smelling it. Its sharp and boozy and too oaky. Not a soft bourbony oak flavor, but a harsh, astringent green oak sap taste. This really dominates the palate until you swallow, at which point the aftertaste is nice rich, malty, a little smoky, and with vanilla notes. Also lots of booze in the finish. Actually the more I drink it, the more I like it, but its still just not quite right.

Mouthfeel: This is not what I wanted either. Its too thin. It has some syrupiness to it, but it is quickly cut and neutralized by the oak sap and alcohol. The finish is actually a little dry. Weird.

Drinkability: I would not buy it again, but would drink it again, and would be open to drinking an aged bottle. I think a different barrel for aging would make a world of difference. Its very close to being fantastic, but ends up being an OK version of high end beer. (1,447 characters)

Photo of Flipadelphia84
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pretty much black, looks to be decent carbonation. Light mocha colored head.

S- Chocolate, vanilla, sweet roasted malts. A little boozy.

T- Starts off a little hot, heavy roasted malts, a little dryness from the oak aging, then calms down with a distinct vanilla sweetness.

M- pretty good. It doesn't have as much carbonation as I thought. I've had worse but I like a little thicker body in a stout with this much flavor.

D- The alcohol in this brew is a little overpowering. I would say its fairly drinkable. (517 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from JoeyBeerBelly, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, vanilla, milk chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla and caramel followed by a hearty roasted malt character and a very mild hops presence. The ABV is well disguised and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, not too filling, not the best representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while but there are better beers in the style. (893 characters)

Photo of JJFlowgoer
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My review will be misleading perhaps, because I don't like bourbon. And this is a Bourbon Barrel Stout! But in spite of that, I'm going to do my very first review here after a year or so of reading all of everyone else. Mouthfeel is nice and thick but to me, which I love. But that 10% ABV is right up front - as is a bit of that bourbon barrel flavor. Everything about the rest of this beer stands behind that. Not that I don't like my hefty ABV - just I think you have to like bourbon, or at least be warm to it, to really enjoy this one. Still glad I bought it. (Probably the 10% ABV that caused me to write my first review! LOL!) (633 characters)

Photo of BeerRun13
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opens with a loud pop and pours a dark burgundy color. A huge rocky head sits on top with bubbles from below that can just barely be seen through the darkness. Thick rings of lace.
Little chocolate vanilla in the nose. Some slight caramel notes. Alcohol.
Little chocolate hints and some vanilla can be tasted. Seems very tart in the first part of the sip. Slight bit of oakiness.
Medium to full bodied. A little to much carbonation. Slightly warming. A touch of bitterness, but most noticeable is a tart dryness.
It was okay, but I was hoping for a something a little better. (579 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

I really need to revisit this one, as the few times I had it I don't think I was ready for BA stouts. One of the most unique beers I have had. Pours black with heavy bourbon and vanilla notes. Tastes like those root beer barrell candies, vanilla and bourbon on the finish. Very warm alcohol. A bit sweet for my tastes, and mouthfeel is rather thin for a stout, especially one with that Imperial name in it. Would like to try and rerate this later. Strange, but extra points for its uniqueness. (493 characters)

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2914 bottle

Pours out not REALLY dark but once in the glass it is dark as night with a small brown head with little re.ention and no lacing.

Smell is of chocolate, burnt malts, a tiny bit of booze that I probably would not have picked out without knowing it was there but it is present, there is a little bit of sweetness in the nose but I would say the nose is chocolate forward.

Taste is more chocolate, burnt malts, more nice booze than I got in the nose which is nice to me, there is still a little sweetness but nowhere near cloying or REALLY sweet. The sweetness is really far in the background. I guess if I had to complain about anything it would be after drinking more it is overly boozy which has less balance than I would like. I love boozy beers but this is a little more booze so the other flavors are in the background. I love bourbon and drink it clean but for this beer it's just a little too much without balance.

Mouth feel is medium to somewhat thick which is nice for the style. It's not BCBS with age on it but it is nice for the style.

Overall I like the beer but it would not be something I would likely buy again if there were other BA Stouts around at similar prices due to lack of complexity.

Edit: I think I'm going to cellar the rest of these bottles and see what a little time does. I can see this developing well or at least getting less hot so the other flavors are more part of the beer. (1,425 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Almost black with a small tan head that lingers for five minutes or so then falls to a small ring. Minimal lacing.

Smells very woody with some roasted malt underneath. The nose reminds me of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, but this oak is younger.

The wood flavors are also the main component of the taste. After the oak things get fruity for a second, but the finish is a little weird. Like sour wood. On the upside, the abv is undetectable.

Nice, medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The weird woodiness and high abv ruin the drinkability on this one. (572 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Not much in the way of a head. The beer is very RIS in appearance. Deep black, opaque body. Small wisps of lacing as the collar of foam around the edge goes down with each sip.

S- Oak barrels are big on the nose. It reminds me of Palo Santo Marron, only each beer is very very different with their own unique oak aromas. Aside from the heavy notes of oak the nose is sweet and alcoholic. There is vanilla and chocolate.

T- This is where this beer deviates from an RIS. Oaky, with slight hits of chocolate and vanilla. Its quite boozy. Some creaminess. Not much in the way of bitterness.

M- Thinner than hoped. Low carbonation. Drying finish.

D- The alcohol packs a punch. Its very noticeable both in taste and feel.

I have had this beer many times. It seems to be better on tap. I have also sampled an 07, 08 and 09 back to back. The 07 was by far the better sample. Age does this beer wonders. (903 characters)

Photo of nickhiller
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Cherry Coke, Juicy Juice, Nescafe (like a stale cafe/Starbucks), multi-grain bread, lots of alcohol (nail polish remover), the cheese aisle at Whole Foods, balsamic vinaigrette without the acid.

T: Coke, vanilla, chocolate, roast/char.

M: light body, warm, burning alcohol.

O: too sweet, too thin, too carbonated. As barrel-aged stouts go, this one is lacking body and is out of whack with the high carbonation. (418 characters)

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$8.99 / ea.

S: Bottle touts a vanilla / caramel malt bouquette and it delivers on this promise, thought the vanilla tends to come off more as chocolate. Somewhat boozy on the nose, it could definitely benefit from mellowing.

A: Dark brown to black body, with a big tan rocky head that leaves ample lacing and light cover.

T: Caramel malt is evident, but also hints of oatmeal, and the woody taste of oak aging. Sweet and boozy, this one stays on the tongue for a long time.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth, but a little slippery on the tongue.

D: Not something I would linger on. It has some virtue, but its time comes and goes without much longing.

O: Ok ale, but not nearly as complex as the bottle implies. Strong -OH and overwhelming oak suffocate the malt and vanilla (chocolate). (836 characters)

Photo of DoctorDog
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- Dark brown...almost black and nearly opaque, save the ruby highlights. Pours with just a weak smattering of bubbles, which becomes but a thin ring of bubbles almost instantly. The pour has me anticipating a "thin" feeling beer.

S- Sweet milk chocolate. Subdued notes of coffee and oaky/vanilla seep through, with a touch of booze.

T- Coffee and dark chocolate notes....fairly bold oak flavor, a bit of brown sugary/dark fruit, and a fairly substantial booziness on the finish.

M- Moderately low carbonation, with a surprisingly medium-thin feel. Just too light feeling for an imperial stout. I'm wondering if those describing this as "thick" had the same beer as me...

O- Decent. Fairly light and easy drinking for a boozy 10%'er, if that makes any sense.

Future outlook: This beer is interesting, but just fails to deliver the IS qualities that one would expect from it (and not nearly "robust," as the inside of the cap boasted). Not a "bad" beer, but not worthy of repeat business. (1,038 characters)

Photo of walteez
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours dark brown on the verge of black with almost no head but some big bubbles here and there. The smell is very sweet with some chocolate, hints of vanilla and definite alcohol. As it warms I get a bit of breadiness in the nose as well.

It's very sweet and boozy up front. I get a little roasty malt and chocolate mid taste with a very bourbon, vanilla finish. It's quite boozy on the end and leaves the burn of alcohol lingering in my throat. It's quite viscous which I expect from this style. I even expect to taste the alcohol but it suffers from not having enough flavors to balance the alcohol.

I've had this beer on tap before at places with a "not so great" beer selection and it will do in a pinch but I don't think I'll go out of my way to purchase a bottle again. (780 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, basically black and somewhat thick in the pour. The head really never forms and that holds it back. You can almost see the alcohol.

My bottle might have been a bit too cold but I didn't pick up much in the nose. Caramel malts, I didn't get the roasted notes, and a splash of vanilla but nothing really stood out.

Wow, you better have on your big boy pants to drink this. AGGRESSIVE is all I can say. The oak barrel presence is glaring. Very malty on the tongue. Vanilla is noticeable. Alcohol is very in your face, especially in the finish.

Too strong for me. I like high ABV and bold beers, but this is too much like a spirit for my liking. A bit of sweetness, then it's all alcohol and heat, particularly in the finish where the burn stays with you for quite a while.

It's a big boy beer. Strong in almost every facet. Not easy to drink and it doesn't go down easily. Like other barrel aged beers, it's so in your face. Feels like the alcohol is much higher than 10. (983 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly brownish head with poor retention. Beer itself is opaque.

Initial smell is alcohol, with a bit of chocolate.

Taste is a slightly woody, alcohol tinged maltiness. Chocolate evident in a secondary role; earlier tasting of this beer found it very vanilla-laden, but now don't taste the vanilla. Whiskey/wood type flavors seem more dominant as it warms. A bit one-dimensional.

MF is a med-full body, with fairly low carbonation. Alcohol warming is quite present, but relatively pleasant and not inappropriate for the style.

Dability is relatively low - alcohol is quite present, the beer is strong, and the flavors not sufficiently interesting to make the alcohol worth it. And too expensive to buy merely for its drunkening powers. (749 characters)

Photo of Walligator
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice, thick pour. Definately a DARK stout. Creamy, tan, 1 finger head that lasted maybe a minute.The first aroma I got was licorice. Wierd, I know, but true.
Then bourbon and some chocolate. Had to give a 3 on the feel, though. I got a little more sour than I would've liked, but the lack of bitterness made up for that . A stout this dark with little bitterness and a light carbination. %10 ABV for sure! I realy enjoyed this stout and will definately be drinking it again, and again, and again,and (501 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown in color with plenty of light shining through at the edges. Little to no head but a few bubbles here and there. Dark fruits, grain and sour candy to the nose. Malty, fruity and vinous makes for a unique flavor profile. The vanilla and oak is there for sure. Medium bodied and dry. Taste the alcohol my friends. Let's just say this brew does not have all the expected qualities, but it works on enough levels to keep one interested throughout a bomber session. (470 characters)

Photo of edmedina
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark color almost that of a stout or porter with little or no head. Aroma is very mild in this one. You do get a hint of vanilla almost a malty vanilla really. First sip you get the light taste of carmal malt and vanilla in there. The after taste is really when the oak really comes through. This is a well balanced beer but I"ll have to be honest. When I see the color or read oak aged, I expected something more out of it. Don't let the taste foll you it is a a well balanced beer that can be enjoyed by many. (517 characters)

Photo of bgildea
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice dark brown/black color. Nice brown head but faded quickly with little to no lacing.

S: Smell is average. There is a strong smell of alcohol that masks most of the other smells. Faint hints of vanilla and other sweets in the background.

T: Taste is good, but not great. The alcohol once again overpowers the softer vanilla flavor. A nice faint carmel aftertaste though.

M: Thiner than expected. I was definitly hoping for more chew.

D: It's definitly drinkable. Although you can taste more of the 8.5 ABV than I'd prefer.

Overall: The beer is decent, however the alcohol overpowers the finer aspects of the beer. Their are faint hints of vanilla and carmel that get lost in the beer. Overall, I'll drink and enjoy it, but if the alcohol taste were toned done, it would be much better. (803 characters)

Photo of HIFF
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark stout like color with a nice thick foamy head. Nice welcoming aroma of vanilla, toffee, and oak. Strong ale flavor with hints of the oak barrel in which it was aged. Also tasted tones of vanilla and roasted barley. This was a thick ale almost stout like. I would only want to drink one or two of these in a sitting. Overall a very complex brew and one that I look forward to trying again in the future. (416 characters)

Photo of julian89
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Pours a rich chocolate brown with an inch ivory head with fair retention. Opaque reddish brown in the light.

Smell: High in alcohol and molasses. Very sweet smelling. Followed by dark chocolate and freshness.

Taste: Very rich in chocolate and dark sugars. The alcohol is very pronounced. The dark malt bitterness is dominating.

Mouthfeel: This is a rich strong beer. The mouthfeel is medium thick and the carbonation is fantastic for an imperial stout.

Drinkability: Pretty good imperial stout, the taste needs a little more. Maybe a little age will lessen the alcohol burn. (626 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great. (650 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

American Stout at 10%? I actually had no idea this was Barrel Aged until I took my first whiff.

Poured into a Claret

Appearance-Poured the beer at fridge temperature, going to let it sit for a while. Dark brown body with a solid one finger lgiht brown head. You can see alot of carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

Now I wait for beer to warm a bit...

Smell-Vanilla, Chocolate, and Whiskey. Not Bourbon, but kind of like a cheap Canadian Whiskey.

Taste-Really got alot of dark fruits. Sweet malts, whiskey, booze is very noticable. More dark fruits then Chocolate/Coffee, Almost like an Oak Aged Barleywine with some vanilla. It's good, not great.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, flavors last on the tongue for a while.

Overall-Good, Not Great. The 10% alcohol is definitely dectable. Would of liked bigger and bolder coffee and chocolate. I'll still have no problem finishing the rest of this beer. (920 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Very deep brown, with a tan head than hangs at a quarter inch. Nice legs and lacing.

S- Boozy. Slight roast. Slight caramel notes, and a faint bittersweet chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel and toasty malt. Some vanilla. Roasty and boozy, but not really that distinct bourbon barrel kind.

M- Smooth, full body, with low carbonation. Astringent boozy finish.

O- Booze is a little overwhelming, and the barrel aging just doesn't seem to match up to some of the better known barrel-aged stouts. (532 characters)

Photo of Ego
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
2 full fingers of mildly cocoa head, fairly fluffy, light can barely navigate through this brew, lacing is good and the retention is admirable, your average to good looking brew.

nose...
wet wood, a little alcohol, subtle cocoa hints but mostly boozy wood tone

taste etc...
nice medium plus mouth feel, creamy, kind of a mild bitter chocolate flavor, the alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the ABV. This just doesn't "wow"...

verdict?
good beer, nothing great, packs a pretty good punch and it isn't crazy money. (530 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.