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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

1,286 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,286
Hads: 4,789
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,345 | FT: 42
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: 1,286 | Hads: 4,789
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

 767 characters

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

A creamy dark brown. Smelled surprisingly light for how dark it was. Couldn't smell anything foul. Tasted slightly bitter, caramel flavors and roasty malt.

Overall it reminded me of a better Guinness. Smoother, tastier, and brought a little more all around, however, it wasn't as smooth as I was expecting.

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Photo of pbmcguire
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle labeled Vintage 2010.

A- Very black with a light brown head that fades to a ring quickly.

S- Bourbon, oak, and a little chocolate.

T- Oak, bourbon, and a little malt up front with some vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate in the middle. Slightly hot (fusel) at the end.

M- 2% milk. Pretty smooth.

D- Pretty drinkable but the oak and bourbon probably limit it to a couple. That and the 10% abv.

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Photo of BB1313
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had this one in awhile. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with barely any light getting through. There's a small off-white/kakhi head which fades and leaves solid lacing. Aromas are subtle, but very solid. The bourbon blends very nicely with the oak and milk chocolate. There's also hints of vanilla bean, butterscotch, and caramel malts. Flavors are very solid as well. The oak/wood seems to take control. The bourbon does blend very well with the flavors as well. Roasted dark chocolate gives this one a decent bitterness and the milk chocolate gives it a solid sweetness. There's a touch of heat, but it basically non-existent. Aromas and flavors almost seem one dimensional, but there's just enough to make in pretty interesting. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's very rich, velvety, fluffy, creamy. It has a good carbonation, but still remains very smooth. Like I mentioned, there's a dash of heat, but nothing overwhelming and doesn't effect the drinkability.

I'm glad I revisited this one. It's not a mind blower, but it's pretty solid. Gotta appreciate that it's a barrel-aged stout that's easy to find on shelves. Worth checking out..

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Photo of BrewskiGal
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dragon's Milk is a very sweet beer. I would classify it as a dessert beer, meaning that it is a nice beer to drink once in a while. I wouldn't want to drink more than one and it is definitely not a beer for an upbeat social gathering. If compared to a coffee it would be a sweetened Starbucks blended frappuchino, perhaps a caramel frappe.

It is a thicker, heavier beer, strongly flavored like bourbon. It is sweet and the high ABV is noticeable. The flavor of alcohol outlasts the particular flavor of the brew itself.

For its kind, it was a good beer. It was not, however, my beer of choice due to its overwhelming sweetness.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of Flipadelphia84
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of JJFlowgoer
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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!)

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of nickhiller
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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).

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of walteez
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,286 ratings.