Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,602 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,602
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,179 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,602 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of chihomebrew312
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Great beer with deep complexity. Overall pleased with the profile, though a thick brew. Dark and opaque pour with a frothy head. Definitely better for cold nights and slower sipper.

Photo of thegarfunkel
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer deserves a higher score than 89. If you enjoy bourbon aged ales, you will adore this malt monster. Not for the weak of heart at 11%. It has an alcohol forward taste that does not mellow as it warms. A true work of art as far as my taste buds are concerned.

Photo of JohnAtl
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. Rich in flavor with full body. The beer is a substantial stout that could easily stand on its own. The bourbon adds to the richness and makes it very flavorful, but is not overbearing.

Almost gave it all 5's, but there /could/ be something better. Not sure how.

Photo of Roland45s
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

love this oak aged stout with rich vanilla undertones.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most interesting beers I've ever had. Pours to a dark brown, almost black, with a nice white head. Minimal lacing. Looks pretty much like your run-of-the-mill stout.

The smell, on the other hand, is amazingly complex. The bourbon barrel imparts such a wicked beautiful aroma and taste. Lots of vanilla and a mild bourbon dominate the nose, along with some chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

The taste is exceptionally smooth. I would never have guessed this beer was anything over 5%. I can taste a bit of sweet from lactose and oat, perhaps, as well as some caramel, chocolate and toffee. Of course, the vanilla and bourbon really help to smooth things out. Amazingly complex and yet still simple and mindblowing.

The body of this beer is thicker than anything else I remember trying. It's almost like drinking a malt milk shake. The texture is as smooth as velvet. and the finish seems a bit dry.

This is one of the best beers I've had in recent times. Amazingly complex, definitely not "over-done," and very deceivingly drinkable.

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I had this brew once on draft over a year ago and it really did nothing for me at the time but now, I'm blown away! This is a very, very tasty brew. Good job New Holland!

Pours a murky deep brown in color with a slight creamy head. Nose is outstanding, lots of depth and character going on here. Some nice strong vanilla notes going on here along with that characteristic wood barrel aged profile. Quite distinct. Also some dry sherry tones as well. Taste is quite similar, fairly explosive with the vanilla. There is an interesting boozy cherry cordial thing going on here as well. Incredibly appealing. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly buttery/milky but finishes fairly neutral.

One of the better beers I've had lately, I'm honestly very impressed. Good show!

Slàinte!

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer got me into craft beer and always delivers. It's better than 2008 Darklord. Take a sip when it's kinda cold and then let it warm up and your next taste will blast you in the face with all the flavors you want in an imperial stout.

Photo of Holmgrown
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very very dark

S: bourbon, oak, coffee

T: oak, bourbon, and hint of coffee.

O: this is a beer that takes a few sips to get used to. Once it warms up a bit it's flavors really come out. I really enjoyed this beer. Let the beer warm up a bit after pouring it...then enjoy!

Photo of KuehneBe
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first and (so far) only 5/5 beer. So I figured it would be a good one with which to start reviewing beer on this site.

Poured into a New Belgium snifter from a 12 fl. oz. bottle.

A - An opaque, deep dark brown that borders on pitch black. Very pleasant looking, creamy head, which disappears rather quickly but leaves a nice creamy surface.

S - Equal parts dark chocolate, malt and "typical" stout, I'd say. A pretty good indication of what's to come.

T - Dear god, this is magical! The strongest flavor is that of gloriously dark and bitter chocolate. I think I am getting a slight hint of coconut, as well, which fits in perfectly. The flavor from the bourbon barrel-aging gives this beer a very nice "woody," almost winey note, the malt mixes very well with the chocolate flavors. The finish slightly hints at both the bourbon and alcohol content, but the sweetness hides the ABV very well.

M - Just the right amount of carbonation, and a nice, full-bodied feel. Very satisfying!

O - I only started drinking stouts recently, but had I heard of this beer sooner, man I would have started much, much earlier! This is divine.

One bottle will last you quite a while, as it is best sipped slowly. I'd recommend drinking it slightly below room temperature. I enjoyed mine with a piece of buttered French bread, which was a fantastic combination.

At $17 for a 4-pack rather spendy, but without a doubt worth it. Best enjoyed on special occasions, and/or shared with a friend.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

Photo of BrauKilR
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Malt sweetness. Dark fruit ... Prunes, dried cherries. Vanilla. Hints of caramel. A hint of roast, or toffee. Biscuity, perhaps. Alcohol, but blended pleasingly into the mix to make for a Port wine-like aroma. Clearly a wood aged beer. No hops. No diacetyl.
A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque with garnet hilites. Creamy, khaki head that masses reasonably well, and then slowly sibsides to a thin creamy film to cover the liquid and stick fleetingly to the glass. Swirl it and legs walk briskly down the glass.
F: As with the aroma, sweet up front with dried cherries, prunes, and alcohol warmth. Chocolate.The wood comes through in strong vanilla. A hint of caramel. Mild roast. Bitterness to keep the finish from being cloying. No burnt. No hop flavor. No diacetyl.
M: Full bodied and chewy, with just enough attenuation and carbonation zest to keep it from weighing too heavily on the tongue. Finishes nearly like a cognac.
I: This is a very big, complex beer and worth every penny my brother-in-law paid for it in the 22 oz bottling. However, I expected more assertive roast flavors in a stout, and then, as an American stout, more hop assertiveness. I don't think barrel aging changed anything in this regard and, therefore, considering the relative absence of roast and coffee, couple that to the prominent dark fruit and chocolate notes, and this beer tends more toward a Baltic porter in my mind. That said, I too can "drink fifteen Heinekens," but I've been enjoying this beer for nearly an hour. Rather than classify it, I recommend you buy it and enjoy it for what it is, a very good beer.

Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

The pour resulted in a finger of deep-tan head that quickly faded to wisps. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights and great clarity. Nose was rich with bourbon-vanilla notes. Zounds! Mouthfeel was rather creamy with notes of smoke, vanilla, wood and black cherry in the mouth. It put me in mind of Calvin's dad in "Calvin & Hobbes" asking, "Say, where did you get this [beer], anyway?" Finish was redolent with vanilla and bourbon. Absolutely breathtaking. Great lacing throughout. It was an attention-getting beer to be sure, but it also wrapped things up for us pretty quickly. Proceed with caution.

Photo of Antg8989
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always try to rate my beer blind. Sometimes I'll re-rate (also blind) to compare. And damn this was tasty both times. The only thing that surprised me was the lack of lacing. At 11.00% this is one of my go-to's for the style now.

Photo of sopor
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't like whiskey/bourbon, and I thought that may be a problem with this ale, but NOT SO! Perhaps I don't taste it b/c I don't like those flavors?

Cola colored, brown w/red highlight, and a fizzy cola head that looks like it won't last, but leaves a slight film.

Oak is the predominant smell, reminds me of a lot of red wines, with a similarilly vinous note. Other sweet smells are almost undistinguishable under the oak.

OH Creamy vanilla oak sweet goodness! Totally blown aaway! Oak an vinous notes dominate, especiialy as it is colder, with tones of roast malt. More likea carbonated red wine with dark old ale flavors. The sweetness of dark fruit and picks up more as it warms, complementing the vanilla wonderfully. Alcohol is NOT noticed, which could be dangerous.

So smooth, so easy drinking! Dangerous indeed, get ready for a nap! Easilly the best Old Ale I've had, a unique and tasty treat that I can't wait to get again!

Photo of Valmor88
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown to black pour with a two fingered caramel head. Reduces to a creamy foam and leaves excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Oak and vanilla aroma with hints of alcohol and semi-sweet chocolate. Lots of roasted malts and caramel sweetness. Can't wait for this one.

T: The flavor is full of oak and vanilla. Roasted malts and an almost cola-ish flavor. Has an oak-y/alcohol finish that pleasantly lingers.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Dangerously smooth for 10% ABV. I'm a sucker for anything oak aged, or anything vanilla. Pair the two together and I'm in beer heaven.

Photo of DerelictPI
4.71/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is a fantastic beer!

Look - Poured with a nice khaki head that quickly went away.

Smell - Exactly how a bourbon barrel aged stout should smell...bourbon, vanilla, slight booze, the stout, deliciousness, etc.

Taste - Rich, smooth, bourbon, but mostly the vanilla, with a hint of the booze. I'm having a hard time just sipping this, which at 10%, is a worthy struggle.

I highly recommend this beer!

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very Guinness-esque in the plastic cup it was served in. Good layer of foam and lacing. Very opaque and thick. Coffee-like.

Smell: Burnt vanilla and oak mixed into coffee. Very strong. I was on the fence with rating this as good or very good. Considering I've smelled similar beers before that I thought were good, and since I like this better, I boost this up a bit.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Incredibly mix here. There are different complex layers of dark fruit, coffee, and burnt vanilla with some spices. Initially I get the burnt vanilla. Then, coffee and chocolate, followed by the fruit. I also detect fine balsamic vinegar. What makes this truly special is the heavy and smoke overtones of oak bring everything together and persist throughout. Very versatile use of the oak barrel in my opinion that also creates a smoky, tingly, tobacco-like mouthfeel.

Overall Drinkability: One of the finest American stouts. I'm suprised this isn't rated higher or more well known.

Photo of Giggy
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wish I was a dragon.

A: Very rich dark brown to black. A tan fine head developed upon pouring.

S: The aroma was vanilla, cinnamon and a pleasant whiskey barrel booze.

T: The flavor is chocolate, coffee, and smoke initially with the whiskey and vanilla coming in on the backside. Lightly sweet yet with a somewhat dry and hoppy finish.

M: A mild and easy drinking mouthfeel.

D: Excellent winter beer.

Photo of jones3aj
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dragon's Milk (2010)
New Holland Brewing Co.
A.V.B.=10.0%
Price: $13.95 / 4 pk.
Overall Rating: [4.5 out of 5]

Appearance: A dark and syrupy pour. Looks like a roiling boil as it fills the glass. Completely opaque, with the appearance of REALLY dirty motor oil. The only way you'll get light through it is when you tipping you glass to the sky! 1 Finger's worth of a tight head of tannish-ruby color. [4 out of 5]

Smell: Strong and malty. Chocolate, smoke (oak), and vanilla really come out of this one. Nice sweet smell. You can tell there's a significant ABV. [4 out of 5]

Taste: Uber dark chocolate taste. Fantastically sweet with just the right amount of maltiness. There is a presence of bourbon (oak barrels), but it doesn't assault the taste buds as much as a Founders KBS, or Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout. For as significant as the vanilla aroma is, I'm not getting nearly as much vanilla as I had expected (and hoped for!). Stronger flavors just simply overpower it, I think. The taste coats for a few seconds, but the bitterness hangs for the duration of the glass. [5 out of 5]

Mouthfeel: Being a HUGE fan of thick, syrupy stouts, this one is right up there with Founders Breakfast Stout, and Great Divide's Yetti. This is the type of beer that you "take a pull from", instead of sip or drink. The full bodied feel as you pull it into your mouth is quite satisfying. Just the right amount of carbonation meets your tongue and bubbles accompany your "pull" all the way down. A quick swish before swallowing swells it into a frothy beast that coats all the way down. (Stop it, you're a pervert!) [5 out of 5]

Drinkability: (Yes, that was a word before Budwiser snatched it for a marketing ploy). I knew when I poured a glass of what looked like motor oil that I was in love. If you're a fan of the dark side, the bittersweet nature of this beer is sure to please. The high ABV and full bodied nature of this beer makes it a perfect choice to sip during conversation, movies, or as I prefer, while editing video. If you like the darkest of the dark, give this a try. You probably ought to keep it to just one or two at a time, though! [5 out of 5]

Photo of bat6
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from dozens of 12 oz and 22 oz bottles over the years.

A- pours a pretty charred mahogany w/ minimal tan head

S- boozy whiskey, vanilla, brown sugar, hint of chocolate

T- rum raisin, boozy charry whiskey, vanillin/oak/lignin, brown sugar/molasses, hint of coffee, coconut (yes coconut)

MF- silky smooth, virtually no carbonation, body seems very light in contrast to such a dominating flavor profile

O- deadly delicious, surprisingly drinkable

years ago we noticed that each batch was a little different but in recent years it has become very consistent and now leans towards a preferred sweetness. we also noticed the 9% ABV printed on the bottle a few years ago couldn't possibly be correct, and even the 10% that's currently listed seems suspiciously low. regardless, watch out because this goes down surprisingly quickly. absolutely do NOT make the mistake of drinking 2 bombers in a night...
of note: when paired w/ dessert this revealed a hop presence that actually served to cleanse the palate very nicely. very surprising level of complexity in something that otherwise seems so one-dimensional (yet delicious)

Photo of EvoRich
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a snifter. Black, with about one finger of head. No light shines through.

Smell: Sweet oaky scent of bourbon, vanilla, malts, some chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon, oak/wood, chocolate, vanilla. The barrel aged flavor is just right. Not too strong. Just enough to give you hints of bourbon and oak without being overkill.

Feel: Very full bodied, and chewy.

Overall: Love this beer! Have had it many times. Glad to finally review it!.

Photo of bman13
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A dang good beer overall! Just had it for the first time, purchased at a Giant Eagle in a 22oz bottle, purchased last month just poured April 1.

A - can you say black? Very black, no see through light with this beer. Just plain out black.. looks deep and strong with a very minimal head and good lacing.

S - sweet and divine. Almost like dark dark fudge chocolate brownies with a hint of bourbon and a lot of vanilla. Yum

T - follows the smell with more chocolate than vanilla or Bourbon. Although they are still present. Semi sweet but not overly sweet at all. Has some nice tones of vanilla and Bourbon going on here

M - heavy and not light or soapy at all. Nice and you can taste this for about 5 mins after your last drink. Nice mouth feel.

O - awesome, one of the best stouts in a long time I've tasted. Overall 4.75, near perfect . Also tastes minimally boozy for being 11% alcohol.
( this particular stout varys from batch to batch) I luckily managed to snag the 11% alcohol batch woohoo ;)

Photo of AxMad
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- thick, oily and nearly jet black in appearance, with thing tan head the dissipated pretty quickly.

S- sweet caramel and coffee scent. The bourbon/alcohol smell is fairly discrete.

T- the caramel scent gives way to a big mouthful of vanilla flavor. It is by far the most prevalent tasting note here and it is delicious. It is followed by coffee and oak and finishes with a taste of bourbon and caramel as it goes down. There is minimal alcohol burn. It's incredible.

M- this is a thick beer. There is slight carbonation, but otherwise it is fairly smooth. Most definitely a sipping beer.

O- after being fairly let down by the (in my opinion) overhyped Brooklyn Black Ops, this bourbon barrel stout blew me away. Smooth and delicious with just the right amount of vanilla. It seems the bourbon aged brews are having quite a moment. I see news ones every time I go to my local beer shop. This one to me, though, will definitely be one I'll pick up whenever I come across it.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a super-dark chocolate brown color, with a head of toasted light gold/tan. The head scatters to form a crown in less than a minute, and tiny pinprick-like lace dots are left on the glass.

Aroma offers wonderful warming tones of wood and vanilla, and maybe not much else, although a treacle sweetness enters, most likely the hyped-up malts a-talkin'. I'm just digging the vanilla and wood, it's very nice.

I LOVE THIS. I took a good 10 minutes to just sit and ponder several sips, and I think there is exceptional flavor happening here. Not even the most complex, maybe, but it's wonderful stuff. I think of honey (especially the candy Bit O' Honey), graham crackers (put 'em together and you get Golden Grahams), vanilla, oak, sherry-soaked raisins and grapes, toffee, treacle, citrus-prickly hops, and cloves. Even with all that, the word that comes to mind is "mellow"...and a very good mellow, at that.

Smooth, slick, round, gentle, silky...caresses the tongue and delivers just a touch of carbonation sizzle. Really nice in this department as well.

It's the 2010 vintage, so I'll bet it gets even better in a year. The ABV is listed as 10% on the bottle (not 9) and the label itself calls this a stout. It drinks more like an American strong ale, but who cares what it's called. This is pure magnificence in liquid form. If there was no other way to get this than to suck on a dragon's tit, I'd probably do it. I'd think about it, anyway.

Nah, I'd do it.

Photo of sshuman
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Vanilla with bourbon back note

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,602 ratings.