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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 wspscott
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
2011 edition

A: Completely black with an almost nonexistent head that leaves no lace.
S: Dusty wood and earth, smells like a log ready for the fireplace.
T: The oak is very upfront, I like the character the wood adds, sometimes I get tired of bourbon barrel beers where the bourbon dominates the beer. There is what seems to be a slight bitterness that is not hops driven, I assume this is coming from some wood tannins. Even as it warms, there is not a lot going on besides the oak. Surprisingly, there is no hint of the alcohol.
M: Medium body, not quite creamy, the carbonation is very tingly, more than I expect for the style, but not unpleasant.
O: A nice change of pace from a basic stout or a bourbon barrel stout, the oak definitely adds something to the beer. But, the underlying base beer seems to be missing something. Worth trying, but I probably won't purchase again.

1/26/08
22oz bottle in Duvel tulip

original scores
A: 3.5
S: 3.5
T: 4.0
M: 3.0
D: 3.5

A: Almost completely black, held up to a bright light I can see a slight hint of ruby color (have to look really hard). Thin off-white head, not much lace.
S: Smells very sweet as it is poured. Hints of dried fruit.
T: Sweet chocolates, slightly earthy tasting (in a good way)
M: Very creamy/filling, almost no carbonation.
D: This feels like an over the top stout, comes across as an over-attenuated milk stout (that sounds much worse than intended). Hints of alcohol, not enough to be warming. Good not great. I would buy again at the right price. (1,551 characters)

Photo of BeerGodz
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep ruby/dark brown color, thick head that dissipates quickly, with good lacing

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, vanilla, and raisins
Finish: Dark brown sugar, lot's of booze. Finish is also dry

Mouthfeel: Rich, almost syrupy

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, but it's a "one and done" kind of beer for me

Overall Impression: When I bought it, I was under the impression it was an Imperial Stout, but I realized right away that it was too thin for the style. It was a slightly imbalanced - a little heavy on the sweetness, but it is a good (borderline Very Good) beer nonetheless, and certainly worth trying, especially if you like barrel aged beers like I do. (740 characters)

Photo of Vixie
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with not a lot of head. The tan head dissipates a bit, leaving some lacing.

Pretty potent smell. Vanilla is the first thing that comes to mind, but there's a woody scent as well, and just a hint of something sweet.

Taste it not bad, can detect vanilla, and in some ways reminds me a bit of root beer. Bit of caramel and roasted malt as well. Has a nice warming at the finish.

Feel is good, maybe slightly thin, but overall pretty decent.

Fairly drinkable considering the alcohol content and the overall richness. Not quite as complex as others of this style, but also tends to go down a bit easier. I definitely would not complain if offered more of this. (678 characters)

Photo of dorianmarley
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dragon's Milk pours a dark, rich black without much head.

The smell has a lot of wood, like a Highlands scotch. It also has the smell of a clean, German Ice Bock. There is some sweetness to the smell too, like a milk chocolate.

The taste is a sweet vanilla, with some molasses. The wood is prevalent and nice. It has some smoke in the aftertaste. The wood is not as prevalent as a bourbon-barrel-aging would be. It is more subtle but always there. It is the most balancing component of the beer.

The mouthfeel has a milk-like coating; 2%, not creamy.

Overall, it is good and rich, like a fried Oreo. Get one at the state fair, talk about it with your friends, but don't stock your cupboard. It is just too sweet. The wood is great, though: nuanced, mellow. That does not get old at all. (792 characters)

Photo of jcompton
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours an extremely deep brown with a small amount of head and light lacing

smell: vanilla and caramel

taste: the oak adds an immediate vanilla bite. finishes with a sweet maltiness and a small amount of alcohol warmth.

mouthfeel: medium body and small carbonation

drinkability: this is a pretty decent brew. i know by the time i get finished with the bomber i will be tired of this brew. (404 characters)

Photo of Aenema
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown/black, dark mahogany highlights, thin off-white head.
Smell - Vanilla, oak.
Taste - Vanilla, oak, booze.
Mouthfeel - Light-medium to medium-bodied, light carbonation.
Drinkability - Boozy, not too much complexity. After the initial assault of vanilla and oak I found myself getting rather bored with the beer.
Overall - Disappointing, I found the vanilla/oak flavors to be intense and well-developed, but without any supporting flavors to contrast or support the beer (aside from alcohol). Nonetheless, I'm glad I tried it it, it is an interesting beer. (577 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i thought this was going to be an imperial stout...strong ale, eh? i guess the category is a catchall one

doesn't look like one. some red highlights, but otherwise very RIS looking. the aroma sports a big oaky character with plenty of vanilla anf coffee. the flavor is something entirely new. much smoother than any RIS, and much fruitier. it makes me think of those valentine's chocolates with cherry in the middle. it's quite desserty and somewhat tart, even

oak and vanilla all over the place, but the flavor is still a little weak and poorly defined

this is something that would make more sense if fermented with a belgian yeast, but good for new holland for pushing the boundaries. not something i'll drink often, but i will definitely consider it for my next dessert pairing

i will say that this beer before the barrel might not have been so good (864 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 2011 vintage.

Very dark brown, pours easily in a tulip to a 3/4 inch head that is tan colored and has good retention.

Smells sweet and boozy, with a strong note of bourbon. Lots of dark fruit--prunes and rasins--under the alcohol and oak.

Tastes quite sweet and boozy, with dark fruit flavors of raisins and prunes, bourbon, vanilla, oak, charred malt, and some milk chocolate. The alcohol is prominent even for 10%.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel, not much carbonation. But I can feel the alcohol and acidic charred malt burning my tongue--this is pretty hot and spicy.

Overall, a drinkable barrel aged beer, but very boozy and hot--even after being cellared almost a year. Definitely a sipper as too much of this will make for a bad following day. (765 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy color with a very small head and an even, thin ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, maple syrup, dry toasted oak, sugars, and a hint of earth. A good scent, but the various characters don't harmonize quite as nicely as they could.

Taste of maple, oak, some chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of alcohol. Finishes dry with some more oak flavor. A solid Strong Ale, definitely worth the price.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and biting, a little too much so. (488 characters)

Photo of TheMistler
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown brew, but you can somewhat see through it in the thinner parts of the glass. Tan head is composed of bubbles of many sizes.

Sweet aroma. Maple, but cocoa nibs more prominently. Vanilla notes, from the oak aging, I would guess. The same aging lends a tannic quality throughout. Spice - complete with capsaicin notes.

Chocolate. The caramel noted on the bottle can be found in the taste to a certain extent, whereas I hadn't detected it in the nose. Hints of whiskey. A smokey, savory quality. Alcohol is in evidence, with a hint of cherries and dryness at end. The barrel aging didn't really jump out at me.

Medium bodied. Restrained prickliness. Rather crisp. The finish is a bit syrupy, not in a pleasing way. (726 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a midnight black brew with little head (don't know if beer or bartender) but left some spider lacings as I drank. Some wood and sweet malts came through in the smell, plus some coffee malts. A little thick and syrupy with the body, the beer contained a good oak taste with some sweetness and a little coffee malt, among other malts. The oak kind of took over and this is a good beer, but not a standout beer. ABV hidden pretty good as there is a smoothness riding through this beer, including the backbite. I'd have it again but I'm not going out of my way to seek it. (577 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle
8.5% abv

Pours an ominous, deep reddish-purple, nearly black color. Even with a hard pour, the thin, beige head settles down fairly quickly, leaving a ring around the glass. Really too oily to leave much for lacing. Definitely an oaky, fruity aroma that is pretty powerful. Chocolate & coffee flavors are buried behind the dark fruits. Tastes are overwhelmingly fruity. Astringent, acidic bite that is different than your typical alcohol bite in a beer of this %abv. It's more tart and sweet. Lingering bittersweet flavor...goes on & on... Lays on the fruit really thick, and that dominates the taste and character of this brew. You can't fault this for lacking flavor..it really busts through the gates and shows itself for what it is. Oily mouthfeel & feels nice on the palate. If you can get past the potent flavors, it really is fairly drinkable.

Interesting beer from NH. Thanks to walleye for the bottle. (925 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of the first "big" stouts that I tried on my expedition into the craft world. Now that I've had many more, I can review this one respectively. Pours a very dark brown color, black in spots, with super-deep ruby shades at the very edges of the glass and top of the beer. The pour isn't as thick as you'd expect for a typical 10% ABV stout.

The tan head is pretty small and recessed, but hangs around for a while before vanishing into a simple ring around the glass. The nose is pretty heavy on this one; booze, dark cocoa, oak and woodiness, sugary vanilla, sharp, dark figs and dates. Sweetness is far more apparent on the nose than any kind of bitterness, typically expected for heavy stouts.

The taste of Dragon's Milk is far more powerful and commanding than the aroma would ever lead you to believe. Hefty handfuls of roasted malts begin to the lay the groundwork for this complex monster. Musky, wet oak and wood chips, burnt brown sugar, molasses, dark, bitter cocoa beans, sharp vanilla sweetness, and most of all, heavy booze. Many 10%+ ABV beers do all they can to mask and hide their alcohol content, but not Dragon's Milk - the booze is right on the front lines.

The booziness adds a huge level of robustness and power, causing you to respect it with slow sips and a drinking session likely to go beyond a half an hour (at least). As expected, this beer just continues to open up with warmth. The booze gets stronger, the vanilla is sweeter, the cocoa is darker and more bitter. I don't sense much of a hop presence in this beer. It might be there, but I sure as hell don't taste it. The mouth is silky and slick, albeit still a bit more thin than wanted/expected. Carbonation is pretty subdued overall, but it's not really a nuisance.

My tastes have changed greatly over time, and Dragon's Milk doesn't quite impress me as much as it once did. However, it's still not an awful choice considering there aren't many "year round" bourbon barrel aged stouts on the shelves. It's a bit too hot to enjoy in any quantity, but it's a relatively decent introduction to the style. If you remotely like Dragon's Milk at all, you're gonna love plenty of other BBA stouts. (2,182 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an oily black coloring with a thin, filmy, ring of chocolate brown head. Aromas of rich bourbon notes, vanilla highlights, boozy highlights, creamy notes, and a subtle bitterness in the backbone. Interesting nose, but very heavy and boozy. Flavors are heavily roasted, with a solid roast coffee bitter backbone, heavy bourbon notes, with vanilla highlights and oak notes, and a building warmth as you drink. The coffee bitter notes build, as well, into the aftertaste, mixing with booze and vanilla/oak. Very dynamic aftertaste on a slick, oily body. Roasted and boozy linger into the slick finish. Good flavors, but a bit out of balance. (687 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer a handful of times, and it seemed a bit different each time. I can't believe I've not reviewed it until now!

It poured a dark brown with reddish hues. It had a medium bit of head composed of tiny bubbles. Aroma was a creamy smell...like a cream soda (I guess that's vanilla) and some chocolate. Flavor was of bourbon notes which were over-powered by vanilla. There were also watery chocolate notes (think Yoohoo). Mouthfeel was both a bit watery and a bit rough feeling, and probably the weakest element of this beer.

I would recommend this beer. I've previously had it on tap at Roman's Pub (St. Francis, WI), I bought a bottle from Gary's (Oak Creek), and I had it most recently at Comet. (712 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle obtained from Tiffany's in Kalamazoo, December 2004. Pours dark with a nice 3-finger head. Clear and almost stout dark...perhaps a very dark mohoganey color. I left the small amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell is gentle and creamy. Some chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Tastes chocolatey and coffee. Vanilla. Oak can be detected, as can an alcohol bite. Some tannin remains on my tongue, playing with the late fine carbonation that persists to form on my tastebuds. Initially, the chocolate is strong, but later sits on the fence between chocolate and hazelnut. The coffee rises later to a nice roasty flavor. The head has settled to a ring around the glass with some lacing stuck to the sides. Mouthfeel is thick. An enjoyable beer. I'll bet 10 years would allow other flavors to rise up to compete with the (presently) overbearing chocolate and coffee. I'll seek out another 4-pack to age, but not for consumption now. (941 characters)

Photo of craytonic
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black brew, no head.

Smell: Oak, vanilla, dates, and (grain?) alcohol.

Taste: Dominant oak, with malts and grain, some dates, molasses, rasins, then unplesant, overpowering alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: medium body, slightly thin alcoholic finish.

I liked the wood, but it had to compete too much with the high ABV.

I hope to re-review, had it at a restaurant and was a little rushed, and it was served too cold. (427 characters)

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours your typical dark chocolate black that is barely transparent. Had a nice dark brown head on it but dissipated very quickly and leaves about an average amount of lace.

S - Still a bit too cold so the aroma is a bit constricted but it mainly consists of roasted malts for the backbone in the smell and a light chocolate aroma to accompany it. Quite simple in aroma but it works.

T - It has a very nice creamy/milky flavor which I like but an alcohol flavor kicks in pretty quick. It is matched with a oak/woody taste but the sweet alcohol is more predominant. It finishes with roasted malt sugars and the aftertaste is a mix between subtle chocolate notes and wooded flavors.

M/D - Very smooth and velvety on the plate with a medium body. Low volumes of carbonation work very well with this style. The presence of alcohol make it a sipper but nothing you can't enjoy. (878 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured this ale from a 22oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a super dark, clear brown/black with ruby red highlights shot through the edges. Even with an aggressive pour straight down the center of the glass all I got was about 1/8" of tan head that quickly disappeared. Zero lacing down the glass.

S= Aromas were muted, and consisted of oak barrel, candied fruit, and alcohol.

T= Not an overpowering taste, but definitely a unique one. I found lots of dry oakiness in the flavor, as well as roasted grain, and slight malty sweetness. Definitely a warming alcohol finish.

MF= I found this ale to be too thin. I think the flavors would have been fine if they were bigger and supported by more body. Carbonation was light.

D= This is not a bad beer, it just isn't as good as I wanted it to be. An unusual "near miss" from a great brewery. (876 characters)

Photo of DragonzBreath
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Stout poured dark and had a huge head, very pretty, first taste we looked at each other in amazement. A very strong bourbon smell hit us. This beer is aged in a second generation oak barrel. This beer got very strong as i drank it. I liked it.
It was like a shot and a beer rolled into one. 10 abv. (304 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (1,159 characters)

Photo of quad07
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Cheers (1,251 characters)

Photo of TheDTrain
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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... (503 characters)

Photo of Traquairlover
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (813 characters)

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