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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

1,279 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,279
Hads: 4,731
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,283 | 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: 1,279 | Hads: 4,731
Photo of Spipenger
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly mild aroma for an IS. Smooth, non syrupy feel. Strong, bourbony taste. Vanilla, slight chocolaty, slight coffee aroma. Disappointingly non-coffee and non-chocolate taste. Good beer, solid 4.00-4.25.

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Photo of JHogan02
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Was as it is, a dark stout.Many friends said it was "too bourbany", yeah..right.Drink some Real American Bourbon and get on with your life! Nuff said!

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Photo of abashore
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Initially a chocolate taste with a little sting at the end. The barrel aging comes thru after a few sips. I'm not a stout drinker but I wanted to try something new.

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Photo of Thrashers
4.87/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a dark and beautiful stout - it's slightly sweet to taste with vanilla & wood. It's high alcohol content is a bit dangerous as it is a smooth drink

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Photo of StMichael
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This on draft is so much better than bottles. It has an alcohol punch at the end that detracts a bit from the richness of the stout. But when I want a stout this is the one I drink. @11% it gets the job done quickly. Another barrel aged brew I tend to lean towards.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smell is chocolate, oak, and whiskey. I like it already. Taste is creamy milk chocolate, hint of coffee. Surprisingly well balanced and mellow. I thought it was excellent

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Photo of bareju
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on draft and really liked it. This is definitely a slow sipper - sweet, thick, notes of vanilla and bitter chocolate, tobacco and oak, boozy. Fantastic bitter chocolate smell.

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Photo of cserrato02
2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

STRONG whiskey flavors, somewhat unbalanced. It seems to me that they loaded the beer with whiskey just to get to an 11% ABV. This is a sipping beer for me. Does not go well with a meal in my opinion.

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Photo of mchegash
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a deep, dark, brown, with maybe a hint of red. A small amount of head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Vanilla, chocolate, roasty, alcohol

Taste - 3.75/5
Very sweet malts, oak, alcohol, vanilla, a bit of roastiness

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation, a little syrupy, but not too much. In between creamy and crisp.

Overall - 3.75/5
I remember when I was still new to drinking craft beer and I had this for the first time, I was blown away by how good it was. Now revisting it a couple years later, it's not nearly as good as I once thought. But then there have been other beers which I used to not like which I now do. I guess tastes change. Anyway, with my present taste buds, I'd say this is a good beer, but there are tastier beers out there. Especially considering the price of this beer. Still, never a bad option.

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Photo of Thebearfoothippy
4.88/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer surprised me. I though that the price was too high but at the initial smell I realized there was something hiding in this bottle. After pouring I discovered a dark luxurious color was hiding behind the bottles glass. After pouring the beer the smell definitely was a little sweeter than before and the initial taste was smooth and flavorful

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Photo of BGDrock
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brow, a little thin, and head fizzles to a ring in a few seconds

Aroma: fruity esters - rum, blackberry, cassis; toffee and caramel, vanilla; touch of oak; bubblegum; lot's going on, builds interest well

Taste & Mouthfeel: milk cream, vanilla, butterscotch and rum - lot's of deep, dark dried fruit flavours like you'd expect from a Belgian ale - would be interested to see their yeast choice, in fact, it's more in that style than a stout, the roast malt (in this case chocolate) flavours are light; dry finish, very long and with a bit of heat from alcohol, very nice; medium/light body with light carbonation

Overall: like dessert in a glass, a nice creamy pastry/custard - would pair great with a rich chocolate cake; better shared, sweetness can become cloying

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Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon and ethanol smell. Taste is strong on the ethanol, with bourbon and vanilla notable. Feel is a definite strong point, thick and creamy. Comes off almost like (rice?) pudding. Overall really good, not too sweet for a milk stout, but the bourbon could have shined through a little more.

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Photo of AirBob
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2/24/15 Vintage 2014

A - 3 fingers of dense khaki head. Sold retention and excellent lacing. Solid black body with some reddish brown showing along the edges of the glass when held to the light. Head is cappuccino colored.

S - Nice, mellow notes of milk and 80% chocolate. Soft but rich bourbon notes. A little roasted coffee bean. Also some vanilla and a perception of brown sugar.

T - Follows the nose but more bitterness than I expected (like paper filtered brewed coffee bitter). The bourbon is subtle but there's little booziness too. Chocolate and molasses come through big in the start and finish. Too much booze in the middle as it warms.

M - Creamy. A little alcohol heat in the middle. Low carb and sticky finish.

O - Way better than I remembered when I had it fresh. Creamier and more balanced. Maybe my palate changed but this is significantly better with age. Looking forward to another one from the same 4 pack next year.

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Photo of Pepper7
2.33/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Highly overrated, I feel like the alcohol taste is not covered up at all, that's the taste that really stands out on this one, overpriced as well, not an imperial stout fan, but I've paid a lot less Jackie O's dark apparition, which was outstanding.

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Photo of Clinthulhu
4.66/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is strong and you probably aren't going to drink too many of them but they are fantastic. If I had one complaint about Dragons Milk it would be that there is (at least for me) a bitter alcohol aftertaste.

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Photo of cryptichead
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfectly balanced and very drinkable for an imperial. Alcohol is well masked by unsubtle tones of vanilla and cream. Just the right degree of bitterness and hints of oak.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
3.08/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I love stouts but i guess I dont care for ones that taste like straight up bourbon and dietcoke searved in a burnt oak vessel no vanilla I could smell or taste if u like this style u love this me never again

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Photo of Irishbeerlover13
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New Holland hit a gold mine! Fresh malty smell, with a hint of bourbon. Nice pour with a darker thin lacing. Tastes like heaven. A bit thinner than most stouts. The bourbon oak flavor mixes in perfect, with a hint of vanilla. Smooth, clean finish. Bottoms up!

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4.84/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go-to barrel aged stout. Bourbon tidal waves knock you on your ass and you let yourself get sucked in by the vanilla undertow, not caring if you drown in its boozy bliss. This is like the Black Sabbath of beers.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014. 11.00% abv listed on the label. At long last I am finally getting around to trying the legendary New Holland Dragon's Milk that I always see.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark cola color but appears a near opaque black in the glass. Barely conjures a half finger of mocha head that disappears fast. Some good fat sticky lacing.

S - A buttery creamy aroma. Vanilla, cream, oak wood, mustiness, caramel. A very moderate but pleasant aroma. The creamy / buttery vanilla characteristics are dominant though. Mouthwatering, to be sure.

T - Taste follows the nose: cream, vanilla, caramel, oak wood, and some hot boozy bourbon warmth. Sweet and sugary, with some underlying notes of chocolate and dark roastiness. A touch of dark fruits.

M - The feel is extremely smooth & creamy, with mild bourbon alcohol heat.

Overall, a very enjoyable and underrated bourbon barrel stout from New Holland.

New Holland Dragon's Milk -----4/5.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.24/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Near solid black on the pour. Head is a dark tan. Decent head retention leaves a small cap with small chunks of lacing. Minimal to moderate carbonation on the pour. Small clumps of a cap. Small collar.

Smell: Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and a ton of caramel. Roasted malts. A touch of almost char. Some dark fruit. Raisin and a hint of dark cherry. Cocoa powder. Hazelnuts. A hint of old coffee. Milk chocolate layered through the back. Oak punches through as it warms. Deep woody notes. Some mild hop notes. A touch of pine. Licorice and raisin. A touch of leather.

Taste: Licorice soaked with some bourbon. Some heavy vanilla and oak notes. A touch of butterscotch with some backing toffee and marshmallow. Big and sweet. Touches on molasses. Malts are heavily roasted offering up some solid caramelized sweetness with a slight burnt element. Hops are very minimal with pine and an herbal element. Marshmallow and even a touch of coconut. Lots of raisin. A touch of oxidation. Clean. Solid backing woodiness to the whole thing. Sweet. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy. Minimal carbonation.

Overall: Distant dragonkin.

Better than I remember. Bourbon is well layered but ends up dominating a bit. Base beer runs a touch sweet as well and the two elements don't quite meld. Still, it's tasty.

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Photo of good-friar
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm troubled by this beer. My biggest problem with it is that there is entirely too much going on. I feel like there are too many pieces, too many tastes, and too many places for the pallet to wander that you get caught up in a maelstrom of muddled tastes. The alcohol is too prominent in the beer and the milk stout and bourbon barrel favors disagree with one another making for beer that I won't have again. This is a personal taste note, so that being said, milk stout lovers will probably find this to be a welcome change in a new direction from New Holland brewing.

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Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature.

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Photo of gaord
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

tried this after working 16 out of 24 hours in the fourth biggest snow storm in O'hare history so maybe this review is slanted a little. I thought the balance between bourbon and stout was very good, easy drinking. I usually like more bourbon. After shoveling 14 inches of snow the alcohol soothes the sore muscles. Very good beer

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Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,279 ratings.