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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

1,285 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,285
Hads: 4,786
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,345 | FT: 41
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: 1,285 | Hads: 4,786
Photo of wchesak
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Fin du Monde Tulip

A - very dark, with a slight hint of red at the bottom of the glass, about a finger's worth of tan head, that already after a few sips has started leaving great head

S - roasted malts, raisins, some fruit, maybe cherry

T - noticeable vanilla at the front, following into a slightly alcohol infused toffee at the end, oak character adds a nice background

M - silky smooth, reminds me of Ten Fidy, good carbonation

D - will enjoy every sip of this, need to get another one and cellar, must sip or you might miss out on everything this beer has

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Photo of soulfly967
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color, with a thin light tan head that quickly diminished to a ring around the glass.

The smell was magnificent. Oak, vanilla, caramel, and some nutty character. Some bourbon was evident as well.

Taste was just as good. Vanilla, oak, caramel, light roasted malt, and dark fruits. Some alcohol was present at the finish, with lingering vanilla on the tongue.

Mouthfeel was very creamy and nicely carbonated.

Overall, drinkability was good on this one. I will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of tabooky
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There’s 3 things you need to know about Dragon’s Milk;

1) New Holland takes a good imperial stout, black and strong yet smooth. 2) They aged it in an oak bourbon barrel which imparts a prominent oaky-vanilla-milky quality that really smooth’s out the acidic nature of the stout, down right creamy. 3) It’s like someone dumped half a shot of your favorite bourbon into it. The bourbon taste is right up front, naked and saying “hey, look over here; I’m Bourbon, check out my junk”.

This is all brought together in pseudo harmony with many layers of toasted, creamy, alcoholic notes. It has a thick mouth feel and tons of flavor you would expect from a 10%-er. Definitely a sipper. One will do. Could get gross after a while but I really enjoy this 25oz-er.

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Photo of Jables
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a thin off white head

Aroma is sweet caramel and fairly strong smoky notes can be detected. Very strong milk chocolate notes as well.

Taste is heavy of chocolate and caramel w/ some bitterness as from nice dark chocolate. This has a very balaced flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is high despite its high alcohol content and great intriguing flavor.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. The color is a very dark brown, with a wispy white head. The smell is a coffee/chocolate roasted malt smell. The taste is a chocolate-ish malt sweetness with a very little bit of hoppiness, and a barely noticable alcohol. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, maybe a few.

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle. Reminds me more of a porter than an old ale. Not a bad beer, and one that I may well have again.

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Photo of atsprings
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage on-tap during Flying Saucer's 11th anniversary served in a tulip glass a not quite opaque black with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a noticeable oak note in front of roasted malts. The taste is a smooth blend of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, cocoa and molasses. The beer is medium bodied and has become quite easy drinking with age!! This is a very enjoyable stout, one that certainly ages well!

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Photo of Dave1999
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a very small tan coloured head.

The smell is chocolate and bourbon. Smells sweet like a desert liqueur.

The taste is sweet, much like the smell, the bourbon is prevalent as is it chocolaty. There's a little alcohol on the finish but it adds to the flavour.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with quite a high carbonation.

This was a great beer, the bourbon and chocolate flavours mix well and provide a desert like experience.

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Photo of enfield249
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - No head to speak of when poured. Dark with ruby highlights. No lacing.

S - Great smell. Alcohol, chocolate, coffee.

T- Alcohol and mocha. Very much like a mocha coffee.

M - Smooth and full. A thick wave covers my tongue.

D - I would like one of these a every week or so in the winter. Awesome beer.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown almost black with very little head. Moderate lacing clings to the 20oz. glass. The smell is very sweet. There is a definite scent of cocoa and coffee present. The 1st sip is very chocolaty. The oak presents itself very nicely by mid glass and finishes with a nice alcohol warmth. This was my first experience with New Holland but was not disappointed. I wasn't sure what to expect from either the brewery or the beer, but based on this, I'll be looking more closely at the line.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage. Pour a deep dark brown with fair amount of tan head and mild effervescence. Aroma of roasted malts, dark fruit, cocoa, wood and perhaps some bourbon like notes. Tastes roasted malts forward, notes of cocoa, bourbon (mild and sweet), a mid-note twang of oak/vanilla and a very pleasant, mildly sweet finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation that adds to the twang and keeps things from becoming syrupy – a little thinner than others of this style.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer – the availability, price point is good, and I will stock up on this next time I see it – very good.
I’m not a bourbon drinker – but after this – I’ll have to do some research into bourbon and do a little sampling.

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Photo of Beejay
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black with a ruby red glow. A little head from a fairly aggressive pour, but what is there stays for a bit.

S: Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, and Whiskey. Smells very nice.

T: That's nice. Starts with a whiskey kick, then goes to a deep malty sweet flavor. And ends with a more oaky vanilla whiskey flavor. The Whiskey is well balanced, the alcohol is hidden well, and it is not too sweet. Fine job.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated for the style.

D: Let's just say I am sad I only bought the one.

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with light brown foam. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. Tastes of bourbon, oak, caramel and vanilla. Creamy feel with moderate carbonation on the tongue. I wish there was a little less carbonation and more viscosity. Overall fantastic BA stout that I can find in stores daily. Really underrated considering its availability in my opinion.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't appear as thick and creamy as I'd hoped: black color with a light tan head.

Aroma is bourbon, figs, and caramel.

Taste is awesome! Butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses, and bourbon.

Mouth feel is not as thick as I would like. But it's still not bad. Heavy side of medium with light carbonation.

I'm very glad I bought a 4 pack of this beer. Excellent and complex flavor and bourbon sticks out.

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Photo of SpasticKoala
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep dark chocolate brown/mahogany. The head was a chocolate milk color and laced nicely. A beer where you just want to take a moment and stare at it.

Smell: Not as deep as I expected. There are definitely notes of chocolate and vanilla with a very faint whiff of oak/bourbon.

Taste: Overall very complex. Lots of roasted malt flavors, molasses, dark chocolate. The vanilla and oak flavors are much more prevalent on the palate than they were on the nose. I'm finding background flavors of brown sugar, caramel, and whiskey.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was lighter than I expected. I figured a deep thick stout, but instead it was just a touch over medium. It was very smooth with just a soft amount of carbonation, which was appropriate.

I enjoyed two pours of this over the course of the evening. With each mouthful this beer grew on me more and more. Definitely worth seeking out and keeping a few bottles in storage.

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Photo of malcontent
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep brown, with a thin but evenly distributed head. Nose is appealing & eventful with nuttiness leading the way & then giving ground to faint fruit scents (black cherry?).

A delicious fist sip & numbers 2 through the end are just as good! Somewhere between a brown ale & a lighter porter (the Anchor variety comes to mind), there is just the perfect amount of sweetness with hints of vanilla & brown sugar hanging onto the coat-tails of the more obvious hazelnut & malt.

Texture is thick/chewy & coats the mouth & throat. A heavy, but not at all unwelcome feel given how good this beer is; it can stay stuck to my mouth as long as it would like. Still, it is slightly too thick to have more than one & not come out it feeling lethargic.

Reading other reviews of Dragon's Milk it appears as though there are problems with quality control. I count myself among the ones lucky enough to have secured a "good" bottle & as I am almost halfway through the bomber, I'm becoming more & more depressed when faced with the realization that this beverage will soon be at an end. Just an outstanding beer.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark garnet color with a thick 1/4" head of tan bubbles that appears to want to hang around for quite some time. There is some lace forming on the glass even after the pour.

Aroma: A little bit of spiciness from alcohol is the first thing I get, and then the focus turns to the dark malts with some dark caramel, sweet nutty malts and a hint of chocolate in the background.

Taste: This is a really tasty beer. I don't know quite how to classify it. I get some vanilla and the dryness that comes from wood aging in the flavor along with what tastes and feels like oatmeal. There is quite a bit of slickness to this beer, and the alcohol also plays a big role on the palate. There is some defined warming in the finish to linger for some time. The hops are barely noticeable.

Opinion: This is a really tasty beer, and is really reasonably priced at $7 for a bomber of such a complex beer. I like the mouthfeel especially on this beer as it coats your palate with a pleasing flavor and texture that lingers until the alcohol comes and cooks it away. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of hellbilly
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the first bottle i had of this was terribly infected and very sour. this, on the other hand is incredible. it reminds me of an imperial porter... but not.

pours a very dark burgundy brown. the head is tan but minimal and manages to leave some spotty lace on the glass in it's short time on this planet. vaya con dios, my friend!

aromas of vanilla cream, coffee, roasty grains, chocolate and brown sugar fill my nose. as it hits nearly room temperature, the bourbon-y/spicy/woody characters really start to come in to play.

the flavor is much like the aroma... lots of roast/malt powdery goodness, coffee, milky chocolate, caramel, vanilla and faint barrel/earthy notes with a spicy kick on the finish. coffee really hangs on in the aftertaste as the belly gets nice and warm from the booze. extremely 'well' bodied but seemingly light for how much flavor it packs in. it's not sticky as it has a pleasant acidity and spiciness to cut through the richness...

i must have been drinking a lot of craptacular beer lately because i actually had to stop what i was doing to enjoy this...


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

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Photo of Act25
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As good as any Imperial Stout I've had, and I love the style.
If I am going to enjoy 10% ABV brew it better be as rich as this one.
(case in point, for me half of DIPAs are half of their little brothers in aroma and subtlety)
But not so Dragon's Milk. It's a must try. I'd like to age a six pack. It's very wine-like.

A: True to black form, 1inch thick head fades back to a ring film leaving fountains of lacing on the .5l glass. Ruby glints, and silent on carbonation. A beautiful sipper.

S: Bourbon all the way, along with roast charred malts, dark wood, railroad tracks, board walk, salt hay. Perfect with a robusto cheese.

T; All follows the aroma, but the bourbon dominance gives way to complex balance of roast malts, grass, chocolate. I dont find it overly sweet, it has a clean whiskey finish, leaves my mouth in a great place.

F: Silky, weighted, good full texture, without much carbonation, and no cloying. Lingers, a bit sweet, a bit after dinner liquor. But ends all whiskey, dry, firey, and lively. Fire Water!

Best bourbon barrel stout I've ever had, I'd want to keep this around to share with friends, esp in deep winter.


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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 zoso1967
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dragon's milk pours a very dark mahogany tinged brown. It has almost no head. Even an aggressive pour leaves only a thin layer of large tan bubbles on top of the inky surface. It deposits only a cursory splashing of lace on the sides of the glass.

As I take a deep whiff I am greeted with bourbon right off the bat, but it is not too overbearing. There is a large amount of deep caramel sweetness in this beer that is accented by just a hint of roasty coffee and chocolate. Sweet vanilla and earthy wood aromas round out this beers delightful nose.

This is one of those beers where every sip takes your taste buds on a little journey. First stop is the candy shop, full of rich chocolate covered caramel goodness. It then whisks them off to an ice cream parlor for vanilla ice cream with some toffee bits on top. Then it's over to get some coffee spiked with bourbon. I could not think of a place that would serve something that tastes like oak, but that is definitely in there as well.

The mouthfeel might be the weakest part of this beer. It is medium, and much thinner than expected. The carbonation is subdued, but that is a good thing in this beer since it is definitely a sipper. The finish is very nice and leaves just enough of a coating in the mouth, and some earthiness on the palate.

This is a beer to be savored and a great one at that. They did a wonderful job bringing together all the flavors in this beer and more importantly my non beer drinking wife even seems to like it! Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it.

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

Appearance: very dark brown, almost black; small tan head, quickly dissipates; good lacing; expected for such a big beer

Smell: smells delicious; vanilla, oak dominate; smells bourbon-y, but could be due to the name

Taste: very sweet, malty, chocolate taste on start; good warming alcohol with roasted grains; oak tannins linger in the end; delicious

Mouthfeel: creamy, like silky milk chocolate

Remarks: may be my favorite US beer so far; excellent; I'll have to get this again.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed paper thin eggshell head that left no signs of it's quick existence behind after a few seconds. The body is thick and solid looking..dark brown...only allowing light in at the edges when help up.

Very complex aromas...heavy cream, vanilla beans and a nutty/coffee like aroma. Reminiscent of Bailey's Irish Cream actually...

Wow...the taste is just as complex as the nose. Sweet and malty up front followed by a combination of molasses and vanilla. Finishes with a nice, oaky, warming alcohol burn. Please note: the flavors change as the beer comes to temperature. The alcohol calms down and the flavors intensify.

Mouth feel is medium to thick (on the thicker side), oily with no carbonation.

What a great after dinner beer. Should be sipped not gulped. Takes some getting used to, but once acclimated, a very nice, unique brew. Will keep a few around for sure!

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Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note...This beer is quite temperature sensitive. Started too cold,It does have a Red Wine like Tannin finish and a rather thin mouthfeel. Warmer things really snap into balance,though I may have finished it off before it got full spectrum as I got only a subtle Bourbon taste and hardly any real booziness or heat.

Look...Black,real black and an aggressive pour only does a short lived tan head.
Aroma-- Deep roasty sweet stuff,rum soaked raisins or a cream sherry. Getting a medium dark chocolate. Later and warmer it somewhat shifts toward coffee rather than chocolate and there's a touch of Bourbon,less of the Sherry.

Taste--The bottle and web site say Oak Barrel...no actual mention of Bourbon,but I got some..sometimes.

I began too cold,and initially I noticed chocolate,some slight smokiness and a sherry to port to red wine finish that was a bit harsh and lingering. The malt side flashed a sweet note then coffee and chocolate and rum raisin had a rowdy battle for dominance.

I decided to let this stuff warm more and the transition was dramatic as that unwanted Red Wine tannin vanished,Coffee stepped up with a swirl of secondary flavors,including raisin,oakiness,some smoke,roast,toffee...and in the back of the mouth,some Bourbon.

Some big dark ale/Stout/Porters do a graceful evolution from rather cold to their prime point....this does not do the cold well...unless you rather favor a touch of tangy that's almost sour. I may have finished a bit before she did...I was getting more body and sweet side,a LOT more silky smooth,a more graceful set of flavors in both transitions and merging. I think another 5 min wait might have brought up the Bourbon a bit more.

Mouth...as noted...at it's "best" temp it's a lot like a good Cream Stout, not real heavy/syrupy but a velvet,comfortable thing. Carbonation is adequate,might benefit from a VERY little more.

Drinkability...This is pretty "Large" yet not overwhelming or over the top. ABV says it ain't a "session" beer but if you take your time,a couple would taste good.

Not cheap. About the price of Bell's expedition.

Since it did come up...This is safe from bottle or tap...NOT from Dragon tit. Your Beer Insurance will NOT cover the ravaging of local villages and virgins or whatever fate befalls you.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.