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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

1,278 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,724
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 276
Gots: 1,279 | 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: 1,278 | Hads: 4,724
Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a fine looking dark black with some cherry tinting. Virtually no head with minimal lace.

S: Very nice aromas of bourbon, vanilla, cherry, molassas, plums, raisins, and alcohol.

T: Take everything from above with the addition of brown sugar, oak, caramel, and roasted malt.

M: Big and slick. Coating. Quite smooth and very creamy.

D: Unbelievably easy to sip your way through a bomber of this. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark color with lacing.

S: Oak, bourbon, hints of vanilla.

T: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted flavors.

M: A little carbonated, slightly burns.

Overall: Being a fan of barrel aged beers, I definitely enjoyed this one and recommend it to people who are able to sip on stronger, heavier beers.

Just be careful, because this got me hooked on whiskey.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/25/09- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle...not sure of the vintage, possibly 2008 or earlier. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head. Head remains for a bit of time and leaves some mild patches and streaks of lace.

Smell- Lots of chocolate in the nose as well as a medium roasted caramel malt, some vanilla and a very light scent of alcohol...not picking up much oak at all.

Taste- Flavor comes out better at room temp. Started this one right out of the fridge. Chocolate flavor dominates the pallete, followed by a larger dose of vanilla. It may even be an even batle between the chocolate and vanilla. The whiskey oak flavor come out as well, but still plays a minor role. Not much alcohol detected with some minor date-fig flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level which is silky smooth. Could be a bit heavier in the mouthfeel. Maybe even a touch of chalkyness. Can't even detect the 9% though. Almost seems sessionable.

Drinkability- Very good beer with lots of good flavor. Could use a bit more oak flavor and maybe a tad more thickness in the feel, but overall still a really good beer worth trying.

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Photo of WJVII
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a cola color with a moderate off white head that had small bubbles (almost like on nitrogen). Rich oak aroma with a bourbon alcohol nose with toffee and vanilla notes. The taste is strong of aged bourbon and coffee and chocolate. Very smooth on the palate but does have a strong alcohol finish.This is a great brew and I thank my bro Steve for giving up a bottle for me to review...good thing it is in a 1 1/2 pint bottle for longer enjoyment.

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Photo of manahansf
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with glowing ruby highlights. The head is very light and lacy with a light brown color. The thin head gives off a strong sweet vinous aroma. The drink is slow and viscous with low levels of carbonation with sweet roasted malt flavors supported by vanilla flavors from the barrel. The flavor fades slowly and gracefully with just a hint of the sweet vanilla lingering with the warming alcohol.

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pictured is an old label, and the abv on this bottle says 10%, so the 2010 vintage must be an upgrade.

The dark-brown brew has a deep garnet-red hue with some clarity when held to the light, and a slim tan head, populated by active carbonation that produces lacing of micro bubbles floating on the surface, with a ring at the edge that sticks well to the brandy snifter.

Bitter coffee aromas, chased by baker's chocolate and a hint of alcohol esters are apparent in the nose. A generous sip confirms the flavors intimated by the scent, with strong coffee and bitter chocolate dominant, melded with smoky, dark roasted malts followed by a slightly sweet vanilla-molasses back palate, accented by soft oak tannins and a smattering of smooth hops.

A luscious libation that can accompany a juicy prime rib at dinner, or pair equally well with some rich chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

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Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark chestnut brown with mahogany edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger foamy tan head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of lacing behind.

Chocolate malt aroma with subtle bourbon, earthy oak and vanilla.

Lighter bodied tha I expected but not thin. Silky chocolate maltiness with hints of caramel and toffee. Not roasty at all. Surprising dark fruit notes including cherry, plum and raisin which provide a nice balance to the heavy malt presence. Subtle bourbon presence that isn't overpowering, letting the other flavors shine through. Earthy oakiness with a nice touch of vanilla which adds to the smoothness of the beer. This in combination with the well masked ABV make this beer pretty quaffable. Slightly dry finish.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a red wine glass.

Pours a deep rich mahogany/brown, almost the shade of root beer. A thin, flimsy head that actually clings nicely to the side of the glass.

Aromas of chocolate, cherries, deep plums, oak, and red wine.

A wonderful mouth with flavors of oak, cherry, vanilla, and caramel. It is sweet, though not cloying; I personally felt that the sweetness was well balanced. With a silky, velvety mouthfeel (almost like a milkshake), the lactose shines through. A slight booziness gives away the high ABV.

I am not certain that this is really a stout, and I actually could almost taste some Belgian-style yeasts. (To my palate, it was more like a quad.) I tremendously enjoy this beer, and I highly recommend it!

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the Oak Aged Dragon's Milk into a pint glass.

A - The black ale has a finger of mocha head.

S - The aroma of this one smells of roasted malts, chocolate and some booziness on the back end.

T - Wow, this beer is very smooth and has much more roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate goodness than the smell. There is some booziness on the back end, but not overpowering at all.

M - This beer is very smooth, and for a barrel aged beer this is very nice. I would say a medium body leaning towards a heavy, but nothing like a Russian Imperial.

O - Again, very impressive, smooth barrel aged beer. I highly recommend this one. Cheers!

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Black. Small amount of chocolate mile colored head that left trace lacing around the glass.

S – Roasted malts. Chocolate. Bourbon. Sweet cream.

T – Deep and rich chocolate and roasted malt taste. Burnt and smoky wood flavors. Creamy vanilla flavoring almost like a homemade whip cream. Light sweetness and a good solid kick of bourbon flavor. Taste the ABV at the end.

M – Smooth on the palate. Tingly. Low carbonation. Finishes easy.

O – Very nice. This has a solid assortment of flavors. Bourbon is all over it but not overwhelming it. Love the roasted malts and vanilla highlights. Wish I had picked up more while I was in Savannah.

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Photo of alphaacid9000
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2011

Pours almost black with an off white head.

Beautiful aroma. bourbon, oak, chocolate, figs, alcohol and raisins

Flavor is slightly sweet which is cut nicely with the bitterness. More oak and vanilla in the flavor than anything. Chocolate, toffee and caramel up front with bourbon and alcohol lingering in the finish

Overall - I love this beer. One of the best in its style and available year round.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"In this land we have defended from all things dark and cruel
Now we are defenseless in a land where dragons rule"
- Where Dragons Rule, by Dragonforce

Dark brown pour that sits black in my mighty chalice. Thin head collars after only a few sips but still manages some fine foam drapery.

Roasty, wood barrel, brown sugar coated raisin and molasses. That's what it smells like.

Hotsy totsy. This is the 2013 vintage so it's pretty hot, bordering on boozy giddiness. The bourbon flavor is obvious and appreciated. Brown sugar, dried raisin and very vanilla. That's what it tastes like.

While I still believe that I'll enjoy anything doused in bourbon this is one of the better bourbon beers out there IMO.

My first New Holland.

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Photo of pezoids
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark pour. Sticky carbonation that peppered the glass from top to bottom. Very dark mahogany brown in color. The creamy head of tan colored foam slowly receded from the rim of the glass and left a delicate lacing that looked like a pork fat netting (but didn’t taste much like it).

The aroma is complex. Charred oak along with a sharp roasted nuttiness. Some stale cardboard/pencil shaving like notes, burnt apple wood and a fruity alcohol. The taste is quite drinkable for a strong beer. Oaky and complex, roasted and full of all things good. Medium bodied that finishes with a warm and rich alcohol bite. Overall, very smooth, clean. The oak barrel aging really compliments the rest of the beer.


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Photo of Jensen83
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good stout. A little too strong but as dessert perfect. Smell and taste are beautiful together! You can clearly smell that this stout is brewed in a bourbon barrel as the smell clearly provides some strong bourbon flavor which is great. This beer is definitely brewed to enjoy slowly. I agree with some people who can taste some chocolate taste (ties back into dessert).

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Photo of morimech
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber.

Pours a dark brown with some reddish hints. Forms a one-fingered head that lingers around and finally settles to a nice cap. Leaves moderate amounts of lacing.

When cold the smell is mostly of chocolate malt. As it warms the smells of vanilla and oak come through.

As with the smell the flavor charactor changes as it warms. Starts off with a heavy dose of chocolate malt and coffee. As it warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent but doesn't dominate. That is when the vanilla shines. It has a heavy, smooth feel to it and with the light carbonation it makes a great combination. This is a sipper but more approachable than a barleywine.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a 32oz fill at my local place for 8 bucks

A - Poured a nice deep amber with a nice bounty of fluffy head. Very carbonated for a bourbon oak beer.

S - Very light bourbon and oak tones with an underlying sweetness of caramel and candies

T - Hands down one of the smoothest bourbon barrel beers I ever had the privilege of drinking. I swear it drinks like an IPA. Well hidden bourbon with light yet playful notes of oak and vanilla with a finish of sweet caramel and vanilla flavoring.

M - Surprisingly it drinks like a medium body stout. Smooth and creamy.

Overall after the half fill was gone I wished I had more then the ABV hits you. Dangerously drinkable. When I think of New Holland Dragons milk will always be the beer I associate it with as the best I ever had.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz served very near room temp in a tall tulip.

Pours dark, a foamy khaki head rising from somewhere within. Elusive highlights can be found, but aren't prevalent. Head fizzles down more quickly than I'd like, but isn't lacking otherwise. Some stringing lace.

Nose is filled with rich dark malts, deep and murky, but not too thick. Somewhat mysterious, with dank wood and a mossy dark character, surrounded by deep overripe fruits such as prune, raisin, and date. Some leather and firm old characteristic to it. A little chalky yet still soft and full. Not overwhelming, but nice and strong. A very mild alcohol present. Nice aroma overall.

Nice full flavor, characteristically strong on dark roasted malts, but not too dry or overly roasty. Retains a lot of subtle sweetness in dark fruits, pronouncedly some dates, fig, and slight raisin, then lingering with softer vanilla and worn leather. Very round and full, but soft and mild at the same time. Becomes slightly dusty toward the finish, and the only real detraction is its thinning out to a somewhat empty flavor at the end with mild metallic hints. Grains linger and overcome the negative aspects, leaving it subtle and dusky on the palate.

Drinks full, with mild carbonation, and a decidedly clean character overall. Washes through the palate with a thin lingering film, but mostly gone in the swallow. Firm, but nowhere near overwhelming, actually rather nicely balanced.

This drinks remarkably well, and boasts of its relatively mild alcohol-to-deep character balance. Full and yet drinking with a clean and deceivingly mild feel, the flavor keeps satisfying and calling for another sip to add to the complexity. Not overwhelmingly full in complexity, yet keeping up with the best of its style, ages decently and holds up its own.

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Photo of grub
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at merchant's in dearborn sept 27/08. sampled oct 4/08.

pours deep dark brown, not quite opaque with just a hint of red at the very edge of the glass when held to light. a small fairly dense mocha head forms, slowly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is great. hint of alcohol. light caramel and toffee. milk chocolate and a bit of dark chocolate. lightly toasty. nice raw oak character - slightly woody and earthy, with a hint of vanilla in the background. the wood is by no means taking center stage, more hanging back in the shadows. hints of english porter and milk stout. great malty base - whole wheat bread, biscuit, bit of cracker.

taste is great. the first thing i notice upon swallowing is the quickly spreading alcoholic warmth. milk and dark chocolate again. bit of coffee. toasty and slightly roasty. caramel. big chewy malt - biscuit and multi-grain bread. when describing the barrel character the first word that comes to mind is "soft". there's a nice woody and slightly earthy component and a light vanilla note, but completely unobtrusive. well integrated and perfectly complimentary. i keep going back for more and enjoying it more with each sip. fairly low bitterness level that seems to come more from chocolate, coffee, and roasty character than from hops - though some of that earthy character could be hops too.

mouthfeel is good. silky smooth well integrated medium-low carbonation level. big chewy body.

drinkability is good. the warming alcohol is the only real detractor to the drinkability - and even that seems to fade by mid-glass. great balance otherwise, with no real alcoholic taste noticeable. as i said above, the barrel character is pretty excellent in this one - complimentary without trying to steal the show. a great beer that i've considered buying so many times before, and now that i have i'm sure it'll be a regular purchase.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark brown color. The head is small and recedes very quickly into a this ring around the glass, and leaves no lacing. The aroma is of chocolate with a hint of sourness, then some graham crackers. The taste is amazing. It is like drinking liquid chocolate with a nice sourness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is one of a kind. It is possibly the fullest bodied beer I have ever drank, and quite smooth too. Overall, this beer is pretty darn good.

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Photo of jsbrendle
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite dark. Looks very much like a good porter or stout with a glance at that dark color & head. The smell likewise gives that impression. Chocolate-dark caramel-vanilla-toast. The taste echoes, although I would strongly suggest giving things a moment to warm slightly and open up. My initial impression with the beer somewhat cold was that this beer was thin & bland. The bourbon-oak is hidden for the most part, giving a background flavor at most. But for my taste, that's fine ... I don't like some of these bourbon/oak-aged things that are more akin to drinking a mixed bourbon-beer boilermaker. Overall, I was quite fond of the beer. I thought it'd make a pleasant "sipper", not too heavy & alcohol disguised well, that is, if it weren't for the high price/bottle.

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Photo of birchstick
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a very dark with a minimal head. It smelled delicious, with vanilla, caramel, and cocoa scents coming through. Dragon's Milk tasted as delicious as it smelled. It started out with a vanilla and dark chocolate. The aftertaste consisted of the burnt oak that was advertised, with a hint of bourbon. All in all, this was delicious. It was sweeter than I was expecting and all of the flavors mixed very well to create a very enjoyable tasting experience, however it is not one that I can drink in large quantities.

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Photo of Zetcha7x
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4-Pack purchased from Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

A-very dark cola-colored pour. half inch tan head that quickly faded.

S-vanilla. strong bourbon notes. roasted malts. sweet.

T-huge vanilla and bourbon up front. very creamy. some coffee. chocolate as the beer warms. kind of a smoky flavor.

M-full bodied. nice carbonation. smooth and creamy. warming alcohol near the finish.

O-I don't drink a ton of stouts, but this was nice. good to sip as the night winds down. you can definitely pick up on the wood aging from the bourbon barrels. I look forward to cellaring a couple of these and trying again somewhere down the road.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sheffield's into a goblet.

A: As black as black gets with a thin tan head. Decent retention and very light lace on its way to a sold ring. Pretty good-looking for a strong beer.

S: Bourbon is apparent at first, but isn't allowed to dominate. Rich vanilla and caramelized dark fruit (prunes and raisins) follow up with great intensity. Butterscotch and the cinnamon rolls from River Street Restaurant in Spooner, WI are also apparent. Awesome.

T: Follows the nose amazingly precisely. Huge wood, bourbon, malt, caramel, vanilla, fruit, and only the lightest bit of alcohol on the finish. Outstanding.

M: Surprisingly light body that absolutely explodes into pure ultra-=fine effervescence. Interesting, but not necessarily what I want from the style.

D: Excellent for being so strong and sweet.

Notes: Great beer. Stands up to the best of all strong ales, Angel's Share. Stands up quite well, in fact. Delicious, decadent brew.


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Photo of Hachiman
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, almost black red. Short-lived grease slick head. Negligible lacing.

On the nose has an alcoholic top note, molasses, caramel and roasted malt aromas.

The flavor is uncommonly well balanced for an imperial stout. Vanilla notes tie together caramel and acidic roasted malt. Hops not much evident: nutty/herbal tastes, not very bitter.

Carbonation was low, mouth feel medium, left a sticky residue on the lips. Warming alcohol in the back of the throat.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, nearly impenetrable black body with a thin patch of tan foam; little lacing left, not surprisingly. Splendid nose, flush with molasses, chocolate, caramel, moderate oak/whiskey though I expected more, and a bit of vanilla.

Same with the taste, in which molasses is most prevalent, but vanilla and chocolate and caramel intertwine in terrific fashion. As with the smell, I expected more oak in the taste. It certainly isn't Oak Aged Yeti, in which the oak is unmistakable. However, it's there and finely blended into the ale, at times potent like stout but really, and ultimately, smoother as ale. Caramel is in the taste more than I expected also. Very impressed. The mouthfeel does so much for Dragon's Milk, smooth and delicious while masking the high ABV.

Excellent stuff, yet another fine product from New Holland that I'd strongly recommend.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.