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: 4,728
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,281 | 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: 4,728
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: frightfully dark, deep plum color, with a generous, frothy, creamy, light tan head above, lace-leaving, slowly subsiding.
Aroma: chocolate, cream, vanilla...interesting...buttery, with a whiskeyish tinge, as well.
Taste: unusual, the vanilla lingers, a woody, chocolatey character dominates. Small hops, rich malt, and the 10% Abv is sneaky, not kicking into the flavor in the least. Oh, here it comes...fruitiness comes in toward the end, raisiny, plummy, ...such a nice little brew, a great buttress against this ridiculous sub-zero January chill.
I've had this on-tap before, at the Autumn Brew Review lat fall, and wasn't so charmed...this bottle changed my mind. Were I a Michiganite, Dragon's Milk would have a coveted spot in the icebox.

2 1/2 years later, it's finally available in MN, in bombers, and is as good as ever. Wonderful nightcap on a very bad day, the day my 5-year old cat died. Helpful in providing some relaxation and a small amount of liquid comfort.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to stouty1 for the brew.

Pour into a chalice a nice clear dark ruby color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tan head which lasts forever, tons of lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of nice sweet/oaked malts, some dark fruits (plums, figs), slight vanilla, and caramel. The taste is very nice of sweet malts, vanilla, oak, plums, and caramel. Medium body, highly carbonated feel, well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, I'm really enjoying this one, thanks again Dan. Highly recommended.

 507 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like to consider this my fall back when I dont want to drink any of my BCBS or I am out of CW BBS... But the fact is, this one can stand on its own and is no fall back, really good considering the year round easy to obtain status,

Pours about the darkest brown that it could be, almost black, finger of light tan head.

Smell is vanilla, toffee, caramel, oak

taste is much sweeter then most BA stouts, vanilla all over the place, bourbon, chocolate, oak, caramel and finishes with a almost milk stout lactose sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium full and creamy, finishes a little dry for the style, but not offensively so.

This is one I buy 6 months before I plan on drinking, it is almost always hot right away, but at about 6 months to a year it can run with the big boys, New Holland deserves more credit for this one!

Fresh I would give it a solid 4.15, but with a little age I land quite a bit higher!

 908 characters

Photo of lovesoutherntier
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my buddy picked this up on a trip to new jersey because we don't get new holland where i live, very unfortanite i know.
apperance: dark, very dark. if you do the skin test though you can tell its just very opaque, not absolutly night black like it appears.
smell: oh a very good smelling beer. smell of dark malts, with the expected touchs of vanilla from the bourban and oak.
taste: so very smooth with nice touchs of the dark malt, that accent the bourban barrel oaky and vanilla flavors, with jus a nice little touch of hops in the back end of this for balance.
drinkability: you can't by no means chunge this one down, yet it is smooth for 9 percent and aged in bourban barrels
if you love oak aged beers, like i do than a must try

 735 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 7/2/09.

A - Dark brown body with mahogany highlights and solid two-finger creamy tan cap at its summit, which deposited lots of sticky foam around the glass.

S - Chocolate and caramel blended with vanilla and bourbon notes. Sweet aroma with a hint of alcohol heat. Minimal woody/oaky character, although there is a touch of nuttiness.

T - Flavor possesses a bold bourbon presence with a sweet, cooling vanilla character. Some chocolate fudge notes emerge in the backend with a subtle alcohol kick. While there is not much of an oaky or woody presence, the flavor is sweet overall with virtually no astringency.

M - Medium bodied with a slick, smooth mouthfeel and super creamy texture. Carbonation is minimal and quite soft of the tongue. Alcohol warmth is quite restrained, especially for a high ABV Strong Ale.

D - Dragon's Milk boasts exceptional drinkability for a bourbon barrel aged Strong Ale. This one definitely exceeded my expectations. My first encounter with New Holland was certainly a memorable one. I will be seeking out more from this brewery in the future.

 1,111 characters

Photo of jsurfs82
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I figured since this is a year round beer and I'm a huge fan of bourbon barreled beers that I needed to revisit. This beer is the 2014 Vintage and 11% abv

I must say I'm thoroughly enjoying this brew. I do not believe it should be classified as a stout however, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. My opinion is Wee Heavy, Old Ale, Barleywine, and Stouts are all amazing in bourbon barrels. I believe the Wee Heavy and Old Ales are overshadowed many times by the giant stouts and barleywines.

This beer to me drinks alot more like a Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) aged in BB. Almost more like a Backwoods Bastard. The color is pretty light (for a stout) and the body is lacking that roasted malt character of an Imperial Stout. Again this isn't a bad thing as I love the Vanilla and Maple flavors that non-heavy roasted malt grains do when aged in bourbon barrels.

This is a great beer but might get dinged a little in style points. Otherwise a top notch beer in my opinion and I might be keeping this stocked in my fridge until can get more BW Bastard and damn Wulver is too expensive!

 1,087 characters

Photo of Stunner97
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- dark black with no light coming through at all with tan head that quickly fades away, little to low carbonation

Smell- the smell on this beer was probably its strongest point of all was smelling this one at the bar for quite sometime before I even took my sip, just nice oak and roasted malts and chocolate/vanilla, really solid nose

Taste- very nice stout flavor that is nicely mixed with the naunces and flavors of oak, its not a bourbon flavor but purely oak which give its sweetness and vanilla, thats mixed in with also roasted notes and chocolate tones good flavor

Mouthfeel- very heavy and smooth with little to no carbonation

DRinkability/overall- this beer is heavy and has very rich flavor and is certainly not a beer you would go at just slamming down, in terms of drinkability its probably around a four but in its overall it gets boosted up to me to a 4.5 because i just generally enjoyed the flavor and it hit me right on tap at the bar, the smell alone made me happy, maybe not absolute best stout i have ever had but pretty damn good

 1,065 characters

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with a small mocha head, looks dangerously enticing, good lacing
Smells strong of roasted malt, coffee, sugary and has slight bourbon barrel notes
Oh wow! Medium/heavy mouthfeel, rich and abundant in roasted malt and coffee. There is also mild vanilla and a slight hint of that 10% ABV in the finish
This is a very good stout and I like it an great deal. And it’s a really good price in my area at least which sweetens the deal. I don’t think this beer gets enough credit, to be honest, if it had the name “Stone” on it people would probably think much higher of it. Anyways, I really like it and always recommend it- and so should you!


 704 characters

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%

Appearance: Very dark (almost black) brown color. Faint head that disappears relatively quickly--not a huge deal with a stout or other beer that concentrates of malts instead of hops. Carbonation seems light. (4.25)

Smell: Roasted coffee and cocoa at the start but faint notes of vanilla, bourbon, and caramel that is pleasantly intoxicating. (4.5)

Taste: Very sweet in the beginning, very caramel, vanilla and milk-like. Tastes almost like this started as a milk stout but aged into an Imperial Stout. Quickly the sweetness dilutes and a rich deep body of flavor comes out. Almost like a burnt sugar flavor: similar to what sweetness comes from a dark caramel, caramelized onions, or roasted garlic (by similarities, not exact taste). Slight boozy taste as well but not overbearing. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, high gravity. Great weight on the tongue and the high gravity takes away much of the booziness. (4.25)

Overall: Great beer, like a desert in a bottler. Tried from a fresh bottle but I have a second bottle that I am cellaring for an amount of time to experiences a further aged taste. (4.5)

Final Score: 4.4/5

 1,126 characters

Photo of tetonka4kzoo
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a dark brown hue and pours a swirly tan head. It quickly becomes a thin lace along snifter.

Dragon's Milk has a complex nose. Strong hints of malt, vanilla, and bourbon are noticeable. The oak barrel gives it a smokey aroma.

Officially listed as strong ale but tastes like a milk stout. It has a malty and chocolate taste. The barrel aging gives it the obvious oak and vanilla taste. It also has a pleasant caramel presence.

This ale is well-carbonated and creamy. The sweetness masks the high 10% ABV/ Not brewed for heavy drinking but perfect for brunch at Food Dance Cafe or swirling in your snifter.

 610 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my secret santa from Mentor. Thanks man!
I am drinking a room temp bottle in a snifter. The beer pours pitch black with some ruby tints at the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A small beige to tan head foams up about 1 cm and fades to a thick edge layer quickly. Aroma is all malt with chocolate, molasses, some oak and maple syrup hints. Also a bit of alcohol.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body and very milky in flavor and texture. Smooth and silky with lots of chocolate on the flavor end. No hop presence I can detect in this overall very sweet beer. No hint of the 10 % abv on the mouth either. A rich smooth brew that I find very enjoyable. If you want hops dont look here.

 701 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap a number of times at Jacs (Madison). And while my wife loves it, I've always felt overwhelmed by its bourbon-barrel booziness. But somehow now that I'm having it from a 12 oz. bottle, I find it enchanting. Seems counter-intuitive that the alcohol would be better hidden coming from a bottle than from a tap. But the vanilla roundness and lactose sweetness play front and center, and I now love it.

 418 characters

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a firkin at UJ's on the Manatawny last weekend.

The beer pours a dark black brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is uncomplicated, but is still very nice, consisting of noticeable bourbon, coffee, chocolate and cherry vanilla. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but in this case the whole is superior to the sum of the parts. Everything blends in together so well, and the flavor profile is enhanced by an incredibly decadent, rich, soft as silk, mouthfeel. This beer is increadily soft and creamy, and has a long finish. The alcohol in this beer is barely noticeable, though one gets a bit of a warming sensation after a while. Nevertheless, delicious as this beer is, it would be entirely too easy to drink quite a few of these at a sitting, something that would probably not be a good idea.

Very impressive.

 851 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - a dark mahogany pour with a touch of red when held up to light. A finger of light tan head makes thin columns of lace as it fades back to a thin cover.

Aroma - decent roasty malts veil an underlying thread of oak and vanilla.

Taste - much like the smell, a nice layer of dark roasted malts starts out, segued with some bourbon and chocolate. The swallow has a bite of bitter and/or char, and some mild abv warmth at the end, followed by a final note of chocolate syrup. Yum.

Mouthfeel - moderately smooth, not overly so. The carbonation is on the crisp side, the body overall is a bit heavier than average.

Drinkability - a great sipper that I will track down again.

 683 characters

Photo of Strix
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with dark red edging, decent initial head, faces to a ring, leaving some lacaing.

Bourbon and wood in the nose.

When cool, sweet malts dominate. As it warms, oak and bourbon take over. Definitely an alcohol bite, but it complements the mix. Vanilla really melts well with the mix.

Mouthfeel super smooth, light carbonation.

This was nicely done. Unique and balanced, a little boozy but if you like that it works.

 422 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet black. Thin tan head. Nice lace patches.

Most abundant aroma is bourbon and oak. Hints of lactose. Mellow roasted character.

Moderate roasted flavor with dark chocolate, wheat toast and toasted nuts. Mild sweetness. Subtle, earthy hop. Smooth, rich bourbon oak in the end. Very well balanced.

Full bodied. Well carbonated. Somewhat sticky feel.

Awesome barrel aged double milk stout. Stands up to the best barrel aged stouts I've had.

 442 characters

Photo of bryanbullock
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dramatically underrated stout, beautiful cascade of foam from the effervescent center for chocolaty aroma. The mild undertones of chocolate and coffee pair effortlessly in the taste utopia that is dragons milk. The finish is smooth as the teet of a playboy bunny on your 18th birthday. This beer is a homerun!

 309 characters

Photo of cmannes
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle poured into a Paulaner Stien.

Appearance: Very dark, red tinge. Tan head, slow to fade, but little lacing.

Aroma: Dark, hints of chocolate & carmel. Very sweet smell.

Taste: Very sweet, malty. More of the carmel & chocolate. Maybe just a hint of toffee & coffee. Yummy.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy. But it fits the sweetness.

Overall: Very yummy. If it wasn't for the ABV I'd drink more. Definitely one of my favorite beers.

 441 characters

Photo of alkemy
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a very thin tan head from the tap. It's neither here nor there, but the bartender and New Holland's website say the ABV on this is 10%.
Scent is dominated by butterscotch. There's also vanilla, bourbon, and a touch of bitter chocolate. The taste is much of the same...lots of butterscotch. Also woody vanilla and a chocolaty finish. You can taste that there is a bit of alcohol in this, but it's not over the top. Creamy feel and the carbonation was just right. I was really impressed with this one.

 540 characters

Photo of ef88
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz. bottle into snifter.

A: Dark--very dark. It looks like I'm drinking a Coke (ok, a porter might be a more fitting comparison) out of a snifter. Beige head, about one-and-a-half fingers. Very little lacing.

S: Licorice, toffee, and caramel. Maybe even some raisins. An interesting and satisfying smell to this one.

T: I'm getting toasted malts, cream, dark chocolate, and alcohol. I'm a fan.

M: Good body; after each sip, the creaminess of this ale hangs out on the roof of my mouth for a bit, which I like. Pretty chewy, too.

D: I could definitely sip on a couple of these, which is more than I would first assume for a dark strong ale of 9%.

Very glad I tried this one after hearing rave reviews about it for so long.

 737 characters

Photo of krustster
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UUuuuaaahhh god man. This was my first of the New Holland High Gravity series, and the reason why I ended up trying the full lineup. Coming back to it now after several months and it's actually quite a bit better than I remembered.

Appearance is good, dark brown/mostly black with a light colored head that leaved a thick sheet of foam around my glass. It's more translucent than most of this style, so it looks slightly "weak" but oh well. This is really not a very important category to me.

Smell is nice. Very sweet, bordering on too sweet. As far as aroma, this may be the sweetest non-flavored beer I can think of, even more than Sweet Repute. Tons and tons of fruity smells like ripe sweet cherries, prunes, raisin, with loads of vanilla, candied nuts and baked sugar(?). It's obvious that this is a bourbon barreled beer, but the bourbon and oak itself is very hard to pick up on the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose. How often is that not the case? There's a lot of candied nuts up front, like those peanuts with the bumpy red stuff on them, with overripe (in a good way) fruits on the side, soaked in vanilla. Again I can't really taste much bourbon, but the influence of the barrel aging is obvious. I get a bit of brown sugar and molasses as well. Hints of coffee and bitterness on the finish, just enough to balance things and keep it from being grossly sweet. Like someone else said, I can't believe this one only has an 88 average. It's very well put-together.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. A little thinner than some comparable offerings at "only" 10% ABV but still quite substantial and has that decadent, dessert-like coating feeling on the palate. The first time I tried this I remember it being way too boozy, but at the time it was also straight from the fridge and tonight it's closer to room temperature & has calmed down considerably.

Overall, Dragon's Milk is an amazingly tasty beer for a relatively low price. I feel that some people are overlooking it because it's easily available and the price is fair ($7 a bomber/$14 a four pack) and as we all know, the only barrel-aged stouts worth drinking are brewed once in ultra-limited quantities for $30 a serving.

Seriously though, making this a year-round offering was a fantastic move on New Holland's part. It's pretty phenomenal for the price, and extremely tasty regardless of value.

 2,371 characters

Photo of tomfitz18
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark brown, almost black, small creamy tan head, inviting
S: Smells strong, boozy, like bourbon. Also chocolatey, nutty, and sweet.
T: Malty, strong alcoholic taste, sweet, chocolatey, hints of vanilla and nuttiness.
F: well carbonated, smooth, slightly heavy, burns as it goes down throat like bourbon.
O: a strong after tasted, could see it pairing well with ice cream. I liked this beer and thought it was very tasty. Would definitely recommend.

 451 characters

Photo of foggymountainman
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

just hanging out at work, (wine bar), tasting for a possible on-tap brew. 22 oz brown bomber and good people. the pour was smooth but little head, a little lacing on the glass, a brew-tiful brown. the taste is nice and malty, a hint of raisin? yum. i could drink the whole 22 oz, but not with heidi about.

 305 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Trappeze. Poured into a chalice. Frothy, beige head, soapy lacing. Black body. Aroma is mild coffee, vanilla, coconut, mild malt sweetness, slight booze. Pretty nice amalgam of flavors, complex. Very easy drinking for the high abv, very. Flavors really start popping upon warming. Excellent.

 301 characters

Photo of JLeege
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, into a snifter

Appearance- pours a very deep brown, with hints of ruby when held to the light. One finger tan head

Smell- vanilla, sweet chocolate, oak

Taste- lots of chocolate and coffee notes. vanilla and im getting some bourbon as well(though its aged in oak). Some dark fruits mixed in there as well. Sweet up front, with a fairly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- low carbonation and medium body, pretty good for the style. Some alcohol warming too.

Overall- I always thought this was a stout, guess not, but its very similar. Fairly complex, but not to over the top like some beers seem to be getting, everything works well together. Some slight alcohol is noticed, which is expected at the 10% this years weighs in at. Got to pick up a few more and age them for a year or two, I think they would get even better.

Its a sipper, but you could make 2 or 3 of these last a long long time.

 900 characters

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