Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,277 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,277
Hads: 4,722
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 276
Gots: 1,278 | 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: 1,277 | Hads: 4,722
Photo of Beechner719
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 160oz glass. Comes our black with a minimal tan head and a little carbonation. The aroma is a bourbon and chocolate with little hints of vanilla. The taste is great. As soon as it hits your mouth you get a chocolate/vanilla mix. The back end is mostly bourbon. It's the perfect combination. The beer is not too thin or thick. It's just right. I actually prefer this beer over KBS.

 438 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A- Dark. From a distance looked like motor oil sitting in a glass. Tints of reddish brown colors were produced when light hit the glass. There was a half fingers worth of cream colored head that reduced to a thin ring as the beer was consumed.

S- Pleasant, but simple. Notes of cocoa and coffee beans were present. Hard to deduce much else.

T- Much more complex taste than the aroma led to believe. Definitely can pick out flavors of coffee beans and cocoa. Really enjoyed the oak finish as it brought out strong vanilla flavors. The only knock I have on this beer is that there was nothing that stood out. While there was a complex mix, they were all blended together in subtlety.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation. Left a clean crisp finish. Left the palate somewhat dry after consumption.

D- Delicious flavors make this highly drinkable. The 9% abv was hard to detect until the slight burn in the chest kicked in.

Overall, a must try. The fact that I can't get over is that it is such a complex beer, yet the flavors are so equal in part that there isn't a distinct taste. If only some of the flavors were more pronounced...

 1,180 characters

Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look-Pours a very dark color.(basically black) The head is very small and sticks to the sides for the most part, a nice burnt/tanish color. Very nice appearance.

Smell-I immediately get the smell of bourbon(that boozy zingy aroma you get from bourbon), and I can also smell a slight sweet scent of vanilla and chocolate. I can definitely smell that bourbon though.

Taste-Very robust. Just like bourbon this beer is meant to be sipped on. I can taste notes of vanilla and chocolate. The flavor of bourbon is pretty present as well. The three flavors I get really do complement each other. The flavor is very complex and again robust.

Feel-Its thick, but not too thick. I go back and forth on the carbonation, some sips are carbonated and others aren't.

Overall-I got this beer from a good friend of mine who is quite the beer connoisseur, and so if he thinks it's good it most likely is good. With that being said, I am no stout expert. But what I do know is this beer is very special. It has the most complex flavor of any imperial stout I have tried. I have to say, I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher score. It was a delicious beer and a real treat to have.
One thing though, don't drink more than two of these beers... This beer will surely put you on your ass.

 1,274 characters

Photo of IrishHockey
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Founders snifter. Bottled was chilled to 35 degree F, just like I like my booze.

Pour: looks great. Nice, black, small tanish head that quickly fades into a small frothy crown then to nothingness.

Smell: much like I was anticipating. Bourbon, slight coffee and chocolate. Smells great! I really like the smell!

Taste: wow! Bourbon up front, getting some booziness (I like it), getting some vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee. Not a lot though. Mainly bourbon. It's good! I have to say a lot better than I was expecting.

Overall: I'd buy again. It's really good! Not quite the best bourbon barrel beer I've had, but by far the easiest to find and cheaper than the limited releases. If you can find this, buy it. It's a good bourbon barrel stout. Don't expect it to be a BCBS. It's a bit thinner, and a touch less refined, but a solid beer.


 882 characters

Photo of abankovich
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice deep brown with a very light tan head that faded somewhat quickly. Lacing does linger down the side of the glass as I'm drinking this one.

Smells warm with some chocolate, toffee and caramel notes. Alcohol is also present very lightly in the nose.

The taste I am loving. Up front the alcohol hits very slightly followed immediately by a delicious vanilla flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate are also present but that sweet, sugary vanilla is the most prevalent of all the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick with a slightly creamy feel overall. Definitely smooth going down.

Drinkability on this one is pretty high. 8.5% isn't too outrageous and nothing about this beer makes me think I wouldn't want to have another as soon as I'm finished with this one.

 780 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown color with a small off-white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of oak and vanilla, quite pronounced. There seems to be a bourbon aroma but not sure if it was actually aged in bourbon barrels. There is some caramel sweetness with boozed soaked raisins and cherries. The taste is big on vanilla and oak with caramel and hints of chocolate. The bourbon is also there in the flavor but not as strong. Perhaps it is the strong vanilla that is making me think it was aged in bourbon barrels. Whatever. The flavors are smooth and are in balance. Some fruit notes pop through in the end. Some boozy dark fruit (raisins) as well as some tart flavors. The feel is moderate, not at all heavy, with soft carbonation, smooth, perhaps a touch sticky. Sweet overall on the palate. Slight slight ABV belly burn. Quite a nice brew, very enjoyable. Smooth as hell and great vanilla flavor without being cloying whatsoever. Pick it up.

 956 characters

Photo of waldoiverson
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber into nonic, the bottle i got was silk screened with white label and does not match the picture as of the time posted

A: Nearly black, small amount of light penetrates and shows brown coloration, tiny brown head, one finger max

S: malted milk balls and the oak is very clear, vanilla and chocolate, yum!

T: chocolate milk-like with strong vanilla and alcohol on the finish. bitterness comes in last. for 9%, the alcohol is kept in check quite well

M: Smooth but not so smooth that it makes it actually seem like chocolate milk, good level of carbonation to clean the palatte.

D: ABV is the only kicker but this is a staple of my fridge.

 647 characters

Photo of Derek
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Cola coloured with an off-white/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Alcohol (port?), jaggery & brown sugar (hint's of molases).

T: Chocolate, raisin, malty bread, nut, great bittersweet balance, alcohol is pleasant (not overly assertive).

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very good. This was one of my favourites at the fest.

 449 characters

Photo of Lambstrong
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany color, little in the way of a head and what forms doesn't keep.

Aroma: Caramel , chocolate and lots of vanilla. You can really smell the sweetness.

Taste: Slight phenol notes followed by rich chocolate and oak. his is followed by a strong vanilla aftertaste. This is one of the only beers I've had whose characteristics changed this much.

Mouthfeel: Light velvety with not a lot of carbonation.

 423 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fond of this one & already had it several times, including fresh on tap at the brewery. Also introduced a friend to it, & this was the first bomber he ever bought.

Black, with only a tiny little ring of white. Smell is always a highlight; dark malts & vanilla rising, with a sliver of wood.

Dragon's Milk taste follows that forumla closely. Big, dark, roasted malts come skulking out of the pint glass, followed by a collection of lesser impressions: vanilla, oak, chocolate, with only the hint of the barrel coming out at the end. Full, rich, satisfying, & very easy to quaff for a 9% brew.

Excellent beer, as always. A readily available barrel-aged brew that's easy to get & not priced to heart-attack levels? Sign me up. I should be drinking this one more often. Tip o' the cap to New Holland once again.

 813 characters

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I will forewarn with saying I am a sucker for a strong barrel presence.

Pours black with lots of rose hue. Tan head that fades pretty quick but after all this beer is 10%.

The smell is great. Bourbon, vanilla, raisins, and other dark fruits.

The taste is pretty much purely from the oak. A ton of vanilla with a slight dash of alcohol. Roasty wood on the front with a lingering almost campfire smores taste on the back.

I got this one in a trade and please send me another!

 478 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage 22oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Appearance: I would call this very dark brown just flirting with all out black in color. In fact I think this is as dark as brown can get without being black. No light penetrates when held to the light, however it does become a touch lighter brown when backlit. There was no head formation for me and there is a very fine collar around the edge of the glass. No lacing at all.

Smell: Now this is where its at! Reminiscent of BCBS for me although milder. I get big bourbon, huge vanilla, roasted notes, coffee, and chocolate. There is a noticable alcohol presence and huge oak notes. I could smell this all day long.

Taste: An absolute huge bourbon vanilla bomb! Follows the nose with above noted roasted, coffee and chocolate and oak. Up front the mouth is introduced to the bourbon and vanilla followed by the others already stated. Alcohol is evident but not in a distracting sort of way. Everything is just in perfect balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and oh so creamy! A bit light for a big barrel aged stout but seems to work for this one. I tend to want this style to be more on the chewy side but for this beer the feel does seem spot on and I can honestly say I wouldn't want it be any different.

Overall: My friend has been on me to try this one and I finally got it into a glass. I have to say I am extremely impressed by this beer. An absolute steal at $8 a bomber and so easy off the shelf that it makes me smile. I will be picking this up more often for sure!

 1,529 characters

Photo of AverageJay
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Not exactly a daily nor weekly brew, but one helluva good timer.

A - Draft pint came to the table looking like an innocent glass of Coke with a thin lacing of foam.

S - Whiskey all the way. If you're a bourbon fan, this is YOUR beer.

T - Since I like an occasional glass of whiskey/bourbon, this one felt great on the palate. It's as if God himself created this combination of beer and sour mash.

MF - Imagine the smoothest whiskey in the world going down with no "Jim Beam" gag reflexes.

D - Could never play with this one every day, nor every week. but it still comes in as a helluva beer that will be further reserved for special occasions.

Overall, if you don't like a glass of whiskey, stay away. If you like some nice juice on the rocks, try it out.

 762 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black body with 1.5 finger head of foamy ecruwhite head. Ton of lacing.

Nose is slightly boozy, slightly of coconut... which differs from my memory on draft.

Taste is boozy, some toffee raisin, and definitely a bit of that coconut. This definitely needs to warm up (speaking from experience) to let all the flavor out, otherwise it just tastes like booze.

Mouthfeel is creamy, like a nitro stout, but from a bottle.

This is a super-strong stout; definitely for sipping, and sweet, not hoppy. I highly recommend trying this if these are the things you enjoy in a stout.

 579 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, almost black with an amber tinge on the edge. It’s almost opaque. Three fingers of creamy tan head. Some white substance floating on the bottom.

S: Baily’s Irish Cream, coffee, oak barrel, whiskey, chocolate, cream, vanilla.

T: Baily’s Irish Cream, coffee, dark toasted malts, whiskey, chocolate, cream, vanilla.

M: Thick bready and heavy body, low carbonation.

O: Almost can’t believe it’s a beer. Amazing. Reminds me of the quality of Double Arrogant Bastard Oaked.

 496 characters

Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see BA updated the photo for this one. Another delicious New Holland product. We had one of these over Thanksgiving after several other diverse and strong beers and thought it a tad weaker and less bold than we remembered. So I decided to try another one tonight and compare. Similar to what I remember from Thanksgiving, but this is my first beer of the night, and it's great.

A: Cola color with lacing that sticks around.

S: Love this smell. Chocolate, vanilla, oak, toffee.

T: Same smell notes are present in the taste, though as noted above, it's not as bold as I remembered. Could just be that I've been drinking a lot of strong stuff lately in comparison, because the first time I ever had this I was blown away by how sweet and powerful it seemed. in any event, the taste is nicely balanced and very rich.

M: Creamy, almost milk stouty. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D: This beer is in no danger of being poured out. Love it. It should be available in 12 oz bottles though.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Greggy
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Just able to see the light through the dark ruby/black color. Nice lacing.

S- Choc. covered cherries, fresh flour, lactose sweetness, and a bit of buttery vanilla.

T- Dark choc, dryness of oak, cherries, dry hop finish, vanilla and touch of butterscotch.

M- Low carb, velvety smooth, dry finish is nice.

D- 8.5% is well hidden, not bad. I found it similar to 1554.

 372 characters

Photo of slym
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is another amazing stout... I can smell bourbon, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla on the pour. Nice finger-thick head that slowly dissipates to a nice thick disk of foam, with great lacing around the glass. Taste has all of the above plus all the malt you can stand, plus a little hops in the backbone. The alcohol is noticeable on the finish. Overall, this is a good sipper for a night!

 390 characters

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish-black with a small, quickly receding, off-white head. No lacing on the edges of the glass

S- Malty and chocolaty scent with an oak backbone.

T- Chocolate is the first thing that comes with vanilla and oak flavors also appearing. The oak was also there but not quite as strong as others have suggested, this may be because the beer was not very cold when I poured it, and I would not suggest drinking it cold either as the flavors come out well with a cellar-temperature pour. Alcohol presence is there but not powerful.

M- Low carbonation that kind of tingles the throat as you drink, but otherwise is absent. Big body that is thick and creamy, almost "chewy". The mouthfeel is as close to milk as I think I have ever experienced in a brew, maybe this is how the milk of a dragon is?

D- Enjoyable beer that demands respect as you drink it, could definitely not have more than one of these at a time, but would love to have one from time to time. As with most of New Holland's offerings this is a very unique beer that makes itself something different, but still very tasty.

Side not that the listed ABV on the bottle is 10.0% and not 9% as listed by BA, most likely a difference in the 2010 batch from previous.

 1,232 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this bottle with me. Had it on tap a couple years ago and dug it then.

Pours a clear dark ruby red/brown, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, some lace spots form on the glass, looks good. Smell is neat, very fruity, caramel, chocolate, lactose, oak, light roast, strawberries, all over the place in a good way, nice complexity, very malty stuff. Taste is nice, caramel up front, thick and malty, chocolate roast, fruit, very milky, kind of a mix between a stout and strong ale or doppelbock, wood comes through in the finish with a touch of alcohol, goes down a bit weak on flavour but is quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, assertive, alcohol warmth, nice stuff. Thanks Russ!

 778 characters

Photo of FFreak
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%

Procured from Arnolds Likker Locker in Keene, NY. Poured from bottle into Willy glasses and shared. A deep opaque black with espresso cream brown head that stays around fairly well.

The first thing I noticed in the aroma was coffee, then bourbon, then caramel. Very nice aroma.

Taste is really great. The bourbon and caramel/toffee hit first followed by slight roast, coffee and just a bit of bitterness. A very well balanced taste that cloaks the high ABV.

Mouth is thinner than expected, but that seems to work very well in this beer. I don't think it would be as good if it were more heavy and viscous.

Overall, I love this beer. I don't think I can get it locally, so I'll have to make the ferry ride over to NY more often.

 738 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some kind of date stamp on the bottle: E012 (don’t know what that means).

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass resulted in about one finger of dark mocha colored head that quickly dissipated to a single layer of bubbles and then to only an edge ring. It also left a good lacing. The brew is dark brown and completely opaque.

S: The aroma has dark roasted malt and a bit of chocolatiness along with some booziness.

T: The taste has flavors of sweet dark chocolate, dried cherries, sweet toasty malt, and some alcohol booziness and oak, along with a touch of peppery hops to balance the sweetness.

M: The body just slips over the border from medium to the lighter side of heavy. There is very little carbonation, which seems like a good fit for this beer.

O: This is how a barley wine should taste. (I don’t know what style New Holland Brewing was trying to make with this beer, but to me it seems like a barley wine – and, a darn good one at that.) The focus is on the roasted malt flavors – chocolate sweetness, dark chocolate, and dried fruits. And, the oak helps balance the malt and adds some complexity to the flavor profile. There is also some booziness that works well here – it does not get into alcohol heat, but remains at just a touch to add balance and complexity. This is definitely a must try for barley wine fans.

 1,347 characters

4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sweet chocolate, fireplace, and bourbon aromas.
Great, heavy mouth feel.
Bourbon finish.
Creamy like a milk stout should be, with a great blend of bourbon liquor taste.
Bottle has foil top, that makes individualistic sense to the bottle. Bottle describes flavors to be "dancing in an oak bath".
Fantastic beer!

 313 characters

Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber this weekend and boy I wish I would have bought more. Poured a dark brown hue with a caramel light shining through it, not much of a head nor any lacing, but so what. The aroma and flavor makes up for it. Lovely scent of caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla with a powerful hint of soy sauce. Medium body, creamy with a fizzy carbonation to start, ending chocolate sweet and soft with a undertone of alcohol. Overall, I really enjoy this brew and will purchase more this weekend.

 494 characters

Photo of Sweepz189
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Greensburg, PA
$11 I don't remember exactly how big the bottle was, but it was more than a pint, more than 2 full glasses in the one bottle.
ABV 11%

First Impressions: A friend took me to this place specifically to try Dragon's Milk. Her and a few others regarded this beer very highly. Being a bit of a snob, I forked over the 11 bucks and poured some of the bottle into whatever glass the bartender gave me, I think it was a snifter, of all things.

Color: First thing I noticed is it's very dark, dark red. It looks black or brown, but when the light hits it, it's revealed to be a very dark red.

Smell: It's been to long to really say exactly what I smelled, but I do recall it smelling very sweet. There was chocolate, vanilla, and something else.

Taste: The best part was tasting this beast. First notes are what you smell. You get a lot of the chocolate and vanilla, a little caramel if you use your imagination. The next thing I noticed was the alcohol content. This beer tasted more like a wine made with beer ingredients. Or, in reality, it tasted like a beer with extremely high alcohol content. Usually one can't taste the alcohol in beer, this one is different. It's not for the faint of heart or anyone who likes dark or bitter beers. It's not like Guinness or a porter, it's dark, but there's too many flavors to say it tastes like anything else. The taste is truly unique.

Overall: I tried this beer on a couple different occasions and I have to say it's not something you can drink everyday, or drink several in one day. A 12 ounce bottle is all you need to get a taste and be satisfied. That is not say this beer isn't good, because this beer is better than good. The price is justified and this one is worth a try if you ever feel adventurous.

 1,779 characters

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.