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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,279 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,279
Hads: 4,731
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,283 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,279 | Hads: 4,731
Photo of ZebraCakez
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

A: Deep brown (almost black) with almost no head, save for a small layer of tan froth on the surface.

S: Big coffee notes, and a strong barrel presence. There is a chocolate aroma as well, it is not as strong.

T: This is a big beer. It makes no jokes about its barrel aspect, and the alcohol is always present, but super strong coffee and chocolate notes return quickly. There is a light vanilla aspect on the finish. A fantastic stout.

F: Medium to heavy body, very smooth creamy feel, almost no carbonation.

O: This is a fantastic beer. It may not be on par with a few of the other heavy - hitters in the same category (which are often near-impossible to find), but it is certainly worthy of a spot on the shelf in my fridge.

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

Purchased at the LCBO for around $8.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Nice opening and pours a tiny head that is gone fast. Super dark.

S- The bourbon is there all the way. Nice malt.

T- The bourbon is there but I want more coffee and chocolate. Just a touch lacking on those departments. Put a touch more in and you have a BCBCS. Nice blend though.

M- Pretty good. Nice creaminess. Not a milk stout but has some characteristics of it

O- Nice beer. Bought 3. One now and two later. Looking forward

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with...... Braised short beef rib. Nice thick beef rib braised then backed to tender perfection. Tomato sauce based.


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Photo of The_Beer_Connoisseur
5/5  rDev +26.6%

One word to describe this beer, that being AMAZING. I never thought I would be able to rate a beer as a 5. Even my favorite beers I wouldn't give a 5 to cause the aren't perfect. This beer hit the top in every way imaginable.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a bourbon flavour.

Overall - An interesting brew. Not over the top in sweetness or bourbon, but still packs a punch in ABV. Very drinkable and a nice well rounded flavour. I guess I was expecting something more robust, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Can't see this improving with age really, seems about perfect now.

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Photo of docoman
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

This was one of my first BA stouts and at the time thought was fantastic, but now that I've sampled many others... it's still good, but like others better. Has a sweet more of a creamer taste compared to others that are more chocolate and coffee flavors.

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Photo of zhewitt98
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Such a great stout. bought this back in September and put it in the cellar until last night when I put it in the fridge. opened it up tonight and man, this is what a bourbon barrel aged stout should taste like. Just enough bourbon to taste but not overwhelming. I only wish it poured a larger head. at 11% I'm already feeling it

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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.

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Photo of chihomebrew312
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Great beer with deep complexity. Overall pleased with the profile, though a thick brew. Dark and opaque pour with a frothy head. Definitely better for cold nights and slower sipper.

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Photo of pkalix
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally got my hands on one of these.... thinner than I expected, but tasty. can taste the bourbon barrel in it. a decent brew, indeed. smooth, no coffee notes, which is very much appreciated.... I feel they are adding coffee to cover up mistakes just as some are adding mega hops to cover up their IPA mistakes(?). or not. but this is a good one!
Dragon's milk, indeed! but how many dragons will allow their milk to be put into a barrel?

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Photo of dd43
4/5  rDev +1.3%

There's no hiding 11% ABV in the 2014 bottlings. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a big 'ol red wine glass fit for a big ol' stout. Yes by beer glassware sucks, working on it.

Minimal tan head, receded without much ado. I learned from the last two bottles to let this warm up a smidge before indulging. This beer smells like a stout that was left to age in bourbon barrels. Fitting given it's construction. You also get the alcohol vanilla extract smell as others have described.

Somewhat difficult to pick up flavors besides vanilla, the malt is present in a stickiness on the lips and palate but I didn't get any sort of roasted notes like what you find in imperials or even standard issue stouts.

The inky color and boozy aroma belie the mouthfeel of this beer. By no means thin, but not what I would describe as dense and creamy either. Carbonation is appropriately on the low side.

A stout meant to be enjoyed in single servings, as far as I'm concerned. Knocking several of these back might knock you into tomorrow. Honestly this might be better if pared back to 10% as in years past, I don't see the value proposition in amping it up to this level. The alcohol suppresses some of the more muted malt flavors you'd expect to find in a proper stout, even BBA varieties.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Sampled November 2014 from bottles in pint glass. Tasted both the 2013 and 2014 vintages side-by-side.

Appearance: Very dark color. Tan head was not very thick and it did not last as long as some other stouts.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee aromas, with a smell of some sweet chocolate. Nice combination of aromas.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors, with a little hops for added dimension. Could also taste a hint of the oak barrel, which added another interesting dimension. The combination of strong hops and roasted malts and strong alcohol give this drink big powerful flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth, almost creamy.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination of malt, coffee, chocolate, and hops flavor with oak barrel influences. The label lists 10% alcohol, and it does taste like it. This is definitely the taste of an excellent stout. The 2013 is more intense than the 2014. Do not know if this is due to the year it was made, or whether it is due to the year aging.

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Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

This one's a superb tutorial of proper drinking temperature.

Poured from a 22ouncer into a tulip glass. Straight from the beer refrigerator ~40* which was far too cold. The nose and subsequent taste was overpowered with the higher ABV and tannin/oak. The finish was a bit puckeringly sour.

After warming to 55*+ it really came alive. A whole different beer! Much more caramel, chocolate and vanilla on the nose and initial taste. All of those balanced well with the oak. I'd even say the mouthfeel became a bit more pleasing, though overall it remains light on carbonation and 'thickness'.

Overall a pleasing sipper for a style that I don't typically gravitate towards.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Coming out of the bottle the liquid is a very dark brown and once it is in the glass it appears nearly black. Shining a light through the back of the glass results in some very pretty, ruby red highlights standing out against the black backdrop. The head fizzles up to about a quarter-inch before fading into some patchy wisps that stick around on the surface of the beer for nearly the entire glass. Lacing is minimal.

SMELL: There is a ton going on here, with big vanilla, chocolate and caramel aromas. The combination smells a lot like fresh baked brownies. A hint of oak and a touch of roasted coffee beans is also present.

TASTE: In the nose, the vanilla, chocolate and caramel were all pretty equally represented, but in the taste the chocolate wins and comes through strongest. Vanilla and caramel tie for second as a hefty dose of coffee and oak bring up the rear of the field. Hints of anise and dark fruit also dance around the palate, especially towards the finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Of course the body is big, but not as big as you might expect. The Dragon’s Milk goes down silky and smooth with a strong, but not overwhelming sweetness. The balance is actually quite nice with a subtle bitterness coming from the coffee notes.

OVERALL: Since New Holland’s arrival in Colorado this has quickly become a go-to for me. I love big, imperial stouts and I love bourbon barrel-aged beers…it’s a treat to be able to have both any time of year now.

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Photo of Flashy
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Purchased in Vermont for $14.99 a four pack (when did we start getting New Holland?). Nice stout, nice level of bourbon flavor- but lacks the thicker body that I like in this kind of beer.

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Photo of matt_duthie
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a thin khaki head, reduces to an even thinner cap, some lacing. Not quite black, letting some light in around the edges and a little pocket of deep dark red you can see through when held to the light.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, bit of chocolate, roasted malts. Nice.

T: Follows the nose, big bourbon and vanilla, almost more like a BBA porter than big imperial stout. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Quite good but not incredible.

F: A little lighter body than I expected/remembered, silky smooth and coats the palate. Light-medium carbonation is just about right, could use to be a little more full-bodied.

O: I really like this beer, a solid but different take on a bourbon-barrel stout than you'll find elsewhere, pretty approachable for 11% with good barrel character, and easy to find anywhere in MI. Also sweet name and cool bottle art.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle vintage 2014:
Beer pours dark, as expected, with some light peaking through at the edges to give the impression that it is a fairly clear beer, and could be a hue or two lighter that black. Head doesn't build up much with a decent pour, but light tan bubbles do form enough to cover the surface briefly. The head gravitates towards the edges, but does leave some remnants on the surface. Lacing is present, but fleeting.

Nose is a weak. What I do get, I have to search for, but it is dark roast mocha coffee and just a hint of wood (and maybe some bourbon). That's about it, the some "proper" smells, but not as strong as I would want.

The initial tastes aren't as deep or roasted as I would expect. The beginning actually reminds me more of a typical brown ale than a stout. I start with a white raisin like taste, but a toasted coconut flavor follows fairly quickly. I do get some "average joe" coffee notes in the middle, but there's also a strange sweet tartness throughout the middle and end tastes (flat cola is the closest I can come up with, but not sure that's quite it).

My initial thoughts of the feel was it was pretty smooth and gave me an oatmeal stout impression. Funny that the feeling became less prevalent after a few tastes. I still think the carbonation plays quite well in the middle tastes, and I think the end feel is a bit silky. This is countered by a mildly light body.

I am torn on this beer. I do not think it's that great, but I'm not sure it's as bad as I am rating it. Even though I rated body the highest, I wish it were a bit thicker. About the only other thing that maybe justifies the ranking is a seeming lack of any bourbon notes that I could recognize (maybe it's what adds the "cola" taste I mentioned).

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Photo of ricknelson
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Nice Chocolate Vanilla taste, vanilla nose, solid lacing. The bourbon barrel aging comes thru but not too strong; especially for an 11%er. My first experience with New Holland; I'm impressed. Think this would be even better with nitro, its a little on the thin side; think it would also be better if aged a year. My rating of 4.25 is pretty generous I think; maybe closer to a 4.

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5/5  rDev +26.6%


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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle

Pours a very dark brown almost black with little to no head.

Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla.

Tastes strongly of bourbon and vanilla, boozy, you can taste the 11% at the finish

Mouthfeel is nice and rich, creamy, smooth

Decent beer, but way too bourbony and boozy for me. I prefer a stout where the coffee and chocolate flavors are profiled, this one is not balanced at all. I'll finish it but it may take me all afternoon, it is definitely a "big" beer.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

2014 vintage
Almost completely black. The most slight ruby around extremities of glass. Kaki head, about one finger, quickly receded.

Excellent roasted malt and bourbon aroma.

Taste is quite nice. This is very easy drinking. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not as intense as many of the more aggressive bourbon barrel aged beers. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This is not really the same experience that you will get from Parabola, KBBS, or some of the other great bourbon stouts. That said, I bought this for $5.09 for a 22oz bomber and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Nice and sticky. Not too much carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The bourbon could be more intense, but as it is the beer is very well balanced and goes down extremely well.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown with lighter brown accents at the edges; 1 finger tan head that receded quickly to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: definitely a bit of bourbon;

T: bourbon and vanilla come first, then I noticed the alcohol; the vanilla stays all the way with deeply roasted malt building from mid-palate;

M: sticky; moderate carbonation;

O: I love bourbon, so this beer is right up my alley;

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Photo of kim_thayil
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

did not enjoy. i'm not a huge fan of high ABV beers but people had been nagging me, telling me i was going to like this one. i finally picked it up. i like all the new holland beers i have tried (the poet might be my favorite beer ever) but this was more than a disappointment to me.

the smell, the taste, the aftertaste - all of it kind of repulsed me.

i wasn't a fan of the 10% thing, but it was more the taste here. this just wasn't a good beer to me. in fact, i'd go as far as to say i found it a bad beer.

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

12oz bottle. 2014 Vintage. Pours a dark brownish black color with a thin ring of khaki head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is Bourbon at first followed by some oak, vanilla, roasted malts, and chocolate. The taste is bourbon and oak. Chocolate and roasted malts as well. Hints of charcoal and earth. Finishes with some nice Bourbon notes. Very noticeable alcohol warmth. Lightly carbonated with a heavy-ish mouthfeel. This is a great year round Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Overall, fantastic.

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Photo of beergoot
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, mahogany red/brown body with thin but persistent, creamy head. Milk chocolate, mocha, and a slight bourbon nose in the aroma. Coconut, baker's chocolate, booze, and vanilla flavors. Heavy body with a smooth, velvety, thick mouthfeel.

A most impressive tasting stout. The flavors and feel really shine with big, robust character. The malt component creates a deliciously dark treat; sweetness and bitterness all nicely balanced. The relatively high alcohol content is noticeable but doesn't over-ride any of the malt and hop goodness while the bourbon barrel aging greatly adds to the overall character of the beer. Another fine Michigan beer offering...

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.95/5  rDev 0%

Pours a dark brown, near black with a thick head. The smell was very sweet with both the malt and vanilla. There wasn't any real wood I could pick up on in the nose. The taste was very nice with vanilla, malt, and coffee and chocolate flavors being predominant. The bourbon wood came through in the finish with an oakey, slightly sweet flavor that I found delicious.

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