Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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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
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Reviews: 1,278 | Hads: 4,728
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Served in a chiller drink glass. Odd...college bar. On tap?

A. Appears like a coca cola with no head and dark brown body. Is this beer?

S. A bit off. Well water and some distant malt. Im a bit scared..

T. Puts my worries at ease after the poor presentation. A nice roasted malt flavor. A bit of coffee as it warms. Hints of vanilla. Slight earthy hop bitters even it out. No noticable alcohal. Slighty nutty finish.

M. The best attribute of this one. Ultra smooth and oh so creamy.

D. A full bodied as hell, flavorful and robust ale. Not reccommended for anything other than a dessert beer/night cap. Worthy of a purchase.

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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!

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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 seangroves
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass.

Very dark brown poured with a slightly light brown head about 1/4" that dissipates quickly.

Very hoppy, slightly sweet with the oak coming in the finish. Slightly fruity and sweet smelling with the paler malts used in brewing.

Somewhat sweet at the beginning followed by a strong maltiness but is incredibly smooth, with a small bit of hop in the aftertaste.

Feels medium bodied and is mildly over-carbonated with a hint of chewiness to it.

This beer is very smooth to drink and has excellent taste. The oak aging adds to its simple yet delightful taste. I would drink another rather easily.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Party Town.
Pours a dark brown with no head and no lacing. A little red hue around the edges. Roasted malts and some oak coming through in the nose. More of the same in the taste, but the effects of the barrel aging really round out this beer well. I didn't get as much of the bourbon in the draft version as I have previously from the bottle. A very easy and smooth drinking beer which is a problem given the 9% ABV. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Biggness
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a tan head and lacing. The smell is of bourboun and malts. The flavor is very nicely balanced between the bourbon, malt and hop flavors, I just wish there was a little more of each. Very deceptive, because I would have never imagined this to have been a 9% beer. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy with a nice carbonation level. This is one of the most drinkable 9% beers I have ever had, it went down very easy, and I was wishing I had some more :)

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Photo of charlzm
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 09/27/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA through the generosity of Brian.

2006 vintage.

Clear, very dark brown beer with some lighter brown highlights. No head, just some tan bubbles around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is a subdued sweet maltiness mixed with considerable oak character. Some alcohol present in nose as well with brandy-like notes.

Beer is very still in mouth; no carbonation to speak of.

Flavor follows aroma with the addition of a little pitted fruit taste (dark cherries, mostly).

Despite the 8.5% ABV listed on label, the beer drinks bigger due to its almost cloying taste and the noticeable alcohol character. I didn't especially enjoy this one and let the fellow sitting at the bar with me have more of the bottle.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had previous years of this and have not been blown away. This batch however seemed delightful.

A - Poured a black color with a decent head. It lasted for a long time and was continously regenerating as i drank. Lacing was superb and was fully remaining all the way down the glass after I finished.

S - Mot as muck oak as I would have expected, Some good malty notes as well as an alcohol presence. Despite my inability to place all the aromas it was still a fine warmup.

T - Excellent, sweeter notes for sure but not sickly sweet. Faint tastes of vanilla in there for sure. Again a wood taste was in there but I thought it was mild for oak aged. However it complimented the beer greatly.

M - Amaxingly smooth feel with a great body also.

D - For the ABV listed (9%) this is one of the easiest drinking beers. I could definately had another butcould not and drive home.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at Green's in Greenville, South Carolina, as it is not available in Georgia, Dragon's Milk poured out dark brown, and formed a khaki colored head. The smell was a nice mixture of herbal hops and sweet chocolate and toffee. The taste was an extension of the smell with sweet malts being showcased with a backing of hops. The beer was carbonated nicely, and gave a creamy textured feel in the mouth. The finish was quite sweet and would have benefited a bit from more alcoholic strength. Very easy to drink, and quite flavorful, I definately see myself picking up more of this when it becomes more readily available.

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Photo of Pencible
4.89/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured much darker than expected, at a nearly opaque dark ruby with almost no head. It smelled very similar to a scotch with strong oak and leather notes, rich caramel malt, and a bit of smoke and alcohol. It tasted like aged and refined oak, light smokey leather, earthy barley and rich caramel malt, along with a bit of vanilla and sour cherry hops. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting fairly sweet aftertaste. Overall this was one of the most distinguished tasting beers, and definitely one of the best oaked beers I've had. It had an intricate and delicious flavor, that was very clean and drinkable, with good body. I love everything about this beer.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black with faint ruby highlights at the bottom of my tulip. instead of a head of foam there is merely a loose layer of beige spit bubbles floating atop the brew with some tiny specks of lace. the etchings in the glass seem to keep it goin, but i'm still a bit confused by the look of this beer. cool bottle though, mine is silk screened with only white ink and quite different from the BA pic with the dragon silhouette over a diagonal worm's eye view of the oak barrel.

S- vanilla and oak, chocolate ice cream, burnt caramel, marshmallow, weak coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, dark mashed up fruits and alcohol esters. smells like a weakened stout. becomes smokier and maltier as it warms and the overall aroma gets sweeter, as does the alcohol that begins to burn my nose hairs.

T-woodsy sweet with a prominent natural vanilla flavor and enough roastiness to balance things out. molasses, brown sugar, strong oak character, black-n-milds, and earthy hops. mineral water/stone, some raisin, deeply toasted malt, licorice, dark caramel, dulce de leche, smoky charcoal, toffee, and acorns of all things. heh. a very nice thing about this beer is that i can taste the oak so strongly, the flavor of freshly dried wood is embedded into my tongue. i would assume the barrels were charred or even previously used to age bourbon, although the presence of bourbon flavor is questionable since most of the bourbon's flavor comes from the wood itself. finishes ever so woodsy with oak and cocoa and pleasantly earthy british hops. alcohol taste becomes aggressive as it nears room temp. very complex and flavorful, but also very unique as it seems to cross a strong ale with a porter.

MF- despite the origin of the term 'dragon's milk' the name is definitely fitting in the MF context, as the low carbonation and low viscosity (despite its darkness) give it the feeling of lightly carbonated 2% milk. literally. powdery and slightly mentholated, even as it warms it has a coating and cooling effect that feels nice with the end-of-summer breeze blowing in my window.

D- i'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what is goin on with this brew. so dark but with a surprisingly light body (or medium, i should say). i could assume that alot of the color comes from the char inside the oak barrels, but i can't be certain and i can't find any hints online to determine a conclusion. all other things aside, it leaves me wanting more. its smooth character and laid back flavor leave the door wide open.

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Photo of spointon
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured this ale from a 22oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a super dark, clear brown/black with ruby red highlights shot through the edges. Even with an aggressive pour straight down the center of the glass all I got was about 1/8" of tan head that quickly disappeared. Zero lacing down the glass.

S= Aromas were muted, and consisted of oak barrel, candied fruit, and alcohol.

T= Not an overpowering taste, but definitely a unique one. I found lots of dry oakiness in the flavor, as well as roasted grain, and slight malty sweetness. Definitely a warming alcohol finish.

MF= I found this ale to be too thin. I think the flavors would have been fine if they were bigger and supported by more body. Carbonation was light.

D= This is not a bad beer, it just isn't as good as I wanted it to be. An unusual "near miss" from a great brewery.

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Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, new graphics, i didn't see vintage/freshness dating, pours dark, dark mahogany, initially shows a dark mocha head, recedes down to a splotchy film and leaves lightish slippery lace. Nose is of dark bread, licorish and some background woodyness. Notes of rum, dark fruit, figs and raisins, more dark wood, molasses, and an underlying layer of wood. Nice sipper, bold and flavorful. More high test Michigan brew.

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Photo of LunaChick
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is best served at cellar temp to allow the fullness of the flavors to come through. It pours almost pitch black with a fizzy head that quickly desolves to a ring that laces the glass. When cold the aroma is alcohol and wood and maybe some malt. Once warmed it takes on a completely different aroma--and flavor. At cellar temp the rich vanilla comes out and the oak mellows. The flavor is a nice splash of oaky vanilla. The oak isn't overpowering though. There is a not so subtle twang of alcohol--this is a big big beer and you feel it . Maybe the recipe has been tweaked given what I've read from prior reviews.
In the mouth there is subtle carbonation and a very full bodied flavor that is alcohol warm but still smooth. Not a high drinkability rating--this beer will smack you.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter.

Appears a very dark brown/black that is basically opague with a one finger tan head that sinks to a skim fairly quickly, however a swirl of the glass brings it right back. Leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Aromas of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and oak. A bit of alcohol is noticable in the back.

Taste is initially lots of chocolate and coffee roasted flavors with subtle hints of vanilla. It's basically like the aroma but even better than I expected. Towards the end a bourbonish oak flavor comes out (I know, it's not actually aged in Bourbon barrels). There is a slight bitterness towards the end that presents itself as rather earthy in nature, almost piney.

Mouthfeel is medium, I would prefer it to be a bit more full myself, but the smooth creaminess of it makes up for that shortcoming.

Overall I was very impressed with this. Judging by the previous reviews I was expecting something lackluster, but this one is a real winner. Highly recommended.

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Photo of prototypic
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle. Much appreciated.

Appearance: It pours a very dark, chestnut color. There's some light getting through around the edges giving it a slight red tint. The head is a light chocolate color and is minimal. Perhaps half a finger deep. It was very quick to disappear and left light lacing.

Smell: The nose is weak and disappointing. There are some dark fruit (raisin and plum) aromas lingering. Chocolate malts emerge and seem to be primary feature. I'm not picking anything that really resembles oak, bourbon, or spices. That's perhaps even more disappointing than the strength shortcoming.

Taste: It definitely picks up here. Chocolate malts are indeed the primary feature, but there's some roasted flavors in there, as well. There is a slight bit of raisin and plum that adds some depth. Surprisingly, there is a nice oak flavor in there that really adds a lot to this beer. You can tell a little bit off whiskey rubbed off on it. It's not a really strong flavor, but it is nice and plays its role well. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable, but has a bit of a warming effect. Finishes sweet and warm.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This feels really light for what it is. Frankly, it's a little too light. Carbonation is very low. It's actually creamy and smooth, but it could still stand a little thickening. Drinkability is good. It goes down smooth and easy. I can't say I'd drink more than a bomber though. That's plenty in a sitting.

Dragon's Milk is a pretty good beer. Yeah, the nose is too weak and the body a little too thin. Those are my main complaints. But, I enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would after the first sip. It's unique in its flavor, body, and feel. It's certainly worth a try if you run across a bottle.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThirstyBird for the opportunity to try this one. Served in my Maudite tulip. Poured opaque black with virtually no head other than a tan skim and a frothy band around the shoulders. Some lacing, but virtually no adherence. Nose was sweet and malty; chocolate, alcohol and the ligthest trace of wood. Taste consistent with nose; however, some vanilla is also revealed, as well as a mild coffee character. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with very little carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy; not at all viscous. Alcohol is very well-hidden. A nice alternative to an RIS in that it's packed with flavor, but lighter in body. Would make a wonderful dessert beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Drunkmonk!!
Poured a deep brown with a light brown head.
Nose was espresso, some chocolate and caramel, probably from the caramel malt I tasted in this. Some slight hints of choclate, vanilla and bourbon maybe. The oak taste was a little lighter than I expected. It was very drinkable.

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Photo of Slynger
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dragon's Milk pours a deep blackened oak color with a slim lid of lightly frothy-creamy light tan.

Nose is a touch light, but presents chocolate and caramel aromas along with some roasted scents and a little bit of vanilla oak.

Slick, smooth, whole-milky feel to a full body with very light carbonation. Flavor is good and comes in much stronger than the nose. It brings flavors of softly sweet milk chocolate and caramely vanilla beans with lightly roasted and blackened malts. It's all encased in a subtle oaky bourbon woodiness, and finishes with slightly warming alcohol.

Nice, a damn solid brew from NH.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not much head from this cola colored liquid. Light tan colored head and it disappears relatively quickly and no lacing. Aroma is of spicy oak, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, a little cocoa powder, and a touch of booze.

Taste is not as promising as the nose delviered. A bit of a wine like sour. The oak kind of adds to the wine like flavor. The oak is a bit spicy and a little to dominant in my opinion. There is a bit of cocoa and a dry fruitiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy although a little thin.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Opaque black, with a brown head that tries to form but never makes it beyond a patchy cap. Eventually it settles to a thin collar.

S - Butter, caramel, and chocolate. Hint of coffee and alcohol.

T - Semi-sweet malt, followed by bittersweet chocolate, and black coffee with an astringent alcohol bite.

M - Creamy and moderately carbonated. Borderlines on full bodied.

D - A little strong for multiple glasses, and slightly unbalanced. Decent strong ale, but would've probably worked better with a few adjustments as an imperial or American double stout.

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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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Photo of warmstorage
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, $8.19 at Siciliano's, Grand Rapids, MI. No dating evide, tbottle states 8.5% ABV, 10* Plato.

Appearance: deep mahogany brown, with a medium beige head that leaves disappears rapidly, leaving significant lacing.

Aroma: oak and wood evident, vanilla, some slight tangy fruit.

Taste: fruit and vanilla dominate, oak and wood in the middle and finish, some chestnuts. Finishes with distinct smoke and oaky woodiness. Tastes like dark toasted french oak.

Mouth: slightly slick, but a little thin.

Overall: pretty tasty, and something I'd gladly drink again, but not terribly complex, and a little pricey for what it delivers.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

Opaque black with a thin light tan head that slowly settles to a thin bubbly rim.

Very faint roasty aromas with a little bit of brown sugar.

Mildly roasty grains, sort of like a mild porter with stronger alcohol. Not much else to the beer. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is the lingering slightly bitter malts.

This one sits in a category of its own. It's not quite like a porter but it draws similarities. It's a well rounded beer and very drinkable. Recommended.

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Photo of joepais
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a fingers worth of tan head that turned to lace on top of a black body

Aromas of chocolate and coffee filled my nose a nice oak woodiness as well

Taste the same as the nose but with slight alcohol warmth

Full bodied brew not much carbonation

I had this before I flew out of VA and I am glad I did it turned into a long flight. I finished the bomber by myself and was looking for more it's a good brew

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