Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,595 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,595
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,169 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,595 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 27 Oct 2008.

Used my 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter for this. Samll foamy beige head. Medium carbonation. Very dark brown color, not quite opaque. Smells of coffee, licorice, dark chocolate, mushrooms. Starts sweet and roasty. Almost like cold hot chocolate. Good roastiness and chocolate throughout. On the sweet side. Oak not really noticeable. Alcohol well hidden, seems light. Hint of vanilla in the finish. Medium body. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Overall very nice.

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with almost mahogany fringes. Its very dark, light doesn't readily pass through the glass. The carbonation is clearly visible. The off-white head quickly dissipates to form a ring around the surface. Wispy clouds of foam gather in the middle of my glass. There was a subtle bit of lacing.

S: The aroma is dominated by hints of caramel and toffee. There is a burnt toast aroma that could possibly be from the oak. I found it to smell slightly hoppy, though not a major characteristic.

T: The oak is prevelant, with subtle hints of rich vanilla and creamy caramel. The hoppy bitterness is nice and does not detract from the rich characteristics of the vanilla and oak. A little alcohol on the finish, tasted similar to bourbon.

M: A medium bodied ale that was very smooth and had only a hint of carbonation. The finish was pretty dry which I attribute to the hops and possibly to the oak. I would say that the carbonation is dead on. The roof of my mouth was left feeling thickly coated.

D: An extremely easily downed and smooth ale with a great bourbon finish. Nothing was too harsh, it was mellow from the start. A very impressive beer, claps to New Holland.

Photo of Lambstrong
4.29/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is 9% and for that i suppose the head shouldn't be too amazing but it is pretty good. the head dies off but the off white head and inky black body werve well together

S: There is a vanilla bean and and oak wood character with malt and burnt toast

T: Milk for sure, go figure... but there is more vanilla barrel and somewhat creamy and very smooth. the body is medium in nature hedging towards thick

this is a really good beer, its hard to describe but it is fantastic

Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nearly opaque with hints of color coming through into the dark reds territory. Head is a bit soapy and not as concentrated and therefore pops and fades quickly.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, mild chocolate, and a ton of oak and woodiness from the barrels. Smoke and spice come through, along with a bit of mild charcoal and vanilla.

Taste: Huge oak flavors, but I like that a lot. If you don't, you probably won't like this beer, bottom line. But a nice mix of roasted malts, spicy vanilla, a bit of tobacco, hints of cream, mild mocha, and charcoal come through. And that seems to be what a lot of RIS are made of, but here it seems to be mostly because of the wood, which I admire. It's less heavy on the roasted malt character, which is fine considering what the wood aging seems to do here positively overall. Long finish with roasted woodiness and vanilla flavors lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some chewiness and creaminess due to the carbonation being sans-spritzy and more leading with the fullness.

Drinkability: I wish it wasn't nearly $8 for a bomber, as that seems way too much. But over a long period of time, especially if you like barrel aging, then this is a quality brew. I hope to try more from this series in the future.

Photo of bheilman
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice dark golden brown amberish color to it. Has a fair amount of hops making me think it was somewhere between an imperial ipa and a Belgian double. I really like the flavor although I'm sure I couldn't handle more than a bomber due to the thick richness. It does have a slight buttery taste, so I think it's fairly valid to have milk in the title. The scent is extremely caramelish and of course that definitely influences the taste on this one. I will seek this out again. I think it could even improve with some cellaring. This beer has made me want to set up a trip to the brewery.

Photo of BierFan
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been cellaring this since November, but I heard from a fellow BA that it doesn't cellar well so I decided to drink it now. No "brewed on" date so I have no idea how old it really is. Poured from a 22 ounce brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hard pour produced a 3 finger tan head. An almost black body only has slight ruby hues shining through when it's held to a light. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mostly alcohol with a fair bit of vanilla as well. The same vanilla aroma that I got from New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole Wheatwine and Black Tulip Trippel, which makes me think that perhaps they use the same yeast for all of their "High Gravity Series" beers. I wish that the oak or malts were stronger in the smell, but they just aren't.

Taste: Lots of vanilla, if there was any oak in here before it's gone now. Kind of disappointing because I've had one of these that was fresher and the oak was really noticeable and delicious. Aside from being currently oak-less it still tastes alright and has a very creamy but kinda light mouthfeel to it.

Photo of tavernjef
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep and dark root beer brown during the pour settling an even darker tarred brown thats nearly black. It has just the faintest of hints to light getting thru at the edges and bottom. Huge frothy dark tanned foam whips itself into a firm stacking and keeps a steadily thick amount consistantly present on top. A thin, whispery sheeting of lace coats the entire glass and sticks like glue. One very nice looking Strong ale!

Aroma is mildly present but firm and pleasing with mostly chocolate being the main staple before vanilla, dark cherry, dates, and deep bourbon notes take in the rest of each wiff.

Taste is more of the same with a rounded, overall tone of chocolate infused with bourbon hints and tenderly noted with a bold vanilla and caramel backing and some brief seepings of dark fruits do a bit of work to tang it up some. The finish is totally worth it as its complexity is quite nice with fluffy chocolate and slippery cherry/date hinted bourbony heat. Reminds me of a simpler G.I. Bourbon Cnty Stout.

Feel is a solid medium with a firm and creamy front and middle then finishes well as noted in the taste with a nicely textured fluff and warmth that coats the mouth and gullet fairly well and with a length thats favorably yummy and memorable.

Can't help but think this is more like a stout, but as a Strong ale its a nice change of pace and suits New Holland and the name "Dragon's Milk" very well and is a solid brew to drink down and warm up with in these chilled Wintery evenings.

Photo of imagineiii
2.76/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aggresive pour yeilds a dark brown, almost porter-like appearance. Good inch of off white, large bubbled head. dissipates slowly, leaving decent lace behind. no complaints here.

Smells like a chocolate porter. dry, very faint bourbon notes. nothing spectacular at all.

This is where it falls apart. Initial taste is a strange and uncomforting astrigency on the tongue. Followed by dryness of a porter that doesnt hold much of a bourbon flavor. After taste is chemically. Alcohol is well hidden tho.

Aside from astringent taste, the beer has a nice weight to it. It isnt too bad in the mouth but it falls apart after.

Drinkable, I dont think so. Im wondering if I can finish it.

Photo of Beerasaurus
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap as the Black Tulip was unavailable.

Appearance was similar to a stout, dark with a tannish head, though the head was minimal.

Maybe my nose wasn't working, but a didn't detect any real aroma.

The taste almost an overpowering oaky/bourbon flavor, not my favorite.

Mouthfeel was somewhat milky.

Worth a try, but for the High Gravity offerings, I'd go with the Black Tulip.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown color that borders of black very closely, but there is some coloration along the bottom edge - a ruby highlight. Sticky lacing.

The aroma is very woody, predominantly oak. It's a little overbearing. Lots of chocolate notes, i.e., mild roast with some sweetness and a little dark fruitiness. Vanilla bean and fusel alcohols are all over the back end of the nose.

The flavor is a bit overly sweet for me to really say I like it. The oak is a little too dominant for me - I guess maybe bourbon barrels would have worked better with the char and vanilla characters exhibited elsewhere.

Some roasted malt again, with the molasses component mixing with a sweeter side. The vanilla is pretty evident, with, again, the fusel alcohols not far behind.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the finish is all vanilla. Pretty interesting and unusual, but not quite up my alley.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with ruby edges,one finger tan head.Aroma of vanilla,chocolate,burbon,oak,and dark roasted barly very nice. Flavor is complex and changes as it warms,sweet boozy vanilla creamy oaky honey burbon goodness. Full creamy mouthfeel,chewy and sticky.This came highly reccomended, I now agree.... Good stuff !

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest on 2/15/08: Hmm, this tasted like a stout to me. I also tasted coffee, raisins, and prunes. There was a background sweetness in the taste. Enjoyable.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20
(3.7/5)

Photo of Talisker
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased and poured on 12-25-08 (priced at $7.39, so it had better be good!). No vintage or other freshness marking on bottle, but I'm assuming it's the "2008" version.

Generally "porter-y" - has some chalk in the texture, reminds me of powdered milk. Slightly burnt flavor, more dry than sweet overall. Nice vanilla roast on the nose, but a noticeable alcohol burn at the back of the throat brings this one down for me.

Hard to pin down as a style. I'm happy I tried it. Not a bad beer, but not one I'll rush to track down again.

Photo of HIFF
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark stout like color with a nice thick foamy head. Nice welcoming aroma of vanilla, toffee, and oak. Strong ale flavor with hints of the oak barrel in which it was aged. Also tasted tones of vanilla and roasted barley. This was a thick ale almost stout like. I would only want to drink one or two of these in a sitting. Overall a very complex brew and one that I look forward to trying again in the future.

Photo of hellbilly
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the first bottle i had of this was terribly infected and very sour. this, on the other hand is incredible. it reminds me of an imperial porter... but not.

pours a very dark burgundy brown. the head is tan but minimal and manages to leave some spotty lace on the glass in it's short time on this planet. vaya con dios, my friend!

aromas of vanilla cream, coffee, roasty grains, chocolate and brown sugar fill my nose. as it hits nearly room temperature, the bourbon-y/spicy/woody characters really start to come in to play.

the flavor is much like the aroma... lots of roast/malt powdery goodness, coffee, milky chocolate, caramel, vanilla and faint barrel/earthy notes with a spicy kick on the finish. coffee really hangs on in the aftertaste as the belly gets nice and warm from the booze. extremely 'well' bodied but seemingly light for how much flavor it packs in. it's not sticky as it has a pleasant acidity and spiciness to cut through the richness...

i must have been drinking a lot of craptacular beer lately because i actually had to stop what i was doing to enjoy this...

8/4/8/4/19/4.3

Photo of beer2day
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a redish tint. Slight tan head with little retention. Stong chocolate, vanilla aroma with hints of coffee. Oakiness varies bottle-to-bottle. Mouthfeel brings memories of milkshakes. A very, very good beer. Would love to try this on draft.

Photo of UDbeernut
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into 10 oz snifter

a: deep brown/amber with a silky head with decent retention

s: chocolate, vanilla, and coffee aroma

t: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and I do notice the alcohol as it warms. Very nice tasting.

m&d: creamy mouthfeel, slightly higher ABV does not make it a session brew.

Very good Ale.

Cheers

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red/brown pour, almost no head to it. Not a strong aroma, slight coffee and toffe. Pretty malty with carmel and slight chocolate. Nice warming going down, 9% abv not offensive at all. Had some other bourbon barrel aged beers, I don't get much in this one from oak barrel.. Reminds me of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. Not bad at all though.

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a blackish-brown with very, very little carbonation and a fleeting tan head.

S - Woody/oak fumes, chocolate, vanilla.

T - Powerful. The first thing that appears to me is the oakiness of the whole thing. The oakiness cradles within it some vanilla and maybe faint black coffee with malty goodness sprinkled in. Not a heavy aftertaste with this one.

M - Akin to 2% milk.

D - I downed a single bomber of this and didn't care for any more. This is a complex and carefully crafted beer that isn't necessarily my favorite style.

Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of sudsface69
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Man, I love winter. Not only for the snow and the crisp, cold air, but for the BEER!! And this one is definitely one that I can't wait to get my hands on as soon as it is released. Maybe it's because I'm also a big bourbon fan, but I really like this beer. In the nose, you can gather right away that this beer has spent some time in bourbon barrels. It has aromas of bourbon, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, sweet cream, chocolate, and a hint of spice. I also love the mouthfeel! Nice and creamy, (feels and tastes like there was some lactose thrown in to provide residual sugars) with a roundness and depth that just fills the mouth with goodness. The only downside to this beer is that (at least out of the 22oz bottles) the head is a little thin and tends to disappear quite quickly. I'd love it if the head were a little creamier and stayed around a little longer. Nonetheless, this is still one of my favorite winter beers. A bit pricey, but definitely worth it!

Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'07 Dragon's Milk on tap @ Crunchy's in East Lansing 8/6/08

opaque deep dark blackish brown, tan head fades, mmm

smells of nice heavy lactosey(? maybe oats?) chocolate, bitter, creamy depth, roasty alcohol, dark fruit, rum

taste is appley compared to fresh, alchohol muted nicely, sweet thick malts, slightly roasty, bitter, malts dominate, creamy complex chocolate, nicely mellowed compared to fresh but i think i prefer the aggressiveness of fresh, light alcohol heat, rum, raisins, plums

mouthfeel is heavy, thick, rich, a complex sipper, loads of amazing flavors mmmm

Photo of rhinos00
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
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...

Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque charcoal black with auburn prints and highlights of maroon when held directly to the light. Darkened and quite lusterless, it's a very dull, shadowed appearance. I'd never observe any head, regardless of the angle on pouring, but note a thin off-white envelope which embalmed the beer and doted all parts of the glass.

The aroma is pleasing but far from decadent. There are crisp toffee wafers and a light presence of cocoa beans. Beyond that you'll have to get your nose wet to discover exactly what lies within; as hard as I sniff I fail to discover anything more. I try to imagine dark caramel, rich rum-raisin, vanilla custard and strong espresso but I fail to pick any of it out.

The taste falls a little closer to the mark, boasting notes of raw, unprocessed vanilla bean, gourmet roast coffee, rich caramel, hints of black licorice and unrefined cocoa. The oak is now wholly apparent, imparting hints of ash and dry untreated wood. There's a surprisingly generous dose of coconut. Still, it won't be enough to crack the top of my best-of list.

The oak imparts much needed dimension to the beer. It adds vanilla, an ounce of sweetened spice and just a touch of tannic quality. Those notes of chocolate reside on the palate showcasing both bitter and sweet; that combination is enticing. The alcohol percentage never shows and this achieves a very drinkable status that will only improve with a little warmth.

New Holland's decision to age this in oak barrels was most likely a smart one. Although it is a quality stout, or whatever Beer Advocate chooses to list it as, the beer no doubt benefited from a little extra complexity. It's certainly something that will suit the cellar and makes a more than worthy pick up if you're fortunate enough to find it.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,595 ratings.