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New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,589 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,589
Reviews: 1,153
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 182
Gots: 616 | FT: 36
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:
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 added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 3,589 | Reviews: 1,153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sipper. Good amount of lace and deep chocolale brown. Thanks Dr. Jay. Carbonation on aggressive side. Taste: coriander, orange, like a grand cru with lots of nother complexity. On the edge of funky. Medium-full mouthfeel.Lots of lace.A bit of wood in the finsih, and vanilla aftertaste.

Sammy, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

t0rin0, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FINEBEERGUY for this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and a slight whiff of Play-Doh. Taste is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and extremely sweet raw/natural sugar. There is a mild roasty bitterness that quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation for a stout with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barrel aged stout but it is extremely sweet and cloying.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +0.5%

djrn2, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a light head and not too much lace, but a sufficient amount not to get docked. Nose is nice with notes of oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, and some light coffee. The taste doesn't mix these together quite as well, but is still pretty good. Good feel coming from all different directions and quite drinkable for the big beer that it is.

Thorpe429, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +0.5%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.5%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -24.6%

acurtis, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of bourbon on the nose.
T: The taste has subtle flavors of bourbon along with some notes of the oak from the barrel aging and hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. There is some warming and burn from the alcohol in the finish, which also has some dryness.
D: The beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its high alcohol content.

metter98, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a slim beige head that does not retain well and only leaves modest lacing

Smell: A smattering of bourbon-infused oak provides an aromatic complement to a dried dark fruit and vanilla/chocolate base

Taste: The lactic qualities of this brew make themselves apparent from the start with a milky chocolate and dark fruit taste up front; after the swallow, the vanilla and oak flavors join to add complexity; the finish is relatively sweet with a touch of sourness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately low carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting, but a bit subdued; I was expecting something bolder on all fronts; in any event, an enjoyable brew

brentk56, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown with some burgundy color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some bourbon notes is well balance. Taste is also comprised of a nice balance between some sweet malt with some dry fruits elements as well as some bourbon with nice vanilla notes. Body is about average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol is apparent. I like how the bourbon is present but does not dominate or brings too much alcohol. A very interesting and different beer that leaves wanting to try more from this brewer.

Phyl21ca, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland may struggle a bit with their IPA recipe and execution, but their stouts have no such issues. As with their Night Tripper, Dragon's Milk delivers silky smooth chocolates with roasty backnotes and a touch of smoke, oak, and even bourbon- whether they meant to or not.

The beer pours with a silky layering effect into the snifter, and does so with the most dense espresso imaginable. With nearly milkshake-like consistency, the nearly black, dark bark-brown hue exudes the notions of roast, chocolate, and smoke. Lightly ingrained carbonation creates a creamy aesthetic, but also relinquishes a dainty tan head that dissolves midway through the session with minimal spotted lace. The beer is best observed through the spectacles of cognac or brandy.

The aromas are spot-on Bourbon Ball Candies made my many of my local Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark manufacturers. Where they never decry a bourbon infusion, the aromas of chocolate wafers, walnuts, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbony booze rises to the occasion and surplants any dessert at the after dinner party.

Flavors follow with a familiar tone. The direct carryover from scent brings about the dessert-like sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, creamy espresso, heavy cream, coconut, vanilla, caramel, almonds, and that ever present bourbon taste- but with all the taste and none of the burn. Roasted grains contribute light bitterness as do the woody hops, but these only act as slight balancing elements- this beer was never intended to be a balanced stout, but rather a richer and malt-focused taste with the complement of oak. It nails it to perfection!

Silky smooth and malty weighted, the beer projects a full texture and makes no apologies for it. Light on carbonation, the malty weight and sweet alcohols seep into the mouth's surfaces for a full flavor, savory, and labored transition across the palate. But that's ok- the savory, succulent, and velvety textures caress the palate and forgives the lack of dryness with ease. A long linger, well past the ill-faded finish, continues well into the next sip for a very digestive-intended session.

This stout is one of the most celebrated bourbon-flavored stouts that does not confess bourbon barrel aging, but merely oak aging. How dey do dat?

BEERchitect, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, so this one I actually had been looking for the longest time for, only to just now realize that we can get this in SC. I was shocked and very happy so you know I had to immediately pick some up. This is exactly what I did. Poured a nice deep orange brown, pretty translucent, and to be honest did not look too thick. A small off white head formed on the top but quickly evaporated and left behind only a token amount of lace, almost none of what was on the sides of the glass. Some carbonation was visible. The smell was interesting, definitely could detect a touch of wood ageing in here, the aroma of brandy not withheld, some caramel sweetness and a touch of grain in the back. The taste was interesting again, almost had like a Cola taste to it, especially in the finish. Lots of oak tastes and a hint of brandy like. The carbonation was rather decent and it drank a lot lighter then I thought it would. It was a tad hot and would probably benefit from laying down a little. Overall this was pretty decent of a night time sipper, though I was able to drink it a bit faster then that. It was nothing outstanding, but still pretty nice if you are a fan of the barrel aged beers. This was definitely detectable and overall probably a pretty fair representation of a barrel aged brew. Worth a try definitely.

mikesgroove, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Texasfan549, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

womencantsail, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

GRG1313, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger tan head with some lacing on a black with light getting through body

S: mostly coffee, vanilla and chocolate

T: Very chocolatey, more of a dark chocolate taste. Hints of vanilla, coffee and smokey notes

M: low to medium carbonation, smooth and thick bodied.

Overall: Very smooth but a little sweet. Creamy and coffee don’t always go well together. Not a bad beer, but takes a few sips to get used to.

kylehay2004, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

jaydoc, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Vintage 2012.

Appearance: Pours a very dark body, essentially black with a foaming, beige head that soon settles down to a slim film.

Smell: Jumbled sniff sniffing up the notes of grape soda, light anise, moistened barrels, and roast with already a whiff of the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and roast and toast and caramel and even sorghum syrup all come together wonderfully, beautifully even. A somewhat milky oatmeal quality throughout. Vibrant raisins touched with a little splash of Madeira. Woodsy barrel character with touches of vanilla, bourbon. Sweetish, round, luscious maltiness wrapped in the barrel-aging through to and beyond the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Thankfully, the taste delivered what the nose was just embarrassingly fumbling around with. Almost hazardously drinkable. I'll be honest, it has been several years since I'd last had this -- nice to see it finally in Georgia.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out pretty dark black in color. The head came and went pretty quick, not leaving much lacing. The smell of the beer was burnt and a little acidic. The flavor of the beer had some deep roasted malts, and chocolate in there. The Oak Barrels added a slight sourness to the brew. The mouthfeel to me seemed a little flat. Overall It was decent stout, not one of my favorites though. I don't see myself running out to get more anytime soon.

Knapp85, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown with a one finger tight head that settles quicly leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,some nice caramel aromas along with some malted milk and some of the oak left behind very nice.Very lactic flavors for an old ale malted milk and deep woody flavors along with some chocolate with alate sourness wich I didnt care for much.A very flavorful big beer but not a fan of the sour finish.

oberon, May 20, 2005
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -24.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 09, 2013
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New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 3,589 ratings.