Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

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Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,198 | FT: 40
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: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
Photo of tavernjef
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,501 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a dark black color with just the tiniest bit of dark brown highlights. Absolutely no head formation even after a rather vigorous pour.

(S)- A general roastedness of malts. A bit of raisin & molasses-like coffee. Finishes with a touch of vanilla & brown sugar sweetness.

(T)- Basically, just like the smell foretold, only with an obviously present warmth. Rather sweet.

(M)- A good carbonation level for the style. A relatively good balance to it. Just has a small level of boozy warmth going down.

(D)- Definitely New Holland's best offering and perhaps their most popular too. Still a little sweet like most of New Hollands offerings, but not overly so. I wouldnt mind having this once and awhile. (771 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance- Served a deep brown colored brew with a tiny tan colored head. The head fades almost instantly leaving just scant lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweeter caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla and a coffee smell with a strong presence of roasted malt. Mixed with these smells is a moderately strong oaky and bourbon smell, producing when combined with the sweeter and roastier smells, a very warming smelling brew.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter caramel and coffee flavor upfront. There is some milk chocolate in the taste upfront with both becoming stronger more toward the middle of the taste. The caramel fades slightly in the middle however, leaving a slightly drier flavor. This loss of caramel is replaced by some flavors of vanilla later in the taste. In the end a strong bourbon, boozy, and oak flavor come to the tongue. These are accompanied by some earthy hop flavors as well as an increase in the roasted malt and bitter coffee characteristics of the brew to leave a lightly bittered and roasty boozy warming taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of its creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. The feel is a bit off as a creamier and thicker body would have really be much more appropriate for the boozy, oak, and roasted flavors of the brew with a lower carbonation level allowing all the darker and boozier flavors time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A tasty and boozy stout. It has a great warming and oaky flavor with a slow drinking style, even with the slightly lesser mouthfeel quality, it is still fantastic. (1,693 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown opaque color with garnet highlights at the edges and a thin later of milk chocolate head that dissipates leaving no trace.

Booze, malted milk balls, molasses, and oak lead the nose, with nutty roast malt forming the backbone. Hints of plums and raisins surface, and a hint of earthy hop.

Flavor is dominated by dark fruit initially, raisins, figs, and alcohol linger throughout. Roast malt surfaces late, with oak and a hint of citrus rounding the profile. As it warms chocolate dominates the taste.

Body is fairly thick, with minimal carbonation, and an alcoholic warmth can be felt throughout the sip.

A very tasty brew that could benefit from a little aging to soften the alcohol. Would definitely buy again. (734 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

On tap at Fresh Craft. Dark black, almost no head whatsoever. Aroma is slightly boozy, touch of barrel. Flavor is good, vanilla, booze, barrel and stout. The body is a little thin. Overall, not bad, I'd like a four pack please.

A:4
S:3.75
T:3.75
M:3.5
O:3.75 (260 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
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 GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.

Pours a dark opaque black with a one inch head and not much lacing.

Smells include dark roasted malt, vanilla, and some oak.

Not much bourbon flavor in this BA stout, it's more of an oak and vanilla story. Some chocolate and roasted malt flavor. I might be spoiled now by other intense versions of this style, but this seems slightly muted. Good flavors, but would prefer a stronger barrel character. Quite sweet, slightly cloying.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, coats your mouth. Not much alcohol present.

A good beginner's BA stout, I think, but not one of the greats. (635 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review 300!

vintage 2011.

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: dark black beer with a thin cap that fades to a small ring around the glass. spotty lace.

Smell: A vanilla and oak bomb with some fudge brownies and chocolate cake. U can smell some booze in there too.

Taste: moderately roasty with mildly bitter notes upfront. Expresso, cocoa, and dark chocolates. The beer sweetens up in the middle with mostly vanilla and some taste of chocolate cake. Bourbon is noticed in the finish and makes the oak notes become more pronounced. The bourbon is warming and has just a subtle boozy heat to it.

Mouthfeel: Its medium bodied stout with low carbonation. Really smooth bourbon barrel stout. Its a little too flat, but its close enough and does not hinder the beer too much.

Overall: This beer is Bourbon County Stouts little brother. Now that BCBS is so hard to get I will be drinking a lot more of this beer because its easier to get and quite comparable. New Holland does a great job with this barrel aged beer. (1,032 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. Vintage 2011. From notes. Reviewed 25 June 2011.

A: Dark black, with ruby glints in the light. Very little head.

S: Lots of whisky -- bourbon, oak, vanilla, alcohol. Not very strong, but what's present is very good.

T: Nice, but subdued. The maintaste is sort of vanilla-sweet. The aftertaste is slightly drying and very bourbon-y. Sweet all around and not much else. Considering the name, disappointing.

M: Full, rich, creamy, and scrumptious. Little carbonation.

O: A big, punchy-sweet imperial milk stout. Decent, but I prefer other imperial stouts. Not recommended, but it's not unfortunate. You might buy one just to keep the bottle/label. (703 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, minimal head, clear

Smell: cream, sugar, oak, burnt malt, and cocoa

Taste: the oak dominates, but there are hints of milk chocolate, coffee, and burnt malt towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, prickly, moderate to heavy body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A good not great strong ale. You must like oak for this one to appeal. This one is sweet but not overly so. The dominate oak gives this some bite and is biggest reason why this one is a one per sitting beer. (503 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A- Black with a small head that has lower-end retention. A cloud and ring leave a small amount of spotty lace.

S- Notes of dark malt, whiskey/oak and molasses/sweet caramel malt. It fades a bit but is still nice.

T- A fairly strong whiskey and oak presence above a roasty scotch ale-like malt backbone. It has just a bit of a medicinal strong dark fruit note.

MF- Moderate body with slight creaminess and a fairly oily feeling. Some warmth and lower end carbonation suits the flavor.

DB- Good stuff. It reminds me sort of Backwoods Bastard with less whiskey and a more roasty-Stout feeling. It is strange because they don't even mention Bourbon/Whiskey on the bottle or website. The medicinal hint is my only small rant here. (751 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says Vintage 2013

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing cascades down the glass leaving a thick ring behind it.

S- Sweet aroma of vanilla, caramel and charred oak. Not very boozy

T- Incredibly smooth. Too smooth to be a stout aged in bourbon barrels. The dark roasted malt sets the tone for a remarkable blend of flavors including black cherry, vanilla and molasses. So good. The hops chime in to create some balancing bitterness but not once does the flavor become overly boozy.

M- Creamy and thick with medium carbonation and a very full body.

O- I'm astonished that this beer presently has a score of just 88. This is one of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I've ever had and you can check my track record to verify that I've had some of the best. Maybe the fact that it is so smooth and hides its char, oak and ABV well is why some people aren't down with it. Not enough in-your-face extremity. If you want a well-balanced, smooth and drinkable BBA stout, this one's for you. (1,209 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Drinkable! A dark brown brew with a tan head of foam. Aromas are all over the place. Vanilla, chocolate, cream/milk (?), a bit of oakiness and a bit of a strange, lingering, alcohol-like aroma (bourbon?). The taste is a straight up creamy mix of coffee, cream, chocolate, vanilla, and some other undestinct hints. The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and very easy to drink. The drinkability is amazing for a 10%abv brew as well. This one is really a winner! So unique and drinkable, yet high in complexity and abv! Why is this brew not highly regarded on BA!? (561 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.89/5  rDev +24.4%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown with khaki colored head. Roasted malt, chocolate, oak, bourbon, and vanilla sweetness on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with bourbon and cocoa. (183 characters)

Photo of popery
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

2012. Pours dark brown. It's lighter than expected and and I can see through two to three inches of liquid to the bottom of my little snifter. Small beige head. Pretty good retention and lacing for the style and strength. The aroma is dominated by sweet bourbon. Stout flavors are sitting in the background, mostly just contributing some sweet caramel and chocolate.. The bourbon is nice enough, if a bit simple. Lots of vanilla and toffee. Taste is similar. Everything about this beer just seems simple and sweet. There's some more nice milk chocolate, caramel, sugar cane, vanilla, maybe a touch of pepper, but little depth. Good deal of booze in both taste and aroma. Mild oak. Maybe a touch of roast in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and kinda sticky. Finish is sweet and boozy. At first blush, I thought this beer surpassed my low expectations, but ultimately, I think my memories of sips at tastings and whatnot were spot on. It's better than Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, which I admit is a pretty low bar, but it's still just a sweet, simple beer dominated by sweet, simple bourbon flavors. (1,098 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark brown and in the glass in a black color with a huge off white brownish head.

The aroma has a beautiful rich toasty/roasty marshmallow, roasted almond, cocoa powder, a mix of a spicy and whole wheat breadiness, and nuttiness.

The flavor hits up front with richly toasted malt, cocoa, a creamy milk and melted ice cream flavor. The beer finish with vanilla, almond, and caramel sweetness. Some oak and stiff bitterness on the back. Some alcohol as well.

In general, the beer is lacking in flavor. It definitely does not remind one of a bourbon barrel aged stout. (592 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sheffield's into a goblet.

A: As black as black gets with a thin tan head. Decent retention and very light lace on its way to a sold ring. Pretty good-looking for a strong beer.

S: Bourbon is apparent at first, but isn't allowed to dominate. Rich vanilla and caramelized dark fruit (prunes and raisins) follow up with great intensity. Butterscotch and the cinnamon rolls from River Street Restaurant in Spooner, WI are also apparent. Awesome.

T: Follows the nose amazingly precisely. Huge wood, bourbon, malt, caramel, vanilla, fruit, and only the lightest bit of alcohol on the finish. Outstanding.

M: Surprisingly light body that absolutely explodes into pure ultra-=fine effervescence. Interesting, but not necessarily what I want from the style.

D: Excellent for being so strong and sweet.

Notes: Great beer. Stands up to the best of all strong ales, Angel's Share. Stands up quite well, in fact. Delicious, decadent brew.

Cheers! (951 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark brown color. The head is small and recedes very quickly into a this ring around the glass, and leaves no lacing. The aroma is of chocolate with a hint of sourness, then some graham crackers. The taste is amazing. It is like drinking liquid chocolate with a nice sourness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is one of a kind. It is possibly the fullest bodied beer I have ever drank, and quite smooth too. Overall, this beer is pretty darn good. (464 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The crossroads between magenta and black with a receding tan skim.
Oak is evident from the get-go. Some traces of heavy cream, but the woody, vanilla, sourish/buttery tinge of the oak is the ringer here.
Begins meagerly malted with nods towards both coffee and prune. As an exercise in oak-aging, this is unsurpassed, as it brings all sorts of toasty, vanilla-sweet hazelnuts, and woodsy tartness. Yeast mingles well with a rich lather of churned butter. Forget about hops.
This is a simple ale on wood, and therefore impersonates something more complex than it really is. It has little malt structure to speak of. I could drink this all fucking night because I adore the oak hues imparted here. But that in itself does not a great beer make.
Oodles of potential here and I plead for New Holland to tweak this as they go along. It's nice as it is (at least for oak fans), but, this pushes strongly for something deeper, somerhing more profound, more erotic.

Right now, it settles for Showtime, but with some attention, it could blossom into full-blown, hardcore mouth porn. (1,083 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -2%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
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 pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright coffee black under a clingy, frothy tan foam collar. S: Winey malt aromas with traces of chocolate. T: Malty caramel chocolate flavors are enhanced by oaky vanilla and big alcohol flavors. Dark chocolate bitter finish. F: Creamy, chewy, medium carbonation. O: A potent, big alcohol beer loaded with flavor that is a treat to drink. (348 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Thin khaki head, the beer itself is blackish with some red hues escaping.

smell: This beer smells really wierd, seems to share alot of characteristics with the darker red wines. I smell tannins, and what I think are tart cherry and blackberry notes. Slight roasted aromas. Definately some oakiness in there. Not many hops that I can pick up on, and the slightest tinge of alcohol.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is almost high and the body on the heavier side of light.

taste: I am picking up on some tart cherry-like flavors, and an almost lambic like sourness. Is this a bad bottle? Hard to differentiate between any hop bitterness that may be present and the astringency. Slight roasted, coffee like flavors. Obvious oak characteristics are present, too much so. Aftertaste is sour with an almost chalky feeling left in the mouth, and just a tiny hint of cocoa on the senses.

Thanks dirtylou for the two bottles. This bottle has been in the cellar since June, and I think I am going to have to keep the other in there until then next year to see if there is any improvement. At this point, it is a strange, slightly offensive beer. I started at cellar temperature of 50 Fahrenheit and the beer definately got better as it became even warmer, almost to room temperature. The more I drank, the better it tasted. (1,330 characters)

Photo of jaxon53
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer I've been wanting to try for sometime. This is also my first New Holland beer. Served this just slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Dragon's Milk pours out what appears to be black, with deep garnet highlights. A semi-strong pour resulted in about a finger of bubbly tan head. Head faded quickly into a soapy tan coating atop the beer. Just a bit of random lace was left behind.

Smell: Malty, with complex oak layers that have hints of char. I'm getting slight notes of chocolate and caramel. A bit of cherry lingers in the background with a mild blast of booze.

Taste: Again, nice thick malt comes through first with a good dose of oak. The oak flavor really gives this beer a smooth flavor. Again I'm picking up hints of chocolate and a bit of faint coffee. There was also a bit of char that was also noticed in the nose. Slight vanilla undertones. The 8.5 percent ABV goes almost unnoticed, except for a slight warmth when it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Almost thick, full bodied mouthfeel. Quite smooth with a moderate amount of tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable thanks to the smoothing, mellowing effect of the oak. Would love to have this beer again. (1,236 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.