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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,302 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,302
Hads: 4,905
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.33%
Wants: 295
Gots: 1,443 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,302 | Hads: 4,905
Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is interesting - somewhat smoky like a stout, but with a strong alcohol bite like a barleywine and a decided overtone of oak. It pours a dark, warm, chocolaty brown with a fairly thick beige head that is not all that persistent. Flavor is somewhere between a stout and a barleywine - oak dominates, and there is some "stouty" smoke-coffee-chocolate flavor plus quite a strong alcohol bite like a good brandy. Texture is sharp, edgy and tingly, going down more like hard liquor than beer.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of the first "big" stouts that I tried on my expedition into the craft world. Now that I've had many more, I can review this one respectively. Pours a very dark brown color, black in spots, with super-deep ruby shades at the very edges of the glass and top of the beer. The pour isn't as thick as you'd expect for a typical 10% ABV stout.

The tan head is pretty small and recessed, but hangs around for a while before vanishing into a simple ring around the glass. The nose is pretty heavy on this one; booze, dark cocoa, oak and woodiness, sugary vanilla, sharp, dark figs and dates. Sweetness is far more apparent on the nose than any kind of bitterness, typically expected for heavy stouts.

The taste of Dragon's Milk is far more powerful and commanding than the aroma would ever lead you to believe. Hefty handfuls of roasted malts begin to the lay the groundwork for this complex monster. Musky, wet oak and wood chips, burnt brown sugar, molasses, dark, bitter cocoa beans, sharp vanilla sweetness, and most of all, heavy booze. Many 10%+ ABV beers do all they can to mask and hide their alcohol content, but not Dragon's Milk - the booze is right on the front lines.

The booziness adds a huge level of robustness and power, causing you to respect it with slow sips and a drinking session likely to go beyond a half an hour (at least). As expected, this beer just continues to open up with warmth. The booze gets stronger, the vanilla is sweeter, the cocoa is darker and more bitter. I don't sense much of a hop presence in this beer. It might be there, but I sure as hell don't taste it. The mouth is silky and slick, albeit still a bit more thin than wanted/expected. Carbonation is pretty subdued overall, but it's not really a nuisance.

My tastes have changed greatly over time, and Dragon's Milk doesn't quite impress me as much as it once did. However, it's still not an awful choice considering there aren't many "year round" bourbon barrel aged stouts on the shelves. It's a bit too hot to enjoy in any quantity, but it's a relatively decent introduction to the style. If you remotely like Dragon's Milk at all, you're gonna love plenty of other BBA stouts.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of fthomasl, thanks bra! Pours quite black, very little highlights. Tan foam fades quick and leaves little lacing.

Nose is vanilla, chocolate malty, bourbony and alcoholic! Nice blend of different scents. Maybe even some licorice and anise as it warms.

This is a very nice surprise, easily the best New Holland brew I have had. All the flavors blend together very well. Sweet and roasty with licks of vanilla rum and chocolate. Smooth, adequate mouthfeel. I am enjoying this quite a bit...It is nothing outstanding, but at the same time everything a barrel aged stout/strong ale should be. Very drinkable.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly enjoyable drinking experience with this one. Dark brown bordering on black.

Barrel properties are quite apparent on the nose...oak...bourbon...light vanilla..

Full bodied...solid carbonation...pretty smooth and velvety in the mouth...

Taste is loaded with oak, and bourbon...roasted maltiness....a little bit of dark cocoa as well..

Finishes dry....booze is hidden but becomes noticable on the long finish..

An excellent strong ale I will likely purchase again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start of by saying I am absolutely unfamiliar with this style...this brew is my first foray into the world of the ASA.

The color is a very deep, dark brown, nearly black. A brown head retains well and leaves moderate lacing.
There's a vanilla malt in the forefront on the nose back by toasty grains with woody, earthy undertones.
A little complexity underlying; a light fruit and bittersweet aroma is detected as well. There's an odd tinge that's remotely detectable.
There is a dry, woody flavor up front that gives an earthy overtone that gives way to a mixture of underlying flavors. A vanilla malt follows with some toasted grains and a flavor that's very much like a vanilla / cream soda taste remains on the palate in a finish that lingers fairly well. There is a barely detectable astringency that could perhaps be alcoholic in nature that lurks on the back of the tongue. Overall it's a great flavor.
The mouthfeel is firstly creamy and extremely smooth. The body is medium and carbonation is light.
The ABV limit's the drinkablity, but don't shy away from this one.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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

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Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit nonic. Poured a massively dark brown (almost black) with a minimal light tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, and subtle sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I thought with some age on this one that the alcohol aspect would be completely gone. On the flavor that was definitely the case. However on the flavor there was still a nice little kiss of booziness to be found that was rather surprising at first. Once your palate adjusted to this though it was really quite nice to have a touch of heat to this one. It was fairly well balanced with just a hint of roastiness but more sweetness with the vanilla and caramel going on. A really well done brew that I would suggest anyone to try at least once.

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

Dark walnut color with a medium beige head and nice lacing. The aroma has a light smoke character, along with sweet malt and hops. Medium-bodied with a nice oak undertone. There is a nice mixture of toasted malt, smoke, bourbon and muted hops. The finish is rather short and mildly sweet. Doesn’t quite live up to the cool name, but enjoyable all the same.

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Photo of popery
3.12/5  rDev -21%
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.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours and opaque oil black with a one fingered toffee colored head, and thick lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass.

S - Dark chocolate, oak, roasted malt, some vanilla, and a little bit of booziness.

T - Alcohol effervesence is quite strong with this beer, it was the first thing I noticed. After I got past the alcohol presence, is strong dark roasted malt, traces of vanilla, bold oak flavor, and dark roasted chocolate bitterness that leaves a lingering coating in the mouth. There's a little bit of a caramel rum like flavor in there as well.

M - Medium bodied, boozy effervesence, slight prickles on the tongue, and lip smacking sticky on the lips.

O - Wish I would have aged this 2011 bottle instead of cracking it open tonight. Something like this would be amazing if it were aged in a bourbon or red wine barrel. The alcohol presence is a little too strong.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz pour on draft at Tempest in Madison, Wisconsin. Served in a brandy snifter.

Comes with a dark black body, one finger effervescent offwhite head with good retention, no lacing. Smells of vanilla, oak, mild hints of bourbon, deep roast, milk chocolate, touch of black espresso. Aromatic and pleasant, without any hint of heat. Flavour is similarly roasty with plenty of milk chocolate and cocoa, touch of bourbon, vanilla, oak, no heat. Easy to drink with plenty of flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not as full as bigger stouts but hefty enough. Good carbonation on draft. Lingering milk chocolate and vanilla on the finish. A tasty, slightly underpowered bourbon barrel aged stout which will hit the spot more often than not. It's on the opposite end of the spectrum from Central Waters' Bourbon Barrel Stout- more of the base stout, less of the bourbon barrel but still not lacking in the latter.

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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 KarlHungus
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of Suds
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Beer! Much better than I expected. It pours a dark, reddish-brown that's nearly black. The head is a medium-tan, although it falls somewhat quickly. The aroma is what makes this beer so enticing. It's woody, smokey, and has a huge, intense vanilla note. Wow. Strong malt, and a roasted-nut scent behind the wood, this is complex and very rewarding to sniff. Alcohol is folded into the aroma as well, with a brandy-like boozy-ness. The taste is drier than expected with a lot of warmth and malt. Roasted notes, and a bit of grain. Medium in body. This is good stuff.

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Photo of jera1350
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark black with a thin layer of tan foam that reduces to a ring.

Spicy and boozy. Black pepper, dark Appleton rum, some caramel notes and bourbon.

Initial taste- rum and cola. Big and boozy. Some burnt toffee, bit of coffee, bourbon, slight cherry juice taste and lots of vanilla extract. Has the vanilla bean and alcohol taste of vanilla extract. Powerful flavors all around. Mellows a bit as it warms.

Smooth with softish carbonation. Feel also reminds me of a rum and cola. Slightly more than medium bodied, warming alcohol.

Flavors are huge and can overwhelm. Very boozy. Tough to do a whole bomber of this. A unique beer that won't soon be forgotten.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

I really need to revisit this one, as the few times I had it I don't think I was ready for BA stouts. One of the most unique beers I have had. Pours black with heavy bourbon and vanilla notes. Tastes like those root beer barrell candies, vanilla and bourbon on the finish. Very warm alcohol. A bit sweet for my tastes, and mouthfeel is rather thin for a stout, especially one with that Imperial name in it. Would like to try and rerate this later. Strange, but extra points for its uniqueness.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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!?

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Photo of jaxon53
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.