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 BenZ
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is clean and not so sweet, but the oak/bourbon is just right. As it warms the sweetness comes forward a little and some slight fruit even rears it's head. No chocolate or coffee to speak of. Glad I found this beer.

Photo of FernMaster
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip.
Meeeh! Right out of the bottle I was going, "meh." The pour was uninspired, there was absolutely no head. PBR has head, how does this fail to have head? The look is fine else wise, it looks like any dark beer. The smell is meh, very faint not distinct, just average. Actually it almost has no smell. Try and swirl this, I dare you, you'll won't get any noticeable scent. The taste, I swear I've had this beer before. Oh wait, no I haven't it's just that Dragon's Milk has such an average taste that you'll swear you've had this before. The beer proclaims that it was aged in Oak Barrels, yet I can't taste it. It's about as disappointing as having a bachelor party in your friends with basement with no stripper. (Story behind that comparison.) The proclamation that it was aged in Oak barrels was the reason I bought this beer and that it was called Dragon's Milk, that's cool. You know how hard it is to milk Dragons? It's impossible because they don't exist, silly. My roommate and I spent more time trying to identify what it tasted like, which is detrimental to the enjoyment factor of the beer. But when your beer is completely meh, you have to find enjoyment somewhere.

Photo of Flashy
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Purchased in Vermont for $14.99 a four pack (when did we start getting New Holland?). Nice stout, nice level of bourbon flavor- but lacks the thicker body that I like in this kind of beer.

Photo of bucko
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown/black with a thin, off-white/light tan head that diminished to a small ring with a "spider web" in the middle. The smell is strong with notes of bourbon, oak (white?) and vanilla. The flavor is more bourbon, sweet malt and wood. The wood is a little strong and puts me off a bit. Further sips reveal some hot alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I think the hot alcohol taste keeps this from being terribly drinkable. Truth be told, I'm glad I'm sharing the bomber. Perhaps it will mellow in time?

Photo of steelcutoats
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here is another prime example of the High Gravity Series from New Holland Brewery. I first sampled this beer at Fathead's down in the Burgh', and wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to see it appear in my native Greensburg. A few months later it showed up along with "The Black Tulip" in the beer cooler down at The Headkeeper.

I poured about half of the 22 oz. "bomber" into my trusty tasting snifter. It poured with little head, which quickly vanished. The color was a clear, dark brown....not opaque like a stout. The smell was full of dark roasted malts and chocolates. The taste was a mixture of the same. This beer boasts a 9% ABV, but does an awesome job of hiding it. Another classic example of what the addition of wood to beer can do. The oak aging imparts a nice dryness in the finished products with hints of vanilla and other subtle flavors. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having tried this for the third time, I'd have to say it is a decent barrel aged stout. However, for the price (outside of MI) it probably does not warrant a higher rating. I don't even consider comparing this to BCBS which to me, is a bourbon barrel aged stout unto itself. So, I would compare this more closely to Fegley's Insidious bourbon barrel aged stout: a more comparable, lower level version of the style. After trying both, I'd recommend getting your hands on the Fegley's first and then the Dragon's Milk. I understand there are many fans of this beer. But I would not buy a 4 pack at the price I paid ($16) again.

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

The aroma is deep and malty with intense toffee notes. Some dark fruit aromas compete with diacetyl. There are big vanilla and cocoa notes as well as a hint of tannins.

The beer is dark brown, almost opaque with slight ruby highlights and a suprisingly persistent (given the alcohol) tawny head.

The first sip gives a big toffee and caramel splash with cocoa right behind. The swallow is not cloying at all despite the sweetness. I do not get tannins per se despite the label's claim, but the swallow is drier than I would have expected, perhaps from the oak. The finish is very chocolatey, warming and somewhat spicy.

The mouthfeel is delightful. It has a medium full body but it is very creamy with medium low carbonation and no astringency.

If you ever wondered what a Tootsie Roll would taste like in beer form, this is it. If you never wondered what a Tootsie Roll would taste like in beer form, you should. This may be the consummate dessert beer. It would be fascinating to know how this shapes up after three or four years in the cellar.

Photo of nightcrawler
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This stuff is good.

If someone asked me what it was like, I could say it was similar to a sweet stout with an extra kick. At such a high gravity, I would compare this with other stouts and not other ales. I followed this will an Arrogant Bastard, which is also an 'American Strong Ale'. This just shows you how limited and restricted we are by trying define a beer by style.

It produced a beautiful brown head and tasted great from the start. It poured a dark brown to black and the smell was of toasted malt, very sweet. The taste was smooth with no sort of bit that can come from dark malts.

I will be purchasing bottles to store.

Photo of littlekidlover
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've given thought to trying this out for some time and finally picked up a bottle on the way home. It may be 90 degrees outside, but my basement is in the 60's. I am a little confused whether this is a stout or a strong ale. The bottle claims it's a stout and also claims an ABV of 10%. Well, at any rate... this poured out a little thinner than I expected. I was thinking something along the lines of motor oil, and this was far from that. The smell was very appealing, there was some nice coffee, vanilla, and dark fruit. The flavor was much the same with a bit of smoke and buttery mellowness from the oak. The mouthfeel left a little to be desired. I want a beer of this flavor profile to slither down my throat, this was a little lighter than I would prefer. All in all, a pretty solid effort.

Photo of ThickestHead
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a snifter.
Comes a solid dark brown color with a thick tan head that leaves minimal lacing.
Smells similar to the taste: Roasted malt, lotts of chocolate and vanilla, some oak, and alcohol throughout.
Has a medium body that is pretty creamy.
Drinkable enough, but I would see aging this one in the cellar would help the alcohol from taking such a noticable presence. Decent brew.

Photo of IrishHockey
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Founders snifter. Bottled was chilled to 35 degree F, just like I like my booze.

Pour: looks great. Nice, black, small tanish head that quickly fades into a small frothy crown then to nothingness.

Smell: much like I was anticipating. Bourbon, slight coffee and chocolate. Smells great! I really like the smell!

Taste: wow! Bourbon up front, getting some booziness (I like it), getting some vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee. Not a lot though. Mainly bourbon. It's good! I have to say a lot better than I was expecting.

Overall: I'd buy again. It's really good! Not quite the best bourbon barrel beer I've had, but by far the easiest to find and cheaper than the limited releases. If you can find this, buy it. It's a good bourbon barrel stout. Don't expect it to be a BCBS. It's a bit thinner, and a touch less refined, but a solid beer.

Cheers!

Photo of edmedina
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark color almost that of a stout or porter with little or no head. Aroma is very mild in this one. You do get a hint of vanilla almost a malty vanilla really. First sip you get the light taste of carmal malt and vanilla in there. The after taste is really when the oak really comes through. This is a well balanced beer but I"ll have to be honest. When I see the color or read oak aged, I expected something more out of it. Don't let the taste foll you it is a a well balanced beer that can be enjoyed by many.

Photo of abankovich
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice deep brown with a very light tan head that faded somewhat quickly. Lacing does linger down the side of the glass as I'm drinking this one.

Smells warm with some chocolate, toffee and caramel notes. Alcohol is also present very lightly in the nose.

The taste I am loving. Up front the alcohol hits very slightly followed immediately by a delicious vanilla flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate are also present but that sweet, sugary vanilla is the most prevalent of all the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick with a slightly creamy feel overall. Definitely smooth going down.

Drinkability on this one is pretty high. 8.5% isn't too outrageous and nothing about this beer makes me think I wouldn't want to have another as soon as I'm finished with this one.

Photo of AndyP612
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured violently into a tulip. 2013 vintage.

A- Black and thick ale with a lighter off white semi fluffy head. The contrast between the blackness of the liquid and the light head is very interesting being this is a bourbon barrel conditioned stout.

S- The nose is quite sweet with hints of sweet coffee and chocolate, slight vanilla and whiskey tease.

T- There's the bourbon! Bourbon is actually quite delicately integrated into the largely coffee and chocolate overtones thrown at me in the nose. Big in roasted, blackened malt with a punch of whiskey!

M- Very light in carbonation. Mouthfeel of about a 0.5% milk, medium bodied. Appearance wise, I would expect something a little bigger feel in the mouth but since this is a relatively young stout in a bottle I am anxious to see how it ages.

O- Great stout for May 12th when it's in the 40's! It's been a while since I have had this stout and I remember it being sweeter, almost too sweet, but this vintage is very nice and well balanced with the bourbon presence balancing out the sweet malt. As stated earlier, I can't wait for next winter to drink this and see how it matures in the bottle. Cheers.

Photo of smith_s4765
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice surprise.

Photo of billyzoom666
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at room temperature. This thing just looks ominous. It's a dark, dark amber color with just the lightest tint of red around the edges. You can smell the roast malt from across the room. Very "bourbony" smelling up close. Maybe it's the oak barrels. A bit too strong for my liking. This definitely has an interesting taste. There's a huge alcohol bite throughout. This is like sipping a tumbler of Jim Beam Rye. No doubt that this is a one and done for me. Overpowering, but good. I like stuff with a little less ABV, but I'm glad I tried this.

Photo of demuzik
2.38/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had been anticipating this one for a while, finally got to try some on tap. My local tappery called this one a "American Strong Ale"; I think American Stout - as classified here - is a closer category. Definitely not enough hop backbone to balance out the overbearing sweetness of this brew.

The color is fine - a dark, opaque, stout-ish brown.
By the aroma alone you can already tell this is going to be one sweet beer - literally, sweet. The taste is not bad and somewhat interesting on first sip; tons of malt, caramel, sticky sweetness - but as you may have gathered from my tone, this sticky sweetness quickly caught up with me and left me reaching for water, not enthused about finishing the glass.

I guess this could classify best as a "dessert beer", served in small quantities when you want overly-sweet, imbalanced beer, but otherwise, I'd avoid it.

Photo of Katahdin
2.56/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A disappointment considering I am generally a fan of New Holland's brews. It poured rather flat and the taste was quite overwhemling. The strong oak flavor overwhelmed all of it supposed complexities. It was a beer that I had to fight with to drink.

Photo of Jishguy
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a pitch black body with a creamy, tan colored head that stayed around for a little while. Clear streaks run down the glass as I tilt it from side to side, most likely a result of the high ABV.

S- The presence of bourbon is strong in the aroma, along with chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and vanilla. I was surprised at the amount of bourbon in the aroma.

T- Almost identical to the aroma, the taste of bourbon and vanilla dominate the palate, with roasted malts and chocolate on the finish. The tiniest hint of booze is present in the aftertaste. Not too overpowering, just enough to let me know it's there.

M - Pretty standard for the style. Creamy and full, but nothing to write home about.

Not a bad stout, I'd definitely buy some more!

Photo of Boozermurfin
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bear inning this is my first bourbon barrel aged stout review.

Smell and taste were not as complex and interesting as hoping. Strong notes of vanilla, roasted malts, some chocolate, some coffe and distinct bourbon in the aroma.

Taste was mostly vanilla and bourbon. Good but not great. Very creamy. Coats your mouth. Picking up more chocolate as I progress.

Very good. Not great. Will adjust ratings as I venture into more bourbon ages stouts. Was hoping for a little more barrel character.

Photo of jcnd9803
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a very small head that disappears quickly. Actually looks like flat Coke now.

S - Ah, exactly what I expected. A great mix of vanilla, wood and bourbon.

T - Follows the smell. Vanilla and woody smoothness with the bourbon finishing things off to add a nice touch of warmth.

M - Creamy, almost like a light stout.

D - New Holland says this is their crown jewel and I have to say I agree. Even though it has the high level of warmth, I think I could drink this all night long.

Photo of wampahoofus
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer pours dark brown to black with a decent amount of cream-colored head with good lacing and retention.

Smell gives away the oak right away with sweet toffee / vanilla behind it.

The taste is sweet with a lot of oak and vanilla. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

I drank this by a campfire straight from a cooler. It came out of the cooler at around 45F which I think was just about right.

This was a real treat!

Photo of bdkucharski
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at the Brews, Blues, and BBQ festival in Westland, MI... in a plastic cup.

A - Black with a thick bubly cocoa-brown head

S - Malt and booze.

T - Sweet booze right off the top, a little caramel and roast with a vinous nature including the oak.

M - Thick almost like a milkshake.

O - I might be putting on the home-state rose colored glasses here, but I find this beer to be outstanding. I had this in a bottle in the middle of a wreckless 25 beer tasting and it still rose to the top of the list, even with a tired palate. I highly recommend trying it at least once to see if its up your alley.

Photo of brushpig
2.71/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Located a bottle at Sam's wines in Chicago.

At first appearance the look more like a stout. Murky black hue with a large light brown head that diminished quckly to about a 1/4".

The smell of furmented apples and berry was the first scent I noticed, along with molasses, caramel, wood and alcohol. A slight sour smell at the end.

The initial flavor was rather sweet and acidic. Finishing with a bit bitter ending. For the palate, the carbination was flat and the texure was syrupy, with a moderate alcohol feel in the finish.

I found Dragon's milk to be a bit to complicated, but still very interesting flavors some might enjoy.

Photo of Mario61Aler
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a-very dark Mahogany, very little head that disapated quicklyand was a dark tan color

s-got chocolates and maltiness up from and was slightly fruity/woody

t-chocolate, malts and hops in deminishing amount in order, was sweet up front with a slight alcohol flavor to finish.

m-creamy thick very little drying in the mouth

o-complex but very drinkable, creamy film. This is a sipper that stands alone. Think of sips of about 1/2 oz, then wait a couple of minutes or more for another sip to appreciate this one as it develops more taste in your mouth after it is swallowed. Savory but still sweet, dangerously good, could make a session out of this one. WOW vintage 2010 with 10% ABV

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