Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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very good

1,278 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,728
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,281 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,278 | Hads: 4,728
Photo of Dhren1979
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on July 26nd, 2011

Vintage: 2011

Serving Type: 22oz Bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A: Thick and creamy. Black as oil with 1 finger’s worth of toffee colored head. Sticky and the head retention is long.

S: Vanilla with hints of oak. Was expecting a stronger oak presence in the aroma. Aroma of alcohol comes out fairly strong in the middle. Roasted chocolate malts.

T: Quite similar in taste as in the aroma. Nice vanilla tastes which leads to an mild alcohol burn. Oak seems to smooth out the taste some. Creamy finish.

M: Creamy medium body stout with little to no carbonation. Silky smooth on the tongue.

O: Great example of this style IMO. A must buy when it hits the shelf!

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Photo of mooselvlt
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. About a fingers worth of copper foam which quickly dissipates.

A - Deep mahogony color. Copper head quickly dissipated and the brew leaves very little lacing

S - Hmm....a little more booze in the nose than I expected. Some oak mixed in but predominately smells of bourbon.

T -Taste is boozy right up front, with subtle hints of vanilla and perhaps a little chocolate.

M - Probably my favorite aspect of this one. Smooth and somewhat rich but not thick. More of a medium type feel. Satisfying

O - Not quite what I expected. Its pretty smooth, drinkable. Not overpowering for a 10.0%. I have mixed feelings about it but its a good one. Lingers on the tongue but not in a bad way. At $14 for a 4 pack....doubt I will go out of my way to do this one again though

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Photo of wowbagger
2.81/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite dark, moderate head. Not much of an aroma, mostly of chocolate. Initially, very sharp bite of and licorice, alcohol and carbonation which persists. Some spiciness in the aftertaste.

Overall, a unique stout though I'm not blown away. I'd definitely suggest it be tried, but I can't see drinking a lot of it. Probably best shared on a cold night.

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Photo of montecristo2
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter at Mother Murphy's Irish Bistro in Chicago.

Some notes of vanilla very present at the initial taste and at the finish. Malt flavors also present.

Alcohol slightly present, but not overpowering- not too much to influence the taste.

Dark and tasty-a great beer to end the evening.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Very strong alcohol nose and taste at first, a little more than my rookie self likes. As it warms up however, the "alcoholness" fades (though never disappears) to a much more enjoyable level and the taste is much more balanced. Enjoyed it quite a bit after the alcohol burn faded, not so much 'til then.

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Photo of BeerEsquire
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Toasted oat goodness with suprisingly refreshing carbonation for an imperial stout of such elevated alcohol. Smooth backbone with vanilla fairies dusting one's palate with just the right amount of sweetness. Well done NH, well done!

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a dark brown hue and pours a swirly tan head. It quickly becomes a thin lace along snifter.

Dragon's Milk has a complex nose. Strong hints of malt, vanilla, and bourbon are noticeable. The oak barrel gives it a smokey aroma.

Officially listed as strong ale but tastes like a milk stout. It has a malty and chocolate taste. The barrel aging gives it the obvious oak and vanilla taste. It also has a pleasant caramel presence.

This ale is well-carbonated and creamy. The sweetness masks the high 10% ABV/ Not brewed for heavy drinking but perfect for brunch at Food Dance Cafe or swirling in your snifter.

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Photo of johnkale
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice head dies down awfully quickly to a meager lacing. Color is opaque, near black.

S - wood, dark fruit, more wood, vanilla, a little alcohol

T - this is where this beer is best, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried cherry, oak, fairly sweet, pleasantly warm in the finish

M - Not as as thick as I would have liked, and could have benefited from some more carbonation, but that's sometimes a problem with these barrel aged brews.

D - Decent, awfully candy like, and while it doesn't hide the booze it certainly integrates it very well. Could have stood for a body to match the sweetness.

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Photo of dondeez21
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Surf Taco Jackson NJ.
A:Deep, Dark, Black with a tan 1 finger thick head.
S: Hints of bourbon,oak and vanilla
T: Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, Roasted malts with a hint of alcohol once the beer warms up.
M: Thick Chewy and stickey with a slight alcohol burn.
D: Very good beer couldnt throw down more than a 12oz pint in a sitting though.

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Photo of YumYumGumGum
2.6/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, there are a lot of great reviews of this beer and I must've missed the train because it was very very average. This tasted like alcohol from a home brew with to much water added to the primary.

A: Very white head with small amount of lacing when poured into a bar glass from a 12oz bottle. Bottle was dark color like a stout with a decent amount of light coming through.

S: Mostly chocolate roast, with a twinge of sour milk (Which was a good thing).

T: Alcohol with a watered down milk chocolate flavor, and did get and woody flavor from the barrels. The kind of wet sweetness was average. It was very drinkable, just not what I expected from this "High Gravity" series from New Holland. All they did was bump up the alcohol, I didn't get any new body, and I used to really enjoy Dragon's Milk.

M: Pleasant, low carbonation, and if you like to use stouts as your main drinking beers, use Dragon's milk.

O: Don't buy this, its expensive here in VA and New Holland seems to be riding on the back of the reputation of the 09 vintage.

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Photo of HarrySTruman
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/red, almost black. Small head that dissipates quickly, slight lacing, but a good lacing for the style.

Smells of dark fruits, figs, oak barrel, alcohol and molasses.

Taste is very interesting. Not hard to drink, tastes like the smell, very well balanced. Actually pretty easy to drink given the oak barrel aging (which I feel can lead to making a beer a sipper, this one doesn't have that effect) and high ABV. Hints of bitter chocolate and malts, mixed with oak, alcohol and dark fruits.

It's smooth but pretty thick. Mild flavors and high ABV make it slightly harder to drink than an average American Stout, but not bad considering what it is.

I really like this, although it will absolutely get you drunk in a jiffy. Either take it slow or drink out of the public eye!

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Photo of mporter249
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown-black in color, almost no head, poor retention. Opaque, overall nice-looking, but the head is disappointing.

Smell: Chocolate, sweet, nutty, biscuity, smells good and smooth.

Taste: Chocolatey, a little bitter up front, smooth overall though, slightly sweet. Not incredible, but pretty good, yeah.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little more apparent here. A little rough in the middle but otherwise smooth. Fairly well-balanced.

Overall: Pretty good, but not great. Definitely enjoyable, but I think I'd go for a Sam Smith Chocolate Stout over this.

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Photo of Yojimbo1941
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Warm and dark chestnut brown. Very thin head.

S - Dark malt, cereals, molasses, slight hoppy undertones, vanilla extract. Some whiffs of toasted oak. Very nice.

T - Light vanilla and heavy cocoa leading to an oaken-chocolate finish. A bit heavy on the bitterness at the end. Malty.

M - Heavy. I can feel the coat building after 3 sips. Light carbonation but I think that suits the style.

O - A nicely drinkable stout/barley-wine-ish beer. The oak doesn't kill the beer for me like it does with some other oaked ales. I'd like to have this with a New York Strip.

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Photo of BumpyAZ
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nearly black, dark brown when held to the light. Small, white creamy head which quickly bubbled away.

S: Very subdued, roasted malt, chocolate, where's the vanilla and bourbon?

T: Creamy chocolate, vanilla and warming bourbon! There it is! Very well balanced.

M: medium thick, creamy

A little lacking in the smell department, but well balanced and a good value. Probably one that will go into the regular rotation.

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Photo of jonvan04
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this multiple times and am reviewing this purely from memory. This is just an amazing combination of roasted malts, vanilla, and bourbon. I can drink this at anytime whether it's on a cold winter night or outside in the heat (I ordered it while sitting outside on a 90 degree day, just because I saw it on tap), which is saying something for a beer this type of beer. This beer was my first of New Holland's and I've been aggresively seeking out anything in their high gravity series ever since.

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Photo of Badbobx
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a deep brown with a slight head leaving little or no lacing.
The aroma is an intensely engaging boozy malt with tones of chocolate and coffee.
The taste is rich with tones of raisins, bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, and alcohol. Very smooth to drink for an intense beer. I am letting this warm a bit to enhance the flavor.
The mouthfeel is wonderful. A large round flavor, a bit like drinking a fine whiskey.
Overall this is a marvelous beer that I would drink again. To me the mouthfeel was the big hit.

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Photo of marchoftheclouds
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Can't see through it ... that's promising! Not much head,but at 10% ABV, that's to be be expected.

Smell - I mostly smell a raisiny, sweet smell ... also very promising.

Taste - there is a slight bite of something ... possibly a slight uncharacteristic flavor that doesn't seem like it belongs. Maybe a hop / malt disagreement?

Mouthfeel - ever so slightly a bit too carbonated for a perfect beer, in my opinion, but a good mouthfeel in general.

Overall - not bad, but my expectations were higher by previous info I was given. Wouldn't turn it down, but wouldn't make it a go to beer either.

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Photo of alphaacid9000
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2011

Pours almost black with an off white head.

Beautiful aroma. bourbon, oak, chocolate, figs, alcohol and raisins

Flavor is slightly sweet which is cut nicely with the bitterness. More oak and vanilla in the flavor than anything. Chocolate, toffee and caramel up front with bourbon and alcohol lingering in the finish

Overall - I love this beer. One of the best in its style and available year round.

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Photo of bryanbullock
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dramatically underrated stout, beautiful cascade of foam from the effervescent center for chocolaty aroma. The mild undertones of chocolate and coffee pair effortlessly in the taste utopia that is dragons milk. The finish is smooth as the teet of a playboy bunny on your 18th birthday. This beer is a homerun!

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Photo of kenpo23
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown with a small head that is gone quickly

S: boozy for me but it has a good vanilla smell that mixes with the oak and makes it ok by me.

T: i was expecting more oak and got more sweet. i think i actually like this for its lack of oak barrel taste. sometimes i drink an oak aged brew and think 'hell i should just get a glass of whiskey' but i found this to be just the right amount of oak aged and beer taste. don't get me wrong, there is absolutely a strong oak aged presence here just not as much as other brews i've had. the taste was (as it should be) the saving grace for me on this one. the warmer the better!

M: on the thin side of things but still manages to be creamy.

D: let it warm up and have it on a snowy night. its a solid clean tasting brew that i would have again if it were there but would not go out of my way to hunt down...although, maybe i'm wrong, i do love the label.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fantastic stout. Unlike other stouts I've had this one has some more complex flavoring and feel to it.
It has a chocolate taste, and a subtle vanilla undertone with bourbon flavors that bring down the bitterness of that chocolate taste and make for an enjoyable stout beer.

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Photo of jkaufman
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz. bomber into a tankard.

A: Very dark ruby and opaque; pours with a thick off-white head that quickly thins out, leaves a nice lacing behind.

S: Bourbon, not much else. This is going to be interesting.

T and M: This brew is surprisingly complex. It is moderately carbonated, pleasantly smooth, and well balanced. Despite its foreboding appearance and aroma, the body is on the thin side and finishes a little milky. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the throat, but is mellowed quite a bit by roasted and caramel malts, and obviously bourbon flavors.

D: Definitely not a session ale, but it's fairly easy to finish a bomber.


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Photo of stevenseg
4.92/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not really sure how the Bros got this thing in a 12oz bottle serving, as I have never seen it in any other form than the double deuce seen in the picture. It makes me wonder if they really got to experience what Dragon's Milk is all about. I first tasted this brew at the Michigan Brewers' Guild Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids. I pick up a bottle whenever I come across it as it happens to currently hold the crown for my favorite beer. That said, I am gonna review this thing by the books. I hope I can positively portray what I see in this unique beer to readers and hopefully raise the curve.

An aggressive pour into my mason jar mug produced a 1-inch head consisting of large bubbles which settled into a nice dense 1-finger head. Dragon's Milk is dark and loose rather than the syrupy consistency of most stouts. VERY dark brown, not black. Nice lacing is sticking as the head subsides.

Even being a little stuffed up, I can smell the alcohol coming through like alcohol should in an ale with an 8.5% ABV. Vanilla notes and the tangy characteristic of the oak. By the way, any one saying too much oak flavor doesn't know what oak is supposed to taste like. Dragon's Milk was not brewed in whisky barrels. It's supposed to taste like oak, not whisky. It definitely comes through and is very unique to this stout. Dark roasted malts really meld with the oak for the perfect balance. Let's drink.

I love the alcohol/dark malt/smoky barrel flavor/vanilla hints all mixed together. That is the best way I can describe this. It is not so rich that you can't drink more than one like many stouts are. The oak and paint thinner-like alcohol dominate the back end and the sweet malts hit up front. Obviously Dragon's Milk is not a hop head kind of beer...it's a warm-feeling-inside kind of beer. The oak is in your face...but that's the point, Beer Bros!

I really like the non-syrupy feel of Dragon's Milk. It laces like a weak IPA, but is definitely thinner in consistency and is really pleasantly carbonated.

I drink this think like a cocktail. It has a huge alcohol feel, but not so much of the alcohol content compared to others. Too many and these can take you under, but a bomber on a lazy night is absolutely heaven. Give this thing a chance and enjoy the tastes for what they are supposed to be.

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Photo of Hachiman
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, almost black red. Short-lived grease slick head. Negligible lacing.

On the nose has an alcoholic top note, molasses, caramel and roasted malt aromas.

The flavor is uncommonly well balanced for an imperial stout. Vanilla notes tie together caramel and acidic roasted malt. Hops not much evident: nutty/herbal tastes, not very bitter.

Carbonation was low, mouth feel medium, left a sticky residue on the lips. Warming alcohol in the back of the throat.

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Photo of EricMichael
2.51/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance - Black garnet with little head. Normal amount of carbonation for a stout and an appearance to be expected of a stout.

smell - Potent. At first whiff, vanilla-oak then immediately overcome by only what I can describe as bourbon alcohol.

taste & mouthfeel - This stout is smooth going with a flash of alcohol at the end. It's hard to overcome the potent oak/bourbon alcohol. If you focus enough you can catch hints of the usual stout flavors of chocolate and coffee. They are quickly replaced by strong American oak.

overall - If I was a bourbon fan, this might be a stout for me. However, the stout aspects that I love were overwhelmed. I wish I had some dark chocolate to clean my palate.

poured into a stein

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.