Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,608 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,608
Reviews: 1,320
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,185 | FT: 41
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: 4,608 | Reviews: 1,320
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Drunkmonk!!
Poured a deep brown with a light brown head.
Nose was espresso, some chocolate and caramel, probably from the caramel malt I tasted in this. Some slight hints of choclate, vanilla and bourbon maybe. The oak taste was a little lighter than I expected. It was very drinkable.

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a firkin at UJ's on the Manatawny last weekend.

The beer pours a dark black brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is uncomplicated, but is still very nice, consisting of noticeable bourbon, coffee, chocolate and cherry vanilla. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but in this case the whole is superior to the sum of the parts. Everything blends in together so well, and the flavor profile is enhanced by an incredibly decadent, rich, soft as silk, mouthfeel. This beer is increadily soft and creamy, and has a long finish. The alcohol in this beer is barely noticeable, though one gets a bit of a warming sensation after a while. Nevertheless, delicious as this beer is, it would be entirely too easy to drink quite a few of these at a sitting, something that would probably not be a good idea.

Very impressive.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep black opaque body with a tan head with a slight reddish hint. The head quickly turns into a pile of big bubbles that floats to the edge. This beer is to thick to see any signs of carbonation.

S- The aroma of pale malt and chocolate malt with some lightly toasted malt are enhanced by a slight vanilla woody character. A soft notes of bourbon and pecans are in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice smooth deep roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate malt, brown malt and coffee and cream. The finish has a smooth bourbon finish but no alcohol heat.

M- The mouthfeel is medium with a creamy texture with soft fizz and alcohol warmth at the finish.

D- This beer has some good complexity in the malt bill and it has really blended with age (this was just released to the stores). The oak and bourbon really give nice depth to the beer and add more depth.

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Pours a deep dark brown with faint garnet at the edges and a smallish bubbly beige head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of roast, caramel, vanilla, light wood and bourbon with a faint cardboard. Little to no hop aroma, this one seems a bit sweet based on the nose. The flavor is roasty caramel with hints of toffee, vanilla and light oak. Light fruity notes midway through with a sweet bourbon and brown sugar linger at the end of every sip. Medium body, light level of carbonation. Nice easily assessable barrel aged stout. The oxidation in the nose is a little off putting, but the beer is quite tasty.

Photo of akorsak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Joseph's in Toledo, OH en route to Dark Lord Day.

A: The ale is darker than I expected, not amber but rather a full-bodied black color. The more I look at it, the more it resembles cola with a dark brown color and some ruby highlights throughout.

S: The nose is stout-like, this with caramel and graham grain aromas. There is no indication of any oak barrel aging, as readily suggested by the name.

T: The nose had me expecting something subpar, luckily the first sip delivered a malty blast of goodness. Thick grains with caramel and toffee flavors abound, overwhelming the tastebuds with a sickly sweet profile. The oak barrel adds a deliciously soft touch to the thick malts, with vanilla and buttery oak flavors reducing the bite of the grains. Having been less than impressed by most of the other New Holland beers, this one really pleases me. The finish is a nice blend of chocolate and caramel malts and oaky flourish. This is what a drinkable barrel aged beer should aspire to be.

M: The mouthfeel is a restrained work of art, full of big flavors without a knock-out punch.

D: I wish that I had picked up a bottle or two more of this brew, the flavors are full and the oak aging adds a wonderful blast of flavor.

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

An opaque charcoal black with auburn prints and highlights of maroon when held directly to the light. Darkened and quite lusterless, it's a very dull, shadowed appearance. I'd never observe any head, regardless of the angle on pouring, but note a thin off-white envelope which embalmed the beer and doted all parts of the glass.

The aroma is pleasing but far from decadent. There are crisp toffee wafers and a light presence of cocoa beans. Beyond that you'll have to get your nose wet to discover exactly what lies within; as hard as I sniff I fail to discover anything more. I try to imagine dark caramel, rich rum-raisin, vanilla custard and strong espresso but I fail to pick any of it out.

The taste falls a little closer to the mark, boasting notes of raw, unprocessed vanilla bean, gourmet roast coffee, rich caramel, hints of black licorice and unrefined cocoa. The oak is now wholly apparent, imparting hints of ash and dry untreated wood. There's a surprisingly generous dose of coconut. Still, it won't be enough to crack the top of my best-of list.

The oak imparts much needed dimension to the beer. It adds vanilla, an ounce of sweetened spice and just a touch of tannic quality. Those notes of chocolate reside on the palate showcasing both bitter and sweet; that combination is enticing. The alcohol percentage never shows and this achieves a very drinkable status that will only improve with a little warmth.

New Holland's decision to age this in oak barrels was most likely a smart one. Although it is a quality stout, or whatever Beer Advocate chooses to list it as, the beer no doubt benefited from a little extra complexity. It's certainly something that will suit the cellar and makes a more than worthy pick up if you're fortunate enough to find it.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an oily black coloring with a thin, filmy, ring of chocolate brown head. Aromas of rich bourbon notes, vanilla highlights, boozy highlights, creamy notes, and a subtle bitterness in the backbone. Interesting nose, but very heavy and boozy. Flavors are heavily roasted, with a solid roast coffee bitter backbone, heavy bourbon notes, with vanilla highlights and oak notes, and a building warmth as you drink. The coffee bitter notes build, as well, into the aftertaste, mixing with booze and vanilla/oak. Very dynamic aftertaste on a slick, oily body. Roasted and boozy linger into the slick finish. Good flavors, but a bit out of balance.

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to stouty1 for the brew.

Pour into a chalice a nice clear dark ruby color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tan head which lasts forever, tons of lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of nice sweet/oaked malts, some dark fruits (plums, figs), slight vanilla, and caramel. The taste is very nice of sweet malts, vanilla, oak, plums, and caramel. Medium body, highly carbonated feel, well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, I'm really enjoying this one, thanks again Dan. Highly recommended.

Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3" tan head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head slowly fades to a pile of froth, with lots of tan lacing. Aroma is dark sweet grains with a vanilla oaky thing going on, and some fruit notes as well. Taste starts with the smooth dark malts, segues into the tart fruits, and closes with gradual appearance of the oak/vanilla flavors, and light warmth lingers. Mouthfeel has so much going on, yet all balances out wonderfully, and drinkability is excellent for such a potent brew. Liked it before, still do.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz reviewed in my notebook a couple weeks ago... bottle supplied from SAS.. thanks for the opportunity.. my share in my New Belgium snifer.

1" head.. no lacing... very dark brown beer.. verging on black.. Dark ruby highlites when held to a light... very clear.

Aroma is chocolate/toasted malts .. with a little caramel.. low vanilla but definitely present.. smells creamy... dark dried fruits as it warms.

Flavor is thick caramel and toffee... bourbon and vanilla.. toasty oak.. very smooth.. nothing bitter.. a little bit of cola. Medium body.. could use a little more viscosity... plummy notes along with raisin... low carbonation adds to an already milky/silky brew... surprisingly drinkable..

Sorry guys.. wish I had more.. again, taken from a paper notepad. Thanks, Steve.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark brown/black in colour with a half finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Intense aroma of vanilla and oak up front with dark chocolate and some roasted malt flavours. A very intense nose.

T - Intense vanilla and oak flavours up front with a s light alcohol burn that eventually settled down. Some faint chocoalte notes and a nice sweet vanilla flavour in the finish. The taste of the ale itself is quite subdued and the flaovurs of the barrel aging form the majority of the palate of this beer.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very nice beer. 10% ABV is somewhat noticeable at first but less and less as I continued to drink this. Would definitely pick this one up again if I come across it.

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

A: From the bottle appeared a chocolate-chestnut brown color with deep marzen highlights, while in the glass was totally opaque with a mocha tinted head that was quickly dissipating. A sturdier, frothy-whipped head would of crowned this off with near perfect results, but the fizziness and quick demise didn't leave much to appreciate.

S: The nose came forth with a deep sense of espresso beans and a dark roasted malting that was bitter with oaky cask notes of whiskey and burbon. There was a strange, albeit, an intriguing scent of fresh motor oil, perhaps a result of the burnt malting and booziness. Burnt chocolate hints round things out here with a deep roasted barley finish accompanied by a lingering booziness of whiskey and burbon.

T: The flavor right from the start illustrates its deep, brooding and intimidating nature of deep roasted burnt malting straight from the bowels of hell. A burnt charred bitterness which is highlighted by a mixed booziness of whiskey and burbon is served up with a deep sense of acrid nature. While the malting was dark, burnt and roasted, its overall delivery was one of complete smoothness. Dark fruit of ripe juicy plums, licorice and dry vanilla also add highlights to this finely tuned flavor. There is a very warming alcohol nature to this beer that would probably keep you warm in the middle of Siberia wearing nothing but a thong. Overall the roasted character is dark, brooding and bitter, yet surprising smooth and refined in nature.

M: incredibly smooth and lusciously silky with a light-medium body. Burnt barley offerings and a warming booziness smoothers the tongue upon the swallow.

D: fairly good despite the overall warm booziness, balanced by the smooth roasted character. At 9.0%abv a bomber is about all I could handle though enjoyed every last sip of it. A dark, brooding and sometimes intimidating drink that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, and pit of your stomach.

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

Wasn’t expecting too much from this beer and it was a pleasant surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Pours like a good imperial stout should, jet black with a frothy brown head. Head dissipated fairly quickly, some patchy lacing remained on the glass.

Nose is chocolaty will prominent oak, maybe some subtle dark fruit, vanilla, coffee. Decently roasty. In the tasting the oak is there but not as prominent as in the nose, which I felt was a good thing; a little oak barrel is nice but I don’t always want to drink something that tastes like a wood shop. Again there was plentiful chocolate, a hint of vanilla and coffee, some raisins and figs, and a very mild touch of tartness that was a little odd. Thankfully it wasn’t particularly noticeable.

Body is medium-full, with moderate carbonation and a somewhat sticky overall mouthfeel. This is a pretty good beer, certainly not upper echelon, but not bad at all either. Lacks the fullness, heft, and complexity of the best of the style but also the pricetag of most. Worth a shot at least.

edit: more than two years and over a thousand beers later I find much of what I mentioned above still true, but I'd amend things by saying the body is firmly medium and isn't that sticky at all. Carbonation is medium but on the high side for style. Ultimately the feel is a little unsatisfying.

I'll give this beer credit for nicely counterbalancing sweet and roasty elements, but at this point I'm looking for more barrel out of my BA beers and more complexity out of this style in general.

Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark blackberry and ruby body. Dark khaki head has ok retention and lace.

S - Boozy, bitter dark chocolate, light molasses, vanilla.

T - Oaky booze, bitter cocoa nibs, caramel, molasses, burnt milk sugars, Bourbon vanilla, white russian.

M - Creamy fully body with nice staying power. Smooth, lingering warmth.

O - Light on aroma, but full on flavor. An excellent rendition of a milk stout.

Photo of Derek
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Cola coloured with an off-white/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Alcohol (port?), jaggery & brown sugar (hint's of molases).

T: Chocolate, raisin, malty bread, nut, great bittersweet balance, alcohol is pleasant (not overly assertive).

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very good. This was one of my favourites at the fest.

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Light brown head made up of fine bubbles - good retention and nice lacing. Lots of vanilla in the aroma. Also some oak and chocolate maltiness. Complex flavour with plenty of orange character and some chocolate maltiness. Some wood, mild roast and moderate bitterness. Slightly aggressive carbonation with a smooth, full body. Surprisingly well hidden alcohol makes this easy drinking, but it's still a sipping beer!

Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this bottle with me. Had it on tap a couple years ago and dug it then.

Pours a clear dark ruby red/brown, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, some lace spots form on the glass, looks good. Smell is neat, very fruity, caramel, chocolate, lactose, oak, light roast, strawberries, all over the place in a good way, nice complexity, very malty stuff. Taste is nice, caramel up front, thick and malty, chocolate roast, fruit, very milky, kind of a mix between a stout and strong ale or doppelbock, wood comes through in the finish with a touch of alcohol, goes down a bit weak on flavour but is quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, assertive, alcohol warmth, nice stuff. Thanks Russ!

Photo of Bighuge
2.68/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty dark beer. Almost black. Thin and airy light brown head. Lace is decent. Aroma is of oak, tannins, whiskey and slight caramel. Flavor is dried fruits, wet cardboard, tartness and stale bread. This one is just not hitting the spot as I thought it would. Nothing seems just terribly "off." Maybe a little oxidized. Just really not that good. Bland. I don't even pick up any barrel properties.

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

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and about a 1 finger head of tannis foam. Average head retention but it does have some nice lacing.

The smell is dominated by caramel malt but I also get some roasted malt, vanilla, and wood. Pretty nice nose.

The taste has notes of caramel and roasted malt, toffee, a real oaky flavour, and a bit of dark fruit but mostly caramel and toffee and it's hitting my tastebuds nicely. Oh, now I'm noticing a bit of vanilla; it's stronger in the smell than in the taste.

The body is thinner than I expected though it is quite creamy, carbonation is on the low side, and the abv is hidden pretty well.

Because of it's smoothness, I find it quite drinkable.. a very nice American Strong Ale indeed. I'd drink it again.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Definitely not as dark as I had anticipated. It's a deep brown, pretty clear. Some dark amber hues at the bottom of the pint glass. Sturdy two finger head atop.

S - A sweet bouquet of caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Balanced with a certain mineral quality, and earthy oaky notes.

T - Sweetness and warmth up front. Viscous tastes of all of the above. Burnt caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt. The high alcohol is present, and evaporates on the palate sort of like a clean clear liquor. The 10% is present but not cloying. Dry roasted grains and oaky tones in the end.

M - Pretty slick, like a nice milk stout. The carbonation allows the flavor profile and abv to shine through.

O - Not so traditional milk stout in my opinion but tasty. Seems closer to a double bock or a maple porter. Try it out.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle with 9% abv.

Appearance- Pours a spritzy, rye bread head. Color is black, the color I always thought dragon's milk should be. No discernable lacing in this dark brew.

Smell- A tart, woody mix of bourbon, roasted malt, ripe purple grapes, and well balanced hops.

Taste- Starts out with some toasted malt flavors that leads to more currant fruitiness. The center brings the tart currant malt to a more of an oak and red wine flavor. The end sees the red wine turning into bourbon with some earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- An oily yet silky, medium bodied brew. Left the palate a little tart.

I'm not a fan of tart or acidic beers, but Dragon's Milk is very complex, and unlike young Lambics. This beer has tartness blended with so many other flavors,that the tart palate adds to the complexity of this great. Two mugs up.

Photo of glid02
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of vanilla and butterscotch. Also present are sweet caramel malt undertones with slight amounts of roasted malt flavors.

Tastes good. A combination of sweet caramel malt and roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sweet butterscotch flavors. Midway through the sip hints of light chocolate flavors make an appearance before being crowded out by smooth vanilla. Finally, hints of earthy oak come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was a very nice beer however the sweetness from the barrels was just a bit over the top and hurt the drinkabililty for me. Still, a good beer that should be on par with Crème Brulee as far as love-hate relationships.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is low, with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of smoke and coffee. The strongest flavor I can taste in this beer is bourbon, so if you're a bourbon fan you'll love this brew. There's also some smoke, chocolate and roasted malt noticable too, along with a lingering bourbony finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it seems a bit thin but it's also coating, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, I thought this was very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a good overall brew, definitely worth a try.

Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer piles forth from the brown silk screened bottle a deep brown with a large creamy tan head that slowly fades to nothingness leaving a fine thick sheet of lace to cover the glass. Nose is a hodge-podge of aromas, vanilla, Oak, caramel, toasted malt, hops, very complex to say the least, start is slightly sweet with a tinge of tartness, grain profile decent, and the top light to middling in feel. Finish has a moderate acidity, the hops delightful with the Oak flavor lasting to the very dry end, also a bit of tummy warming from the 9 percent ABV, certainly a beer to age.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,608 ratings.