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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
88
very good

1,271 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,271
Hads: 4,675
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,244 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,271 | Hads: 4,675
Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is stout-like, extremely dark with a light white head on top. I get the wood from the cask, and light caramel notes on the nose.

The taste on this is good stuff, a stoutish coffee and chocolate roasted malt flavour pairs nicely with the boozy oak and vanilla flavours from the cask. The cask definitely takes over on the back end here.

The mouthfeel is moderately thick and enjoyable, though not remarkable. The drinkability is good though, easy to drink and definitely worth a rebuy.

The bottom line: For the most part I'm not a fan of New Holland's brews, but Dragon's Milk is a nice strong ale product, actually more stouty in flavour, with a solid cask flavour to balance it out. Certainly one of the stand-outs in their portfolio. (747 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost opaque, a small amount of red hued rays make it through this dark brown beverage. A very thin light tan head fades rapidly. Little lacing generated. The faint chocolate, caramel aroma and vanilla notes of alcohol really open up as it warms. Ever so lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied yet singular. The alcohol is warming and presents a tingle upon the swallowing breadth. Somewhat less flavor than suggested by the nose, light malty caramel taste is complemented by the barrel aged flavors. A reasonable drinker at 9% ABV. (546 characters)

Photo of marksto
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber bottle which is now silk screened instead of labeled as portrayed in the picture here.

Pours deep and dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thin head dissapates quickly after the pour. Nice aroma with elements of carmel, coffee, and light bourbon. Flavor offers a nice complexity that grows with warmth. Carmel, vanilla, and oak mingle with moderate treacle sweetness and hints of bourbon. A very nice beer to sip by the fire on a cool night

Overall, a pleasant find and a surprisingly good. LIkely will pick this one up again. (561 characters)

Photo of YonderWanderer
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown, bordering on black. Hints of amber and ruby are present if you hold it up to the light. No head to speak of, and little lacing is left behind.

S: Not much - some wood is definitely present, some caramel, a hint of vanilla.

T: The oak is one of the leading flavors, imparting it's wonderful taste upon this beer. A nice solid caramel malt is in the center, with some hints of vanilla, and even a bit of coffee. Some brandy is definitely there from the aging. No real hops are noticeable. Very tasty.

M: Smooth and a little viscous, as one might expect. Decent carbonation.

D: This is a pretty good strong ale - if I could get it up here, I would likely buy it from time to time. Definitely worth a try though. (744 characters)

Photo of letsgopens
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub in Holland, Michigan, this American strong pours a deep, dark cedar brown with some nice ruby highlights. A somewhat light frothy head holds decently but leaves little lace.

Surprisingly the aroma is relatively uneventful with some roasted malt and dark fruit.

Sweet malt flavor with a bit of toastiness and some dark fruit. Caramel and a hint of molasses. Honey and a bit of milk chocolate.

Juicy, tart and smooth on the palate. The carbonation is moderate which lightens up the finish a bit. I prefer this beer from the bottle once it’s sat for a while. On-tap it’s good, but a bit thinner and somewhat less satisfying. A very good choice none-the-less. (684 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, so this one I actually had been looking for the longest time for, only to just now realize that we can get this in SC. I was shocked and very happy so you know I had to immediately pick some up. This is exactly what I did. Poured a nice deep orange brown, pretty translucent, and to be honest did not look too thick. A small off white head formed on the top but quickly evaporated and left behind only a token amount of lace, almost none of what was on the sides of the glass. Some carbonation was visible. The smell was interesting, definitely could detect a touch of wood ageing in here, the aroma of brandy not withheld, some caramel sweetness and a touch of grain in the back. The taste was interesting again, almost had like a Cola taste to it, especially in the finish. Lots of oak tastes and a hint of brandy like. The carbonation was rather decent and it drank a lot lighter then I thought it would. It was a tad hot and would probably benefit from laying down a little. Overall this was pretty decent of a night time sipper, though I was able to drink it a bit faster then that. It was nothing outstanding, but still pretty nice if you are a fan of the barrel aged beers. This was definitely detectable and overall probably a pretty fair representation of a barrel aged brew. Worth a try definitely. (1,312 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, with a rich two finger head. Nose is of licorice and wood. Taste- bourbon flavour is quite pronounced, along with the oak. Quite hoppy as well. Sweet iniitially, but that melds into more of a hotness from the booze. Finish is dry and woody. Interesting beer. Carbonation is on the low end. (312 characters)

Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pitch black with not much head at all, like 1/2 a finger. Lacing makes crazy spin art pictures and looks creamy and delicious.

Smell is chocolate (bitter) and roasted malts with a musky smell to it. Actually smells creamy. Its kinda interesting so I'll up it one. Alcohol can't be smelled, but give the nose a warming quality.

Taste doesn't really do it for me. Very musky, like oak (though it does say oak aged) except that its a moldy, humid, florida swamp type of oak. Hops are not apparent. The oak is interesting, though not great. Too musky, though the vanilla helps to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick, yet with the carbonation bite. I like it. Like a decent milk stout.

I've read the other reviews for this brew and I think that they are being a little unfair. Sure the drinkability is low for many, but it is an interesting tasting, smelling, feeling, and looking brew and I don't think people are reviewing due to style. There are a lot of mediocre milk stouts out there, and this one is far from ordinary. (1,026 characters)

Photo of bradford
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a trade with stopbarking
Looked weird straight from the get go. Muddy brownish black with minimal head and a good bit of lacing
Smelled off as well. A weird yeasty odor comes through, not offensive but not bery inviting either
Taste was where I really got lost. Tasted more like a Belgian interpretation of a chocolate stout. All the character of a stout, except a very distinctive Belgian yeast taste
Mouthfeel sucked. It was thick, but a muddy gross feeling like after waking up hung over and not brushing your teeth for hours.
Despite all the downfalls, this beer is still drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try it, just won't seek it out in the future (681 characters)

Photo of Foxman
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours an edgy dark coffee brown grading to mahogany and deep amber. A finger of khaki head wisps away to a thin, foggy froth.
Sparse lacing flits along the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a poignant but settled lactic bite to match roasted malt, blueberry, and a doughy yeastiness. A rounded smoked vanilla drift mellows a draft of alcohol.

Upon tasting, a lactic bite lay across a slight roasted malt char, and hints of dried fruit and caramel mingle with creamy vanilla. Yet again the milky nip leads the way, this time ahead of a note of yeast and thin but earthy smoke. Alcohol and lactic acid tread the middle ground. A brief measure of residual malt toastiness helps a mildly bitter finish along with more but shallower sourness. The flavor sits on undelivered potential, being a bit disjointed and restless.

Medium bodied, it's creamy and slick on the palate, with an understated dry effect.

It's no one trick pony, but the lactic sourness is prominent to the point of distraction. The shame is, underneath lies a pretty decent malt profile. Strangely, the muscular ABV helps mitigate the sourness in the end, and it drinks at least better than average. So maybe it's not my cup of tea, or milk for that matter, but hey, I can say I could have done worse. (1,282 characters)

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

22oz. bomber.

Pours a dark brown with some reddish hints. Forms a one-fingered head that lingers around and finally settles to a nice cap. Leaves moderate amounts of lacing.

When cold the smell is mostly of chocolate malt. As it warms the smells of vanilla and oak come through.

As with the smell the flavor charactor changes as it warms. Starts off with a heavy dose of chocolate malt and coffee. As it warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent but doesn't dominate. That is when the vanilla shines. It has a heavy, smooth feel to it and with the light carbonation it makes a great combination. This is a sipper but more approachable than a barleywine. (656 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on-tap at Ashleys in Ann Arbor after passing it up a number of times in beer spots around town. A tasty one, if not exactly incredible. Poured a darkish brown with some reddish highlights. Nose is strong on molasses and coffee. Taste is fairly similar, with a good dose of dried fruit tossed in. Coffee and chocolate play a surprisingly big part. Fairly smooth alcohol, especially for 9%. Feel is good with good carbonation. This one was pretty good, I'd definitely have it again. (493 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried a half-pint of this on tap. My first experience was good, but not what I expected. This time around I knew what to expect. This beer strikes me as a good Scottish Ale and not a Strong Ale. Pours pretty dark with ruby edges. Smells and tastes more on the malty side: lightly-roasted coffee, touch of caramel, carbon, smoky, hints of raisins. Some residual hops. Fairly smooth mouthfeel; not super milky, but like a skim milk. Complemented by a touch of fizz, especially on the front of the tongue. A very drinkable beer. More refreshing when it's slightly chilled. As it warmed (which is inevitable, I guess) the coffee and smokiness gets a little too dominant. Still, I would gladly reach for this one again. (714 characters)

Photo of mizzoueng
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in bomber format. Bottle has changed as now it is a screened printed bottle with a dragon and a large barrell behind it. Bottle states 9% ABV and 19 degrees plato.

A - Dark brown with reddish hues. Light could pass through it, but only when held to light, this is when the red hues were evident. Head was very prononced and required about 10 seconds for seperatiion after a good hefty pour. Head color was tannish and stayed for about 3/4 of the beer, dissapated but left a good lacing and a light skimming of head when swirled.

S - Oak, Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, Malt. All very well balanced. The Oak was the most prominent aroma, followed by the vanilla.

T - Oak and chocolate malt with a hint of actual cocca. Don't think hershey's candy bar, think hershey's unsweetened cocca. The alcohol was warming but not really that "slap you in the face" at 9%.

M - Heavy, but not thick, kind of like a Guiness. Warming and pleasant. Allowing it to sit in your mouth gives a warm, buzzing feeling and plays many tricks on your tounge with the complex flavors present.

D - I would buy this again, I would like it better if it came in a 12oz bottle as 22oz is a lot to drink by yourself. I was sharing with friends, getting them exposed, so I didn't have to drink it all. (1,279 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown with some burgundy color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some bourbon notes is well balance. Taste is also comprised of a nice balance between some sweet malt with some dry fruits elements as well as some bourbon with nice vanilla notes. Body is about average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol is apparent. I like how the bourbon is present but does not dominate or brings too much alcohol. A very interesting and different beer that leaves wanting to try more from this brewer. (585 characters)

Photo of Gator1107
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really suprised by this beer. Actually, I was more suprised to find the bar carried it.
Appearance: It poured very dark and thick with a small head to start. The color reminded me of a very dark plum.

Smell: Right away I could tell this would be no ordinary drink. Hints of liquor and roasted cocoa hit me first followed by a swaggering vanilla.

Taste: The first taste resembled that of a scotch and vanilla rum. Quickly it gave way to hints of chocolate and coffee. Wrapping up with a hint of fruit and vanilla. Leaving a dry aftertaste, that begged you for more.

Mouthfeel: Although a very great tasting beer, not a beer that I could drink all night long. Was a wonderful mix of flavors!

Drinkability: A great beer, one that I would drink in limited quanities. Serving up at around 9% and my bottle came in at 1 pint and 6 ounces. I great beer to hit at a fine pub. (887 characters)

Photo of nightcrawler
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Body is illusive and dark. Appears almost black until held up to the light. Under the light its rich dark ruby hues are shown. Thick creamy tan head fades quickly to a thick collar. Leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass.

S- Distinct dark chocolate smell is present. Hints of vanilla and bitterness lie in the background.

T- Bitter dark chocolate upfront. The initial flavor is deep and rich. Similar to a milk stout or a Russian Imperial. Caramal malt is noticed along with hints of oak and vanilla. Finish is very sweet with a balance of chocolate and vanilla.

M- Medium carbonation and thick syrupy body. Similar consistancy to a stout. Goes down smooth and easy.

D- Alcohol cannot be detected in this brew. Its high and will hit hard. This is one to enjoy perhaps as a dessert beer because it is pretty heavy. I liked this one and will have it again. (875 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass froma 22 oz bomber

A- poured black with a tan foamy head that left strong lacing
S- can smell the oak, vanilla, and malt
T- a roasted malty flavor with the oak and vanilla providing undertones that complement nicely, fades to a nice, no notice of the alcohol
M- thick bodied slight carbonation fills the mouth and lingers for awhile
D- pretty solid, (381 characters)

Photo of bostoneo
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained from Mustard Seed market in Fairlawn/Montrose North Eastern Ohio f or 5.99. Served in a british non-nick pint glass.

A - Deep black, almost stout/porter looking, appearpance with a very small head that faded quickly.

S - Smells of quality stout/porter with a bourbon touch, which is very light.

Taste - Small touch of bourbon again with the base of a stout/porter beer

Mouthful - Almost like water with a bourbon and stout/porter taste, great balance.

Great beer to follow up with some bourbon you've already had. Smooth, can't even notice the 9% abv thats even in it! However a bit pricey, but hey its quality beer! (640 characters)

Photo of enfield249
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - No head to speak of when poured. Dark with ruby highlights. No lacing.

S - Great smell. Alcohol, chocolate, coffee.

T- Alcohol and mocha. Very much like a mocha coffee.

M - Smooth and full. A thick wave covers my tongue.

D - I would like one of these a every week or so in the winter. Awesome beer. (314 characters)

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

Pours quite dark. Looks very much like a good porter or stout with a glance at that dark color & head. The smell likewise gives that impression. Chocolate-dark caramel-vanilla-toast. The taste echoes, although I would strongly suggest giving things a moment to warm slightly and open up. My initial impression with the beer somewhat cold was that this beer was thin & bland. The bourbon-oak is hidden for the most part, giving a background flavor at most. But for my taste, that's fine ... I don't like some of these bourbon/oak-aged things that are more akin to drinking a mixed bourbon-beer boilermaker. Overall, I was quite fond of the beer. I thought it'd make a pleasant "sipper", not too heavy & alcohol disguised well, that is, if it weren't for the high price/bottle. (775 characters)

Photo of blitz134
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really dark body, garnet highlight when held to the light. Light tan head on top. Voluptuous head 1" thick that reduced slowly leaving thick lacing behind. Good head retention. Strong ales are a unique category, so being a little atypical isn't a fault really. This has everything I'd look for in appearance, even if it might be a little dark.

A little bit of everything in the aroma. Milk chocolate and other toasted malts even bordering on a touch of char. Caramel as well. More malty than hoppy, but some slightly floral hops show though. Kind of porter/stout like overall. Smells nice, but as soon as the head reduces much of the aroma goes away too.

The flavor and mouthfeel area a disappointment to me after the inviting aroma. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and watery. Flavor doesn't linger for too long as it washes away quickly. I can definately pick out the slightly astringent oaky flavor but I think it covers up a lot of the other stuff in this beer. Some of the dark malts come through, but just barely. Not nearly as complex as the aroma hinted at and its one sided nature with the oak gets a bit old.

Drinkability is okay. For 9% it is hidden away well, but the lack of flavor and weak mouthfeel don't do it for me. (1,237 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Holland boasts this beer is their flagship brew of their line, I can genuinely say this is not so. I've had at least one of their other beers and it was better than this, but this isn't too bad.

As far as its appearance goes, it is top notch. I poured this 22oz bomber into a liter glass, and the brew produced about a 4 finger thick head, which lasted for about 10 mikes. The body was nearly jet black with slight reddish hues. Lacing stuck around until the last drop.

Aromas which this brew produced were vanilla sweet with a subtle cocoa fragrance too.

This is a good after dinner brew, but is almost too sweet with no hops character too it. It has a mild smokiness to it to counter the sweetness a bit, but not very balanced in any way. (753 characters)

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Near black in color with dark ruby hues. Craggy tan head pours two fingers thick. Some retention. Nice sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: Charred oak barrel. Roasted malts. Raw hops. Vanilla. Alcohol.

T: Flavors of burnt caramel malts and vanilla come through and give way to charred oak barrel taste. Raw earthy hops lend a soft bitter bite and are followed by tastes of toffee and dark fruit. This brew is dry with a big and warm oak aged bourbon finish.

M: Smooth and slightly thin. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: This is a nice strong ale, but the oak barrel flavors were a bit over the top. I will age another offering for some time before I sample this one again. Recommended. (750 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.