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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,287 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,287
Hads: 4,799
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.33%
Wants: 282
Gots: 1,352 | FT: 42
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: 1,287 | Hads: 4,799
Photo of Foxman
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of morimech
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of mizzoueng
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Gator1107
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of nightcrawler
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Atron67
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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,

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Photo of bostoneo
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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!

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Photo of enfield249
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of jsbrendle
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of blitz134
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of westweasel
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

A - A very clear deep, dark brown with about 1/4 inch of tan head. The bubbles are very active - this look highly carbonated.

S - The strongest scent is a sweet bourbony liquor odor. I can also smell dark roasted malt and coffee scents.

T - I'm getting bourbon, strong roasted flavors, vanilla, and coffee.

M - Medium, fairly smooth, with a carbonation bite in the finish. I think this would be better if it was a little fuller and the carbonation was a little lower.

D - Better than I expected. The smoothness was surprising. Though you can taste the strong alcohol, it is not overbearing. Very nice.

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Photo of beveritt
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass. Label is a paint on with the shape of a dragon flying around a wine barrel. No freshenss date, but listed as 19 degrees Plato and 9% ABV. Kind of hard to find this int he index, whoever entered all the New Holland beers saw fit to put New Holland in front of every beer. No kidding, huh? That's who makes it? Printed under the cap is the single word aroma.

Appearance: Pours with a 1 inch tan head. This settles into a thin coat of foam and a ring around the glass. The beer itself is almost opaque, with a mahogany tint around the edges.

Smell: Sweet cherry vanilla notes mix with an oak aroma. Slightly sweet alcohol smell.

Taste: Initial taste is of a slightly fruity, vanilla oak. Maybe cherries or plums? Finishes with a stronger oak and bourbon flavor, though the alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A good sipping beer; very complex. I wish I had a 12oz bottle and not a bomber. Not sure if it is available int he smaller sizes, but a bomber is a bit much for this hig ABV.

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Photo of genog
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Gallo's tap room.

A- pours into a small snifter (10oz) a deep dark, black color.

S- I was caught off guard by the real oak barrel smell. I thought I was going to start drinking a whiskey.

T- The taste is smooth at first with subtle notes. The oak resonates on the back of your mouth once you swallow. Quite powerful at first.

M- If I remember correctly there was very little to feel. However, I did have to wait a while to drink this b/c it came out of the tap very cold, too cold.

D- I don't know if I was drinking this at the wrong time, not in the mood, or not eating a complimentary food to go with this drink. I had to struggle to finish this beer. Did not seem to get better with increasing sips, in my opinion.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer, hmmm, maybe three, four years ago. I remember not being terribly impressed by it then, and that lack of enthusiasm continues into the present day.

Ahhh, but the way this beer looks! It looks like a black cow (vanilla ice-cream and coca-cola), a jet black body with a HUGE billowy coffee-and-cream head that lasts and lasts. The head is really incredibly bubbly, with super-sized bubbles normally only found in soda. It looks wonderful.

The smell is OK. It is so absolutely dominated by vanilla that it is hard to get much of anything else. Vanilla, some booze, and a little bit of roasted malts.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. A strong blast of vanilla, with some booze, light oxidation, toffee, chocolate, and cherries. Not bad, but it is so dominated by the vanilla that it is difficult to tell. There is, however, a nice bourbon finish to the beer.

The mouthfeel is incredibly thin. At first, the carbonation helped round it out, but as I drink this beer and the carbonation fades it becomes incredibly thin. The bourbon finish adds a nice *bite* to the end of this beer.

Drinkability is OK. I think that a 12oz serving would be better than a bomber, but that is what I think about most beers. Unless I really like a beer, 22oz is simply too much of one beer. Not bad, overall, but just, meh. I'll take Pilgim's Dole over this anyday.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.63/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark cola brown with a slight veil of haze and a frothy, sizzling tan head that dissapears too quickly, leaving no lace.

Aroma is immediatly oaky with vanilla and bourbon. It's pleasantly malty with a bit of fruit and earthy notes, not very complex though.

Flavor is not as expected. caramel malt, vanilla, oak, and berries, then an unpleasant sour note as described in other reviews. It finishes tart and astringent, with an almost yogurt-like taste.

Body is light to medium, with loose bubbles of carbonation and a fizzy, then partially-fglat mouthfeel.

I have a feeling that the less favorable reviews of this beer, like this one, are of older bottles. The good reviews are probably fresh bottles. That, or this beer just isn't that good?

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Photo of dgfair
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in my Delirium snifter.

A - Pitch black with a huge fizzy tan head. Lot of carbonation released when I popped the bottle, so I knew I was going to be in for a fizzy one. Almost looks like a very thin stout.

S - Definite smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet sugar. A little bit of sticky malt aroma with a little bit of a syrupy fruit cocktail smell. Definitely pretty complex.

T - I can definitely taste the vanilla, the oak, and the bourbon...that's all fine and good. However, this bottle has perhaps gone south. I'm getting quite a bit of a sour flanders red type taste, probably oxidization. I don't think it's intentional, because it clearly clashes with the delicate oak and just doesn't taste right. I've had this one before, and it definitely didn't taste like this.

M - Very fizzy and bubbly in the mouth. I would love for this one to be a little smoother and creamier, especially to go with the barrel flavors.

D - Better the first time I had it. Not terrible, but just not a great offering. Probably won't be revisiting this one at the price point.

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Photo of cproioi
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby color with a creamy white head that is seated on top. The nose is full of dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. The taste comes in with the same notes ion the aroma with a little more accents on the chocolate and the malts. However, it tastes a little oxidized sadly enough. It's a wonderfully creamy body that leaves a wonderful finish that lingers suggesting to take another drink.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a fine looking dark black with some cherry tinting. Virtually no head with minimal lace.

S: Very nice aromas of bourbon, vanilla, cherry, molassas, plums, raisins, and alcohol.

T: Take everything from above with the addition of brown sugar, oak, caramel, and roasted malt.

M: Big and slick. Coating. Quite smooth and very creamy.

D: Unbelievably easy to sip your way through a bomber of this. Very enjoyable.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,287 ratings.