Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,199 | 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
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Reviews: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, 9% ABV. Almost jet black in color, with a thick tan frothy head. The head trickles to a thin layer rather quickly. Vanilla, oak, whiskey and a bit of coffee in the nose. Very smooth, slick, and almost silky. My first impression was that it had a great deal of sweetness, like sweet cream. Vanilla flavor, with just a hint of whiskey. Almost no roasty tones at all, which seemed odd looking at the color. Body seems a bit light, but the lower carbonation works for me. Very smooth, alcohol seems non-existant. Almost too drinakble. The barrel flavor here is done very well, not overwhelming, simply adding a nice layer of flavor. This is outstanding. (664 characters)

Photo of david131
1.96/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I feel strange about this beer. I usually love big beers... this one was just a mess.

A- Came in a pint glass with minimal off- white head. The color was a very dark as night red. It's almost black. the head does not stick around for long and just leaves the unexciting dark liquid behind.

S- I am instantly hit with molasses. The next thing that comes to me is a strong bourbon/ whiskey odor. I struggle to get anything more out of this.

T- The flavor is the same as the smell. The molasses was smooth up front, which was kind of nice. But then the overwhelming whiskey hits. It is over-bearing and causes me to wince every time I take a sip.

M- Pretty thin for what it is. Burning from the whiskey. Not something I wanted to savor.

D- I really regretted getting this. I feel like I could appreciate a beer that is barrel aged, this was just way overbearing and it was not "milky" in any sense of the word. (923 characters)

Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber this weekend and boy I wish I would have bought more. Poured a dark brown hue with a caramel light shining through it, not much of a head nor any lacing, but so what. The aroma and flavor makes up for it. Lovely scent of caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla with a powerful hint of soy sauce. Medium body, creamy with a fizzy carbonation to start, ending chocolate sweet and soft with a undertone of alcohol. Overall, I really enjoy this brew and will purchase more this weekend. (494 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice. This strong ale is a deep deep ruby, that appears almost black until you hold it to some light. Rather like a porter in color. I got a very thin head that faded quickly with a minimum of lacing.

Aroma is dark and mysterious, warm and inviting. Dark malts, prune and some spice. Alcohol also present in the nose.

Taste has hints of bourbon, dark fruit, spice, and an alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is not as heavy as expected. There is not much carbonation to speak of.

This is a great beer to sip and as it warms me up inside I am looking forward to pouring the rest of the bomber. Recommended! (649 characters)

Photo of Enola
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aquired via trade with robertdoesbeer.

The beer is a nice deep black with a hint of light permeating the edges. A tan head sits atop the brew. There are coffee and chocolate flavors as well as the oak coming through. Malts abound in this beer. the alcohol shows a little as it warms. Drinkable, but take it slow. This is one dragon that bites. (347 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color. Frothy tan head rises and holds.
Smells of sweet milk chocolate and vanilla.
Taste like the chocolate soy milk (Silk). Mild bitterness with hints of vanilla. Nice coffee like finish.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth yet still big and bold.
Great drinkability for a 9% beer and if it were available here it would be a staple in my fridge.
Thanks to Enola for sharing a bottle. (405 characters)

Photo of MDekker
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass out of a bomber, this brew pours out nearly black, with a little "dark ruby" around the edges. Nice thick head. Quite a nice looking brew. Being only accustomed to stouts pouring out that black, the smell and taste were unexpected, but good - sweet, strong notes of fruit, especially prunes, raisins, and grape juice, along with some alcohol. Only a gentle bitter finish. In the mouth it was fabulous - creamy and smooth, with a small presence of carbonation. It was surprisingly easy to put down, too. Overall, this was a good, interesting beer. (565 characters)

Photo of phisig137
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Santa DeeJayDan for this one

Pours a deep black, only letting a bit of brown light through around the edges. One finger head has excellent retention, and eventually falls into a thick creamy blanket of foam on top of the glass, leaving behind abundant creamy lacing. Looks fantastic.

Aroma is mostly dominated by oak and vanilla tones, but not in a harsh or overbearing way. Roasted malts also find thier way through,as well as biscuits and a hint of alcohol.

Flavor is very nice. Light roasted malt presence, with a strong vanilla barrle flavor that integrates beautifully with the beer. A bit more of a baltic porter or stout than a strong ale... but hey, it's pretty fantastic whatever you call it. The finish is almost devoid of hops, but is slightly sweet, lingering and pleasant. You want another sip, but instead you can sit and contemplate the flavor. Well balanced, and not overly oak-ey, like some barrel beers can be. Mouthfeel is just a little thin for me, but is quite creamy, and smooth. Drinkbability is good considering the 9.0% ABV.

This is my first beer from New Holland, and I am very impressed. I now wish that this was a regulalry seen item around VA. Either way, I'd recommend this beer, and would buy it constantly in the winter, given the ability to do so. Thanks again DeeJayDan!!! This one is a winner! (1,351 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i thought this was going to be an imperial stout...strong ale, eh? i guess the category is a catchall one

doesn't look like one. some red highlights, but otherwise very RIS looking. the aroma sports a big oaky character with plenty of vanilla anf coffee. the flavor is something entirely new. much smoother than any RIS, and much fruitier. it makes me think of those valentine's chocolates with cherry in the middle. it's quite desserty and somewhat tart, even

oak and vanilla all over the place, but the flavor is still a little weak and poorly defined

this is something that would make more sense if fermented with a belgian yeast, but good for new holland for pushing the boundaries. not something i'll drink often, but i will definitely consider it for my next dessert pairing

i will say that this beer before the barrel might not have been so good (864 characters)

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

Thank you jpm30. Wonderful
A very dark mahogany with a half finger off white head that melts quickly to a faint ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas are very, VERY woody. Oak, vanilla, and back to oak.
Sweet amber malts are immediately overcome by the presence of oak woodiness. I have never had any brew reflect the presence of the barrel as much as this one. Slight vanilla undertones and then a definite citrus hop bitterness on the end.
Mouthfeel is tiny carbonation smoothness.
Aftertaste seems to be almost non-existent. All of the predominate flavors clean themselves from the palette quickly.
The woods make this one unlike any other brew I've tried. (657 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

9%? I could definately down a growler of this. This is a pretty cool beer, kind of like an American old ale. Big caramel and chocolate (reminds me of carafa malts) flavors. I get more chocolate in the aroma with a hint of oak. There are also some mroe subtle flavor floating around like vanilla, but this isn't the most comples beer. Still, it's very drinkable and I'd get it again. (382 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland may struggle a bit with their IPA recipe and execution, but their stouts have no such issues. As with their Night Tripper, Dragon's Milk delivers silky smooth chocolates with roasty backnotes and a touch of smoke, oak, and even bourbon- whether they meant to or not.

The beer pours with a silky layering effect into the snifter, and does so with the most dense espresso imaginable. With nearly milkshake-like consistency, the nearly black, dark bark-brown hue exudes the notions of roast, chocolate, and smoke. Lightly ingrained carbonation creates a creamy aesthetic, but also relinquishes a dainty tan head that dissolves midway through the session with minimal spotted lace. The beer is best observed through the spectacles of cognac or brandy.

The aromas are spot-on Bourbon Ball Candies made my many of my local Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark manufacturers. Where they never decry a bourbon infusion, the aromas of chocolate wafers, walnuts, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbony booze rises to the occasion and surplants any dessert at the after dinner party.

Flavors follow with a familiar tone. The direct carryover from scent brings about the dessert-like sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, creamy espresso, heavy cream, coconut, vanilla, caramel, almonds, and that ever present bourbon taste- but with all the taste and none of the burn. Roasted grains contribute light bitterness as do the woody hops, but these only act as slight balancing elements- this beer was never intended to be a balanced stout, but rather a richer and malt-focused taste with the complement of oak. It nails it to perfection!

Silky smooth and malty weighted, the beer projects a full texture and makes no apologies for it. Light on carbonation, the malty weight and sweet alcohols seep into the mouth's surfaces for a full flavor, savory, and labored transition across the palate. But that's ok- the savory, succulent, and velvety textures caress the palate and forgives the lack of dryness with ease. A long linger, well past the ill-faded finish, continues well into the next sip for a very digestive-intended session.

This stout is one of the most celebrated bourbon-flavored stouts that does not confess bourbon barrel aging, but merely oak aging. How dey do dat? (2,274 characters)

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

Pours cola in color with a small off white head. Aroma is bourbon, cola sweetness, vanilla, and a smoky roastiness. First taste shows a nice roasted malt flavor that is quickly followed up by a cola sweetness and a bourbony finish. Some syrupy sweetness is cut by a tangy acidity. A nice oak and bourbon drying finish. The alcohol is very well balanced and the bourbon flavor and aroma comes thru nicely. The roasted smoky malts are also a nice dimension to this beer. The vanilla in the aroma and the cola-y sweetness in the aroma and taste were perhaps a bit strong for myself, but still a complex interesting beer. (617 characters)

Photo of bucko
2.92/5  rDev -25.7%
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? (529 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has this beer ever improved since I first tasted it in 2006.! This review is of a 12 oz bottle tasted in early 2015.

Appearance: A bubble show reveals a translucent coffee brown liquid capped by a nice beige head that leaves a few strands of lacing

Smell: Bourbon-infused oak tones provide an aromatic complement to a dried dark fruit and vanilla/chocolate base

Taste: Chocolate and vanilla flavors up front, with the Bourbon tones adding a counterpoint in the middle; after the swallow, the Bourbon becomes slightly more pronounced and the finish is relatively sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; hides the 11% ABV well

Drinkability: Interesting, but a bit subdued; I was expecting something bolder on all fronts; in any event, an enjoyable brew (779 characters)

Photo of waldowin
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Gaisgeil for this beer!

Poured a roasty black, with a light tan head that fades to a small patch quickly.

Smell is heavily of vanilla and oak, has a hint of a bourbon to the finish.

The oak absolutely dominates the taste from start to finish. A bit of vanilla and milk sweetness rise through, with a hint of hop tartness at the very end. Oak is all over.

Carbonation is spot on, and the slightly lactic acidity in the beer leaves your mouth ready for more vanilla sweetness. I'd like to see it a little bit heavier, but I consider the thickest of imperial stouts to be my bread and butter, so I'm a bit biased I suppose.

A tasty beer, to be sure, but the alcohol makes a 22oz bottle a night's beer.
Cheers! (737 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly enjoyable drinking experience with this one. Dark brown bordering on black.

Barrel properties are quite apparent on the nose...oak...bourbon...light vanilla..

Full bodied...solid carbonation...pretty smooth and velvety in the mouth...

Taste is loaded with oak, and bourbon...roasted maltiness....a little bit of dark cocoa as well..

Finishes dry....booze is hidden but becomes noticable on the long finish..

An excellent strong ale I will likely purchase again. (483 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Does this beer fall into a style? Imp Milk Stout? Oak Age? American Strong Ale? Whatever you classify it, the pour is a black color, when brownish red hues when held to the light. A tan colored head that was rather light and dissipated quickly. Not much lace to speak of either.

When I poured this beer for the first time, it was too cold. I couldn't get much but after waiting for some time the aroma started coming out more. The most noticeable smell was the bourbon oak esters and vanilla backing. Some lighter malty notes as well as some fig and plum smells are detectable in the background as well.

The taste also changes as the beer warms. While cold, it had a rather limited taste and a lactic quality to it. But once warmed, the true flavors of the beer started coming out. A good malty flavor with bigger chocolate notes and some minor astringent qualms in the back. Some toffee and a touch of sweeter caramel flavors. The oaky flavors are well represented, with lacing of bourbon and vanilla flavors.

The body has a mid to full feel but the oak essence smooths the flavor out. A good, unique beer that boardlines style but put it in any category you want, I'll have another. (1,197 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz screened bottle.

Pours a very dark, red tinged, brown with a one finger head that fades away rather quickly. Even though the foam doesn't stic around there's still quite a bit of lacing.

Smell; lots of sweet dark malts, with caramel and chocolate. This definitely has a strong oak aroma along with vanilla a touch of coconut, and some dark fruits.

Taste; those malts come through nicely with the caramel, chocolate and a little bit of toffee. The coconut mixes very nicely with the oak barrel flavors, and has a nice smooth vanilla on the finish. There's not much bitterness to be found in this one. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation, and the drinkability is very high up there. Once this gets to room temp it gets even smoother and I think the mouthfeel becomes more full. (816 characters)

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle courtesy of shbobdb. YOU DA MAN!

Moderate pour at 55 degrees into my tulip chalice yields at large tan head over a dark mahogany opaque body, with ruby red edges. Head fades rather quickly, but leaves huge chunks of thick lacing..

Moderately aromatic nose. Chocolat, vanilla, rum-soaked raisins, dates and bourbon. Oak resins are in the background.

Complex taste! A bit of sour mash bourbon on chocolate-vanilla with some espresso and caramel malt. Just a slight hint of fruity hops. As the beer warms toward room temperature, the vanilla and bourbon come up, with cocoa and caramel.

The mouthfeel felt too light. The alcohol is barely noticable behind all those dark fruit flavors. Frightfully drinkable for a 9% beer.

Reminds me more of a Baltic Porter than an American Strong Ale. Very little hop presence, which is fine my me.

Thanks again to shbobdb, who knows I love malty beers. Man, you hit this nail on the head! (955 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle courtesy of MABZ. Thanks!

Pours into a pint glass with a lot of carbonation - fills glass up quickly with foam. Smells distinctly like wood, along with some roasted malt notes and very appealing.

taste is something of roasted malt, fronted by a hop character I cannot name but reminds me of english old ales. There is obvious wood character in this beer though I cannot pick up the previous barrel contents (bourbon). The combination of some light sourness, roasted malt, and an almost invisible 9% makes this excellent beer far too easy to drink.

Frighteningly drinkable old ale which goes down far too fast. I almost never see wood-aged beer of this style, nice to see it done in the US this well. (720 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the Duvel tulip for maximum taste and sniffage...

Appearance- Deep, clear, caramel cola with a head that rushes to the surface and surges with tightly packed bubbles. The off-white head explodes to 2 1/2 fingers and sticks well along the inside of the glass. The soapy crown looks like the suds in a car wash bucket, with iridescent colors and good, craggy lacing.

Smell- Porter-like caramel notes, with a nose of coffee with milk & sugar. A little mocha and vanilla comes through.

Taste- Complex and smooth as all hell... soft and mellow, then exploding with oak and vanilla. Dessert in a glass. An interesting lemony citric note, a brightness like when you squeeze lemon zest into a cup of espresso. The finish is dry and tart... really good. Refreshing, like a spritzy squeeze of lemon in a dunkelweisse.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Exquisite... light and smooth on the tongue, swelling perfectly in the mouth. Effortless and ridiculously drinkable for the style, very highly recommended. (1,009 characters)

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

A - bottle has a painted label (classy) but an avg graphic of a dragon and a barrel (ok) but a nice though mostly empty back story is painted on the bottle as well (they redeem themselves!). i poured a generous portion of the bomber into a snifter, and i drizzled enough in to get a nice, parchment-colored head. the head dissipated pretty soon, kept some of the nice foam swirls and oily bubbles i like to see on higher gravity dark beers.

S - definitely soft, malty, and warm. the snifter helped to capture some alcohol vapor, but i still had to do a little searching to find it under all that lovely malt.

T - a bit like a dark raisin bread. slightly bready, but it's under all of that heavy malt. take a breath after you swallow and you can feel that alcohol if you pay attention.

M - not bad. full enough with all that heavy malt taste, although it's a bit grainy at times.

D - now, this is a heavy beer--tons of malt and high gravity. if you take that into account, the drinkability isn't too bad. this is certainly for sipping. be patient; try to rush this one and it will get you. (1,100 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a clear, dark chestnut body with a large tan head. Excellent retention and large rings and splotches of lacing are left on the glass.

Aroma features malty caramel, accented by vanilla. Notes of bourbon and smoky charcoal are also prominent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy yet well carbonated.

Taste is malty caramel, backed by a solid, if vague, hops bitterness. Vanilla is prominent. Accents of bourbon, charcoal, and oak add a pleasant complexity. The 9% abv is well disguised. Finishes dry and smoky.

Very well executed. Reminds me of a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, but this is more complex and has a better feel. Glad to see New Holland brews coming into Kentucky and southern Indiana. (720 characters)

Photo of antzman
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a jet black with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates. Excellent lacing on the glass as well. The aroma is sweet. Caramel, vanilla, oak from the barrel, chocolate malt, and just a hint of bourbon. The aroma is fairly subdued, and does not overwhelm you. The flavor is delicious. Plenty of flavors here. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, sweet fruits. A bit on the sweet side, but it does not linger long on the palate. A very warming beer. This is probably the best offering from New Holland I have tried. (526 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.