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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

1,273 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,273
Hads: 4,683
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,248 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,273 | Hads: 4,683
Photo of TheCondor
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My buddy Small Paul hooked me up with this brew as a sample from the supplier he works with. He was really excited about this giving me this brew, as he knew I was a) a bourbon fan and b) a fan of stouts. By default, that makes me a huge fan of Bourbon Barrel Stouts and other such whisky inspired brews. I was looking very much forward to this as well. Side poured from the bottle into a custom Boulevard/Deschutes event tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours just like a nice solid stout should pour. Dark, basically black, with little head or retention to speak of. Looks like coffee inside the glass, which is exactly what I want. Cool packaging on the brew.

Smell - Fudge, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits. Everything you would expect from a bourbon branded beer except: bourbon! A smidge disappointing. I could only detect a slight odor, if at all, of actual bourbon. I still rated the beer highly, but I would like to see a little more bourbon notes.

Taste - Follow the nose closely, and again, lacking on the bourbon punch or burn. Vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, very tasty and satisfying.

Mouthfeel - Ultra smooth. I rated this portion higher because of the smoothness of the 10% ABV and the velvety character of the beer. While adding bourbon, like I have suggested, would result in a higher rating in smell and taste, it would add a bourbon burn to the mouthfeel. While that is off-putting to many drinkers, it is not to me.

Overall - As I have stated, I would like to see more of a bourbon character in a beer with bourbon right there on the label. With that being said, this is an excellent beer otherwise, and highly recommended. Just forget the bourbon part, and drink it as an imperial stout or something like that. (1,741 characters)

Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Bell's Hopslam glass

A) Dark brown, cola, no head

S) oak, vanilla, bourbon

T) Sweet cola, bourbon, vanilla, root beer?, interesting beer

M) Low carbonation

O) for a $15 BA four pack it's worth it. Not the best BA stout, but it's good to appease the palate as well as the wallet. (298 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Black in color with some lighter brown hues. Creamy tan head settles to a thin crown. Jagged, wispy lacing.

S: Fudgey chocolate. Chocolate caramel chews. Lots of creamy vanilla. Seasoned oak. Bourbon. Very tight hint of blackberries.

T: Milk chocolate, chocolate truffles, dark caramel chews. Tide of creamy vanilla and vanilla bean. Oaky middle to end. Soft barrel char. Bourbon character picks up toward the back but never gets hot. Barrel flavors have a heavy influence. Black cherry esters. Mild prick of alcohol. Drying finish is all bourbon barrel, in a good way.

M: Medium-thick. Very full body. Slick, velvety smooth. Weighty without being sludgey. Glides over the tongue. Warming alcohol.

O: This has got to be the easiest drinking 11% abv bourbon barrel aged stout I've ever had. It goes down with the ease of a milk stout. It's not the most complex brew of its ilk by a longshot, but it makes up for it with pure hedonistic drinkability. The body and texture are excellent. The high price tag might put a damper on its reception in the market though. (1,103 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a red wine glass. 2014 vintage.

Appearance: Free pour yields a shortlived 1 inch offwhite head. Pours a dark brown/black and leaves a few small lacing islands.

Smell: Pleasantly effervescent roasted malt aroma. Touch of oak. Not too over the top, and could go further toward enhancing the experience, but certainly agreeable.

Taste: Almost cola like carbonation and dark malt mixed with husky roasted malt up front, leading to a smooth oaky vanilla finish with a slight dryness at the very end. This isn't the most complex barrel aged stout in the world, but it's smooth as hell.

11% ABV it says on the bottle... drinks smooth and easy as a milkshake. The flavor here is hard to do justice to in a review, because it's the total package that works so well. Just a great sip every time, absurdly easy to drink (or as some prefer, "quaffable"). There's roasted malt, some milk chocolate flavors, some dark malts, and a very vanilla forward oak that takes its time through the middle and the finish.

You want to dock points for lacking all that complexity in superior BBA stouts, but this is just really well balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Highlight; like a very good milk stout. No discernible heat despite the huge ABV, just chest warmth really. Full side of medium bodied, coming across as a bit lighter due to the high carbonation (which also forwards the silky impression). Just a bit of dryness at the end.

Overall: Really well done beer. Compared to other "widely available, value BBA beers" (read: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale), it *towers*. This is a smooth as silk beer to please any stout lover. My only complaint is that it's maybe *too* easy to drink. (1,689 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color and nearly entirely impenetrable to light. Just a trace of fingernail thin khaki colored head covers the edges of the glass. Aroma of bourbon and dark malt is moderately present. The flavor is heavily weighted with bourbon,dark malt,chocolate,fig,and caramel. The mouth is chewy and sticky. (305 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark brown and in the glass in a black color with a huge off white brownish head.

The aroma has a beautiful rich toasty/roasty marshmallow, roasted almond, cocoa powder, a mix of a spicy and whole wheat breadiness, and nuttiness.

The flavor hits up front with richly toasted malt, cocoa, a creamy milk and melted ice cream flavor. The beer finish with vanilla, almond, and caramel sweetness. Some oak and stiff bitterness on the back. Some alcohol as well.

In general, the beer is lacking in flavor. It definitely does not remind one of a bourbon barrel aged stout. (592 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt, bourbon
Head small (2 cm), light brown, mostly diminishing to a broken 2 mm ring
Lacing OK – small islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with a moderately sweet bourbon taste, ends with a lightly sweet lactose taste; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. Ends with an alcohol stomach burn.
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation.

This is an average bourbon barrel stout – nothing special. Appearance is OK, aroma promises goodness that the taste doesn’t provide. Once again, the palate is the best part of this beer. (620 characters)

Photo of MTILLERY
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sweet chocolate, fireplace, and bourbon aromas.
Great, heavy mouth feel.
Bourbon finish.
Creamy like a milk stout should be, with a great blend of bourbon liquor taste.
Bottle has foil top, that makes individualistic sense to the bottle. Bottle describes flavors to be "dancing in an oak bath".
Fantastic beer! (313 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with tall, long lasting, creamy, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of bourbon, roasted malt, dark fruit, wood and coffee. Body is full, creamy and smooth. Taste is of bourbon, roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and boozy, which I like. It will be my favorite RIS. (349 characters)

Photo of tomiswho
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a nice surprise! On a road trip, stopped Father's Day at 6 Autumns, attached to the Ramada Inn off I-69 in Angola, Indiana for the evening. Nice beer menu, I asked the resident "beer-meister" what he would recommend based on my comment that I liked Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter and Imperial Stout. He gave me a couple samples (30 beers on tap) and I loved this one especially for the bourbon finish. The next day I stopped at a store in town and bought a bottle to bring home to Georgia. (491 characters)

Photo of pinyin
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a 10 ounce glass.

Perfect two fingers of head and a lighter black brownish color.

This is a complex stout and the tasting notes keep changing throughout depending on temperature and glass breathability.

Upon first sip it almost tastes like coconut oil, or somehow this exact chemical compound is formed during the brewing process. I really thought I was drinking a super concentrated form of coconut water for a few seconds, until the aftertaste hits.

This stout is not too heavy, infact it's somewhat light and bubbly, just a smidge heavier than a dark carbonated porter.

This is a boozy tasting stout at 10% but well worth the burn.

The aftertaste is that of a perfectly aged bourbon whiskey. Reminded me a lot of Johhny Walker Green.

Overall an excellent offering from New Holland, although the name Dragons Milk is somewhat deceiving because this isn't really too sweet like a lower ABV% milk stout would taste, and Dragon Stout (the legendary stout from Jamaica) has already used this name for years. (1,033 characters)

Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with reddish brown edges. Tiny head which disappears immediately.

Smell is a little one dimensional. Thin roasted notes backdrop the smell of bottom shelf whiskey. Good thing I like cheap whiskey.

Taste really brings this one home. Chocolate and toffee notes punctuate a warming bourbon blanket. Very nice. Makes a man get a little poetic.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I'd like in a BB imperial stout, but i could be holding it to too high of a standard.

The taste is what makes this a great beer; it makes me overlook some of its shortcomings (566 characters)

Photo of halo3one
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barreled in 2014. 3.78

A - dark, heavy

S - espresso, chocolate, mild

T - subdued, mocha, vanilla, mild bourbon

M - thick, pretty smooth

O - Could use more time in the bottle but a good option if they only have guiness and the like on tap. Will try a 2013 version later this year and see how it ages.

Update:the 2013 version is definitely better. Smoother, more bourbon, sweetness, and general cohesion. The 14 version is 11% vs 10% so it makes me wonder whether they changed the formula a bit. Get the 13 if you can! (522 characters)

Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -1 inch head, few lace lines,

N - vanilla/coffee and alcohol

M - thick and creamy. A bit sticky

T - vanilla/oak and black coffee start it off followed by some bitterness and finishes with the alcohol

O - nice stout. Would have liked the alcohol to have a bit more masked but would definitely buy again (309 characters)

Photo of bluedognever
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle in late May on a warm sunny afternoon. Appearance is very dark - almost like a cola with a slight but creamy tan head. This is a beer with a 10% alcohol content and you taste it but that's not a negative. Very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Hints of the bourbon barrel aging are very noticeable but not overpowering. Hints of roasted caramel and some vanilla as well. A very strong flavored beer as you would expect from an Imperial Stout. Not an easy drinking beer because the favors are so powerful but very good. I'll probably enjoy it more in tHe winter but it's definitely on the list to buy again. (620 characters)

Photo of tyleeis
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is dark, can't really see through it. Really thin tan head, roughly 1/4 of an inch.

Smells sweet, slight chocolate, and a little booze. Nice waft do bourbon hots the nose.

Taste is sweet, little fruity(raisins), some chocolate, light bitterness and a nice touch of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is nice. Slightly milky with light carbonation, coats your teeth but not too chewy.

Overall it was good, a definite favorite. It's unique and I'll drink it again. (462 characters)

Photo of AxMad
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- thick, oily and nearly jet black in appearance, with thing tan head the dissipated pretty quickly.

S- sweet caramel and coffee scent. The bourbon/alcohol smell is fairly discrete.

T- the caramel scent gives way to a big mouthful of vanilla flavor. It is by far the most prevalent tasting note here and it is delicious. It is followed by coffee and oak and finishes with a taste of bourbon and caramel as it goes down. There is minimal alcohol burn. It's incredible.

M- this is a thick beer. There is slight carbonation, but otherwise it is fairly smooth. Most definitely a sipping beer.

O- after being fairly let down by the (in my opinion) overhyped Brooklyn Black Ops, this bourbon barrel stout blew me away. Smooth and delicious with just the right amount of vanilla. It seems the bourbon aged brews are having quite a moment. I see news ones every time I go to my local beer shop. This one to me, though, will definitely be one I'll pick up whenever I come across it. (982 characters)

Photo of Jishguy
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a pitch black body with a creamy, tan colored head that stayed around for a little while. Clear streaks run down the glass as I tilt it from side to side, most likely a result of the high ABV.

S- The presence of bourbon is strong in the aroma, along with chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and vanilla. I was surprised at the amount of bourbon in the aroma.

T- Almost identical to the aroma, the taste of bourbon and vanilla dominate the palate, with roasted malts and chocolate on the finish. The tiniest hint of booze is present in the aftertaste. Not too overpowering, just enough to let me know it's there.

M - Pretty standard for the style. Creamy and full, but nothing to write home about.

Not a bad stout, I'd definitely buy some more! (752 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance: Thin brown pour; Black in the glass but a mahogony tent when put up to the light. One finger tan head

Smell: Toffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Good aromas

Taste: Vanilla and Bourbon right off with chocolate and roasted malts in the middle, which both blend nicely, but more toward vanilla and bourbon characteristics. Wish there was more roasted malt

Mouthfeel: Light medium mouthfeel, and quite light for 11% abv. but very little trace of alcohol unlike what others have mentioned

Overall: A nice balance between vanilla, bourbon, and dark malts, although it could use more roasted malts in my opinion. I havent had many BBA stouts, but I had Heresy a few nights ago, and think this is better. This has gotten me excited to try more BBA stouts in the future.

Edit: Have had many BBA stouts since and this seems a bit thin and watered down. The bourbon notes are spot on, but it definitely needs more roasted malt to balance it out. Not quite rich and robust for me to be a benchmark for the style. Still a solid option for its availability at a fair price in my area (1,156 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, almost black with an amber tinge on the edge. It’s almost opaque. Three fingers of creamy tan head. Some white substance floating on the bottom.

S: Baily’s Irish Cream, coffee, oak barrel, whiskey, chocolate, cream, vanilla.

T: Baily’s Irish Cream, coffee, dark toasted malts, whiskey, chocolate, cream, vanilla.

M: Thick bready and heavy body, low carbonation.

O: Almost can’t believe it’s a beer. Amazing. Reminds me of the quality of Double Arrogant Bastard Oaked. (496 characters)

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2914 bottle

Pours out not REALLY dark but once in the glass it is dark as night with a small brown head with little re.ention and no lacing.

Smell is of chocolate, burnt malts, a tiny bit of booze that I probably would not have picked out without knowing it was there but it is present, there is a little bit of sweetness in the nose but I would say the nose is chocolate forward.

Taste is more chocolate, burnt malts, more nice booze than I got in the nose which is nice to me, there is still a little sweetness but nowhere near cloying or REALLY sweet. The sweetness is really far in the background. I guess if I had to complain about anything it would be after drinking more it is overly boozy which has less balance than I would like. I love boozy beers but this is a little more booze so the other flavors are in the background. I love bourbon and drink it clean but for this beer it's just a little too much without balance.

Mouth feel is medium to somewhat thick which is nice for the style. It's not BCBS with age on it but it is nice for the style.

Overall I like the beer but it would not be something I would likely buy again if there were other BA Stouts around at similar prices due to lack of complexity.

Edit: I think I'm going to cellar the rest of these bottles and see what a little time does. I can see this developing well or at least getting less hot so the other flavors are more part of the beer. (1,425 characters)

Photo of DerelictPI
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is a fantastic beer!

Look - Poured with a nice khaki head that quickly went away.

Smell - Exactly how a bourbon barrel aged stout should smell...bourbon, vanilla, slight booze, the stout, deliciousness, etc.

Taste - Rich, smooth, bourbon, but mostly the vanilla, with a hint of the booze. I'm having a hard time just sipping this, which at 10%, is a worthy struggle.

I highly recommend this beer! (410 characters)

Photo of Badger6
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Body is black, passes no light. Small tan head that recedes almost immediately to nothing. Some lacing on the glass.

S: Robust aroma: roasted malts, coffee, mild dark chocolate, vanilla, toasted oak.

T: Follows the nose. Roasty malts, toasty oak, coffee, vanilla,hint of chocolate. Boozy. Some bitterness, well balanced with the sweetness of the malts.

M: Light-medium body, with light-medium carbonation. Finishes with a lot of warmth from the booziness.

O: Very nice bourbon barrel stout. Body is light for a stout, but the flavor is phenomenal and compensates well. A well made beer, enjoyable to drink. Be advised at 10% ABV this is not session...enjoy one and move on. This is a favorite, and is sure to be enjoyed many more times. (804 characters)

Photo of Anakun
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very delicious beer. Definitely will add this to my rotation. If your like full flavored darker beers this is for you. I only wish they came in greater than four packs. The alcohol content is nice as well, after one beer I felt a buzz. This is a nice smelling well flavored product. (282 characters)

Photo of MBbeerking14
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dragons Milk from New Hollands Brewery is an outstanding beer!

Pours dark black with a medium head. The smell is that of vanilla, coffee, and a pleasant bourbon whiskey. This is very strong beer, and the alcohol does have some heat when drinking it. It is a thick beer, but it has a silky mouth feel. A smooth stout to be sure. The taste is that of bourbon, dried fruits, oats, and subtle coffee. A very oaky finish in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Could not drink more than one of these, quite strong, but absolutely delicious! (531 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.