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

1,257 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 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)

Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having tried this for the third time, I'd have to say it is a decent barrel aged stout. However, for the price (outside of MI) it probably does not warrant a higher rating. I don't even consider comparing this to BCBS which to me, is a bourbon barrel aged stout unto itself. So, I would compare this more closely to Fegley's Insidious bourbon barrel aged stout: a more comparable, lower level version of the style. After trying both, I'd recommend getting your hands on the Fegley's first and then the Dragon's Milk. I understand there are many fans of this beer. But I would not buy a 4 pack at the price I paid ($16) again. (625 characters)

Photo of kjoe19
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first barrel bourbon stout I have had the privilege to taste! Pours a nice deep black, with a clinging tan head about a fingertip length. Strong smell with a nose that helps to enhance the taste, which is definitely one of the creamiest stouts I've ever tasted. Each sip is delectable and lingers around the mouth for many moments, providing a high level of consistency and satisfaction because of it. Overall a 5/5 for it being the first BBS I've had, and what is to me a well crafted stout.

Mine was a 22oz that I found for $7.99 at my local liquor store! (562 characters)

Photo of WKyle
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with white lacing that turns into a very thin head like most imperial stouts. The smell is of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, whiskey, and esters. The taste is really wonderful it starts with chocolate and vanilla and ends with whiskey, coffee, and warming alcohol. The alcohol taste is present, but that really should be expected when you age something in bourbon barrels for long enough. The mouth feel is lighter than a lot of imperial stouts, but not thin. Overall, I would drink a KBS or a backwoods bastard first, but due to their low availability this is definitely a go to bourbon barrel stout. I will be drinking this one again. (644 characters)

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

This is a very unique beer that is awesome in flavor. The first time I had this I absolutely hated it, but have really developed my liking for stronger beers, which this certainly is. This beer is also very good to cook with as well, adding great flavors. (255 characters)

Photo of BriantheBeerGeek
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage.

Appearance: I was surprised to be able to see some light through this. Usually an Imperial Stout, especially a BA one doesn't. Black/Dark Brown with tons of ruby highlights.

Aroma: Dark fruits like raisin, fig, date, plum. Tons of Bourbon, oak and vanilla. Stout characteristics are faint, chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice.

Taste: Alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, charred oak, fig, raisin, cinnamon, spice, bakers chocolate, corn.

Body: I wanted more. Maybe I'm just used to viscous imperial stouts that use flaked oats.

Overall: This is a really good beer but I was expecting an "Imperial Stout". Then again, nowhere on the bottle does it say "imperial". This is a standard stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.
If you want viscosity look else where. (764 characters)

Photo of ZachMcGinn
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark almost black color with little head. Its high alcohol content is apparent both in the smell as well as the taste. Somewhat overbearing flavor to me, which is surprising because I tend to drink stouts regularly. Chocolate taste with a mix of fruits makes for a smooth taste and feel in the mouth. Very strong beer. (331 characters)

Photo of Resuin
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is a 2013 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color, with some hints of brown around the edges and leaves a finger of spritzy tan head that fades almost immediately to nothing.

Smell: Nice, full aroma: roasted malts, licorice, coffee, mild dark chocolate, toasted oak.

Taste: Toasted malts, toasted oak, coffee beans, vanilla, alcohol, hint of dark chocolate. Fairly full flavor, with some good complimenting components that play well with each other (particularly sweet and bitter).

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a light to medium body (for a stout). Finishes with a bit of heat.

Overall: I thought this was a decent stout. Nice stout flavors, along with some bourbon barrel influence, make this one an enjoyable brew. A bit thin in the body but pretty well done for what it is. (854 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.

Pours a dark opaque black with a one inch head and not much lacing.

Smells include dark roasted malt, vanilla, and some oak.

Not much bourbon flavor in this BA stout, it's more of an oak and vanilla story. Some chocolate and roasted malt flavor. I might be spoiled now by other intense versions of this style, but this seems slightly muted. Good flavors, but would prefer a stronger barrel character. Quite sweet, slightly cloying.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, coats your mouth. Not much alcohol present.

A good beginner's BA stout, I think, but not one of the greats. (635 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter. Vintage 2013

Pours nearly pitch black with a finger of thick, viscous foam. Aroma is sweet chocolate, toffee, plum.

First sip is a rush of sweet vanilla and strong oaky/bourbon flavors. Quite flavorful and intensely barrel flavored. Finishes very, very sweet, with moderate bitterness.

This is a very interesting beer. Not for a beginner to craft beer, but a nice enjoyable sipper that drinks much smoother than the 10% ABV would indicate. A touch on the side of too much oak, but very good overall. (555 characters)

Photo of dank203
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

very drinkable. really heavy on the dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon. sweet aromas, milky. hints of roast. medium to thin feel, not chewy or thick. alcohol is hidden well. good drink for the ABV. flavors aren't really grabbing me this time. I've had better bottles of this, this one's okay (286 characters)

Photo of Doerrijustmether
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured aggressive to pint glass

1/2 finger of head, dissipated quickly, little to no lacing,

beer is a deep brown

smells of strong bourbon, hints of roasted malt, burnt caramel and chocolate.

i get a strong bourbon taste upfront. a little overpowering the rest of the flavors. the beer is light though, not full bodied as i expected, good clean finish, good beer.

not the best of bourbon aged stouts but definitely a great beer and readily available around here unlike some of the impossible to find ones. (510 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2013, poured into a large snifter glass.

One of the lightest barrel aged stouts I've seen. Deep mahogany brown, comes out a perfect light chestnut from the bottle, and looks a little watery on the pour. Head is very light tan about a finger, and disappears pretty quickly. Leaves a thin puck, slightly filmy looking, with a bit of leg action. Like the lightness but not the slickness, otherwise looking alright.

Interesting subtle nose. Light hints of caramel and butterscotch toffee. Quite clean smelling and seems like it could be a wet palate. Light hint of booze and fusel burn on the aroma.

Interesting palate here. A sharp quick carbonation hits my mouth, with a bit of strange sting. Real bizarre bitterness on this, and sooty charring. Wet bodied, but manages to have a bit of caramel and butterscotch angle similar to candy. A bit of a warm boozy heat, and almost well bar drink cheap booze aftertaste. Slightly candied sweetness but not overly sugary, with some taffy like quality, and a mouthfeel that just gets quite thin and doesn't coat.

The beer actually starts off pretty good, but strangely gets a bit more thin and lifeless as time goes on. There's nearly no flavor in the back palate or the finish either which seems real odd and doesn't give a good round oak character. I get the sense this beer spent barely any time at all in a barrel. (1,369 characters)

Photo of BakerBeer13
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very good beer, I'm not a huge barrel-aged fan as a general rule, so I may be underscoring it a bit. I will say it smells absolutely heavenly... complex and rich with fantastic spices dancing on the nose that play off the bourbon. I ended up sitting on the last 2 ounces of the glass, just swirling it for a long time and drawing in lovely smells. (349 characters)

Photo of bman13
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A dang good beer overall! Just had it for the first time, purchased at a Giant Eagle in a 22oz bottle, purchased last month just poured April 1.

A - can you say black? Very black, no see through light with this beer. Just plain out black.. looks deep and strong with a very minimal head and good lacing.

S - sweet and divine. Almost like dark dark fudge chocolate brownies with a hint of bourbon and a lot of vanilla. Yum

T - follows the smell with more chocolate than vanilla or Bourbon. Although they are still present. Semi sweet but not overly sweet at all. Has some nice tones of vanilla and Bourbon going on here

M - heavy and not light or soapy at all. Nice and you can taste this for about 5 mins after your last drink. Nice mouth feel.

O - awesome, one of the best stouts in a long time I've tasted. Overall 4.75, near perfect . Also tastes minimally boozy for being 11% alcohol.
( this particular stout varys from batch to batch) I luckily managed to snag the 11% alcohol batch woohoo ;) (1,005 characters)

Photo of suburbeer
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz with the annoying foil. Bought in Asheville, NC on vacation.

Appearance: Poured thinner than expected. Dark brown not black. Essentially no head in the wine glass I had to drink out of. slight tan bubbles around the edges

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, syrup, fig Surprisingly little malt smell

Taste: Bourbon, chocolate, wood, sweetness. Dark fruit pokes through occasionally around the bourbon. Very little bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Feel: Slick, sweet stout creaminess despite pouring thin for the style.

Overall: Really hit the mark on this particular evening. Enjoyed and will keep one on hand but it takes a mood to really enjoy. unbalanced sweetness and bourbon is perfect sometimes even if the beer isn't all the time. (745 characters)

Photo of mattsdenney
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally got New Holland in TN, heard good things. Four pack purchased at Craft Brewed. Great looking pour. Thick dark brown head, black in color. Heavy scents of bourbon, vanilla, smoke and chocolaty malt. Rich, warming flavor. The bourbon flavor is there but not overpowering. More tones of toffee, chocolate, and a vanilla after taste. Somewhat boozy, heavy bodied, thick, and sticky. Definitely lives up to the hype. A solid BBS that's a bit on the sweeter side. (465 characters)

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