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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

1,285 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,285
Hads: 4,785
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,340 | FT: 41
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: 1,285 | Hads: 4,785
Photo of Roguer
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly light brown on the pour, settling into a very dark, but still noticeably brown, brew. Nice solid creamy tan head. Retention is OK for the style, fading to a thin bubbly topper, leaving beautiful lacing down the side of the glass.

Nose has big hints of banana, chocolate, and roasted barley. Bourbon is very much a secondary aroma; this is a big stout first. Sharp edges of overripe fruit; big oak notes.

Flavor is a wonderfully balanced and delightful trip down all the flavors in the nose, with a much more prominent bourbon note. Extremely soft; can a big stout be delicate? Not particularly bitter, even from the roast.

Bourbon is strongest approaching the back-end, and lingers on the finish with a nice alcohol heat. Smooth chocolate and vanilla, with a solid dose of roasted barley, feature on the front end, but the sweet bourbon overtakes it, carrying with it red grapes, prunes, and oak.

Soft, sticky mouthfeel - relatively thin, especially for the style. Long wet finish.

This is a very nice stout, and certainly the kind of beer a bourbon lover would love. I would prefer the bourbon to take more of a back seat; I'd imagine age does this beer very well. This is a very good beer, but it definitely cannot match up with the best versions of the style.

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Photo of JWU
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- jet black, with a thin khaki head that doesn't last very long. Some alcohol legs, and minor lacing.

S- Lots of semi-sweet chocolate, with a touch of vanilla, oak, and coffee.

T- Sweeter than I expected. Lots of semi-sweet chocolate and roast, with heavy tones of oak and vanilla. Alcohol sweetness is very present.

M- could use it to be just a touch thicker/creamier, and a touch less carbonated.

O- When so many people chase KBS and BCBS, it's nice to have a decent, readily available barreled stout!

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, but the light passes easily along the edge of the glass. Modest head but it lasts throughout the tasting. Minimal lace.

Chalky, semi-sweet chocolate aroma.

There's a touch of cola to the initial taste. The swallow brings about a very strong alcohol kick--very much like bourbon like the barrel it comes from. Thin body with a modest carbonation.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: Paper hotel cup
From: World Market in Mooresville, N.C.
Price: $7.99
Purchased: July 31, 2014
Consumed: Aug. 2, 2014
Misc.: Vintage 2014, but missed the rest of the other stuff

Poured a black color with two fingers of tan head. Above average lacing on the sides of the cup. Above average retention on the top of the cup.

Smelled fudge, dark chocolate, maple syrup, toffee, caramel, bourbon, candied chocolate and chocolate syrup.

Tasted caramel, toffee, chocolate syrup, fudge, bourbon, vanilla, candied chocolate and fig newton. Pretty tasty.

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

A pretty awesome beer. Wish I would have grabbed some more.

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

Ever since a customer implored me to pick Dragon's Milk up after expressing frustration that we only had one bomber left in the store, this beer was on my radar for quite sometime. Managed to score the last one at the store and try it on for size. This is my first bourbon barrel stout and my first offering from New Holland Brewing Company. Reasonably high expectations.

Appearance - Very dark, heavy brown, with lacing at the top that resembles a freshly-brewed cup of coffee. A very appealing look for a promising beer.

Smell - Smells mostly of bourbon and alcohol, with subtle but present hints of vanilla, raisins, and oak. A big winner in the aesthetic department, if I do say so myself.

Taste - Tastes almost like alcoholic coffee, with beautiful, remarkable flavors of dark coffee, vanilla, raisins, oak, and bourbon exploding in every sip. I emphasize the word "sip;" there's no way you could chug or force one of these beers down quickly. The beer is much too heavy, dark, and delicious for that.

Mouthfeel - Despite the combination of many flavors, and a strong, hearty body, there is really no bitterness that I've grown to loathe in many beers, and the mouthfeel is quite pleasing overall.

Dragon's Milk is quite the beer, through and through - a carefully-crafted but miraculously executed bourbon barrel stout, combining numerous different flavors and wonderful aromas to make a winning product. Only wish it wasn't so thick and filling, but it's a small price to pay for such a pleasant beer.

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Photo of Jensen83
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good stout. A little too strong but as dessert perfect. Smell and taste are beautiful together! You can clearly smell that this stout is brewed in a bourbon barrel as the smell clearly provides some strong bourbon flavor which is great. This beer is definitely brewed to enjoy slowly. I agree with some people who can taste some chocolate taste (ties back into dessert).

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Photo of Lordhelmit
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh. I am disappointed. 1 bottle costed $6, had an epic name/label....and it looked fantastic when I poured it. Beautiful persistent off white head and just about pitch black color. The smell was very mild. What I did smell was mostly bourbon/whiskey. A bit of roasted malt. Taste was a huge let down. Tastes like cough syrup. I don't taste coffee, or chocolate, a bit of bourbon, mostly an artificially flavored dark fruit cough syrup. That was the mouth feel too, like a cough syrup. Disappointed. Won't buy again.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Black. Small amount of chocolate mile colored head that left trace lacing around the glass.

S – Roasted malts. Chocolate. Bourbon. Sweet cream.

T – Deep and rich chocolate and roasted malt taste. Burnt and smoky wood flavors. Creamy vanilla flavoring almost like a homemade whip cream. Light sweetness and a good solid kick of bourbon flavor. Taste the ABV at the end.

M – Smooth on the palate. Tingly. Low carbonation. Finishes easy.

O – Very nice. This has a solid assortment of flavors. Bourbon is all over it but not overwhelming it. Love the roasted malts and vanilla highlights. Wish I had picked up more while I was in Savannah.

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Photo of slym
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is another amazing stout... I can smell bourbon, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla on the pour. Nice finger-thick head that slowly dissipates to a nice thick disk of foam, with great lacing around the glass. Taste has all of the above plus all the malt you can stand, plus a little hops in the backbone. The alcohol is noticeable on the finish. Overall, this is a good sipper for a night!

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Photo of OldeSchool
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost black with a small head that dissipates quickly. Looks pretty much like a bourbon barrel stout should look.

S: Chocolate, some coffee, maybe a bit of vanilla. Oddly, not much in the way of bourbon.

T: Just a bit of bourbon with more coffee and chocolate. Drinks very smoothly, even at 11 percent ABV.

M: Very good, but not great; smooth and silky with some alcohol sting late.

O: Very good representation of the style. It's less "bourbony" than many of the other beers in this genre, but drinking Dragon's Milk is a good experience overall.

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Photo of thegarfunkel
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer deserves a higher score than 89. If you enjoy bourbon aged ales, you will adore this malt monster. Not for the weak of heart at 11%. It has an alcohol forward taste that does not mellow as it warms. A true work of art as far as my taste buds are concerned.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of Pahn
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of dar482
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
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!

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer looks and smells incredible.
The bourbon flavor comes out first and is strong, which is a good thing IMHO. Doesn't quite taste as good as it smells, but I can live with that.
Not quite as thick as some of the stouts I've had, but again, I can live with it.
Overall a wonderful beer that I don't have to stand in line for, and can find year round. Cheers.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of tomiswho
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of pinyin
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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

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Photo of halo3one
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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!

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.