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New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,582 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,582
Reviews: 1,153
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 182
Gots: 613 | FT: 35
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:
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 added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,582 | Reviews: 1,153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
2.48/5  rDev -37.7%

Got this one in a trade with boatshoes a while back. Thanks a lot man!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: A brown, thin, transparent pour yields a one finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Dark brown body with lots of active carbonation everywhere. Very high levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. An alright head on this one, but the body is just to thin and light for the style.

SMELL: Medium nose of roasted malt, caramel and coffee, as well as a decent dose of sweet milk sugar and vanilla. Oak notes from the barrel are there as well. A nice nose for sure, though it could be a little bolder.

TASTE: More oak in the flavor than in the nose. Oak, some roasted malt, then lots and lots of alcohol. Lots of spicy booze for the ABV. A bit of bitter chocolate and light vanilla notes at the finish, but most of the nicer characteristics about the nose have been replaced by spicy alcohol. A bold and lingering aftertaste has hints of chocolate and bitterness, but is mostly alcoholic and metallic even. It’s like they brewed a quad and threw in some imperial stout for fun. Not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but not right either.

PALATE: Medium body and medium, prickly carbonation. Not creamy of smooth really, goes down fine and finishes dry on the palate. Some heat and spicy booze linger on the palate. Too hot and not creamy enough.

OVERALL: Not an epic failure per se, but nothing even close to a success either. The spicy boozy qualities just didn’t fit, making the stout taste somewhat metallic. I’m not quite sure what went wrong here. Perhaps one brewer wanted to make an imperial stout and the other wanted to make a quad, so they just made both, blended them, and threw it all into oak barrels as a band aid. Whatever happened, it didn’t quite work out all that well, and it certainly didn’t quench my thirst for a stout. Dare to be different, I guess. Glad to have finally been able to try this one, but I’ll pass on it in the future. Thanks for the fun trade boatshoes.

Jeffo, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of CMB2012
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

12oz bottle, no bottle date that I can find, but it is from the 2011 vintage, and this bottle says 10%abv, not 9%. Served at cellar temperature in a 16oz stemless snifter.

A- Pours a deepest brown, no light gets through this at all, unless tilted to thin it out. In the latter case there is a small amount of dark brown cola color. At first I get a small amount of white, tan foam, this does not stick around and quickly thins to nothing but some frothy bubbles. There is some lacing though.

S- Very strong oak and vanilla upfront in the nose- Somewhat smokey and general wood/earthy characteristics. I also get some burnt caramel and creamy chocolate- not dark or bitter chocolate. There is a noticeable corn smell, conjuring memories of caramel corn (no telling if this has anything to do with the barrels, if they had whiskey?). There is definitely some booze in the smell, mostly at the tail end, also hiding in the vanilla. Slight burn, but not too strong. Digging deeper I get some dark fruits- prune mostly, perhaps cherry, blackberry, and currents as well. Pretty complex aroma, but the oak is somewhat cloying (this does not make the beer any less desirable at this point).

T- Wow, complexity corner. Deep dark fruits, overtones of oak and vanilla, nice warming alcohol to finish (based on this I am willing to bet bourbon barrels... yep). Peppery chocolate, with raisins, prunes, and blackberries, washed back with some spicy bourbon whiskey. The whiskey character is much stronger than I expected, and I am weary of deciding whether I like it or not. I do like a good bourbon, but in my beer?

M- Not as thick and viscous as you might think. The beer is definitely carries full bodied and chewy characteristics, but there isn't much carbonation and at times seems almost watery. For the amount of flavor and complexity here, I could wish for some more body.

O- This is an intriguing beer indeed. A lot to contemplate and necessitating a lot of time to do so. I only have a 12oz bottle, but I will sit on it for some time, especially at 10%. I say try it if you haven't had it and definitely try if you are interested in oak aged beers. I came back to this beer after a couple years because I did not enjoy my first experience, but my palate has matured so I gave it another go. All in all, I think it's too much. There is a lot here to satiate, but there is also a lot left to desire. I have little to no experience with aging beers, but I would guess this could use some.

CMB2012, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a burnt toffee color and settles almost pitch black. Less than a fingers worth of light cream colored head dissipates quickly, leaving a thin ring of bubbles around the glass.

The nose offers a slew of cocoa, vanilla, oak and booze, in no particular order.

The taste going on gets better with warmth. At first, some metalic tastes are noticed but vanishes as it warms. The sweet butterscotch accents offered by the bourbon pokes through with a little vanilla and oak. The booze is apparent but not as overwhelming as it was in the nose.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily, leaving you feeling full as it hits your belly.

Overall, pretty damn good for a readily available barrel-aged ale but doesn't woo me over the top.

ChugginOil, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of shangwang
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

on draft at Ron's original.

I'd had a good week of Michigan beers, and this was the one I finished with. It didn't disappoint.

Started off with smells of alcohol, vanilla, and wood - definitely can tell it was aged in oak. Very dark appearance, completely opaque with a pearl creamy head. Very complex taste- I definitely get the oak and bourbon qualities, but it doesn't hit you over the head and finishes with a pleasant sweetness. Medium mouthfeel, actually a little waterier than I expected and not very carbonated. I enjoyed this more the further into it I got and as it warmed up a little.

Overall I enjoyed Dragon's Milk- it's not the best Oak Barrel Stout I've had but it definitely is a solid offering.

shangwang, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of WankelEngine
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: This beer is dark, nearly black with hints of red when held up to a light. The head is foamy and light tan in color.

S: The smell is very rich and very heavy on the sweet malts. There are hints of coffee and nuts. It almost reminds me of a hazelnut cappuccino. Notes of oak give this beer the sickly sweet sensation in your nostrils that you get from a good whiff of brandy.

T: The taste is as rich as the smell. Coffee, hazelnut, and caramel are all prominent flavors. There is a delicious smoked flavor from the oak barrel aging. All of this is supported by the potent malt backbone.

M: Thick, creamy and heavy.

O: I reviewed the 2011 vintage. You can hardly taste the high alcohol content over the creaminess and the smoky sweet flavors. This beer is definitely a sipper.

WankelEngine, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Mario61Aler
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

a-very dark Mahogany, very little head that disapated quicklyand was a dark tan color

s-got chocolates and maltiness up from and was slightly fruity/woody

t-chocolate, malts and hops in deminishing amount in order, was sweet up front with a slight alcohol flavor to finish.

m-creamy thick very little drying in the mouth

o-complex but very drinkable, creamy film. This is a sipper that stands alone. Think of sips of about 1/2 oz, then wait a couple of minutes or more for another sip to appreciate this one as it develops more taste in your mouth after it is swallowed. Savory but still sweet, dangerously good, could make a session out of this one. WOW vintage 2010 with 10% ABV

Mario61Aler, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%

Got a 32oz fill at my local place for 8 bucks

A - Poured a nice deep amber with a nice bounty of fluffy head. Very carbonated for a bourbon oak beer.

S - Very light bourbon and oak tones with an underlying sweetness of caramel and candies

T - Hands down one of the smoothest bourbon barrel beers I ever had the privilege of drinking. I swear it drinks like an IPA. Well hidden bourbon with light yet playful notes of oak and vanilla with a finish of sweet caramel and vanilla flavoring.

M - Surprisingly it drinks like a medium body stout. Smooth and creamy.

Overall after the half fill was gone I wished I had more then the ABV hits you. Dangerously drinkable. When I think of New Holland Dragons milk will always be the beer I associate it with as the best I ever had.

DrDemento456, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.22/5  rDev +6%

This robust beer was tasted many time but I refer to the Oak Age 2010 vintage. I like the deep complex wood notes from those bourbon casks. I detected vanilla, caramel notes. Rich but with a bit acid oily mouth-feel the became stronger as the glass warmed. Black in color, opaque in clarity, complex coffee aroma with the black malt. Dragon milk is a heavy body beer with a creamy delicate head. Malt forward and what a kick at I was told is closer to 10% ABV. Yum

BlackBeerPirate, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of cosmo4u
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Well, it looks like a stout or porter, a very dark beer with ruby highlights. Think amber head, that stucks around for a long time, resulting in some serious lacing. The foam from the lacing was almost pasted the side of my glass

this smells good! Strong aroma of Oak, Vanilla, Coconut, and also some chocolate under it all. Really an amazing complex aroma coming from this beer.
For a 9%abv beer this is amazingly smooth and lush. This was like chocolate milk spiked with bourbon. Strong oak and vanilla flavors add to the intensity of the chocolate and bourbon. the coconut didn't really come through in the flavor.

Loved this beer. I thought it was well crafted, well balanced with out being namby-pamby about the bourbon or the oak, but still keeping them in check. I highly recommend going out and trying this beer

cosmo4u, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
4.18/5  rDev +5%

Aged in wodford reserve barrels, poured a deep nearly opaque ruby hue with minamal head & lace.

Boubon seems the strong suit here,oaky dark chocolate and roasty malt, but mostly a pleasant bourbon fume.

Oaky roasty vanilla bourbon is the up front flavors, creamy smooth deep grain bill chocolate malty goodness & a rather long bourbon finish laced with the vanilla again.

Seems a bit thin from what I was expecting, not real thick & chewy, That said goes down well and has a nice feel to it.

I like this brew, the bourbon is of the highst quality and goes well with the product.

welldigger888, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of HoppyHachey
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%

A: Real dark, even with light up to it you can't see through. Seems to have a sling hue of red coloring showing when up to light. It created a small head with little lacing.

B: It seems to have a roasted smell to it. Almost smells like some of the smoked beers I've had.

T: Mild yet flavorful taste. Has more of a roasted flavor. I like it.

MF: Smooth feel, tingles my taste buds. Drinks very easy.

Over I like this beer fairly well. I've definitely had better but for the price, I'd buy it again.

HoppyHachey, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of OddNotion
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

Purchased off of the recommendation of an employee at my favorite beer store.

Appearance: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. There is no head, it is a dark brown but not black at all, up to the light it shows dark ruby colors. The beer just looks dead to me, not a lot going on.

Smell: I catch a good amount of oak, some chocolate, sweetness, and booziness.

Taste: Not appealing at all. I taste a lot of oak and booziness, then the worst parts which were unexpected, metal and grass? I am little confused about these flavors, It was a new bottle so I assumed it would have minimal risk of oxidation, however the metallic taste was unmistakable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and standard carbonation for the style, sorry this part is a little vague as I did not want to keep the beer in my mouth long enough to get a great understanding of the mouthfeel.

Overall: I will not revisit this offering or recommend it to anyone else. Nothing melded together well between the different taste elements or the smell and taste combination. Oh well, plenty of other stouts out there.

OddNotion, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of stxSS07
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%

From notes:

A- Pours a very dark brown. Nearly black with some brownish-red hues around the edge of the glass. Khaki head leaves some nice lacing.

S- Hit with a huge amount of oak as soon as I cracked the bottle. Hints of bittersweet chocolate and vanilla slip through along with a roasted malt character. This was the high point of the beer for me.

T- Picking up some vanilla notes from the wood, dark roasted characters as well. Oak playing a huge role. Finishes really hot and boozy...a little too hot and woody for my liking.

M- Very thick and chewy. Coats the mouth as a big stout should.

D- This was a bit of a letdown for me. I had heard great things, but I have to put this in the "average" category for stouts I've had. Maybe I had it too hyped up going in?

stxSS07, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of output01x
3.78/5  rDev -5%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A vigorous pour gives way to a slow growing 2-finger creamy tan head. A near black body shows hints of crimson when held to light. The head diminishes after a couple minutes but leaves thick lacing clinging to the glass.

Bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans are blended into a creamy aroma that beckons me to continue smelling this beautifully aromatic beer.

Light and creamy malt up front, quickly followed by a heavy alcohol. A light dry coffee aftertaste finishes each sip nicely.

Full bodied and creamy with medium carbonation. Thick and a little sticky, it coats the mouth well.

The flavor was a little too alcohol-packed for my preference considering this beer is 10% ABV. I would have definitely preferred more coffee/chocolate notes to mask the alcohol.

output01x, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

Vintage 2010, aged for over a year. Poured from bottle into swifter. Just a note, the 2010 Vintage reads 10% ABV, unlike the 9% listed above.

Appearance: pours a deep ruby brown/soft black with minimal white head. Thin lacing on glass, but noticeable.

Smell: Vanilla, oak and roasted malt. Chocolate gives it a good roundness.

Taste: sweet lactic, and vanilla. Good amount of roast, but a little overwhelming. I really like the sweetness, its a different taste than most American stouts. No real hop flavor or aroma.

Mouth: I really like the mouth feel. High level of carbonation gives it a lighter feel. Very easy to drink, yet very sweet.

Drink and overall: I am a big fan of Dragons Milk. Homer maybe. Something that I can get all the time, a good sub for KBS. Not nearly as complex, but over all a very solid barrel aged beer. More enjoyable to me than Oak Aged Yeti.

MarcatGSB, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of BrauKilR
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

A: Malt sweetness. Dark fruit ... Prunes, dried cherries. Vanilla. Hints of caramel. A hint of roast, or toffee. Biscuity, perhaps. Alcohol, but blended pleasingly into the mix to make for a Port wine-like aroma. Clearly a wood aged beer. No hops. No diacetyl.
A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque with garnet hilites. Creamy, khaki head that masses reasonably well, and then slowly sibsides to a thin creamy film to cover the liquid and stick fleetingly to the glass. Swirl it and legs walk briskly down the glass.
F: As with the aroma, sweet up front with dried cherries, prunes, and alcohol warmth. Chocolate.The wood comes through in strong vanilla. A hint of caramel. Mild roast. Bitterness to keep the finish from being cloying. No burnt. No hop flavor. No diacetyl.
M: Full bodied and chewy, with just enough attenuation and carbonation zest to keep it from weighing too heavily on the tongue. Finishes nearly like a cognac.
I: This is a very big, complex beer and worth every penny my brother-in-law paid for it in the 22 oz bottling. However, I expected more assertive roast flavors in a stout, and then, as an American stout, more hop assertiveness. I don't think barrel aging changed anything in this regard and, therefore, considering the relative absence of roast and coffee, couple that to the prominent dark fruit and chocolate notes, and this beer tends more toward a Baltic porter in my mind. That said, I too can "drink fifteen Heinekens," but I've been enjoying this beer for nearly an hour. Rather than classify it, I recommend you buy it and enjoy it for what it is, a very good beer.

BrauKilR, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of MadCat
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

12 oz. bottle has "Vintage 2010" on the corner of the label. The back label indicates 23 degrees Plato and 10% abv, which is different from the BA listing.

Appearance: Almost pitch black, minimal head and no lacing

Smell: Oak and vanilla dominate the nose

Taste: Mainly get oak and vanilla, with some hints of alcohol, with the finish moving to a whiskey taste. There is some roasted malt flavor and sweetness in there as well

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation, pretty smooth

Overall: This is a sipper for sure, mostly due to the intensity of the flavors. To me, its better than the reviews would suggest, but maybe I tolerate the strong oak flavor well. I won't buy it again purely because of the price vs. how good I think it is, but it was worth trying once.

MadCat, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black/tan, not much head or lacing. Kinda flat and looks like a soda.

Smell - Oak, malts, alcohol, vanilla, some chocolate, spices and brown sugar.

Taste - A sweet oaked flavor starts off. A rich chocolate and vanilla flavor with oaked malts is the main flavor. Alcohol is present, as is added brown sugar. Theres a coffee taste mixed in with all the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Its really sweet, so mouth gets kind of aroused, then stung from the high alcohol. Aftertaste is rather odd, like cheap immation vanilla and oak.

Overall - This beer is just too sweet. I dont care for the carbinated vanilla and oak. Its not undrinkible but nothing i want again. I want a stout oaked beer, not a chocolate and vanilla treat. Maybe drinking kbs and oaked arrogant bastard has ruined me...

wvsabbath, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of brystmar
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%

"Vintage 2010" bottle into a tulip.

A: pitch black with minimal head and mild lace. Looks slick and oily.

S: chocolate, oak, and booze all rush forward leaving traces of vanilla behind.

T: mmm, roasted malts! Sweeter than expected up front, then comes the oak, finishes milk chocolatey & dry. Solid for an IS.

M: thin and oily with minimal carbonation, but reasonably well-suited to the style. As always, I prefer thick and creamy...but that's what she said. ;)

D: has about the right amount of alcoholic warmth you'd want/need from a brew of this style; doesn't cut into its drinkability at all. Still quite flavorful and drinkable when warmed to room temperature. Not a favorite of mine, but a respectable offering nonetheless.

brystmar, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of walteez
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%

It pours dark brown on the verge of black with almost no head but some big bubbles here and there. The smell is very sweet with some chocolate, hints of vanilla and definite alcohol. As it warms I get a bit of breadiness in the nose as well.

It's very sweet and boozy up front. I get a little roasty malt and chocolate mid taste with a very bourbon, vanilla finish. It's quite boozy on the end and leaves the burn of alcohol lingering in my throat. It's quite viscous which I expect from this style. I even expect to taste the alcohol but it suffers from not having enough flavors to balance the alcohol.

I've had this beer on tap before at places with a "not so great" beer selection and it will do in a pinch but I don't think I'll go out of my way to purchase a bottle again.

walteez, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

A - Pours a dark brown color with a very thin tan head. It appears to be thin but that will change your opinion once you drink it.

S - Very sweet toffee flavors with some hints of chocolate and alcohol. Some licorice scents are evident with some dark fruits as well.

T - A lot sweeter than expected. Lots of licorice with toffee and caramel and some chocolate cocoa on the finish.

M - A lot thicker than I expected. The pour just didn't appear that way but when I tried it, it felt like a bubble of thick sweetness resting on my tongue.

D - An interesting balance of flavor with a lot of sweetness. Too sweet to drink a lot of in my opinion but a solid tasting beer.

brstls4drmrs, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of Wegomlegging
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours black. Black as the night itself. Weak head, but not a big deal for most beers like this. Fantastic flavor, mostly due to balance. Heavy on the malt but just the right amount of bitter, with a all background of sweetness. Well done for not having the alcohol burst through. In fact, I couldn't detect it at all. Obviously alot of work went into crafting this brew. Felt slightly flat in the mouth, but doesn't detract. A very drinkable beer for the scariness factor. Overall I'd recommend this to about anyone, great experience without the standard issue carbon copy hoppiness of most others of this ilk.

Wegomlegging, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass. 2010 vintage.

Pours a fairly thick black color with a thinner crop of tanned head, leaving some spotty film and lacing behind.

Scents of sweet licorice and chocolate, smoky edges, some alcohol heat and earthiness on the back end.

Begins with some syrupy sweetness and roasted earthy malt. Bitter hops coupled with dark chocolate and molasses. Light smoke with some woodiness and soft bourbon notes. Finishes with some additional alcohol heat, understated vanilla, and a bit of anise.

Fuller body, sticky and syrupy, decent carbonation. Drinks pretty decent, although I really would have liked more barrel presence and better meshed flavor. This is one of those beers that I've passed up about 200 times before and now I kinda see why.

xnicknj, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of dudecandle
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%

A: Very dark brown nearing on black with ruby highlights, barely any head, but still some lacing from the slight cap.

S: Big vanilla, subtle caramel and chocolate

T: Absolutely huge on the bourbon vanilla, but the sweetness, which also has a caramel tone, is offset quite well by some good raw cacao bitterness. There might be the subtlest touch of hops rounding it out. As it opens up, it gets a bit of a wonderful boozy burn, but the vanilla still dominates.

M: Medium-slick body, quite creamy.

D: For how big the vanilla and alcohol are, it goes down quite smooth. It opens up quite well, and the flavor progresses along the palate. Definitely not a one-note beer, with a very nice balance between the vanilla and chocolate. I would definitely have it again.

dudecandle, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of kenpo23
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

A: pours dark brown with a small head that is gone quickly

S: boozy for me but it has a good vanilla smell that mixes with the oak and makes it ok by me.

T: i was expecting more oak and got more sweet. i think i actually like this for its lack of oak barrel taste. sometimes i drink an oak aged brew and think 'hell i should just get a glass of whiskey' but i found this to be just the right amount of oak aged and beer taste. don't get me wrong, there is absolutely a strong oak aged presence here just not as much as other brews i've had. the taste was (as it should be) the saving grace for me on this one. the warmer the better!

M: on the thin side of things but still manages to be creamy.

D: let it warm up and have it on a snowy night. its a solid clean tasting brew that i would have again if it were there but would not go out of my way to hunt down...although, maybe i'm wrong, i do love the label.

kenpo23, Mar 04, 2011
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 3,582 ratings.