1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

3,735 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,735
Reviews: 1,162
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 193
Gots: 682 | FT: 38
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: 3,735 | Reviews: 1,162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Adamostella, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev +0.5%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

sbricker, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Exiled, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

JRod1969, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of dnh2
4/5  rDev +0.5%

dnh2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of nanobrew
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

nanobrew, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev +0.5%

shuajw, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4/5  rDev +0.5%

russwbeck, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

2.5 A: Dark brown, close to black color. Pour didn't really yield a head.

4.0 S: Bourbon is the strongest component of the nose. Leathery, earthy, and mildly fruity with a touch of astringency. Booze is nearly hidden, but what isn't is almost rubbing alcohol like. Underneath, there is chocolate, molasses, and a moderate roastiness.

3.0 T: The taste, as compared to the nose, is bland. There isn't really anything that sticks out above the baseline of flavor intensity. Bourbon is light in flavor, but does add a pleasant warming. The base beer is even lighter and the chocolate and molasses in the nose are nearly gone completely. This tastes more like watered down bourbon rather than a stout aged in bourbon barrels.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking in creaminess and body. Seems almost watery.

3.0 D: There's too many great barrel aged stouts to consider this one again.

DavoleBomb, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of demuzik
2.35/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had been anticipating this one for a while, finally got to try some on tap. My local tappery called this one a "American Strong Ale"; I think American Stout - as classified here - is a closer category. Definitely not enough hop backbone to balance out the overbearing sweetness of this brew.

The color is fine - a dark, opaque, stout-ish brown.
By the aroma alone you can already tell this is going to be one sweet beer - literally, sweet. The taste is not bad and somewhat interesting on first sip; tons of malt, caramel, sticky sweetness - but as you may have gathered from my tone, this sticky sweetness quickly caught up with me and left me reaching for water, not enthused about finishing the glass.

I guess this could classify best as a "dessert beer", served in small quantities when you want overly-sweet, imbalanced beer, but otherwise, I'd avoid it.

demuzik, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Dragon's Milk Ale from New Holland Brewing Company. This is one of the few year-round, always available, easy-to-get-a-hold-of beers that is aged in oak barrels.
Score: 88

2011 vintage 12 oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark brown color, a faint hint of light slices through the beer to reveal small patches of translucent dark red/brown. Pours a thin tan lacing that dissipates into nothing. 4/5

Smell: Very bourbon-forward. An oak/vanilla-mocha aroma dominates the nose, with faint cherry/maple and black licorice notes. Lots of sweet bourbon and chocolate too. 4/5

Taste: Very sweet dark fruit and maple front that subsides into vanilla and chocolate flavors. Lingering finish of dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, maple and bourbon. Some fusel/alcohol flavor. When chilled, this beer is decently balanced for a beer that has such a pronounced bourbon and vanilla flavor, but it gets real hot when it warms. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, light carbonation. Interestingly oily, slightly sticky finish. A little alcohol warmth. 4/5

Overall: This beer is surprisingly delicious. I tend to stray from most heavier oak aged beers because I do not love the "brown liquor" flavors of oak and vanilla, but this beer is very balanced. For a 10% ABV beer, this one is surprisingly drinkable. Definitely a sipper, though.

Recommendation: If you are looking to try your first oak aged beers, this is a great starting point. Dragon's Milk is very accessible and not too costly for what it is. More seasoned beer drinkers should enjoy this one's complex flavors as well.

Pairings: BBQ meats. Would go well with dinner at the Brickhouse or Famous Daves.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack, $8.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

jegross2, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of iadler
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle split into two tulip glasses.

A- Pours a very dark brown with a two finger mocha head that leaves lines of lacing behind.

S- Cream, coffee grounds, oak, dark chocolate, subtle bourbon and roasted malt.

T- A nice blend of coffee with cream and drizzled with some dark chocolate syrup. Dark fruits and mellow bourbon are noticeable in the background. Finishes with some roasted malt.

M- Medium carbonation and body. The carbonation is too high for my liking and the body is a tad thin. Has a slight roasted finish.

O- Haven't had this for years and really enjoyed it. There didn't seem to be as much oak presence as I remember. Definitely one of my favorite offerings from New Holland.

iadler, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of madeofsteel
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first formal review of any beer, beyond jabbering on about how great or horrid it is, so I decided to pick something familiar. So please, bear with me.

A - Poured into a mug, dark reddish-brown with a thin tan head that disspates quickly, leaving a ringlet behind. Some lacing.

S - Smells like roasted malt, and faint smokiness, probably from the oak. Moderate booze smell sort of detracts from it, however.

T - Almost tastes more like a rauchbier at first, with the oak lending a smoky flavor, with strong hints of whiskey. Finishes beautifully with a more basic stout flavor that is nicely complimented by notes of vanilla. Many of this beer's flavors start show through and balance out as it warms.

M - Light carbonation, with a rather buttery, dry finish. Some heat from the alcohol kind of takes away from it.

O - There's a reason I go back to this beer. Being fond of stouts and most rauchbiers, it's nice to have something with that smoky flavor that has the subtleties that this beer does. I would recommend it to anybody that enjoys stouts or smoked flavors.

madeofsteel, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of AlexanderCsamaj
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. It is the most exciting beverage I have enjoyed in some time. One of my professors, Dr. Crandall, brought me to the light and now I can see in the dark.

It is complex, smooth, and potent. It opens with a velvet oaky wave of flavor and finishes with a profound mouthful of vanilla butter.

Each sip offers something new. Even if you don't appreciate this style, this beer is worth sampling. Cheers!

AlexanderCsamaj, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of jtingue
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Very dark with a brown color around the edges where only some light penetrates. Pours with a finger of head that dissipates to a nice thin layer around the side of the glass. Lacing is great, just clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell. Very complex with many layers hitting the nose. The most distinct is that of bourbon as well as a very sweet vanilla. There is a strange, but pleasant honey-like sweetness that fills your nostrils.

Taste. Starts out with a quick burst of sweetness that is quickly taken over by a flavor that is similar to bourbon in both its flavor and its alcoholic presence. This is followed by a milky and vanilla-like sweetness. This is once again takne over by the bourbon flavor which slowly transitions to a dark fruit flavor. The finish is quite dry and reminiscent of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Nice creamy body. Some carbonation, but not too much for the style.

Unfortunately the worst part of this beer is its taste. Everything else is spot on for me. There is just too much bourbon and not enough complexity.

jtingue, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of Suds
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Beer! Much better than I expected. It pours a dark, reddish-brown that's nearly black. The head is a medium-tan, although it falls somewhat quickly. The aroma is what makes this beer so enticing. It's woody, smokey, and has a huge, intense vanilla note. Wow. Strong malt, and a roasted-nut scent behind the wood, this is complex and very rewarding to sniff. Alcohol is folded into the aroma as well, with a brandy-like boozy-ness. The taste is drier than expected with a lot of warmth and malt. Roasted notes, and a bit of grain. Medium in body. This is good stuff.

Suds, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of MsRif
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Black in color with almost no head that dissipated completely. Very, very minimal lacing...almost none. Aroma of vanilla, whiskey, oak and malty sweetness. Smells very good. Tastes of whiskey, light notes of vanilla...definite oak taste with some roasty malt flavor. Very balanced and good even though it isn't as complex as I like for the style.

Medium-full bodied with light carbonation. Very smooth and it does NOT seem like a 10%ABV brew! I would definitely drink this again.

MsRif, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Valmor88
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown to black pour with a two fingered caramel head. Reduces to a creamy foam and leaves excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Oak and vanilla aroma with hints of alcohol and semi-sweet chocolate. Lots of roasted malts and caramel sweetness. Can't wait for this one.

T: The flavor is full of oak and vanilla. Roasted malts and an almost cola-ish flavor. Has an oak-y/alcohol finish that pleasantly lingers.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Dangerously smooth for 10% ABV. I'm a sucker for anything oak aged, or anything vanilla. Pair the two together and I'm in beer heaven.

Valmor88, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz capped bottle from a trade with MarcatGSB, poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a dark rich brown, fairly opaque and black in the glass with ruby, purple and chestnut hues where the light strikes the glass. There is about half a fingers worth of roasted hazelnut colored head, which laces the glass fairly well.

S: Prominent oak, vanilla, roasted malt, and caramel sweetness on the nose, followed by some alcohol phenols. Very strong barrel character, but pleasant and not cloying.

T: Very oak and vanilla forward, with a good amount of alcohol burn, but like the sweetness it's not too distracting. Buried under the wood and booze there is some decent malt complexity in the form of roast, chocolate and caramel.

MF: Medium bodied, good carbonation, and a dry finish. Maybe a touch thin for a big stout, but I expected that with the abv.

O: An enjoyable brew, almost exactly what I thought it'd be. For my palette, the oak and booze aren't overwhelming, but I can see where that might be an 'acquired' taste...plus the barrel aging seems to cover up a lot of the other nice parts of the beer. Maybe a year in the cellar would mellow this beer and cause it to gel.

Scotchboy, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is deep deep chestnut brown. Even in my fancy style pils glass, I can't produce much foaminess. About the only thing you get is a thin tan collar.

The aroma is 99% whiskey barrel. Perhaps some wet oak and light vinella.

Taste is whiskey with some oak and malts and a ton of booze. Maybe some dark tart fruit and cocoa.

Drinks medium, abit thin for a stoudt I think. Smooth to start before the fire hot alcohol at the end. This heat liungers deep into the aftertaste.

This beer is very pungent with booze and alcohol and drinks bigger then 10 in my opinion.
Oak and wiskey dominate hereat a cost of everything else.
Style too is a concern this here sites lists it as a stout but nothing is mentioned on the website.
I think a proper discription of the style would help in the reviews because baby this isn't a stoudt.

micromaniac129, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of wspscott
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
2011 edition

A: Completely black with an almost nonexistent head that leaves no lace.
S: Dusty wood and earth, smells like a log ready for the fireplace.
T: The oak is very upfront, I like the character the wood adds, sometimes I get tired of bourbon barrel beers where the bourbon dominates the beer. There is what seems to be a slight bitterness that is not hops driven, I assume this is coming from some wood tannins. Even as it warms, there is not a lot going on besides the oak. Surprisingly, there is no hint of the alcohol.
M: Medium body, not quite creamy, the carbonation is very tingly, more than I expect for the style, but not unpleasant.
O: A nice change of pace from a basic stout or a bourbon barrel stout, the oak definitely adds something to the beer. But, the underlying base beer seems to be missing something. Worth trying, but I probably won't purchase again.

22oz bottle in Duvel tulip

original scores
A: 3.5
S: 3.5
T: 4.0
M: 3.0
D: 3.5

A: Almost completely black, held up to a bright light I can see a slight hint of ruby color (have to look really hard). Thin off-white head, not much lace.
S: Smells very sweet as it is poured. Hints of dried fruit.
T: Sweet chocolates, slightly earthy tasting (in a good way)
M: Very creamy/filling, almost no carbonation.
D: This feels like an over the top stout, comes across as an over-attenuated milk stout (that sounds much worse than intended). Hints of alcohol, not enough to be warming. Good not great. I would buy again at the right price.

wspscott, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of Mscarpen
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great beer I found at Woodman's in Oak Creek, WI. Avaiable in 12oz four packs and 22oz bottles.

Pours with a dark foamy head. Pretty dark, but not quite jet black. Lots of wood and oak favors which mature as the glass warms. Tastes of oak, tannins, tobacco, and sweet orange. Mouthfeel is fairly think with medium carbonation,

Overall great daily beer with big flavors and very nice surprises.

Mscarpen, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. Vintage 2011. From notes. Reviewed 25 June 2011.

A: Dark black, with ruby glints in the light. Very little head.

S: Lots of whisky -- bourbon, oak, vanilla, alcohol. Not very strong, but what's present is very good.

T: Nice, but subdued. The maintaste is sort of vanilla-sweet. The aftertaste is slightly drying and very bourbon-y. Sweet all around and not much else. Considering the name, disappointing.

M: Full, rich, creamy, and scrumptious. Little carbonation.

O: A big, punchy-sweet imperial milk stout. Decent, but I prefer other imperial stouts. Not recommended, but it's not unfortunate. You might buy one just to keep the bottle/label.

AgentMunky, Oct 18, 2011
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 3,735 ratings.