1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,573 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,573
Reviews: 1,153
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 181
Gots: 612 | 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: 3,573 | Reviews: 1,153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hellcatsjg
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance: Black beer but not pitch black. Almost no head present and no lacing either. Not much to look at.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma of malt, coffee, with a hint of the oak.

Taste: Malty and creamy up front, with the flavor giving way to a sweet vanilla and oak flavor in the middle. The finish is oak and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Kind of let down here. Almost no carbonation at all. A bit more activity in the mouth would help some. The aftertaste of oak and alcohol is nice, if not a bit overpowering.

Drinkability: Good beer, but could be improved a little. Quite smooth though, and easy to drink. Worth a try.

hellcatsjg, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Goliath
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%

Pours a dark brown, almost black with amber hues around the edges. Ther eis a thin light tan head that develops on top of this brew with poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is weak, but notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla are present.

Taste is alright, some chocolate notes but not mluch else.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Easy to consume, but flavor is lacking.

Goliath, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of younger35
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%

Picked up this brew from Whole Foods for about $8.50. This will be my first brew from New Holland. Drank out of my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with hints of dark maroon highlights around the edges. Absolutely zero head, zero lacing, zero cap and a super thin collar that looks really out of place. One of the worst looking brews I've ever seen.
Smell- Very soft tones of vanilla bean and light bourbon oak. Some chocolate and caramel hide behind the vanilla but nothing real crazy. A bit more subdued than I was hoping but I'm sure the taste will be a bit more my style.
Taste- Much more intense than the nose. Starts with a sweet caramel/bourbon mix that is more bourbon than caramel. Lots of vanilla and toasted oak really come through in the in the middle before a dark bitter roast cuts some of the sweetness. This brew has more of a vanilla side to it then I've ever tasted before. Fairly hot from the 8.5% ABV but not enough to really take away from the tastiness of this brew.
Mouthfeel- This brew feels exactly like it looks. It's really thin and has very little body with almost zero carbonation.
Drinkability- This brew is a rollercoaster. It looks horrible, smells pretty weak, tastes damn good and feels as horrible as it looks. I guess what really matters is how a beer tastes and this one is tasty. As a beer to review, this one looks bad on paper. BUT, if I was just sitting watching football or something this is a tasty barrel aged brew.

younger35, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of Contagion
4.88/5  rDev +22.6%

It comes in a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounce bottle. That's a total of 22 ounces for those of you that don't want to do the math themselves. It comes in a brown bottle with the name on it and the picture of a dragon over a barrel, very eye catching. There is also some informative writings about the beer on it.

The beer is a dark coffee color that light doesn't pass through. Very much like Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout. When poured into the glass it forms a nice firm half-inch head tan in color. I've been drinking on this beer for 20 minutes and the residue of the head is still along the edge where the beer and glass meet.

The smell is heavenly. You can smell the oak of the barrel, a hint of bourbon and a hint of vanilla, coffee and malt. The smell itself was enough to make Ktreva want to take a sip, and she doesn't like dark beers. I don't think words can describe the taste, but that won't stop me from trying. The taste is like happiness. Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and bourbon entice the tongue and mouth. There is a very slight bitterness to it that enhances the flavor. Even Ktreva liked the taste, and she doesn't like many beers. This is a beer to be savored and appreciated, not gulped down to get another. What is even more surprising is that it is High Gravity ale with 9% alcohol by volume. Tasting this beer you would not suspect that at all.

The texture in the mouth is very much like milk. It's extremely smooth and doesn't leave a bad aftertaste. It coats the mouth and throat as it easily passes by in a pleasant way.

I've never had a beer like this before. When I say it's unique, I truly mean it is a one of a kind. This is the type of beer that beer lovers hope to find, and then are disappointed, when after sampling it, they can't find it anymore. It is a bit pricey at $6.99 a bottle, but well worth the price. If you ever get a chance to sample one, you'd be a fool to pass it up. There are only a handful of beers that I've had the pleasure of tasting that goes into my, "Special guest" category, but this is one of them. If I know I'm going to have an avid beer drinker over, I'll make sure to have a couple of bottles of this fine elixir in the house. This would be the 30-year single malt of beers.

Contagion, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.1/5  rDev +3%

Poured from a bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Pours dark translucent brown. No head. No Lacing. At first couldn't spot any bubbles at all but managed to see a few breaking the surface every few seconds.

S: Mellow chocolate is immediate on the nose, with faint notes of vanilla. Even though the aromas are relatively light, they are certainly interesting.

T: Wow! "Dragon's Milk" is an apt name for this brew. It has a very complex set of flavors that include chocolate malt, vanilla, and just a hint of oaky goodness. It tends to the sweeter side, but is not too sweet. Nice.

M&D: Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth, nice and chewy. This is classified as an American Strong Ale but I find the texture and mouthfeel closer to a good Milk Stout. The only criticism that I really have on this is that the carbonation was practically non-existent. A few bubbles would have been great. That aside, the drinkability is still good and I very much enjoyed it. Recommended.

SIRIUS2, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%

22 ounce bottle received as a gift from metallitone1, thank you very much for this beer, bottle looks different than the one pictured, poured into my New Belgium snifter, currently drinking it

A-Dark brown and nearly black with only some light shining through, 3/4 inch soapy light tan head that stuck around for close to two minutes, some retention and lacing at the beginning

S-Borubon, milk, sweet cream, some tartness, roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, caramel, and some booze

T-Started off with a big bourbon taste, some burned malt in the middle, then some spiciness in the finish, did not taste chocolate and vanilla until a little later, as it warmed I began tasting some different fruits, not as much hot alcohol that was in the aroma, no hops present at all, could taste a weird funky sourness towards the end that had some booze in the aftertaste, quite enjoyable overall

M-Spicy, sweet, and dry mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, not much carbonation, taste lingered for about a minute, weird sensation on the tongue at times

D-Could not finish this bottle, only could drink about fourteen ounces, somewhat smooth and pretty easy to drink, ABV is high at nine percent though, alcohol is pretty much hidden

Had never even heard of this brewery let alone this beer, always excited to try a barrel aged beer though, nice surprise and a generous addition to my package, would drink again, recommended to anybody that has not tried it as well

Floydster, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.22/5  rDev +6%

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown/almost black with a bubbley but sparse tan head. Not much lacing.

Aroma is malty with coffee, chocolate and toffee.

Tastes of sweet oak, roasted malts, dark ripe fruits, coffee, and dark chocolate. The finish is clean. The alcohol well-hidden.

Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy and smooth, and mildly carbonated.

This is an enjoyable sipping beer. I just finished it sitting out on my deck on the first Spring-like day.

Monkeyknife, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

Had this on tap 2 days ago at La Cav Du Vin. Shortly after I got mine, my friend Passow (imaguitargod) killed the keg! Drawn into a goblet. This beer is a dark brown color. Tan head maybe 1/4 inch when first drawn into the glass. Settles fairly quickly to a thin surface layer with a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Sweet malty aromas of chocolate, some coffee and perhaps a bit of vanilla or dark fruit of some type is present here. The taste is also sweet, sort of biscuity and malty with all the aforementioned chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors. Very little to no hop bitterness here. Definitely the least hoppy beer of this style I have ever had. This beer reminded me of a lot of milk/sweet stouts I have had. has a crisp, frothy, and full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Excellent drinkability! A great beer! Too bad it is all tapped out, at least for now, at La Cav Du Vin.

Eric

neenerzig, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of imaguitargod
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%

Pour from the tap to a medium head that lingers for a bit then mellows to a white cream around the rim of the glass. Dark, blood red in color. One can easily confuse this for a sweet stout or porter if not careful. It has a sweetness that can only be described as "aged". High in alcohol which when combined with the sweetness makes it kinda like as fine liquor. Only about 2% bitter and extremely smooth. I want the dragon that makes this milk!

~Jonathan Passow

imaguitargod, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

Very dark. Pours with a nice tan head and leaves an eye of lace. Smells and tastes of vanilla and chocolate. Nice and creamy, heavy in the mouth. I wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased this, but I'm glad I did. I'd definately drink this again.

donteatpoop, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of steelcutoats
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%

Here is another prime example of the High Gravity Series from New Holland Brewery. I first sampled this beer at Fathead's down in the Burgh', and wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to see it appear in my native Greensburg. A few months later it showed up along with "The Black Tulip" in the beer cooler down at The Headkeeper.

I poured about half of the 22 oz. "bomber" into my trusty tasting snifter. It poured with little head, which quickly vanished. The color was a clear, dark brown....not opaque like a stout. The smell was full of dark roasted malts and chocolates. The taste was a mixture of the same. This beer boasts a 9% ABV, but does an awesome job of hiding it. Another classic example of what the addition of wood to beer can do. The oak aging imparts a nice dryness in the finished products with hints of vanilla and other subtle flavors. Definitely worth a try.

steelcutoats, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of dreadnatty08
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

No date, but bottle cellared for at least a year.
Pours a dark brown, slightly translucent color with a bit of ruby highlights. Plenty of big bubbled tan head and decent tracing. The aroma is a rush of bourbon, oak, vanilla, finishing with high alcohol laced chocolate and roasted malts. It is quite complex, but I don't know if I'm totally hung on it. I love bourbon and I love oak flavor, but I don't know if both necessarily need to be in beer. On the palate, it is vaguely familiar of their wheatwine I sampled nearly a year ago. Underneath all the wood, I picture a medium bodied stout, relatively smooth, but not as smooth as a cream stout should be. It finishes like a bourbon and coke with the light caramel and spices dancing with the oak. The oak brings quite a bit of body but the stout itself is lacking, it needs more of a roasted character and perhaps more lactose. Overall, and interesting brew definitely, but not up there with brews like OA Yeti.

dreadnatty08, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Pours mostly opaque, but when held directly to light, a luminous dark ruby sheen becomes apparent. A good inch of off-white froth welled up to the brim, and receded slowly to a partial skim-coat on the surface. Lacework aplenty.
Aromatics are nice blend of caramel, roasted malts, bourbon, and oak. Vanilla follows through with some warming alcohol.
The mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Pretty smooth and somewhat lush.
The pallet has a great balance of chocolate, caramel, nougat, bourbon, oaky tannins, and vanilla. Nicely melded with not one of the layers overbearing the others.
Finishes with a hint of residuals and warming bourbon and vanilla.

Not the biggest, baddest dark beer on the planet, but impeccably balanced and highly drinkable.
A "session" barrel aged beer. True that.

Props to Joe1510 for hooking up an east-coaster...Proper!

brewandbbq, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of quad07
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

I picked this up at UFS, $5.99 for a 22oz dark brown bottle with a pry off cap. No bottled date or freshness date that I could find. 9%ABV.

I poured it into my large 23oz beer glass and did not produce much of a head at all. The head was a light tan color that did not leave much lacing behind. When held up to the light it appeared a very dark brown almost a motor oil color with slight reddish highlights around the edges. You could see the very tiny bubbles struggling to the top like most high gravity beers.

I like the smell! You could smell oak barrel ageing with some smoke and raison. I could not smell any hops or floral aromas.

Now when I tasted this first thing I noticed was liquorish and anise and a small amount of carbonation on my tongue. It was surprisingly sweet with creamy liquorish texture. Very little hop taste. After the third or fourth sip some slight bourbon like flavors were present and a very notable warming affect.

I could not finish the whole glass because after it warmed up it was to sweet or rich and I had enough. I felt very hot and was ready to open a window. Would be great to share or needs to be in smaller bottles.

I really liked this ale but it was too much for me at one sitting without a meal.

Cheers

quad07, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of Steaks
4.68/5  rDev +17.6%

i had this on draft at the nachbar last week and it was awesome. it tastes, looks, and feels far superior on draft than from the bottle. the beer is dark as hell but masks the alcohol pretty well. it has some chocolate/coffe scents, and a bit of a taste, but not too much. $5 pints are some good news, man.

Steaks, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears to be very dark mahogony in color. Tan head that is minimal in size and dissipates at an abrupt pace. Remains as large bubble on the surface.

Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, nutty, caramel. Plenty of malt in this one. Not a whole lot in the hops department. Plums, raisins, black cherries, and slight, smokeless tobacco aroma.

Big tasting. Brown sugar and raisins really seem to be the dominant flavors here. Toffee, chocolate as well. Quite complex. As the beer warms, the complexity deepens. Really, kind of sweet; a little too sweet for my liking. No real bitterness of any kind except for a slight tinge toward the end of the sip. The bourbons flavor really starts to leach out as the beer warms. I started this one out too cold but as it warmed, it turned out pretty good.

Not a bad beer. This one is definitely a sipper. Thick and creamy on mouthfeel. Alcoholic in taste, aroma, mouthfeel, etc. A bit much for me. I would easily share 22oz with two other people, leaving 9oz, plenty enough, for three people.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of LeftyBWS
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from a 22 oz. brown bomber into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Deep brown/mahogany color. Thin but smooth and creamy beige head. Slippery lacing down the glass.
S: Deep, rich chocolate malts, notes of coffee and vanilla. Oaky scents too, with some strong whiskey-like alcohol smells. Genrally good, but swirling the glass really helps release some of the more pleasant vanilla and malt smells. Without that, the smell is kinda off-key.
T: Chocolate malts and vanilla up front. Leads into a bready, oaky, earthy taste, and a chocolatey sweet finish that is suprisingly smooth.
M: Rich and full, for sure. Kinda creamy almost, but the finish is quite bitter and full of alcohol.
D: Okay. Enjoyable, but high ABV, and it's noticeable.

LeftyBWS, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%

I've had this beer a handful of times, and it seemed a bit different each time. I can't believe I've not reviewed it until now!

It poured a dark brown with reddish hues. It had a medium bit of head composed of tiny bubbles. Aroma was a creamy smell...like a cream soda (I guess that's vanilla) and some chocolate. Flavor was of bourbon notes which were over-powered by vanilla. There were also watery chocolate notes (think Yoohoo). Mouthfeel was both a bit watery and a bit rough feeling, and probably the weakest element of this beer.

I would recommend this beer. I've previously had it on tap at Roman's Pub (St. Francis, WI), I bought a bottle from Gary's (Oak Creek), and I had it most recently at Comet.

BeerBelcher, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of skizziks
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights. A mocha tan head rises maybe an inch before falling to a thin sheet.

Aroma is well noticeable on the pour. Cocoa, oak, vanilla. Some hints of figs and molasses down in there. A little coffee as well.

Hits the tongue rich and complex. A ton of malt with bourbon and its related oak and vanilla flavors. Brown sugar. Hints of dark fruit. Just enough bittering to keep the sugary malt from being cloying. Finishes long and lingering with oak and vanilla.

Medium full body with medium low carbonation makes for a very nice creamy rich mouthfeel which is perfectly appropriate for this beer. Beautiful. Somehow evades getting too cloying and heavy. I really don't want to set this one down. Rich, rewarding, delicious.

skizziks, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of joe1510
4.18/5  rDev +5%

22oz Bomber
$6.99
Binny's Orland

Dragon's Milk pours dark chocolate into my goblet. Deep ruby hues light up the glass when backlit. A one+ finger dirty white head grew one the pour before falling to a thick ring and skimming. Good looking beer.

While the aroma is without a doubt good it just seems a little too subdued for such a beer. The most pronounced aromas are from the barrel aging although they're subtle as well; bourbon whiskey, oak, and a touch of vanilla. There's an intermingling of molasses and scorched brown sugar.

The flavor starts off sweet upfront with the vanilla coming through but is quickly subdued by a smorgasbord of flavors. Oak and bourbon take over the vanilla before being joined by molasses and that lightly scorched brown sugar. The barrel aging is spot on. Any more would have created an overpowering bourbon flavor and any less just wouldn't have stood up.

The mouthfeel, while being on the lighter side of heavy, fits the flavor profile really well. The lack of carbonation lets this beer gracefully glide through and the carbonation that is there creates a creaminess that's perfectly appropriate. Enough alcohol presents to give the cheeks that warming sensation.

Dragon's Milk is surely as sipper but one that goes down incredibly easy. This is a perfect nightcap for a cool evening.

It's nice to find a high quality barrel aged beer that's, although a seasonal, readily available and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to acquire. Keep pumping out the Dragon's Milk New Holland.

joe1510, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours very dark brown with almost no head. No lacing either. The aromas are a heady mix of bourbon, light malt, oak, and cream. Doesn't smell rich, more like a bourbon and cream. The malty notes are subdued. Lots of flavor, but a little thin in the mouthfeel department. Could use a little more backbone. The flavors themselves are very nice, though with some chocolate up front followed by a hit of bourbon and brandy, a long warming development of alcohol, and finally some malted milk on the finish. Quite a nice sipper and doesn't fill you up as much as Bourbon County Stout, but doesn't satisy as much either. If you don't like Bourrbon flavors stay away from this one. If you do, you'll probably enjoy it as I did.

Georgiabeer, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of GRPunk
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

On-tap poured into a snifter.

A- Deep brown color with a thin head and lacing.

S- Nice malty aroma. Sweet caramel malts with a molasses/maple syrup scent accompanied by light hops and a bit of alcohol.

T- More caramel in the flavor with a hint of toffee and light hops.

M- Solid feel. Slightly thick with light carbonation.

D- A definite sipper, but not so overpowering that you can't drink more than one.

GRPunk, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev +6%

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Joseph's in Toledo, OH en route to Dark Lord Day.

A: The ale is darker than I expected, not amber but rather a full-bodied black color. The more I look at it, the more it resembles cola with a dark brown color and some ruby highlights throughout.

S: The nose is stout-like, this with caramel and graham grain aromas. There is no indication of any oak barrel aging, as readily suggested by the name.

T: The nose had me expecting something subpar, luckily the first sip delivered a malty blast of goodness. Thick grains with caramel and toffee flavors abound, overwhelming the tastebuds with a sickly sweet profile. The oak barrel adds a deliciously soft touch to the thick malts, with vanilla and buttery oak flavors reducing the bite of the grains. Having been less than impressed by most of the other New Holland beers, this one really pleases me. The finish is a nice blend of chocolate and caramel malts and oaky flourish. This is what a drinkable barrel aged beer should aspire to be.

M: The mouthfeel is a restrained work of art, full of big flavors without a knock-out punch.

D: I wish that I had picked up a bottle or two more of this brew, the flavors are full and the oak aging adds a wonderful blast of flavor.

akorsak, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of jdoncbus
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

Poured beer in tulip glass: small head, little carbonation, decent lacing, and very dark brown; cannot see through.

Nose is mocha, oak, and hint of bourbon. Not much hop presence, can also make out vanilla & brown sugar.

Taste is of malt, mocha, and that sweet bourbon finish. The bitter oak lingers for quite some time and leaves the mouth dry. Very creamy mouthfeel and chewy as well.

You certainly need to be in the mood for one of these. My last experience with a similar beer lead to a day of upset stomach. Not a bad offering but I would certainly not seek it out since the style is not my cup of tea but would recommend to anyone into this style.

jdoncbus, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%

Dark in color with massive head and tons of lacing. Riverside had just cracked a new keg and it was beautiful. Aroma is of sweet barley with hints of oak. Tastes like sweet toasted mocha with very little hop presence. It seems more like a barley wine than a strong ale. Feels thick and rich in the mouth and has just the right carbonation. Overall a very drinkable beer. Complex and enjoyable. If you can find it on tap try it.

CDBeerDisappear, Dec 08, 2007
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 3,573 ratings.