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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,156 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,156
Reviews: 1,202
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 217
Gots: 810 | FT: 36
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
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Ratings: 4,156 | Reviews: 1,202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryantho00
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer that has a few different subtle flavors and tastes.

It pours to a deep robust chocolate brown-black hue that has a nice brown lacing that sticks to the side of the snifter I chose to drink this out of.

I detect honey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, biscuit, and bourben in the first sniff.

I get a deep oaky musty and bourbeney coffee, chocolate caramel taste that leads way to an acidic slightly alochol aftertaste that is blalnced with a matly vanilla finish. I get a lot of vanilla in the 2011 -vs- the 2010 edition. I prefer the 2010. There is slightly too much of an alcohol and vanilla acidic taste that isn't as nice as the more balanced 2010 version. Maybe the barrel was different. Overall this is one of my favortie beers ever. Smooth creamy greatness that goes down easy and smooth, very deliciously balanced stout that is nicely aged and very well done.

Cheers!

Photo of mooselvlt
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. About a fingers worth of copper foam which quickly dissipates.

A - Deep mahogony color. Copper head quickly dissipated and the brew leaves very little lacing

S - Hmm....a little more booze in the nose than I expected. Some oak mixed in but predominately smells of bourbon.

T -Taste is boozy right up front, with subtle hints of vanilla and perhaps a little chocolate.

M - Probably my favorite aspect of this one. Smooth and somewhat rich but not thick. More of a medium type feel. Satisfying

O - Not quite what I expected. Its pretty smooth, drinkable. Not overpowering for a 10.0%. I have mixed feelings about it but its a good one. Lingers on the tongue but not in a bad way. At $14 for a 4 pack....doubt I will go out of my way to do this one again though

Photo of bum732
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

S: Prominent bourbon, raisin dark bread, touch of vanilla, some chocolate as it warms.

L: Very dark brown, bordering on black, light tan head that dissipates. Ok lacing.

T: Rich breadiness up front with a bourbon undercurrent. Medium low bitterness leads to a very sweet bourbon and vanilla taste. Finishes with even more bourbon and alcohol prickleness, bleh.

M: Medium low body for style, medium low carbonation.

Compared to other -bal stouts, this is a pretty piss poor effort, mouthfeel is quite thin bodied.

Photo of Prostman81
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't read any of the reviews before drinking this beer, but going back now and looking, I have to say I'm quite surprised at some of the comments.

I appreciate that this beer is black but not opaque. It has a very nice aroma to it, having exactly what I'd expect for such a beer.

The taste is really what brings this down for me. After an initial taste of some slight coffee, oak, and vanilla tones, the alcohol slams the tongue and kills whatever other complexity might be there. After I had 1/2 the beer, I could've sworn I was actually drinking straight bourbon. I kept sipping gently, hoping that I'd get used to it, but the alcohol was there to the very end.

Interesting to try, but the extreme obviousness of the alcohol just ends this one for me. I enjoy beers that were crafted to employ the alchohol as a compliment to the other flavors, not just a one-sided blitzkreig on the tongue. If this WAS to be an alcohol assault from the brewer's perspective, then they did it quite well. I won't be trying this again though.

Photo of Agold
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage poured into a duvel tulip. Pours very dark, but not pitch black. It has a medium amount of head which recedes to a ring with a thin film of bubbles on top. Pretty nice, especially considering it is 10%. The aroma is extremely oaky, with vanilla, chocolate, and a very mild dark fruit presence. The oak does a very good job complementing the rest of the beer. It does not overpower the beer, it adds to everything else the beer has to offer. The taste is very nice as well. The oak is at a very good level, and if it was just a touch less sweet, it would be perfect. Oak, coco, vanilla, roast, but all playing very well with eachother. The mouthfeel is a bit light with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a very pleasant surprise.

Photo of BelgiumBill
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I paid $7.99 for the bomber. According to the bottle this is the 2011 vintage and part of their High Gravity Series. The label says the ABV is 10.0% (BeerAdvocate reports it is 9%)

I often open a new bottle with dinner and break out my pen and little notepad. My 4 year old daughter likes to smell each one I try. When she smelled this I asked her what she thought. She said, "chocolate!" She'll have to wait 17 more years but it was obvious to a 4 year old that the nose was dominated by chocolate here.

It poured a dark brown, near black with some ruby tones. It gave a thin tan head.

The flavors were of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and toasty vanilla derived from the oak barrels. The oak was evident and I'd guess they are using American oak barrels and the oak was upfront and French oak would have been too subtle for the brew, though might have been nice and subdued.

Dragon's Milk gave a long finish with a bit of alcohol bite on the side of the tongue and a little bit of oak tannins drying the mouth.

Overall, very nice, though I might prefer New Holland's Night Tripper slightly. I'd buy this again. Good stuff and while not cheap at $7.99, still a decent value for a bomber when others charge over $10 for lesser beers.

Photo of CCalvert
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this numerous times from a 22oz growler , but only a few from tap. Tap is by far better. But I do like the feel/taste of the ale from both, and will continue drinking it. Goes down great on chilly nights.
The first impression I always get is the hint of burnt oak, which is good, not too overpowering. Next thing I noticed was the very sweet malt/caramel, and vanilla tastes. The latter being very subtle to me. The alcohol taste is next. Though for me not too strong. To me anyway, it felt just right, smooth and not forced.

Photo of Retsinis
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought (thanks bigturo) picked this up while on vacation in Chicago, and brought it to a recent tasting. Review from notes.

A: Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a rich brown with a ruby red hue around the edges. A small quarter inch of creamy light tan head rose, and receded. Minimal lacing.

S: Intially I picked up pretty strong scents of vanilla and sweet caramel malt. There is a toch of oak, and some dark cherries in there too.

T: Malty caramel, oak, light bourbon, but a clean bitterness on the finish. The vanilla is less prevalent, sadly in the taste then the nose.

M: Light mouthfeel for what it is, lightly carbonated which was ok, but it was also a bit syrupy, sticky, and thin.

O: Good, but not great. This was stacked up to some pretty heft stouts in the tasting, so I hope to try it again on it's own sometime.

Photo of DCon
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap @ the Wolf Public House in Ballwin, MO. Tapped into a Snifter and Enjoyed only one (like always with this beer). Keg is from March 22.

Appearance- Darkest brown you can get with a 1.5 finger of tan head. Has quick retention head, and has a ton of lace that makes rings sticks to the side.

Aroma(first time having an "Aroma" section)- Has a strong dark chocolate and bourbon aroma. There also is a "fake" vodka scent on the backside.

Taste/Mouthfeel- There is a woody character that starts of this experience and then a huge bourbon after taste. I enjoyed this a ton but it has WAY too much of an alcohol taste. There also is a raisin/plum taste in here as well. It is Full Bodied, Medium Viscosity, and gritty. Bourbon aftertaste.

Overall- Huge flavor and taste but seems like a mixed drink with bourbon. I'm not sure if I could recommend this for everyone and the drinkability is very hard.

Photo of mdvatab
2.83/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into bordeaux wine glass.
"Vintage 2010" (Not finding a bottled-on date...)

Aroma: Cocoa Krispies, sweet caramel, chocolate malt, bourbon, cola, coconut, and vanilla notes. The aroma seems to get better w/ each sniff, and really had me looking forward to tasting it.

Appearance: Looks like cola when light passes through the beer as it's poured. Much lighter in color than I'd anticipated. Bold coffee-colored once in the glass with tinges of ruby. Not opaque. One finger of head quickly falls to a thin layer of splotchy foam, and then to a circle of foam around the inside of the glass. On a related note, many of the labels of the other bottles on the store shelf were torn for some unknown reason. I now see that there appears to be dried beer on the outside of the bottle, presumably from the (hand?) bottling process. The notion that this was hand bottled is appealing, but the appearance of the outside of the bottle is amateurish and reminds me of my early bottles of home brew.

Flavor: Not nearly as complex as the aroma, unfortunately. Light molasses sweetness up front. Boozy alcohol then creeps in, and is followed by a very slight but noticeable metallic twang. The finish is bittersweet and hot. The flavor of this brew is reminiscent of DFH World Wide Stout ("did someone dump a shot of vodka in my stout?"), but is slightly better IMO.

Mouthfeel: This beer is much thinner than one would expect from a brand called "Dragon's Milk". It definitely leaves a peppery alcohol burn in the mouth and throat.

Overall: Not a bad beer, but definitely lacking in body and depth. For the money, I know I can find other high-gravity brews which are balanced with more body and malt flavor. The aroma really lead me to believe this was going to be a great one, but I was a little let down.

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of dark roasted espresso beans with ample amounts of dark baker's chocolate. AS it warms you get slight alcohol, oak and light vanilla.

The taste starts off with milk chocolate cocoa powder and some oakiness that fades into a bitter dark chocolate boozy finish. One again as you let this warm to the appropriate temperature you get lesser notes of coconut and vanilla and a more prevalent sweetness/fruitness that is undetectable initially.

Mouthfeel was full with the oak aging helping to dry out the complex high ABV, maltiness and overall flavor profile. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, not as good as I first remember when I sampled it on draft at the original Savor, but still good non-the-less.

Photo of MikieV
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thick, dark head. Strong lacing as I drank from my favorite mug.

Very pleasant aroma. Slightly sweet.

The alcohol flavor jumps right out there. Vanilla, oak and some slight sweetness. Some slight mild roasted flavors as well.

Very smooth mouth feel. Goes down well. Possibly too well for a 22oz bottle of 10% beer. This is one to share! A 12 oz bottle would suit me better.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet and very woody ale, a touch too hefty and blunt but a good drink.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle with foiled top. Paper label with a poor design of a dragon's silhouette over a barrel. It used to be screen-printed and it looked much better resolved and attractive. Brief narrative in the back label with main characteristics and food pairing. Even shorter than in the screen printed version... Shows vintage 2011, 23° Plato, and 10.0% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black to dark brown pour with dark brown edges, short lived fizzy head, fair memory ring and small touches of lacing.

S - Wood, wood, and more wood, settling… hint of vanilla and caramel and a bit less of the raw woodiness. Roasted notes… Chocolate…

T - Initially the taste is predominantly woody, not so much subtle vanilla and caramel oak notes, that while there actually are dominated by a hefty raw wood sense. Not uncomfortable bur rather assertive. Luckily it gets woven with roasted malts, touch of faint coffee and in particular a thick and boozy chocolate sense over the wood as it settles, and that pairs rather well the brew to the finish.

M - Medium-full body with soft if tingly carbonation, good thickness as it permeates the palate and a boozy warming dash as it finishes.

O - While initially and at some point it may feel a bit mono-chord it packs enough quality and sense of self to make it quite worthy if not particularly memorable.

Notes: Revisiting the brew that was the first review I made for beer advocate. And sure enough not only my palate and understanding has changed but my memory too? I really don´t recall this so much as an American Ale but as a Strong one, but fair enough it seems fitting in that category. Alcohol has increased from the 8.5% I noted to this 10%, and likewise with the °Plato from 19° to 23°… Not too big a change but the added gravity lingers with too mono-chord a woody sense, a bit too straight forward. Ultimately it drinks well, but compared to what I said last time I may not be necessarily looking forward to a repeat of this one in a good while.

Review 08-12-09:
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

Photo of zaphodchak
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black body with 1.5 finger head of foamy ecruwhite head. Ton of lacing.

Nose is slightly boozy, slightly of coconut... which differs from my memory on draft.

Taste is boozy, some toffee raisin, and definitely a bit of that coconut. This definitely needs to warm up (speaking from experience) to let all the flavor out, otherwise it just tastes like booze.

Mouthfeel is creamy, like a nitro stout, but from a bottle.

This is a super-strong stout; definitely for sipping, and sweet, not hoppy. I highly recommend trying this if these are the things you enjoy in a stout.

Photo of badboyrsl84
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a really fizzy head that moves on far to quick. Surprising for a imperial stout.

Smell - right away I get a ton of cocoa. Some vanilla and some oak.

Taste - starts off lots of chocolate. Some oak in the middle and finally it finishes with a little more oak and this slight metallic taste everyone has been talking about with this one. Although it's not overwhelming it still is present.

Mouthfeel - it's got that carbonation I was talking about. The alcohol is present in the backend.

Overall - the metallic taste kinda set this one back for me. It's good thought.

Photo of Holland
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewery in Holland, MI.

A: dark brown color, light head and small lacing of an off white color.

S: scotch, oak, malt, some sweetness

T: the scotch taste hits you hard, then you can get to the vanilla and sweetness and malts

M: bit thinner than expected, but still decent body

O: drinkable, but not all the time. I love this beer because it is one that helped turn me on to craft brews. To be fair, though, there are better beers out there. This flavor is very sharp, and I like that it differs from other oak aged stouts in that. Could be aged more to tame it, but then it wouldn't be Dragon's Milk.

Photo of BasementBer
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not a major head of foam. Darker off white head of foam, deep dark red to brown. Doesnt build that classic stout head.

S: Scotchy oak with roasty chocolate notes. Very pleasent aroma.

T: Wow. Nose is chocolate and roasted malts, middle is vanilla notes with a slight cocoa puffs familiarity, finish is boozy but sweet. A really delicious beer.

M: sweet on the tongue and chewy thickness, flavor hangs around on the tongue and in the nasal passage. However, its the boozy aftertaste that keeps this from being perfect as it burns a great deal. If it was less strong i would say it 'warms', it doesnt.

D: Absolutely an excellent once in a blue moon beer for desert.

Photo of TheDTrain
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently the D Train has been trying a lot of New Holland's brew. Per usual, Dragon's Milk was good but not great....certainly can't justify the $4.00 I paid. Pretty creamy yet quite dry on taste. Some good vanilla tones and a very pleasant oak/booze blend on the back end.

I feel this is a brew that tried to be complex, but everything gets too muddled together. The higher the price tag, the higher the D Train's expectations. The Force is strong in this one, but Dragon's Milk is not a Jedi yet...

Photo of ottovon
2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

shared with whiterascal

A: pours out a dark black, with a brown head that faded rather quickly.

S: i get a lot of vanilla. i also get some oak and roasted malt and chocolate. there is some sweetness and a bit of alcohol in the nose.

T: there is a lot of oak. i also get a metallic taste, and there is an acrid bitterness. there is roasted malt and some dark chocolate. has a weird sweetness that is mixed with alcohol that i cant really describe, but i dont like it.

M: has a medium body with low carbonation.

O: this is not a beer that i would seek out again. there are much better stouts out there. i dont think i would drink this again. it isnt quite a drain pour for me, but it is close.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown/red w/ average to below average lacing. Off white one finger head, which disappears fairly quickly. Really dark beer.. Not much carbonation as well.

S- Oak/Whiskey smell is really out front on this one. Very sweet, with vanilla some malt and a touch of vanilla hanging out in the background.

T- Very sweet, w/ a port type of vibe to it. Oak, plum, malt and alcohol all present. Nice. The warmer it gets, the more the oak goes into the background and the plum comes out as the primary taste.

M- Very smooth, with a definite oak alcohol feel. Feels like I'm drinking a port at times. Definitely an alcohol burn aftertaste that's not very subtle. However, this is not a subtle beer.

O- A good beer that borders on great, but not quite there. I did enjoy this one, and it improved remarkably the more it warmed up. Definitely worth a try if you like the style.

Photo of dmfrench
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Unique, super light bodied yet fruity-cocoa flavorful Irish Dry/Barleywine hybrid
___

A: Deep, clear ruby body, though it appears black without a backlight. A two finger buff head forms off the pour, but settles fairly quickly to a thin film.

S: Bit of an Irish Dry vibe going on... malted milk balls, powdery baker's chocolate, dark fruit, cream, faint dusty hops. As the beer warms, more fruit comes out and chocolate goes way back, to the point that it's no longer a Stout nose. Essentially no alcohol. Others have noted them, but I cannot get vanilla, oak, or any other barrel-borne scents.

T: Light, whipped cream body carries mostly dark fruit and considerable earthy, zesty, acidic hops. Malted milk balls and cocoa come through, as does a bit of alcohol. Vanilla is more apparent, but not dramatic. Overall, the flavor is fairly complex, becoming more homogeneous as the beer warms. Vaguely reminds me of an even lighter Stone IRS with more fruit... that, and an Irish Dry. Finish is sadly a bit short.

M: Exquisitely light and fluffy for carrying such big flavors. Carbonation level is great.

O: Very interesting, unique beer. The effortlessly light body is something to behold. Will definitely revisit, but I don't think it's destined for my top 10.

Photo of IZoot
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard good things so here it goes,

A-pours pitch black with a quarter inch of head which disapates quickly leaving a light tan ring around the glass, decent lacing.

S-strong bourbon oak, vanilla and roasty goodness.

T-taste doesn't exactly follow the nose, lots if booze, whiskey-esque, roasty malts, rich chocolate and subtle vanilla notes.

M-nice carbonization, finishes well but leaves something to be desired.

O-overall a quality beer, would revisit this again, I'm aging a few bottle so I'm curious how's this goes down with some age on it. Hopefully the boost aspect mellows a good bit.

Photo of lurpy1
4.95/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just a spectacular beer. Dark as night, goes down smooth, with a beautiful bourbon-y finish. Has enough alcohol to kick like a mule, but that's all masked by the smoothness. Probably my imagination, but seems like I can taste the oak cask, and that's a good thing. Great with steak. Unconditionally recommended.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Krista.

A - Black body topped by a medium to dark brown head of a couple inches in height. Nice head stamina.

S - Mild aromas of chocolate, clove and anise.

T - Nice mild chocolate and medium to long roasted malt flavors. This is a nice tasting stout.

M - The brew has a smooth creamy texture. It goes down very well... probably too well.

~ This is a the kind of stout I would go out and drink through an evening. The kind of beer that fits very well into the style category by not overwhelming in any character.

Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark...black...thick...motor oilish

S-Bourbon right off...alcohol...vanilla is also present but is subtle. Smells sweet as well...sugary...caramel.

T-creamy smooth and bourbony....can taste the booze to be sure...hints of chocolate, vanilla, oak...some fruit maybe. I am impressed with the level of complexity here...so much going on yet each has its place and they sing together in harmony.

M-The thing that surprises me most about the beer is that it looks like it would be very heavy...and don't get me wrong...it is heavy but not as much as I expected. Little carbonation present which is perfect.

D-it packs a punch...a heavy punch...but this is one of the most drinkable high ABV beers I have had. I can easily sip mulitple bottles and enjoy each one more than the last.

This is the beer that got me into craft beer...so it will always hold a special place in my heart...and mouth...b/c sentimental reasons aside...it is a damn fine beer.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,156 ratings.