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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
90
outstanding

3,947 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,947
Reviews: 1,179
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 211
Gots: 755 | 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: 3,947 | Reviews: 1,179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Deep, impenetrable brown. The slimmest margin of khaki head on the pour that quickly ran to the walls of the glass.

Smell -- Oak, vanilla, toffee, cocoa powder, faint smoke and charcoal. Overall, sweet and rich.

Taste - Oak, chocolate chip cookie dough, toast, alcohol presence, some charcoal in the finish. Lingering flavor of oak and vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel -- On the heavy side of medium-bodied, but not motor oil either. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps a little heavy for the style. Sharp alcohol bite in the finish. Warmth in the throat is noticed almost immediately.

Drinkability -- Very rich. Perhaps it's the vanilla paired with the chocolate malt and the strong oakiness, but this came off as quite sweet to me (see: chocolate chip cookie dough); more charred and acrid notes would've done well to balance the flavor.

If you've never had a barrel-aged beer and are interested to see what the fuss is about, this is probably a good place to start.

yeahnatenelson, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A deep walnut/ nearly black color, with a tan head that flees for the edges immediately.

Smell: The oak aroma is the dominating scent, with a scent of deep roasted malt, vanilla, and a few spices filling out the nose. There is a strong alcohol presence as well, which is surprising for the ABV.

Taste: A strong wall of flavor up front - the dominating oak presence, along with molasses, smoke, vanilla, and roasted malt. The alcohol comes through with reasonable strength, and resonates after the sip. This is even more noticeable with almost no hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Soft, smooth feel with the right amount of carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: An ok stout, but it would be much better without such a strong oak taste. Also, the alcohol presence is surprisingly noticeable and makes it tough to repeat.

KickInTheChalice, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

womencantsail, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours a dark brown with a light tan head that rises only about half a finger and is gone pretty quickly. The lacing is light.

The aroma is medium and very nice. Its very malty lots of sweet chocolate with a nice smooth oak finish.

The taste is a little to sweet and watery for my tasty. The sweetness isn't balanced with much oak or bourbon so its a little offputting.

Overall, good start bad finish. Has some potential.

jrallen34, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of sisuspeed
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, Dragon's Milk has a dark brown body with a slight red tint. A little bit of head forms at first, but quickly fades.

Sweet, oaky, wood drifts up from the glass. Caramel and other sweet malts mix in as well. Almost reminds me of a syrupy candy stored in an oak barrel. Would love to have a stronger aroma of this.

The first couple of sips pull out toffee, alcohol and oak. Vanilla comes out nicely from the barrel aging as well as some tannins. Malts are quite sweet, caramel like. Much like the smell, the flavor is warming malt candy with oak. Pretty good stuff if you like sweeter beers and a good oak presence.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side. I'd like to see a heavier body to pair with the warming alcohol and some of the harsher aspects of the wood. Carbonation is about right.

Drinkability is pretty good. A sweet beer and the ABV is somewhat noticeable, but the oak is well done. One bottle is about the perfect serving size.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable brew. New Holland did a really nice job with the barrel aging and brought out some nice vanilla notes from the oak. This beer is probably the closest I've come to liquid toffee. Not something I would drink all the time, but I'll probably pick up another bottle if I see it around.

sisuspeed, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of abuliarose
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, revealing deep brown body with a light beige head. Some lacing. Smells very metallic with some sweet dark malt character and woody notes.

Tastes soda-carbonated with a thick wood character, like rubbing your tongue against a sanded oak plank. Malts are there and add to the overall smoothness, but there is an overall astringency that coats the palette. Very bitter to the end, very woody, but there are no redeeming flavors to harmonize with these. Quite drying, slightly warming. I don't get much vanilla at all, such a shame that it is not more well-balanced. Drinkability is ok given the aggressive flavors. After half a glass, I need some water to wet my mouth.

Overall it averages out to be decent, though very strong in flavors. I might wish it to mellow out a bit and have some of the finer characteristics come through. I like my beers seriously flavorful, however this one doesn't quite put it together.

abuliarose, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

Tone, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Label says 10% ABV.

Pours reddish brown and clear with no head. Nose is sweet and black vanilla bean like, with notes of caramelized orange peel, and almost-burning sugar. Palate is sweet and prickly with alcohol. Flavors of dried figs, dates, vanilla bean, and dark brown sugar. Finish is focused on whiskey it seems, but is moderately short.

The alcohol dominates this brew, not in a bad way, but it's almost like a blend of whiskey and beer.

(I spilled half this bottle on the floor...foul.)

SFLpunk, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of Heferwiezer
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 inch centimeter head. dense and creamy. dark mahogany color with ruby highlights.

bourbon and dark fruits on the nose.a little bit of sweet chocolate.

taste, initial hit of bourbon and chocolate. smooth after taste of oak, vanilla and alcohol.

super creamy mouth feel- like butta. not too thin not to sticky, carbonation is spot on.

Heferwiezer, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of LetsGoHawks2009
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Ordered in a bottle, served in small goblet.

A- Dark, yet not opaque like most stouts. Had an almost dark brown/reddish appearance to it. Light head that dissipated quickly, dark khaki in color.

S- Had a wonderful aroma. Notes of vanilla, caramel, and slight brown sugar scent. Does have a whiskey almost bourbon undertone due to the oak barrel aging.

T- Taste was fantastic, even for the high ABV count, was not over bearing as in some other oak-aged beers. First taste I picked up the heavy caramel, and dark vanilla taste. Finished with a warming spice aftertaste.

M- Was a little thin for a stout, however still had that warming sensation from the alcohol. And did settle heavy

D- Not a very quick drinking beer. It has to be enjoyed slowly in order to enjoy the unique flavors.

Bottom Line: Was a very unique brew, that I was fairly surprised with, for a stout very flavorful, and had a nice spice undertone. Would not suggest as a before dinner beer. Would more suggest as a dessert beer.

Pairing ideas; Suitable with chicken, or fish. Would not combine with any spicy or hot dishes.

LetsGoHawks2009, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of bgildea
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice dark brown/black color. Nice brown head but faded quickly with little to no lacing.

S: Smell is average. There is a strong smell of alcohol that masks most of the other smells. Faint hints of vanilla and other sweets in the background.

T: Taste is good, but not great. The alcohol once again overpowers the softer vanilla flavor. A nice faint carmel aftertaste though.

M: Thiner than expected. I was definitly hoping for more chew.

D: It's definitly drinkable. Although you can taste more of the 8.5 ABV than I'd prefer.

Overall: The beer is decent, however the alcohol overpowers the finer aspects of the beer. Their are faint hints of vanilla and carmel that get lost in the beer. Overall, I'll drink and enjoy it, but if the alcohol taste were toned done, it would be much better.

bgildea, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of farrago
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thin tan head of mixed bubbles, just covers the surface before fading into islands across the surface, light lacing albeit with some stickiness. The liquid is dark enough brown to suggest black, opaque although at the rims and glass bottom you can see it's an orangish brown as well as very clear. In the nose oak barrels is no lie, explosive coconut custard, butterscotch, caramel, chocolate covered raisins, maple syrup and just about anything else bearing a familial resemblance to the aforementioned, plums, prunes and maraschino cherries to boot. Medium-bodied, the low carbonation does little to fend off it soaking in like an anchor. Boozy, here you get another blast of vanilla fudge, butterscotch, caramel, coconut, licorice, etc. The cherry fruit has a cola edge to it like Cherry Coke, then slides you date, raisin, prune flavors. Brush of orange citrus. Relentlessly monochrome, if you are not totally into it from the start would need some kind of food to add contrast.

farrago, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of MarkFy
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle

L: dark reddish brown, little foamy head disappears quickly, makes sense for a barrel aged ale.

Smell: bourbon and vanilla with a little brown sugar.

Taste: I love a good bourbon ale or stout and for me this one delivers. Same as smell, with bourbon and vanilla up front with a sweet but dryer finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite boozy, which I can't decide if that is a good or bad thing, guess it depends on my mood!

Drinkability: I like to knock back a few of these on occasion and always keep a few on hand, but not something I would drink all night.

MarkFy, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of BeerGodz
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep ruby/dark brown color, thick head that dissipates quickly, with good lacing

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, vanilla, and raisins
Finish: Dark brown sugar, lot's of booze. Finish is also dry

Mouthfeel: Rich, almost syrupy

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, but it's a "one and done" kind of beer for me

Overall Impression: When I bought it, I was under the impression it was an Imperial Stout, but I realized right away that it was too thin for the style. It was a slightly imbalanced - a little heavy on the sweetness, but it is a good (borderline Very Good) beer nonetheless, and certainly worth trying, especially if you like barrel aged beers like I do.

BeerGodz, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Ego
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
2 full fingers of mildly cocoa head, fairly fluffy, light can barely navigate through this brew, lacing is good and the retention is admirable, your average to good looking brew.

nose...
wet wood, a little alcohol, subtle cocoa hints but mostly boozy wood tone

taste etc...
nice medium plus mouth feel, creamy, kind of a mild bitter chocolate flavor, the alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the ABV. This just doesn't "wow"...

verdict?
good beer, nothing great, packs a pretty good punch and it isn't crazy money.

Ego, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Traquairlover
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very dense, mahogany liquid when viewed without light behind it, but showing dark ruby colors at edges when held up. Has a very small light tan head that recedes very quickly leaving light tracery on the surface.

S & T = Scents of vanilla, cocoa powder, sweet treacle. Most of the smells also show up in the taste but there is also a plastic taste and a certain thinness up front, by mid-palate though there are good tastes of cream moderated by slight bitterness of oak, vanilla and cafe latte without any sugar added.

M = Medium to medium-heavy body, very good mouthcoating, creamy full soft feel.

D = I do like this beer, but somehow it just doesn't draw me to each sip like I would prefer. I find after half a bottle I've really had enough. Good, but not good enough.

Traquairlover, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of tko741
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an oil-black with some dark ruby around the bottom and edges of the glass. Busy-looking tan/vanilla head that dissipates to nearly nothing with little in the way of lacing.

Smells of rich roasted malts, slight alcohol bite, and wonderful dark chocolate. I could sit and smell this for 45 minutes before actually drinking it.

Wow. Tastes like a beautiful rush of complex, sweet malts, rich vanilla mousse, decadent roasted toffee and raisin. A tad of alcohol which never gets in the way. Additional notes of dry sherry and maple syrup linger in the aftertaste. All of these flavors are balanced and are never overpowering. The mouthfeel turns from slightly loose to creamy and spongy, like biting into a piece of bread pudding.

One of these would be fine. I can't imagine going much farther than two or three of these, as it will destroy your palate for both other beers and food. Additionally, the 9% alcohol by volume will leave you reeling after a couple.

tko741, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of foggymountainman
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

just hanging out at work, (wine bar), tasting for a possible on-tap brew. 22 oz brown bomber and good people. the pour was smooth but little head, a little lacing on the glass, a brew-tiful brown. the taste is nice and malty, a hint of raisin? yum. i could drink the whole 22 oz, but not with heidi about.

foggymountainman, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of jakeyb
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Dragon's Milk Oak Barrel Stout from New Holland definitely lives up to it's name: it's intense creamy flavor blends beautifully with the mocha/vanilla aroma and nutty finish. Very smooth for a stout, probably due in no small part to its oak-barrel aging. Though it carries a worthy ABV of 8.5%, it's presence is barely perceptible. Heavy mouthfeel, with a slight sticky-sweet taste left lingering on your lips. My only complaint is that I got almost no head with very little lacing even with a vigorous pour. Not an incredibly complex beer, but a pleasant desert-like drink that pairs nicely with these cold Michigan winters.

jakeyb, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of ne0m00re
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-tap in a brandy snifter at Betty's in Columbus.

A: Black with an amber hue. The soft, big tan head disappears after your first sip and you're left with a thin lace.
S: Heavy fruity bourbon and vanilla.
T: More of the same with some roasted malts. I'm not a big fan of these one-note stouts.
M: It has a full body but it's a crisp beer with an alcoholic bite. The mouthfeel is in-balance and really is this beer's saving grace.
D: If I stuck around, I'd order a different beer. This definitely is a brandy-snifter beer.

Overall, the intense vanilla bourbon flavor overwhelms the beer. I would order a local brewpub's stout over this anyday.

ne0m00re, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of drpimento
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served with a fine foamy tan head and good lace. Color is a very dark, almost opaque cherry wood. Aroma is heavy malt, whiskey, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and leather. Flavor is like that, but much more intense and quite sweet. Wonder if they're using lactose... Has a smoothness to the body. Good carbonation. Finish is like flavor and long. Not a session beer. Might work good with ice cream.

drpimento, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown; nearly black in color. Around the edges, where light can shine through, it has some red/brown hues. Less than a finger of tanned head produced despite a fairly aggressive pour. Spotty amounts of lacing cling to the glass and it has fair retension for just a thin layer on top of this beer supported by rising bubbles of carbination. Nose is a big bold slap of woodsy oak character that is a little musty with alcohol, dark sugary sweetness and vanilla all coming into play before the usual toasty grain character of stout. Taste is really no surprise after taking in everything the aroma as to offer. Flavors include literally everything that the aroma presented: oak, alcohol (more in warmth factor than in taste but the taste is clearly there as well) bitter chocolate, and slight dark fruity sweetness like plum. Finishes bitter, but more like a burnt grain kind of bitter than a hop bitter. It has a chewy mouthfeel that clings to the palette and doesn't let go. Overall I really enjoyed this beer. It has a very enjoyable and complex nose and taste. The only thing I found a little distracting was the musty character in the aroma. Other than that I really enjoyed everything about this beer and would highly recommend it.

stakem, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of Florida9
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Appears black, but it reveals itself to be a very dark brown when held to the light. Served with a minimal 1/8" of light tan, very creamy head, that has little retention. Light lacing.

S: Heavy scent of oak and vanilla. Sweet dark malts. Molasses.

T: Vanilla and oak and a bit on the boozy side, leading to the inevitable scent of bourbon. Slightly sweet, caramel. Long, hot finish.

M: Medium heavy with medium carbonation level. High alcohol content gives a cooling feeling to the mouth.

D: I've seen this beer around, but have been passing this one up for a very long time. However, I found it to be a very good ale, much better than expected. The high alcohol content gives the beers a lighter feeling and encourages another sip. Enjoyed it.

Florida9, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of mopargoof
4.85/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I heard about this beer at the Blues and Brews festival in Akron last summer but by the time I got to the distributor they were just handing out the last one. I finally saw it in a store over the weekend and bought a couple. This beer is most excellent - probably moved into one of my top five faves so far. Creamy and delicious in a milky kind of way. The only mistake you can make with this beer is only leaving the store with 1.

mopargoof, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of manahansf
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with glowing ruby highlights. The head is very light and lacy with a light brown color. The thin head gives off a strong sweet vinous aroma. The drink is slow and viscous with low levels of carbonation with sweet roasted malt flavors supported by vanilla flavors from the barrel. The flavor fades slowly and gracefully with just a hint of the sweet vanilla lingering with the warming alcohol.

manahansf, Feb 02, 2010
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,947 ratings.