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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,273 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,273
Hads: 4,683
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,248 | FT: 39
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:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,273 | Hads: 4,683
Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Fantastic pour with minimal head, smells inviting all be it a bit boozy. The taste was dominated by barrel flavours and lots of roasted malts, I could barely discern any sweetness. The mouthfeel is quite smooth bordering on slick and the abv hits home in the finish.

This one was a miss for me and did not meet expectations. The Barrel aging and alcohol presence overwhelm what could be the finer points of this brew. (418 characters)

Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dragon's Milk is no BCBS, but it is the best barrel-aged stout that I can find year-round without having to seek out special releases... There seems to be some quality control issues, though. Maybe it's in my head, but some bottles seem a little thin and flavorless compared to others, even within a single four pack. (317 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pretty average at best here. Hoped for much more. Thin look, no quality base beer stands out, overpowered by the barrel character. Not bad, but just expected more having tried the chili version... which is much better (217 characters)

Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally bought a four-pack after balking at the price for a few weeks. This was my first experience with a barrel - aged stout and my experience was rather mixed, and I think that has a lot to do with my opinion towards any variety of whiskey in general. That is to say, I'm not really a fan, for taste reasons.

Quick summary: I thought this beer looked, smelled and felt very good. I thought the back-end of flavor was just too boozy for my own tastes, and that's really the only problem I had with this beer. I gave the remaining three bottles to my brother-in-law, who loves his whiskies, bourbons, and scotch. He loved this beer, so take that for it's worth. (667 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Very deep brown, with a tan head than hangs at a quarter inch. Nice legs and lacing.

S- Boozy. Slight roast. Slight caramel notes, and a faint bittersweet chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel and toasty malt. Some vanilla. Roasty and boozy, but not really that distinct bourbon barrel kind.

M- Smooth, full body, with low carbonation. Astringent boozy finish.

O- Booze is a little overwhelming, and the barrel aging just doesn't seem to match up to some of the better known barrel-aged stouts. (532 characters)

Photo of far333
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Deep dark brown colored with a low light brown head that settles quickly. Aroma of cocoa, dark malt, notes of bourbon, and vanilla.

Flavor is very rich right upfront, with notes of bourbon, cola, and extremely sweet vanilla. The vanilla overpowers everything, way too sweet and cloying. Mouthfeel is a bit slick. Very one-dimensional, sickening sweet, and crazy expensive. (377 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours solid black with nice one finger creamy head. Smell the bourbon not much more. Vanilla little hop a and big bourbon taste, the first I have liked big bourbon so not sure what they did. Holy hell smooth with a bourbon burn. Oh crap I may start joining my bourbon loving friends. (287 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter from a 22oz bottle. Deep, dark transluscent brown/black with no head to speak of. Strong aroma of whiskey, with some more subtle vanilla, oak, and a clean bitter note to boot. LOTS of barrel, also some dark malts, vanilla, oak, and reminder of the high ABV. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, coats the palate and let's the flavors linger. Warmth from the big ABV is def there. Maybe a bit too boozy for me, but it is growing on me as well. Nicely crafted overall. (479 characters)

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage after aging one year. Drank from snifter.

L: Dark, dark, dark. No light penetration. A very creamy head that lingers 360 degrees around the edges. You can tell it's a milk stout.

S: Chocolate and bourbon. The weakest aroma I can remember finding in a strong BA stout like this. As it warms, you can detect a bit more milk chocolate.

T: Up front is milk, chocolate, and some coffee (everything is subtle, though). The bourbon is barely there until the tail end, warming like a blanket. Coffee finish.

F: Sooooo smooth. Like drinking whole chocolate milk without the fat. Imagine those commercials where melted chocolate pours into itself -- that's the texture of this beer.

O: An extremely accessible, inoffensive yet unique stout that will be a favorite of mine among the other year-round available stouts. (824 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adama nonick.

a: Opaque black with slight ruby highlights at the bottom when seen through light. Inch and a half tan head receded slowly to heavy surface foam and dense lacing. 5

s: Mild bourbon. 4.25

t: Sweet bourbon up front followed by a moderate hop bite. Sweet boozy finish.
The very high 11% ABV is dangerously well moderated and masked 4.5

m: Medium to full, smooth and rich. Lots of carbonation tingle. 5

o: A very pleasant surprise, a near ideal BBS! At first not quite as flavorful as my favorite, BBA Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale, but as a milk stout sweeter and with more body, and the bourbon flavor builds. 4.5 I want more! (697 characters)

Photo of EvoRich
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a snifter. Black, with about one finger of head. No light shines through.

Smell: Sweet oaky scent of bourbon, vanilla, malts, some chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon, oak/wood, chocolate, vanilla. The barrel aged flavor is just right. Not too strong. Just enough to give you hints of bourbon and oak without being overkill.

Feel: Very full bodied, and chewy.

Overall: Love this beer! Have had it many times. Glad to finally review it!. (451 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into glassware, served cool and purchased from local LCBO for about $7.50 CDN. As this is the 2014 batch ABV checks in at a statuesque 11%.

Appearance - A very dark brown, nearly black color. Half finger of tan head is poured with some frothy bubbles. Spidery lacing left behind and thin tan wisp lingers on top throughout. Also opaque.

Smell - Sweet vanilla, with a slightly nutty aroma that goes away as the beer warms. Tons and tons of bourbon. Another dose of vanilla followed by more bourbon. A bit of a woody barrel aroma thrown in at the end. Complex and inviting and there is no doubt in what this beer was aged in.

Taste - Vanilla to start, followed by oodles of bourbon. Wow. Oaky and boozy. Taste is straightforward but well executed. Alcohol is not hidden and thus a bit of a harshness to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth slick and oily. Low to medium carbonation a good mouthfeel that finishes boozy and a touch harsh.

Overall - Very good BBA stout that's a little rough around the edges but comes through as a delicious beer, that can easily be enjoyed as long as you take your time. Immense bourbon flavors pretty much make sure that you sip this one. (1,183 characters)

Photo of Dragyourbone1
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown w slight tan head and clingy lacing
S: Subtle; malty, woody, distant vanilla on first slow inhale. Deeper inhales pull out the vanilla and a little more heady woody-ness. No hint of the 11% ABV to follow.
S- midway: the vanilla profile opens up along with some bourbon (slight), and some smokiness as well.
T- Vanilla,malt,and subtle chocolate up front with a slight, but noticeable trail of bourbon underneath. Simple, yet mingles well. The alcohol profile is still well hidden.
M- Moderate malty fullness, slight trailing fizz; lingers Welty. Mouth smacking.
O- Seen this in the aisles for so long and finally just grabbed one for the eve. This is a nice warmer for the winter months. Not too heavy. Even though vanilla was noticeable, it mingled and balanced well with the rest of the profile. This was a pleasant intro to the style. I will pick up another to store for another cold day after I try a few more of the style. (940 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with transparency around the edges. Short tan head. Legs, and some lacing.

S - Bourbon. Hot and full of caramel notes and wood.

T - Like the nose, there is a lot of bourbon. Chocolate and roasted grains underpin. A slight bitter edge, but not astringent. A decent, but not overly complex, combination.

M - A big warm ball of booze. No hiding ABV here. But the beer does go down smooth.

O - A reasonable price and true bourbon character are definite upside. Fairly straight-forward, not a lot of nuance, but tasty nevertheless. (553 characters)

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.66/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a thick black motor oil consistency with a slight light tan head that wasn't long for this world. Spotty lacing was a welcome surprise for such a high gravity beer.

S - ridiculous amount if intensity to the aroma. I just drank/reviewed a sebago slick nick and struggled to put words to what I was smelling on the nose, this on the other hand is very distinct. Smells like a delicious roasty sweet RIS dripping over a slab of oak that has been aging whiskey for a decade. On top of that someone drizzled some chocolate and chucked on a few vanilla beans for good measure.

T - taste matches the nose, but much more smooth. All the flavors of black malt, roastedness, chocolate, vanilla, and whiskey meld into one sweet smooth amalgam of deliciousness. I've let this age for only half a year and am surprised at how well the flavors have come together, the alcohol is not even present.

M - thick syrupy under carbed, sweet. Nothing u wouldn't expect for the style.

O - this beer is great, no distro in maine yet for this brewery and it's sad. Very smooth and well balanced for a BBA stout and the lack of any alcohol aroma or taste is welcomed. Very refined, would certainly grab this again if I come across it. (1,227 characters)

Photo of threeviews
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (2014 vintage) with no freshness date poured into a Rastal Teku 2.0 stemmed glass.
A- Pours nearly black with brown highlights at the edges of the glass. The head was minimal, yielding about a 1/2-finger, coffee colored head with weak retention. To the eye, it does not seem to possess the viscosity as some other Imperial Stouts I sampled. (4.0)

S- Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Oak, Char, nuts and some roasted notes are all present in the nose. As it rises to room temperature, some bourbon sweetness starts to blossom. (4.5)

T- Fairly simply, yet packed full of flavor. Caramel and vanilla sweetness up front followed by some bourbon and oak tannin. The finish is dry with flavors consisting of chocolate and coffee. No alcohol burn after the sip. (4.5)

M- One of the lightest bodies I have experienced for an Imperial Stout labeled as 11%ABV and could only be classified as medium. The carbonation is not shy and helps keep the beer feeling light on the palate. Although not nearly the most dense Imperial Stouts out there (and yes, I do like beers of this nature with a bit more body and alcohol heat), Dragon's Milk more than makes up for this in its drinkability. As such, I can easily envisage drinking 2-3 of these in a sitting. (4.5)

O- Assuming that the label is true to its contents, the absence of alcohol burn in the nose and flavor is nothing short of impressive. Coupled with the fact that this is a year-round BBA Imperial Stout (~$15 4-Pack) and one that you don't need to risk life and limb to procure, Dragon's Milk is a more-than-worthy alternative to all the other 'white whales' swimming about the craft beer marketplace. Yes, I will purchase again. (4.5) (1,694 characters)

Photo of NickTheGreat
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L (4) – This beer is DARK.

S (4.25) – You get a little bit of the bourbon smell. Not a lot, but you can tell it’s there.

T (4.25) – This beer is solid. It has the bourbon taste, but not too much. I’ve never had any of their other stuff, so I don’t know how to compare. It is not quite BCBS, but an acceptable alternative.

F (4) – It isn’t as thick as BCBS, but it is pleasantly think. About the right level of carb, and not a whole lot of alcohol burn. It’s nice.

O (4) – Overall I was wanting to see how it compared to BCBS. It’s not quite there, but if you couldn’t find BCBS and had this, you’d be happy. I had this at the end of the night, but I tried not to let that cloud the score. (734 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Pours a deep dark brown with faint garnet at the edges and a smallish bubbly beige head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of roast, caramel, vanilla, light wood and bourbon with a faint cardboard. Little to no hop aroma, this one seems a bit sweet based on the nose. The flavor is roasty caramel with hints of toffee, vanilla and light oak. Light fruity notes midway through with a sweet bourbon and brown sugar linger at the end of every sip. Medium body, light level of carbonation. Nice easily assessable barrel aged stout. The oxidation in the nose is a little off putting, but the beer is quite tasty. (634 characters)

Photo of kevinlater
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle into goblet. 2014 batch, 11% abv. bottled on october 15, 2014. enjoyed on the evening of december 13, 2014

a: dark black with ruby-caramel highlights at the bottom of the glass. a slim finger of tan head

s: roasted malt, whisky, chocolate. slight oaky vanilla. good barrel presence, perfectly balanced between stout and aroma notes

t: not quite as balanced as the nose. huge whisky presence in the front, along with some dark fruits. the chocolate and roast flavours play shyly off of the still-strong barrel character here and there come mid-palate. mild bitterness at the end with lingering whisky tastes

m: little carbonation, medium & slightly slick mouthfeel

o: a really unbalanced beer, but i still find it quite tasty. could definitely benefit from age, or having more stout flavour presence. this will really satisfy barrel-aged beer enthusiasts (881 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 vintage

Appearance - Dark brown almost black body with tan head

Smell - Whiskey, oak, coconut, dark chocolate

Taste - dark chocolate, whiskey, oat, coconut

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, sticky, slightly boozy

Overall - a nice bourbon barrel stout, not as aggressive as a BCBS. Worth a try for lovers of the style.

Price Point - $15.49/4 pk 12 oz bottles (389 characters)

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

A: Deep brown (almost black) with almost no head, save for a small layer of tan froth on the surface.

S: Big coffee notes, and a strong barrel presence. There is a chocolate aroma as well, it is not as strong.

T: This is a big beer. It makes no jokes about its barrel aspect, and the alcohol is always present, but super strong coffee and chocolate notes return quickly. There is a light vanilla aspect on the finish. A fantastic stout.

F: Medium to heavy body, very smooth creamy feel, almost no carbonation.

O: This is a fantastic beer. It may not be on par with a few of the other heavy - hitters in the same category (which are often near-impossible to find), but it is certainly worthy of a spot on the shelf in my fridge. (733 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the LCBO for around $8.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Nice opening and pours a tiny head that is gone fast. Super dark.

S- The bourbon is there all the way. Nice malt.

T- The bourbon is there but I want more coffee and chocolate. Just a touch lacking on those departments. Put a touch more in and you have a BCBCS. Nice blend though.

M- Pretty good. Nice creaminess. Not a milk stout but has some characteristics of it

O- Nice beer. Bought 3. One now and two later. Looking forward

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with...... Braised short beef rib. Nice thick beef rib braised then backed to tender perfection. Tomato sauce based.

Enjoy! (701 characters)

Photo of The_Beer_Connoisseur
5/5  rDev +27.2%

One word to describe this beer, that being AMAZING. I never thought I would be able to rate a beer as a 5. Even my favorite beers I wouldn't give a 5 to cause the aren't perfect. This beer hit the top in every way imaginable. (226 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a bourbon flavour.

Overall - An interesting brew. Not over the top in sweetness or bourbon, but still packs a punch in ABV. Very drinkable and a nice well rounded flavour. I guess I was expecting something more robust, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Can't see this improving with age really, seems about perfect now. (782 characters)

Photo of docoman
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

This was one of my first BA stouts and at the time thought was fantastic, but now that I've sampled many others... it's still good, but like others better. Has a sweet more of a creamer taste compared to others that are more chocolate and coffee flavors. (255 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.