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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,279 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,279
Hads: 4,731
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,283 | 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: 1,279 | Hads: 4,731
Photo of Jeffrey84
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's is impressive to me that a brewery can produce a consistent BBA stout available year around. That is the only thing I really like about this beer. I rate it as high as I do because I appreciate the qualities of the beer but just don't enjoy it. The bourbon flavor is overpowering me. Only drinking this in a pinch.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. Pours almost jet black. Good head volume, excellent retention and lacing.

Rich nose of bourbon (which becomes more pronounced as temperature increases) plus sweet and dark chocolate dominate. Underneath is a light roast, subtle caramel sweetness and notes of vanilla and oak.

Light full body with a nice creamy texture that also has a bit of oiliness to it. Slightly above normal carbonation with a nice burst of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is quite intense, very complex but poorly balanced. Bourbon dominates throughout, resulting in the complex flavors being reduced to subservient roles. It begins with a rush of bourbon that slowly allows a sweet caramel and chocolate to emerge. Towards the middle, a mild roast bitterness comes forward against a slight bite of tannic oak. The middle produces a very nice vanilla note. The finish is dominated by alcohol, with notes of bourbon flavor, and the associated burn at the back of the throat. As these subside, a sweet note of vanilla and oak linger with caramel characteristics. Considering this is 11% ABV, they've done a fair job of covering it. The main drawback is that the amazing complexity is never allowed to truly emerge.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a thin lacing of caramel-colored head that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer), but I can still smell strong notes of roasted malt and boozy bourbon! Other reviewers have notes aromas of caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, etc.

Taste: Tons of roasted malt up front, followed by some brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness, with some notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon undertones. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is definitely a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another very good bourbon barrel-aged stout. Maybe, well not maybe, definitely, not as complex as Goose Island’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout, Dragon’s Milk is still complex in its flavors of malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Delicious. And for the price point, a much easier bourbon barrel-aged stout to drink more often!

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.
The beer is black with a very thin, tan head and spotty lacing.
I get a big hit of roast coffee from the aroma as well as some vanilla and bourbon and a little dark chocolate.
The taste is chocolate and coffee up front followed by lots of bourbon and booze. As it warms, a little vanilla and milk chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with a lingering, boozy warmth.
Overall, quite tasty and it certainly isn't hiding the bourbon.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a medium brown finger of head. Head dissipates down to a film, but leaves nice, solid creamy lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla bourbon, milky chocolate, light coffee, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of smoke.
T - The vanilla bourbon is upfront and loud! Very warming and boozey, but in a good way. Notes of milk stout chocolate reign behind the bourbon and finishes with a coffee and woody oak bitterness to round off the sweetness, but the sweet vanilla bourbon is VERY upfront, this is what I like to see from a beer that claims to be bourbon barrel aged!
O - A damned good stout to be sure!
V - Good value, worth the money!

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Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.04/5  rDev -23%
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

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Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of far333
2.78/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of Mikus
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
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!

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Photo of EvoRich
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
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!.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of Dragyourbone1
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.66/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of threeviews
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
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)

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of keithmurray
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,279 ratings.