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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

1,272 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,272
Hads: 4,682
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
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Reviews: 1,272 | Hads: 4,682
Photo of KeefD
2.28/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

8.5% ABV. Dark brown, ruby edges, small tan head that was gone in less than a minute, very little lacing. I'm not getting much out of the aroma. I'm really hoping it's because it was poured rather cold. I'll give it a few minutes to warm up. OK, starting to warm now, some sweet, light fruity aroma starts to come out, some whiskey-ish alcohol, red grapes, and light chocolate. Flavor is a little strange to me. There's some very light, almost watery chocolate flavor going on, definite oakiness throughout, and a grassy, earthy component in the finish. There's the grape flavor again. What the hell is this? I'm starting to get a stale red wine flavor in the aftertaste. Ugh, this thing finished bad. It's very light bodied for the color. Maybe I just don't like it because it's dark and expect it to drink like a stout or a porter. It tastes more like a doppelback fermented with ale yeast and aged in oak. The taste and aroma does improve slightly as it reaches room temperature. Not my thing, but hey, I'll finish it anyway. (1,028 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nittanybeerfan for bringing this out last night. I have heard a lot about this one and am glad I finally got to try it. Poured into two tulip glasses.

This is an interesting style of beer. It is not big enough for a RIS, yet too big for a Porter. Strong Ale, eh I suppose.

A: Pours a dark brown, but by no means black. Noticeable edges of brown and maroon show when held to the light. Pours with a one finger, fluffy khaki head that fizzles out into a thin ring of foam.

S: The smell is rather light, but has great complexity nonetheless. The bourbon comes to the forefront and is accompanied by some nice cocoa nibs. Other noticeable aromas are chocolate, molasses, and sweet caramel.

T: Just fantastic. The bourbon comes right to the front and shows its presence. The bourbon is light though, which I like, it is not overpowering. This allows the sweet caramel, chocolate, and slightly bitter roast to come through on the finish. Overall, the taste is on the lighter side, but the complexity does not lack.

Overall, this was a great bourbon beer. I would have preferred it to be a little richer, but because it was light, I finished my glass in no time. (1,170 characters)

Photo of Reneejane
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap, and a bottled version. The bottle was nowhere near as good as the tap version, while this is true of many beers it is very apparent with this beer. A lot of the complex aromas and flavors were lost when bottled. But the aroma was very sweet with a definitive brandy flavor. The taste was sweet and had a definite alcohol warming. The color was black. I loved the spicy flavors from the hops. There were definite sweet estery notes as well. This is a great beer, but on tap, this is a phenomenal beer. (526 characters)

Photo of schellsbeer
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Since my buddy lives in Holland Michigan, I should take his word for it and give these guys a try.

Hew Holland doesn't dissapoint. I have had "The Poet" and the "Mad Hatter" which were both very good but this one is by far better than either one of those beers.

A - Brown to Dark Brown in color. Some light does come through but not much. As far as any head....not much. Nice coloring.

S - Good. Some roasted malts and carmel notes come through. I really like the barrel smell. Very nice but not overpowering. Woody. Earthy. Good.

T - Excellent. Reminds me of a thicker version of Rocky's Revenge. Definite chocolate malt carmel and oak barrel come through. No alcohol at all which is nice for an 8.5% beer. Some carination but not too much. I want to be drinking with a good stake sitting around a camp fire in Northern Minnesota.

M - For such a lighter beer compared to most thick stouts, this Strong Dark Ale is very very creamy. Coats the mouth and tongue. Nice. Very high marks for mouthfeel.

D - You will all die when you hear how much I paid for this 22 oz bomber...$3.99. A new liqior store in town and they have some of their bottles and beers marked WAY to low. In every other store in town, it is at least double this. Excellent find and excellent beer to have on this windy Minnesota Winter day.

Overall, I will for sure pick up more of this in the very near future. (1,386 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 27 Oct 2008.

Used my 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter for this. Samll foamy beige head. Medium carbonation. Very dark brown color, not quite opaque. Smells of coffee, licorice, dark chocolate, mushrooms. Starts sweet and roasty. Almost like cold hot chocolate. Good roastiness and chocolate throughout. On the sweet side. Oak not really noticeable. Alcohol well hidden, seems light. Hint of vanilla in the finish. Medium body. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Overall very nice. (486 characters)

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with almost mahogany fringes. Its very dark, light doesn't readily pass through the glass. The carbonation is clearly visible. The off-white head quickly dissipates to form a ring around the surface. Wispy clouds of foam gather in the middle of my glass. There was a subtle bit of lacing.

S: The aroma is dominated by hints of caramel and toffee. There is a burnt toast aroma that could possibly be from the oak. I found it to smell slightly hoppy, though not a major characteristic.

T: The oak is prevelant, with subtle hints of rich vanilla and creamy caramel. The hoppy bitterness is nice and does not detract from the rich characteristics of the vanilla and oak. A little alcohol on the finish, tasted similar to bourbon.

M: A medium bodied ale that was very smooth and had only a hint of carbonation. The finish was pretty dry which I attribute to the hops and possibly to the oak. I would say that the carbonation is dead on. The roof of my mouth was left feeling thickly coated.

D: An extremely easily downed and smooth ale with a great bourbon finish. Nothing was too harsh, it was mellow from the start. A very impressive beer, claps to New Holland. (1,182 characters)

Photo of Lambstrong
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany color, little in the way of a head and what forms doesn't keep.

Aroma: Caramel , chocolate and lots of vanilla. You can really smell the sweetness.

Taste: Slight phenol notes followed by rich chocolate and oak. his is followed by a strong vanilla aftertaste. This is one of the only beers I've had whose characteristics changed this much.

Mouthfeel: Light velvety with not a lot of carbonation. (423 characters)

Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is 9% and for that i suppose the head shouldn't be too amazing but it is pretty good. the head dies off but the off white head and inky black body werve well together

S: There is a vanilla bean and and oak wood character with malt and burnt toast

T: Milk for sure, go figure... but there is more vanilla barrel and somewhat creamy and very smooth. the body is medium in nature hedging towards thick

this is a really good beer, its hard to describe but it is fantastic (485 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nearly opaque with hints of color coming through into the dark reds territory. Head is a bit soapy and not as concentrated and therefore pops and fades quickly.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, mild chocolate, and a ton of oak and woodiness from the barrels. Smoke and spice come through, along with a bit of mild charcoal and vanilla.

Taste: Huge oak flavors, but I like that a lot. If you don't, you probably won't like this beer, bottom line. But a nice mix of roasted malts, spicy vanilla, a bit of tobacco, hints of cream, mild mocha, and charcoal come through. And that seems to be what a lot of RIS are made of, but here it seems to be mostly because of the wood, which I admire. It's less heavy on the roasted malt character, which is fine considering what the wood aging seems to do here positively overall. Long finish with roasted woodiness and vanilla flavors lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some chewiness and creaminess due to the carbonation being sans-spritzy and more leading with the fullness.

Drinkability: I wish it wasn't nearly $8 for a bomber, as that seems way too much. But over a long period of time, especially if you like barrel aging, then this is a quality brew. I hope to try more from this series in the future. (1,293 characters)

Photo of bheilman
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice dark golden brown amberish color to it. Has a fair amount of hops making me think it was somewhere between an imperial ipa and a Belgian double. I really like the flavor although I'm sure I couldn't handle more than a bomber due to the thick richness. It does have a slight buttery taste, so I think it's fairly valid to have milk in the title. The scent is extremely caramelish and of course that definitely influences the taste on this one. I will seek this out again. I think it could even improve with some cellaring. This beer has made me want to set up a trip to the brewery. (602 characters)

Photo of BierFan
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been cellaring this since November, but I heard from a fellow BA that it doesn't cellar well so I decided to drink it now. No "brewed on" date so I have no idea how old it really is. Poured from a 22 ounce brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hard pour produced a 3 finger tan head. An almost black body only has slight ruby hues shining through when it's held to a light. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mostly alcohol with a fair bit of vanilla as well. The same vanilla aroma that I got from New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole Wheatwine and Black Tulip Trippel, which makes me think that perhaps they use the same yeast for all of their "High Gravity Series" beers. I wish that the oak or malts were stronger in the smell, but they just aren't.

Taste: Lots of vanilla, if there was any oak in here before it's gone now. Kind of disappointing because I've had one of these that was fresher and the oak was really noticeable and delicious. Aside from being currently oak-less it still tastes alright and has a very creamy but kinda light mouthfeel to it. (1,080 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep and dark root beer brown during the pour settling an even darker tarred brown thats nearly black. It has just the faintest of hints to light getting thru at the edges and bottom. Huge frothy dark tanned foam whips itself into a firm stacking and keeps a steadily thick amount consistantly present on top. A thin, whispery sheeting of lace coats the entire glass and sticks like glue. One very nice looking Strong ale!

Aroma is mildly present but firm and pleasing with mostly chocolate being the main staple before vanilla, dark cherry, dates, and deep bourbon notes take in the rest of each wiff.

Taste is more of the same with a rounded, overall tone of chocolate infused with bourbon hints and tenderly noted with a bold vanilla and caramel backing and some brief seepings of dark fruits do a bit of work to tang it up some. The finish is totally worth it as its complexity is quite nice with fluffy chocolate and slippery cherry/date hinted bourbony heat. Reminds me of a simpler G.I. Bourbon Cnty Stout.

Feel is a solid medium with a firm and creamy front and middle then finishes well as noted in the taste with a nicely textured fluff and warmth that coats the mouth and gullet fairly well and with a length thats favorably yummy and memorable.

Can't help but think this is more like a stout, but as a Strong ale its a nice change of pace and suits New Holland and the name "Dragon's Milk" very well and is a solid brew to drink down and warm up with in these chilled Wintery evenings. (1,501 characters)

Photo of imagineiii
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aggresive pour yeilds a dark brown, almost porter-like appearance. Good inch of off white, large bubbled head. dissipates slowly, leaving decent lace behind. no complaints here.

Smells like a chocolate porter. dry, very faint bourbon notes. nothing spectacular at all.

This is where it falls apart. Initial taste is a strange and uncomforting astrigency on the tongue. Followed by dryness of a porter that doesnt hold much of a bourbon flavor. After taste is chemically. Alcohol is well hidden tho.

Aside from astringent taste, the beer has a nice weight to it. It isnt too bad in the mouth but it falls apart after.

Drinkable, I dont think so. Im wondering if I can finish it. (681 characters)

Photo of Beerasaurus
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap as the Black Tulip was unavailable.

Appearance was similar to a stout, dark with a tannish head, though the head was minimal.

Maybe my nose wasn't working, but a didn't detect any real aroma.

The taste almost an overpowering oaky/bourbon flavor, not my favorite.

Mouthfeel was somewhat milky.

Worth a try, but for the High Gravity offerings, I'd go with the Black Tulip. (394 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown color that borders of black very closely, but there is some coloration along the bottom edge - a ruby highlight. Sticky lacing.

The aroma is very woody, predominantly oak. It's a little overbearing. Lots of chocolate notes, i.e., mild roast with some sweetness and a little dark fruitiness. Vanilla bean and fusel alcohols are all over the back end of the nose.

The flavor is a bit overly sweet for me to really say I like it. The oak is a little too dominant for me - I guess maybe bourbon barrels would have worked better with the char and vanilla characters exhibited elsewhere.

Some roasted malt again, with the molasses component mixing with a sweeter side. The vanilla is pretty evident, with, again, the fusel alcohols not far behind.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the finish is all vanilla. Pretty interesting and unusual, but not quite up my alley. (886 characters)

Photo of WakeandBake
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with ruby edges,one finger tan head.Aroma of vanilla,chocolate,burbon,oak,and dark roasted barly very nice. Flavor is complex and changes as it warms,sweet boozy vanilla creamy oaky honey burbon goodness. Full creamy mouthfeel,chewy and sticky.This came highly reccomended, I now agree.... Good stuff ! (313 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest on 2/15/08: Hmm, this tasted like a stout to me. I also tasted coffee, raisins, and prunes. There was a background sweetness in the taste. Enjoyable.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20
(3.7/5) (258 characters)

Photo of Talisker
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased and poured on 12-25-08 (priced at $7.39, so it had better be good!). No vintage or other freshness marking on bottle, but I'm assuming it's the "2008" version.

Generally "porter-y" - has some chalk in the texture, reminds me of powdered milk. Slightly burnt flavor, more dry than sweet overall. Nice vanilla roast on the nose, but a noticeable alcohol burn at the back of the throat brings this one down for me.

Hard to pin down as a style. I'm happy I tried it. Not a bad beer, but not one I'll rush to track down again. (546 characters)

Photo of HIFF
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark stout like color with a nice thick foamy head. Nice welcoming aroma of vanilla, toffee, and oak. Strong ale flavor with hints of the oak barrel in which it was aged. Also tasted tones of vanilla and roasted barley. This was a thick ale almost stout like. I would only want to drink one or two of these in a sitting. Overall a very complex brew and one that I look forward to trying again in the future. (416 characters)

Photo of hellbilly
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the first bottle i had of this was terribly infected and very sour. this, on the other hand is incredible. it reminds me of an imperial porter... but not.

pours a very dark burgundy brown. the head is tan but minimal and manages to leave some spotty lace on the glass in it's short time on this planet. vaya con dios, my friend!

aromas of vanilla cream, coffee, roasty grains, chocolate and brown sugar fill my nose. as it hits nearly room temperature, the bourbon-y/spicy/woody characters really start to come in to play.

the flavor is much like the aroma... lots of roast/malt powdery goodness, coffee, milky chocolate, caramel, vanilla and faint barrel/earthy notes with a spicy kick on the finish. coffee really hangs on in the aftertaste as the belly gets nice and warm from the booze. extremely 'well' bodied but seemingly light for how much flavor it packs in. it's not sticky as it has a pleasant acidity and spiciness to cut through the richness...

i must have been drinking a lot of craptacular beer lately because i actually had to stop what i was doing to enjoy this...

8/4/8/4/19/4.3 (1,102 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a redish tint. Slight tan head with little retention. Stong chocolate, vanilla aroma with hints of coffee. Oakiness varies bottle-to-bottle. Mouthfeel brings memories of milkshakes. A very, very good beer. Would love to try this on draft. (255 characters)

Photo of UDbeernut
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into 10 oz snifter

a: deep brown/amber with a silky head with decent retention

s: chocolate, vanilla, and coffee aroma

t: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and I do notice the alcohol as it warms. Very nice tasting.

m&d: creamy mouthfeel, slightly higher ABV does not make it a session brew.

Very good Ale.

Cheers (320 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red/brown pour, almost no head to it. Not a strong aroma, slight coffee and toffe. Pretty malty with carmel and slight chocolate. Nice warming going down, 9% abv not offensive at all. Had some other bourbon barrel aged beers, I don't get much in this one from oak barrel.. Reminds me of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. Not bad at all though. (346 characters)

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a blackish-brown with very, very little carbonation and a fleeting tan head.

S - Woody/oak fumes, chocolate, vanilla.

T - Powerful. The first thing that appears to me is the oakiness of the whole thing. The oakiness cradles within it some vanilla and maybe faint black coffee with malty goodness sprinkled in. Not a heavy aftertaste with this one.

M - Akin to 2% milk.

D - I downed a single bomber of this and didn't care for any more. This is a complex and carefully crafted beer that isn't necessarily my favorite style. (537 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see BA updated the photo for this one. Another delicious New Holland product. We had one of these over Thanksgiving after several other diverse and strong beers and thought it a tad weaker and less bold than we remembered. So I decided to try another one tonight and compare. Similar to what I remember from Thanksgiving, but this is my first beer of the night, and it's great.

A: Cola color with lacing that sticks around.

S: Love this smell. Chocolate, vanilla, oak, toffee.

T: Same smell notes are present in the taste, though as noted above, it's not as bold as I remembered. Could just be that I've been drinking a lot of strong stuff lately in comparison, because the first time I ever had this I was blown away by how sweet and powerful it seemed. in any event, the taste is nicely balanced and very rich.

M: Creamy, almost milk stouty. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D: This beer is in no danger of being poured out. Love it. It should be available in 12 oz bottles though. (1,003 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,272 ratings.