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

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 4,638
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,202 | FT: 40
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: 1,259 | Hads: 4,638
Photo of sonicdescent
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very good looking beer, purchased from Vintage Estate in Boardman, though we do get it here, it was a hell of a lot cheaper there. Pours a thin looking but very dark red, may look black without light. the head is frothy and resilient, an eggshell white.

Scent is of wood over roasted malt, chocolate. Very stouty, which isn't a bad thing at all. Reminds me of a maltier Old Viscosity. Vanilla makes an appearance.

Taste actually reminds me of Old Vis as well. Can't say thats a bad thing. Vanilla, wood, smoke, tobacco, roasty malt, chocolate. Very good brew, and goes down quite easy with a little warmth at the end. The mouth is somewhere in the middle in body, but damn the carbonation is just right. This is an excellent beer.

I will be buying some more of these. Even at a B plus, this is underrated here. (816 characters)

Photo of saztheorybook
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask to New Holland; passed up some exotic pub-only beers to have it on cask, and I'm glad I did.

A: Jet black with only a little head and little retention or lacing. Surprising for a cask.
S: Pure vanilla bean and and boozy warm esters on the nose.
T: This is an insane and delicious demon on cask. It's almost like a vanilla vodka with a little bit of chocolate. There was not real hop character, but a lot of alcohol warmth. From front to back, though, this vanilla thing made cask Dragon's Milk a completely different experience.
M:Smooth and a little oily. Very nice. Almost like a three-quarters melted milkshake in the best way that can sound.
D: You have to remind yourself, hey, this is 9%. Slow down, enjoy it, and call it good. (751 characters)

Photo of madamebeer
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Flows out with a nice dark caramel tint, has almost no head, but leaves a small lingering ring along the edge of the glass

Smell- very malty with a hint of oak, sweet with a tinge of the bite of alcohol

Taste- Surprisingy sweet and malty with yet again that bite of alcohol. but it isn't in anyway unpleasant. It has an aftertaste of chocolately blis

Mouthfeel- the only thing i don't like about about this beer is the dry feeling it leaves in my mouth. But otherwise it is very smooth and goes down like a dream (527 characters)

Photo of WankelEngine
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: This beer is dark, nearly black with hints of red when held up to a light. The head is foamy and light tan in color.

S: The smell is very rich and very heavy on the sweet malts. There are hints of coffee and nuts. It almost reminds me of a hazelnut cappuccino. Notes of oak give this beer the sickly sweet sensation in your nostrils that you get from a good whiff of brandy.

T: The taste is as rich as the smell. Coffee, hazelnut, and caramel are all prominent flavors. There is a delicious smoked flavor from the oak barrel aging. All of this is supported by the potent malt backbone.

M: Thick, creamy and heavy.

O: I reviewed the 2011 vintage. You can hardly taste the high alcohol content over the creaminess and the smoky sweet flavors. This beer is definitely a sipper. (830 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a single 22oz bottle of this from Woodman’s in Janesville, WI in summer 2012.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a thin light brown head. Fantastic roasted scent that is heavy with roasted malts, oak, and vanilla. Texture is smooth and creamy. A great overall taste as bold roasted flavor hint your taste buds teasing with vanilla, coffee, and toffee hints. So complex and so delicious. To me this is like a more readily available version of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. A great brew on a cold night. (522 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours near black in color with garnet highlights near the bottom of the pint. Creamy brown head flattens to the surface of the body. A quick swirl revives it. Aroma consists of milk chocolate, roasted malt, barley and cream. As the ale warms a vanilla-like sweetness and just a hint of alcohol can be detected. Lovely full-bodied mouthfeel that's velvety smooth. Initial flavors consists of chocolate, rich malt and grain (barley). A slight hop bitterness cracks near the back of the tongue and breaks up the sweetness. The finish has hints of oak, vanilla and a ghost-like milk chocolate taste.

The alcohol is undetectable and Dragon's Milk is unbelievably smooth and drinkable for its 10% abv. Flavors from the oak aging are not quite as complex as I expected. I thought there'd be a greater presence of bourbon in the flavor profile, but I didn't pick up on that. Nonetheless, this is an awesome brew. (908 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep rich mahogany brown; almost looks like a snifter full of maple syrup, not a pitch black "stout" for sure.

S: bourbon, booze, dark fruits, vanilla, mild chocolate notes

T: amazing; fantastic melange of bourbon, vanilla, wood, maple, molasses; milder notes of milk chocolate; raisins, figs; mild boozy afterburn.

M: sticky, rich, satisfying; definite boozy element present but not offensively so; sipper for sure; really warming.

Overall awesome brew. Would definitely buy more of this as I find it. (510 characters)

Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer is black with ruby highlights. opaque. brown head. fair retention. fair lacing.

smells like vanilla. sherry. oak. caramel and toffee malts. some slight alcohol. some floral hop aroma too.

taste is very sweet upfront. flavors of vanilla and oak, roasted malts, coffee chocolate, toffee, caramel. some hop and roasted malts bitterness in the finish to try and take some of the edge off the sweetness of this beer, but it is still sweet throughout and lingering after the finish. flavor of alcohol grows and remains unmistakable.

full mouthfeel. soft carbonation. very wet/sweet.

this beer should definitely be aged. very good. very big. definitely a sipper/ dessert beer. (679 characters)

Photo of Beerdanza
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the perfect sipping beer. The oak barrel aging gives it an amazing heart and soul. You will taste the sweet malt, and a nice touch of hop bitterness. But the oak resins really come through, and mix with the high ABV to make a beer that has all the sipping satisfaction of a fine bourbon. This is probably my favorite beer so far. Try it if you can! (356 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at Lunar in the 'burbs while celebrating my bachelor party. It came to me in a 9 oz snifter.

A - Black as tar with a dark brown creamy head that shows really nice retention and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S - Dark and creamy to my nose, this is full of dark chocolate candy notes and strangely enough I smell peanut butter.

T - Rich chocolatey ovaltine! This is sweet and chocolatey with some nice supporting hops. Tasty as hell. This is like drinking Hershey's dark chocolate syrup straight up.

M - As full bodied as motor oil, this is creamy, silky, smooth, and really thick.

D - Outstanding! This is a killer beer! I love the name, the high ABV is nice, and the flavors are damn tasty. (713 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark black with slight ruby highlights and a thin dark tan head.

Smell is sweet with hints of vanilla, bourban, chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is a very nice and smooth with tons of complexity here. Hints of smoke, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, with a nice burnt malty flavor. Very bourban like and delicious.
.

Mouthfeel is super creamy and lush with a nice bit of warming.

Drinkability is great on this fantastic beer. (448 characters)

Photo of Badbobx
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a deep brown with a slight head leaving little or no lacing.
The aroma is an intensely engaging boozy malt with tones of chocolate and coffee.
The taste is rich with tones of raisins, bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, and alcohol. Very smooth to drink for an intense beer. I am letting this warm a bit to enhance the flavor.
The mouthfeel is wonderful. A large round flavor, a bit like drinking a fine whiskey.
Overall this is a marvelous beer that I would drink again. To me the mouthfeel was the big hit. (557 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 Heferwiezer
4.52/5  rDev +15%
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. (339 characters)

Photo of BanjinTsuki
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first bourbon barrel stout left me a changed man.

I hesitate while writing this review as the Dragon's Milk is my first bourbon barrel stout brew. But I was so impressed with it I felt I must let the world know how wonderful it is. Shame on me, if a bro came along to read the reviews of Dragon's Milk to see if it is worth a quaff, and I was silent. A well tapped draft Guinness might be the best beer, but a bottle Dragon's Milk beats out a bottled Guinness, especially when you want the extra punch brought by 10% ABV. For some reason they call this a oak barrel ale, but it really feels and tastes more like a stout.

Appearance - For a dark beer lover, this is one pretty beer. Dark chocolate in color, with a nice two finger foam when presented. I was at a restaurant, so I didn't get to see it from the bottle, but the waitress poured it well. The creamy looking foam reduced quickly and didn't leave much of a lace, but I wonder if that has to do with the devil's cut of bourbon residing it its midst.

Smell - Strong roasted Oak with a nice tone of malt and a hint vanilla all blanketed in a strong whiskey overtone. Everyone seems to smell chocolate, but I've got a good sniffer and I didn't quite detect it. Not saying they're wrong, it just didn't hit me with chocolate. I wonder if a draft version has more coffee and chocolate balanced flavor.

Taste - Oak. For a once-upon-a-time saxophone player, the oak was almost heavenly. Imagine a shot of oaken-laced bourbon tamed by malt and vanilla and you've got a good idea of the taste.

Mouthfeel - Carbonated (a little too much for my liking, but not so much for a bad score) followed by a bourbon-smooth finish (the dragon's fire, I suppose) that ran to about mid throat. The carbonation lightened the body a bit and yielded a medium body feel. The bourbon kick and aroma definitely cleans the palate!

Overall - excellent. It certainly makes me want to try other bourbon barrel stouts to see how they stack up to this bar-setter. I'll be looking to see if this brew is available in my area. In fact, I'll be running out to see as soon as my wife gets home.

Your bro in brew,
Banjin Tsuki (2,161 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 11-8-08

Eye: Unfortunately this one lacks when it comes to the eyes. Nice deep red in color when light passes through it, dark ruby, otherwise it is a very dark brown. Head is non-existant. No lacing, bad head formation to begin with. 3

Nose: First thing I notice is the hugely complex boquet of aromas going on in this beer. Deep malt profile accented by notes from the bourbon barrels that this beer was aged in. Vanilla is upfront with some hints of coconut as well. An overall soft tone permeates the beer, a nice mellow, warm oakiness. Caramel is also present, giving rise to some malt aromas that work in conjunction with the bourbon aromas. Maybe some soft chocolate tones in the background as well.

Tongue: Really cool beer. Lots of flavor going on here. First thing I got was a smack of chocolate on the tongue, then some of the bourbon notes-vanilla and some oakiness. Really nice soft toffee and caramelly flavor weaves its way in there, inbetween chocolate and bourbon flavors. I'm almost tempted to claim that there is some lactose in there, the beer has a real smooth character and has some flavors that are associated with the addition of lactose. Alcohol is well hidden. Leaves the mouth with some oaky flavors. This is a real nice complex well rounded brew. Every sip brings something new out in the flavor, right now I'm getting strong bourbon notes-the buttery, warm vanilla like flavors of bourbon are playing in my mouth giving this beer an extremely long lasting flavor. This is by far the best beer that makes use of a bourbon barrel that I've had...and yes I think that it is better than Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island, there's just so much more bourbon here.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Extremely smooth on the palate and easy to drink. Sure I don't think that I'd quaff this, its definitely a sipper...It'd be great to warm up with on a cold winter night. Body is full and heavy, creamy with a velvet like smoothness. Carbonation is at a perfect level, low so as not to interfere with the smooth body. This is one that I'll definitely recommend to anyone. This is one I can easily see myself buying again. (2,156 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours bright coffee black under a clingy, frothy tan foam collar. S: Winey malt aromas with traces of chocolate. T: Malty caramel chocolate flavors are enhanced by oaky vanilla and big alcohol flavors. Dark chocolate bitter finish. F: Creamy, chewy, medium carbonation. O: A potent, big alcohol beer loaded with flavor that is a treat to drink. (348 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I've enjoyed this on tap and in bottles... but the bottles that are out there now are picking up a clean, lactic acid infection that's toatlly destroying this beer. I have alot of them and I'm out of luck! Try one before you buy a few! And don't try to age it.... it's not going to work. If you've got 'em, drink 'em! That said...

This oak-aged olde ale might just be New Holland's best beer yet! Its dark mahogany body is capped by a frothy head of dark tan that holds exceptionally well and leaves clinging sheets of lace throughout the glass. The nose is rich with milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, wood, a touch of vinous acidity, and mild bourbon. It's ultra-smooth, silky, and medium-bodied but not dextrinous across the palate. The flavor is rich and satiating with notes of a soft chocolate and caramel blend, sweet honey-glazed biscuits, lightly toasty malts, a cusp of dark-kilned and almost roasty malts, vanilla, subtle bourbon, and - oddly enough - some background hops. It's well balanced by a firm bitterness, and it finishes dry with more notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and lingering roastiness than it had in the mouth (...blocked by the sweet malts I guess). The alcohol is incredibly well-cloaked; and this one will sneak up on you! Brilliant!!! (1,275 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really good looking deep mahogany brew. Tan head but still pretty bright for such a dark beer.

This beer is labeled as an american stout but it's a 10% oal aged ale? why not just call it an american strong ale? oh well. On with it.

Very unique, incredibly subdued, but there's a lot to it. Charred-oak, chocolate, vanilla, fresh brewed coffee, espresso beans, touches of licorice, mint, and dark fruit. If the taste is as complex as the nose, i'm looking forward to it.

A very unique beer. All the flavors are almost seamlessly rolled into one concise sip. Flavor profile is much the same as the nose. Charred oak, vanilla, and chocolate being the dominate flavors. Roasted and coffee flavors balance all these seemingly sweet flavors. A touch of bittering hops also comes into play at just the right time along with a bit of detectable alcohol.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel with flavors that compliment the feeling, Not sure what this beer truly is stylistically but it has the grace of an american stout with the depth of a Russian Imperial Stout. I'm really impressed by this brew. (1,087 characters)

Photo of carlborch
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year. Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year. (1,851 characters)

Photo of Ksoden1186
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

2014 vintage
Almost completely black. The most slight ruby around extremities of glass. Kaki head, about one finger, quickly receded.

Excellent roasted malt and bourbon aroma.

Taste is quite nice. This is very easy drinking. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not as intense as many of the more aggressive bourbon barrel aged beers. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This is not really the same experience that you will get from Parabola, KBBS, or some of the other great bourbon stouts. That said, I bought this for $5.09 for a 22oz bomber and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Nice and sticky. Not too much carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The bourbon could be more intense, but as it is the beer is very well balanced and goes down extremely well. (774 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3" tan head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head slowly fades to a pile of froth, with lots of tan lacing. Aroma is dark sweet grains with a vanilla oaky thing going on, and some fruit notes as well. Taste starts with the smooth dark malts, segues into the tart fruits, and closes with gradual appearance of the oak/vanilla flavors, and light warmth lingers. Mouthfeel has so much going on, yet all balances out wonderfully, and drinkability is excellent for such a potent brew. Liked it before, still do. (636 characters)

Photo of tomiswho
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a nice surprise! On a road trip, stopped Father's Day at 6 Autumns, attached to the Ramada Inn off I-69 in Angola, Indiana for the evening. Nice beer menu, I asked the resident "beer-meister" what he would recommend based on my comment that I liked Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter and Imperial Stout. He gave me a couple samples (30 beers on tap) and I loved this one especially for the bourbon finish. The next day I stopped at a store in town and bought a bottle to bring home to Georgia. (491 characters)

Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (956 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)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.