Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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very good

1,278 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,728
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,281 | 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: 1,278 | Hads: 4,728
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich, cocoay, dark brown near black with a dark caramel brown two-finger head that fades to a thin collar and leaves thin bits of lace.

aroma is earthy. brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, mushrooms and booze.

taste is rich, complex, and intensely boozy. malty despite the strength and the heat. earthy, woody, oaky. tastes like mushrooms growing on wet oak soaked in cheap booze. interesting. hints of brown sugar, heavy raisin, and some clean oak.

mouth is moderately thick with ample sharp carbonation that helps prevent it from being cloyingly sweet or cloyingly hot. but it's still pretty dang sweet and hot, with a lingering funkiness that is somewhere between earth, mushrooms, and guano.

stoked to finally give this a shot again after trying it on tap a few years ago. this one just isn't that great. it might just need more time to age... I'm not certain though... it just doesn't jive for me.... but it might be the bees knees for someone else.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours an almost pitch black with only a slight muddy,crimson sneaking through at the edges upon drinking.Very slight ashy,tan head that died quickly leaving sparse strands of lacing.

S-Bittersweet chocolate,toasted wood,blackstrap molasses,vanilla and booze.

T-Dark malts and dark chocolate.Some dried dark fruit(raisin and prune)with a slightly astringent and biting charred woodiness.Some flavors of Maduro cigar wrapper and sweet booze.

M-Silky and smooth with some slight syrup qualities.Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-I consider this beer to have good drinkability.Considering it's ABV and the presence of the oak,it is a smooth and satisfying sipper.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, but the light passes easily along the edge of the glass. Modest head but it lasts throughout the tasting. Minimal lace.

Chalky, semi-sweet chocolate aroma.

There's a touch of cola to the initial taste. The swallow brings about a very strong alcohol kick--very much like bourbon like the barrel it comes from. Thin body with a modest carbonation.

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Photo of twincano
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Black, cola lively.
T-Roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon in the back end.
M-Light for a stout,thin, bit carbonated for a stout.
O-Good beer could improve, aged it a little bit longer and make it more creamy or smooth, don't mind the carbonation, feels more like porter!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out pretty dark black in color. The head came and went pretty quick, not leaving much lacing. The smell of the beer was burnt and a little acidic. The flavor of the beer had some deep roasted malts, and chocolate in there. The Oak Barrels added a slight sourness to the brew. The mouthfeel to me seemed a little flat. Overall It was decent stout, not one of my favorites though. I don't see myself running out to get more anytime soon.

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Photo of unclederby
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The case box was stamped March, 2006. This ale sits an opaque ebony in my tulip and despite a vigorous pour leaves very little cap. I'm picking up black cherry, cola and just a whiff of bourbon in the nose and very little else: kinda smells like a Dr. Pepper. I give it a few swirls and briefly i can detect a bit of currant and perhaps molasses. I really have to work (agitate) to get this though, and the beer doesn't draw me in on it's own accord. The flavors are off-dry and reveal the bourbon and some cocoa powder, with a slightly sour, somewhat "metallic" alcoholic finish...

Mouthfeel is medium/thin and lacking something in my opinion. I can drink this beer because it's nothing too offensive, but i don't know that i'd choose it over another strong ale - especially given that Arrogant Bastard (a much better brew even without the oak-aging) is three bucks cheaper than this offering. Final analysis: a notch above mediocre since i'm feeling generous.

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Photo of Keepmywitbieraboutme
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Having this on tap as I type.
This little guy is spot on with the ratings. almost opaque in color with very little head and light lacing. Smell is woody with boozy plum and raisins. Taste is spiced turkish coffee wifh a slick start. The more it warms, the more the bourbon comes through. The mouthfeel isn't chewy as one might think, but a little easier on the back of the throat. The taste overall though, is of spiked coffee with an aftertaste of straight soy sauce! If you can get past that, this is a very good sipping beer.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Opaque black, with a brown head that tries to form but never makes it beyond a patchy cap. Eventually it settles to a thin collar.

S - Butter, caramel, and chocolate. Hint of coffee and alcohol.

T - Semi-sweet malt, followed by bittersweet chocolate, and black coffee with an astringent alcohol bite.

M - Creamy and moderately carbonated. Borderlines on full bodied.

D - A little strong for multiple glasses, and slightly unbalanced. Decent strong ale, but would've probably worked better with a few adjustments as an imperial or American double stout.

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Photo of number1bum
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle, which I think I got from BeerTruth.

Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with dark brown/deep scarlet highlights at the edges. Only generates about one finger of fizzy tan head which keeps fairly well, but there wasn't much there to start with. The lace is patchy with a splash here and there on the sides.

Smells of sweet dark caramel and chocolate malts, plus some vanilla, oak, pepper and a hint of alcohol.

Taste consists of some roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. Not as sweet as the nose let on, with a bit of dark caramel as well and a sort of cola-like quality to it. There a black pepper oaky quality to the beer as well, and some bitterness to go along with the spice in the finish. The more I drink though the more I feel like it's just a bit too thin, like there should really be more flavor here. What's here is good, but I want more.

Mouthfeel is a medium body I suppose but it feels thin for the strength of the beer. It's pretty smooth but also lacks much creaminess. Overall lacking in terms of mouthfeel.

This is a decent beer but I'm just left wanting more. At 8.5% it should really have more flavor, more body, but instead it comes off a bit thin. Not bad, but there are better barrel aged beers to be had.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought (thanks bigturo) picked this up while on vacation in Chicago, and brought it to a recent tasting. Review from notes.

A: Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a rich brown with a ruby red hue around the edges. A small quarter inch of creamy light tan head rose, and receded. Minimal lacing.

S: Intially I picked up pretty strong scents of vanilla and sweet caramel malt. There is a toch of oak, and some dark cherries in there too.

T: Malty caramel, oak, light bourbon, but a clean bitterness on the finish. The vanilla is less prevalent, sadly in the taste then the nose.

M: Light mouthfeel for what it is, lightly carbonated which was ok, but it was also a bit syrupy, sticky, and thin.

O: Good, but not great. This was stacked up to some pretty heft stouts in the tasting, so I hope to try it again on it's own sometime.

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Photo of farrago
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of jbuddle
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra and opened after a long day.

A - poured a little lighter than I expected, but sits dark with just a light tan ring around the glass. It swirls around the glass a little more freely than most BA stouts.

S - classic barrel aged stout nose, with a good bit of caramelized sugar, vanilla, booze, dark chocolate, a little coconut and coffee. As it warms im getting some cola aromas.Pretty complex.

T - A little bit of a letdown from the nose but certainly well done. At first I get a sort of boozy cola flavor that tastes better as it goes down. Vanilla, oak, some coconut and milk chocolate come out. Very warming and a bit hot in the finish.

M - a bit thin in my opinion and the carbonation is a bit too prickly. I think with a bit more body and a touch less carbonation this beer would really shine.

O - glad I got to try it and I am enjoying it very much, but it's not in my top BA stouts. Certainly very good and well executed but I prefer something with a bit more body. Still a solid beer and I appreciate the 12 ounce size.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pitch black. Seemingly no lacing. Not much to be said here.

Smell: Coffee, smokey, and chocolatey.

Taste/feel: Interesting. Very interesting. It has a lot of chocolate and coffee like you'd expect in a stout, but there's some smoke in there. Another surprise was the feel and carbonation. The feel is rather light, and the carbonation is medium/high. The alcohol is easily detected in this one as well. Stouts and porters and the like aren't my favorite styles, but I don't hate this one.

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Photo of SpecialK088
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A-Deep brown nearly black with a 1 finger head and good retention

S-Vinilla and carmel malt mostly in the nose, notes of alcohol as well

T-The oak really comes out in the front and middle, very creamy and sweet malt. Vinilla notes and a pretty blanaced flavor. A tad to sweet.

M-Creamy and very smooth lacking a bit in carbonation may have hurt the balance a bit

D-Not something I would want all the time but im glad we can get it here in 750's now

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Photo of homebrew311
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Holland glass. Appearance is a very dark brown with lighter brown light passage at the ends. Next to nothing in the way of head and lacing. The nose starts with vanilla and has a heavy dose of oak. A fair amount of booziness is present on the nose with a slight harshness which seems to comes from the spirit. The base beer seems hidden on the nose, perhaps some light cocoa character, but not much else. Taste is is oaky up front and heavy with vanilla in the middle. Again, not getting much base beer here, not sure if it is supposed to be stout or strong ale, but either way, I get little in the way of malt and hops. Just like the nose, a heavy boozy harshness comes at the end and leaves a slight burn. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the high gravity with moderate to high carbonation. Overall, this beer is a little one dimensional and lacks the backbone that I like in barrel aged beers. It's a nice and easily attainable bourbon barrel aged beers, but there are others I would turn to first.

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Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours dark brown towards black with rubyish highlights when held up to the light. It has decent head retention, with some trailing lace sticking.

The smell is of oak - woody with vanilla and subtle/mild hint of cinnamon. There's a subdued chocolatey malt sweetness.

The taste is very sweet - oak and alcohol dominate. Hints of chocolate and tart cherry come through. Sweet with a touch of tart - malt subdued under wood and booze.

Hits full-bodied as it progresses - enough to give it the higher of the two scores I had in mind for the mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild - enough to be present and keep it from being too thick, though it is a bit slick. Heat lingers on the palate.

It's not astringent, but it is sweet and boozy. Maybe age will calm the alcohol presence. And, while I can appreciate the oak, it dominates just a bit too much here. Still, it's one to buy and share with a friend when you want an oak-aged dark brew and if you're "in the mood" for the "heat".

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is deep deep chestnut brown. Even in my fancy style pils glass, I can't produce much foaminess. About the only thing you get is a thin tan collar.

The aroma is 99% whiskey barrel. Perhaps some wet oak and light vinella.

Taste is whiskey with some oak and malts and a ton of booze. Maybe some dark tart fruit and cocoa.

Drinks medium, abit thin for a stoudt I think. Smooth to start before the fire hot alcohol at the end. This heat liungers deep into the aftertaste.

This beer is very pungent with booze and alcohol and drinks bigger then 10 in my opinion.
Oak and wiskey dominate hereat a cost of everything else.
Style too is a concern this here sites lists it as a stout but nothing is mentioned on the website.
I think a proper discription of the style would help in the reviews because baby this isn't a stoudt.

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Photo of nova009
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a silver foil topped bomber into a snifter.

A - pours pretty dark with some red accents around the edges. very small head that quickly disappears. small amount of lacing.

S - interesting. it almost smells like a stout. chocolate and the woodiness of the oak. some vanilla is subtle.

T - sweet with a more powerful alcohol feel than I was expecting. chocolate with bourbon hints.

M - medium mouthfeel. the alcohol tingles the tongue. not overly carbonated makes more a nice sipping experience

D - kind of heavy and with the amount of alcohol its more of a one and done kind of beer. I could probably only drink this every now and then

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Photo of kenpo23
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown with a small head that is gone quickly

S: boozy for me but it has a good vanilla smell that mixes with the oak and makes it ok by me.

T: i was expecting more oak and got more sweet. i think i actually like this for its lack of oak barrel taste. sometimes i drink an oak aged brew and think 'hell i should just get a glass of whiskey' but i found this to be just the right amount of oak aged and beer taste. don't get me wrong, there is absolutely a strong oak aged presence here just not as much as other brews i've had. the taste was (as it should be) the saving grace for me on this one. the warmer the better!

M: on the thin side of things but still manages to be creamy.

D: let it warm up and have it on a snowy night. its a solid clean tasting brew that i would have again if it were there but would not go out of my way to hunt down...although, maybe i'm wrong, i do love the label.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really nice. A nice barrel aged beer with nice flavor. A little strong on the alcohol taste, wish it had a little more oak flavor (maybe a little longer in the barrel would do!) Nice dark black color, brown head, deep chocolate smell and nice silky mouthfeel. Overall, a really nice drinkable barrel-aged stout!!

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Photo of johnd513
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this bomber into my 20oz glass. This beer pours black with a nice frothy head that sticks around awhile and leaves some decent lacing. Smells of chocolate, malt and alcohol. The taste is very dry like dark chocolate with some cherry taste at the end. The taste from the wood is also very prominent and must contribute to the dryness of this beer but not in a good way. The mouthfeel is smooth but a little dry. Drinkability is moderate. I finished the bomber but it certainly did not wow me. Overall I am glad I tried this beer but I expected much more when I purchased it.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap once and liked it pretty good so I bought a bomber to review. Poured into tulip. Dark brown with only a little light getting through. Even with a fairly aggressive pour, only a small head. Leaves a little lacing. Looks thin like an ale, but expected it to be thicker like a stout.

Slight aroma of roasted malt and chocolate. A hint of bourbon/brandy.

Solid flavor of dark fruit, chocolate, and very sweet. Oak aging apparent.

Good offering but with so many barrel~aged brews available today, this one comes up a little short.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark brown color with a very thin tan head. It appears to be thin but that will change your opinion once you drink it.

S - Very sweet toffee flavors with some hints of chocolate and alcohol. Some licorice scents are evident with some dark fruits as well.

T - A lot sweeter than expected. Lots of licorice with toffee and caramel and some chocolate cocoa on the finish.

M - A lot thicker than I expected. The pour just didn't appear that way but when I tried it, it felt like a bubble of thick sweetness resting on my tongue.

D - An interesting balance of flavor with a lot of sweetness. Too sweet to drink a lot of in my opinion but a solid tasting beer.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a really fizzy head that moves on far to quick. Surprising for a imperial stout.

Smell - right away I get a ton of cocoa. Some vanilla and some oak.

Taste - starts off lots of chocolate. Some oak in the middle and finally it finishes with a little more oak and this slight metallic taste everyone has been talking about with this one. Although it's not overwhelming it still is present.

Mouthfeel - it's got that carbonation I was talking about. The alcohol is present in the backend.

Overall - the metallic taste kinda set this one back for me. It's good thought.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.54/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap before and did not like it. I decided to give it another chance in a bottle.

I poured into a pint glass to a scant tan head. It is dark brown/ black in color. I get dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate on the nose. I get all of those in the taste too. It reminds me of the Bell's Special Double Cream Stout I had last night but not as good. I do get some alcohol as well. Overall, it is better than the draft that I had, but still not that great, good but not great.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.