Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,259 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 4,639
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,205 | 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: 4,639
Photo of nick76
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is toasted with milk, vanilla, wood, chocolate, and molasses. The appearance is dark brown with an average head. The flavor is like the aroma but is rather weak. The palate is rather thin. Overall it's too washed out for my liking but still quite drinkable. (267 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A deep walnut/ nearly black color, with a tan head that flees for the edges immediately.

Smell: The oak aroma is the dominating scent, with a scent of deep roasted malt, vanilla, and a few spices filling out the nose. There is a strong alcohol presence as well, which is surprising for the ABV.

Taste: A strong wall of flavor up front - the dominating oak presence, along with molasses, smoke, vanilla, and roasted malt. The alcohol comes through with reasonable strength, and resonates after the sip. This is even more noticeable with almost no hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Soft, smooth feel with the right amount of carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: An ok stout, but it would be much better without such a strong oak taste. Also, the alcohol presence is surprisingly noticeable and makes it tough to repeat. (864 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt, bourbon
Head small (2 cm), light brown, mostly diminishing to a broken 2 mm ring
Lacing OK – small islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with a moderately sweet bourbon taste, ends with a lightly sweet lactose taste; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. Ends with an alcohol stomach burn.
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation.

This is an average bourbon barrel stout – nothing special. Appearance is OK, aroma promises goodness that the taste doesn’t provide. Once again, the palate is the best part of this beer. (620 characters)

Photo of Trent
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Gave this one another try - on tap in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark chocolate brown with white lacing.
Smells of vanilla and bourbon - neither is overpowering.
The taste and feel work in concert for a silky smooth finish. The ABV is not present at all in the glass, even with the backdrop bourbon.

Using a milk stout gives the advantage of having a very light and creamy base. However, in a strange way it still feels that the glass is missing a component. This beer seems almost TOO smooth at times.

Overall, it's a good beer that is available year-round. It is better on tap than in the bottle, in my opinion (621 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Served in a chiller drink glass. Odd...college bar. On tap?

A. Appears like a coca cola with no head and dark brown body. Is this beer?

S. A bit off. Well water and some distant malt. Im a bit scared..

T. Puts my worries at ease after the poor presentation. A nice roasted malt flavor. A bit of coffee as it warms. Hints of vanilla. Slight earthy hop bitters even it out. No noticable alcohal. Slighty nutty finish.

M. The best attribute of this one. Ultra smooth and oh so creamy.

D. A full bodied as hell, flavorful and robust ale. Not reccommended for anything other than a dessert beer/night cap. Worthy of a purchase. (643 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz provided by theblackmallard.

had this previously at the map room and ranked up with my all-time favs. 22oz bottles? gotta get me some!

poured dark, black, sultry into a tulip. lots of off-white soapy foam which really doesn't play to the creamy profile i desire from this beer. aroma mixes the vanilla and woody bourbon with a hop tinge and fruity tartness. sort of strange, but i digress. taste echoes the aroma sentiment.. the original barrel flavor is there backed by a nice caramel sweetness. however, the overcarbonation in the bottle mixed with some abrasively acidic esters make this version far inferior to last years fresher pour. kind of a disappointment, but the finishing flavors are good. the lemony hop zest wears out and leaves a nice vanilla/banana pina colada thing in my mouth.. different from what i remember but still enjoyable.

overall, i probably wouldn't revisit the bottles but will seek this out on tap wherever it may roam. (963 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got 2 bottles of this beer, 1 from a BIF pool and 1 as an extra in a trade.
I should write this stuff down, anyway...
Thanks Dudes!

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

Dark colored brew but then again, what color is an American Strong Ale supposed to be?... Good!
Alcohol/Bourbon aroma and not much else.
Roasted malt upfront with the bourbon/alcohol flavor taking over rather quickly.
Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
I don't know about this one?...
I have a 2nd bottle to age a bit more but for now I'd have to say the drinkability is average. (551 characters)

Photo of bradford
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a trade with stopbarking
Looked weird straight from the get go. Muddy brownish black with minimal head and a good bit of lacing
Smelled off as well. A weird yeasty odor comes through, not offensive but not bery inviting either
Taste was where I really got lost. Tasted more like a Belgian interpretation of a chocolate stout. All the character of a stout, except a very distinctive Belgian yeast taste
Mouthfeel sucked. It was thick, but a muddy gross feeling like after waking up hung over and not brushing your teeth for hours.
Despite all the downfalls, this beer is still drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try it, just won't seek it out in the future (681 characters)

Photo of MrDanno96
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours pitch black with about a finger of fluffy off-white head.

S: Strong aromas of oak, vanilla, and alcohol - the oak barrel really stands out on the nose. Hints of chocolate and caramel in the background.

T: The flavor is dominated almost exclusively by the oak barrel characteristics. It's very hot with lots of bourbon and vanilla flavor throughout. The vanilla becomes almost cloying in the finish. As the brew warms, it gains a little dark chocolate bitterness and balances out somewhat. Overall, however, the flavor is too unbalanced.

M: Full bodied with slight carbonation and very hot.

D: I suppose it makes sense that "Dragon's Milk" is hot and burning - but I'm not a dragon and need more balance than what this brew has to offer. (753 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass. 2010 vintage.

Pours a fairly thick black color with a thinner crop of tanned head, leaving some spotty film and lacing behind.

Scents of sweet licorice and chocolate, smoky edges, some alcohol heat and earthiness on the back end.

Begins with some syrupy sweetness and roasted earthy malt. Bitter hops coupled with dark chocolate and molasses. Light smoke with some woodiness and soft bourbon notes. Finishes with some additional alcohol heat, understated vanilla, and a bit of anise.

Fuller body, sticky and syrupy, decent carbonation. Drinks pretty decent, although I really would have liked more barrel presence and better meshed flavor. This is one of those beers that I've passed up about 200 times before and now I kinda see why. (781 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Dragon's Milk Stout pours a black color, with very little head. There is a very warm heavy alcohol smell, with a little bit of coffee, and chocolate aromas. The taste is very heavy on coffee, and the alcohol hits you, and almost burns. Drinking this is almost like tacking a shot of alcohol, I don't know how many of these I could drink. Overall this is a pretty interesting beer, I think it would be great, if the alcohol was tuned down. (438 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle to tulip glass.

Pours kind of thin looking for a "high gravity" ba stout, black with a cap of sand colored head which quickly recedes to a ring. Good retention and no lacing. Smell is a somewhat one-dimensional creamy vanilla, with some alcohol, oak, and chocolate malt as well. Taste is kind of harsh oak, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Light body and medium-light carbonation. Kind of flabby, and could use some more heft. Overall, this is pretty mediocre. I would pass in the future. (497 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark reddish color with a thin, creamy tan head that's gone before the end of the glass. Dark, sticky, malty aromas...vanilla, toffee, and chocolate cake. Lots of sweet dark flavor. Brown sugar, chocolate, syrup...everything sweet. Oakiness. Full body, smooth and heavy feeling. One glass is enough for me. Good with dessert maybe. (331 characters)

Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -1 inch head, few lace lines,

N - vanilla/coffee and alcohol

M - thick and creamy. A bit sticky

T - vanilla/oak and black coffee start it off followed by some bitterness and finishes with the alcohol

O - nice stout. Would have liked the alcohol to have a bit more masked but would definitely buy again (309 characters)

Photo of Gladius270
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Beer pours deep brown with about a 1/2 inch tan head that laces nicely and persists in a ring around the glass. Where light makes it through, it appears deep ruby red.

S- The smell hit me as soon as I took the cap off of the bottle. First and foremost, I get a boozy smell that reminds me alot of scotch. Some nutty coffee tries to come through, but is mostly beaten back by this scotch-like smell.

T- Much like the nose, booze dominates the taste right up front. There is a taste that develops that I describe almost like the char you would find on a burnt steak, then ends with dark roast coffee.

M- Immediately causes a mild sting to the tongue, which I like. Feels fairly light in the mouth, I think as a result of the stinging/numbing I feel from it. Nice warming feeling that results from the ABV in this one.

O- This beer would be absolutely fantastic if there were a lower ABV version. The booze takes center stage here and is too much at times. If the underlying flavors didn't have to compete in this one, I would rate it much higher. (1,051 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Thin khaki head, the beer itself is blackish with some red hues escaping.

smell: This beer smells really wierd, seems to share alot of characteristics with the darker red wines. I smell tannins, and what I think are tart cherry and blackberry notes. Slight roasted aromas. Definately some oakiness in there. Not many hops that I can pick up on, and the slightest tinge of alcohol.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is almost high and the body on the heavier side of light.

taste: I am picking up on some tart cherry-like flavors, and an almost lambic like sourness. Is this a bad bottle? Hard to differentiate between any hop bitterness that may be present and the astringency. Slight roasted, coffee like flavors. Obvious oak characteristics are present, too much so. Aftertaste is sour with an almost chalky feeling left in the mouth, and just a tiny hint of cocoa on the senses.

Thanks dirtylou for the two bottles. This bottle has been in the cellar since June, and I think I am going to have to keep the other in there until then next year to see if there is any improvement. At this point, it is a strange, slightly offensive beer. I started at cellar temperature of 50 Fahrenheit and the beer definately got better as it became even warmer, almost to room temperature. The more I drank, the better it tasted. (1,330 characters)

Photo of redmosquito
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby brown with a beige head that left lace along the edge of the glass. Aroma is a blend of coffee, rich toasted malt and oak. Flavor is similar, sweet, oaky, slightly tart, with a whiskey finish as it warms. The body is okay, not as big as I would have expected. Overall, this was a nice experience, but I found myself slightly disappointed (New Holland makes some of the best beers in the Midwest). (409 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a coffee or cola brown-black with a half inch khaki head that has very tight bubbles and that falls to a lace and leaves decent cling. Bold and robust--somewhat spicy, even--roasted malt notes in the nose. A bit of rye bread, molasses, and more subtle dark chocolate in the mix, as well. The taste has very pronounced, thick, bittersweet molasses up front: It's almost like taking a sip of liquified Good & Plenty candies...well, probably more pleasant than that. Following this is clear alcohol that persists throughout the life of the flavor on the palate. There's a roasted caramel malt flavor--quite bitter--that lingers for some time at the close. There's a vanilla presence, but it takes a backseat to the molasses and caramel. Overall, there's too much medicinal alcohol flavor and bitterness to really enjoy the subtleties of this one. The feel is heavy and dense and far too syrupy for my liking. Though I enjoy higher-density brews, I'd rather not drink beers that are reminiscent of robitussin.

I wanted to like this beer, but that cough syrup quality puts me off every time. I think that less pronounced alcohol flavor would have helped things a lot; but that's certainly a challenge when you're producing a beer with 10% ABV. I can definitely appreciate the little things about Dragon's Milk, but the sum of the parts is certainly a letdown. (1,361 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours dark brown (almost black) leaving a ring of foam around the glass from my slow pour.

Smells of carmel and sweet alcohol.

Taste includes an odd balance of sour, like strange sour, wet ashes, sweet alcohol, and a slight hop bite. But - the most unusual flavor is a bite like you get in a cup of chai-spice tea... ...and that stands out quite a bit...

I can't decide if I like this or not, a lot of odd things are going on in many different directions. most of these are good, but it is... wierd. I rated this a 3 in taste - it has tastes that exceed that, and lots of character, flavor and taste - but it is too all-over-the-place to consider it superb.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but slightly wet. I am not a fan of a wet mouthfeel.

Finish is a bit astringent, with a ashes-like flavor left behind along with a bit of sour.

This is worth at least trying. It is very interesting and unusual. If you see it, DON'T pass it up. I've not had anything like it. I'm not sure I want more, but i am very glad I tried it. (1,033 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Freshly tapped keg at Wino's Depot...

The barrel rolling off of this stuff is intense to say the least... Very little malt or chocolate aromas to speak of. This one showcases the oak in a mighty way, almost overpoweringly so... Very earthy and dank...

I guess it's my imagination but I almost get a bourbon like sweetness to this? It has to be the oak imparting that earthy woodiness to the beer... Roasted malts attempt to peek through here and there but this is a wood-fest...

This one was ok but a little too one dimensional for my tastes... The oak was overpowering and didn't do this beer any favors... (610 characters)

Photo of mscudder
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Into a snifter.

A - Deep hue with a thin tan head. Fair lacing and retention.

S - A bit odd with this mixture here... Effort reveals a mix of vanilla, sweet malts, chocolate, bourbon, light oak and some dark fruits. Generally a brew like this is more robust. Oh well.

T - Tart for a stout. I feel it leads into a wealth of other flavors, just setting them up poorly. The flavors are equal to those in the nose, all complex and balanced. The initial tartness just kills it for me.

M - A large medium body that is silky smooth. Less than moderate carbonation.

O - This one had some hype from a few well versed friends. Sadly, this one disappoints. (650 characters)

Photo of winomark
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown with a bit of reddish hues. Aromas of vanilla and smoke, with noticable alcohol sweetness. Vanilla and oaky tones control a mild palate. Again, the alcohol adds sweetness and some thickness. Dark, toasty malt, but not too strong. Coating mouthfeel, but with a mild, lingering finish. A pleasant beer, IMO. Oak and vanilla add a nice complexity to an otherwise ordinary brew. Still, worth a try. (418 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up this brew from Whole Foods for about $8.50. This will be my first brew from New Holland. Drank out of my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with hints of dark maroon highlights around the edges. Absolutely zero head, zero lacing, zero cap and a super thin collar that looks really out of place. One of the worst looking brews I've ever seen.
Smell- Very soft tones of vanilla bean and light bourbon oak. Some chocolate and caramel hide behind the vanilla but nothing real crazy. A bit more subdued than I was hoping but I'm sure the taste will be a bit more my style.
Taste- Much more intense than the nose. Starts with a sweet caramel/bourbon mix that is more bourbon than caramel. Lots of vanilla and toasted oak really come through in the in the middle before a dark bitter roast cuts some of the sweetness. This brew has more of a vanilla side to it then I've ever tasted before. Fairly hot from the 8.5% ABV but not enough to really take away from the tastiness of this brew.
Mouthfeel- This brew feels exactly like it looks. It's really thin and has very little body with almost zero carbonation.
Drinkability- This brew is a rollercoaster. It looks horrible, smells pretty weak, tastes damn good and feels as horrible as it looks. I guess what really matters is how a beer tastes and this one is tasty. As a beer to review, this one looks bad on paper. BUT, if I was just sitting watching football or something this is a tasty barrel aged brew. (1,504 characters)

Photo of CapitalGains
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured and tasted a 22 oz. bottle, Vintage 2010 into a Deschutes snifter. 6/3/2011.

A: Pours a deep brown/black. Not nearly as black when looking down while drinking. Moderate head formation with a dirty gold/white gradient from bottom to top, head retention is minimal and de minimis lacing exists as it is consumed.

S: Mostly scents of milk chocolate and vanilla, very faint scent of wooden/oaken attributes, surprising amount of alcohol at the tail-end of each smell. The smell of alcohol was also much more prevalent in the remaining ounces of the snifter as well as the beer warms, relative to a full initial pour. Kind of disappointed.

T: By and large lightly roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla are the dominant drivers according to my taste buds. Notes of caramel and oak once the beer warmed up and after the first fews sips. Almost no hop bitterness to this one. Surprising amount of alcohol in this one, though I figure that might mellow out a bit with some additional time on it.

M: I've never had dragon's milk in real life (well, maybe in a RPG...or wait, I think that was dragon's blood) but if such a thing existed this beer's mouthfeel would probably nail it. Medium-heavy, creamy mouthfeel initially which fades as the sip goes down. Starts out like a milkshake with too little ice cream mixed in. Perhaps some day I will slay a black dragon and will be able to do a side-by-side comparison. Until then I'll have to make arbitrary assumptions about what real dragon's milk feels like. Oh well! I digress...

O: This is decent stout overall. I did not get much out of from the oak-barrel aging but that could be due the lack of extended aging to develop more of those characteristics. For its style it's hard to find anything remarkable about it. The chocolate and vanilla that I gather from it make it sweeter than most other 9-11% barrel aged stouts I've had. I vaguely remember having this on-tap a few years back but I don't recall many of the attributes then as I was still (and still am) in the infancy of my beer tasting lifetime. I do not recall the exact price I paid for this 22 oz. but I believe it was somewhere in the range of $6.50-8.00. (2,173 characters)

Photo of mooselvlt
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. About a fingers worth of copper foam which quickly dissipates.

A - Deep mahogony color. Copper head quickly dissipated and the brew leaves very little lacing

S - Hmm....a little more booze in the nose than I expected. Some oak mixed in but predominately smells of bourbon.

T -Taste is boozy right up front, with subtle hints of vanilla and perhaps a little chocolate.

M - Probably my favorite aspect of this one. Smooth and somewhat rich but not thick. More of a medium type feel. Satisfying

O - Not quite what I expected. Its pretty smooth, drinkable. Not overpowering for a 10.0%. I have mixed feelings about it but its a good one. Lingers on the tongue but not in a bad way. At $14 for a 4 pack....doubt I will go out of my way to do this one again though (805 characters)

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