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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,278 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,729
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,283 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,278 | Hads: 4,729
Photo of julian89
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Pours a rich chocolate brown with an inch ivory head with fair retention. Opaque reddish brown in the light.

Smell: High in alcohol and molasses. Very sweet smelling. Followed by dark chocolate and freshness.

Taste: Very rich in chocolate and dark sugars. The alcohol is very pronounced. The dark malt bitterness is dominating.

Mouthfeel: This is a rich strong beer. The mouthfeel is medium thick and the carbonation is fantastic for an imperial stout.

Drinkability: Pretty good imperial stout, the taste needs a little more. Maybe a little age will lessen the alcohol burn.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

American Stout at 10%? I actually had no idea this was Barrel Aged until I took my first whiff.

Poured into a Claret

Appearance-Poured the beer at fridge temperature, going to let it sit for a while. Dark brown body with a solid one finger lgiht brown head. You can see alot of carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

Now I wait for beer to warm a bit...

Smell-Vanilla, Chocolate, and Whiskey. Not Bourbon, but kind of like a cheap Canadian Whiskey.

Taste-Really got alot of dark fruits. Sweet malts, whiskey, booze is very noticable. More dark fruits then Chocolate/Coffee, Almost like an Oak Aged Barleywine with some vanilla. It's good, not great.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, flavors last on the tongue for a while.

Overall-Good, Not Great. The 10% alcohol is definitely dectable. Would of liked bigger and bolder coffee and chocolate. I'll still have no problem finishing the rest of this beer.

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Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Very deep brown, with a tan head than hangs at a quarter inch. Nice legs and lacing.

S- Boozy. Slight roast. Slight caramel notes, and a faint bittersweet chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel and toasty malt. Some vanilla. Roasty and boozy, but not really that distinct bourbon barrel kind.

M- Smooth, full body, with low carbonation. Astringent boozy finish.

O- Booze is a little overwhelming, and the barrel aging just doesn't seem to match up to some of the better known barrel-aged stouts.

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Photo of Ego
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 full fingers of mildly cocoa head, fairly fluffy, light can barely navigate through this brew, lacing is good and the retention is admirable, your average to good looking brew.

wet wood, a little alcohol, subtle cocoa hints but mostly boozy wood tone

taste etc...
nice medium plus mouth feel, creamy, kind of a mild bitter chocolate flavor, the alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the ABV. This just doesn't "wow"...

good beer, nothing great, packs a pretty good punch and it isn't crazy money.

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Photo of gnoeou
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010

Poured from a 12 oz Bottle into a snifter

Beer poured a deep brown, almost opaque black, with minimal head that faded back into the glass leaving no trace behind. Lacing on the glass was nonexistent.

A Smokey acidic aroma wafts from the glass that is quickly followed by a slight sugary caramel note. An oaky/bourbon aroma is in the forefront and adds to the overall enjoyability of the drink.

The taste is a sweet honey roasted maltyness followed with a slight hop bitterness for balance. A slight burn from the higher gravity leaves the tongue wanting more.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than expected based on looks. The medium carbonation made it easy to drink.

Overall it was an enjoyably beer that I would like to come back and try after some aging. The high gravity is present the entire time that, in my opinion, would make it hard to have more than one. Definitely recommend sipping on this one for a bit.

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Photo of charlzm
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 09/27/08 at Blue Palms, Hollywood, CA through the generosity of Brian.

2006 vintage.

Clear, very dark brown beer with some lighter brown highlights. No head, just some tan bubbles around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is a subdued sweet maltiness mixed with considerable oak character. Some alcohol present in nose as well with brandy-like notes.

Beer is very still in mouth; no carbonation to speak of.

Flavor follows aroma with the addition of a little pitted fruit taste (dark cherries, mostly).

Despite the 8.5% ABV listed on label, the beer drinks bigger due to its almost cloying taste and the noticeable alcohol character. I didn't especially enjoy this one and let the fellow sitting at the bar with me have more of the bottle.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(vintage 2011) Pours a nice, dense, tan head. Bright, coffee-like, caramel-vanilla aroma (a slight astringentness is behind it all). Black. Starts with a touch of toasted malt, a touch of bitter, slightly sweet, boozey as hell (this dominates), and moves into a medium bitterness. As the booze swells back, it milds out into a very bourbon-like finish; vanilla, oak, and a hint of toasted caramel. There is a slight floral hop flavor that appears well into the finish.

Overall, the aging really helped this. This isn't too bad. It may still be the most aggressively barreled bier I've had. I find that assertive barreling to not be very well balanced with the bier, which means it's similar to an odd, weak bourbon that is carbonated. Not my favorite, but if you want to try it, buy at least 2 bottles and age one of them. The results are MUCH, MUCH better.

I think I'll pick up one of these sometime and try aging it for 3-5 years. That could be nice.

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Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured dark brown in color with a creamy tan head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a dark, bitter-sweet chocolate and a roasty coffee like flavor to it. Those flavors mix some woody oak and vanilla like characteristics.

The taste starts off with more of the dark chocolate and roasty flavors. Midway it starts to take a turn for the worse though with a boozy alcohol flavor mixing with the woody oak. It's kind of hot and boozy with a vodka and soy sauce like presence in the finish. It feels a little harsh overall and the flavors seem to clash in the finish with a lot of burnt, roasty, bitter and boozy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it had some qualities I liked but the hot, boozy, woody flavor in the finish just didn't work for me. As I said, the flavors seemed to clash instead of compliment for me unfortunately. I liked some aspects of it but overall it just wasn't for me.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Meh. Not good. Not bad, but kind of like Raul's prom night: I could have lived without it. Flavors are kind of there and that's about it. Mouthfeel is very insipid and flat like a coca cola getting a tan in Death Valley. It's not repulsive, but it's not much.


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Photo of angrybabboon
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for half of this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 5/6/11

Appearance: Pours blacks with a tan head and some nice lacing

Smell: The wood is pretty obvious - oak, bourbon, burnt malts, vanilla, chocolate - somewhat interesting, with some sweetness

Taste: Doesn't really work all that well - burnt, a bit woody, some vanilla - a slightly unpleasant lactic acidity, tastes wrong - somewhat oxidized - very bitter, some hops - some chocolate, some undesirable sourness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation - could really use a bigger mouthfeel, more smoothness, less lactic

Overall: Worth a try, but that's about it

This isn't terrible, but the flavor really did not appeal to me. The lactic quality is too strong, and this is also a bit too woody. I guess I could understand why some people would like this.

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Photo of Talisker
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle date: unk

A: black, finger of light cream foam falls to a broken sheet.
S: smells like lactos, some coffee. Pretty simple.
T: flavor is interesting. Some toffee, vanilla tones, oak, some figs, some anise and some grape.
M: near velvet, medium bodied with a semi dry finish.
O: not a bad beer. Better on tap I bet.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Dragon's Milk pours from the bottle a deep dark red tinted black with a sparse, bubbly tan head that falls to a ring around the top. Spotty lacing on the way down...almost no light getting through. Aromas are quite perplexing. I get hints of sweet caramel along with lots of dark fruity tones. There's some oak in the background along with an roasty, toasty aroma. Maybe a hint of licorice and some citrusy hops are thrown in as well. Kind of muddled.

First sip brings some roasty dark malts upfront..slightly sweet with caramel. Infused with a lot of dark fruity, berry flavors and some dry woody tannins as well. A bit of sourness shows up mid palate and is not that pleasant. Finishes with a slight hint of vanilla and citrusy hops and a bit of astringency. An interesting brew...alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is somewhwat light...I was expecting a bit more body. Nice, fast paced carbonation. Seems a bit lacking to me. I'm glad I got to try it but it didn't grab me enough to come back for more.

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Photo of psuKinger
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into one of my Stone RIS tulips.

A: Pours motor-oil black, with about a half a fingers worth of mocha-brown shaded head that built nicely and stuck around impressively for a 10% beer.

S: Roastiness, cocoa, and vanilla notes. Sweet. I don't think the oak barrel was holding bourbon, but it kind of smells like a hint of bourbon.

T: Taste follows the nose. Big roastey flavors. Strong vanlla presence. And I'm still picking up on "bourbon". Maybe it's just the combination of oak barrel + sweet vanilla.

The sweetness is strong on the back end of this beer. A bit of bitterness from the roasts and perhaps a touch of hops, as well, work to keep it in check, but I do feel that this might be a bit out-of-balance sweet.

M: Hefty. Carbonation is low and appropriate for this style. Finish is not as dry as I would have expected, and very sweet.

D/O: Try as I might, I just can't get into these barrel aged beers. It's not my thing. This is a big beer. A lot of flavor. A lot going on. It's just not that drinkable for me. It's too sweat and too boozy. It's unbalanced and wore on me as I worked through the glass.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’ve seen this everywhere, but only finally bought it after a liquor store attendant said this was his favorite beer ever. That’s a good enough recommendation for me.

Brewed around a year ago, 2011 Vintage.

A: As dark as brown gets, nearly black. A low head of dark tan forms, with a creamy texture and strings of oily lacing. Not a lot of retention, though – it seems to have been swallowed up by the body.

S: A booze bomb: strong scents of paint thinner if you get your nose in there deep enough. It’s a little too much, but there are some barrel notes of vanilla, oak, and toffee peeking through. Sticky-sweet caramel in the malts, laden with dark chocolate. The alcohol is really too distracting, not done well at all.

T: Chocolate, caramel, and a bit of roasty barrel pop up before the alcohol takes it under…so damn boozy it’s almost vodka-like at times. There are char and earthy spice flavors in play, as well, but they don’t come out until you’re halfway through the bottle because of the booze. Raisin, oats, cola, and molasses are apparent in this beer’s chunky maltiness, a common stout caramel taste. Finishes with tastes of sugar syrups and big alcohol.

M: All the syrupiness you’d expect from a 10% alcohol stout, and then some; this beer is very astringent in its alcoholic tendency. That thickness and syrup appears at the first taste, ensuring the palate is alcohol-heavy.

O: This is a good beer trapped within a single flaw; a nice drink, nonetheless. I’d like to taste this beer without the barrel aging, actually, just to get a feel for how this beer tastes without the booze.

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Photo of perryw
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a single 12oz bottle, labeled with "Vintage 2010" and 10% ABV. Poured in to a large wine glass.

It poured nearly black with a tiny cream colored head that disappeared almost immediately. Tiny amount of lacing as I went through the glass.

The alcohol smell is overpowering, mixed with some vanilla. The same vanilla taste was present. Maybe some chocolate as well.

Feels pretty smooth & creamy in my mouth, not overly carbonated.

This is good enough, but I'm glad I just bought the one bottle.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, allowed to warm before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Dragon's Milk pours a solid black, with a foam crown that's just a slightly lighter shade of tan than I'm used to seeing in an imperial stout. The head comes up to about three fingers in height, and has solidly above average head retention. There's a solid ring of lacing at the top of the glass, but everything below that is a bit spotty. The nose definitely shows off the oak barrel aging. A prominent dark chocolate malty note is sweetened up by some vanilla sweetness from the oak. A straight oak woody note is also present, a little bit too much so even. The flavor features those same sweetened chocolate and oak notes, but the woody aspect of the beer is even more prominent. I can close my eyes and easily picture a piece of oak just floating in my glass. The body is solid, sturdy, but not as full as I might have anticipated given the ABV, and it's paired with a nicely subdued level of carbonation. Either aging in straight oak isn't the best idea, or this one was just left in the barrel for too long, but the woody character in this beer is just off the charts.

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Photo of nick76
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of Trent
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
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

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

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