Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,604 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,604
Reviews: 1,319
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,181 | FT: 41
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,604 | Reviews: 1,319
Photo of Salsashark3d
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Beer straight from the teet of a dragon. Feels great and does the job quickly and thoroughly...

Photo of JMC_TM
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably in my top 3 favorite beers. I had it on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC.
It pours a thick, dark onyx with a nice off-white head. The nose gives you lots of chocolate, dark roasted malt, some vanilla oaky notes and just a hint of the alcohol. Each sip helps paint a full picture of this complex Strong Ale. You start off with lots of chocolate that tastes nice and creamy because of the subtle vanilla, and as it warms you start to taste the malt backing it up, along with some oak notes and again just a hint of the alcohol. The lingering finish is of vanilla and chocolate and leaves you wanting more. This is an awesome and dangerously drinkable beer for the 8.5% abv.

Photo of stevenseg
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not really sure how the Bros got this thing in a 12oz bottle serving, as I have never seen it in any other form than the double deuce seen in the picture. It makes me wonder if they really got to experience what Dragon's Milk is all about. I first tasted this brew at the Michigan Brewers' Guild Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids. I pick up a bottle whenever I come across it as it happens to currently hold the crown for my favorite beer. That said, I am gonna review this thing by the books. I hope I can positively portray what I see in this unique beer to readers and hopefully raise the curve.

An aggressive pour into my mason jar mug produced a 1-inch head consisting of large bubbles which settled into a nice dense 1-finger head. Dragon's Milk is dark and loose rather than the syrupy consistency of most stouts. VERY dark brown, not black. Nice lacing is sticking as the head subsides.

Even being a little stuffed up, I can smell the alcohol coming through like alcohol should in an ale with an 8.5% ABV. Vanilla notes and the tangy characteristic of the oak. By the way, any one saying too much oak flavor doesn't know what oak is supposed to taste like. Dragon's Milk was not brewed in whisky barrels. It's supposed to taste like oak, not whisky. It definitely comes through and is very unique to this stout. Dark roasted malts really meld with the oak for the perfect balance. Let's drink.

I love the alcohol/dark malt/smoky barrel flavor/vanilla hints all mixed together. That is the best way I can describe this. It is not so rich that you can't drink more than one like many stouts are. The oak and paint thinner-like alcohol dominate the back end and the sweet malts hit up front. Obviously Dragon's Milk is not a hop head kind of beer...it's a warm-feeling-inside kind of beer. The oak is in your face...but that's the point, Beer Bros!

I really like the non-syrupy feel of Dragon's Milk. It laces like a weak IPA, but is definitely thinner in consistency and is really pleasantly carbonated.

I drink this think like a cocktail. It has a huge alcohol feel, but not so much of the alcohol content compared to others. Too many and these can take you under, but a bomber on a lazy night is absolutely heaven. Give this thing a chance and enjoy the tastes for what they are supposed to be.

Photo of Jade
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the 2012 vintage into my brandy snifter.

A - Dark beer, like a stout. I had about 1" light mocha head with a heavy pour.

S - Oh, my! Bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits, maybe raisin.

T - Creamy bourbon barrel flavors. More bourbon than some years. Vanilla and caramalized malts. Like some stouts, but without the coffee or chocolate flavors.

M - Perfect balance and carbonation. Close to a medium stout in mouthfeel. Creamy and wonderful to sip on!

O - Still one of my top 5 beers period! If you like stouts or bourbon barrelled ales at all, give this a shot. The best New Holland brew I've tasted. Maybe the best beer I've tasted. Always available.

Photo of Pencible
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured much darker than expected, at a nearly opaque dark ruby with almost no head. It smelled very similar to a scotch with strong oak and leather notes, rich caramel malt, and a bit of smoke and alcohol. It tasted like aged and refined oak, light smokey leather, earthy barley and rich caramel malt, along with a bit of vanilla and sour cherry hops. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting fairly sweet aftertaste. Overall this was one of the most distinguished tasting beers, and definitely one of the best oaked beers I've had. It had an intricate and delicious flavor, that was very clean and drinkable, with good body. I love everything about this beer.

Photo of Thebearfoothippy
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer surprised me. I though that the price was too high but at the initial smell I realized there was something hiding in this bottle. After pouring I discovered a dark luxurious color was hiding behind the bottles glass. After pouring the beer the smell definitely was a little sweeter than before and the initial taste was smooth and flavorful

Photo of Big_Lotts
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My current favorite. Love the bourbon stout mix!

Photo of Contagion
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It comes in a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounce bottle. That's a total of 22 ounces for those of you that don't want to do the math themselves. It comes in a brown bottle with the name on it and the picture of a dragon over a barrel, very eye catching. There is also some informative writings about the beer on it.

The beer is a dark coffee color that light doesn't pass through. Very much like Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout. When poured into the glass it forms a nice firm half-inch head tan in color. I've been drinking on this beer for 20 minutes and the residue of the head is still along the edge where the beer and glass meet.

The smell is heavenly. You can smell the oak of the barrel, a hint of bourbon and a hint of vanilla, coffee and malt. The smell itself was enough to make Ktreva want to take a sip, and she doesn't like dark beers. I don't think words can describe the taste, but that won't stop me from trying. The taste is like happiness. Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and bourbon entice the tongue and mouth. There is a very slight bitterness to it that enhances the flavor. Even Ktreva liked the taste, and she doesn't like many beers. This is a beer to be savored and appreciated, not gulped down to get another. What is even more surprising is that it is High Gravity ale with 9% alcohol by volume. Tasting this beer you would not suspect that at all.

The texture in the mouth is very much like milk. It's extremely smooth and doesn't leave a bad aftertaste. It coats the mouth and throat as it easily passes by in a pleasant way.

I've never had a beer like this before. When I say it's unique, I truly mean it is a one of a kind. This is the type of beer that beer lovers hope to find, and then are disappointed, when after sampling it, they can't find it anymore. It is a bit pricey at $6.99 a bottle, but well worth the price. If you ever get a chance to sample one, you'd be a fool to pass it up. There are only a handful of beers that I've had the pleasure of tasting that goes into my, "Special guest" category, but this is one of them. If I know I'm going to have an avid beer drinker over, I'll make sure to have a couple of bottles of this fine elixir in the house. This would be the 30-year single malt of beers.

Photo of Thrashers
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a dark and beautiful stout - it's slightly sweet to taste with vanilla & wood. It's high alcohol content is a bit dangerous as it is a smooth drink

Photo of Ahhdball
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I picked this up at Whole Foods Market for about $7 just becuase of the name. How could i go wrong with Dragon's Milk? The bottle appeared different than the current pictured. It was black with a white dragon and barrel on the front, no date.
Poured smooth and creamy. The color is extremely deep brown with sienna highlights when held to the light. Small 1/2 inch head that left small amounts of slick residue.
I smell vanilla, oak and a hint of whiskey. Small amounts of each which when combined make an extremely interesting aroma. It took me a while to figure it out.
Taste was unbelievable. (GOOD) The oak barrel comes out fairly strong, hints of vanilla, whiskey, and cream. Don't be worried about the whiskey, it hints short and quick at the back of the throat and disappears. Quite an extraordinary flavor, unlike any other strong ale I've tried. Nothing like Arrogant Bastard or GLBC's Nosferatu. A class by itself IMHO.
I gave the feel and drinkability 5's because I could sip this all day or have it with my favorite smoke. It felt creamy smooth and leaves a nice taste.

Very good.

Photo of McNealc31
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There are few, if any, brews like New Holland Dragon's Milk. Inky black, with the smell of vanilla, oak, bourbon, and an alcohol burn. Creamy, bitey, bitter. Of all the barrel aged stouts I have had, this one brings the most powerful bourbon punch. Lots of roasted malt and bitter chocolate. The finish is like dry cedar.

Tons of complex, full flavors, and at 10% ABV, tons of alcohol.

An absolute gem!

Photo of Hoploaf
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best stout commercially available.

Photo of Norvelljeff
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome BA stout. Loved this one.

Photo of SLOTHLIFE
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go-to barrel aged stout. Bourbon tidal waves knock you on your ass and you let yourself get sucked in by the vanilla undertow, not caring if you drown in its boozy bliss. This is like the Black Sabbath of beers.

Photo of Boodoggy
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip.

Dark and inviting, miminal head after a perfect pour good lacing.

S. Oak and peat, oak is strong and up front. It is oak barrell aged and the smell is expected.

T. Wonderful oak and roasted flavor come through hops there but I get more of the malt and an earthly flavor. Alcohol is there to tingle.

M. Full and rich, this is a barrell age stout and to me it taste spot on.

D. Very good. gets better as it warm a bit. Definitely a great beer this time of year and I will be buying more.

Photo of mopargoof
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I heard about this beer at the Blues and Brews festival in Akron last summer but by the time I got to the distributor they were just handing out the last one. I finally saw it in a store over the weekend and bought a couple. This beer is most excellent - probably moved into one of my top five faves so far. Creamy and delicious in a milky kind of way. The only mistake you can make with this beer is only leaving the store with 1.

Photo of daharrison
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding Stout with a creamy flavor. I would definitely recommend this beer.

Photo of Michael-GT
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. Smells like whiskey, vanilla, and chocolate. Tastes like chocolate and whiskey. Creamy texture and a great head.

Photo of tyleeis
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is dark, can't really see through it. Really thin tan head, roughly 1/4 of an inch.

Smells sweet, slight chocolate, and a little booze. Nice waft do bourbon hots the nose.

Taste is sweet, little fruity(raisins), some chocolate, light bitterness and a nice touch of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is nice. Slightly milky with light carbonation, coats your teeth but not too chewy.

Overall it was good, a definite favorite. It's unique and I'll drink it again.

Photo of Bolivar73
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my new favorite stout.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The light brown head dissapates quickly over the very dark brown with black highlighted body of the beer. Strong roasted smell wafts up, filling my nose, which doesn't leave over time drinking the beer. The taste has strong caramel notes, malty, with just enough hops and spice to balance the sweet taste. Hint of smoke flavor in it. I've had this beer resently at a festival, and it seemed there to be very young and the smoke/caramel/spice was out of balance, and had not been mellowed by the oak aging. The first time I tried it, my first impression was that it specifically lives up to it's name--it's what I would imagine dragon's milk to be--thick and a little smoke in it. An exceptional beer, even though I seem to be a little high compared to some of my fellow BAs, I drink this beer every chance I get. I'm rating the very excellent bottle I have tonight. I had the same sample at Michigan Brewers Guild as Derek, and it didn't match up to the bottle I had tonight in any way. However, the first sample I had of it at the Autumn Brew Review was spectacular in 2003. If there is a quality control issue as suggested by Malcontent, I hope NH can nail down the issue because the beer is well worth any effort to maintain it in the market. Looking at the review clicked in right after me, Westsidethreat did not drink the same beer I did at all. Too bad. It was great.

Photo of Spacebird11
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Surprisingly mild coffee/chocolatey flavors but strong vanilla tones

Photo of brewcrew76
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown/black with ruby highlights and a very small tan head.

S - Bourbon, oak and a lot of vanilla. Some roasted malt. Slight hint of sourness but not as much as fresher bottles I have had (this one is about 6 months old I believe).

T - Bourbon, hints of charred oak and a lot of vanilla. Slight chocolate and roasted malt is hidden behind the vanilla. Slightly sour but again not as much as the fresher bottles.

M - Thin to moderate and really creamy. This one glides down your throat very smooth.

D - This one went straight from Sam's fridge to my fridge. The earlier bottles I have had of this had more of a sour presence that has been replaced by a bourbon/vanilla/oaky char. One of the better balanced bourbon beers I have had (coming from a big bourbon fan). I am definitely going to look for more of this year’s release.

Photo of zhewitt98
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Such a great stout. bought this back in September and put it in the cellar until last night when I put it in the fridge. opened it up tonight and man, this is what a bourbon barrel aged stout should taste like. Just enough bourbon to taste but not overwhelming. I only wish it poured a larger head. at 11% I'm already feeling it

Photo of humuloner22
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Wow, this is a good beer. (I would like to add now a caveat: I don't like this new review system) Anyway, to the main reason I am here. This beer has everything going for it in my opinion. However I would not drink more than one at a time.

Black as night, some caramel foamy head on top that dissipates after a few minutes. But never really goes away completely.

Smell: Chocolate, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, lots of deep dessert like aroma's coming from this one.

Taste: Here you go, this is where its at. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too much of that coffee thing that tends to ruin this style of beer. It has a nice softness to it considering its a carbonated beer. I wonder how good this one would be on nitro? Like drinking a brownie with bourbon. This is just an awesome beer, one of the best I have had in a long time. I also purchased the chili pepper version. That is not something I would normally purchase, but since this one was so good I thought I would give it a try in the future.

Overall: If you have never tried this beer and you like stouts that are not too burnt tasting, not too much of that coffee thing. This I think is referred to a "milk stout", which is a style I am now just discovering, because honestly it was not something I would have normally tried. But, thanks to Beer Camp and the double latte for turning me on to this style.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,604 ratings.