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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

1,285 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,285
Hads: 4,788
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.33%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,345 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,285 | Hads: 4,788
Photo of Boodoggy
4.82/5  rDev +22%
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.

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Photo of mopargoof
4.82/5  rDev +22%
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.

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Photo of tyleeis
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer looks and smells incredible.
The bourbon flavor comes out first and is strong, which is a good thing IMHO. Doesn't quite taste as good as it smells, but I can live with that.
Not quite as thick as some of the stouts I've had, but again, I can live with it.
Overall a wonderful beer that I don't have to stand in line for, and can find year round. Cheers.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.79/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of zhewitt98
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

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

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Photo of humuloner22
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

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.

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Photo of chihomebrew312
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Great beer with deep complexity. Overall pleased with the profile, though a thick brew. Dark and opaque pour with a frothy head. Definitely better for cold nights and slower sipper.

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Photo of thegarfunkel
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer deserves a higher score than 89. If you enjoy bourbon aged ales, you will adore this malt monster. Not for the weak of heart at 11%. It has an alcohol forward taste that does not mellow as it warms. A true work of art as far as my taste buds are concerned.

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Photo of JohnAtl
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. Rich in flavor with full body. The beer is a substantial stout that could easily stand on its own. The bourbon adds to the richness and makes it very flavorful, but is not overbearing.

Almost gave it all 5's, but there /could/ be something better. Not sure how.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most interesting beers I've ever had. Pours to a dark brown, almost black, with a nice white head. Minimal lacing. Looks pretty much like your run-of-the-mill stout.

The smell, on the other hand, is amazingly complex. The bourbon barrel imparts such a wicked beautiful aroma and taste. Lots of vanilla and a mild bourbon dominate the nose, along with some chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

The taste is exceptionally smooth. I would never have guessed this beer was anything over 5%. I can taste a bit of sweet from lactose and oat, perhaps, as well as some caramel, chocolate and toffee. Of course, the vanilla and bourbon really help to smooth things out. Amazingly complex and yet still simple and mindblowing.

The body of this beer is thicker than anything else I remember trying. It's almost like drinking a malt milk shake. The texture is as smooth as velvet. and the finish seems a bit dry.

This is one of the best beers I've had in recent times. Amazingly complex, definitely not "over-done," and very deceivingly drinkable.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I had this brew once on draft over a year ago and it really did nothing for me at the time but now, I'm blown away! This is a very, very tasty brew. Good job New Holland!

Pours a murky deep brown in color with a slight creamy head. Nose is outstanding, lots of depth and character going on here. Some nice strong vanilla notes going on here along with that characteristic wood barrel aged profile. Quite distinct. Also some dry sherry tones as well. Taste is quite similar, fairly explosive with the vanilla. There is an interesting boozy cherry cordial thing going on here as well. Incredibly appealing. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly buttery/milky but finishes fairly neutral.

One of the better beers I've had lately, I'm honestly very impressed. Good show!


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Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer got me into craft beer and always delivers. It's better than 2008 Darklord. Take a sip when it's kinda cold and then let it warm up and your next taste will blast you in the face with all the flavors you want in an imperial stout.

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Photo of Holmgrown
4.74/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very very dark

S: bourbon, oak, coffee

T: oak, bourbon, and hint of coffee.

O: this is a beer that takes a few sips to get used to. Once it warms up a bit it's flavors really come out. I really enjoyed this beer. Let the beer warm up a bit after pouring it...then enjoy!

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Photo of KuehneBe
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first and (so far) only 5/5 beer. So I figured it would be a good one with which to start reviewing beer on this site.

Poured into a New Belgium snifter from a 12 fl. oz. bottle.

A - An opaque, deep dark brown that borders on pitch black. Very pleasant looking, creamy head, which disappears rather quickly but leaves a nice creamy surface.

S - Equal parts dark chocolate, malt and "typical" stout, I'd say. A pretty good indication of what's to come.

T - Dear god, this is magical! The strongest flavor is that of gloriously dark and bitter chocolate. I think I am getting a slight hint of coconut, as well, which fits in perfectly. The flavor from the bourbon barrel-aging gives this beer a very nice "woody," almost winey note, the malt mixes very well with the chocolate flavors. The finish slightly hints at both the bourbon and alcohol content, but the sweetness hides the ABV very well.

M - Just the right amount of carbonation, and a nice, full-bodied feel. Very satisfying!

O - I only started drinking stouts recently, but had I heard of this beer sooner, man I would have started much, much earlier! This is divine.

One bottle will last you quite a while, as it is best sipped slowly. I'd recommend drinking it slightly below room temperature. I enjoyed mine with a piece of buttered French bread, which was a fantastic combination.

At $17 for a 4-pack rather spendy, but without a doubt worth it. Best enjoyed on special occasions, and/or shared with a friend.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

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Photo of BrauKilR
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Malt sweetness. Dark fruit ... Prunes, dried cherries. Vanilla. Hints of caramel. A hint of roast, or toffee. Biscuity, perhaps. Alcohol, but blended pleasingly into the mix to make for a Port wine-like aroma. Clearly a wood aged beer. No hops. No diacetyl.
A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque with garnet hilites. Creamy, khaki head that masses reasonably well, and then slowly sibsides to a thin creamy film to cover the liquid and stick fleetingly to the glass. Swirl it and legs walk briskly down the glass.
F: As with the aroma, sweet up front with dried cherries, prunes, and alcohol warmth. Chocolate.The wood comes through in strong vanilla. A hint of caramel. Mild roast. Bitterness to keep the finish from being cloying. No burnt. No hop flavor. No diacetyl.
M: Full bodied and chewy, with just enough attenuation and carbonation zest to keep it from weighing too heavily on the tongue. Finishes nearly like a cognac.
I: This is a very big, complex beer and worth every penny my brother-in-law paid for it in the 22 oz bottling. However, I expected more assertive roast flavors in a stout, and then, as an American stout, more hop assertiveness. I don't think barrel aging changed anything in this regard and, therefore, considering the relative absence of roast and coffee, couple that to the prominent dark fruit and chocolate notes, and this beer tends more toward a Baltic porter in my mind. That said, I too can "drink fifteen Heinekens," but I've been enjoying this beer for nearly an hour. Rather than classify it, I recommend you buy it and enjoy it for what it is, a very good beer.

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Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like this one a lot. Seems I'm an "outlier," so I need to elaborate. The bourbon flavor does make it a bit harsh, but that's balanced by a smooth creaminess that makes a great combination. The heartiness of the underlying stout itself is top notch as well, but I'm really not one to go into flowery descriptors so this will have to do.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

The pour resulted in a finger of deep-tan head that quickly faded to wisps. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights and great clarity. Nose was rich with bourbon-vanilla notes. Zounds! Mouthfeel was rather creamy with notes of smoke, vanilla, wood and black cherry in the mouth. It put me in mind of Calvin's dad in "Calvin & Hobbes" asking, "Say, where did you get this [beer], anyway?" Finish was redolent with vanilla and bourbon. Absolutely breathtaking. Great lacing throughout. It was an attention-getting beer to be sure, but it also wrapped things up for us pretty quickly. Proceed with caution.

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Photo of sopor
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't like whiskey/bourbon, and I thought that may be a problem with this ale, but NOT SO! Perhaps I don't taste it b/c I don't like those flavors?

Cola colored, brown w/red highlight, and a fizzy cola head that looks like it won't last, but leaves a slight film.

Oak is the predominant smell, reminds me of a lot of red wines, with a similarilly vinous note. Other sweet smells are almost undistinguishable under the oak.

OH Creamy vanilla oak sweet goodness! Totally blown aaway! Oak an vinous notes dominate, especiialy as it is colder, with tones of roast malt. More likea carbonated red wine with dark old ale flavors. The sweetness of dark fruit and picks up more as it warms, complementing the vanilla wonderfully. Alcohol is NOT noticed, which could be dangerous.

So smooth, so easy drinking! Dangerous indeed, get ready for a nap! Easilly the best Old Ale I've had, a unique and tasty treat that I can't wait to get again!

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Photo of Valmor88
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown to black pour with a two fingered caramel head. Reduces to a creamy foam and leaves excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Oak and vanilla aroma with hints of alcohol and semi-sweet chocolate. Lots of roasted malts and caramel sweetness. Can't wait for this one.

T: The flavor is full of oak and vanilla. Roasted malts and an almost cola-ish flavor. Has an oak-y/alcohol finish that pleasantly lingers.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Dangerously smooth for 10% ABV. I'm a sucker for anything oak aged, or anything vanilla. Pair the two together and I'm in beer heaven.

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Photo of DerelictPI
4.71/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! This is a fantastic beer!

Look - Poured with a nice khaki head that quickly went away.

Smell - Exactly how a bourbon barrel aged stout should smell...bourbon, vanilla, slight booze, the stout, deliciousness, etc.

Taste - Rich, smooth, bourbon, but mostly the vanilla, with a hint of the booze. I'm having a hard time just sipping this, which at 10%, is a worthy struggle.

I highly recommend this beer!

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very Guinness-esque in the plastic cup it was served in. Good layer of foam and lacing. Very opaque and thick. Coffee-like.

Smell: Burnt vanilla and oak mixed into coffee. Very strong. I was on the fence with rating this as good or very good. Considering I've smelled similar beers before that I thought were good, and since I like this better, I boost this up a bit.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Incredibly mix here. There are different complex layers of dark fruit, coffee, and burnt vanilla with some spices. Initially I get the burnt vanilla. Then, coffee and chocolate, followed by the fruit. I also detect fine balsamic vinegar. What makes this truly special is the heavy and smoke overtones of oak bring everything together and persist throughout. Very versatile use of the oak barrel in my opinion that also creates a smoky, tingly, tobacco-like mouthfeel.

Overall Drinkability: One of the finest American stouts. I'm suprised this isn't rated higher or more well known.

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Photo of Giggy
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wish I was a dragon.

A: Very rich dark brown to black. A tan fine head developed upon pouring.

S: The aroma was vanilla, cinnamon and a pleasant whiskey barrel booze.

T: The flavor is chocolate, coffee, and smoke initially with the whiskey and vanilla coming in on the backside. Lightly sweet yet with a somewhat dry and hoppy finish.

M: A mild and easy drinking mouthfeel.

D: Excellent winter beer.

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Photo of jones3aj
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dragon's Milk (2010)
New Holland Brewing Co.
Price: $13.95 / 4 pk.
Overall Rating: [4.5 out of 5]

Appearance: A dark and syrupy pour. Looks like a roiling boil as it fills the glass. Completely opaque, with the appearance of REALLY dirty motor oil. The only way you'll get light through it is when you tipping you glass to the sky! 1 Finger's worth of a tight head of tannish-ruby color. [4 out of 5]

Smell: Strong and malty. Chocolate, smoke (oak), and vanilla really come out of this one. Nice sweet smell. You can tell there's a significant ABV. [4 out of 5]

Taste: Uber dark chocolate taste. Fantastically sweet with just the right amount of maltiness. There is a presence of bourbon (oak barrels), but it doesn't assault the taste buds as much as a Founders KBS, or Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout. For as significant as the vanilla aroma is, I'm not getting nearly as much vanilla as I had expected (and hoped for!). Stronger flavors just simply overpower it, I think. The taste coats for a few seconds, but the bitterness hangs for the duration of the glass. [5 out of 5]

Mouthfeel: Being a HUGE fan of thick, syrupy stouts, this one is right up there with Founders Breakfast Stout, and Great Divide's Yetti. This is the type of beer that you "take a pull from", instead of sip or drink. The full bodied feel as you pull it into your mouth is quite satisfying. Just the right amount of carbonation meets your tongue and bubbles accompany your "pull" all the way down. A quick swish before swallowing swells it into a frothy beast that coats all the way down. (Stop it, you're a pervert!) [5 out of 5]

Drinkability: (Yes, that was a word before Budwiser snatched it for a marketing ploy). I knew when I poured a glass of what looked like motor oil that I was in love. If you're a fan of the dark side, the bittersweet nature of this beer is sure to please. The high ABV and full bodied nature of this beer makes it a perfect choice to sip during conversation, movies, or as I prefer, while editing video. If you like the darkest of the dark, give this a try. You probably ought to keep it to just one or two at a time, though! [5 out of 5]

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.