Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,198 | 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: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
Photo of righthereisay
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a single bottle ($4.95) at a local beer 6 pack shop.

The 1st smell had an intense alcohol smell. However, the 1st sip hid the alcohol very well.

This is a pretty good stout. Very dark, nice vanilla flavor. I'm not going to claim to know what Oak barrels taste like, but I'm assuming that added to the complextiy of the flavoring.

The mouthfeel was pretty good. Nice medium body.

I would buy a 6 pack of this stuff, but not at $4.95 per bottle. I would not be interested in an entire case. This is more like a desert stout, which you would have only 1, possibly 2 of after dinner. If you plan on drinking a 6 pack of these, you may be out cold at #5. (664 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a super deep, dark brown. Pretty much no head here, just a small ring around the edge. Lacing doesn't stick to the glass, viscosity seems a little weak

S - An ok aroma but pretty faint, bourbon oaky, vanilla, chocolate and maybe some cherry or other darker fruits

T - Thank god it taste very good, I was worried. Chocolate and cherries for sure, bourbon and oak, and vanilla. Definitely a bit boozy

M - Not nearly as light as the appearance would suggest, medium bodied plus for sure. More of a sipper but very good.

O - A good rich warming brew. Dark fruits and bourbon oakyness dominate. (603 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tasty little treat I found a local martini bar (?) for the deliciously fair price of $3.50.

This beer reeks of oak. Honestly, its like drinking dark, liquified tree. Not that is totally a bad thing, but there's something about this one that I find a bit one-dimensional.

The presentation is purty, the mouthfeel and drinkability are actually quite good. But this is not at all worth the money they are charging at local bottle shops for its lack of substance. That said, the alcohol is wickedly hidden. I had no idea (until the hangover) that this was a 10% beer.

Think Guinness on flavor (and alcohol) steroids ... add a heavy dosage of oak and there you go. Tasty ... but nothing i'll go for again.

All things considered, this is a perfect conversion beer for those that think Guinness is the lead dog of "dark" beers! (835 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce bomber poured into a pint glass yields a deep dark brown body with a tinge of chestnut highlights and very little off-white foam that rests as a thin broken sheet with a big-bubbled ring. The additional pour is aggressive, hell, bombs-away-style, from some serious altitude--yet also fails to puff up the lifeless head at all, even though the beer stream was given lots of in-the-air-time between bottle and glass. I am not at all impressed as the words 'flat' and 'insipid' leap to mind as the virtually headless drink leaves only a few tiny specks of lacing.

Smells lightly of molasses with a nice tinge of oak with a roasty note lurking in the wood.

Rich malt profiles dominate the sweet flavor; there's toffee with caramel, brown sugary molasses, dark and nutty roasted barley with a pleasant bitter note and a firm dry oak backing with a lightly acidic coffee aftertaste. Despite the utter flatness in the appearance, the beer still tickles the tongue with carbonation, keeping the drinkability decent.

My hopes and expectations for this beer were high, and not met. Ho-hum. Next. (1,097 characters)

Photo of mporter249
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown-black in color, almost no head, poor retention. Opaque, overall nice-looking, but the head is disappointing.

Smell: Chocolate, sweet, nutty, biscuity, smells good and smooth.

Taste: Chocolatey, a little bitter up front, smooth overall though, slightly sweet. Not incredible, but pretty good, yeah.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little more apparent here. A little rough in the middle but otherwise smooth. Fairly well-balanced.

Overall: Pretty good, but not great. Definitely enjoyable, but I think I'd go for a Sam Smith Chocolate Stout over this. (577 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle I picked up at From the Vine in Dublin, OH last year on my way to DLD. Into my Duvel tulip

A: Reddish brown with ruby highlights and rather exceptional clarity. There a thick mocha-colored head that recedes to a disk, leaving a rather patchy network of lace. Good looking beer, this!

S: Rich caramel malts are noticeable with some dark fruit (prunes). Oak is prominent with a lot of wood and vanilla. Just the wee bit harsh, with some alcohol creeping in as it warms up

T: Opens up with a combination of caramel and oak with some vanilla and some pleasant oxidation. The mid-palate is not existent and this beer could really use something there. A little alcohol and some tannins appear on the finish and provides the bite needed to keep the sweetness in check.

M: Surprisingly thin, this could have used a little more heft. Carbonation in the bottle is a bit much. The finish is mildly tannic and enjoyable

D: I'm going to enjoy the rest of the bottle, not sure how often I'll buy this, though. (1,013 characters)

Photo of warrenout330
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my snifter

A- pours a dark brown, once the whole bottle is poured turns to a pitch black. Thin fluffy tan head, miniamal lacing to the glass

S- smells sweet, sugary, followed up boozy oak Bourbon. Not over powering but its there

T- light sugary chocolate malt, mellow woody characteristics, Bourbon booziness

M- light bodied for a stout, almost makes me feel like this is a milk stout with alot of lactose,alcoholic ting spread out like a spread formation on the palate. Bitterness at the swallow trying to balance this out... hit or miss in this bottle

O- I like this... its different... boozey as all hell... sweet and woody... if your into strong Bourbon or Scotch than this is the brew for you.... (730 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle vintage 2014:
Beer pours dark, as expected, with some light peaking through at the edges to give the impression that it is a fairly clear beer, and could be a hue or two lighter that black. Head doesn't build up much with a decent pour, but light tan bubbles do form enough to cover the surface briefly. The head gravitates towards the edges, but does leave some remnants on the surface. Lacing is present, but fleeting.

Nose is a weak. What I do get, I have to search for, but it is dark roast mocha coffee and just a hint of wood (and maybe some bourbon). That's about it, the some "proper" smells, but not as strong as I would want.

The initial tastes aren't as deep or roasted as I would expect. The beginning actually reminds me more of a typical brown ale than a stout. I start with a white raisin like taste, but a toasted coconut flavor follows fairly quickly. I do get some "average joe" coffee notes in the middle, but there's also a strange sweet tartness throughout the middle and end tastes (flat cola is the closest I can come up with, but not sure that's quite it).

My initial thoughts of the feel was it was pretty smooth and gave me an oatmeal stout impression. Funny that the feeling became less prevalent after a few tastes. I still think the carbonation plays quite well in the middle tastes, and I think the end feel is a bit silky. This is countered by a mildly light body.

I am torn on this beer. I do not think it's that great, but I'm not sure it's as bad as I am rating it. Even though I rated body the highest, I wish it were a bit thicker. About the only other thing that maybe justifies the ranking is a seeming lack of any bourbon notes that I could recognize (maybe it's what adds the "cola" taste I mentioned). (1,769 characters)

Photo of B33R501
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque black, very little carbonation or head. the first pour was pretty, the second dull. No lace.

beautiful bottle aroma of chocolate, nice oak and bourbon in the glass. smells great, the best part of this beer. thought i would really like this.

lots of bourbon and oak taste, some vanilla, but little overbearing and tough to finish the bomber. surprising, since i usually dont mind big boozy beers. not very complex though.

thin and slick mouthfeel, too much alcohol burn. drinkability is just ok.

overall not a bad beer by any means, one ive been wanting to try but never got to until today. But no reason to get this again. (633 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Label says 10% ABV.

Pours reddish brown and clear with no head. Nose is sweet and black vanilla bean like, with notes of caramelized orange peel, and almost-burning sugar. Palate is sweet and prickly with alcohol. Flavors of dried figs, dates, vanilla bean, and dark brown sugar. Finish is focused on whiskey it seems, but is moderately short.

The alcohol dominates this brew, not in a bad way, but it's almost like a blend of whiskey and beer.

(I spilled half this bottle on the floor...foul.) (539 characters)

Photo of boatshoes
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on draft on a trip up to Michigan about half a year ago and was initially impressed. Purchased a couple of 12oz bottles recently at From the Vine in Columbus to review and cellar. Review is off of the bottle tasting.

Appearance- Pours a dark, opaque black with about a half finger of beige head. Carbonation present to an appropriate level, but it doesn't look overly active. Head dies down fairly quickly to a thin layer over the beer that sticks around for the rest of the drink.

Smell- Lots of vanilla and oak on the nose. Some roasted malt as well and a hint of a sharpness, which I guess is probably from the booze. Mostly however, I get the oak and vanilla, which are a little overwhelming but fairly appetizing in the nose.

Taste- A bit rough around the edges. Similar to the smell, the oak is really present in the taste and overwhelms most of the other flavors. Present still is a bit of the vanilla, along with a burnt roastiness. Alcohol is also very present on the finish and very astringent, which heightens the overwhelming oakiness of the taste. Not particularly bad but fairly one dimensional.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was a bit thin also for me, which added to the astringency of the booze. Given the one-sided character of the flavor as well, this one wasn't hugely drinkable for me for a big beer.

Overall, an okay oak aged strong ale and one that I might even have again. However, it isn't one I will seek out again given the price. Worth a try but not particularly super in my book. (1,526 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Standard fare for a stout. Black with a little cinnamon head.

The smell is pleasant with vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malt.

The taste has the same tones as the scent, but it's boozy as hell. The oak gives it a chemical furniture taste, too.

Mouthfeel is thick and hot. Too hot.

This was an ok stout, but the woody aspect of it is too much. The price point is waaaay off. (381 characters)

Photo of wspscott
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
2011 edition

A: Completely black with an almost nonexistent head that leaves no lace.
S: Dusty wood and earth, smells like a log ready for the fireplace.
T: The oak is very upfront, I like the character the wood adds, sometimes I get tired of bourbon barrel beers where the bourbon dominates the beer. There is what seems to be a slight bitterness that is not hops driven, I assume this is coming from some wood tannins. Even as it warms, there is not a lot going on besides the oak. Surprisingly, there is no hint of the alcohol.
M: Medium body, not quite creamy, the carbonation is very tingly, more than I expect for the style, but not unpleasant.
O: A nice change of pace from a basic stout or a bourbon barrel stout, the oak definitely adds something to the beer. But, the underlying base beer seems to be missing something. Worth trying, but I probably won't purchase again.

1/26/08
22oz bottle in Duvel tulip

original scores
A: 3.5
S: 3.5
T: 4.0
M: 3.0
D: 3.5

A: Almost completely black, held up to a bright light I can see a slight hint of ruby color (have to look really hard). Thin off-white head, not much lace.
S: Smells very sweet as it is poured. Hints of dried fruit.
T: Sweet chocolates, slightly earthy tasting (in a good way)
M: Very creamy/filling, almost no carbonation.
D: This feels like an over the top stout, comes across as an over-attenuated milk stout (that sounds much worse than intended). Hints of alcohol, not enough to be warming. Good not great. I would buy again at the right price. (1,551 characters)

Photo of BeerGodz
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep ruby/dark brown color, thick head that dissipates quickly, with good lacing

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, vanilla, and raisins
Finish: Dark brown sugar, lot's of booze. Finish is also dry

Mouthfeel: Rich, almost syrupy

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, but it's a "one and done" kind of beer for me

Overall Impression: When I bought it, I was under the impression it was an Imperial Stout, but I realized right away that it was too thin for the style. It was a slightly imbalanced - a little heavy on the sweetness, but it is a good (borderline Very Good) beer nonetheless, and certainly worth trying, especially if you like barrel aged beers like I do. (740 characters)

Photo of Vixie
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with not a lot of head. The tan head dissipates a bit, leaving some lacing.

Pretty potent smell. Vanilla is the first thing that comes to mind, but there's a woody scent as well, and just a hint of something sweet.

Taste it not bad, can detect vanilla, and in some ways reminds me a bit of root beer. Bit of caramel and roasted malt as well. Has a nice warming at the finish.

Feel is good, maybe slightly thin, but overall pretty decent.

Fairly drinkable considering the alcohol content and the overall richness. Not quite as complex as others of this style, but also tends to go down a bit easier. I definitely would not complain if offered more of this. (678 characters)

Photo of dorianmarley
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dragon's Milk pours a dark, rich black without much head.

The smell has a lot of wood, like a Highlands scotch. It also has the smell of a clean, German Ice Bock. There is some sweetness to the smell too, like a milk chocolate.

The taste is a sweet vanilla, with some molasses. The wood is prevalent and nice. It has some smoke in the aftertaste. The wood is not as prevalent as a bourbon-barrel-aging would be. It is more subtle but always there. It is the most balancing component of the beer.

The mouthfeel has a milk-like coating; 2%, not creamy.

Overall, it is good and rich, like a fried Oreo. Get one at the state fair, talk about it with your friends, but don't stock your cupboard. It is just too sweet. The wood is great, though: nuanced, mellow. That does not get old at all. (792 characters)

Photo of jcompton
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours an extremely deep brown with a small amount of head and light lacing

smell: vanilla and caramel

taste: the oak adds an immediate vanilla bite. finishes with a sweet maltiness and a small amount of alcohol warmth.

mouthfeel: medium body and small carbonation

drinkability: this is a pretty decent brew. i know by the time i get finished with the bomber i will be tired of this brew. (404 characters)

Photo of Aenema
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown/black, dark mahogany highlights, thin off-white head.
Smell - Vanilla, oak.
Taste - Vanilla, oak, booze.
Mouthfeel - Light-medium to medium-bodied, light carbonation.
Drinkability - Boozy, not too much complexity. After the initial assault of vanilla and oak I found myself getting rather bored with the beer.
Overall - Disappointing, I found the vanilla/oak flavors to be intense and well-developed, but without any supporting flavors to contrast or support the beer (aside from alcohol). Nonetheless, I'm glad I tried it it, it is an interesting beer. (577 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i thought this was going to be an imperial stout...strong ale, eh? i guess the category is a catchall one

doesn't look like one. some red highlights, but otherwise very RIS looking. the aroma sports a big oaky character with plenty of vanilla anf coffee. the flavor is something entirely new. much smoother than any RIS, and much fruitier. it makes me think of those valentine's chocolates with cherry in the middle. it's quite desserty and somewhat tart, even

oak and vanilla all over the place, but the flavor is still a little weak and poorly defined

this is something that would make more sense if fermented with a belgian yeast, but good for new holland for pushing the boundaries. not something i'll drink often, but i will definitely consider it for my next dessert pairing

i will say that this beer before the barrel might not have been so good (864 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 2011 vintage.

Very dark brown, pours easily in a tulip to a 3/4 inch head that is tan colored and has good retention.

Smells sweet and boozy, with a strong note of bourbon. Lots of dark fruit--prunes and rasins--under the alcohol and oak.

Tastes quite sweet and boozy, with dark fruit flavors of raisins and prunes, bourbon, vanilla, oak, charred malt, and some milk chocolate. The alcohol is prominent even for 10%.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel, not much carbonation. But I can feel the alcohol and acidic charred malt burning my tongue--this is pretty hot and spicy.

Overall, a drinkable barrel aged beer, but very boozy and hot--even after being cellared almost a year. Definitely a sipper as too much of this will make for a bad following day. (765 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy color with a very small head and an even, thin ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, maple syrup, dry toasted oak, sugars, and a hint of earth. A good scent, but the various characters don't harmonize quite as nicely as they could.

Taste of maple, oak, some chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of alcohol. Finishes dry with some more oak flavor. A solid Strong Ale, definitely worth the price.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and biting, a little too much so. (488 characters)

Photo of TheMistler
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown brew, but you can somewhat see through it in the thinner parts of the glass. Tan head is composed of bubbles of many sizes.

Sweet aroma. Maple, but cocoa nibs more prominently. Vanilla notes, from the oak aging, I would guess. The same aging lends a tannic quality throughout. Spice - complete with capsaicin notes.

Chocolate. The caramel noted on the bottle can be found in the taste to a certain extent, whereas I hadn't detected it in the nose. Hints of whiskey. A smokey, savory quality. Alcohol is in evidence, with a hint of cherries and dryness at end. The barrel aging didn't really jump out at me.

Medium bodied. Restrained prickliness. Rather crisp. The finish is a bit syrupy, not in a pleasing way. (726 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a midnight black brew with little head (don't know if beer or bartender) but left some spider lacings as I drank. Some wood and sweet malts came through in the smell, plus some coffee malts. A little thick and syrupy with the body, the beer contained a good oak taste with some sweetness and a little coffee malt, among other malts. The oak kind of took over and this is a good beer, but not a standout beer. ABV hidden pretty good as there is a smoothness riding through this beer, including the backbite. I'd have it again but I'm not going out of my way to seek it. (577 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle
8.5% abv

Pours an ominous, deep reddish-purple, nearly black color. Even with a hard pour, the thin, beige head settles down fairly quickly, leaving a ring around the glass. Really too oily to leave much for lacing. Definitely an oaky, fruity aroma that is pretty powerful. Chocolate & coffee flavors are buried behind the dark fruits. Tastes are overwhelmingly fruity. Astringent, acidic bite that is different than your typical alcohol bite in a beer of this %abv. It's more tart and sweet. Lingering bittersweet flavor...goes on & on... Lays on the fruit really thick, and that dominates the taste and character of this brew. You can't fault this for lacking flavor..it really busts through the gates and shows itself for what it is. Oily mouthfeel & feels nice on the palate. If you can get past the potent flavors, it really is fairly drinkable.

Interesting beer from NH. Thanks to walleye for the bottle. (925 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of the first "big" stouts that I tried on my expedition into the craft world. Now that I've had many more, I can review this one respectively. Pours a very dark brown color, black in spots, with super-deep ruby shades at the very edges of the glass and top of the beer. The pour isn't as thick as you'd expect for a typical 10% ABV stout.

The tan head is pretty small and recessed, but hangs around for a while before vanishing into a simple ring around the glass. The nose is pretty heavy on this one; booze, dark cocoa, oak and woodiness, sugary vanilla, sharp, dark figs and dates. Sweetness is far more apparent on the nose than any kind of bitterness, typically expected for heavy stouts.

The taste of Dragon's Milk is far more powerful and commanding than the aroma would ever lead you to believe. Hefty handfuls of roasted malts begin to the lay the groundwork for this complex monster. Musky, wet oak and wood chips, burnt brown sugar, molasses, dark, bitter cocoa beans, sharp vanilla sweetness, and most of all, heavy booze. Many 10%+ ABV beers do all they can to mask and hide their alcohol content, but not Dragon's Milk - the booze is right on the front lines.

The booziness adds a huge level of robustness and power, causing you to respect it with slow sips and a drinking session likely to go beyond a half an hour (at least). As expected, this beer just continues to open up with warmth. The booze gets stronger, the vanilla is sweeter, the cocoa is darker and more bitter. I don't sense much of a hop presence in this beer. It might be there, but I sure as hell don't taste it. The mouth is silky and slick, albeit still a bit more thin than wanted/expected. Carbonation is pretty subdued overall, but it's not really a nuisance.

My tastes have changed greatly over time, and Dragon's Milk doesn't quite impress me as much as it once did. However, it's still not an awful choice considering there aren't many "year round" bourbon barrel aged stouts on the shelves. It's a bit too hot to enjoy in any quantity, but it's a relatively decent introduction to the style. If you remotely like Dragon's Milk at all, you're gonna love plenty of other BBA stouts. (2,182 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.