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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

4,375 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,375
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 4
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 246
Gots: 969 | FT: 38
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: 4,375 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rinhaak
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a red wine glass.

Pours a deep rich mahogany/brown, almost the shade of root beer. A thin, flimsy head that actually clings nicely to the side of the glass.

Aromas of chocolate, cherries, deep plums, oak, and red wine.

A wonderful mouth with flavors of oak, cherry, vanilla, and caramel. It is sweet, though not cloying; I personally felt that the sweetness was well balanced. With a silky, velvety mouthfeel (almost like a milkshake), the lactose shines through. A slight booziness gives away the high ABV.

I am not certain that this is really a stout, and I actually could almost taste some Belgian-style yeasts. (To my palate, it was more like a quad.) I tremendously enjoy this beer, and I highly recommend it!

Photo of fitrock2112
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the Oak Aged Dragon's Milk into a pint glass.

A - The black ale has a finger of mocha head.

S - The aroma of this one smells of roasted malts, chocolate and some booziness on the back end.

T - Wow, this beer is very smooth and has much more roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate goodness than the smell. There is some booziness on the back end, but not overpowering at all.

M - This beer is very smooth, and for a barrel aged beer this is very nice. I would say a medium body leaning towards a heavy, but nothing like a Russian Imperial.

O - Again, very impressive, smooth barrel aged beer. I highly recommend this one. Cheers!

Photo of GallowsThief
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Black. Small amount of chocolate mile colored head that left trace lacing around the glass.

S – Roasted malts. Chocolate. Bourbon. Sweet cream.

T – Deep and rich chocolate and roasted malt taste. Burnt and smoky wood flavors. Creamy vanilla flavoring almost like a homemade whip cream. Light sweetness and a good solid kick of bourbon flavor. Taste the ABV at the end.

M – Smooth on the palate. Tingly. Low carbonation. Finishes easy.

O – Very nice. This has a solid assortment of flavors. Bourbon is all over it but not overwhelming it. Love the roasted malts and vanilla highlights. Wish I had picked up more while I was in Savannah.

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zoso1967
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dragon's milk pours a very dark mahogany tinged brown. It has almost no head. Even an aggressive pour leaves only a thin layer of large tan bubbles on top of the inky surface. It deposits only a cursory splashing of lace on the sides of the glass.

As I take a deep whiff I am greeted with bourbon right off the bat, but it is not too overbearing. There is a large amount of deep caramel sweetness in this beer that is accented by just a hint of roasty coffee and chocolate. Sweet vanilla and earthy wood aromas round out this beers delightful nose.

This is one of those beers where every sip takes your taste buds on a little journey. First stop is the candy shop, full of rich chocolate covered caramel goodness. It then whisks them off to an ice cream parlor for vanilla ice cream with some toffee bits on top. Then it's over to get some coffee spiked with bourbon. I could not think of a place that would serve something that tastes like oak, but that is definitely in there as well.

The mouthfeel might be the weakest part of this beer. It is medium, and much thinner than expected. The carbonation is subdued, but that is a good thing in this beer since it is definitely a sipper. The finish is very nice and leaves just enough of a coating in the mouth, and some earthiness on the palate.

This is a beer to be savored and a great one at that. They did a wonderful job bringing together all the flavors in this beer and more importantly my non beer drinking wife even seems to like it! Highly recommended.

Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it.

Photo of mgbickel
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed paper thin eggshell head that left no signs of it's quick existence behind after a few seconds. The body is thick and solid looking..dark brown...only allowing light in at the edges when help up.

Very complex aromas...heavy cream, vanilla beans and a nutty/coffee like aroma. Reminiscent of Bailey's Irish Cream actually...

Wow...the taste is just as complex as the nose. Sweet and malty up front followed by a combination of molasses and vanilla. Finishes with a nice, oaky, warming alcohol burn. Please note: the flavors change as the beer comes to temperature. The alcohol calms down and the flavors intensify.

Mouth feel is medium to thick (on the thicker side), oily with no carbonation.

What a great after dinner beer. Should be sipped not gulped. Takes some getting used to, but once acclimated, a very nice, unique brew. Will keep a few around for sure!

Photo of jgeddis
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note...This beer is quite temperature sensitive. Started too cold,It does have a Red Wine like Tannin finish and a rather thin mouthfeel. Warmer things really snap into balance,though I may have finished it off before it got full spectrum as I got only a subtle Bourbon taste and hardly any real booziness or heat.

Look...Black,real black and an aggressive pour only does a short lived tan head.
Aroma-- Deep roasty sweet stuff,rum soaked raisins or a cream sherry. Getting a medium dark chocolate. Later and warmer it somewhat shifts toward coffee rather than chocolate and there's a touch of Bourbon,less of the Sherry.

Taste--The bottle and web site say Oak Barrel...no actual mention of Bourbon,but I got some..sometimes.

I began too cold,and initially I noticed chocolate,some slight smokiness and a sherry to port to red wine finish that was a bit harsh and lingering. The malt side flashed a sweet note then coffee and chocolate and rum raisin had a rowdy battle for dominance.

I decided to let this stuff warm more and the transition was dramatic as that unwanted Red Wine tannin vanished,Coffee stepped up with a swirl of secondary flavors,including raisin,oakiness,some smoke,roast,toffee...and in the back of the mouth,some Bourbon.

Some big dark ale/Stout/Porters do a graceful evolution from rather cold to their prime point....this does not do the cold well...unless you rather favor a touch of tangy that's almost sour. I may have finished a bit before she did...I was getting more body and sweet side,a LOT more silky smooth,a more graceful set of flavors in both transitions and merging. I think another 5 min wait might have brought up the Bourbon a bit more.

Mouth...as noted...at it's "best" temp it's a lot like a good Cream Stout, not real heavy/syrupy but a velvet,comfortable thing. Carbonation is adequate,might benefit from a VERY little more.

Drinkability...This is pretty "Large" yet not overwhelming or over the top. ABV says it ain't a "session" beer but if you take your time,a couple would taste good.

Not cheap. About the price of Bell's expedition.

Since it did come up...This is safe from bottle or tap...NOT from Dragon tit. Your Beer Insurance will NOT cover the ravaging of local villages and virgins or whatever fate befalls you.

Photo of DocJitsu
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, almost black that's nearly impenetrable to light. Some red glints arounds the edges when viewed in sunlight. The impressive root beer colored head retains as well as any beer I've seen (I've seen two or three--and have drunk a few more than I could actually see). There is literally no discernible aroma. Hints of bourbon if you tip the glass a certain way and hold your mouth right. Nothing, I mean nothing that can prepare you for how this beer tastes. Lovely bourbon with a relevant alcohol warmth followed by coconut, all delivered by a viscous, creamy mouthfeel. Very well done, New Holland!

Photo of KSHunt
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of whatthehull
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks MarcatGSB for this beer

Poured into a La Chouffe Tulip

A - Almost opaque very dark brown/black, half finger dark tan head and some lacing

S - Very sweet, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate milk and more sweet

T - Vanilla, sweet coffee, milk chocolate, alcohol, earth, lots of oak and wood, molasses, some bourbon flavors, great slightly toasted malt and a very little but nice amount of hops

M - Chewy, full bodied, medium minus acidity, well balanced, great complexity and long finish

D - This is a dream of a stout. Tastes great from beginning to end. One of the better imperial stouts I have had. Second for me to tokyo*. If you don't like big beers, here is your warning, don't try

Final thought - 10% abv and tastes like the stouts heaven would make. Try this if you have the chance!

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown almost black with very little head. Moderate lacing clings to the 20oz. glass. The smell is very sweet. There is a definite scent of cocoa and coffee present. The 1st sip is very chocolaty. The oak presents itself very nicely by mid glass and finishes with a nice alcohol warmth. This was my first experience with New Holland but was not disappointed. I wasn't sure what to expect from either the brewery or the beer, but based on this, I'll be looking more closely at the line.

Photo of Beejay
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black with a ruby red glow. A little head from a fairly aggressive pour, but what is there stays for a bit.

S: Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, and Whiskey. Smells very nice.

T: That's nice. Starts with a whiskey kick, then goes to a deep malty sweet flavor. And ends with a more oaky vanilla whiskey flavor. The Whiskey is well balanced, the alcohol is hidden well, and it is not too sweet. Fine job.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated for the style.

D: Let's just say I am sad I only bought the one.

Photo of SpasticKoala
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep dark chocolate brown/mahogany. The head was a chocolate milk color and laced nicely. A beer where you just want to take a moment and stare at it.

Smell: Not as deep as I expected. There are definitely notes of chocolate and vanilla with a very faint whiff of oak/bourbon.

Taste: Overall very complex. Lots of roasted malt flavors, molasses, dark chocolate. The vanilla and oak flavors are much more prevalent on the palate than they were on the nose. I'm finding background flavors of brown sugar, caramel, and whiskey.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was lighter than I expected. I figured a deep thick stout, but instead it was just a touch over medium. It was very smooth with just a soft amount of carbonation, which was appropriate.

I enjoyed two pours of this over the course of the evening. With each mouthful this beer grew on me more and more. Definitely worth seeking out and keeping a few bottles in storage.

Photo of ramrod666
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of malcontent
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep brown, with a thin but evenly distributed head. Nose is appealing & eventful with nuttiness leading the way & then giving ground to faint fruit scents (black cherry?).

A delicious fist sip & numbers 2 through the end are just as good! Somewhere between a brown ale & a lighter porter (the Anchor variety comes to mind), there is just the perfect amount of sweetness with hints of vanilla & brown sugar hanging onto the coat-tails of the more obvious hazelnut & malt.

Texture is thick/chewy & coats the mouth & throat. A heavy, but not at all unwelcome feel given how good this beer is; it can stay stuck to my mouth as long as it would like. Still, it is slightly too thick to have more than one & not come out it feeling lethargic.

Reading other reviews of Dragon's Milk it appears as though there are problems with quality control. I count myself among the ones lucky enough to have secured a "good" bottle & as I am almost halfway through the bomber, I'm becoming more & more depressed when faced with the realization that this beverage will soon be at an end. Just an outstanding beer.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark garnet color with a thick 1/4" head of tan bubbles that appears to want to hang around for quite some time. There is some lace forming on the glass even after the pour.

Aroma: A little bit of spiciness from alcohol is the first thing I get, and then the focus turns to the dark malts with some dark caramel, sweet nutty malts and a hint of chocolate in the background.

Taste: This is a really tasty beer. I don't know quite how to classify it. I get some vanilla and the dryness that comes from wood aging in the flavor along with what tastes and feels like oatmeal. There is quite a bit of slickness to this beer, and the alcohol also plays a big role on the palate. There is some defined warming in the finish to linger for some time. The hops are barely noticeable.

Opinion: This is a really tasty beer, and is really reasonably priced at $7 for a bomber of such a complex beer. I like the mouthfeel especially on this beer as it coats your palate with a pleasing flavor and texture that lingers until the alcohol comes and cooks it away. I would definitely drink this beer again.

Photo of hellbilly
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the first bottle i had of this was terribly infected and very sour. this, on the other hand is incredible. it reminds me of an imperial porter... but not.

pours a very dark burgundy brown. the head is tan but minimal and manages to leave some spotty lace on the glass in it's short time on this planet. vaya con dios, my friend!

aromas of vanilla cream, coffee, roasty grains, chocolate and brown sugar fill my nose. as it hits nearly room temperature, the bourbon-y/spicy/woody characters really start to come in to play.

the flavor is much like the aroma... lots of roast/malt powdery goodness, coffee, milky chocolate, caramel, vanilla and faint barrel/earthy notes with a spicy kick on the finish. coffee really hangs on in the aftertaste as the belly gets nice and warm from the booze. extremely 'well' bodied but seemingly light for how much flavor it packs in. it's not sticky as it has a pleasant acidity and spiciness to cut through the richness...

i must have been drinking a lot of craptacular beer lately because i actually had to stop what i was doing to enjoy this...

8/4/8/4/19/4.3

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

Photo of Act25
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As good as any Imperial Stout I've had, and I love the style.
If I am going to enjoy 10% ABV brew it better be as rich as this one.
(case in point, for me half of DIPAs are half of their little brothers in aroma and subtlety)
But not so Dragon's Milk. It's a must try. I'd like to age a six pack. It's very wine-like.

A: True to black form, 1inch thick head fades back to a ring film leaving fountains of lacing on the .5l glass. Ruby glints, and silent on carbonation. A beautiful sipper.

S: Bourbon all the way, along with roast charred malts, dark wood, railroad tracks, board walk, salt hay. Perfect with a robusto cheese.

T; All follows the aroma, but the bourbon dominance gives way to complex balance of roast malts, grass, chocolate. I dont find it overly sweet, it has a clean whiskey finish, leaves my mouth in a great place.

F: Silky, weighted, good full texture, without much carbonation, and no cloying. Lingers, a bit sweet, a bit after dinner liquor. But ends all whiskey, dry, firey, and lively. Fire Water!

Best bourbon barrel stout I've ever had, I'd want to keep this around to share with friends, esp in deep winter.

Bravo!

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours a dark brown color, similar to Coca Cola. The head is off-white. The aroma is strongly wood and bourbon and some vanilla. The flavor is similar with lots of vanilla as well as wood, bourbon, chocolate and coffee. One of the more complex tasting beers I have had in a while. Medium body and low carbonation. Awesome beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you jpm30. Wonderful
A very dark mahogany with a half finger off white head that melts quickly to a faint ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas are very, VERY woody. Oak, vanilla, and back to oak.
Sweet amber malts are immediately overcome by the presence of oak woodiness. I have never had any brew reflect the presence of the barrel as much as this one. Slight vanilla undertones and then a definite citrus hop bitterness on the end.
Mouthfeel is tiny carbonation smoothness.
Aftertaste seems to be almost non-existent. All of the predominate flavors clean themselves from the palette quickly.
The woods make this one unlike any other brew I've tried.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the CBC Chicago 2010 Rare Beer Tour at Small Bar Division Street.

Darkest brown - almost black - in color with little to no head and little carbonation. Strong notes of vanilla and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar - lots of vanilla, lots of bourbon, and just a touch of balancing hops, with a sweet creaminess.

Good, potent, and enjoyable.

Photo of Franchise
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a deep black leaving a soft tan head. Nose is sweet oak, caramel, chocolate, nuts, herbs, soft earthy notes. The taste is malty upfront, dry oak, nuts, cherry, tart, wonderful deep pitted fruit flavors great vanilla oaky notes as it hits your palate and the alcohol is there but smooth like a nice cordial. This is a great tasting beer very solid I would pair this with a fruit dessert as this would play well with the tart and sweet flavors of the beer.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,375 ratings.