Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

4,596 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,596
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,171 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,596 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of ckeegan04
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin brown head on top of near pitch black liquid. Head fades to just a thin ring around the glass and leaves only scattered lacing.

S - Roasted grain, chocoalte and alot of wood. The wood aromas come through more as the beer warms. Hints of vanilla as well.

T - Roasted grains and hints of vanilla and oak. Simi-sweet chocolate. The wood really begins to dominate the taste as the beer warms. Light alcohol burn with hints of paint thinner that really is not the most pleasant taste.

M/D - Full bodied with light carbonation. The somewhat unpleasant alcohol burn brings the drinkability down a notch but it is still an enjoyable beer for the most part.

Photo of hellcatsjg
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black beer but not pitch black. Almost no head present and no lacing either. Not much to look at.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma of malt, coffee, with a hint of the oak.

Taste: Malty and creamy up front, with the flavor giving way to a sweet vanilla and oak flavor in the middle. The finish is oak and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Kind of let down here. Almost no carbonation at all. A bit more activity in the mouth would help some. The aftertaste of oak and alcohol is nice, if not a bit overpowering.

Drinkability: Good beer, but could be improved a little. Quite smooth though, and easy to drink. Worth a try.

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. brown bomber into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Deep brown/mahogany color. Thin but smooth and creamy beige head. Slippery lacing down the glass.
S: Deep, rich chocolate malts, notes of coffee and vanilla. Oaky scents too, with some strong whiskey-like alcohol smells. Genrally good, but swirling the glass really helps release some of the more pleasant vanilla and malt smells. Without that, the smell is kinda off-key.
T: Chocolate malts and vanilla up front. Leads into a bready, oaky, earthy taste, and a chocolatey sweet finish that is suprisingly smooth.
M: Rich and full, for sure. Kinda creamy almost, but the finish is quite bitter and full of alcohol.
D: Okay. Enjoyable, but high ABV, and it's noticeable.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Left a small head that quickly dissappeared leaving only a foam ring at the edges, and no lacing. Body was a deep dark brown, sort of like black coffee.

Smell - oaky bourbon, vanilla, plums, raisin bread, dark bread, slight alcohol.

Taste - same as the smell. Dark bread, raisin bread, plums, dried dark fruits washed through with a mild oaky bourbon and slight vanilla. Well embedded alcohol. The bourbon thing is dominant, but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fluid, low carbonation, drying.

Drinkability - this is pretty good, in spite of my not liking the bourbon thing associated with the old ale idiom. This is a decent sipper, not really a session beer.

Photo of Jimmys
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage. bomber poured into tulip.

A: pours a very dark brown. head is a light brown hue and very bubbly. good retention. decent lacing. good looking stout.

S: oxidation, bourbon, vanilla. a lot of bourbon. sweet and inviting. really smells like a bourbon barrel aged stout ought too, however wouldn't hate for a bit more complexity.

T: a lot of vanilla. Im really enjoying the fact that the booze has died down with some time. well I should say assumed that it died down, cant say ive had this one fresh. a softer side of roast. a little metallic. the bourbon character comes through nicely though. just struggling to get entirely past the oxidation.

M: mellow carb. big body, but not covered in booze.

D: OK, but not great. like I said above, cant get past the oxidation. gonna have to try one of these fresh to compare, but IMO doesn't age well.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cola in color with a small off white head. Aroma is bourbon, cola sweetness, vanilla, and a smoky roastiness. First taste shows a nice roasted malt flavor that is quickly followed up by a cola sweetness and a bourbony finish. Some syrupy sweetness is cut by a tangy acidity. A nice oak and bourbon drying finish. The alcohol is very well balanced and the bourbon flavor and aroma comes thru nicely. The roasted smoky malts are also a nice dimension to this beer. The vanilla in the aroma and the cola-y sweetness in the aroma and taste were perhaps a bit strong for myself, but still a complex interesting beer.

Photo of GavDomDadGH
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice dark brown fading to darker brown. Small head that sticks and laces very nicely

S - A nice mixture of bourbon, vanilla and molasses

T - The taste does it for me. An awesome blend of molasses and vanilla. Not to be confused with a sweet beer! There is a mild bitterness to this beer

Overall I really enjoy one or two of these after a hard day of work.

Photo of Wegomlegging
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black. Black as the night itself. Weak head, but not a big deal for most beers like this. Fantastic flavor, mostly due to balance. Heavy on the malt but just the right amount of bitter, with a all background of sweetness. Well done for not having the alcohol burst through. In fact, I couldn't detect it at all. Obviously alot of work went into crafting this brew. Felt slightly flat in the mouth, but doesn't detract. A very drinkable beer for the scariness factor. Overall I'd recommend this to about anyone, great experience without the standard issue carbon copy hoppiness of most others of this ilk.

Photo of waldowin
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Gaisgeil for this beer!

Poured a roasty black, with a light tan head that fades to a small patch quickly.

Smell is heavily of vanilla and oak, has a hint of a bourbon to the finish.

The oak absolutely dominates the taste from start to finish. A bit of vanilla and milk sweetness rise through, with a hint of hop tartness at the very end. Oak is all over.

Carbonation is spot on, and the slightly lactic acidity in the beer leaves your mouth ready for more vanilla sweetness. I'd like to see it a little bit heavier, but I consider the thickest of imperial stouts to be my bread and butter, so I'm a bit biased I suppose.

A tasty beer, to be sure, but the alcohol makes a 22oz bottle a night's beer.
Cheers!

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Low carbonation. Extremely dark, but not quite black. Aromas of oak, vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate, and some alcohol. Flavors of cola, toasted malt, and vanilla predominate. There's a little bit of booziness, but not enough to detract from the flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

I didn't think this was a bad beer. Given the scathing reviews some of my fellow BAs have given it, I wonder if NH hasn't modified it in some way. It's hard to find too much wrong with this beer, but I'll try. For one thing, I didn't particularly care for the cola flavor. Second, at this price I would expect a bit richer flavor. If you haven't tried it this year (2011), give it a whirl.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Black with a brown tint. Ruby color at the bottom of the glass. Sparse white patches of fine bubbles make up the head.

S: Huge oak smell along with chocolate malt and vanilla.

T: Sweet, with oak and chocolate flavors dominating. Vanilla, honey, and prune flavors are apparent to lesser degrees. Finish is medium to long and slightly astringent.

M: Mouthfeel is a little syrupy with low carbonation, well within style. Alcohol burn is quite noticeable.

This was good, but not as good as I remember it from 2-3 years ago. Appropriately named, this was the hottest beer for its Abv (8.5% on bottle) that I have had for awhile. Backing off the oak would improve this beer considerably as it overpowers most of the beer's other qualities. Will have to put some away next time I have the chance and re-review.

Photo of wschmit
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nearly flat. A very slight ring of very fine carbonation around the top, and a few stray bubbles coming up through the otherwise dark brown body. Nearly opaque, but not quite.

S: Booze, chocolate, and raisins. A fair oak/vanilla presence. Pretty nice nose, frankly. Better than I remember, but it's been a while. Almost smells like rum balls or something. No hops.

T: This might be a bit too cold for all the flavors to come through--my fault entirely. However, it's perfectly good. It's not as boozy as it smells, nor as sweet--both pluses, in my book. Noticeable but not overwhelming malt character. Finishes with a bit of bitter malt and round, robust chocolate flavor. Not too sweet, not too dry, well balanced in that respect. The woody oak lingers, too, after resting a minute.

M: The consistency is nice and thick, but it's totally flat, and not in a good, cask-beer way. However, it coats the mouth for a nice, long taste that suits barrel-aged complexity.

D: Fairly high. It's not overwhelming with weird flavors, but enough complexity to ponder. A reasonably priced, well executed, barrel aged beer--hard to ask for more. It's no BCS or Dark Lord, but it's not terribly expensive and readily available.

Photo of blitz134
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really dark body, garnet highlight when held to the light. Light tan head on top. Voluptuous head 1" thick that reduced slowly leaving thick lacing behind. Good head retention. Strong ales are a unique category, so being a little atypical isn't a fault really. This has everything I'd look for in appearance, even if it might be a little dark.

A little bit of everything in the aroma. Milk chocolate and other toasted malts even bordering on a touch of char. Caramel as well. More malty than hoppy, but some slightly floral hops show though. Kind of porter/stout like overall. Smells nice, but as soon as the head reduces much of the aroma goes away too.

The flavor and mouthfeel area a disappointment to me after the inviting aroma. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and watery. Flavor doesn't linger for too long as it washes away quickly. I can definately pick out the slightly astringent oaky flavor but I think it covers up a lot of the other stuff in this beer. Some of the dark malts come through, but just barely. Not nearly as complex as the aroma hinted at and its one sided nature with the oak gets a bit old.

Drinkability is okay. For 9% it is hidden away well, but the lack of flavor and weak mouthfeel don't do it for me.

Photo of madeofsteel
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first formal review of any beer, beyond jabbering on about how great or horrid it is, so I decided to pick something familiar. So please, bear with me.

A - Poured into a mug, dark reddish-brown with a thin tan head that disspates quickly, leaving a ringlet behind. Some lacing.

S - Smells like roasted malt, and faint smokiness, probably from the oak. Moderate booze smell sort of detracts from it, however.

T - Almost tastes more like a rauchbier at first, with the oak lending a smoky flavor, with strong hints of whiskey. Finishes beautifully with a more basic stout flavor that is nicely complimented by notes of vanilla. Many of this beer's flavors start show through and balance out as it warms.

M - Light carbonation, with a rather buttery, dry finish. Some heat from the alcohol kind of takes away from it.

O - There's a reason I go back to this beer. Being fond of stouts and most rauchbiers, it's nice to have something with that smoky flavor that has the subtleties that this beer does. I would recommend it to anybody that enjoys stouts or smoked flavors.

Photo of TheSarge
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Holland boasts this beer is their flagship brew of their line, I can genuinely say this is not so. I've had at least one of their other beers and it was better than this, but this isn't too bad.

As far as its appearance goes, it is top notch. I poured this 22oz bomber into a liter glass, and the brew produced about a 4 finger thick head, which lasted for about 10 mikes. The body was nearly jet black with slight reddish hues. Lacing stuck around until the last drop.

Aromas which this brew produced were vanilla sweet with a subtle cocoa fragrance too.

This is a good after dinner brew, but is almost too sweet with no hops character too it. It has a mild smokiness to it to counter the sweetness a bit, but not very balanced in any way.

Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having tried this for the third time, I'd have to say it is a decent barrel aged stout. However, for the price (outside of MI) it probably does not warrant a higher rating. I don't even consider comparing this to BCBS which to me, is a bourbon barrel aged stout unto itself. So, I would compare this more closely to Fegley's Insidious bourbon barrel aged stout: a more comparable, lower level version of the style. After trying both, I'd recommend getting your hands on the Fegley's first and then the Dragon's Milk. I understand there are many fans of this beer. But I would not buy a 4 pack at the price I paid ($16) again.

Photo of dudemuskie
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this brew many times out and about and finally snagged a sleeper bottle after the Beerhoptacular event this past weekend! Glad I finally get to pour over a glass and have a special moment with this brew! Its a 2010 vintage and I should probably lay this down, but I really felt like havin a big ol' stout so here we go!

Appearance- Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque, with faint ruby twinkles of light around the edges. A coke-like fizzy brown head quickly rises to about 1.5 fingers and subsides almost immediately to just about no head. Almost looks like a flat coke...

Aroma- Big notes of bright oak, rich bittersweet cocoa, fresh vanilla, and subtle earthy/herbal hops. Slight boozy tang in the nose reminds you this brew tops out at 10%!

Taste- Alcohol is very prominent from start to finish, though many supporting flavors help round it all out starting with a lovely malty sweet/vanilla/oakiness that intensifies into a big oaky and bittersweet cocoa middle. The finish includes more toasty oak and some chewy cocoa, caramel, and vanilla. Strong vein of warming alcohol through it all.

Mouthfeel- Slightly overcarbed fizzy start may mute some of the flavors, but the brew is big enough to still shine through! Chewy malt complexity enhanced by barrel aged contributions, though woodiness may be a bit too fresh in this young vintage. Full bodied, with some earthy hop additions for support, though bitterness perception low. Mod-high residual sugars. Definitely a warming sensation involved with the aftermath of each sip...I suddenly wish that it was snowing outside...

Overall- Very tasty, despite being a bit too young- lots of complexity, though the oakiness still on the verge of being overwhelming. Pretty good drinkability despite it all, but give this another 6ish months and it should mellow out just right and be a knock your socks off brew!

Photo of BriantheBeerGeek
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage.

Appearance: I was surprised to be able to see some light through this. Usually an Imperial Stout, especially a BA one doesn't. Black/Dark Brown with tons of ruby highlights.

Aroma: Dark fruits like raisin, fig, date, plum. Tons of Bourbon, oak and vanilla. Stout characteristics are faint, chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice.

Taste: Alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, charred oak, fig, raisin, cinnamon, spice, bakers chocolate, corn.

Body: I wanted more. Maybe I'm just used to viscous imperial stouts that use flaked oats.

Overall: This is a really good beer but I was expecting an "Imperial Stout". Then again, nowhere on the bottle does it say "imperial". This is a standard stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.
If you want viscosity look else where.

Photo of gopens44
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark with tinges of ruby around the edges. Foamy generous head that falls back considerably relatively quickly

S - Oaky, some vanilla, roasted malts and a smidge boozy like bourbon

T - Like the nose but with an added twist of maple twisted in with the oak and vanilla. More boozy in the taste than in the nose.

M - Not overly carbonated. Smooth texture but a touch sharp on the taste buds. Not too much aftertaste.

I enjoyed this, and wil likely pick a few more up.

Photo of SDDanC
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 poured from bottle into Green Flash snifter. Pours black with forced cocoa head, which dissipated quickly. Nose catches a fair amount of bourbon, but it is blanketed by coffee/cocoa notes. But i wish those were more pronounce. on the tongue, i pick up rich chocolate, which covers the tongue comfortably. not much bourbon in the taste, which i prefer, as i like sweet stouts. as it was left to warm up and calm down, a sense of the bourbon was brought forth. mouthfeel is decent. a little too bubbly for my tastes. takes away from the sweetness of the cocoa. But! overall, this is a good beer to drink on a more regular basis, when in the craving state of mind.

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a red hue, thin fizzy tan head that quickly diminishes, good lacing. Aroma is caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and wood. Flavor is caramel and roasted malts, vanilla, wood, chocolate, a hint of alcohol, slightly herbal, and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is medium, lots of roasted bitterness with a slight alcohol burn, and fairly carbonated. Good beer.

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. A one finger tan head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt up front. Chocolate and coffee is strong. Slightly smoky and some dry wood.
T: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and sweet vanilla. Lots of dry wood. A light grainy flavor. Plenty of fusel alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. The fusel alcohol makes this a one and down. Though a nice beer to sip on.

This is a nice beer. Big and something to sip during a contemplative night. Recommended.

Photo of Redrover
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage bomber poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. The beer is almost black with a dark tan head.

It has an aroma of dark fruit (dried plums and raisins), roasted malt and a bit of baker’s chocolate.

The taste is of dark roasted malts, assertive raisins, dark chocolate, a hint vanilla and something earthy that revealed itself to be the wood elements left over from the barrel aging. In this case, I would prefer a non-barrel aged version, as the wood aftertaste distracts from the base beer. The alcohol (10%) is very well hidden with no heat or harshness.

The mouth is smooth and silky. This is a good beer, but the wood notes just seem to throw it a little out of whack.

Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pitch black with not much head at all, like 1/2 a finger. Lacing makes crazy spin art pictures and looks creamy and delicious.

Smell is chocolate (bitter) and roasted malts with a musky smell to it. Actually smells creamy. Its kinda interesting so I'll up it one. Alcohol can't be smelled, but give the nose a warming quality.

Taste doesn't really do it for me. Very musky, like oak (though it does say oak aged) except that its a moldy, humid, florida swamp type of oak. Hops are not apparent. The oak is interesting, though not great. Too musky, though the vanilla helps to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick, yet with the carbonation bite. I like it. Like a decent milk stout.

I've read the other reviews for this brew and I think that they are being a little unfair. Sure the drinkability is low for many, but it is an interesting tasting, smelling, feeling, and looking brew and I don't think people are reviewing due to style. There are a lot of mediocre milk stouts out there, and this one is far from ordinary.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,596 ratings.