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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

1,277 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,277
Hads: 4,722
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 276
Gots: 1,278 | 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: 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: 1,277 | Hads: 4,722
Photo of ndekke39
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried a half-pint of this on tap. My first experience was good, but not what I expected. This time around I knew what to expect. This beer strikes me as a good Scottish Ale and not a Strong Ale. Pours pretty dark with ruby edges. Smells and tastes more on the malty side: lightly-roasted coffee, touch of caramel, carbon, smoky, hints of raisins. Some residual hops. Fairly smooth mouthfeel; not super milky, but like a skim milk. Complemented by a touch of fizz, especially on the front of the tongue. A very drinkable beer. More refreshing when it's slightly chilled. As it warmed (which is inevitable, I guess) the coffee and smokiness gets a little too dominant. Still, I would gladly reach for this one again.

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Photo of HoppyHachey
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Real dark, even with light up to it you can't see through. Seems to have a sling hue of red coloring showing when up to light. It created a small head with little lacing.

B: It seems to have a roasted smell to it. Almost smells like some of the smoked beers I've had.

T: Mild yet flavorful taste. Has more of a roasted flavor. I like it.

MF: Smooth feel, tingles my taste buds. Drinks very easy.

Over I like this beer fairly well. I've definitely had better but for the price, I'd buy it again.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a different labelled bottle than the one pictured. Mine has the silk screen print right onto the glass.

Poured a dark brown in color but thin and watery in appearance. Thick, creamy head that never really went away. Loads of thick, layered lace (slightly tinted brown) just inching up the sides of the glass.

Flavor is sweet with a slight hop kicker towards the finish. Molasses and just a little bit of brown sugar. Got some fruit too but I cannot quite place it--possibly cherry or plums. Just some slight hops towards the finish which comes across as wintergreen. Medium to full body that thickens as the beer warmed. The head kind of gqave me a milk moustache.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. Pours black that appears dark red when held up to the light. Very tiny tan head that disappears very quickly. Scent is initially very heavy on the dark fruit side. Very sweet dark fruits. A hint of chocolate and tobacco as well. Smells extremely sweet. Taste is initially sweet dark fruits with just a bit of delicious bourbon flavor. Nice chocolatey notes with vanilla and molasses. Very very sweet. Mouthfeel is a little more than than I would have liked. Drinkability is fair. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this beer is delicious, but it's just delicious in small amounts. I will definitely be able to finish this 12oz bottle, but couldn't drink more. A little too sweet. Also, I think this one would be more accurate at being classified as a barrel-aged quad. The dark fruits are much more overpowering than chocolate or coffee.

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Photo of naterock
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass. deep reddish brown with a thick white head.

smell is rich vanilla with an oakey nose. caramel malt is lingering in the background.

taste is rich caramel malts with a chocolatey body. Vanilla undertones and an oakey nuance.

mouth is viscous and rich. Drinkability is fairly low because this one is surely a sipper. Flavors actually develop more when it warms to near room temp.

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Photo of derkfromwi
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 22oz

A: Thin tan head, really dark, almost black, nice carbonation and lacing

S: Not getting a lot here, maybe I'm getting a cold? Touch of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, oak, and malts

T: Alcohol, roasty, oak, chocolate, it's complex, but too much alcohol in my opinion

M: Creamy, chewy, low carbonation

O: Good stout, above average, but doesn't get to founder's levels in my opinion

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut brown but passes no light through the glass. A modest tan head leaves some film and little lace.

This one is rather subdued, with a mix of chocolate, light bourbon, perhaps some vanilla. Lightly roasted malt adds little. As it warms, there is a suggestion of Kahlua.

The flavor follows the nose, however, it emphasizes bourbon, especially in the long finish. With warmth, cherry cordial comes out with a hint of oak. This one is substantially better at warmer temperatures.

A smooth texture, with lively carbonation, medium body and warming alcohol above expectation.

Paired with a cigar while reading, this one sips well. Other examples of the style are bolder, but this is a better match in the everyday line-up.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is pretty close to black topped by a slightly tan tight head. Small with stringy + scattered lace. Aroma has a lot of milky cocoa, bready malts, light fruit that's somewhat jam-like. Taste is similar with molasses, smoother, and has a mellow carbonation. Not bad at all but alllmost too sweet for me. I decided this would make an excellent dessert beer. Texture is mellow, buttery, and perhaps milky. Drinkability suffers a little with the intense sweetness.

Not bad, but a little heavy for a anytime but during dessert beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a thin lacing with brown head that fades fast

S - burnt sugar, oak, roasted malt, faint chocolate

T - roasted malt, burnt sugar, vanilla, chocolate, faint oak, alcohol

M - very warm, smooth, rich, medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent stout. The oak is more noticeable in the nose than in the flavor. It has a solid flavor overall. It's a bit boozy which takes away from the flavor and overall experience. Since the alcohol is so noticeable it also becomes a slow sipper. I wouldn't seek this out again, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down if I was offered.

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Photo of mikey711
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Welcome to New Jersey New Holland.

A: It's black, but it is also brown. There wasn't much head on the pour and the lacing wasn't great.

S: Whiskey, chocolate and vanilla interesting combo.

T: Very sweet tasting, it's kind of like a mix between double bastard and ba boris. Very strang, but still good. Nice oak notes that have a hint of whiskey, than a big of chocolate/oatmeal stout.

M: Full and rather creamy, some booziness but not too much.

D: Fairly easy to drink, and for the price definitely something I will go back to

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Photo of hdelavega
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a deep black that lets just a tiny bit of light pass through when up. I was surprised by the very thin head, the tight tan bubbles fizzed away pretty quickly leaving no lacing.
Lots of oak in the aroma, also tons of dark fruit and some chocolate.
Lots of dark fruit up front supported by a malty body. I still get the oak and chocolate. Very sweet, maybe pushing it towards to sweet for a stout IMO. Moderately hot alcohol at the end.
Big body, very sticky and sweet. Higher in carbonation than I would have guessed.
Overall a nice beer. Again, a bit to sweet for a stout IMO. However, I like sweet beers so I won't complain. Thanks for letting me try this Paul U.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during a blackout to help pass the time.

A: Black, as they'll be, though against a flashlight, it's more of a very deep ruby or blood red. Tan head, on the shorter side, tops things off

S: Oakiness and coffee aromas, deep toasted malts. Not as much chocolate aromas as some of the style can get, but not bad.

T: Lordy, this is a pretty big punch - especially on the first couple sips. It mellows as it goes, or my palate numbs a little. Burnt malts, a pretty intense oak flavour... maybe a little too heavy on the wood. A bit of peppery alcohol on the finish.

M + D: Full bodied, not reall quite creamy... just a bit heavy feeling. A bit intense, so it should be taken easy. I might prefer it to have some more subtle oak flavours or more complexity, but it still ends up a decent brew. Worth a try.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body wears a light off-white ring. Bold cakey smell in which you’d have put a pinch too much salt. Original lactic chocolate maltiness, rather complex in the nose, hard to analyze and know what to do with it. Raw grainy dryness chases the potentially fatiguing sweetness. Somehow a powdery cocoa flavor lingers and evolves into a coffeeish highly roasty ending full of dark malts. Smooth round body with soft carbonation. Well contained oak flavors do not attenuate the flavors, not to speak of the totally dismissed alcohol. Worth seeking just because it’s so unique.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a blackish-brown with very, very little carbonation and a fleeting tan head.

S - Woody/oak fumes, chocolate, vanilla.

T - Powerful. The first thing that appears to me is the oakiness of the whole thing. The oakiness cradles within it some vanilla and maybe faint black coffee with malty goodness sprinkled in. Not a heavy aftertaste with this one.

M - Akin to 2% milk.

D - I downed a single bomber of this and didn't care for any more. This is a complex and carefully crafted beer that isn't necessarily my favorite style.

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Photo of litheum94
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Vintage dated 2011. Reviewed 6/5/11

P: Deep black, onyx in color. Not much of a head at all. Just a tiny amount of tan covering that settles to scant vespers.

A: Sweet chocolate and ripe plums. Vanilla bean. Touch of roasted barley. Tons of espresso pop-up when I inhale deeply. Not much evidence of the barrel on the nose.

T: Vanilla sweetness at first, and leads into a salty, briny flavor. Good dose of roasted coffee. Toasted oak. Dark chocolate tones develop as it warms, and a malty creaminess fills the mouth. Somewhat cola-like in mouthfeel and flavor on the finish.

Doesn't drink like a barrel aged stout, and that's kind of a bad thing. A good beer, but either needs a better base beer or more time in the barrel.

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Photo of isitsavage
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011.

Poured into a pint glass a very dark brown with about a half finger of cream colored head that faded fast. Settles into the glass looking remarkably like cola.

Good amount of bourbon in the nose, a big whiff of it actually burns my nostrils a little. Heavy malt presence as well, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and heavy cream present but faint. Reminiscent of a barley wine.

Big malty sweetness in the taste, more so than anything else, a little bit of coffee bitterness. Get more of the taste after swallowing, can really feel the bourbon on the back of my throat, slightly hot but pleasant. I pick up chocolate at the end, in the form of a baked good, almost like a chocolate cake. Vanilla is present here too, as well as a bit of cream and burnt sugar. As it warms I get just a touch of funk, kind of strange for this style but not really unwelcome in my opinion. Makes for a very complex beer.

Pretty heavy in the mouth, well carbonated, thick and a touch syrupy, coats the mouth and lingers after each sip. Not a bad thing as I feel like this allows for more flavors to come through.

Goes down pretty easy but I feel I must take it slow given the ABV. Good job with the alcohol taste though, I definitely pick it up, but it's not a real big kick. Pretty well balanced overall actually.

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Photo of IZoot
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard good things so here it goes,

A-pours pitch black with a quarter inch of head which disapates quickly leaving a light tan ring around the glass, decent lacing.

S-strong bourbon oak, vanilla and roasty goodness.

T-taste doesn't exactly follow the nose, lots if booze, whiskey-esque, roasty malts, rich chocolate and subtle vanilla notes.

M-nice carbonization, finishes well but leaves something to be desired.

O-overall a quality beer, would revisit this again, I'm aging a few bottle so I'm curious how's this goes down with some age on it. Hopefully the boost aspect mellows a good bit.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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!

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of mporter249
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of warrenout330
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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....

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Photo of cjgiant
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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).

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,277 ratings.