Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

4,595 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,595
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,169 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,595 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a one finger mocha colored cap. Head rises and falls really quickly. Little to no lacing left behind.

The aroma is a little muted. Some milk chocolate, bourbon notes, and a little bit of dark roast. Pretty straightforward.

On the palate, this guy follows the nose. Milk chocolate with bourbon come out of the gate first before bitter dark roast takes over in the finish. Meh. There is nothing here that is separating itself from the rest of the pack.

Medium body with a touch of booze in the finish. The carbonation is a little high.

I like my barrel aged beers to be big and bold. This guy is neither. Straightforward and slightly above average in spots.

Photo of cproioi
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby color with a creamy white head that is seated on top. The nose is full of dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. The taste comes in with the same notes ion the aroma with a little more accents on the chocolate and the malts. However, it tastes a little oxidized sadly enough. It's a wonderfully creamy body that leaves a wonderful finish that lingers suggesting to take another drink.

Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a molassy dark brown - NOT opaque however - light penetrates through with an amber glow. The aroma of vanilla is there - but no clue of the wood. The initial mouthfeel was lighter than expected as this is billed as from the High Gravity Series and I had expected a maltier (thicker) body. The first taste revealed the high gravity was more at> alcohal content than malt and thus more watery. This can be appreciated in many circles - I recall a friend's college dorm homebrew recipe called "Beggers Blend" impressively gifted in a high gravity Alc-by-Vol content that was sought after for any late hours party (it was basically a dextrose bomb). That comment aside, this beer definitely has more craft at work than those creations. The oak shows up in the flavor in front trumpet while the vanilla plays Montovani (cascading background strings). I'd like to see more work on this creation more at> heavier body while maintaining the Alc-by-Vol. It is a nice beer with a great name and crafte base that deserves a little further in refinements.

Photo of Bad_1
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Didn't have the flavor i expected from the description.

Photo of smakawhat
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2013, poured into a large snifter glass.

One of the lightest barrel aged stouts I've seen. Deep mahogany brown, comes out a perfect light chestnut from the bottle, and looks a little watery on the pour. Head is very light tan about a finger, and disappears pretty quickly. Leaves a thin puck, slightly filmy looking, with a bit of leg action. Like the lightness but not the slickness, otherwise looking alright.

Interesting subtle nose. Light hints of caramel and butterscotch toffee. Quite clean smelling and seems like it could be a wet palate. Light hint of booze and fusel burn on the aroma.

Interesting palate here. A sharp quick carbonation hits my mouth, with a bit of strange sting. Real bizarre bitterness on this, and sooty charring. Wet bodied, but manages to have a bit of caramel and butterscotch angle similar to candy. A bit of a warm boozy heat, and almost well bar drink cheap booze aftertaste. Slightly candied sweetness but not overly sugary, with some taffy like quality, and a mouthfeel that just gets quite thin and doesn't coat.

The beer actually starts off pretty good, but strangely gets a bit more thin and lifeless as time goes on. There's nearly no flavor in the back palate or the finish either which seems real odd and doesn't give a good round oak character. I get the sense this beer spent barely any time at all in a barrel.

Photo of plastik
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A. Dark color. Ruby red highlights. Not as dark or thick as I'd like.

S. Sweet and malty.

T. Very flavorful - Dominant oak, vanilla undertones, syrupy and sweet, yet a bit bitter on the start and finish. Not really a fan of the oak, it comes off to strong. Also the alcohol is a bit forward, more than i feel that it should be.

M. Lacking body and substance. The mouthfeel is actually very disappointing, this brew is thinner than I'd expect from a stout.

D. No thanks, I wouldn't have more than one.

Photo of beagle75
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color with less than one finger of diminishing light beige foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Roast is moderately intense and unctuous, while bourbon is approachable, like a children's breakfast cereal. The smell becomes remarkably savory as the beer warms. Spirit is detectable, but not oppressively boozy.

T: Begins off-dry, with dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Acidity is strong into the boozy middle, where aromatic bourbon becomes overbearing at times. The finish is ashy and moderately bitter.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic and warm on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This is a mediocre bourbon-treated stout, able to boast an appealing mid-range smell but unable to follow up with its other qualities. The flavor is beguiling for a couple or three beats until acidity surges and the playbook goes out the window. Textures struggle similarly, but without much in the way of an upside to offer counterpoint. Sometimes in artisanal beer you don't get what you paid for; and sometimes, as in the case of this relatively low-priced beer, you do.

Photo of CWBlues
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark black with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Roasted malts dominate the nose, with a little coffee and vanilla rounding it out. A little raison, or prune. Some kind of fruit like that.

T: Oak. Oak oak oak. I don't get much more than that. A lot of vanilla on the back end. Some soy sauce on the back. Not liking that much.

M: Relatively silky. Heavy body. Smooth. Not overly difficult to drink.

O: It's ok, for being what it is. Not sure I would pick it up again. I can't quite get past that soy sauce taste.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Michigan Brew Fest AND in the bottle. I'm averaging these two experiences together to get the less than impressive score you see here.

On tap and fresh, this was amazing. Coffe, chocolate, silky smooth, oaky and oh, so drinkable.

In the bottle it was sharp, acidic, acrid and lambic-sour. Is this Brett? A drainpour. The only thing that seems consistant about Dragon's Milk is its unpredictability. I'm going to take my bottle back to the beer store and ask if I can have another one as a replacement. If that doesn't taste like the Dragon's Milk that I love, I won't be buying any more.

Photo of abashore
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Initially a chocolate taste with a little sting at the end. The barrel aging comes thru after a few sips. I'm not a stout drinker but I wanted to try something new.

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving: 12oz bottle, poured into snifter.

A disclaimer: Right off the bat, I'd strongly argue that this beer is more of a barleywine than a stout. I can see the argument for an American strong ale as well, but I find so much in common with a barleywine that it's hard for me not to evaluate on those standards.

Dragon's Milk pours a dark, near-black pour with no head. A shimmering, cocoa-powder ring of carbonation appears as a late bloomer, creeping up the very top edges of the beer.

One sniff reveals the esters (more on that later), a vanilla bean sweetness and toasty malts.

This beer is incredibly sharp up front, the roasted malts hitting immediately. The body is intense, full of dark fruit notes - prune, plum, fig, and raisin all come to mind. The hops ride in right along the notes from the oak barrel aging, a woody, resinous palette. The finish is almost like drinking brandy - hot, alcoholic, but carrying the lingering notes of all flavors that came before.

Mouthfeel is big, full, round. A booze stew.

Dragon’s Milk makes for a fine sipping brew, enjoyed like a fine scotch. I also have no doubt that this beer will age nicely. That said, I find it occasionally overpowering. The esters give you a nice menopausal hot flash on the way down, a sharp edge that usually seems rounded out to me. I almost find the flavors to be numbing - drink this after dinner, not alongside. Again, I strongly argue that this doesn't fit the same niche that a strong ale or stout would fall under for me. The body is too fruity for another style (savory as it may be) and the alcohol content is far more noticeable than stouts of similar ABV, as well as all I've said before.

Photo of deg
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer is a good dark color. Brown. Unfortunately, there's not much of a head or carbonation. I can't quite make out what I smell, it's too faint for my messed up nose. I liked the initial taste, chocolate and a hint of something else. I was reminded of bourbon. I get an alcohol like aftertaste which I didn't like much. The mouth feel is nice and creamy.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very, very dark brown, just a shade of black. Two and a half fingers of dense off white head forms on top of the beer. Retention is good.

S: Sweet caramel, milk chocolate,bourbon, and a bit of coffee and roast. I also get a distinct malted milk ball smell in the background. This could use more roast and chocolate to balance all this sweetness.

T: Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet caramel and milk chocolate with bourbon in the background. Also some sweet lactose. Behind that, I get some coffee, stronger than it was in the aroma. This still does not have enough roast or chocolate for the style. Booze is strong, but appropriate for the style.

M: Medium thickness with creamy carbonation.

O: There is not nearly enough roast or chocolate in this beer to be world class. There are no major defects to the beer and the bourbon adds complexity, but I want less sweetness and more robustness in my RISs.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with a nice tan head.
The lace is sticky tan and remains

The aroma is sweet notes of vanilla caramel and oak very nice.

The taste is mostly alcohol and oak. I wish I had let it age but it was the only bottle I bought on a trip across the country. Its a an ok taste but I would let it sit to dissipate the alcohol and try again.

Photo of ne0m00re
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Served on-tap in a brandy snifter at Betty's in Columbus.

A: Black with an amber hue. The soft, big tan head disappears after your first sip and you're left with a thin lace.
S: Heavy fruity bourbon and vanilla.
T: More of the same with some roasted malts. I'm not a big fan of these one-note stouts.
M: It has a full body but it's a crisp beer with an alcoholic bite. The mouthfeel is in-balance and really is this beer's saving grace.
D: If I stuck around, I'd order a different beer. This definitely is a brandy-snifter beer.

Overall, the intense vanilla bourbon flavor overwhelms the beer. I would order a local brewpub's stout over this anyday.

Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Fantastic pour with minimal head, smells inviting all be it a bit boozy. The taste was dominated by barrel flavours and lots of roasted malts, I could barely discern any sweetness. The mouthfeel is quite smooth bordering on slick and the abv hits home in the finish.

This one was a miss for me and did not meet expectations. The Barrel aging and alcohol presence overwhelm what could be the finer points of this brew.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.21/5  rDev -20%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

2.5 A: Dark brown, close to black color. Pour didn't really yield a head.

4.0 S: Bourbon is the strongest component of the nose. Leathery, earthy, and mildly fruity with a touch of astringency. Booze is nearly hidden, but what isn't is almost rubbing alcohol like. Underneath, there is chocolate, molasses, and a moderate roastiness.

3.0 T: The taste, as compared to the nose, is bland. There isn't really anything that sticks out above the baseline of flavor intensity. Bourbon is light in flavor, but does add a pleasant warming. The base beer is even lighter and the chocolate and molasses in the nose are nearly gone completely. This tastes more like watered down bourbon rather than a stout aged in bourbon barrels.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking in creaminess and body. Seems almost watery.

3.0 D: There's too many great barrel aged stouts to consider this one again.

Photo of dgfair
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in my Delirium snifter.

A - Pitch black with a huge fizzy tan head. Lot of carbonation released when I popped the bottle, so I knew I was going to be in for a fizzy one. Almost looks like a very thin stout.

S - Definite smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet sugar. A little bit of sticky malt aroma with a little bit of a syrupy fruit cocktail smell. Definitely pretty complex.

T - I can definitely taste the vanilla, the oak, and the bourbon...that's all fine and good. However, this bottle has perhaps gone south. I'm getting quite a bit of a sour flanders red type taste, probably oxidization. I don't think it's intentional, because it clearly clashes with the delicate oak and just doesn't taste right. I've had this one before, and it definitely didn't taste like this.

M - Very fizzy and bubbly in the mouth. I would love for this one to be a little smoother and creamier, especially to go with the barrel flavors.

D - Better the first time I had it. Not terrible, but just not a great offering. Probably won't be revisiting this one at the price point.

Photo of rudylaw
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Finally getting around to tying this... pours black with absolutely no head.

I smell vanilla and oak and really nothing else.

I'm getting a lot of the same in the taste... maybe some figs or dates up front. Pretty lean, milk-stout like taste.

As it warmed, it got better... but there's no need for me to ever drink this again. I wouldn't turn it down, but I'd rock a FFF Moloko instead. I think the whole milk stout / strong ale or whatever the heck this is classified as -- style leaves me a little bored.

Photo of keysofebony
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a 'make your own 6 pack' at the liquor store I work at. I always love a good stout so I'm looking forward to this one.

Appearance- dark dark brown and a red hue when held up to the light, but otherwise too dark to see through obviously. The head is slightly off-white and died down real quick. Hard to get started up again. Zero lacing.

Smell- This smells awesome. I swear it smells EXACTLY like a sweet cigar! A bit boozy, but just a dark and heavy smell. I get tobacco, vanilla, and sweetness. Unlike any beer I've smelled before.

Taste- Very boozy. A kind of off-putting boozy-ness actually. Very sweet as well, with kind of a nutty chocolate bite too it. It has a cheap oak taste and almost strikes the tongue similar to whiskey. Unique...I think it would age to become a great beer, and perhaps if it were colder it would take more bite away. (serving just below, but basically room temp) The cheap wood taste comes through at the end, almost like i licked a piece of pine.

Mouthfeel- carbonated smoked-chocolate whiskey. Thin for a stout but VERY sweet.

Overall- I thought about buying a 6 pack of this a the store, but I dont think I'll get it again. If I were I would age it at least 6-8 months it would be better but I feel like it is too young. If you like whiskey and you like beer, try it. My recommendations to the brewers: finish dryer and use a better wood.

Photo of kzoobrew
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is very dark brown almost black. As others have previously said the style is questionable. While the brew may not be the perfect example of an American strong ale I disagree that it is a stout or porter.(on reconsideration the brew does have some similarities to Breckenridge Vanilla Porter in taste) Luckily beer does not have to fit perfectly in to styles to be enjoyed.

Smell mostly of chocolate/toffee. Light coffee fragrence is also present.

Taste of vanilla and coffee quite strong up front. As the flavor sits you do taste the woodiness in the brew. Although i feel a bourbon barrel may have added a more desirable flavor I don't hate the oak.

Drinks very smooth very light mouth feel for a high abv brew.

I feel another bottle may be necessary to cement my overall opinion about this brew. I will definitely try again, may also buy one to see how it does in the cellar.

Photo of moulefrite
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Strong and black like a good cup of coffee. Little head, but a tad bit of sticky matter does cling to the glass. Aromas are at once of wood, with butter, roasted coffee and creamy chocolate in the background. The mouthfeel is quite lush. The carbonation is rather mild. Flavors run fairly deep, yet come back always to the wood-like a dry sauna at times. Some bitter chocolate/cherry like flavors are to be had, as well as strong, bitter chicory notes and malted milk. This is an interesting drink, yet I feel it is perhaps over-oaked? Try it if you see it, especially on a cold Winters night.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Near solid black on the pour. Head is a dark tan. Decent head retention leaves a small cap with small chunks of lacing. Minimal to moderate carbonation on the pour. Small clumps of a cap. Small collar.

Smell: Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and a ton of caramel. Roasted malts. A touch of almost char. Some dark fruit. Raisin and a hint of dark cherry. Cocoa powder. Hazelnuts. A hint of old coffee. Milk chocolate layered through the back. Oak punches through as it warms. Deep woody notes. Some mild hop notes. A touch of pine. Licorice and raisin. A touch of leather.

Taste: Licorice soaked with some bourbon. Some heavy vanilla and oak notes. A touch of butterscotch with some backing toffee and marshmallow. Big and sweet. Touches on molasses. Malts are heavily roasted offering up some solid caramelized sweetness with a slight burnt element. Hops are very minimal with pine and an herbal element. Marshmallow and even a touch of coconut. Lots of raisin. A touch of oxidation. Clean. Solid backing woodiness to the whole thing. Sweet. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy. Minimal carbonation.

Overall: Distant dragonkin.

Better than I remember. Bourbon is well layered but ends up dominating a bit. Base beer runs a touch sweet as well and the two elements don't quite meld. Still, it's tasty.

Photo of KBomb
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dragon's Milk has some admirable color to it: dark ruby brown that almost looks like a syrah. It clings to the glass a little bit. Smell has a hint of cocoa, a little coffee, and roasted malts. Moderate strength ale flavor runs through and through, fine sweetness complimented by a little bit of plumb in the background. Lacking the bourbon flavors one wants in a barrel aged stout. I detect something a little "off" though. There is a bit of astringency that doesn't go well with the oak flavor. Not very heavy considering the style, but not all that palatable.

A high bar has been set for barrel aged imperial stouts. Dragon's Milk just does not live up.

Photo of Cisco619
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Weyerbacher tulip glass. Bottle reads "Vintage 2011" Thanks to DaveHack for the bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown with a half finger of khaki colored head that vanishes to a thin filmy cap that lingers on the roof of the beer.

S: Bourbon greets the nose followed by bakers chocolate & a hint of chocolate. A nice, roasted malt aroma rounds out the nose.

T: Follows the nose, tastes of the barrel alot. Over powers the base beer. Akin to drinking a whiskey. Slight roasted malt flavor, but definitely strong barrel flavor.

M: A little watery for something that has so much essence of the barrel. A little tingle from the carbonation greets the tongue. Ends dry with a bit of an alcohol burn.

O: Great hints of barrel, but lacking in some area. Great aroma. Drinks a little hot. I wonder how this will be drinking in a year or two.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,595 ratings.