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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,335 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,335
Ratings:
5,062
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
320
Gots:
1,559
For Trade:
47
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,335 | Ratings: 5,062
Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Beejay
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with light brown foam. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. Tastes of bourbon, oak, caramel and vanilla. Creamy feel with moderate carbonation on the tongue. I wish there was a little less carbonation and more viscosity. Overall fantastic BA stout that I can find in stores daily. Really underrated considering its availability in my opinion.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't appear as thick and creamy as I'd hoped: black color with a light tan head.

Aroma is bourbon, figs, and caramel.

Taste is awesome! Butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses, and bourbon.

Mouth feel is not as thick as I would like. But it's still not bad. Heavy side of medium with light carbonation.

I'm very glad I bought a 4 pack of this beer. Excellent and complex flavor and bourbon sticks out.

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Photo of SpasticKoala
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of malcontent
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of hellbilly
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of Act25
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

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Photo of CraigP83
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smell is chocolate, oak, and whiskey. I like it already. Taste is creamy milk chocolate, hint of coffee. Surprisingly well balanced and mellow. I thought it was excellent

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Photo of zoso1967
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: very dark brown, almost black; small tan head, quickly dissipates; good lacing; expected for such a big beer

Smell: smells delicious; vanilla, oak dominate; smells bourbon-y, but could be due to the name

Taste: very sweet, malty, chocolate taste on start; good warming alcohol with roasted grains; oak tannins linger in the end; delicious

Mouthfeel: creamy, like silky milk chocolate

Remarks: may be my favorite US beer so far; excellent; I'll have to get this again.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of scott
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'06-I have been waiting patiently to find this, and I wasn't even expecting to when I did. I giggled like a girl.
Very nice pour, not too thick, not too thin. Had a fluidity that resembled a beef broth. Okay head. No lacing.
Smell was one note (honeyed-malt), which was disappointing-but it did smell good.
Taste was superior, a lot of work went into this. I was afraid after reading some reviews that the oak spoiled the taste, but alas, mine was beautiful. To be honest, I was hoping for more of a "barrel" taste.
Mouthfeel was pleasant, but the candi malt finish was a little too sweet. It might need a bit more time to mature properly.
A definite must try.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask, via hand pump, @ Teresa's Next Door (Wayne, PA) on 2/6/11. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours black with a ¼ finger cap of creamy mocha head. This retains a nice robustness in the glass, throwing up a good bit of rich spotty lacing onto the sides of the glass. The aroma is a smooth mélange of molasses, chocolate, caramel, and a bit of dense dark roast in the nose. The barrel is fairly prevalent as well with a good bit of oak and vanilla character. This is quite rich yet still easy feeling in the nostrils.

The taste matches the aroma, with a silky smooth mix of cocoa, butterscotch, vanilla, and dark roast, and oak, which hangs on the finish. Man, this is smooth and delicious feeling on the palate, with the flavors seeming to literally melt in the mouth at times. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied but it just so easy and creamy here on cask; it feels somewhat lesser than that at times. There's maybe some general intensity to the flavors from the big ABV but other than that, there is no way that you would know that is 9-10%. Just no way. This is very dangerously drinkable for the size here on cask.

Wow, this was something. If you like your Dragon's Milk as a big beer with pronounced and assertive flavors that you can wrap your tongue around, I recommend sticking with the bottle or tap version of this. If you're looking for this with all of those flavors melded and smoothed out into a decadent and obscenely drinkable glass of beer, then I would wholeheartedly say that you must check this out on cask. You'll be glad you did.

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Photo of Hazer115
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark black with a thin (less than 1/2 inch) tan creamy head.

S: My first impression was a dark chocolate with hints of dried apricot, and dark roasted malts, following by a good kick of alcohol. As the beer warmed I got more fruits and more alcohol and a little bit of coffee

T: The taste had many different notes to it as it warmed. My first couple of sips, in my opinion were taken when the beer was a bit too cold, had an iced dark coffee with hints of banana and strong alcohol finish. As it warmed, I picked up more dark chocolate and apple, with a very pronounced apple aftertaste.

M: Smooth with a good level of carbonation. A little sip went a long way in coating your mouth with the full flavor of this brew.

O: Overall, I would definitely recommend this to friends. If you take the time to let it warm to the proper temperature and taste it a little bit along the way, you will get to experience many different notes in just one glass.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers in Paducah, KY for recommendating this. Kinda reminds me of a mellowed Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in taste, smell and mouthful. Not much head retention but the oak woodsy smell is followed with a very pungent taste and an ever numbing mouthful. Very good beer from New Holland.

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Photo of stumac
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So I'm chillin at home last night smoking a little herb and playing Battlefield 3, when I realize... I have a bottle of Dragon's Milk in my fridge!!! Busted it open. Poured it in a glass. This is my experience....

Pours up black as an ageless storm, small head of color I cant remember. Aroma is so easy and pleasant on my senses. Malty, warm, hint of earth. I sip. I go into a coma. I recover three weeks later. The flavor profile was electric. Big barrel smoothness, malty, oak, vanilla, vanilla, vanilla, some hops came by to see how I was doing but left shortly thereafter. The body was big, the carbo was smooth. Then, I awoke. Strange. No bottle in sight. No beer residue in my glass. Had I really drank the elixir...or was it all a dream...

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a fine looking dark black with some cherry tinting. Virtually no head with minimal lace.

S: Very nice aromas of bourbon, vanilla, cherry, molassas, plums, raisins, and alcohol.

T: Take everything from above with the addition of brown sugar, oak, caramel, and roasted malt.

M: Big and slick. Coating. Quite smooth and very creamy.

D: Unbelievably easy to sip your way through a bomber of this. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark color with lacing.

S: Oak, bourbon, hints of vanilla.

T: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted flavors.

M: A little carbonated, slightly burns.

Overall: Being a fan of barrel aged beers, I definitely enjoyed this one and recommend it to people who are able to sip on stronger, heavier beers.

Just be careful, because this got me hooked on whiskey.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/25/09- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle...not sure of the vintage, possibly 2008 or earlier. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head. Head remains for a bit of time and leaves some mild patches and streaks of lace.

Smell- Lots of chocolate in the nose as well as a medium roasted caramel malt, some vanilla and a very light scent of alcohol...not picking up much oak at all.

Taste- Flavor comes out better at room temp. Started this one right out of the fridge. Chocolate flavor dominates the pallete, followed by a larger dose of vanilla. It may even be an even batle between the chocolate and vanilla. The whiskey oak flavor come out as well, but still plays a minor role. Not much alcohol detected with some minor date-fig flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level which is silky smooth. Could be a bit heavier in the mouthfeel. Maybe even a touch of chalkyness. Can't even detect the 9% though. Almost seems sessionable.

Drinkability- Very good beer with lots of good flavor. Could use a bit more oak flavor and maybe a tad more thickness in the feel, but overall still a really good beer worth trying.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,335 ratings.