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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,273 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,273
Hads: 4,683
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,248 | 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: 1,273 | Hads: 4,683
Photo of beer2day
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a redish tint. Slight tan head with little retention. Stong chocolate, vanilla aroma with hints of coffee. Oakiness varies bottle-to-bottle. Mouthfeel brings memories of milkshakes. A very, very good beer. Would love to try this on draft. (255 characters)

Photo of Agold
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage poured into a duvel tulip. Pours very dark, but not pitch black. It has a medium amount of head which recedes to a ring with a thin film of bubbles on top. Pretty nice, especially considering it is 10%. The aroma is extremely oaky, with vanilla, chocolate, and a very mild dark fruit presence. The oak does a very good job complementing the rest of the beer. It does not overpower the beer, it adds to everything else the beer has to offer. The taste is very nice as well. The oak is at a very good level, and if it was just a touch less sweet, it would be perfect. Oak, coco, vanilla, roast, but all playing very well with eachother. The mouthfeel is a bit light with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a very pleasant surprise. (746 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with very little ruby highlight. Very little head to speak of, just a thin tan ring with slight lacing.

Smell is balanced bitter chocolate with the sweetness of vanilla and carmel malt. Light wood and bourbon notes.

Taste is creamy chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Bitterness appears late and in the clean finish. I can't believe how concealed the alcohol is in this brew. Bourbon appears in the finish with nice lingering feel. Oak flavoring brings a nice complexity.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and light. Carbonation is slight and controlled.

At 10% this brew is dangerously drinkable. Very smooth and unusual. Mouthfeel is a little light, but still intersting. This is a well worth a try. I'm sure I will have another. (754 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Appears to be black until you hold it to the light, when it reveals a dark brown color with a slight reddish hue. Minor tan colored head. Fine carbonation.

S: Wonderful, joyous sultry oak scents. Alcohol layered upon alcohol (ie. the scent of the bourbon or whatever used to be in the oak barrels + the scent of the 9% ABV in this beer). Sweet caramel and vanilla malt tones.

T: Toasted oats, caramel, coffee, vanilla and oak. My buddy insists it's "vanilla coke + oak flavored beer" which I can't really rationalize, but I suppose maybe some kola nut taste could be hidden in there.

M: Good, thick body with moderate carbonation. I could swirl it, sip it or gulp it and the texture works for any of the above.

D: See above note on swirling, sipping or gulping. Mmmgood. (781 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very dark brown/black body with ruby highlights. One finger of light tan super dense foam.

Great nose of coffee, and a mix of vanilla/oak/bourbon. Extremely enticing.

Taste runs a rapid gamut, from coffee, a rapid flash of hop bitterness which is then pierced by vanilla, oak, and finally bourbon. All the while there is a sensation of melted dark chocolate oozing about. Tingly warming belly glow.

Full mouthfeel, rich but not lush.

Drinkability for this is not only dangerous, but downright astonishing. It tempts for an immediate follow up bottle.

To me this seems like an American Double Stout barrell aged more than the miscellaneous American Strong Ale, but I bow to those more experienced than I.

What it is for sure though, is a damn good big night capper of a beer. Highly recommended. (805 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Coming out of the bottle the liquid is a very dark brown and once it is in the glass it appears nearly black. Shining a light through the back of the glass results in some very pretty, ruby red highlights standing out against the black backdrop. The head fizzles up to about a quarter-inch before fading into some patchy wisps that stick around on the surface of the beer for nearly the entire glass. Lacing is minimal.

SMELL: There is a ton going on here, with big vanilla, chocolate and caramel aromas. The combination smells a lot like fresh baked brownies. A hint of oak and a touch of roasted coffee beans is also present.

TASTE: In the nose, the vanilla, chocolate and caramel were all pretty equally represented, but in the taste the chocolate wins and comes through strongest. Vanilla and caramel tie for second as a hefty dose of coffee and oak bring up the rear of the field. Hints of anise and dark fruit also dance around the palate, especially towards the finish.

MOUTHFEEL: Of course the body is big, but not as big as you might expect. The Dragon’s Milk goes down silky and smooth with a strong, but not overwhelming sweetness. The balance is actually quite nice with a subtle bitterness coming from the coffee notes.

OVERALL: Since New Holland’s arrival in Colorado this has quickly become a go-to for me. I love big, imperial stouts and I love bourbon barrel-aged beers…it’s a treat to be able to have both any time of year now. (1,484 characters)

Photo of Fugazme
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. picked up in Chicago
from notes:

Largely black... near opaque... smallish, off-white head at first... with second pour it produced a beautiful, tight-white, creamy head. Slight ruby highlights throughout the glass when tilted.

Aroma is big on chocolate with strong vanilla and a bit of woody/boozy overtones. Licorice and anise hard candy... a tiny touch of burnt rubber.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel... silky and inviting.

Chocolatey, sweet finish that lingers and lingers... whiskey, vanilla, caramel...

I wish this were available in Nebraska... I'd buy it quite a bit. (589 characters)

Photo of violanojblues
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - very dark, blackish. not a lot of head when poored from my growler. little lacing.

S - roasted malty, you can smell the booze, but it's not overpowering. you don't drink this without knowing that it's potent. i could smell the "oak-age-edness" (maybe it's just my brain telling me that because they've been aged in oak barrels which tells my nose that it's there)

T - Amazing! there's a lot of character in this once it warms up a little. strong bourbon/oaky flavor. lots of roasted malts, slighty smokey & creamy too. lot of things going on in here without being an over-complex hodge-podge of ingredients.

M - medium body. lightly carbonated (what you'd expect for this type of beer).

D - very smooth. an excellent after-dinner beer. i've enjoyed this one everytime i've had it with every sip.

This is a home-town favorite, with good reason. (853 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Screened 22 oz. bomber. Pours a dark, nearly stoutish color, but allowing a little mroe light through. Head fades quickly to a small layer on the beer.

Smell: Oh yeah, there is the oak aging. Lots of bourbon smell in this one, a little carmel, some more vanilla.

Taste: An oaked barrel, salty affair, punctuated by some vanilla. Flavors go from woody and earthy, to fairly sweet and sharp at the end. Smooth, yet strong.

Moughtfeel: Not heavy, but still full, pretty good.

Drinkability: What style this beer is going for may be a mystery, but this is a good beer. I always enjoy oak aged offerings, and this one does not dissapoint. (656 characters)

Photo of WakeandBake
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with ruby edges,one finger tan head.Aroma of vanilla,chocolate,burbon,oak,and dark roasted barly very nice. Flavor is complex and changes as it warms,sweet boozy vanilla creamy oaky honey burbon goodness. Full creamy mouthfeel,chewy and sticky.This came highly reccomended, I now agree.... Good stuff ! (313 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black solid light brown head, good lacing.

Aroma: Intense levels of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and vanilla. Roast is mostly covered by the aforementioned.

Flavor: Sweet chocolate covered caramel, with a kick of bourbon and booze with and nice background of oak.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, with a pretty noticable boozyness, which is basically all I can knock this beer for.

Overall: As delicious or better than most of the highly sought after BA beers, at half the cost (at least) and 700 times the availability. (530 characters)

Photo of sinistrsam
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured an absolute opaque creamy brown/black, with a hufe foamy tan head which lasted several minutes. There was lacing all throughout the tasting.The aroma, was one of the best I've ever had. It smelled like an old-time chocolate malt; the creaminess of ice cream, the bitter and roasted cocoa, mild coffee, mild caramel. It was incredible and very complex.
The taste was also complex; a bitting dry bitter chocolate, maybe sour fruits? Malts and very mild hops.
It was slightly thinner than the HUGE head and creamy aroma led me to believe. However, the 10% abv was well-disguised.
I was well impressed with the beer's drinkability also, quite good for something that seems to heavy at first. Buy this if just for the incredible aroma. (746 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very,very deep chestnut color. It looks pitch black until you hold it up to the light. Nice head though its gone pretty quickly. Pleasant aroma- treacle like. Some very nice vanilla notes. Somewhat toasted and maltish. Malty and vinuous flavor. Absolutely no sense of 10%abv-very well hidden. Nice moderate body. Goes down easy-almost too easy for that matter. Another really good beer from New Holland. Again I will say if they could pull off their regular brews as well as their seasonals offerings I think they could really be up there with some of the other top micros. (581 characters)

Photo of DannyDan
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark brown hue with a thin tan head that leaves some retention and minimal lacing. Appearance was not as good as I thought it would be. The aroma has some oak, vanilla, dark fruits that really stand out and lets you know this is a beer worth drinking. The taste starts out with some dark fruits, followed by some vanilla and chocolate and has an oak like taste through out. This beer is very creamy and very smooth, I hardly noticed any alcohol in the taste even though it has 10% ABV. A great tasting beer that is very well made that any stout lover must try, I just wish this beer was a little bit cheaper to buy. (627 characters)

Photo of ralree
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Completely opaque dark brown. Not much head, a bit of retention.

S: Sweet, smoky, lots of hops. Perfect.

T: Super sweet and a bit smoky. Lots of dark fruit flavor. Raisins, alcohol tastes through on the nose. Super oaky.

M: Perfect carbonation. A bit astringent. Rather dry. Medium-heavy body.

D: Good to sip. Goes down rather easily for the ABV and style. Sweetness hinders drinkability. (395 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally got my hands on one of these.... thinner than I expected, but tasty. can taste the bourbon barrel in it. a decent brew, indeed. smooth, no coffee notes, which is very much appreciated.... I feel they are adding coffee to cover up mistakes just as some are adding mega hops to cover up their IPA mistakes(?). or not. but this is a good one!
Dragon's milk, indeed! but how many dragons will allow their milk to be put into a barrel? (439 characters)

Photo of fatherofgirls
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearence is dark black with a medium tan head that fades quickly and has very little lacing.
The aroma is wonderfully heavy with vanilla extract, milk chocolate and a touch of roasted walnuts ending with a whiskey/bourbon smell
The taste is not as fantastic as the smell but great just the same with a roasted chocolate beggining with a nice hoppy ending and a slight hint of the alcohol within.
The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I couldn't drink more than one or two of these.
All and all a great brew. The roasted chocolate flavor is to die for. This starts to approach Goose Island's Bourbon County and 3Floyde’s Darklord my favorites in this style. (664 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a thin lacing of caramel-colored head that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer), but I can still smell strong notes of roasted malt and boozy bourbon! Other reviewers have notes aromas of caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, etc.

Taste: Tons of roasted malt up front, followed by some brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness, with some notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon undertones. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is definitely a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another very good bourbon barrel-aged stout. Maybe, well not maybe, definitely, not as complex as Goose Island’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout, Dragon’s Milk is still complex in its flavors of malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Delicious. And for the price point, a much easier bourbon barrel-aged stout to drink more often! (1,211 characters)

Photo of nightcrawler
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This stuff is good.

If someone asked me what it was like, I could say it was similar to a sweet stout with an extra kick. At such a high gravity, I would compare this with other stouts and not other ales. I followed this will an Arrogant Bastard, which is also an 'American Strong Ale'. This just shows you how limited and restricted we are by trying define a beer by style.

It produced a beautiful brown head and tasted great from the start. It poured a dark brown to black and the smell was of toasted malt, very sweet. The taste was smooth with no sort of bit that can come from dark malts.

I will be purchasing bottles to store. (646 characters)

Photo of Jaszucs
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cask pour. Completely different experience than drinking from the bottle. Had to initially chew through the frothy head to get to the beer. Excellent beer. (155 characters)

Photo of PatYoda
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle over 1 year old I believe.

Very dark brown with an excellent light brown head that recedes to a solid ring around the glass and some film. Leaves some nice lacing. Smell is fruity to the max - berries, cherries and raspberries and grapes. These are mixed in with some wood, roasted grain and a little wine like alcohol. Cocoa too. The fruit really dominates the taste here. It's complemented by a dry woody flavor which takes over in the finish and cocoa that is subtly there all along. With all of the fruit in there and the high alcohol, this really reminds you of a red wine at times. Medium bodied with enough carbonation to keep things moving along. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the strong berry and oak flavors and lack of hop balance, but other than that, this is a very intriguing beer to me. Not many beers have imparted this strong of a berry flavor to me, so I consider this one very unique. I'll definitely be picking some up from the next batch.

Edit: After having a fresher bottle from the late 2005 batch, I'm bumping the mouthfeel up from 4.0 to 5.0 and the smell from 4.0 to 4.5. Also the drinkability from 3.5 to 4.0. The caramel malt really comes out a lot more in this bottle and the smoothness is breathtaking. The fruit it much more subdued than in the aged bottle. There was also a significant vanilla undertone and a strong roasted malt flavor. Very interesting. It's almost like this is a completely different beer than the one I reviewed before. (1,489 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice. This strong ale is a deep deep ruby, that appears almost black until you hold it to some light. Rather like a porter in color. I got a very thin head that faded quickly with a minimum of lacing.

Aroma is dark and mysterious, warm and inviting. Dark malts, prune and some spice. Alcohol also present in the nose.

Taste has hints of bourbon, dark fruit, spice, and an alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is not as heavy as expected. There is not much carbonation to speak of.

This is a great beer to sip and as it warms me up inside I am looking forward to pouring the rest of the bomber. Recommended! (649 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a medium brown finger of head. Head dissipates down to a film, but leaves nice, solid creamy lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla bourbon, milky chocolate, light coffee, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of smoke.
T - The vanilla bourbon is upfront and loud! Very warming and boozey, but in a good way. Notes of milk stout chocolate reign behind the bourbon and finishes with a coffee and woody oak bitterness to round off the sweetness, but the sweet vanilla bourbon is VERY upfront, this is what I like to see from a beer that claims to be bourbon barrel aged!
O - A damned good stout to be sure!
V - Good value, worth the money! (663 characters)

Photo of hops202
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass from a 2013 Vintage. Certainly a good candidate to rival bourbon county stout. Definitely considering the $9 a piece bottle price. Smell is great and taste exceeds that. Definitely a great bourbon barrel aged stout. I will be buying a bunch and aging some as well. (304 characters)

Photo of Bunookana
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will return to update as I get better at reviewing beers, but this beer along with a couple other drinks is the reason I am getting into brewing. A friend gave me a couple of bottles because they did not like it. I was amazed. I almost broke the bottle open to lick the remaining nectar from the shards. I love the deep taste with a bourbon kick! I drank it straight from the bottle since I was in a hotel room and did not expect to enjoy it that much, so I don't have much to say about the appearance and the smell is like most stouts, which are not the most floral. (569 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,273 ratings.