Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,198 | FT: 40
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
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Reviews: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
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)

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

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature. (3,306 characters)

Photo of screamking
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter. *my bottle says "bourbon barrel stout". *

Appearance-pours dark brown almost black, small dark khaki head, a little lacing around glass. 3.75

Aroma-very strong bourbon notes, vanilla, toffee, and oak. Chocolate, with coffee undertones. Dark fruits are there as well, raisins and plum. 4.75

Taste-vanilla and toffee right up front with milk chocolate following very strong. Alcohol is very present in the taste as well. Dark fruits come in much more mellow then then in the aroma but dried plum is there. 4.5

Feel-on the lighter side of full bodied, coats palate very well, alcohol burn is very present. Not as smooth as the top shelf bourbon aged stouts. 4

Overall-this is a very underrated beer in my eyes. It lacks some of the softness and class of bells black note. However, its kick of alcohol is one of the things I enjoy the most. Another huge plus is availablity, no waiting list to snag just one bottle, if you get new holland you can get this year round. 4.5 (1,005 characters)

Photo of AlexanderCsamaj
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. It is the most exciting beverage I have enjoyed in some time. One of my professors, Dr. Crandall, brought me to the light and now I can see in the dark.

It is complex, smooth, and potent. It opens with a velvet oaky wave of flavor and finishes with a profound mouthful of vanilla butter.

Each sip offers something new. Even if you don't appreciate this style, this beer is worth sampling. Cheers! (416 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle courtesy of MABZ. Thanks!

Pours into a pint glass with a lot of carbonation - fills glass up quickly with foam. Smells distinctly like wood, along with some roasted malt notes and very appealing.

taste is something of roasted malt, fronted by a hop character I cannot name but reminds me of english old ales. There is obvious wood character in this beer though I cannot pick up the previous barrel contents (bourbon). The combination of some light sourness, roasted malt, and an almost invisible 9% makes this excellent beer far too easy to drink.

Frighteningly drinkable old ale which goes down far too fast. I almost never see wood-aged beer of this style, nice to see it done in the US this well. (720 characters)

Photo of colefsuwr
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark, and heavy define this beer. Not for the faint of heart. This will make you never want to drink a guiness again because it takes mouthfeel to a whole new level. A wonderful vanilla undertone coats your palate and faint notes of whiskey can be caught as well. (269 characters)

Photo of threeviews
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (2014 vintage) with no freshness date poured into a Rastal Teku 2.0 stemmed glass.
A- Pours nearly black with brown highlights at the edges of the glass. The head was minimal, yielding about a 1/2-finger, coffee colored head with weak retention. To the eye, it does not seem to possess the viscosity as some other Imperial Stouts I sampled. (4.0)

S- Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Oak, Char, nuts and some roasted notes are all present in the nose. As it rises to room temperature, some bourbon sweetness starts to blossom. (4.5)

T- Fairly simply, yet packed full of flavor. Caramel and vanilla sweetness up front followed by some bourbon and oak tannin. The finish is dry with flavors consisting of chocolate and coffee. No alcohol burn after the sip. (4.5)

M- One of the lightest bodies I have experienced for an Imperial Stout labeled as 11%ABV and could only be classified as medium. The carbonation is not shy and helps keep the beer feeling light on the palate. Although not nearly the most dense Imperial Stouts out there (and yes, I do like beers of this nature with a bit more body and alcohol heat), Dragon's Milk more than makes up for this in its drinkability. As such, I can easily envisage drinking 2-3 of these in a sitting. (4.5)

O- Assuming that the label is true to its contents, the absence of alcohol burn in the nose and flavor is nothing short of impressive. Coupled with the fact that this is a year-round BBA Imperial Stout (~$15 4-Pack) and one that you don't need to risk life and limb to procure, Dragon's Milk is a more-than-worthy alternative to all the other 'white whales' swimming about the craft beer marketplace. Yes, I will purchase again. (4.5) (1,694 characters)

Photo of cagocubs
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap poured into tulip glass

A: Pours extremely dark brown/opaque. Thin ivory head that dissipates and has some lacing on the edges.

S: Sweet tones erupt into the nostrils. Caramel, molasses, vanilla, chocolate, sweet milk, and a little alcohol.

T: The sweetness of the smell is ever-present in the taste. The sweet tastes of chocolate, molasses (syrup), toasted malt, vanilla, and caramel are present. You can pick up on the hops and earthy tones as well.

M: I feel like I should be eating this with a fork and knife. Nice full bodied stout with very little carbonation. I was surprised there was no alcohol bite at 9-10abv. Good mouth coating, and finish.

O: I'm curious to try this from a bottle, because from the tap I'm flabbergasted this is not a top beer and rated higher. I cannot see much downfall in this beer. It has great aroma, taste, and mouthfeel. Real balanced and enjoyable. Bravo, NH. (910 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly enjoyable drinking experience with this one. Dark brown bordering on black.

Barrel properties are quite apparent on the nose...oak...bourbon...light vanilla..

Full bodied...solid carbonation...pretty smooth and velvety in the mouth...

Taste is loaded with oak, and bourbon...roasted maltiness....a little bit of dark cocoa as well..

Finishes dry....booze is hidden but becomes noticable on the long finish..

An excellent strong ale I will likely purchase again. (483 characters)

Photo of flyboy599
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S - Chocolate, vanilla, musty oak.

A - No light is passing through this beer, very "motor oil" dark. Poured from a bottle with about a quarter finger of light caramel head which quickly vanished.

T - Oak and vanilla permeate the chocolate heavy malt character. The sweetness of the vanilla, almost caramel like, nicely counters the light bitter coffee flavor. At 10% ABV, the after-taste is only slightly of alcohol. No big burn.

M - Velvety and smooth. The carbonation, or lack of it, allows for the full smooth feel.

O - This beer ran me $17.50 for a 4 pack so the expectations were pretty high. Mostly, I felt that the beer delivered. It had the sweetness of a Wee Heavy that countered the bitter roast taste most common to a stout. The fact that it drew this sweetness from vanilla was interesting that the oak flavor lent itself nicely to the style. Given it's price it won't be one that I'd grab every time, but I'd say it's memorable enough for a repeat. (968 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

comes out of the bottle looking brown but settles to a black with a wispy light tan head that disappears quickly but leaves a film on the glass.

aroma is mostly chocolate and oak. some licorice, dark fruits, coffee and toffee. smells appetizing!

oak is most dominant with chocolate and fruit coming next. cocoa powder, dates, licorice, vanilla extract, toffee, nougat, caramel, raisins, molasses, soy sauce, dark roasted coffee and many other flavors can be found in this one. oak is a bit strong, but this is a 2010 vintage, so it may be young, however I love the oak and how it interplays in this beer.

heavy/medium bodied with a creamy feel left on the mouth but perhaps a bit too much prickly carbonation. some drying cocoa powder on the finish as well as some lingering booze heat.

drinks so well due to the complex flavors intermingling and all vying for attention. booze is there, but its not overpowering. It's just another facet of the complex flavor portfolio this monster of a beer puts out. Excellent brew. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Spidey13
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

New Holland Dragon's Milk pours a beautiful black with just a bit of garnet showing when held to the light. A fluffy ivory head sits on top.

The aroma is nice and roasty with notes of vanilla and oak coming through. Some dark fruit and Tootsie Roll is in there, too.

The flavor is sweet and chocolatey with some vanilla and just a bit of alcohol warmth. The bourbon barrel flavor is there, also. The flavors are a bit subdued but yummy.

The mouthfeel is thinner than expected but a bit creamy, which is nice. The carbonation is low.

Overall, I really liked this beer. It's possibly the most drinkable imperial stout I've had. The flavors are nice and complex without hitting you over the head like a sledgehammer. I drank this bomber way too fast. (753 characters)

Photo of shippos
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured witha a deep dark ruby brown witha fluffy rocky light coffee colored head. has a vanillian woody aroma as it's cold...lots of vanilla oak. light amount of carbonation but a slick mouthfeel, velvety with an aged character well rounded to begin witha thin winey oxidized character. has a dry aftertaste witha lingering dry maltiness. complex and wonderful. (361 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. 2013 vintage.

Poured what appeared to be inky black, but when held up to the lamp, some reddish and burgundy tones. 1 + finger of thick oatmeal colored head. Did disspiate somewhat, but retained as an at least covering all the way down. Not agreat deal of lacing.

Aroma was mostly of vanilla and bourbon, neither particularly strong, with a faint chocolate mixed in. Very appealing.

This tastes excellent. The bourbon is ever present, but not overwhelming. The vanilla gives a delicious sweetness. This beer is perfectly balanced.

Mouth is full, and rolls around the tongue, which definitely savors the flavor. Although you get the bourbon, it is extremely drinkable for a 10.0abv, but must be respected with some restraint.

Have had this beer several times, and it's always a great choice. This was the beer that turned me around on BBA stouts, as first tries from other breweries were very bourbon heavy. This one acchieves a wonderful balance. Thoroughly reccomend it. (1,032 characters)

Photo of StMichael
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This on draft is so much better than bottles. It has an alcohol punch at the end that detracts a bit from the richness of the stout. But when I want a stout this is the one I drink. @11% it gets the job done quickly. Another barrel aged brew I tend to lean towards. (266 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .6 oz bottle. No sign of a bottling date. This was purchased at a small supermarket in the middle of nowhere.

Pours into my snifter a pretty dense brown bordering on black with hints of ruby and a quickly dissipating off-white head. No lacing initially.

The nose is delightful, there is some mellon, huge oak with vanilla and tannin, cocoa, dark fruits, and some honey. It all melds together perfectly. It is a smooth smelling oak aged beer. This has the quintessential barrel aged scent.

The oak aging brings it majorly. It has a huge oaky vanilla presence, lots of alcoholic bourbon sweetness( but not too overpowering), fruitiness, caramel, honey, and some cocoa. It is pretty highly carbonated but it is decently thick. The alcohol bites nut isn't intrusive.

This is an artful beer, I haven't anything as smooth and oaky as this. New Holland did a marvelous job here. (882 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.