Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

4,597 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,597
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,172 | 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
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Ratings: 4,597 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of HopHeadKen
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark amber brown, porter like in appearance with a thick creamy head of fine, medium and large bubles.

First taste is TART, What is this an oak aged lambic porter ?
The tartness lingers and seems to overwhelm the malt and hops.

Thanks DonO for this one; I am glad I tried it, but it doesn't excite me.

Photo of Westsidethreat
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Loads of carbonation, towering beige head with medium sized bubbles. Body is a very dark, amber brown with no light getting through it.

S: Some light molasses, oak, vanilla bean, light chocolate and cafe au lait.

T: Overly sour with strong cola twangs. Has some dried cocoa flavors mixed in with sour milk. Finishes cloying.

M: Full body with a touch of fluffy carbonation.

D: Not so good. I think this bottle went bad. I'm not gonna finish it. Too bad, I was looking forward to this one.

Photo of tvv375ia
2.79/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown almost black with 1 finger head

S-I got alot of bourbon smell to start and the a little chocolate coffee note

T-more bourbon then some bitter chocolate finished off with bourbon

M-nice carbonation, not as creamy as a nitro stout but good

O-wasn't as impressed with this as I was hoping, I wanted more oak taste and not as much bourbon it just made the 10% alcohol stand out more

Photo of wowbagger
2.81/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite dark, moderate head. Not much of an aroma, mostly of chocolate. Initially, very sharp bite of and licorice, alcohol and carbonation which persists. Some spiciness in the aftertaste.

Overall, a unique stout though I'm not blown away. I'd definitely suggest it be tried, but I can't see drinking a lot of it. Probably best shared on a cold night.

Photo of sdmvd6
2.86/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duvel tulip

A - Jet-black with a finger of tan head (after a hard pour) which dissipates rapidly. Light lacing. What little light makes it through the glass yields a deep ruby hue.

S - Big aromas of rum-soaked wood and dark fruit hit you immediately followed by a touch of roastiness after some searching. Definitely not as much chocolaty and/or coffee and roasty aroma as would be expected from the style. Alcohol is very apparent as well.

T - To be fair, this was a 2011 vintage bottle, but it needs some age. As is, though, the flavor is relatively unimpressive. Harsh, hot alcohol burns from beginning to end, with plums and prunes in the middle. This fades to a bit of roasted malt and finishes with lingering sweet vanilla notes from the oak barrels. I have had other 10% ABV imperial stouts that are much more drinkable than this one. Overall, the flavor profile is just unbalanced.

M - There is plenty of carbonation with this guy as well as a medium mouthfeel. It is a little too carbonated for the style.

O - The appearance and smell of this stout are pretty nice, but the flavor profile is unbalanced. I really think some age would calm this one down by cutting the abrasiveness of the alcohol, toning down the dark fruits, and bringing forward more traditional roasted flavors of an imperial stout. This was sent to store shelves too soon.

Photo of PeterBBB
2.86/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Possibly old - flat in taste with over the top milk flavor

Photo of Minkybut
2.87/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was very black indeed. The beer poured a non existent head and had absolutely no lacing wheresoever. The beer was overly sweet and very dry. Alcohol was just too high I thought which messes with the taste of beer. I will not buy again.

Photo of plfahey
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-True black with just the faintest garnet highlights when held to the light. Appears to be relatively clear, though it is nearly totally opaque. Tall sticky brown yellow head has decent retention and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma-Big bold oak up front-probably American-with oodles of vanilla and wood character. Underneath is some light chocolate and caramel, with slight peppery fusel alcohols. However, the overwhelming aroma is one of buttery vanilla oak.

Flavor-Big assault of booze and oak characterizes the entire palate. Tannic woody notes and light charcoal obscure nearly any malt character. There are hints here and there of chocolate, caramel, and toffee. In the finish, a semi sweet vanilla note emerges along with peppery fusels. Tannic oak carries far into the finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderately low carbonation. Some warmth from booze verges on hot at times.

WAY too damn oaky. The oak character dominates the palate, and anything that might have once resembled a stout is now reminiscent of sucking on a woodchip. It's too aggressively oaked, which to my palate makes it almost unpleasant to drink.

Photo of mdvatab
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into bordeaux wine glass.
"Vintage 2010" (Not finding a bottled-on date...)

Aroma: Cocoa Krispies, sweet caramel, chocolate malt, bourbon, cola, coconut, and vanilla notes. The aroma seems to get better w/ each sniff, and really had me looking forward to tasting it.

Appearance: Looks like cola when light passes through the beer as it's poured. Much lighter in color than I'd anticipated. Bold coffee-colored once in the glass with tinges of ruby. Not opaque. One finger of head quickly falls to a thin layer of splotchy foam, and then to a circle of foam around the inside of the glass. On a related note, many of the labels of the other bottles on the store shelf were torn for some unknown reason. I now see that there appears to be dried beer on the outside of the bottle, presumably from the (hand?) bottling process. The notion that this was hand bottled is appealing, but the appearance of the outside of the bottle is amateurish and reminds me of my early bottles of home brew.

Flavor: Not nearly as complex as the aroma, unfortunately. Light molasses sweetness up front. Boozy alcohol then creeps in, and is followed by a very slight but noticeable metallic twang. The finish is bittersweet and hot. The flavor of this brew is reminiscent of DFH World Wide Stout ("did someone dump a shot of vodka in my stout?"), but is slightly better IMO.

Mouthfeel: This beer is much thinner than one would expect from a brand called "Dragon's Milk". It definitely leaves a peppery alcohol burn in the mouth and throat.

Overall: Not a bad beer, but definitely lacking in body and depth. For the money, I know I can find other high-gravity brews which are balanced with more body and malt flavor. The aroma really lead me to believe this was going to be a great one, but I was a little let down.

Photo of nelso334
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- A black color with ruby tints. Pleasant to the eye. Head is a nice dark froth with good retention and a nice lace left behind.

S- Smells is blast of strong oak wood. Balanced with an undertone of raisin like malts as well as a smooth vanilla somewhere far in the back. I also can tell that there is gonna be some alcohol in this one.

T- Wow, talk about a blast of oak in your mouth. Flavor is dominated by the oak aging which you taste the whole way through. Underneath is a sweet malty reminiscent of dry fruit flavors but again the oak is what dominants. The alcohol comes through in this flavor as well.

M- A typical stout if you take away the oak. Feels smooth ith a bit of bubble.

D - The oak intensity along with to much presence of alcohol makes me not want to come back for more.

Photo of biglite351
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - quite dark but a good amount of red around the edges. The head vanished quickly.

S - sweet with mild bourbon. Almost wine-like in a way.

T - sweet, vanilla with some bourbon. Unlike most oaked brews the bourbon is NOT overpowering. Almost cream soda with a small shot

M - good coating, no real tingle, mild alcohol burn in the throat.

D - one only. Too sweet.

Photo of DIM
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a: This was black and it poured with a small fizzy head.

s: Oaky rubbing alcohol, vanilla, a hint of whiskey, and a little milk chocolate.

t: The barrel had a pretty harsh affect on this beer. A strongly alcoholic rubbing alcohol flavor dominated. There were hints of vanilla and chocolate, but not all that much.

m: The barrel thinned this one out.

o: Not terrible, but I definitely won't buy anymore. There are better BA stouts out there that aren't hard to find.

Photo of JRed
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours cola with dissipating off-white head. Smells of cola, chocolate, prunes, raisins. Tastes of chocolate raisins, plums, booze, bourbon, slight brown sugar and residual soy sauce aftertaste. Heavy body with light carbonation. Thick, syrupy. Dragon diarrhea after a night of Eithiopian food.

Photo of bucko
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown/black with a thin, off-white/light tan head that diminished to a small ring with a "spider web" in the middle. The smell is strong with notes of bourbon, oak (white?) and vanilla. The flavor is more bourbon, sweet malt and wood. The wood is a little strong and puts me off a bit. Further sips reveal some hot alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I think the hot alcohol taste keeps this from being terribly drinkable. Truth be told, I'm glad I'm sharing the bomber. Perhaps it will mellow in time?

Photo of PDXHops
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this bomber from Ryan011235 in the days before New Holland started distributing down here. Poured into an oversized snifter, this was a bit of a disappointment visually. Cola brown with reddish highlights and a short-lived fizzy head that quickly becomes a meek circle of bubbles and no more. Some legs but no lace.

Booze and oak are a somewhat harsh 1-2 punch to the nose. Gentler aromas of vanilla, toffee, dark chocolate, tangy fruit and citrus linger. The oak flavor is also quite potent enough to be near overwhelming at times. Citrus is surprisingly bold, and there’s a ton of tangy raisin and prune. Roasted and toasted grains attempt to assert themselves, but are no match for the oak. The mix of flavors isn’t a bad one; it just seems that the ratios are way off here. Perhaps a blend of oaked and non-oaked versions would result in a smoother drinking brew. Thinnish body, but fairly smooth with a velvety coating feel. Could be pretty nice with a few tweaks.

Photo of jss79
2.95/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - very dark black with a slight head and faint carbonation.
Smell - initially a very soggy wet rainy smell from aging in the oak barrels, followed by hints of vanilla and chocolate.
Taste - earthy chocolate with initial sweet giving way to a more rounded bitter after taste. A short and less intense finish that did not linger very long.

Photo of fscottkey
2.96/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: [4.00] Dense 1 finger of khaki head. The head recedes evenly but relatively quickly. The beer is jet black. Shifting the beer leaves nice arcs of lacing. The bottle lists the ABV at 11%. There is a date code that translates to 2/13/15.

S: [3.00] The primary scent is bourbon. Maybe hints of coffee and chocolate. The nose is not strong just subtle smells.

T: [2.75] The booze is there throughout - right from the front to the back. Strong assertive bourbon flavor up front. There is some chocolate on the finish and the aftertaste.

M: [3.00] The high alcohol impacts the mouthfeel. There is a tightness due to the alcohol on the tongue.

O: [3.00] This beer obviously has a great reputation and high expectations. They were not met. The alcohol just overwhelmed all of the other flavors. It was a big gong and the chocolate, vanilla, coffee were all little bells in the background. Also, the nose is extremly subdued for such a big beer. I would actually seek out several stouts and porters at 1/2 this ABV instead.

Photo of abuliarose
2.96/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, revealing deep brown body with a light beige head. Some lacing. Smells very metallic with some sweet dark malt character and woody notes.

Tastes soda-carbonated with a thick wood character, like rubbing your tongue against a sanded oak plank. Malts are there and add to the overall smoothness, but there is an overall astringency that coats the palette. Very bitter to the end, very woody, but there are no redeeming flavors to harmonize with these. Quite drying, slightly warming. I don't get much vanilla at all, such a shame that it is not more well-balanced. Drinkability is ok given the aggressive flavors. After half a glass, I need some water to wet my mouth.

Overall it averages out to be decent, though very strong in flavors. I might wish it to mellow out a bit and have some of the finer characteristics come through. I like my beers seriously flavorful, however this one doesn't quite put it together.

Photo of brstilson
2.97/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance
I tasted this ale in a room-temperature glass mug. The liquid was refrigerated. I noticed immediately the head was quite small, only about 1/4 finger or so, and it dissipated rapidly. Dragon's Milk is very dark. Darker than a brown ale but not quite as dark as a stout. Some red hues also peek their way through in the right light.

Smell
The smell consists mostly of roasted malt. I could detect no hop aroma. There are also hints of vanilla and chocolate, as well as smoke.

Taste
The taste has a strong roasted malt and vanilla flavor. Hop bitterness is present but it imparts no flavor. This beer is extremely malty--to the point of almost being unpleasant--and could have used more hops to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel
Dragon's Milk is extremely thick and syrupy. It's more like one is drinking some sort of beer concentrate mix than actual beer. It coats the mouth in slightly sticky film not unlike a warm Coca-Cola.

Drinkability
One thing is for sure, this is not a beer that most would be able to drink at a normal rate. With a consistency like that of whole milk, it will fill you up fast, being almost a meal in itself.

Overall
It could be worse, but I can't help but feel that this is a beer with an identity crisis, trying to be a belgian strong ale and an imperial stout at the same time, utterly failing at both. It certainly is an interesting experiment, but unfortunately it's following a trend that I see with many American microbrews.

Too often we have a beer like this with no subtlety, where everything is turned up to 11. Instead of making it complex and interesting, it actually makes the beer quite dull and boring. Everything is intense, so nothing stands out, like a modern music mix where all the tracks have the same volume level: loud.

I don't regret the $9 a paid for the bottle, but this definitely isn't going to make my regular drinking rotation.

Photo of nortmand
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

One of my favorite Michigan seasonals, the 05/06 is a bit overwhelming on tap.

Pours very dark brown/black/red, with a short brown head.

Smell is rich roast and an ass ton of bourbon. Pretty nice.

The taste reveals that the bourbon is too fresh and too present. It hides this beers complexity behind a wall of kentucky special.

I've loved this beer on tap in the past and enjoyed several (too many) mugs of it at Crunchy's, but this year, the bourbon is overpowering. I've heard this year's new bombers are quite nice, so I look forward to reviewing that.

Photo of Irish212
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Al's of Hampden in a snifter glass.

A: Dark black with a small amount of head that settles with very light lacing.

S: Dark wood like smell, possible hint of cherry.

T: Strong biting wood/charchol taste, too much i think.

D: A decent drink, but I wouldn't buy another one.

Photo of davey101
2.99/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2013 vintage, 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Huge thanks to match1112!

A - Pours a clear brown but sits nearly black. If you squint hard enough you can see the bottom of the glass. Two fingers of light khaki foam settle down into thin edging. Looks a little thin, but a pretty basic stout appearance.

S - Oh boy. This is like a double oaked stout, only the base beer is average and the oak isn't exactly welcome. Its just an awkward mix of super intense wood, synthetic vanilla, and dry chocolate powder.

T - That dreadful aroma in liquid form! Lots of over the top oak, fake vanilla, and a dry chocolate that is missing any sweetness. This is a weird beer. Its not bad, but its not good. Its exactly in the middle. I mean I don't mind if I had another sip of this but the prospect isn't entirely attractive. Thin to medium body, meh carbonation.

O - Like a clothespin with a chocolate powder dusting. The barrel aging seemed forced and artificial and the base beer was probably not an all star to begin with. Happy to try this beer because now I know!

Photo of ottovon
2.99/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

shared with whiterascal

A: pours out a dark black, with a brown head that faded rather quickly.

S: i get a lot of vanilla. i also get some oak and roasted malt and chocolate. there is some sweetness and a bit of alcohol in the nose.

T: there is a lot of oak. i also get a metallic taste, and there is an acrid bitterness. there is roasted malt and some dark chocolate. has a weird sweetness that is mixed with alcohol that i cant really describe, but i dont like it.

M: has a medium body with low carbonation.

O: this is not a beer that i would seek out again. there are much better stouts out there. i dont think i would drink this again. it isnt quite a drain pour for me, but it is close.

Photo of jmvecchio1
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dragon’s Milk pours out dark black in color with a creamy, chocolate colored head that recedes fairly quickly. Roasted malts are obvious on the aroma and alcohol is apparent too. Vanilla and oak notes are present, but secondary to the strong alcohol notes. This stout drinks lighter than it looks and has a creamy mouthfeel. Just like with the aroma, when you take a sip, alcohol is the first thing you taste. From there, chocolate and vanilla flavors peek through a bit, but struggle to stand out. I couldn't find any oak notes that were on the aroma.

Photo of Weis_Man
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Not a fan of stouts, but this was surprisingly smooth. Vanilla notes, and oak, just as advertised. The alcohol taste was very well hidden.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,597 ratings.