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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:
5,061
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
26.08%
 
 
Wants:
321
Gots:
1,557
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
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Reviews: 1,335 | Ratings: 5,061
Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland may struggle a bit with their IPA recipe and execution, but their stouts have no such issues. As with their Night Tripper, Dragon's Milk delivers silky smooth chocolates with roasty backnotes and a touch of smoke, oak, and even bourbon- whether they meant to or not.

The beer pours with a silky layering effect into the snifter, and does so with the most dense espresso imaginable. With nearly milkshake-like consistency, the nearly black, dark bark-brown hue exudes the notions of roast, chocolate, and smoke. Lightly ingrained carbonation creates a creamy aesthetic, but also relinquishes a dainty tan head that dissolves midway through the session with minimal spotted lace. The beer is best observed through the spectacles of cognac or brandy.

The aromas are spot-on Bourbon Ball Candies made my many of my local Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark manufacturers. Where they never decry a bourbon infusion, the aromas of chocolate wafers, walnuts, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbony booze rises to the occasion and surplants any dessert at the after dinner party.

Flavors follow with a familiar tone. The direct carryover from scent brings about the dessert-like sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, creamy espresso, heavy cream, coconut, vanilla, caramel, almonds, and that ever present bourbon taste- but with all the taste and none of the burn. Roasted grains contribute light bitterness as do the woody hops, but these only act as slight balancing elements- this beer was never intended to be a balanced stout, but rather a richer and malt-focused taste with the complement of oak. It nails it to perfection!

Silky smooth and malty weighted, the beer projects a full texture and makes no apologies for it. Light on carbonation, the malty weight and sweet alcohols seep into the mouth's surfaces for a full flavor, savory, and labored transition across the palate. But that's ok- the savory, succulent, and velvety textures caress the palate and forgives the lack of dryness with ease. A long linger, well past the ill-faded finish, continues well into the next sip for a very digestive-intended session.

This stout is one of the most celebrated bourbon-flavored stouts that does not confess bourbon barrel aging, but merely oak aging. How dey do dat?

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Photo of Chico1985
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage split by cbutova. (Listed as 10% on the bottle IIRC)

Pours very dark brown with a bubbly beige head. Some flakes of sediment can be seen. Head turns to a good-looking cap and leaves some lacing.

Smell is a bit faint, but enjoyable malts, caramel, dark fruits.

Very good taste. Vanilla, roasted malt, loads of sugary sweetness, definite whiskey and barrel notes. Lots of dark cherry and raisin notes almost give this red wine-type qualities, also some notes of chocolate. Reminds me of a big sweet scotch ale, quite complex.

Pretty thick and malty, booze is there but decently hidden, could use a bit more carbonation.

Extremely sweet with nothing to really help balance it out, which I think will turn many people off, but I thought it had lots of good flavors to make up for it. Aging seems like it could help some but I really enjoyed this fresh.

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Photo of jkaufman
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz. bomber into a tankard.

A: Very dark ruby and opaque; pours with a thick off-white head that quickly thins out, leaves a nice lacing behind.

S: Bourbon, not much else. This is going to be interesting.

T and M: This brew is surprisingly complex. It is moderately carbonated, pleasantly smooth, and well balanced. Despite its foreboding appearance and aroma, the body is on the thin side and finishes a little milky. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the throat, but is mellowed quite a bit by roasted and caramel malts, and obviously bourbon flavors.

D: Definitely not a session ale, but it's fairly easy to finish a bomber.

Recommended.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is 9% and for that i suppose the head shouldn't be too amazing but it is pretty good. the head dies off but the off white head and inky black body werve well together

S: There is a vanilla bean and and oak wood character with malt and burnt toast

T: Milk for sure, go figure... but there is more vanilla barrel and somewhat creamy and very smooth. the body is medium in nature hedging towards thick

this is a really good beer, its hard to describe but it is fantastic

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Photo of roadhouse
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter.

Appears a very dark brown/black that is basically opague with a one finger tan head that sinks to a skim fairly quickly, however a swirl of the glass brings it right back. Leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Aromas of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and oak. A bit of alcohol is noticable in the back.

Taste is initially lots of chocolate and coffee roasted flavors with subtle hints of vanilla. It's basically like the aroma but even better than I expected. Towards the end a bourbonish oak flavor comes out (I know, it's not actually aged in Bourbon barrels). There is a slight bitterness towards the end that presents itself as rather earthy in nature, almost piney.

Mouthfeel is medium, I would prefer it to be a bit more full myself, but the smooth creaminess of it makes up for that shortcoming.

Overall I was very impressed with this. Judging by the previous reviews I was expecting something lackluster, but this one is a real winner. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beergoot
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, mahogany red/brown body with thin but persistent, creamy head. Milk chocolate, mocha, and a slight bourbon nose in the aroma. Coconut, baker's chocolate, booze, and vanilla flavors. Heavy body with a smooth, velvety, thick mouthfeel.

A most impressive tasting stout. The flavors and feel really shine with big, robust character. The malt component creates a deliciously dark treat; sweetness and bitterness all nicely balanced. The relatively high alcohol content is noticeable but doesn't over-ride any of the malt and hop goodness while the bourbon barrel aging greatly adds to the overall character of the beer. Another fine Michigan beer offering...

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Photo of kwjd
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish-brown colour with off-white head. The smell of the oak immediately jumps out at you, which is what you'd expect with an oak aged beer. The taste has lots of the oak, with the roasted malt backing it up. Some chocolate and caramel in the flavour as well. A whiskey loving friend that I shared this bottle with commented that he loved it because it reminded him of a nice scotch, which I'd agree. Very creamy body.

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Photo of montecristo2
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter at Mother Murphy's Irish Bistro in Chicago.

Some notes of vanilla very present at the initial taste and at the finish. Malt flavors also present.

Alcohol slightly present, but not overpowering- not too much to influence the taste.

Dark and tasty-a great beer to end the evening.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Dark amber/brown color with moderate head. The smell is pretty intense: very alcoholic and sweet with hints of maple syrup and molasses.

Taste continues to be sweet with a very strong oak flavor, one of the few oak aged beers where the flavor has been at the forefront. There's a slight nuttiness to this one as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with decent amount of carbonation. For a fairly high strength the drinkability does not suffer here.

Pretty good. Worth trying.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One bottle that i shared with friends at a tasting. Very dark for an ale...small brown head. smells like hickory smoke. Taste is smokey, maly, chocolatey. almost like a stong ale that almost became a stout by accident. I like this beer a lot and i'll try it again when i have the opportunity.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a large snifter.
Pours jet black with minimal lightly colored head.
Smells amazing. Roasty coffee, toffee, vanilla notes...
Tastes even better. Coffee , toffee, vanilla and bourbon all present. No alcohol burn from the bourbon which is welcome.
Mouthfeel was thin, would have liked it a touch more chewy.
Overall I loved this beer. Wonderful!

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Photo of Thanby
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color, creamy tan head, leaves some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and has a creamy quality. The taste is smooth and creamy, the roasted malt dominating the flavor, a little bitter (can't tell if that's hops or not), the caramel and chocolate surface slowly and there's a slightly spicy lingering finish. Definitely a delicious brew, fits the name well. Very easy to drink and the high ABV is fairly hidden. Great balance and body, and just delicious. This is the favorite of everyone at a beer bar near me called Chappy's, and it's obvious why.

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Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint because that was all that was available at my in law's place. Had this one on Christmas day 2012!

A: Poured a nearly pitch black color (or lack of), with a touch of ruby poking out around the edges when held up to a light source, and a spider web-like head that eventually became mocha clumps.

S: Bourbon Bombs R' Us for sure, with a buttercream flavor in the center, and a nice balance between the cocoa and vanilla.

T: Like the nose, the bourbon was upfront, with a good amount of vanilla extract combine with some sort of candy-dipped solvent, and lots of oak. I dug it!

M: Not too sweet, infinitely chewy, with an icky, sticky lacing, and boozy, bourbon-y awesomeness.

O: One of the best BBA Stouts available in my local area. Also, the price is right!

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Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nittanybeerfan for bringing this out last night. I have heard a lot about this one and am glad I finally got to try it. Poured into two tulip glasses.

This is an interesting style of beer. It is not big enough for a RIS, yet too big for a Porter. Strong Ale, eh I suppose.

A: Pours a dark brown, but by no means black. Noticeable edges of brown and maroon show when held to the light. Pours with a one finger, fluffy khaki head that fizzles out into a thin ring of foam.

S: The smell is rather light, but has great complexity nonetheless. The bourbon comes to the forefront and is accompanied by some nice cocoa nibs. Other noticeable aromas are chocolate, molasses, and sweet caramel.

T: Just fantastic. The bourbon comes right to the front and shows its presence. The bourbon is light though, which I like, it is not overpowering. This allows the sweet caramel, chocolate, and slightly bitter roast to come through on the finish. Overall, the taste is on the lighter side, but the complexity does not lack.

Overall, this was a great bourbon beer. I would have preferred it to be a little richer, but because it was light, I finished my glass in no time.

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Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage served during the Black Friday event at Capone's.

Appearance: pours a dark black with garnet corners and a minimal off white crown that exhibits a touch of retention and lace.

Smell: Roast malt, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, oak, and creme. I'm not noticing any booze presence so perhaps the 2 years of aging made that difference.

Taste: While the flavors aren't as vibrant as when consumed fresh, everything has melded well into a delicious brew. Oak and chocolate up front.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with little carbonation. Feels a bit slick with a touch of chewiness.

Drinkability: The abv is the only thing holding this one back from scoring higher in the drinkability department. The flavors are well melded.

Not fantastic, but I enjoyed this 07' vintage more than fresh samplings.

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Photo of Spica66
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Updating using a 6-month old bottle.

A: Black color, slightly viscous looking pour. Excellent head formation with decent retention. Carbonation ring remains bubbling during the whole glass.

S: Sweet, strong malt and alcohol nose. Smells like an RIS. Dark coffee and chocolate notes.

T: Very dark roast! Slightly sweet, too. Maybe bourbon/vanilla would best describe it. Really, really enjoyable.

M: Full body and good carbonation. Very smooth.

D: Very easy to drink, especially for a 9 percenter!

Original Review:

This beer seems to be too young to be served. Color, head, mouthfeel and appearance are all acceptable, but it has a sharpness that reminds me of a young homebrew. There was not a lot of complexity in the background of this beer, so I am not sure it would even be worth laying it down for a while. I guess I will try it, though. Will report back in 6 months...

Original was 4/2.5/3/4/3

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: deep brown with lighter brown accents at the edges; 1 finger tan head that receded quickly to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: definitely a bit of bourbon;

T: bourbon and vanilla come first, then I noticed the alcohol; the vanilla stays all the way with deeply roasted malt building from mid-palate;

M: sticky; moderate carbonation;

O: I love bourbon, so this beer is right up my alley;

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This robust beer was tasted many time but I refer to the Oak Age 2010 vintage. I like the deep complex wood notes from those bourbon casks. I detected vanilla, caramel notes. Rich but with a bit acid oily mouth-feel the became stronger as the glass warmed. Black in color, opaque in clarity, complex coffee aroma with the black malt. Dragon milk is a heavy body beer with a creamy delicate head. Malt forward and what a kick at I was told is closer to 10% ABV. Yum

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'07 Dragon's Milk on tap @ Crunchy's in East Lansing 8/6/08

opaque deep dark blackish brown, tan head fades, mmm

smells of nice heavy lactosey(? maybe oats?) chocolate, bitter, creamy depth, roasty alcohol, dark fruit, rum

taste is appley compared to fresh, alchohol muted nicely, sweet thick malts, slightly roasty, bitter, malts dominate, creamy complex chocolate, nicely mellowed compared to fresh but i think i prefer the aggressiveness of fresh, light alcohol heat, rum, raisins, plums

mouthfeel is heavy, thick, rich, a complex sipper, loads of amazing flavors mmmm

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Photo of salimoneus
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- pours very dark, medium thick head, not much cling

Smell - This beer has a very nice aroma, consisting mostly of bourbon, oak, vanilla

Taste- Tastes mostly like it smells, a nice bourbon component, some oak, carmel, and vanilla

Mouthfeel- Fairly average, not great but not bad

Value- Four packs are available in my area for $14, which is about 30 cents per ounce. To me this represents a very good value for a quality beer in this style.

Overall- The best bourbon barrel aged stout available year around. It doesn't quite stack up against the heavy hitters in this category, but it's one I would recommend to fill the gaps in between special occasions, or those new to this style of beer. Plenty of bourbon character indicates it was aged for at least 6 months, and it's complex enough for experienced BA stout drinkers.

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Photo of antzman
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a jet black with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates. Excellent lacing on the glass as well. The aroma is sweet. Caramel, vanilla, oak from the barrel, chocolate malt, and just a hint of bourbon. The aroma is fairly subdued, and does not overwhelm you. The flavor is delicious. Plenty of flavors here. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, sweet fruits. A bit on the sweet side, but it does not linger long on the palate. A very warming beer. This is probably the best offering from New Holland I have tried.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into glassware, served cool and purchased from local LCBO for about $7.50 CDN. As this is the 2014 batch ABV checks in at a statuesque 11%.

Appearance - A very dark brown, nearly black color. Half finger of tan head is poured with some frothy bubbles. Spidery lacing left behind and thin tan wisp lingers on top throughout. Also opaque.

Smell - Sweet vanilla, with a slightly nutty aroma that goes away as the beer warms. Tons and tons of bourbon. Another dose of vanilla followed by more bourbon. A bit of a woody barrel aroma thrown in at the end. Complex and inviting and there is no doubt in what this beer was aged in.

Taste - Vanilla to start, followed by oodles of bourbon. Wow. Oaky and boozy. Taste is straightforward but well executed. Alcohol is not hidden and thus a bit of a harshness to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth slick and oily. Low to medium carbonation a good mouthfeel that finishes boozy and a touch harsh.

Overall - Very good BBA stout that's a little rough around the edges but comes through as a delicious beer, that can easily be enjoyed as long as you take your time. Immense bourbon flavors pretty much make sure that you sip this one.

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Photo of WKyle
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with white lacing that turns into a very thin head like most imperial stouts. The smell is of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, whiskey, and esters. The taste is really wonderful it starts with chocolate and vanilla and ends with whiskey, coffee, and warming alcohol. The alcohol taste is present, but that really should be expected when you age something in bourbon barrels for long enough. The mouth feel is lighter than a lot of imperial stouts, but not thin. Overall, I would drink a KBS or a backwoods bastard first, but due to their low availability this is definitely a go to bourbon barrel stout. I will be drinking this one again.

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Photo of phisig137
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Santa DeeJayDan for this one

Pours a deep black, only letting a bit of brown light through around the edges. One finger head has excellent retention, and eventually falls into a thick creamy blanket of foam on top of the glass, leaving behind abundant creamy lacing. Looks fantastic.

Aroma is mostly dominated by oak and vanilla tones, but not in a harsh or overbearing way. Roasted malts also find thier way through,as well as biscuits and a hint of alcohol.

Flavor is very nice. Light roasted malt presence, with a strong vanilla barrle flavor that integrates beautifully with the beer. A bit more of a baltic porter or stout than a strong ale... but hey, it's pretty fantastic whatever you call it. The finish is almost devoid of hops, but is slightly sweet, lingering and pleasant. You want another sip, but instead you can sit and contemplate the flavor. Well balanced, and not overly oak-ey, like some barrel beers can be. Mouthfeel is just a little thin for me, but is quite creamy, and smooth. Drinkbability is good considering the 9.0% ABV.

This is my first beer from New Holland, and I am very impressed. I now wish that this was a regulalry seen item around VA. Either way, I'd recommend this beer, and would buy it constantly in the winter, given the ability to do so. Thanks again DeeJayDan!!! This one is a winner!

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Photo of leantom
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a long time coming for this beer. Here goes:

A: Splendid. Large head and a ton of lacing. Pours pitch black as well.

S: Very, very bourbony. I'd wager that this beer is one of the most alcoholic, bourbony beers that I've ever smelled. Tons of oak and vanilla. Good, but the overwhelmingness of the alcoholic bourbon masks the stout scent somewhat.

T: Very sweet and bourbony. Lots of oak and vanilla. Also a sufficient dark chocolate taste (more apparent in the taste than in the smell). Good.

F: Little light for 11.0 alcohol. Still good, though.

O: Good beer. Would have again. I still think Bourbon County is much better.

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