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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

1,271 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,271
Hads: 4,677
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,245 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,271 | Hads: 4,677
Photo of brewandbbq
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours mostly opaque, but when held directly to light, a luminous dark ruby sheen becomes apparent. A good inch of off-white froth welled up to the brim, and receded slowly to a partial skim-coat on the surface. Lacework aplenty.
Aromatics are nice blend of caramel, roasted malts, bourbon, and oak. Vanilla follows through with some warming alcohol.
The mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Pretty smooth and somewhat lush.
The pallet has a great balance of chocolate, caramel, nougat, bourbon, oaky tannins, and vanilla. Nicely melded with not one of the layers overbearing the others.
Finishes with a hint of residuals and warming bourbon and vanilla.

Not the biggest, baddest dark beer on the planet, but impeccably balanced and highly drinkable.
A "session" barrel aged beer. True that.

Props to Joe1510 for hooking up an east-coaster...Proper! (846 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

04/26/14 From bottle. Started out on the wrong foot. I was eating & this just didn't enhance the meal at all. Once I was finished & it had warmed a bit, it showed a multi-layered profile. The most impressive taste to me was the toffee. I've heard this characteristic used many times but it has eluded me...until this bottle. Very smooth with a strange mix of oiliness but not particularly thick. Next time I'll get a piece of sharp cheese to play off the best of this well made brew. Hold the presses...10%? A very deceptive 10%. (529 characters)

Photo of gmfessen
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer pours thinner than I had expected and looked like new motor oil but appears a deep brown in the glass with a thin, yet firm looking head that leaves nice gobs of lacing all over my glass. The smell is nice; a complex boquet of dark fruits, oak, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and only a hint of sweet alcohol. The taste is very similar to the nose, with all of the flavors melding quite nicely and a warm alcohol bite at the end. The mouthfeel is on the light side for what I had expected and the beer could use just a tad more carbonation. Drinkability is relatively good, a sipper not a quaffer. (645 characters)

Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

It's really great. Incredibly smooth and creamy, it's very milky tasting with a light hint of vanilla and chocolate. Very subtle hints of coffee and bourbon. I was expecting more bourbon from a beer that claims it's bourbon barrel aged. That is really the only off putting part about this beer and it's a bit too sweet. (319 characters)

Photo of MsRif
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Black in color with almost no head that dissipated completely. Very, very minimal lacing...almost none. Aroma of vanilla, whiskey, oak and malty sweetness. Smells very good. Tastes of whiskey, light notes of vanilla...definite oak taste with some roasty malt flavor. Very balanced and good even though it isn't as complex as I like for the style.

Medium-full bodied with light carbonation. Very smooth and it does NOT seem like a 10%ABV brew! I would definitely drink this again. (520 characters)

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Sampled November 2014 from bottles in pint glass. Tasted both the 2013 and 2014 vintages side-by-side.

Appearance: Very dark color. Tan head was not very thick and it did not last as long as some other stouts.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee aromas, with a smell of some sweet chocolate. Nice combination of aromas.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors, with a little hops for added dimension. Could also taste a hint of the oak barrel, which added another interesting dimension. The combination of strong hops and roasted malts and strong alcohol give this drink big powerful flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth, almost creamy.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination of malt, coffee, chocolate, and hops flavor with oak barrel influences. The label lists 10% alcohol, and it does taste like it. This is definitely the taste of an excellent stout. The 2013 is more intense than the 2014. Do not know if this is due to the year it was made, or whether it is due to the year aging. (1,053 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bomber while on vacation about six months ago, and it's been sitting in my cellar since then. Thought it was time to crack it open on a Sunday night. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark brown body, but held to the light, you can see it's extremely dark red. Good head, and nice lacing. Definitely can smell that barrel aging with a good long sniff. Taste was excellent. Robust ale flavor that was complimented even more by the oak. I actually like the use of American oak here instead of a bourbon or whiskey barrel. This beer tasted like an ale aged in a barrel, and not an ale aged in Jack Daniels. The beer flavor stood out, and not the liquor. Quite a nice change of pace from the last couple of barrel aged beers I've sampled. Mellow and easy to drink, tons of flavor. Even my wife liked it a lot. Darn, I wish I had picked up more than just one. Keep your eyes open for this beer. (898 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty. Creamy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet. Lots of chocolate and nutty flavors. However, it probably wasn't the best choice of beer to be drinking while also eating a steak. I definitely need to try this beer again, with appropriate food. (246 characters)

Photo of Dave_in_GR
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, date on bottle says aged 2012.

Appearance - poured a really nice dark brown color with just a small layer of light brown head. Completely opaque in the glass.

Smell - seems to be dominated by the oak from the barrel aging. No alcohol smell whatsoever. The aroma is relatively mild.

Taste - the taste is dominated by oak and a creamy vanilla flavor. As with the aroma, the alcohol is hardly noticeable. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste, perhaps from the roasted malts. Definitely a beer to drink slowly.

Mouthfeel - definitely some astringency in the mouth while drinking, and it is a strange mix with the sweet and creamy vanilla flavors. Otherwise very pleasant, very lightly carbonated.

Overall - lovely dessert stout with sweet and distinctive flavors. (811 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the LCBO for around $8.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Nice opening and pours a tiny head that is gone fast. Super dark.

S- The bourbon is there all the way. Nice malt.

T- The bourbon is there but I want more coffee and chocolate. Just a touch lacking on those departments. Put a touch more in and you have a BCBCS. Nice blend though.

M- Pretty good. Nice creaminess. Not a milk stout but has some characteristics of it

O- Nice beer. Bought 3. One now and two later. Looking forward

Food Pairing

This wonderful little beer went well with...... Braised short beef rib. Nice thick beef rib braised then backed to tender perfection. Tomato sauce based.

Enjoy! (701 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is low, with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of smoke and coffee. The strongest flavor I can taste in this beer is bourbon, so if you're a bourbon fan you'll love this brew. There's also some smoke, chocolate and roasted malt noticable too, along with a lingering bourbony finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it seems a bit thin but it's also coating, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, I thought this was very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a good overall brew, definitely worth a try. (742 characters)

Photo of sunshineunicorn
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle (2012 vintage) into snifter glass

A: deep brown, almost black. Almost no head.

S: floral and woody- very fresh, with a hint of fruit

T: Fruity and complex- sweet, malty, slightly smoky, slight hops presence. All the flavors blend well; I also taste hints of chocolate, and both sweet and sour fruit, and slight alcohol bite too. Aftertaste is surprisingly neutral, emerging from the interesting palette of flavors

M: medium-thick, fairly low carbonation

O: wow, a very interesting beer! the dark hue misleads one from the fruity/floral nose and taste. The myriad flavors balance each other very well for an intriguing combination- definitely worth a try, a very tasty, drinkable brew. (702 characters)

Photo of jcnd9803
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a very small head that disappears quickly. Actually looks like flat Coke now.

S - Ah, exactly what I expected. A great mix of vanilla, wood and bourbon.

T - Follows the smell. Vanilla and woody smoothness with the bourbon finishing things off to add a nice touch of warmth.

M - Creamy, almost like a light stout.

D - New Holland says this is their crown jewel and I have to say I agree. Even though it has the high level of warmth, I think I could drink this all night long. (499 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber courtesy of fthomasl, thanks bra! Pours quite black, very little highlights. Tan foam fades quick and leaves little lacing.

Nose is vanilla, chocolate malty, bourbony and alcoholic! Nice blend of different scents. Maybe even some licorice and anise as it warms.

This is a very nice surprise, easily the best New Holland brew I have had. All the flavors blend together very well. Sweet and roasty with licks of vanilla rum and chocolate. Smooth, adequate mouthfeel. I am enjoying this quite a bit...It is nothing outstanding, but at the same time everything a barrel aged stout/strong ale should be. Very drinkable. (629 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass. 2012 vintage.

A- Pours a deep brown, translucent body with cherry highlights. The head is about 1" and light mocha in color, reducing to a ring of foam and leaving little lacing.

S- The bourbon character takes the front seat here, the aroma is sweet french vanilla, maple syrup, dark fruits, and toffee. Dessert-like.

T- Upfront I get big milk chocolate and vanilla notes. The follow through is sweet like a mocha milkshake with roasty, coffee-like flavors. The finish is smooth with a slight bitter, roasty character. No alcohol detected which is impressive for 10%. Very nice balance.

M- Slightly thin but highly drinkable. Slightly overcarbonated for a BA imperial stout.

I was pleasantly surprised with this beer and I feel that it is underrated. It's quite sweet which may be cloying to some people, but other than that I think it's half a notch under the big name barrel aged stouts. (953 characters)

Photo of PrAndo
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby, burned carmel, aged bourdon

S - bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, and oak. Man alive this smelled good.

T - bourbon with oak and malt. Is that a bad thing?

M - not as heavy as I expected, but rather perfect for the intensity of the flavor.

D - couldn't have more than a few but I'd like to try! (307 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a large bottle.

Pours a dark chocolate black with minimal tan lacing. Glows a deep mahogany when held to light.

Smells of rich brown sugars and sweet dark fruits, particularly figs.

Tastes similar as well as alcohol tart. Only the slightest hint of smokiness on the tail end, but it is clearly oakey in that regard.

Pretty even body, with tingly and thin carbonation.

Not what I was expecting but I really enjoy it. I wish the feel was a little fuller, but other than that a very pleasant experience. (515 characters)

Photo of AndyP612
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured violently into a tulip. 2013 vintage.

A- Black and thick ale with a lighter off white semi fluffy head. The contrast between the blackness of the liquid and the light head is very interesting being this is a bourbon barrel conditioned stout.

S- The nose is quite sweet with hints of sweet coffee and chocolate, slight vanilla and whiskey tease.

T- There's the bourbon! Bourbon is actually quite delicately integrated into the largely coffee and chocolate overtones thrown at me in the nose. Big in roasted, blackened malt with a punch of whiskey!

M- Very light in carbonation. Mouthfeel of about a 0.5% milk, medium bodied. Appearance wise, I would expect something a little bigger feel in the mouth but since this is a relatively young stout in a bottle I am anxious to see how it ages.

O- Great stout for May 12th when it's in the 40's! It's been a while since I have had this stout and I remember it being sweeter, almost too sweet, but this vintage is very nice and well balanced with the bourbon presence balancing out the sweet malt. As stated earlier, I can't wait for next winter to drink this and see how it matures in the bottle. Cheers. (1,174 characters)

Photo of bigdeuce
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is true. This is no American Strong Ale, but I have seen it listed as some type of English Strong Ale. Anyway, it is some type of Imperial Stout in my estimation. Nonetheless, this is an outstanding beer. Scents of deep chocolate, cherries, robust coffee shine through. Tastes similar, very light and unique. Heavy ABV not well detected. An a great looking opaque beer. I did not see a large foamy head, but it still is worth pouring and looking at. A nice well rounded nightcap, brew! (490 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on a trip to NJ...

A: Very unique color. Deep grape purple with a small off-white head that fades quickly. Interesting.

S: Smells super smooth. Sweet buttery bourbon, silky vanilla, and sweet milky malts upfront. Candi sugars in the middle with slight sweet fruit on the backend.

T: Wow, this is great. Sweet sticky bourbon upfront blended with milk chocolate, vanilla, and buttery cream upfront. Sweet sugar in the middle with hints of dark fruit on the backend. Very reminiscent of Bourbon County Stout.

M: Good carbonation feel. Very good.

D: Goes down a little heavier from the booziness flavor.

All in all, this one definitely took me by surprise. Bourbon County is one of my favorite beers, and this brew reminds me so much of it in many ways. If you like a good bourbon flavored beer, then you will love this brew. If you don't like em thick, then avoid this. (881 characters)

Photo of Beechner719
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 160oz glass. Comes our black with a minimal tan head and a little carbonation. The aroma is a bourbon and chocolate with little hints of vanilla. The taste is great. As soon as it hits your mouth you get a chocolate/vanilla mix. The back end is mostly bourbon. It's the perfect combination. The beer is not too thin or thick. It's just right. I actually prefer this beer over KBS. (438 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A- Dark. From a distance looked like motor oil sitting in a glass. Tints of reddish brown colors were produced when light hit the glass. There was a half fingers worth of cream colored head that reduced to a thin ring as the beer was consumed.

S- Pleasant, but simple. Notes of cocoa and coffee beans were present. Hard to deduce much else.

T- Much more complex taste than the aroma led to believe. Definitely can pick out flavors of coffee beans and cocoa. Really enjoyed the oak finish as it brought out strong vanilla flavors. The only knock I have on this beer is that there was nothing that stood out. While there was a complex mix, they were all blended together in subtlety.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation. Left a clean crisp finish. Left the palate somewhat dry after consumption.

D- Delicious flavors make this highly drinkable. The 9% abv was hard to detect until the slight burn in the chest kicked in.

Overall, a must try. The fact that I can't get over is that it is such a complex beer, yet the flavors are so equal in part that there isn't a distinct taste. If only some of the flavors were more pronounced... (1,180 characters)

Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look-Pours a very dark color.(basically black) The head is very small and sticks to the sides for the most part, a nice burnt/tanish color. Very nice appearance.

Smell-I immediately get the smell of bourbon(that boozy zingy aroma you get from bourbon), and I can also smell a slight sweet scent of vanilla and chocolate. I can definitely smell that bourbon though.

Taste-Very robust. Just like bourbon this beer is meant to be sipped on. I can taste notes of vanilla and chocolate. The flavor of bourbon is pretty present as well. The three flavors I get really do complement each other. The flavor is very complex and again robust.

Feel-Its thick, but not too thick. I go back and forth on the carbonation, some sips are carbonated and others aren't.

Overall-I got this beer from a good friend of mine who is quite the beer connoisseur, and so if he thinks it's good it most likely is good. With that being said, I am no stout expert. But what I do know is this beer is very special. It has the most complex flavor of any imperial stout I have tried. I have to say, I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher score. It was a delicious beer and a real treat to have.
One thing though, don't drink more than two of these beers... This beer will surely put you on your ass. (1,274 characters)

Photo of IrishHockey
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Founders snifter. Bottled was chilled to 35 degree F, just like I like my booze.

Pour: looks great. Nice, black, small tanish head that quickly fades into a small frothy crown then to nothingness.

Smell: much like I was anticipating. Bourbon, slight coffee and chocolate. Smells great! I really like the smell!

Taste: wow! Bourbon up front, getting some booziness (I like it), getting some vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee. Not a lot though. Mainly bourbon. It's good! I have to say a lot better than I was expecting.

Overall: I'd buy again. It's really good! Not quite the best bourbon barrel beer I've had, but by far the easiest to find and cheaper than the limited releases. If you can find this, buy it. It's a good bourbon barrel stout. Don't expect it to be a BCBS. It's a bit thinner, and a touch less refined, but a solid beer.

Cheers! (882 characters)

Photo of abankovich
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice deep brown with a very light tan head that faded somewhat quickly. Lacing does linger down the side of the glass as I'm drinking this one.

Smells warm with some chocolate, toffee and caramel notes. Alcohol is also present very lightly in the nose.

The taste I am loving. Up front the alcohol hits very slightly followed immediately by a delicious vanilla flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate are also present but that sweet, sugary vanilla is the most prevalent of all the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick with a slightly creamy feel overall. Definitely smooth going down.

Drinkability on this one is pretty high. 8.5% isn't too outrageous and nothing about this beer makes me think I wouldn't want to have another as soon as I'm finished with this one. (780 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.