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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 Greggy
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Just able to see the light through the dark ruby/black color. Nice lacing.

S- Choc. covered cherries, fresh flour, lactose sweetness, and a bit of buttery vanilla.

T- Dark choc, dryness of oak, cherries, dry hop finish, vanilla and touch of butterscotch.

M- Low carb, velvety smooth, dry finish is nice.

D- 8.5% is well hidden, not bad. I found it similar to 1554. (372 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during a blackout to help pass the time.

A: Black, as they'll be, though against a flashlight, it's more of a very deep ruby or blood red. Tan head, on the shorter side, tops things off

S: Oakiness and coffee aromas, deep toasted malts. Not as much chocolate aromas as some of the style can get, but not bad.

T: Lordy, this is a pretty big punch - especially on the first couple sips. It mellows as it goes, or my palate numbs a little. Burnt malts, a pretty intense oak flavour... maybe a little too heavy on the wood. A bit of peppery alcohol on the finish.

M + D: Full bodied, not reall quite creamy... just a bit heavy feeling. A bit intense, so it should be taken easy. I might prefer it to have some more subtle oak flavours or more complexity, but it still ends up a decent brew. Worth a try. (814 characters)

Photo of msgraves
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter from Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH.

Presented as a deep, deep reddish-brown with minimal head and mediocre lacing around the edge of the glass.

What first hit me with the aroma was the astringency/alcohol and complexity of a fine bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolately sweetness compounded with some oak. Plenty of bourbon character to this one.

Again the bourbon shines through but with enough malt backbone to support it. Many of the aromas are mirrored in the taste: vanilla, chocolate, malt, alcohol.

Felt a little thin in my mouth. However, the beer finished sweet and lasted a moderate amount of time.

Look forward to having this one again. (671 characters)

Photo of vtfan77
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, it looks almost black at first glance. When held up to the light, it appears dark reddish brown. There's not much in the way of head, just a small off-white ring of lace, but that's not too surprising considering the oak aging.

S- Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of coffee are all apparent in the aroma. It's like dessert in a glass!

T- Rich toffee and vanilla flavors dominate the palate, with a touch of astringent roasted malt. The finish is dry and woody, with a decent amount of hop bitterness.

M- Kind of thin here; I would have preferred a little more body. Good, lively carbonation, though.

D- Really no hint of the 8.5% ABV. I wouldn't want to drink a ton of it in one sitting because of its richness, but one bottle can go down pretty quickly.

I was impressed with this beer. The oak aging was done well and added a great character. I've had other oak-aged beers that were either overpowered by the oak or were not perceptibly changed by the aging. Neither was the case with this beer. This is a very good beer to have once in a while as an after dinner treat. Recommended. (1,107 characters)

Photo of tedpeer
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Aggressive pour yields a huge tan head that quickly subsided into a thin layer. Minimal lace. Almost black.

S - Toasted malt & Oak.

T - Slightly sweet upfront

M - Thick, mouthcoating. Lightly carbonated.

D - The alcohol is hidden on this one. (286 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce bomber poured into a pint glass yields a deep dark brown body with a tinge of chestnut highlights and very little off-white foam that rests as a thin broken sheet with a big-bubbled ring. The additional pour is aggressive, hell, bombs-away-style, from some serious altitude--yet also fails to puff up the lifeless head at all, even though the beer stream was given lots of in-the-air-time between bottle and glass. I am not at all impressed as the words 'flat' and 'insipid' leap to mind as the virtually headless drink leaves only a few tiny specks of lacing.

Smells lightly of molasses with a nice tinge of oak with a roasty note lurking in the wood.

Rich malt profiles dominate the sweet flavor; there's toffee with caramel, brown sugary molasses, dark and nutty roasted barley with a pleasant bitter note and a firm dry oak backing with a lightly acidic coffee aftertaste. Despite the utter flatness in the appearance, the beer still tickles the tongue with carbonation, keeping the drinkability decent.

My hopes and expectations for this beer were high, and not met. Ho-hum. Next. (1,097 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is pretty close to black topped by a slightly tan tight head. Small with stringy + scattered lace. Aroma has a lot of milky cocoa, bready malts, light fruit that's somewhat jam-like. Taste is similar with molasses, smoother, and has a mellow carbonation. Not bad at all but alllmost too sweet for me. I decided this would make an excellent dessert beer. Texture is mellow, buttery, and perhaps milky. Drinkability suffers a little with the intense sweetness.

Not bad, but a little heavy for a anytime but during dessert beer. (537 characters)

Photo of Riverwarrior
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell = Roasted malt and bourbon/oak aromas.

Taste = Sweet malts upfront, caramel, and a slight bourbon/oak rounding out the flavor. A faint hop bitterness appears at the finish. The alcohol was truly hidden.

MF = Rich, smooth, creamy, and low carbonation.

Overall, after smelling the bourbon/oak aromas, I was afraid they would ambush the flavor. This was certainly not the case. This beer was amazing. The flavors were complex yet gentle. It made for an incredible beer. (475 characters)

Photo of brstilson
2.97/5  rDev -24.4%
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. (1,900 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black with dark brown and blood red highlights. tan head is very small and fades quickly leaving minimal lace. nose and taste... pretty well balanced mix of wood, a hint of smoke, vanilla, a little dark fruit, and some herby root beeryness like sassafrass or sasparilla. medium full body with a slight boozy warming finish that is welcome in an ale of this sort. i thought it went nicely with some sausages and burgers on the grill, so i ranked it very high in the drinkability category. decent beer. (500 characters)

Photo of bboven
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I heard so many great things about this beer.

Appearance is deep mahogany with slivers of garnet highlights, semi-opaque. The head starts small and fades to nothing after a few minutes.

Aroma is dark fruit, huge vanilla from the oak and HUGE fusel alcohol.

Big vanilla flavor from the oak hides the great malt characteristics that are dying to shine if only they weren't so overshadowed.

Mouthfeel is very slightly carbonated, enough to make it fall flat. Sticky malt characteristics finally show up here but it's just too late.

Way too much emphasis on the oak in this beer, I have two more bottles that will be cellared in the hopes of knocking some of the green off the ale. Definitely oak aging gone extreme, but with less than stellar results. (753 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland Dragon's Milk (Oak Barrels)
22oz brown bottle

A: poured into a snifter. Dragon's Milk pours a very intense mahogany color that is practically pitch black. Very minimal tan head with, with practically no retention. Faint lacing if it is even that much.

S: Sweet roasted malts, with a lot of sweet cherries. Some serious alcohol aromas in the nose as well. I am pulling some hints of toasted coconut.

T: Some serious roasted malts, with some hints of coffee, toffee and some lactos. I am getting some coconut and cherries from the barrels, along with some serious oak. The fruits are right up front, then the roasted malts come through.

M: surprisingly, very smooth and creamy. Medium body which was shocking, since I expected something a little more dark. Good carbonation.

D: Wow! Such an amazing beer, with a great mouthfeel. This is a beer anyone should try, especially if you enjoy barrel-aged beers. I really enjoyed this brew at noon after just waking up. (978 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: When I poured this beer from a bottle to a pint glass, it had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch head and some good lacing.

S: Not exactly an overpowering aroma, but solid. Strong presence of malt, chocolate and a bit of hops.

T: When you drink this, you get a big shot of coffee, then chocolate, then roasted malt. There's also some caramel in there as well. Very tasty and pretty complex.

M: This had a fair amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. It's not quite a full-bodied beer, but not a medium-bodied, either. Something in between.

D: This is a drinkable beer. It's a little on the heavy side, but it has a solid taste and a goes down easy. (687 characters)

Photo of dnichols
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My ex-father in law was born in Holland, MI. For years I associated Holland with the conservative Dutch Reformers who frown on beer (and all alcohol). Now comes this brew which I shared with friends who came home to help repair my ailing computer.

A: It poured a dark black body that when back lit was ruby red. The head was a moderate dark tan despite an aggressive pour. The head receded fast to a ring around the collar and there was a modest and diminishing lacing.

S- After resting it emitted the aroma of richly toasted malts, vanilla and caramel as well as hints of chocolate, nuts and bourbon.

T: My first impression was not all that favorable but as I got deeper into the beer my esteem grew. It had a smooth rich roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The flavors of the oak added to the nutty flavors and the hops were recessive but gave the back side a touch of tang and diluted coffee. The high ABV was well hidden.

M: It had a medium creamy body with low carbonation and a warm sweet finish.

D: This beer grew on me. It is light enough to last long into the night but the high ABV would catch up with me and cause an early end to the night. My respect for Holland, MI was reestablished by this nice solid brew. (1,259 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a very dark with a minimal head. It smelled delicious, with vanilla, caramel, and cocoa scents coming through. Dragon's Milk tasted as delicious as it smelled. It started out with a vanilla and dark chocolate. The aftertaste consisted of the burnt oak that was advertised, with a hint of bourbon. All in all, this was delicious. It was sweeter than I was expecting and all of the flavors mixed very well to create a very enjoyable tasting experience, however it is not one that I can drink in large quantities. (522 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 kzoobrew
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is very dark brown almost black. As others have previously said the style is questionable. While the brew may not be the perfect example of an American strong ale I disagree that it is a stout or porter.(on reconsideration the brew does have some similarities to Breckenridge Vanilla Porter in taste) Luckily beer does not have to fit perfectly in to styles to be enjoyed.

Smell mostly of chocolate/toffee. Light coffee fragrence is also present.

Taste of vanilla and coffee quite strong up front. As the flavor sits you do taste the woodiness in the brew. Although i feel a bourbon barrel may have added a more desirable flavor I don't hate the oak.

Drinks very smooth very light mouth feel for a high abv brew.

I feel another bottle may be necessary to cement my overall opinion about this brew. I will definitely try again, may also buy one to see how it does in the cellar. (887 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)

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 TheBierBand
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK... if this is an American Stong Ale... Then I am a MONKEE's Uncle!... This is an American STOUT or a Porter all the way....

Poured out ebony and produced a light tan head in the glass. The head lasted and the dissipating foam left slight lacing on the glass.

Taste: very sweet like a caramel stout with a slight coffee back-up from roated malt. Vanilla taste adds to the sweetness.

MF: very smooth and rich... maybe a touch UNDER Carbonated.

Drink: Too sweet for my taste.... still a solid Amercan Stout.... certainly NOT an american Strong Ale! (552 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at Lunar in the 'burbs while celebrating my bachelor party. It came to me in a 9 oz snifter.

A - Black as tar with a dark brown creamy head that shows really nice retention and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S - Dark and creamy to my nose, this is full of dark chocolate candy notes and strangely enough I smell peanut butter.

T - Rich chocolatey ovaltine! This is sweet and chocolatey with some nice supporting hops. Tasty as hell. This is like drinking Hershey's dark chocolate syrup straight up.

M - As full bodied as motor oil, this is creamy, silky, smooth, and really thick.

D - Outstanding! This is a killer beer! I love the name, the high ABV is nice, and the flavors are damn tasty. (713 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and about a 1 finger head of tannis foam. Average head retention but it does have some nice lacing.

The smell is dominated by caramel malt but I also get some roasted malt, vanilla, and wood. Pretty nice nose.

The taste has notes of caramel and roasted malt, toffee, a real oaky flavour, and a bit of dark fruit but mostly caramel and toffee and it's hitting my tastebuds nicely. Oh, now I'm noticing a bit of vanilla; it's stronger in the smell than in the taste.

The body is thinner than I expected though it is quite creamy, carbonation is on the low side, and the abv is hidden pretty well.

Because of it's smoothness, I find it quite drinkable.. a very nice American Strong Ale indeed. I'd drink it again. (818 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to joe1510 for this one!

Pours chestnut tinged ebony with 1 finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & bourbon with some vanilla as this warms

T: Dark fruits, vanilla, oaky dryness & bourbon up front. A touch of chocolate gives way to raisins, some leafy hops, dryness, caramel & a bit of cherry brandy as this warms. Finishes dry with bourbon notes, a bit of burnt candi sugar,

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, some nice slickness as this warms

Drinkability is good for the style & ABV, but you feel this baby warming you from the get-go! One best consumed on a cold night by the fire. versus the (finally) warm spring evening grilling steaks I chose. A solid American Imp Stout (716 characters)

Photo of edmedina
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark color almost that of a stout or porter with little or no head. Aroma is very mild in this one. You do get a hint of vanilla almost a malty vanilla really. First sip you get the light taste of carmal malt and vanilla in there. The after taste is really when the oak really comes through. This is a well balanced beer but I"ll have to be honest. When I see the color or read oak aged, I expected something more out of it. Don't let the taste foll you it is a a well balanced beer that can be enjoyed by many. (517 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz reviewed in my notebook a couple weeks ago... bottle supplied from SAS.. thanks for the opportunity.. my share in my New Belgium snifer.

1" head.. no lacing... very dark brown beer.. verging on black.. Dark ruby highlites when held to a light... very clear.

Aroma is chocolate/toasted malts .. with a little caramel.. low vanilla but definitely present.. smells creamy... dark dried fruits as it warms.

Flavor is thick caramel and toffee... bourbon and vanilla.. toasty oak.. very smooth.. nothing bitter.. a little bit of cola. Medium body.. could use a little more viscosity... plummy notes along with raisin... low carbonation adds to an already milky/silky brew... surprisingly drinkable..

Sorry guys.. wish I had more.. again, taken from a paper notepad. Thanks, Steve. (785 characters)

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