1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,950 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,950
Reviews: 1,180
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 211
Gots: 755 | FT: 35
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:
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 added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,950 | Reviews: 1,180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stunner97
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- dark black with no light coming through at all with tan head that quickly fades away, little to low carbonation

Smell- the smell on this beer was probably its strongest point of all was smelling this one at the bar for quite sometime before I even took my sip, just nice oak and roasted malts and chocolate/vanilla, really solid nose

Taste- very nice stout flavor that is nicely mixed with the naunces and flavors of oak, its not a bourbon flavor but purely oak which give its sweetness and vanilla, thats mixed in with also roasted notes and chocolate tones good flavor

Mouthfeel- very heavy and smooth with little to no carbonation

DRinkability/overall- this beer is heavy and has very rich flavor and is certainly not a beer you would go at just slamming down, in terms of drinkability its probably around a four but in its overall it gets boosted up to me to a 4.5 because i just generally enjoyed the flavor and it hit me right on tap at the bar, the smell alone made me happy, maybe not absolute best stout i have ever had but pretty damn good

Stunner97, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Northsider
2.53/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Fork Chicago.

This was beer recommended to me by the bartender. I got it in a short glass (6oz? 8oz?). I'm not thrilled about high abv beers, and this one was no different. All I tasted was the alcohol. I felt like I was drinking scotch with this one. Appearance is very dark with tan head. Smell was all alcohol to me, as was the taste.

Overall, I'd pass on this again. Not my kind of beer. Way too alcoholy for my tastes

Northsider, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of sluggermatt15
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at a local bar. Was in the mood for a dark beer and this is what I got:

A - Pours a very dark brown/black. Nearly opaque. Thin tan lacing that quickly dissipates. Looks sharp.

S - Vanilla. The alcohol smell is strong and ever apparent.

T - You can taste the alcohol. Some vanilla and oak, similar to how it smells, but NOT exactly the same.

M - Some carbonation, not much to speak of. Pretty thick.

I LOVED this beer. One of my favorite stouts of ALL-TIME. I would certainly order this one again. Definitely a sipper and not a beer that you should just gulp down. Unfortunately, I made that mistake.

sluggermatt15, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of ebby82
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black hole like sludge into a tulip glass with barely any head.

The aroma is strongly of coffee and roasted malts. you can also smell the oak.

The taste is intense. It overwhelms the senses with a very alcoholic taste. Also the presence of oak, vanilla, and coffee.

Overall, I think this is just a little too boozy and or wood flavored. I think a year or so of aging would mellow it out.

ebby82, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out pretty dark black in color. The head came and went pretty quick, not leaving much lacing. The smell of the beer was burnt and a little acidic. The flavor of the beer had some deep roasted malts, and chocolate in there. The Oak Barrels added a slight sourness to the brew. The mouthfeel to me seemed a little flat. Overall It was decent stout, not one of my favorites though. I don't see myself running out to get more anytime soon.

Knapp85, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of fountainofyouth
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this three times on-tap at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. The first time two times were wonderful experiences that prompted yet another, but less pleasurable experience. My ratings are an aggregate of all three tastings.

Appearance: A good look for a stout. Held up to light, the glass is very dark brown and opaque. Shades of dark red. The head is pretty small and retains OK. It leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The first couple of times I had it, I smelled a great mix of vanilla, bitter and sweet chocolates, coffee, and oak -- as well as a little bit of booze and very little in the way of hops. The third time I smelled pretty much only chocolate and a LOT of alcohol. This presaged a disappointing taste . . .

Taste: Again, the first two times were much better than the third. On those occasions, I was treated to a rich mix of the flavors described in the aromas. It's sweet for a stout but I liked the balance. Different sips provided different tastes. Subdued hops.

The third time was unpleasant. From start to finish -- especially at the finish -- booze and syrupy chocolate provided an uneven and almost nauseating taste. My tongue was numb two-thirds of the way through and I could not even bring myself to down the last few drops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than a Guinness (especially the third time). Carbonation is typical for a stout.

Overall: I really hope the third serving was an aberration due to me receiving something from the bottom of the tank. I was ready to crown this one of my absolute favorites until then. I'm willing to give it another go, but caveat emptor -- you might be gambling with the quality of your beer when you get this.

fountainofyouth, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of buyBinboaVodka
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Taken from notes on May 13th.

a-poured into goblet with a very dark roasted coffee color. Almost no head at all with thick choppy lacing around the glass.

s-Smells of dark chocolate, warm vanilla, and roasted malts

t-it does not taste as good as it smells. very strong alcohol presence and vanilla and cocoa notes. The hot alcohol sweetness lets it beknown that it is there at all times.

m-moderate carbonation with a thin bodied feel to it. alcohol throughout the palete.

o-I think this fell a little short of expectations. I had high hopes for this beer and I'm left wanting something else. I will reach for the Poet next time. At least I really enjoy that beer.

buyBinboaVodka, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of CWBlues
3.1/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark black with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Roasted malts dominate the nose, with a little coffee and vanilla rounding it out. A little raison, or prune. Some kind of fruit like that.

T: Oak. Oak oak oak. I don't get much more than that. A lot of vanilla on the back end. Some soy sauce on the back. Not liking that much.

M: Relatively silky. Heavy body. Smooth. Not overly difficult to drink.

O: It's ok, for being what it is. Not sure I would pick it up again. I can't quite get past that soy sauce taste.

CWBlues, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured dark brown in color with a creamy tan head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a dark, bitter-sweet chocolate and a roasty coffee like flavor to it. Those flavors mix some woody oak and vanilla like characteristics.

The taste starts off with more of the dark chocolate and roasty flavors. Midway it starts to take a turn for the worse though with a boozy alcohol flavor mixing with the woody oak. It's kind of hot and boozy with a vodka and soy sauce like presence in the finish. It feels a little harsh overall and the flavors seem to clash in the finish with a lot of burnt, roasty, bitter and boozy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it had some qualities I liked but the hot, boozy, woody flavor in the finish just didn't work for me. As I said, the flavors seemed to clash instead of compliment for me unfortunately. I liked some aspects of it but overall it just wasn't for me.

billab914, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I will forewarn with saying I am a sucker for a strong barrel presence.

Pours black with lots of rose hue. Tan head that fades pretty quick but after all this beer is 10%.

The smell is great. Bourbon, vanilla, raisins, and other dark fruits.

The taste is pretty much purely from the oak. A ton of vanilla with a slight dash of alcohol. Roasty wood on the front with a lingering almost campfire smores taste on the back.

I got this one in a trade and please send me another!

Eriktheipaman, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of JRed
2.9/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

JRed, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5-27-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, dark brew with a decent lacing ring

S – Dark roasted malts, hints of bourbon and dark chocolate, no real malt aroma

T/M – Full flavored brew, malty brew with a bourbon back bone, creamy smooth flavor through out

D – Pretty drinkable brew, not overly strong but enough. Couldn’t have too many of these in a sitting but enjoyable. I recommend this brew

FreshmanPour77, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of jale
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at reno's west in Lansing.

A: Pours black with 2 quarters of light brown head.

S: Smell is sherry, carmel malts oak and dark fruits.

T:Oak and booze upfront followed by some burnt sugar. Moves into dark roasted malt and bitter coffee. A hint of vanilla and light dark fruits. Huge oak finish.

M: Thick body.

O: Solid beer but has to much booze when fresh. Better with age from a bottle.

jale, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of SDDanC
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 poured from bottle into Green Flash snifter. Pours black with forced cocoa head, which dissipated quickly. Nose catches a fair amount of bourbon, but it is blanketed by coffee/cocoa notes. But i wish those were more pronounce. on the tongue, i pick up rich chocolate, which covers the tongue comfortably. not much bourbon in the taste, which i prefer, as i like sweet stouts. as it was left to warm up and calm down, a sense of the bourbon was brought forth. mouthfeel is decent. a little too bubbly for my tastes. takes away from the sweetness of the cocoa. But! overall, this is a good beer to drink on a more regular basis, when in the craving state of mind.

SDDanC, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of CapitalGains
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured and tasted a 22 oz. bottle, Vintage 2010 into a Deschutes snifter. 6/3/2011.

A: Pours a deep brown/black. Not nearly as black when looking down while drinking. Moderate head formation with a dirty gold/white gradient from bottom to top, head retention is minimal and de minimis lacing exists as it is consumed.

S: Mostly scents of milk chocolate and vanilla, very faint scent of wooden/oaken attributes, surprising amount of alcohol at the tail-end of each smell. The smell of alcohol was also much more prevalent in the remaining ounces of the snifter as well as the beer warms, relative to a full initial pour. Kind of disappointed.

T: By and large lightly roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla are the dominant drivers according to my taste buds. Notes of caramel and oak once the beer warmed up and after the first fews sips. Almost no hop bitterness to this one. Surprising amount of alcohol in this one, though I figure that might mellow out a bit with some additional time on it.

M: I've never had dragon's milk in real life (well, maybe in a RPG...or wait, I think that was dragon's blood) but if such a thing existed this beer's mouthfeel would probably nail it. Medium-heavy, creamy mouthfeel initially which fades as the sip goes down. Starts out like a milkshake with too little ice cream mixed in. Perhaps some day I will slay a black dragon and will be able to do a side-by-side comparison. Until then I'll have to make arbitrary assumptions about what real dragon's milk feels like. Oh well! I digress...

O: This is decent stout overall. I did not get much out of from the oak-barrel aging but that could be due the lack of extended aging to develop more of those characteristics. For its style it's hard to find anything remarkable about it. The chocolate and vanilla that I gather from it make it sweeter than most other 9-11% barrel aged stouts I've had. I vaguely remember having this on-tap a few years back but I don't recall many of the attributes then as I was still (and still am) in the infancy of my beer tasting lifetime. I do not recall the exact price I paid for this 22 oz. but I believe it was somewhere in the range of $6.50-8.00.

CapitalGains, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Alewatcher for the opportunity to try this.

2009 Vintage

A: Dark brown in color with less than a finger of tan head. Sparse film and very little lacing.

S: Vanilla, oak, sweet malts, dark fruit, maybe a little chocolate.

T: Nice taste with everything from the nose present. The barrel aged characteristics are here, but not overpowering in the least. This a pretty sweet tasting beer overall with the dark fruit, vanilla and chocolate flavors.

M: A little tingly from the alcohol, but not bad. Medium bodied.

O: Tasty beer and easy to drink. This isn't a beer that I'd drive long distances for, but it's one that I'd certainly order if ran across again. Thanks Jeff.

titosupertramp, May 29, 2011
Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks again Jay!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a RR pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with a one finger tan head that dissipates very quickly. It's apparent from the get go this one has a good amount of carbonation. No lacing to be had...

S - Chocolate, oak/bourbon, vanilla, and a hint of roastiness. Scent is very inviting...

T - Wow, this is tasty. Chocolate is the first to make an appearence followed by vanilla and oak/bourbon. Finishes with a little alcohol heat. Just enough to let you know that it is present. Very smooth...

M - Medium/full bodied with good amount of carbonation. Very smooth, and easy to drink...

O - Really enjoyed this one. Definitely something I am looking to try again. My first brew by New Holland, and I am impressed, Looking foward to trying more of their lineup...

Cheers...

comfortablynumb1, May 28, 2011
Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first New Holland brew and looking forward to it after years of hearing about them. It pours dark black with a tan head that slowly settles to a consistent lacing around the top. The aroma is sweet of cocoa and vanilla with a hit of bourbon. Very nice though.

Wow, the first sip that is all I have to say. The bourbon is very prominent from beginning to end on this one. Good grief that is outstanding. It is sweet, hot and toasty. The finish is so good and just with a light touch of vanilla. The lasting flavor of homemade vanilla ice cream and bourbon is awesome. I absolutely loved this beer and so glad I picked this up on my road trip.

lonestar4lunch, May 24, 2011
Photo of Roke87
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, slightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Pours a deep black colour with a very minimal half finger tops of off white head that very quickly dissipates into nothing, a few bubbles coming up from the carbonation but nothing in terms of a ring or anything like that.

Smell- Wow you can most definitely smell the bourbon on this one and it almost completely dominates the nose as well. Apart from the heavy alcohol smell you do get a nice roasted vanilla smell with a hint of chocolate in there as well.

Taste- Again a big wow on the bourbon from this one, the alcohol really shines through, it tastes like you are taking a shot of bourbon at times with that fiery bite going down your throat. It does finish somewhat sweet with a nice vanilla flavour mixed with a toffee malt flavour as well.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied and almost no carbonation but really what do you expect from an ale that has been aged in bourbon barrels, usually not too much carbonation to them.

Overall- I must have hit the clear out price day because I ended up picking this one up for $4.99 and was more than happy about it, especially considering a lot of other bombers range from $10-$20 for something that doesn’t even compare to this one. Although from the name dragons milk I was expecting a heavier stout like beer, but for a barrel aged ale it has a lot of amazing characteristics. Although heavily dominated by the bourbon taste I would definitely get this one again, even at $10 for a bomber I would probably get it again. Great beer offering from such an underrated brewer.

Roke87, May 23, 2011
Photo of ryantho00
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer that has a few different subtle flavors and tastes.

It pours to a deep robust chocolate brown-black hue that has a nice brown lacing that sticks to the side of the snifter I chose to drink this out of.

I detect honey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, biscuit, and bourben in the first sniff.

I get a deep oaky musty and bourbeney coffee, chocolate caramel taste that leads way to an acidic slightly alochol aftertaste that is blalnced with a matly vanilla finish. I get a lot of vanilla in the 2011 -vs- the 2010 edition. I prefer the 2010. There is slightly too much of an alcohol and vanilla acidic taste that isn't as nice as the more balanced 2010 version. Maybe the barrel was different. Overall this is one of my favortie beers ever. Smooth creamy greatness that goes down easy and smooth, very deliciously balanced stout that is nicely aged and very well done.

Cheers!

ryantho00, May 23, 2011
Photo of mooselvlt
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. About a fingers worth of copper foam which quickly dissipates.

A - Deep mahogony color. Copper head quickly dissipated and the brew leaves very little lacing

S - Hmm....a little more booze in the nose than I expected. Some oak mixed in but predominately smells of bourbon.

T -Taste is boozy right up front, with subtle hints of vanilla and perhaps a little chocolate.

M - Probably my favorite aspect of this one. Smooth and somewhat rich but not thick. More of a medium type feel. Satisfying

O - Not quite what I expected. Its pretty smooth, drinkable. Not overpowering for a 10.0%. I have mixed feelings about it but its a good one. Lingers on the tongue but not in a bad way. At $14 for a 4 pack....doubt I will go out of my way to do this one again though

mooselvlt, May 21, 2011
Photo of bum732
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

S: Prominent bourbon, raisin dark bread, touch of vanilla, some chocolate as it warms.

L: Very dark brown, bordering on black, light tan head that dissipates. Ok lacing.

T: Rich breadiness up front with a bourbon undercurrent. Medium low bitterness leads to a very sweet bourbon and vanilla taste. Finishes with even more bourbon and alcohol prickleness, bleh.

M: Medium low body for style, medium low carbonation.

Compared to other -bal stouts, this is a pretty piss poor effort, mouthfeel is quite thin bodied.

bum732, May 20, 2011
Photo of Prostman81
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't read any of the reviews before drinking this beer, but going back now and looking, I have to say I'm quite surprised at some of the comments.

I appreciate that this beer is black but not opaque. It has a very nice aroma to it, having exactly what I'd expect for such a beer.

The taste is really what brings this down for me. After an initial taste of some slight coffee, oak, and vanilla tones, the alcohol slams the tongue and kills whatever other complexity might be there. After I had 1/2 the beer, I could've sworn I was actually drinking straight bourbon. I kept sipping gently, hoping that I'd get used to it, but the alcohol was there to the very end.

Interesting to try, but the extreme obviousness of the alcohol just ends this one for me. I enjoy beers that were crafted to employ the alchohol as a compliment to the other flavors, not just a one-sided blitzkreig on the tongue. If this WAS to be an alcohol assault from the brewer's perspective, then they did it quite well. I won't be trying this again though.

Prostman81, May 19, 2011
Photo of Agold
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage poured into a duvel tulip. Pours very dark, but not pitch black. It has a medium amount of head which recedes to a ring with a thin film of bubbles on top. Pretty nice, especially considering it is 10%. The aroma is extremely oaky, with vanilla, chocolate, and a very mild dark fruit presence. The oak does a very good job complementing the rest of the beer. It does not overpower the beer, it adds to everything else the beer has to offer. The taste is very nice as well. The oak is at a very good level, and if it was just a touch less sweet, it would be perfect. Oak, coco, vanilla, roast, but all playing very well with eachother. The mouthfeel is a bit light with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a very pleasant surprise.

Agold, May 17, 2011
Photo of BelgiumBill
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I paid $7.99 for the bomber. According to the bottle this is the 2011 vintage and part of their High Gravity Series. The label says the ABV is 10.0% (BeerAdvocate reports it is 9%)

I often open a new bottle with dinner and break out my pen and little notepad. My 4 year old daughter likes to smell each one I try. When she smelled this I asked her what she thought. She said, "chocolate!" She'll have to wait 17 more years but it was obvious to a 4 year old that the nose was dominated by chocolate here.

It poured a dark brown, near black with some ruby tones. It gave a thin tan head.

The flavors were of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and toasty vanilla derived from the oak barrels. The oak was evident and I'd guess they are using American oak barrels and the oak was upfront and French oak would have been too subtle for the brew, though might have been nice and subdued.

Dragon's Milk gave a long finish with a bit of alcohol bite on the side of the tongue and a little bit of oak tannins drying the mouth.

Overall, very nice, though I might prefer New Holland's Night Tripper slightly. I'd buy this again. Good stuff and while not cheap at $7.99, still a decent value for a bomber when others charge over $10 for lesser beers.

BelgiumBill, May 16, 2011
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,950 ratings.