Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

4,606 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,606
Reviews: 1,319
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,184 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,606 | Reviews: 1,319
Photo of good-friar
2.57/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm troubled by this beer. My biggest problem with it is that there is entirely too much going on. I feel like there are too many pieces, too many tastes, and too many places for the pallet to wander that you get caught up in a maelstrom of muddled tastes. The alcohol is too prominent in the beer and the milk stout and bourbon barrel favors disagree with one another making for beer that I won't have again. This is a personal taste note, so that being said, milk stout lovers will probably find this to be a welcome change in a new direction from New Holland brewing.

Photo of Hoploaf
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best stout commercially available.

Photo of rafer21
4.98/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, definitely a sipping beer. But amazing flavors and aroma.

Photo of Extol
2.47/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Just didn't appeal to me.

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature.

Photo of pafox
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite as good as the Goose Island but a nice compromise.

Photo of gaord
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

tried this after working 16 out of 24 hours in the fourth biggest snow storm in O'hare history so maybe this review is slanted a little. I thought the balance between bourbon and stout was very good, easy drinking. I usually like more bourbon. After shoveling 14 inches of snow the alcohol soothes the sore muscles. Very good beer

Photo of SD_Beer
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

very nice to excellent rich flavor

Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like this one a lot. Seems I'm an "outlier," so I need to elaborate. The bourbon flavor does make it a bit harsh, but that's balanced by a smooth creaminess that makes a great combination. The heartiness of the underlying stout itself is top notch as well, but I'm really not one to go into flowery descriptors so this will have to do.

Photo of Keithp3939
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really good beer. Bourbon notes are tasty and very smooth. Perfect beer for a cold, winter night

Photo of Jeffrey84
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's is impressive to me that a brewery can produce a consistent BBA stout available year around. That is the only thing I really like about this beer. I rate it as high as I do because I appreciate the qualities of the beer but just don't enjoy it. The bourbon flavor is overpowering me. Only drinking this in a pinch.

Photo of tillmac62
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. Pours almost jet black. Good head volume, excellent retention and lacing.

Rich nose of bourbon (which becomes more pronounced as temperature increases) plus sweet and dark chocolate dominate. Underneath is a light roast, subtle caramel sweetness and notes of vanilla and oak.

Light full body with a nice creamy texture that also has a bit of oiliness to it. Slightly above normal carbonation with a nice burst of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is quite intense, very complex but poorly balanced. Bourbon dominates throughout, resulting in the complex flavors being reduced to subservient roles. It begins with a rush of bourbon that slowly allows a sweet caramel and chocolate to emerge. Towards the middle, a mild roast bitterness comes forward against a slight bite of tannic oak. The middle produces a very nice vanilla note. The finish is dominated by alcohol, with notes of bourbon flavor, and the associated burn at the back of the throat. As these subside, a sweet note of vanilla and oak linger with caramel characteristics. Considering this is 11% ABV, they've done a fair job of covering it. The main drawback is that the amazing complexity is never allowed to truly emerge.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a thin lacing of caramel-colored head that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer), but I can still smell strong notes of roasted malt and boozy bourbon! Other reviewers have notes aromas of caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, etc.

Taste: Tons of roasted malt up front, followed by some brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness, with some notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon undertones. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is definitely a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another very good bourbon barrel-aged stout. Maybe, well not maybe, definitely, not as complex as Goose Island’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout, Dragon’s Milk is still complex in its flavors of malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Delicious. And for the price point, a much easier bourbon barrel-aged stout to drink more often!

Photo of InkedinRi
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 11% version.. Big bourbon barrel taste, chocolate and vanilla notes.. Has a warm feel going down.. Very tasty.. A sipper.

Photo of Bolivar73
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my new favorite stout.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.
The beer is black with a very thin, tan head and spotty lacing.
I get a big hit of roast coffee from the aroma as well as some vanilla and bourbon and a little dark chocolate.
The taste is chocolate and coffee up front followed by lots of bourbon and booze. As it warms, a little vanilla and milk chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with a lingering, boozy warmth.
Overall, quite tasty and it certainly isn't hiding the bourbon.

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

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

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a medium brown finger of head. Head dissipates down to a film, but leaves nice, solid creamy lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla bourbon, milky chocolate, light coffee, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of smoke.
T - The vanilla bourbon is upfront and loud! Very warming and boozey, but in a good way. Notes of milk stout chocolate reign behind the bourbon and finishes with a coffee and woody oak bitterness to round off the sweetness, but the sweet vanilla bourbon is VERY upfront, this is what I like to see from a beer that claims to be bourbon barrel aged!
O - A damned good stout to be sure!
V - Good value, worth the money!

Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Fantastic pour with minimal head, smells inviting all be it a bit boozy. The taste was dominated by barrel flavours and lots of roasted malts, I could barely discern any sweetness. The mouthfeel is quite smooth bordering on slick and the abv hits home in the finish.

This one was a miss for me and did not meet expectations. The Barrel aging and alcohol presence overwhelm what could be the finer points of this brew.

Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dragon's Milk is no BCBS, but it is the best barrel-aged stout that I can find year-round without having to seek out special releases... There seems to be some quality control issues, though. Maybe it's in my head, but some bottles seem a little thin and flavorless compared to others, even within a single four pack.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pretty average at best here. Hoped for much more. Thin look, no quality base beer stands out, overpowered by the barrel character. Not bad, but just expected more having tried the chili version... which is much better

Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally bought a four-pack after balking at the price for a few weeks. This was my first experience with a barrel - aged stout and my experience was rather mixed, and I think that has a lot to do with my opinion towards any variety of whiskey in general. That is to say, I'm not really a fan, for taste reasons.

Quick summary: I thought this beer looked, smelled and felt very good. I thought the back-end of flavor was just too boozy for my own tastes, and that's really the only problem I had with this beer. I gave the remaining three bottles to my brother-in-law, who loves his whiskies, bourbons, and scotch. He loved this beer, so take that for it's worth.

Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Very deep brown, with a tan head than hangs at a quarter inch. Nice legs and lacing.

S- Boozy. Slight roast. Slight caramel notes, and a faint bittersweet chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel and toasty malt. Some vanilla. Roasty and boozy, but not really that distinct bourbon barrel kind.

M- Smooth, full body, with low carbonation. Astringent boozy finish.

O- Booze is a little overwhelming, and the barrel aging just doesn't seem to match up to some of the better known barrel-aged stouts.

Photo of Bad_1
3.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Didn't have the flavor i expected from the description.

Photo of Big_Lotts
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My current favorite. Love the bourbon stout mix!

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,606 ratings.