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

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,198 | 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
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Reviews: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
Photo of kim_thayil
2.75/5  rDev -30%

did not enjoy. i'm not a huge fan of high ABV beers but people had been nagging me, telling me i was going to like this one. i finally picked it up. i like all the new holland beers i have tried (the poet might be my favorite beer ever) but this was more than a disappointment to me.

the smell, the taste, the aftertaste - all of it kind of repulsed me.

i wasn't a fan of the 10% thing, but it was more the taste here. this just wasn't a good beer to me. in fact, i'd go as far as to say i found it a bad beer. (521 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2014 Vintage. Pours a dark brownish black color with a thin ring of khaki head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is Bourbon at first followed by some oak, vanilla, roasted malts, and chocolate. The taste is bourbon and oak. Chocolate and roasted malts as well. Hints of charcoal and earth. Finishes with some nice Bourbon notes. Very noticeable alcohol warmth. Lightly carbonated with a heavy-ish mouthfeel. This is a great year round Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Overall, fantastic. (494 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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... (660 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a dark brown, near black with a thick head. The smell was very sweet with both the malt and vanilla. There wasn't any real wood I could pick up on in the nose. The taste was very nice with vanilla, malt, and coffee and chocolate flavors being predominant. The bourbon wood came through in the finish with an oakey, slightly sweet flavor that I found delicious. (366 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

A 10 oz. pour at Tyler's Taproom in Apex on 9/15/2014. Dark, decent head. Aroma more like a lighter roast. Milk chocolate and toffee flavor. A bit of alcohol toward the finish. Bittersweet finish. Heavy body and medium carbonation. Sit on this for 6 months to let the alcohol mellow, and put it on nitro, it would be near perfect. (331 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Re-review in this bottle now that my beer palate has grown and I know a bit more about good beer!

From a bottle into my Shorts snifter. Pitch black with kaki head and minimal lace.

Smell is black licorice and dark chocolate with hints of roasted malts. I get some sweetness in the aroma as well.

Rich roasted malt flavor with coco and coffee. The licorice isn't as prevalent as with the smell but it does bite a bit on the finish.

Feel is amazing. This beer is so smooth and has almost no booze which is great for a beer with this high abv.

The overall for this is strong! I'm going to be back for this again. (620 characters)

Photo of EHopkinsi
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Very strong alcohol nose and taste at first, a little more than my rookie self likes. As it warms up however, the "alcoholness" fades (though never disappears) to a much more enjoyable level and the taste is much more balanced. Enjoyed it quite a bit after the alcohol burn faded, not so much 'til then. (306 characters)

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.4/5  rDev +12%

Appearance: Very dark (almost black) brown color. Faint head that disappears relatively quickly--not a huge deal with a stout or other beer that concentrates of malts instead of hops. Carbonation seems light. (4.25)

Smell: Roasted coffee and cocoa at the start but faint notes of vanilla, bourbon, and caramel that is pleasantly intoxicating. (4.5)

Taste: Very sweet in the beginning, very caramel, vanilla and milk-like. Tastes almost like this started as a milk stout but aged into an Imperial Stout. Quickly the sweetness dilutes and a rich deep body of flavor comes out. Almost like a burnt sugar flavor: similar to what sweetness comes from a dark caramel, caramelized onions, or roasted garlic (by similarities, not exact taste). Slight boozy taste as well but not overbearing. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, high gravity. Great weight on the tongue and the high gravity takes away much of the booziness. (4.25)

Overall: Great beer, like a desert in a bottler. Tried from a fresh bottle but I have a second bottle that I am cellaring for an amount of time to experiences a further aged taste. (4.5)

Final Score: 4.4/5 (1,126 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev +1.8%

22 ounce bottle at fridge temp split between two pint glasses. E024 10:09 appears to be the bottle code.

Pours black with a small head, little carbonation. Smell is bourbon, plain and simple. Luckily I like bourbon.

Taste is much more muted bourbon with some interesting side notes, like soft chocolate and strong cherry which fits in very well.

Mouthfeel is viscous. Overall, very good. (390 characters)

Photo of spoony
4/5  rDev +1.8%

From a 355 ml bottle (2014 Vintage) into a snifter.

A-The beer looks thin on the pour, but it settles in the glass with a finger of mocha-colored head that lasts for about a minute before fading to a thick collar. The liquid is inky black. No lacing on this one.

S-The aroma is rich with a moderate amount of roast flavor that suggests coffee and cocoa powder. The barrel is subtle with vanilla, caramel, and a hint of bourbony, boozy sweetness. Alcohol is pretty well concealed for 11% ABV.

T-The taste shows off more of the barrel with loads of vanilla, caramel, a touch of oak, and sweet, burnt sugar notes that indicate bourbon. The beer drinks thicker than it looks with tasty notes of cream and milk chocolate, and a bit of coffee/roasted flavors.

M-This beer is on the heavy side of average with lower levels of carbonation.

O-It is nice to see this beer in Colorado. It may not be a huge, complex, special-occasion-sipper like Uncle Jacobs or BCS, but it drinks quite well for the price (I can get four of these for the price of one UJ). I like the mouthfeel, in particular, which has a nice chewy texture that fits well with the flavors. (1,153 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +1.8%

This was one the first craft beers I was introduced to - it's time for a review.
12oz bottle, Vintage 2014, 11% ABV. I remember this being less ABV in previous years and described as "ale aged in oak barrels" (like the photo to the left) rather than the updated description of "bourbon barrel stout". Not sure of when and why the change. Marketing perhaps.
A 4 - thin foamy tan head atop a dark brown cola-like colored body
S 4 - vanilla, oak, boozy bourbon, roasted barley, caramel
T 4 - boozy with bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted barley, dark chocolate, earthy and peppery on the finish
M 4 - fuller body, very smooth, lower carbonation, alcohol is expectedly noticeable
O 4 - always a good one to come back to. It's been a few years, but just as good as I remember. (767 characters)

Photo of BoilerMo
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Excellent roasted aroma followed by a smooth mouth feel and an oaken finish. It is an excellent Imperial and the stronger ABV can be tasted in the finish. Great sipping beer on a cold night. (192 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%

Procured from Arnolds Likker Locker in Keene, NY. Poured from bottle into Willy glasses and shared. A deep opaque black with espresso cream brown head that stays around fairly well.

The first thing I noticed in the aroma was coffee, then bourbon, then caramel. Very nice aroma.

Taste is really great. The bourbon and caramel/toffee hit first followed by slight roast, coffee and just a bit of bitterness. A very well balanced taste that cloaks the high ABV.

Mouth is thinner than expected, but that seems to work very well in this beer. I don't think it would be as good if it were more heavy and viscous.

Overall, I love this beer. I don't think I can get it locally, so I'll have to make the ferry ride over to NY more often. (738 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%

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! (379 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

On tap at Fresh Craft. Dark black, almost no head whatsoever. Aroma is slightly boozy, touch of barrel. Flavor is good, vanilla, booze, barrel and stout. The body is a little thin. Overall, not bad, I'd like a four pack please.

A:4
S:3.75
T:3.75
M:3.5
O:3.75 (260 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Wow, this is a good beer. (I would like to add now a caveat: I don't like this new review system) Anyway, to the main reason I am here. This beer has everything going for it in my opinion. However I would not drink more than one at a time.

Black as night, some caramel foamy head on top that dissipates after a few minutes. But never really goes away completely.

Smell: Chocolate, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, lots of deep dessert like aroma's coming from this one.

Taste: Here you go, this is where its at. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too much of that coffee thing that tends to ruin this style of beer. It has a nice softness to it considering its a carbonated beer. I wonder how good this one would be on nitro? Like drinking a brownie with bourbon. This is just an awesome beer, one of the best I have had in a long time. I also purchased the chili pepper version. That is not something I would normally purchase, but since this one was so good I thought I would give it a try in the future.

Overall: If you have never tried this beer and you like stouts that are not too burnt tasting, not too much of that coffee thing. This I think is referred to a "milk stout", which is a style I am now just discovering, because honestly it was not something I would have normally tried. But, thanks to Beer Camp and the double latte for turning me on to this style. (1,372 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured into a snifter. Appearance is nearly black, with a half-inch creamy light brown head that faded within a minute or two. The nose is very boozy up front, almost mediciny, with some slight notes of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. I didn't get the alcohol in the taste, as the malts covered it nicely. A bit of chocolate and some dark fruit flavors lasted on the back end. As it warmed, the chocolate really came out. I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin for such a big beer. Overall, a pretty damn good imp stout, I'd buy it again! I'm going to throw a few in the cellar to see well they hold up with some time on them. (629 characters)

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4/5  rDev +1.8%

12 oz bottle from 2014 poured into snifter

A- Dark brown, a bit thin, almost no head.
S- Not a hugely areomatic beer... carmel, slight bourbon, roasted malt
T- Nice base beer althought it seems much more like a porter than a stout to me. Roasted malts, very balanced. Thin and sweet bourbon flavor comes through on the back end. Maybe a bit of vanilla.
M - Medium. Leaves your mouth sticky.

O- Great every day "bourbon barrel" aged beer. Very accessable for those who want to start (492 characters)

Photo of StoutGeek
5/5  rDev +27.2%

One of my absolute favorite beers! Had this on cask at New Holland and it tasted much creamier than the regular Dragon's Milk...tasted JUST like a chocolate shake! (165 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%

22 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy, vanilla, bourbon, oak, a little booze, toffee, caramel,

Taste: There is a nice balance between the stout and bourbon barrel flavors with a little heat in the end.

Mouthfeel: Silky, creamy, full bodied, smooth, a little booze, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: For an 11% bourbon barrel aged imperial stout, this is one I'll have to buy and age for a bit. This was a nice sipper that got better when it warmed up a bit. (710 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 JHubner73
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

New Holland's Dragon's Milk is a stout I've wanted to try for some time. I'm not disappointed.

Bought a single bottle off the shelf of a local libations carrier. It poured black as night with a nice foamy, tan head. It smells of vanilla and burnt oak barrels. The bourbon is very much present. Taste-wise there's a real burnt flavor mixed with vanilla, hops, and prominent is the bourbon flavor.

This is an extremely rich-flavored stout. It's a special occasion kind of beer. Like old friends getting together, or a brisk fall evening by the fire, or just to enjoy on a Friday night with tunes spinning on the turntable, like I'm doing right now. (650 characters)

Photo of Beerlover
2.09/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

reviewed from notes 11/25/12
Pours clear and almost black in color can barely see through it unless you hold it up to the light then its very dark reddish brown. Smells very oaky and sweet with notes of vanilla low high carbonation tastes extremely overpowering...nope IS overpowering, way tooo rich! gut-rot! style I'd give a 3 out of 5 over all for me thoe a 1.5. The local craft beer magazine here "The Growler" I usually agree with but the review on this one couldn't be more off: "Super creamy stout" I find the body very thin for a stout. "Loads of caramel" I wish, I didn't even get a hint of it! "Tootsie Rolls" where?! "Roasted nuts" Nope! (648 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly light brown on the pour, settling into a very dark, but still noticeably brown, brew. Nice solid creamy tan head. Retention is OK for the style, fading to a thin bubbly topper, leaving beautiful lacing down the side of the glass.

Nose has big hints of banana, chocolate, and roasted barley. Bourbon is very much a secondary aroma; this is a big stout first. Sharp edges of overripe fruit; big oak notes.

Flavor is a wonderfully balanced and delightful trip down all the flavors in the nose, with a much more prominent bourbon note. Extremely soft; can a big stout be delicate? Not particularly bitter, even from the roast.

Bourbon is strongest approaching the back-end, and lingers on the finish with a nice alcohol heat. Smooth chocolate and vanilla, with a solid dose of roasted barley, feature on the front end, but the sweet bourbon overtakes it, carrying with it red grapes, prunes, and oak.

Soft, sticky mouthfeel - relatively thin, especially for the style. Long wet finish.

This is a very nice stout, and certainly the kind of beer a bourbon lover would love. I would prefer the bourbon to take more of a back seat; I'd imagine age does this beer very well. This is a very good beer, but it definitely cannot match up with the best versions of the style. (1,280 characters)

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

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- jet black, with a thin khaki head that doesn't last very long. Some alcohol legs, and minor lacing.

S- Lots of semi-sweet chocolate, with a touch of vanilla, oak, and coffee.

T- Sweeter than I expected. Lots of semi-sweet chocolate and roast, with heavy tones of oak and vanilla. Alcohol sweetness is very present.

M- could use it to be just a touch thicker/creamier, and a touch less carbonated.

O- When so many people chase KBS and BCBS, it's nice to have a decent, readily available barreled stout! (545 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.