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

New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,893 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2893
Reviews: 1089
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 14.21%

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.

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,893 | Reviews: 1,089 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ypsifly


3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Almost black with a small tan head that lingers for five minutes or so then falls to a small ring. Minimal lacing.

Smells very woody with some roasted malt underneath. The nose reminds me of Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, but this oak is younger.

The wood flavors are also the main component of the taste. After the oak things get fruity for a second, but the finish is a little weird. Like sour wood. On the upside, the abv is undetectable.

Nice, medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The weird woodiness and high abv ruin the drinkability on this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 06:42:44 | More by ypsifly
Photo of frazbri


4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown, almost black with ruby accents, creamy beige head with good lacing. Milk chocolate, coffee and port aromas. Chocolate, cherries with roast coffee finish. Full body, modest carbonation with creamy mouthfeel.

Dragon's Milk is a rich, fruity beer. The wooden barrel the beer aged in asserts itself as it warms. There is a good balance between sweet, bitter, and tangy elements. The high alcohol content is hidden very well, until you try to stand. New Holland is another fine Michigan brewery. Dragon's Milk is another beer to get you through a midwestern winter.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 01:03:20 | More by frazbri
Photo of GreenWBush


3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tasty little treat I found a local martini bar (?) for the deliciously fair price of $3.50.

This beer reeks of oak. Honestly, its like drinking dark, liquified tree. Not that is totally a bad thing, but there's something about this one that I find a bit one-dimensional.

The presentation is purty, the mouthfeel and drinkability are actually quite good. But this is not at all worth the money they are charging at local bottle shops for its lack of substance. That said, the alcohol is wickedly hidden. I had no idea (until the hangover) that this was a 10% beer.

Think Guinness on flavor (and alcohol) steroids ... add a heavy dosage of oak and there you go. Tasty ... but nothing i'll go for again.

All things considered, this is a perfect conversion beer for those that think Guinness is the lead dog of "dark" beers!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 19:49:42 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of clvand0


3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just found this review written on an old piece of paper. Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this beer. I think the category is wrong. Should be a milk stout. Anyway. Pours a very dark color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma has a coffee and chocolate malt character, but there is also a slight sourness as well. The flavor is much the same. There are a lot of the chocolate and coffee notes, but there is also a lacto sweetness. It has a strange acidic bite that I don't care much for. It's still a great beer, but it could use a little less of the acidic bite.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 19:18:59 | More by clvand0
Photo of ken3c


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystals evident under the cap probably from spillage but I just wiped them and it didn't affect the taste or anything else.

Very dark reddish hue with a ring of foam.

Sweet roasted aroma.

Sweet nutty chewy. maybe a little cloying but sometimes I really like something sweet. I really love the oakiness/nutty taste.

Well carbonated but syrupy. Warming. Coats the inside of my mouth.

I almost rated this beer higher except for the extreme sweetness. It definately has a place as an after dinner beer but I couldn't drink it all the time.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 04:19:22 | More by ken3c
Photo of silenius


4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a tremendous flowing light brown head that settles into something looking like a moonscape. It coats the side of the glass with lace.

Smells like unsweetened dark chocolate with some malt characteristics along with a hint of cherry.

Taste is a light dusting of chocolate on an unsweetened vanilla creme and cherry soda. Very enjoyable. For 10% abv they do a great job of hiding the alcohol. Bravo!

I expected the mouthfeel to be a bit thicker. Its a pretty thin mouthfeel with light carbonation feeling despite the huge head.

Very drinkable. Please make more beers like this New Holland!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 03:33:41 | More by silenius
Photo of deejaydan


3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**Fall 2004 release**

Nice lacing, and I can't believe the head retention given the ABV of this beer. Pours dark brown, but there is a hint of dark amber/garnet if you hold it up to the light. Smells like freshly crushed chocolate malt, with a hint of the bourbon mixed in. Taste.. slightly astringant/woody tones overpower other flavors going on. There's just enough residual sweetness to keep drawing you back for more. It's surpisingly light and fluffy in the mouth. This is a beer that is a good winter warmer style of beer. Like when you just get done snowblowing the foot of snow that fell overnight, and it's 5 degrees outside.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2005 18:53:49 | More by deejaydan
Photo of meathookjones


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 12oz bottle on 12/29/04. Pours from the bottle a not quite black color but a very dark brown. A decent sized small tan head forms leaving a few rings of lace around the glass. Wow the nose is quite strong and interesting full of a variety of scents. First thing that came to mind was an odd milk stout hybrid with a strong creaminess and chocolate nose. Also I believe there were hints of vanilla and it was a bit woody. Maybe some alcohol as well but with all the other elements it was hard to tell, either way this is on tasty smelling brew. Roasty malts and a woody oak taste hit you first. An interesting sweet creaminess is there as well making it a bit milk stout like. There is some notes of sweetness and alcohol as well. When drinking this I had no idea what style it was but Imperial Milk Stout kind of came to mind. Medium to full body that is creamy. Very interesting brew here, its kind of confusing to drink with so many tastes jumping out that don’t add up to a usual style. Its done well though and is pretty good. Thanks for the sample TikkiGodxxx.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2005 20:36:08 | More by meathookjones
Photo of Sixpack595


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet aroma with lots chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of oak. Strongly carbonated with a touch of lacing as the thick head recedes to a thin film. Bittersweet and chocolately flavor followed by a bit of oak/bourbon taste. Very creamy, great mouthfeel. For a fairly strong beer it goes down easy. I wasn't expecting very much from this beer, and it has improved quite a bit in the months since I first tried it. I just wish I had a few saved in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2005 10:01:43 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of kmpitz2


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes out of the bottle a very dark brown color with a small head that falls to lightly ring the beer. The nose is really nice, but ir reminds me more of a milk stout than an American Strong Ale. I still like it. There is a lot of marshmellowey, creamy tones in the nose. The flavor backs this up very well. Lots of lacto creamyness and actually some acid bite on the back of my tongue. There is lots of vanilla and hints of chocolate malt. I like it. The feel is a little too thin for the flavors I get. Dinkability is just okay. I can't do more than sip at it, but I do like it.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 04:51:31 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of sulldaddy


4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my secret santa from Mentor. Thanks man!
I am drinking a room temp bottle in a snifter. The beer pours pitch black with some ruby tints at the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A small beige to tan head foams up about 1 cm and fades to a thick edge layer quickly. Aroma is all malt with chocolate, molasses, some oak and maple syrup hints. Also a bit of alcohol.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body and very milky in flavor and texture. Smooth and silky with lots of chocolate on the flavor end. No hop presence I can detect in this overall very sweet beer. No hint of the 10 % abv on the mouth either. A rich smooth brew that I find very enjoyable. If you want hops dont look here.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 20:50:12 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of lackenhauser


4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very,very deep chestnut color. It looks pitch black until you hold it up to the light. Nice head though its gone pretty quickly. Pleasant aroma- treacle like. Some very nice vanilla notes. Somewhat toasted and maltish. Malty and vinuous flavor. Absolutely no sense of 10%abv-very well hidden. Nice moderate body. Goes down easy-almost too easy for that matter. Another really good beer from New Holland. Again I will say if they could pull off their regular brews as well as their seasonals offerings I think they could really be up there with some of the other top micros.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2004 19:28:48 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of proc


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a jet black in the glass with a moderate-sized head. Aroma is that of licorice and baking bread. The taste is good with a good dose of malt on the forefront giving way to an alcohol warming on the finish. The ABV isn't hidden, but its not meant to be. However, its not overhwelming either. Well-crafted. A beer to drink on a cold winter's night.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 03:33:41 | More by proc
Photo of mentor


3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle obtained from Tiffany's in Kalamazoo, December 2004. Pours dark with a nice 3-finger head. Clear and almost stout dark...perhaps a very dark mohoganey color. I left the small amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell is gentle and creamy. Some chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Tastes chocolatey and coffee. Vanilla. Oak can be detected, as can an alcohol bite. Some tannin remains on my tongue, playing with the late fine carbonation that persists to form on my tastebuds. Initially, the chocolate is strong, but later sits on the fence between chocolate and hazelnut. The coffee rises later to a nice roasty flavor. The head has settled to a ring around the glass with some lacing stuck to the sides. Mouthfeel is thick. An enjoyable beer. I'll bet 10 years would allow other flavors to rise up to compete with the (presently) overbearing chocolate and coffee. I'll seek out another 4-pack to age, but not for consumption now.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 08:22:29 | More by mentor
Photo of winomark


3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown with a bit of reddish hues. Aromas of vanilla and smoke, with noticable alcohol sweetness. Vanilla and oaky tones control a mild palate. Again, the alcohol adds sweetness and some thickness. Dark, toasty malt, but not too strong. Coating mouthfeel, but with a mild, lingering finish. A pleasant beer, IMO. Oak and vanilla add a nice complexity to an otherwise ordinary brew. Still, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 15:46:34 | More by winomark
Photo of trumick


3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep dark amber with little to no head and some lacing.

Scent is of sweet dark roasted malts with dark fruits and spices also noted some alcohol.

Taste follows the nose with sweet, sweet malts and dark fruits with some pepper hints. Finishes sweet with alcohol at the end. I didn't notice much of a balance, too sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick, almost unpleasant, carbination is on the low side.

Drinkability for me is below average. This beer is too sweet with little to no balance, it needs something.

This almost reminds me of an Imperial Stout, but much too sweet, again not enough to balance it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2004 03:52:47 | More by trumick
Photo of cokes


4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The crossroads between magenta and black with a receding tan skim.
Oak is evident from the get-go. Some traces of heavy cream, but the woody, vanilla, sourish/buttery tinge of the oak is the ringer here.
Begins meagerly malted with nods towards both coffee and prune. As an exercise in oak-aging, this is unsurpassed, as it brings all sorts of toasty, vanilla-sweet hazelnuts, and woodsy tartness. Yeast mingles well with a rich lather of churned butter. Forget about hops.
This is a simple ale on wood, and therefore impersonates something more complex than it really is. It has little malt structure to speak of. I could drink this all fucking night because I adore the oak hues imparted here. But that in itself does not a great beer make.
Oodles of potential here and I plead for New Holland to tweak this as they go along. It's nice as it is (at least for oak fans), but, this pushes strongly for something deeper, somerhing more profound, more erotic.

Right now, it settles for Showtime, but with some attention, it could blossom into full-blown, hardcore mouth porn.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2004 08:50:36 | More by cokes
Photo of Skidz


3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out dark brown and sits nearly jet black with bits of crimson showing through the sides. Nice sized brown head fades quickly to the sides, leaving litte on the surface.

Smells of roasted grains, quite malty. Some fruity esters show through, namely pears. Light hints of cocoa powder. Wooden sides and lightly nutty.

Tastes faintly sweet up front, good malt structure. Roastedness come out quite well and is balanced by a good amount of hop bitterness. Dry, wooden tones push in from the sides and from which seeps out a delicate warmth of alcohol. Flavors of dates, old raisins and chocolate syrup accumulate between the grainy flavors. Finish is dry and holds onto a spicy hop bitterness and lingering malty sweetness.

Creamy and well carbonated. This beer could benefit from a smoother feel with less interference from carbonation. Body is medium-full, but puts out quite a bit. One bottle is easily consumed. Tasty all the way, a bit grainy at times, but definately has it where it counts.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 00:15:29 | More by Skidz
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body wears a light off-white ring. Bold cakey smell in which you’d have put a pinch too much salt. Original lactic chocolate maltiness, rather complex in the nose, hard to analyze and know what to do with it. Raw grainy dryness chases the potentially fatiguing sweetness. Somehow a powdery cocoa flavor lingers and evolves into a coffeeish highly roasty ending full of dark malts. Smooth round body with soft carbonation. Well contained oak flavors do not attenuate the flavors, not to speak of the totally dismissed alcohol. Worth seeking just because it’s so unique.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2004 21:37:31 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured black with a translucent amber/ruby highlight all through the glass. The head was low and very compact.

The aroma was oak, bourbon, coffee, caramel, chocolate and some dark fruitiness (prunes, plums and raisins).

The flavor was vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel, slight bourbon and more dark fruits.

The finish is dry with a lingering oak astringency and bittering with a hint of vanilla. The body was med full to full.

12 ounce bottle. A very complex brew. More body would certainly enhance the beer and could make it truly world class.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2004 12:28:08 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a clear dark brown color with ruby tint. Has a nice tan head that sticks around nicely. Aroma is wonderfully complex -- it has some reserved sweetness with oak and vanilla notes...wait until it warms a bit, and a little roast also comes through.

This beer is well balanced and has a surprisingly dry finish; as the beer warms a little, the vanilla notes become somewhat more pronounced.

An enjoyable beer. I like the oak and vanilla over some other examples that can add overpowering bourbon flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2004 02:34:43 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of jimdkc


3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with mahogany highlights when held up to the light. Thick, rich dark tan head that recedes quickly. Smell was not as strong as expected. The nose was of dark-roasted malts, maybe a bit of vanilla, with a hint of alcohol. I think the beer was too cold for my first couple of sips... letting it warm a little brought out the flavors better. Taste was roasty malt, dark chocolate, with a little oak wood in the background. Occasional hints of bourbon and slight fruityness were present, also. Finish is smooth and dry, and the alcohol kind of sneaks up on you. Probably one of the more drinkable 10% ABV beers. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2004 04:35:04 | More by jimdkc
Photo of pezoids


4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark pour. Sticky carbonation that peppered the glass from top to bottom. Very dark mahogany brown in color. The creamy head of tan colored foam slowly receded from the rim of the glass and left a delicate lacing that looked like a pork fat netting (but didn’t taste much like it).

The aroma is complex. Charred oak along with a sharp roasted nuttiness. Some stale cardboard/pencil shaving like notes, burnt apple wood and a fruity alcohol. The taste is quite drinkable for a strong beer. Oaky and complex, roasted and full of all things good. Medium bodied that finishes with a warm and rich alcohol bite. Overall, very smooth, clean. The oak barrel aging really compliments the rest of the beer.


Serving type: bottle

07-15-2004 16:39:22 | More by pezoids
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep dark black hole appearance sucks up all colors and ounce of visible light with a frothy tan head leaves very nice thick lacing all around my pint. Aroma: Great herbal mix with an herbacous highlights upfront oak aromatic with chocolate and coffee highlights. Taste: Flavor depth is incredible the oak flavor highlights this big stout quite nicely. Vanilla stands out among the chocolate, coffee, and herbal hops not bad at all. Mouthfeel: Full body smooth carbonation no hint of the alcohol in the flavor which is good but somewaht dangerous. Drinkability: Wow, so drinkable great blend of flavors here with the oak barrel aging adding to the overall experience very tasty and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 19:51:58 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of putnam


4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Raspberry paste and peppery, charred vanilla appear first on the nose - reminds me of Rodenbach's Alexander. On the palate it is VERY milky and cocoa-flavored. Like Ovaltine, literally. Nearly dry, there is nothing astringent or difficult about the drink. Rootbeer, chocolate milk and strawberry soda patter upon the creamy, milky texture. I wonder if the blatant, confected, chocolate Slo-poke flavor is the result of natural cocoa, the yeast, or was it put there as an additive?

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 00:28:19 | More by putnam
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,893 ratings.