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

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 4,638
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,204 | 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: 1,259 | Hads: 4,638
Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014. 11.00% abv listed on the label. At long last I am finally getting around to trying the legendary New Holland Dragon's Milk that I always see.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark cola color but appears a near opaque black in the glass. Barely conjures a half finger of mocha head that disappears fast. Some good fat sticky lacing.

S - A buttery creamy aroma. Vanilla, cream, oak wood, mustiness, caramel. A very moderate but pleasant aroma. The creamy / buttery vanilla characteristics are dominant though. Mouthwatering, to be sure.

T - Taste follows the nose: cream, vanilla, caramel, oak wood, and some hot boozy bourbon warmth. Sweet and sugary, with some underlying notes of chocolate and dark roastiness. A touch of dark fruits.

M - The feel is extremely smooth & creamy, with mild bourbon alcohol heat.

Overall, a very enjoyable and underrated bourbon barrel stout from New Holland.

New Holland Dragon's Milk -----4/5. (982 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Near solid black on the pour. Head is a dark tan. Decent head retention leaves a small cap with small chunks of lacing. Minimal to moderate carbonation on the pour. Small clumps of a cap. Small collar.

Smell: Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and a ton of caramel. Roasted malts. A touch of almost char. Some dark fruit. Raisin and a hint of dark cherry. Cocoa powder. Hazelnuts. A hint of old coffee. Milk chocolate layered through the back. Oak punches through as it warms. Deep woody notes. Some mild hop notes. A touch of pine. Licorice and raisin. A touch of leather.

Taste: Licorice soaked with some bourbon. Some heavy vanilla and oak notes. A touch of butterscotch with some backing toffee and marshmallow. Big and sweet. Touches on molasses. Malts are heavily roasted offering up some solid caramelized sweetness with a slight burnt element. Hops are very minimal with pine and an herbal element. Marshmallow and even a touch of coconut. Lots of raisin. A touch of oxidation. Clean. Solid backing woodiness to the whole thing. Sweet. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy. Minimal carbonation.

Overall: Distant dragonkin.

Better than I remember. Bourbon is well layered but ends up dominating a bit. Base beer runs a touch sweet as well and the two elements don't quite meld. Still, it's tasty. (1,335 characters)

Photo of good-friar
2.57/5  rDev -34.6%
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. (570 characters)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (3,306 characters)

Photo of gaord
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
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 (330 characters)

Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of Jeffrey84
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (319 characters)

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. (1,231 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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! (1,211 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
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! (663 characters)

Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
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 (217 characters)

Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of BWED
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of far333
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Deep dark brown colored with a low light brown head that settles quickly. Aroma of cocoa, dark malt, notes of bourbon, and vanilla.

Flavor is very rich right upfront, with notes of bourbon, cola, and extremely sweet vanilla. The vanilla overpowers everything, way too sweet and cloying. Mouthfeel is a bit slick. Very one-dimensional, sickening sweet, and crazy expensive. (377 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours solid black with nice one finger creamy head. Smell the bourbon not much more. Vanilla little hop a and big bourbon taste, the first I have liked big bourbon so not sure what they did. Holy hell smooth with a bourbon burn. Oh crap I may start joining my bourbon loving friends. (287 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter from a 22oz bottle. Deep, dark transluscent brown/black with no head to speak of. Strong aroma of whiskey, with some more subtle vanilla, oak, and a clean bitter note to boot. LOTS of barrel, also some dark malts, vanilla, oak, and reminder of the high ABV. Medium to heavy mouthfeel, coats the palate and let's the flavors linger. Warmth from the big ABV is def there. Maybe a bit too boozy for me, but it is growing on me as well. Nicely crafted overall. (479 characters)

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage after aging one year. Drank from snifter.

L: Dark, dark, dark. No light penetration. A very creamy head that lingers 360 degrees around the edges. You can tell it's a milk stout.

S: Chocolate and bourbon. The weakest aroma I can remember finding in a strong BA stout like this. As it warms, you can detect a bit more milk chocolate.

T: Up front is milk, chocolate, and some coffee (everything is subtle, though). The bourbon is barely there until the tail end, warming like a blanket. Coffee finish.

F: Sooooo smooth. Like drinking whole chocolate milk without the fat. Imagine those commercials where melted chocolate pours into itself -- that's the texture of this beer.

O: An extremely accessible, inoffensive yet unique stout that will be a favorite of mine among the other year-round available stouts. (824 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adama nonick.

a: Opaque black with slight ruby highlights at the bottom when seen through light. Inch and a half tan head receded slowly to heavy surface foam and dense lacing. 5

s: Mild bourbon. 4.25

t: Sweet bourbon up front followed by a moderate hop bite. Sweet boozy finish.
The very high 11% ABV is dangerously well moderated and masked 4.5

m: Medium to full, smooth and rich. Lots of carbonation tingle. 5

o: A very pleasant surprise, a near ideal BBS! At first not quite as flavorful as my favorite, BBA Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale, but as a milk stout sweeter and with more body, and the bourbon flavor builds. 4.5 I want more! (697 characters)

Photo of EvoRich
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a snifter. Black, with about one finger of head. No light shines through.

Smell: Sweet oaky scent of bourbon, vanilla, malts, some chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon, oak/wood, chocolate, vanilla. The barrel aged flavor is just right. Not too strong. Just enough to give you hints of bourbon and oak without being overkill.

Feel: Very full bodied, and chewy.

Overall: Love this beer! Have had it many times. Glad to finally review it!. (451 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into glassware, served cool and purchased from local LCBO for about $7.50 CDN. As this is the 2014 batch ABV checks in at a statuesque 11%.

Appearance - A very dark brown, nearly black color. Half finger of tan head is poured with some frothy bubbles. Spidery lacing left behind and thin tan wisp lingers on top throughout. Also opaque.

Smell - Sweet vanilla, with a slightly nutty aroma that goes away as the beer warms. Tons and tons of bourbon. Another dose of vanilla followed by more bourbon. A bit of a woody barrel aroma thrown in at the end. Complex and inviting and there is no doubt in what this beer was aged in.

Taste - Vanilla to start, followed by oodles of bourbon. Wow. Oaky and boozy. Taste is straightforward but well executed. Alcohol is not hidden and thus a bit of a harshness to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Smooth slick and oily. Low to medium carbonation a good mouthfeel that finishes boozy and a touch harsh.

Overall - Very good BBA stout that's a little rough around the edges but comes through as a delicious beer, that can easily be enjoyed as long as you take your time. Immense bourbon flavors pretty much make sure that you sip this one. (1,183 characters)

Photo of Dragyourbone1
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown w slight tan head and clingy lacing
S: Subtle; malty, woody, distant vanilla on first slow inhale. Deeper inhales pull out the vanilla and a little more heady woody-ness. No hint of the 11% ABV to follow.
S- midway: the vanilla profile opens up along with some bourbon (slight), and some smokiness as well.
T- Vanilla,malt,and subtle chocolate up front with a slight, but noticeable trail of bourbon underneath. Simple, yet mingles well. The alcohol profile is still well hidden.
M- Moderate malty fullness, slight trailing fizz; lingers Welty. Mouth smacking.
O- Seen this in the aisles for so long and finally just grabbed one for the eve. This is a nice warmer for the winter months. Not too heavy. Even though vanilla was noticeable, it mingled and balanced well with the rest of the profile. This was a pleasant intro to the style. I will pick up another to store for another cold day after I try a few more of the style. (940 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with transparency around the edges. Short tan head. Legs, and some lacing.

S - Bourbon. Hot and full of caramel notes and wood.

T - Like the nose, there is a lot of bourbon. Chocolate and roasted grains underpin. A slight bitter edge, but not astringent. A decent, but not overly complex, combination.

M - A big warm ball of booze. No hiding ABV here. But the beer does go down smooth.

O - A reasonable price and true bourbon character are definite upside. Fairly straight-forward, not a lot of nuance, but tasty nevertheless. (553 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.