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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,286 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,286
Hads: 4,795
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.33%
Wants: 282
Gots: 1,351 | FT: 42
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,286 | Hads: 4,795
Photo of SpecialK088
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A-Deep brown nearly black with a 1 finger head and good retention

S-Vinilla and carmel malt mostly in the nose, notes of alcohol as well

T-The oak really comes out in the front and middle, very creamy and sweet malt. Vinilla notes and a pretty blanaced flavor. A tad to sweet.

M-Creamy and very smooth lacking a bit in carbonation may have hurt the balance a bit

D-Not something I would want all the time but im glad we can get it here in 750's now

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber, looks to be pretty darn dark, if not totally black, with a bubbly tan head, about half a finger. Head dissipates quickly, almost no lacing.

Smell's rich: I get caramel, dark Christmas-y fruits (raisin, a little fig, a little black cherry), oak booze smell. None of the coffee or chocolate stuff so prevalent in stouts (which I guess is because it's not a stout, but look at this thing & try not to expect those smells).

Flavor's very similar to the smell, with little bitterness. The alcohol picks up momentum, & the wood-y flavors are emphasized a little more. Others have said the barrel flavor is overpowering, whereas I find this to be one of the more tempered & even barrel-aged beers I've had. I love the intense bourbon barrel of others, but this is very well-integrated.

Mouthfeel's on the creamy side, with a tingle from the slightly high ABV. This one does not hide its alcohol.

I found one easy enough to drink, but don't know if I need to go back for a second. I've had it on tap before (didn't review it though), & would be more apt to have a second or third of a draft.

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Photo of naterock
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass. deep reddish brown with a thick white head.

smell is rich vanilla with an oakey nose. caramel malt is lingering in the background.

taste is rich caramel malts with a chocolatey body. Vanilla undertones and an oakey nuance.

mouth is viscous and rich. Drinkability is fairly low because this one is surely a sipper. Flavors actually develop more when it warms to near room temp.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Appears to be black until you hold it to the light, when it reveals a dark brown color with a slight reddish hue. Minor tan colored head. Fine carbonation.

S: Wonderful, joyous sultry oak scents. Alcohol layered upon alcohol (ie. the scent of the bourbon or whatever used to be in the oak barrels + the scent of the 9% ABV in this beer). Sweet caramel and vanilla malt tones.

T: Toasted oats, caramel, coffee, vanilla and oak. My buddy insists it's "vanilla coke + oak flavored beer" which I can't really rationalize, but I suppose maybe some kola nut taste could be hidden in there.

M: Good, thick body with moderate carbonation. I could swirl it, sip it or gulp it and the texture works for any of the above.

D: See above note on swirling, sipping or gulping. Mmmgood.

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Photo of Spidey13
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

New Holland Dragon's Milk pours a beautiful black with just a bit of garnet showing when held to the light. A fluffy ivory head sits on top.

The aroma is nice and roasty with notes of vanilla and oak coming through. Some dark fruit and Tootsie Roll is in there, too.

The flavor is sweet and chocolatey with some vanilla and just a bit of alcohol warmth. The bourbon barrel flavor is there, also. The flavors are a bit subdued but yummy.

The mouthfeel is thinner than expected but a bit creamy, which is nice. The carbonation is low.

Overall, I really liked this beer. It's possibly the most drinkable imperial stout I've had. The flavors are nice and complex without hitting you over the head like a sledgehammer. I drank this bomber way too fast.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown, the closest shade to black. Mocha colored head. Not much retention, decent lacing.

Aroma is mostly of oak, vanilla, and chocolate. Roasted malts and caramel in there, too.

Taste follows the nose. Oak and vanilla are big in this one. Caramel hits first. Light chocolate. Roasted malts come in towards the end.

Creamy feel, although probably a bit lighter than it should be. Lasting finish. Moderate carbonation. The alcohol isn't very noticeable. Easy drinker.

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Photo of nick76
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is toasted with milk, vanilla, wood, chocolate, and molasses. The appearance is dark brown with an average head. The flavor is like the aroma but is rather weak. The palate is rather thin. Overall it's too washed out for my liking but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of Thanby
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color, creamy tan head, leaves some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and has a creamy quality. The taste is smooth and creamy, the roasted malt dominating the flavor, a little bitter (can't tell if that's hops or not), the caramel and chocolate surface slowly and there's a slightly spicy lingering finish. Definitely a delicious brew, fits the name well. Very easy to drink and the high ABV is fairly hidden. Great balance and body, and just delicious. This is the favorite of everyone at a beer bar near me called Chappy's, and it's obvious why.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle I picked up at From the Vine in Dublin, OH last year on my way to DLD. Into my Duvel tulip

A: Reddish brown with ruby highlights and rather exceptional clarity. There a thick mocha-colored head that recedes to a disk, leaving a rather patchy network of lace. Good looking beer, this!

S: Rich caramel malts are noticeable with some dark fruit (prunes). Oak is prominent with a lot of wood and vanilla. Just the wee bit harsh, with some alcohol creeping in as it warms up

T: Opens up with a combination of caramel and oak with some vanilla and some pleasant oxidation. The mid-palate is not existent and this beer could really use something there. A little alcohol and some tannins appear on the finish and provides the bite needed to keep the sweetness in check.

M: Surprisingly thin, this could have used a little more heft. Carbonation in the bottle is a bit much. The finish is mildly tannic and enjoyable

D: I'm going to enjoy the rest of the bottle, not sure how often I'll buy this, though.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no dating information and a listed ABV of 8.5%

A- A very dark brown body with ruby hints around the edges. small bubbles of carbonation can be seen rushing to the top of the glass. small khaki colored crown of a head

S- immediately, i can tell this was aged in wood. lots of oak-y vanilla. some chocolate, caramel, and a bunch of roasted malt notes as well.

T- once again, the barrel aging comes to the forefront. lots of vanilla and oak. a ton of caramel malt, and some chocolate too. roasted malt is also present.

M- medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation. the alcohol is very well hidden.

D- very easy to finish. its nice to have a beer thats barrel aged on the shelves year round. this is something i wish i would have discovered sooner. cant see myself finishing more than one in a sitting, but its something ill try again sometime soon. the interesting flavor and well hidden ABV work in this ones favor, big time

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Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a firkin at UJ's on the Manatawny last weekend.

The beer pours a dark black brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is uncomplicated, but is still very nice, consisting of noticeable bourbon, coffee, chocolate and cherry vanilla. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but in this case the whole is superior to the sum of the parts. Everything blends in together so well, and the flavor profile is enhanced by an incredibly decadent, rich, soft as silk, mouthfeel. This beer is increadily soft and creamy, and has a long finish. The alcohol in this beer is barely noticeable, though one gets a bit of a warming sensation after a while. Nevertheless, delicious as this beer is, it would be entirely too easy to drink quite a few of these at a sitting, something that would probably not be a good idea.

Very impressive.

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Photo of cvfish
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a dark brown color that produced a fluffy light tan head that had good retention and left a decent lace around the glass

S - This beer had a mix of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla along with a little whiskey burn

T - The taste of this beer was some roasted chocolate malts and some caramel, some good notes of vanilla, some oakey notes, and a good slight kick of bitterness on the finish

M - The mouth on this beer was very creamy, a medium to heavy body with moderate carbonation

D - This quite a good beer, not very sessionable, but I do not think it aims to be. Very flavorful, and a good, warming nature makes this quite a treat

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Photo of Beertracker
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New Holland's Dragon's Milk pours up with a lively carbonation which creates a moderate tannish cream colored head that envelopes the slightly murky, reddish-russet brown body. The fruity aroma is an interesting mix of caramelized sugars, malt & bourbon barrel wood. Notes of leather, olives, salted beef & sandalwood with some higher alohols add to the overall complexity. The bold flavor starts off with some ripe fruitiness that give way to an burnt molasses, highly roasted maltiness marked with some bitterness which creates a drier, bittersweet, burnt wood, warming finish. This American Strong/Stock Ale runs a gamut of character, but I found my interest wanning towards pint's end. Definitely worth seeking out, but not worth cellaring. Please don't wake a sleeping dragon. Here's to Dragon's Milk!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one was poured at Smokin' Joes on the Southside - Feb 14th 2009. A dark almost black brew with dark brown highlights and a tan head that quickly dissipated. The smell is light with some oak and vanilla and a slight alcohol. There are dark fruits and some cocoa trying to push through. The taste is very boozy with a dominate vanilla and oak. There is some bourbon and brandy as well as the dark cocoa and a hint of bitter coffee. This one is very creamy and thick. It tastes amazing but is a lot all up front. This one needs to calm down a bit.

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Photo of KeefD
2.28/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

8.5% ABV. Dark brown, ruby edges, small tan head that was gone in less than a minute, very little lacing. I'm not getting much out of the aroma. I'm really hoping it's because it was poured rather cold. I'll give it a few minutes to warm up. OK, starting to warm now, some sweet, light fruity aroma starts to come out, some whiskey-ish alcohol, red grapes, and light chocolate. Flavor is a little strange to me. There's some very light, almost watery chocolate flavor going on, definite oakiness throughout, and a grassy, earthy component in the finish. There's the grape flavor again. What the hell is this? I'm starting to get a stale red wine flavor in the aftertaste. Ugh, this thing finished bad. It's very light bodied for the color. Maybe I just don't like it because it's dark and expect it to drink like a stout or a porter. It tastes more like a doppelback fermented with ale yeast and aged in oak. The taste and aroma does improve slightly as it reaches room temperature. Not my thing, but hey, I'll finish it anyway.

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Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nittanybeerfan for bringing this out last night. I have heard a lot about this one and am glad I finally got to try it. Poured into two tulip glasses.

This is an interesting style of beer. It is not big enough for a RIS, yet too big for a Porter. Strong Ale, eh I suppose.

A: Pours a dark brown, but by no means black. Noticeable edges of brown and maroon show when held to the light. Pours with a one finger, fluffy khaki head that fizzles out into a thin ring of foam.

S: The smell is rather light, but has great complexity nonetheless. The bourbon comes to the forefront and is accompanied by some nice cocoa nibs. Other noticeable aromas are chocolate, molasses, and sweet caramel.

T: Just fantastic. The bourbon comes right to the front and shows its presence. The bourbon is light though, which I like, it is not overpowering. This allows the sweet caramel, chocolate, and slightly bitter roast to come through on the finish. Overall, the taste is on the lighter side, but the complexity does not lack.

Overall, this was a great bourbon beer. I would have preferred it to be a little richer, but because it was light, I finished my glass in no time.

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Photo of Reneejane
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap, and a bottled version. The bottle was nowhere near as good as the tap version, while this is true of many beers it is very apparent with this beer. A lot of the complex aromas and flavors were lost when bottled. But the aroma was very sweet with a definitive brandy flavor. The taste was sweet and had a definite alcohol warming. The color was black. I loved the spicy flavors from the hops. There were definite sweet estery notes as well. This is a great beer, but on tap, this is a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Since my buddy lives in Holland Michigan, I should take his word for it and give these guys a try.

Hew Holland doesn't dissapoint. I have had "The Poet" and the "Mad Hatter" which were both very good but this one is by far better than either one of those beers.

A - Brown to Dark Brown in color. Some light does come through but not much. As far as any head....not much. Nice coloring.

S - Good. Some roasted malts and carmel notes come through. I really like the barrel smell. Very nice but not overpowering. Woody. Earthy. Good.

T - Excellent. Reminds me of a thicker version of Rocky's Revenge. Definite chocolate malt carmel and oak barrel come through. No alcohol at all which is nice for an 8.5% beer. Some carination but not too much. I want to be drinking with a good stake sitting around a camp fire in Northern Minnesota.

M - For such a lighter beer compared to most thick stouts, this Strong Dark Ale is very very creamy. Coats the mouth and tongue. Nice. Very high marks for mouthfeel.

D - You will all die when you hear how much I paid for this 22 oz bomber...$3.99. A new liqior store in town and they have some of their bottles and beers marked WAY to low. In every other store in town, it is at least double this. Excellent find and excellent beer to have on this windy Minnesota Winter day.

Overall, I will for sure pick up more of this in the very near future.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 27 Oct 2008.

Used my 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter for this. Samll foamy beige head. Medium carbonation. Very dark brown color, not quite opaque. Smells of coffee, licorice, dark chocolate, mushrooms. Starts sweet and roasty. Almost like cold hot chocolate. Good roastiness and chocolate throughout. On the sweet side. Oak not really noticeable. Alcohol well hidden, seems light. Hint of vanilla in the finish. Medium body. Smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Overall very nice.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with almost mahogany fringes. Its very dark, light doesn't readily pass through the glass. The carbonation is clearly visible. The off-white head quickly dissipates to form a ring around the surface. Wispy clouds of foam gather in the middle of my glass. There was a subtle bit of lacing.

S: The aroma is dominated by hints of caramel and toffee. There is a burnt toast aroma that could possibly be from the oak. I found it to smell slightly hoppy, though not a major characteristic.

T: The oak is prevelant, with subtle hints of rich vanilla and creamy caramel. The hoppy bitterness is nice and does not detract from the rich characteristics of the vanilla and oak. A little alcohol on the finish, tasted similar to bourbon.

M: A medium bodied ale that was very smooth and had only a hint of carbonation. The finish was pretty dry which I attribute to the hops and possibly to the oak. I would say that the carbonation is dead on. The roof of my mouth was left feeling thickly coated.

D: An extremely easily downed and smooth ale with a great bourbon finish. Nothing was too harsh, it was mellow from the start. A very impressive beer, claps to New Holland.

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany color, little in the way of a head and what forms doesn't keep.

Aroma: Caramel , chocolate and lots of vanilla. You can really smell the sweetness.

Taste: Slight phenol notes followed by rich chocolate and oak. his is followed by a strong vanilla aftertaste. This is one of the only beers I've had whose characteristics changed this much.

Mouthfeel: Light velvety with not a lot of carbonation.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is 9% and for that i suppose the head shouldn't be too amazing but it is pretty good. the head dies off but the off white head and inky black body werve well together

S: There is a vanilla bean and and oak wood character with malt and burnt toast

T: Milk for sure, go figure... but there is more vanilla barrel and somewhat creamy and very smooth. the body is medium in nature hedging towards thick

this is a really good beer, its hard to describe but it is fantastic

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Photo of asabreed
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nearly opaque with hints of color coming through into the dark reds territory. Head is a bit soapy and not as concentrated and therefore pops and fades quickly.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, mild chocolate, and a ton of oak and woodiness from the barrels. Smoke and spice come through, along with a bit of mild charcoal and vanilla.

Taste: Huge oak flavors, but I like that a lot. If you don't, you probably won't like this beer, bottom line. But a nice mix of roasted malts, spicy vanilla, a bit of tobacco, hints of cream, mild mocha, and charcoal come through. And that seems to be what a lot of RIS are made of, but here it seems to be mostly because of the wood, which I admire. It's less heavy on the roasted malt character, which is fine considering what the wood aging seems to do here positively overall. Long finish with roasted woodiness and vanilla flavors lingering.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some chewiness and creaminess due to the carbonation being sans-spritzy and more leading with the fullness.

Drinkability: I wish it wasn't nearly $8 for a bomber, as that seems way too much. But over a long period of time, especially if you like barrel aging, then this is a quality brew. I hope to try more from this series in the future.

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Photo of bheilman
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice dark golden brown amberish color to it. Has a fair amount of hops making me think it was somewhere between an imperial ipa and a Belgian double. I really like the flavor although I'm sure I couldn't handle more than a bomber due to the thick richness. It does have a slight buttery taste, so I think it's fairly valid to have milk in the title. The scent is extremely caramelish and of course that definitely influences the taste on this one. I will seek this out again. I think it could even improve with some cellaring. This beer has made me want to set up a trip to the brewery.

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Photo of BierFan
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been cellaring this since November, but I heard from a fellow BA that it doesn't cellar well so I decided to drink it now. No "brewed on" date so I have no idea how old it really is. Poured from a 22 ounce brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Hard pour produced a 3 finger tan head. An almost black body only has slight ruby hues shining through when it's held to a light. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mostly alcohol with a fair bit of vanilla as well. The same vanilla aroma that I got from New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole Wheatwine and Black Tulip Trippel, which makes me think that perhaps they use the same yeast for all of their "High Gravity Series" beers. I wish that the oak or malts were stronger in the smell, but they just aren't.

Taste: Lots of vanilla, if there was any oak in here before it's gone now. Kind of disappointing because I've had one of these that was fresher and the oak was really noticeable and delicious. Aside from being currently oak-less it still tastes alright and has a very creamy but kinda light mouthfeel to it.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,286 ratings.