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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

2,909 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2909
Reviews: 1092
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 14.18%

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: 2,909 | Reviews: 1,092 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MDekker


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass out of a bomber, this brew pours out nearly black, with a little "dark ruby" around the edges. Nice thick head. Quite a nice looking brew. Being only accustomed to stouts pouring out that black, the smell and taste were unexpected, but good - sweet, strong notes of fruit, especially prunes, raisins, and grape juice, along with some alcohol. Only a gentle bitter finish. In the mouth it was fabulous - creamy and smooth, with a small presence of carbonation. It was surprisingly easy to put down, too. Overall, this was a good, interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 00:57:51 | More by MDekker
Photo of phisig137


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Santa DeeJayDan for this one

Pours a deep black, only letting a bit of brown light through around the edges. One finger head has excellent retention, and eventually falls into a thick creamy blanket of foam on top of the glass, leaving behind abundant creamy lacing. Looks fantastic.

Aroma is mostly dominated by oak and vanilla tones, but not in a harsh or overbearing way. Roasted malts also find thier way through,as well as biscuits and a hint of alcohol.

Flavor is very nice. Light roasted malt presence, with a strong vanilla barrle flavor that integrates beautifully with the beer. A bit more of a baltic porter or stout than a strong ale... but hey, it's pretty fantastic whatever you call it. The finish is almost devoid of hops, but is slightly sweet, lingering and pleasant. You want another sip, but instead you can sit and contemplate the flavor. Well balanced, and not overly oak-ey, like some barrel beers can be. Mouthfeel is just a little thin for me, but is quite creamy, and smooth. Drinkbability is good considering the 9.0% ABV.

This is my first beer from New Holland, and I am very impressed. I now wish that this was a regulalry seen item around VA. Either way, I'd recommend this beer, and would buy it constantly in the winter, given the ability to do so. Thanks again DeeJayDan!!! This one is a winner!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 01:20:14 | More by phisig137
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i thought this was going to be an imperial stout...strong ale, eh? i guess the category is a catchall one

doesn't look like one. some red highlights, but otherwise very RIS looking. the aroma sports a big oaky character with plenty of vanilla anf coffee. the flavor is something entirely new. much smoother than any RIS, and much fruitier. it makes me think of those valentine's chocolates with cherry in the middle. it's quite desserty and somewhat tart, even

oak and vanilla all over the place, but the flavor is still a little weak and poorly defined

this is something that would make more sense if fermented with a belgian yeast, but good for new holland for pushing the boundaries. not something i'll drink often, but i will definitely consider it for my next dessert pairing

i will say that this beer before the barrel might not have been so good

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 04:36:10 | More by bruachan
Photo of IntriqKen


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you jpm30. Wonderful
A very dark mahogany with a half finger off white head that melts quickly to a faint ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas are very, VERY woody. Oak, vanilla, and back to oak.
Sweet amber malts are immediately overcome by the presence of oak woodiness. I have never had any brew reflect the presence of the barrel as much as this one. Slight vanilla undertones and then a definite citrus hop bitterness on the end.
Mouthfeel is tiny carbonation smoothness.
Aftertaste seems to be almost non-existent. All of the predominate flavors clean themselves from the palette quickly.
The woods make this one unlike any other brew I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2006 05:13:05 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of tempest


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

9%? I could definately down a growler of this. This is a pretty cool beer, kind of like an American old ale. Big caramel and chocolate (reminds me of carafa malts) flavors. I get more chocolate in the aroma with a hint of oak. There are also some mroe subtle flavor floating around like vanilla, but this isn't the most comples beer. Still, it's very drinkable and I'd get it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 07:32:46 | More by tempest
Photo of BEERchitect


4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland may struggle a bit with their IPA recipe and execution, but their stouts have no such issues. As with their Night Tripper, Dragon's Milk delivers silky smooth chocolates with roasty backnotes and a touch of smoke, oak, and even bourbon- whether they meant to or not.

The beer pours with a silky layering effect into the snifter, and does so with the most dense espresso imaginable. With nearly milkshake-like consistency, the nearly black, dark bark-brown hue exudes the notions of roast, chocolate, and smoke. Lightly ingrained carbonation creates a creamy aesthetic, but also relinquishes a dainty tan head that dissolves midway through the session with minimal spotted lace. The beer is best observed through the spectacles of cognac or brandy.

The aromas are spot-on Bourbon Ball Candies made my many of my local Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark manufacturers. Where they never decry a bourbon infusion, the aromas of chocolate wafers, walnuts, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbony booze rises to the occasion and surplants any dessert at the after dinner party.

Flavors follow with a familiar tone. The direct carryover from scent brings about the dessert-like sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, creamy espresso, heavy cream, coconut, vanilla, caramel, almonds, and that ever present bourbon taste- but with all the taste and none of the burn. Roasted grains contribute light bitterness as do the woody hops, but these only act as slight balancing elements- this beer was never intended to be a balanced stout, but rather a richer and malt-focused taste with the complement of oak. It nails it to perfection!

Silky smooth and malty weighted, the beer projects a full texture and makes no apologies for it. Light on carbonation, the malty weight and sweet alcohols seep into the mouth's surfaces for a full flavor, savory, and labored transition across the palate. But that's ok- the savory, succulent, and velvety textures caress the palate and forgives the lack of dryness with ease. A long linger, well past the ill-faded finish, continues well into the next sip for a very digestive-intended session.

This stout is one of the most celebrated bourbon-flavored stouts that does not confess bourbon barrel aging, but merely oak aging. How dey do dat?

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 17:58:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of hoppymeal


3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cola in color with a small off white head. Aroma is bourbon, cola sweetness, vanilla, and a smoky roastiness. First taste shows a nice roasted malt flavor that is quickly followed up by a cola sweetness and a bourbony finish. Some syrupy sweetness is cut by a tangy acidity. A nice oak and bourbon drying finish. The alcohol is very well balanced and the bourbon flavor and aroma comes thru nicely. The roasted smoky malts are also a nice dimension to this beer. The vanilla in the aroma and the cola-y sweetness in the aroma and taste were perhaps a bit strong for myself, but still a complex interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 03:02:09 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of bucko


2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown/black with a thin, off-white/light tan head that diminished to a small ring with a "spider web" in the middle. The smell is strong with notes of bourbon, oak (white?) and vanilla. The flavor is more bourbon, sweet malt and wood. The wood is a little strong and puts me off a bit. Further sips reveal some hot alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I think the hot alcohol taste keeps this from being terribly drinkable. Truth be told, I'm glad I'm sharing the bomber. Perhaps it will mellow in time?

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 01:22:39 | More by bucko
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a slim beige head that does not retain well and only leaves modest lacing

Smell: A smattering of bourbon-infused oak provides an aromatic complement to a dried dark fruit and vanilla/chocolate base

Taste: The lactic qualities of this brew make themselves apparent from the start with a milky chocolate and dark fruit taste up front; after the swallow, the vanilla and oak flavors join to add complexity; the finish is relatively sweet with a touch of sourness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately low carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting, but a bit subdued; I was expecting something bolder on all fronts; in any event, an enjoyable brew

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 00:50:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of waldowin


3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Gaisgeil for this beer!

Poured a roasty black, with a light tan head that fades to a small patch quickly.

Smell is heavily of vanilla and oak, has a hint of a bourbon to the finish.

The oak absolutely dominates the taste from start to finish. A bit of vanilla and milk sweetness rise through, with a hint of hop tartness at the very end. Oak is all over.

Carbonation is spot on, and the slightly lactic acidity in the beer leaves your mouth ready for more vanilla sweetness. I'd like to see it a little bit heavier, but I consider the thickest of imperial stouts to be my bread and butter, so I'm a bit biased I suppose.

A tasty beer, to be sure, but the alcohol makes a 22oz bottle a night's beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 08:56:18 | More by waldowin
Photo of ZAP


4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly enjoyable drinking experience with this one. Dark brown bordering on black.

Barrel properties are quite apparent on the nose...oak...bourbon...light vanilla..

Full bodied...solid carbonation...pretty smooth and velvety in the mouth...

Taste is loaded with oak, and bourbon...roasted maltiness....a little bit of dark cocoa as well..

Finishes dry....booze is hidden but becomes noticable on the long finish..

An excellent strong ale I will likely purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 05:46:31 | More by ZAP
Photo of Oxymoron


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Does this beer fall into a style? Imp Milk Stout? Oak Age? American Strong Ale? Whatever you classify it, the pour is a black color, when brownish red hues when held to the light. A tan colored head that was rather light and dissipated quickly. Not much lace to speak of either.

When I poured this beer for the first time, it was too cold. I couldn't get much but after waiting for some time the aroma started coming out more. The most noticeable smell was the bourbon oak esters and vanilla backing. Some lighter malty notes as well as some fig and plum smells are detectable in the background as well.

The taste also changes as the beer warms. While cold, it had a rather limited taste and a lactic quality to it. But once warmed, the true flavors of the beer started coming out. A good malty flavor with bigger chocolate notes and some minor astringent qualms in the back. Some toffee and a touch of sweeter caramel flavors. The oaky flavors are well represented, with lacing of bourbon and vanilla flavors.

The body has a mid to full feel but the oak essence smooths the flavor out. A good, unique beer that boardlines style but put it in any category you want, I'll have another.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 00:40:35 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of RedHaze


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz screened bottle.

Pours a very dark, red tinged, brown with a one finger head that fades away rather quickly. Even though the foam doesn't stic around there's still quite a bit of lacing.

Smell; lots of sweet dark malts, with caramel and chocolate. This definitely has a strong oak aroma along with vanilla a touch of coconut, and some dark fruits.

Taste; those malts come through nicely with the caramel, chocolate and a little bit of toffee. The coconut mixes very nicely with the oak barrel flavors, and has a nice smooth vanilla on the finish. There's not much bitterness to be found in this one. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation, and the drinkability is very high up there. Once this gets to room temp it gets even smoother and I think the mouthfeel becomes more full.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 00:17:42 | More by RedHaze
Photo of ColoradoBobs


4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle courtesy of shbobdb. YOU DA MAN!

Moderate pour at 55 degrees into my tulip chalice yields at large tan head over a dark mahogany opaque body, with ruby red edges. Head fades rather quickly, but leaves huge chunks of thick lacing..

Moderately aromatic nose. Chocolat, vanilla, rum-soaked raisins, dates and bourbon. Oak resins are in the background.

Complex taste! A bit of sour mash bourbon on chocolate-vanilla with some espresso and caramel malt. Just a slight hint of fruity hops. As the beer warms toward room temperature, the vanilla and bourbon come up, with cocoa and caramel.

The mouthfeel felt too light. The alcohol is barely noticable behind all those dark fruit flavors. Frightfully drinkable for a 9% beer.

Reminds me more of a Baltic Porter than an American Strong Ale. Very little hop presence, which is fine my me.

Thanks again to shbobdb, who knows I love malty beers. Man, you hit this nail on the head!

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2006 03:10:05 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of dogfooddog


4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle courtesy of MABZ. Thanks!

Pours into a pint glass with a lot of carbonation - fills glass up quickly with foam. Smells distinctly like wood, along with some roasted malt notes and very appealing.

taste is something of roasted malt, fronted by a hop character I cannot name but reminds me of english old ales. There is obvious wood character in this beer though I cannot pick up the previous barrel contents (bourbon). The combination of some light sourness, roasted malt, and an almost invisible 9% makes this excellent beer far too easy to drink.

Frighteningly drinkable old ale which goes down far too fast. I almost never see wood-aged beer of this style, nice to see it done in the US this well.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 00:18:28 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the Duvel tulip for maximum taste and sniffage...

Appearance- Deep, clear, caramel cola with a head that rushes to the surface and surges with tightly packed bubbles. The off-white head explodes to 2 1/2 fingers and sticks well along the inside of the glass. The soapy crown looks like the suds in a car wash bucket, with iridescent colors and good, craggy lacing.

Smell- Porter-like caramel notes, with a nose of coffee with milk & sugar. A little mocha and vanilla comes through.

Taste- Complex and smooth as all hell... soft and mellow, then exploding with oak and vanilla. Dessert in a glass. An interesting lemony citric note, a brightness like when you squeeze lemon zest into a cup of espresso. The finish is dry and tart... really good. Refreshing, like a spritzy squeeze of lemon in a dunkelweisse.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Exquisite... light and smooth on the tongue, swelling perfectly in the mouth. Effortless and ridiculously drinkable for the style, very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2006 04:02:54 | More by yelterdow
Photo of seebus


3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - bottle has a painted label (classy) but an avg graphic of a dragon and a barrel (ok) but a nice though mostly empty back story is painted on the bottle as well (they redeem themselves!). i poured a generous portion of the bomber into a snifter, and i drizzled enough in to get a nice, parchment-colored head. the head dissipated pretty soon, kept some of the nice foam swirls and oily bubbles i like to see on higher gravity dark beers.

S - definitely soft, malty, and warm. the snifter helped to capture some alcohol vapor, but i still had to do a little searching to find it under all that lovely malt.

T - a bit like a dark raisin bread. slightly bready, but it's under all of that heavy malt. take a breath after you swallow and you can feel that alcohol if you pay attention.

M - not bad. full enough with all that heavy malt taste, although it's a bit grainy at times.

D - now, this is a heavy beer--tons of malt and high gravity. if you take that into account, the drinkability isn't too bad. this is certainly for sipping. be patient; try to rush this one and it will get you.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2006 02:46:55 | More by seebus
Photo of merlin48


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a clear, dark chestnut body with a large tan head. Excellent retention and large rings and splotches of lacing are left on the glass.

Aroma features malty caramel, accented by vanilla. Notes of bourbon and smoky charcoal are also prominent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy yet well carbonated.

Taste is malty caramel, backed by a solid, if vague, hops bitterness. Vanilla is prominent. Accents of bourbon, charcoal, and oak add a pleasant complexity. The 9% abv is well disguised. Finishes dry and smoky.

Very well executed. Reminds me of a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, but this is more complex and has a better feel. Glad to see New Holland brews coming into Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2006 22:39:56 | More by merlin48
Photo of antzman


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a jet black with a 1/4 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates. Excellent lacing on the glass as well. The aroma is sweet. Caramel, vanilla, oak from the barrel, chocolate malt, and just a hint of bourbon. The aroma is fairly subdued, and does not overwhelm you. The flavor is delicious. Plenty of flavors here. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, sweet fruits. A bit on the sweet side, but it does not linger long on the palate. A very warming beer. This is probably the best offering from New Holland I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 16:27:10 | More by antzman
Photo of karengarys


3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours dark brown (almost black) leaving a ring of foam around the glass from my slow pour.

Smells of carmel and sweet alcohol.

Taste includes an odd balance of sour, like strange sour, wet ashes, sweet alcohol, and a slight hop bite. But - the most unusual flavor is a bite like you get in a cup of chai-spice tea... ...and that stands out quite a bit...

I can't decide if I like this or not, a lot of odd things are going on in many different directions. most of these are good, but it is... wierd. I rated this a 3 in taste - it has tastes that exceed that, and lots of character, flavor and taste - but it is too all-over-the-place to consider it superb.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but slightly wet. I am not a fan of a wet mouthfeel.

Finish is a bit astringent, with a ashes-like flavor left behind along with a bit of sour.

This is worth at least trying. It is very interesting and unusual. If you see it, DON'T pass it up. I've not had anything like it. I'm not sure I want more, but i am very glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 00:29:05 | More by karengarys


2.28/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Deep brownish black body with a lovely huge monster tan foamy head that includes some huge hollow bubbles. Like what you get if you made a root beer float. nose is a soft chocolatey malt feel with a bit of smokieness on the side. Now this is where the brew goes south for me... Enters the mouth kide day old cold coffee and quickly sours on the second half of the palate, which is not what I expexted. Finishes with that same sour and maybe a hint of nuttiness. Where is the oak and I was expecting a little more dark richness, and complexity from the look in the glass and from what I had heard about this beer, but polar oppisites. Odd, but I guess I could have had a bad bottle.?

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 19:06:02 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of peabody


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out really dark with a finger of off white to brown suds leaving little lacing.
Smell is chocolate and malt mixed with some fruit like plum.
Taste is dark chocolate to coffee with raisin that quickly leaves the mouth.In fact, every flavor leaves all at once with nothing remaining, not even the alcohol you would expect to be there.
Mouthfeel is a bit dissapointing because of the flavor leaving the palate all at once.
Still, a very clean and nice beer. Quaffable for sure because of the
flavor leaving thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2006 22:53:49 | More by peabody
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, a deep dark color with decent head, shrinking to a swirling, snarling film, very appropriate, and not so much lacing. Aroma is full of chocolate, a creamy, woody vanilla, some bourbon or something, a little on the subtle side but quite nice. Taste is not so subtle, a potent but well infused with lots of lively chocolate, some plum, hops being minimal, malty as a bastard, bourbon tweaking the edge of my mouth into a grin. really quite nice. Mouth is creamy, smooth, very warm, nice. Overall, I'm a fan. A fan who is glad he has more of it.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 01:51:13 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of bigbubba


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark ale, with a decent light brown head. Looks almost like a coke while pouring. There is a strong smell of dark chocolate. The taste is much more interesting than the smell. Very nice. There is chocolate, raisins, some wine like flavors probably the oak. It is on the sweet side, with no hops obvious. The mouthfeel is good, very smooth and creamy. It goes down way too easy for a 9% beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 20:27:20 | More by bigbubba
Photo of ggaughan


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 or 25 oz bottle. The bottle was different than the picture above as it had a silk screened lable on it in white that was pretty darn cool. I poured the beer into my trusty Duvel tulip.

The beer poured a deep black color with a slight tan head that disapated rather quickly. left behind was a good ring around the glass and some solid lacing down the sides. The aroma was a full toasted caramel smell, pleasing to the nose. The tasted was a nice toasted, malty bite up front with some very nice vanilla tones as well which made for a smooth mouth feel. With a medium body, this is still a pretty darn easy beer to drink because it is tastey and so smooth going down but yet it leaves a nice taste in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2006 02:42:26 | More by ggaughan
New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,909 ratings.