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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,421 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,421
Ratings:
5,368
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
318
Gots:
1,597
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,421 | Ratings: 5,368
Photo of isubsmith
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this in bottles many times so I decided to try a half barrel of it at home.

Appearance: Very dark brown, perhaps mahogany if you look through it at a light. Nice creamy head, lots of lacing, probably more than I remember from bottled versions.

Nose: The first few glasses out of the keg are unbelievably good. Chocolate, woody, toffee, some vanilla and bourbon. Sweet, caramelized sugar. Some of the alcohol is there when it warms up a bit.

Taste: Mirrors the nose, but even more complex. Smooth, bourbon flavors up front. Then some vanilla and maltyness. Finish is chocolate goodness.

Mouthfeel: Lower carbonation, but I was also using 85% N2/15% CO2. The partial pressure CO2 was probably a bit off, but frankly I enjoyed it anyway. About the same bite as the bottle has, so it couldn't have been too far off. Medium body, very creamy.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Just remember to stand up once in a while and take stock of your facilities before you get in trouble.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 7/2/09.

A - Dark brown body with mahogany highlights and solid two-finger creamy tan cap at its summit, which deposited lots of sticky foam around the glass.

S - Chocolate and caramel blended with vanilla and bourbon notes. Sweet aroma with a hint of alcohol heat. Minimal woody/oaky character, although there is a touch of nuttiness.

T - Flavor possesses a bold bourbon presence with a sweet, cooling vanilla character. Some chocolate fudge notes emerge in the backend with a subtle alcohol kick. While there is not much of an oaky or woody presence, the flavor is sweet overall with virtually no astringency.

M - Medium bodied with a slick, smooth mouthfeel and super creamy texture. Carbonation is minimal and quite soft of the tongue. Alcohol warmth is quite restrained, especially for a high ABV Strong Ale.

D - Dragon's Milk boasts exceptional drinkability for a bourbon barrel aged Strong Ale. This one definitely exceeded my expectations. My first encounter with New Holland was certainly a memorable one. I will be seeking out more from this brewery in the future.

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Photo of jmalex
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simultaneously heard about this one via the brewer on the Brewing Network and from Dr. Joel, the local New Holland rep. This one sounded too awesome to pass up.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a very deep brown though not completely black. An off-white head is a surprisingly light color for such a seemingly dark beer. It begins as a 2-finger, pillowy head and shrinks down to a solid, tight-bubbled cap. Some cobweb-type lacing forms on a few walls of the glass as I drink.

SMELL: A mild dark chocolate aroma is easiest to pick out but is far from the most prominent. It's incredibly complex with some really incredible woody flavors which blend seamlessly with the beer. Nutty, toffee, creme brulee, brown sugar, and so much else. Exceptional.

TASTE: This beer was obviously made for the barrel aging. Nearly all of the flavor seems to have its origins in the wood. Vanilla, toffee, sherry, burnt caramels, and probably 80 other things that my palate can't pick up on. The base beers seems to be no-frills with some caramel and chocolate forming a perfect canvas on which the barrel can do its thing.

MOUTHFEEL: The lower carbonation seems right here, and the body is surprisingly only at about a medium to medium-full level. By no means is this a beefy, chewy beer.

DRINKABILITY: It's really good and I probably shouldn't be drinking this so fast. I will say that a bomber is definitely the correct serving size for this. The 9% is as close to undetectable as you can get.

Well this should improve my evening greatly. Somehow I had it in my head that this was going to be a stout, but I was clearly wrong. This is definitely one of those times where I have no problems with just how wrong I was. Recommended!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22ounce bomber bottle into my shaker glass. Shared with brothercannon. The ale appears an opaque dark brown color with about an inch of ecru foam. Notes of oak, vanilla, milk chocolate, caramelized malts, mellow alcohol, slightly nutty/fruity. Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation for an old ale. Tasty stuff. Check it out if you happen upon a bottle.

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Photo of mpyle
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly brownish head with poor retention. Beer itself is opaque.

Initial smell is alcohol, with a bit of chocolate.

Taste is a slightly woody, alcohol tinged maltiness. Chocolate evident in a secondary role; earlier tasting of this beer found it very vanilla-laden, but now don't taste the vanilla. Whiskey/wood type flavors seem more dominant as it warms. A bit one-dimensional.

MF is a med-full body, with fairly low carbonation. Alcohol warming is quite present, but relatively pleasant and not inappropriate for the style.

Dability is relatively low - alcohol is quite present, the beer is strong, and the flavors not sufficiently interesting to make the alcohol worth it. And too expensive to buy merely for its drunkening powers.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/25/09- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle...not sure of the vintage, possibly 2008 or earlier. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head. Head remains for a bit of time and leaves some mild patches and streaks of lace.

Smell- Lots of chocolate in the nose as well as a medium roasted caramel malt, some vanilla and a very light scent of alcohol...not picking up much oak at all.

Taste- Flavor comes out better at room temp. Started this one right out of the fridge. Chocolate flavor dominates the pallete, followed by a larger dose of vanilla. It may even be an even batle between the chocolate and vanilla. The whiskey oak flavor come out as well, but still plays a minor role. Not much alcohol detected with some minor date-fig flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level which is silky smooth. Could be a bit heavier in the mouthfeel. Maybe even a touch of chalkyness. Can't even detect the 9% though. Almost seems sessionable.

Drinkability- Very good beer with lots of good flavor. Could use a bit more oak flavor and maybe a tad more thickness in the feel, but overall still a really good beer worth trying.

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Photo of webmanspidey
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Dark amber/brown color with moderate head. The smell is pretty intense: very alcoholic and sweet with hints of maple syrup and molasses.

Taste continues to be sweet with a very strong oak flavor, one of the few oak aged beers where the flavor has been at the forefront. There's a slight nuttiness to this one as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with decent amount of carbonation. For a fairly high strength the drinkability does not suffer here.

Pretty good. Worth trying.

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Photo of adamette
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a clean, clear pint glass. Purchased at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio for $7.99. No observed "best by" date but I am not sure that it matters.

A 2.5 inch light brown head over a dark but translucent dark maroon, brown body. I poured vigorously to try to create a nice head and it stuck around for at least 5 minutes. After sipping there is nice lacing on the glass as well. 4.5

S Nice medium malt and alcohol smell with caramel/vanilla notes. This is a very sweet smelling beer and inviting, complex and smooth all at the same time. As it warmed there was a bit more "oak" smells. Complexity comes from the various smells existing in the same beer.

T Nice sweet malt, reminds me of a Belgian Dubbel, like a Gulden Draak Jr. Vanilla/caramel notes linger in the aftertaste. There is a nice oak taste that I noticed once the beer warmed a bit and it provides a softened backdrop to the bigness of this beer.

M Slight syrupy stickiness but it is moderately thick. Big ABV, big malt make the feel somewhat heavy. There is a nice smoothness to this beer as well that helps to soften any kick of alcohol that you might experience.

D I will drink the bomber (and enjoy it) but I am not sure that I would drink more than that. A bomber will fill almost two pint glasses.

Notes: A big, interesting, delicious beer is a sipper and it really demands your attention. I first had this on tap at Ballantine's in Willoughby. The bottle reveals that it is consistent in both forms. Everyone reading this should try Dragon's Milk. A "crown jewel" beer at New Holland is certainly one that they can be proud of.

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Photo of PrAndo
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby, burned carmel, aged bourdon

S - bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, and oak. Man alive this smelled good.

T - bourbon with oak and malt. Is that a bad thing?

M - not as heavy as I expected, but rather perfect for the intensity of the flavor.

D - couldn't have more than a few but I'd like to try!

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Photo of argock
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear oversized wine glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.75.

A: Very dark mahogany with creamy mocha 1/2 finger head with scant lace.

S: Vanilla, coffee bean, and light bourbon aromsa enhance dark malt and herbal, earthy hops

T: Not as full-flavored as I would have imagined. Very woody and more sour than the aroma betrays. Lots of wet cardboard flavors blend with herbal, earthy hops. But the flavor is too woody and alcoholic to be top-notch.

M: A bit thin in feel with light carbonation that enhances drinkability. Aftertaste is woody and a bit boozy.

D: Too sharp and woody for my taste. Improves with warming but not enough to generate much enthusiasm.

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Photo of saztheorybook
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask to New Holland; passed up some exotic pub-only beers to have it on cask, and I'm glad I did.

A: Jet black with only a little head and little retention or lacing. Surprising for a cask.
S: Pure vanilla bean and and boozy warm esters on the nose.
T: This is an insane and delicious demon on cask. It's almost like a vanilla vodka with a little bit of chocolate. There was not real hop character, but a lot of alcohol warmth. From front to back, though, this vanilla thing made cask Dragon's Milk a completely different experience.
M:Smooth and a little oily. Very nice. Almost like a three-quarters melted milkshake in the best way that can sound.
D: You have to remind yourself, hey, this is 9%. Slow down, enjoy it, and call it good.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a goblet. 8.5% ABV according to the bottle.

A: Dark brown body, almost black. Little head with no lacing to speak of.

S: Lots of oak. Also some vanilla.

T: Again, oak and vanilla. Some whiskey-esque alcohol burn.

M: A bit thin. I would have liked it to have been more substantial.

D: I'm not sure what to make of this. It's kind of in style limbo. It has a few elements of a stout, an old ale, and a barleywine, but it never really takes off when taken as a whole. I don't regret trying it, but I don't see myself seeking it out in the future.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass, courtesy of Hexxed. Thanks buddy!

A: Pours an absolute pitch black with amber highlights at the edges. Has half an inch of cream-colored head that recedes quickly into a collar and light film on the brew. No lacing to speak of.

S: Tons of oak, followed by smoke, tobacco, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. The heavy emphasis on wood is kind of off-putting. There's a small caramel-floral note; did these barrels contain bourbon?

T: Follows the nose and adds some things. There's initially a strong oak and vanilla flavor with some smoke and tobacco lurking just behind. Roasted malt and chocolate make appearances toward the end of the swig. Nice flavor. I actually thought it tasted more like a stout than anything else.

M: Medium bodied, with carbonation on the lower side that gives it the body a pretty creamy feel.

D: This is a solid beer. Nothing to go apeshit over, but I certainly enjoy it. I'd have it again and might be in a mood to track down a second bottle sometime.

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Photo of nhudson
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was at HopCat in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago and came across this lovely beer. Bartender served it to me in a tulip glass from a cask.

a- Very dark brown to black in color with ruby highlights if you hold it up to the light. Tan head that goes away really fast with very little lacing in the glass.
s- The aroma of this beer is what really attracted me. Coffee, Chocolate, Oak and Alcohol. As the beer warmed up the oak and alcohol really sines through though.
t- What I tasted from the beer was a malty oakiness with alcohol. The beer was very hot and the alcohol is very much present in this one.
m- Light carbonation due to the fact that the cask had been tapped for a few days. The beer has a medium mouthfeel that kind of lingers around after its down the hatch.
d- I doubt I could really have more than one every few hours. This is a very good beer I just think the alcohol in it was a bit much and came through too much to drink more than one in one sitting.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown brew, but you can somewhat see through it in the thinner parts of the glass. Tan head is composed of bubbles of many sizes.

Sweet aroma. Maple, but cocoa nibs more prominently. Vanilla notes, from the oak aging, I would guess. The same aging lends a tannic quality throughout. Spice - complete with capsaicin notes.

Chocolate. The caramel noted on the bottle can be found in the taste to a certain extent, whereas I hadn't detected it in the nose. Hints of whiskey. A smokey, savory quality. Alcohol is in evidence, with a hint of cherries and dryness at end. The barrel aging didn't really jump out at me.

Medium bodied. Restrained prickliness. Rather crisp. The finish is a bit syrupy, not in a pleasing way.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very good looking beer, purchased from Vintage Estate in Boardman, though we do get it here, it was a hell of a lot cheaper there. Pours a thin looking but very dark red, may look black without light. the head is frothy and resilient, an eggshell white.

Scent is of wood over roasted malt, chocolate. Very stouty, which isn't a bad thing at all. Reminds me of a maltier Old Viscosity. Vanilla makes an appearance.

Taste actually reminds me of Old Vis as well. Can't say thats a bad thing. Vanilla, wood, smoke, tobacco, roasty malt, chocolate. Very good brew, and goes down quite easy with a little warmth at the end. The mouth is somewhere in the middle in body, but damn the carbonation is just right. This is an excellent beer.

I will be buying some more of these. Even at a B plus, this is underrated here.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle into my duvel glass.

Pours a rich mahogany color with a two finger mocha colored head that fades away quite quickly and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass. Minimal lacing clings to my glass. I should mention that once the beer is in the glass it looks quite black in color.

Smells of sweetened chocolate, oak, vanilla, smoked wood chips, spices, slight alcohol,,

Upfront taste of oak and hints of vanilla flavor with a rich coffee taste that bitters it up. Sweet tartness like taste follows through and leaves with a waxy oak like sweetness on the palate.

Medium bodied with good carbonation, waxy oily type feel. Slight bitter finish, not like many other RIS.

I would rather pick something up. This sort of reminds me of the espresso oak aged yeti, but far less tastier. So meaning I would rather pick something else up and would not drink this again.

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Photo of hopstorm
1.61/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I really think they should have to tell you if the "oaken barrels" they use had whiskey or bourbon in them first. Only because thats all I could smell, and all I could taste. When I purchase a beer, generally, I'd like that beer to taste like beer. Not hard liquor. This is one of those for people who can appreciate bourbon-esque like beers. Reminds me alot of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Which I also found dreadful.
Poured from a 22 oz bottle. The look was pretty much what I expected, dark and almost inviting. The smell made me cringe, straight bourbon-whiskey-alcohol. Then the taste. I just plain don't like whiskey, and this is all I tasted. For what it is, the mouthfeel was the only thing this has going for it. Light for the ammount of alcohol, and if I liked it, I could sip it all night long. Drinkability is pretty much a 0. But it only goes down to 1. Says on the bottle that this is New Hollands "crown jewel".... Well, give me those rocks and stones over there please.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with thin white head

Smell: Raisin, Bourbon, Coffee, & French Vanilla

Taste: Tobacco, Milk Chocolate, Liquorish, Coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full Bodied with nice smooth tannins.

Drinkability: Drinks like a porter. Exceptional taste packed with flavor. Very enjoyable. I highly recommend.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Dragon's Milk pours the color of coffee and sits in the glass near-black with a heavy two-finger tan head. It leaves thick but spotty lace.

The smell, taste, and feel of Dragon's Milk is like an assault. It has the smell and taste of bitter dark chocolate and wood, and an aggressive bitterness that slaps the tongue around a little. There's a strong alcohol presence that left me feeling warm.

I like assertive beer and this one is very much so. Dragon's Milk felt like it feels to sit in a dark brown leather chair in an ornately decorated high-end whiskey bar. It's best sipped slowly and allowed to warm in the glass.

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Photo of KBomb
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dragon's Milk has some admirable color to it: dark ruby brown that almost looks like a syrah. It clings to the glass a little bit. Smell has a hint of cocoa, a little coffee, and roasted malts. Moderate strength ale flavor runs through and through, fine sweetness complimented by a little bit of plumb in the background. Lacking the bourbon flavors one wants in a barrel aged stout. I detect something a little "off" though. There is a bit of astringency that doesn't go well with the oak flavor. Not very heavy considering the style, but not all that palatable.

A high bar has been set for barrel aged imperial stouts. Dragon's Milk just does not live up.

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Photo of cdViking
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in BIF from Alan, thanks man. Consumed on 4/29/09.

Poured into pint glass. Pours a nice looking-opaque black, with a finger or so of off-white head that eventually dissipates. Smells nice, with oak, chocolate and malt scents. Taste is pretty good, with sweet malt and oak hitting the front end, and a little chocolate and roast coffee hitting the backend; the aftertaste is a little boozy and roasty. Nice carbonation and thickness, enjoyable. Couldn't see myself having too many of these in a night, and took a long time to finish sipping the ~16 oz. I had.

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

Purchased a bomber while on vacation about six months ago, and it's been sitting in my cellar since then. Thought it was time to crack it open on a Sunday night. Poured into stemmed glassware. Dark brown body, but held to the light, you can see it's extremely dark red. Good head, and nice lacing. Definitely can smell that barrel aging with a good long sniff. Taste was excellent. Robust ale flavor that was complimented even more by the oak. I actually like the use of American oak here instead of a bourbon or whiskey barrel. This beer tasted like an ale aged in a barrel, and not an ale aged in Jack Daniels. The beer flavor stood out, and not the liquor. Quite a nice change of pace from the last couple of barrel aged beers I've sampled. Mellow and easy to drink, tons of flavor. Even my wife liked it a lot. Darn, I wish I had picked up more than just one. Keep your eyes open for this beer.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A= Pours a black color with brown highlights around the edges. A nice perfect one and a half finger head rises from it that's a tan color and has great retention and some spotty lacing.
S= I smell a lot of coffee in it with touches of chocolate. There's a definite vanilla and oak odor coming from it as well.
T= Very oaky. Vanilla comes through with the coffee and chocolate malts. The finish tastes just like wood. This is the woodiest beer that I have every had. That's pretty much how to describe it. There's a slight amount of hop bitterness that comes through as well but it's very covered by the oak taste.
M= Not really happy with this actually. This beer seems a little thin and I wish it was drier.
D= Decent. Like I mentioned this is a very woody beer. Tastes great but the mouthfeel is subpar. I'll prolly look for it again sometime to age and see how it progresses. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a dark reddish brown with a quickly dissipating head. Lots of chocolate in the aroma, also a bit fruity. A bit of hops come out in the aroma as it warms. More chocolate in the flavor. Medium to full bodied. Vanilla flavors from the oak. I really got the flavor of a good English toffee from this beer. Fairly long finish with more vanilla notes from the oak. Very easy drinking for 9%.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,421 ratings.