Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,602 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,602
Reviews: 1,318
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,179 | FT: 39
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,602 | Reviews: 1,318
Photo of hustlesworth
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black with faint ruby highlights at the bottom of my tulip. instead of a head of foam there is merely a loose layer of beige spit bubbles floating atop the brew with some tiny specks of lace. the etchings in the glass seem to keep it goin, but i'm still a bit confused by the look of this beer. cool bottle though, mine is silk screened with only white ink and quite different from the BA pic with the dragon silhouette over a diagonal worm's eye view of the oak barrel.

S- vanilla and oak, chocolate ice cream, burnt caramel, marshmallow, weak coffee, dark chocolate, black licorice, dark mashed up fruits and alcohol esters. smells like a weakened stout. becomes smokier and maltier as it warms and the overall aroma gets sweeter, as does the alcohol that begins to burn my nose hairs.

T-woodsy sweet with a prominent natural vanilla flavor and enough roastiness to balance things out. molasses, brown sugar, strong oak character, black-n-milds, and earthy hops. mineral water/stone, some raisin, deeply toasted malt, licorice, dark caramel, dulce de leche, smoky charcoal, toffee, and acorns of all things. heh. a very nice thing about this beer is that i can taste the oak so strongly, the flavor of freshly dried wood is embedded into my tongue. i would assume the barrels were charred or even previously used to age bourbon, although the presence of bourbon flavor is questionable since most of the bourbon's flavor comes from the wood itself. finishes ever so woodsy with oak and cocoa and pleasantly earthy british hops. alcohol taste becomes aggressive as it nears room temp. very complex and flavorful, but also very unique as it seems to cross a strong ale with a porter.

MF- despite the origin of the term 'dragon's milk' the name is definitely fitting in the MF context, as the low carbonation and low viscosity (despite its darkness) give it the feeling of lightly carbonated 2% milk. literally. powdery and slightly mentholated, even as it warms it has a coating and cooling effect that feels nice with the end-of-summer breeze blowing in my window.

D- i'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what is goin on with this brew. so dark but with a surprisingly light body (or medium, i should say). i could assume that alot of the color comes from the char inside the oak barrels, but i can't be certain and i can't find any hints online to determine a conclusion. all other things aside, it leaves me wanting more. its smooth character and laid back flavor leave the door wide open.

Photo of spointon
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured this ale from a 22oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a super dark, clear brown/black with ruby red highlights shot through the edges. Even with an aggressive pour straight down the center of the glass all I got was about 1/8" of tan head that quickly disappeared. Zero lacing down the glass.

S= Aromas were muted, and consisted of oak barrel, candied fruit, and alcohol.

T= Not an overpowering taste, but definitely a unique one. I found lots of dry oakiness in the flavor, as well as roasted grain, and slight malty sweetness. Definitely a warming alcohol finish.

MF= I found this ale to be too thin. I think the flavors would have been fine if they were bigger and supported by more body. Carbonation was light.

D= This is not a bad beer, it just isn't as good as I wanted it to be. An unusual "near miss" from a great brewery.

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, new graphics, i didn't see vintage/freshness dating, pours dark, dark mahogany, initially shows a dark mocha head, recedes down to a splotchy film and leaves lightish slippery lace. Nose is of dark bread, licorish and some background woodyness. Notes of rum, dark fruit, figs and raisins, more dark wood, molasses, and an underlying layer of wood. Nice sipper, bold and flavorful. More high test Michigan brew.

Photo of LunaChick
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is best served at cellar temp to allow the fullness of the flavors to come through. It pours almost pitch black with a fizzy head that quickly desolves to a ring that laces the glass. When cold the aroma is alcohol and wood and maybe some malt. Once warmed it takes on a completely different aroma--and flavor. At cellar temp the rich vanilla comes out and the oak mellows. The flavor is a nice splash of oaky vanilla. The oak isn't overpowering though. There is a not so subtle twang of alcohol--this is a big big beer and you feel it . Maybe the recipe has been tweaked given what I've read from prior reviews.
In the mouth there is subtle carbonation and a very full bodied flavor that is alcohol warm but still smooth. Not a high drinkability rating--this beer will smack you.

Photo of roadhouse
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter.

Appears a very dark brown/black that is basically opague with a one finger tan head that sinks to a skim fairly quickly, however a swirl of the glass brings it right back. Leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Aromas of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and oak. A bit of alcohol is noticable in the back.

Taste is initially lots of chocolate and coffee roasted flavors with subtle hints of vanilla. It's basically like the aroma but even better than I expected. Towards the end a bourbonish oak flavor comes out (I know, it's not actually aged in Bourbon barrels). There is a slight bitterness towards the end that presents itself as rather earthy in nature, almost piney.

Mouthfeel is medium, I would prefer it to be a bit more full myself, but the smooth creaminess of it makes up for that shortcoming.

Overall I was very impressed with this. Judging by the previous reviews I was expecting something lackluster, but this one is a real winner. Highly recommended.

Photo of prototypic
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle. Much appreciated.

Appearance: It pours a very dark, chestnut color. There's some light getting through around the edges giving it a slight red tint. The head is a light chocolate color and is minimal. Perhaps half a finger deep. It was very quick to disappear and left light lacing.

Smell: The nose is weak and disappointing. There are some dark fruit (raisin and plum) aromas lingering. Chocolate malts emerge and seem to be primary feature. I'm not picking anything that really resembles oak, bourbon, or spices. That's perhaps even more disappointing than the strength shortcoming.

Taste: It definitely picks up here. Chocolate malts are indeed the primary feature, but there's some roasted flavors in there, as well. There is a slight bit of raisin and plum that adds some depth. Surprisingly, there is a nice oak flavor in there that really adds a lot to this beer. You can tell a little bit off whiskey rubbed off on it. It's not a really strong flavor, but it is nice and plays its role well. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable, but has a bit of a warming effect. Finishes sweet and warm.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This feels really light for what it is. Frankly, it's a little too light. Carbonation is very low. It's actually creamy and smooth, but it could still stand a little thickening. Drinkability is good. It goes down smooth and easy. I can't say I'd drink more than a bomber though. That's plenty in a sitting.

Dragon's Milk is a pretty good beer. Yeah, the nose is too weak and the body a little too thin. Those are my main complaints. But, I enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would after the first sip. It's unique in its flavor, body, and feel. It's certainly worth a try if you run across a bottle.

Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThirstyBird for the opportunity to try this one. Served in my Maudite tulip. Poured opaque black with virtually no head other than a tan skim and a frothy band around the shoulders. Some lacing, but virtually no adherence. Nose was sweet and malty; chocolate, alcohol and the ligthest trace of wood. Taste consistent with nose; however, some vanilla is also revealed, as well as a mild coffee character. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with very little carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy; not at all viscous. Alcohol is very well-hidden. A nice alternative to an RIS in that it's packed with flavor, but lighter in body. Would make a wonderful dessert beer.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Drunkmonk!!
Poured a deep brown with a light brown head.
Nose was espresso, some chocolate and caramel, probably from the caramel malt I tasted in this. Some slight hints of choclate, vanilla and bourbon maybe. The oak taste was a little lighter than I expected. It was very drinkable.

Photo of Slynger
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dragon's Milk pours a deep blackened oak color with a slim lid of lightly frothy-creamy light tan.

Nose is a touch light, but presents chocolate and caramel aromas along with some roasted scents and a little bit of vanilla oak.

Slick, smooth, whole-milky feel to a full body with very light carbonation. Flavor is good and comes in much stronger than the nose. It brings flavors of softly sweet milk chocolate and caramely vanilla beans with lightly roasted and blackened malts. It's all encased in a subtle oaky bourbon woodiness, and finishes with slightly warming alcohol.

Nice, a damn solid brew from NH.

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not much head from this cola colored liquid. Light tan colored head and it disappears relatively quickly and no lacing. Aroma is of spicy oak, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, a little cocoa powder, and a touch of booze.

Taste is not as promising as the nose delviered. A bit of a wine like sour. The oak kind of adds to the wine like flavor. The oak is a bit spicy and a little to dominant in my opinion. There is a bit of cocoa and a dry fruitiness. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy although a little thin.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Opaque black, with a brown head that tries to form but never makes it beyond a patchy cap. Eventually it settles to a thin collar.

S - Butter, caramel, and chocolate. Hint of coffee and alcohol.

T - Semi-sweet malt, followed by bittersweet chocolate, and black coffee with an astringent alcohol bite.

M - Creamy and moderately carbonated. Borderlines on full bodied.

D - A little strong for multiple glasses, and slightly unbalanced. Decent strong ale, but would've probably worked better with a few adjustments as an imperial or American double stout.

Photo of Gehrig
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, nearly impenetrable black body with a thin patch of tan foam; little lacing left, not surprisingly. Splendid nose, flush with molasses, chocolate, caramel, moderate oak/whiskey though I expected more, and a bit of vanilla.

Same with the taste, in which molasses is most prevalent, but vanilla and chocolate and caramel intertwine in terrific fashion. As with the smell, I expected more oak in the taste. It certainly isn't Oak Aged Yeti, in which the oak is unmistakable. However, it's there and finely blended into the ale, at times potent like stout but really, and ultimately, smoother as ale. Caramel is in the taste more than I expected also. Very impressed. The mouthfeel does so much for Dragon's Milk, smooth and delicious while masking the high ABV.

Excellent stuff, yet another fine product from New Holland that I'd strongly recommend.

Photo of warmstorage
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, $8.19 at Siciliano's, Grand Rapids, MI. No dating evide, tbottle states 8.5% ABV, 10* Plato.

Appearance: deep mahogany brown, with a medium beige head that leaves disappears rapidly, leaving significant lacing.

Aroma: oak and wood evident, vanilla, some slight tangy fruit.

Taste: fruit and vanilla dominate, oak and wood in the middle and finish, some chestnuts. Finishes with distinct smoke and oaky woodiness. Tastes like dark toasted french oak.

Mouth: slightly slick, but a little thin.

Overall: pretty tasty, and something I'd gladly drink again, but not terribly complex, and a little pricey for what it delivers.

Photo of BeerSox
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

Opaque black with a thin light tan head that slowly settles to a thin bubbly rim.

Very faint roasty aromas with a little bit of brown sugar.

Mildly roasty grains, sort of like a mild porter with stronger alcohol. Not much else to the beer. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is the lingering slightly bitter malts.

This one sits in a category of its own. It's not quite like a porter but it draws similarities. It's a well rounded beer and very drinkable. Recommended.

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

Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a fingers worth of tan head that turned to lace on top of a black body

Aromas of chocolate and coffee filled my nose a nice oak woodiness as well

Taste the same as the nose but with slight alcohol warmth

Full bodied brew not much carbonation

I had this before I flew out of VA and I am glad I did it turned into a long flight. I finished the bomber by myself and was looking for more it's a good brew

Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a midnight black brew with little head (don't know if beer or bartender) but left some spider lacings as I drank. Some wood and sweet malts came through in the smell, plus some coffee malts. A little thick and syrupy with the body, the beer contained a good oak taste with some sweetness and a little coffee malt, among other malts. The oak kind of took over and this is a good beer, but not a standout beer. ABV hidden pretty good as there is a smoothness riding through this beer, including the backbite. I'd have it again but I'm not going out of my way to seek it.

Photo of tmitch75
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from Sam's in Highland Park. Cool silkscreened bottle.

Deep dark brown color is almost black, with crimson highlights when backlit. Head is pretty thin but it has very good staying power.

A lot going on in the nose... chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, cherries, and some alcohol. Very complex but well-blended.

Remarkably smooth flavor, especially considering the 8.5% ABV. No alcohol bite but tons of complexity. Chocolate and coffee dominate with light bourbon and cherry notes.

Over-medium body, very well to style and incredibly smooth.

Deceptively smooth and very drinkable. Complex, well-blended, and simply excellent.

Tasted on 6/25/08.

Photo of Dansting
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a dark, purplish brown color with a nice brown head and strong lacing. Aroma was very pleasant, with a nice blend of roasted malts and oak. Mouthfeel was okay. Flavor wasn't as bold as I had expected, especially for the ABV. Hints of chocolate, oak, alcohol, toffee, and coffee. This was a nice big offering from New Holland.

Photo of wedge
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark reddish color with a thin, creamy tan head that's gone before the end of the glass. Dark, sticky, malty aromas...vanilla, toffee, and chocolate cake. Lots of sweet dark flavor. Brown sugar, chocolate, syrup...everything sweet. Oakiness. Full body, smooth and heavy feeling. One glass is enough for me. Good with dessert maybe.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown almost black with very little head. Moderate lacing clings to the 20oz. glass. The smell is very sweet. There is a definite scent of cocoa and coffee present. The 1st sip is very chocolaty. The oak presents itself very nicely by mid glass and finishes with a nice alcohol warmth. This was my first experience with New Holland but was not disappointed. I wasn't sure what to expect from either the brewery or the beer, but based on this, I'll be looking more closely at the line.

Photo of Greggy
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Just able to see the light through the dark ruby/black color. Nice lacing.

S- Choc. covered cherries, fresh flour, lactose sweetness, and a bit of buttery vanilla.

T- Dark choc, dryness of oak, cherries, dry hop finish, vanilla and touch of butterscotch.

M- Low carb, velvety smooth, dry finish is nice.

D- 8.5% is well hidden, not bad. I found it similar to 1554.

Photo of Proteus93
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during a blackout to help pass the time.

A: Black, as they'll be, though against a flashlight, it's more of a very deep ruby or blood red. Tan head, on the shorter side, tops things off

S: Oakiness and coffee aromas, deep toasted malts. Not as much chocolate aromas as some of the style can get, but not bad.

T: Lordy, this is a pretty big punch - especially on the first couple sips. It mellows as it goes, or my palate numbs a little. Burnt malts, a pretty intense oak flavour... maybe a little too heavy on the wood. A bit of peppery alcohol on the finish.

M + D: Full bodied, not reall quite creamy... just a bit heavy feeling. A bit intense, so it should be taken easy. I might prefer it to have some more subtle oak flavours or more complexity, but it still ends up a decent brew. Worth a try.

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

Served in a snifter from Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH.

Presented as a deep, deep reddish-brown with minimal head and mediocre lacing around the edge of the glass.

What first hit me with the aroma was the astringency/alcohol and complexity of a fine bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolately sweetness compounded with some oak. Plenty of bourbon character to this one.

Again the bourbon shines through but with enough malt backbone to support it. Many of the aromas are mirrored in the taste: vanilla, chocolate, malt, alcohol.

Felt a little thin in my mouth. However, the beer finished sweet and lasted a moderate amount of time.

Look forward to having this one again.

Photo of vtfan77
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark, it looks almost black at first glance. When held up to the light, it appears dark reddish brown. There's not much in the way of head, just a small off-white ring of lace, but that's not too surprising considering the oak aging.

S- Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of coffee are all apparent in the aroma. It's like dessert in a glass!

T- Rich toffee and vanilla flavors dominate the palate, with a touch of astringent roasted malt. The finish is dry and woody, with a decent amount of hop bitterness.

M- Kind of thin here; I would have preferred a little more body. Good, lively carbonation, though.

D- Really no hint of the 8.5% ABV. I wouldn't want to drink a ton of it in one sitting because of its richness, but one bottle can go down pretty quickly.

I was impressed with this beer. The oak aging was done well and added a great character. I've had other oak-aged beers that were either overpowered by the oak or were not perceptibly changed by the aging. Neither was the case with this beer. This is a very good beer to have once in a while as an after dinner treat. Recommended.

Photo of tedpeer
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Aggressive pour yields a huge tan head that quickly subsided into a thin layer. Minimal lace. Almost black.

S - Toasted malt & Oak.

T - Slightly sweet upfront

M - Thick, mouthcoating. Lightly carbonated.

D - The alcohol is hidden on this one.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,602 ratings.