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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

1,285 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,285
Hads: 4,785
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,341 | FT: 41
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: 1,285 | Hads: 4,785
Photo of dnichols
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My ex-father in law was born in Holland, MI. For years I associated Holland with the conservative Dutch Reformers who frown on beer (and all alcohol). Now comes this brew which I shared with friends who came home to help repair my ailing computer.

A: It poured a dark black body that when back lit was ruby red. The head was a moderate dark tan despite an aggressive pour. The head receded fast to a ring around the collar and there was a modest and diminishing lacing.

S- After resting it emitted the aroma of richly toasted malts, vanilla and caramel as well as hints of chocolate, nuts and bourbon.

T: My first impression was not all that favorable but as I got deeper into the beer my esteem grew. It had a smooth rich roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The flavors of the oak added to the nutty flavors and the hops were recessive but gave the back side a touch of tang and diluted coffee. The high ABV was well hidden.

M: It had a medium creamy body with low carbonation and a warm sweet finish.

D: This beer grew on me. It is light enough to last long into the night but the high ABV would catch up with me and cause an early end to the night. My respect for Holland, MI was reestablished by this nice solid brew.

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Photo of birchstick
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a very dark with a minimal head. It smelled delicious, with vanilla, caramel, and cocoa scents coming through. Dragon's Milk tasted as delicious as it smelled. It started out with a vanilla and dark chocolate. The aftertaste consisted of the burnt oak that was advertised, with a hint of bourbon. All in all, this was delicious. It was sweeter than I was expecting and all of the flavors mixed very well to create a very enjoyable tasting experience, however it is not one that I can drink in large quantities.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer pours thinner than I had expected and looked like new motor oil but appears a deep brown in the glass with a thin, yet firm looking head that leaves nice gobs of lacing all over my glass. The smell is nice; a complex boquet of dark fruits, oak, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and only a hint of sweet alcohol. The taste is very similar to the nose, with all of the flavors melding quite nicely and a warm alcohol bite at the end. The mouthfeel is on the light side for what I had expected and the beer could use just a tad more carbonation. Drinkability is relatively good, a sipper not a quaffer.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is very dark brown almost black. As others have previously said the style is questionable. While the brew may not be the perfect example of an American strong ale I disagree that it is a stout or porter.(on reconsideration the brew does have some similarities to Breckenridge Vanilla Porter in taste) Luckily beer does not have to fit perfectly in to styles to be enjoyed.

Smell mostly of chocolate/toffee. Light coffee fragrence is also present.

Taste of vanilla and coffee quite strong up front. As the flavor sits you do taste the woodiness in the brew. Although i feel a bourbon barrel may have added a more desirable flavor I don't hate the oak.

Drinks very smooth very light mouth feel for a high abv brew.

I feel another bottle may be necessary to cement my overall opinion about this brew. I will definitely try again, may also buy one to see how it does in the cellar.

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

Poured a very nice deep brown with a very light tan head that faded somewhat quickly. Lacing does linger down the side of the glass as I'm drinking this one.

Smells warm with some chocolate, toffee and caramel notes. Alcohol is also present very lightly in the nose.

The taste I am loving. Up front the alcohol hits very slightly followed immediately by a delicious vanilla flavor. Roasted malts and chocolate are also present but that sweet, sugary vanilla is the most prevalent of all the flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick with a slightly creamy feel overall. Definitely smooth going down.

Drinkability on this one is pretty high. 8.5% isn't too outrageous and nothing about this beer makes me think I wouldn't want to have another as soon as I'm finished with this one.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is true. This is no American Strong Ale, but I have seen it listed as some type of English Strong Ale. Anyway, it is some type of Imperial Stout in my estimation. Nonetheless, this is an outstanding beer. Scents of deep chocolate, cherries, robust coffee shine through. Tastes similar, very light and unique. Heavy ABV not well detected. An a great looking opaque beer. I did not see a large foamy head, but it still is worth pouring and looking at. A nice well rounded nightcap, brew!

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

OK... if this is an American Stong Ale... Then I am a MONKEE's Uncle!... This is an American STOUT or a Porter all the way....

Poured out ebony and produced a light tan head in the glass. The head lasted and the dissipating foam left slight lacing on the glass.

Taste: very sweet like a caramel stout with a slight coffee back-up from roated malt. Vanilla taste adds to the sweetness.

MF: very smooth and rich... maybe a touch UNDER Carbonated.

Drink: Too sweet for my taste.... still a solid Amercan Stout.... certainly NOT an american Strong Ale!

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this at Lunar in the 'burbs while celebrating my bachelor party. It came to me in a 9 oz snifter.

A - Black as tar with a dark brown creamy head that shows really nice retention and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S - Dark and creamy to my nose, this is full of dark chocolate candy notes and strangely enough I smell peanut butter.

T - Rich chocolatey ovaltine! This is sweet and chocolatey with some nice supporting hops. Tasty as hell. This is like drinking Hershey's dark chocolate syrup straight up.

M - As full bodied as motor oil, this is creamy, silky, smooth, and really thick.

D - Outstanding! This is a killer beer! I love the name, the high ABV is nice, and the flavors are damn tasty.

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

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and about a 1 finger head of tannis foam. Average head retention but it does have some nice lacing.

The smell is dominated by caramel malt but I also get some roasted malt, vanilla, and wood. Pretty nice nose.

The taste has notes of caramel and roasted malt, toffee, a real oaky flavour, and a bit of dark fruit but mostly caramel and toffee and it's hitting my tastebuds nicely. Oh, now I'm noticing a bit of vanilla; it's stronger in the smell than in the taste.

The body is thinner than I expected though it is quite creamy, carbonation is on the low side, and the abv is hidden pretty well.

Because of it's smoothness, I find it quite drinkable.. a very nice American Strong Ale indeed. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to joe1510 for this one!

Pours chestnut tinged ebony with 1 finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & bourbon with some vanilla as this warms

T: Dark fruits, vanilla, oaky dryness & bourbon up front. A touch of chocolate gives way to raisins, some leafy hops, dryness, caramel & a bit of cherry brandy as this warms. Finishes dry with bourbon notes, a bit of burnt candi sugar,

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, some nice slickness as this warms

Drinkability is good for the style & ABV, but you feel this baby warming you from the get-go! One best consumed on a cold night by the fire. versus the (finally) warm spring evening grilling steaks I chose. A solid American Imp Stout

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Photo of edmedina
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark color almost that of a stout or porter with little or no head. Aroma is very mild in this one. You do get a hint of vanilla almost a malty vanilla really. First sip you get the light taste of carmal malt and vanilla in there. The after taste is really when the oak really comes through. This is a well balanced beer but I"ll have to be honest. When I see the color or read oak aged, I expected something more out of it. Don't let the taste foll you it is a a well balanced beer that can be enjoyed by many.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz reviewed in my notebook a couple weeks ago... bottle supplied from SAS.. thanks for the opportunity.. my share in my New Belgium snifer.

1" head.. no lacing... very dark brown beer.. verging on black.. Dark ruby highlites when held to a light... very clear.

Aroma is chocolate/toasted malts .. with a little caramel.. low vanilla but definitely present.. smells creamy... dark dried fruits as it warms.

Flavor is thick caramel and toffee... bourbon and vanilla.. toasty oak.. very smooth.. nothing bitter.. a little bit of cola. Medium body.. could use a little more viscosity... plummy notes along with raisin... low carbonation adds to an already milky/silky brew... surprisingly drinkable..

Sorry guys.. wish I had more.. again, taken from a paper notepad. Thanks, Steve.

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

Appearance: Pours a very dark garnet color with a thick 1/4" head of tan bubbles that appears to want to hang around for quite some time. There is some lace forming on the glass even after the pour.

Aroma: A little bit of spiciness from alcohol is the first thing I get, and then the focus turns to the dark malts with some dark caramel, sweet nutty malts and a hint of chocolate in the background.

Taste: This is a really tasty beer. I don't know quite how to classify it. I get some vanilla and the dryness that comes from wood aging in the flavor along with what tastes and feels like oatmeal. There is quite a bit of slickness to this beer, and the alcohol also plays a big role on the palate. There is some defined warming in the finish to linger for some time. The hops are barely noticeable.

Opinion: This is a really tasty beer, and is really reasonably priced at $7 for a bomber of such a complex beer. I like the mouthfeel especially on this beer as it coats your palate with a pleasing flavor and texture that lingers until the alcohol comes and cooks it away. I would definitely drink this beer again.

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Photo of hellcatsjg
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black beer but not pitch black. Almost no head present and no lacing either. Not much to look at.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma of malt, coffee, with a hint of the oak.

Taste: Malty and creamy up front, with the flavor giving way to a sweet vanilla and oak flavor in the middle. The finish is oak and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Kind of let down here. Almost no carbonation at all. A bit more activity in the mouth would help some. The aftertaste of oak and alcohol is nice, if not a bit overpowering.

Drinkability: Good beer, but could be improved a little. Quite smooth though, and easy to drink. Worth a try.

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Photo of Goliath
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black with amber hues around the edges. Ther eis a thin light tan head that develops on top of this brew with poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is weak, but notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla are present.

Taste is alright, some chocolate notes but not mluch else.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Easy to consume, but flavor is lacking.

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Photo of younger35
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up this brew from Whole Foods for about $8.50. This will be my first brew from New Holland. Drank out of my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with hints of dark maroon highlights around the edges. Absolutely zero head, zero lacing, zero cap and a super thin collar that looks really out of place. One of the worst looking brews I've ever seen.
Smell- Very soft tones of vanilla bean and light bourbon oak. Some chocolate and caramel hide behind the vanilla but nothing real crazy. A bit more subdued than I was hoping but I'm sure the taste will be a bit more my style.
Taste- Much more intense than the nose. Starts with a sweet caramel/bourbon mix that is more bourbon than caramel. Lots of vanilla and toasted oak really come through in the in the middle before a dark bitter roast cuts some of the sweetness. This brew has more of a vanilla side to it then I've ever tasted before. Fairly hot from the 8.5% ABV but not enough to really take away from the tastiness of this brew.
Mouthfeel- This brew feels exactly like it looks. It's really thin and has very little body with almost zero carbonation.
Drinkability- This brew is a rollercoaster. It looks horrible, smells pretty weak, tastes damn good and feels as horrible as it looks. I guess what really matters is how a beer tastes and this one is tasty. As a beer to review, this one looks bad on paper. BUT, if I was just sitting watching football or something this is a tasty barrel aged brew.

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Photo of Contagion
4.87/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It comes in a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounce bottle. That's a total of 22 ounces for those of you that don't want to do the math themselves. It comes in a brown bottle with the name on it and the picture of a dragon over a barrel, very eye catching. There is also some informative writings about the beer on it.

The beer is a dark coffee color that light doesn't pass through. Very much like Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout. When poured into the glass it forms a nice firm half-inch head tan in color. I've been drinking on this beer for 20 minutes and the residue of the head is still along the edge where the beer and glass meet.

The smell is heavenly. You can smell the oak of the barrel, a hint of bourbon and a hint of vanilla, coffee and malt. The smell itself was enough to make Ktreva want to take a sip, and she doesn't like dark beers. I don't think words can describe the taste, but that won't stop me from trying. The taste is like happiness. Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and bourbon entice the tongue and mouth. There is a very slight bitterness to it that enhances the flavor. Even Ktreva liked the taste, and she doesn't like many beers. This is a beer to be savored and appreciated, not gulped down to get another. What is even more surprising is that it is High Gravity ale with 9% alcohol by volume. Tasting this beer you would not suspect that at all.

The texture in the mouth is very much like milk. It's extremely smooth and doesn't leave a bad aftertaste. It coats the mouth and throat as it easily passes by in a pleasant way.

I've never had a beer like this before. When I say it's unique, I truly mean it is a one of a kind. This is the type of beer that beer lovers hope to find, and then are disappointed, when after sampling it, they can't find it anymore. It is a bit pricey at $6.99 a bottle, but well worth the price. If you ever get a chance to sample one, you'd be a fool to pass it up. There are only a handful of beers that I've had the pleasure of tasting that goes into my, "Special guest" category, but this is one of them. If I know I'm going to have an avid beer drinker over, I'll make sure to have a couple of bottles of this fine elixir in the house. This would be the 30-year single malt of beers.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Pours dark translucent brown. No head. No Lacing. At first couldn't spot any bubbles at all but managed to see a few breaking the surface every few seconds.

S: Mellow chocolate is immediate on the nose, with faint notes of vanilla. Even though the aromas are relatively light, they are certainly interesting.

T: Wow! "Dragon's Milk" is an apt name for this brew. It has a very complex set of flavors that include chocolate malt, vanilla, and just a hint of oaky goodness. It tends to the sweeter side, but is not too sweet. Nice.

M&D: Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth, nice and chewy. This is classified as an American Strong Ale but I find the texture and mouthfeel closer to a good Milk Stout. The only criticism that I really have on this is that the carbonation was practically non-existent. A few bubbles would have been great. That aside, the drinkability is still good and I very much enjoyed it. Recommended.

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Photo of Floydster
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle received as a gift from metallitone1, thank you very much for this beer, bottle looks different than the one pictured, poured into my New Belgium snifter, currently drinking it

A-Dark brown and nearly black with only some light shining through, 3/4 inch soapy light tan head that stuck around for close to two minutes, some retention and lacing at the beginning

S-Borubon, milk, sweet cream, some tartness, roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, caramel, and some booze

T-Started off with a big bourbon taste, some burned malt in the middle, then some spiciness in the finish, did not taste chocolate and vanilla until a little later, as it warmed I began tasting some different fruits, not as much hot alcohol that was in the aroma, no hops present at all, could taste a weird funky sourness towards the end that had some booze in the aftertaste, quite enjoyable overall

M-Spicy, sweet, and dry mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, not much carbonation, taste lingered for about a minute, weird sensation on the tongue at times

D-Could not finish this bottle, only could drink about fourteen ounces, somewhat smooth and pretty easy to drink, ABV is high at nine percent though, alcohol is pretty much hidden

Had never even heard of this brewery let alone this beer, always excited to try a barrel aged beer though, nice surprise and a generous addition to my package, would drink again, recommended to anybody that has not tried it as well

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

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown/almost black with a bubbley but sparse tan head. Not much lacing.

Aroma is malty with coffee, chocolate and toffee.

Tastes of sweet oak, roasted malts, dark ripe fruits, coffee, and dark chocolate. The finish is clean. The alcohol well-hidden.

Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy and smooth, and mildly carbonated.

This is an enjoyable sipping beer. I just finished it sitting out on my deck on the first Spring-like day.

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

Had this on tap 2 days ago at La Cav Du Vin. Shortly after I got mine, my friend Passow (imaguitargod) killed the keg! Drawn into a goblet. This beer is a dark brown color. Tan head maybe 1/4 inch when first drawn into the glass. Settles fairly quickly to a thin surface layer with a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Sweet malty aromas of chocolate, some coffee and perhaps a bit of vanilla or dark fruit of some type is present here. The taste is also sweet, sort of biscuity and malty with all the aforementioned chocolate, vanilla, and coffee flavors. Very little to no hop bitterness here. Definitely the least hoppy beer of this style I have ever had. This beer reminded me of a lot of milk/sweet stouts I have had. Has a crisp, frothy, and full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Excellent drinkability! A great beer! Too bad it is all tapped out, at least for now, at La Cav Du Vin.


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Photo of imaguitargod
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour from the tap to a medium head that lingers for a bit then mellows to a white cream around the rim of the glass. Dark, blood red in color. One can easily confuse this for a sweet stout or porter if not careful. It has a sweetness that can only be described as "aged". High in alcohol which when combined with the sweetness makes it kinda like as fine liquor. Only about 2% bitter and extremely smooth. I want the dragon that makes this milk!

~Jonathan Passow

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

Very dark. Pours with a nice tan head and leaves an eye of lace. Smells and tastes of vanilla and chocolate. Nice and creamy, heavy in the mouth. I wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased this, but I'm glad I did. I'd definately drink this again.

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

Here is another prime example of the High Gravity Series from New Holland Brewery. I first sampled this beer at Fathead's down in the Burgh', and wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to see it appear in my native Greensburg. A few months later it showed up along with "The Black Tulip" in the beer cooler down at The Headkeeper.

I poured about half of the 22 oz. "bomber" into my trusty tasting snifter. It poured with little head, which quickly vanished. The color was a clear, dark brown....not opaque like a stout. The smell was full of dark roasted malts and chocolates. The taste was a mixture of the same. This beer boasts a 9% ABV, but does an awesome job of hiding it. Another classic example of what the addition of wood to beer can do. The oak aging imparts a nice dryness in the finished products with hints of vanilla and other subtle flavors. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No date, but bottle cellared for at least a year.
Pours a dark brown, slightly translucent color with a bit of ruby highlights. Plenty of big bubbled tan head and decent tracing. The aroma is a rush of bourbon, oak, vanilla, finishing with high alcohol laced chocolate and roasted malts. It is quite complex, but I don't know if I'm totally hung on it. I love bourbon and I love oak flavor, but I don't know if both necessarily need to be in beer. On the palate, it is vaguely familiar of their wheatwine I sampled nearly a year ago. Underneath all the wood, I picture a medium bodied stout, relatively smooth, but not as smooth as a cream stout should be. It finishes like a bourbon and coke with the light caramel and spices dancing with the oak. The oak brings quite a bit of body but the stout itself is lacking, it needs more of a roasted character and perhaps more lactose. Overall, and interesting brew definitely, but not up there with brews like OA Yeti.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.