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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: 1,340 | 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 brewandbbq
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours mostly opaque, but when held directly to light, a luminous dark ruby sheen becomes apparent. A good inch of off-white froth welled up to the brim, and receded slowly to a partial skim-coat on the surface. Lacework aplenty.
Aromatics are nice blend of caramel, roasted malts, bourbon, and oak. Vanilla follows through with some warming alcohol.
The mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Pretty smooth and somewhat lush.
The pallet has a great balance of chocolate, caramel, nougat, bourbon, oaky tannins, and vanilla. Nicely melded with not one of the layers overbearing the others.
Finishes with a hint of residuals and warming bourbon and vanilla.

Not the biggest, baddest dark beer on the planet, but impeccably balanced and highly drinkable.
A "session" barrel aged beer. True that.

Props to Joe1510 for hooking up an east-coaster...Proper!

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Photo of quad07
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at UFS, $5.99 for a 22oz dark brown bottle with a pry off cap. No bottled date or freshness date that I could find. 9%ABV.

I poured it into my large 23oz beer glass and did not produce much of a head at all. The head was a light tan color that did not leave much lacing behind. When held up to the light it appeared a very dark brown almost a motor oil color with slight reddish highlights around the edges. You could see the very tiny bubbles struggling to the top like most high gravity beers.

I like the smell! You could smell oak barrel ageing with some smoke and raison. I could not smell any hops or floral aromas.

Now when I tasted this first thing I noticed was liquorish and anise and a small amount of carbonation on my tongue. It was surprisingly sweet with creamy liquorish texture. Very little hop taste. After the third or fourth sip some slight bourbon like flavors were present and a very notable warming affect.

I could not finish the whole glass because after it warmed up it was to sweet or rich and I had enough. I felt very hot and was ready to open a window. Would be great to share or needs to be in smaller bottles.

I really liked this ale but it was too much for me at one sitting without a meal.


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Photo of Steaks
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

i had this on draft at the nachbar last week and it was awesome. it tastes, looks, and feels far superior on draft than from the bottle. the beer is dark as hell but masks the alcohol pretty well. it has some chocolate/coffe scents, and a bit of a taste, but not too much. $5 pints are some good news, man.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears to be very dark mahogony in color. Tan head that is minimal in size and dissipates at an abrupt pace. Remains as large bubble on the surface.

Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, nutty, caramel. Plenty of malt in this one. Not a whole lot in the hops department. Plums, raisins, black cherries, and slight, smokeless tobacco aroma.

Big tasting. Brown sugar and raisins really seem to be the dominant flavors here. Toffee, chocolate as well. Quite complex. As the beer warms, the complexity deepens. Really, kind of sweet; a little too sweet for my liking. No real bitterness of any kind except for a slight tinge toward the end of the sip. The bourbons flavor really starts to leach out as the beer warms. I started this one out too cold but as it warmed, it turned out pretty good.

Not a bad beer. This one is definitely a sipper. Thick and creamy on mouthfeel. Alcoholic in taste, aroma, mouthfeel, etc. A bit much for me. I would easily share 22oz with two other people, leaving 9oz, plenty enough, for three people.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. brown bomber into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Deep brown/mahogany color. Thin but smooth and creamy beige head. Slippery lacing down the glass.
S: Deep, rich chocolate malts, notes of coffee and vanilla. Oaky scents too, with some strong whiskey-like alcohol smells. Genrally good, but swirling the glass really helps release some of the more pleasant vanilla and malt smells. Without that, the smell is kinda off-key.
T: Chocolate malts and vanilla up front. Leads into a bready, oaky, earthy taste, and a chocolatey sweet finish that is suprisingly smooth.
M: Rich and full, for sure. Kinda creamy almost, but the finish is quite bitter and full of alcohol.
D: Okay. Enjoyable, but high ABV, and it's noticeable.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.64/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer a handful of times, and it seemed a bit different each time. I can't believe I've not reviewed it until now!

It poured a dark brown with reddish hues. It had a medium bit of head composed of tiny bubbles. Aroma was a creamy smell...like a cream soda (I guess that's vanilla) and some chocolate. Flavor was of bourbon notes which were over-powered by vanilla. There were also watery chocolate notes (think Yoohoo). Mouthfeel was both a bit watery and a bit rough feeling, and probably the weakest element of this beer.

I would recommend this beer. I've previously had it on tap at Roman's Pub (St. Francis, WI), I bought a bottle from Gary's (Oak Creek), and I had it most recently at Comet.

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

Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights. A mocha tan head rises maybe an inch before falling to a thin sheet.

Aroma is well noticeable on the pour. Cocoa, oak, vanilla. Some hints of figs and molasses down in there. A little coffee as well.

Hits the tongue rich and complex. A ton of malt with bourbon and its related oak and vanilla flavors. Brown sugar. Hints of dark fruit. Just enough bittering to keep the sugary malt from being cloying. Finishes long and lingering with oak and vanilla.

Medium full body with medium low carbonation makes for a very nice creamy rich mouthfeel which is perfectly appropriate for this beer. Beautiful. Somehow evades getting too cloying and heavy. I really don't want to set this one down. Rich, rewarding, delicious.

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Photo of joe1510
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber
Binny's Orland

Dragon's Milk pours dark chocolate into my goblet. Deep ruby hues light up the glass when backlit. A one+ finger dirty white head grew one the pour before falling to a thick ring and skimming. Good looking beer.

While the aroma is without a doubt good it just seems a little too subdued for such a beer. The most pronounced aromas are from the barrel aging although they're subtle as well; bourbon whiskey, oak, and a touch of vanilla. There's an intermingling of molasses and scorched brown sugar.

The flavor starts off sweet upfront with the vanilla coming through but is quickly subdued by a smorgasbord of flavors. Oak and bourbon take over the vanilla before being joined by molasses and that lightly scorched brown sugar. The barrel aging is spot on. Any more would have created an overpowering bourbon flavor and any less just wouldn't have stood up.

The mouthfeel, while being on the lighter side of heavy, fits the flavor profile really well. The lack of carbonation lets this beer gracefully glide through and the carbonation that is there creates a creaminess that's perfectly appropriate. Enough alcohol presents to give the cheeks that warming sensation.

Dragon's Milk is surely as sipper but one that goes down incredibly easy. This is a perfect nightcap for a cool evening.

It's nice to find a high quality barrel aged beer that's, although a seasonal, readily available and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to acquire. Keep pumping out the Dragon's Milk New Holland.

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

Pours very dark brown with almost no head. No lacing either. The aromas are a heady mix of bourbon, light malt, oak, and cream. Doesn't smell rich, more like a bourbon and cream. The malty notes are subdued. Lots of flavor, but a little thin in the mouthfeel department. Could use a little more backbone. The flavors themselves are very nice, though with some chocolate up front followed by a hit of bourbon and brandy, a long warming development of alcohol, and finally some malted milk on the finish. Quite a nice sipper and doesn't fill you up as much as Bourbon County Stout, but doesn't satisy as much either. If you don't like Bourrbon flavors stay away from this one. If you do, you'll probably enjoy it as I did.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap poured into a snifter.

A- Deep brown color with a thin head and lacing.

S- Nice malty aroma. Sweet caramel malts with a molasses/maple syrup scent accompanied by light hops and a bit of alcohol.

T- More caramel in the flavor with a hint of toffee and light hops.

M- Solid feel. Slightly thick with light carbonation.

D- A definite sipper, but not so overpowering that you can't drink more than one.

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

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Joseph's in Toledo, OH en route to Dark Lord Day.

A: The ale is darker than I expected, not amber but rather a full-bodied black color. The more I look at it, the more it resembles cola with a dark brown color and some ruby highlights throughout.

S: The nose is stout-like, this with caramel and graham grain aromas. There is no indication of any oak barrel aging, as readily suggested by the name.

T: The nose had me expecting something subpar, luckily the first sip delivered a malty blast of goodness. Thick grains with caramel and toffee flavors abound, overwhelming the tastebuds with a sickly sweet profile. The oak barrel adds a deliciously soft touch to the thick malts, with vanilla and buttery oak flavors reducing the bite of the grains. Having been less than impressed by most of the other New Holland beers, this one really pleases me. The finish is a nice blend of chocolate and caramel malts and oaky flourish. This is what a drinkable barrel aged beer should aspire to be.

M: The mouthfeel is a restrained work of art, full of big flavors without a knock-out punch.

D: I wish that I had picked up a bottle or two more of this brew, the flavors are full and the oak aging adds a wonderful blast of flavor.

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

Poured beer in tulip glass: small head, little carbonation, decent lacing, and very dark brown; cannot see through.

Nose is mocha, oak, and hint of bourbon. Not much hop presence, can also make out vanilla & brown sugar.

Taste is of malt, mocha, and that sweet bourbon finish. The bitter oak lingers for quite some time and leaves the mouth dry. Very creamy mouthfeel and chewy as well.

You certainly need to be in the mood for one of these. My last experience with a similar beer lead to a day of upset stomach. Not a bad offering but I would certainly not seek it out since the style is not my cup of tea but would recommend to anyone into this style.

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

Dark in color with massive head and tons of lacing. Riverside had just cracked a new keg and it was beautiful. Aroma is of sweet barley with hints of oak. Tastes like sweet toasted mocha with very little hop presence. It seems more like a barley wine than a strong ale. Feels thick and rich in the mouth and has just the right carbonation. Overall a very drinkable beer. Complex and enjoyable. If you can find it on tap try it.

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Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A clear but very dark brown colored ale with a wispy light brown head. This is easily as dark as a porter.

The smell is sweet and boozy with lots of oak and malt and a trace of Bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, oak and caramel are all in here, so pretty much bourbon.

The taste starts semi sweet and malty with a strong vanilla flavor with a bit of a chocolate after taste. A bit malty but the oak barrel dominates the taste of this beer and it is mostly vanilla and caramel. This could be more complex.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Easy to drink without a doubt but it lacks so zip I think. Tasty but it needs more complexity besides the vanilla and wood.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is stout-like, extremely dark with a light white head on top. I get the wood from the cask, and light caramel notes on the nose.

The taste on this is good stuff, a stoutish coffee and chocolate roasted malt flavour pairs nicely with the boozy oak and vanilla flavours from the cask. The cask definitely takes over on the back end here.

The mouthfeel is moderately thick and enjoyable, though not remarkable. The drinkability is good though, easy to drink and definitely worth a rebuy.

The bottom line: For the most part I'm not a fan of New Holland's brews, but Dragon's Milk is a nice strong ale product, actually more stouty in flavour, with a solid cask flavour to balance it out. Certainly one of the stand-outs in their portfolio.

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

Almost opaque, a small amount of red hued rays make it through this dark brown beverage. A very thin light tan head fades rapidly. Little lacing generated. The faint chocolate, caramel aroma and vanilla notes of alcohol really open up as it warms. Ever so lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied yet singular. The alcohol is warming and presents a tingle upon the swallowing breadth. Somewhat less flavor than suggested by the nose, light malty caramel taste is complemented by the barrel aged flavors. A reasonable drinker at 9% ABV.

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

Picked up a bomber bottle which is now silk screened instead of labeled as portrayed in the picture here.

Pours deep and dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thin head dissapates quickly after the pour. Nice aroma with elements of carmel, coffee, and light bourbon. Flavor offers a nice complexity that grows with warmth. Carmel, vanilla, and oak mingle with moderate treacle sweetness and hints of bourbon. A very nice beer to sip by the fire on a cool night

Overall, a pleasant find and a surprisingly good. LIkely will pick this one up again.

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

A: Pours a deep, dark brown, bordering on black. Hints of amber and ruby are present if you hold it up to the light. No head to speak of, and little lacing is left behind.

S: Not much - some wood is definitely present, some caramel, a hint of vanilla.

T: The oak is one of the leading flavors, imparting it's wonderful taste upon this beer. A nice solid caramel malt is in the center, with some hints of vanilla, and even a bit of coffee. Some brandy is definitely there from the aging. No real hops are noticeable. Very tasty.

M: Smooth and a little viscous, as one might expect. Decent carbonation.

D: This is a pretty good strong ale - if I could get it up here, I would likely buy it from time to time. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of letsgopens
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub in Holland, Michigan, this American strong pours a deep, dark cedar brown with some nice ruby highlights. A somewhat light frothy head holds decently but leaves little lace.

Surprisingly the aroma is relatively uneventful with some roasted malt and dark fruit.

Sweet malt flavor with a bit of toastiness and some dark fruit. Caramel and a hint of molasses. Honey and a bit of milk chocolate.

Juicy, tart and smooth on the palate. The carbonation is moderate which lightens up the finish a bit. I prefer this beer from the bottle once it’s sat for a while. On-tap it’s good, but a bit thinner and somewhat less satisfying. A very good choice none-the-less.

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

Ok, so this one I actually had been looking for the longest time for, only to just now realize that we can get this in SC. I was shocked and very happy so you know I had to immediately pick some up. This is exactly what I did. Poured a nice deep orange brown, pretty translucent, and to be honest did not look too thick. A small off white head formed on the top but quickly evaporated and left behind only a token amount of lace, almost none of what was on the sides of the glass. Some carbonation was visible. The smell was interesting, definitely could detect a touch of wood ageing in here, the aroma of brandy not withheld, some caramel sweetness and a touch of grain in the back. The taste was interesting again, almost had like a Cola taste to it, especially in the finish. Lots of oak tastes and a hint of brandy like. The carbonation was rather decent and it drank a lot lighter then I thought it would. It was a tad hot and would probably benefit from laying down a little. Overall this was pretty decent of a night time sipper, though I was able to drink it a bit faster then that. It was nothing outstanding, but still pretty nice if you are a fan of the barrel aged beers. This was definitely detectable and overall probably a pretty fair representation of a barrel aged brew. Worth a try definitely.

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

Pours very dark brown, with a rich two finger head. Nose is of licorice and wood. Taste- bourbon flavour is quite pronounced, along with the oak. Quite hoppy as well. Sweet iniitially, but that melds into more of a hotness from the booze. Finish is dry and woody. Interesting beer. Carbonation is on the low end.

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Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pitch black with not much head at all, like 1/2 a finger. Lacing makes crazy spin art pictures and looks creamy and delicious.

Smell is chocolate (bitter) and roasted malts with a musky smell to it. Actually smells creamy. Its kinda interesting so I'll up it one. Alcohol can't be smelled, but give the nose a warming quality.

Taste doesn't really do it for me. Very musky, like oak (though it does say oak aged) except that its a moldy, humid, florida swamp type of oak. Hops are not apparent. The oak is interesting, though not great. Too musky, though the vanilla helps to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick, yet with the carbonation bite. I like it. Like a decent milk stout.

I've read the other reviews for this brew and I think that they are being a little unfair. Sure the drinkability is low for many, but it is an interesting tasting, smelling, feeling, and looking brew and I don't think people are reviewing due to style. There are a lot of mediocre milk stouts out there, and this one is far from ordinary.

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Photo of bradford
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a trade with stopbarking
Looked weird straight from the get go. Muddy brownish black with minimal head and a good bit of lacing
Smelled off as well. A weird yeasty odor comes through, not offensive but not bery inviting either
Taste was where I really got lost. Tasted more like a Belgian interpretation of a chocolate stout. All the character of a stout, except a very distinctive Belgian yeast taste
Mouthfeel sucked. It was thick, but a muddy gross feeling like after waking up hung over and not brushing your teeth for hours.
Despite all the downfalls, this beer is still drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try it, just won't seek it out in the future

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Photo of Foxman
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours an edgy dark coffee brown grading to mahogany and deep amber. A finger of khaki head wisps away to a thin, foggy froth.
Sparse lacing flits along the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers a poignant but settled lactic bite to match roasted malt, blueberry, and a doughy yeastiness. A rounded smoked vanilla drift mellows a draft of alcohol.

Upon tasting, a lactic bite lay across a slight roasted malt char, and hints of dried fruit and caramel mingle with creamy vanilla. Yet again the milky nip leads the way, this time ahead of a note of yeast and thin but earthy smoke. Alcohol and lactic acid tread the middle ground. A brief measure of residual malt toastiness helps a mildly bitter finish along with more but shallower sourness. The flavor sits on undelivered potential, being a bit disjointed and restless.

Medium bodied, it's creamy and slick on the palate, with an understated dry effect.

It's no one trick pony, but the lactic sourness is prominent to the point of distraction. The shame is, underneath lies a pretty decent malt profile. Strangely, the muscular ABV helps mitigate the sourness in the end, and it drinks at least better than average. So maybe it's not my cup of tea, or milk for that matter, but hey, I can say I could have done worse.

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

22oz. bomber.

Pours a dark brown with some reddish hints. Forms a one-fingered head that lingers around and finally settles to a nice cap. Leaves moderate amounts of lacing.

When cold the smell is mostly of chocolate malt. As it warms the smells of vanilla and oak come through.

As with the smell the flavor charactor changes as it warms. Starts off with a heavy dose of chocolate malt and coffee. As it warms the alcohol becomes more prevalent but doesn't dominate. That is when the vanilla shines. It has a heavy, smooth feel to it and with the light carbonation it makes a great combination. This is a sipper but more approachable than a barleywine.

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