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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,272 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,272
Hads: 4,679
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 6.87%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,245 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,272 | Hads: 4,679
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Near black in color with dark ruby hues. Craggy tan head pours two fingers thick. Some retention. Nice sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: Charred oak barrel. Roasted malts. Raw hops. Vanilla. Alcohol.

T: Flavors of burnt caramel malts and vanilla come through and give way to charred oak barrel taste. Raw earthy hops lend a soft bitter bite and are followed by tastes of toffee and dark fruit. This brew is dry with a big and warm oak aged bourbon finish.

M: Smooth and slightly thin. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: This is a nice strong ale, but the oak barrel flavors were a bit over the top. I will age another offering for some time before I sample this one again. Recommended. (750 characters)

Photo of westweasel
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

A - A very clear deep, dark brown with about 1/4 inch of tan head. The bubbles are very active - this look highly carbonated.

S - The strongest scent is a sweet bourbony liquor odor. I can also smell dark roasted malt and coffee scents.

T - I'm getting bourbon, strong roasted flavors, vanilla, and coffee.

M - Medium, fairly smooth, with a carbonation bite in the finish. I think this would be better if it was a little fuller and the carbonation was a little lower.

D - Better than I expected. The smoothness was surprising. Though you can taste the strong alcohol, it is not overbearing. Very nice. (652 characters)

Photo of beveritt
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass. Label is a paint on with the shape of a dragon flying around a wine barrel. No freshenss date, but listed as 19 degrees Plato and 9% ABV. Kind of hard to find this int he index, whoever entered all the New Holland beers saw fit to put New Holland in front of every beer. No kidding, huh? That's who makes it? Printed under the cap is the single word aroma.

Appearance: Pours with a 1 inch tan head. This settles into a thin coat of foam and a ring around the glass. The beer itself is almost opaque, with a mahogany tint around the edges.

Smell: Sweet cherry vanilla notes mix with an oak aroma. Slightly sweet alcohol smell.

Taste: Initial taste is of a slightly fruity, vanilla oak. Maybe cherries or plums? Finishes with a stronger oak and bourbon flavor, though the alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A good sipping beer; very complex. I wish I had a 12oz bottle and not a bomber. Not sure if it is available int he smaller sizes, but a bomber is a bit much for this hig ABV. (1,125 characters)

Photo of genog
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Gallo's tap room.

A- pours into a small snifter (10oz) a deep dark, black color.

S- I was caught off guard by the real oak barrel smell. I thought I was going to start drinking a whiskey.

T- The taste is smooth at first with subtle notes. The oak resonates on the back of your mouth once you swallow. Quite powerful at first.

M- If I remember correctly there was very little to feel. However, I did have to wait a while to drink this b/c it came out of the tap very cold, too cold.

D- I don't know if I was drinking this at the wrong time, not in the mood, or not eating a complimentary food to go with this drink. I had to struggle to finish this beer. Did not seem to get better with increasing sips, in my opinion. (753 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer, hmmm, maybe three, four years ago. I remember not being terribly impressed by it then, and that lack of enthusiasm continues into the present day.

Ahhh, but the way this beer looks! It looks like a black cow (vanilla ice-cream and coca-cola), a jet black body with a HUGE billowy coffee-and-cream head that lasts and lasts. The head is really incredibly bubbly, with super-sized bubbles normally only found in soda. It looks wonderful.

The smell is OK. It is so absolutely dominated by vanilla that it is hard to get much of anything else. Vanilla, some booze, and a little bit of roasted malts.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. A strong blast of vanilla, with some booze, light oxidation, toffee, chocolate, and cherries. Not bad, but it is so dominated by the vanilla that it is difficult to tell. There is, however, a nice bourbon finish to the beer.

The mouthfeel is incredibly thin. At first, the carbonation helped round it out, but as I drink this beer and the carbonation fades it becomes incredibly thin. The bourbon finish adds a nice *bite* to the end of this beer.

Drinkability is OK. I think that a 12oz serving would be better than a bomber, but that is what I think about most beers. Unless I really like a beer, 22oz is simply too much of one beer. Not bad, overall, but just, meh. I'll take Pilgim's Dole over this anyday. (1,385 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark cola brown with a slight veil of haze and a frothy, sizzling tan head that dissapears too quickly, leaving no lace.

Aroma is immediatly oaky with vanilla and bourbon. It's pleasantly malty with a bit of fruit and earthy notes, not very complex though.

Flavor is not as expected. caramel malt, vanilla, oak, and berries, then an unpleasant sour note as described in other reviews. It finishes tart and astringent, with an almost yogurt-like taste.

Body is light to medium, with loose bubbles of carbonation and a fizzy, then partially-fglat mouthfeel.

I have a feeling that the less favorable reviews of this beer, like this one, are of older bottles. The good reviews are probably fresh bottles. That, or this beer just isn't that good? (754 characters)

Photo of dgfair
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in my Delirium snifter.

A - Pitch black with a huge fizzy tan head. Lot of carbonation released when I popped the bottle, so I knew I was going to be in for a fizzy one. Almost looks like a very thin stout.

S - Definite smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet sugar. A little bit of sticky malt aroma with a little bit of a syrupy fruit cocktail smell. Definitely pretty complex.

T - I can definitely taste the vanilla, the oak, and the bourbon...that's all fine and good. However, this bottle has perhaps gone south. I'm getting quite a bit of a sour flanders red type taste, probably oxidization. I don't think it's intentional, because it clearly clashes with the delicate oak and just doesn't taste right. I've had this one before, and it definitely didn't taste like this.

M - Very fizzy and bubbly in the mouth. I would love for this one to be a little smoother and creamier, especially to go with the barrel flavors.

D - Better the first time I had it. Not terrible, but just not a great offering. Probably won't be revisiting this one at the price point. (1,101 characters)

Photo of cproioi
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby color with a creamy white head that is seated on top. The nose is full of dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. The taste comes in with the same notes ion the aroma with a little more accents on the chocolate and the malts. However, it tastes a little oxidized sadly enough. It's a wonderfully creamy body that leaves a wonderful finish that lingers suggesting to take another drink. (422 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to stouty1 for the brew.

Pour into a chalice a nice clear dark ruby color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tan head which lasts forever, tons of lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of nice sweet/oaked malts, some dark fruits (plums, figs), slight vanilla, and caramel. The taste is very nice of sweet malts, vanilla, oak, plums, and caramel. Medium body, highly carbonated feel, well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, I'm really enjoying this one, thanks again Dan. Highly recommended. (507 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a fine looking dark black with some cherry tinting. Virtually no head with minimal lace.

S: Very nice aromas of bourbon, vanilla, cherry, molassas, plums, raisins, and alcohol.

T: Take everything from above with the addition of brown sugar, oak, caramel, and roasted malt.

M: Big and slick. Coating. Quite smooth and very creamy.

D: Unbelievably easy to sip your way through a bomber of this. Very enjoyable. (488 characters)

Photo of brdc
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is better than I expected, and one of the few times I have to disagree with Jason's take.
It is a beautiful pitch black brew with a dark tan head that quickly fades but leaves a very nice lacing.
Smell is dry wood, oak and alcohol, but I actually thought it was rather pleasant.
A velvety mouthfeel on this full-bodied beer opens way to a caramel sweetness well balanced with a bourbon-like bitterness, some alcohol adding a nice "byte", along with some other tastes I could not exactly qualify.
Not a beer to have multiple on the same night, but that does not seem to be its purpose.
A nice offering, and I will have more of this. (642 characters)

Photo of KingG
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received in a trade a while back.

22oz bottle shared with my friend.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass at cellar temp.

Appearance is good. Dark plum color with an enormous tan head. Looks like there's a lot of carbonation.

Smell is above average. Bourbon dominates. Dark berries in the background.

Taste is average. Initial flavor of bourbon hits then a sourness develops on the palate. Hints of dark fruit. Metallic aftertaste. Not impressed.

Mouthfeel is below average. Way too much carbonation here. Champagne-esque mouthfeel. Too bubbly.

Drinkability is average. Half a bottle was more than enough.

Overall: I had high hopes for this brew and it failed to deliver. Don't know if i had a bad bottle or what but i wasn't impressed with the mouthfeel or taste. Not a horrible beer but not a good one either. (831 characters)

Photo of jkaufman
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz. bomber into a tankard.

A: Very dark ruby and opaque; pours with a thick off-white head that quickly thins out, leaves a nice lacing behind.

S: Bourbon, not much else. This is going to be interesting.

T and M: This brew is surprisingly complex. It is moderately carbonated, pleasantly smooth, and well balanced. Despite its foreboding appearance and aroma, the body is on the thin side and finishes a little milky. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the throat, but is mellowed quite a bit by roasted and caramel malts, and obviously bourbon flavors.

D: Definitely not a session ale, but it's fairly easy to finish a bomber.

Recommended. (670 characters)

Photo of Fugazme
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. picked up in Chicago
from notes:

Largely black... near opaque... smallish, off-white head at first... with second pour it produced a beautiful, tight-white, creamy head. Slight ruby highlights throughout the glass when tilted.

Aroma is big on chocolate with strong vanilla and a bit of woody/boozy overtones. Licorice and anise hard candy... a tiny touch of burnt rubber.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel... silky and inviting.

Chocolatey, sweet finish that lingers and lingers... whiskey, vanilla, caramel...

I wish this were available in Nebraska... I'd buy it quite a bit. (589 characters)

Photo of BeerRun13
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opens with a loud pop and pours a dark burgundy color. A huge rocky head sits on top with bubbles from below that can just barely be seen through the darkness. Thick rings of lace.
Little chocolate vanilla in the nose. Some slight caramel notes. Alcohol.
Little chocolate hints and some vanilla can be tasted. Seems very tart in the first part of the sip. Slight bit of oakiness.
Medium to full bodied. A little to much carbonation. Slightly warming. A touch of bitterness, but most noticeable is a tart dryness.
It was okay, but I was hoping for a something a little better. (579 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle, 9% ABV. Almost jet black in color, with a thick tan frothy head. The head trickles to a thin layer rather quickly. Vanilla, oak, whiskey and a bit of coffee in the nose. Very smooth, slick, and almost silky. My first impression was that it had a great deal of sweetness, like sweet cream. Vanilla flavor, with just a hint of whiskey. Almost no roasty tones at all, which seemed odd looking at the color. Body seems a bit light, but the lower carbonation works for me. Very smooth, alcohol seems non-existant. Almost too drinakble. The barrel flavor here is done very well, not overwhelming, simply adding a nice layer of flavor. This is outstanding. (664 characters)

Photo of david131
1.96/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I feel strange about this beer. I usually love big beers... this one was just a mess.

A- Came in a pint glass with minimal off- white head. The color was a very dark as night red. It's almost black. the head does not stick around for long and just leaves the unexciting dark liquid behind.

S- I am instantly hit with molasses. The next thing that comes to me is a strong bourbon/ whiskey odor. I struggle to get anything more out of this.

T- The flavor is the same as the smell. The molasses was smooth up front, which was kind of nice. But then the overwhelming whiskey hits. It is over-bearing and causes me to wince every time I take a sip.

M- Pretty thin for what it is. Burning from the whiskey. Not something I wanted to savor.

D- I really regretted getting this. I feel like I could appreciate a beer that is barrel aged, this was just way overbearing and it was not "milky" in any sense of the word. (923 characters)

Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber this weekend and boy I wish I would have bought more. Poured a dark brown hue with a caramel light shining through it, not much of a head nor any lacing, but so what. The aroma and flavor makes up for it. Lovely scent of caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla with a powerful hint of soy sauce. Medium body, creamy with a fizzy carbonation to start, ending chocolate sweet and soft with a undertone of alcohol. Overall, I really enjoy this brew and will purchase more this weekend. (494 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice. This strong ale is a deep deep ruby, that appears almost black until you hold it to some light. Rather like a porter in color. I got a very thin head that faded quickly with a minimum of lacing.

Aroma is dark and mysterious, warm and inviting. Dark malts, prune and some spice. Alcohol also present in the nose.

Taste has hints of bourbon, dark fruit, spice, and an alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is not as heavy as expected. There is not much carbonation to speak of.

This is a great beer to sip and as it warms me up inside I am looking forward to pouring the rest of the bomber. Recommended! (649 characters)

Photo of Enola
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aquired via trade with robertdoesbeer.

The beer is a nice deep black with a hint of light permeating the edges. A tan head sits atop the brew. There are coffee and chocolate flavors as well as the oak coming through. Malts abound in this beer. the alcohol shows a little as it warms. Drinkable, but take it slow. This is one dragon that bites. (347 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color. Frothy tan head rises and holds.
Smells of sweet milk chocolate and vanilla.
Taste like the chocolate soy milk (Silk). Mild bitterness with hints of vanilla. Nice coffee like finish.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth yet still big and bold.
Great drinkability for a 9% beer and if it were available here it would be a staple in my fridge.
Thanks to Enola for sharing a bottle. (405 characters)

Photo of MDekker
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass out of a bomber, this brew pours out nearly black, with a little "dark ruby" around the edges. Nice thick head. Quite a nice looking brew. Being only accustomed to stouts pouring out that black, the smell and taste were unexpected, but good - sweet, strong notes of fruit, especially prunes, raisins, and grape juice, along with some alcohol. Only a gentle bitter finish. In the mouth it was fabulous - creamy and smooth, with a small presence of carbonation. It was surprisingly easy to put down, too. Overall, this was a good, interesting beer. (565 characters)

Photo of phisig137
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Santa DeeJayDan for this one

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

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

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

This is my first beer from New Holland, and I am very impressed. I now wish that this was a regulalry seen item around VA. Either way, I'd recommend this beer, and would buy it constantly in the winter, given the ability to do so. Thanks again DeeJayDan!!! This one is a winner! (1,351 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

i will say that this beer before the barrel might not have been so good (864 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you jpm30. Wonderful
A very dark mahogany with a half finger off white head that melts quickly to a faint ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas are very, VERY woody. Oak, vanilla, and back to oak.
Sweet amber malts are immediately overcome by the presence of oak woodiness. I have never had any brew reflect the presence of the barrel as much as this one. Slight vanilla undertones and then a definite citrus hop bitterness on the end.
Mouthfeel is tiny carbonation smoothness.
Aftertaste seems to be almost non-existent. All of the predominate flavors clean themselves from the palette quickly.
The woods make this one unlike any other brew I've tried. (657 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,272 ratings.