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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

1,271 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,271
Hads: 4,675
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,242 | FT: 40
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: 1,271 | Hads: 4,675
Photo of cserrato02
2.45/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

STRONG whiskey flavors, somewhat unbalanced. It seems to me that they loaded the beer with whiskey just to get to an 11% ABV. This is a sipping beer for me. Does not go well with a meal in my opinion. (200 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a deep, dark, brown, with maybe a hint of red. A small amount of head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Vanilla, chocolate, roasty, alcohol

Taste - 3.75/5
Very sweet malts, oak, alcohol, vanilla, a bit of roastiness

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation, a little syrupy, but not too much. In between creamy and crisp.

Overall - 3.75/5
I remember when I was still new to drinking craft beer and I had this for the first time, I was blown away by how good it was. Now revisting it a couple years later, it's not nearly as good as I once thought. But then there have been other beers which I used to not like which I now do. I guess tastes change. Anyway, with my present taste buds, I'd say this is a good beer, but there are tastier beers out there. Especially considering the price of this beer. Still, never a bad option. (846 characters)

Photo of Thebearfoothippy
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer surprised me. I though that the price was too high but at the initial smell I realized there was something hiding in this bottle. After pouring I discovered a dark luxurious color was hiding behind the bottles glass. After pouring the beer the smell definitely was a little sweeter than before and the initial taste was smooth and flavorful (350 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brow, a little thin, and head fizzles to a ring in a few seconds

Aroma: fruity esters - rum, blackberry, cassis; toffee and caramel, vanilla; touch of oak; bubblegum; lot's going on, builds interest well

Taste & Mouthfeel: milk cream, vanilla, butterscotch and rum - lot's of deep, dark dried fruit flavours like you'd expect from a Belgian ale - would be interested to see their yeast choice, in fact, it's more in that style than a stout, the roast malt (in this case chocolate) flavours are light; dry finish, very long and with a bit of heat from alcohol, very nice; medium/light body with light carbonation

Overall: like dessert in a glass, a nice creamy pastry/custard - would pair great with a rich chocolate cake; better shared, sweetness can become cloying (785 characters)

Photo of Chris_the_Tartar
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon and ethanol smell. Taste is strong on the ethanol, with bourbon and vanilla notable. Feel is a definite strong point, thick and creamy. Comes off almost like (rice?) pudding. Overall really good, not too sweet for a milk stout, but the bourbon could have shined through a little more. (292 characters)

Photo of AirBob
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2/24/15 Vintage 2014

A - 3 fingers of dense khaki head. Sold retention and excellent lacing. Solid black body with some reddish brown showing along the edges of the glass when held to the light. Head is cappuccino colored.

S - Nice, mellow notes of milk and 80% chocolate. Soft but rich bourbon notes. A little roasted coffee bean. Also some vanilla and a perception of brown sugar.

T - Follows the nose but more bitterness than I expected (like paper filtered brewed coffee bitter). The bourbon is subtle but there's little booziness too. Chocolate and molasses come through big in the start and finish. Too much booze in the middle as it warms.

M - Creamy. A little alcohol heat in the middle. Low carb and sticky finish.

O - Way better than I remembered when I had it fresh. Creamier and more balanced. Maybe my palate changed but this is significantly better with age. Looking forward to another one from the same 4 pack next year. (965 characters)

Photo of Pepper7
2.33/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Highly overrated, I feel like the alcohol taste is not covered up at all, that's the taste that really stands out on this one, overpriced as well, not an imperial stout fan, but I've paid a lot less Jackie O's dark apparition, which was outstanding. (249 characters)

Photo of Clinthulhu
4.66/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is strong and you probably aren't going to drink too many of them but they are fantastic. If I had one complaint about Dragons Milk it would be that there is (at least for me) a bitter alcohol aftertaste. (215 characters)

Photo of cryptichead
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfectly balanced and very drinkable for an imperial. Alcohol is well masked by unsubtle tones of vanilla and cream. Just the right degree of bitterness and hints of oak. (172 characters)

Photo of Mooslerfitness
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I love stouts but i guess I dont care for ones that taste like straight up bourbon and dietcoke searved in a burnt oak vessel no vanilla I could smell or taste if u like this style u love this me never again (207 characters)

Photo of Irishbeerlover13
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New Holland hit a gold mine! Fresh malty smell, with a hint of bourbon. Nice pour with a darker thin lacing. Tastes like heaven. A bit thinner than most stouts. The bourbon oak flavor mixes in perfect, with a hint of vanilla. Smooth, clean finish. Bottoms up! (268 characters)

Photo of SLOTHLIFE
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go-to barrel aged stout. Bourbon tidal waves knock you on your ass and you let yourself get sucked in by the vanilla undertow, not caring if you drown in its boozy bliss. This is like the Black Sabbath of beers. (215 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014. 11.00% abv listed on the label. At long last I am finally getting around to trying the legendary New Holland Dragon's Milk that I always see.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark cola color but appears a near opaque black in the glass. Barely conjures a half finger of mocha head that disappears fast. Some good fat sticky lacing.

S - A buttery creamy aroma. Vanilla, cream, oak wood, mustiness, caramel. A very moderate but pleasant aroma. The creamy / buttery vanilla characteristics are dominant though. Mouthwatering, to be sure.

T - Taste follows the nose: cream, vanilla, caramel, oak wood, and some hot boozy bourbon warmth. Sweet and sugary, with some underlying notes of chocolate and dark roastiness. A touch of dark fruits.

M - The feel is extremely smooth & creamy, with mild bourbon alcohol heat.

Overall, a very enjoyable and underrated bourbon barrel stout from New Holland.

New Holland Dragon's Milk -----4/5. (982 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Near solid black on the pour. Head is a dark tan. Decent head retention leaves a small cap with small chunks of lacing. Minimal to moderate carbonation on the pour. Small clumps of a cap. Small collar.

Smell: Bourbon barrel. Vanilla and a ton of caramel. Roasted malts. A touch of almost char. Some dark fruit. Raisin and a hint of dark cherry. Cocoa powder. Hazelnuts. A hint of old coffee. Milk chocolate layered through the back. Oak punches through as it warms. Deep woody notes. Some mild hop notes. A touch of pine. Licorice and raisin. A touch of leather.

Taste: Licorice soaked with some bourbon. Some heavy vanilla and oak notes. A touch of butterscotch with some backing toffee and marshmallow. Big and sweet. Touches on molasses. Malts are heavily roasted offering up some solid caramelized sweetness with a slight burnt element. Hops are very minimal with pine and an herbal element. Marshmallow and even a touch of coconut. Lots of raisin. A touch of oxidation. Clean. Solid backing woodiness to the whole thing. Sweet. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy. Minimal carbonation.

Overall: Distant dragonkin.

Better than I remember. Bourbon is well layered but ends up dominating a bit. Base beer runs a touch sweet as well and the two elements don't quite meld. Still, it's tasty. (1,335 characters)

Photo of good-friar
2.57/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm troubled by this beer. My biggest problem with it is that there is entirely too much going on. I feel like there are too many pieces, too many tastes, and too many places for the pallet to wander that you get caught up in a maelstrom of muddled tastes. The alcohol is too prominent in the beer and the milk stout and bourbon barrel favors disagree with one another making for beer that I won't have again. This is a personal taste note, so that being said, milk stout lovers will probably find this to be a welcome change in a new direction from New Holland brewing. (570 characters)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature. (3,306 characters)

Photo of gaord
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

tried this after working 16 out of 24 hours in the fourth biggest snow storm in O'hare history so maybe this review is slanted a little. I thought the balance between bourbon and stout was very good, easy drinking. I usually like more bourbon. After shoveling 14 inches of snow the alcohol soothes the sore muscles. Very good beer (330 characters)

Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like this one a lot. Seems I'm an "outlier," so I need to elaborate. The bourbon flavor does make it a bit harsh, but that's balanced by a smooth creaminess that makes a great combination. The heartiness of the underlying stout itself is top notch as well, but I'm really not one to go into flowery descriptors so this will have to do. (338 characters)

Photo of Jeffrey84
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's is impressive to me that a brewery can produce a consistent BBA stout available year around. That is the only thing I really like about this beer. I rate it as high as I do because I appreciate the qualities of the beer but just don't enjoy it. The bourbon flavor is overpowering me. Only drinking this in a pinch. (319 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. Pours almost jet black. Good head volume, excellent retention and lacing.

Rich nose of bourbon (which becomes more pronounced as temperature increases) plus sweet and dark chocolate dominate. Underneath is a light roast, subtle caramel sweetness and notes of vanilla and oak.

Light full body with a nice creamy texture that also has a bit of oiliness to it. Slightly above normal carbonation with a nice burst of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is quite intense, very complex but poorly balanced. Bourbon dominates throughout, resulting in the complex flavors being reduced to subservient roles. It begins with a rush of bourbon that slowly allows a sweet caramel and chocolate to emerge. Towards the middle, a mild roast bitterness comes forward against a slight bite of tannic oak. The middle produces a very nice vanilla note. The finish is dominated by alcohol, with notes of bourbon flavor, and the associated burn at the back of the throat. As these subside, a sweet note of vanilla and oak linger with caramel characteristics. Considering this is 11% ABV, they've done a fair job of covering it. The main drawback is that the amazing complexity is never allowed to truly emerge. (1,231 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a thin lacing of caramel-colored head that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer), but I can still smell strong notes of roasted malt and boozy bourbon! Other reviewers have notes aromas of caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, etc.

Taste: Tons of roasted malt up front, followed by some brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness, with some notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon undertones. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is definitely a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another very good bourbon barrel-aged stout. Maybe, well not maybe, definitely, not as complex as Goose Island’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout, Dragon’s Milk is still complex in its flavors of malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Delicious. And for the price point, a much easier bourbon barrel-aged stout to drink more often! (1,211 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.
The beer is black with a very thin, tan head and spotty lacing.
I get a big hit of roast coffee from the aroma as well as some vanilla and bourbon and a little dark chocolate.
The taste is chocolate and coffee up front followed by lots of bourbon and booze. As it warms, a little vanilla and milk chocolate as well.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with a lingering, boozy warmth.
Overall, quite tasty and it certainly isn't hiding the bourbon. (473 characters)

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a medium brown finger of head. Head dissipates down to a film, but leaves nice, solid creamy lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla bourbon, milky chocolate, light coffee, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of smoke.
T - The vanilla bourbon is upfront and loud! Very warming and boozey, but in a good way. Notes of milk stout chocolate reign behind the bourbon and finishes with a coffee and woody oak bitterness to round off the sweetness, but the sweet vanilla bourbon is VERY upfront, this is what I like to see from a beer that claims to be bourbon barrel aged!
O - A damned good stout to be sure!
V - Good value, worth the money! (663 characters)

Photo of byronic
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Fantastic pour with minimal head, smells inviting all be it a bit boozy. The taste was dominated by barrel flavours and lots of roasted malts, I could barely discern any sweetness. The mouthfeel is quite smooth bordering on slick and the abv hits home in the finish.

This one was a miss for me and did not meet expectations. The Barrel aging and alcohol presence overwhelm what could be the finer points of this brew. (418 characters)

Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dragon's Milk is no BCBS, but it is the best barrel-aged stout that I can find year-round without having to seek out special releases... There seems to be some quality control issues, though. Maybe it's in my head, but some bottles seem a little thin and flavorless compared to others, even within a single four pack. (317 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.