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New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) - New Holland Brewing Company

New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

2,886 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2886
Reviews: 1089
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 14.21%


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:
A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,886 | Reviews: 1,089 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sipper. Good amount of lace and deep chocolale brown. Thanks Dr. Jay. Carbonation on aggressive side. Taste: coriander, orange, like a grand cru with lots of nother complexity. On the edge of funky. Medium-full mouthfeel.Lots of lace.A bit of wood in the finsih, and vanilla aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 01:13:23 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FINEBEERGUY for this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and a slight whiff of Play-Doh. Taste is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, wood, bourbon, and extremely sweet raw/natural sugar. There is a mild roasty bitterness that quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation for a stout with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barrel aged stout but it is extremely sweet and cloying.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 03:26:16 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2005 15:29:41 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 00:13:01 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 19:08:34 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a slim beige head that does not retain well and only leaves modest lacing

Smell: A smattering of bourbon-infused oak provides an aromatic complement to a dried dark fruit and vanilla/chocolate base

Taste: The lactic qualities of this brew make themselves apparent from the start with a milky chocolate and dark fruit taste up front; after the swallow, the vanilla and oak flavors join to add complexity; the finish is relatively sweet with a touch of sourness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately low carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting, but a bit subdued; I was expecting something bolder on all fronts; in any event, an enjoyable brew

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 00:50:49 | More by brentk56
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown with some burgundy color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some bourbon notes is well balance. Taste is also comprised of a nice balance between some sweet malt with some dry fruits elements as well as some bourbon with nice vanilla notes. Body is about average with some medium carbonation and no alcohol is apparent. I like how the bourbon is present but does not dominate or brings too much alcohol. A very interesting and different beer that leaves wanting to try more from this brewer.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 19:22:57 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Holland may struggle a bit with their IPA recipe and execution, but their stouts have no such issues. As with their Night Tripper, Dragon's Milk delivers silky smooth chocolates with roasty backnotes and a touch of smoke, oak, and even bourbon- whether they meant to or not.

The beer pours with a silky layering effect into the snifter, and does so with the most dense espresso imaginable. With nearly milkshake-like consistency, the nearly black, dark bark-brown hue exudes the notions of roast, chocolate, and smoke. Lightly ingrained carbonation creates a creamy aesthetic, but also relinquishes a dainty tan head that dissolves midway through the session with minimal spotted lace. The beer is best observed through the spectacles of cognac or brandy.

The aromas are spot-on Bourbon Ball Candies made my many of my local Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark manufacturers. Where they never decry a bourbon infusion, the aromas of chocolate wafers, walnuts, caramel, vanilla, coconut, and bourbony booze rises to the occasion and surplants any dessert at the after dinner party.

Flavors follow with a familiar tone. The direct carryover from scent brings about the dessert-like sweetness of bittersweet chocolates, creamy espresso, heavy cream, coconut, vanilla, caramel, almonds, and that ever present bourbon taste- but with all the taste and none of the burn. Roasted grains contribute light bitterness as do the woody hops, but these only act as slight balancing elements- this beer was never intended to be a balanced stout, but rather a richer and malt-focused taste with the complement of oak. It nails it to perfection!

Silky smooth and malty weighted, the beer projects a full texture and makes no apologies for it. Light on carbonation, the malty weight and sweet alcohols seep into the mouth's surfaces for a full flavor, savory, and labored transition across the palate. But that's ok- the savory, succulent, and velvety textures caress the palate and forgives the lack of dryness with ease. A long linger, well past the ill-faded finish, continues well into the next sip for a very digestive-intended session.

This stout is one of the most celebrated bourbon-flavored stouts that does not confess bourbon barrel aging, but merely oak aging. How dey do dat?

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 17:58:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a light head and not too much lace, but a sufficient amount not to get docked. Nose is nice with notes of oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, and some light coffee. The taste doesn't mix these together quite as well, but is still pretty good. Good feel coming from all different directions and quite drinkable for the big beer that it is.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 12:54:57 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of bourbon on the nose.
T: The taste has subtle flavors of bourbon along with some notes of the oak from the barrel aging and hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. There is some warming and burn from the alcohol in the finish, which also has some dryness.
D: The beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its high alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 01:59:03 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Vintage 2012.

Appearance: Pours a very dark body, essentially black with a foaming, beige head that soon settles down to a slim film.

Smell: Jumbled sniff sniffing up the notes of grape soda, light anise, moistened barrels, and roast with already a whiff of the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and roast and toast and caramel and even sorghum syrup all come together wonderfully, beautifully even. A somewhat milky oatmeal quality throughout. Vibrant raisins touched with a little splash of Madeira. Woodsy barrel character with touches of vanilla, bourbon. Sweetish, round, luscious maltiness wrapped in the barrel-aging through to and beyond the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Thankfully, the taste delivered what the nose was just embarrassingly fumbling around with. Almost hazardously drinkable. I'll be honest, it has been several years since I'd last had this -- nice to see it finally in Georgia.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 21:41:18 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown with a one finger tight head that settles quicly leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,some nice caramel aromas along with some malted milk and some of the oak left behind very nice.Very lactic flavors for an old ale malted milk and deep woody flavors along with some chocolate with alate sourness wich I didnt care for much.A very flavorful big beer but not a fan of the sour finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2005 22:04:29 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Vintage 2010. So, if I were to suckle at a dragon's teat, this is what would end up in my mouth? Interesting. It pours a nearly translucent black-brown. No real head is formed, save a single layer of ecru foamy bubbles, and this doesn't hang around for very long at all. The nose comprises oak, vanilla, what seems like bourbon, chocolate, and cheesecake. The taste follows exactly, with the cheesecake nearly dropping out altogether, the oak gaining some strength, and a drying booziness invading the start of the aftertaste. The body is pretty hefty, with a light carbonation and a thick, chewy feel. I've had previous vintages of this and have been underwhelmed. It's nice to see such improvement in a relatively short amount of time. Or maybe it's been me the whole time...

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 06:23:45 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I've enjoyed this on tap and in bottles... but the bottles that are out there now are picking up a clean, lactic acid infection that's toatlly destroying this beer. I have alot of them and I'm out of luck! Try one before you buy a few! And don't try to age it.... it's not going to work. If you've got 'em, drink 'em! That said...

This oak-aged olde ale might just be New Holland's best beer yet! Its dark mahogany body is capped by a frothy head of dark tan that holds exceptionally well and leaves clinging sheets of lace throughout the glass. The nose is rich with milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, wood, a touch of vinous acidity, and mild bourbon. It's ultra-smooth, silky, and medium-bodied but not dextrinous across the palate. The flavor is rich and satiating with notes of a soft chocolate and caramel blend, sweet honey-glazed biscuits, lightly toasty malts, a cusp of dark-kilned and almost roasty malts, vanilla, subtle bourbon, and - oddly enough - some background hops. It's well balanced by a firm bitterness, and it finishes dry with more notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and lingering roastiness than it had in the mouth (...blocked by the sweet malts I guess). The alcohol is incredibly well-cloaked; and this one will sneak up on you! Brilliant!!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2005 02:55:17 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: frightfully dark, deep plum color, with a generous, frothy, creamy, light tan head above, lace-leaving, slowly subsiding.
Aroma: chocolate, cream, vanilla...interesting...buttery, with a whiskeyish tinge, as well.
Taste: unusual, the vanilla lingers, a woody, chocolatey character dominates. Small hops, rich malt, and the 10% Abv is sneaky, not kicking into the flavor in the least. Oh, here it comes...fruitiness comes in toward the end, raisiny, plummy, ...such a nice little brew, a great buttress against this ridiculous sub-zero January chill.
I've had this on-tap before, at the Autumn Brew Review lat fall, and wasn't so charmed...this bottle changed my mind. Were I a Michiganite, Dragon's Milk would have a coveted spot in the icebox.

9-11-2006
2 1/2 years later, it's finally available in MN, in bombers, and is as good as ever. Wonderful nightcap on a very bad day, the day my 5-year old cat died. Helpful in providing some relaxation and a small amount of liquid comfort.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2004 10:19:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from JoeyBeerBelly, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, vanilla, milk chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla and caramel followed by a hearty roasted malt character and a very mild hops presence. The ABV is well disguised and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, not too filling, not the best representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while but there are better beers in the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 06:35:14 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.95/5  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

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 00:36:34 | More by russpowell
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Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours a dark brown color, similar to Coca Cola. The head is off-white. The aroma is strongly wood and bourbon and some vanilla. The flavor is similar with lots of vanilla as well as wood, bourbon, chocolate and coffee. One of the more complex tasting beers I have had in a while. Medium body and low carbonation. Awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 02:58:38 | More by Mora2000
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zeff80

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of oak, bourbon and chocoate. None of them were overpowering

T - Good balance here, too. Chocolate, sweet caramel malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla and some toffee.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium bodied brew with some alcohol warmth.

D - This is a nicely done aged beer. New Holland put out a balanced big beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 01:01:16 | More by zeff80
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Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out pretty dark black in color. The head came and went pretty quick, not leaving much lacing. The smell of the beer was burnt and a little acidic. The flavor of the beer had some deep roasted malts, and chocolate in there. The Oak Barrels added a slight sourness to the brew. The mouthfeel to me seemed a little flat. Overall It was decent stout, not one of my favorites though. I don't see myself running out to get more anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 16:40:42 | More by Knapp85
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jwc215

Wisconsin

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours dark brown towards black with rubyish highlights when held up to the light. It has decent head retention, with some trailing lace sticking.

The smell is of oak - woody with vanilla and subtle/mild hint of cinnamon. There's a subdued chocolatey malt sweetness.

The taste is very sweet - oak and alcohol dominate. Hints of chocolate and tart cherry come through. Sweet with a touch of tart - malt subdued under wood and booze.

Hits full-bodied as it progresses - enough to give it the higher of the two scores I had in mind for the mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild - enough to be present and keep it from being too thick, though it is a bit slick. Heat lingers on the palate.

It's not astringent, but it is sweet and boozy. Maybe age will calm the alcohol presence. And, while I can appreciate the oak, it dominates just a bit too much here. Still, it's one to buy and share with a friend when you want an oak-aged dark brew and if you're "in the mood" for the "heat".

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 15:13:12 | More by jwc215
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WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep dark black hole appearance sucks up all colors and ounce of visible light with a frothy tan head leaves very nice thick lacing all around my pint. Aroma: Great herbal mix with an herbacous highlights upfront oak aromatic with chocolate and coffee highlights. Taste: Flavor depth is incredible the oak flavor highlights this big stout quite nicely. Vanilla stands out among the chocolate, coffee, and herbal hops not bad at all. Mouthfeel: Full body smooth carbonation no hint of the alcohol in the flavor which is good but somewaht dangerous. Drinkability: Wow, so drinkable great blend of flavors here with the oak barrel aging adding to the overall experience very tasty and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 19:51:58 | More by WVbeergeek
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Gavage

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 12:19:24 | More by Gavage
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 00:40:20 | More by barleywinefiend
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StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

was pumped for this one! poured a hershey's syrup color (and texture) with just a tiny head fading away instantly. smells like an imperial milk stout, sugary and really strong. flavor is woody, the oak aging is prominent in the beer, mellows everything out and helps account for the lack of carbonation. there is also a graham crackey breadyness to this beer, giving it a nice full body. complex and delicious this beer does not hide its strength at all, which is fine in this style. my first new holland brew but will be keen to find some others as this was a great sunday afternoon treat

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 21:27:28 | More by StonedTrippin
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New Holland Dragon's Milk (Bourbon Barrel Stout) from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,886 ratings.