Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
89
very good

4,180 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,180
Reviews: 1,207
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 220
Gots: 821 | FT: 35
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.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,180 | Reviews: 1,207 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an oily black coloring with a thin, filmy, ring of chocolate brown head. Aromas of rich bourbon notes, vanilla highlights, boozy highlights, creamy notes, and a subtle bitterness in the backbone. Interesting nose, but very heavy and boozy. Flavors are heavily roasted, with a solid roast coffee bitter backbone, heavy bourbon notes, with vanilla highlights and oak notes, and a building warmth as you drink. The coffee bitter notes build, as well, into the aftertaste, mixing with booze and vanilla/oak. Very dynamic aftertaste on a slick, oily body. Roasted and boozy linger into the slick finish. Good flavors, but a bit out of balance.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice.

Appearance - Black, but not quite inky. Nice khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing. Nice.

Smell - Very nice.Oaky and bourbony. Nice deep roast. I detect some sweetness but not sure if it's lingering sugar or lactose.

Taste - Not quite as nice as the smell. Oaky notes and roasted malt. Slightly bitter malts. Vanilla integrates nicely. Very sweet in the back end. Not syrupy, but sugary. Detracts slightly.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet, too sweet. A sipper, but still very pleasant to drink. Medium carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall - It would be really good if it wasn't so sweet. Just too much extra sugar. Nice barrel and roast, though.

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this bottle with me. Had it on tap a couple years ago and dug it then.

Pours a clear dark ruby red/brown, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, some lace spots form on the glass, looks good. Smell is neat, very fruity, caramel, chocolate, lactose, oak, light roast, strawberries, all over the place in a good way, nice complexity, very malty stuff. Taste is nice, caramel up front, thick and malty, chocolate roast, fruit, very milky, kind of a mix between a stout and strong ale or doppelbock, wood comes through in the finish with a touch of alcohol, goes down a bit weak on flavour but is quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, assertive, alcohol warmth, nice stuff. Thanks Russ!

Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Light brown head made up of fine bubbles - good retention and nice lacing. Lots of vanilla in the aroma. Also some oak and chocolate maltiness. Complex flavour with plenty of orange character and some chocolate maltiness. Some wood, mild roast and moderate bitterness. Slightly aggressive carbonation with a smooth, full body. Surprisingly well hidden alcohol makes this easy drinking, but it's still a sipping beer!

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Pours a deep dark brown with faint garnet at the edges and a smallish bubbly beige head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of roast, caramel, vanilla, light wood and bourbon with a faint cardboard. Little to no hop aroma, this one seems a bit sweet based on the nose. The flavor is roasty caramel with hints of toffee, vanilla and light oak. Light fruity notes midway through with a sweet bourbon and brown sugar linger at the end of every sip. Medium body, light level of carbonation. Nice easily assessable barrel aged stout. The oxidation in the nose is a little off putting, but the beer is quite tasty.

Photo of Bighuge
2.65/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty dark beer. Almost black. Thin and airy light brown head. Lace is decent. Aroma is of oak, tannins, whiskey and slight caramel. Flavor is dried fruits, wet cardboard, tartness and stale bread. This one is just not hitting the spot as I thought it would. Nothing seems just terribly "off." Maybe a little oxidized. Just really not that good. Bland. I don't even pick up any barrel properties.

Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Cola coloured with an off-white/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Alcohol (port?), jaggery & brown sugar (hint's of molases).

T: Chocolate, raisin, malty bread, nut, great bittersweet balance, alcohol is pleasant (not overly assertive).

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very good. This was one of my favourites at the fest.

Photo of tobelerone
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wasn’t expecting too much from this beer and it was a pleasant surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Pours like a good imperial stout should, jet black with a frothy brown head. Head dissipated fairly quickly, some patchy lacing remained on the glass.

Nose is chocolaty will prominent oak, maybe some subtle dark fruit, vanilla, coffee. Decently roasty. In the tasting the oak is there but not as prominent as in the nose, which I felt was a good thing; a little oak barrel is nice but I don’t always want to drink something that tastes like a wood shop. Again there was plentiful chocolate, a hint of vanilla and coffee, some raisins and figs, and a very mild touch of tartness that was a little odd. Thankfully it wasn’t particularly noticeable.

Body is medium-full, with moderate carbonation and a somewhat sticky overall mouthfeel. This is a pretty good beer, certainly not upper echelon, but not bad at all either. Lacks the fullness, heft, and complexity of the best of the style but also the pricetag of most. Worth a shot at least.

edit: more than two years and over a thousand beers later I find much of what I mentioned above still true, but I'd amend things by saying the body is firmly medium and isn't that sticky at all. Carbonation is medium but on the high side for style. Ultimately the feel is a little unsatisfying.

I'll give this beer credit for nicely counterbalancing sweet and roasty elements, but at this point I'm looking for more barrel out of my BA beers and more complexity out of this style in general.

Photo of chippo33
2.25/5  rDev -43.6%

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -6%

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

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark brown/black in colour with a half finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Intense aroma of vanilla and oak up front with dark chocolate and some roasted malt flavours. A very intense nose.

T - Intense vanilla and oak flavours up front with a s light alcohol burn that eventually settled down. Some faint chocoalte notes and a nice sweet vanilla flavour in the finish. The taste of the ale itself is quite subdued and the flaovurs of the barrel aging form the majority of the palate of this beer.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very nice beer. 10% ABV is somewhat noticeable at first but less and less as I continued to drink this. Would definitely pick this one up again if I come across it.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of vanilla and butterscotch. Also present are sweet caramel malt undertones with slight amounts of roasted malt flavors.

Tastes good. A combination of sweet caramel malt and roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sweet butterscotch flavors. Midway through the sip hints of light chocolate flavors make an appearance before being crowded out by smooth vanilla. Finally, hints of earthy oak come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was a very nice beer however the sweetness from the barrels was just a bit over the top and hurt the drinkabililty for me. Still, a good beer that should be on par with Crème Brulee as far as love-hate relationships.

Photo of drummermattie02
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Gusler
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer piles forth from the brown silk screened bottle a deep brown with a large creamy tan head that slowly fades to nothingness leaving a fine thick sheet of lace to cover the glass. Nose is a hodge-podge of aromas, vanilla, Oak, caramel, toasted malt, hops, very complex to say the least, start is slightly sweet with a tinge of tartness, grain profile decent, and the top light to middling in feel. Finish has a moderate acidity, the hops delightful with the Oak flavor lasting to the very dry end, also a bit of tummy warming from the 9 percent ABV, certainly a beer to age.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a couple of these sitting in the "cellar fridge" since the summer, or earlier

appearance: quite dark and creamy, a deep plum color, some creamy white head with ringed lacing

smell: sugary sweet/sour, chocolate covered cherries, creamy vanilla aromas. quite sharp

taste: quite interesting...chocolate covered cherries really stick out, some nice alcohol burn, very sugary...nice oak and vanilla flavors...Im pretty impressed by this one...the flavors are quite explosive

mouthfeel: very much a red wine afteraste, medium bodied, sugar tingles on the tongue

drinkability: pretty drinkable

Photo of scruffwhor
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle with 9% abv.

Appearance- Pours a spritzy, rye bread head. Color is black, the color I always thought dragon's milk should be. No discernable lacing in this dark brew.

Smell- A tart, woody mix of bourbon, roasted malt, ripe purple grapes, and well balanced hops.

Taste- Starts out with some toasted malt flavors that leads to more currant fruitiness. The center brings the tart currant malt to a more of an oak and red wine flavor. The end sees the red wine turning into bourbon with some earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- An oily yet silky, medium bodied brew. Left the palate a little tart.

I'm not a fan of tart or acidic beers, but Dragon's Milk is very complex, and unlike young Lambics. This beer has tartness blended with so many other flavors,that the tart palate adds to the complexity of this great. Two mugs up.

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 4,180 ratings.