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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: 1,241 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,271 | Hads: 4,675
Photo of mexikrainian
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a Stone tulip.

Appearance: black with thick, tan head and smooth lacing.

Aroma: malts, molasses, licorice, coffee, dark fruits, and chocolate.

Flavor: chocolate, sweet malts, licorice, syrupy and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy texture that lasts from start to finish

Overall impression: phenomenal stout! can have two or three in one session. (368 characters)

Photo of plusorminus
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a deep dark brown with a thick creamy head, but that was the highlight of this beer.

S: Overpowering alchol smell with slight hints of vanilla.

T: Can taste the oak from the barrels along with the hints of vanilla can be tasted. With the strong alchol smell I would think it would overpower the taste, but it did not.

M: not bad at first but sharp tang at the end.

D: Was drinkable but could not get over the sharp tang at the end.

Overall I was not very impressed with this beer. With the 10% Alc. can get you buzzed pretty quick.

Cheers! (555 characters)

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

This robust beer was tasted many time but I refer to the Oak Age 2010 vintage. I like the deep complex wood notes from those bourbon casks. I detected vanilla, caramel notes. Rich but with a bit acid oily mouth-feel the became stronger as the glass warmed. Black in color, opaque in clarity, complex coffee aroma with the black malt. Dragon milk is a heavy body beer with a creamy delicate head. Malt forward and what a kick at I was told is closer to 10% ABV. Yum (464 characters)

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

Appearance:
Dark red brown with a varied tan foam head that builds up slowly then falls fairly quickly. Leaves a dense foam ring and a nice sticky lace after each sip.

Smell:
Very complex blend of sweet toffee and caramel, hazelnuts, coffee, chocolate and oak. Incredible.

Taste:
Hugely full and sweet roasted nuts and sweet caramel flavors. No hops or bitterness; smooth, clean and leaves a nice lingering woodsy / coffee aftertaste. Fairly prominent alcohol taste adds to the sweetness.

Mouthfeel:
A little crisp (fizz) but immediately smooths out and rolls on through.

Drinkability:
Comes in a 22oz bottle (marked 8.5% ABV) and is the perfect sipping beer when its a little cold outside. So smooth and full.

Comment:
I bought this beer at the beginning of my beer journey. I must admit that I was drawn into the marketing and picked it up because of the cool label (and because I really didn't know anything about styles at the time). I actually mistook it as a stout until reading more into it. It was immediately my favorite beer and I now buy any "American Strong Ale" or dragon labeled beer out of tribute to this beer and to see if any other is even close to this. I actively seek out this beer and always have one tucked away in the back of the fridge (away from beer thieves) for special occasions or when I am tired of other styles. I'll share a bottle with someone but only if they will appreciate it. This is my #1 favorite brew. (1,448 characters)

Photo of Tifore
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger deep tan head. The head looks so nice and frothy, and then quickly dissapates to a white cap and small ring around the glass.

S - Smells very much like bourbon. Very strong smelling, overwhelming bourbon and alcoholic notes followed by some vanilla and oak and light carmel notes as well as chocolate.

T - Tastes like a malty bourbon. Lots of alcohol on the breath followed by bittersweet chocolate and smooth vanilla notes.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy with light carbonation on the tounge. Very boozy as well. I'm going to cellar a bomber of this I have and hope that the booze settles some.

D - This is a heavy drinker, one or two and thats about all I'd be able to take for a night. Great beer though, just curious to see what ageing will do this beer. I'd love it if the bourbon stays and the alcohol tones mellow. (904 characters)

Photo of MickeyBeer
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a deep blackish brown that lets just a little bit of light through. Almost entirely opaque with about one finger of creamy tan head. Great lacing as well.

S- Sweet malty smell with notes of chocolate and coffee.

T- Sweet up front with chocolate flavors and a hint of coffee. Finishes with a oaky aftertaste. A little taste of alcohol too.

M- Full bodied and creamy mouthfeel. The sweet and complex flavors mask the 10% ABV well.

O- A tasty brew with a variety of complex flavors. I enjoyed the aged oak taste that this stout provides. It is both interesting and delicious and the ABV certainly packs a punch. (660 characters)

Photo of Prostman81
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't read any of the reviews before drinking this beer, but going back now and looking, I have to say I'm quite surprised at some of the comments.

I appreciate that this beer is black but not opaque. It has a very nice aroma to it, having exactly what I'd expect for such a beer.

The taste is really what brings this down for me. After an initial taste of some slight coffee, oak, and vanilla tones, the alcohol slams the tongue and kills whatever other complexity might be there. After I had 1/2 the beer, I could've sworn I was actually drinking straight bourbon. I kept sipping gently, hoping that I'd get used to it, but the alcohol was there to the very end.

Interesting to try, but the extreme obviousness of the alcohol just ends this one for me. I enjoy beers that were crafted to employ the alchohol as a compliment to the other flavors, not just a one-sided blitzkreig on the tongue. If this WAS to be an alcohol assault from the brewer's perspective, then they did it quite well. I won't be trying this again though. (1,034 characters)

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving: 12oz bottle, poured into snifter.

A disclaimer: Right off the bat, I'd strongly argue that this beer is more of a barleywine than a stout. I can see the argument for an American strong ale as well, but I find so much in common with a barleywine that it's hard for me not to evaluate on those standards.

Dragon's Milk pours a dark, near-black pour with no head. A shimmering, cocoa-powder ring of carbonation appears as a late bloomer, creeping up the very top edges of the beer.

One sniff reveals the esters (more on that later), a vanilla bean sweetness and toasty malts.

This beer is incredibly sharp up front, the roasted malts hitting immediately. The body is intense, full of dark fruit notes - prune, plum, fig, and raisin all come to mind. The hops ride in right along the notes from the oak barrel aging, a woody, resinous palette. The finish is almost like drinking brandy - hot, alcoholic, but carrying the lingering notes of all flavors that came before.

Mouthfeel is big, full, round. A booze stew.

Dragon’s Milk makes for a fine sipping brew, enjoyed like a fine scotch. I also have no doubt that this beer will age nicely. That said, I find it occasionally overpowering. The esters give you a nice menopausal hot flash on the way down, a sharp edge that usually seems rounded out to me. I almost find the flavors to be numbing - drink this after dinner, not alongside. Again, I strongly argue that this doesn't fit the same niche that a strong ale or stout would fall under for me. The body is too fruity for another style (savory as it may be) and the alcohol content is far more noticeable than stouts of similar ABV, as well as all I've said before. (1,683 characters)

Photo of buffettfan
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber, into a large snifter.

Apperance a very dark brown, when held to the light, you can see a hint of dark, ruby red. A thin strip of off white head rimming the glass.

Smell was more like a whiskey, or bourbon, with a hint of vinilla.

Taste, was to say the least, awesome! A heavey alcohol/ bourbon flavor up front. A malty flavor sort of takes over, then gives way to an oaky, wood flavor, and finishes with more whiskey/alcohol taste left in the your month.

Mouthfeel is strong, heavy and warm.

Drinkabilty, well, if I could get this in Arizona, it would always be in my fridge. I enjoyed this beer a lot, one of the better beers I've had in the last year! I'll be seeking out more of this! (719 characters)

Photo of Lambstrong
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany color, little in the way of a head and what forms doesn't keep.

Aroma: Caramel , chocolate and lots of vanilla. You can really smell the sweetness.

Taste: Slight phenol notes followed by rich chocolate and oak. his is followed by a strong vanilla aftertaste. This is one of the only beers I've had whose characteristics changed this much.

Mouthfeel: Light velvety with not a lot of carbonation. (423 characters)

Photo of LunaChick
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is best served at cellar temp to allow the fullness of the flavors to come through. It pours almost pitch black with a fizzy head that quickly desolves to a ring that laces the glass. When cold the aroma is alcohol and wood and maybe some malt. Once warmed it takes on a completely different aroma--and flavor. At cellar temp the rich vanilla comes out and the oak mellows. The flavor is a nice splash of oaky vanilla. The oak isn't overpowering though. There is a not so subtle twang of alcohol--this is a big big beer and you feel it . Maybe the recipe has been tweaked given what I've read from prior reviews.
In the mouth there is subtle carbonation and a very full bodied flavor that is alcohol warm but still smooth. Not a high drinkability rating--this beer will smack you. (791 characters)

Photo of brokenleadedcask
3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Poured a dark reddish brown but it is too light, I shouldn't be able to see through this at all. The head didn't last that long and some intermittent lacing. Smells of oak, vanilla, little bit of chocolate and some diacetyl. Upon tasting, strong Bourbon, oak tannins, small amount of coffee, and has some spiciness to it. In the mouth, it's thin. There are no lingering flavors or coatings, which would be fine if it where a lighter beer. This was one of my segway beers, helped me appreciate better beer. I think my palette has evolved, it's more difficult to finish this time. It would be an interesting experiment to age one for a year or two and see how it mellows. (690 characters)

Photo of SDDanC
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 poured from bottle into Green Flash snifter. Pours black with forced cocoa head, which dissipated quickly. Nose catches a fair amount of bourbon, but it is blanketed by coffee/cocoa notes. But i wish those were more pronounce. on the tongue, i pick up rich chocolate, which covers the tongue comfortably. not much bourbon in the taste, which i prefer, as i like sweet stouts. as it was left to warm up and calm down, a sense of the bourbon was brought forth. mouthfeel is decent. a little too bubbly for my tastes. takes away from the sweetness of the cocoa. But! overall, this is a good beer to drink on a more regular basis, when in the craving state of mind. (674 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 madeofsteel
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first formal review of any beer, beyond jabbering on about how great or horrid it is, so I decided to pick something familiar. So please, bear with me.

A - Poured into a mug, dark reddish-brown with a thin tan head that disspates quickly, leaving a ringlet behind. Some lacing.

S - Smells like roasted malt, and faint smokiness, probably from the oak. Moderate booze smell sort of detracts from it, however.

T - Almost tastes more like a rauchbier at first, with the oak lending a smoky flavor, with strong hints of whiskey. Finishes beautifully with a more basic stout flavor that is nicely complimented by notes of vanilla. Many of this beer's flavors start show through and balance out as it warms.

M - Light carbonation, with a rather buttery, dry finish. Some heat from the alcohol kind of takes away from it.

O - There's a reason I go back to this beer. Being fond of stouts and most rauchbiers, it's nice to have something with that smoky flavor that has the subtleties that this beer does. I would recommend it to anybody that enjoys stouts or smoked flavors. (1,083 characters)

Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having tried this for the third time, I'd have to say it is a decent barrel aged stout. However, for the price (outside of MI) it probably does not warrant a higher rating. I don't even consider comparing this to BCBS which to me, is a bourbon barrel aged stout unto itself. So, I would compare this more closely to Fegley's Insidious bourbon barrel aged stout: a more comparable, lower level version of the style. After trying both, I'd recommend getting your hands on the Fegley's first and then the Dragon's Milk. I understand there are many fans of this beer. But I would not buy a 4 pack at the price I paid ($16) again. (625 characters)

Photo of Flashy
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Purchased in Vermont for $14.99 a four pack (when did we start getting New Holland?). Nice stout, nice level of bourbon flavor- but lacks the thicker body that I like in this kind of beer. (189 characters)

Photo of BenZ
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is clean and not so sweet, but the oak/bourbon is just right. As it warms the sweetness comes forward a little and some slight fruit even rears it's head. No chocolate or coffee to speak of. Glad I found this beer. (258 characters)

Photo of FernMaster
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip.
Meeeh! Right out of the bottle I was going, "meh." The pour was uninspired, there was absolutely no head. PBR has head, how does this fail to have head? The look is fine else wise, it looks like any dark beer. The smell is meh, very faint not distinct, just average. Actually it almost has no smell. Try and swirl this, I dare you, you'll won't get any noticeable scent. The taste, I swear I've had this beer before. Oh wait, no I haven't it's just that Dragon's Milk has such an average taste that you'll swear you've had this before. The beer proclaims that it was aged in Oak Barrels, yet I can't taste it. It's about as disappointing as having a bachelor party in your friends with basement with no stripper. (Story behind that comparison.) The proclamation that it was aged in Oak barrels was the reason I bought this beer and that it was called Dragon's Milk, that's cool. You know how hard it is to milk Dragons? It's impossible because they don't exist, silly. My roommate and I spent more time trying to identify what it tasted like, which is detrimental to the enjoyment factor of the beer. But when your beer is completely meh, you have to find enjoyment somewhere. (1,211 characters)

Photo of bucko
2.92/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown/black with a thin, off-white/light tan head that diminished to a small ring with a "spider web" in the middle. The smell is strong with notes of bourbon, oak (white?) and vanilla. The flavor is more bourbon, sweet malt and wood. The wood is a little strong and puts me off a bit. Further sips reveal some hot alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I think the hot alcohol taste keeps this from being terribly drinkable. Truth be told, I'm glad I'm sharing the bomber. Perhaps it will mellow in time? (529 characters)

Photo of steelcutoats
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here is another prime example of the High Gravity Series from New Holland Brewery. I first sampled this beer at Fathead's down in the Burgh', and wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to see it appear in my native Greensburg. A few months later it showed up along with "The Black Tulip" in the beer cooler down at The Headkeeper.

I poured about half of the 22 oz. "bomber" into my trusty tasting snifter. It poured with little head, which quickly vanished. The color was a clear, dark brown....not opaque like a stout. The smell was full of dark roasted malts and chocolates. The taste was a mixture of the same. This beer boasts a 9% ABV, but does an awesome job of hiding it. Another classic example of what the addition of wood to beer can do. The oak aging imparts a nice dryness in the finished products with hints of vanilla and other subtle flavors. Definitely worth a try. (882 characters)

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

2015 bottle. Good for the price, but pretty simple. Bourbon and chocolate on the nose, same in the flavor, with lots of sweet chocolate and bourbon heat on the finish. Like I said, good for the price ($6.99) but will not buy again. (231 characters)

Photo of Biffster
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is deep and malty with intense toffee notes. Some dark fruit aromas compete with diacetyl. There are big vanilla and cocoa notes as well as a hint of tannins.

The beer is dark brown, almost opaque with slight ruby highlights and a suprisingly persistent (given the alcohol) tawny head.

The first sip gives a big toffee and caramel splash with cocoa right behind. The swallow is not cloying at all despite the sweetness. I do not get tannins per se despite the label's claim, but the swallow is drier than I would have expected, perhaps from the oak. The finish is very chocolatey, warming and somewhat spicy.

The mouthfeel is delightful. It has a medium full body but it is very creamy with medium low carbonation and no astringency.

If you ever wondered what a Tootsie Roll would taste like in beer form, this is it. If you never wondered what a Tootsie Roll would taste like in beer form, you should. This may be the consummate dessert beer. It would be fascinating to know how this shapes up after three or four years in the cellar. (1,058 characters)

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

Wow. This stuff is good.

If someone asked me what it was like, I could say it was similar to a sweet stout with an extra kick. At such a high gravity, I would compare this with other stouts and not other ales. I followed this will an Arrogant Bastard, which is also an 'American Strong Ale'. This just shows you how limited and restricted we are by trying define a beer by style.

It produced a beautiful brown head and tasted great from the start. It poured a dark brown to black and the smell was of toasted malt, very sweet. The taste was smooth with no sort of bit that can come from dark malts.

I will be purchasing bottles to store. (646 characters)

Photo of littlekidlover
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've given thought to trying this out for some time and finally picked up a bottle on the way home. It may be 90 degrees outside, but my basement is in the 60's. I am a little confused whether this is a stout or a strong ale. The bottle claims it's a stout and also claims an ABV of 10%. Well, at any rate... this poured out a little thinner than I expected. I was thinking something along the lines of motor oil, and this was far from that. The smell was very appealing, there was some nice coffee, vanilla, and dark fruit. The flavor was much the same with a bit of smoke and buttery mellowness from the oak. The mouthfeel left a little to be desired. I want a beer of this flavor profile to slither down my throat, this was a little lighter than I would prefer. All in all, a pretty solid effort. (799 characters)

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