Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,329 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,329
Ratings:
5,021
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
26.08%
 
 
Wants:
314
Gots:
1,534
For Trade:
45
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,329 | Ratings: 5,021
Photo of Spiekerbox
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish-black with a small, quickly receding, off-white head. No lacing on the edges of the glass

S- Malty and chocolaty scent with an oak backbone.

T- Chocolate is the first thing that comes with vanilla and oak flavors also appearing. The oak was also there but not quite as strong as others have suggested, this may be because the beer was not very cold when I poured it, and I would not suggest drinking it cold either as the flavors come out well with a cellar-temperature pour. Alcohol presence is there but not powerful.

M- Low carbonation that kind of tingles the throat as you drink, but otherwise is absent. Big body that is thick and creamy, almost "chewy". The mouthfeel is as close to milk as I think I have ever experienced in a brew, maybe this is how the milk of a dragon is?

D- Enjoyable beer that demands respect as you drink it, could definitely not have more than one of these at a time, but would love to have one from time to time. As with most of New Holland's offerings this is a very unique beer that makes itself something different, but still very tasty.

Side not that the listed ABV on the bottle is 10.0% and not 9% as listed by BA, most likely a difference in the 2010 batch from previous.

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Photo of artdob
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle for 2015 Christmas direct from Michigan. Pours a deep black with a modest tan head that subsides quickly, but leaves a light tan coating on top of the beer.
The nose is rich with sweet figs, cocoa, and nutmeg. The taste is sugary - chocolate cake, herbs, a hint of Vicks cough syrup, fading to pumpernickel with sweet notes remaining on the palate.
A nice Imperial Stout - sweeter than most for this style.

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Photo of engisch
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color of the beer is very similar to guinness draft, dark but definitely not completely pitch black like some beers. You can still see light come through at the edges. =P

The head is not anything like guinness draft as it dissipate quickly while drinking. It leaves a fine lace on the top of the beer with not too much lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is boozy and oaky with a sweet and creamy hint. The taste is again boozy with a big oaky and vanilla taste. It is slightly astringent, but very tastey. The oak definitely drowns out the vanilla and sweetness.

With other great oak barrel aged ales out there, I would likely pick those over this, but this is a beer that is worth trying once.

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Photo of Wegomlegging
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black. Black as the night itself. Weak head, but not a big deal for most beers like this. Fantastic flavor, mostly due to balance. Heavy on the malt but just the right amount of bitter, with a all background of sweetness. Well done for not having the alcohol burst through. In fact, I couldn't detect it at all. Obviously alot of work went into crafting this brew. Felt slightly flat in the mouth, but doesn't detract. A very drinkable beer for the scariness factor. Overall I'd recommend this to about anyone, great experience without the standard issue carbon copy hoppiness of most others of this ilk.

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Photo of basaywhat
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Nice dark pour with beige head. Roasted malt aroma with nice oak balance. Not real heavy on the tongue. Smooth with nice oak undertones.

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Photo of Bills453
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark dark brown to black. Nice mocha 2 finger head. Nice and frothy.

Smell - smells like a sweet dessert almost. I think this one is most certainly a dessert stout.

Taste - good. I like it. Can really taste the barrel.

Mouthfeel - nice and smooth

Overall - very nice stout offering, plus DRAGON,

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Photo of CMB2012
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, no bottle date that I can find, but it is from the 2011 vintage, and this bottle says 10%abv, not 9%. Served at cellar temperature in a 16oz stemless snifter.

A- Pours a deepest brown, no light gets through this at all, unless tilted to thin it out. In the latter case there is a small amount of dark brown cola color. At first I get a small amount of white, tan foam, this does not stick around and quickly thins to nothing but some frothy bubbles. There is some lacing though.

S- Very strong oak and vanilla upfront in the nose- Somewhat smokey and general wood/earthy characteristics. I also get some burnt caramel and creamy chocolate- not dark or bitter chocolate. There is a noticeable corn smell, conjuring memories of caramel corn (no telling if this has anything to do with the barrels, if they had whiskey?). There is definitely some booze in the smell, mostly at the tail end, also hiding in the vanilla. Slight burn, but not too strong. Digging deeper I get some dark fruits- prune mostly, perhaps cherry, blackberry, and currents as well. Pretty complex aroma, but the oak is somewhat cloying (this does not make the beer any less desirable at this point).

T- Wow, complexity corner. Deep dark fruits, overtones of oak and vanilla, nice warming alcohol to finish (based on this I am willing to bet bourbon barrels... yep). Peppery chocolate, with raisins, prunes, and blackberries, washed back with some spicy bourbon whiskey. The whiskey character is much stronger than I expected, and I am weary of deciding whether I like it or not. I do like a good bourbon, but in my beer?

M- Not as thick and viscous as you might think. The beer is definitely carries full bodied and chewy characteristics, but there isn't much carbonation and at times seems almost watery. For the amount of flavor and complexity here, I could wish for some more body.

O- This is an intriguing beer indeed. A lot to contemplate and necessitating a lot of time to do so. I only have a 12oz bottle, but I will sit on it for some time, especially at 10%. I say try it if you haven't had it and definitely try if you are interested in oak aged beers. I came back to this beer after a couple years because I did not enjoy my first experience, but my palate has matured so I gave it another go. All in all, I think it's too much. There is a lot here to satiate, but there is also a lot left to desire. I have little to no experience with aging beers, but I would guess this could use some.

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Photo of Rope
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pilsner glass.

Appearance-
Dark, but not black. Thin white head, one finger.

Smell-
Oversweet vanilla, not hop presence.

Taste-
Good, a standard in barrel aged stouts. More sweetness than anything else.

Mouthfeel-
Thick, black oil like a good stout should have.

Overall-
Reliving and old beer, and it works as a drinkin' beer but nothing special.

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Photo of soulfly967
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color, with a thin light tan head that quickly diminished to a ring around the glass.

The smell was magnificent. Oak, vanilla, caramel, and some nutty character. Some bourbon was evident as well.

Taste was just as good. Vanilla, oak, caramel, light roasted malt, and dark fruits. Some alcohol was present at the finish, with lingering vanilla on the tongue.

Mouthfeel was very creamy and nicely carbonated.

Overall, drinkability was good on this one. I will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of rawthar
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pardon me if I mistake this for a stout, in its black slithering body and capaccino head, there's nothing to really distinguish until I hold it to the light and see red rays meander through, betraying its differences from the opaque I'm accustomed to. Not sure how to rate to this style, so I'm comparing to a stout.

S- Caramel, lots of burnt oak (yeah that's practically cheating), sweet hot hints, some toasted marshmallow, a bit of grain, and some dry undertones under all the heavy duty malts. I'm impressed...and yet again, this does nothing to dissuade me from calling this a stout (even an Impy).

T- Not quite as impressed, but still pretty damn good. The sweet burnt sugars and the smoky wood just don't seem to meld together so well as they do in the nose, although separately, they are interesting, to say the least. Maybe some very dark chocolate, or even some very roasted mocha showing up here. I think this guy could have stood some aging, and I plan to get another for that purpose. I would guess that with a few years, this could clean up extremely well.

M- Hot alcohol burn on the way down, otherwise a smooth milky treat that means business.

D- This is where it suffers. A little too much of everything without the nice Imperial balance. Again, I think aging would repair this.

I got no beef with Dragon's Milk that aging couldn't cure.

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Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Upon first inspection this strong ale looks more like a stout. Jet black with two solid fingers of light tan head. Only when held inches from a light source does it look anything other than opaque. Near the light it reveals itself to be a deviously dark brown with reddish highlights.

Smell: A strong punch to the nose of pure bourbon. Oak notes go hand in hand. These mostly overwhelm but there are sweet aromas of vanilla and caramel cowering in fear somewhere in the backdrop.

Taste: New Holland doesn't mention whether the oak barrels they used for Dragon's Milk were previously owned but judging by the taste I'd reckon they had a past life harboring some form of whiskey. With every sip I expect an impending burn down my throat and warmth in my stomach. But no this is just beer. After the onslaught of whiskey and oak deliciousness the vanilla from the smell can be found if only for a few moments on the finish. The caramel however seems to be lost in a sea of Kentucky's finest.

Mouthfeel: Again like the appearance this beer seems have aspirations of being an Imperial Stout. There is a rich creaminess not often seen in strong ales. The body is fairly full as well. Knocked it down a bit because the carbonation was a bit strong.

Drinkability: To me this stuff tastes like a good whiskey without the kick in the ass. I've sampled it a few times already and I can certainly see myself dropping another $8 on a bottle. At 10% I wouldn't recommend quaffing them though.

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Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a molassy dark brown - NOT opaque however - light penetrates through with an amber glow. The aroma of vanilla is there - but no clue of the wood. The initial mouthfeel was lighter than expected as this is billed as from the High Gravity Series and I had expected a maltier (thicker) body. The first taste revealed the high gravity was more at> alcohal content than malt and thus more watery. This can be appreciated in many circles - I recall a friend's college dorm homebrew recipe called "Beggers Blend" impressively gifted in a high gravity Alc-by-Vol content that was sought after for any late hours party (it was basically a dextrose bomb). That comment aside, this beer definitely has more craft at work than those creations. The oak shows up in the flavor in front trumpet while the vanilla plays Montovani (cascading background strings). I'd like to see more work on this creation more at> heavier body while maintaining the Alc-by-Vol. It is a nice beer with a great name and crafte base that deserves a little further in refinements.

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Photo of MikieV
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thick, dark head. Strong lacing as I drank from my favorite mug.

Very pleasant aroma. Slightly sweet.

The alcohol flavor jumps right out there. Vanilla, oak and some slight sweetness. Some slight mild roasted flavors as well.

Very smooth mouth feel. Goes down well. Possibly too well for a 22oz bottle of 10% beer. This is one to share! A 12 oz bottle would suit me better.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance
Black with a small mocha head, looks dangerously enticing, good lacing
Smell
Smells strong of roasted malt, coffee, sugary and has slight bourbon barrel notes
Taste
Oh wow! Medium/heavy mouthfeel, rich and abundant in roasted malt and coffee. There is also mild vanilla and a slight hint of that 10% ABV in the finish
Overall
This is a very good stout and I like it an great deal. And it’s a really good price in my area at least which sweetens the deal. I don’t think this beer gets enough credit, to be honest, if it had the name “Stone” on it people would probably think much higher of it. Anyways, I really like it and always recommend it- and so should you!

-BeerandWHiskeyHQ.com

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Photo of imaguitargod
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour from the tap to a medium head that lingers for a bit then mellows to a white cream around the rim of the glass. Dark, blood red in color. One can easily confuse this for a sweet stout or porter if not careful. It has a sweetness that can only be described as "aged". High in alcohol which when combined with the sweetness makes it kinda like as fine liquor. Only about 2% bitter and extremely smooth. I want the dragon that makes this milk!

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of ryantho00
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer that has a few different subtle flavors and tastes.

It pours to a deep robust chocolate brown-black hue that has a nice brown lacing that sticks to the side of the snifter I chose to drink this out of.

I detect honey, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, biscuit, and bourben in the first sniff.

I get a deep oaky musty and bourbeney coffee, chocolate caramel taste that leads way to an acidic slightly alochol aftertaste that is blalnced with a matly vanilla finish. I get a lot of vanilla in the 2011 -vs- the 2010 edition. I prefer the 2010. There is slightly too much of an alcohol and vanilla acidic taste that isn't as nice as the more balanced 2010 version. Maybe the barrel was different. Overall this is one of my favortie beers ever. Smooth creamy greatness that goes down easy and smooth, very deliciously balanced stout that is nicely aged and very well done.

Cheers!

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: dark chocolate in a tall glass
S: chocolate with hints of cocoa
T- chocolate and cherries with cocoa and coffee hints, more robust flavor than your typical stout or porter
F- malty, bitter aftertaste
O- a local restaurant just got it on tap and I'll be having it again, went well with almond chicken salad. Not as good as Founders Breakfast Stout but still very drinkable. On a side note, I got home after drinking it and took a 2-hour nap, it damn near knocked me out. Double stouts tend to sap all of my energy.

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Photo of isubsmith
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this in bottles many times so I decided to try a half barrel of it at home.

Appearance: Very dark brown, perhaps mahogany if you look through it at a light. Nice creamy head, lots of lacing, probably more than I remember from bottled versions.

Nose: The first few glasses out of the keg are unbelievably good. Chocolate, woody, toffee, some vanilla and bourbon. Sweet, caramelized sugar. Some of the alcohol is there when it warms up a bit.

Taste: Mirrors the nose, but even more complex. Smooth, bourbon flavors up front. Then some vanilla and maltyness. Finish is chocolate goodness.

Mouthfeel: Lower carbonation, but I was also using 85% N2/15% CO2. The partial pressure CO2 was probably a bit off, but frankly I enjoyed it anyway. About the same bite as the bottle has, so it couldn't have been too far off. Medium body, very creamy.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Just remember to stand up once in a while and take stock of your facilities before you get in trouble.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have walked past this bottle many times at my local "Wine Connection" recently and thought it had a realy cool looking label,but alas would always find something else to take home....that all changed untill yesterday when i finaly decided to go for the win.


Poures: A warm chestnutt brown/black from the DBL deuce and formed a pleasing looking deep tan head , that seemed to linger till the end in my pint glass.

Smell: Was rather inviting after getting used to the oak...full of sweet rasins, milk/honey,amaretto,and pecans this has got it all.

Taste: Wow.... toffee, espresso, ritch chocolate. slightly sweet but the one thing that realy stands out was the vanilla taste towards the end. It was utterly fantastic and made me drink one more than I proably should have.

Mouthfeel: Nice and wet going down , it was just so velvety smooth.

Drinkability: This rates verry high on my all time favorite list. Definitely don't pass this up while exploring on your next Beer Adventure.

Overall: The flavor is in constant battle over the aroma to "overtake" command of your senses. This is a "beer" brewed for the sole intent to make you enjoy the moment and forget about your worries and the world around you!

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Photo of ABVerageJoe
1.87/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: It looked dark. Really dark. Nearly black body with just a thing white head. Left behind thin white lacing as well.

S: Smelled mostly like whiskey. Maybe a faint cocoa powder, but mostly just whiskey

T: It tastes like it smells, whiskey. The alcohol is overpowering. Although the brew is only 10%, it tasted like it could have been 20. I could tell it was a familiar taste, but couldn't put my finger on it. Passed it to my little sister who nailed it right no the head. "Irish Car Bomb". It tastes just like an ICB and if you like those you'll love this. I tried to pick up the vanilla notes which the bottle hinted at, but I caught none of them.

M: Heavy and smooth. Swirl it around in your mouth and it will just feel like alcohol fumes.

O: I'm not a fan. Tastes like whiskey more than anything else, definitely not what I'm looking for in a beer. My older brother loves whiskey, so I got him a bottle. He didn't love it, but drank it. I would not get this again.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of mexikrainian
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of plusorminus
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
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!

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Photo of CRichardsMN
5/5  rDev +26.6%
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.

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Photo of Tifore
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,329 ratings.