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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,419 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,419
Ratings:
5,362
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
319
Gots:
1,589
For Trade:
47
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,419 | Ratings: 5,362
Photo of matt_duthie
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a thin khaki head, reduces to an even thinner cap, some lacing. Not quite black, letting some light in around the edges and a little pocket of deep dark red you can see through when held to the light.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, bit of chocolate, roasted malts. Nice.

T: Follows the nose, big bourbon and vanilla, almost more like a BBA porter than big imperial stout. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Quite good but not incredible.

F: A little lighter body than I expected/remembered, silky smooth and coats the palate. Light-medium carbonation is just about right, could use to be a little more full-bodied.

O: I really like this beer, a solid but different take on a bourbon-barrel stout than you'll find elsewhere, pretty approachable for 11% with good barrel character, and easy to find anywhere in MI. Also sweet name and cool bottle art.

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Photo of SLOTHLIFE
4.84/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

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Photo of KGilmour
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep black with just a hint of ruby red. Good head, and swirling in the glass could re-create the head after it fell a bit. Not much lacing though.

Smell: Definitely vanilla. Chocolate even, and the bourbon is certainly there.

Taste: I was very impressed with the taste. Full of bourbon and complexity, not too dissimilar to a much pricier Eclipse. Delicious.

Feel: Smooth and bourbon. Rolls over the tongue.

A fantastic stout for the price.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had previous years of this and have not been blown away. This batch however seemed delightful.

A - Poured a black color with a decent head. It lasted for a long time and was continously regenerating as i drank. Lacing was superb and was fully remaining all the way down the glass after I finished.

S - Mot as muck oak as I would have expected, Some good malty notes as well as an alcohol presence. Despite my inability to place all the aromas it was still a fine warmup.

T - Excellent, sweeter notes for sure but not sickly sweet. Faint tastes of vanilla in there for sure. Again a wood taste was in there but I thought it was mild for oak aged. However it complimented the beer greatly.

M - Amaxingly smooth feel with a great body also.

D - For the ABV listed (9%) this is one of the easiest drinking beers. I could definately had another butcould not and drive home.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer is black with ruby highlights. opaque. brown head. fair retention. fair lacing.

smells like vanilla. sherry. oak. caramel and toffee malts. some slight alcohol. some floral hop aroma too.

taste is very sweet upfront. flavors of vanilla and oak, roasted malts, coffee chocolate, toffee, caramel. some hop and roasted malts bitterness in the finish to try and take some of the edge off the sweetness of this beer, but it is still sweet throughout and lingering after the finish. flavor of alcohol grows and remains unmistakable.

full mouthfeel. soft carbonation. very wet/sweet.

this beer should definitely be aged. very good. very big. definitely a sipper/ dessert beer.

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Photo of DavyJones
4.99/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For whatever reason, this was a beer that I didn't have extremely high expectations for, boy what a pleasant surprise.

2015 Vintage.

Color is very pleasant dark dark brown, not as opaque as many other beers in the style.

Smell is bourbon and vanilla, heavenly.

Taste is bourbon forward, then fades to vanilla. As the vanilla diminishes, tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee emerge, all while retaining some of the creamy vanilla character. Super tasty stuff.

Mouth feel is medium, not syrupy, not watery/thin; it's the way I like my stouts.

This has become one of my favorite beers in the style. After taking my first sip, I was reminded of the the early releases of KBS when it was a bit more raw/bourbon forward, which I miss.

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

Pours an inky black with some ruddy highlights and a frothy but short lived head. Smells of bitter roasted malts, sugary lactose sweetness, and some resinous oaky notes. Very malty, slightly burnt bitter flavor. Very complex; vanilla, raisiny sweetness, well hidden alcohol and a somewhat ashy aftertaste with some oaken sourness. This has a creamy full body with a semidry finish that puts me in mind of an Imperial Stout, save the raisiny sweetness.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers in Paducah, KY for recommendating this. Kinda reminds me of a mellowed Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in taste, smell and mouthful. Not much head retention but the oak woodsy smell is followed with a very pungent taste and an ever numbing mouthful. Very good beer from New Holland.

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Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a black color with a tan head. The aroma of this beer smelled of booze, oak, and caramel and roasted malts, with hints of chocolate. The taste of this beer is smooth. The aroma is very deceiving, its a balanced beer, very smooth. The mouthfeel is full, more of a thicker mouthfeel. All in all its very drinkable.

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Photo of radioscooter
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"High Gravity Series" is right.

Beautiful almost black coloring. Typical caramely stout frothy head.

I don't find this as sweet as other reviewers have. But I like them SWEET so...let's call it sweet-ish. Certainly not overly sweet by any definition.

Aroma is java-ish and cocoay. First tastes are of cocoa, vanilla bean, coffee, and maybe a little fruit, but just a touch.

Very creamy and seductive on the tongue. Syrupy, clings to your lips.

As it sits, - mostly rich dark vanilla, and burnt brown sugar, with a tinge of devil's food cake.

Tasty. Could drink a few but not an all-nighter. VERY boozy. Not overly so - but make no mistake squier.

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Photo of Northsider
2.56/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Fork Chicago.

This was beer recommended to me by the bartender. I got it in a short glass (6oz? 8oz?). I'm not thrilled about high abv beers, and this one was no different. All I tasted was the alcohol. I felt like I was drinking scotch with this one. Appearance is very dark with tan head. Smell was all alcohol to me, as was the taste.

Overall, I'd pass on this again. Not my kind of beer. Way too alcoholy for my tastes

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with thin white head

Smell: Raisin, Bourbon, Coffee, & French Vanilla

Taste: Tobacco, Milk Chocolate, Liquorish, Coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full Bodied with nice smooth tannins.

Drinkability: Drinks like a porter. Exceptional taste packed with flavor. Very enjoyable. I highly recommend.

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Photo of B33R501
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque black, very little carbonation or head. the first pour was pretty, the second dull. No lace.

beautiful bottle aroma of chocolate, nice oak and bourbon in the glass. smells great, the best part of this beer. thought i would really like this.

lots of bourbon and oak taste, some vanilla, but little overbearing and tough to finish the bomber. surprising, since i usually dont mind big boozy beers. not very complex though.

thin and slick mouthfeel, too much alcohol burn. drinkability is just ok.

overall not a bad beer by any means, one ive been wanting to try but never got to until today. But no reason to get this again.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

2014 vintage
Almost completely black. The most slight ruby around extremities of glass. Kaki head, about one finger, quickly receded.

Excellent roasted malt and bourbon aroma.

Taste is quite nice. This is very easy drinking. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not as intense as many of the more aggressive bourbon barrel aged beers. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This is not really the same experience that you will get from Parabola, KBBS, or some of the other great bourbon stouts. That said, I bought this for $5.09 for a 22oz bomber and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Nice and sticky. Not too much carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The bourbon could be more intense, but as it is the beer is very well balanced and goes down extremely well.

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Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note...This beer is quite temperature sensitive. Started too cold,It does have a Red Wine like Tannin finish and a rather thin mouthfeel. Warmer things really snap into balance,though I may have finished it off before it got full spectrum as I got only a subtle Bourbon taste and hardly any real booziness or heat.

Look...Black,real black and an aggressive pour only does a short lived tan head.
Aroma-- Deep roasty sweet stuff,rum soaked raisins or a cream sherry. Getting a medium dark chocolate. Later and warmer it somewhat shifts toward coffee rather than chocolate and there's a touch of Bourbon,less of the Sherry.

Taste--The bottle and web site say Oak Barrel...no actual mention of Bourbon,but I got some..sometimes.

I began too cold,and initially I noticed chocolate,some slight smokiness and a sherry to port to red wine finish that was a bit harsh and lingering. The malt side flashed a sweet note then coffee and chocolate and rum raisin had a rowdy battle for dominance.

I decided to let this stuff warm more and the transition was dramatic as that unwanted Red Wine tannin vanished,Coffee stepped up with a swirl of secondary flavors,including raisin,oakiness,some smoke,roast,toffee...and in the back of the mouth,some Bourbon.

Some big dark ale/Stout/Porters do a graceful evolution from rather cold to their prime point....this does not do the cold well...unless you rather favor a touch of tangy that's almost sour. I may have finished a bit before she did...I was getting more body and sweet side,a LOT more silky smooth,a more graceful set of flavors in both transitions and merging. I think another 5 min wait might have brought up the Bourbon a bit more.

Mouth...as noted...at it's "best" temp it's a lot like a good Cream Stout, not real heavy/syrupy but a velvet,comfortable thing. Carbonation is adequate,might benefit from a VERY little more.

Drinkability...This is pretty "Large" yet not overwhelming or over the top. ABV says it ain't a "session" beer but if you take your time,a couple would taste good.

Not cheap. About the price of Bell's expedition.

Since it did come up...This is safe from bottle or tap...NOT from Dragon tit. Your Beer Insurance will NOT cover the ravaging of local villages and virgins or whatever fate befalls you.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a deep black that lets just a tiny bit of light pass through when up. I was surprised by the very thin head, the tight tan bubbles fizzed away pretty quickly leaving no lacing.
Lots of oak in the aroma, also tons of dark fruit and some chocolate.
Lots of dark fruit up front supported by a malty body. I still get the oak and chocolate. Very sweet, maybe pushing it towards to sweet for a stout IMO. Moderately hot alcohol at the end.
Big body, very sticky and sweet. Higher in carbonation than I would have guessed.
Overall a nice beer. Again, a bit to sweet for a stout IMO. However, I like sweet beers so I won't complain. Thanks for letting me try this Paul U.

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Photo of julian89
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Pours a rich chocolate brown with an inch ivory head with fair retention. Opaque reddish brown in the light.

Smell: High in alcohol and molasses. Very sweet smelling. Followed by dark chocolate and freshness.

Taste: Very rich in chocolate and dark sugars. The alcohol is very pronounced. The dark malt bitterness is dominating.

Mouthfeel: This is a rich strong beer. The mouthfeel is medium thick and the carbonation is fantastic for an imperial stout.

Drinkability: Pretty good imperial stout, the taste needs a little more. Maybe a little age will lessen the alcohol burn.

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Photo of BasementBer
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not a major head of foam. Darker off white head of foam, deep dark red to brown. Doesnt build that classic stout head.

S: Scotchy oak with roasty chocolate notes. Very pleasent aroma.

T: Wow. Nose is chocolate and roasted malts, middle is vanilla notes with a slight cocoa puffs familiarity, finish is boozy but sweet. A really delicious beer.

M: sweet on the tongue and chewy thickness, flavor hangs around on the tongue and in the nasal passage. However, its the boozy aftertaste that keeps this from being perfect as it burns a great deal. If it was less strong i would say it 'warms', it doesnt.

D: Absolutely an excellent once in a blue moon beer for desert.

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Photo of mecummins
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

A- poured very dark brown black. A bit of reddish highlights when held up to a light. . Maybe a bit more than a half finger head and really no lacing to speak of. It looks like a big beer (as it should.)

S- It smells sweet. I can immediately pick out caramel and vanilla scents. There's a mocha aspect as well as a boozy nose to it.

T- I can taste the coco and vanilla notes right away. The bourbon booziness is there as well, but not overwhelmingly so. I can also pick out some sweet caramel and maybe some dried fruit on the back. It's pretty well balanced for such a big beer.

M- Creamy verging on lush. A medium finish which is appreciated with such a rick beer.

O- I really enjoy this beer on a cold winter night. It's not something you're going to want 2 or 3 of or to drink with a meal. But on it's own, it hits the spot.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle over 1 year old I believe.

Very dark brown with an excellent light brown head that recedes to a solid ring around the glass and some film. Leaves some nice lacing. Smell is fruity to the max - berries, cherries and raspberries and grapes. These are mixed in with some wood, roasted grain and a little wine like alcohol. Cocoa too. The fruit really dominates the taste here. It's complemented by a dry woody flavor which takes over in the finish and cocoa that is subtly there all along. With all of the fruit in there and the high alcohol, this really reminds you of a red wine at times. Medium bodied with enough carbonation to keep things moving along. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the strong berry and oak flavors and lack of hop balance, but other than that, this is a very intriguing beer to me. Not many beers have imparted this strong of a berry flavor to me, so I consider this one very unique. I'll definitely be picking some up from the next batch.

Edit: After having a fresher bottle from the late 2005 batch, I'm bumping the mouthfeel up from 4.0 to 5.0 and the smell from 4.0 to 4.5. Also the drinkability from 3.5 to 4.0. The caramel malt really comes out a lot more in this bottle and the smoothness is breathtaking. The fruit it much more subdued than in the aged bottle. There was also a significant vanilla undertone and a strong roasted malt flavor. Very interesting. It's almost like this is a completely different beer than the one I reviewed before.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my fav BB stouts available as a year-round. creamy, chocolate, bourbon with vanilla blended very well.
tried 2014
and 2015 vintage
subtle difference, the alcohol is more hidden. smoother chocolate, more roasted malts coming out in the aged bottle.
gotta try if you haven't. lives up to the hype.
dynamic &complex full-bodied stout. yum.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fantastic stout. Unlike other stouts I've had this one has some more complex flavoring and feel to it.
It has a chocolate taste, and a subtle vanilla undertone with bourbon flavors that bring down the bitterness of that chocolate taste and make for an enjoyable stout beer.

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Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber this weekend and boy I wish I would have bought more. Poured a dark brown hue with a caramel light shining through it, not much of a head nor any lacing, but so what. The aroma and flavor makes up for it. Lovely scent of caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla with a powerful hint of soy sauce. Medium body, creamy with a fizzy carbonation to start, ending chocolate sweet and soft with a undertone of alcohol. Overall, I really enjoy this brew and will purchase more this weekend.

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Photo of dgfair
3.22/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in my Delirium snifter.

A - Pitch black with a huge fizzy tan head. Lot of carbonation released when I popped the bottle, so I knew I was going to be in for a fizzy one. Almost looks like a very thin stout.

S - Definite smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet sugar. A little bit of sticky malt aroma with a little bit of a syrupy fruit cocktail smell. Definitely pretty complex.

T - I can definitely taste the vanilla, the oak, and the bourbon...that's all fine and good. However, this bottle has perhaps gone south. I'm getting quite a bit of a sour flanders red type taste, probably oxidization. I don't think it's intentional, because it clearly clashes with the delicate oak and just doesn't taste right. I've had this one before, and it definitely didn't taste like this.

M - Very fizzy and bubbly in the mouth. I would love for this one to be a little smoother and creamier, especially to go with the barrel flavors.

D - Better the first time I had it. Not terrible, but just not a great offering. Probably won't be revisiting this one at the price point.

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Photo of skizziks
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights. A mocha tan head rises maybe an inch before falling to a thin sheet.

Aroma is well noticeable on the pour. Cocoa, oak, vanilla. Some hints of figs and molasses down in there. A little coffee as well.

Hits the tongue rich and complex. A ton of malt with bourbon and its related oak and vanilla flavors. Brown sugar. Hints of dark fruit. Just enough bittering to keep the sugary malt from being cloying. Finishes long and lingering with oak and vanilla.

Medium full body with medium low carbonation makes for a very nice creamy rich mouthfeel which is perfectly appropriate for this beer. Beautiful. Somehow evades getting too cloying and heavy. I really don't want to set this one down. Rich, rewarding, delicious.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,419 ratings.