Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,257 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,257
Hads: 4,633
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,199 | 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
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Reviews: 1,257 | Hads: 4,633
Photo of kenpo23
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown with a small head that is gone quickly

S: boozy for me but it has a good vanilla smell that mixes with the oak and makes it ok by me.

T: i was expecting more oak and got more sweet. i think i actually like this for its lack of oak barrel taste. sometimes i drink an oak aged brew and think 'hell i should just get a glass of whiskey' but i found this to be just the right amount of oak aged and beer taste. don't get me wrong, there is absolutely a strong oak aged presence here just not as much as other brews i've had. the taste was (as it should be) the saving grace for me on this one. the warmer the better!

M: on the thin side of things but still manages to be creamy.

D: let it warm up and have it on a snowy night. its a solid clean tasting brew that i would have again if it were there but would not go out of my way to hunt down...although, maybe i'm wrong, i do love the label. (912 characters)

Photo of marchoftheclouds
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Can't see through it ... that's promising! Not much head,but at 10% ABV, that's to be be expected.

Smell - I mostly smell a raisiny, sweet smell ... also very promising.

Taste - there is a slight bite of something ... possibly a slight uncharacteristic flavor that doesn't seem like it belongs. Maybe a hop / malt disagreement?

Mouthfeel - ever so slightly a bit too carbonated for a perfect beer, in my opinion, but a good mouthfeel in general.

Overall - not bad, but my expectations were higher by previous info I was given. Wouldn't turn it down, but wouldn't make it a go to beer either. (608 characters)

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

Poured a 22oz. bomber into a tankard.

A: Very dark ruby and opaque; pours with a thick off-white head that quickly thins out, leaves a nice lacing behind.

S: Bourbon, not much else. This is going to be interesting.

T and M: This brew is surprisingly complex. It is moderately carbonated, pleasantly smooth, and well balanced. Despite its foreboding appearance and aroma, the body is on the thin side and finishes a little milky. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the throat, but is mellowed quite a bit by roasted and caramel malts, and obviously bourbon flavors.

D: Definitely not a session ale, but it's fairly easy to finish a bomber.

Recommended. (670 characters)

Photo of stevenseg
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not really sure how the Bros got this thing in a 12oz bottle serving, as I have never seen it in any other form than the double deuce seen in the picture. It makes me wonder if they really got to experience what Dragon's Milk is all about. I first tasted this brew at the Michigan Brewers' Guild Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids. I pick up a bottle whenever I come across it as it happens to currently hold the crown for my favorite beer. That said, I am gonna review this thing by the books. I hope I can positively portray what I see in this unique beer to readers and hopefully raise the curve.

An aggressive pour into my mason jar mug produced a 1-inch head consisting of large bubbles which settled into a nice dense 1-finger head. Dragon's Milk is dark and loose rather than the syrupy consistency of most stouts. VERY dark brown, not black. Nice lacing is sticking as the head subsides.

Even being a little stuffed up, I can smell the alcohol coming through like alcohol should in an ale with an 8.5% ABV. Vanilla notes and the tangy characteristic of the oak. By the way, any one saying too much oak flavor doesn't know what oak is supposed to taste like. Dragon's Milk was not brewed in whisky barrels. It's supposed to taste like oak, not whisky. It definitely comes through and is very unique to this stout. Dark roasted malts really meld with the oak for the perfect balance. Let's drink.

I love the alcohol/dark malt/smoky barrel flavor/vanilla hints all mixed together. That is the best way I can describe this. It is not so rich that you can't drink more than one like many stouts are. The oak and paint thinner-like alcohol dominate the back end and the sweet malts hit up front. Obviously Dragon's Milk is not a hop head kind of beer...it's a warm-feeling-inside kind of beer. The oak is in your face...but that's the point, Beer Bros!

I really like the non-syrupy feel of Dragon's Milk. It laces like a weak IPA, but is definitely thinner in consistency and is really pleasantly carbonated.

I drink this think like a cocktail. It has a huge alcohol feel, but not so much of the alcohol content compared to others. Too many and these can take you under, but a bomber on a lazy night is absolutely heaven. Give this thing a chance and enjoy the tastes for what they are supposed to be. (2,316 characters)

Photo of Hachiman
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, almost black red. Short-lived grease slick head. Negligible lacing.

On the nose has an alcoholic top note, molasses, caramel and roasted malt aromas.

The flavor is uncommonly well balanced for an imperial stout. Vanilla notes tie together caramel and acidic roasted malt. Hops not much evident: nutty/herbal tastes, not very bitter.

Carbonation was low, mouth feel medium, left a sticky residue on the lips. Warming alcohol in the back of the throat. (470 characters)

Photo of EricMichael
2.51/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

appearance - Black garnet with little head. Normal amount of carbonation for a stout and an appearance to be expected of a stout.

smell - Potent. At first whiff, vanilla-oak then immediately overcome by only what I can describe as bourbon alcohol.

taste & mouthfeel - This stout is smooth going with a flash of alcohol at the end. It's hard to overcome the potent oak/bourbon alcohol. If you focus enough you can catch hints of the usual stout flavors of chocolate and coffee. They are quickly replaced by strong American oak.

overall - If I was a bourbon fan, this might be a stout for me. However, the stout aspects that I love were overwhelmed. I wish I had some dark chocolate to clean my palate.

poured into a stein (725 characters)

Photo of nhudson
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was at HopCat in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago and came across this lovely beer. Bartender served it to me in a tulip glass from a cask.

a- Very dark brown to black in color with ruby highlights if you hold it up to the light. Tan head that goes away really fast with very little lacing in the glass.
s- The aroma of this beer is what really attracted me. Coffee, Chocolate, Oak and Alcohol. As the beer warmed up the oak and alcohol really sines through though.
t- What I tasted from the beer was a malty oakiness with alcohol. The beer was very hot and the alcohol is very much present in this one.
m- Light carbonation due to the fact that the cask had been tapped for a few days. The beer has a medium mouthfeel that kind of lingers around after its down the hatch.
d- I doubt I could really have more than one every few hours. This is a very good beer I just think the alcohol in it was a bit much and came through too much to drink more than one in one sitting. (967 characters)

Photo of Pehlman
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my good buddy Mauerhan for hooking me up with this beer!

A: A suprizingly dark ale. Very little head or lacing. But the head I can see is a golden tan.

S: Very present malt aromas as well as the smell of the barrell. Slight hint of the alcohol in there as well. But well hidden.

T: Awesome! Dark fruit with a bit of a woody backing to it.

M: Also very nice. Im not a fan of heavy carbonation so this beer is perfect to me.

D: I could have this beer often but I couldnt have more than 1 glass at a time. (517 characters)

Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark color with lacing.

S: Oak, bourbon, hints of vanilla.

T: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted flavors.

M: A little carbonated, slightly burns.

Overall: Being a fan of barrel aged beers, I definitely enjoyed this one and recommend it to people who are able to sip on stronger, heavier beers.

Just be careful, because this got me hooked on whiskey. (379 characters)

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2914 bottle

Pours out not REALLY dark but once in the glass it is dark as night with a small brown head with little re.ention and no lacing.

Smell is of chocolate, burnt malts, a tiny bit of booze that I probably would not have picked out without knowing it was there but it is present, there is a little bit of sweetness in the nose but I would say the nose is chocolate forward.

Taste is more chocolate, burnt malts, more nice booze than I got in the nose which is nice to me, there is still a little sweetness but nowhere near cloying or REALLY sweet. The sweetness is really far in the background. I guess if I had to complain about anything it would be after drinking more it is overly boozy which has less balance than I would like. I love boozy beers but this is a little more booze so the other flavors are in the background. I love bourbon and drink it clean but for this beer it's just a little too much without balance.

Mouth feel is medium to somewhat thick which is nice for the style. It's not BCBS with age on it but it is nice for the style.

Overall I like the beer but it would not be something I would likely buy again if there were other BA Stouts around at similar prices due to lack of complexity.

Edit: I think I'm going to cellar the rest of these bottles and see what a little time does. I can see this developing well or at least getting less hot so the other flavors are more part of the beer. (1,425 characters)

Photo of elginirishpunk
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very odd aroma of alcohol and rich chocolate/molassas. Very low amount of carbonation, very smooth and clean taste. Taste begins as a rich chocolate coffe flavor and then followed up and palet cleansed with the rich creamy/milkiness. Over all for the price and the hype be hind this beer I was not really impressed. You can get a much more inexpensive and more consistant beer from several other companies. (406 characters)

Photo of sdmvd6
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duvel tulip

A - Jet-black with a finger of tan head (after a hard pour) which dissipates rapidly. Light lacing. What little light makes it through the glass yields a deep ruby hue.

S - Big aromas of rum-soaked wood and dark fruit hit you immediately followed by a touch of roastiness after some searching. Definitely not as much chocolaty and/or coffee and roasty aroma as would be expected from the style. Alcohol is very apparent as well.

T - To be fair, this was a 2011 vintage bottle, but it needs some age. As is, though, the flavor is relatively unimpressive. Harsh, hot alcohol burns from beginning to end, with plums and prunes in the middle. This fades to a bit of roasted malt and finishes with lingering sweet vanilla notes from the oak barrels. I have had other 10% ABV imperial stouts that are much more drinkable than this one. Overall, the flavor profile is just unbalanced.

M - There is plenty of carbonation with this guy as well as a medium mouthfeel. It is a little too carbonated for the style.

O - The appearance and smell of this stout are pretty nice, but the flavor profile is unbalanced. I really think some age would calm this one down by cutting the abrasiveness of the alcohol, toning down the dark fruits, and bringing forward more traditional roasted flavors of an imperial stout. This was sent to store shelves too soon. (1,370 characters)

Photo of Lordhelmit
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ehhh. I am disappointed. 1 bottle costed $6, had an epic name/label....and it looked fantastic when I poured it. Beautiful persistent off white head and just about pitch black color. The smell was very mild. What I did smell was mostly bourbon/whiskey. A bit of roasted malt. Taste was a huge let down. Tastes like cough syrup. I don't taste coffee, or chocolate, a bit of bourbon, mostly an artificially flavored dark fruit cough syrup. That was the mouth feel too, like a cough syrup. Disappointed. Won't buy again. (517 characters)

Photo of sluggermatt15
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at a local bar. Was in the mood for a dark beer and this is what I got:

A - Pours a very dark brown/black. Nearly opaque. Thin tan lacing that quickly dissipates. Looks sharp.

S - Vanilla. The alcohol smell is strong and ever apparent.

T - You can taste the alcohol. Some vanilla and oak, similar to how it smells, but NOT exactly the same.

M - Some carbonation, not much to speak of. Pretty thick.

I LOVED this beer. One of my favorite stouts of ALL-TIME. I would certainly order this one again. Definitely a sipper and not a beer that you should just gulp down. Unfortunately, I made that mistake. (622 characters)

Photo of tgorgz
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a snifter; it appears about the colour and consistency of cola. No head, minimal lacing and some carbonation.

S: Actually, the first thing that hits you is the alcohol. This is followed by the oak, and then finishes off with vanilla. A second sniffing switched the wood and bean, however. But the alcohol was more prominent than I was expected- even with an AVB as high as this one's.

T: Actually, the alcohol wasn't as prominent as I was expecting. But I'm tasting loads of vanilla and timbers of oak. However, I thought the balance between the two was pretty good.

M: Thick and chewy- excellent beverage.

D: Definitely a sipping beer, here, folks. (672 characters)

Photo of JVEyck309
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this in my friend's local store, (Englewood NJ) hadn't seen anything by this Brewery before so I went for it.
Bomber poured into regular glass
Dark black with thin sticky head
Smell is big on the oaky side with vanilla caramel syrup
taste was to be expected, heavy warming alcohol, whiskey, oak, caramel vanilla, sweet malt
Oak flavor might be a bit much but I'm enjoying this, really warms the throat, great for a cold night like tonight.
High abv doesn't make this session worthy but I would get this again. (517 characters)

Photo of cdViking
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in BIF from Alan, thanks man. Consumed on 4/29/09.

Poured into pint glass. Pours a nice looking-opaque black, with a finger or so of off-white head that eventually dissipates. Smells nice, with oak, chocolate and malt scents. Taste is pretty good, with sweet malt and oak hitting the front end, and a little chocolate and roast coffee hitting the backend; the aftertaste is a little boozy and roasty. Nice carbonation and thickness, enjoyable. Couldn't see myself having too many of these in a night, and took a long time to finish sipping the ~16 oz. I had. (568 characters)

Photo of Jensen83
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good stout. A little too strong but as dessert perfect. Smell and taste are beautiful together! You can clearly smell that this stout is brewed in a bourbon barrel as the smell clearly provides some strong bourbon flavor which is great. This beer is definitely brewed to enjoy slowly. I agree with some people who can taste some chocolate taste (ties back into dessert). (375 characters)

Photo of jsbrendle
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite dark. Looks very much like a good porter or stout with a glance at that dark color & head. The smell likewise gives that impression. Chocolate-dark caramel-vanilla-toast. The taste echoes, although I would strongly suggest giving things a moment to warm slightly and open up. My initial impression with the beer somewhat cold was that this beer was thin & bland. The bourbon-oak is hidden for the most part, giving a background flavor at most. But for my taste, that's fine ... I don't like some of these bourbon/oak-aged things that are more akin to drinking a mixed bourbon-beer boilermaker. Overall, I was quite fond of the beer. I thought it'd make a pleasant "sipper", not too heavy & alcohol disguised well, that is, if it weren't for the high price/bottle. (775 characters)

Photo of elvisnj
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nice head with a dark dark hint of amber color. Looks black.

Nice head. Smells roasted malt with smokey burbon, slight alcohol, and oak.

Taste does not disappoint. Big malt with vanilla, oak and burbon. Some honey and dark caramel. Alcohol provides a bit of heat but its nice and not overpowering. Hops are present, just enough to balance the sweet malts.

Its a unique brew. I love where they went with this one. Highly recommended. (472 characters)

Photo of bluedognever
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle in late May on a warm sunny afternoon. Appearance is very dark - almost like a cola with a slight but creamy tan head. This is a beer with a 10% alcohol content and you taste it but that's not a negative. Very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Hints of the bourbon barrel aging are very noticeable but not overpowering. Hints of roasted caramel and some vanilla as well. A very strong flavored beer as you would expect from an Imperial Stout. Not an easy drinking beer because the favors are so powerful but very good. I'll probably enjoy it more in tHe winter but it's definitely on the list to buy again. (620 characters)

Photo of willmc
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Malty notes, and molasses on the nose. Served in a brandy sniffer, first sip brings out the oak bourbon on the palate,
Black in color, not much head. I enjoy American strong ales as much as the next guy, so I'll be adding this to my list of very drinkable beers. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Cheers! (312 characters)

Photo of tko741
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an oil-black with some dark ruby around the bottom and edges of the glass. Busy-looking tan/vanilla head that dissipates to nearly nothing with little in the way of lacing.

Smells of rich roasted malts, slight alcohol bite, and wonderful dark chocolate. I could sit and smell this for 45 minutes before actually drinking it.

Wow. Tastes like a beautiful rush of complex, sweet malts, rich vanilla mousse, decadent roasted toffee and raisin. A tad of alcohol which never gets in the way. Additional notes of dry sherry and maple syrup linger in the aftertaste. All of these flavors are balanced and are never overpowering. The mouthfeel turns from slightly loose to creamy and spongy, like biting into a piece of bread pudding.

One of these would be fine. I can't imagine going much farther than two or three of these, as it will destroy your palate for both other beers and food. Additionally, the 9% alcohol by volume will leave you reeling after a couple. (969 characters)

Photo of Sdesenberg
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well known and loved on the left side of Michigan I picked up a 22 oz brown bomber for a stout 7.99. Pours black as a pimp's heart with thick, tan head which retains well with lots of sticky lacing. Seriously, if you hold a pint glass up to a light, you still can't see through it.
The smell and taste are dominated by the oak of the aging barrels, with vanilla and alcohol in the finish. Rather a lot of alcohol, actually. It doesn't all balance, somehow, but it still works ok. Basically this stuff is the port wine of beers. You're not gonna swill a lot of it at a time without paying for it the next day, but when it's what your in the mood for, it's exactly right. If you want to pair it with food, it would be big, bold flavorful stuff like maybe a steak with blue cheese crumbles.
Overall quite good but not exceptional. Except for the times when it's exactly what you want. (884 characters)

Photo of jcompton
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours an extremely deep brown with a small amount of head and light lacing

smell: vanilla and caramel

taste: the oak adds an immediate vanilla bite. finishes with a sweet maltiness and a small amount of alcohol warmth.

mouthfeel: medium body and small carbonation

drinkability: this is a pretty decent brew. i know by the time i get finished with the bomber i will be tired of this brew. (404 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,257 ratings.