Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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very good

1,278 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,278
Hads: 4,729
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 277
Gots: 1,281 | FT: 39
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: 1,278 | Hads: 4,729
Photo of Valmor88
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown to black pour with a two fingered caramel head. Reduces to a creamy foam and leaves excellent lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Oak and vanilla aroma with hints of alcohol and semi-sweet chocolate. Lots of roasted malts and caramel sweetness. Can't wait for this one.

T: The flavor is full of oak and vanilla. Roasted malts and an almost cola-ish flavor. Has an oak-y/alcohol finish that pleasantly lingers.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Dangerously smooth for 10% ABV. I'm a sucker for anything oak aged, or anything vanilla. Pair the two together and I'm in beer heaven.

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Photo of corporatejim
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love a wood aged beer! Dark carmel nearing brown in the glass. Minimal head. Erratic laceing throughout the glass. Rich carmel sweet smoky nose. Licorice, smoky malty flavor with the nice oak flavoring coming in at the end. Little to no hop presence. I like hops, but I with big woodsy flavor like this, I can let it pass. This is a very tasty beer, but probably couldn'y more than one or two in a sitting.

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Photo of jorjoria
2.63/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Now I like New Holland Brewing Co. but I found this beer to be less then palatable. According to the New Holland website I was expecting, "a complex ale with a soft, rich caramel malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath."

There now if by complex they meant as sour as any Gueuze or Lambic I've ever had then they would be correct. I did get a faint hint of the oak in this beer and a little bit of vanilla but over all just tons and tons of sour flavor. To be honest it tasted like a batch of infected homebrew I once had. Now I wasn't going to slam this beer and I truly thought I got a bad bottle but after reading some of the other reviews apparently I'm not the only one the found this sour flavor. This beer is by no means an American Strong Ale it should be classified as a Flemish Imperial Stout if such a thing exists. Now for this beers credit it is interesting but just way to unbalanced I drank shared the bottle with three friends all of who enjoy craft brew including funky Belgians and the like and none of us found this brew appealing. Anyway I still like New Holland and next time I'm in the mid west I'll be picking up some of their black tulip.

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Photo of saztheorybook
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on cask to New Holland; passed up some exotic pub-only beers to have it on cask, and I'm glad I did.

A: Jet black with only a little head and little retention or lacing. Surprising for a cask.
S: Pure vanilla bean and and boozy warm esters on the nose.
T: This is an insane and delicious demon on cask. It's almost like a vanilla vodka with a little bit of chocolate. There was not real hop character, but a lot of alcohol warmth. From front to back, though, this vanilla thing made cask Dragon's Milk a completely different experience.
M:Smooth and a little oily. Very nice. Almost like a three-quarters melted milkshake in the best way that can sound.
D: You have to remind yourself, hey, this is 9%. Slow down, enjoy it, and call it good.

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

A- A lovely deep chocolate/cola brown with a creamy head that fades to a thin protective layer quickly.
S- Vanilla, bourbon, vanilla, bourbon, malt, bourbon, vanilla, and some molten caramelized brown sugar. Think creme brulee drowned in a luscious oaky whisky.
T- The aroma is directly proportionate to the taste. Big notes of vanilla simmered in caramel and strong oaky bourbon tones. Light cocoa hidden behind all of it as it warms but again, creme brulee drowned in delicious bourbon, minus the burn and robust punch. I could see where some people would think the bourbon is overkill but i happen to like bourbon and vanilla so this is right up my alley. Its more of a heavy strong ale than a stout as it claims to be but i don't care. There is some pound cake like sweet breadiness to it and a tinge of a spicy hop but the oak and vanilla crush them all to oblivion. A bit of warm alcohol is present but necessary to keep you honest.
M-From the cask this is like sipping warm caramel silk with a slick cream character, divine, I can't wait to see how a bottle of this stacks up compared to it's beer engine brethren.
O- If you fancy yourself a bourbon drinker and you prefer vanilla over chocolate when it comes to ice cream and you also happen to love craft beer, it is a must. It's definitely a sipper. I could see a dragon enjoying this after a long day of burning villages and evading arrows.

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Photo of SylviaFaye
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is dark black with purple, red, and orange tints about the edges like a sunset stamped out by dark clouds. The smell is reminiscent of plums, chocolate milk, molasses, and sun-dried raisins. The syrupy, above medium mouthfeel adheres to the tongue. Sun-dried raisins, figs, bourbon, and chocolate milk compose the base flavors. This beer gave me goosebumps. The look, texture, and taste reminded me of Pedro Ximenez sherry, the main differences being that the wine is sweeter and thicker and lacks the malty grains.

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Photo of Pete0714
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 22 ozer into a pint glass.
Appears dark brown with scant light brown head.

Smells strongly of vanilla and roasted mocha coffee.

Taste was similar to smell with vanilla abounding with the toasty flavor aswell as a smokey spicy note on the tongue.

Mouthfeel wasthick and syrupy yet smooth.

Overall a pretty good heavy stout. Hard to categorize as it seems to defy some categories. Good to try and appreciate

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Photo of bat6
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from dozens of 12 oz and 22 oz bottles over the years.

A- pours a pretty charred mahogany w/ minimal tan head

S- boozy whiskey, vanilla, brown sugar, hint of chocolate

T- rum raisin, boozy charry whiskey, vanillin/oak/lignin, brown sugar/molasses, hint of coffee, coconut (yes coconut)

MF- silky smooth, virtually no carbonation, body seems very light in contrast to such a dominating flavor profile

O- deadly delicious, surprisingly drinkable

years ago we noticed that each batch was a little different but in recent years it has become very consistent and now leans towards a preferred sweetness. we also noticed the 9% ABV printed on the bottle a few years ago couldn't possibly be correct, and even the 10% that's currently listed seems suspiciously low. regardless, watch out because this goes down surprisingly quickly. absolutely do NOT make the mistake of drinking 2 bombers in a night...
of note: when paired w/ dessert this revealed a hop presence that actually served to cleanse the palate very nicely. very surprising level of complexity in something that otherwise seems so one-dimensional (yet delicious)

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Photo of afoltz2
2.3/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - good dark color for a stout, a little disappointed by the lack of head, around a quarter inch.

S - good, strong smell with a hint of a possible coffee flavor.

T - the initial taste was good, but the immediate aftertaste was pure alcohol. I felt like I had just done a shot instead of drinking a beer

M - I swished a mouthful around to get different tastes, and it gave me a slightly numb feel due to the high alcohol content.

O - a very potent brew, high ABV with a strong alcohol taste. I was disappointed by this one, and I am a fan of stouts. I sampled it next to Guinness and Left Handed Milk Stout, and preferred both of those. I think if this beer were 2-3% lower ABV, it would compare much more favorably, because it did have a good initial flavor.

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Photo of AmericanPaleMale666
3.34/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -1 inch head, few lace lines,

N - vanilla/coffee and alcohol

M - thick and creamy. A bit sticky

T - vanilla/oak and black coffee start it off followed by some bitterness and finishes with the alcohol

O - nice stout. Would have liked the alcohol to have a bit more masked but would definitely buy again

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Photo of psnydez86
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance- Poured a deep dark mahogony into a pint glass with good lacing and nice 1.5 inch esprosso like head. light can barely pass thru this monster.

Smell- Roasty Coffe, Vanilla, Bourbon, booze.

Taste- Starts off with a typical roasty coffee stout tastes which quickly gets attacked by some vanilla and strong bourbon flavor. I'm not a bourbon fan at all but it is a nice sidekick to the vanilla and roasty character of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Nice creamy mouthfeel on this one which I think is perfect for the style

Overall- Its my birthday today and a friend of mine picked this up for me at 8 Degree Plato Beer company Ferndale, Michigan. This is actually the first oak aged Stout i've had and I really enjoyed it. If your the kind of person that enjoys craft beer and enjoys bourbon/whiskey on the rocks this beer will turn you into a raging alchoholic if your already not there. CHEERS.

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Photo of Pepper7
2.33/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Highly overrated, I feel like the alcohol taste is not covered up at all, that's the taste that really stands out on this one, overpriced as well, not an imperial stout fan, but I've paid a lot less Jackie O's dark apparition, which was outstanding.

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Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage after aging one year. Drank from snifter.

L: Dark, dark, dark. No light penetration. A very creamy head that lingers 360 degrees around the edges. You can tell it's a milk stout.

S: Chocolate and bourbon. The weakest aroma I can remember finding in a strong BA stout like this. As it warms, you can detect a bit more milk chocolate.

T: Up front is milk, chocolate, and some coffee (everything is subtle, though). The bourbon is barely there until the tail end, warming like a blanket. Coffee finish.

F: Sooooo smooth. Like drinking whole chocolate milk without the fat. Imagine those commercials where melted chocolate pours into itself -- that's the texture of this beer.

O: An extremely accessible, inoffensive yet unique stout that will be a favorite of mine among the other year-round available stouts.

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Photo of Gator1107
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really suprised by this beer. Actually, I was more suprised to find the bar carried it.
Appearance: It poured very dark and thick with a small head to start. The color reminded me of a very dark plum.

Smell: Right away I could tell this would be no ordinary drink. Hints of liquor and roasted cocoa hit me first followed by a swaggering vanilla.

Taste: The first taste resembled that of a scotch and vanilla rum. Quickly it gave way to hints of chocolate and coffee. Wrapping up with a hint of fruit and vanilla. Leaving a dry aftertaste, that begged you for more.

Mouthfeel: Although a very great tasting beer, not a beer that I could drink all night long. Was a wonderful mix of flavors!

Drinkability: A great beer, one that I would drink in limited quanities. Serving up at around 9% and my bottle came in at 1 pint and 6 ounces. I great beer to hit at a fine pub.

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Photo of cserrato02
2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

STRONG whiskey flavors, somewhat unbalanced. It seems to me that they loaded the beer with whiskey just to get to an 11% ABV. This is a sipping beer for me. Does not go well with a meal in my opinion.

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

Bought this in bomber format. Bottle has changed as now it is a screened printed bottle with a dragon and a large barrell behind it. Bottle states 9% ABV and 19 degrees plato.

A - Dark brown with reddish hues. Light could pass through it, but only when held to light, this is when the red hues were evident. Head was very prononced and required about 10 seconds for seperatiion after a good hefty pour. Head color was tannish and stayed for about 3/4 of the beer, dissapated but left a good lacing and a light skimming of head when swirled.

S - Oak, Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, Malt. All very well balanced. The Oak was the most prominent aroma, followed by the vanilla.

T - Oak and chocolate malt with a hint of actual cocca. Don't think hershey's candy bar, think hershey's unsweetened cocca. The alcohol was warming but not really that "slap you in the face" at 9%.

M - Heavy, but not thick, kind of like a Guiness. Warming and pleasant. Allowing it to sit in your mouth gives a warm, buzzing feeling and plays many tricks on your tounge with the complex flavors present.

D - I would buy this again, I would like it better if it came in a 12oz bottle as 22oz is a lot to drink by yourself. I was sharing with friends, getting them exposed, so I didn't have to drink it all.

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Photo of CapitalGains
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured and tasted a 22 oz. bottle, Vintage 2010 into a Deschutes snifter. 6/3/2011.

A: Pours a deep brown/black. Not nearly as black when looking down while drinking. Moderate head formation with a dirty gold/white gradient from bottom to top, head retention is minimal and de minimis lacing exists as it is consumed.

S: Mostly scents of milk chocolate and vanilla, very faint scent of wooden/oaken attributes, surprising amount of alcohol at the tail-end of each smell. The smell of alcohol was also much more prevalent in the remaining ounces of the snifter as well as the beer warms, relative to a full initial pour. Kind of disappointed.

T: By and large lightly roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla are the dominant drivers according to my taste buds. Notes of caramel and oak once the beer warmed up and after the first fews sips. Almost no hop bitterness to this one. Surprising amount of alcohol in this one, though I figure that might mellow out a bit with some additional time on it.

M: I've never had dragon's milk in real life (well, maybe in a RPG...or wait, I think that was dragon's blood) but if such a thing existed this beer's mouthfeel would probably nail it. Medium-heavy, creamy mouthfeel initially which fades as the sip goes down. Starts out like a milkshake with too little ice cream mixed in. Perhaps some day I will slay a black dragon and will be able to do a side-by-side comparison. Until then I'll have to make arbitrary assumptions about what real dragon's milk feels like. Oh well! I digress...

O: This is decent stout overall. I did not get much out of from the oak-barrel aging but that could be due the lack of extended aging to develop more of those characteristics. For its style it's hard to find anything remarkable about it. The chocolate and vanilla that I gather from it make it sweeter than most other 9-11% barrel aged stouts I've had. I vaguely remember having this on-tap a few years back but I don't recall many of the attributes then as I was still (and still am) in the infancy of my beer tasting lifetime. I do not recall the exact price I paid for this 22 oz. but I believe it was somewhere in the range of $6.50-8.00.

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Photo of colefsuwr
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark, and heavy define this beer. Not for the faint of heart. This will make you never want to drink a guiness again because it takes mouthfeel to a whole new level. A wonderful vanilla undertone coats your palate and faint notes of whiskey can be caught as well.

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Photo of Dragyourbone1
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown w slight tan head and clingy lacing
S: Subtle; malty, woody, distant vanilla on first slow inhale. Deeper inhales pull out the vanilla and a little more heady woody-ness. No hint of the 11% ABV to follow.
S- midway: the vanilla profile opens up along with some bourbon (slight), and some smokiness as well.
T- Vanilla,malt,and subtle chocolate up front with a slight, but noticeable trail of bourbon underneath. Simple, yet mingles well. The alcohol profile is still well hidden.
M- Moderate malty fullness, slight trailing fizz; lingers Welty. Mouth smacking.
O- Seen this in the aisles for so long and finally just grabbed one for the eve. This is a nice warmer for the winter months. Not too heavy. Even though vanilla was noticeable, it mingled and balanced well with the rest of the profile. This was a pleasant intro to the style. I will pick up another to store for another cold day after I try a few more of the style.

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Photo of unibrew
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't know what to expect from this beer, but, I did get a LOT of flavor! Poured into a Sam Adams glass from a bomber, I got a lot of Jack Daniels in the nose. Taste was pretty much the same. I was hoping for oak, but, got more whiskey than expected. I didn't sense much vanilla. If you're in the mood for whiskey with a beer chaser, just go for this! It's nice to sip anytime of the year.

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

This American Stout pours with a dark brown opaque body and a light brown, moderate sized head. I was pleasantly surprised at the orange and slight floral smell, which is unusual to stouts. There is still an underlying smell of chocolate and coffee that is more common. The mouth feel is awesome with a fine fizziness that lasts and obscures the high alcohol content. The taste reminds me of chocolate and bourbon, with mild coffee and hops undertones.

This American Stout is fairly complex yet tastes good with a variety of foods but, also stands very well on its own. This is another great beer from a Michigan brewery!

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Photo of centurian62
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After skipping out on work early, a co-worker and I decided to swing in to the NHB world headquarters (Holland, MI) and have a brew. Having never tried the Dragon's Milk, I decided it was time...and I'm glad I did. At 10% ABV, I expected the alcohol to be over-powering and make the beer tingy. Not the case at all! It was very smooth for a stout and the oak aging came out in full vibrance. The only way I would have guessed that it was 10% was the fact that I could feel a slight buzz from 1 beer. I would highly recommend that you don't miss this one if you are doing a West Michigan craft beer tour!

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Photo of Hazer115
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark black with a thin (less than 1/2 inch) tan creamy head.

S: My first impression was a dark chocolate with hints of dried apricot, and dark roasted malts, following by a good kick of alcohol. As the beer warmed I got more fruits and more alcohol and a little bit of coffee

T: The taste had many different notes to it as it warmed. My first couple of sips, in my opinion were taken when the beer was a bit too cold, had an iced dark coffee with hints of banana and strong alcohol finish. As it warmed, I picked up more dark chocolate and apple, with a very pronounced apple aftertaste.

M: Smooth with a good level of carbonation. A little sip went a long way in coating your mouth with the full flavor of this brew.

O: Overall, I would definitely recommend this to friends. If you take the time to let it warm to the proper temperature and taste it a little bit along the way, you will get to experience many different notes in just one glass.

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Photo of fauxpunker
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a thin, quickly disappearing, tan head. Opaque, but not motor oil thick like I was expecting.
S: Can definitely smell oak and vanilla. Some chocolate as well. All malt.
T: Sweetness hits up front along with a roasted coffee undertone. The vanilla not also makes an appearance. Alcohol pops up on the end giving it a somewhat sour finish.
M: Full, but not chewy. Carbonation seemed a bit low. Despite the alcohol in the taste, it doesn't really burn. It definitely warmed me up.
O: All the pieces are there but they don't quite come together like I'd hoped. The ABV isn't hidden as well as in others I've had. Not bad by any stretch. Great way to warm up on a cold day.

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Photo of quad07
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at UFS, $5.99 for a 22oz dark brown bottle with a pry off cap. No bottled date or freshness date that I could find. 9%ABV.

I poured it into my large 23oz beer glass and did not produce much of a head at all. The head was a light tan color that did not leave much lacing behind. When held up to the light it appeared a very dark brown almost a motor oil color with slight reddish highlights around the edges. You could see the very tiny bubbles struggling to the top like most high gravity beers.

I like the smell! You could smell oak barrel ageing with some smoke and raison. I could not smell any hops or floral aromas.

Now when I tasted this first thing I noticed was liquorish and anise and a small amount of carbonation on my tongue. It was surprisingly sweet with creamy liquorish texture. Very little hop taste. After the third or fourth sip some slight bourbon like flavors were present and a very notable warming affect.

I could not finish the whole glass because after it warmed up it was to sweet or rich and I had enough. I felt very hot and was ready to open a window. Would be great to share or needs to be in smaller bottles.

I really liked this ale but it was too much for me at one sitting without a meal.


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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.