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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,302 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,302
Hads: 4,907
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 295
Gots: 1,445 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-12-2002

A barrel aged Imperial Stout with roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.

2014 Bottles are 11% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,302 | Hads: 4,907
Photo of tgorgz
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of Prasm
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick with a small head. Medium plus expressiveness on the nose, showing chocolate milk, coffee, and subtle vanilla hints. Big, thick, and creamy in the mouth - carbonated chocolate milk with a little bourbon kick. Definitely a niche beer, very focused flavors, but very delicious - I like it.

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Photo of JVEyck309
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of cdViking
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of jsbrendle
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of elvisnj
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of bluedognever
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of willmc
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

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Photo of tko741
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of Sdesenberg
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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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 MadeInTheMitten
3.61/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my mouth.
1/2 way through this bad-boy. It's a lot smoother than I expected. Although, it does have a bite on the back end, but a very pleasant bite! The oak and vanilla notes keep lingering until the next drink! It's also not too strong on the bourbon taste, which is a plus for me. I like hints of it, not a "BAM, IN YOUR ASS" bourbon taste. Very solid stout in my book.I would recommend to any stout drinker!

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Photo of jcompton
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of isitsavage
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011.

Poured into a pint glass a very dark brown with about a half finger of cream colored head that faded fast. Settles into the glass looking remarkably like cola.

Good amount of bourbon in the nose, a big whiff of it actually burns my nostrils a little. Heavy malt presence as well, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and heavy cream present but faint. Reminiscent of a barley wine.

Big malty sweetness in the taste, more so than anything else, a little bit of coffee bitterness. Get more of the taste after swallowing, can really feel the bourbon on the back of my throat, slightly hot but pleasant. I pick up chocolate at the end, in the form of a baked good, almost like a chocolate cake. Vanilla is present here too, as well as a bit of cream and burnt sugar. As it warms I get just a touch of funk, kind of strange for this style but not really unwelcome in my opinion. Makes for a very complex beer.

Pretty heavy in the mouth, well carbonated, thick and a touch syrupy, coats the mouth and lingers after each sip. Not a bad thing as I feel like this allows for more flavors to come through.

Goes down pretty easy but I feel I must take it slow given the ABV. Good job with the alcohol taste though, I definitely pick it up, but it's not a real big kick. Pretty well balanced overall actually.

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Photo of CWBlues
3.17/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark black with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Roasted malts dominate the nose, with a little coffee and vanilla rounding it out. A little raison, or prune. Some kind of fruit like that.

T: Oak. Oak oak oak. I don't get much more than that. A lot of vanilla on the back end. Some soy sauce on the back. Not liking that much.

M: Relatively silky. Heavy body. Smooth. Not overly difficult to drink.

O: It's ok, for being what it is. Not sure I would pick it up again. I can't quite get past that soy sauce taste.

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Photo of Cisco619
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Weyerbacher tulip glass. Bottle reads "Vintage 2011" Thanks to DaveHack for the bottle.

A: Deep reddish brown with a half finger of khaki colored head that vanishes to a thin filmy cap that lingers on the roof of the beer.

S: Bourbon greets the nose followed by bakers chocolate & a hint of chocolate. A nice, roasted malt aroma rounds out the nose.

T: Follows the nose, tastes of the barrel alot. Over powers the base beer. Akin to drinking a whiskey. Slight roasted malt flavor, but definitely strong barrel flavor.

M: A little watery for something that has so much essence of the barrel. A little tingle from the carbonation greets the tongue. Ends dry with a bit of an alcohol burn.

O: Great hints of barrel, but lacking in some area. Great aroma. Drinks a little hot. I wonder how this will be drinking in a year or two.

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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 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 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 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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,302 ratings.