Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,259 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,259
Hads: 4,637
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 271
Gots: 1,201 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragon's Milk Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,259 | Hads: 4,637
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-draught into a stemflute in a Minneapolis bar. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving 2012.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a very dark ruby-black. Nontransparent.

Sm: Caramel, cream, dark malts, chocolate, and rich dark chocolate covered cherry. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Dominant chocolate with rich caramel and dark malts for the foundation. Chocolate cherry comes through. Bourbon undertones. Rich and well balanced. Delicious. Some raisin. Licorice. Well built. I like it. Well layered, nicely complex, and subtle. I'd like more roast in the foundation. I get some grape on the finish, which is too sweet.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Creamy. Nicely thick. Good carbonation. Heavy on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I quite fancy it. A delightful brew. I'd like to try it in bottled form. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery; this was a good example of the style.

(1,012 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, but the light passes easily along the edge of the glass. Modest head but it lasts throughout the tasting. Minimal lace.

Chalky, semi-sweet chocolate aroma.

There's a touch of cola to the initial taste. The swallow brings about a very strong alcohol kick--very much like bourbon like the barrel it comes from. Thin body with a modest carbonation. (366 characters)

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

Appearance: frightfully dark, deep plum color, with a generous, frothy, creamy, light tan head above, lace-leaving, slowly subsiding.
Aroma: chocolate, cream, vanilla...interesting...buttery, with a whiskeyish tinge, as well.
Taste: unusual, the vanilla lingers, a woody, chocolatey character dominates. Small hops, rich malt, and the 10% Abv is sneaky, not kicking into the flavor in the least. Oh, here it comes...fruitiness comes in toward the end, raisiny, plummy, ...such a nice little brew, a great buttress against this ridiculous sub-zero January chill.
I've had this on-tap before, at the Autumn Brew Review lat fall, and wasn't so charmed...this bottle changed my mind. Were I a Michiganite, Dragon's Milk would have a coveted spot in the icebox.

9-11-2006
2 1/2 years later, it's finally available in MN, in bombers, and is as good as ever. Wonderful nightcap on a very bad day, the day my 5-year old cat died. Helpful in providing some relaxation and a small amount of liquid comfort. (1,003 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint glass.

a - A very dark black, letting in absolutely no light. It has a small amount of carbonation, and almost no head whatsoever. The smallest ring of white head appears around the edges.

s - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, also a little chocolate and coffee.

t - The taste that first jumps out at me is again the roasted malts, followed by the vanilla. It has a milky taste to it and also small hints of chocolate and bourbon, though nothing overpowering.

m - Moderate carbonation and a full body, it's actually kind of smooth.

d - Overall I think it's a decent strong ale, but nothing to write home about. It does have a creamy, smooth milk/vanilla flavor, but the alcohol comes through in it. (748 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small 1 finger tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some light spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big oak, vanilla, toast, earth, roasted malt, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, and light bourbon. Very pleasant and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, oak, vanilla, toffee, molasses, toast, dark fruit, and light bourbon. Minimal bitterness; with lingering notes of vanilla, molasses, caramel, toffee, oak, roasted malt, dark fruit, and light bourbon on the finish for a good bit. Nice flavor complexity and balance; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel this is quite nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed on the finish. Definitely a moderate sipper at 10%. Overall this is a really excellent oak aged beer! Very nice complexity and flavor balance; and quite smooth for the alcohol level. I know for a fact that older bottles of this turn out fantastic as well. Really enjoyed this one. (1,173 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours dark brown towards black with rubyish highlights when held up to the light. It has decent head retention, with some trailing lace sticking.

The smell is of oak - woody with vanilla and subtle/mild hint of cinnamon. There's a subdued chocolatey malt sweetness.

The taste is very sweet - oak and alcohol dominate. Hints of chocolate and tart cherry come through. Sweet with a touch of tart - malt subdued under wood and booze.

Hits full-bodied as it progresses - enough to give it the higher of the two scores I had in mind for the mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild - enough to be present and keep it from being too thick, though it is a bit slick. Heat lingers on the palate.

It's not astringent, but it is sweet and boozy. Maybe age will calm the alcohol presence. And, while I can appreciate the oak, it dominates just a bit too much here. Still, it's one to buy and share with a friend when you want an oak-aged dark brew and if you're "in the mood" for the "heat". (1,001 characters)

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

A: Pours a very dark amber to dark brown (almost black) in color with some brown highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that reduces to a small patch of thick bubbles, a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a medium-thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bourbon and bourbon barrel (oak/vanilla) with some very light notes of milk chocolate sweetness.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of bourbon with some lighter notes of dark roasted malts, milk/lactose sweetness, milk chocolate, oak, and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.Moderate amounts of alcohol heat and some light dryness in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable beer due to the bourbon barrel aging adding to the nice stout flavors and aromas but needs to be sipped slowly as this is a pretty big beer (and the alcohol is not too well hidden in it). (1,042 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours a dark brown color, similar to Coca Cola. The head is off-white. The aroma is strongly wood and bourbon and some vanilla. The flavor is similar with lots of vanilla as well as wood, bourbon, chocolate and coffee. One of the more complex tasting beers I have had in a while. Medium body and low carbonation. Awesome beer. (355 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle! 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a nice black color with a small off-white head. Not much retention, forming a small ring around the edge. Spotty lacing dots the sides of the glass.

S: Get a good bit of the oak coming through, lots of chocolate, some caramel, a little roasted malt, and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Nice chocolate flavor combined with a little bit of oak. There is more dark fruit coming through as it warms, some cherry and a little raisin.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a little thin for what I was hoping for. Moderate carbonation.

O: A solid oak barrel stout. Pretty easy drinking with a solid flavor profile. (659 characters)

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown; nearly black in color. Around the edges, where light can shine through, it has some red/brown hues. Less than a finger of tanned head produced despite a fairly aggressive pour. Spotty amounts of lacing cling to the glass and it has fair retension for just a thin layer on top of this beer supported by rising bubbles of carbination. Nose is a big bold slap of woodsy oak character that is a little musty with alcohol, dark sugary sweetness and vanilla all coming into play before the usual toasty grain character of stout. Taste is really no surprise after taking in everything the aroma as to offer. Flavors include literally everything that the aroma presented: oak, alcohol (more in warmth factor than in taste but the taste is clearly there as well) bitter chocolate, and slight dark fruity sweetness like plum. Finishes bitter, but more like a burnt grain kind of bitter than a hop bitter. It has a chewy mouthfeel that clings to the palette and doesn't let go. Overall I really enjoyed this beer. It has a very enjoyable and complex nose and taste. The only thing I found a little distracting was the musty character in the aroma. Other than that I really enjoyed everything about this beer and would highly recommend it. (1,252 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/25/09- Purchased at Chuck's Wine and Spirits in Chagrin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle...not sure of the vintage, possibly 2008 or earlier. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head. Head remains for a bit of time and leaves some mild patches and streaks of lace.

Smell- Lots of chocolate in the nose as well as a medium roasted caramel malt, some vanilla and a very light scent of alcohol...not picking up much oak at all.

Taste- Flavor comes out better at room temp. Started this one right out of the fridge. Chocolate flavor dominates the pallete, followed by a larger dose of vanilla. It may even be an even batle between the chocolate and vanilla. The whiskey oak flavor come out as well, but still plays a minor role. Not much alcohol detected with some minor date-fig flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level which is silky smooth. Could be a bit heavier in the mouthfeel. Maybe even a touch of chalkyness. Can't even detect the 9% though. Almost seems sessionable.

Drinkability- Very good beer with lots of good flavor. Could use a bit more oak flavor and maybe a tad more thickness in the feel, but overall still a really good beer worth trying. (1,236 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

The pour resulted in a finger of deep-tan head that quickly faded to wisps. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights and great clarity. Nose was rich with bourbon-vanilla notes. Zounds! Mouthfeel was rather creamy with notes of smoke, vanilla, wood and black cherry in the mouth. It put me in mind of Calvin's dad in "Calvin & Hobbes" asking, "Say, where did you get this [beer], anyway?" Finish was redolent with vanilla and bourbon. Absolutely breathtaking. Great lacing throughout. It was an attention-getting beer to be sure, but it also wrapped things up for us pretty quickly. Proceed with caution. (830 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a thin lacing with brown head that fades fast

S - burnt sugar, oak, roasted malt, faint chocolate

T - roasted malt, burnt sugar, vanilla, chocolate, faint oak, alcohol

M - very warm, smooth, rich, medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent stout. The oak is more noticeable in the nose than in the flavor. It has a solid flavor overall. It's a bit boozy which takes away from the flavor and overall experience. Since the alcohol is so noticeable it also becomes a slow sipper. I wouldn't seek this out again, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down if I was offered. (602 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it. (596 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, new graphics, i didn't see vintage/freshness dating, pours dark, dark mahogany, initially shows a dark mocha head, recedes down to a splotchy film and leaves lightish slippery lace. Nose is of dark bread, licorish and some background woodyness. Notes of rum, dark fruit, figs and raisins, more dark wood, molasses, and an underlying layer of wood. Nice sipper, bold and flavorful. More high test Michigan brew. (421 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured dark brown in color with a creamy tan head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a dark, bitter-sweet chocolate and a roasty coffee like flavor to it. Those flavors mix some woody oak and vanilla like characteristics.

The taste starts off with more of the dark chocolate and roasty flavors. Midway it starts to take a turn for the worse though with a boozy alcohol flavor mixing with the woody oak. It's kind of hot and boozy with a vodka and soy sauce like presence in the finish. It feels a little harsh overall and the flavors seem to clash in the finish with a lot of burnt, roasty, bitter and boozy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it had some qualities I liked but the hot, boozy, woody flavor in the finish just didn't work for me. As I said, the flavors seemed to clash instead of compliment for me unfortunately. I liked some aspects of it but overall it just wasn't for me. (1,026 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2013, poured into a large snifter glass.

One of the lightest barrel aged stouts I've seen. Deep mahogany brown, comes out a perfect light chestnut from the bottle, and looks a little watery on the pour. Head is very light tan about a finger, and disappears pretty quickly. Leaves a thin puck, slightly filmy looking, with a bit of leg action. Like the lightness but not the slickness, otherwise looking alright.

Interesting subtle nose. Light hints of caramel and butterscotch toffee. Quite clean smelling and seems like it could be a wet palate. Light hint of booze and fusel burn on the aroma.

Interesting palate here. A sharp quick carbonation hits my mouth, with a bit of strange sting. Real bizarre bitterness on this, and sooty charring. Wet bodied, but manages to have a bit of caramel and butterscotch angle similar to candy. A bit of a warm boozy heat, and almost well bar drink cheap booze aftertaste. Slightly candied sweetness but not overly sugary, with some taffy like quality, and a mouthfeel that just gets quite thin and doesn't coat.

The beer actually starts off pretty good, but strangely gets a bit more thin and lifeless as time goes on. There's nearly no flavor in the back palate or the finish either which seems real odd and doesn't give a good round oak character. I get the sense this beer spent barely any time at all in a barrel. (1,369 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Served in a chiller drink glass. Odd...college bar. On tap?

A. Appears like a coca cola with no head and dark brown body. Is this beer?

S. A bit off. Well water and some distant malt. Im a bit scared..

T. Puts my worries at ease after the poor presentation. A nice roasted malt flavor. A bit of coffee as it warms. Hints of vanilla. Slight earthy hop bitters even it out. No noticable alcohal. Slighty nutty finish.

M. The best attribute of this one. Ultra smooth and oh so creamy.

D. A full bodied as hell, flavorful and robust ale. Not reccommended for anything other than a dessert beer/night cap. Worthy of a purchase. (643 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After 4 hours of not having electricity in my house, it has returned. And my beer is still chilled. On to the beer:

Black, as expected, with ruby red hues when shined through a light. The head fizzes away, which is dissapointing. But hey, it smells nice. Pleasnat. Mellow. There is some vanilla, cream, and a light touch of oak. Some coffee too.

It tastes sweet and milky at first taste. Milk and cream for certain. A pinch of booze heats things up. There's the oak, and it begins to take hold. It starts to impart a fruity flavor with wood. Medium bodied with light carbonation, not quite as "high gravity" as I would expect. Actually, it thickens up some as it warms. Overall, the flavors meld better as it warms.

I was unsure about this beer at first, then things started to get better and better as it warmed. A nice beer to try if you have a sweet tooth and/or are an oak lover. (888 characters)

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

9%? I could definately down a growler of this. This is a pretty cool beer, kind of like an American old ale. Big caramel and chocolate (reminds me of carafa malts) flavors. I get more chocolate in the aroma with a hint of oak. There are also some mroe subtle flavor floating around like vanilla, but this isn't the most comples beer. Still, it's very drinkable and I'd get it again. (382 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice.

Appearance - Black, but not quite inky. Nice khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing. Nice.

Smell - Very nice.Oaky and bourbony. Nice deep roast. I detect some sweetness but not sure if it's lingering sugar or lactose.

Taste - Not quite as nice as the smell. Oaky notes and roasted malt. Slightly bitter malts. Vanilla integrates nicely. Very sweet in the back end. Not syrupy, but sugary. Detracts slightly.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet, too sweet. A sipper, but still very pleasant to drink. Medium carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall - It would be really good if it wasn't so sweet. Just too much extra sugar. Nice barrel and roast, though. (696 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with almost no head. No lacing either. The aromas are a heady mix of bourbon, light malt, oak, and cream. Doesn't smell rich, more like a bourbon and cream. The malty notes are subdued. Lots of flavor, but a little thin in the mouthfeel department. Could use a little more backbone. The flavors themselves are very nice, though with some chocolate up front followed by a hit of bourbon and brandy, a long warming development of alcohol, and finally some malted milk on the finish. Quite a nice sipper and doesn't fill you up as much as Bourbon County Stout, but doesn't satisy as much either. If you don't like Bourrbon flavors stay away from this one. If you do, you'll probably enjoy it as I did. (720 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark chestnut brown with mahogany edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger foamy tan head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of lacing behind.

Chocolate malt aroma with subtle bourbon, earthy oak and vanilla.

Lighter bodied tha I expected but not thin. Silky chocolate maltiness with hints of caramel and toffee. Not roasty at all. Surprising dark fruit notes including cherry, plum and raisin which provide a nice balance to the heavy malt presence. Subtle bourbon presence that isn't overpowering, letting the other flavors shine through. Earthy oakiness with a nice touch of vanilla which adds to the smoothness of the beer. This in combination with the well masked ABV make this beer pretty quaffable. Slightly dry finish. (788 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Denverlogan for this...Aayiiieeee!!!!
This one actually came in a dark 22 oz, silk screened bomber.
Appears a hazy dark brownish black with a small tan head that fades into a film. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oaky lactose with cocoa, caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas perhaps just knocked down a notch.
Mouthfeel is silky and creamy with mild carbonation. Perhaps one of the silkiest beers I've ever had. (460 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Pours a deep dark brown with faint garnet at the edges and a smallish bubbly beige head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of roast, caramel, vanilla, light wood and bourbon with a faint cardboard. Little to no hop aroma, this one seems a bit sweet based on the nose. The flavor is roasty caramel with hints of toffee, vanilla and light oak. Light fruity notes midway through with a sweet bourbon and brown sugar linger at the end of every sip. Medium body, light level of carbonation. Nice easily assessable barrel aged stout. The oxidation in the nose is a little off putting, but the beer is quite tasty. (634 characters)

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.