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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
90
outstanding

4,361 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,361
Reviews: 1,256
rAvg: 4
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 244
Gots: 959 | FT: 38
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,361 | Reviews: 1,256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig. Dragon's Milk has a milky, draconic appearance to it. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that it was, in fact, the milk of a dragon and not a mere strong ale from some mediocre brewery in Michigan. Amazing.

It smells strongly of bourbon and caramel. The label doesn't state the kind of barrel used, but I'm guessing whiskey of some variety. There's an undertone of vanilla and raw grain, and it has an almost chocolate-caramel candy sweetness. It's fairly mild on the whole, lacking the lactic viscosity I'd expect from a pint of real dragon's milk.

The palate is rather boozy, toffee and vanilla flavors running rampant alongside oak tannins and a dash of chocolate. The body is full, but more like 2% milk, definitely not like the milk of a dragon. It finishes with a nice balance of tannins, alcohol and malt, exhibiting some lingering notes of chocolate and caramel candy. Pretty good stuff overall, though the name is a bit misleading.

Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown with a one finger tight head that settles quicly leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,some nice caramel aromas along with some malted milk and some of the oak left behind very nice.Very lactic flavors for an old ale malted milk and deep woody flavors along with some chocolate with alate sourness wich I didnt care for much.A very flavorful big beer but not a fan of the sour finish.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Vintage 2012.

Appearance: Pours a very dark body, essentially black with a foaming, beige head that soon settles down to a slim film.

Smell: Jumbled sniff sniffing up the notes of grape soda, light anise, moistened barrels, and roast with already a whiff of the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and roast and toast and caramel and even sorghum syrup all come together wonderfully, beautifully even. A somewhat milky oatmeal quality throughout. Vibrant raisins touched with a little splash of Madeira. Woodsy barrel character with touches of vanilla, bourbon. Sweetish, round, luscious maltiness wrapped in the barrel-aging through to and beyond the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Thankfully, the taste delivered what the nose was just embarrassingly fumbling around with. Almost hazardously drinkable. I'll be honest, it has been several years since I'd last had this -- nice to see it finally in Georgia.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, off-white head of foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of oak, bourbon and chocoate. None of them were overpowering

T - Good balance here, too. Chocolate, sweet caramel malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla and some toffee.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium bodied brew with some alcohol warmth.

D - This is a nicely done aged beer. New Holland put out a balanced big beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Vintage 2010. So, if I were to suckle at a dragon's teat, this is what would end up in my mouth? Interesting. It pours a nearly translucent black-brown. No real head is formed, save a single layer of ecru foamy bubbles, and this doesn't hang around for very long at all. The nose comprises oak, vanilla, what seems like bourbon, chocolate, and cheesecake. The taste follows exactly, with the cheesecake nearly dropping out altogether, the oak gaining some strength, and a drying booziness invading the start of the aftertaste. The body is pretty hefty, with a light carbonation and a thick, chewy feel. I've had previous vintages of this and have been underwhelmed. It's nice to see such improvement in a relatively short amount of time. Or maybe it's been me the whole time...

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: I've enjoyed this on tap and in bottles... but the bottles that are out there now are picking up a clean, lactic acid infection that's toatlly destroying this beer. I have alot of them and I'm out of luck! Try one before you buy a few! And don't try to age it.... it's not going to work. If you've got 'em, drink 'em! That said...

This oak-aged olde ale might just be New Holland's best beer yet! Its dark mahogany body is capped by a frothy head of dark tan that holds exceptionally well and leaves clinging sheets of lace throughout the glass. The nose is rich with milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, wood, a touch of vinous acidity, and mild bourbon. It's ultra-smooth, silky, and medium-bodied but not dextrinous across the palate. The flavor is rich and satiating with notes of a soft chocolate and caramel blend, sweet honey-glazed biscuits, lightly toasty malts, a cusp of dark-kilned and almost roasty malts, vanilla, subtle bourbon, and - oddly enough - some background hops. It's well balanced by a firm bitterness, and it finishes dry with more notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and lingering roastiness than it had in the mouth (...blocked by the sweet malts I guess). The alcohol is incredibly well-cloaked; and this one will sneak up on you! Brilliant!!!

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from JoeyBeerBelly, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, dark fruit, vanilla, milk chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, vanilla and caramel followed by a hearty roasted malt character and a very mild hops presence. The ABV is well disguised and there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, not too filling, not the best representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while but there are better beers in the style.

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

12oz brown bottle with a vintage date of 2011 on the label.

LOOK: Dark brown, nearly black with ruby edges. Good lacing even if it is a bit thin.

SMELL: Oaky, vanilla, barrel juice, boozy, mild char, toasted bread, burnt raisins, fig jam

TASTE: Very smooth, wood, char, mildly fusel, vanilla, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, chicory, booze soaked raisins, charred drying finish

A really good barrel aged brew that rides the path of a stout, a big beer that you'll need to sip. Very well balanced, had fun drinking this one.

Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask, via hand pump, @ Teresa's Next Door (Wayne, PA) on 2/6/11. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours black with a ¼ finger cap of creamy mocha head. This retains a nice robustness in the glass, throwing up a good bit of rich spotty lacing onto the sides of the glass. The aroma is a smooth mélange of molasses, chocolate, caramel, and a bit of dense dark roast in the nose. The barrel is fairly prevalent as well with a good bit of oak and vanilla character. This is quite rich yet still easy feeling in the nostrils.

The taste matches the aroma, with a silky smooth mix of cocoa, butterscotch, vanilla, and dark roast, and oak, which hangs on the finish. Man, this is smooth and delicious feeling on the palate, with the flavors seeming to literally melt in the mouth at times. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied but it just so easy and creamy here on cask; it feels somewhat lesser than that at times. There's maybe some general intensity to the flavors from the big ABV but other than that, there is no way that you would know that is 9-10%. Just no way. This is very dangerously drinkable for the size here on cask.

Wow, this was something. If you like your Dragon's Milk as a big beer with pronounced and assertive flavors that you can wrap your tongue around, I recommend sticking with the bottle or tap version of this. If you're looking for this with all of those flavors melded and smoothed out into a decadent and obscenely drinkable glass of beer, then I would wholeheartedly say that you must check this out on cask. You'll be glad you did.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep dark black hole appearance sucks up all colors and ounce of visible light with a frothy tan head leaves very nice thick lacing all around my pint. Aroma: Great herbal mix with an herbacous highlights upfront oak aromatic with chocolate and coffee highlights. Taste: Flavor depth is incredible the oak flavor highlights this big stout quite nicely. Vanilla stands out among the chocolate, coffee, and herbal hops not bad at all. Mouthfeel: Full body smooth carbonation no hint of the alcohol in the flavor which is good but somewaht dangerous. Drinkability: Wow, so drinkable great blend of flavors here with the oak barrel aging adding to the overall experience very tasty and smooth.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown. Shared with tenderbranson69 poured chilled in a double walled tumbler.

A - Dark toffee shade w/ translucent appearance. A light tan head forms and falls quickly. The cap is rocky and spotty lace clings

S - Vanilla presence is big in the nose w/ lots of cotton candy, toffee and caramel blend w/ a hint of nuts

M - A Med light body as a result of high abv w/ sweet nutty textures and mild alcohol/sweet presence in the finish

T - A cocoa/caramel taste w/ a gentle almond and cocoa flavor. The taste is sweet and nutty w/ a creamy note and oak barrel taste present in the flavor w/ mild astringency. A strong smooth toffee w/ a light toasted grain note in the finish. The taste is almost like Imperial Porter w/ the sweet less roasty essence. A light example of an American double stout flavor-wise. A mild alcohol/vanilla oak flavor stamps the finish w/ woody yet balanced taste. The malt is the key taste w/ nice mellow dark toasted notes

D - A great drinking wood aged beer, well worth checking out/price of admission. A beer I wish I could have tasted on tap when Brass Rail had it -C'est la vie. A great oaked beer in a bottle I would get 6 or 12 and hold half back -no question.

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to joe1510 for this one!

Pours chestnut tinged ebony with 1 finger of tan head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & bourbon with some vanilla as this warms

T: Dark fruits, vanilla, oaky dryness & bourbon up front. A touch of chocolate gives way to raisins, some leafy hops, dryness, caramel & a bit of cherry brandy as this warms. Finishes dry with bourbon notes, a bit of burnt candi sugar,

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, some nice slickness as this warms

Drinkability is good for the style & ABV, but you feel this baby warming you from the get-go! One best consumed on a cold night by the fire. versus the (finally) warm spring evening grilling steaks I chose. A solid American Imp Stout

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mdfb79
3.84/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
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".

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,361 ratings.