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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: 4,909
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.33%
Wants: 297
Gots: 1,448 | FT: 42
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: 4,909
Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a clear dark brown color with ruby tint. Has a nice tan head that sticks around nicely. Aroma is wonderfully complex -- it has some reserved sweetness with oak and vanilla notes...wait until it warms a bit, and a little roast also comes through.

This beer is well balanced and has a surprisingly dry finish; as the beer warms a little, the vanilla notes become somewhat more pronounced.

An enjoyable beer. I like the oak and vanilla over some other examples that can add overpowering bourbon flavor.

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Photo of waldowin
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Gaisgeil for this beer!

Poured a roasty black, with a light tan head that fades to a small patch quickly.

Smell is heavily of vanilla and oak, has a hint of a bourbon to the finish.

The oak absolutely dominates the taste from start to finish. A bit of vanilla and milk sweetness rise through, with a hint of hop tartness at the very end. Oak is all over.

Carbonation is spot on, and the slightly lactic acidity in the beer leaves your mouth ready for more vanilla sweetness. I'd like to see it a little bit heavier, but I consider the thickest of imperial stouts to be my bread and butter, so I'm a bit biased I suppose.

A tasty beer, to be sure, but the alcohol makes a 22oz bottle a night's beer.
Cheers!

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Photo of BelgiumBill
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I paid $7.99 for the bomber. According to the bottle this is the 2011 vintage and part of their High Gravity Series. The label says the ABV is 10.0% (BeerAdvocate reports it is 9%)

I often open a new bottle with dinner and break out my pen and little notepad. My 4 year old daughter likes to smell each one I try. When she smelled this I asked her what she thought. She said, "chocolate!" She'll have to wait 17 more years but it was obvious to a 4 year old that the nose was dominated by chocolate here.

It poured a dark brown, near black with some ruby tones. It gave a thin tan head.

The flavors were of cocoa, coffee, toffee, and toasty vanilla derived from the oak barrels. The oak was evident and I'd guess they are using American oak barrels and the oak was upfront and French oak would have been too subtle for the brew, though might have been nice and subdued.

Dragon's Milk gave a long finish with a bit of alcohol bite on the side of the tongue and a little bit of oak tannins drying the mouth.

Overall, very nice, though I might prefer New Holland's Night Tripper slightly. I'd buy this again. Good stuff and while not cheap at $7.99, still a decent value for a bomber when others charge over $10 for lesser beers.

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Photo of nitro0292
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just about as dark as they come, with a quarter inch head after an aggressive pour. Head dissapated quickly, but left good lacing throughout.

Aroma was malt and chocolate, not getting much oak. Carbonation was low, with a thick syrupy mouthfeel.

VERY sweet, no hop presence at all. Could not drink more than 2 of these due to the sweetness and strength.

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Photo of BeerGodz
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep ruby/dark brown color, thick head that dissipates quickly, with good lacing

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, vanilla, and raisins
Finish: Dark brown sugar, lot's of booze. Finish is also dry

Mouthfeel: Rich, almost syrupy

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, but it's a "one and done" kind of beer for me

Overall Impression: When I bought it, I was under the impression it was an Imperial Stout, but I realized right away that it was too thin for the style. It was a slightly imbalanced - a little heavy on the sweetness, but it is a good (borderline Very Good) beer nonetheless, and certainly worth trying, especially if you like barrel aged beers like I do.

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Photo of begforme4484
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC. Served in a tulip glass.

The beer was black with a deep copper, almost red hue. Not much head to be had.

First and foremost, the hops and grain stand out. There just is no ignoring the vanilla on the nose of this beer. Very subtle oak resin and dark sugar overtones as well.

Immediately malty and bittersweet. Caramel, oak resin, and raisin begin to take over the beer right before the vanilla hits you. It's a very sweet beer, but the bitterness is not lost on the edges of your palette.

Very full bodied, but the carbonation complements it nicely. Definitely a warmer with the abv of this thing.

This was a fantastically delicious beer. It's a HUGE beer though. The ABV on this sucker will really sneak up and hit you.

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Photo of KuehneBe
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first and (so far) only 5/5 beer. So I figured it would be a good one with which to start reviewing beer on this site.

Poured into a New Belgium snifter from a 12 fl. oz. bottle.

A - An opaque, deep dark brown that borders on pitch black. Very pleasant looking, creamy head, which disappears rather quickly but leaves a nice creamy surface.

S - Equal parts dark chocolate, malt and "typical" stout, I'd say. A pretty good indication of what's to come.

T - Dear god, this is magical! The strongest flavor is that of gloriously dark and bitter chocolate. I think I am getting a slight hint of coconut, as well, which fits in perfectly. The flavor from the bourbon barrel-aging gives this beer a very nice "woody," almost winey note, the malt mixes very well with the chocolate flavors. The finish slightly hints at both the bourbon and alcohol content, but the sweetness hides the ABV very well.

M - Just the right amount of carbonation, and a nice, full-bodied feel. Very satisfying!

O - I only started drinking stouts recently, but had I heard of this beer sooner, man I would have started much, much earlier! This is divine.

One bottle will last you quite a while, as it is best sipped slowly. I'd recommend drinking it slightly below room temperature. I enjoyed mine with a piece of buttered French bread, which was a fantastic combination.

At $17 for a 4-pack rather spendy, but without a doubt worth it. Best enjoyed on special occasions, and/or shared with a friend.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: minimal to no head, opaque body

S: Smells of booze right off, but you do gets hints of coffe, chocolate and toffe

T: Chocolate and coffe as i smelled in the boquet alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming

M: a little thin i thought, maybe should have been more creamy

O: honestly the first time I had this I was disgusted, tried it again and now I love it.
Goes to show that ya gotta try everything twice!

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Photo of wchesak
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Fin du Monde Tulip

A - very dark, with a slight hint of red at the bottom of the glass, about a finger's worth of tan head, that already after a few sips has started leaving great head

S - roasted malts, raisins, some fruit, maybe cherry

T - noticeable vanilla at the front, following into a slightly alcohol infused toffee at the end, oak character adds a nice background

M - silky smooth, reminds me of Ten Fidy, good carbonation

D - will enjoy every sip of this, need to get another one and cellar, must sip or you might miss out on everything this beer has

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Photo of muchos
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head which hangs on for a few sips.
Smell is of Bourbon and booze. Not too much else, maybe a little chocolate/vanilla as it warms.
Taste is Bourbon, booze, vanilla. Chocolaty flavors come out as it warms. After taste is semi-sweet chocolate.
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected for an imperial Stout. Not much carbonation in the mouth. Just enough. Slight boozy burn.
Overall not all that complex, but not bad. Pretty good actually.

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Photo of manahansf
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with glowing ruby highlights. The head is very light and lacy with a light brown color. The thin head gives off a strong sweet vinous aroma. The drink is slow and viscous with low levels of carbonation with sweet roasted malt flavors supported by vanilla flavors from the barrel. The flavor fades slowly and gracefully with just a hint of the sweet vanilla lingering with the warming alcohol.

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Photo of ken3c
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystals evident under the cap probably from spillage but I just wiped them and it didn't affect the taste or anything else.

Very dark reddish hue with a ring of foam.

Sweet roasted aroma.

Sweet nutty chewy. maybe a little cloying but sometimes I really like something sweet. I really love the oakiness/nutty taste.

Well carbonated but syrupy. Warming. Coats the inside of my mouth.

I almost rated this beer higher except for the extreme sweetness. It definately has a place as an after dinner beer but I couldn't drink it all the time.

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a kayki creamy head that dissapates once started drinking and a black body
S - maple, bourbon
T - chocolate, malt, and maple up front with Boubon after taste
F - light coat of mouth, low carbonation, super smooth
O - this is a really smooth easy drinking brew and is not overly boozie

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Photo of JMC_TM
4.92/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably in my top 3 favorite beers. I had it on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC.
It pours a thick, dark onyx with a nice off-white head. The nose gives you lots of chocolate, dark roasted malt, some vanilla oaky notes and just a hint of the alcohol. Each sip helps paint a full picture of this complex Strong Ale. You start off with lots of chocolate that tastes nice and creamy because of the subtle vanilla, and as it warms you start to taste the malt backing it up, along with some oak notes and again just a hint of the alcohol. The lingering finish is of vanilla and chocolate and leaves you wanting more. This is an awesome and dangerously drinkable beer for the 8.5% abv.

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Photo of bgildea
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice dark brown/black color. Nice brown head but faded quickly with little to no lacing.

S: Smell is average. There is a strong smell of alcohol that masks most of the other smells. Faint hints of vanilla and other sweets in the background.

T: Taste is good, but not great. The alcohol once again overpowers the softer vanilla flavor. A nice faint carmel aftertaste though.

M: Thiner than expected. I was definitly hoping for more chew.

D: It's definitly drinkable. Although you can taste more of the 8.5 ABV than I'd prefer.

Overall: The beer is decent, however the alcohol overpowers the finer aspects of the beer. Their are faint hints of vanilla and carmel that get lost in the beer. Overall, I'll drink and enjoy it, but if the alcohol taste were toned done, it would be much better.

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Photo of Jade
4.92/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the 2012 vintage into my brandy snifter.

A - Dark beer, like a stout. I had about 1" light mocha head with a heavy pour.

S - Oh, my! Bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits, maybe raisin.

T - Creamy bourbon barrel flavors. More bourbon than some years. Vanilla and caramalized malts. Like some stouts, but without the coffee or chocolate flavors.

M - Perfect balance and carbonation. Close to a medium stout in mouthfeel. Creamy and wonderful to sip on!

O - Still one of my top 5 beers period! If you like stouts or bourbon barrelled ales at all, give this a shot. The best New Holland brew I've tasted. Maybe the best beer I've tasted. Always available.

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Photo of MeLoynes
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with light brown foam. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. Tastes of bourbon, oak, caramel and vanilla. Creamy feel with moderate carbonation on the tongue. I wish there was a little less carbonation and more viscosity. Overall fantastic BA stout that I can find in stores daily. Really underrated considering its availability in my opinion.

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Photo of Reneejane
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap, and a bottled version. The bottle was nowhere near as good as the tap version, while this is true of many beers it is very apparent with this beer. A lot of the complex aromas and flavors were lost when bottled. But the aroma was very sweet with a definitive brandy flavor. The taste was sweet and had a definite alcohol warming. The color was black. I loved the spicy flavors from the hops. There were definite sweet estery notes as well. This is a great beer, but on tap, this is a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark ruby, almost opaque. Light tan frothy head with with good retention.

S - Strong vanilla and oak notes with a roasted and chocolate aroma background.

T - Sweet milkshake sweet front, works into roasted and dark chocolate bitterness, but finish is overwhelming hot from higher abv and ruins balance and aftertaste.

M - Thick mouthfeel with low amount of carbonation that accentuates the style.

O - Good beer, price and limited availablity may make it overhyped. However, it is a very interesting beer and worth a try.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell = Roasted malt and bourbon/oak aromas.

Taste = Sweet malts upfront, caramel, and a slight bourbon/oak rounding out the flavor. A faint hop bitterness appears at the finish. The alcohol was truly hidden.

MF = Rich, smooth, creamy, and low carbonation.

Overall, after smelling the bourbon/oak aromas, I was afraid they would ambush the flavor. This was certainly not the case. This beer was amazing. The flavors were complex yet gentle. It made for an incredible beer.

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Photo of nova009
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a silver foil topped bomber into a snifter.

A - pours pretty dark with some red accents around the edges. very small head that quickly disappears. small amount of lacing.

S - interesting. it almost smells like a stout. chocolate and the woodiness of the oak. some vanilla is subtle.

T - sweet with a more powerful alcohol feel than I was expecting. chocolate with bourbon hints.

M - medium mouthfeel. the alcohol tingles the tongue. not overly carbonated makes more a nice sipping experience

D - kind of heavy and with the amount of alcohol its more of a one and done kind of beer. I could probably only drink this every now and then

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Photo of krustster
4.41/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UUuuuaaahhh god man. This was my first of the New Holland High Gravity series, and the reason why I ended up trying the full lineup. Coming back to it now after several months and it's actually quite a bit better than I remembered.

Appearance is good, dark brown/mostly black with a light colored head that leaved a thick sheet of foam around my glass. It's more translucent than most of this style, so it looks slightly "weak" but oh well. This is really not a very important category to me.

Smell is nice. Very sweet, bordering on too sweet. As far as aroma, this may be the sweetest non-flavored beer I can think of, even more than Sweet Repute. Tons and tons of fruity smells like ripe sweet cherries, prunes, raisin, with loads of vanilla, candied nuts and baked sugar(?). It's obvious that this is a bourbon barreled beer, but the bourbon and oak itself is very hard to pick up on the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose. How often is that not the case? There's a lot of candied nuts up front, like those peanuts with the bumpy red stuff on them, with overripe (in a good way) fruits on the side, soaked in vanilla. Again I can't really taste much bourbon, but the influence of the barrel aging is obvious. I get a bit of brown sugar and molasses as well. Hints of coffee and bitterness on the finish, just enough to balance things and keep it from being grossly sweet. Like someone else said, I can't believe this one only has an 88 average. It's very well put-together.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. A little thinner than some comparable offerings at "only" 10% ABV but still quite substantial and has that decadent, dessert-like coating feeling on the palate. The first time I tried this I remember it being way too boozy, but at the time it was also straight from the fridge and tonight it's closer to room temperature & has calmed down considerably.

Overall, Dragon's Milk is an amazingly tasty beer for a relatively low price. I feel that some people are overlooking it because it's easily available and the price is fair ($7 a bomber/$14 a four pack) and as we all know, the only barrel-aged stouts worth drinking are brewed once in ultra-limited quantities for $30 a serving.

Seriously though, making this a year-round offering was a fantastic move on New Holland's part. It's pretty phenomenal for the price, and extremely tasty regardless of value.

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Photo of SLOTHLIFE
4.84/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go-to barrel aged stout. Bourbon tidal waves knock you on your ass and you let yourself get sucked in by the vanilla undertow, not caring if you drown in its boozy bliss. This is like the Black Sabbath of beers.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had previous years of this and have not been blown away. This batch however seemed delightful.

A - Poured a black color with a decent head. It lasted for a long time and was continously regenerating as i drank. Lacing was superb and was fully remaining all the way down the glass after I finished.

S - Mot as muck oak as I would have expected, Some good malty notes as well as an alcohol presence. Despite my inability to place all the aromas it was still a fine warmup.

T - Excellent, sweeter notes for sure but not sickly sweet. Faint tastes of vanilla in there for sure. Again a wood taste was in there but I thought it was mild for oak aged. However it complimented the beer greatly.

M - Amaxingly smooth feel with a great body also.

D - For the ABV listed (9%) this is one of the easiest drinking beers. I could definately had another butcould not and drive home.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer is black with ruby highlights. opaque. brown head. fair retention. fair lacing.

smells like vanilla. sherry. oak. caramel and toffee malts. some slight alcohol. some floral hop aroma too.

taste is very sweet upfront. flavors of vanilla and oak, roasted malts, coffee chocolate, toffee, caramel. some hop and roasted malts bitterness in the finish to try and take some of the edge off the sweetness of this beer, but it is still sweet throughout and lingering after the finish. flavor of alcohol grows and remains unmistakable.

full mouthfeel. soft carbonation. very wet/sweet.

this beer should definitely be aged. very good. very big. definitely a sipper/ dessert beer.

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