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Dragon's Milk - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,285 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,285
Hads: 4,785
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 26.08%
Wants: 281
Gots: 1,340 | FT: 41
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: 1,285 | Hads: 4,785
Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note...This beer is quite temperature sensitive. Started too cold,It does have a Red Wine like Tannin finish and a rather thin mouthfeel. Warmer things really snap into balance,though I may have finished it off before it got full spectrum as I got only a subtle Bourbon taste and hardly any real booziness or heat.

Look...Black,real black and an aggressive pour only does a short lived tan head.
Aroma-- Deep roasty sweet stuff,rum soaked raisins or a cream sherry. Getting a medium dark chocolate. Later and warmer it somewhat shifts toward coffee rather than chocolate and there's a touch of Bourbon,less of the Sherry.

Taste--The bottle and web site say Oak Barrel...no actual mention of Bourbon,but I got some..sometimes.

I began too cold,and initially I noticed chocolate,some slight smokiness and a sherry to port to red wine finish that was a bit harsh and lingering. The malt side flashed a sweet note then coffee and chocolate and rum raisin had a rowdy battle for dominance.

I decided to let this stuff warm more and the transition was dramatic as that unwanted Red Wine tannin vanished,Coffee stepped up with a swirl of secondary flavors,including raisin,oakiness,some smoke,roast,toffee...and in the back of the mouth,some Bourbon.

Some big dark ale/Stout/Porters do a graceful evolution from rather cold to their prime point....this does not do the cold well...unless you rather favor a touch of tangy that's almost sour. I may have finished a bit before she did...I was getting more body and sweet side,a LOT more silky smooth,a more graceful set of flavors in both transitions and merging. I think another 5 min wait might have brought up the Bourbon a bit more.

Mouth...as noted...at it's "best" temp it's a lot like a good Cream Stout, not real heavy/syrupy but a velvet,comfortable thing. Carbonation is adequate,might benefit from a VERY little more.

Drinkability...This is pretty "Large" yet not overwhelming or over the top. ABV says it ain't a "session" beer but if you take your time,a couple would taste good.

Not cheap. About the price of Bell's expedition.

Since it did come up...This is safe from bottle or tap...NOT from Dragon tit. Your Beer Insurance will NOT cover the ravaging of local villages and virgins or whatever fate befalls you.

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

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a deep black that lets just a tiny bit of light pass through when up. I was surprised by the very thin head, the tight tan bubbles fizzed away pretty quickly leaving no lacing.
Lots of oak in the aroma, also tons of dark fruit and some chocolate.
Lots of dark fruit up front supported by a malty body. I still get the oak and chocolate. Very sweet, maybe pushing it towards to sweet for a stout IMO. Moderately hot alcohol at the end.
Big body, very sticky and sweet. Higher in carbonation than I would have guessed.
Overall a nice beer. Again, a bit to sweet for a stout IMO. However, I like sweet beers so I won't complain. Thanks for letting me try this Paul U.

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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 julian89
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: Pours a rich chocolate brown with an inch ivory head with fair retention. Opaque reddish brown in the light.

Smell: High in alcohol and molasses. Very sweet smelling. Followed by dark chocolate and freshness.

Taste: Very rich in chocolate and dark sugars. The alcohol is very pronounced. The dark malt bitterness is dominating.

Mouthfeel: This is a rich strong beer. The mouthfeel is medium thick and the carbonation is fantastic for an imperial stout.

Drinkability: Pretty good imperial stout, the taste needs a little more. Maybe a little age will lessen the alcohol burn.

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Photo of BasementBer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not a major head of foam. Darker off white head of foam, deep dark red to brown. Doesnt build that classic stout head.

S: Scotchy oak with roasty chocolate notes. Very pleasent aroma.

T: Wow. Nose is chocolate and roasted malts, middle is vanilla notes with a slight cocoa puffs familiarity, finish is boozy but sweet. A really delicious beer.

M: sweet on the tongue and chewy thickness, flavor hangs around on the tongue and in the nasal passage. However, its the boozy aftertaste that keeps this from being perfect as it burns a great deal. If it was less strong i would say it 'warms', it doesnt.

D: Absolutely an excellent once in a blue moon beer for desert.

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Photo of mecummins
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

A- poured very dark brown black. A bit of reddish highlights when held up to a light. . Maybe a bit more than a half finger head and really no lacing to speak of. It looks like a big beer (as it should.)

S- It smells sweet. I can immediately pick out caramel and vanilla scents. There's a mocha aspect as well as a boozy nose to it.

T- I can taste the coco and vanilla notes right away. The bourbon booziness is there as well, but not overwhelmingly so. I can also pick out some sweet caramel and maybe some dried fruit on the back. It's pretty well balanced for such a big beer.

M- Creamy verging on lush. A medium finish which is appreciated with such a rick beer.

O- I really enjoy this beer on a cold winter night. It's not something you're going to want 2 or 3 of or to drink with a meal. But on it's own, it hits the spot.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle over 1 year old I believe.

Very dark brown with an excellent light brown head that recedes to a solid ring around the glass and some film. Leaves some nice lacing. Smell is fruity to the max - berries, cherries and raspberries and grapes. These are mixed in with some wood, roasted grain and a little wine like alcohol. Cocoa too. The fruit really dominates the taste here. It's complemented by a dry woody flavor which takes over in the finish and cocoa that is subtly there all along. With all of the fruit in there and the high alcohol, this really reminds you of a red wine at times. Medium bodied with enough carbonation to keep things moving along. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the strong berry and oak flavors and lack of hop balance, but other than that, this is a very intriguing beer to me. Not many beers have imparted this strong of a berry flavor to me, so I consider this one very unique. I'll definitely be picking some up from the next batch.

Edit: After having a fresher bottle from the late 2005 batch, I'm bumping the mouthfeel up from 4.0 to 5.0 and the smell from 4.0 to 4.5. Also the drinkability from 3.5 to 4.0. The caramel malt really comes out a lot more in this bottle and the smoothness is breathtaking. The fruit it much more subdued than in the aged bottle. There was also a significant vanilla undertone and a strong roasted malt flavor. Very interesting. It's almost like this is a completely different beer than the one I reviewed before.

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Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber this weekend and boy I wish I would have bought more. Poured a dark brown hue with a caramel light shining through it, not much of a head nor any lacing, but so what. The aroma and flavor makes up for it. Lovely scent of caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla with a powerful hint of soy sauce. Medium body, creamy with a fizzy carbonation to start, ending chocolate sweet and soft with a undertone of alcohol. Overall, I really enjoy this brew and will purchase more this weekend.

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Photo of dgfair
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in my Delirium snifter.

A - Pitch black with a huge fizzy tan head. Lot of carbonation released when I popped the bottle, so I knew I was going to be in for a fizzy one. Almost looks like a very thin stout.

S - Definite smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and sweet sugar. A little bit of sticky malt aroma with a little bit of a syrupy fruit cocktail smell. Definitely pretty complex.

T - I can definitely taste the vanilla, the oak, and the bourbon...that's all fine and good. However, this bottle has perhaps gone south. I'm getting quite a bit of a sour flanders red type taste, probably oxidization. I don't think it's intentional, because it clearly clashes with the delicate oak and just doesn't taste right. I've had this one before, and it definitely didn't taste like this.

M - Very fizzy and bubbly in the mouth. I would love for this one to be a little smoother and creamier, especially to go with the barrel flavors.

D - Better the first time I had it. Not terrible, but just not a great offering. Probably won't be revisiting this one at the price point.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my fav BB stouts available as a year-round. creamy, chocolate, bourbon with vanilla blended very well.
tried 2014
and 2015 vintage
subtle difference, the alcohol is more hidden. smoother chocolate, more roasted malts coming out in the aged bottle.
gotta try if you haven't. lives up to the hype.
dynamic &complex full-bodied stout. yum.

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

Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights. A mocha tan head rises maybe an inch before falling to a thin sheet.

Aroma is well noticeable on the pour. Cocoa, oak, vanilla. Some hints of figs and molasses down in there. A little coffee as well.

Hits the tongue rich and complex. A ton of malt with bourbon and its related oak and vanilla flavors. Brown sugar. Hints of dark fruit. Just enough bittering to keep the sugary malt from being cloying. Finishes long and lingering with oak and vanilla.

Medium full body with medium low carbonation makes for a very nice creamy rich mouthfeel which is perfectly appropriate for this beer. Beautiful. Somehow evades getting too cloying and heavy. I really don't want to set this one down. Rich, rewarding, delicious.

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

Picked up a bomber bottle which is now silk screened instead of labeled as portrayed in the picture here.

Pours deep and dark with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thin head dissapates quickly after the pour. Nice aroma with elements of carmel, coffee, and light bourbon. Flavor offers a nice complexity that grows with warmth. Carmel, vanilla, and oak mingle with moderate treacle sweetness and hints of bourbon. A very nice beer to sip by the fire on a cool night

Overall, a pleasant find and a surprisingly good. LIkely will pick this one up again.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip. Dark brown, not quite black, mostly opaque beer, with a beige head that fades to a ring pretty quickly. The nose is oak, some spiciness, and vanilla, all of which are present in the flavor as well. There's also a slight metallic note in the flavor, maybe some oxidation, that is a little distracting, and the alcohol is clearly evident though not hot. The beer finishes with a caramel sweetness that leaves it just shy of cloying, with a hint of cocoa at the very end. Somehow the beer never seems to come completely together; certainly a decent brew, but by no means outstanding.

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Photo of bamojr
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Great deep color with a fluffy caramel colored head. Very Oakey smell with some lovely toffee notes.
The taste is quite potent with a strong alcohol flavor that almost overpowers the other flavors. The oak flavors give it a very nice whiskey feel, which i do enjoy. It isn't terribly drinkable due to its potency.
This brew is good for a whiskey lover and has some good qualities but also has some room for some improvements.

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Photo of Roke87
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, slightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Pours a deep black colour with a very minimal half finger tops of off white head that very quickly dissipates into nothing, a few bubbles coming up from the carbonation but nothing in terms of a ring or anything like that.

Smell- Wow you can most definitely smell the bourbon on this one and it almost completely dominates the nose as well. Apart from the heavy alcohol smell you do get a nice roasted vanilla smell with a hint of chocolate in there as well.

Taste- Again a big wow on the bourbon from this one, the alcohol really shines through, it tastes like you are taking a shot of bourbon at times with that fiery bite going down your throat. It does finish somewhat sweet with a nice vanilla flavour mixed with a toffee malt flavour as well.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied and almost no carbonation but really what do you expect from an ale that has been aged in bourbon barrels, usually not too much carbonation to them.

Overall- I must have hit the clear out price day because I ended up picking this one up for $4.99 and was more than happy about it, especially considering a lot of other bombers range from $10-$20 for something that doesn’t even compare to this one. Although from the name dragons milk I was expecting a heavier stout like beer, but for a barrel aged ale it has a lot of amazing characteristics. Although heavily dominated by the bourbon taste I would definitely get this one again, even at $10 for a bomber I would probably get it again. Great beer offering from such an underrated brewer.

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Photo of chicano4craft
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Not much head. Thin tan ring of bubbles around the glass.

The nose isn't in your face. Pick up chocolate and some woodiness from the barrel. Slight roastiness. Some booze. Opens up as it warms.

I was surprised by the taste. The creaminess strikes me first. Then a roasted chocolate and woody finish. Some notes of vanilla. Really nice.

Good carbonation. Somewhat thin for the style but not worth complaining about. Good drinkability.

Overall I was impressed by this beer. Next time I can get my hands on it I won't hesitate.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a fairly black color with a dark tan one-finger head. Not as oily as a thought the pour would be; there's still some light finding its way through the glass. Where there is light, the color is dark brown to blood-red around the edges.

Smell: Toasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. There are also some nice dark fruit undertones. There's not as much oak discernible as I expected there to be; it seems like it might be getting lost among the sweeter aromas of the beer.

Taste: Lots of bitterness and warm undertones from the oak. The oak is definitely more of a player than in the aroma and offsets the toasted malt and dark chocolate notes nicely. I feel like the balance could be a bit better though, as it seems like some of the more complex flavors are being concealed by the stronger ones.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, pretty bitter, with a fairly dry finish. 10% ABV is concealed well.

Drinkability: This is a pretty decent brew, but the bitterness and lack of flavor complexity might prevent me from having too many.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some kind of date stamp on the bottle: E012 (don’t know what that means).

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass resulted in about one finger of dark mocha colored head that quickly dissipated to a single layer of bubbles and then to only an edge ring. It also left a good lacing. The brew is dark brown and completely opaque.

S: The aroma has dark roasted malt and a bit of chocolatiness along with some booziness.

T: The taste has flavors of sweet dark chocolate, dried cherries, sweet toasty malt, and some alcohol booziness and oak, along with a touch of peppery hops to balance the sweetness.

M: The body just slips over the border from medium to the lighter side of heavy. There is very little carbonation, which seems like a good fit for this beer.

O: This is how a barley wine should taste. (I don’t know what style New Holland Brewing was trying to make with this beer, but to me it seems like a barley wine – and, a darn good one at that.) The focus is on the roasted malt flavors – chocolate sweetness, dark chocolate, and dried fruits. And, the oak helps balance the malt and adds some complexity to the flavor profile. There is also some booziness that works well here – it does not get into alcohol heat, but remains at just a touch to add balance and complexity. This is definitely a must try for barley wine fans.

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Photo of Jables
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a thin off white head

Aroma is sweet caramel and fairly strong smoky notes can be detected. Very strong milk chocolate notes as well.

Taste is heavy of chocolate and caramel w/ some bitterness as from nice dark chocolate. This has a very balaced flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is high despite its high alcohol content and great intriguing flavor.

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.
Bottle states 9% abv. oak aged ale.

Appearance: Great looking brew!! Two inch tan colored head that dissappeared slowly, leaving a little delicate lacing around the glass. Very dark colored brew, not black, maybe dark brown, with awesome ruby highlights around the edges.

Smell: Cool smell!!! Vanilla, roasted malts and a pretty strong bourbon smell. Not to mention a hint of oak or some kind of woody aroma.

Taste: What a combination of vanilla extract, roasted malts, and oak. It ends with a warming flavor of bourbon, but not too strong. The alcohol is hidden very well!

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, not heavy at all, light to medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy too drink, even at 9%. I could easily drink a few bombers in one sitting. My first brew aged in a oak barrel, what a great example. Highly recommended!!!

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Photo of bradford
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a trade with stopbarking
Looked weird straight from the get go. Muddy brownish black with minimal head and a good bit of lacing
Smelled off as well. A weird yeasty odor comes through, not offensive but not bery inviting either
Taste was where I really got lost. Tasted more like a Belgian interpretation of a chocolate stout. All the character of a stout, except a very distinctive Belgian yeast taste
Mouthfeel sucked. It was thick, but a muddy gross feeling like after waking up hung over and not brushing your teeth for hours.
Despite all the downfalls, this beer is still drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try it, just won't seek it out in the future

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Photo of dudemuskie
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this brew many times out and about and finally snagged a sleeper bottle after the Beerhoptacular event this past weekend! Glad I finally get to pour over a glass and have a special moment with this brew! Its a 2010 vintage and I should probably lay this down, but I really felt like havin a big ol' stout so here we go!

Appearance- Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque, with faint ruby twinkles of light around the edges. A coke-like fizzy brown head quickly rises to about 1.5 fingers and subsides almost immediately to just about no head. Almost looks like a flat coke...

Aroma- Big notes of bright oak, rich bittersweet cocoa, fresh vanilla, and subtle earthy/herbal hops. Slight boozy tang in the nose reminds you this brew tops out at 10%!

Taste- Alcohol is very prominent from start to finish, though many supporting flavors help round it all out starting with a lovely malty sweet/vanilla/oakiness that intensifies into a big oaky and bittersweet cocoa middle. The finish includes more toasty oak and some chewy cocoa, caramel, and vanilla. Strong vein of warming alcohol through it all.

Mouthfeel- Slightly overcarbed fizzy start may mute some of the flavors, but the brew is big enough to still shine through! Chewy malt complexity enhanced by barrel aged contributions, though woodiness may be a bit too fresh in this young vintage. Full bodied, with some earthy hop additions for support, though bitterness perception low. Mod-high residual sugars. Definitely a warming sensation involved with the aftermath of each sip...I suddenly wish that it was snowing outside...

Overall- Very tasty, despite being a bit too young- lots of complexity, though the oakiness still on the verge of being overwhelming. Pretty good drinkability despite it all, but give this another 6ish months and it should mellow out just right and be a knock your socks off brew!

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Photo of DragonzBreath
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Stout poured dark and had a huge head, very pretty, first taste we looked at each other in amazement. A very strong bourbon smell hit us. This beer is aged in a second generation oak barrel. This beer got very strong as i drank it. I liked it.
It was like a shot and a beer rolled into one. 10 abv.

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Photo of PreacherBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours motor oil black and sports a thick brown head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lacing is minimal (could be do to the poor quality glassware available to me right now).

S - Smells of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and alcohol.

T - Notes of vanilla, milk chocolate, lactose, heavy oaky presence, pepper, and a slight alcohol burn.

M - Full bodied and slightly syrupy. Not overboard, but significant.

O - A par big-ass american stout. It's good, but doesn't stand out from the rest. If you come across it and are in the mood for a big ass stout, this will do the job quite well.

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle

Pours a very dark brown almost black with little to no head.

Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla.

Tastes strongly of bourbon and vanilla, boozy, you can taste the 11% at the finish

Mouthfeel is nice and rich, creamy, smooth

Decent beer, but way too bourbony and boozy for me. I prefer a stout where the coffee and chocolate flavors are profiled, this one is not balanced at all. I'll finish it but it may take me all afternoon, it is definitely a "big" beer.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.