Dragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted Chilies
New Holland Brewing Company

Dragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted ChiliesDragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted Chilies
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #2,096
Ranked #12,938
3.92 | pDev: 13.52%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted ChiliesDragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted Chilies
Notes: This beer, aged with Chili de arbol peppers in the barrels, is one of a series of innovative specialties to sneak out of our Dragon's Milk Cellar. The earthy pepper character mingles with the dark roasted tones of Dragon's Milk as the spice slowly warms your palate, pleasantly contrasting the deep malt character. Pairings red meat, smoked foods, balsamic, rich cheese & dark chocolate.
Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 443 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz 2014 bottle on 10/10/18.
This stout is not for the timid or those adverse to chili heat: it has plenty of roasted chili flavor and heat, with the heat lingering on long after that last sip. The excellent base beer still has a clear presence but is a bit overwhelmed by the chilies in the aftertaste.

Oct 10, 2018
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Treyliff from West Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep black color with a one-finger creamy khaki colored head that has good retention long after the pour

S- smells of roasted malt, chocolate, char, woody oak, caramel, dark toasted bread, hint of pepper skin

T- dark roasted malt up front with notes of chocolate and char, followed by a bit of caramel/toffee sweetness, along with a bit of molasses. mid-palate gives some woody oak and light bourbon notes, the finish gives cocoa and wood

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy warming finish, pepper heat kicks in just enough on the linger

O- pepper heat is prevalent throughout, although doesn't really show up much in the taste. Basically a Dragon's Milk with a bit of a burn on the linger

Mar 02, 2017
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superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/5/2015. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with lighter notes of licorice, dark fruit, coffee, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, chilies, and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with lighter notes of licorice, dark fruit, coffee, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light chili pepper and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses, chili pepper, bourbon, toasted oak, dark bread, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chilies, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slight increasing dryness from pepper spice through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Minimal warming alcohol for 11%; light pepper heat builds through the glass, but never becomes overwhelming. Overall this is an excellent pepper spiced imperial stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, chilies, and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. This was a lot more balanced than the 2014 version, which felt way too hot on the peppers. This one still has nice earthy pepper flavors, with increasing spice and heat; but they never overpower the base beer. A very enjoyable offering.

Dec 11, 2016
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angelmonster from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review is of bottle from 10/2015. 1 year old

Pours a black body with a small, 1/5th of an inch sand colored head. Lacing and head retention are average.

Smell is big on burnt oak, roasted malt, and some alcohol. Chilis' are super light and no hops detected. Sweet toffee comes through as beer warms.

Taste is big on chili, roasted malts, smoky oak and alcohol. Toffee balances out the heat nicely, no hops present.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Slightly thin for the style, low head retention doesnt help.

Overall, I thought the chilis' in this beer were great. Didnt get much vegetal aroma/flavor but the heat was definitely there. I think that I'm just not too fond of the base beer. Dragons milk isnt bad but I think its just middle of the road in terms of everything. That being said, this version of it is unique, would try again.

Oct 20, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark clear brown gathering to a solid opaque black with a dense creamy tan blanket.

Smells pretty roasty, with dark chocolate malt, heavy molasses, earthy chilis, and woody oak.

Taste is chocolate and bourbon interrupted by chili that immediately warms the throat with pepper without burning--it's a good balance with the roasted malt and other elements--all seems to be evenly split.

Thick, full bodied that's almost sticky, but not quite. I don't understand how this can be markedly better than the other variants of Dragon's Milk, but, it is.

Oct 16, 2016
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mschrei from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 vintage. Poured into a stout snifter.

First off, I am not a hot pepper fan, especially when it is in beer and really heats things up. I bought two of these last year, and I tried the first one on Thanksgiving. I got a quarter of the way through, it was way too hot for me, and I poured it out. I am glad I let the second one sit for a year.

Second, I went for this one today because I have a cold and spices always help open my sinuses.

Standard looking stout – dark with tannish edges, but at least there is some presence of lacing after a while.

Due to the aforementioned cold, I really can't judge well on the smell, but I am detecting some roasty notes with an underlying pepper presence, so I'm going to give it the rating I feel it would deserve under normal conditions.

Taste and feel is not bad, but not great-the back of the mouth heat is still the most powerful part of it, but the roasty nature of the stout still comes through pretty well. Very hard to feel any barrel presence, however, and the high ABV is either disguised well or tough to detect by my impaired taste buds.

Overall, not a great beer, but I would gladly give it another chance with aging and not having a cold, and also because hot pepper beers are generally not my thing, but I want to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, sometimes you have to do what you have to do, especially if it involves drinking beer, right?

Sep 28, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark cola brown body, nearly black, one finger thick and frothy mocha head, good retention, even thick lacing. Looking good. Smells of rich milk chocolate, oak, sweet bourbon, light char and mild roast. Not particularly chili or vegetal as far as aroma goes, which is probably good as I find chilis to add too much green pepper/vegetal aromas. This is pretty much Dragon's Milk, but maybe a bit more rich. Flavour is as expected; milk chocolate, bourbon with a light smoke to it, oak, vanillin, and a fairly big chili kick that comes in the middle and lingers all the way to the end. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, standard Dragon's Milk fare, good carbonation, with a spicy peppery kick on the latter half and which lingers for a while. An overall interesting and tasty brew, not one I would finish the entire 12oz pour of on my own because of the spiciness, but it's fairly well executed.

Sep 09, 2016
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beergoot from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark brown body; one-finger thick light tan head. Mint and chili aroma; tobacco. Mint and chili flavors riding a milk chocolate backbone; leather; brushes of vanilla. Heavy body; lush and velvety with a nice heat bite underneath.

I can't say I realized the chili aspect of things when I bought this, but what a great discovery after the fact. This is one fine chili-stout ale. The chili heat nicely balances the stout sweetness. The malt sweetness and chilies also do a fine job of sublimating the high ABV of this monster. Anyway, the usual superlatives apply: balanced, complex, etc., et al...

Aug 07, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours coffee brown, somewhat translucent, with a rather small head that fades to a ringlet and archipelago; splotchy lacing

Smell: Chocolate and chili pepper, with a hint of Bourbon

Taste: Chocolate and roast forward, with growing heat from the chili peppers; after the swallow, the Bourbon edges into the profile

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; heat tingles the tastebuds

Overall: Surprisingly thin and the heat seems a bit out of balance with the Bourbon barrel, but I otherwise enjoyed it

Thanks, SDDLSK, for the opportunity

Jun 12, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i am usually not a fan of chili beers at all, even the dark ones, even the highly regarded ones, but this is pretty darn impressive. the chili is the perfect amount for my tastes, and there is just a little bit of heat on the back end, but it goes away quickly, certainly doesnt have me frantically reaching for a glass of water like some of these do. smooth and rich, eggshell luster on the pour, black, with a short but easily roused tan head. the nose head is amazing, very little of the pepper, but lots of oak and lactose, roast and char, and maybe just a hint of smoke. the pepper is nice in the flavor, brings out some of the deeper chocolate notes in here, and comes on increasingly throughout the drink, climaxing right before the finish where i do get the toasted aspect too. i think thats so much more appropriate here than fresh peppers, and it really works for me. smooth and big, but not a trace of its strength, this is a good reminder of why i love the base beer so much, but its also a wonderful edition, the chili gives this another layer and makes me appreciate aspects i never have before. i think it makes it much less sweet so the grain depth is more obvious, ashy and dark, really nice. overall an outstanding beer, on tap with my lunch today at freshcraft downtown.

Jun 07, 2016
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle received as an extra in a trade , pours a light black color with an dark tan head,, smells of roasted malts wit chocolate and spice, taste has a nice wood and whiskey note followed by some spice and pepper heat, mouth feel has smooth pepper heat mixed with a BA Stout it works well and is tasty, it thin for my liking but it still a nice BA Stout, recommended, if you like some spice heat with your stout.

Apr 30, 2016
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"This beer, aged with Chili de arbol peppers in the barrels, is one of a series of innovative specialties to sneak out of our Dragon's Milk Cellar. The earthy pepper character mingles with the dark roasted tones of Dragon's Milk as the spice slowly warms your palate, pleasantly contrasting the deep malt character." Brewed in the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout, available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs (previously 22 oz. bottles) and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a smooth, crisp frothy head of a pale brown color over a deep brown body with moderate clarity. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 3.25

(Smell) Chocolate grains, light caramel, mild roast, raw, dry oak and lightly toasted chili character with no discernible heat in the aroma. 3.5

(Taste) Smooth chocolate body with a slightly exposed graininess, slight toasted pepper character and more than a tingle of pepper heat on the back end. Finishes softly roasty and dry with bakers chocolate. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly oily, smooth and moderately dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a briskly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is grainy caramel and drying oak over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) Not very impressed by this one. Sure, there is a great deal of toasted chile pepper character and it makes for quite a heat tingle on the back end, but the body of this beer does not nearly hold up against it. 3.5

New Holland Brewing Company's
Dragon's Milk Reserve With Toasted Chilies

Apr 13, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
samsmith33 (768) - - JAN 3, 2016
On tap at blend. Side by side with xocoveza. Dark black, off white head. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Taste is very boozy. Not much pepper compared to coffee. Thin feel. Good beer, but overshadowed here."

Apr 09, 2016
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ONUMello from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown with a one-finger head that quickly settles
S: Coffee and arbol chilis
T: Chilis, cocoa and coffee. The chilis add a nice spice but aren't hot
M: Medium-bodied, spicy, the etoh barely shows
O: I don't often enjoy beers brewed with peppers but this one showcases the smokiness of the arbol without adding too many Scoville units

Mar 15, 2016
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Phyl21ca from Canada

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with black chocolate and some light bourbon notes with subtle chilies flavours is pretty awesome. Aroma of roasted malt and black chocolate with some bourbon notes are good but the chillies notes are a bit string for my taste buds and ends up overtaking all the other flavours. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Probably well brewed but this is still a bit too hot for my taste buds.

Mar 07, 2016
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K-Dog from Michigan

3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've now had all the variants except the triple mash which I'm aging for awhile. So far the coffee chocolate was the far the best with the vanilla chai being the worst. This one was ok but probably need some more aging as the heat from the chilies really over powered this beer. Being from Michigan I still say Mayan mocha by oddsides is the best chilies slash haben stout. This not bad but not great. Worth a try but for those who are holding onto a bottle or too I would wait awhile to let the heat die down.

Feb 20, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Share with rudzud

Nice creamy smaller head very little lacing, much darker pretty much pitch black.

Nose starts with a little herbal pepper, little ester, very little roasty and caramel biscuit, weird nutty thing, faint barrel but like ester wood, touch vanilla and barrel.

Taste brings a little pepper heat, spicy but vegetal pepper, nice roasted pepper, little toasty brown malts, hint fudgey cocoa, caramel notes, faint vanilla barrel but no bourbon, sticky finish, little booze, lingering pepper heat, little roasted chili, little fudge lingering.

Mouth is a bit heavier fudgey, little decent carb, hint of booze, nice pepper heat.

Overall again mixed, decent beer, really nice pepper roasted chili flavor and heat, rest of the beer was ok, very little if any barrel, malts are darker and thicker bit less overall than I expected.

Feb 19, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black with a thin head that fades quickly.

S - Aromas of light vegative peppers, little bit of faint chocolate. Really lackluster.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, light chocolate syrup, really faint oak and bourbon. The chili heat is nice and strong. Pepper burns on the back end decently.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, faint burn.

O - Overall this beer was alright. Decent chocolate and chili.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 19, 2016
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manfromanotherplace from New York

4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the first pour its noticeably thinner than the regular, smell is a perfect combination of chocolate, bourbon and caramel, there is a definite fruity element in the taste, an almost dark raspberry twang, slight heat from the chilies after swallowing but not too noticeable,overall very good.

Feb 15, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No apologies, I love this stout! It looks like a normal dragon's milk, but from the smell you know this dragon has fire! Hot peppers, campfire, char, with dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, molasses and wood. Taste sets ablaze my low expectations: it is a beast that is unafraid to be so: take everything from the nose with coffee, roasted earth, and raisin. Feel is chewy, hot but contrasted beautiful malt coolness, and has creamy and dark depth.

Feb 08, 2016
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Stevem68 from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is a little boozy, warm from the chilies and light chocolate. Flavor is nice, has balance between the chili, chocolate and sweetness. Overall this works well. Leaves a bit a warmth in your mouth on the finish.

Feb 05, 2016
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mjpolzin from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not saying Dragons Milk or any of it's variants are world class barrel aged beers but I think they are a lot better than what they get credit for on this site. I don't know if it's because Dragons Milk is year round so people take it for granted? Anyway.....

Two years ago I had this beer when it last came out (or whatever iteration it was of it back then) and it was a hot, way too spicy, unbalanced mess. This was so much better. I could taste the sweet bourbon character of the base beer and then a subtle spiciness from the peppers. I wish I had more than just the one bottle!

Jan 25, 2016
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Sammy from Canada

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth base IS, with solid finish of balanced heat. Dark and fuller mouthfeel. Black without a significant head.
Thanks for saving, Mike at Champane Cellars.

Jan 25, 2016
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agreenman19 from Connecticut

3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L - pours a thin-looking brown with an amber mocha head. Excellent retention when looking at it from above. Looks creamy delicious from this angle!

S - bourbon, rye, some vanilla. Really smells like whiskey.

T - roasty bourbon blast up front, followed intensely by hot pepper. The fiery spiciness lasts from beginning to long after the sip is finished. Fringes the liquory stout core, but is ultimately dominated by the chile peppers. Shaping up to be a novelty beer...

F - light and cloud-like as my lips hit the beer. Thinner than I'd expect for such high ABV. Meh.

O - underwhelming. I was expecting more of a deep, toasty chile FLAVOR, not a chile BURN. Seems thinner than regular dragons milk too.

Jan 17, 2016
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jp32 from Michigan

4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black in color with a khaki colored head that retains a nice size.

It smells malty, rich, and sweet, very similar to the regular Dragon's Milk.

The dark, rich, roasted malt flavor is intense (as I hoped it would be), and the chilies lend a wee bit of spice character to it. The chilies are not overly spicy, but they are present.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth. A wonderful brew here.

Jan 13, 2016
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Toasted Chilies from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 443 ratings