Dragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla Chai
New Holland Brewing Company

Dragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla ChaiDragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla Chai
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,775
Ranked #5,476
4.05 | pDev: 8.64%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla ChaiDragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla Chai
Notes: Combines robust malt character with the luxurious nuance of sweet Chai. Aged in white-oak bourbon barrels, Vanilla Chai Dragon’s Milk is a concert of luscious flavors.
Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 314 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Dark body, mostly black but with red-brown highlights, with a minimal tan head, fading quickly to nothing. No lacing.

S - Hints of coconut and chocolate-vanilla over a big, fat booze hit, and a roasted malty core.

T - Follows the nose, with a strong barrel line, vanilla and tea aspects, and a chocolate brightness, and a booze aspect that reminds a dark rum or bourbon.

M - Quite light, brisk and prickly, with strong alcohol warmth. Does not linger.

O - A decent stout with pungent barrel and alcohol, but with a very low weight. The lack of heft is coupled with a rapid drop away in flavor in the finish, and I suspect this is related. The result is something not quite as satisfying in total.

Sep 01, 2019
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ravisingh from Connecticut

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tried this at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, CT. Came in a tulip glass with about a half inch of head leaving behind middling lacing. The aroma is roasty with a slight hint of chai. The taste is dark and roasty with some boozy notes. It's better than the coconut banana that's for sure. Decent stout.

Dec 23, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Oily black with a tan ring on the pour. Vanilla bonds with the oak, chai with the bourbon in the nose, chocolate is the fifth wheel at the party. Taste is not as clean, some coffee and spices emerge which honestly distract more than they add. Feel is warm with bourbon, malty and medium bodied for the series, elevating the chai components. An odd addition but one that from sip to sip really works or clashes a bit, more interesting than good

Nov 14, 2017
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andrenaline from Canada

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice flavour combination with the chai coming through nicely on the nose and surprisingly forward on the tongue. The vanilla is more subtle and comes through on the finish. Classic Dragons Milk with subtle barrel presence creates a base that pairs well with the vanilla chai additions. Fantastic.

Mar 26, 2017
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Pours with a good beige head over an opaque near black body.
I'm a big fan of Dragon's Milk but not of chai. Not surprisingly then, I like this less than the original and some of the other variants. It is, nonetheless, very good, and it's almost exactly what I would expect. There's an obvious but not overpowering contribution of chai spices and vanilla, with the base Dragon's Milk clearly present.

Feb 25, 2017
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spacecake9 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours dark with a 1/4" of tan, creamy looking head.
S - The aroma is full of chai spice.
T - The flavor is quite interesting with the chai spices, vanilla and some chocolate.
M - Very creamy with low carbonation.
O - I love stouts, and I really like the different flavors in this one.

Feb 03, 2017
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Suds from Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black and thick, with a tall tan head...this beer is substantial. The aroma is intense with vanilla and cardamom....malt and sweet chocolate. The taste is malty, with continued vanilla and chai. A bit of sugar, thick and intense chocolate and coffee notes, along with bitter hops. The warming sets in a bit later....boozy and notable. This is a complex and very interesting beer.

Jan 16, 2017
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was a pretty big fan of the coconut rum barrel version of this, as well as a pretty solid proponent of the base beer itself (it's easily the best widely-available, year-round bourbon barrel stout and it's available in an affordable format to boot), so when I saw these available to buy in four packs or as single bottles, I had to jump at the chance to grab a single to see what it was all about. I'm not huge on vanilla chai flavors, but I can definitely appreciate their solid inclusion in a nice, big, roasty and sweet stout such as this. Guess we'll see if they can pull that off!

Pours a luscious deep brown, bordering black, topped off with a dollop of creamy beige foam that sinks to a small, retentive and modest rim atop the dark beer's body. Smooth-looking with a color as devoid of light as motor oil, this definitely looks the part.

The nose feels a bit more subtle right off the bat than I anticipated. I'm getting some cardamom, woody tannins, light notes of vanilla and dark chocolate and some subtle caramel/toffee working its way in there as well. If I sniff real deeply, I can get some cinnamon, coffee and roasty grains. This is definitely less intense than the coconut rum barrel DM, but I guess I can appreciate that they didn't go too heavy-handed with this flavor combination, as it could easily get out of hand (and has in some chai-flavored beers I've had).

Flavor is more forward with a nice dose of cardamom and cinnamon-laden chai tea upfront, frothy and genuine with a light vanilla note that plays off the bourbon barrel. Some stiff tannins from those staves start to come out in the finish, while the mid-palate is awash in decadent milk chocolate and roasted barley. Spice is noticeable but definitely not over-the-top, and I appreciate the balance they achieved here. It could probably stand to be a little more bourbon-forward, but I barely taste any alcohol, let alone 11%, so I guess that's a win for drinkability and mouthfeel.

Speaking of, this is smooth and only lightly roasty in texture, and the herbal, spicy flavor of chai upfront kind of biases the tongue to those flavors, finishing off woody and pleasant, with a surprisingly dry closeout to each sip. Not bad, but not as good as Coconut Rum or even regular DM. I appreciate trying it but probably won't jump at the chance to get more of it. Solid.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk from Georgia

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Combines robust malt character with the luxurious nuance of sweet Chai. Aged in white-oak bourbon barrels, Vanilla Chai Dragon’s Milk is a concert of luscious flavors." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial Stout aged in oak barrels with vanilla and chai added. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a light brown color over a near black body. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Imperial stout notes of dark chocolate, moderate roast, lightly toasted oak barrel tannins, moderate vanilla and bourbon character, slightly enhanced with additional vanilla character and the spicy herbal aroma of chai tea leaves. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) Even more bourbon character forward from the top, strong oak tannins and bourbon subtleties, vanilla slightly more potent than usual. Even stronger than in the aroma is the intense chai tea impact, moderately spicy and very potent in flavor for a unique flavor combination. Potency is moderate. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly creamy, smooth, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, shy of heavy overall. Balance is slightly more oak tannins and roast bitterness over sweetness. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Another unique spin on a popular series, the chai comes through stronger than ever, but the vanilla plays a modest role in drawing out the bourbon more for a richer and smoother beer. Solid variant and worth a shot. 4

New Holland Brewing Company's
Dragon's Milk Reserve: Vanilla Chai

Dec 13, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A dark beer with a tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. The aroma is filled with coffee, vanilla and chai spices with the cardamom and cinnamon showing up the most. This nice creamy beer is pleasantly sweet with a huge hit of vanilla, cardamom and black pepper spice. There is a bitter char finish with lingering sweetness. This is a very well done chai beer.

Dec 08, 2016
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HopBomb515 from New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black, thin appearance, medium head and great lacing. Aromas of spice, burnt toast and Bourbon. Notes of tea spice, vanilla char, oak and Bourbon. Sharp carbonation smooths to creamy by finish, medium body, and lightly dry.

Dec 04, 2016
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bean brown pour that develops into a dark black color in the snifter. A thin ring of head sits on top.

Aromas of dark chocolate, peanut butter-chocolate, coconut, cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla.

The flavor is initially some burnt malts and pot coffee, followed by licorice, and finally hits of chai. Still, a boozy flavor peeks through and throws off the flavors. Hot, boozy, cinnamon-licorice-rum.

Feel, again, super thin. But not as thin as the others? This sample is actually more on par with a thicker porter, not a brown ale. Are all Dragons' Milk not created equal? Lots of burn here though too. To be fair it's an 11% beer.

Overall, probably the best Dragon's Milk...BUT, still not worth buying again.

Nov 29, 2016
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a flat black with a small head. The aroma offers up caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and no roastiness. The chai is very apparent early in the tastes, with cream and vanilla, caramel, toffee, browned toast, banana, and prunes. The mouthfeel is very thick, sweetly syrupy. Overall this is a a bit on the sweet side for me, but still enjoyable.

Nov 24, 2016
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Pretty good lacing & head retention

S: Carob & vanilla

T: Vanilla & Chai as advertised, faint mocha notes up front. Cinnamon, a little vanilla & chai as this warms, some dryness as this warms. More of the same in the finish

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation & very warming

Not bad, but I prefer the regular version

Nov 12, 2016
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring bright brown filling to total black with large uniform tan head dying to a thin blanket.

Hmm, the smell is coming across as minty chocolate, like Andes, for some reason, I guess maybe the Chai and barrel combo has translated to mint. Wow, I mean, that's all I can get on the nose, and no, I have not recently ingested a breath mint!

Smooth, frothy chocolate with vanilla-coconuty oak and that mint-like chai is present again in flavor. A little heat lingers on the back end, but it doesn't quite seem like bourbon, maybe closer to rum.

Thankfully I'm not getting a potpourri effect like some Chai teas can bring. Feel is a relatively full body, semi wet.

Nov 11, 2016
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TheSixthRing from California

3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours dark, near black, cola brown with a coca powder colored, half finger width head. Sub-par retention results in a mostly barren surface with an island of suds found in the middle of the glass and a razor thin ring around the edge. No lacing found aside from a small handful of tiny spots.

Smell - Follows the promise of the label - prominent chai spice (cinnamon and whatnot) upfront with lesser vanilla. Underlying chocolate and some sweet bourbon qualities.

Taste - Follows the nose. Plenty of chai flavors upfront and throughout with mild vanilla sweetness. Underlying chocolate adds a nice, subtle base. A hint of bourbon mid-taste, and a bit of milk chocolate in the finish. Aftertaste lingers with the aforementioned flavors, but chai spices still hold firm.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky smooth texture. Goes down stupid easy for 11%. Warms the belly slightly. A bit thin, but can't deny the smoothness.

Overall - Interesting brew, and mostly enjoyable, though I think the chai dominates too much of the total experience. The chai spices, I will say, do well to compliment the warming sensation of the bourbon character. Ultimately though, not my ideal BA impy stout.

Nov 05, 2016
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Ltdsaint from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Beautiful rosy brown head that dissipates after about 2 minutes, dark charcoal black body with mild hints of sanguine.
S: I smell, off the bat a slight fragrance of vanilla, a strong sense of cinnamon, and even a little pumpkin. Could even be a little cherry, not too much of a smokey finish, but a decent oaky scent. A meager malt smell.
T: Many similarities in the taste, as described in the smell. No a very boozy brew, but very nicely crafted into a pungent texturized milk stout. Off the bat it is recognized as milk stout in its texture and format, but not exactly surprising, with the smell and taste.
F: I would describe this as syrupy and a bit creamy, doesn't strike me as extremely carbonated as well.
O: This is a great milk stout , but not fantastic. It is also the fall where I live, so that comes into play in my review.. Wish the Bourbon flavor was stronger in this sucker, but overall its a great milk stout, and I would most certainly drink it again!

Oct 29, 2016
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, thin head of foam. It smelled of vanilla, chocolate and chai spices. Nice roasted malt, coffee and chocolate taste with a hint of vanilla and spice.

Aug 13, 2016
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stortore from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown, opaque and fizzy looking. A small, quickly dissipating head with some cling. Smell is malt, chai spices, vanilla, oak, light chocolate, maybe a whiff of bourbon- maybe. The taste follows the nose with the malt and chai spices, more chocolate, some bourbon, oak, vanilla. Smooth, good, but a little lighter body, appropriate level of carbonation.

Enjoyable, and I liked it. As with all the variants, not as roasty or full bodied as the original. As a chai stout, it's good. not special.

Jul 03, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage 12oz bottle poured into a tulip, bottled 1/20/16

A- pours a dark, nearly opaque black color with. Small foamy khaki colored head that reduces to. Ring around the glass

S- aroma is a nice mix of cardamom, black peppercorn, ginger & anise spices up front. Oaky bourbon mixes with a vanilla and caramel sweetness and chocolate to close it out

T- spicy chai flavors up front with highlights of cinnamon, cardamom & ginger. Sweet vanilla kicks in mid-palate, along with oaky bourbon barrel, caramel & chocolate. The finish is peppery, with lingers of more chai spice and vanilla

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns a bit watery into the finish

O- my favorite dragons milk variant, the chai spicing is a great addition

May 28, 2016
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pants678 from California

3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black with thin head foam.

Wood, vanilla and tea.

Barrel and cardamom is harsh for a vanilla beer. Spiced are a new touch to the stole but feel out of place. Feel look like there's a better version that's vanilla only. The base stout has a simple milk chocolate flavor that works.

Hard to tell bc of the harsh finish.

May 27, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

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

look: dark mahogany. Moderate tan head on the pour. Handsome brew but i want my stouts nasty dark.
smell: Vanilla to be sure and though not familiar with Chai i guess that soft spiciness is it. Nice addition.
taste: nicely melded vanilla and chai with the base beer. Roastiness, kind of a milkshake quality. Nicely done.

May 26, 2016
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StoutHunter from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Short Review. I normally don't care for Chai beers too much, it's almost always overpowering and most of the time it doesn't work as well with the base beer as I would hope, but not with this beer, the chai blends seamlessly and it makes for a great mocha chai flavor that I really like. I'm impressed, New Holland showed they got some major skill with this one, it's easily my favorite Chai Beer, great job guys, I highly recommend it.

May 20, 2016
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DabblinWiscCraft from Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was given a 12 oz bottle by a friend. The bottling stamp says this one was made about four months ago. Poured at cellar temperature into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

L: Pours a deep cola brown--glows a bit red at the edges where the light can make it through--with a fantastically dense inch of khaki head that really sticks around forever and leaves significant lacing on the glass. That's a nice-looking beer.

S: Deep roasted malt notes with significant sweeter caramel playing on top. Riding above all of this are notes of chai tea, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and vanilla. More subtle bourbon plays around the edges. Solid nose.

T: Sweet caramel malts register first. Accompanying these are more toasted/roasted and chocolate malt flavors--quite sweet right out of the gates. The next flavors are those of chai tea, cinnamon, and vanilla, all of which seem to accentuate the sweetness. The middle has a greater chocolate quality, and it brings the introduction of the bourbon flavors (along with some building clear/warming alcohol). The back end doesn't diminish in sweetness, but it does bring a culmination of the chai, vanilla, and bourbon flavor, as well as quite a bit of warming alcohol and a good deal of chocolate malt flavor. There is some lingering bitter at the close, mingling with some of the boozy flavor. Not as much roastiness in the malt bill as I had expected: this one definitely favors the sweet.

F: This one is pretty firmly medium-bodied. It's quite creamy, well-carbonated, and just a bit syrupy, leaving some substantial bitter and booze on the palate.

O: I remember reviewing Dragon's Milk a long time ago and giving it a pretty poor score, primarily for its syrupy body and what I thought its overwhelming booziness. My tastes have changed a bit since then, and I've come to appreciate strong stouts in all their hefty glory. This one is pretty enjoyable. I don't know if I'd place it anywhere near a KBS or BCBS. The chai just doesn't do a whole lot for me among the other flavors going on, and the sweetness gets to be a bit too much for me. For what it sets out to be, though, I think New Holland did a great job. I'd recommend it to others who like barrel-aged flavored stouts, but I probably won't be going out of my way to find it again.

May 19, 2016
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NoYouDidnt from Indiana

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft. Looks perfect. Black appearance. 1 1/2 finger tan head. Smell is of vanilla, cinnamon, cream, bourbon. Taste, has a real nice cinnamon, and milky taste. Even a cinnamon from a hot cinnamon candy. Those favors dominate. Vanilla and some chocolate in there too. Overall, this is real nice. A sweeter cousin of dragons milk. Love it.

May 17, 2016
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla Chai from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 314 ratings