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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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,984
ABV:
11%
Score:
90
Ranked #5,781
Avg:
4.06 | pDev: 8.37%
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
344
From:
New Holland Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  21
Gots
  78
SCORE
90
Outstanding
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: 84 | Ratings: 344 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Bottled 09/29/20 11:56

Appearance: Very dark, but not quite black. Has some nice ruby red notes at the edges where some light comes through. Thin tan head with some strands of lacing, that I'm surprised stick around given the ABV here.

Smell: Hint of bourbon along with the chai, and just a tiny hint of vanilla.

Taste: Bourbon and chai dominate, with some underlying American Imperial stout bitterness, with a bit of bittersweet chocolate as well, for balance. I'm not getting much of the vanilla - I think it's lost with the other flavor, or it complements it so well I'm not able to pick it out as a distinct flavor. Still, a tasty dessert-like stout.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, not as thick and creamy as I thought it might be. Some warming from the bourbon barrel alcohol content. A little sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Quite tasty, but the after awhile I feel that this becomes more of chai spiced beer, and less of a Imperial Stout. The stout is there, but it doesn't stick out much. The beer works, but I am finding one is enough for me - I'm not necessarily wanting another. Maybe with the right dessert I might change my mind.

Feb 21, 2021
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buschbeer from Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a stemless wine glass

This beer pours black and is topped with a few inches of tan head that leaves rings of lacing as I consume.

It has a chai spice aroma. I don't know. That all I can smell is the cinnamon, clove, etcetera.

The chai spices give way to sweet vanilla. I also get some milk chocolate.

Medium bodied with a smooth. creamy mouthfeel

I am not a fan of chai spices. This beer improved as it warmed letting the vanilla and base beer out of the shadows. I am glad I only bought a single. It was worth a try. I would not have it again due to my aversion to chai. I will try to rate it objectively.

Feb 17, 2021
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with minimal light penetration. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is of chai and vanilla. I’m tasting plenty of chai, a hint of vanilla, more chai, and bourbon. The mouth is chewy and warm with alcohol.

Feb 14, 2021
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schoolboy from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What can I say, it seems like every version of this is a success. I didn't age this one much, but you could - I have with other Dragon Milks. It was from last September (about 4 months).

This one looks pretty normal, with nice head. The aroma is sweet and the taste that follows is nicely balanced between sweet vanilla and malts. All of it hides the alcohol nicely and goes down easy.

Highly recommended. You can't go wrong with any of the Dragon's Milk variants.

Jan 27, 2021
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Rapscullion from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2020 Reserve 3 with Vanilla and Chai spices.
Poured from bottle Jan 2021.
Inky black with a respectable tan head.
Nose is an immediate hit of chai spice, led by cinnamon. Vanilla and caramel play background notes.
Palate leads with dark roast malt and esspresso followed by a hot hit of bourbon and an unpleasant chemical tang. Sweet vanilla, roast chestnut, dark chocolate and nutmeg come through on the finish.
An interesting beer but not integrated to my palate. The spices and bourbon are too strident, significant alchohol burn and chemical note spoil the beer. I will put the other 3 bottles in the cellar and see if it improves with a bit of aging to allow it to marry and knock off the harsh edges.

Jan 10, 2021
Photo of robwired
robwired from Kansas

4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First, the label says, "2020 Reserve 3," New Holland's third iteration of its 2020 Dragon's Milk Reserve releases.
Nose: Cinnamon and chai spice.
Taste: The chai is prevalent with a licorice hint.
Mouthfeel: Smooth medium thick.
Experience: Poured from the 12 oz. 355 ml bottle, a slight but respectful head persists per sip in a Rastal Teku glass. A caveat: Must like chai spice. However, the bourbon barrel aging makes its presence known delightfully. So does the 11% ABV without alcohol burn.
Summary: Stay home. Enjoy. Don't drive.

Jan 07, 2021
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good head production and retention. Very attractive beer.

Lots of Chai on the nose, blending with a nice roasty stout base. Notes of chocolate, espresso, brown sugar, caramel, plum.

Smooth on the palate, with tasting notes mostly matching the nose. A bit sweet up front, but quickly becomes dry. Nutty finish.

Full bodied.

This is a really well balanced beer. Chai can easily be overpowering, but it's well done here.

Jan 01, 2021
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blazerkor from Nevada

4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The smell is a mix of bourbon, stout chocolaty coffee and a little vanilla, no chai spices.

Oh wow, what a complex mixture of tastes. There's the bitter stout taste up front followed by a bit of warming bourbon and then sweet vanilla.

The mouthfeel is full and smooth with little carbonation. The after taste is vanilla and a ton of chai with the stomach warming of bourbon and the 11abv.

It's such an interesting beer. A bit too sweet but not cloying. It's definitely the second best stout I've had tonight but it was still very good... I still taste the bitterness and chai. It gets a 5.2 out of 6.

Dec 29, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black pour with micro-thin lacing.

S - Light chocolate roast along with bourbon and chai with a little bit of vanilla.

T - Chai is the main event from start to finish along with oak, bourbon, roasted chocolate, and some delicate vanilla. The flavors swirl and blend on the palate with Chai being foremost while on the back end there's a nice lingering bourbon, chocolate, vanilla.

M - Thick, slick, and some stickiness on the lips.

O - I'm not a fan of Chai but this one is growing on me.

Dec 22, 2020
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap that leaves good lacing

S: Roasted malt, vanilla, chai spices, bourbon, and oak. Some caramel as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of roasted malt, chai spices, bourbon, and caramel. Picks up some vanilla and charred oak. Finishes with lingering chai spices, bourbon, and char

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid iteration of Dragon’s Milk that hits hard with the chai spices. Vanilla and bourbon sweetness help out a little, but the spices have their day. Still makes for a solid accompaniment to the base. Worth a drink

Nov 26, 2020
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fountainofyouth from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Even with a slow pour, kicks up a persistent two-finger off-white head. Body is dark brown and translucent -- not black.

Smell: Smells pleasantly of fresh chai, on top of bourbon barrel vanilla scents.

Taste: Vanilla, chai, traditional stout roast. Blended well. Tasty. Only a bit of bourbon flavor.

Feel: Fairly light-bodied, with moderate carb. Slightly dry finish.

Nov 06, 2020
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Jball25 from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle dated 09/29/20. Pours very dark brown to black with a 1/4 inch head of light to medium brown foam. The nose is heavy with toasted malt up front with subtle sugar and vanilla sweetness with just a hint of wood and chai spice. Tastes much like it smells with a boozy, but not overwhelming, bourbon accentuation followed by a lingering toasted malt and vanilla aftertaste. The mouth feel is moderately creamy with a fair amount of carbonation for a stout and you're left with an ever so slight burn on the tongue. I've missed a couple of the reserve releases from earlier this year so I was happy to get my hands on this and it did not disappoint.

Nov 02, 2020
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020 release. Poured moderately hard from a bottle into a snifter glass, forming a couple fingers of tan head. Head slowly faded to moderate lacing with a thick ring. Deep brown body. Smell is a teeny bit of bourbon with some chai spices. Taste follows, with surprisingly mild bourbon flavor, chai spices taking front and center. Vanilla is there as a background flavor. Very tasty, not too sweet. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Super good bourbon aged, probably my favorite stout with chai spices. Easy to drink too.

Oct 27, 2020
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -2%
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 +0.7%
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 -3%
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 (ON)

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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 -0.7%
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 +4.7%
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 +7.4%
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 -0.7%
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
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Jadjunk from Georgia

4/5  rDev -1.5%
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
4.00/5.00

Dec 13, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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 -1.2%
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
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.27/5  rDev -19.5%
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
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Vanilla Chai from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 344 ratings