Dragon's Milk Reserve - Maple Oak
New Holland Brewing Company

Dragon's Milk Reserve - Maple OakDragon's Milk Reserve - Maple Oak
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #782
Ranked #4,604
4.22 | pDev: 7.35%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Dragon's Milk Reserve - Maple OakDragon's Milk Reserve - Maple Oak
Notes: Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Maple Oak is the first of the Reserve series to receive the double barrel treatment, aging in both Kentucky bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels that previously held Vermont maple syrup. Our signature stout was also brewed with pure maple syrup for the first time ever, providing a delectably sweet complement to notes of roasted malt, vanilla, and oak.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 48
Photo of GuyFawkes
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 6/25/19; drank 8/22/19 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice tan head; strong, frothy lace.

Fresh earth, mild maple & faint cherry notes in the nose.

Sticky medium mouthfeel.

Fresh earth & mild maple syrup flavors up front; somehow, an odd lager note on the finish.

Well, at least they didn't use too much maple?! For a barrel aged pastry stout, this was mild to the point of boredom.

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Photo of Roguer
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big, frothy light tan head. Retention is good for the style, and lacing is excellent.

Maple, brown sugar, and bourbon on the nose, and strong implications of chocolate and vanilla. Cream, oak, mash, minor char, red grapes, molasses, licorice. It's inviting, but if a stout can smell watery and thin, this somehow manages it, along with a minor metallic note.

At first it translates to the palate well, with thick, rich malty tones expressed in waves of chocolate and espresso, wrapped in an envelope of maple, bourbon, and oak. Toward the end of the first third, red grapes start to emerge, eventually pairing with some char, coconut, and vanilla. Sweet maple keeps you smacking your gums throughout, and by the final third, brown sugar and banana emerge to join the maple, along with dry chocolate.

Nutty finish, yielding to cream as the sip lingers for quite some time: not sticky, not dry, just slowly fading from your palate, with each fading flavor allowing another to be revealed, like a sculptor "discovering" his art from within the rock.

The hints of metallic notes from the nose never realized on the palate, but the watery impression remained. There's no boozy hint of the 11% ABV, and it's got a soft yet lively, medium full body, but it's lacking some of the fullness of the best imperial stouts.

This is a beer not lacking in complexity and depth. The straight flavor profile itself isn't a home run - it doesn't do anything the "best," but it never stops revealing more and more, and rewards a long, careful, savoring sip.

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Photo of FBarber
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a shiny black color. Thin fizzy head dissipates rather quickly leaving just a thin ring of tan foam along the outside of the beer.

Aroma has notes of roasted malts, hints of chocolate, maple, oak, bourbon, vanilla, and some candied maple syrup notes lingering with a slight sweetness on the back end of the aroma.

Taste follows the nose with a nice smooth array of roasted malts, maple, candied maple syrup, bourbon, some oak and a hint of vanilla. There is a strong alcoholic heat to the beer, quite hot.

Feel is light, thin, surprisingly so for the high ABV and style. Spritzy carbonation.

Overall, this beer has some pros and cons. The flavors are nice, the maple goes really well here, but its too thin, very spritzy, and a tad hot, although that last one is not all that big of a deal.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours black with a lot of mahogany colors on the edges, with a sudsy tan head on top. The nose ..... is sublime. The maple is really forward, but it allows the oak to share the stage, and there’s also chocolate and roasty nutty aromas as well.

The maple is the initial flavor as well but the oak presents itself magnificently as a vanilla flavor, and there’s also chocolate and nutty flavors and that I can best describe as Nutrella flavor.

The mouthfeel, though, is a bit thin for a beer this big (11% ABV). But what a treat to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rather opaque fudge color with a two finger beige head; decent retention with quite the smattering of lace

Smell: Fudge and maple tones, with hints of oak and Bourbon

Taste: Fudge and maple forward, with the vanilla and oak emerging; there is a tobacco tone, in the middle, with a Bourbon reveal, after the swallow; the finish steers somewhat sweet toward the maple

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I don't know how (or why) New Holland produces such light mouthfeels in its high ABV Dragon's Milk series; this is one of the better ones in the series from a taste perspective but I have never been a huge fan of these variants

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Photo of zeff80
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and roasted malt. Sweet maple taste with vanilla, oak and roasted malt.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to an old non-BA buddy who gave me thi s bottle I wanted to try but wasn’t actually looking for. Free beer is good. Good beer free is great. Great beer free usually involve running from authorities.

Black, with a nose that’s mostly sweet, chocolate plus malt plus syrup, with a toss-in of the original roast.

Dragon’s Milk – Maple Oak is sharp. The sharp, lumbered oak covers this beer like a wood tarp, clashing with the typical ‘Milk roast. Lovely maple comes to the rescue mid-palate, closing with soft, suffusing bourbon. Caramel arches over everything. The sweetness & vanished alcohol makes it super easy to sip.

Borderline excellent that would tip over the line without that harsh initial clash. Very good beer.

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Photo of JA_26
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This is one powerful brew. Pours an inky black with about an eight-inch of tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. Take a whiff and the bourbon predominates, backed by notes of coffee, freshly baked black bread, dark chocolate and cherries. A sip reveals more complexity, with the sharp borbouny alcohol notes softened by deep roasted coffee and chocolate, lightened with a touch of vanilla, maybe from the maple? There's a hint of sweetness there too. At 11%ABV this is a slow sipper; the flavors open up even more as it warms up. Good one for curling up with your significant other by the fire.

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Photo of Giggy
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Crunchy’s in East Lansing, Mi. A dark chestnut color hue to this pour with a slight tannish/grey head. Small amount layer on top of the beer the entire time. Great maple syrup flavoring, seems natural but not overly sweet. 11% alcohol is masked. Easy drinker.

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Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/27/2019. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of coconut, licorice, molasses, raisin, fig, date, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, maple syrup, bourbon/maple barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with big strength. Taste of huge milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of coconut, licorice, molasses, raisin, fig, date, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light herbal, roast, char bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, biscuit, dark bread/crust, coconut, licorice, molasses, dark fruit, smoke, oak char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, maple syrup, bourbon/maple barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet, and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety/bready, and lightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 11%, with no lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic double barrel aged imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon/maple barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the ABV, with the mellowly bitter/tannic/drying finish; great soft/silky feel. Fantastic balanced of super rich malts, maple syrup, and Bourbon/Maple barrel presence/integration; solid earthy hops and restrained fruity yeast. Light residual sweetness with lingering dryness. Not overly sweet/heavy for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, and outstanding style example as expected. One of the better ones in the series.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a majestic thick mocha head, good retention, decent lacing. Aroma is maple syrup forward, dark roasted malts and chocolate. Flavor is a wonderful blend of the nose with a touch of bourbon barrel added in. Feel is a touch light (as all of these Dragon's Milk variants seem to be). Overall a wonderful beer at a very fair price.

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Photo of Wolvmar
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle dated 6-27-19. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: light brown or a dark maple syrup. One finger head leaves clouds, a ring and slight lacing.

Nose: definite maple, some toffee, hint of coffee. Not much bourbon.

Taste: Maple but not overpowering or overly sweet, slightly burnt caramel, bitter coffee, dark chocolate. Slight bourbon/booze heat on back end. Really good, as long as you like maple/caramel.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, very smooth, coats the tongue but finishes fairly clean.

Overall: absolutely worth trying and one of the better Dragon’s Milk Reserve offerings. Nothing is overdone although there is a definite maple/caramel flavor leading. I bought one but will go back for more. Will try aging one but I’m guessing this is best fairly fresh.

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is something special. It sounds interesting in concept but I'm not sure if the idea shines through in simple thought. Let's get to it.

It pours out semi-thick, a little syrupy. Not really dense like you would see in a milk stout. It's dark like cola but not entirely opaque. And the head is minimal. A thin layer coats the top.

The smell is what caught me by surprise. It's a beautiful mix of chocolate, maple, and coffee. These scents do not fight for first place. The maple bringing sweetness, the coffee with its mild dark bitterness, and chocolate chilling in the middle. Not getting much of anything from the oak. But fear not.

The taste pretty much follows suit. Mixing chocolate, maple, and coffee. This is where oak shows up. It creates this smoky undertone that pervades throughout the whole experience. Making the coffee more noticeable. Everything here just works as a team. They play off each other so well.

Overall this beer is a very enjoyable stand alone experience. Like a light dessert of baklava and coffee. I feel like some people would prefer this beer to be a little bit more thick, perhaps by adding lactose, but the lightness keeps it true to a light dessert that you would have to finish off a nice meal.

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Dragon's Milk Reserve - Maple Oak from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 48 ratings