Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BA SCORE
4.08/5
Exceptional
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
newhollandbrew.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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
2016 Bottles are 11% ABV

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,649
Ratings:
6,356
pDev:
12.5%
 
 
Wants:
414
Gots:
2,166
Trade:
41
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,649 | Ratings: 6,356
Reviews by CapitalGains:
Photo of CapitalGains
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured and tasted a 22 oz. bottle, Vintage 2010 into a Deschutes snifter. 6/3/2011.

A: Pours a deep brown/black. Not nearly as black when looking down while drinking. Moderate head formation with a dirty gold/white gradient from bottom to top, head retention is minimal and de minimis lacing exists as it is consumed.

S: Mostly scents of milk chocolate and vanilla, very faint scent of wooden/oaken attributes, surprising amount of alcohol at the tail-end of each smell. The smell of alcohol was also much more prevalent in the remaining ounces of the snifter as well as the beer warms, relative to a full initial pour. Kind of disappointed.

T: By and large lightly roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla are the dominant drivers according to my taste buds. Notes of caramel and oak once the beer warmed up and after the first fews sips. Almost no hop bitterness to this one. Surprising amount of alcohol in this one, though I figure that might mellow out a bit with some additional time on it.

M: I've never had dragon's milk in real life (well, maybe in a RPG...or wait, I think that was dragon's blood) but if such a thing existed this beer's mouthfeel would probably nail it. Medium-heavy, creamy mouthfeel initially which fades as the sip goes down. Starts out like a milkshake with too little ice cream mixed in. Perhaps some day I will slay a black dragon and will be able to do a side-by-side comparison. Until then I'll have to make arbitrary assumptions about what real dragon's milk feels like. Oh well! I digress...

O: This is decent stout overall. I did not get much out of from the oak-barrel aging but that could be due the lack of extended aging to develop more of those characteristics. For its style it's hard to find anything remarkable about it. The chocolate and vanilla that I gather from it make it sweeter than most other 9-11% barrel aged stouts I've had. I vaguely remember having this on-tap a few years back but I don't recall many of the attributes then as I was still (and still am) in the infancy of my beer tasting lifetime. I do not recall the exact price I paid for this 22 oz. but I believe it was somewhere in the range of $6.50-8.00.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like this one a lot. Seems I'm an "outlier," so I need to elaborate. The bourbon flavor does make it a bit harsh, but that's balanced by a smooth creaminess that makes a great combination. The heartiness of the underlying stout itself is top notch as well, but I'm really not one to go into flowery descriptors so this will have to do.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014. 11.00% abv listed on the label. At long last I am finally getting around to trying the legendary New Holland Dragon's Milk that I always see.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a dark cola color but appears a near opaque black in the glass. Barely conjures a half finger of mocha head that disappears fast. Some good fat sticky lacing.

S - A buttery creamy aroma. Vanilla, cream, oak wood, mustiness, caramel. A very moderate but pleasant aroma. The creamy / buttery vanilla characteristics are dominant though. Mouthwatering, to be sure.

T - Taste follows the nose: cream, vanilla, caramel, oak wood, and some hot boozy bourbon warmth. Sweet and sugary, with some underlying notes of chocolate and dark roastiness. A touch of dark fruits.

M - The feel is extremely smooth & creamy, with mild bourbon alcohol heat.

Overall, a very enjoyable and underrated bourbon barrel stout from New Holland.

New Holland Dragon's Milk -----4/5.

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Photo of egrandfield
4.9/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smooth, smooth, smooth. Can't really taste the alcohol, yet it is 11%. A real stout too (not one of those desert stouts). One is enough, but I'd love to have two.

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Photo of BarrelyLegal
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Black body, khaki 1cm head uniform thickness across the beer. Disapates leaving thin horizontal lacing with few legs. 3.75

S - Sweet Bourbon and some booziness. Subtle sour smell. 2.75

T - Boozey and bourbony. Not too much of a roast malt, no coffee or chocolate. The thin Stout backbone gives this a bit of an Irish Car Bomb feel, like booze poured into a Guinness. 3.5

M - Thinner than most Barrel-aged stouts, leaves a little stickiness. Not super clean, but no unpleasant bitterness after. 3

O - I feel like this beer used to be the standard for Barrel-aged beer, but the bar has been raised significantly since it's start. This is the Irish Car Bomb beer. The style has been inflated. This is now a bottom tier BA stout. However; this classic doesn't have anything inherently wrong with it. It's thin, simple, but a classic. 3.25

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

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Photo of Hugh37
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Plenty good, robust stout. Dark, ruby colored with serious head. Lots of vanilla on top of the roasted malts of the stout. May be some bourbon undertones (if you'd read the label first).

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Photo of BeastOfBourbon
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma of cocoa, coffee ice cream, sweet root beer, booze, vanilla, brown sugar and bourbon. Heavy dark brown, almost black pour. Tastes of cocoa, root beer, coffee ice cream, bourbon, spice, oak, vanilla with a booze on the back end. Robust, heavy, and full flavored. Lingering finish. Great beer.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, black liquid with a medium graham cracker head that dissipates very quickly.

The smell is oak, molasses, with a hint of chocolate on the back. I really love the oak forward aromas I'm sensing with this one.

The taste is about the same as the nose, except the bourbon makes its triumphant appearance. There are still hints of oak, chocolate, and even some vanilla. I do detect quite of bit of lingering alcohol burn on the end, but it is not a deterring factor. All in all, the taste is very heavily bourbon forward, which I enjoy quite a bit.

The mouthfeel is rather heavy and "chewy" with medium to medium-high carbonation. The alcohol definitely lingers but isn't distracting, especially not for an 11 abv.

I'd say this is a very underappreciated BBA Stout. In my opinion, it holds its own against the big guns. Very impressive, and at $2.99 for a 12 ounce bottle? Can't beat that.

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Photo of Robin14
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was my first introduction to an imperial stout and I fell in love from the first smell to the last sip. Itsyhard for people to understand a female liking something this strong11% dark and full of flavor. When I am asked how do you “drink it?” I say slow and with a great steak or a red sauce pasta!
This IS my happy place beer

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Photo of Fourier_Loko
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Dense dark brown with small head. The look matches my expectations prior to pouring.
S: First time I am having a barrel aged stout, so this aroma is new to me on a beer. Getting the bourbon barrel oak first with vanilla underneath. Notable chocolate and banana once you get past the bourbon.
T: On the first few sips the bourbon barrel is immediately noticeable. As it comes closer to room temp the chocolatey and creamy malt character really balances well with the barrel oak which you start to get towards the end. Initially I thought the barrel aging might just be kind of a novelty, but it really does add character and balances the taste well.
F: Creamy with a pleasant carbonation for this type of beer.
O: This is a well executed beer all-around. It is a balanced and exciting option when I am in the mood for something with higher abv (11%). I normally don't drink stouts, but I will definitely drink more of this in the future.

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Photo of robgutie
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I think this gets overlooked becasue its so widely available but a really great stout. Stronger whiskey notes than other similar overall enjoyable.

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Photo of alcoholicarrogance
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a beer festival and was one of the best ones I tried throughout the whole place. Has a great flavor of chocolate and vanilla without tasting overly sweet, artificial, or candy-like, there's a pleasant smokiness, perhaps roasted malts, and the high ABV is pretty noticeable and gives the taste a nice boost. It feels silky and smooth, just slides down the hatch very satisfyingly. It's not sticky or syrupy like some other imperial stouts I've had, more creamy. It smells just like it tastes. It looks very attractive, like black silk in liquid form. This might be one of the best, if not the best, stouts I've tried so far.

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Photo of kentuckyboy
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first brew i've had the privilege of experiencing from New Holland and i must say, it was phenomenal! Nothing less than i had expected! I love barrel aged beers and am always excited when i get to try a new one.

Onto the review:

Poured into a Guiness glass and served cold

Look: Jet black with a nice fluffy and retaining head; beautiful.

Smell: Strong bourbon & chocolate. In that order. feel i could get drunk by just smelling this beer! well it is 11% alchohol, afterall.

Taste: Bourbon. bourbon bourbon bourbon! With a nice malt backbone and delicious chocolate aftertaste. Thick and creamy; just right! The alcohol is very prevalent in this brew

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy! VERY creamy. unlike anything I've ever had to be honest! I now understand why its called Dragon's Milk :)

Overall: Impressed! An excellent barrel aged beer! outstanding! i enjoyed every sip i had of this one. For a guy who prides himself in how much he can drink, this 11% alcohol ain't no joke! I am very impressed by New Holland and they seem to really know what a craft beer is. Will definitely buy again and am looking forward to trying more brews from them. Cheers!

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Photo of Harrison8
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black, with a medium-thin khaki head. Short head retention with only a handful of lacing dots left behind. Deep roasted malts, vanilla, and oak make up a dark aroma. Taste is sublime, with roasted malts, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Feel is thick, and smooth. Not the most creamy or robust though. Overall, a sublime imperial stout. Readily available, and pleasant to drink give this one high regards for me.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of KellyScottMad
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! This is a great beer. At first I thought it was a little to boozy, but after settling in on the bottle it was a nice warmth and flavor on the palate. I would put this Imperial stout at #3 on my list of best aged stouts.

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Photo of MercInc
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

States on the bottle that this is a "Bourbon Barrel" aged stout.
I tasted this twice, using different drinking temps. First, at 39 Degrees and the this evening, at 60 degrees. As we know, Cold temps often mask the beers true flavors (That's why you HAVE to drink Bud, and Miller at 32.5 Degrees) anyway, This brew pours very dark, with a thick tan colored head that at both temps dissipated in about 5 Minutes. I found the flavor at both temps very good. but at the warmer temp, I noticed a smoother richness. The malt notes were more noticeable. the hops less pronounced and the overall sweetness was enhanced. At 11.0 ABV, this brew is a bit boozy, no matter what temp you sample it at. Not for the faint of heart. Hence the name. A excellent stout. It has a spot in the "Beer Fridge".

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Photo of Nass
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have the bourbon barrel aged version of the Dragon's Milk Imperial stout. This is also an adjunct free imperial stout by the way. I have only had 3 other bourbon barrel aged stouts & I did not care for any of them. I am glad that I did not give up on the Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout beer style because it lead me to this wonderful creation. New Holland did a good job masking the 11% abv. I heard New Holland is starting to be mass produced, oh that is bad news. I am glad that I was able to try this beer before it got mass produced. So far this is World Class Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout in my opinion maybe my opinion will change after I drink a few more different Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts from a few different breweries. I also dig the name of this beer its clever. The bourbon gives this base beer somewhat of a vanilla thing going on with some faint cinnamon action interplaying their as well. Thanks to this beer I will continue to drink Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts, but it is too bad they sold out to AB INBEV. I expect the quality of this stout to go downhill eventually. Cheers! A

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Photo of BeerWithMike
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ALL "5's" across the board! Sampled last night on 6/18/15. Comes in a 4-pack at the local Hy-vee and contains right at 11% alcohol (ABV)! Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 12 ounce 'Empyrean Brewing Co.' snifter glass.

Brew pours super close to a pitch-black in color with about a 1/2-finger foamy beige head. Lots of 'ring-like' lacing is seen when sipped. Aroma is of roasted malts and cocoa powder for the most part. Bit more going on with the taste as there is a hint of dark fruit (cherries?) along with a hint of vanilla also. No 'boozy' taste either as you might think with the 11% alcohol! Nice finish but does have a very mild bitter finish that lasts about 2 secs. Close to full-bodied with perfect carbonation, which isn't much as most types of this style are. You aren't going to drink more than 2 of these in a sitting I'm thinking. ;) A fantastic brew and a 'must try'!

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Photo of HenryPorter7777
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

New Holland Brewing
Dragon’s Milk 11.0% ABV
31 IBUs
Bourbon barrel-aged Stout
Pours very Dark with light head and lacing; carbonation light/medium; site says pairs well with red/smoked meats, rich cheese, dark chocolate; New Holland :”lives between a porter, a stout, and a dark ale. Dark, roasty tones of a stout; coffee and chocolate from the malted barley; bourbon barrels brings sweet booziness of bourbon; the oak brings vanilla (and sometimes coconut).”
I found that this beer changed dramatically as it warmed with the chocolate overtones blending with the original bourbon sweetness. This is a year-round offering. Simply, an excellent beer. Personally, I would prefer Fall & Winter months. Excellent.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

poured from 22 oz. brown bottle - 2015 Vintage

New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout has a black body. A 1 1/2-finger bubbly and creamy khaki color head was produced that dissipated to a collar of foam in my snifter. The nose was dominated by an 'oakie' and roasted malt with just a splash of chocolate in the background. The taste was similar but more complex than the nose. The bourbon makes a nice appearance followed by an addition of caramel and vanilla. A pleasant alcohol warming is also noticed. The mouth feel is to the full side, creamy, and a little sticky with a medium carbonation. Due to its full flavor and its 11% abv it makes for a nice after dinner sipper.

If you are a fan of the American Double/Imperial Stout this is a must try. Well done New Holland.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a - dark black brown beer, nice smooth tan head that leaves a nice lacing.
s - oak, vanilla, dark chocolatey malts, coffee, bourbon, really well blended
t - vanilla, creamy, bourbon, chocolate, umami/wholesomeness, oak barrel
m - medium-heavy, a little thin for an 11% BA stout, alc is mostly covered/some bourbon flavor gives you the impression of alcohol but it doesn't have a burn to it at all, aftertaste is bourbon/oak/dark malts
overall - two points to make here from previous reviews I've read:
#1. this is an incredibly well balanced bourbon barrel aged stout that's available year round, in most places. Anyone who gets "too much bourbon" off this beer just doesn't drink BBA stouts, period. For the availability and the length of time this is aged, this is as good as it can possibly get. And I did not age this bottle, this was the 2015 batch bought from the store yesterday, so I'm not biased by drinking an older bottle either.
#2. Any report of dark fruits in this beer is highly likely imagined. This beer has a dry character characteristic of an American ale yeast. I'm not getting figs, plums, cherries, etc, and I shouldn't be. It's not a Belgian stout.
Great beer. Have bought many times and will buy it again many more. I'd recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of Ahypercube
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Alright, I just want to be clear that I ain't hatin. Producing a year-round BA Imperial Stout is no small feat. It certainly fills a niche. Plus, the idea of milking a dragon and it coming out as a frothy BA Stout is surprisingly charming. Unfortunately it just isn't on par with its less common competitors.

L: Nice bottle, entertaining theme. Pours with just a half centimeter of mocha foam that dissipates quickly. Ends up looking just like a sweet cold-brewed black coffee. Not as black as most BA stouts; the body is more of a dark brown.

S: Not bad. Vanilla, fudge, coffee, coconut, caramel, raisins, a hint of orange and a milk chocolate finish. However, there's not much grainy/bready character going on, and what is there smells a bit stale.

T: Holds its own for a couple seconds, but then it falls apart. Fudge, vanilla, and coffee host a party and some sweet raisins and salty pretzels show up. With coconut and licorice planning to stop by later, you're anticipating a good sip. But then a stale cardboard note shows up and makes the whole thing weird until everyone else clears out.

F: Thin. Flat. Syrupy. Stale aftertaste... It could be worse, but that's not the goal.

O: A great choice if you want to get intoxicated quickly and you really want to be drinking beer. However, it's a poor substitute for the rich, roasty elixirs that most other breweries release a small batch of once a year or less. However, if you eat fruits out of season, you can't expect them to taste the same either. Maybe it's a necessary compromise.

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a incredible beer. The bourbon really stands out but is not overpowering. A great sweet after taste of chocolate milk.

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: dark chocolate in a tall glass
S: chocolate with hints of cocoa
T- chocolate and cherries with cocoa and coffee hints, more robust flavor than your typical stout or porter
F- malty, bitter aftertaste
O- a local restaurant just got it on tap and I'll be having it again, went well with almond chicken salad. Not as good as Founders Breakfast Stout but still very drinkable. On a side note, I got home after drinking it and took a 2-hour nap, it damn near knocked me out. Double stouts tend to sap all of my energy.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 6,356 ratings