Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
6,209 Ratings
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,209 |  Reviews: 1,615
Reviews by GoldHorde:
Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a molassy dark brown - NOT opaque however - light penetrates through with an amber glow. The aroma of vanilla is there - but no clue of the wood. The initial mouthfeel was lighter than expected as this is billed as from the High Gravity Series and I had expected a maltier (thicker) body. The first taste revealed the high gravity was more at> alcohal content than malt and thus more watery. This can be appreciated in many circles - I recall a friend's college dorm homebrew recipe called "Beggers Blend" impressively gifted in a high gravity Alc-by-Vol content that was sought after for any late hours party (it was basically a dextrose bomb). That comment aside, this beer definitely has more craft at work than those creations. The oak shows up in the flavor in front trumpet while the vanilla plays Montovani (cascading background strings). I'd like to see more work on this creation more at> heavier body while maintaining the Alc-by-Vol. It is a nice beer with a great name and crafte base that deserves a little further in refinements.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Yeheshua
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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 +2%
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 DavyJones
4.99/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For whatever reason, this was a beer that I didn't have extremely high expectations for, boy what a pleasant surprise.

2015 Vintage.

Color is very pleasant dark dark brown, not as opaque as many other beers in the style.

Smell is bourbon and vanilla, heavenly.

Taste is bourbon forward, then fades to vanilla. As the vanilla diminishes, tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee emerge, all while retaining some of the creamy vanilla character. Super tasty stuff.

Mouth feel is medium, not syrupy, not watery/thin; it's the way I like my stouts.

This has become one of my favorite beers in the style. After taking my first sip, I was reminded of the the early releases of KBS when it was a bit more raw/bourbon forward, which I miss.

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Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hearty whiskey nose with chocolate. Significant bourbon flavor at the beginning that transitions to a very sweet and rich chocolate/caramel mix. Strong whiskey washes back in on the finish. Very complex, and extremely good.

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Photo of Hugh37
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Nass
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
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 Dgrizzle13
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First dark beer I have actually liked. I like how it makes you feel like your drinking a brownie or a cake and with that much alcohol involved, being that smooth for a nice stout.

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Photo of Henderbeer
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a beautiful texture and a heavy, creamy mouth weight. You will certainly taste the bourbon immediately followed by a smooth finish and a little sweet. This beer is not for everyone. If you like something with a lot of body and character, you'll enjoy a couple of these. With the ABV at 11%, you won't need too many nor will you be able to handle too many.

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.24/5  rDev +5%
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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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with a nice tan head.
S: Wow, smells great! It's a nice chocolate and bourbon mix
T: Bourbon and cream. So smooth and easy drinking. Really get vanilla and cream with bourbon. It's fairly sweet, but I'm not getting much chocolate or dark roast.
F: Very smooth and coats well. Not as dense as the cream of the crop.
O: Very good, and it's a year round production!!!! No bs waiting in lines or waiting until winter, thank you New Holland for that. Highly recommendable @ $15 per 4 pack.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
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 HopHunter19
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
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 rafer21
4.98/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, definitely a sipping beer. But amazing flavors and aroma.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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 Harrison8
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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 Jmayhaus
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sweet smell
chocolate but not too much
smooth finish

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Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger light tan head that vanishes leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Molasses and malt nose and taste is bourbon, sweet malt and molasses. High ABV is hidden. $4.80 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of HenryPorter7777
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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 robgutie
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
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 Elsuperjefe
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage
Pours dark as night w medium fluffy khaki head. Nose is sweet coffee and chocolate. First taste was mostly bourbon w strong dark coffee. As I got into the beer vanilla came through as did a sweet milk chocolate. Body was light to medium. Became easier to drink after each sip getting sweeter and creamier. Excellent stout. Perfect with dark chocolate.

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Photo of Kyel611
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am probably biased with this brew, as I am from Michigan, and I can get it for $7.99 by the *big* bottle.

This is likely one of the top bourbon barrel aged stouts out of most Michigan brews. Not sure it hits the tier of KBS, but damn it's close. Good vanilla/toffee taste, and strong as all-get-out. If you have the chance, pick it up. It's worth it.

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Photo of Dpdp
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really great bear. It reminds me of Ayinger Doppelbock with it's burnt sugar sweetness. It takes a heavy pour to get any head at all and what head there is doesn't last. The bourbon barrel aging adds a new dimension to the flavor. I've had many bourbon barrel aged beers that taste like bourbon and nothing else. This is not one of those, and to be honest I doubt I would have even tried this beer had I seen that printed at the bottom of the label. Mouth feel is milky and very heavy. You pretty much expect this from such a dark beer. I may be imagining things but I'm pretty sure this beer is so dark it sucked the light out of the room I poured it in as well as the adjacent rooms. I poured my first in a frosty pint glass, but the rest I poured in in coffee cup, because it seemed appropriate at the time. Did I mention this stuff is strong? I ask this question because it is strong beer. Delicious and highly recommended.

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Photo of Hoploaf
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best stout commercially available.

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Photo of Ahypercube
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 6,209 ratings