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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,429 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,429
Ratings:
5,390
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
321
Gots:
1,610
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,429 | Ratings: 5,390
Photo of output01x
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A vigorous pour gives way to a slow growing 2-finger creamy tan head. A near black body shows hints of crimson when held to light. The head diminishes after a couple minutes but leaves thick lacing clinging to the glass.

Bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans are blended into a creamy aroma that beckons me to continue smelling this beautifully aromatic beer.

Light and creamy malt up front, quickly followed by a heavy alcohol. A light dry coffee aftertaste finishes each sip nicely.

Full bodied and creamy with medium carbonation. Thick and a little sticky, it coats the mouth well.

The flavor was a little too alcohol-packed for my preference considering this beer is 10% ABV. I would have definitely preferred more coffee/chocolate notes to mask the alcohol.

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Photo of jegross2
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Dragon's Milk Ale from New Holland Brewing Company. This is one of the few year-round, always available, easy-to-get-a-hold-of beers that is aged in oak barrels.
Score: 88

2011 vintage 12 oz bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark brown color, a faint hint of light slices through the beer to reveal small patches of translucent dark red/brown. Pours a thin tan lacing that dissipates into nothing. 4/5

Smell: Very bourbon-forward. An oak/vanilla-mocha aroma dominates the nose, with faint cherry/maple and black licorice notes. Lots of sweet bourbon and chocolate too. 4/5

Taste: Very sweet dark fruit and maple front that subsides into vanilla and chocolate flavors. Lingering finish of dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, maple and bourbon. Some fusel/alcohol flavor. When chilled, this beer is decently balanced for a beer that has such a pronounced bourbon and vanilla flavor, but it gets real hot when it warms. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, light carbonation. Interestingly oily, slightly sticky finish. A little alcohol warmth. 4/5

Overall: This beer is surprisingly delicious. I tend to stray from most heavier oak aged beers because I do not love the "brown liquor" flavors of oak and vanilla, but this beer is very balanced. For a 10% ABV beer, this one is surprisingly drinkable. Definitely a sipper, though.

Recommendation: If you are looking to try your first oak aged beers, this is a great starting point. Dragon's Milk is very accessible and not too costly for what it is. More seasoned beer drinkers should enjoy this one's complex flavors as well.

Pairings: BBQ meats. Would go well with dinner at the Brickhouse or Famous Daves.

Cost: $15.99 for a four pack, $8.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 batch for $3 a bottle

A: Pours a pitch black color with a small foamy khaki color cap. Retention is minimal.

S: Right off the bat you get the barrel aromas - wet wood/oak, bourbon in the nose (despite the fact that there is no bourbon), lots of vanilla, caramel, toffee.

T: The flavor is pretty interesting...its similar to BCS, but much thinner and with less bourbon/vanilla/richness. Actually pretty good. Alcohol is extremely warming (not unlike BCS), vanilla, chocolate, lots of oak, a touch of lactose, and maple syrup. Pretty complex, but not really balanced, and a little thin.

MF/D: Viscous body, smooth and creamy feel. Finish consists of vanilla and oak with a touch of bitterness/sourness.

Notes: This is like BCSs ugly cousin...a little thinner, sloppier, and less complex, but still good.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**Fall 2004 release**

Nice lacing, and I can't believe the head retention given the ABV of this beer. Pours dark brown, but there is a hint of dark amber/garnet if you hold it up to the light. Smells like freshly crushed chocolate malt, with a hint of the bourbon mixed in. Taste.. slightly astringant/woody tones overpower other flavors going on. There's just enough residual sweetness to keep drawing you back for more. It's surpisingly light and fluffy in the mouth. This is a beer that is a good winter warmer style of beer. Like when you just get done snowblowing the foot of snow that fell overnight, and it's 5 degrees outside.

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Photo of steelcutoats
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here is another prime example of the High Gravity Series from New Holland Brewery. I first sampled this beer at Fathead's down in the Burgh', and wasn't sure if I'd ever get the chance to see it appear in my native Greensburg. A few months later it showed up along with "The Black Tulip" in the beer cooler down at The Headkeeper.

I poured about half of the 22 oz. "bomber" into my trusty tasting snifter. It poured with little head, which quickly vanished. The color was a clear, dark brown....not opaque like a stout. The smell was full of dark roasted malts and chocolates. The taste was a mixture of the same. This beer boasts a 9% ABV, but does an awesome job of hiding it. Another classic example of what the addition of wood to beer can do. The oak aging imparts a nice dryness in the finished products with hints of vanilla and other subtle flavors. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, almost black, very dark brown with ruby highlights. Good initial light brown head. Ring of bubbles lingers.

Aroma is wood with a little vanilla and baker's chocolate. Light sweet molasses present. Some alcohol.

Upfront taste is sweet molasses, wood, vanilla, brown sugar. Finish is similar but with more pronounced wood and alcohol--still slightly sweet. Wood comes across as kind of soggy at times though.

Medium body, light creaminess, medium carbonation, syrupy. Sticky lingering finish.

Dragon's Milk from a bottle drinks much better than on cask. Flavors meld better and compliment each other nicely. Barrel aging adds some nice vanilla, but the wood flavor is just alright. Overall a good beer--would have again.

6/20/2011

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Photo of thebeers
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black with a finger of tan head. Aroma of chocolate and oak-heavy bourbon. Roasted malt and a little chocolate up front in the taste, with bourbon flavor the most dominant and a slight alcohol burn. There's a slightly astringent and fairly clean finish that's pretty nice. Medium bodied, with a splash of cream and strong carbonation in the mouthfeel. A decent BBA stout. It scratches that itch, but nothing out of this world, either.

2015 vintage, January 2016 bottling date.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK... if this is an American Stong Ale... Then I am a MONKEE's Uncle!... This is an American STOUT or a Porter all the way....

Poured out ebony and produced a light tan head in the glass. The head lasted and the dissipating foam left slight lacing on the glass.

Taste: very sweet like a caramel stout with a slight coffee back-up from roated malt. Vanilla taste adds to the sweetness.

MF: very smooth and rich... maybe a touch UNDER Carbonated.

Drink: Too sweet for my taste.... still a solid Amercan Stout.... certainly NOT an american Strong Ale!

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Photo of Richardberg
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - mahogany color, small layer of cream head on top doesn't last long, but foam is fairly sticky.

S - rich caramel malts, bourbon, oaky vanilla, raisin

T - just what the smell predicted. In equal strength, too, if not more. Some booze in the finish.

M - medium body, doesn't have much sticky/coating quality, but carbonation keeps it interesting

D - enjoyable in many ways, but pretty strong ABV is noticeable. Adding the aged oaky flavors on top makes it fairly rough going.

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Photo of suburbeer
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz with the annoying foil. Bought in Asheville, NC on vacation.

Appearance: Poured thinner than expected. Dark brown not black. Essentially no head in the wine glass I had to drink out of. slight tan bubbles around the edges

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, syrup, fig Surprisingly little malt smell

Taste: Bourbon, chocolate, wood, sweetness. Dark fruit pokes through occasionally around the bourbon. Very little bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Feel: Slick, sweet stout creaminess despite pouring thin for the style.

Overall: Really hit the mark on this particular evening. Enjoyed and will keep one on hand but it takes a mood to really enjoy. unbalanced sweetness and bourbon is perfect sometimes even if the beer isn't all the time.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, Dragon's Milk has a dark brown body with a slight red tint. A little bit of head forms at first, but quickly fades.

Sweet, oaky, wood drifts up from the glass. Caramel and other sweet malts mix in as well. Almost reminds me of a syrupy candy stored in an oak barrel. Would love to have a stronger aroma of this.

The first couple of sips pull out toffee, alcohol and oak. Vanilla comes out nicely from the barrel aging as well as some tannins. Malts are quite sweet, caramel like. Much like the smell, the flavor is warming malt candy with oak. Pretty good stuff if you like sweeter beers and a good oak presence.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side. I'd like to see a heavier body to pair with the warming alcohol and some of the harsher aspects of the wood. Carbonation is about right.

Drinkability is pretty good. A sweet beer and the ABV is somewhat noticeable, but the oak is well done. One bottle is about the perfect serving size.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable brew. New Holland did a really nice job with the barrel aging and brought out some nice vanilla notes from the oak. This beer is probably the closest I've come to liquid toffee. Not something I would drink all the time, but I'll probably pick up another bottle if I see it around.

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Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Read about this one a while back and have been wanting to try it for a while. Finally got a chance this past weekend in Chicago. Here we go...

A rough pour gives birth to a light mocha head with bubbles big and small. It exits after about a minute, leaving a simple ring with a splotch in the center and nice rows of lattice lacing. The liquid seems at first to be an impenetrable black, but a hold up to the light reveals notes of dark amber and cranberry red. Some bubbly effervescence is even visible.

In the nose: sweet mocha, dark chocolate. Notes of cinnamon, granola, and sourdough. Love those breakfast flavors. Pretty noticeable flowery hops adds some interest.

Interesting. I get, at first, soy sauce and raisins. This one's sweet. Very sweet, actually. Almost like a red dessert wine, with a tiny bit of oak. The beer's label says this is a stout with deep roasty flavors -- I disagree. This is definitely more of a strong ale...and I see that's what Beeradvocate's classified it as. Alright. Subtle waves of dark chocolate, espresso and even some vanilla are suggested at the finish; these flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms, but never fully blossom. Alcohol comes through the nostrils, tingling and burning.

I'd call the mouthfeel medium/medium-light. We need to come up with more descriptions for this stuff. It's an interesting swallow; more like juice than beer. Once again, letting the beer warm improves it a touch. The mouthfeel becomes creamier, silkier.

Despite a slight mislabeling by the brewery, Dragon's Milk is a decent beer. A little on the expensive side at the $8 I paid for it, and if you're looking for classic roasted flavors, it's not your thing. But worth seeking out. Curiosity satisfied.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22ounce bomber bottle into my shaker glass. Shared with brothercannon. The ale appears an opaque dark brown color with about an inch of ecru foam. Notes of oak, vanilla, milk chocolate, caramelized malts, mellow alcohol, slightly nutty/fruity. Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation for an old ale. Tasty stuff. Check it out if you happen upon a bottle.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

Good looking deep brown color with a small head that expectedly dissipates quickly. Smells of bourbon, chocolate, burnt toffee and light vanilla. Taste follows the nose with the bourbon dominating. A bit hot and quite warming on the swallow. Very thin body. Watery and in my opinion this is what holds this beer back. Could be so much better if the mouthfeel was thicker. Overall a nice offering but needs refinement.

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Photo of DannyS
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, standard pint glass.

A - Opaque pitch black with a very thin head that dissipates into a foam collar quick.

S - a bit of winey aroma in the background, fronted by chocolate, oak, and a bit of vanilla.

T - about the same as the aroma. bright chocolate with some astringent oak, brown sugar, and vanilla.

M - Heavy and silky smooth with very fine carbonation.

overall - Deceptively drinkable for the 10% ABV. The booze is hidden really well. Quite enjoyable, but Be careful with this one!

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Photo of rwdkosak
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip producing a very dark brown with thin head. Nice notes of coffee/cocoa, very light vanilla, woody nose. Taste followed suit though chocolate present initially and just the slightest smoke hints up front accent the nose. Overall mouthfeel is good, nice, smooth, easy to sip though there is a bit of alcohol taste which, at 9% ABV is understandable though this isn't something that's going to be part a very long session. Good beer though and happy i've got more in the cellar.

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Photo of BuckyFresh
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a fairly black color with a dark tan one-finger head. Not as oily as a thought the pour would be; there's still some light finding its way through the glass. Where there is light, the color is dark brown to blood-red around the edges.

Smell: Toasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. There are also some nice dark fruit undertones. There's not as much oak discernible as I expected there to be; it seems like it might be getting lost among the sweeter aromas of the beer.

Taste: Lots of bitterness and warm undertones from the oak. The oak is definitely more of a player than in the aroma and offsets the toasted malt and dark chocolate notes nicely. I feel like the balance could be a bit better though, as it seems like some of the more complex flavors are being concealed by the stronger ones.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, pretty bitter, with a fairly dry finish. 10% ABV is concealed well.

Drinkability: This is a pretty decent brew, but the bitterness and lack of flavor complexity might prevent me from having too many.

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Photo of brystmar
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Vintage 2010" bottle into a tulip.

A: pitch black with minimal head and mild lace. Looks slick and oily.

S: chocolate, oak, and booze all rush forward leaving traces of vanilla behind.

T: mmm, roasted malts! Sweeter than expected up front, then comes the oak, finishes milk chocolatey & dry. Solid for an IS.

M: thin and oily with minimal carbonation, but reasonably well-suited to the style. As always, I prefer thick and creamy...but that's what she said. ;)

D: has about the right amount of alcoholic warmth you'd want/need from a brew of this style; doesn't cut into its drinkability at all. Still quite flavorful and drinkable when warmed to room temperature. Not a favorite of mine, but a respectable offering nonetheless.

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Photo of rawthar
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pardon me if I mistake this for a stout, in its black slithering body and capaccino head, there's nothing to really distinguish until I hold it to the light and see red rays meander through, betraying its differences from the opaque I'm accustomed to. Not sure how to rate to this style, so I'm comparing to a stout.

S- Caramel, lots of burnt oak (yeah that's practically cheating), sweet hot hints, some toasted marshmallow, a bit of grain, and some dry undertones under all the heavy duty malts. I'm impressed...and yet again, this does nothing to dissuade me from calling this a stout (even an Impy).

T- Not quite as impressed, but still pretty damn good. The sweet burnt sugars and the smoky wood just don't seem to meld together so well as they do in the nose, although separately, they are interesting, to say the least. Maybe some very dark chocolate, or even some very roasted mocha showing up here. I think this guy could have stood some aging, and I plan to get another for that purpose. I would guess that with a few years, this could clean up extremely well.

M- Hot alcohol burn on the way down, otherwise a smooth milky treat that means business.

D- This is where it suffers. A little too much of everything without the nice Imperial balance. Again, I think aging would repair this.

I got no beef with Dragon's Milk that aging couldn't cure.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a red/brown, lots of ruby colored light comes through, not just around the edges, and no head.

S - big smell, booze, vanilla, raisins, and woody notes.

T - Booze, wood, chocolate, warm vanilla. surprisingly little going on here.

M - astringent, dry, and surprisingly thin.

D - I simply don't like this very much. I wouldn't drink more. But it's not bad to drink.

 376 characters

Photo of Holland
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the brewery in Holland, MI.

A: dark brown color, light head and small lacing of an off white color.

S: scotch, oak, malt, some sweetness

T: the scotch taste hits you hard, then you can get to the vanilla and sweetness and malts

M: bit thinner than expected, but still decent body

O: drinkable, but not all the time. I love this beer because it is one that helped turn me on to craft brews. To be fair, though, there are better beers out there. This flavor is very sharp, and I like that it differs from other oak aged stouts in that. Could be aged more to tame it, but then it wouldn't be Dragon's Milk.

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Photo of Dizzle32
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heard a lot about this beer so I thought I would give it a go. Overall this beer has a great good oaky aroma. I poured into a goblet to enjoy. A dark pour with nice lacing. First sip was very warm. A nice flavor but the alcohol is the overwhelming characteristic. If you do not mind a truly warming beer this might be for you. I would drink it again but only on a cold night.

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Photo of mchegash
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Pours a deep, dark, brown, with maybe a hint of red. A small amount of head.

Smell - 3.75/5
Vanilla, chocolate, roasty, alcohol

Taste - 3.75/5
Very sweet malts, oak, alcohol, vanilla, a bit of roastiness

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium bodied, light carbonation, a little syrupy, but not too much. In between creamy and crisp.

Overall - 3.75/5
I remember when I was still new to drinking craft beer and I had this for the first time, I was blown away by how good it was. Now revisting it a couple years later, it's not nearly as good as I once thought. But then there have been other beers which I used to not like which I now do. I guess tastes change. Anyway, with my present taste buds, I'd say this is a good beer, but there are tastier beers out there. Especially considering the price of this beer. Still, never a bad option.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to bobpack for this.

A: Very, very dark brown, almost black. Has deep red highlights when held to the light. A half finger mocha colored head that fades quickly. Leaves some decent lacing.

S: Lots of sweet milk chocolate and lots of vanilla. Some butterscotch coming through. Light hints of bourbon and oak. A touch of caramel.

T: Sweet chocolate and vanilla upfront, but only for a second until the bourbon takes over. Bourbon and not much else. A light butterscotch coming through and lots of alcohol in the finish. A light oak aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Light carbonation. Decent creaminess. Lots of alcohol warming in the back of the mouth and throat.

O: A bit to much bourbon for me. The smell had me excited. But the bourbon and alcohol smash everything that was awesome in the nose. Still a decent stout.

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Photo of prototypic
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle. Much appreciated.

Appearance: It pours a very dark, chestnut color. There's some light getting through around the edges giving it a slight red tint. The head is a light chocolate color and is minimal. Perhaps half a finger deep. It was very quick to disappear and left light lacing.

Smell: The nose is weak and disappointing. There are some dark fruit (raisin and plum) aromas lingering. Chocolate malts emerge and seem to be primary feature. I'm not picking anything that really resembles oak, bourbon, or spices. That's perhaps even more disappointing than the strength shortcoming.

Taste: It definitely picks up here. Chocolate malts are indeed the primary feature, but there's some roasted flavors in there, as well. There is a slight bit of raisin and plum that adds some depth. Surprisingly, there is a nice oak flavor in there that really adds a lot to this beer. You can tell a little bit off whiskey rubbed off on it. It's not a really strong flavor, but it is nice and plays its role well. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable, but has a bit of a warming effect. Finishes sweet and warm.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This feels really light for what it is. Frankly, it's a little too light. Carbonation is very low. It's actually creamy and smooth, but it could still stand a little thickening. Drinkability is good. It goes down smooth and easy. I can't say I'd drink more than a bomber though. That's plenty in a sitting.

Dragon's Milk is a pretty good beer. Yeah, the nose is too weak and the body a little too thin. Those are my main complaints. But, I enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would after the first sip. It's unique in its flavor, body, and feel. It's certainly worth a try if you run across a bottle.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,429 ratings.
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