Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
1,473 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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
2016 Bottles are 11% ABV

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,473 | Ratings: 5,587
Photo of SaltofOH
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8-31-16. DFH Tulip.

A: black, opaque, a little carb visible at the edges; when held to the light, some brownish tiny at the rim. 1 finger frothy lightntam head quickly fades to a ring of bubbles at the glass edge. Leaves very nice lacing.

S: smells like a RIS, dark roasted malt, but not at all a roast bomb here; sweeter and more restrained, with loads of vanilla. Perhaps a touch of alcohol or bourbon on the nose; but if I didn't know what kind of barrel this was aged in, I'd just say sweet and vanilla beans.

T: Bourbon does make its presence known immediately on the palate. Sweet and full of those pleasant aldehyde/acetone notes that are in bourbon. Surprisingly light for an RIS, as compared to the last one I had. More alcohol, vanilla, and bourbon flavor around mid palate; as it goes on the malt character recedes and this becomes more of a bourbon show with less dark roastiness. Even the finish is bourbon and oak.

M: lighter side of full bodied, with low carbonation, and surprisingly un-slick for the style. Definitely would consider it creamy.

O: I've never had a barrel aged beer before, and this is pretty much what I expected. This gets a lot from the barrel. Although I love whisky, and I love beer, i don't think I love them together. particularly with an RIS. I like The Alltech bourbon barrel ale a lot; this, not as much. It's also pretty pricy.

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Photo of ManBearPat
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid and affordable BA stout that you can find almost anywhere.

Kind of thin, but a nice enough for the price. No complaints, but again I'm not over the moon for it either.

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Photo of PaulElk
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Boozy, creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Nice lacing.Ok, after 3/4 of it I'm liking this more and more. Having another one is probably not a good idea. Less boozy the more you sip

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a khaki head that's fades quickly, leaving some nice lacing.
Bourbon, roasted malt aromas.
Flavor is roasted malt coffee, vanilla and some tart cherry.
This is a bit thinner than most BA stouts.
This is really a solid beer at a fair price. While is doesn't compare to the "once a year" BA stouts I think it's great that I can get this 7/365 at any decent beer store.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with little light transmission in the glass and a half finger light brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, mild bourbon, milk chocolate and a hint of cherry. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, light bourbon, a hint of cherry and dark stone fruit. Finishes with milk chocolate, vanilla, mild oak and hints of fruit. Medium bodied with a pleasant light creaminess. A remarkably mellow stout for its ABV. Initially seem understated, but reveals quite a bit of flavor complexity that is very well integrated and balanced. The bourbon and barrel flavors are all present, but meld with the malt quit nicely. There is a mild lactose component that makes this almost taste like an imperial milk stout. Sweeter than other big imperial stouts, but finishes semi-dry. My first taste seemed too tame to be a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout and there is little char to the malt. But each taste was so pleasant and well balanced that this was a pleasure to drink. Nicely done. Glad to have the chance to try this classic stout.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours on the lighter side but pitch black in the glass w/a medium khaki head. Definitely get some nice medium woodiness from the barrel aging with just a tiny bit of bourbon soaked cherries as well. Woodiness is apartment in the mouth with a good amount vanilla sweetness. Not much cherry. Some chocolate is present but it's sweet like Hershey's chocolate. Not motor oil thick by any means but there is definitely some creaminess in there. Wouldn't be surprised if they brewed this with lactose(they do call it dragon's milk afterall). Overall I think they did a good job not over doing it with the barrel aging. The barrel is there but it supports as opposed to overpowers the base beer. A well executed stout that's just a little sweet for my taste. 90 points.

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Photo of TerryMills
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into globe glass.

Looks jet black with 1 finger of medium tan head , some carbonation but not too heavy , very little lacing.

Smell is mostly bourbon with some fresh wood mixed in , not picking up much else.

Taste , not sure what I was expecting really but just didn't think it would have so much bourbon flavor.. It's like someone poured half a glass of bourbon and topped it off with a weak watery stout.

Feel is very watery for a stout .

Overall I'm saying if you are wanting watered down bourbon you will enjoy this but if you're looking for a good stout keep in looking.. Worth trying but would not but again.

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Photo of Daniel9913
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Motor oil color, frothy coffee-like head, heavy body, sweet, lots of vanila notes. Good alcohol burn, but not too much considering it's 11% ABV.

It was solid. Not the best of the barrel aged stouts, and I still feel that this series is over priced. I picked up a single 12-ounce for $4, glad I did, but not sure I'd spend the money a four pack.

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Photo of Skrumpy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown in color. Tan head with streak lacing. Aroma is cocoa, vanilla, oak, & toasted malt. Flavor is vanilla and bourbon with oak and caramel malt. A very smooth beer with body and texture. Not super chewy but not watery. Just right!

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Photo of Jman69
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love the taste and smell an the buzz I got from it I give it all 5s I am not a hug stout drinker but this one is a must have on the list

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Photo of MichiganNick
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All flavors of Dragons Milk have an amazing creamy quality. This one in particular has a hearty fragrance that fills your palate to its capacity. Good stuff from New Holland!

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage (but bottle dated "bottled 02/12/16") into pint glass. Pours an opague, oily black with a very small dark tan head. Initial impression is bourbon, molasses, roaste malts, vanilla, and caramel. Really smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is light but more than adequate. Alcohol warming is noticeable but not objectionable - no rough edges despite the 11% ABV. If I had more than one I might be tempted to cellar it, but OTOH it's so damned smooth and tasty I'm not sure I would. Absolutley delicious!

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Photo of GeeL
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on a whim because my minister had recommended the base Dragon's Milk. Thought if he liked that, I should step it up and get the bourbon one. I'm glad I did...

"Bomber" bottle in a tulip glass. Shared with a friend. There's no better way than to have a beer like this.

L: totally dark brown, opaque. Initial thick head that quickly dissipated into a thin bead around the edge and lacing floating on the top. Thick "legs" on the glass as I swirled.
S: boozy at first, then sweet. Like a dessert. Dark sweet cherries. Like if I stuck my face in a jar of molasses and then some cherry syrup or dark cherry jam. But not so sweet I stepped away. Well, at first. But only because I didn't know what to expect. Then I went for more smells. Bourbon comes on pretty quick, and vanilla from the barrel aging.
T: bourbon, at first. Then some stout flavors. Could be more roasty, but it's definitely a stout. It's sweet, but not cloying. There's a lot of complexity that comes out as the beer ages and mixes with air and as my palate adjusts to it. This was a tasty beer. It's a sipping beer.
F: Not as thick as I thought it would be. But soft, smooth. Maybe a tad over carbonated, but I'm splitting hairs only because I'm thinking about it so much. There's so much flavor that if it were any thicker the flavors would linger more and this could become overwhelming. So I'm torn between wanting it thicker because that's how it looked or is it ok because there's a lot of complexity. Again, I'm nitpicking.
O: I might get two more. One for drinking soon and another for setting aside a while

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Photo of dikebrewery
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with a light tan head. The nose is of roasted malts and bourbon. Taste is of toasted dark malts, light molasses, light vanilla, bourbon and a light oak wood. Heavy thick mouthfeel with a nice full bourbon kick on the back end. A great beer. I am however a sucker for almost any BB stout I come across/

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Photo of Hugh37
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
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 RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/14. About month old.

Appearance is gorgeous. Ink black with a khaki tan head that sticks around for a few minutes in the tulip.

Being that this one is so fresh, I expected more barrel presence. The smell and taste are very tame on the bourbon. But make no mistake about it, this is a very well made beer.

Dark fruits, plumb & dark cherries. Powdered milk chocolate and sweet cream more so than vanilla. Oakiness throughout. Not much on the bourbon but it's there.

Everything works really well in this beer cohesively while staying balanced and tame when it comes to the barrel. Mouthfeel is soft & creamy. Goes down very soft & easy for the ABV. I wouldn't call this thin, but wouldn't call it chewy or viscous either. Very enjoyable.

I can see how some might view this as mediocre in comparison to the Bourbon County's & Parabola heavy hitters of this style. However; not being so in your face with barrel as so many of this stlye seem to be, was a unexpected and appreciated nice change of pace for this BA.

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Photo of hgw605
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Deep brown black. Small off beige head.
S: Roasted malt, vanilla, alcohol, sweet.
T: Similar but booze burns a bit.
F: Medium feel with somewhat aggressive warming alcohol.
O: Good.

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Photo of eMucho
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.0 abv ... Let's roll ... Got a four pack at a hy-vee in Des Moines while road tripping. This was my fift tonight and it poured about 3/8" worth of head that faded rather quickly, but left a good lacing throughout. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into tulip glass. It's dark and opaque, a black beer. I'd already drank three if these on prior nights and it grew on me as this style usually does. A smoky aroma that is really satisfying. Mothefeel is solid, almost creamy, maybe even too creamy ... Wow it is strong which threw me off at first. Honestly the first bottle i didn't care for, but this fourth one is nice. Maybe still a little too strong though. Really it has a touch of sourness in addition to a prominent taste of bourbon/alcohol. It's complex. Just try it for yourself a few times and maybe it'll grow on you too ... I'd grab it again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of gobuccos
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. This is much better with age!! Smell is a hint of Bourbon. Taste is much smoother than fresh, also not as sweet as fresh. Honestly, when I buy this in the future, will sit on it.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as everyone says, with a minimal head. Aroma is surprising subtle considering this is an 11% Russian. Booze, dark fruit, and malts and a bit of anise.

Taste is pretty bourbon forward, then roasty malts come in nicely right after. Booze-soaked oak sweetness is on the border of sickly, possibly due to the high alcohol, still the heat is well hidden but at 11% you're not fooling anyone. Chocolate, a hint of wood, vanilla, and a thin soda feel is my lasting impression.

I feel like they didn't get a handle on this one. I'm not sure the bourbon barrels did this stout any favors, tastes like the cheap stuff was in those barrels. The base seems closer to a porter than a stout. A little thin, a little too sweet. Doesn't have the deep body many BBA stouts have.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Others do it better, but they also cost way more than the $7 I paid for a bomber of this. This beer combines a reasonable price with a nice, roasty & chocolatey BBA imperial stout. Only knock is the thinner mouthfeel.

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Photo of BarrelyLegal
3.24/5  rDev -18.4%
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 IKR
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fairly generous-sized dark beige head that gradually faded. A good looking Imperial Stout

Smell:Bourbon, mild oak, mild brown sugar, and mild roasted malt/coffee aromas.

Taste: The taste profile features Bourbon notes, tannic oak notes, and mild brown sugar. The taste profile is balanced with the bal-aging notes apparent but not as forward as some beers, e.g. Bourbon County Stout. Fairly restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. compared to some of the more viscous Imperial Stouts it's on the light side body-wise.

Overall: A good Imperial Stout that's readily available at a good price point. Sounds like a winner to me.
Edit: After letting it warm a bit I bumped the taste score up one notch.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the cellar (bought about 6 months ago)
12oz bottle into Libbey Tulip
Bottled on 10/16/15 (a year to the day)
L- dark black with an inch thick tan foamy head, great retention, real beautiful lacing
S- a huge whiff of bourbon, along with fudge, black licorice
T- dark roasted malts with the bourbon along for the ride, slight marshmallow on the linger, with a finish of a black licorice
F- medium bodied, low carbo., smooth drinking for 11% ABV with only slight booze bite
O- great BBA Stout, with the added plus of being avail. all year-round

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Photo of dcotom
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 10/13/16 from bottle dated 03/18/16. A slight vegetal note upon opening, with aromas of bourbon and dark chocolate following. Very smooth and rounded on the palate, with notes of burnt coffee, bourbon, and a hint of vanilla. Perfect amount of barrel character and alcohol presence. Finish is crisp and oaky without any lingering bitterness. A beautifully executed beer.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,587 ratings.
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