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

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Reviews: 1,473 | Ratings: 5,589
Photo of Mateo2699
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour is a dark pour, nothing motor oil black. More dark brown with ruby read hue in the light. Decent lacing, small light brown ring of head.

Smell is initially oak, wood and bourbon. Slight chocolate and caramel. Didn't mention vanilla, definitely dominate vanilla.

Taste is similar to the nose. Definitely taste that wood and oakiness of the barrel. Very subtle hints of bourbon. Nice vanilla flavor at the end, with a little tartness reminiscent of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, moderate carbonation.

Solid brew.

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Photo of BWood
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: dark with good head and lacing.

S: bourbon and vanilla. Slight malt. Kind of like bcbs but not as strong.

T: tastes as it smells with great lingering aftertaste. Very good.

F: almost perfect. Coats the tongue and incredibly smooth. I do get some chocolate aftertaste.

O: exceptional beer. I'm glad I found it. I will be buying much more.

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Photo of Lunchboxhead
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let the charred burnt bones of the fallen rest as the dragon rises up to suckle its offspring with this toasted imperial stout. The beer is a very solid representation of an Imperial Russian stout. Plenty of roasty toasty malts countered with a bitter bite that can only be hidden behind the higher ABV. Overall I can say that I like it, but it does not offer the complexity I was hoping for. None the less, I learned a long time ago to never slap a dragon in the face so I will drink it with a smile on my face.

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Photo of ccg
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

About a quarter-inch of initial foam settles quickly into a ring and a thin layer. Noticeable lacing.
Lots of oak on the nose. Also bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and dates. As it warms, a boozy burn starts to emerge.
Surprisingly good amount of bourbon flavor comes through, with a strong, toasted chocolate finish. There is also a lot of vanilla mid-palate. There is a bit of roastiness and a hint of hops on the finish. Sadly, it loses some of that punch as it warms up.
It could use a bit more body, but the carbonation is spot-on, and it's smooth.
Admittedly, it's been a little while since I've had a top-tier BBA stout like BCBS, but Dragon's Milk is better than I remember. It's _excellent_ for what it is: a bourbon-barrel-aged stout that is available year-round and widely distributed in 12oz bottles and sold at a relatively low price. One surprisingly thing about this beer is that it seems to be better at refrigerator temperature. Try it below cellar temp and see how it changes as it warms.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep ebony to brown. Minimal caramel head

S: booze. Chocolate. Dark fruit

T: chocolate. Hops. Some subtle booze.

F: creamy. Smooth.

O: good balance. Nice and soft. A bit weak for BBA tho

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 Fluid Ounce Bottle
Bottled on September 28th, 2015
Reviewed on March 5th, 2015
Served in a Snifter

Poured a rich dark brown body. Thin tan head quickly collapsed, leaving bubbly retention and a sparse amount of lacing.

Sweet roasted malts. Dense layers of dark fruit, vanilla, and chocolate. Bourbon was there but not overwhelming. Similar aromatic notes to those of Belgian Quads.

Sweet malts hit the tongue first. Dark fruit. Cocoa. Sweet layers with notes of vanilla and marshmallow. Whiskey blended well with the sweet notes but finished tart, leaving a decent hit of alcohol. Overall flavor was sweet.

Full-bodied. Moderate carbonation. The body felt too carbonated to support the potential wide-range of complexities this beer had to offer.

Sweet, boozy, and pleasing.

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

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: black, void of light except at the very edges when held to light. The head is a light tan 1/2 finger that fades quickly to a lacing.

Aroma: bittersweet chocolate and bourbon. Inviting. It conjures thoughts of flourless chocolate cake.

Flavor: the flavor follows the aroma: flourless chocolate cake. Very little roast, but it is present. No alcoholic heat, but the alcohol is there and you know it. The 11% is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-heavy. A bit on the heavier side of medium.

Overall: very good. Better than expected. This beer would make for an excellent desert beer. Well balanced.

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Photo of floyd_pugman
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Bruery tulip. Nose of chocolate fudge with hints of bourbon barrel characteristics. Rich, creamy mouthfeel. Palate of creamy cocoa, with some some vanilla and caramel notes coming through, and with hints of coconut on the finish. Not super complex, but a great everyday dessert beer in light of the price point ($17 for a 4-pack). Recommended.

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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 CanadianBacon
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - This beer looks pretty black with some dark amber hues when it hits the light, It poured with half a finger of head which Is about what I would expect at 11% and it faded leaving a nice moca ring around the top which is being replenished by some pretty active carbonation.

Aroma - Dark chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits, Oak, tons of Vanilla, and a bit of caramel. this smells delicious.

Taste - Vanilla dominates the flavor I get Vanilla, Vanilla and more Vanilla :) ok I'll get serious. Vanilla is everywhere followed closely by creamy chocolate, figs, and oak, you taste the oak in the back of your mouth through the full swallow. This is one of the most balanced barrel aged beers I have tried.

Feel - This is a very thin Imperial stout I'd say its medium light with creamy carbonation making it very easy drinking, There is some boozyness on the swallow but its not overwhelming.

Overall - Maybe its the fact that I love BBA Stouts but this beer is absolutely fantastic. The flavors come together really well and create a very easy drinking stout. The vanilla is nice and balanced by the chocolate and the oak creating a flavor ripe with the barrel but unlike one I've tasted until now. This is probably the best year round BA stout I've had. good job New holland

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Photo of Furlinator
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Vintage 2015.

Pours translucent near black with a thin khaki head that quickly disappears completely and leaves faint spots of lace. The smell is of chocolate, vanilla and roasted malt. The taste is of roasted malt, sweet chocolate and a hint of booze. A little thinner in texture than I expected but, still a solid stout.

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Photo of donspublic
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from growler procured earlier in the day into a 16 oz tulip. Pour yielded nice fluffy 3 finger tan head. Compressed down to a tight foam pooling across the top, nice lacing throughout the whole glass. This puppies dark, holding up to the light and nothing getting thru there. Smells of bourbon, vanilla and roasted malt. Like putting this up to my nose. Taste of well bourbon in a nice way. Some roasted malt coming thru with some residual sweetness on the back end. Hides it's 11% quite well. The mouthfeel on this beer is a joy, it is very smooth. I have seen where some think it is a little thin, but I think it is appropriate. If I could get my hands on this, it would be in my fridge year around. Shout out to local HEB for getting a keg of this.

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Photo of MNAle
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An agressive pour results in a 1.5 inch tan, bubbly, creamy head. Very dark, opaque, slighy ruby tinge up through the bottom. Sweet aroma, dark fruity, with a nice bourbon and alcohol smell. Very smooth, creamy thick feel. Lots of whiskey taste. Slightly sweet. Some bittering in the middle and in the finish. Alcohol is there, present in the initial taste and remains throughout but well controlled. Dominatated by the sweet, smooth, fruity malts and bourbon, with just a touch of bittering. Very well done.

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Photo of myelo
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured on Feb. 20, 2016, bottled Sept 4, 2015

Dark brown with thin rim of tan head and mild lacing despite a pretty aggressive pour. Typical of an imperial stout.

Aroma is bourbon with prominent ethanol, sweet black cherries and raisins, some oak and bit of chocolate and vanilla and roasted malt

Taste is toasty malt with bourbon/rum, vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, very sweet initially with mild bitter finish.

Medium creamy body with low carbonation and prominent ethanol warmth. Not oily like some imperial stouts. I would prefer a little more body.

Overall boozy and pretty sweet. But a nice imperial stout.

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Photo of jlindros
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Share with rudzud
Light fizzy dark head fades very quickly, decent lacing, dark molasses brown almost black.

Nose lots of wood, toasted oak esters, lots of roasted malt, char roast, little Smokey hint of cocoa, weird vegetable ester profile, plenty of toasty biscuit and little caramel, mild spicy hop. Nice bourbon in the background.

Taste brings plenty of bourbon and vanilla barrel, plenty of dark fruits like fig and date, dark choc notes, caramel candy, with more roasted notes, toasted biscuit, vanilla barrel and juicy bourbon. Finish sticky, little candy and caramel, some spicy hops, more vanilla barrel mild bourbon and dark fruits.

Mouth is med which is a bit thin, bod slight syrupy, decent carb.

Overall mixed, barrel was nice, hops were a little high, dark fruits are nice but a little out of place.

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Photo of rudzud
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros. 2014 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice semi clear brown hue with a thin head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, faint dark fruit, very light bourbon. Really faint vanilla and oak.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of dark fruit. There is some chocolate candy taste, rather mild bourbon too.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, bit thin.

O - Overall this beer was rather underwhelming. Didn't get nearly enough stout notes.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on 02/10/2015. Served slightly chilled.

Pours black as coal, generating a half-finger of khaki-coloured froth at the surface. The head fizzles out over the next 60 seconds or so, soon giving way to a wide, foamy collar, but producing little in the way of lace. Not a real looker, but it's got good legs when you swirl. Charred oak wood, vanilla and bourbon come through clearly on the nose, while notes of roasted malt, treacle and dark chocolate are not far behind. Perhaps a few faint suggestions of licorice and fig, along with some booziness.

Very rich-tasting. Molasses and caramel figure in prominently, with big roasted malt flavours of dark chocolate and cocoa interacting beautifully with the barrel features. Charred oak and vanilla are impossible to miss, though hints of figgy dark fruit certainly are - bourbon/barrel really comes forward on the back end, at the expense of everything listed previous. Boozy-sweet bourbon finish with herbal, roasty astringency; good warmth in the aftertaste too, with just a hint of coffee beans. Lingering ethanol. Full-bodied, with light carbonation and a luxuriously smooth, fulfilling texture that coats the palate with each sip. Indeed, the mouthfeel is my favourite aspect of this unabashedly big, barrelled stout.

Final Grade: 4.07, A-. Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout is a decadent beer that is quite clearly aimed at the hardcore bourbon-philes - seriously, if you aren't at least sort-of a whisk(e)y guy, this probably will not be your cup of tea. The oak wood, bourbon and vanilla flavours are relentless in their grab for your taste buds' attention, and the alcohol amplifies those tendencies - but the remainder of the flavour profile is a little lacking for such a strong stout. Don't take that the wrong way, because this is still a very good BBA stout that I would (and probably will) purchase again. It's just not necessarily the first I'd recommend.

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Photo of Zebulan
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Very dark with a small amount of tan head. Small amount of lacing as well.
S: Can smell the barrel straight away. Sweet smell but not sugary.
T: Very nice taste. Bourbon and heat but not offensive or overpowering. Sweet taste as well.
F: Smooth in the mouth warm going down.
O: Have had a few of these and is one of my favorite Bourbon barrel stouts. Is fairly easy to find which makes it a nice pick up.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz pour on draft at Tempest in Madison, Wisconsin. Served in a brandy snifter.

Comes with a dark black body, one finger effervescent offwhite head with good retention, no lacing. Smells of vanilla, oak, mild hints of bourbon, deep roast, milk chocolate, touch of black espresso. Aromatic and pleasant, without any hint of heat. Flavour is similarly roasty with plenty of milk chocolate and cocoa, touch of bourbon, vanilla, oak, no heat. Easy to drink with plenty of flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not as full as bigger stouts but hefty enough. Good carbonation on draft. Lingering milk chocolate and vanilla on the finish. A tasty, slightly underpowered bourbon barrel aged stout which will hit the spot more often than not. It's on the opposite end of the spectrum from Central Waters' Bourbon Barrel Stout- more of the base stout, less of the bourbon barrel but still not lacking in the latter.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a bourbon flavour.

Overall - An interesting brew. Not over the top in sweetness or bourbon, but still packs a punch in ABV. Very drinkable and a nice well rounded flavour. I guess I was expecting something more robust, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Can't see this improving with age really, seems about perfect now.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice, but nothing to write home about and I wanted more texture and flavor given the ABV. I have high expectations of the brewery, so was expecting more wow.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, with about 1 finger of brown head. leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

Smell: Pretty bad actually. Extremely metallic. Sweet chocolate with hints of woodiness. Would be nice if the metallic smell wasn't so prominent. EDIT: The metallic smell of this beer has dissipated a bit as it has warmed. I still feel it can be greatly improved upon, though.

Taste: this is where the beer starts to get good. Almost no hints of metal which I detected on the nose. I'm getting sweet chocolate, smoky wood, bourbon (of course), slight hint of coffee, vanilla. This beer is fairly boozy. It's 11%, and you can instantly tell. Regardless, the alcohol content works with the rest of the beer.

Feel: This is the one factor that sets this beer apart from other similar beers in the style. This beer feels absolutely beautiful. Silky smooth, milky with light to medium carbonation. Definitely world class in regards to the feel.

This beer was a bit of an odd ball. Appearance wise, its your typical black stout. The head and lacing were even borderline sub-par . I also didn't like the smell of this beer at all. I would almost liken it to sticking my face in a bag full of nickels. The only factor that saved this beer from a sub 2 score in "smell" was the nice hints of wood and bourbon I found as well. However (and this is a big however), this beer is incredibly tasty if you get past the average appearance and the poor smell. Wonderful hints of chocolate, smokiness, wood, and of course bourbon make this a very tasty beer. The feel of this beer is also world class. Seriously one of the smoothest beers I have ever had the fortune of trying. I will more than likely pick this one up again if I can find it, despite the fact that It's a little bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of soupermirl
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hell. Yes. Fantastic. Beautiful beer. Coconut finish. Woody deliciousness. This beer is delicious, did I state that? It's nice. Drink it. Ok so, color is dark, thick, heady, very nice. Nice is thin but taste and mouth fill are right on. It's worth it.

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Photo of brureview
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark chocolate color with a 1F head in a Moa snifter.
I was expecting a bigger head. The color is excellent.

The aroma at first was a bit weak for the style: hints of chocolate and malt.
As the beer warms up- more chocolate and oak.

The MF and taste define the character of the beer.
MF- smoother than most beers in the style- just right, not too carbonated.

The taste is highly complex and intensifies with warming. There is a lot here: oak, chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, and creamy.The sweetness is excellent. It's the sweetest BBS I have tasted.

Overall: one of the better Bourbon Barrel Stouts I have tasted. Exceptional balance. The taste carries the beer. I especially like how the flavors broaden with warming. I would have liked a stronger aroma and a bigger head.
Explore this beer at 50°F 10°C+

It's both a sipper and an easy drinker!

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Photo of Kyel611
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,589 ratings.
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