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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,446 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

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

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:
1,446
Ratings:
5,489
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
329
Gots:
1,666
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,446 | Ratings: 5,489
Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers in Paducah, KY for recommendating this. Kinda reminds me of a mellowed Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in taste, smell and mouthful. Not much head retention but the oak woodsy smell is followed with a very pungent taste and an ever numbing mouthful. Very good beer from New Holland.

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Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. A one finger tan head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt up front. Chocolate and coffee is strong. Slightly smoky and some dry wood.
T: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and sweet vanilla. Lots of dry wood. A light grainy flavor. Plenty of fusel alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. The fusel alcohol makes this a one and down. Though a nice beer to sip on.

This is a nice beer. Big and something to sip during a contemplative night. Recommended.

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Photo of bevdaddy
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 into a snifter.

picked this up on a trip down to philly a couple weeks ago.

A: very dark brown, rich color. fairly opaque. while looking at it towards a light, there are some almost deep red colors.

S: definitely barrell aged. the obvious notes are chocolatey vanilla with the oak there as well.

T: very interesting and different. just like some others noted, the barrel aging is making my brain think "stout", but the taste is definitely a strong ale. a very interesting one. the alcohol is definitely there. i'm tasting chocolate, coffee and vanilla. the other taste, i can't put my finger on. not quite caramel, but something along those lines. it's nice.

M: definitely not an overly thick beer (which my brain was expecting because of the barrel aging). medium mouthfeel and carbonated just right. for a non-stout beer of this type - this is the smooth creamy mouthfeel youre looking for.

D: this is a sipper. delicious, but heavy duty. very well-crafted, but the beer is rich and there is an alcohol presence - so i'll probably stick to one bottle, and definitely enjoy it.

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Photo of alkemy
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a very thin tan head from the tap. It's neither here nor there, but the bartender and New Holland's website say the ABV on this is 10%.
Scent is dominated by butterscotch. There's also vanilla, bourbon, and a touch of bitter chocolate. The taste is much of the same...lots of butterscotch. Also woody vanilla and a chocolaty finish. You can taste that there is a bit of alcohol in this, but it's not over the top. Creamy feel and the carbonation was just right. I was really impressed with this one.

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Photo of crossovert
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .6 oz bottle. No sign of a bottling date. This was purchased at a small supermarket in the middle of nowhere.

Pours into my snifter a pretty dense brown bordering on black with hints of ruby and a quickly dissipating off-white head. No lacing initially.

The nose is delightful, there is some mellon, huge oak with vanilla and tannin, cocoa, dark fruits, and some honey. It all melds together perfectly. It is a smooth smelling oak aged beer. This has the quintessential barrel aged scent.

The oak aging brings it majorly. It has a huge oaky vanilla presence, lots of alcoholic bourbon sweetness( but not too overpowering), fruitiness, caramel, honey, and some cocoa. It is pretty highly carbonated but it is decently thick. The alcohol bites nut isn't intrusive.

This is an artful beer, I haven't anything as smooth and oaky as this. New Holland did a marvelous job here.

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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 nelso334
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- A black color with ruby tints. Pleasant to the eye. Head is a nice dark froth with good retention and a nice lace left behind.

S- Smells is blast of strong oak wood. Balanced with an undertone of raisin like malts as well as a smooth vanilla somewhere far in the back. I also can tell that there is gonna be some alcohol in this one.

T- Wow, talk about a blast of oak in your mouth. Flavor is dominated by the oak aging which you taste the whole way through. Underneath is a sweet malty reminiscent of dry fruit flavors but again the oak is what dominants. The alcohol comes through in this flavor as well.

M- A typical stout if you take away the oak. Feels smooth ith a bit of bubble.

D - The oak intensity along with to much presence of alcohol makes me not want to come back for more.

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Photo of Aenema
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown/black, dark mahogany highlights, thin off-white head.
Smell - Vanilla, oak.
Taste - Vanilla, oak, booze.
Mouthfeel - Light-medium to medium-bodied, light carbonation.
Drinkability - Boozy, not too much complexity. After the initial assault of vanilla and oak I found myself getting rather bored with the beer.
Overall - Disappointing, I found the vanilla/oak flavors to be intense and well-developed, but without any supporting flavors to contrast or support the beer (aside from alcohol). Nonetheless, I'm glad I tried it it, it is an interesting beer.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

pours out almost black with dark brown highlights coming through. formed a thin fizzy head that disappeared as fast as it came leaving only a ring around the glass. got a few spots of lace but that's it.

smell reminds me of vacationing in a cabin in the woods as the oak in this one is very, very present. i'm also getting hints of vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol. taste follows nose, but flavor wise it's mostly the oak and alcohol with maybe a little chocolate malt too. can't pick out any hop character at all which is kind of disappointing. this beer is delicious and very rich, but hardly balanced or complex.

mouthfeel is good - smooth with a pleasing co2 profile. lots of alcohol warming going on here though.

drinkability is lower than i had hoped for due to the strong alcohol presence and rich flavor profile. definitely a slow sipper. though it's delicious, i'd probably reserve this one for special occasions. it would be a challenge to have more than one of these.

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Photo of davesway10
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer with a great, smooth taste.

Deep, rich brown color. Nice caramel, vanilla and even a little bourbon tastes. I hadn't heard about this beer when i bought it, the name and the ABV more than anything sold me. Pleasantly impressed and surprised. I'll pick this one up again when i see it.

As a sidebar, this beer is listed at 8.5 ABV while the bottle states it is 10.0.

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Photo of number1bum
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle, which I think I got from BeerTruth.

Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with dark brown/deep scarlet highlights at the edges. Only generates about one finger of fizzy tan head which keeps fairly well, but there wasn't much there to start with. The lace is patchy with a splash here and there on the sides.

Smells of sweet dark caramel and chocolate malts, plus some vanilla, oak, pepper and a hint of alcohol.

Taste consists of some roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. Not as sweet as the nose let on, with a bit of dark caramel as well and a sort of cola-like quality to it. There a black pepper oaky quality to the beer as well, and some bitterness to go along with the spice in the finish. The more I drink though the more I feel like it's just a bit too thin, like there should really be more flavor here. What's here is good, but I want more.

Mouthfeel is a medium body I suppose but it feels thin for the strength of the beer. It's pretty smooth but also lacks much creaminess. Overall lacking in terms of mouthfeel.

This is a decent beer but I'm just left wanting more. At 8.5% it should really have more flavor, more body, but instead it comes off a bit thin. Not bad, but there are better barrel aged beers to be had.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

Nice OA ale. So much vanilla oak flavors it tastes like sublte bourbon. I only had a half of glass would liek to have had more to test progression. Nice beer

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Photo of steve8robin
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on a trip to NJ...

A: Very unique color. Deep grape purple with a small off-white head that fades quickly. Interesting.

S: Smells super smooth. Sweet buttery bourbon, silky vanilla, and sweet milky malts upfront. Candi sugars in the middle with slight sweet fruit on the backend.

T: Wow, this is great. Sweet sticky bourbon upfront blended with milk chocolate, vanilla, and buttery cream upfront. Sweet sugar in the middle with hints of dark fruit on the backend. Very reminiscent of Bourbon County Stout.

M: Good carbonation feel. Very good.

D: Goes down a little heavier from the booziness flavor.

All in all, this one definitely took me by surprise. Bourbon County is one of my favorite beers, and this brew reminds me so much of it in many ways. If you like a good bourbon flavored beer, then you will love this brew. If you don't like em thick, then avoid this.

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

Tasted at the CBC Chicago 2010 Rare Beer Tour at Small Bar Division Street.

Darkest brown - almost black - in color with little to no head and little carbonation. Strong notes of vanilla and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar - lots of vanilla, lots of bourbon, and just a touch of balancing hops, with a sweet creaminess.

Good, potent, and enjoyable.

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Photo of vacax
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, slightly cloudy, moderately portioned light tan head. Aromas of toffee, maple, brandy, oak, earth, and grape. Tastes of oak, caramel, lactic, vinous, with a sweet and spicy finish. Feels medium bodied but far too thin for an oak aged strong ale with this much malt character. This is a tasty beer, I have had it a couple times. It is too thin but smells lovely and easy drinking. I think this is good, but if they are going to go through the effort to oak barrel age something it might as well be a more perfect beer.

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Photo of Irish212
2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Al's of Hampden in a snifter glass.

A: Dark black with a small amount of head that settles with very light lacing.

S: Dark wood like smell, possible hint of cherry.

T: Strong biting wood/charchol taste, too much i think.

D: A decent drink, but I wouldn't buy another one.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy color with a very small head and an even, thin ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, maple syrup, dry toasted oak, sugars, and a hint of earth. A good scent, but the various characters don't harmonize quite as nicely as they could.

Taste of maple, oak, some chocolate, dark fruit, and a hint of alcohol. Finishes dry with some more oak flavor. A solid Strong Ale, definitely worth the price.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and biting, a little too much so.

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Photo of bamadog
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cracked a bottle of this with beerman207 over the weekend. Review is from notes taken on 3/27/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee brown and has nice deep ruby highlights when held to the light; loose and thin creamy/milky light tan head; body is dark and nearly opaque; loose and spotty light tan lacing holds on here and there to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Sweet oaky vanilla - the barrel really comes through on this one; definite whiff of alcohol that is bourbonesque; a bit of chocolate as well.

Taste: A lot going on here -- deep dark roasty malts (but not quite burnt); light hints of chocolate and a definite presence of that sweet oaky vanilla that is so present in the smell; definite presence of bourbony alcohol; a slight presence of smoke and as it warms, there is a slight cola/cough syrupy sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, soft smooth carbonation that almost feels a little flat; slight stickiness left on the roof of the mouth; belly is left quite warm.

Drinkability: A little hot and overly sweet as it warms and it feels like if I had too much it would turn my stomach; I'm curious to see how this would do with some age on it to mellow out the alcohol.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown out of the bottle, deep black in the glass, topped at first with an inch and a half of loose, tan bubbly brown head that fades into a just as loose and soapy looking cap.

S: Lots and lots of bourbon, sort of amazing, I think this could give Bourbon County Stout a run for its money in terms of all out bourbon aroma, though given a bit of time to warm up other aromas begin to show themselves: vanilla, molasses, raisins, bitter bitter chocolate, lots of sweetness but really mostly bourbon.

T/MF: Bourbon up front but sweeter, richer flavors developing beneath. Vanilla, oak, molasses, and even a bit of pitted cherries make an appearance here. Feel is thick and sweet and grabs the tongue on the way down.

D: Not really sure where this beer fits, it tastes a lot like bourbon barrel aged stouts I've had in the past except that it's not a stout and the bourbon really seems to be the only thing driving this beer. If the beer were not barrel aged I am wondering what I'd be left with. Knowing this though the beer is still pretty good and drinks a great deal lighter than the above mentioned Bourbon County Stout. One is good and I'd leave it at that for the night.

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Photo of JMC_TM
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably in my top 3 favorite beers. I had it on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC.
It pours a thick, dark onyx with a nice off-white head. The nose gives you lots of chocolate, dark roasted malt, some vanilla oaky notes and just a hint of the alcohol. Each sip helps paint a full picture of this complex Strong Ale. You start off with lots of chocolate that tastes nice and creamy because of the subtle vanilla, and as it warms you start to taste the malt backing it up, along with some oak notes and again just a hint of the alcohol. The lingering finish is of vanilla and chocolate and leaves you wanting more. This is an awesome and dangerously drinkable beer for the 8.5% abv.

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Photo of semibaked
2.34/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours black with just a little light shining through with no head and looks like it is flat.

S - Big oak smell right up front, some booze, coffee, and maybe a little black olive juice.

T - A lot of Oak and Bourbon flavors and pretty much overpower anything else in the beer.

M - Oily and thin bodied.

D - Wow does this suck, I think they just said "hey will put this in Oak barrels and it will be good because everyone else is doing it". The Oak and bourbon are way overpowering, just bad brewing in my opinion.

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Photo of jcnd9803
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a very small head that disappears quickly. Actually looks like flat Coke now.

S - Ah, exactly what I expected. A great mix of vanilla, wood and bourbon.

T - Follows the smell. Vanilla and woody smoothness with the bourbon finishing things off to add a nice touch of warmth.

M - Creamy, almost like a light stout.

D - New Holland says this is their crown jewel and I have to say I agree. Even though it has the high level of warmth, I think I could drink this all night long.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours Black with a off white head. pour looks thin, but probally just because i expected this to be a stout like the upper right hand of the bottle says: "An intriguing stout with soft, rich malt character...". Honestly i'm not getting a big wave of aroma from this one,just a bit of oak, but my nose has been off with the changing of seasons so lets give this one the benefit of the doubt. The flavor however does have quite a Oak'd presence, with the obligitory vanilla notes. This one has alot of sweetness to it, and i would like to see more roasted malt to bring it a bit back into the balanced zone, but i can't say it hits the cloying sweet zone yet. This one tastes like a bigger beer then it is, for only having 8.5% it doesn't hide it, but i personally like that slight hotness, i enjoy the complexity it adds. The mouthfeel is very creamy, with a moderate amount of carbination that works.

Buy a 12oz bottle to try, not a 22oz. Solid beer but i think it should be a 4-pack $10 beer that you pick up to take to a hangout, not a single bottle that you buy expecting to be blown away.

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Photo of kshankar
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a thick tan head that has good retention.

Aroma: Vanilla, roasted malts, oak (and a hint of bourbon too)

Taste is roasty, chocolatey and has a hint of vanilla in the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and fuller bodied, and there is a sharp hit in the finish which I think comes from the bourbon-y oak aging. Drinkability? Actually isn't too bad..but considering the size of the bottle, I think I'll have only one of these.

Overall, its a good beer.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Deep, impenetrable brown. The slimmest margin of khaki head on the pour that quickly ran to the walls of the glass.

Smell -- Oak, vanilla, toffee, cocoa powder, faint smoke and charcoal. Overall, sweet and rich.

Taste - Oak, chocolate chip cookie dough, toast, alcohol presence, some charcoal in the finish. Lingering flavor of oak and vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel -- On the heavy side of medium-bodied, but not motor oil either. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps a little heavy for the style. Sharp alcohol bite in the finish. Warmth in the throat is noticed almost immediately.

Drinkability -- Very rich. Perhaps it's the vanilla paired with the chocolate malt and the strong oakiness, but this came off as quite sweet to me (see: chocolate chip cookie dough); more charred and acrid notes would've done well to balance the flavor.

If you've never had a barrel-aged beer and are interested to see what the fuss is about, this is probably a good place to start.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,489 ratings.
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