Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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very good
1,441 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

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

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Reviews: 1,441 | Ratings: 5,457
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Not much in the way of a head. The beer is very RIS in appearance. Deep black, opaque body. Small wisps of lacing as the collar of foam around the edge goes down with each sip.

S- Oak barrels are big on the nose. It reminds me of Palo Santo Marron, only each beer is very very different with their own unique oak aromas. Aside from the heavy notes of oak the nose is sweet and alcoholic. There is vanilla and chocolate.

T- This is where this beer deviates from an RIS. Oaky, with slight hits of chocolate and vanilla. Its quite boozy. Some creaminess. Not much in the way of bitterness.

M- Thinner than hoped. Low carbonation. Drying finish.

D- The alcohol packs a punch. Its very noticeable both in taste and feel.

I have had this beer many times. It seems to be better on tap. I have also sampled an 07, 08 and 09 back to back. The 07 was by far the better sample. Age does this beer wonders.

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Photo of abrand
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

23 ounce bomber poured into the Founders pint glass. Very wordy label etched on the bottle with a nice story on the back.

The dragon milk pours a deep brown color with a nice bubbly cream colored head that doesn't hang around too long. Not much lacing lines the glass. The nose has very subtle hints of caramel and vanilla. Not much oak is noticed, but I am picking up some alcohol characteristics. Taste is quite complex with sweet vanilla and raisins with a nice bitter chocolate oak finish. Each sip I am picking up different tastes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and overall I think this is a very tasty brew. The aromas and taste are both full of complexity and keeps the drinker at the edge of the seat.

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Photo of Burl41
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into pint

Appearance- Dark brown with a great sold head, like a porter

Smell- Oak, vanilla, rasin with a hint of alchohal. The smell is wonderful, and strong, apparent as soon as you open the bottle.

Taste- Again like the smell, some roasted notes are apparent but not like its appearence would suggest. Caramel, a great oak vanilla falvor is what is most noticable, it's balanced and complex. There is a warming effect from the alchohal to finish. This is a great brew.

Mouthfeel- Thick and chewy, with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability- This was one of my first high end beers that I ever had and one I will continue to return to. This is a great beer, and a good interpertaion of the style. One that to be savored but can be enjoyed in more than one serving.

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Photo of thryn
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium-dark brown, with a coppery tint. No real head, but a decent ring of tan fuzz.

Tons of vanilla in the nose. A hint of smoke, also, and a lot of toffee and caramel notes from the malt. Some booze, but not to unpleasant levels. Oaky, but smooth.

Taste is vanilla, oak, toffee, a hint of chocolate, a hint of peat and a noticeable but not hot alcohol presence. I bought this in July, so it's at least 5 months old. It's very nice. Really smooth. This is a barrel-aged beer where the barrel is prominent, and I'm generally a fan of forward oak, so I've got no complaints about that.

Feel is a bit thin, and it's a little flat, even for the style.

Decently drinkable for the style. Suffers a little from the flat feel, but it's delicious enough that I can overlook that.

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Photo of OrangeCharlie
2.16/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a dark black with a thin tan head.

S: Toffee, caramel, and roasted malts.

T: Coffee, caramel, and roast. A touch of bourbon with some woody oak notes towards the end. Strong, hot alcohol presence on the finish was a big turnoff. This just shouldn't happen in an 8.5% beer.

M: Good medium body, good carbonation.

D: This brings me back to the hot alcohol, which really ruined this beer. It became less appealing as it warmed as well, which made the hot alcohol much stronger.

Clearly, the hot alcohol was my biggest problem with this beer. I would give this another shot if it was cellared for a few months as it can possibly mellow out the booze, but from this first impression, this was a tough one to get down.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin brown head on top of near pitch black liquid. Head fades to just a thin ring around the glass and leaves only scattered lacing.

S - Roasted grain, chocoalte and alot of wood. The wood aromas come through more as the beer warms. Hints of vanilla as well.

T - Roasted grains and hints of vanilla and oak. Simi-sweet chocolate. The wood really begins to dominate the taste as the beer warms. Light alcohol burn with hints of paint thinner that really is not the most pleasant taste.

M/D - Full bodied with light carbonation. The somewhat unpleasant alcohol burn brings the drinkability down a notch but it is still an enjoyable beer for the most part.

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Photo of jwc215
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass:

Pours dark brown towards black with rubyish highlights when held up to the light. It has decent head retention, with some trailing lace sticking.

The smell is of oak - woody with vanilla and subtle/mild hint of cinnamon. There's a subdued chocolatey malt sweetness.

The taste is very sweet - oak and alcohol dominate. Hints of chocolate and tart cherry come through. Sweet with a touch of tart - malt subdued under wood and booze.

Hits full-bodied as it progresses - enough to give it the higher of the two scores I had in mind for the mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild - enough to be present and keep it from being too thick, though it is a bit slick. Heat lingers on the palate.

It's not astringent, but it is sweet and boozy. Maybe age will calm the alcohol presence. And, while I can appreciate the oak, it dominates just a bit too much here. Still, it's one to buy and share with a friend when you want an oak-aged dark brew and if you're "in the mood" for the "heat".

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Photo of corby112
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark chestnut brown with mahogany edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger foamy tan head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of lacing behind.

Chocolate malt aroma with subtle bourbon, earthy oak and vanilla.

Lighter bodied tha I expected but not thin. Silky chocolate maltiness with hints of caramel and toffee. Not roasty at all. Surprising dark fruit notes including cherry, plum and raisin which provide a nice balance to the heavy malt presence. Subtle bourbon presence that isn't overpowering, letting the other flavors shine through. Earthy oakiness with a nice touch of vanilla which adds to the smoothness of the beer. This in combination with the well masked ABV make this beer pretty quaffable. Slightly dry finish.

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

Near black pour with a small, quickly disappearing head. Smell is lightly toasted malts, faint hints of oak and toffee, and a bit of citric hoppiness.

Taste is roasted malt, oak, and a tiny bit of dark chocolate bitterness. A bit ashy in the aftertaste. Slightly fuller than medium bodied. This is standard fare for barrel aged stouts. Nothing to make it stand out, but definitely still very flavorful and somewhat tasty

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Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown/almost black with a very little head that quickly disappears.

Smell: Roasted malt, oak and vanilla.

Taste: Heavy oak flavor initially followed by a smooth blast of vanilla on the tongue whe swallowed.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Very enjoyable.

Drinkability: Very smooth which hides the 9% very well. I could through back a few of these before it finally catches up with me.

This is a beer that I have seen but have passed on buying for the last 5 years. I finally picked up a bottle and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this tasty brew.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date. At first glance it looks like cola only a little thicker with heavy carbonation coming to the top. Aroma of a chocolate french press. Light body extreme full flavor. Coffee creaminess, dry chocolate almost nut like flavor. Some minor vanilla notes. Warming alcohol feeling makes this a sipper and somewhat detract from the drinkable nature.

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Photo of ralree
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Completely opaque dark brown. Not much head, a bit of retention.

S: Sweet, smoky, lots of hops. Perfect.

T: Super sweet and a bit smoky. Lots of dark fruit flavor. Raisins, alcohol tastes through on the nose. Super oaky.

M: Perfect carbonation. A bit astringent. Rather dry. Medium-heavy body.

D: Good to sip. Goes down rather easily for the ABV and style. Sweetness hinders drinkability.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: From the bottle appeared a chocolate-chestnut brown color with deep marzen highlights, while in the glass was totally opaque with a mocha tinted head that was quickly dissipating. A sturdier, frothy-whipped head would of crowned this off with near perfect results, but the fizziness and quick demise didn't leave much to appreciate.

S: The nose came forth with a deep sense of espresso beans and a dark roasted malting that was bitter with oaky cask notes of whiskey and burbon. There was a strange, albeit, an intriguing scent of fresh motor oil, perhaps a result of the burnt malting and booziness. Burnt chocolate hints round things out here with a deep roasted barley finish accompanied by a lingering booziness of whiskey and burbon.

T: The flavor right from the start illustrates its deep, brooding and intimidating nature of deep roasted burnt malting straight from the bowels of hell. A burnt charred bitterness which is highlighted by a mixed booziness of whiskey and burbon is served up with a deep sense of acrid nature. While the malting was dark, burnt and roasted, its overall delivery was one of complete smoothness. Dark fruit of ripe juicy plums, licorice and dry vanilla also add highlights to this finely tuned flavor. There is a very warming alcohol nature to this beer that would probably keep you warm in the middle of Siberia wearing nothing but a thong. Overall the roasted character is dark, brooding and bitter, yet surprising smooth and refined in nature.

M: incredibly smooth and lusciously silky with a light-medium body. Burnt barley offerings and a warming booziness smoothers the tongue upon the swallow.

D: fairly good despite the overall warm booziness, balanced by the smooth roasted character. At 9.0%abv a bomber is about all I could handle though enjoyed every last sip of it. A dark, brooding and sometimes intimidating drink that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, and pit of your stomach.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz., silk-screened bottle. It pours damn near pitch-black, with ruby highlights and a finger of khaki head that leaves a few wisps of lacing. Very chocolatey in the nose, with a present, but not too strong oak note, roast, hints of vanilla, and a touch of isopropyl after a hefty swirl. Tastes of roast and chocolate, with hints of green hops that impart a medium bitterness, vanilla, and a mild, but ever-increasing oaky aftertaste. A little alcohol flavor as well. The body starts a bit thin, but becomes a bit creamier as it warms. It comes across as an oaked-up stout that is tasty for sure, but a little rough around the edges. Perhaps some aging would improve this one.

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

2007 Vintage served during the Black Friday event at Capone's.

Appearance: pours a dark black with garnet corners and a minimal off white crown that exhibits a touch of retention and lace.

Smell: Roast malt, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, oak, and creme. I'm not noticing any booze presence so perhaps the 2 years of aging made that difference.

Taste: While the flavors aren't as vibrant as when consumed fresh, everything has melded well into a delicious brew. Oak and chocolate up front.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with little carbonation. Feels a bit slick with a touch of chewiness.

Drinkability: The abv is the only thing holding this one back from scoring higher in the drinkability department. The flavors are well melded.

Not fantastic, but I enjoyed this 07' vintage more than fresh samplings.

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Photo of montecristo2
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter at Mother Murphy's Irish Bistro in Chicago.

Some notes of vanilla very present at the initial taste and at the finish. Malt flavors also present.

Alcohol slightly present, but not overpowering- not too much to influence the taste.

Dark and tasty-a great beer to end the evening.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.56/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: opaque in the glass. Only when held to the light do garnet highlight appear. There is a thin, creamy film that sis atop the pint.

S: bouquet is well presented with notes of vanilla, caramel, and nutmeg.

T: fantastic balance of a malty caramel body and oaky vanilla notes. Not much in the way of hops, but this brew doesn't need it. The oak. Stands on its own to balance this brew out.

M: one of the most creamy brews I've ever had. Thick and creamy, a perfect complement to this beer's robust flavors.

D: one of my favorites when I'm back in Michigan. One of the best barrel aged ales ever made.

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

The color of the beer is very similar to guinness draft, dark but definitely not completely pitch black like some beers. You can still see light come through at the edges. =P

The head is not anything like guinness draft as it dissipate quickly while drinking. It leaves a fine lace on the top of the beer with not too much lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is boozy and oaky with a sweet and creamy hint. The taste is again boozy with a big oaky and vanilla taste. It is slightly astringent, but very tastey. The oak definitely drowns out the vanilla and sweetness.

With other great oak barrel aged ales out there, I would likely pick those over this, but this is a beer that is worth trying once.

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Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, minimal head, clear

Smell: cream, sugar, oak, burnt malt, and cocoa

Taste: the oak dominates, but there are hints of milk chocolate, coffee, and burnt malt towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, prickly, moderate to heavy body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A good not great strong ale. You must like oak for this one to appeal. This one is sweet but not overly so. The dominate oak gives this some bite and is biggest reason why this one is a one per sitting beer.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. $8.

Appearance: Dark brown-black with dark red highlights. The beer is not flat, but there is not ample carbonation. There a thin head with a hard pour, but after 30 seconds, there's only a few wispy collections of tiny bubbles. When the glass is tipped, some thin lacing clings, then slides back down the snifter into the beer over a minute or two.

Smell: Very oaky. Rich and sweet caramel malt. Lots of vanilla. Some chocolate. There is detectable alcohol. It smells rich and delicious. I am a sucker for barrel aging.

Taste: I'm a little disapointed with the taste after smelling it. Its sharp and boozy and too oaky. Not a soft bourbony oak flavor, but a harsh, astringent green oak sap taste. This really dominates the palate until you swallow, at which point the aftertaste is nice rich, malty, a little smoky, and with vanilla notes. Also lots of booze in the finish. Actually the more I drink it, the more I like it, but its still just not quite right.

Mouthfeel: This is not what I wanted either. Its too thin. It has some syrupiness to it, but it is quickly cut and neutralized by the oak sap and alcohol. The finish is actually a little dry. Weird.

Drinkability: I would not buy it again, but would drink it again, and would be open to drinking an aged bottle. I think a different barrel for aging would make a world of difference. Its very close to being fantastic, but ends up being an OK version of high end beer.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$8.99 / ea.

S: Bottle touts a vanilla / caramel malt bouquette and it delivers on this promise, thought the vanilla tends to come off more as chocolate. Somewhat boozy on the nose, it could definitely benefit from mellowing.

A: Dark brown to black body, with a big tan rocky head that leaves ample lacing and light cover.

T: Caramel malt is evident, but also hints of oatmeal, and the woody taste of oak aging. Sweet and boozy, this one stays on the tongue for a long time.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth, but a little slippery on the tongue.

D: Not something I would linger on. It has some virtue, but its time comes and goes without much longing.

O: Ok ale, but not nearly as complex as the bottle implies. Strong -OH and overwhelming oak suffocate the malt and vanilla (chocolate).

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Photo of Katahdin
2.56/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A disappointment considering I am generally a fan of New Holland's brews. It poured rather flat and the taste was quite overwhemling. The strong oak flavor overwhelmed all of it supposed complexities. It was a beer that I had to fight with to drink.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it.

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Photo of ericmunley
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a Dragon's Milk (on a bartender's suggestion) here at the Backyard Ale House in Scranton, PA.

Appearance is standard stout fare. Poured into a Murphy's pint glass...Dragon Milk is pure black with a lacing, cream colored head.

This New Holland offering smells of oak, roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate and coffee. Smells delicious...can't wait to dive in.

The oak indicated in the nose really comes through in the taste. A fan of oaked stouts like Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard will appreciate this beer. Surprisingly smooth for it's oakiness. The vanilla adds an almost milk stout like taste to this otherwise bitter stout.

Dragon's Milk isn't the thickest stout I've ever had, but it is chewy and smooth. The mouthfeel is far above average.

At 8.5, this is far from a session beer. However, an after dinner beer it certainly is. I can see myself enjoying two of these on a night spent with my beer and thoughts.

New Holland's Dragon's Milk is definitely a beer worthy of a stout fan's palate. The price is reasonable, it is fairly common and thoroughly enjoyed by this reviewer.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a single bottle ($4.95) at a local beer 6 pack shop.

The 1st smell had an intense alcohol smell. However, the 1st sip hid the alcohol very well.

This is a pretty good stout. Very dark, nice vanilla flavor. I'm not going to claim to know what Oak barrels taste like, but I'm assuming that added to the complextiy of the flavoring.

The mouthfeel was pretty good. Nice medium body.

I would buy a 6 pack of this stuff, but not at $4.95 per bottle. I would not be interested in an entire case. This is more like a desert stout, which you would have only 1, possibly 2 of after dinner. If you plan on drinking a 6 pack of these, you may be out cold at #5.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,457 ratings.
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