Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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1,431 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

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

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Reviews: 1,431 | Ratings: 5,410
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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Photo of MacMalt
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into stout glass. It pours a deep, dark brown with a two-finger, light tan head and lacing. The smell is mostly oaky vanilla and bourbon. The flavor follows the nose and is very nice: roasty malt, vanilla, and a lot of bourbon. As the glass warmed, I began to notice some chocolate, as well. There is only a subtle bitterness at the finish. You can really feel the heat of the 10% ABV. While it's undeniably boozy, and definitely a sipper, it's also quite smooth and easy to drink. Overall, I enjoyed it. It is a very good stout, which I would really like to try on draught.

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Photo of salimoneus
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- pours very dark, medium thick head, not much cling

Smell - This beer has a very nice aroma, consisting mostly of bourbon, oak, vanilla

Taste- Tastes mostly like it smells, a nice bourbon component, some oak, carmel, and vanilla

Mouthfeel- Fairly average, not great but not bad

Value- Four packs are available in my area for $14, which is about 30 cents per ounce. To me this represents a very good value for a quality beer in this style.

Overall- The best bourbon barrel aged stout available year around. It doesn't quite stack up against the heavy hitters in this category, but it's one I would recommend to fill the gaps in between special occasions, or those new to this style of beer. Plenty of bourbon character indicates it was aged for at least 6 months, and it's complex enough for experienced BA stout drinkers.

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Photo of Strike00
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours dark brown but not as dark as I was expecting, with a light brown head and medium lacing.
S: big bourbon smell. some chocolate and sweetness, maybe vanilla, underneath.
T: Bourbon and Booze right upfront. After those initial tastes you get Chocolate and teh stout base in the back.
F: Medium bodied, pretty smooth

O: pretty good BA Stout.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black in color. A slight khaki colored head appears with a vigorous pour, but dissipates quickly.

The aroma is of oak, toasted malts, chocolate, and a little bit of booze.

Flavor is of chocolate, roasted and toasted malts, booze (reminds me more of rum barrel than whiskey barrel), something sweet, and a dark dried fruit like raisins or figs.

The mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth. Silky smooth. Pure silk. This has got to be the most velvety feeling beer I've ever had.

A very nice beer. For it's price and seemingly easy availability, it's hard to beat this one.

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Photo of weaselface89
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- black on first look, with a reddish tint through direct light. tan head that is maybe a finger and a half but quickly disappears. quite active carbonation.
S- chocolate covered cherry. also bourbon is present in the nose. roasted malts also
T- sweet roasty desert type beer. oak taste, and raisin. chocolate and vanilla are both apparent to my taste. quite nice and complex. cant forget the bourbon flavor.
F- nice and full boded with more carbonation than I expected, but not too much
O-when I popped the cap off this one I could hear a crackling that im not familiar with. found that interesting. probably my number one pick bourbon barrel aged stout.

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Photo of DanVas86
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(A) Out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, Dragon’s Millk pours dark brown, almost black. If held to a light, clear burgundy shows through. A thick, rich almond head develops immediately and dissipates within a minute or so to a thin blanket that remains until it’s been drank in its entirety. Good lacing nearly to the top of the glass once the head has settled. 4.0
(s)Wonderful, unmistakable bourbon barrel as soon as you put nose to glass. Boozy, but to be expected at 11% ABV. Sweet and roasted malt, vanilla. 4.75
(t) Alcohol is dominant almost immediately. The bourbon barrel comes through beautifully right away. A bit sweeter than I expected (and hoped), but not way out of balance due to its 31 IBUs. A little fleeting vanilla and brown sugar up front, possibly coffee in the middle. Definite, lingering dark chocolate finish for me. The boozy warmth stays to finish. 3.75
(f) Very delicate carbonation that disappears as soon as it hits the tongue. Then the smooth, creamy coating takes over. Its gravity is apparent, not betraying its stout lineage. 4.25
(O) smell was outstanding. A bit sweet and a touch boozy but a fantastic bottle for a cold night. Doesn't disappoint. 4.0

I’d pair this with strong cheese, rare steak… and oddly I find myself craving pretzels right now. I’ll be sure to keep two bottles until next winter to see what a year in the cellar does to this beer. Smoothing out a bit little of the powerful booze note would be nice.

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Photo of HighGravityMan
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Very enjoyable by itself - but probably best paired with small foods featuring nutty cheeses, smoked salmon, balsamic vinegar, or dark chocolate.

Basically, this is an aperitif beer best enjoyed with its matching foods.

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Photo of Lumens66
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As Arnold Schwarzenegger's character John Matrix said in "Commando,": "Sully, that's not important right now. What is important is GRAVITY." Well boy, this imperial stout has plenty of that. With a high ABV of 11% it is made for aging if you're up for it, with each bottle coming with a vintage tag. For me, the alcohol isn't masked behind the other elements of this stout but it's still enjoyable. The nose is more complex than its taste which is a bit disappointing. I get vanilla, toasted malt and dried porcini mushroom on the nose (I JUST used porcini mushrooms 2 days ago and I can't believe I get that scent but I do). The alcohol is dominant on the palate but the toasted malt is fleeting. It is slightly sweet and has a somewhat fleeting finish. It's nice but not my favorite.

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Photo of CoreyC
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark as it gets with a very nice head that settles quickly.

S - Alcohol dominant.

T - Light bitter chocolate, vanilla, coffee.

M - Nice, the thickness you'd want from a stout.

O - A very good barrel aged stout.

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Photo of rbelcher1959
4.81/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour with a nice oak and bourbon taste followed by a slight vanilla finish. Seriously strong beer, a new favorite. In Virginia a very hard beer to find but well worth the search!

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Photo of artdob
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle for 2015 Christmas direct from Michigan. Pours a deep black with a modest tan head that subsides quickly, but leaves a light tan coating on top of the beer.
The nose is rich with sweet figs, cocoa, and nutmeg. The taste is sugary - chocolate cake, herbs, a hint of Vicks cough syrup, fading to pumpernickel with sweet notes remaining on the palate.
A nice Imperial Stout - sweeter than most for this style.

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

Wow, this is a seriously potent beer. For mature audiences only.
You have to get used to the nose, which is strong oak. And then there is the taste. Bourbon, a nice balance between dark chocolate and coffee and enough vanilla to flash some Bailey's into your mind (but in a clever way). Not sure how long this will be around in Toronto, but I think I will get me some more, even though I am not a stout lover.
I recommend that you have a little dark chocolate prior to drinking (70% dark, preferably) and then sit back and hang on tight.

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Photo of DavyJones
4.99/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For whatever reason, this was a beer that I didn't have extremely high expectations for, boy what a pleasant surprise.

2015 Vintage.

Color is very pleasant dark dark brown, not as opaque as many other beers in the style.

Smell is bourbon and vanilla, heavenly.

Taste is bourbon forward, then fades to vanilla. As the vanilla diminishes, tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee emerge, all while retaining some of the creamy vanilla character. Super tasty stuff.

Mouth feel is medium, not syrupy, not watery/thin; it's the way I like my stouts.

This has become one of my favorite beers in the style. After taking my first sip, I was reminded of the the early releases of KBS when it was a bit more raw/bourbon forward, which I miss.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed from a growler via Jungle Jims in a snifter----THANKS LITTLE LADY!

Pours a muddled black with tinges of brown, a nice head of dark tan foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and very nice lacing. Nose of bourbon, vanilla, oak, cocoa, deeply roasted grains, and raisins. Flavors exceed the nose with bourbon and oak smashing into dark brown sugars, cocoa, and dark raisin loaf on all sides. Middle gives way to vanilla and then fades into a warmth of booze touched with cream. Creamy yet subtly carbonated mouth feel to cut through the coating nature of the brew makes for a dangerous easy drinker. All in all an excellent brew and a fantastic flagship of New Holland's darker craft.


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Photo of Cheesy_McDuck
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My friend Chris hooked me up with some of this stuff. At the time it was the best stout I had ever had. Smooth, delicous, with vanilla and toffee flavors, yet a nice bite. Dragon's milk is an appropriate name

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.
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