Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,439 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:
1,439
Ratings:
5,440
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
326
Gots:
1,639
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,439 | Ratings: 5,440
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.

 1,179 characters

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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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A deep walnut/ nearly black color, with a tan head that flees for the edges immediately.

Smell: The oak aroma is the dominating scent, with a scent of deep roasted malt, vanilla, and a few spices filling out the nose. There is a strong alcohol presence as well, which is surprising for the ABV.

Taste: A strong wall of flavor up front - the dominating oak presence, along with molasses, smoke, vanilla, and roasted malt. The alcohol comes through with reasonable strength, and resonates after the sip. This is even more noticeable with almost no hop presence.

Mouthfeel: Soft, smooth feel with the right amount of carbonation for the style.

Drinkability: An ok stout, but it would be much better without such a strong oak taste. Also, the alcohol presence is surprisingly noticeable and makes it tough to repeat.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours a dark brown with a light tan head that rises only about half a finger and is gone pretty quickly. The lacing is light.

The aroma is medium and very nice. Its very malty lots of sweet chocolate with a nice smooth oak finish.

The taste is a little to sweet and watery for my tasty. The sweetness isn't balanced with much oak or bourbon so its a little offputting.

Overall, good start bad finish. Has some potential.

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, Dragon's Milk has a dark brown body with a slight red tint. A little bit of head forms at first, but quickly fades.

Sweet, oaky, wood drifts up from the glass. Caramel and other sweet malts mix in as well. Almost reminds me of a syrupy candy stored in an oak barrel. Would love to have a stronger aroma of this.

The first couple of sips pull out toffee, alcohol and oak. Vanilla comes out nicely from the barrel aging as well as some tannins. Malts are quite sweet, caramel like. Much like the smell, the flavor is warming malt candy with oak. Pretty good stuff if you like sweeter beers and a good oak presence.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side. I'd like to see a heavier body to pair with the warming alcohol and some of the harsher aspects of the wood. Carbonation is about right.

Drinkability is pretty good. A sweet beer and the ABV is somewhat noticeable, but the oak is well done. One bottle is about the perfect serving size.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable brew. New Holland did a really nice job with the barrel aging and brought out some nice vanilla notes from the oak. This beer is probably the closest I've come to liquid toffee. Not something I would drink all the time, but I'll probably pick up another bottle if I see it around.

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Photo of abuliarose
2.96/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, revealing deep brown body with a light beige head. Some lacing. Smells very metallic with some sweet dark malt character and woody notes.

Tastes soda-carbonated with a thick wood character, like rubbing your tongue against a sanded oak plank. Malts are there and add to the overall smoothness, but there is an overall astringency that coats the palette. Very bitter to the end, very woody, but there are no redeeming flavors to harmonize with these. Quite drying, slightly warming. I don't get much vanilla at all, such a shame that it is not more well-balanced. Drinkability is ok given the aggressive flavors. After half a glass, I need some water to wet my mouth.

Overall it averages out to be decent, though very strong in flavors. I might wish it to mellow out a bit and have some of the finer characteristics come through. I like my beers seriously flavorful, however this one doesn't quite put it together.

 941 characters

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

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Label says 10% ABV.

Pours reddish brown and clear with no head. Nose is sweet and black vanilla bean like, with notes of caramelized orange peel, and almost-burning sugar. Palate is sweet and prickly with alcohol. Flavors of dried figs, dates, vanilla bean, and dark brown sugar. Finish is focused on whiskey it seems, but is moderately short.

The alcohol dominates this brew, not in a bad way, but it's almost like a blend of whiskey and beer.

(I spilled half this bottle on the floor...foul.)

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,440 ratings.
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