Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,481 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): 11.00%

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,481
Ratings:
5,637
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
13.1%
 
 
Wants:
346
Gots:
1,763
For Trade:
44
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,481 | Ratings: 5,637
Photo of Viggo
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this bottle with me. Had it on tap a couple years ago and dug it then.

Pours a clear dark ruby red/brown, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, some lace spots form on the glass, looks good. Smell is neat, very fruity, caramel, chocolate, lactose, oak, light roast, strawberries, all over the place in a good way, nice complexity, very malty stuff. Taste is nice, caramel up front, thick and malty, chocolate roast, fruit, very milky, kind of a mix between a stout and strong ale or doppelbock, wood comes through in the finish with a touch of alcohol, goes down a bit weak on flavour but is quite enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, assertive, alcohol warmth, nice stuff. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of maximum12
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fond of this one & already had it several times, including fresh on tap at the brewery. Also introduced a friend to it, & this was the first bomber he ever bought.

Black, with only a tiny little ring of white. Smell is always a highlight; dark malts & vanilla rising, with a sliver of wood.

Dragon's Milk taste follows that forumla closely. Big, dark, roasted malts come skulking out of the pint glass, followed by a collection of lesser impressions: vanilla, oak, chocolate, with only the hint of the barrel coming out at the end. Full, rich, satisfying, & very easy to quaff for a 9% brew.

Excellent beer, as always. A readily available barrel-aged brew that's easy to get & not priced to heart-attack levels? Sign me up. I should be drinking this one more often. Tip o' the cap to New Holland once again.

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

Dark red/brown pour, almost no head to it. Not a strong aroma, slight coffee and toffe. Pretty malty with carmel and slight chocolate. Nice warming going down, 9% abv not offensive at all. Had some other bourbon barrel aged beers, I don't get much in this one from oak barrel.. Reminds me of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. Not bad at all though.

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Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +0.8%

This was one the first craft beers I was introduced to - it's time for a review.
12oz bottle, Vintage 2014, 11% ABV. I remember this being less ABV in previous years and described as "ale aged in oak barrels" (like the photo to the left) rather than the updated description of "bourbon barrel stout". Not sure of when and why the change. Marketing perhaps.
A 4 - thin foamy tan head atop a dark brown cola-like colored body
S 4 - vanilla, oak, boozy bourbon, roasted barley, caramel
T 4 - boozy with bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted barley, dark chocolate, earthy and peppery on the finish
M 4 - fuller body, very smooth, lower carbonation, alcohol is expectedly noticeable
O 4 - always a good one to come back to. It's been a few years, but just as good as I remember.

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

Nice Beer! Much better than I expected. It pours a dark, reddish-brown that's nearly black. The head is a medium-tan, although it falls somewhat quickly. The aroma is what makes this beer so enticing. It's woody, smokey, and has a huge, intense vanilla note. Wow. Strong malt, and a roasted-nut scent behind the wood, this is complex and very rewarding to sniff. Alcohol is folded into the aroma as well, with a brandy-like boozy-ness. The taste is drier than expected with a lot of warmth and malt. Roasted notes, and a bit of grain. Medium in body. This is good stuff.

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

Served with a fine foamy tan head and good lace. Color is a very dark, almost opaque cherry wood. Aroma is heavy malt, whiskey, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and leather. Flavor is like that, but much more intense and quite sweet. Wonder if they're using lactose... Has a smoothness to the body. Good carbonation. Finish is like flavor and long. Not a session beer. Might work good with ice cream.

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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 claspada
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of dark roasted espresso beans with ample amounts of dark baker's chocolate. AS it warms you get slight alcohol, oak and light vanilla.

The taste starts off with milk chocolate cocoa powder and some oakiness that fades into a bitter dark chocolate boozy finish. One again as you let this warm to the appropriate temperature you get lesser notes of coconut and vanilla and a more prevalent sweetness/fruitness that is undetectable initially.

Mouthfeel was full with the oak aging helping to dry out the complex high ABV, maltiness and overall flavor profile. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, not as good as I first remember when I sampled it on draft at the original Savor, but still good non-the-less.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance- Served a deep brown colored brew with a tiny tan colored head. The head fades almost instantly leaving just scant lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a sweeter caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla and a coffee smell with a strong presence of roasted malt. Mixed with these smells is a moderately strong oaky and bourbon smell, producing when combined with the sweeter and roastier smells, a very warming smelling brew.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter caramel and coffee flavor upfront. There is some milk chocolate in the taste upfront with both becoming stronger more toward the middle of the taste. The caramel fades slightly in the middle however, leaving a slightly drier flavor. This loss of caramel is replaced by some flavors of vanilla later in the taste. In the end a strong bourbon, boozy, and oak flavor come to the tongue. These are accompanied by some earthy hop flavors as well as an increase in the roasted malt and bitter coffee characteristics of the brew to leave a lightly bittered and roasty boozy warming taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of its creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. The feel is a bit off as a creamier and thicker body would have really be much more appropriate for the boozy, oak, and roasted flavors of the brew with a lower carbonation level allowing all the darker and boozier flavors time to linger on the tongue.

Overall – A tasty and boozy stout. It has a great warming and oaky flavor with a slow drinking style, even with the slightly lesser mouthfeel quality, it is still fantastic.

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Photo of Resuin
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is a 2013 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color, with some hints of brown around the edges and leaves a finger of spritzy tan head that fades almost immediately to nothing.

Smell: Nice, full aroma: roasted malts, licorice, coffee, mild dark chocolate, toasted oak.

Taste: Toasted malts, toasted oak, coffee beans, vanilla, alcohol, hint of dark chocolate. Fairly full flavor, with some good complimenting components that play well with each other (particularly sweet and bitter).

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a light to medium body (for a stout). Finishes with a bit of heat.

Overall: I thought this was a decent stout. Nice stout flavors, along with some bourbon barrel influence, make this one an enjoyable brew. A bit thin in the body but pretty well done for what it is.

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Photo of glid02
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap.

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of vanilla and butterscotch. Also present are sweet caramel malt undertones with slight amounts of roasted malt flavors.

Tastes good. A combination of sweet caramel malt and roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sweet butterscotch flavors. Midway through the sip hints of light chocolate flavors make an appearance before being crowded out by smooth vanilla. Finally, hints of earthy oak come into play and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was a very nice beer however the sweetness from the barrels was just a bit over the top and hurt the drinkabililty for me. Still, a good beer that should be on par with Crème Brulee as far as love-hate relationships.

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Photo of ZAP
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly enjoyable drinking experience with this one. Dark brown bordering on black.

Barrel properties are quite apparent on the nose...oak...bourbon...light vanilla..

Full bodied...solid carbonation...pretty smooth and velvety in the mouth...

Taste is loaded with oak, and bourbon...roasted maltiness....a little bit of dark cocoa as well..

Finishes dry....booze is hidden but becomes noticable on the long finish..

An excellent strong ale I will likely purchase again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. Vintage 2011. From notes. Reviewed 25 June 2011.

A: Dark black, with ruby glints in the light. Very little head.

S: Lots of whisky -- bourbon, oak, vanilla, alcohol. Not very strong, but what's present is very good.

T: Nice, but subdued. The maintaste is sort of vanilla-sweet. The aftertaste is slightly drying and very bourbon-y. Sweet all around and not much else. Considering the name, disappointing.

M: Full, rich, creamy, and scrumptious. Little carbonation.

O: A big, punchy-sweet imperial milk stout. Decent, but I prefer other imperial stouts. Not recommended, but it's not unfortunate. You might buy one just to keep the bottle/label.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

On tap at Fresh Craft. Dark black, almost no head whatsoever. Aroma is slightly boozy, touch of barrel. Flavor is good, vanilla, booze, barrel and stout. The body is a little thin. Overall, not bad, I'd like a four pack please.

A:4
S:3.75
T:3.75
M:3.5
O:3.75

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

I really need to revisit this one, as the few times I had it I don't think I was ready for BA stouts. One of the most unique beers I have had. Pours black with heavy bourbon and vanilla notes. Tastes like those root beer barrell candies, vanilla and bourbon on the finish. Very warm alcohol. A bit sweet for my tastes, and mouthfeel is rather thin for a stout, especially one with that Imperial name in it. Would like to try and rerate this later. Strange, but extra points for its uniqueness.

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

The beer piles forth from the brown silk screened bottle a deep brown with a large creamy tan head that slowly fades to nothingness leaving a fine thick sheet of lace to cover the glass. Nose is a hodge-podge of aromas, vanilla, Oak, caramel, toasted malt, hops, very complex to say the least, start is slightly sweet with a tinge of tartness, grain profile decent, and the top light to middling in feel. Finish has a moderate acidity, the hops delightful with the Oak flavor lasting to the very dry end, also a bit of tummy warming from the 9 percent ABV, certainly a beer to age.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.05/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark cola color that isn't entirely opaque. The mocha-colored head is nice and creamy, and about two fingers high. It fades down to about a half finger after a while, and leaves nice rings of lacing on the glass.

S: Wow, this is sweet. There isn't much bourbon on the nose...but there is a solid oak presence, giving off very strong vanilla notes. Beneath the vanilla are strong chocolate and molasses tones. Aromatically, it strikes me as an enjoyable-yet-straightforward dessert beer.

T: There is a bourbon presence here, but it's pretty basic...the vanilla notes are massively bold yet they lack the additional subtleties of a BCBS or Parabola to make them stand out. I also notice touches of chocolate; otherwise, this is more or less a vanilla/tannin bomb. Even a single 12 oz bottle can become wearisome to drink.

M: Quite sweet, yet with a drying, tannic finish. I'd actually reckon it's a bit too tannic on the back end, verging into mild harshness. I could also use a bit more body to properly support how syrupy the texture is.

O: It's not undrinkable, however its sweetness is way too fatiguing. Even worse, the beer itself seems designed to showcase the barrel notes, but they're far too basic to really succeed at that, either. For about 6 oz, I thought this was pretty good; for the other 6 oz, I couldn't wait for it to end. So, if you're gonna try it, make sure you split it with a friend, and don't expect BCBS.

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Photo of n2185
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts, semi-sweet cocoa, and vanilla dominate with some oak and bourbon aromas underneath.

T: Roasted malts here as well with some dark chocolate and vanilla flavors. The oak and bourbon are more present in the flavor with some notes of burnt sugar and caramel. The finish is lightly boozy.

M: Medium-thick body with moderate carbonation, this beer is a bit more carbonated and lighter in body than many barrel aged stouts, but it avoids being overly carbonated or too watery.

O: An enjoyable beer overall and one of the more underrated stouts out there. It's not really on the same level as the best barrel aged stouts, but it's also a lot more reasonably priced and accessible than most examples.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage bottle poured into my Delirium snifter, Dragon's Milk is dark brown with a light tan head leaving light, scattered lace.

Smell is not to robust, oak and coconut, with a little roast.

Taste big, there's loads of vanilla, caramel, alcohol, and some wood notes as well. Not the most elegant beer, it's really quite a monster, although not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, decent viscosity, very dry on the finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. Even though the 10% ABV is obvious, it's clean. The flavors aren't too well integrated but generally satisfying.

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

I've had a couple of these sitting in the "cellar fridge" since the summer, or earlier

appearance: quite dark and creamy, a deep plum color, some creamy white head with ringed lacing

smell: sugary sweet/sour, chocolate covered cherries, creamy vanilla aromas. quite sharp

taste: quite interesting...chocolate covered cherries really stick out, some nice alcohol burn, very sugary...nice oak and vanilla flavors...Im pretty impressed by this one...the flavors are quite explosive

mouthfeel: very much a red wine afteraste, medium bodied, sugar tingles on the tongue

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of New Holland's Dragon's Milk last month for $7.99 at Boyne County Provisions. I have had this beer many times and I have always thought it was pretty good, but since I have been trying a lot of good barrel aged stouts lately I thought I would see how I feel about it now, so lets see how it goes. 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle that was foiled into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer is pretty simple with a picture of a barrel and dragon, the dragon looks nice. It poured a very very dark brown color that is pretty much the closest you can get to black while still being brown. It had two fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left no lacing.

S- The aroma of this beer is pretty damn sweet and with a heavy presence of bourbon. I get a little chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and vanilla. The main players in the aroma are the sweet roasted malts and bourbon, not really that balanced or complex.

T- The taste of this beer is much different then the aroma lead me to believe. It starts off with lots of rich malts that have a little roast to them that imparts a mild coffee and milk chocolate flavors, but the malts are not nearly as roasty as they should be for a stout and the lack of roast lets the other flavors show up too much. The malts have a moderate amount of sweetness but its toned down a lot compared to how sweet the aroma is, after that comea all the dark fruits with some dates, plums, and raisins showing up the most. After that is the bourbon which is pretty nice and oaky with a nice hint of vanilla. The bourbon flavor is pretty evident and seems a little harsh at first but after a couple sips it really grew on me and proved to be a nice addition to this beer. The alcohol is slightly warming but it doesn't make this beer come off as being hot. The finish is smooth and slightly sweet with some oak, vanilla, and bourbon showing up in the aftertaste.

M- Somewhat creamy and on the light side of being full bodied, the lighter body makes this beer have a little better drinkability then normal. Carbonation was at the low side of medium and worked pretty well with this beer, I don't think I would change it.

Overall I have to say that this is a pretty average beer, but I still find some quality that I really like about it, but as a whole it's just average. My main beef with this beer is that it just isn't as roasty as a stout should be, if you market something as a stout it should have a good amount of roast to it, with that missing it lets all the other flavors take over and in the end that didn't make it very stout like and if I was given this blind there's a good chance I would think this is a barrel aged Barleywine or an old ale with a slight amount of roast to it. I did like how drinkable this beer is, I find that barrel aging can hurt the drinkability a lot of the time, but on this beer it really doesn't matter and the mouthfeel doesn't make it too filling plus for 10% the alcohol isn't that in your face. I can see how some people may be turned off by the heavy bourbon and oak presence in this beer, and I think that's because there isn't enough roast to balance it out, but if you sip on it, take your time, and let it warm up you will find that the flavors that the barrel imparted are really nice and not as in your face as they seem at the start. What I liked most about this beer was the mouthfeel, usually I like my stouts thick as oil, but the lighter then average body really works with this beer and find it to suit it perfectly. What I liked least about this beer is that it's called a Stout, it should have much more roast, instead of a heavy presence of dark fruits that makes it closer to a barrel aged old ale or Barleywine. I will still buy this beer on occasion, it can'r hold a candle to KBS, but anytime I want a barrel aged beer it is available, and availability can play a big part in what I buy sometimes. I recommend this to fans of barrel aged beers, but don't expect to be blown away buy the base of this beer cause it doesn't live up to the name. Even though this is pretty much the most popular beer in their lineup, there are a couple other beers from them I would rather have that are lot more to style and better tasting. This was the first barrel aged beer I ever had and at the time it was super robust and big, but after trying much other stouts I find I still like it, but not as much as I used to it and it's much more average then I first thought. As a whole New Holland is a pretty good brewery, maybe next batch you make you can set aside some of those barrels for Pilgrims dole, now that may be an epic beer, think about it.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a New Holland imperial pint.
Vintage 2011, 23°P, 10% ABV, Pairings listed, F021 printed on the neck (June 02, 2011).

A - Clear and deep mahogany, ruby brown while pouring, Dragon's Milk relinquishes it's color for a deep, foreboding blackness in the pint. Topped by a thick khaki head with good retention, laces remains caked to the glass.

S - Maybe it's just the name playing tricks on me, but I get a lactose sweetness beside the milk chocolate and smooth roasted malt. Light charred oak accompanies the bourbon aroma so prevalent and sought-after in Dragon's Milk.

T - Robust and flavor-packed, Dragon's Milk features a complex malt profile of roasted notes like coffee, milk chocolate, and cocoa with smooth, more subtle oak and bourbon characteristics than the majority of other similar beers out there.

M - Smooth, supple, and full-bodied, Dragon's Milk has a nice level of carbonation that keeps it from being overbearing. Warm alcohol and mild roast bitterness (to balance) linger on the finish but remain in check so it doesn't become a booze-bomb.

O - New Holland's crowning jewel, Dragon's Milk, is rich and flavorful but not boozy nor potent to the point of being cloying. A perfect balancing act of malt sweetness, bitterness, and smooth alcohol, Dragon's Milk is great fresh and even more complex and deep with extended age. I recommend buying multiple bottles of each vintage to visit this real treat over time!

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Photo of jera1350
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark black with a thin layer of tan foam that reduces to a ring.

Spicy and boozy. Black pepper, dark Appleton rum, some caramel notes and bourbon.

Initial taste- rum and cola. Big and boozy. Some burnt toffee, bit of coffee, bourbon, slight cherry juice taste and lots of vanilla extract. Has the vanilla bean and alcohol taste of vanilla extract. Powerful flavors all around. Mellows a bit as it warms.

Smooth with softish carbonation. Feel also reminds me of a rum and cola. Slightly more than medium bodied, warming alcohol.

Flavors are huge and can overwhelm. Very boozy. Tough to do a whole bomber of this. A unique beer that won't soon be forgotten.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass. 2010 vintage.

Pours a fairly thick black color with a thinner crop of tanned head, leaving some spotty film and lacing behind.

Scents of sweet licorice and chocolate, smoky edges, some alcohol heat and earthiness on the back end.

Begins with some syrupy sweetness and roasted earthy malt. Bitter hops coupled with dark chocolate and molasses. Light smoke with some woodiness and soft bourbon notes. Finishes with some additional alcohol heat, understated vanilla, and a bit of anise.

Fuller body, sticky and syrupy, decent carbonation. Drinks pretty decent, although I really would have liked more barrel presence and better meshed flavor. This is one of those beers that I've passed up about 200 times before and now I kinda see why.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,637 ratings.
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