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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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very good
1,442 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,442 | Ratings: 5,460
Photo of Spidey13
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

New Holland Dragon's Milk pours a beautiful black with just a bit of garnet showing when held to the light. A fluffy ivory head sits on top.

The aroma is nice and roasty with notes of vanilla and oak coming through. Some dark fruit and Tootsie Roll is in there, too.

The flavor is sweet and chocolatey with some vanilla and just a bit of alcohol warmth. The bourbon barrel flavor is there, also. The flavors are a bit subdued but yummy.

The mouthfeel is thinner than expected but a bit creamy, which is nice. The carbonation is low.

Overall, I really liked this beer. It's possibly the most drinkable imperial stout I've had. The flavors are nice and complex without hitting you over the head like a sledgehammer. I drank this bomber way too fast.

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Photo of BrokenStones
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thin whispy whit/carmel color head. Pours dark as a Coke.

S not much, some dark malt, and alcohol.

T alcohol first thing on the pallet and the top of your mouth. A touch rusty on the taste.

M Can be round if sipped correctly, might be best attribute.

Worth trying but not something I need to keep around or seek out. Alcohol dominates and gets to your head quickly. Can only drink one, if you choose to drink it.

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Photo of MDekker
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass out of a bomber, this brew pours out nearly black, with a little "dark ruby" around the edges. Nice thick head. Quite a nice looking brew. Being only accustomed to stouts pouring out that black, the smell and taste were unexpected, but good - sweet, strong notes of fruit, especially prunes, raisins, and grape juice, along with some alcohol. Only a gentle bitter finish. In the mouth it was fabulous - creamy and smooth, with a small presence of carbonation. It was surprisingly easy to put down, too. Overall, this was a good, interesting beer.

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Photo of Scrapss
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a Stella Artois chalice.

A: Dark and not very active. One finger head that dissipates to a light ring leading to thin soapy lacing. Has some legs!

S: Big oaky, vanillan up front with subtle roasted notes shining underneath. Has some of that big bourbon nose.

T: WHOA. Big as life and coming out of left field with a giant haymaker, It almost doesn't remind me of beer. Hot and boozy, verging on a hot boozy mess but very very complex while doing it. Minor roasted notes but they get engulfed in this big bourbon aged note.

M: thinner than nose and taste would predict. Filling without being overly thick, nor cloying nor overtly boozy. The heat is exceptionally subtle and quite welcome. Very oaky finish. Big vanilla.

O: It verges on hot boozy mess, but somehow just balances and teeters on the brink, then pulls it off. Nicely, I might add.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

One finger, creamy, medium brown head fades to a tan ring. Pitch black beer color. Light lace, more than I was expecting actually.

Very pleasant bourbon, barrel heat, oak, and vanilla right out of the gate. Light coconut also. Behind that some char, rich roasted malts, milk chocolate, and some brownie, dark fruits like raisins, fig jam. Alcohol is more noticeable as it warms.

Much of the same barrel qualities from the nose, but more toasted coconut in the taste. Melds quite nicely with the roasted and charred malts, milk/dark chocolate mix, light burnt coffee, sweetness, burnt brown sugar, raisins and figs, and some more alcohol heat.

Medium-ish body, silky smooth consistency, low-medium carbonation, and a slightly lengthy finish.

Overall this is a really good barrel aged stout. The aroma is superb and the taste closely follows suit. The mouthfeel could have been a little more full bodied, but the lighter body does make it seem more drinkable. Regardless, this is a great bbal stout. Thank you so much to tut2528 for this as AN EXTRA(!) in our recent trade! You're awesome Ryan.

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

Pours dark brown with mahogany highlights when held up to the light. Thick, rich dark tan head that recedes quickly. Smell was not as strong as expected. The nose was of dark-roasted malts, maybe a bit of vanilla, with a hint of alcohol. I think the beer was too cold for my first couple of sips... letting it warm a little brought out the flavors better. Taste was roasty malt, dark chocolate, with a little oak wood in the background. Occasional hints of bourbon and slight fruityness were present, also. Finish is smooth and dry, and the alcohol kind of sneaks up on you. Probably one of the more drinkable 10% ABV beers. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.

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

bomber into nonic, the bottle i got was silk screened with white label and does not match the picture as of the time posted

A: Nearly black, small amount of light penetrates and shows brown coloration, tiny brown head, one finger max

S: malted milk balls and the oak is very clear, vanilla and chocolate, yum!

T: chocolate milk-like with strong vanilla and alcohol on the finish. bitterness comes in last. for 9%, the alcohol is kept in check quite well

M: Smooth but not so smooth that it makes it actually seem like chocolate milk, good level of carbonation to clean the palatte.

D: ABV is the only kicker but this is a staple of my fridge.

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Photo of MNJR
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious brew. The color is black with a lush tan head with good retention. The smell is rich and fantastic: vanilla, oak, coconut, cream, with a hint of alcohol lurking in the back. The taste is also rich and fantastic. All of the scents above come out fully in the flavor. Maybe it's the name, but the beer does seem to have a milky or creamy texture. It is thick, but not syrupy. Nice sharp, extra fine carbonation, not wishy-washy and somewhat flat like some dark/stout-ish beers. It is not a stout, but the similarities are obvious. The 9% ABV is noticeable, but not overdone. It's an added bonus that the beer is so good and with the ABV being so high just one or two is a full serving of this stuff (it is expensive). If you have access to this, it is a must try. It won't be for everyone, but if you like stouts and rich specialty beers, this is one you won't soon forget. This is, I think, the best thing to come out of New Holland Brewing, besides their whisky which is stupendously good.

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Photo of shangwang
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on draft at Ron's original.

I'd had a good week of Michigan beers, and this was the one I finished with. It didn't disappoint.

Started off with smells of alcohol, vanilla, and wood - definitely can tell it was aged in oak. Very dark appearance, completely opaque with a pearl creamy head. Very complex taste- I definitely get the oak and bourbon qualities, but it doesn't hit you over the head and finishes with a pleasant sweetness. Medium mouthfeel, actually a little waterier than I expected and not very carbonated. I enjoyed this more the further into it I got and as it warmed up a little.

Overall I enjoyed Dragon's Milk- it's not the best Oak Barrel Stout I've had but it definitely is a solid offering.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this three times on-tap at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. The first time two times were wonderful experiences that prompted yet another, but less pleasurable experience. My ratings are an aggregate of all three tastings.

Appearance: A good look for a stout. Held up to light, the glass is very dark brown and opaque. Shades of dark red. The head is pretty small and retains OK. It leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The first couple of times I had it, I smelled a great mix of vanilla, bitter and sweet chocolates, coffee, and oak -- as well as a little bit of booze and very little in the way of hops. The third time I smelled pretty much only chocolate and a LOT of alcohol. This presaged a disappointing taste . . .

Taste: Again, the first two times were much better than the third. On those occasions, I was treated to a rich mix of the flavors described in the aromas. It's sweet for a stout but I liked the balance. Different sips provided different tastes. Subdued hops.

The third time was unpleasant. From start to finish -- especially at the finish -- booze and syrupy chocolate provided an uneven and almost nauseating taste. My tongue was numb two-thirds of the way through and I could not even bring myself to down the last few drops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than a Guinness (especially the third time). Carbonation is typical for a stout.

Overall: I really hope the third serving was an aberration due to me receiving something from the bottom of the tank. I was ready to crown this one of my absolute favorites until then. I'm willing to give it another go, but caveat emptor -- you might be gambling with the quality of your beer when you get this.

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Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally bought a four-pack after balking at the price for a few weeks. This was my first experience with a barrel - aged stout and my experience was rather mixed, and I think that has a lot to do with my opinion towards any variety of whiskey in general. That is to say, I'm not really a fan, for taste reasons.

Quick summary: I thought this beer looked, smelled and felt very good. I thought the back-end of flavor was just too boozy for my own tastes, and that's really the only problem I had with this beer. I gave the remaining three bottles to my brother-in-law, who loves his whiskies, bourbons, and scotch. He loved this beer, so take that for it's worth.

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Photo of trep
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black as night, some light getting through on the outsides. Thin khaki head. Leaves some lacing.

Coffee, sugar, some light chocolate. Very sweet smelling.

Very roasty and smooth. Vanilla, bourbon, faint alcohol, attributed to the oak i'm sure. Mocha and coffee. I can't get over how smooth this is.

Creamy and coating, perfect carbonation and medium/full mouthfeel. Super easy drinking...like chocolate milk easy drinking.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark stout with no light passing through. Has very little head on top. Has a bourbon smell along with some dark fruits. Can taste the roasted malts along with dark fruits. Light bourbon after taste.

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Photo of muchos
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head which hangs on for a few sips.
Smell is of Bourbon and booze. Not too much else, maybe a little chocolate/vanilla as it warms.
Taste is Bourbon, booze, vanilla. Chocolaty flavors come out as it warms. After taste is semi-sweet chocolate.
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected for an imperial Stout. Not much carbonation in the mouth. Just enough. Slight boozy burn.
Overall not all that complex, but not bad. Pretty good actually.

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Photo of wjoelbrooks
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a glass into a standard shaker pint glass.

L: Pours a beautiful midnight black with only a hint of brown when held in the light. Minimal head--the same as most other porters--with a bit of lingering lace.

S: Overwhelmingly bourbon, but not too much. There is actually more bourbon on the nose than on the tongue. Bittersweet chocolates, too.

T: Wonderful taste--but probably the weakest point of this otherwise incredible beer. A hint of bourbon, but not as much as I expected. Sweet, creamy vanilla finish, but I also got a strange metallic-y taste in the first couple of swallows.

F: Full body with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Not as heavy as I prefer my stouts and porters to be--a little syrupy.

O: This just became one of my favorite beers (although my wallet whined a little). But the 11% ABV ensures that I won't be drinking many in one session. Well done, New Holland! Well done!

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

Served at the Tap House in Oswego, IL. Served in a snifter, inky black with a thick cocoa head. A well-balanced roasty trio of barley, cocoa, and coffee dominate the aroma and flavor, with an oaky bitterness and slight boozy alcohol presence playing rhythm guitar behind the roast flavors. The wood is better balanced than it was in incarnations from a few years ago. A sipping brew with enough complexity to hold one's interest for hours, no mean feat for a stout that really ought to be listed as an imperial.

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

Pictured is an old label, and the abv on this bottle says 10%, so the 2010 vintage must be an upgrade.

The dark-brown brew has a deep garnet-red hue with some clarity when held to the light, and a slim tan head, populated by active carbonation that produces lacing of micro bubbles floating on the surface, with a ring at the edge that sticks well to the brandy snifter.

Bitter coffee aromas, chased by baker's chocolate and a hint of alcohol esters are apparent in the nose. A generous sip confirms the flavors intimated by the scent, with strong coffee and bitter chocolate dominant, melded with smoky, dark roasted malts followed by a slightly sweet vanilla-molasses back palate, accented by soft oak tannins and a smattering of smooth hops.

A luscious libation that can accompany a juicy prime rib at dinner, or pair equally well with some rich chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't appear as thick and creamy as I'd hoped: black color with a light tan head.

Aroma is bourbon, figs, and caramel.

Taste is awesome! Butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses, and bourbon.

Mouth feel is not as thick as I would like. But it's still not bad. Heavy side of medium with light carbonation.

I'm very glad I bought a 4 pack of this beer. Excellent and complex flavor and bourbon sticks out.

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Photo of sopor
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't like whiskey/bourbon, and I thought that may be a problem with this ale, but NOT SO! Perhaps I don't taste it b/c I don't like those flavors?

Cola colored, brown w/red highlight, and a fizzy cola head that looks like it won't last, but leaves a slight film.

Oak is the predominant smell, reminds me of a lot of red wines, with a similarilly vinous note. Other sweet smells are almost undistinguishable under the oak.

OH Creamy vanilla oak sweet goodness! Totally blown aaway! Oak an vinous notes dominate, especiialy as it is colder, with tones of roast malt. More likea carbonated red wine with dark old ale flavors. The sweetness of dark fruit and picks up more as it warms, complementing the vanilla wonderfully. Alcohol is NOT noticed, which could be dangerous.

So smooth, so easy drinking! Dangerous indeed, get ready for a nap! Easilly the best Old Ale I've had, a unique and tasty treat that I can't wait to get again!

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is Coca-Cola's drunk uncle!... pours a thin caramel color, like coke, has a few wispy bubbles, like coke, smells and tastes like, you guessed it, coke!.... a few cherry notes, a little chocolate, a bit of booze, but really just a bottle of the real thing, with alcohol!

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Photo of westweasel
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

A - A very clear deep, dark brown with about 1/4 inch of tan head. The bubbles are very active - this look highly carbonated.

S - The strongest scent is a sweet bourbony liquor odor. I can also smell dark roasted malt and coffee scents.

T - I'm getting bourbon, strong roasted flavors, vanilla, and coffee.

M - Medium, fairly smooth, with a carbonation bite in the finish. I think this would be better if it was a little fuller and the carbonation was a little lower.

D - Better than I expected. The smoothness was surprising. Though you can taste the strong alcohol, it is not overbearing. Very nice.

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

Appearance: Black beer but not pitch black. Almost no head present and no lacing either. Not much to look at.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma of malt, coffee, with a hint of the oak.

Taste: Malty and creamy up front, with the flavor giving way to a sweet vanilla and oak flavor in the middle. The finish is oak and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Kind of let down here. Almost no carbonation at all. A bit more activity in the mouth would help some. The aftertaste of oak and alcohol is nice, if not a bit overpowering.

Drinkability: Good beer, but could be improved a little. Quite smooth though, and easy to drink. Worth a try.

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Photo of ottovon
2.99/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

shared with whiterascal

A: pours out a dark black, with a brown head that faded rather quickly.

S: i get a lot of vanilla. i also get some oak and roasted malt and chocolate. there is some sweetness and a bit of alcohol in the nose.

T: there is a lot of oak. i also get a metallic taste, and there is an acrid bitterness. there is roasted malt and some dark chocolate. has a weird sweetness that is mixed with alcohol that i cant really describe, but i dont like it.

M: has a medium body with low carbonation.

O: this is not a beer that i would seek out again. there are much better stouts out there. i dont think i would drink this again. it isnt quite a drain pour for me, but it is close.

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer in tulip glass: small head, little carbonation, decent lacing, and very dark brown; cannot see through.

Nose is mocha, oak, and hint of bourbon. Not much hop presence, can also make out vanilla & brown sugar.

Taste is of malt, mocha, and that sweet bourbon finish. The bitter oak lingers for quite some time and leaves the mouth dry. Very creamy mouthfeel and chewy as well.

You certainly need to be in the mood for one of these. My last experience with a similar beer lead to a day of upset stomach. Not a bad offering but I would certainly not seek it out since the style is not my cup of tea but would recommend to anyone into this style.

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

Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year. Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,460 ratings.
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