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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,446 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:
1,446
Ratings:
5,488
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
329
Gots:
1,664
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,446 | Ratings: 5,488
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 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 JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Sampled November 2014 from bottles in pint glass. Tasted both the 2013 and 2014 vintages side-by-side.

Appearance: Very dark color. Tan head was not very thick and it did not last as long as some other stouts.

Smell: Strong roasted coffee aromas, with a smell of some sweet chocolate. Nice combination of aromas.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors, with a little hops for added dimension. Could also taste a hint of the oak barrel, which added another interesting dimension. The combination of strong hops and roasted malts and strong alcohol give this drink big powerful flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth, almost creamy.

Overall: Great stout. Best if you enjoy a combination of malt, coffee, chocolate, and hops flavor with oak barrel influences. The label lists 10% alcohol, and it does taste like it. This is definitely the taste of an excellent stout. The 2013 is more intense than the 2014. Do not know if this is due to the year it was made, or whether it is due to the year aging.

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

A-Dark...black...thick...motor oilish

S-Bourbon right off...alcohol...vanilla is also present but is subtle. Smells sweet as well...sugary...caramel.

T-creamy smooth and bourbony....can taste the booze to be sure...hints of chocolate, vanilla, oak...some fruit maybe. I am impressed with the level of complexity here...so much going on yet each has its place and they sing together in harmony.

M-The thing that surprises me most about the beer is that it looks like it would be very heavy...and don't get me wrong...it is heavy but not as much as I expected. Little carbonation present which is perfect.

D-it packs a punch...a heavy punch...but this is one of the most drinkable high ABV beers I have had. I can easily sip mulitple bottles and enjoy each one more than the last.

This is the beer that got me into craft beer...so it will always hold a special place in my heart...and mouth...b/c sentimental reasons aside...it is a damn fine beer.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle into tulip, 2013 vintage

appearance: black, 2 finger off white/tan head

smell: biscuity, bready notes, vanilla, earthy hops, getting some bourbon on the tail end, lot's of alcohol presence (fuck this smells like a jack on the rocks), even some subtle marshmallow. Smells like a damn Jack Daniels...

taste: lots of alcohol warmth off the bat, roasted malt and espresso, getting some oak flavor, not exactly bourbon per se, but definitely some oak smokiness.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation, thick and creamy

overall: A great barrel aged stout, lot's of alcohol presence, and some great oak and roasted malt flavors, this is a big beer. The price could be a little better, but it's definitely a satisfying brew. If you like barrel aged, try this if you see it, I wouldn't say go out of your way to seek it out, but you shouldn't be disappointed.

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

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

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

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

The mouthfeel was pretty good. Nice medium body.

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

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

Served on tap in a 10 ounce glass.

Perfect two fingers of head and a lighter black brownish color.

This is a complex stout and the tasting notes keep changing throughout depending on temperature and glass breathability.

Upon first sip it almost tastes like coconut oil, or somehow this exact chemical compound is formed during the brewing process. I really thought I was drinking a super concentrated form of coconut water for a few seconds, until the aftertaste hits.

This stout is not too heavy, infact it's somewhat light and bubbly, just a smidge heavier than a dark carbonated porter.

This is a boozy tasting stout at 10% but well worth the burn.

The aftertaste is that of a perfectly aged bourbon whiskey. Reminded me a lot of Johhny Walker Green.

Overall an excellent offering from New Holland, although the name Dragons Milk is somewhat deceiving because this isn't really too sweet like a lower ABV% milk stout would taste, and Dragon Stout (the legendary stout from Jamaica) has already used this name for years.

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Photo of Badger6
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Body is black, passes no light. Small tan head that recedes almost immediately to nothing. Some lacing on the glass.

S: Robust aroma: roasted malts, coffee, mild dark chocolate, vanilla, toasted oak.

T: Follows the nose. Roasty malts, toasty oak, coffee, vanilla,hint of chocolate. Boozy. Some bitterness, well balanced with the sweetness of the malts.

M: Light-medium body, with light-medium carbonation. Finishes with a lot of warmth from the booziness.

O: Very nice bourbon barrel stout. Body is light for a stout, but the flavor is phenomenal and compensates well. A well made beer, enjoyable to drink. Be advised at 10% ABV this is not session...enjoy one and move on. This is a favorite, and is sure to be enjoyed many more times.

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

Had this on draft and really liked it. This is definitely a slow sipper - sweet, thick, notes of vanilla and bitter chocolate, tobacco and oak, boozy. Fantastic bitter chocolate smell.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby brown with a beige head that left lace along the edge of the glass. Aroma is a blend of coffee, rich toasted malt and oak. Flavor is similar, sweet, oaky, slightly tart, with a whiskey finish as it warms. The body is okay, not as big as I would have expected. Overall, this was a nice experience, but I found myself slightly disappointed (New Holland makes some of the best beers in the Midwest).

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

Poured a dark brown in color. Head was offwhite in color. Or you could probably say tan in color. Had a nice two fingered head that didnt hang around very long. Left some lacing, but not alot. Smelled of alcohol, caramel, and malt. Tasted sweet like caramel. Also notes of cream, oak, and alcohol. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was right. With the higher ABV, you couldnt make this a session beer. But it sure tasted good on a cool October evening.

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Photo of jmvecchio1
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dragon’s Milk pours out dark black in color with a creamy, chocolate colored head that recedes fairly quickly. Roasted malts are obvious on the aroma and alcohol is apparent too. Vanilla and oak notes are present, but secondary to the strong alcohol notes. This stout drinks lighter than it looks and has a creamy mouthfeel. Just like with the aroma, when you take a sip, alcohol is the first thing you taste. From there, chocolate and vanilla flavors peek through a bit, but struggle to stand out. I couldn't find any oak notes that were on the aroma.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Daniel. Pours a dark brown/red color with a large light-brown head. The aroma is very nice; lots of roasted notes, some chocolates, some woody aspects also. The taste is excellent; initially sweet malts, milky and thick roasted malt flavors, some sweet chocolates, and some light and earthy wood flavors in the finish. Very easygoing, and hardly hot at all. Very decadent and extremely milky. Some alcohol present, but overall, a very quaffable brew. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of dmfrench
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Unique, super light bodied yet fruity-cocoa flavorful Irish Dry/Barleywine hybrid
___

A: Deep, clear ruby body, though it appears black without a backlight. A two finger buff head forms off the pour, but settles fairly quickly to a thin film.

S: Bit of an Irish Dry vibe going on... malted milk balls, powdery baker's chocolate, dark fruit, cream, faint dusty hops. As the beer warms, more fruit comes out and chocolate goes way back, to the point that it's no longer a Stout nose. Essentially no alcohol. Others have noted them, but I cannot get vanilla, oak, or any other barrel-borne scents.

T: Light, whipped cream body carries mostly dark fruit and considerable earthy, zesty, acidic hops. Malted milk balls and cocoa come through, as does a bit of alcohol. Vanilla is more apparent, but not dramatic. Overall, the flavor is fairly complex, becoming more homogeneous as the beer warms. Vaguely reminds me of an even lighter Stone IRS with more fruit... that, and an Irish Dry. Finish is sadly a bit short.

M: Exquisitely light and fluffy for carrying such big flavors. Carbonation level is great.

O: Very interesting, unique beer. The effortlessly light body is something to behold. Will definitely revisit, but I don't think it's destined for my top 10.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/ black, hardly any light penetration. No head to speak of and weak ass lacing.

S: Dark roast, toffee, bruised fruit, raisins, chocolate, brown sugar, and smoke. All these are there; however, the aroma is not very strong. You have to sniff a lot.

T: The taste is a really nice smooth version of the smell. The beer has big taste and is very pleasurable to sip. You can taste the oak a little bit. But, unless you were looking for it, I don't think you would pick it out of the milieu.

M/D: Smooth and a bit silky, it leaves a tasty coating on your mouth-- figs and chocolate. The drink-ability is good for the style.

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Photo of Vierenner
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It doesn't get any better than this. First tried from a tap last year and was hooked. Been searching ever since for something as good (or better) to no avail. So beautifully balanced I feel honored to drink it. Recommend savoring from a snifter and enjoy it like you would a fine cognac. It's that good.

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Photo of carlitos92
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Had heard comments about this beer all over the map; lots of both love and hate for it, so I was excited to get it as an extra in a trade and see for myself. "2013 Vintage," served cold in a snifter.

A: Dark brown, very much like a cola. Translucent at the edges, and not at all "thick." About 1/8 inch light khaki head which dissipates quickly.

S: Aroma is on the weak side, but full of bourbon and caramel.

M: Mouthfeel here is not bad, just not very memorable. Not too sticky, not too gummy, but not very substantial, either. Unassuming. Would love to see more here. As it warms up, it's close to drinking a warm Dr. Pepper with some bourbon in it.

T: Here, they nailed it. Fantastic bourbon flavor without being boozy. There's some nice vanilla and cola undertones. Slight anise, and cream soda. Veers towards cloyingly sweet when it gets hot, but not over the top. Very strong bourbon finish - but again, more the essence than the whiskey heat. I would never think this was 10% ABV by the taste.

I wanted to hate this beer, but can't, because the flavor is so good. It's thin, and nearly on the wrong side of the tracks in Sweetville, USA - but damn, did they nail the idea of bourbon in a beer.

If they called this a bourbon barrel aged porter or something other than a stout, I suspect there would be a lot more love - and it would be well-deserved. Nice job, New Holland.

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Photo of Dwreck
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

More like a slightly bourbon barrel aged milk stout with flavor, smell, and feel. It's not bad at all, as I like a boozy bbs. Good bargain for the style.

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Photo of jtingue
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Very dark with a brown color around the edges where only some light penetrates. Pours with a finger of head that dissipates to a nice thin layer around the side of the glass. Lacing is great, just clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell. Very complex with many layers hitting the nose. The most distinct is that of bourbon as well as a very sweet vanilla. There is a strange, but pleasant honey-like sweetness that fills your nostrils.

Taste. Starts out with a quick burst of sweetness that is quickly taken over by a flavor that is similar to bourbon in both its flavor and its alcoholic presence. This is followed by a milky and vanilla-like sweetness. This is once again takne over by the bourbon flavor which slowly transitions to a dark fruit flavor. The finish is quite dry and reminiscent of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Nice creamy body. Some carbonation, but not too much for the style.

Unfortunately the worst part of this beer is its taste. Everything else is spot on for me. There is just too much bourbon and not enough complexity.

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Photo of twincano
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Black, cola lively.
S-Vanilla,oak,bourbon.
T-Roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon in the back end.
M-Light for a stout,thin, bit carbonated for a stout.
O-Good beer could improve, aged it a little bit longer and make it more creamy or smooth, don't mind the carbonation, feels more like porter!

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Photo of smalenberg
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark with a slim coffee-with-cream colored foam ring that persists through the whole glass. Light doesn't pass through it.

S - Bourbon! Chocolate, port wine, and rich malty nose.

T - Malty sweetness with the rich complexity coming from the oak that brings along the bourbon character. Deceptively smooth for 10% ABV.

M - Smooth as silk. Slight tingling from the carbonation, but otherwise rich and thick and very smooth.

O - This was a 12 oz serving, which is a good size of a big beer like this. A 22 would be fine to share, but I think it would be "too much of a good thing" and too filling for me. This is a great beer for a cool fall day.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,488 ratings.
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