Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,490 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:
1,490
Ratings:
5,667
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
13.07%
 
 
Wants:
349
Gots:
1,778
For Trade:
44
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,490 | Ratings: 5,667
Photo of deg
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer is a good dark color. Brown. Unfortunately, there's not much of a head or carbonation. I can't quite make out what I smell, it's too faint for my messed up nose. I liked the initial taste, chocolate and a hint of something else. I was reminded of bourbon. I get an alcohol like aftertaste which I didn't like much. The mouth feel is nice and creamy.

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally got New Holland in TN, heard good things. Four pack purchased at Craft Brewed. Great looking pour. Thick dark brown head, black in color. Heavy scents of bourbon, vanilla, smoke and chocolaty malt. Rich, warming flavor. The bourbon flavor is there but not overpowering. More tones of toffee, chocolate, and a vanilla after taste. Somewhat boozy, heavy bodied, thick, and sticky. Definitely lives up to the hype. A solid BBS that's a bit on the sweeter side.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark appearance with little head and just the right amount of carbonation. Very pleasant bourbon aroma. The taste is a very smooth but rich bourbon flavor

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Lunchboxhead
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Let the charred burnt bones of the fallen rest as the dragon rises up to suckle its offspring with this toasted imperial stout. The beer is a very solid representation of an Imperial Russian stout. Plenty of roasty toasty malts countered with a bitter bite that can only be hidden behind the higher ABV. Overall I can say that I like it, but it does not offer the complexity I was hoping for. None the less, I learned a long time ago to never slap a dragon in the face so I will drink it with a smile on my face.

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Photo of Riff
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just didn't live up to the hype, there are better bourbon barrel stouts out there. Nice, black pour with a finger width of tan head. Pleasant aroma. Body was a little thinner than I expect from a stout. Strong hit of bourbon at the front with a very sharp note of alcohol shortly afterwards that I've not had from other BA beers. Finish was smoother but lingered for too long for my tastes.

*Editing* Have since been working on the other three bottles from the 4-pack I bought. Much smoother results and getting a smooth, creamier feeling. Slight notes of vanilla flavor, sweet with a hint of a dark roast. I'll take it the first bottle was just a dud, thankfully.

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Photo of psuKinger
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into one of my Stone RIS tulips.

A: Pours motor-oil black, with about a half a fingers worth of mocha-brown shaded head that built nicely and stuck around impressively for a 10% beer.

S: Roastiness, cocoa, and vanilla notes. Sweet. I don't think the oak barrel was holding bourbon, but it kind of smells like a hint of bourbon.

T: Taste follows the nose. Big roastey flavors. Strong vanlla presence. And I'm still picking up on "bourbon". Maybe it's just the combination of oak barrel + sweet vanilla.

The sweetness is strong on the back end of this beer. A bit of bitterness from the roasts and perhaps a touch of hops, as well, work to keep it in check, but I do feel that this might be a bit out-of-balance sweet.

M: Hefty. Carbonation is low and appropriate for this style. Finish is not as dry as I would have expected, and very sweet.

D/O: Try as I might, I just can't get into these barrel aged beers. It's not my thing. This is a big beer. A lot of flavor. A lot going on. It's just not that drinkable for me. It's too sweat and too boozy. It's unbalanced and wore on me as I worked through the glass.

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Photo of hops202
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass from a 2013 Vintage. Certainly a good candidate to rival bourbon county stout. Definitely considering the $9 a piece bottle price. Smell is great and taste exceeds that. Definitely a great bourbon barrel aged stout. I will be buying a bunch and aging some as well.

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Photo of Aenema
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
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 4thelvofbeer
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really nice. A nice barrel aged beer with nice flavor. A little strong on the alcohol taste, wish it had a little more oak flavor (maybe a little longer in the barrel would do!) Nice dark black color, brown head, deep chocolate smell and nice silky mouthfeel. Overall, a really nice drinkable barrel-aged stout!!

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Photo of cproioi
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby color with a creamy white head that is seated on top. The nose is full of dark malts, chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. The taste comes in with the same notes ion the aroma with a little more accents on the chocolate and the malts. However, it tastes a little oxidized sadly enough. It's a wonderfully creamy body that leaves a wonderful finish that lingers suggesting to take another drink.

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Photo of shippos
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured witha a deep dark ruby brown witha fluffy rocky light coffee colored head. has a vanillian woody aroma as it's cold...lots of vanilla oak. light amount of carbonation but a slick mouthfeel, velvety with an aged character well rounded to begin witha thin winey oxidized character. has a dry aftertaste witha lingering dry maltiness. complex and wonderful.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.86/5  rDev -3%
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 Spidey13
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
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 -23.9%
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 +6.3%
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 MNJR
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
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 Scrapss
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
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 +2.8%
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 -2.5%
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 wjoelbrooks
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
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 waldoiverson
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
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 shangwang
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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 JJKBeerLvr
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

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 Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +1%
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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 5,667 ratings.
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