Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
5,673 Ratings
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,491 | Ratings: 5,673
Photo of KrisLambert
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Roasted with hints of vanilla and a bourbon aftertaste. Not heavy although dark. Would pair great with red meat. The bourbon flavoring can bring it down a little near the end of a glass.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark brown-black body, very thin brown head.

Smell: See below.

Taste: Vanilla, oak, milk chocolate, mild roast.

Feel: Full body, medium carbonation, mildly sweet, warming finish.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown. Foamy, short, brown head that fades fast.

Smells roasted Malts, vanilla, bourbon, light chocolate and smoke.

Tastes roasted malts and chocolate, light bourbon, vanilla and hints of fruit. Semi sweet finish and light char that lingers shortly. Lighter side of medium body and fizzy low carbonation

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Photo of sjdevel
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Very dark black color. No light getting through. Low carbonation, but typical for a barrel aged brew w/ whiskey infused. Not quite a 1 finger head from a 12oz. bottle. Some lacing goes on - it didn't go flat.
Smell: Sweet chocolate and caramel. Bourbon comes through loud and clear. Some fruitiness and slight nuttiness.
Taste: A shot of whiskey up front. Nice kick, but not as strong as some barrel aged brews. Charred oak, chocolate, coffee, and roasted nuts come through. Quite sweet on the front half, then it dries out slightly towards the end. As the whiskey and chocolate/coffee flavors head out, you can start to make out some hop flavor and you are left with a slightly smokey aftertaste.
Feel: Full bodied, but less than a regular milk stout. The whiskey thins the think brew out a bit. On the flatter side, but enough to keep ti interesting. Expected it not to be very bubbly.
Overall: Very good aged stout. This one is at 11% ABV. I could feel the alcohol burn, but it didn't seem like an 11% brew. I was feeling it by the time I finished it. I bought this as a single, but would definitely by a 4 pack of this one.

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Photo of ElMariachi29er
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I think the overall rating for this BA Stout is dead on. It's "Very Good" and I mean that as a compliment. Not world class but a great BA Stout that is easily attained. A good indicator of what a quality BA Stout should taste like although I don't personally think you get the rich mouthfeel or complexities in taste, in comparison to some world class smaller batch brews. But I do like that you get a hint of the barrel as well as the bourbon on the nose. And the overall is solid! As a fan of BA stouts (which everyone is doing now) I would gladly keep one of these in my "cellar" (beer fridge).

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Photo of LAp
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good not great. Relatively one-dimensional. The barrel aging is a little too dominant, and the underlying stout isn't particularly interesting. The whole is somewhat greater than the sum of its parts however.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, bottled 02/08/17... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: very dark brown liquid, opaque when held to light... cappuccino brown foam that swells up then swells out - loose, glossy... lace just slides down, no stick, but a thin, crusty collar remains

S: big barrel notes of vanilla and caramelized wood/sugars... dark-dry bitter chocolate, boozy dark rum, maybe even a delicate whiff of black licorice... dare say almost a urine aroma as it warms (like piss-soaked cotton), and later a hint of dark-roast ground coffee... the booze is bright, marginally medicinal and carries with it an sort of coffee liqueur note (this description is all it is later)... overall, moderate intensity and implies a dense maltiness

T: lots of ashy, ember-y char notes in the finish... powerfully bitter with a semisweet dark caramel note in the aftertaste... bit drier in the finish than the early sweetness may suggest... thick, rich maltiness in the middle, slightly out matched by its biting bitterness

F: damn near lusciously silky on the outset... lingering, almost spicy heat, with a mild-moderate (roasty) acidic twang at the back... certainly a creaminess to its viscosity... the burn and bitter slowly take over

O: full-bodied, full-flavored, smoky-roasty... the fusel-tinged heat and piercing, parching bitterness balances to an extent, but ends up becoming the most dominant elements... might be nice to lay down for a year or two, let the harshness settle out

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It pours jet black and with a tan/beige head of surprisingly good retention but little lacing. Aroma is absolutely lovely with notes of vanilla, dried fruit, bourbon and a ton of chocolate. The taste is very well balanced and reflects in many ways the nose. Full bodied and with barely noticeable carbonation on the tongue. A very enjoyable bourbon-barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Yard House.
Black in color with a one inch light tan head. There was a fair amount of lacing.
Roasted malt aroma, rather nondescript.
Mostly chocolate, slight coffee, tiny bit of vanilla.
An OK beer. I've been drinking a number of stouts lately, and this one didn't quite measure up to some of the others.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours pitch black (so dark the lights bends around it...) with a nice short brown head. Burnt roasted and alcoholic in the nose. In the mouth, burnt flavor and roasted malt predominates.

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours pitch black with a small brown head on it. Leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like wood char and roasted malts with some coffee in the back there somewhere.

Taste is of stone fruits, vanilla and roasted malts. There is a definite alcohol presence on the taste. As the beer warms the vanilla sweetness was becoming more prevalent.

Has a medium mouth with an easy finish to it. The mouth does get a bit sticky as the beer warms.

This is an awesome stout that was really opening up as it warmed with nice changing complexity to it. The vanilla sweetness really was a great compliment to the darkness of this very big beer. At 11% you are going to feel that alcohol as well. I am really glad I bought this one and the wife strongly agrees that this is a solid hit.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is good. Has that bourbon aroma with vanilla and a small amount of smoky java. Alcohol content evident. Very smooth. There is a big bourbon taste. Very mild java bitterness. A little smokey malts. Good amount of vanilla. Alcohol is definitely there. Medium to heavy bodied with mild carbonation. Good beer just wish it had a little less bourbon and a little more java.

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Photo of SFUprof
4.64/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! The rich vanilla base with the bourbon touches are fantastic. It is smooth to drink with a creamy feel. I have had it as a draft and out of the bottle and prefer the draft. It pours very dark with a tan colored head. It feels a bit thin for a stout, but that doesn't hurt it at all. If you haven't had a barrel aged stout and want to try one, this is a good way to go.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau BA glass.

Look is dark opaque black with a thin off white head.

Aroma is a light roasted malt with vanilla bourbon maybe a slight coconut note.

Taste continues that light coconut with vanilla bourbon and a roasted RIS after taste.

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Photo of JayGatsby
4.78/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Dragons Milk 11% ABV New Holland Brewing Company
2016 12 OZ bottle poured into a Glencairn glass.

Look: Very dark brown like coffee with a thin vanilla colored head. Nice lace around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Bourbon notes come first followed by dark chocolate, subtle roastiness, and vanilla.

Taste: Excellent balance of roast, vanilla, dark fruits, espresso and dark chocolate. There is a bite of carbonation but dies down as the beer warms. Not as much of a burn from the booze as I was expecting considering it's 11% although it does have a warming feel as it slides down into your belly.

Mouth feel: Thin and a little creamy, doesn't lace the mouth like most stouts do.

Overall: I think this is an excellent beer it's definitely up there in my list of favorite stouts. Would definitely recommend trying if you've never had it before, it'll be well worth your time.


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Photo of beerguy04
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a finger width tan head. Smells of bourbon and vanilla. Taste is similar. Definitely taste the bourbon, but also taste a strong vanilla flavor. Bourbon gets less noticeable with each sip. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall, not bad.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2016 bottle, into a snifter.

I'm a big fan of barrel aged stouts, and have had a lot of them. This one is milder than many, but it strikes me that's a good thing, not a defect. Imagine an iced latte, milky and full of coffee (light roast, not Charbucks), with a dash of bourbon. That's what you get here. Well, not literally, but that's what Dragon's Milk reminds me of. It's got lots of vanilla, and it's sweeter than many stouts, but not excessively so.

It seems odd to call any BBA stout understated, but that's what this feels like. It's a delicious beer, and you can't beat the price.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8-31-16. DFH Tulip.

A: black, opaque, a little carb visible at the edges; when held to the light, some brownish tiny at the rim. 1 finger frothy lightntam head quickly fades to a ring of bubbles at the glass edge. Leaves very nice lacing.

S: smells like a RIS, dark roasted malt, but not at all a roast bomb here; sweeter and more restrained, with loads of vanilla. Perhaps a touch of alcohol or bourbon on the nose; but if I didn't know what kind of barrel this was aged in, I'd just say sweet and vanilla beans.

T: Bourbon does make its presence known immediately on the palate. Sweet and full of those pleasant aldehyde/acetone notes that are in bourbon. Surprisingly light for an RIS, as compared to the last one I had. More alcohol, vanilla, and bourbon flavor around mid palate; as it goes on the malt character recedes and this becomes more of a bourbon show with less dark roastiness. Even the finish is bourbon and oak.

M: lighter side of full bodied, with low carbonation, and surprisingly un-slick for the style. Definitely would consider it creamy.

O: I've never had a barrel aged beer before, and this is pretty much what I expected. This gets a lot from the barrel. Although I love whisky, and I love beer, i don't think I love them together. particularly with an RIS. I like The Alltech bourbon barrel ale a lot; this, not as much. It's also pretty pricy.

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Photo of ManBearPat
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid and affordable BA stout that you can find almost anywhere.

Kind of thin, but a nice enough for the price. No complaints, but again I'm not over the moon for it either.

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Photo of PaulElk
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Boozy, creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Nice lacing.Ok, after 3/4 of it I'm liking this more and more. Having another one is probably not a good idea. Less boozy the more you sip

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a khaki head that's fades quickly, leaving some nice lacing.
Bourbon, roasted malt aromas.
Flavor is roasted malt coffee, vanilla and some tart cherry.
This is a bit thinner than most BA stouts.
This is really a solid beer at a fair price. While is doesn't compare to the "once a year" BA stouts I think it's great that I can get this 7/365 at any decent beer store.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with little light transmission in the glass and a half finger light brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, mild bourbon, milk chocolate and a hint of cherry. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, light bourbon, a hint of cherry and dark stone fruit. Finishes with milk chocolate, vanilla, mild oak and hints of fruit. Medium bodied with a pleasant light creaminess. A remarkably mellow stout for its ABV. Initially seem understated, but reveals quite a bit of flavor complexity that is very well integrated and balanced. The bourbon and barrel flavors are all present, but meld with the malt quit nicely. There is a mild lactose component that makes this almost taste like an imperial milk stout. Sweeter than other big imperial stouts, but finishes semi-dry. My first taste seemed too tame to be a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout and there is little char to the malt. But each taste was so pleasant and well balanced that this was a pleasure to drink. Nicely done. Glad to have the chance to try this classic stout.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.61/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours on the lighter side but pitch black in the glass w/a medium khaki head. Definitely get some nice medium woodiness from the barrel aging with just a tiny bit of bourbon soaked cherries as well. Woodiness is apartment in the mouth with a good amount vanilla sweetness. Not much cherry. Some chocolate is present but it's sweet like Hershey's chocolate. Not motor oil thick by any means but there is definitely some creaminess in there. Wouldn't be surprised if they brewed this with lactose(they do call it dragon's milk afterall). Overall I think they did a good job not over doing it with the barrel aging. The barrel is there but it supports as opposed to overpowers the base beer. A well executed stout that's just a little sweet for my taste. 90 points.

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Photo of TerryMills
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into globe glass.

Looks jet black with 1 finger of medium tan head , some carbonation but not too heavy , very little lacing.

Smell is mostly bourbon with some fresh wood mixed in , not picking up much else.

Taste , not sure what I was expecting really but just didn't think it would have so much bourbon flavor.. It's like someone poured half a glass of bourbon and topped it off with a weak watery stout.

Feel is very watery for a stout .

Overall I'm saying if you are wanting watered down bourbon you will enjoy this but if you're looking for a good stout keep in looking.. Worth trying but would not but again.

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Photo of Daniel9913
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Motor oil color, frothy coffee-like head, heavy body, sweet, lots of vanila notes. Good alcohol burn, but not too much considering it's 11% ABV.

It was solid. Not the best of the barrel aged stouts, and I still feel that this series is over priced. I picked up a single 12-ounce for $4, glad I did, but not sure I'd spend the money a four pack.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 5,673 ratings.
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