Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,491 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:
1,491
Ratings:
5,669
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
13.07%
 
 
Wants:
349
Gots:
1,778
For Trade:
44
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,491 | Ratings: 5,669
Photo of beergeek279
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a goblet. The color is a very dark brown, with a wispy white head. The smell is a coffee/chocolate roasted malt smell. The taste is a chocolate-ish malt sweetness with a very little bit of hoppiness, and a barely noticable alcohol. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, maybe a few.

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle. Reminds me more of a porter than an old ale. Not a bad beer, and one that I may well have again.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with Premium 2-row, Cara 45, Munich malts. Honey, de-bittered Black Belgian candy sugar. Nugget and Willamette hops.
OG=18.1P, 8.0% ABV, 87.4 IBU.

Opaque dark-brown with dark amber highlights, forming a small, but sticky dark-tan head of fine bubbles. Carbonation is very mild. Retention is poor and lacing is good. Aroma begins with rather mild resinous hops, pronounced pineapple, a wholesome sweet chocolate undercurrent, and distant sweet Munich grain husk. Rolling the brew in my goblet glass produces the aroma of vanilla beans. Mouthfeel is silken and syrupy with a medium-dense body. Taste begins with a surprising and very pronounced milk chocolate character, similar to Rogue Chocolate Stout, followed by vanilla bean, husken malt, mild herbal and earthy hops, a brief whiff of alcohol, and a lingering, semi-astringent syrupy finish with suggestions of oak. Alcohol is mildly perceptable, and becomes slightly more apparent as it warms. The bourbon and oak character is most pronounced in the finish, but it is relatively mild. The aging in oak barrels has imparted noticeable characteristics in the mouthfeel and carbonation level. Cleanly fermented.

Considering the mild, yet immediate pinous hop aroma, I was pleasantly surprised that this was not your typical overhopped barleywine. This is amazingly well-balanced, rich with subtle complexities, very smooth, and most importantly, easy to drink. Another winner from the alchemists at New Holland!

2004 Edition-(10% ABV, 32 IBU per the website, which doesn't make Zymurgical sense) Comparing this to last years, this aroma is much richer with milk chocolate...the resinous hops are not at all evident...lots of vanilla and mild bourbon character. Vanilla is hugely evident with winey oak character in the late nose. Mouthfeel is very smooth with mild carbonation. Silken with a medium-dense, syrupy body. Wonderful stuff. Taste is out of this world...lots of milk chocolate, mild roasted malts, syrupy malt body in counterpoint with tons of vanilla and a late oakiness with moderate woody astringency. Bitterness is mild but nicely balanced with lingering notes of bourbon in the finish. Great stuff, I think better than last years batch. Alcohol is never intrusive but sometimes evident in warmth only.

Upon re-review 02-23-05, I am picking up distinct sourness...the chocolate is nearly all gone, and the silken mouthfeel is now aceticly harsh. Gobble your stores up now, it's quickly depreciating with age. Those oak barrels must have added some lacto or something that is going crazy in the bottles.

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Photo of maxpower
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-black color, has a good creamy brown head that leaves a nice lacing in my glass. Sweet roasted chocolate and coffee aromas, sweet fruity woody, smokey chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice milky bitter-sweet finish. Medium-full body with creamy and smooth mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden, very nice.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tannish colored head settling over clear deep brown liquid. Strange nose on this one, aromas of funky plastic and milk chocolate perhaps? Tastes of leathery astringency, anise, and woody tannins wrapped in a slick oily mouthfeel. The 10 percent alcohol is very well cloaked here. Finishes with more dryish woody character behind some malt sweetness. A strangely interesting brew, I'd love to age a few and see what develops over time.

Thanks to CRJMellor for the bottle.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New Holland does a lot for the beer world by being gutsy enough to release this beer. Above all, it shows the potential for oak aging beer which allows, if nothing else, for beer to be taken more serious.

The oak qualities are tremendous. The velvety mouthfeel, slight creaminess, and latent bourbon flavoring are all otherwise unattainable. When cold, the nose is a plasticky yeast smell -- this is definetly the New Holland super attenuative yeast strain. I've found it to give off similar odors as Nottingham dry ale. It is also quite apparent in the taste.

At cellar temp, Dragon's Milk opens up to more oak character. Most notably, there's some vanillin and mocha notes that might actually be a result of the interplay between the yeast and bourbon. However it happens, the taste is primarly a plastic mocha laced with bourbon and the finish is all bourbon with even a hint of island malt! I can't say I want this in my beer, but it's clearly what they wanted and man is it fun to figure out.

There's nothing more I want than a brewery to take some chances. For as small as they are, it's a wonder they can afford to do this. Support them.

Relax, relax.
ng

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, depp maroon, almost black. Decent tan head that settles rapidly leaving bits of lace up and down the glass.
Aroma is scotch, sasparilla, cream soda and almost metallic soda kind of scent.
Flavor has a heavy hint of scotch, cream soda notes and minor hint of chocolate. Faint hint of bitterness at very end.
Mouthfeel is full yet thin, hate to refer to it again but very close to soda. Alcoholic kick at back end dominates the palate.
Drinkability is only slightly better than average mainly do to soda-like tendencies and pretty heavy alcohol.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: frightfully dark, deep plum color, with a generous, frothy, creamy, light tan head above, lace-leaving, slowly subsiding.
Aroma: chocolate, cream, vanilla...interesting...buttery, with a whiskeyish tinge, as well.
Taste: unusual, the vanilla lingers, a woody, chocolatey character dominates. Small hops, rich malt, and the 10% Abv is sneaky, not kicking into the flavor in the least. Oh, here it comes...fruitiness comes in toward the end, raisiny, plummy, ...such a nice little brew, a great buttress against this ridiculous sub-zero January chill.
I've had this on-tap before, at the Autumn Brew Review lat fall, and wasn't so charmed...this bottle changed my mind. Were I a Michiganite, Dragon's Milk would have a coveted spot in the icebox.

9-11-2006
2 1/2 years later, it's finally available in MN, in bombers, and is as good as ever. Wonderful nightcap on a very bad day, the day my 5-year old cat died. Helpful in providing some relaxation and a small amount of liquid comfort.

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Photo of marburg
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ignoring for a moment the style of beer to which this brew supposedly belongs, isn't this something else? Quite a trip if I may say.

Dark, translucent body with a big, bubbly brown head that dissipates very quickly. Vanilla bean, cream, and roasted grains envelope the nose. Fascinating. Perhaps the most bizarre taste/mouthfeel combination I've run across in a long time. Smooth and light bodied. Reminds me of flavored skim milk in many respects, so I suppose the name is appropriate. Very lightly roasted grains finish it off but are not to be outdone by woodchips, raw earth, vanilla extract, and a teaspoon of chocolate syrup.

Interesting stuff. Very, very drinkable for something with a 10% abv.

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Photo of granger10
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours out as if a black hole but it is transparent when put directly to a light. The head is weak and really light in color compared to the darkness of this beer. Lots of lacing on the glass. The smell is of something burnt and chocolate. The taste is extremely unusual. Really creamy, really milky, really sweet (chocolate/coffee). Burnt coffee beans come into the picture the more I drink it. An earthiness arises (maybe the hops?) Not bitter at all, nor is the yeast flavor noticed, nor even the alcohol. Really woody in an aggressive way. This is definitely a beer that needs to be tried because of it's unusualness.

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Photo of Jables
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a thin off white head

Aroma is sweet caramel and fairly strong smoky notes can be detected. Very strong milk chocolate notes as well.

Taste is heavy of chocolate and caramel w/ some bitterness as from nice dark chocolate. This has a very balaced flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is high despite its high alcohol content and great intriguing flavor.

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Photo of jackndan
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

New Holland Dragon’s Milk: from a bottle. Pours a deep, almost impenetrable brown/black. Not much head, what it had was off white, and left a thick coating down the sides. The aroma is sweet, and although, its probably just the name, smells like a chocolate milkshake.

The first sip, and damn, this was not what I expected, it is extremely thick/creamy and smooth, taste’s very much like bailey’s and coffee, except even more sweet and almost cloying. Really unusual tasting beer, there is a definite smokiness to this brew as well. I can’t say I like this beer, and then after much consideration, I realized why: this beer is very similar in smell and taste to Ensure, the protein drink. The bottle notes that the alcohol level is 10%, but its hard to note. Cripes, I can tell this is well made, but I’ll have to choke down at least half of the bottle.

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Photo of Winter
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours near black in color with garnet highlights near the bottom of the pint. Creamy brown head flattens to the surface of the body. A quick swirl revives it. Aroma consists of milk chocolate, roasted malt, barley and cream. As the ale warms a vanilla-like sweetness and just a hint of alcohol can be detected. Lovely full-bodied mouthfeel that's velvety smooth. Initial flavors consists of chocolate, rich malt and grain (barley). A slight hop bitterness cracks near the back of the tongue and breaks up the sweetness. The finish has hints of oak, vanilla and a ghost-like milk chocolate taste.

The alcohol is undetectable and Dragon's Milk is unbelievably smooth and drinkable for its 10% abv. Flavors from the oak aging are not quite as complex as I expected. I thought there'd be a greater presence of bourbon in the flavor profile, but I didn't pick up on that. Nonetheless, this is an awesome brew.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.24/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Strong and black like a good cup of coffee. Little head, but a tad bit of sticky matter does cling to the glass. Aromas are at once of wood, with butter, roasted coffee and creamy chocolate in the background. The mouthfeel is quite lush. The carbonation is rather mild. Flavors run fairly deep, yet come back always to the wood-like a dry sauna at times. Some bitter chocolate/cherry like flavors are to be had, as well as strong, bitter chicory notes and malted milk. This is an interesting drink, yet I feel it is perhaps over-oaked? Try it if you see it, especially on a cold Winters night.

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Photo of ADR
2.57/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap, Autumn Brew Review 2003...

Burly opaque black with a 1/4 inch head of decent persistence. Ring laces. Hugely diacetyl aroma, so much so that its like artificial butter on movie popcorn. The flavor moves beyond that in even stranger directions, quick sweetness, tons of lime juice mid mouth and a crashing finish that reminds me of German Black Forest Chocolate Cake with cherries. Long and lingering impression in the aftertaste. Does have alcohol notes. Geez, this is weird, a little gunky and as far away from any Old Ale as I can think of. I'll give it different -- but I won't say I like it particularly much...

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Photo of Wildman
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

@ New Holland Brewery/Brewpub

This beer was as black as sin. It had a light tan, foamy head. It left some oily lace/residual. The aroma was of malt, chocolate and burnt cherry. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and burnt cherry. It had a slight bit of alcohol present in the finish. Slightly oily body to it. A slightly lighter body than others of this style. A good beer

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Photo of beernut7
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice representation of a British olde ale. The deep dark color and lacy tan head hide flavors of sweet malt and old oak supported by a smooth heavy body.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 5,669 ratings.
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