Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
6,172 Ratings
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,172 |  Reviews: 1,599
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany nice fluffy brownish head that leaves lots of lace.

Aroma is nice chocolate, fruity nice cherries, dry wine like aromas some vanilla light bourbon mixed thru out. Very different strong ale but nice so far.

Taste some roasted flavors hints of chocolate then strong cherry flavors come on sour wine like again light vanilla and bourbon flavors with some sour vinegar notes mixed with cherry. Finish is light hops and vanilla notes. I know this review kind of wonders but this is so strange but good :) Sour Chocoalte Covered Cherries.

Mouthfeel is lighter then I expected but seems to suite the beer well, as this beer isn't what I was expecting.

Drinkability is good, its different and unique one half Stout and half Flanders. Would like to have more to explore in depth but only have one thanks cretemixer.

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Photo of Crosling
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown in color with a filmy and glass coating light tan head. Complex & inviting nose with a variety of dimensions, wood (bourbon, soaked oak), malt (chocolate, roast) along with hints of rum cake and chocolate covered cherries. Creamy, bubbly feel on the palate. Flavors continue on, contributing what the aroma hinted at. Well extracted malts with hints of chocolate, vinous fruits, bourbon, maple and vanilla. A very good beer and oddly enough, this was strikingly similar to a rare beer I had at the Le Sois Bock in Paris this past summer called Warenghem Olde Breizh (which I am the only rater of). Their malt profiles were nearly identical and they were both aged in wood.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label gives ABV 9%, 19 Plato and I should expect oak, vanilla, and carmel notes.

Aroma: Warm and inviting blend of vanilla, carmel, creamed coffee, and a touch of some woody, earthy undertones.

Appearance: Inky black and dense. Jet black from edge to edge. A tight, sudsy, and creamy biege cap forms.

Flavor: A lactic twang hits the palate first followed by sweet oak, a brush of vanilla, raisins, a bit of smokiness, and just a touch of tannic astringency. I think there is some Brett-funk going on there too.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation but enough to keep it interesting. Medium bodied and just a touch slick. The lactic acidity lingers after each taste.

Overall impression: Kind of interesting. This is what a wood-aged beer should be. It should accentuate not dominate the characteristics of the beer. That being said, without the wood aging, this would be a pretty one dimensional beer. The wood aging fatigues the palate pretty quickly. Worth a try.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz courtesy of the generous Northertimber.

Poured night black with a head that grew like it was on steroids! I'm not kidding, this head would not quit. I have a 20 oz nonic but I could only get half of this into it without running the risk of having it tumble over the edge. Looks very tasty. I lower my head and take whiff ... white wine? Yep, I'm smelling white wine, a little vanilla and lots of citrusy acidic orange. Very strange. A taste treats me to an almost overpowering white wine taste coupled with vanilla, chocolate, and a very sour taste. Each time I sip I taste something else, a feeling that is very engaging. I'm not wild about the taste of this beer, but it is damned interesting, enough to give it a higher score than I might have just because it lends to serious ponderance. As interesting as it is, a second is not in order.

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Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Light brown head made up of fine bubbles - good retention and nice lacing. Lots of vanilla in the aroma. Also some oak and chocolate maltiness. Complex flavour with plenty of orange character and some chocolate maltiness. Some wood, mild roast and moderate bitterness. Slightly aggressive carbonation with a smooth, full body. Surprisingly well hidden alcohol makes this easy drinking, but it's still a sipping beer!

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A sipper. Good amount of lace and deep chocolale brown. Thanks Dr. Jay. Carbonation on aggressive side. Taste: coriander, orange, like a grand cru with lots of nother complexity. On the edge of funky. Medium-full mouthfeel.Lots of lace.A bit of wood in the finsih, and vanilla aftertaste.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz provided by theblackmallard.

had this previously at the map room and ranked up with my all-time favs. 22oz bottles? gotta get me some!

poured dark, black, sultry into a tulip. lots of off-white soapy foam which really doesn't play to the creamy profile i desire from this beer. aroma mixes the vanilla and woody bourbon with a hop tinge and fruity tartness. sort of strange, but i digress. taste echoes the aroma sentiment.. the original barrel flavor is there backed by a nice caramel sweetness. however, the overcarbonation in the bottle mixed with some abrasively acidic esters make this version far inferior to last years fresher pour. kind of a disappointment, but the finishing flavors are good. the lemony hop zest wears out and leaves a nice vanilla/banana pina colada thing in my mouth.. different from what i remember but still enjoyable.

overall, i probably wouldn't revisit the bottles but will seek this out on tap wherever it may roam.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thin a off white head that rapidly dissipates into the ethers. Body is deep brown-black. Light aromas of sweet and roasted malt, a touch of oak and very light citrus hops in the background. The oakiness becomes a bit more pronounced ion the flavor along with some of the accompanying bourbon. However there is plenty of dark vinous fruit-like malt to balance it out along with a mild bitterness. A bit of plumb and chocolate as well, but all with a goodly amount of sweetness. The alcohol is well-hidden. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Crisp in the mouth, with a lingering, albeit mild, bitterness.

New Holland’s “crown jewel” indeed. This ale shows a great deal of patience and vision in its creation. The oak-bourbon character is quite assertive at times, but by no means drowns out the complexities of the malt bill. I drank this around cellar temperature which really seemed to bring out its full character.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have walked past this bottle many times at my local "Wine Connection" recently and thought it had a realy cool looking label,but alas would always find something else to take home....that all changed untill yesterday when i finaly decided to go for the win.

Poures: A warm chestnutt brown/black from the DBL deuce and formed a pleasing looking deep tan head , that seemed to linger till the end in my pint glass.

Smell: Was rather inviting after getting used to the oak...full of sweet rasins, milk/honey,amaretto,and pecans this has got it all.

Taste: Wow.... toffee, espresso, ritch chocolate. slightly sweet but the one thing that realy stands out was the vanilla taste towards the end. It was utterly fantastic and made me drink one more than I proably should have.

Mouthfeel: Nice and wet going down , it was just so velvety smooth.

Drinkability: This rates verry high on my all time favorite list. Definitely don't pass this up while exploring on your next Beer Adventure.

Overall: The flavor is in constant battle over the aroma to "overtake" command of your senses. This is a "beer" brewed for the sole intent to make you enjoy the moment and forget about your worries and the world around you!

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Photo of Bighuge
2.68/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty dark beer. Almost black. Thin and airy light brown head. Lace is decent. Aroma is of oak, tannins, whiskey and slight caramel. Flavor is dried fruits, wet cardboard, tartness and stale bread. This one is just not hitting the spot as I thought it would. Nothing seems just terribly "off." Maybe a little oxidized. Just really not that good. Bland. I don't even pick up any barrel properties.

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Photo of beerinator
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle

Apperance: Dark almost black, but tinging on brown or ruby brown when the light hits just right. The head has pleasant lingering lacing that is off white to tan.

Aroma: Bourbon aromas are the first to strike. Sourness and roastyness are some smells that kick through soon after. A bit on the sour side of most bourbony aromas. Gives me an indidcation of impending sour/dry flavor.

Taste: The bourbon flavor is quite subdued compared to much of the bourbon flavored beers I've tried lately. It's very evident, but it's somewhat back of the burner. The dark roasted malts seem to come forth quicker with their charred, bitter chocolate bitterness up front with sourness coming through the middle of the taste finishing with a bit of lingering sourness alongside slight bitter roasty flavors. The "bourbony sweetness" balances it out. There is a slight note of vanilla-ishness. Mouthfeel is good, if a bit thin.

Notes: Very drinkable beer. The sourness will be a bit of a turnoff for those not expecting it. Bourbonish flavors weren't quite as strong as those you get from other bourbon type beers. Fairly drinkable once you're in the mindset for this sort of beer.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle with 9% abv.

Appearance- Pours a spritzy, rye bread head. Color is black, the color I always thought dragon's milk should be. No discernable lacing in this dark brew.

Smell- A tart, woody mix of bourbon, roasted malt, ripe purple grapes, and well balanced hops.

Taste- Starts out with some toasted malt flavors that leads to more currant fruitiness. The center brings the tart currant malt to a more of an oak and red wine flavor. The end sees the red wine turning into bourbon with some earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- An oily yet silky, medium bodied brew. Left the palate a little tart.

I'm not a fan of tart or acidic beers, but Dragon's Milk is very complex, and unlike young Lambics. This beer has tartness blended with so many other flavors,that the tart palate adds to the complexity of this great. Two mugs up.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Denverlogan for this...Aayiiieeee!!!!
This one actually came in a dark 22 oz, silk screened bomber.
Appears a hazy dark brownish black with a small tan head that fades into a film. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oaky lactose with cocoa, caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas perhaps just knocked down a notch.
Mouthfeel is silky and creamy with mild carbonation. Perhaps one of the silkiest beers I've ever had.

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Photo of soulfly967
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color, with a thin light tan head that quickly diminished to a ring around the glass.

The smell was magnificent. Oak, vanilla, caramel, and some nutty character. Some bourbon was evident as well.

Taste was just as good. Vanilla, oak, caramel, light roasted malt, and dark fruits. Some alcohol was present at the finish, with lingering vanilla on the tongue.

Mouthfeel was very creamy and nicely carbonated.

Overall, drinkability was good on this one. I will be looking for this one again.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came a slightly murky dark brown with cherry red highlights and a thin off white head. Smells of oak, brandy, and other sour woody notes with undertones of chocolate and dark sour fruits. Tastes of an initial wild cherry and wonderfully tart plumb sourness with a big oak, citrus and lilac dryness. The malt base that ties all of these together is thin and sweet chocolate and vanilla with a nice wild and musky sour fruitiness. The 10% alcohol isn’t detected on the nose or the taste at all. Fantastic and original flavor combinations here. If this isn’t original, someone please tell me of more options that are this wonderful and well blended. The mouth feel is light with a tingly carbonation. I’ll definitely track this one down again!

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Photo of fatherofgirls
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearence is dark black with a medium tan head that fades quickly and has very little lacing.
The aroma is wonderfully heavy with vanilla extract, milk chocolate and a touch of roasted walnuts ending with a whiskey/bourbon smell
The taste is not as fantastic as the smell but great just the same with a roasted chocolate beggining with a nice hoppy ending and a slight hint of the alcohol within.
The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. I couldn't drink more than one or two of these.
All and all a great brew. The roasted chocolate flavor is to die for. This starts to approach Goose Island's Bourbon County and 3Floyde’s Darklord my favorites in this style.

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Photo of sopor
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
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 xgrigorix
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown 22 ounce silk screened bottle, no dates.

Dark chestnut brown. Dense beige coloured head collapses quickly, leaving some patchy lace. Racing lines of carbonation.

Soft bourbon aroma.

Caramel, Vanilla, oak. Lather, rinse, repeat. Off dry finish. Teh bourbon flavour - the charred oak - becomes more pronounced as it warms. A slight warming of the throat. Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Left me wanting more.

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Photo of corporatejim
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love a wood aged beer! Dark carmel nearing brown in the glass. Minimal head. Erratic laceing throughout the glass. Rich carmel sweet smoky nose. Licorice, smoky malty flavor with the nice oak flavoring coming in at the end. Little to no hop presence. I like hops, but I with big woodsy flavor like this, I can let it pass. This is a very tasty beer, but probably couldn'y more than one or two in a sitting.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep, dark brown..almost black with a bit of ruby highlights. Has a nice creamy light brown head that leaves a good amount of lacing. The aroma is milky, slightly roasty, with a nice oakiness throughout. A bit of alcohol is also present.

The flavor is of caramel malts and bit of roast. It has a touch of oakiness and also vanilla and lactose. It is medium-full in body with a creamy mouthfeel. Easy drinking for its strength. I very nice brew. Thanks Paul.

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Photo of nortmand
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

One of my favorite Michigan seasonals, the 05/06 is a bit overwhelming on tap.

Pours very dark brown/black/red, with a short brown head.

Smell is rich roast and an ass ton of bourbon. Pretty nice.

The taste reveals that the bourbon is too fresh and too present. It hides this beers complexity behind a wall of kentucky special.

I've loved this beer on tap in the past and enjoyed several (too many) mugs of it at Crunchy's, but this year, the bourbon is overpowering. I've heard this year's new bombers are quite nice, so I look forward to reviewing that.

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Photo of stouty1
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dragon's Milk poured a dark black with a deep ruby tint. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my snifter created a 1 inch head caramel in color. Leaves a nice creamy film along the side of the glass as it's inbibed.

Dark choclatey flavor with a hint of Bourbon. You can definitely taste the alcohol but, definitely not over powering. Leaves a nice malty aftertaste on the back of your tongue with a hint of something sweet. I am definitely enjoying this Stout and will get back to the store for more!

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Photo of bashiba
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark black with slight ruby highlights and a thin dark tan head.

Smell is sweet with hints of vanilla, bourban, chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is a very nice and smooth with tons of complexity here. Hints of smoke, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, with a nice burnt malty flavor. Very bourban like and delicious.

Mouthfeel is super creamy and lush with a nice bit of warming.

Drinkability is great on this fantastic beer.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep black opaque body with a tan head with a slight reddish hint. The head quickly turns into a pile of big bubbles that floats to the edge. This beer is to thick to see any signs of carbonation.

S- The aroma of pale malt and chocolate malt with some lightly toasted malt are enhanced by a slight vanilla woody character. A soft notes of bourbon and pecans are in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice smooth deep roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate malt, brown malt and coffee and cream. The finish has a smooth bourbon finish but no alcohol heat.

M- The mouthfeel is medium with a creamy texture with soft fizz and alcohol warmth at the finish.

D- This beer has some good complexity in the malt bill and it has really blended with age (this was just released to the stores). The oak and bourbon really give nice depth to the beer and add more depth.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most interesting beers I've ever had. Pours to a dark brown, almost black, with a nice white head. Minimal lacing. Looks pretty much like your run-of-the-mill stout.

The smell, on the other hand, is amazingly complex. The bourbon barrel imparts such a wicked beautiful aroma and taste. Lots of vanilla and a mild bourbon dominate the nose, along with some chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

The taste is exceptionally smooth. I would never have guessed this beer was anything over 5%. I can taste a bit of sweet from lactose and oat, perhaps, as well as some caramel, chocolate and toffee. Of course, the vanilla and bourbon really help to smooth things out. Amazingly complex and yet still simple and mindblowing.

The body of this beer is thicker than anything else I remember trying. It's almost like drinking a malt milk shake. The texture is as smooth as velvet. and the finish seems a bit dry.

This is one of the best beers I've had in recent times. Amazingly complex, definitely not "over-done," and very deceivingly drinkable.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 6,172 ratings