Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,431 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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:
1,431
Ratings:
5,409
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
323
Gots:
1,625
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,431 | Ratings: 5,409
Photo of nova009
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a silver foil topped bomber into a snifter.

A - pours pretty dark with some red accents around the edges. very small head that quickly disappears. small amount of lacing.

S - interesting. it almost smells like a stout. chocolate and the woodiness of the oak. some vanilla is subtle.

T - sweet with a more powerful alcohol feel than I was expecting. chocolate with bourbon hints.

M - medium mouthfeel. the alcohol tingles the tongue. not overly carbonated makes more a nice sipping experience

D - kind of heavy and with the amount of alcohol its more of a one and done kind of beer. I could probably only drink this every now and then

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

Presentation: Nice 12oz brown pop top; abv is less than stated here...no date to be found

Appearance: Attractive dark walnut beer with garnet highlights, nice tan cap with good retention

Smell: Liquid cocoa...seriously. Wow. This is one of the most chocolatey beers I've ever smelled, it's like good, homemade hot cocoa with a hint of boozy vanilla

Taste: Not nearly as chocolatey as the aromas....Nice dark fruit, dark malts, hints of milk chocolate...the oak comes through pretty strong, but only after the beer has left your mouth. Warming. Pretty tasty overall. I'd only had this once before, and I rememeber the oak being MUCH more forceful; this is pretty good actually

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy

Drinkability: 1-2 and done

Conclusion: Tasty oak-aged ale. I'd only had this once before, a couple of years ago, and HATED it. This is much better.

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Photo of Vixie
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with not a lot of head. The tan head dissipates a bit, leaving some lacing.

Pretty potent smell. Vanilla is the first thing that comes to mind, but there's a woody scent as well, and just a hint of something sweet.

Taste it not bad, can detect vanilla, and in some ways reminds me a bit of root beer. Bit of caramel and roasted malt as well. Has a nice warming at the finish.

Feel is good, maybe slightly thin, but overall pretty decent.

Fairly drinkable considering the alcohol content and the overall richness. Not quite as complex as others of this style, but also tends to go down a bit easier. I definitely would not complain if offered more of this.

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Photo of biglite351
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - quite dark but a good amount of red around the edges. The head vanished quickly.

S - sweet with mild bourbon. Almost wine-like in a way.

T - sweet, vanilla with some bourbon. Unlike most oaked brews the bourbon is NOT overpowering. Almost cream soda with a small shot

M - good coating, no real tingle, mild alcohol burn in the throat.

D - one only. Too sweet.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, 2010 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention is low, with a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, it smells like bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of smoke and coffee. The strongest flavor I can taste in this beer is bourbon, so if you're a bourbon fan you'll love this brew. There's also some smoke, chocolate and roasted malt noticable too, along with a lingering bourbony finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it seems a bit thin but it's also coating, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, I thought this was very easy and enjoyable to drink. I think this is a good overall brew, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of gnoeou
3.42/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010

Poured from a 12 oz Bottle into a snifter

Beer poured a deep brown, almost opaque black, with minimal head that faded back into the glass leaving no trace behind. Lacing on the glass was nonexistent.

A Smokey acidic aroma wafts from the glass that is quickly followed by a slight sugary caramel note. An oaky/bourbon aroma is in the forefront and adds to the overall enjoyability of the drink.

The taste is a sweet honey roasted maltyness followed with a slight hop bitterness for balance. A slight burn from the higher gravity leaves the tongue wanting more.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than expected based on looks. The medium carbonation made it easy to drink.

Overall it was an enjoyably beer that I would like to come back and try after some aging. The high gravity is present the entire time that, in my opinion, would make it hard to have more than one. Definitely recommend sipping on this one for a bit.

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Photo of elvisnj
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nice head with a dark dark hint of amber color. Looks black.

Nice head. Smells roasted malt with smokey burbon, slight alcohol, and oak.

Taste does not disappoint. Big malt with vanilla, oak and burbon. Some honey and dark caramel. Alcohol provides a bit of heat but its nice and not overpowering. Hops are present, just enough to balance the sweet malts.

Its a unique brew. I love where they went with this one. Highly recommended.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at room temperature. This thing just looks ominous. It's a dark, dark amber color with just the lightest tint of red around the edges. You can smell the roast malt from across the room. Very "bourbony" smelling up close. Maybe it's the oak barrels. A bit too strong for my liking. This definitely has an interesting taste. There's a huge alcohol bite throughout. This is like sipping a tumbler of Jim Beam Rye. No doubt that this is a one and done for me. Overpowering, but good. I like stuff with a little less ABV, but I'm glad I tried this.

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Photo of Spica66
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Updating using a 6-month old bottle.

A: Black color, slightly viscous looking pour. Excellent head formation with decent retention. Carbonation ring remains bubbling during the whole glass.

S: Sweet, strong malt and alcohol nose. Smells like an RIS. Dark coffee and chocolate notes.

T: Very dark roast! Slightly sweet, too. Maybe bourbon/vanilla would best describe it. Really, really enjoyable.

M: Full body and good carbonation. Very smooth.

D: Very easy to drink, especially for a 9 percenter!

Original Review:

This beer seems to be too young to be served. Color, head, mouthfeel and appearance are all acceptable, but it has a sharpness that reminds me of a young homebrew. There was not a lot of complexity in the background of this beer, so I am not sure it would even be worth laying it down for a while. I guess I will try it, though. Will report back in 6 months...

Original was 4/2.5/3/4/3

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Photo of AverageJay
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Not exactly a daily nor weekly brew, but one helluva good timer.

A - Draft pint came to the table looking like an innocent glass of Coke with a thin lacing of foam.

S - Whiskey all the way. If you're a bourbon fan, this is YOUR beer.

T - Since I like an occasional glass of whiskey/bourbon, this one felt great on the palate. It's as if God himself created this combination of beer and sour mash.

MF - Imagine the smoothest whiskey in the world going down with no "Jim Beam" gag reflexes.

D - Could never play with this one every day, nor every week. but it still comes in as a helluva beer that will be further reserved for special occasions.

Overall, if you don't like a glass of whiskey, stay away. If you like some nice juice on the rocks, try it out.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers in Paducah, KY for recommendating this. Kinda reminds me of a mellowed Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in taste, smell and mouthful. Not much head retention but the oak woodsy smell is followed with a very pungent taste and an ever numbing mouthful. Very good beer from New Holland.

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Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. A one finger tan head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt up front. Chocolate and coffee is strong. Slightly smoky and some dry wood.
T: Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and sweet vanilla. Lots of dry wood. A light grainy flavor. Plenty of fusel alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. The fusel alcohol makes this a one and down. Though a nice beer to sip on.

This is a nice beer. Big and something to sip during a contemplative night. Recommended.

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Photo of bevdaddy
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010 into a snifter.

picked this up on a trip down to philly a couple weeks ago.

A: very dark brown, rich color. fairly opaque. while looking at it towards a light, there are some almost deep red colors.

S: definitely barrell aged. the obvious notes are chocolatey vanilla with the oak there as well.

T: very interesting and different. just like some others noted, the barrel aging is making my brain think "stout", but the taste is definitely a strong ale. a very interesting one. the alcohol is definitely there. i'm tasting chocolate, coffee and vanilla. the other taste, i can't put my finger on. not quite caramel, but something along those lines. it's nice.

M: definitely not an overly thick beer (which my brain was expecting because of the barrel aging). medium mouthfeel and carbonated just right. for a non-stout beer of this type - this is the smooth creamy mouthfeel youre looking for.

D: this is a sipper. delicious, but heavy duty. very well-crafted, but the beer is rich and there is an alcohol presence - so i'll probably stick to one bottle, and definitely enjoy it.

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Photo of alkemy
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a very thin tan head from the tap. It's neither here nor there, but the bartender and New Holland's website say the ABV on this is 10%.
Scent is dominated by butterscotch. There's also vanilla, bourbon, and a touch of bitter chocolate. The taste is much of the same...lots of butterscotch. Also woody vanilla and a chocolaty finish. You can taste that there is a bit of alcohol in this, but it's not over the top. Creamy feel and the carbonation was just right. I was really impressed with this one.

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Photo of crossovert
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .6 oz bottle. No sign of a bottling date. This was purchased at a small supermarket in the middle of nowhere.

Pours into my snifter a pretty dense brown bordering on black with hints of ruby and a quickly dissipating off-white head. No lacing initially.

The nose is delightful, there is some mellon, huge oak with vanilla and tannin, cocoa, dark fruits, and some honey. It all melds together perfectly. It is a smooth smelling oak aged beer. This has the quintessential barrel aged scent.

The oak aging brings it majorly. It has a huge oaky vanilla presence, lots of alcoholic bourbon sweetness( but not too overpowering), fruitiness, caramel, honey, and some cocoa. It is pretty highly carbonated but it is decently thick. The alcohol bites nut isn't intrusive.

This is an artful beer, I haven't anything as smooth and oaky as this. New Holland did a marvelous job here.

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Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Read about this one a while back and have been wanting to try it for a while. Finally got a chance this past weekend in Chicago. Here we go...

A rough pour gives birth to a light mocha head with bubbles big and small. It exits after about a minute, leaving a simple ring with a splotch in the center and nice rows of lattice lacing. The liquid seems at first to be an impenetrable black, but a hold up to the light reveals notes of dark amber and cranberry red. Some bubbly effervescence is even visible.

In the nose: sweet mocha, dark chocolate. Notes of cinnamon, granola, and sourdough. Love those breakfast flavors. Pretty noticeable flowery hops adds some interest.

Interesting. I get, at first, soy sauce and raisins. This one's sweet. Very sweet, actually. Almost like a red dessert wine, with a tiny bit of oak. The beer's label says this is a stout with deep roasty flavors -- I disagree. This is definitely more of a strong ale...and I see that's what Beeradvocate's classified it as. Alright. Subtle waves of dark chocolate, espresso and even some vanilla are suggested at the finish; these flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms, but never fully blossom. Alcohol comes through the nostrils, tingling and burning.

I'd call the mouthfeel medium/medium-light. We need to come up with more descriptions for this stuff. It's an interesting swallow; more like juice than beer. Once again, letting the beer warm improves it a touch. The mouthfeel becomes creamier, silkier.

Despite a slight mislabeling by the brewery, Dragon's Milk is a decent beer. A little on the expensive side at the $8 I paid for it, and if you're looking for classic roasted flavors, it's not your thing. But worth seeking out. Curiosity satisfied.

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Photo of nelso334
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- A black color with ruby tints. Pleasant to the eye. Head is a nice dark froth with good retention and a nice lace left behind.

S- Smells is blast of strong oak wood. Balanced with an undertone of raisin like malts as well as a smooth vanilla somewhere far in the back. I also can tell that there is gonna be some alcohol in this one.

T- Wow, talk about a blast of oak in your mouth. Flavor is dominated by the oak aging which you taste the whole way through. Underneath is a sweet malty reminiscent of dry fruit flavors but again the oak is what dominants. The alcohol comes through in this flavor as well.

M- A typical stout if you take away the oak. Feels smooth ith a bit of bubble.

D - The oak intensity along with to much presence of alcohol makes me not want to come back for more.

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Photo of Aenema
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
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 divineaudio
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

pours out almost black with dark brown highlights coming through. formed a thin fizzy head that disappeared as fast as it came leaving only a ring around the glass. got a few spots of lace but that's it.

smell reminds me of vacationing in a cabin in the woods as the oak in this one is very, very present. i'm also getting hints of vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol. taste follows nose, but flavor wise it's mostly the oak and alcohol with maybe a little chocolate malt too. can't pick out any hop character at all which is kind of disappointing. this beer is delicious and very rich, but hardly balanced or complex.

mouthfeel is good - smooth with a pleasing co2 profile. lots of alcohol warming going on here though.

drinkability is lower than i had hoped for due to the strong alcohol presence and rich flavor profile. definitely a slow sipper. though it's delicious, i'd probably reserve this one for special occasions. it would be a challenge to have more than one of these.

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Photo of davesway10
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer with a great, smooth taste.

Deep, rich brown color. Nice caramel, vanilla and even a little bourbon tastes. I hadn't heard about this beer when i bought it, the name and the ABV more than anything sold me. Pleasantly impressed and surprised. I'll pick this one up again when i see it.

As a sidebar, this beer is listed at 8.5 ABV while the bottle states it is 10.0.

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Photo of number1bum
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle, which I think I got from BeerTruth.

Pours very dark brown, nearly black, with dark brown/deep scarlet highlights at the edges. Only generates about one finger of fizzy tan head which keeps fairly well, but there wasn't much there to start with. The lace is patchy with a splash here and there on the sides.

Smells of sweet dark caramel and chocolate malts, plus some vanilla, oak, pepper and a hint of alcohol.

Taste consists of some roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. Not as sweet as the nose let on, with a bit of dark caramel as well and a sort of cola-like quality to it. There a black pepper oaky quality to the beer as well, and some bitterness to go along with the spice in the finish. The more I drink though the more I feel like it's just a bit too thin, like there should really be more flavor here. What's here is good, but I want more.

Mouthfeel is a medium body I suppose but it feels thin for the strength of the beer. It's pretty smooth but also lacks much creaminess. Overall lacking in terms of mouthfeel.

This is a decent beer but I'm just left wanting more. At 8.5% it should really have more flavor, more body, but instead it comes off a bit thin. Not bad, but there are better barrel aged beers to be had.

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

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

Nice OA ale. So much vanilla oak flavors it tastes like sublte bourbon. I only had a half of glass would liek to have had more to test progression. Nice beer

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Photo of steve8robin
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on a trip to NJ...

A: Very unique color. Deep grape purple with a small off-white head that fades quickly. Interesting.

S: Smells super smooth. Sweet buttery bourbon, silky vanilla, and sweet milky malts upfront. Candi sugars in the middle with slight sweet fruit on the backend.

T: Wow, this is great. Sweet sticky bourbon upfront blended with milk chocolate, vanilla, and buttery cream upfront. Sweet sugar in the middle with hints of dark fruit on the backend. Very reminiscent of Bourbon County Stout.

M: Good carbonation feel. Very good.

D: Goes down a little heavier from the booziness flavor.

All in all, this one definitely took me by surprise. Bourbon County is one of my favorite beers, and this brew reminds me so much of it in many ways. If you like a good bourbon flavored beer, then you will love this brew. If you don't like em thick, then avoid this.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the CBC Chicago 2010 Rare Beer Tour at Small Bar Division Street.

Darkest brown - almost black - in color with little to no head and little carbonation. Strong notes of vanilla and bourbon in the nose. Taste is similar - lots of vanilla, lots of bourbon, and just a touch of balancing hops, with a sweet creaminess.

Good, potent, and enjoyable.

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Photo of vacax
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, slightly cloudy, moderately portioned light tan head. Aromas of toffee, maple, brandy, oak, earth, and grape. Tastes of oak, caramel, lactic, vinous, with a sweet and spicy finish. Feels medium bodied but far too thin for an oak aged strong ale with this much malt character. This is a tasty beer, I have had it a couple times. It is too thin but smells lovely and easy drinking. I think this is good, but if they are going to go through the effort to oak barrel age something it might as well be a more perfect beer.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.
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