Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,439 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:
1,439
Ratings:
5,435
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
325
Gots:
1,637
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,439 | Ratings: 5,435
Photo of Franchise
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a deep black leaving a soft tan head. Nose is sweet oak, caramel, chocolate, nuts, herbs, soft earthy notes. The taste is malty upfront, dry oak, nuts, cherry, tart, wonderful deep pitted fruit flavors great vanilla oaky notes as it hits your palate and the alcohol is there but smooth like a nice cordial. This is a great tasting beer very solid I would pair this with a fruit dessert as this would play well with the tart and sweet flavors of the beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark brown/black in colour with a half finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Intense aroma of vanilla and oak up front with dark chocolate and some roasted malt flavours. A very intense nose.

T - Intense vanilla and oak flavours up front with a s light alcohol burn that eventually settled down. Some faint chocoalte notes and a nice sweet vanilla flavour in the finish. The taste of the ale itself is quite subdued and the flaovurs of the barrel aging form the majority of the palate of this beer.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very nice beer. 10% ABV is somewhat noticeable at first but less and less as I continued to drink this. Would definitely pick this one up again if I come across it.

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Photo of Gmann
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown color with a small off-white head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is of oak and vanilla, quite pronounced. There seems to be a bourbon aroma but not sure if it was actually aged in bourbon barrels. There is some caramel sweetness with boozed soaked raisins and cherries. The taste is big on vanilla and oak with caramel and hints of chocolate. The bourbon is also there in the flavor but not as strong. Perhaps it is the strong vanilla that is making me think it was aged in bourbon barrels. Whatever. The flavors are smooth and are in balance. Some fruit notes pop through in the end. Some boozy dark fruit (raisins) as well as some tart flavors. The feel is moderate, not at all heavy, with soft carbonation, smooth, perhaps a touch sticky. Sweet overall on the palate. Slight slight ABV belly burn. Quite a nice brew, very enjoyable. Smooth as hell and great vanilla flavor without being cloying whatsoever. Pick it up.

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Photo of Spiekerbox
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish-black with a small, quickly receding, off-white head. No lacing on the edges of the glass

S- Malty and chocolaty scent with an oak backbone.

T- Chocolate is the first thing that comes with vanilla and oak flavors also appearing. The oak was also there but not quite as strong as others have suggested, this may be because the beer was not very cold when I poured it, and I would not suggest drinking it cold either as the flavors come out well with a cellar-temperature pour. Alcohol presence is there but not powerful.

M- Low carbonation that kind of tingles the throat as you drink, but otherwise is absent. Big body that is thick and creamy, almost "chewy". The mouthfeel is as close to milk as I think I have ever experienced in a brew, maybe this is how the milk of a dragon is?

D- Enjoyable beer that demands respect as you drink it, could definitely not have more than one of these at a time, but would love to have one from time to time. As with most of New Holland's offerings this is a very unique beer that makes itself something different, but still very tasty.

Side not that the listed ABV on the bottle is 10.0% and not 9% as listed by BA, most likely a difference in the 2010 batch from previous.

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

Pours a deep reddish-brown colour with off-white head. The smell of the oak immediately jumps out at you, which is what you'd expect with an oak aged beer. The taste has lots of the oak, with the roasted malt backing it up. Some chocolate and caramel in the flavour as well. A whiskey loving friend that I shared this bottle with commented that he loved it because it reminded him of a nice scotch, which I'd agree. Very creamy body.

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Photo of thain709
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009

A - A deep brown body with ruby tinged edges...the head was almost non exsistant from the start...it formed and was gone...no lacing

S - The oak notes were present as soon as the cap was taken off...slight chocolate and vanilla notes as well as dark fruits

T - The oak flavors really come out when this beer is cold...the are subdued once the beer warms up a little but it still makes itself known throughout the entire beer...as the beer warms more of the roasted, chocolate notes come out...there is a touch a vanilla cream mixed in as well

M - Medium bodied...slightly thin and dry

D - The oak notes made this beer taste like it was 10% when it's only 8.5%...I liked the beer better when it warmed...the oak aged really overpowered the stout part

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Photo of largadeer
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig. Dragon's Milk has a milky, draconic appearance to it. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that it was, in fact, the milk of a dragon and not a mere strong ale from some mediocre brewery in Michigan. Amazing.

It smells strongly of bourbon and caramel. The label doesn't state the kind of barrel used, but I'm guessing whiskey of some variety. There's an undertone of vanilla and raw grain, and it has an almost chocolate-caramel candy sweetness. It's fairly mild on the whole, lacking the lactic viscosity I'd expect from a pint of real dragon's milk.

The palate is rather boozy, toffee and vanilla flavors running rampant alongside oak tannins and a dash of chocolate. The body is full, but more like 2% milk, definitely not like the milk of a dragon. It finishes with a nice balance of tannins, alcohol and malt, exhibiting some lingering notes of chocolate and caramel candy. Pretty good stuff overall, though the name is a bit misleading.

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Photo of dudemuskie
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this brew many times out and about and finally snagged a sleeper bottle after the Beerhoptacular event this past weekend! Glad I finally get to pour over a glass and have a special moment with this brew! Its a 2010 vintage and I should probably lay this down, but I really felt like havin a big ol' stout so here we go!

Appearance- Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque, with faint ruby twinkles of light around the edges. A coke-like fizzy brown head quickly rises to about 1.5 fingers and subsides almost immediately to just about no head. Almost looks like a flat coke...

Aroma- Big notes of bright oak, rich bittersweet cocoa, fresh vanilla, and subtle earthy/herbal hops. Slight boozy tang in the nose reminds you this brew tops out at 10%!

Taste- Alcohol is very prominent from start to finish, though many supporting flavors help round it all out starting with a lovely malty sweet/vanilla/oakiness that intensifies into a big oaky and bittersweet cocoa middle. The finish includes more toasty oak and some chewy cocoa, caramel, and vanilla. Strong vein of warming alcohol through it all.

Mouthfeel- Slightly overcarbed fizzy start may mute some of the flavors, but the brew is big enough to still shine through! Chewy malt complexity enhanced by barrel aged contributions, though woodiness may be a bit too fresh in this young vintage. Full bodied, with some earthy hop additions for support, though bitterness perception low. Mod-high residual sugars. Definitely a warming sensation involved with the aftermath of each sip...I suddenly wish that it was snowing outside...

Overall- Very tasty, despite being a bit too young- lots of complexity, though the oakiness still on the verge of being overwhelming. Pretty good drinkability despite it all, but give this another 6ish months and it should mellow out just right and be a knock your socks off brew!

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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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,435 ratings.
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