Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,447 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): 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:
1,447
Ratings:
5,492
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
330
Gots:
1,674
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,447 | Ratings: 5,492
Photo of drpimento
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served with a fine foamy tan head and good lace. Color is a very dark, almost opaque cherry wood. Aroma is heavy malt, whiskey, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and leather. Flavor is like that, but much more intense and quite sweet. Wonder if they're using lactose... Has a smoothness to the body. Good carbonation. Finish is like flavor and long. Not a session beer. Might work good with ice cream.

 393 characters

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown; nearly black in color. Around the edges, where light can shine through, it has some red/brown hues. Less than a finger of tanned head produced despite a fairly aggressive pour. Spotty amounts of lacing cling to the glass and it has fair retension for just a thin layer on top of this beer supported by rising bubbles of carbination. Nose is a big bold slap of woodsy oak character that is a little musty with alcohol, dark sugary sweetness and vanilla all coming into play before the usual toasty grain character of stout. Taste is really no surprise after taking in everything the aroma as to offer. Flavors include literally everything that the aroma presented: oak, alcohol (more in warmth factor than in taste but the taste is clearly there as well) bitter chocolate, and slight dark fruity sweetness like plum. Finishes bitter, but more like a burnt grain kind of bitter than a hop bitter. It has a chewy mouthfeel that clings to the palette and doesn't let go. Overall I really enjoyed this beer. It has a very enjoyable and complex nose and taste. The only thing I found a little distracting was the musty character in the aroma. Other than that I really enjoyed everything about this beer and would highly recommend it.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Appears black, but it reveals itself to be a very dark brown when held to the light. Served with a minimal 1/8" of light tan, very creamy head, that has little retention. Light lacing.

S: Heavy scent of oak and vanilla. Sweet dark malts. Molasses.

T: Vanilla and oak and a bit on the boozy side, leading to the inevitable scent of bourbon. Slightly sweet, caramel. Long, hot finish.

M: Medium heavy with medium carbonation level. High alcohol content gives a cooling feeling to the mouth.

D: I've seen this beer around, but have been passing this one up for a very long time. However, I found it to be a very good ale, much better than expected. The high alcohol content gives the beers a lighter feeling and encourages another sip. Enjoyed it.

 754 characters

Photo of mopargoof
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I heard about this beer at the Blues and Brews festival in Akron last summer but by the time I got to the distributor they were just handing out the last one. I finally saw it in a store over the weekend and bought a couple. This beer is most excellent - probably moved into one of my top five faves so far. Creamy and delicious in a milky kind of way. The only mistake you can make with this beer is only leaving the store with 1.

 431 characters

Photo of manahansf
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with glowing ruby highlights. The head is very light and lacy with a light brown color. The thin head gives off a strong sweet vinous aroma. The drink is slow and viscous with low levels of carbonation with sweet roasted malt flavors supported by vanilla flavors from the barrel. The flavor fades slowly and gracefully with just a hint of the sweet vanilla lingering with the warming alcohol.

 409 characters

Photo of onthefarside
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from my buddy in Ohio. I'm not the biggest fan of oaked beers but I do love me some stouts. So here goes.

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my DFH snifter with a rough pour produced a thick ebony body with a creamy white head about 1 finger thick.

Smell is predominated by vanilla but a few dark fruit flavours come through along with a bit of alcohol spice.

Taste upfront is of a strong roasted malt and then the oak hits me like a barrel (hahaha). It's a very smooth taste, nothing really stands out at once, but flows nicely over my tounge. the fruit flavours and alcohol round out the finish nicely letting you know that you're drinking a higher abv beer.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, perhaps a little thinner than I expected. Decent carbonation and over all it slides around and coats my tounge nicely.

drinkablity is soso, I wouldn't want to drink too many of these in a sitting but I dont think I would refuse it if offered or on the tap list. Definately a great parring for a desert or similar type food.

Thanks again bud for this beer!

 1,058 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz served very near room temp in a tall tulip.

Pours dark, a foamy khaki head rising from somewhere within. Elusive highlights can be found, but aren't prevalent. Head fizzles down more quickly than I'd like, but isn't lacking otherwise. Some stringing lace.

Nose is filled with rich dark malts, deep and murky, but not too thick. Somewhat mysterious, with dank wood and a mossy dark character, surrounded by deep overripe fruits such as prune, raisin, and date. Some leather and firm old characteristic to it. A little chalky yet still soft and full. Not overwhelming, but nice and strong. A very mild alcohol present. Nice aroma overall.

Nice full flavor, characteristically strong on dark roasted malts, but not too dry or overly roasty. Retains a lot of subtle sweetness in dark fruits, pronouncedly some dates, fig, and slight raisin, then lingering with softer vanilla and worn leather. Very round and full, but soft and mild at the same time. Becomes slightly dusty toward the finish, and the only real detraction is its thinning out to a somewhat empty flavor at the end with mild metallic hints. Grains linger and overcome the negative aspects, leaving it subtle and dusky on the palate.

Drinks full, with mild carbonation, and a decidedly clean character overall. Washes through the palate with a thin lingering film, but mostly gone in the swallow. Firm, but nowhere near overwhelming, actually rather nicely balanced.

This drinks remarkably well, and boasts of its relatively mild alcohol-to-deep character balance. Full and yet drinking with a clean and deceivingly mild feel, the flavor keeps satisfying and calling for another sip to add to the complexity. Not overwhelmingly full in complexity, yet keeping up with the best of its style, ages decently and holds up its own.

 1,796 characters

Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was quite impressed by this beer. A nice stout with a nicely balanced barrel presence. Good price at $15 four pack as well.

Pours a dark brown with a silky tan head.

Nose has bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasty malts, coffee and dark pitted fruits.

Taste also has a nice whiskey presence along with wood, vanilla, cocoa, espresso, plums and cherries.

Full body is well carbonated. Nice bourbon presence through the finish.

Tasty stuff. Should age well.

 465 characters

Photo of Richardberg
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - mahogany color, small layer of cream head on top doesn't last long, but foam is fairly sticky.

S - rich caramel malts, bourbon, oaky vanilla, raisin

T - just what the smell predicted. In equal strength, too, if not more. Some booze in the finish.

M - medium body, doesn't have much sticky/coating quality, but carbonation keeps it interesting

D - enjoyable in many ways, but pretty strong ABV is noticeable. Adding the aged oaky flavors on top makes it fairly rough going.

 482 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint glass.

a - A very dark black, letting in absolutely no light. It has a small amount of carbonation, and almost no head whatsoever. The smallest ring of white head appears around the edges.

s - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, also a little chocolate and coffee.

t - The taste that first jumps out at me is again the roasted malts, followed by the vanilla. It has a milky taste to it and also small hints of chocolate and bourbon, though nothing overpowering.

m - Moderate carbonation and a full body, it's actually kind of smooth.

d - Overall I think it's a decent strong ale, but nothing to write home about. It does have a creamy, smooth milk/vanilla flavor, but the alcohol comes through in it.

 748 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very dark brown/black body with ruby highlights. One finger of light tan super dense foam.

Great nose of coffee, and a mix of vanilla/oak/bourbon. Extremely enticing.

Taste runs a rapid gamut, from coffee, a rapid flash of hop bitterness which is then pierced by vanilla, oak, and finally bourbon. All the while there is a sensation of melted dark chocolate oozing about. Tingly warming belly glow.

Full mouthfeel, rich but not lush.

Drinkability for this is not only dangerous, but downright astonishing. It tempts for an immediate follow up bottle.

To me this seems like an American Double Stout barrell aged more than the miscellaneous American Strong Ale, but I bow to those more experienced than I.

What it is for sure though, is a damn good big night capper of a beer. Highly recommended.

 805 characters

Photo of rpstevens
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks again to maximum12 for this beer, another gift from secret santa 09. Poured into a smuttynose tulip. The beer pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a ruby glow around the edges. There is a one finger off white head that quickly fades to a tight ring and leaves very little lacing.

The smell is sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and oak barrel. The smell is pretty simple and straight forward, but true to the style.

The taste is overly sweet. Too much vanilla, bourbon and malt. There are hints of dark chocolate, but they never get bitter and the barrel is almost non-existent in the flavor.

The beer is well carbonated for the style, but the mouthfeel is a bit harsh. The alcohol is a little overpowering for only being 8.5%, and the drinkability suffers.

 792 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours your typical dark chocolate black that is barely transparent. Had a nice dark brown head on it but dissipated very quickly and leaves about an average amount of lace.

S - Still a bit too cold so the aroma is a bit constricted but it mainly consists of roasted malts for the backbone in the smell and a light chocolate aroma to accompany it. Quite simple in aroma but it works.

T - It has a very nice creamy/milky flavor which I like but an alcohol flavor kicks in pretty quick. It is matched with a oak/woody taste but the sweet alcohol is more predominant. It finishes with roasted malt sugars and the aftertaste is a mix between subtle chocolate notes and wooded flavors.

M/D - Very smooth and velvety on the plate with a medium body. Low volumes of carbonation work very well with this style. The presence of alcohol make it a sipper but nothing you can't enjoy.

 878 characters

Photo of Freethyhops
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split between a friend

A- pours a dark opaque brown almost black color. less than a finger of cream head.

S- smells of sweet malts and oak barrel. a little boozy fruit like aromas in there as well.

T- a nice mix of chocolate and oak vanilla. a good bit of the boozy fruits come through. a lot like a strong belgian. not the hoppiest of American strong ales. definitely more on the sweet side.

M/D- a nice silky mouthfeel. creamy with subtle carbonation. despite the nice feel. the booziness makes this one a bit of a sipper.

 540 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a dark black color with just the tiniest bit of dark brown highlights. Absolutely no head formation even after a rather vigorous pour.

(S)- A general roastedness of malts. A bit of raisin & molasses-like coffee. Finishes with a touch of vanilla & brown sugar sweetness.

(T)- Basically, just like the smell foretold, only with an obviously present warmth. Rather sweet.

(M)- A good carbonation level for the style. A relatively good balance to it. Just has a small level of boozy warmth going down.

(D)- Definitely New Holland's best offering and perhaps their most popular too. Still a little sweet like most of New Hollands offerings, but not overly so. I wouldnt mind having this once and awhile.

 771 characters

Photo of mgbickel
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed paper thin eggshell head that left no signs of it's quick existence behind after a few seconds. The body is thick and solid looking..dark brown...only allowing light in at the edges when help up.

Very complex aromas...heavy cream, vanilla beans and a nutty/coffee like aroma. Reminiscent of Bailey's Irish Cream actually...

Wow...the taste is just as complex as the nose. Sweet and malty up front followed by a combination of molasses and vanilla. Finishes with a nice, oaky, warming alcohol burn. Please note: the flavors change as the beer comes to temperature. The alcohol calms down and the flavors intensify.

Mouth feel is medium to thick (on the thicker side), oily with no carbonation.

What a great after dinner beer. Should be sipped not gulped. Takes some getting used to, but once acclimated, a very nice, unique brew. Will keep a few around for sure!

 926 characters

Photo of chaz410
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this many of times from bottle but reviewed on tap at the flying saucer.
Pours a deep blackish red with a thin kakhi colored head.
Smells of thick caramel and biscuit malts along with huge punches of vanilla and oak sweet notes. No real hop profile evident here.
Taste smooth, chocolate notes and caramel lace the tongue. Not like a stout, more like a chocolate infused strong dark ale. Oak and vanilla character are very evident. Rich crisp finish.
Very smooth mouthfeel that saturates the tongue quickly.

 510 characters

Photo of dondeez21
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Surf Taco Jackson NJ.
A:Deep, Dark, Black with a tan 1 finger thick head.
S: Hints of bourbon,oak and vanilla
T: Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, Roasted malts with a hint of alcohol once the beer warms up.
M: Thick Chewy and stickey with a slight alcohol burn.
D: Very good beer couldnt throw down more than a 12oz pint in a sitting though.

 342 characters

Photo of colefsuwr
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark, and heavy define this beer. Not for the faint of heart. This will make you never want to drink a guiness again because it takes mouthfeel to a whole new level. A wonderful vanilla undertone coats your palate and faint notes of whiskey can be caught as well.

 269 characters

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

Appearance: Upon first inspection this strong ale looks more like a stout. Jet black with two solid fingers of light tan head. Only when held inches from a light source does it look anything other than opaque. Near the light it reveals itself to be a deviously dark brown with reddish highlights.

Smell: A strong punch to the nose of pure bourbon. Oak notes go hand in hand. These mostly overwhelm but there are sweet aromas of vanilla and caramel cowering in fear somewhere in the backdrop.

Taste: New Holland doesn't mention whether the oak barrels they used for Dragon's Milk were previously owned but judging by the taste I'd reckon they had a past life harboring some form of whiskey. With every sip I expect an impending burn down my throat and warmth in my stomach. But no this is just beer. After the onslaught of whiskey and oak deliciousness the vanilla from the smell can be found if only for a few moments on the finish. The caramel however seems to be lost in a sea of Kentucky's finest.

Mouthfeel: Again like the appearance this beer seems have aspirations of being an Imperial Stout. There is a rich creaminess not often seen in strong ales. The body is fairly full as well. Knocked it down a bit because the carbonation was a bit strong.

Drinkability: To me this stuff tastes like a good whiskey without the kick in the ass. I've sampled it a few times already and I can certainly see myself dropping another $8 on a bottle. At 10% I wouldn't recommend quaffing them though.

 1,495 characters

Photo of steveh
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle purchased a couple weeks ago. Silk screened label, no date. Poured into an imperial pint.

A -- Deep and dark black color, nearly opaque, with ruby highlights peeking through. Thick and dense, tan colored head.

S -- Caramel up front, vanilla, spicy alcohol, clay earthiness, dark fruit characters. Enticing.

T -- Sweet caramel and vanilla up front, blends into a spicy alcohol reminiscent of whiskey. Dark fruit characters throughout and at the finish. Some fleeting licorice flavors too. Same earthy character from the nose, a character I often get in aged ales. Finishes quite dry in contrast to the sweetness up front.

B -- Full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D -- Drinkability is very good. Flavor complexities keep you going back for more. No harsh alcohol to ruin the sampling -- and at 10%, that's surprising.

 835 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown, nearly black with minimal head, but decent lacing. Smell is of oak, vanilla extract, dark chocolate, nuts, cherrys and a hint of coffee. Taste is very plesantly oak forward, with good roasted grain, cocoa and nut flavors. Cherry flavors in e background. Present is a vanilla extract taste, a good quality oak should impart a natural vanilla like taste itself, but this seems artificial. Definitely a little boozy, and not necessarily in a good way... a tad fusel. Good soft yet medium body, light on the carbonation. I want to like this beer even more than i did, but things need to be blended and mellowed a bit better.

 645 characters

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

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass at cool cellar temperature (mine is a cold cellar here in January).

A-While not quite stout-like in its initial opaqueness, when held to light sudeways, nothing shines through, yet held up to light to sip, ruby highlights come through...attractive, deep mahogany coloration, with a thick creamy tan head when poured with vigour, that settles rapidly to a thin ring.

S-Strong sweet vanilla malts predominate with bourbon and dark fruits hiding a hint of chocolate.

T-Very interesting, as the nose carries over to the taste in an unexpected way. A creamy sweet cocoa infused classic old ale taste enters the palate, supported by oak and vanilla quick on its heels. Dark fruits are present throughout the midrange, followed by a slightly sweet astringent finish featuring both a mild hop accent and a warming sensation as the abv hits the tongue. Complex without being overwhelming, this is one enjoyable brew.

M-Mouthfeel is understated, yet creamy, medium full, without overcarbonation and oil. Exceptionally well balanced.

D-This is a highly drinkable beer. I have no idea what to call it...it is a blend of old ale, stout and perhaps a bit of American Strong Ale, but certainly a standout.

 1,236 characters

Photo of goldbot
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a goblet. Poured a dark brown to ruby color, with one finger tan/brown head.

Smells of chocolate and dark cherry, some oak, and a moderate solvent/alcohol smell. Tastes more of the same. The solvent taste is very noticeable, but like a good bourbon, with decent alcohol warmth. The dark cherry, however, backs up the alcohol flavor quite well, creating a pretty nice balance. Nice oak flavors to back up everything else.

A great beer overall, the booziness is overpowering at first but it's like a good whiskey. I probably wouldn't drink a ton of it at once, but I'll have more if I get the chance.

 610 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this one from Martin2D so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a deep dark chocolate brown with slight mahogany edges when held to the light. A one finger of khaki colored head. Head recedes relatively quickly leaving spotty, wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, and wood.

T: Taste starts with a brown sugar and toffee quality, dark fruits - raisins and cherries come in with caramel malts to fill out the middle. Then a vanilla and woody oak come through. Finish is rather boozy, but muted not one that burns.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, creamy body with a slightly oily finish.

D: Tasty, goes down somewhat easily, alcohol presence lowers the drinkability, but a nice offering of the style.

 749 characters

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,492 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe