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:
5,438
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
326
Gots:
1,637
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,439 | Ratings: 5,438
Photo of blitz134
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really dark body, garnet highlight when held to the light. Light tan head on top. Voluptuous head 1" thick that reduced slowly leaving thick lacing behind. Good head retention. Strong ales are a unique category, so being a little atypical isn't a fault really. This has everything I'd look for in appearance, even if it might be a little dark.

A little bit of everything in the aroma. Milk chocolate and other toasted malts even bordering on a touch of char. Caramel as well. More malty than hoppy, but some slightly floral hops show though. Kind of porter/stout like overall. Smells nice, but as soon as the head reduces much of the aroma goes away too.

The flavor and mouthfeel area a disappointment to me after the inviting aroma. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and watery. Flavor doesn't linger for too long as it washes away quickly. I can definately pick out the slightly astringent oaky flavor but I think it covers up a lot of the other stuff in this beer. Some of the dark malts come through, but just barely. Not nearly as complex as the aroma hinted at and its one sided nature with the oak gets a bit old.

Drinkability is okay. For 9% it is hidden away well, but the lack of flavor and weak mouthfeel don't do it for me.

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Photo of madeofsteel
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first formal review of any beer, beyond jabbering on about how great or horrid it is, so I decided to pick something familiar. So please, bear with me.

A - Poured into a mug, dark reddish-brown with a thin tan head that disspates quickly, leaving a ringlet behind. Some lacing.

S - Smells like roasted malt, and faint smokiness, probably from the oak. Moderate booze smell sort of detracts from it, however.

T - Almost tastes more like a rauchbier at first, with the oak lending a smoky flavor, with strong hints of whiskey. Finishes beautifully with a more basic stout flavor that is nicely complimented by notes of vanilla. Many of this beer's flavors start show through and balance out as it warms.

M - Light carbonation, with a rather buttery, dry finish. Some heat from the alcohol kind of takes away from it.

O - There's a reason I go back to this beer. Being fond of stouts and most rauchbiers, it's nice to have something with that smoky flavor that has the subtleties that this beer does. I would recommend it to anybody that enjoys stouts or smoked flavors.

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

New Holland boasts this beer is their flagship brew of their line, I can genuinely say this is not so. I've had at least one of their other beers and it was better than this, but this isn't too bad.

As far as its appearance goes, it is top notch. I poured this 22oz bomber into a liter glass, and the brew produced about a 4 finger thick head, which lasted for about 10 mikes. The body was nearly jet black with slight reddish hues. Lacing stuck around until the last drop.

Aromas which this brew produced were vanilla sweet with a subtle cocoa fragrance too.

This is a good after dinner brew, but is almost too sweet with no hops character too it. It has a mild smokiness to it to counter the sweetness a bit, but not very balanced in any way.

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Photo of Donco
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Having tried this for the third time, I'd have to say it is a decent barrel aged stout. However, for the price (outside of MI) it probably does not warrant a higher rating. I don't even consider comparing this to BCBS which to me, is a bourbon barrel aged stout unto itself. So, I would compare this more closely to Fegley's Insidious bourbon barrel aged stout: a more comparable, lower level version of the style. After trying both, I'd recommend getting your hands on the Fegley's first and then the Dragon's Milk. I understand there are many fans of this beer. But I would not buy a 4 pack at the price I paid ($16) again.

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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 BriantheBeerGeek
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage.

Appearance: I was surprised to be able to see some light through this. Usually an Imperial Stout, especially a BA one doesn't. Black/Dark Brown with tons of ruby highlights.

Aroma: Dark fruits like raisin, fig, date, plum. Tons of Bourbon, oak and vanilla. Stout characteristics are faint, chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice.

Taste: Alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, charred oak, fig, raisin, cinnamon, spice, bakers chocolate, corn.

Body: I wanted more. Maybe I'm just used to viscous imperial stouts that use flaked oats.

Overall: This is a really good beer but I was expecting an "Imperial Stout". Then again, nowhere on the bottle does it say "imperial". This is a standard stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.
If you want viscosity look else where.

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Photo of gopens44
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark with tinges of ruby around the edges. Foamy generous head that falls back considerably relatively quickly

S - Oaky, some vanilla, roasted malts and a smidge boozy like bourbon

T - Like the nose but with an added twist of maple twisted in with the oak and vanilla. More boozy in the taste than in the nose.

M - Not overly carbonated. Smooth texture but a touch sharp on the taste buds. Not too much aftertaste.

I enjoyed this, and wil likely pick a few more up.

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

Vintage 2010 poured from bottle into Green Flash snifter. Pours black with forced cocoa head, which dissipated quickly. Nose catches a fair amount of bourbon, but it is blanketed by coffee/cocoa notes. But i wish those were more pronounce. on the tongue, i pick up rich chocolate, which covers the tongue comfortably. not much bourbon in the taste, which i prefer, as i like sweet stouts. as it was left to warm up and calm down, a sense of the bourbon was brought forth. mouthfeel is decent. a little too bubbly for my tastes. takes away from the sweetness of the cocoa. But! overall, this is a good beer to drink on a more regular basis, when in the craving state of mind.

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

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a red hue, thin fizzy tan head that quickly diminishes, good lacing. Aroma is caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and wood. Flavor is caramel and roasted malts, vanilla, wood, chocolate, a hint of alcohol, slightly herbal, and dark fruits. Mouthfeel is medium, lots of roasted bitterness with a slight alcohol burn, and fairly carbonated. Good beer.

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

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Slight retention and decent lacing. Smells of barrel alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of oatmeal, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong barrel alcohol. Overall, strong alcohol flavor and yet still not as overpowering or distracting from the body, as other aged beers.

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

2011 vintage bomber poured into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. The beer is almost black with a dark tan head.

It has an aroma of dark fruit (dried plums and raisins), roasted malt and a bit of baker’s chocolate.

The taste is of dark roasted malts, assertive raisins, dark chocolate, a hint vanilla and something earthy that revealed itself to be the wood elements left over from the barrel aging. In this case, I would prefer a non-barrel aged version, as the wood aftertaste distracts from the base beer. The alcohol (10%) is very well hidden with no heat or harshness.

The mouth is smooth and silky. This is a good beer, but the wood notes just seem to throw it a little out of whack.

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Photo of tapman
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pitch black with not much head at all, like 1/2 a finger. Lacing makes crazy spin art pictures and looks creamy and delicious.

Smell is chocolate (bitter) and roasted malts with a musky smell to it. Actually smells creamy. Its kinda interesting so I'll up it one. Alcohol can't be smelled, but give the nose a warming quality.

Taste doesn't really do it for me. Very musky, like oak (though it does say oak aged) except that its a moldy, humid, florida swamp type of oak. Hops are not apparent. The oak is interesting, though not great. Too musky, though the vanilla helps to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is thick, yet with the carbonation bite. I like it. Like a decent milk stout.

I've read the other reviews for this brew and I think that they are being a little unfair. Sure the drinkability is low for many, but it is an interesting tasting, smelling, feeling, and looking brew and I don't think people are reviewing due to style. There are a lot of mediocre milk stouts out there, and this one is far from ordinary.

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

The beer is poured a very deep rich ruby with very little head. The head that is there dissipates rather quickly, leaving only a small ring around the end of the glass. Tons of vanilla and oak come through on the nose, making it a pleasing aroma. A bit of caramel shines through as well.

When taking a drink I get a lot of burnt/roasted sugars with some vanilla and oak notes. The beer is tasty, but perhaps overly sweet. It's not quite cloying, but it's almost there. There isn't a lot of flavours coming through, and there is a slight bit of alcohol. I like the combination of vanilla and burnt/sweet sugar, but it's almost too strong and it needs something else to balance the flavours.

It's decently drinkable. I think the mouthfeel is pretty good though.

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

Had on tap at reno's west in Lansing.

A: Pours black with 2 quarters of light brown head.

S: Smell is sherry, carmel malts oak and dark fruits.

T:Oak and booze upfront followed by some burnt sugar. Moves into dark roasted malt and bitter coffee. A hint of vanilla and light dark fruits. Huge oak finish.

M: Thick body.

O: Solid beer but has to much booze when fresh. Better with age from a bottle.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle brought out by AMM.

Color is dark brown with a thin khaki head that dissipates quickly. Smell is toasted grain, oak, vanilla and some light bourbon. Taste is roasted malt with dark fruit and vanilla. Mouthfeel is a little thin, with mild carbonation. Overall, it's a very good stout, but doesn't gain much complexity from the barrel.

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

Pours black with a thick tan head that has good retention.

Aroma: Vanilla, roasted malts, oak (and a hint of bourbon too)

Taste is roasty, chocolatey and has a hint of vanilla in the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and fuller bodied, and there is a sharp hit in the finish which I think comes from the bourbon-y oak aging. Drinkability? Actually isn't too bad..but considering the size of the bottle, I think I'll have only one of these.

Overall, its a good beer.

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

One of the more balanced oak barrel beer. Overall, it's a decent sipping beer that's worth a try (especially if you're a whisky fan)

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a tan head

Smell: Fragrant malt, butter, and a touch of mocha

Taste: Sweet malt, toasted oak, and butter

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth with a bitter kick

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer with its many rich flavors.

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

A: Thin head which dropped relatively quick, a little spotting lacing along the interior of the glass, dark brown to black in color - 4.00, S: Oak and vanilla really dominate the aroma profile, there is also a strong sweetness to the nose that reminds me of fudge brownies, within the depths I also pick up some dates or dark raisins - 4.25, T: Significant alcohol burn to the point of almost being harsh, lots of dark chocolates and pureed dates, a little bit acidic and kind of reminds me of a very mild soy sauce, the vanilla that was present on the nose comes through on the palate - 3.50, M: Mouth feel is somewhat thick and creamy - 4.00, D: A good beer that is quite drinkable but there was something that didn't click with me, I generally like the use of oak barrels but I'm not sure that was a benefit to Dragon's Milk - 3.75

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Photo of shbobdb
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer, hmmm, maybe three, four years ago. I remember not being terribly impressed by it then, and that lack of enthusiasm continues into the present day.

Ahhh, but the way this beer looks! It looks like a black cow (vanilla ice-cream and coca-cola), a jet black body with a HUGE billowy coffee-and-cream head that lasts and lasts. The head is really incredibly bubbly, with super-sized bubbles normally only found in soda. It looks wonderful.

The smell is OK. It is so absolutely dominated by vanilla that it is hard to get much of anything else. Vanilla, some booze, and a little bit of roasted malts.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. A strong blast of vanilla, with some booze, light oxidation, toffee, chocolate, and cherries. Not bad, but it is so dominated by the vanilla that it is difficult to tell. There is, however, a nice bourbon finish to the beer.

The mouthfeel is incredibly thin. At first, the carbonation helped round it out, but as I drink this beer and the carbonation fades it becomes incredibly thin. The bourbon finish adds a nice *bite* to the end of this beer.

Drinkability is OK. I think that a 12oz serving would be better than a bomber, but that is what I think about most beers. Unless I really like a beer, 22oz is simply too much of one beer. Not bad, overall, but just, meh. I'll take Pilgim's Dole over this anyday.

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Photo of rudzud
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros. 2014 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice semi clear brown hue with a thin head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, faint dark fruit, very light bourbon. Really faint vanilla and oak.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of dark fruit. There is some chocolate candy taste, rather mild bourbon too.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, bit thin.

O - Overall this beer was rather underwhelming. Didn't get nearly enough stout notes.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of hwy61mb
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 2010 vintage from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. I can smell it right off the bat, without even putting my nose in it. Its dark, but not opaque - not as dark as most stouts that I have had. Little head, basically none except for a ring around the edge of the glass. There is also minimal lacing. The smells are of the roasty, caramelly, vanilla variety - with a healthy does of booziness.

This hits me in the front of the mouth first with a tingling sensation. The taste follows the nose, it is sweet and malty, but also a touch bitter in the finish, along with plenty of booze. As it warms up, the oaken flavors and smells begin to reveal themselves. This is a sipper for sure, but it's real good.

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Photo of jtladner
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark beer, but not as dark as expected for a stout, definitely not opaque. I would compare it in color to a Belgian strong dark ale. The aroma and taste are almost completely dominated by oak and bourbon. Any roasted flavor was almost completely hidden. It was an enjoyable beer, and I would recommend giving it a try. However, I would not have known it was a stout if it hadn't been written on the menu, and since I was expecting a stout, I was a little disappointed.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice.

Appearance - Black, but not quite inky. Nice khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing. Nice.

Smell - Very nice.Oaky and bourbony. Nice deep roast. I detect some sweetness but not sure if it's lingering sugar or lactose.

Taste - Not quite as nice as the smell. Oaky notes and roasted malt. Slightly bitter malts. Vanilla integrates nicely. Very sweet in the back end. Not syrupy, but sugary. Detracts slightly.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet, too sweet. A sipper, but still very pleasant to drink. Medium carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall - It would be really good if it wasn't so sweet. Just too much extra sugar. Nice barrel and roast, though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-draught into a stemflute in a Minneapolis bar. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving 2012.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a very dark ruby-black. Nontransparent.

Sm: Caramel, cream, dark malts, chocolate, and rich dark chocolate covered cherry. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Dominant chocolate with rich caramel and dark malts for the foundation. Chocolate cherry comes through. Bourbon undertones. Rich and well balanced. Delicious. Some raisin. Licorice. Well built. I like it. Well layered, nicely complex, and subtle. I'd like more roast in the foundation. I get some grape on the finish, which is too sweet.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Creamy. Nicely thick. Good carbonation. Heavy on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. I quite fancy it. A delightful brew. I'd like to try it in bottled form. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery; this was a good example of the style.

B

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,438 ratings.
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