Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
1,429 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:
1,429
Ratings:
5,390
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
321
Gots:
1,610
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,429 | Ratings: 5,390
Photo of mikey711
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Welcome to New Jersey New Holland.

A: It's black, but it is also brown. There wasn't much head on the pour and the lacing wasn't great.

S: Whiskey, chocolate and vanilla interesting combo.

T: Very sweet tasting, it's kind of like a mix between double bastard and ba boris. Very strang, but still good. Nice oak notes that have a hint of whiskey, than a big of chocolate/oatmeal stout.

M: Full and rather creamy, some booziness but not too much.

D: Fairly easy to drink, and for the price definitely something I will go back to

 532 characters

Photo of hdelavega
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a deep black that lets just a tiny bit of light pass through when up. I was surprised by the very thin head, the tight tan bubbles fizzed away pretty quickly leaving no lacing.
Lots of oak in the aroma, also tons of dark fruit and some chocolate.
Lots of dark fruit up front supported by a malty body. I still get the oak and chocolate. Very sweet, maybe pushing it towards to sweet for a stout IMO. Moderately hot alcohol at the end.
Big body, very sticky and sweet. Higher in carbonation than I would have guessed.
Overall a nice beer. Again, a bit to sweet for a stout IMO. However, I like sweet beers so I won't complain. Thanks for letting me try this Paul U.

 694 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during a blackout to help pass the time.

A: Black, as they'll be, though against a flashlight, it's more of a very deep ruby or blood red. Tan head, on the shorter side, tops things off

S: Oakiness and coffee aromas, deep toasted malts. Not as much chocolate aromas as some of the style can get, but not bad.

T: Lordy, this is a pretty big punch - especially on the first couple sips. It mellows as it goes, or my palate numbs a little. Burnt malts, a pretty intense oak flavour... maybe a little too heavy on the wood. A bit of peppery alcohol on the finish.

M + D: Full bodied, not reall quite creamy... just a bit heavy feeling. A bit intense, so it should be taken easy. I might prefer it to have some more subtle oak flavours or more complexity, but it still ends up a decent brew. Worth a try.

 814 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body wears a light off-white ring. Bold cakey smell in which you’d have put a pinch too much salt. Original lactic chocolate maltiness, rather complex in the nose, hard to analyze and know what to do with it. Raw grainy dryness chases the potentially fatiguing sweetness. Somehow a powdery cocoa flavor lingers and evolves into a coffeeish highly roasty ending full of dark malts. Smooth round body with soft carbonation. Well contained oak flavors do not attenuate the flavors, not to speak of the totally dismissed alcohol. Worth seeking just because it’s so unique.

 581 characters

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a blackish-brown with very, very little carbonation and a fleeting tan head.

S - Woody/oak fumes, chocolate, vanilla.

T - Powerful. The first thing that appears to me is the oakiness of the whole thing. The oakiness cradles within it some vanilla and maybe faint black coffee with malty goodness sprinkled in. Not a heavy aftertaste with this one.

M - Akin to 2% milk.

D - I downed a single bomber of this and didn't care for any more. This is a complex and carefully crafted beer that isn't necessarily my favorite style.

 537 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Vintage dated 2011. Reviewed 6/5/11

P: Deep black, onyx in color. Not much of a head at all. Just a tiny amount of tan covering that settles to scant vespers.

A: Sweet chocolate and ripe plums. Vanilla bean. Touch of roasted barley. Tons of espresso pop-up when I inhale deeply. Not much evidence of the barrel on the nose.

T: Vanilla sweetness at first, and leads into a salty, briny flavor. Good dose of roasted coffee. Toasted oak. Dark chocolate tones develop as it warms, and a malty creaminess fills the mouth. Somewhat cola-like in mouthfeel and flavor on the finish.

Doesn't drink like a barrel aged stout, and that's kind of a bad thing. A good beer, but either needs a better base beer or more time in the barrel.

 741 characters

Photo of isitsavage
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011.

Poured into a pint glass a very dark brown with about a half finger of cream colored head that faded fast. Settles into the glass looking remarkably like cola.

Good amount of bourbon in the nose, a big whiff of it actually burns my nostrils a little. Heavy malt presence as well, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and heavy cream present but faint. Reminiscent of a barley wine.

Big malty sweetness in the taste, more so than anything else, a little bit of coffee bitterness. Get more of the taste after swallowing, can really feel the bourbon on the back of my throat, slightly hot but pleasant. I pick up chocolate at the end, in the form of a baked good, almost like a chocolate cake. Vanilla is present here too, as well as a bit of cream and burnt sugar. As it warms I get just a touch of funk, kind of strange for this style but not really unwelcome in my opinion. Makes for a very complex beer.

Pretty heavy in the mouth, well carbonated, thick and a touch syrupy, coats the mouth and lingers after each sip. Not a bad thing as I feel like this allows for more flavors to come through.

Goes down pretty easy but I feel I must take it slow given the ABV. Good job with the alcohol taste though, I definitely pick it up, but it's not a real big kick. Pretty well balanced overall actually.

 1,307 characters

Photo of IZoot
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard good things so here it goes,

A-pours pitch black with a quarter inch of head which disapates quickly leaving a light tan ring around the glass, decent lacing.

S-strong bourbon oak, vanilla and roasty goodness.

T-taste doesn't exactly follow the nose, lots if booze, whiskey-esque, roasty malts, rich chocolate and subtle vanilla notes.

M-nice carbonization, finishes well but leaves something to be desired.

O-overall a quality beer, would revisit this again, I'm aging a few bottle so I'm curious how's this goes down with some age on it. Hopefully the boost aspect mellows a good bit.

 602 characters

Photo of righthereisay
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a single bottle ($4.95) at a local beer 6 pack shop.

The 1st smell had an intense alcohol smell. However, the 1st sip hid the alcohol very well.

This is a pretty good stout. Very dark, nice vanilla flavor. I'm not going to claim to know what Oak barrels taste like, but I'm assuming that added to the complextiy of the flavoring.

The mouthfeel was pretty good. Nice medium body.

I would buy a 6 pack of this stuff, but not at $4.95 per bottle. I would not be interested in an entire case. This is more like a desert stout, which you would have only 1, possibly 2 of after dinner. If you plan on drinking a 6 pack of these, you may be out cold at #5.

 664 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a super deep, dark brown. Pretty much no head here, just a small ring around the edge. Lacing doesn't stick to the glass, viscosity seems a little weak

S - An ok aroma but pretty faint, bourbon oaky, vanilla, chocolate and maybe some cherry or other darker fruits

T - Thank god it taste very good, I was worried. Chocolate and cherries for sure, bourbon and oak, and vanilla. Definitely a bit boozy

M - Not nearly as light as the appearance would suggest, medium bodied plus for sure. More of a sipper but very good.

O - A good rich warming brew. Dark fruits and bourbon oakyness dominate.

 603 characters

Photo of Maryobeerian
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice, but nothing to write home about and I wanted more texture and flavor given the ABV. I have high expectations of the brewery, so was expecting more wow.

 157 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tasty little treat I found a local martini bar (?) for the deliciously fair price of $3.50.

This beer reeks of oak. Honestly, its like drinking dark, liquified tree. Not that is totally a bad thing, but there's something about this one that I find a bit one-dimensional.

The presentation is purty, the mouthfeel and drinkability are actually quite good. But this is not at all worth the money they are charging at local bottle shops for its lack of substance. That said, the alcohol is wickedly hidden. I had no idea (until the hangover) that this was a 10% beer.

Think Guinness on flavor (and alcohol) steroids ... add a heavy dosage of oak and there you go. Tasty ... but nothing i'll go for again.

All things considered, this is a perfect conversion beer for those that think Guinness is the lead dog of "dark" beers!

 835 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce bomber poured into a pint glass yields a deep dark brown body with a tinge of chestnut highlights and very little off-white foam that rests as a thin broken sheet with a big-bubbled ring. The additional pour is aggressive, hell, bombs-away-style, from some serious altitude--yet also fails to puff up the lifeless head at all, even though the beer stream was given lots of in-the-air-time between bottle and glass. I am not at all impressed as the words 'flat' and 'insipid' leap to mind as the virtually headless drink leaves only a few tiny specks of lacing.

Smells lightly of molasses with a nice tinge of oak with a roasty note lurking in the wood.

Rich malt profiles dominate the sweet flavor; there's toffee with caramel, brown sugary molasses, dark and nutty roasted barley with a pleasant bitter note and a firm dry oak backing with a lightly acidic coffee aftertaste. Despite the utter flatness in the appearance, the beer still tickles the tongue with carbonation, keeping the drinkability decent.

My hopes and expectations for this beer were high, and not met. Ho-hum. Next.

 1,097 characters

Photo of mporter249
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown-black in color, almost no head, poor retention. Opaque, overall nice-looking, but the head is disappointing.

Smell: Chocolate, sweet, nutty, biscuity, smells good and smooth.

Taste: Chocolatey, a little bitter up front, smooth overall though, slightly sweet. Not incredible, but pretty good, yeah.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little more apparent here. A little rough in the middle but otherwise smooth. Fairly well-balanced.

Overall: Pretty good, but not great. Definitely enjoyable, but I think I'd go for a Sam Smith Chocolate Stout over this.

 577 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle I picked up at From the Vine in Dublin, OH last year on my way to DLD. Into my Duvel tulip

A: Reddish brown with ruby highlights and rather exceptional clarity. There a thick mocha-colored head that recedes to a disk, leaving a rather patchy network of lace. Good looking beer, this!

S: Rich caramel malts are noticeable with some dark fruit (prunes). Oak is prominent with a lot of wood and vanilla. Just the wee bit harsh, with some alcohol creeping in as it warms up

T: Opens up with a combination of caramel and oak with some vanilla and some pleasant oxidation. The mid-palate is not existent and this beer could really use something there. A little alcohol and some tannins appear on the finish and provides the bite needed to keep the sweetness in check.

M: Surprisingly thin, this could have used a little more heft. Carbonation in the bottle is a bit much. The finish is mildly tannic and enjoyable

D: I'm going to enjoy the rest of the bottle, not sure how often I'll buy this, though.

 1,013 characters

Photo of warrenout330
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my snifter

A- pours a dark brown, once the whole bottle is poured turns to a pitch black. Thin fluffy tan head, miniamal lacing to the glass

S- smells sweet, sugary, followed up boozy oak Bourbon. Not over powering but its there

T- light sugary chocolate malt, mellow woody characteristics, Bourbon booziness

M- light bodied for a stout, almost makes me feel like this is a milk stout with alot of lactose,alcoholic ting spread out like a spread formation on the palate. Bitterness at the swallow trying to balance this out... hit or miss in this bottle

O- I like this... its different... boozey as all hell... sweet and woody... if your into strong Bourbon or Scotch than this is the brew for you....

 730 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle vintage 2014:
Beer pours dark, as expected, with some light peaking through at the edges to give the impression that it is a fairly clear beer, and could be a hue or two lighter that black. Head doesn't build up much with a decent pour, but light tan bubbles do form enough to cover the surface briefly. The head gravitates towards the edges, but does leave some remnants on the surface. Lacing is present, but fleeting.

Nose is a weak. What I do get, I have to search for, but it is dark roast mocha coffee and just a hint of wood (and maybe some bourbon). That's about it, the some "proper" smells, but not as strong as I would want.

The initial tastes aren't as deep or roasted as I would expect. The beginning actually reminds me more of a typical brown ale than a stout. I start with a white raisin like taste, but a toasted coconut flavor follows fairly quickly. I do get some "average joe" coffee notes in the middle, but there's also a strange sweet tartness throughout the middle and end tastes (flat cola is the closest I can come up with, but not sure that's quite it).

My initial thoughts of the feel was it was pretty smooth and gave me an oatmeal stout impression. Funny that the feeling became less prevalent after a few tastes. I still think the carbonation plays quite well in the middle tastes, and I think the end feel is a bit silky. This is countered by a mildly light body.

I am torn on this beer. I do not think it's that great, but I'm not sure it's as bad as I am rating it. Even though I rated body the highest, I wish it were a bit thicker. About the only other thing that maybe justifies the ranking is a seeming lack of any bourbon notes that I could recognize (maybe it's what adds the "cola" taste I mentioned).

 1,769 characters

Photo of B33R501
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque black, very little carbonation or head. the first pour was pretty, the second dull. No lace.

beautiful bottle aroma of chocolate, nice oak and bourbon in the glass. smells great, the best part of this beer. thought i would really like this.

lots of bourbon and oak taste, some vanilla, but little overbearing and tough to finish the bomber. surprising, since i usually dont mind big boozy beers. not very complex though.

thin and slick mouthfeel, too much alcohol burn. drinkability is just ok.

overall not a bad beer by any means, one ive been wanting to try but never got to until today. But no reason to get this again.

 633 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Label says 10% ABV.

Pours reddish brown and clear with no head. Nose is sweet and black vanilla bean like, with notes of caramelized orange peel, and almost-burning sugar. Palate is sweet and prickly with alcohol. Flavors of dried figs, dates, vanilla bean, and dark brown sugar. Finish is focused on whiskey it seems, but is moderately short.

The alcohol dominates this brew, not in a bad way, but it's almost like a blend of whiskey and beer.

(I spilled half this bottle on the floor...foul.)

 539 characters

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

Had this on draft on a trip up to Michigan about half a year ago and was initially impressed. Purchased a couple of 12oz bottles recently at From the Vine in Columbus to review and cellar. Review is off of the bottle tasting.

Appearance- Pours a dark, opaque black with about a half finger of beige head. Carbonation present to an appropriate level, but it doesn't look overly active. Head dies down fairly quickly to a thin layer over the beer that sticks around for the rest of the drink.

Smell- Lots of vanilla and oak on the nose. Some roasted malt as well and a hint of a sharpness, which I guess is probably from the booze. Mostly however, I get the oak and vanilla, which are a little overwhelming but fairly appetizing in the nose.

Taste- A bit rough around the edges. Similar to the smell, the oak is really present in the taste and overwhelms most of the other flavors. Present still is a bit of the vanilla, along with a burnt roastiness. Alcohol is also very present on the finish and very astringent, which heightens the overwhelming oakiness of the taste. Not particularly bad but fairly one dimensional.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was a bit thin also for me, which added to the astringency of the booze. Given the one-sided character of the flavor as well, this one wasn't hugely drinkable for me for a big beer.

Overall, an okay oak aged strong ale and one that I might even have again. However, it isn't one I will seek out again given the price. Worth a try but not particularly super in my book.

 1,526 characters

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

Standard fare for a stout. Black with a little cinnamon head.

The smell is pleasant with vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malt.

The taste has the same tones as the scent, but it's boozy as hell. The oak gives it a chemical furniture taste, too.

Mouthfeel is thick and hot. Too hot.

This was an ok stout, but the woody aspect of it is too much. The price point is waaaay off.

 381 characters

Photo of wspscott
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
2011 edition

A: Completely black with an almost nonexistent head that leaves no lace.
S: Dusty wood and earth, smells like a log ready for the fireplace.
T: The oak is very upfront, I like the character the wood adds, sometimes I get tired of bourbon barrel beers where the bourbon dominates the beer. There is what seems to be a slight bitterness that is not hops driven, I assume this is coming from some wood tannins. Even as it warms, there is not a lot going on besides the oak. Surprisingly, there is no hint of the alcohol.
M: Medium body, not quite creamy, the carbonation is very tingly, more than I expect for the style, but not unpleasant.
O: A nice change of pace from a basic stout or a bourbon barrel stout, the oak definitely adds something to the beer. But, the underlying base beer seems to be missing something. Worth trying, but I probably won't purchase again.

1/26/08
22oz bottle in Duvel tulip

original scores
A: 3.5
S: 3.5
T: 4.0
M: 3.0
D: 3.5

A: Almost completely black, held up to a bright light I can see a slight hint of ruby color (have to look really hard). Thin off-white head, not much lace.
S: Smells very sweet as it is poured. Hints of dried fruit.
T: Sweet chocolates, slightly earthy tasting (in a good way)
M: Very creamy/filling, almost no carbonation.
D: This feels like an over the top stout, comes across as an over-attenuated milk stout (that sounds much worse than intended). Hints of alcohol, not enough to be warming. Good not great. I would buy again at the right price.

 1,551 characters

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

Look: Deep ruby/dark brown color, thick head that dissipates quickly, with good lacing

Smell: Bourbon, roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, vanilla, and raisins
Finish: Dark brown sugar, lot's of booze. Finish is also dry

Mouthfeel: Rich, almost syrupy

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, but it's a "one and done" kind of beer for me

Overall Impression: When I bought it, I was under the impression it was an Imperial Stout, but I realized right away that it was too thin for the style. It was a slightly imbalanced - a little heavy on the sweetness, but it is a good (borderline Very Good) beer nonetheless, and certainly worth trying, especially if you like barrel aged beers like I do.

 740 characters

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.

 678 characters

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

Dragon's Milk pours a dark, rich black without much head.

The smell has a lot of wood, like a Highlands scotch. It also has the smell of a clean, German Ice Bock. There is some sweetness to the smell too, like a milk chocolate.

The taste is a sweet vanilla, with some molasses. The wood is prevalent and nice. It has some smoke in the aftertaste. The wood is not as prevalent as a bourbon-barrel-aging would be. It is more subtle but always there. It is the most balancing component of the beer.

The mouthfeel has a milk-like coating; 2%, not creamy.

Overall, it is good and rich, like a fried Oreo. Get one at the state fair, talk about it with your friends, but don't stock your cupboard. It is just too sweet. The wood is great, though: nuanced, mellow. That does not get old at all.

 792 characters

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,429 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe