Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
5,701 Ratings
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): 11.00%

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
2016 Bottles are 11% ABV

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
5,701
Reviews:
1,497
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
13.07%
 
 
Wants:
350
Gots:
1,797
For Trade:
44
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,701 |  Reviews: 1,497
Photo of samkingston
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a medium brown finger of head. Head dissipates down to a film, but leaves nice, solid creamy lacing on the glass.
S - Vanilla bourbon, milky chocolate, light coffee, brown sugar, caramel and a touch of smoke.
T - The vanilla bourbon is upfront and loud! Very warming and boozey, but in a good way. Notes of milk stout chocolate reign behind the bourbon and finishes with a coffee and woody oak bitterness to round off the sweetness, but the sweet vanilla bourbon is VERY upfront, this is what I like to see from a beer that claims to be bourbon barrel aged!
O - A damned good stout to be sure!
V - Good value, worth the money!

 663 characters

Photo of hops202
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass from a 2013 Vintage. Certainly a good candidate to rival bourbon county stout. Definitely considering the $9 a piece bottle price. Smell is great and taste exceeds that. Definitely a great bourbon barrel aged stout. I will be buying a bunch and aging some as well.

 304 characters

Photo of bigpoppa67
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bunookana
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will return to update as I get better at reviewing beers, but this beer along with a couple other drinks is the reason I am getting into brewing. A friend gave me a couple of bottles because they did not like it. I was amazed. I almost broke the bottle open to lick the remaining nectar from the shards. I love the deep taste with a bourbon kick! I drank it straight from the bottle since I was in a hotel room and did not expect to enjoy it that much, so I don't have much to say about the appearance and the smell is like most stouts, which are not the most floral.

 569 characters

Photo of JoelClark
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 93: This hard-hitting imperial stout pours with an extremely deep black hue – even when holding up the beer to the light, nothing gets through. The head was rather thin around 1/4 of an inch, but left a thin veil of bubbles that played along the surface. The 750mL bottles come with an impressive label from a marketing perspective – a black dragon curled on top of a bourbon barrel – signifying the defining characteristic of the beer. The foiled bottle top is a nice touch.

Aroma – 93: Perhaps the most impressive attribute of this beer is the smell – roasted malts are immediately present but intermingle nicely with bourbon and vanilla. The smell is distinct, yet very smooth.

Body and Texture – 91: Despite the darker overtones of the beer and the stout characteristics, the initial mouth feel was more moderate than heavy, which I found to be surprising. As with most stouts, initial notes of a coffee/chocolate blend are certainly present, but as the beer warms, the ABV really kicks in, greeting the owner with a warm vanilla presence.

Taste – 94.5: One of the most important characteristics for me when grading taste is how true the beer is to its marketing. Are all the flavors and infusions present that I expect? If so, how do they mix? Dragon’s Milk is described as a barrel-aged stout with roasted malts and deep vanilla tones in an oak bath. This couldn’t be more spot on. Given the double-digit ABV I was expecting a real kick in the mouth while sipping on this, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The word that I keep coming back to in my mind is smooth. There are a variety of shortcomings that could have ruined this beer – the bourbon flavor not delivering, not enough vanilla notes, or the malts becoming bitter or overwhelmed by the alcohol content. None of that happened. (The only side effect of me pounding down the entire 750 mL bottle in one sitting was pretending that I was a dragon and thinking I could fly – be forewarned that having more than two glasses of this stuff will knock you on your butt).

Overall – 93.4 (Excellent): Each of the contributors on this site has their own particular niche that they frequent – Ed and Nick are fans of IPAs,Tom will frequently sample double IPAs and strong ales, and while I will drink anything that is cold and unique, I’d consider stouts and porters to be my “areas of expertise”. The bourbon-barrel aged craze of 2014-15 shows no signs of slowing down – yet for all the eye-rolling that one can do regarding the trend, lumping this beer into a broad category does it a great injustice. Although I’d still have to rank Goose Island’s Bourbon County slightly ahead of it in overall taste, this beer is available to a much bigger market at a much more reasonable price. New Holland has combined the perfect combination of roasted malts and sweet vanilla together in a marriage that will have enthusiasts “flying” back to the store for more.

Purchase Value (B) – “Bombers” are typically more expensive than their six or four pack counterparts, and I’ve seen a four pack available for $14.99 locally. This is priced just about right considering the high ABV and fantastic taste. A beer that I would recommend aging and serving close to room temperature.

 3,306 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a thin lacing of caramel-colored head that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer), but I can still smell strong notes of roasted malt and boozy bourbon! Other reviewers have notes aromas of caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, etc.

Taste: Tons of roasted malt up front, followed by some brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness, with some notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon undertones. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is definitely a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is another very good bourbon barrel-aged stout. Maybe, well not maybe, definitely, not as complex as Goose Island’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout, Dragon’s Milk is still complex in its flavors of malt, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Delicious. And for the price point, a much easier bourbon barrel-aged stout to drink more often!

 1,211 characters

Photo of nightcrawler
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This stuff is good.

If someone asked me what it was like, I could say it was similar to a sweet stout with an extra kick. At such a high gravity, I would compare this with other stouts and not other ales. I followed this will an Arrogant Bastard, which is also an 'American Strong Ale'. This just shows you how limited and restricted we are by trying define a beer by style.

It produced a beautiful brown head and tasted great from the start. It poured a dark brown to black and the smell was of toasted malt, very sweet. The taste was smooth with no sort of bit that can come from dark malts.

I will be purchasing bottles to store.

 646 characters

Photo of Clippershipp
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jaszucs
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cask pour. Completely different experience than drinking from the bottle. Had to initially chew through the frothy head to get to the beer. Excellent beer.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.75

Probably one of the best New Holland has to offer year round. Sweet vanilla bourbon deliciousness

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Photo of PatYoda
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle over 1 year old I believe.

Very dark brown with an excellent light brown head that recedes to a solid ring around the glass and some film. Leaves some nice lacing. Smell is fruity to the max - berries, cherries and raspberries and grapes. These are mixed in with some wood, roasted grain and a little wine like alcohol. Cocoa too. The fruit really dominates the taste here. It's complemented by a dry woody flavor which takes over in the finish and cocoa that is subtly there all along. With all of the fruit in there and the high alcohol, this really reminds you of a red wine at times. Medium bodied with enough carbonation to keep things moving along. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the strong berry and oak flavors and lack of hop balance, but other than that, this is a very intriguing beer to me. Not many beers have imparted this strong of a berry flavor to me, so I consider this one very unique. I'll definitely be picking some up from the next batch.

Edit: After having a fresher bottle from the late 2005 batch, I'm bumping the mouthfeel up from 4.0 to 5.0 and the smell from 4.0 to 4.5. Also the drinkability from 3.5 to 4.0. The caramel malt really comes out a lot more in this bottle and the smoothness is breathtaking. The fruit it much more subdued than in the aged bottle. There was also a significant vanilla undertone and a strong roasted malt flavor. Very interesting. It's almost like this is a completely different beer than the one I reviewed before.

 1,489 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice. This strong ale is a deep deep ruby, that appears almost black until you hold it to some light. Rather like a porter in color. I got a very thin head that faded quickly with a minimum of lacing.

Aroma is dark and mysterious, warm and inviting. Dark malts, prune and some spice. Alcohol also present in the nose.

Taste has hints of bourbon, dark fruit, spice, and an alcohol finish.

The mouthfeel is not as heavy as expected. There is not much carbonation to speak of.

This is a great beer to sip and as it warms me up inside I am looking forward to pouring the rest of the bomber. Recommended!

 649 characters

Photo of Lukebell15
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sk8sean86
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UncleNeighborChris
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Mparker1975
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TastyTaste
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Screened 22 oz. bomber. Pours a dark, nearly stoutish color, but allowing a little mroe light through. Head fades quickly to a small layer on the beer.

Smell: Oh yeah, there is the oak aging. Lots of bourbon smell in this one, a little carmel, some more vanilla.

Taste: An oaked barrel, salty affair, punctuated by some vanilla. Flavors go from woody and earthy, to fairly sweet and sharp at the end. Smooth, yet strong.

Moughtfeel: Not heavy, but still full, pretty good.

Drinkability: What style this beer is going for may be a mystery, but this is a good beer. I always enjoy oak aged offerings, and this one does not dissapoint.

 656 characters

Photo of Snowdrift
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of WakeandBake
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with ruby edges,one finger tan head.Aroma of vanilla,chocolate,burbon,oak,and dark roasted barly very nice. Flavor is complex and changes as it warms,sweet boozy vanilla creamy oaky honey burbon goodness. Full creamy mouthfeel,chewy and sticky.This came highly reccomended, I now agree.... Good stuff !

 313 characters

Photo of AuntBea
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Raislak
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 10/11/2014

17 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black solid light brown head, good lacing.

Aroma: Intense levels of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and vanilla. Roast is mostly covered by the aforementioned.

Flavor: Sweet chocolate covered caramel, with a kick of bourbon and booze with and nice background of oak.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, with a pretty noticable boozyness, which is basically all I can knock this beer for.

Overall: As delicious or better than most of the highly sought after BA beers, at half the cost (at least) and 700 times the availability.

 530 characters

Photo of BarronVonGruner
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 5,701 ratings.
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