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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 cbutova
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A- Black with a small head that has lower-end retention. A cloud and ring leave a small amount of spotty lace.

S- Notes of dark malt, whiskey/oak and molasses/sweet caramel malt. It fades a bit but is still nice.

T- A fairly strong whiskey and oak presence above a roasty scotch ale-like malt backbone. It has just a bit of a medicinal strong dark fruit note.

MF- Moderate body with slight creaminess and a fairly oily feeling. Some warmth and lower end carbonation suits the flavor.

DB- Good stuff. It reminds me sort of Backwoods Bastard with less whiskey and a more roasty-Stout feeling. It is strange because they don't even mention Bourbon/Whiskey on the bottle or website. The medicinal hint is my only small rant here.

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Photo of gcg49
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dragon's Milk is no BCBS, but it is the best barrel-aged stout that I can find year-round without having to seek out special releases... There seems to be some quality control issues, though. Maybe it's in my head, but some bottles seem a little thin and flavorless compared to others, even within a single four pack.

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Photo of Boozermurfin
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bear inning this is my first bourbon barrel aged stout review.

Smell and taste were not as complex and interesting as hoping. Strong notes of vanilla, roasted malts, some chocolate, some coffe and distinct bourbon in the aroma.

Taste was mostly vanilla and bourbon. Good but not great. Very creamy. Coats your mouth. Picking up more chocolate as I progress.

Very good. Not great. Will adjust ratings as I venture into more bourbon ages stouts. Was hoping for a little more barrel character.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter.
A: Pours near black with a thin finger of creamy light brown head that quickly faded into a fain collar. Hardly any lace.
S: Rich and potent notes of vanilla, booze, caramel and light notes of chocolate. Smells pretty good.
T: Follows the nose with smooth flavors of boozy alcohol, vanilla, and woody oak with a hint of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate in the finish. The alcohol is actually really smooth. Aftertaste is full of vanilla oak, and I get a hint of roasted coconut as well.
M: The only knock again this beer is how thin it feels. It’s not watery by any stretch, but the carbonation is too low and the mouth is too thin. Slick overall.
O: Great flavor, easy on the palate, but just a bit too watery. This got better after every sip. A few more bubbles would do it wonders. Cheers!

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Photo of cooch69
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dragon's Milk pors into a snifter a very dark brown. Almost black. It had virtually no head, only a few large bubbles here and there. As I twirrled the beer a bit I could see a medium carbonation coming from the sides.

The nose is Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Cinnamon, Caramel, Mollases and Brown sugar. No bitterness. The woodiness so far seems like it is fairly balanced out with the rest of the beer.

Vanilla, Mollases and dark malts immedialy become apparent in the sip. The finish brings forth a pretty strong alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expected but it is still syrupy and full.

Some of the flavor aspects to this beer can be one dimentional. But it is still complex and intriuging enough to give a try.

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Photo of mick303
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had on tap, and gave a 4. This review is from the bottle, from the LCBO, aged a further few months. Dark brown colour, fairly light for the style, with nice lacing and retention.

S - notes of oak, bourbon, coffee malts, alcohol heat (rubbing alcohol).

T - better, smoother notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak barrels, smooth bourbon, mild roastiness with a nice malty character and earthy hoppiness, fairly assertive, some citrus character.

M - nice body, malty with some bourbon like spiritious character. Fairly creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a bit thin for the style, a bit too alcoholic with not enough dextrins left in the body to balance it out. Flavour was decent with a lot of bourbon barrel, not much else, some moderate hops, so it makes for an overall tasty but somewhat bland stout. Certainly not a world-beater.

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Photo of woodchipper
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my 500th rated beer, so I figured it deserved some words.
L- very dark, low head, but nice lacing that clings to the glass.
S- Pretty much bourbon, but some hint of coffee/chocolate.
T- Smooth start, astringent finish (but in a good way)
F- Creamy start, spikes finish, leaves your mouth suddenly like-- did I swallow, where did it go?
O- I would buy this again. Hi alcohol makes me save it for when I can afford the hit.

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Photo of Brenden
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start of by saying I am absolutely unfamiliar with this style...this brew is my first foray into the world of the ASA.

The color is a very deep, dark brown, nearly black. A brown head retains well and leaves moderate lacing.
There's a vanilla malt in the forefront on the nose back by toasty grains with woody, earthy undertones.
A little complexity underlying; a light fruit and bittersweet aroma is detected as well. There's an odd tinge that's remotely detectable.
There is a dry, woody flavor up front that gives an earthy overtone that gives way to a mixture of underlying flavors. A vanilla malt follows with some toasted grains and a flavor that's very much like a vanilla / cream soda taste remains on the palate in a finish that lingers fairly well. There is a barely detectable astringency that could perhaps be alcoholic in nature that lurks on the back of the tongue. Overall it's a great flavor.
The mouthfeel is firstly creamy and extremely smooth. The body is medium and carbonation is light.
The ABV limit's the drinkablity, but don't shy away from this one.

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Photo of Roguer
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly light brown on the pour, settling into a very dark, but still noticeably brown, brew. Nice solid creamy tan head. Retention is OK for the style, fading to a thin bubbly topper, leaving beautiful lacing down the side of the glass.

Nose has big hints of banana, chocolate, and roasted barley. Bourbon is very much a secondary aroma; this is a big stout first. Sharp edges of overripe fruit; big oak notes.

Flavor is a wonderfully balanced and delightful trip down all the flavors in the nose, with a much more prominent bourbon note. Extremely soft; can a big stout be delicate? Not particularly bitter, even from the roast.

Bourbon is strongest approaching the back-end, and lingers on the finish with a nice alcohol heat. Smooth chocolate and vanilla, with a solid dose of roasted barley, feature on the front end, but the sweet bourbon overtakes it, carrying with it red grapes, prunes, and oak.

Soft, sticky mouthfeel - relatively thin, especially for the style. Long wet finish.

This is a very nice stout, and certainly the kind of beer a bourbon lover would love. I would prefer the bourbon to take more of a back seat; I'd imagine age does this beer very well. This is a very good beer, but it definitely cannot match up with the best versions of the style.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small wispy beige head leaving lacing down the glass.

Smells chocolate with just a faint hint of bourbon. A little boozy.

Lots of chocolate on the flavor too. Roasty malts and a bit of vanilla. Finishes semi-sweet with yet more chocolate and a bit of a boozy kick. Would not guess bourbon from this.

Good medium thick mouthfeel with medium carb levels. Good creaminess.

Good beer, but not overly complex and docked a point for not having any noticeable bourbon presence.

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Photo of BarwoodBonanza
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. November 11 bottling date.

Inky black with ruby highlights at the edges. Sand-colored head dissipates quickly but leaves a nice layer on top and some moderate lacing.

Rich vanilla tones dominate the aroma with hints of boozy bourbon and cocoa.

The flavor adds nice texture to the cocoa and vanilla notes with a caramelized sugar quality similar to a creme brûlée crust. This leads to a warm bourbon booziness which then transitions to a nice charred, dark roast finish. Pretty solid but maybe not as harmonious as I'd like.

A little too carbonated and light in body I think. It seems to me a fuller body would serve this beer better.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this three times on-tap at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. The first time two times were wonderful experiences that prompted yet another, but less pleasurable experience. My ratings are an aggregate of all three tastings.

Appearance: A good look for a stout. Held up to light, the glass is very dark brown and opaque. Shades of dark red. The head is pretty small and retains OK. It leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The first couple of times I had it, I smelled a great mix of vanilla, bitter and sweet chocolates, coffee, and oak -- as well as a little bit of booze and very little in the way of hops. The third time I smelled pretty much only chocolate and a LOT of alcohol. This presaged a disappointing taste . . .

Taste: Again, the first two times were much better than the third. On those occasions, I was treated to a rich mix of the flavors described in the aromas. It's sweet for a stout but I liked the balance. Different sips provided different tastes. Subdued hops.

The third time was unpleasant. From start to finish -- especially at the finish -- booze and syrupy chocolate provided an uneven and almost nauseating taste. My tongue was numb two-thirds of the way through and I could not even bring myself to down the last few drops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than a Guinness (especially the third time). Carbonation is typical for a stout.

Overall: I really hope the third serving was an aberration due to me receiving something from the bottom of the tank. I was ready to crown this one of my absolute favorites until then. I'm willing to give it another go, but caveat emptor -- you might be gambling with the quality of your beer when you get this.

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Photo of HoppierGator
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown to black hues. Minimal dark khaki head and lacing
S: Chocolate, sweet bread, slight vanilla. Subtle bourbon
T: Didn't get too much upfront. Mid-way through get slight chocolate with some sweetness. Backend is relatively smooth. Get a bit of booze/barrel with some slight coffee bitterness
M: thin to medium bodied. More carbonation than I expected
O: Pretty drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged stout. Not too shabby. I personally prefer a more full bodied barrel aged stout

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Definitely not as dark as I had anticipated. It's a deep brown, pretty clear. Some dark amber hues at the bottom of the pint glass. Sturdy two finger head atop.

S - A sweet bouquet of caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Balanced with a certain mineral quality, and earthy oaky notes.

T - Sweetness and warmth up front. Viscous tastes of all of the above. Burnt caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt. The high alcohol is present, and evaporates on the palate sort of like a clean clear liquor. The 10% is present but not cloying. Dry roasted grains and oaky tones in the end.

M - Pretty slick, like a nice milk stout. The carbonation allows the flavor profile and abv to shine through.

O - Not so traditional milk stout in my opinion but tasty. Seems closer to a double bock or a maple porter. Try it out.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black with a wee bit of deep tan lace.

Aroma: Whiskey, cocoa. Already this one seems strong with sweet vanilla and oak barrel apparent.

Taste: Big and heavy, with tons of vanilla and wood tones alongside chocolate and a coffee, as well. Finishes really warm and boozy. Delicious and one to savor and sip.

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Photo of msgraves
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter from Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH.

Presented as a deep, deep reddish-brown with minimal head and mediocre lacing around the edge of the glass.

What first hit me with the aroma was the astringency/alcohol and complexity of a fine bourbon. Lots of vanilla and chocolately sweetness compounded with some oak. Plenty of bourbon character to this one.

Again the bourbon shines through but with enough malt backbone to support it. Many of the aromas are mirrored in the taste: vanilla, chocolate, malt, alcohol.

Felt a little thin in my mouth. However, the beer finished sweet and lasted a moderate amount of time.

Look forward to having this one again.

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Photo of bditty187
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in hue with a ruby influence, the liquid seems clear. The head was beige in color; at the apex the foam was one finger in height. Head retention was decent, the bubbles collapsed to a soapy cap, it was thicker around the edges but not naked in the middle but after a few more moments there was exposed liquid. There was some subsequent lacing; it was unorganized and not very prevalent. On the whole, this beer looks respectable but not remarkable.

The nose really surprised me! There is a rustic chocolate twang with vanilla, old oak chips, cookies, cream, vanilla schnapps, and there is a distant whisky cake vibe. The potency of the aromas was moderate. The nose is articulate, even if it is a mouthful... there is a great deal going on here. I need a breather just to figure things out. I can’t say I find the nose inviting but I am interested in taking a sip. I’d call it odd and mystical.

The palate is as strange as the nose suggested. What is the deal with the acidity? This really throws a curveball in the mix. It is like a Milk Stout on crack mixed with bourbon and vanilla schnapps. Okay, I don’t really know what the whole “milk stout on crack” means but you get the point I hope. It reminds me of a lambic and a stout, mixed. At least I can call this beer unusual. I do like, a lot, the chocolate cake taste, the vanilla cookie sensation, and the oaky underbelly. Honestly, I don’t dislike any aspect of this beer, it is just odd but it is growing on me. The finish reminds me of yogurt. Do I really want his in a beer? I guess so… the alcohol burn is minimal but it does supply a good deal of supporting attributes. I wonder if this beer is suppose to have the lactic twang… if not, I could see this beer kicking-ass. If so, this beer is very good, very odd but very good. Without hesitation I would sum up this beer as “wacky as shit.”

Around medium in body, the carbonation is low but very fitting for this beer. The mouthfeel isn’t impressive but it isn’t flawed either. It is good... workable but in order to reach greatness there needs to be more might in the mouthfeel department.

This beer is pretty drinkable, all things considering. There are many pluses but there a couple minuses. When I add them up, the pluses win. This is a good beer but it is nothing I would seek out or buy many of if I had the chance. I would like to try it again but because this beer was so surprising I might like it more now that I have been acclimated. I need to thank mentor for the bottle. It was a gift, what a great guy.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown out of the bottle, deep black in the glass, topped at first with an inch and a half of loose, tan bubbly brown head that fades into a just as loose and soapy looking cap.

S: Lots and lots of bourbon, sort of amazing, I think this could give Bourbon County Stout a run for its money in terms of all out bourbon aroma, though given a bit of time to warm up other aromas begin to show themselves: vanilla, molasses, raisins, bitter bitter chocolate, lots of sweetness but really mostly bourbon.

T/MF: Bourbon up front but sweeter, richer flavors developing beneath. Vanilla, oak, molasses, and even a bit of pitted cherries make an appearance here. Feel is thick and sweet and grabs the tongue on the way down.

D: Not really sure where this beer fits, it tastes a lot like bourbon barrel aged stouts I've had in the past except that it's not a stout and the bourbon really seems to be the only thing driving this beer. If the beer were not barrel aged I am wondering what I'd be left with. Knowing this though the beer is still pretty good and drinks a great deal lighter than the above mentioned Bourbon County Stout. One is good and I'd leave it at that for the night.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red/brown pour, almost no head to it. Not a strong aroma, slight coffee and toffe. Pretty malty with carmel and slight chocolate. Nice warming going down, 9% abv not offensive at all. Had some other bourbon barrel aged beers, I don't get much in this one from oak barrel.. Reminds me of Highland Brewing's Tasgall Ale. Not bad at all though.

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Photo of RepMichigan
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: minimal to no head, opaque body

S: Smells of booze right off, but you do gets hints of coffe, chocolate and toffe

T: Chocolate and coffe as i smelled in the boquet alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming

M: a little thin i thought, maybe should have been more creamy

O: honestly the first time I had this I was disgusted, tried it again and now I love it.
Goes to show that ya gotta try everything twice!

 460 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Near black pour with a small, quickly disappearing head. Smell is lightly toasted malts, faint hints of oak and toffee, and a bit of citric hoppiness.

Taste is roasted malt, oak, and a tiny bit of dark chocolate bitterness. A bit ashy in the aftertaste. Slightly fuller than medium bodied. This is standard fare for barrel aged stouts. Nothing to make it stand out, but definitely still very flavorful and somewhat tasty

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark amber to dark brown (almost black) in color with some brown highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that reduces to a small patch of thick bubbles, a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a medium-thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bourbon and bourbon barrel (oak/vanilla) with some very light notes of milk chocolate sweetness.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of bourbon with some lighter notes of dark roasted malts, milk/lactose sweetness, milk chocolate, oak, and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.Moderate amounts of alcohol heat and some light dryness in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable beer due to the bourbon barrel aging adding to the nice stout flavors and aromas but needs to be sipped slowly as this is a pretty big beer (and the alcohol is not too well hidden in it).

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Photo of jaxon53
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer I've been wanting to try for sometime. This is also my first New Holland beer. Served this just slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle.

Appearance: Dragon's Milk pours out what appears to be black, with deep garnet highlights. A semi-strong pour resulted in about a finger of bubbly tan head. Head faded quickly into a soapy tan coating atop the beer. Just a bit of random lace was left behind.

Smell: Malty, with complex oak layers that have hints of char. I'm getting slight notes of chocolate and caramel. A bit of cherry lingers in the background with a mild blast of booze.

Taste: Again, nice thick malt comes through first with a good dose of oak. The oak flavor really gives this beer a smooth flavor. Again I'm picking up hints of chocolate and a bit of faint coffee. There was also a bit of char that was also noticed in the nose. Slight vanilla undertones. The 8.5 percent ABV goes almost unnoticed, except for a slight warmth when it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Almost thick, full bodied mouthfeel. Quite smooth with a moderate amount of tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable thanks to the smoothing, mellowing effect of the oak. Would love to have this beer again.

 1,236 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1425th Review on BA
Bottle to Wine glass
12oz

Purchased at Binny's Naperville, IL

App- Poured out the color of port wine. A bit of brown, black and red. Had no bubbles on the first pour and then the second pour had a 1/4" head and no cling. Was okay looking.

Smell- Really had a ton of malts behind it. The oak is really subdued and has more of a prickly booze from the ABV. A good amount of dark fruits and chocolate behind it.

Taste- This was a flavorful high ABV beer. It was tasty but needed a bit more balance and filling flavors. The dark fruits make this like a port vs. BB stout, wasn't bad, but I've had better.

Mouth- A good and filling light medium body with a low/medium carbonation. Fairly rich and chocolately. Nice feel.

Drink- I really should've bought 3 or more. I think with time, this
can be magical.

 825 characters

Photo of psnydez86
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance- Poured a deep dark mahogony into a pint glass with good lacing and nice 1.5 inch esprosso like head. light can barely pass thru this monster.

Smell- Roasty Coffe, Vanilla, Bourbon, booze.

Taste- Starts off with a typical roasty coffee stout tastes which quickly gets attacked by some vanilla and strong bourbon flavor. I'm not a bourbon fan at all but it is a nice sidekick to the vanilla and roasty character of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Nice creamy mouthfeel on this one which I think is perfect for the style

Overall- Its my birthday today and a friend of mine picked this up for me at 8 Degree Plato Beer company Ferndale, Michigan. This is actually the first oak aged Stout i've had and I really enjoyed it. If your the kind of person that enjoys craft beer and enjoys bourbon/whiskey on the rocks this beer will turn you into a raging alchoholic if your already not there. CHEERS.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,429 ratings.
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