Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,473 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
2016 Bottles are 11% ABV

Added by beernut7 on 08-12-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,473
Ratings:
5,589
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
13.1%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
1,743
For Trade:
46
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,473 | Ratings: 5,589
Photo of jimdkc
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with mahogany highlights when held up to the light. Thick, rich dark tan head that recedes quickly. Smell was not as strong as expected. The nose was of dark-roasted malts, maybe a bit of vanilla, with a hint of alcohol. I think the beer was too cold for my first couple of sips... letting it warm a little brought out the flavors better. Taste was roasty malt, dark chocolate, with a little oak wood in the background. Occasional hints of bourbon and slight fruityness were present, also. Finish is smooth and dry, and the alcohol kind of sneaks up on you. Probably one of the more drinkable 10% ABV beers. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.

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Photo of Floydster
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle received as a gift from metallitone1, thank you very much for this beer, bottle looks different than the one pictured, poured into my New Belgium snifter, currently drinking it

A-Dark brown and nearly black with only some light shining through, 3/4 inch soapy light tan head that stuck around for close to two minutes, some retention and lacing at the beginning

S-Borubon, milk, sweet cream, some tartness, roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, vanilla, caramel, and some booze

T-Started off with a big bourbon taste, some burned malt in the middle, then some spiciness in the finish, did not taste chocolate and vanilla until a little later, as it warmed I began tasting some different fruits, not as much hot alcohol that was in the aroma, no hops present at all, could taste a weird funky sourness towards the end that had some booze in the aftertaste, quite enjoyable overall

M-Spicy, sweet, and dry mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, not much carbonation, taste lingered for about a minute, weird sensation on the tongue at times

D-Could not finish this bottle, only could drink about fourteen ounces, somewhat smooth and pretty easy to drink, ABV is high at nine percent though, alcohol is pretty much hidden

Had never even heard of this brewery let alone this beer, always excited to try a barrel aged beer though, nice surprise and a generous addition to my package, would drink again, recommended to anybody that has not tried it as well

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Photo of LaneMeyer
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black, little head.

Smells of chocolate covered dark cherries, rum, raisin, little bit boozy.

Tastes very raisin forward to me. A little sickly sweet taste going on. Some prune flavor. Lots of milk chocolate.

Mouth feel is big, thick, a little oily.

Overall, not a bad BA Stout. A little sweet for my tastes though.

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

22 oz., silk-screened bottle. It pours damn near pitch-black, with ruby highlights and a finger of khaki head that leaves a few wisps of lacing. Very chocolatey in the nose, with a present, but not too strong oak note, roast, hints of vanilla, and a touch of isopropyl after a hefty swirl. Tastes of roast and chocolate, with hints of green hops that impart a medium bitterness, vanilla, and a mild, but ever-increasing oaky aftertaste. A little alcohol flavor as well. The body starts a bit thin, but becomes a bit creamier as it warms. It comes across as an oaked-up stout that is tasty for sure, but a little rough around the edges. Perhaps some aging would improve this one.

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Photo of chicano4craft
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Not much head. Thin tan ring of bubbles around the glass.

The nose isn't in your face. Pick up chocolate and some woodiness from the barrel. Slight roastiness. Some booze. Opens up as it warms.

I was surprised by the taste. The creaminess strikes me first. Then a roasted chocolate and woody finish. Some notes of vanilla. Really nice.

Good carbonation. Somewhat thin for the style but not worth complaining about. Good drinkability.

Overall I was impressed by this beer. Next time I can get my hands on it I won't hesitate.

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Photo of Dhren1979
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on July 26nd, 2011

Vintage: 2011

Serving Type: 22oz Bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A: Thick and creamy. Black as oil with 1 finger’s worth of toffee colored head. Sticky and the head retention is long.

S: Vanilla with hints of oak. Was expecting a stronger oak presence in the aroma. Aroma of alcohol comes out fairly strong in the middle. Roasted chocolate malts.

T: Quite similar in taste as in the aroma. Nice vanilla tastes which leads to an mild alcohol burn. Oak seems to smooth out the taste some. Creamy finish.

M: Creamy medium body stout with little to no carbonation. Silky smooth on the tongue.

O: Great example of this style IMO. A must buy when it hits the shelf!

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Bell's Hopslam glass

A) Dark brown, cola, no head

S) oak, vanilla, bourbon

T) Sweet cola, bourbon, vanilla, root beer?, interesting beer

M) Low carbonation

O) for a $15 BA four pack it's worth it. Not the best BA stout, but it's good to appease the palate as well as the wallet.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My buddy Small Paul hooked me up with this brew as a sample from the supplier he works with. He was really excited about this giving me this brew, as he knew I was a) a bourbon fan and b) a fan of stouts. By default, that makes me a huge fan of Bourbon Barrel Stouts and other such whisky inspired brews. I was looking very much forward to this as well. Side poured from the bottle into a custom Boulevard/Deschutes event tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours just like a nice solid stout should pour. Dark, basically black, with little head or retention to speak of. Looks like coffee inside the glass, which is exactly what I want. Cool packaging on the brew.

Smell - Fudge, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits. Everything you would expect from a bourbon branded beer except: bourbon! A smidge disappointing. I could only detect a slight odor, if at all, of actual bourbon. I still rated the beer highly, but I would like to see a little more bourbon notes.

Taste - Follow the nose closely, and again, lacking on the bourbon punch or burn. Vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, very tasty and satisfying.

Mouthfeel - Ultra smooth. I rated this portion higher because of the smoothness of the 10% ABV and the velvety character of the beer. While adding bourbon, like I have suggested, would result in a higher rating in smell and taste, it would add a bourbon burn to the mouthfeel. While that is off-putting to many drinkers, it is not to me.

Overall - As I have stated, I would like to see more of a bourbon character in a beer with bourbon right there on the label. With that being said, this is an excellent beer otherwise, and highly recommended. Just forget the bourbon part, and drink it as an imperial stout or something like that.

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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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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,589 ratings.
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