Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
1,491 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,491 | Ratings: 5,670
Photo of Skrumpy
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown in color. Tan head with streak lacing. Aroma is cocoa, vanilla, oak, & toasted malt. Flavor is vanilla and bourbon with oak and caramel malt. A very smooth beer with body and texture. Not super chewy but not watery. Just right!

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Photo of Jman69
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love the taste and smell an the buzz I got from it I give it all 5s I am not a hug stout drinker but this one is a must have on the list

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Photo of MichiganNick
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All flavors of Dragons Milk have an amazing creamy quality. This one in particular has a hearty fragrance that fills your palate to its capacity. Good stuff from New Holland!

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage (but bottle dated "bottled 02/12/16") into pint glass. Pours an opague, oily black with a very small dark tan head. Initial impression is bourbon, molasses, roaste malts, vanilla, and caramel. Really smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is light but more than adequate. Alcohol warming is noticeable but not objectionable - no rough edges despite the 11% ABV. If I had more than one I might be tempted to cellar it, but OTOH it's so damned smooth and tasty I'm not sure I would. Absolutley delicious!

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Photo of GeeL
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on a whim because my minister had recommended the base Dragon's Milk. Thought if he liked that, I should step it up and get the bourbon one. I'm glad I did...

"Bomber" bottle in a tulip glass. Shared with a friend. There's no better way than to have a beer like this.

L: totally dark brown, opaque. Initial thick head that quickly dissipated into a thin bead around the edge and lacing floating on the top. Thick "legs" on the glass as I swirled.
S: boozy at first, then sweet. Like a dessert. Dark sweet cherries. Like if I stuck my face in a jar of molasses and then some cherry syrup or dark cherry jam. But not so sweet I stepped away. Well, at first. But only because I didn't know what to expect. Then I went for more smells. Bourbon comes on pretty quick, and vanilla from the barrel aging.
T: bourbon, at first. Then some stout flavors. Could be more roasty, but it's definitely a stout. It's sweet, but not cloying. There's a lot of complexity that comes out as the beer ages and mixes with air and as my palate adjusts to it. This was a tasty beer. It's a sipping beer.
F: Not as thick as I thought it would be. But soft, smooth. Maybe a tad over carbonated, but I'm splitting hairs only because I'm thinking about it so much. There's so much flavor that if it were any thicker the flavors would linger more and this could become overwhelming. So I'm torn between wanting it thicker because that's how it looked or is it ok because there's a lot of complexity. Again, I'm nitpicking.
O: I might get two more. One for drinking soon and another for setting aside a while

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Photo of MFMB
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with a light tan head. The nose is of roasted malts and bourbon. Taste is of toasted dark malts, light molasses, light vanilla, bourbon and a light oak wood. Heavy thick mouthfeel with a nice full bourbon kick on the back end. A great beer. I am however a sucker for almost any BB stout I come across/

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Photo of Hugh37
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Plenty good, robust stout. Dark, ruby colored with serious head. Lots of vanilla on top of the roasted malts of the stout. May be some bourbon undertones (if you'd read the label first).

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/14. About month old.

Appearance is gorgeous. Ink black with a khaki tan head that sticks around for a few minutes in the tulip.

Being that this one is so fresh, I expected more barrel presence. The smell and taste are very tame on the bourbon. But make no mistake about it, this is a very well made beer.

Dark fruits, plumb & dark cherries. Powdered milk chocolate and sweet cream more so than vanilla. Oakiness throughout. Not much on the bourbon but it's there.

Everything works really well in this beer cohesively while staying balanced and tame when it comes to the barrel. Mouthfeel is soft & creamy. Goes down very soft & easy for the ABV. I wouldn't call this thin, but wouldn't call it chewy or viscous either. Very enjoyable.

I can see how some might view this as mediocre in comparison to the Bourbon County's & Parabola heavy hitters of this style. However; not being so in your face with barrel as so many of this stlye seem to be, was a unexpected and appreciated nice change of pace for this BA.

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Photo of hgw605
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Deep brown black. Small off beige head.
S: Roasted malt, vanilla, alcohol, sweet.
T: Similar but booze burns a bit.
F: Medium feel with somewhat aggressive warming alcohol.
O: Good.

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Photo of eMucho
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.0 abv ... Let's roll ... Got a four pack at a hy-vee in Des Moines while road tripping. This was my fift tonight and it poured about 3/8" worth of head that faded rather quickly, but left a good lacing throughout. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into tulip glass. It's dark and opaque, a black beer. I'd already drank three if these on prior nights and it grew on me as this style usually does. A smoky aroma that is really satisfying. Mothefeel is solid, almost creamy, maybe even too creamy ... Wow it is strong which threw me off at first. Honestly the first bottle i didn't care for, but this fourth one is nice. Maybe still a little too strong though. Really it has a touch of sourness in addition to a prominent taste of bourbon/alcohol. It's complex. Just try it for yourself a few times and maybe it'll grow on you too ... I'd grab it again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of gobuccos
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. This is much better with age!! Smell is a hint of Bourbon. Taste is much smoother than fresh, also not as sweet as fresh. Honestly, when I buy this in the future, will sit on it.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as everyone says, with a minimal head. Aroma is surprising subtle considering this is an 11% Russian. Booze, dark fruit, and malts and a bit of anise.

Taste is pretty bourbon forward, then roasty malts come in nicely right after. Booze-soaked oak sweetness is on the border of sickly, possibly due to the high alcohol, still the heat is well hidden but at 11% you're not fooling anyone. Chocolate, a hint of wood, vanilla, and a thin soda feel is my lasting impression.

I feel like they didn't get a handle on this one. I'm not sure the bourbon barrels did this stout any favors, tastes like the cheap stuff was in those barrels. The base seems closer to a porter than a stout. A little thin, a little too sweet. Doesn't have the deep body many BBA stouts have.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Others do it better, but they also cost way more than the $7 I paid for a bomber of this. This beer combines a reasonable price with a nice, roasty & chocolatey BBA imperial stout. Only knock is the thinner mouthfeel.

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Photo of BarrelyLegal
3.24/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A- Black body, khaki 1cm head uniform thickness across the beer. Disapates leaving thin horizontal lacing with few legs. 3.75

S - Sweet Bourbon and some booziness. Subtle sour smell. 2.75

T - Boozey and bourbony. Not too much of a roast malt, no coffee or chocolate. The thin Stout backbone gives this a bit of an Irish Car Bomb feel, like booze poured into a Guinness. 3.5

M - Thinner than most Barrel-aged stouts, leaves a little stickiness. Not super clean, but no unpleasant bitterness after. 3

O - I feel like this beer used to be the standard for Barrel-aged beer, but the bar has been raised significantly since it's start. This is the Irish Car Bomb beer. The style has been inflated. This is now a bottom tier BA stout. However; this classic doesn't have anything inherently wrong with it. It's thin, simple, but a classic. 3.25

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Spiegelau Stout glass. Bottled on November 16th 2016.

L: Dark brown, nearly opaque. Finger width beige head that very slowly recedes into a thin layer. Thin spotted lacing. Yet still thorough throughout the glass.

S: First aromatic notes are Vanilla, Chocolate, Alcohol. On swirling, a sherry note pops through along with some wood smoke.

T: Follows the nose closely, chocolate and vanilla, smoky, and some dried fruits. Toast too.

F: Medium-Full body, smooth and creamy.

O: This one is a sipper. Well balanced and complex. Great Beer!

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Photo of IKR
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fairly generous-sized dark beige head that gradually faded. A good looking Imperial Stout

Smell:Bourbon, mild oak, mild brown sugar, and mild roasted malt/coffee aromas.

Taste: The taste profile features Bourbon notes, tannic oak notes, and mild brown sugar. The taste profile is balanced with the bal-aging notes apparent but not as forward as some beers, e.g. Bourbon County Stout. Fairly restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. compared to some of the more viscous Imperial Stouts it's on the light side body-wise.

Overall: A good Imperial Stout that's readily available at a good price point. Sounds like a winner to me.
Edit: After letting it warm a bit I bumped the taste score up one notch.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the cellar (bought about 6 months ago)
12oz bottle into Libbey Tulip
Bottled on 10/16/15 (a year to the day)
L- dark black with an inch thick tan foamy head, great retention, real beautiful lacing
S- a huge whiff of bourbon, along with fudge, black licorice
T- dark roasted malts with the bourbon along for the ride, slight marshmallow on the linger, with a finish of a black licorice
F- medium bodied, low carbo., smooth drinking for 11% ABV with only slight booze bite
O- great BBA Stout, with the added plus of being avail. all year-round

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Photo of dcotom
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampled on 10/13/16 from bottle dated 03/18/16. A slight vegetal note upon opening, with aromas of bourbon and dark chocolate following. Very smooth and rounded on the palate, with notes of burnt coffee, bourbon, and a hint of vanilla. Perfect amount of barrel character and alcohol presence. Finish is crisp and oaky without any lingering bitterness. A beautifully executed beer.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark appearance with little head and just the right amount of carbonation. Very pleasant bourbon aroma. The taste is a very smooth but rich bourbon flavor

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Photo of Trenary
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This edition of Dragons Milk has the dark black roasty coloring that comes standard with each edition of Dragonsmilk. Great lacing with a thick head upfront (poured into a snifter), although head retention is not enduring.

There is a very boozy smell upfront with some roastiness. Mostly booze though.

The taste is definitely more alcohol heavy upfront, which recedes into a more malty, nutty stout taste. Once again, more boozy than not, but that might be a plus for bourbon beer enthusiasts. The oakiness comes through initially, but its tenure is short lived. Good for the style overall, but nothing mild about this beer! Big, boozy and full of bravado, it's jut as the name implies!

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Photo of mikeeeee
4.91/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours oily black....smell is intoxicating: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, cloves, coconut, and specialty grain blissfully hit your noise.

Tastes of the same smells that reward your taste buds with a smooth bourbon treat. Slow alcohol heat so infused with the oak that you really enjoy it, leaving you wanting more. Probably this beers only weakness.
Finish is rewarding with a vanilla malty
bourbon after glow.

really really good...treat yourself.

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Photo of wjoelbrooks
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a glass into a standard shaker pint glass.

L: Pours a beautiful midnight black with only a hint of brown when held in the light. Minimal head--the same as most other porters--with a bit of lingering lace.

S: Overwhelmingly bourbon, but not too much. There is actually more bourbon on the nose than on the tongue. Bittersweet chocolates, too.

T: Wonderful taste--but probably the weakest point of this otherwise incredible beer. A hint of bourbon, but not as much as I expected. Sweet, creamy vanilla finish, but I also got a strange metallic-y taste in the first couple of swallows.

F: Full body with a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Not as heavy as I prefer my stouts and porters to be--a little syrupy.

O: This just became one of my favorite beers (although my wallet whined a little). But the 11% ABV ensures that I won't be drinking many in one session. Well done, New Holland! Well done!

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- black color, thin head dissipates very quickly, almost instantly
S- bourbon, toasted malt
T- bourbon, chocolate mostly
M- full bodied but not as thick as I would have liked. It's still pretty good but it could be thicker.
D- Pretty good. I think I would drink it again.

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Photo of PDGreenB
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This imperial stout lives up to its name, at 11 percent alcohol content it's a real kicker. The taste is a bit stringent, especially for a stout. Hints of nut and vanilla, with a truly knock-down coffee flavor and cocoa. Not too charred, and surprisingly smooth on the nose. This beer is one wild ride.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours extremely dark brown with a small-to-medium head that has good retention and leaves spotty lace. Nose is a bit like booze-soaked cake with cocoa, but is a bit light for what's expected. Taste is about the same...also a bit light (for an 11% ba stout) with some rough edges in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin (again for an 11% ba stout). Overall, a reasonable beer for the price and being ba, but a bit disappointing.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 5,670 ratings.
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