Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
1,482 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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Reviews: 1,482 | Ratings: 5,643
Photo of IPA-enthusiast_026
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am rating this beer very high despite my dislike for bourbon. While I would not buy this beer for myself again, it is a very good dark and bourbon ale. It does have a pretty good kick of alcohol flavor at the end, but it is a smooth and sweet beer. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys bourbon and/or dark beers.

 326 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/4/16.

Dragon's Milk is a nearly black stout with a very thin layer of head that settles to nothing.

Aroma is boozy and malty with bourbony peat.

Flavor is sweet up front with chocolate malts. The bourbon comes through from idle to end but it's balanced and doesn't overwhelm the flavor of the beer.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and low in carbonation. Alcohol is fairly well hidden for an 11%abv.

Overall a good imperial stout with well judged bourbon character.

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Photo of godlessape
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a stunning solid black that could deflect laser beams. The three finger tan head sinks to just a wee rim.

The aroma is bready and sweet with molasses and Snicker bar. In the background I pick up a coffee wiff that reminds me of drinking a black Russian.

The flavor is astounding with all of the above aroma notes mixed with a hint of vanilla and licorice.

The mouthfeel is smooth with little carbonation.

Overall I couldn't be more satisfied.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle - thanks to my houseguest Chris for schlepping this one back from Michigan, via Seattle, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

This beer pours a solid black, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy brown head, which leaves some frothing ocean swell lace around the glass as it swiftly sinks away.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, grainy toffee/treacle, bittersweet chocolate, earthy anise, surprisingly subtle barrel notes (wet wood, rye booze, and understated vanilla), and a mixed dark orchard fruitiness. The taste is big cocoa-forward caramel/toffee malt, cafe-au-lait, black licorice liqueur, a still subdued Bourbon barrel character - vanilla pods, acrid staves, and a lesser rye graininess - reduced brown sugar, marshmallows, and more blended black fruit (cherries, bruised apple, and plums).

The bubbles are pretty laid-back in their hard to fathom at times frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, that mild Kentucky barrel essence maybe keeping things just beyond the ideal. It finishes bordering on sweet, the caramel, toasty vanilla, cocoa, and yeah, booze, keepin' 'er tight.

Overall, a decent Imperial milk stout, as it were, the barrel treatment underwhelming at best (ok, the vanilla character surely comes through), and easy enough to drink, especially given the 22-proof booze. I've never seen Game of Thrones, so I'll suggest that this is best imbibed whilst watching some vintage Lord of the Rings.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

l- Black as it should be
s- not quite enough roasted and coffee aroma, a little too much boozy bourbon
t-strong coffee and other roasty goodness. Booze hits at the end and then vanilla and roasted sweet malt finish
f- creamy and full-bodied
o- as good as it gets for a readily available imperial stout.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this from the bottle in its natural environment.
For a year round shelfy I was impressed. Legit bourbon nose, a bit of boozy burn (less booze and less body than BCBS), some roast and cocoa. Very little of the advertised vanilla.
Pleasant back up option when in the Midwest and the rest of the bar menu bores you. Makes me kinda wish we had it down south too.

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Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark, near black brew with a reddish case. Not much head but foam swirls up when you slosh the glass for another sip. The first sip is the best, when the Bourbon aromatics rise on the fume of alcohol.

Hugely alcohol tasting. It tastes like a whiskey drink with a splash of stout. Medium body. Some malty sweetness but it's quite acidic.

An interesting variation on the Bourbon Barrel theme, but I would never drink this one again. Just about too hot to drink, but very slow sipping preserves the tonsils while taking tread off the dental enamel. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

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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 Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with tan head. Aroma starts with dark malts and bourbon sweetness, some dried fruits like dates, a bit of brown sugar and a hint of caramel. Taste is really well balanced. There is caramel and some bourbon at first giving a bit of sweetness but the finish is more roasty and bitter with a bittersweet caramel and bourbon aftertaste. Body is on the heavy side but not really as thick as other BBA imperial stouts. Overall I think it's a really good "beginner" barrel aged stout. Easy to get but well made and tasty.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

This bottle says Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout at 11% ABV. I checked their website I think the beer has changed from the old 10% ABV in Oak barrels. Not sure though.

L: Black beer with a half a finger of a tan head
S: Vanilla, slight bourbon, and roasted malt
T: Bourbon is bigger on the taste. Very nice bourbon notes. Vanilla, Chocolate, Roasty malts, hint of alcohol
F: Chewy thick good brew
O: Been a long time since I've had anything from New Holland. Glad I picked this up. Great beer.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company. Bottled on 10/22/15. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, the head is two fingers thick accompanied by a nice tan/khaki hue, with lateral lacing, and an extreme dark brown /black body.

I smell a pleasant, "do-able" amount of the bourbon notes upfront that morph into a roasted malt metropolis laden with structures of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and dark fruits like plums, raisins, and figs.

Tastes like a smooth, subtle bourbon note backed up with a very delicious chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Yes indeed, that bourbon is not booze bombing the rest of this beer' other elements. I'm almost leaning in the direction that it's almost got an "Irish coffee" thing going on here as well. Interesting...

The mouthfeel here is heavier with mild carboation. I rated this so high due to a virtually unnoticeable alcohol warmth combined with the bourbon notes' masterful use restraint to allow the other complexities stand out and be noticed.

Overall, I'll give Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company a 4.75. I really wish more BBA stouts would have this near-perfect (still have to find my "5er") amount concerning the use of the bourbon flavoring.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm sold.
Deep dark, almost purple, black body floating 1 in. tan head.
Inviting cocoa aromas with stone fruit. The flavor shares chocolate and stone fruit with a pleasing alcohol note. High abv, but very little heat. Nice.
Medium to heavy mouthfeel is perfect for the style.
I'll have another, please...and then probably a ride home.

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Photo of Inspector_Spacetime
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour yielded a tan two-finger head and jet-black body. Smells of dark, smoky, and chocolate malts. Very smooth, and tastes of chocolate, vanilla and oak with heavy bourbon notes. Feels creamy and smooth, with a significant amount of alcohol warmth.

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Photo of jmd1978
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jet black color with no head. Nose is bourbon strong with a little vanilla and wood. Taste is dulled but very subtle bourbon flavors, notes of vanilla and even a bit of cocoa. Oak lingers at the end. Finish very clean but lingers on the palate. This is a great barrel aged stout. Although KBS is the king this is a nice substitute for those who can't get it. Would buy again to quench my KBS thirst.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours black, thin tan head fades to a ring, little lace. Aroma of bourbon and wood, a little vanilla. Taste is also full of bourbon and oak, roasty chocolate as well but the oak barrel dominates. Very dry finish with some vanilla coming out in the end. Mouthfeel a little thin for a stout, oily. Overall decent BA stout.

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Photo of DavidGross
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer! It is deep, dark and thick head. The touch of bourbon, grains and alcohol whip up an enticing aroma as you dive in for a taste. It's very drinkable with high ABV, yet smooth like milk!

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Photo of Tele
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle (2015 Vintage)
Consumed: 6.7.16

A: 4.5 Pours a very, very dark brown, almost black with a little red around the edges. The one-inch tan head is nice and thick, with good retention and lacing.

S: 4 Aromas are nice with mild bourbon, vanilla, molasses roasted malt, and chocolate. The barrel seems to add a bit of damp oak, which I’m not really a fan of in BA stouts.

T: 4.25 Really nicely balanced on the flavor. Starts off a bit sweet with molasses, brownies, and vanilla before moving into roasted malt and coffee. A bit of bourbon rounds things out with more vanilla and a little (fortunately less) damp oak from the nose. The finish is slightly bitter, but lingers like quality dark chocolate.

M: 4.25 Body is a little thin for my preferences, but it definitely helps drinkability. Carbonation is very nice.

O: 4.25 For the price and how easy this beer is to get, it may become a staple in my fridge. The aromas aren’t the best, but the balance of the flavors and drinkability make up for it.

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Photo of buckslayer50
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a tan head, you can smell the roast and bourbon right away. They specifically mention vanilla on the bottle and I get a ton of that and a lot of bourbon too. That isn't a bad thing though, I found it to be really good and for this to be a year round offering is outstanding. I grabbed a bottle in Georgia because we don't see it here in Florida and if we did, I would buy it very often.

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4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

For me its just another BBS. Nothing ground breaking and after I had some exotic BBS in Vegas this one would be on the low end. Pours dark like midnight while you get those strong hits of the BB. Minimal head when poured due to the heaviness of the stout.

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Photo of NorthernMichiganLogan
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought this beer with intentions of drinking after a midnight shift. The thought was one and done, and enjoy it. This beer did that with its 11% alcohol. The taste is what surprised me, it was good. You could smell chocolate and bourbon when the beer was cracked open. The other reviews were not lying when they said, "you could get drunk off this beer by smelling it." The taste is magnificent. Upfront you get carmel, chocolate, and malt. The finish is boozy like bourbon, but very smooth. It's a pleasant and drinkable high octane beer. I'd drink it again and suggest it in the future. Nice job New Holland.

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Photo of wilson32
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First tried this one a while ago when New Holland Brewing was a smaller operation and it certainly is not small anymore. This is a unique beer, guaranteed to "put hair on your chest" as they say. It is a talk dark pour - and what you see is what you get. Very bold, rich flavors, with a bourbon flair to it and even that hint of chocolate. The taste hangs around in your mouth - for better in the beginning, for worse in the end.

I can see why a lot of people would be drawn to this beer - gives the all around experience and tries to fit into this niche, however I think it would be middle of the road if stacked up against other similar brews.

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Photo of ordybill
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark, thick, black color with a medium sized tan head. the aroma is cocoa, oak and sweet molasses. The taste has a nice bourbon bite and brings in the cocoa and oak. A really good brew.

 255 characters

Photo of justme
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liked this one a lot. Big flavors more malt than hop but that's all right with me. Enjoyed in a glass in the back patio at the Dive Bar with a good friend in Worcester. Couldn't ask for more.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color, pale tan head, moderate lace.

Smell is mild, malty. Chocolate, cocoa. Ovaltine.

Flavor of cream soda, currant, cherry. Too fruity for a stout.

Nice rich mouthfeel. Not overcarbonated.

Finish is good, not intense.

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Photo of Baba_la_Baba
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

The high rating is a mystery to me unless it's buoyed by brand loyalty. Really it's just mediocre as BB stouts go. I'd describe it as a BBS light. Light body, light on the "scotchy" vanilla, light color at the rim, light on the chocolate, raisin, anise, molasses, and everything else that I like to find in a BBS. Fairly pronounced acidity and roasty bitterness on the finish. That may have been the last bottle I will ever drink.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,643 ratings.
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