Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
1,481 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,481 | Ratings: 5,637
Photo of BeerBobber
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours pitch black with a small brown head on it. Leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like wood char and roasted malts with some coffee in the back there somewhere.

Taste is of stone fruits, vanilla and roasted malts. There is a definite alcohol presence on the taste. As the beer warms the vanilla sweetness was becoming more prevalent.

Has a medium mouth with an easy finish to it. The mouth does get a bit sticky as the beer warms.

This is an awesome stout that was really opening up as it warmed with nice changing complexity to it. The vanilla sweetness really was a great compliment to the darkness of this very big beer. At 11% you are going to feel that alcohol as well. I am really glad I bought this one and the wife strongly agrees that this is a solid hit.

 786 characters

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

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is good. Has that bourbon aroma with vanilla and a small amount of smoky java. Alcohol content evident. Very smooth. There is a big bourbon taste. Very mild java bitterness. A little smokey malts. Good amount of vanilla. Alcohol is definitely there. Medium to heavy bodied with mild carbonation. Good beer just wish it had a little less bourbon and a little more java.

 476 characters

Photo of SFUprof
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! The rich vanilla base with the bourbon touches are fantastic. It is smooth to drink with a creamy feel. I have had it as a draft and out of the bottle and prefer the draft. It pours very dark with a tan colored head. It feels a bit thin for a stout, but that doesn't hurt it at all. If you haven't had a barrel aged stout and want to try one, this is a good way to go.

 393 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau BA glass.

Look is dark opaque black with a thin off white head.

Aroma is a light roasted malt with vanilla bourbon maybe a slight coconut note.

Taste continues that light coconut with vanilla bourbon and a roasted RIS after taste.

 277 characters

Photo of JayGatsby
4.78/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Dragons Milk 11% ABV New Holland Brewing Company
2016 12 OZ bottle poured into a Glencairn glass.

Look: Very dark brown like coffee with a thin vanilla colored head. Nice lace around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Bourbon notes come first followed by dark chocolate, subtle roastiness, and vanilla.

Taste: Excellent balance of roast, vanilla, dark fruits, espresso and dark chocolate. There is a bite of carbonation but dies down as the beer warms. Not as much of a burn from the booze as I was expecting considering it's 11% although it does have a warming feel as it slides down into your belly.

Mouth feel: Thin and a little creamy, doesn't lace the mouth like most stouts do.

Overall: I think this is an excellent beer it's definitely up there in my list of favorite stouts. Would definitely recommend trying if you've never had it before, it'll be well worth your time.


 882 characters

Photo of beerguy04
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a finger width tan head. Smells of bourbon and vanilla. Taste is similar. Definitely taste the bourbon, but also taste a strong vanilla flavor. Bourbon gets less noticeable with each sip. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall, not bad.

 243 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2016 bottle, into a snifter.

I'm a big fan of barrel aged stouts, and have had a lot of them. This one is milder than many, but it strikes me that's a good thing, not a defect. Imagine an iced latte, milky and full of coffee (light roast, not Charbucks), with a dash of bourbon. That's what you get here. Well, not literally, but that's what Dragon's Milk reminds me of. It's got lots of vanilla, and it's sweeter than many stouts, but not excessively so.

It seems odd to call any BBA stout understated, but that's what this feels like. It's a delicious beer, and you can't beat the price.

 599 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8-31-16. DFH Tulip.

A: black, opaque, a little carb visible at the edges; when held to the light, some brownish tiny at the rim. 1 finger frothy lightntam head quickly fades to a ring of bubbles at the glass edge. Leaves very nice lacing.

S: smells like a RIS, dark roasted malt, but not at all a roast bomb here; sweeter and more restrained, with loads of vanilla. Perhaps a touch of alcohol or bourbon on the nose; but if I didn't know what kind of barrel this was aged in, I'd just say sweet and vanilla beans.

T: Bourbon does make its presence known immediately on the palate. Sweet and full of those pleasant aldehyde/acetone notes that are in bourbon. Surprisingly light for an RIS, as compared to the last one I had. More alcohol, vanilla, and bourbon flavor around mid palate; as it goes on the malt character recedes and this becomes more of a bourbon show with less dark roastiness. Even the finish is bourbon and oak.

M: lighter side of full bodied, with low carbonation, and surprisingly un-slick for the style. Definitely would consider it creamy.

O: I've never had a barrel aged beer before, and this is pretty much what I expected. This gets a lot from the barrel. Although I love whisky, and I love beer, i don't think I love them together. particularly with an RIS. I like The Alltech bourbon barrel ale a lot; this, not as much. It's also pretty pricy.

 1,389 characters

Photo of ManBearPat
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid and affordable BA stout that you can find almost anywhere.

Kind of thin, but a nice enough for the price. No complaints, but again I'm not over the moon for it either.

 185 characters

Photo of PaulElk
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Boozy, creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Nice lacing.Ok, after 3/4 of it I'm liking this more and more. Having another one is probably not a good idea. Less boozy the more you sip

 196 characters

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

Pours a very dark brown with a khaki head that's fades quickly, leaving some nice lacing.
Bourbon, roasted malt aromas.
Flavor is roasted malt coffee, vanilla and some tart cherry.
This is a bit thinner than most BA stouts.
This is really a solid beer at a fair price. While is doesn't compare to the "once a year" BA stouts I think it's great that I can get this 7/365 at any decent beer store.

 395 characters

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

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with little light transmission in the glass and a half finger light brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, mild bourbon, milk chocolate and a hint of cherry. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, light bourbon, a hint of cherry and dark stone fruit. Finishes with milk chocolate, vanilla, mild oak and hints of fruit. Medium bodied with a pleasant light creaminess. A remarkably mellow stout for its ABV. Initially seem understated, but reveals quite a bit of flavor complexity that is very well integrated and balanced. The bourbon and barrel flavors are all present, but meld with the malt quit nicely. There is a mild lactose component that makes this almost taste like an imperial milk stout. Sweeter than other big imperial stouts, but finishes semi-dry. My first taste seemed too tame to be a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout and there is little char to the malt. But each taste was so pleasant and well balanced that this was a pleasure to drink. Nicely done. Glad to have the chance to try this classic stout.

 1,163 characters

Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours on the lighter side but pitch black in the glass w/a medium khaki head. Definitely get some nice medium woodiness from the barrel aging with just a tiny bit of bourbon soaked cherries as well. Woodiness is apartment in the mouth with a good amount vanilla sweetness. Not much cherry. Some chocolate is present but it's sweet like Hershey's chocolate. Not motor oil thick by any means but there is definitely some creaminess in there. Wouldn't be surprised if they brewed this with lactose(they do call it dragon's milk afterall). Overall I think they did a good job not over doing it with the barrel aging. The barrel is there but it supports as opposed to overpowers the base beer. A well executed stout that's just a little sweet for my taste. 90 points.

 762 characters

Photo of TerryMills
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into globe glass.

Looks jet black with 1 finger of medium tan head , some carbonation but not too heavy , very little lacing.

Smell is mostly bourbon with some fresh wood mixed in , not picking up much else.

Taste , not sure what I was expecting really but just didn't think it would have so much bourbon flavor.. It's like someone poured half a glass of bourbon and topped it off with a weak watery stout.

Feel is very watery for a stout .

Overall I'm saying if you are wanting watered down bourbon you will enjoy this but if you're looking for a good stout keep in looking.. Worth trying but would not but again.

 638 characters

Photo of Daniel9913
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Motor oil color, frothy coffee-like head, heavy body, sweet, lots of vanila notes. Good alcohol burn, but not too much considering it's 11% ABV.

It was solid. Not the best of the barrel aged stouts, and I still feel that this series is over priced. I picked up a single 12-ounce for $4, glad I did, but not sure I'd spend the money a four pack.

 350 characters

Photo of Skrumpy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

 250 characters

Photo of Jman69
5/5  rDev +25.9%
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

 167 characters

Photo of MichiganNick
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

 174 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
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!

 513 characters

Photo of GeeL
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
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

 1,589 characters

Photo of MFMB
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
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/

 320 characters

Photo of Hugh37
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
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).

 186 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 1,029 characters

Photo of hgw605
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 184 characters

Photo of eMucho
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 871 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,637 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.