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Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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very good
1,442 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,442 | Ratings: 5,460
Photo of thryn
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium-dark brown, with a coppery tint. No real head, but a decent ring of tan fuzz.

Tons of vanilla in the nose. A hint of smoke, also, and a lot of toffee and caramel notes from the malt. Some booze, but not to unpleasant levels. Oaky, but smooth.

Taste is vanilla, oak, toffee, a hint of chocolate, a hint of peat and a noticeable but not hot alcohol presence. I bought this in July, so it's at least 5 months old. It's very nice. Really smooth. This is a barrel-aged beer where the barrel is prominent, and I'm generally a fan of forward oak, so I've got no complaints about that.

Feel is a bit thin, and it's a little flat, even for the style.

Decently drinkable for the style. Suffers a little from the flat feel, but it's delicious enough that I can overlook that.

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle

Pours a very dark brown almost black with little to no head.

Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla.

Tastes strongly of bourbon and vanilla, boozy, you can taste the 11% at the finish

Mouthfeel is nice and rich, creamy, smooth

Decent beer, but way too bourbony and boozy for me. I prefer a stout where the coffee and chocolate flavors are profiled, this one is not balanced at all. I'll finish it but it may take me all afternoon, it is definitely a "big" beer.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Anchor steam glass.Damn man.Smell is bourbon, vanilla with a hint of coffee.Taste is great.Just great.Bourbon nicely blended with vanilla & chocolate.I liked it a lot.Overall I would say that if your a stout person you have got to give this a try.Great.11.0 ABV helps to.It is nice that they are making this in 12 oz bottle`s now.Have to try this.

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

Dark in color with massive head and tons of lacing. Riverside had just cracked a new keg and it was beautiful. Aroma is of sweet barley with hints of oak. Tastes like sweet toasted mocha with very little hop presence. It seems more like a barley wine than a strong ale. Feels thick and rich in the mouth and has just the right carbonation. Overall a very drinkable beer. Complex and enjoyable. If you can find it on tap try it.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice, but nothing to write home about and I wanted more texture and flavor given the ABV. I have high expectations of the brewery, so was expecting more wow.

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Photo of Jjski
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 version is MUCH tastier than last years. Viscosity has thickened a tad ( an improvement). Not thick like BCBS, but meatier than KBS. Nice mouthfeel. Great aroma, understated yet well executed balance.

This years bourbon presence is appreciably higher: very, very nice.
EPIC? no, not quite. Still fabulous, especially for the price

Edit 8/5/15. I notice some variability between batches. This bottled date, not so impressive. I'm going to lower my taste score by 0.25. This batch is underwhelming

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Photo of bheilman
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a nice dark golden brown amberish color to it. Has a fair amount of hops making me think it was somewhere between an imperial ipa and a Belgian double. I really like the flavor although I'm sure I couldn't handle more than a bomber due to the thick richness. It does have a slight buttery taste, so I think it's fairly valid to have milk in the title. The scent is extremely caramelish and of course that definitely influences the taste on this one. I will seek this out again. I think it could even improve with some cellaring. This beer has made me want to set up a trip to the brewery.

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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 JoLight
4.91/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black, with brown hues. A thin, frothy khaki head. Nice lacing.

Smell: chocolate (like a mixture of cocoa truffles and fruit-filled chocolate); cream; sweet indistinguishable savory fruit; bourbonesque sweetness; alcohol; and oak.

Flavor: pleasant sweetness all the way through; cream; alcohol; whiskey flavor (I guess bourbon); roasted malt; oak; a chocolaty aftertaste. Bitterness is minimal.

Mouthfeel: medium-to-heavy, syrupy; lightly and pleasantly carbonated.

Finish: slick, syrupy, savory.

This is, overall, one of the best beers money can buy, in my humble opinion. If you have access to it, I highly suggest you give it a try.

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Photo of CPeterson
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- A softly translucent deep black brew which pours to a thin skim of a head, settling immediately into something resembling a thick coffee beverage. Leaves spotty lacing at best.

S -- Smells of vanilla and bourbon soaked dark fruit, lightly earthy and woody with hints of chocolate.

T -- Hefty oak tones melded with dark chocolate and vanilla, coffee candy, lightly bitter from the wood countered by a resinous lingering sweetness. A touch of roasted grain which is augmented by the oak. Pretty boozy.

M -- Thin and slick, little or no carbonation, a lingering smack of sweetness, and a slight tingle of numbness on the tongue from the booze.

D -- Hefty and relentless, this is a beer made for kicking teeth in. Definitely worth a try, but I don't see it making it into my regular rotation.

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Photo of warrenout330
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my snifter

A- pours a dark brown, once the whole bottle is poured turns to a pitch black. Thin fluffy tan head, miniamal lacing to the glass

S- smells sweet, sugary, followed up boozy oak Bourbon. Not over powering but its there

T- light sugary chocolate malt, mellow woody characteristics, Bourbon booziness

M- light bodied for a stout, almost makes me feel like this is a milk stout with alot of lactose,alcoholic ting spread out like a spread formation on the palate. Bitterness at the swallow trying to balance this out... hit or miss in this bottle

O- I like this... its different... boozey as all hell... sweet and woody... if your into strong Bourbon or Scotch than this is the brew for you....

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Photo of OldeSchool
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost black with a small head that dissipates quickly. Looks pretty much like a bourbon barrel stout should look.

S: Chocolate, some coffee, maybe a bit of vanilla. Oddly, not much in the way of bourbon.

T: Just a bit of bourbon with more coffee and chocolate. Drinks very smoothly, even at 11 percent ABV.

M: Very good, but not great; smooth and silky with some alcohol sting late.

O: Very good representation of the style. It's less "bourbony" than many of the other beers in this genre, but drinking Dragon's Milk is a good experience overall.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fantastic stout. Unlike other stouts I've had this one has some more complex flavoring and feel to it.
It has a chocolate taste, and a subtle vanilla undertone with bourbon flavors that bring down the bitterness of that chocolate taste and make for an enjoyable stout beer.

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Photo of johnd513
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this bomber into my 20oz glass. This beer pours black with a nice frothy head that sticks around awhile and leaves some decent lacing. Smells of chocolate, malt and alcohol. The taste is very dry like dark chocolate with some cherry taste at the end. The taste from the wood is also very prominent and must contribute to the dryness of this beer but not in a good way. The mouthfeel is smooth but a little dry. Drinkability is moderate. I finished the bomber but it certainly did not wow me. Overall I am glad I tried this beer but I expected much more when I purchased it.

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Photo of Thanby
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby color, creamy tan head, leaves some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and has a creamy quality. The taste is smooth and creamy, the roasted malt dominating the flavor, a little bitter (can't tell if that's hops or not), the caramel and chocolate surface slowly and there's a slightly spicy lingering finish. Definitely a delicious brew, fits the name well. Very easy to drink and the high ABV is fairly hidden. Great balance and body, and just delicious. This is the favorite of everyone at a beer bar near me called Chappy's, and it's obvious why.

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Since my buddy lives in Holland Michigan, I should take his word for it and give these guys a try.

Hew Holland doesn't dissapoint. I have had "The Poet" and the "Mad Hatter" which were both very good but this one is by far better than either one of those beers.

A - Brown to Dark Brown in color. Some light does come through but not much. As far as any head....not much. Nice coloring.

S - Good. Some roasted malts and carmel notes come through. I really like the barrel smell. Very nice but not overpowering. Woody. Earthy. Good.

T - Excellent. Reminds me of a thicker version of Rocky's Revenge. Definite chocolate malt carmel and oak barrel come through. No alcohol at all which is nice for an 8.5% beer. Some carination but not too much. I want to be drinking with a good stake sitting around a camp fire in Northern Minnesota.

M - For such a lighter beer compared to most thick stouts, this Strong Dark Ale is very very creamy. Coats the mouth and tongue. Nice. Very high marks for mouthfeel.

D - You will all die when you hear how much I paid for this 22 oz bomber...$3.99. A new liqior store in town and they have some of their bottles and beers marked WAY to low. In every other store in town, it is at least double this. Excellent find and excellent beer to have on this windy Minnesota Winter day.

Overall, I will for sure pick up more of this in the very near future.

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Photo of MNAle
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An agressive pour results in a 1.5 inch tan, bubbly, creamy head. Very dark, opaque, slighy ruby tinge up through the bottom. Sweet aroma, dark fruity, with a nice bourbon and alcohol smell. Very smooth, creamy thick feel. Lots of whiskey taste. Slightly sweet. Some bittering in the middle and in the finish. Alcohol is there, present in the initial taste and remains throughout but well controlled. Dominatated by the sweet, smooth, fruity malts and bourbon, with just a touch of bittering. Very well done.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the more balanced oak barrel beer. Overall, it's a decent sipping beer that's worth a try (especially if you're a whisky fan)

Appearance: Deep dark brown with a tan head

Smell: Fragrant malt, butter, and a touch of mocha

Taste: Sweet malt, toasted oak, and butter

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth with a bitter kick

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer with its many rich flavors.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pitch black oily body, extremely brief 1 finger brown head.

Smell: See below.

Taste: A distinct flavor of dark chocolate syrup, plus mild coffee, mild oak, mild bourbon. Some charcoal on the finish.

Feel: Thick syrupy body, mild sweetness, low carbonation, warming alcohol finish.

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Photo of germaniac
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours burnt brown, lots of creamy tannish head. Looks something like a stout.

Smell has a great roastiness, some coffee and chocolate malts mingling with dark fruit aromas.

Starts thick and roasty, mellowing out somewhat into creamy tartness. Earthy wood notes and almost sourness towards the finish. Probably has something to do with the barrel aging thing.

A very interesting brew, a nice change from the hoppy strong ales that I'm used to. Not something I'd drink every day, though. Recieved via trade with jpm30.

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Photo of bigbubba
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark ale, with a decent light brown head. Looks almost like a coke while pouring. There is a strong smell of dark chocolate. The taste is much more interesting than the smell. Very nice. There is chocolate, raisins, some wine like flavors probably the oak. It is on the sweet side, with no hops obvious. The mouthfeel is good, very smooth and creamy. It goes down way too easy for a 9% beer!

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Photo of ebby82
3.27/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a black hole like sludge into a tulip glass with barely any head.

The aroma is strongly of coffee and roasted malts. you can also smell the oak.

The taste is intense. It overwhelms the senses with a very alcoholic taste. Also the presence of oak, vanilla, and coffee.

Overall, I think this is just a little too boozy and or wood flavored. I think a year or so of aging would mellow it out.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a bomber into a pint glass. It was black with very little head but lots of lacing. It poured fairly thick. You could definitely smell oak and vanilla with roasted malts. It was very thick and surprisingly sweet from what I remember from the last time I had it. The malt taste was also overpowered by vanilla. I have to say it was too much. I've read other reviews saying the alcohol was too much, but I didn't think it was too boozy. I had this out with friends before, but this time I drank it at home. I was less impressed with it this time, so it'll be some time before I have it again.

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

Pours with a clear dark brown color with ruby tint. Has a nice tan head that sticks around nicely. Aroma is wonderfully complex -- it has some reserved sweetness with oak and vanilla notes...wait until it warms a bit, and a little roast also comes through.

This beer is well balanced and has a surprisingly dry finish; as the beer warms a little, the vanilla notes become somewhat more pronounced.

An enjoyable beer. I like the oak and vanilla over some other examples that can add overpowering bourbon flavor.

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Photo of waldowin
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Gaisgeil for this beer!

Poured a roasty black, with a light tan head that fades to a small patch quickly.

Smell is heavily of vanilla and oak, has a hint of a bourbon to the finish.

The oak absolutely dominates the taste from start to finish. A bit of vanilla and milk sweetness rise through, with a hint of hop tartness at the very end. Oak is all over.

Carbonation is spot on, and the slightly lactic acidity in the beer leaves your mouth ready for more vanilla sweetness. I'd like to see it a little bit heavier, but I consider the thickest of imperial stouts to be my bread and butter, so I'm a bit biased I suppose.

A tasty beer, to be sure, but the alcohol makes a 22oz bottle a night's beer.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,460 ratings.
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