Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,431 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,431
Ratings:
5,410
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
324
Gots:
1,625
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,431 | Ratings: 5,410
Photo of manahansf
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with glowing ruby highlights. The head is very light and lacy with a light brown color. The thin head gives off a strong sweet vinous aroma. The drink is slow and viscous with low levels of carbonation with sweet roasted malt flavors supported by vanilla flavors from the barrel. The flavor fades slowly and gracefully with just a hint of the sweet vanilla lingering with the warming alcohol.

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Photo of ken3c
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystals evident under the cap probably from spillage but I just wiped them and it didn't affect the taste or anything else.

Very dark reddish hue with a ring of foam.

Sweet roasted aroma.

Sweet nutty chewy. maybe a little cloying but sometimes I really like something sweet. I really love the oakiness/nutty taste.

Well carbonated but syrupy. Warming. Coats the inside of my mouth.

I almost rated this beer higher except for the extreme sweetness. It definately has a place as an after dinner beer but I couldn't drink it all the time.

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Photo of JMC_TM
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably in my top 3 favorite beers. I had it on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC.
It pours a thick, dark onyx with a nice off-white head. The nose gives you lots of chocolate, dark roasted malt, some vanilla oaky notes and just a hint of the alcohol. Each sip helps paint a full picture of this complex Strong Ale. You start off with lots of chocolate that tastes nice and creamy because of the subtle vanilla, and as it warms you start to taste the malt backing it up, along with some oak notes and again just a hint of the alcohol. The lingering finish is of vanilla and chocolate and leaves you wanting more. This is an awesome and dangerously drinkable beer for the 8.5% abv.

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Photo of bgildea
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice dark brown/black color. Nice brown head but faded quickly with little to no lacing.

S: Smell is average. There is a strong smell of alcohol that masks most of the other smells. Faint hints of vanilla and other sweets in the background.

T: Taste is good, but not great. The alcohol once again overpowers the softer vanilla flavor. A nice faint carmel aftertaste though.

M: Thiner than expected. I was definitly hoping for more chew.

D: It's definitly drinkable. Although you can taste more of the 8.5 ABV than I'd prefer.

Overall: The beer is decent, however the alcohol overpowers the finer aspects of the beer. Their are faint hints of vanilla and carmel that get lost in the beer. Overall, I'll drink and enjoy it, but if the alcohol taste were toned done, it would be much better.

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Photo of Jade
4.92/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured the 2012 vintage into my brandy snifter.

A - Dark beer, like a stout. I had about 1" light mocha head with a heavy pour.

S - Oh, my! Bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits, maybe raisin.

T - Creamy bourbon barrel flavors. More bourbon than some years. Vanilla and caramalized malts. Like some stouts, but without the coffee or chocolate flavors.

M - Perfect balance and carbonation. Close to a medium stout in mouthfeel. Creamy and wonderful to sip on!

O - Still one of my top 5 beers period! If you like stouts or bourbon barrelled ales at all, give this a shot. The best New Holland brew I've tasted. Maybe the best beer I've tasted. Always available.

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

I tried this beer on tap, and a bottled version. The bottle was nowhere near as good as the tap version, while this is true of many beers it is very apparent with this beer. A lot of the complex aromas and flavors were lost when bottled. But the aroma was very sweet with a definitive brandy flavor. The taste was sweet and had a definite alcohol warming. The color was black. I loved the spicy flavors from the hops. There were definite sweet estery notes as well. This is a great beer, but on tap, this is a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark ruby, almost opaque. Light tan frothy head with with good retention.

S - Strong vanilla and oak notes with a roasted and chocolate aroma background.

T - Sweet milkshake sweet front, works into roasted and dark chocolate bitterness, but finish is overwhelming hot from higher abv and ruins balance and aftertaste.

M - Thick mouthfeel with low amount of carbonation that accentuates the style.

O - Good beer, price and limited availablity may make it overhyped. However, it is a very interesting beer and worth a try.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell = Roasted malt and bourbon/oak aromas.

Taste = Sweet malts upfront, caramel, and a slight bourbon/oak rounding out the flavor. A faint hop bitterness appears at the finish. The alcohol was truly hidden.

MF = Rich, smooth, creamy, and low carbonation.

Overall, after smelling the bourbon/oak aromas, I was afraid they would ambush the flavor. This was certainly not the case. This beer was amazing. The flavors were complex yet gentle. It made for an incredible beer.

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Photo of nova009
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a silver foil topped bomber into a snifter.

A - pours pretty dark with some red accents around the edges. very small head that quickly disappears. small amount of lacing.

S - interesting. it almost smells like a stout. chocolate and the woodiness of the oak. some vanilla is subtle.

T - sweet with a more powerful alcohol feel than I was expecting. chocolate with bourbon hints.

M - medium mouthfeel. the alcohol tingles the tongue. not overly carbonated makes more a nice sipping experience

D - kind of heavy and with the amount of alcohol its more of a one and done kind of beer. I could probably only drink this every now and then

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Photo of krustster
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UUuuuaaahhh god man. This was my first of the New Holland High Gravity series, and the reason why I ended up trying the full lineup. Coming back to it now after several months and it's actually quite a bit better than I remembered.

Appearance is good, dark brown/mostly black with a light colored head that leaved a thick sheet of foam around my glass. It's more translucent than most of this style, so it looks slightly "weak" but oh well. This is really not a very important category to me.

Smell is nice. Very sweet, bordering on too sweet. As far as aroma, this may be the sweetest non-flavored beer I can think of, even more than Sweet Repute. Tons and tons of fruity smells like ripe sweet cherries, prunes, raisin, with loads of vanilla, candied nuts and baked sugar(?). It's obvious that this is a bourbon barreled beer, but the bourbon and oak itself is very hard to pick up on the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose. How often is that not the case? There's a lot of candied nuts up front, like those peanuts with the bumpy red stuff on them, with overripe (in a good way) fruits on the side, soaked in vanilla. Again I can't really taste much bourbon, but the influence of the barrel aging is obvious. I get a bit of brown sugar and molasses as well. Hints of coffee and bitterness on the finish, just enough to balance things and keep it from being grossly sweet. Like someone else said, I can't believe this one only has an 88 average. It's very well put-together.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. A little thinner than some comparable offerings at "only" 10% ABV but still quite substantial and has that decadent, dessert-like coating feeling on the palate. The first time I tried this I remember it being way too boozy, but at the time it was also straight from the fridge and tonight it's closer to room temperature & has calmed down considerably.

Overall, Dragon's Milk is an amazingly tasty beer for a relatively low price. I feel that some people are overlooking it because it's easily available and the price is fair ($7 a bomber/$14 a four pack) and as we all know, the only barrel-aged stouts worth drinking are brewed once in ultra-limited quantities for $30 a serving.

Seriously though, making this a year-round offering was a fantastic move on New Holland's part. It's pretty phenomenal for the price, and extremely tasty regardless of value.

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Photo of matt_duthie
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a thin khaki head, reduces to an even thinner cap, some lacing. Not quite black, letting some light in around the edges and a little pocket of deep dark red you can see through when held to the light.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, bit of chocolate, roasted malts. Nice.

T: Follows the nose, big bourbon and vanilla, almost more like a BBA porter than big imperial stout. Finishes dry and slightly bitter. Quite good but not incredible.

F: A little lighter body than I expected/remembered, silky smooth and coats the palate. Light-medium carbonation is just about right, could use to be a little more full-bodied.

O: I really like this beer, a solid but different take on a bourbon-barrel stout than you'll find elsewhere, pretty approachable for 11% with good barrel character, and easy to find anywhere in MI. Also sweet name and cool bottle art.

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Photo of SLOTHLIFE
4.84/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go-to barrel aged stout. Bourbon tidal waves knock you on your ass and you let yourself get sucked in by the vanilla undertow, not caring if you drown in its boozy bliss. This is like the Black Sabbath of beers.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had previous years of this and have not been blown away. This batch however seemed delightful.

A - Poured a black color with a decent head. It lasted for a long time and was continously regenerating as i drank. Lacing was superb and was fully remaining all the way down the glass after I finished.

S - Mot as muck oak as I would have expected, Some good malty notes as well as an alcohol presence. Despite my inability to place all the aromas it was still a fine warmup.

T - Excellent, sweeter notes for sure but not sickly sweet. Faint tastes of vanilla in there for sure. Again a wood taste was in there but I thought it was mild for oak aged. However it complimented the beer greatly.

M - Amaxingly smooth feel with a great body also.

D - For the ABV listed (9%) this is one of the easiest drinking beers. I could definately had another butcould not and drive home.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer is black with ruby highlights. opaque. brown head. fair retention. fair lacing.

smells like vanilla. sherry. oak. caramel and toffee malts. some slight alcohol. some floral hop aroma too.

taste is very sweet upfront. flavors of vanilla and oak, roasted malts, coffee chocolate, toffee, caramel. some hop and roasted malts bitterness in the finish to try and take some of the edge off the sweetness of this beer, but it is still sweet throughout and lingering after the finish. flavor of alcohol grows and remains unmistakable.

full mouthfeel. soft carbonation. very wet/sweet.

this beer should definitely be aged. very good. very big. definitely a sipper/ dessert beer.

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Photo of DavyJones
4.99/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For whatever reason, this was a beer that I didn't have extremely high expectations for, boy what a pleasant surprise.

2015 Vintage.

Color is very pleasant dark dark brown, not as opaque as many other beers in the style.

Smell is bourbon and vanilla, heavenly.

Taste is bourbon forward, then fades to vanilla. As the vanilla diminishes, tastes of bitter chocolate and coffee emerge, all while retaining some of the creamy vanilla character. Super tasty stuff.

Mouth feel is medium, not syrupy, not watery/thin; it's the way I like my stouts.

This has become one of my favorite beers in the style. After taking my first sip, I was reminded of the the early releases of KBS when it was a bit more raw/bourbon forward, which I miss.

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

Pours an inky black with some ruddy highlights and a frothy but short lived head. Smells of bitter roasted malts, sugary lactose sweetness, and some resinous oaky notes. Very malty, slightly burnt bitter flavor. Very complex; vanilla, raisiny sweetness, well hidden alcohol and a somewhat ashy aftertaste with some oaken sourness. This has a creamy full body with a semidry finish that puts me in mind of an Imperial Stout, save the raisiny sweetness.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kane at Roof Brothers in Paducah, KY for recommendating this. Kinda reminds me of a mellowed Goose Island Bourbon County Stout in taste, smell and mouthful. Not much head retention but the oak woodsy smell is followed with a very pungent taste and an ever numbing mouthful. Very good beer from New Holland.

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

This beer poured a black color with a tan head. The aroma of this beer smelled of booze, oak, and caramel and roasted malts, with hints of chocolate. The taste of this beer is smooth. The aroma is very deceiving, its a balanced beer, very smooth. The mouthfeel is full, more of a thicker mouthfeel. All in all its very drinkable.

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Photo of radioscooter
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"High Gravity Series" is right.

Beautiful almost black coloring. Typical caramely stout frothy head.

I don't find this as sweet as other reviewers have. But I like them SWEET so...let's call it sweet-ish. Certainly not overly sweet by any definition.

Aroma is java-ish and cocoay. First tastes are of cocoa, vanilla bean, coffee, and maybe a little fruit, but just a touch.

Very creamy and seductive on the tongue. Syrupy, clings to your lips.

As it sits, - mostly rich dark vanilla, and burnt brown sugar, with a tinge of devil's food cake.

Tasty. Could drink a few but not an all-nighter. VERY boozy. Not overly so - but make no mistake squier.

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Photo of Northsider
2.56/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Fork Chicago.

This was beer recommended to me by the bartender. I got it in a short glass (6oz? 8oz?). I'm not thrilled about high abv beers, and this one was no different. All I tasted was the alcohol. I felt like I was drinking scotch with this one. Appearance is very dark with tan head. Smell was all alcohol to me, as was the taste.

Overall, I'd pass on this again. Not my kind of beer. Way too alcoholy for my tastes

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with thin white head

Smell: Raisin, Bourbon, Coffee, & French Vanilla

Taste: Tobacco, Milk Chocolate, Liquorish, Coffee

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full Bodied with nice smooth tannins.

Drinkability: Drinks like a porter. Exceptional taste packed with flavor. Very enjoyable. I highly recommend.

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Photo of B33R501
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque black, very little carbonation or head. the first pour was pretty, the second dull. No lace.

beautiful bottle aroma of chocolate, nice oak and bourbon in the glass. smells great, the best part of this beer. thought i would really like this.

lots of bourbon and oak taste, some vanilla, but little overbearing and tough to finish the bomber. surprising, since i usually dont mind big boozy beers. not very complex though.

thin and slick mouthfeel, too much alcohol burn. drinkability is just ok.

overall not a bad beer by any means, one ive been wanting to try but never got to until today. But no reason to get this again.

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Photo of Ksoden1186
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

2014 vintage
Almost completely black. The most slight ruby around extremities of glass. Kaki head, about one finger, quickly receded.

Excellent roasted malt and bourbon aroma.

Taste is quite nice. This is very easy drinking. Vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is not as intense as many of the more aggressive bourbon barrel aged beers. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. This is not really the same experience that you will get from Parabola, KBBS, or some of the other great bourbon stouts. That said, I bought this for $5.09 for a 22oz bomber and enjoyed it quite a bit.

Nice and sticky. Not too much carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good beer. The bourbon could be more intense, but as it is the beer is very well balanced and goes down extremely well.

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Photo of rembrant
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note...This beer is quite temperature sensitive. Started too cold,It does have a Red Wine like Tannin finish and a rather thin mouthfeel. Warmer things really snap into balance,though I may have finished it off before it got full spectrum as I got only a subtle Bourbon taste and hardly any real booziness or heat.

Look...Black,real black and an aggressive pour only does a short lived tan head.
Aroma-- Deep roasty sweet stuff,rum soaked raisins or a cream sherry. Getting a medium dark chocolate. Later and warmer it somewhat shifts toward coffee rather than chocolate and there's a touch of Bourbon,less of the Sherry.

Taste--The bottle and web site say Oak Barrel...no actual mention of Bourbon,but I got some..sometimes.

I began too cold,and initially I noticed chocolate,some slight smokiness and a sherry to port to red wine finish that was a bit harsh and lingering. The malt side flashed a sweet note then coffee and chocolate and rum raisin had a rowdy battle for dominance.

I decided to let this stuff warm more and the transition was dramatic as that unwanted Red Wine tannin vanished,Coffee stepped up with a swirl of secondary flavors,including raisin,oakiness,some smoke,roast,toffee...and in the back of the mouth,some Bourbon.

Some big dark ale/Stout/Porters do a graceful evolution from rather cold to their prime point....this does not do the cold well...unless you rather favor a touch of tangy that's almost sour. I may have finished a bit before she did...I was getting more body and sweet side,a LOT more silky smooth,a more graceful set of flavors in both transitions and merging. I think another 5 min wait might have brought up the Bourbon a bit more.

Mouth...as noted...at it's "best" temp it's a lot like a good Cream Stout, not real heavy/syrupy but a velvet,comfortable thing. Carbonation is adequate,might benefit from a VERY little more.

Drinkability...This is pretty "Large" yet not overwhelming or over the top. ABV says it ain't a "session" beer but if you take your time,a couple would taste good.

Not cheap. About the price of Bell's expedition.

Since it did come up...This is safe from bottle or tap...NOT from Dragon tit. Your Beer Insurance will NOT cover the ravaging of local villages and virgins or whatever fate befalls you.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a snifter.
Pours a deep black that lets just a tiny bit of light pass through when up. I was surprised by the very thin head, the tight tan bubbles fizzed away pretty quickly leaving no lacing.
Lots of oak in the aroma, also tons of dark fruit and some chocolate.
Lots of dark fruit up front supported by a malty body. I still get the oak and chocolate. Very sweet, maybe pushing it towards to sweet for a stout IMO. Moderately hot alcohol at the end.
Big body, very sticky and sweet. Higher in carbonation than I would have guessed.
Overall a nice beer. Again, a bit to sweet for a stout IMO. However, I like sweet beers so I won't complain. Thanks for letting me try this Paul U.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.
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