Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,442 | Ratings: 5,460
Photo of Beerdanza
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the perfect sipping beer. The oak barrel aging gives it an amazing heart and soul. You will taste the sweet malt, and a nice touch of hop bitterness. But the oak resins really come through, and mix with the high ABV to make a beer that has all the sipping satisfaction of a fine bourbon. This is probably my favorite beer so far. Try it if you can!

 356 characters

Photo of Jables
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black with a thin off white head

Aroma is sweet caramel and fairly strong smoky notes can be detected. Very strong milk chocolate notes as well.

Taste is heavy of chocolate and caramel w/ some bitterness as from nice dark chocolate. This has a very balaced flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is high despite its high alcohol content and great intriguing flavor.

 402 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.
Bottle states 9% abv. oak aged ale.

Appearance: Great looking brew!! Two inch tan colored head that dissappeared slowly, leaving a little delicate lacing around the glass. Very dark colored brew, not black, maybe dark brown, with awesome ruby highlights around the edges.

Smell: Cool smell!!! Vanilla, roasted malts and a pretty strong bourbon smell. Not to mention a hint of oak or some kind of woody aroma.

Taste: What a combination of vanilla extract, roasted malts, and oak. It ends with a warming flavor of bourbon, but not too strong. The alcohol is hidden very well!

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, not heavy at all, light to medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy too drink, even at 9%. I could easily drink a few bombers in one sitting. My first brew aged in a oak barrel, what a great example. Highly recommended!!!

 890 characters

Photo of bradford
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a trade with stopbarking
Looked weird straight from the get go. Muddy brownish black with minimal head and a good bit of lacing
Smelled off as well. A weird yeasty odor comes through, not offensive but not bery inviting either
Taste was where I really got lost. Tasted more like a Belgian interpretation of a chocolate stout. All the character of a stout, except a very distinctive Belgian yeast taste
Mouthfeel sucked. It was thick, but a muddy gross feeling like after waking up hung over and not brushing your teeth for hours.
Despite all the downfalls, this beer is still drinkable and I am glad I got a chance to try it, just won't seek it out in the future

 681 characters

Photo of dudemuskie
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have had this brew many times out and about and finally snagged a sleeper bottle after the Beerhoptacular event this past weekend! Glad I finally get to pour over a glass and have a special moment with this brew! Its a 2010 vintage and I should probably lay this down, but I really felt like havin a big ol' stout so here we go!

Appearance- Pours a very deep brown, nearly opaque, with faint ruby twinkles of light around the edges. A coke-like fizzy brown head quickly rises to about 1.5 fingers and subsides almost immediately to just about no head. Almost looks like a flat coke...

Aroma- Big notes of bright oak, rich bittersweet cocoa, fresh vanilla, and subtle earthy/herbal hops. Slight boozy tang in the nose reminds you this brew tops out at 10%!

Taste- Alcohol is very prominent from start to finish, though many supporting flavors help round it all out starting with a lovely malty sweet/vanilla/oakiness that intensifies into a big oaky and bittersweet cocoa middle. The finish includes more toasty oak and some chewy cocoa, caramel, and vanilla. Strong vein of warming alcohol through it all.

Mouthfeel- Slightly overcarbed fizzy start may mute some of the flavors, but the brew is big enough to still shine through! Chewy malt complexity enhanced by barrel aged contributions, though woodiness may be a bit too fresh in this young vintage. Full bodied, with some earthy hop additions for support, though bitterness perception low. Mod-high residual sugars. Definitely a warming sensation involved with the aftermath of each sip...I suddenly wish that it was snowing outside...

Overall- Very tasty, despite being a bit too young- lots of complexity, though the oakiness still on the verge of being overwhelming. Pretty good drinkability despite it all, but give this another 6ish months and it should mellow out just right and be a knock your socks off brew!

 1,878 characters

Photo of DragonzBreath
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Stout poured dark and had a huge head, very pretty, first taste we looked at each other in amazement. A very strong bourbon smell hit us. This beer is aged in a second generation oak barrel. This beer got very strong as i drank it. I liked it.
It was like a shot and a beer rolled into one. 10 abv.

 304 characters

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

Very well balanced the barrel aging rounds out this whole beer. Not overly hoppy or overly malty. This is a very good beer to start out with, that is easily assessable to everyone and therefore should be a good starter beer because it is a good representation of what the imperial stout should taste like.

 305 characters

Photo of PreacherBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours motor oil black and sports a thick brown head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lacing is minimal (could be do to the poor quality glassware available to me right now).

S - Smells of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and alcohol.

T - Notes of vanilla, milk chocolate, lactose, heavy oaky presence, pepper, and a slight alcohol burn.

M - Full bodied and slightly syrupy. Not overboard, but significant.

O - A par big-ass american stout. It's good, but doesn't stand out from the rest. If you come across it and are in the mood for a big ass stout, this will do the job quite well.

 582 characters

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

A: Deep brown (almost black) with almost no head, save for a small layer of tan froth on the surface.

S: Big coffee notes, and a strong barrel presence. There is a chocolate aroma as well, it is not as strong.

T: This is a big beer. It makes no jokes about its barrel aspect, and the alcohol is always present, but super strong coffee and chocolate notes return quickly. There is a light vanilla aspect on the finish. A fantastic stout.

F: Medium to heavy body, very smooth creamy feel, almost no carbonation.

O: This is a fantastic beer. It may not be on par with a few of the other heavy - hitters in the same category (which are often near-impossible to find), but it is certainly worthy of a spot on the shelf in my fridge.

 733 characters

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.

 399 characters

Photo of gregy55902
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon Barrel Aged version. 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.

 247 characters

Photo of irs
2.68/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

head is decent. color is good, but some light is getting through. nose is cardboard and molasses. Unfortunately, that is the taste, too. not worth the price. disappointing, given I've been looking forward to trying this. Based on reviews, I will be much happier with Night Tripper. Looking forward to it.
At this ABV, why is this classified as an american stout, versus a double? though I guess it does taste like a fairly weak american stout with some Old Crow mixed in. or maybe just crystal palace vodka.
It is still Way better than Boak's monster mash. That is my number one worst Impy experience. Still looking forward to Night Tripper. If that is so good, why is New Holland still marketing this?

 702 characters

Photo of TheDTrain
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently the D Train has been trying a lot of New Holland's brew. Per usual, Dragon's Milk was good but not great....certainly can't justify the $4.00 I paid. Pretty creamy yet quite dry on taste. Some good vanilla tones and a very pleasant oak/booze blend on the back end.

I feel this is a brew that tried to be complex, but everything gets too muddled together. The higher the price tag, the higher the D Train's expectations. The Force is strong in this one, but Dragon's Milk is not a Jedi yet...

 503 characters

Photo of HopHeadKen
2.78/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark amber brown, porter like in appearance with a thick creamy head of fine, medium and large bubles.

First taste is TART, What is this an oak aged lambic porter ?
The tartness lingers and seems to overwhelm the malt and hops.

Thanks DonO for this one; I am glad I tried it, but it doesn't excite me.

 314 characters

Photo of Contagion
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It comes in a 1 pint, 6 fluid ounce bottle. That's a total of 22 ounces for those of you that don't want to do the math themselves. It comes in a brown bottle with the name on it and the picture of a dragon over a barrel, very eye catching. There is also some informative writings about the beer on it.

The beer is a dark coffee color that light doesn't pass through. Very much like Guinness or Murphy's Irish Stout. When poured into the glass it forms a nice firm half-inch head tan in color. I've been drinking on this beer for 20 minutes and the residue of the head is still along the edge where the beer and glass meet.

The smell is heavenly. You can smell the oak of the barrel, a hint of bourbon and a hint of vanilla, coffee and malt. The smell itself was enough to make Ktreva want to take a sip, and she doesn't like dark beers. I don't think words can describe the taste, but that won't stop me from trying. The taste is like happiness. Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and bourbon entice the tongue and mouth. There is a very slight bitterness to it that enhances the flavor. Even Ktreva liked the taste, and she doesn't like many beers. This is a beer to be savored and appreciated, not gulped down to get another. What is even more surprising is that it is High Gravity ale with 9% alcohol by volume. Tasting this beer you would not suspect that at all.

The texture in the mouth is very much like milk. It's extremely smooth and doesn't leave a bad aftertaste. It coats the mouth and throat as it easily passes by in a pleasant way.

I've never had a beer like this before. When I say it's unique, I truly mean it is a one of a kind. This is the type of beer that beer lovers hope to find, and then are disappointed, when after sampling it, they can't find it anymore. It is a bit pricey at $6.99 a bottle, but well worth the price. If you ever get a chance to sample one, you'd be a fool to pass it up. There are only a handful of beers that I've had the pleasure of tasting that goes into my, "Special guest" category, but this is one of them. If I know I'm going to have an avid beer drinker over, I'll make sure to have a couple of bottles of this fine elixir in the house. This would be the 30-year single malt of beers.

 2,245 characters

Photo of dowen17
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with a big cream colored head. Great retention

The nose is dark chocolate, cream, vanilla, oak, and some alcohol. Very good smelling beer.

This beer tastes great. Milky vanilla taste on the first sip. The oak really doesn't present itself until mid-sip but its very good. On the sweeter side as well.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy stout. Great.

This is a great beer. Will definitely drink again any chance I get.

 432 characters

Photo of Riff
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just didn't live up to the hype, there are better bourbon barrel stouts out there. Nice, black pour with a finger width of tan head. Pleasant aroma. Body was a little thinner than I expect from a stout. Strong hit of bourbon at the front with a very sharp note of alcohol shortly afterwards that I've not had from other BA beers. Finish was smoother but lingered for too long for my tastes.

*Editing* Have since been working on the other three bottles from the 4-pack I bought. Much smoother results and getting a smooth, creamier feeling. Slight notes of vanilla flavor, sweet with a hint of a dark roast. I'll take it the first bottle was just a dud, thankfully.

 666 characters

Photo of imagineiii
2.76/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aggresive pour yeilds a dark brown, almost porter-like appearance. Good inch of off white, large bubbled head. dissipates slowly, leaving decent lace behind. no complaints here.

Smells like a chocolate porter. dry, very faint bourbon notes. nothing spectacular at all.

This is where it falls apart. Initial taste is a strange and uncomforting astrigency on the tongue. Followed by dryness of a porter that doesnt hold much of a bourbon flavor. After taste is chemically. Alcohol is well hidden tho.

Aside from astringent taste, the beer has a nice weight to it. It isnt too bad in the mouth but it falls apart after.

Drinkable, I dont think so. Im wondering if I can finish it.

 681 characters

Photo of soupermirl
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hell. Yes. Fantastic. Beautiful beer. Coconut finish. Woody deliciousness. This beer is delicious, did I state that? It's nice. Drink it. Ok so, color is dark, thick, heady, very nice. Nice is thin but taste and mouth fill are right on. It's worth it.

 257 characters

Photo of Dave_in_GR
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, date on bottle says aged 2012.

Appearance - poured a really nice dark brown color with just a small layer of light brown head. Completely opaque in the glass.

Smell - seems to be dominated by the oak from the barrel aging. No alcohol smell whatsoever. The aroma is relatively mild.

Taste - the taste is dominated by oak and a creamy vanilla flavor. As with the aroma, the alcohol is hardly noticeable. There is a bit of a bitter aftertaste, perhaps from the roasted malts. Definitely a beer to drink slowly.

Mouthfeel - definitely some astringency in the mouth while drinking, and it is a strange mix with the sweet and creamy vanilla flavors. Otherwise very pleasant, very lightly carbonated.

Overall - lovely dessert stout with sweet and distinctive flavors.

 811 characters

Photo of Dansting
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a dark, purplish brown color with a nice brown head and strong lacing. Aroma was very pleasant, with a nice blend of roasted malts and oak. Mouthfeel was okay. Flavor wasn't as bold as I had expected, especially for the ABV. Hints of chocolate, oak, alcohol, toffee, and coffee. This was a nice big offering from New Holland.

 340 characters

Photo of unclederby
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The case box was stamped March, 2006. This ale sits an opaque ebony in my tulip and despite a vigorous pour leaves very little cap. I'm picking up black cherry, cola and just a whiff of bourbon in the nose and very little else: kinda smells like a Dr. Pepper. I give it a few swirls and briefly i can detect a bit of currant and perhaps molasses. I really have to work (agitate) to get this though, and the beer doesn't draw me in on it's own accord. The flavors are off-dry and reveal the bourbon and some cocoa powder, with a slightly sour, somewhat "metallic" alcoholic finish...

Mouthfeel is medium/thin and lacking something in my opinion. I can drink this beer because it's nothing too offensive, but i don't know that i'd choose it over another strong ale - especially given that Arrogant Bastard (a much better brew even without the oak-aging) is three bucks cheaper than this offering. Final analysis: a notch above mediocre since i'm feeling generous.

 964 characters

Photo of stouty1
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dragon's Milk poured a dark black with a deep ruby tint. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my snifter created a 1 inch head caramel in color. Leaves a nice creamy film along the side of the glass as it's inbibed.

Dark choclatey flavor with a hint of Bourbon. You can definitely taste the alcohol but, definitely not over powering. Leaves a nice malty aftertaste on the back of your tongue with a hint of something sweet. I am definitely enjoying this Stout and will get back to the store for more!

 498 characters

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown almost black with very little head. Moderate lacing clings to the 20oz. glass. The smell is very sweet. There is a definite scent of cocoa and coffee present. The 1st sip is very chocolaty. The oak presents itself very nicely by mid glass and finishes with a nice alcohol warmth. This was my first experience with New Holland but was not disappointed. I wasn't sure what to expect from either the brewery or the beer, but based on this, I'll be looking more closely at the line.

 498 characters

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

Appearance: Pours to a opaque black with literally no head. An aggressive pour yielded a miniscule tan head that dissapeared instantly.

Smell: Smells instantly of toffee and vanilla, with some fig maybe?

Taste: First up is the obvious vanilla and toffee, however they quickly fade to accommodate the obvious alcohol presence. Finishes with subtle fruity hops.

Mouthfeel: Definitely full-bodied and chewy. Very little carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavors are really very good in this beer, however the high alcohol content is quite present. Very good nightcap.

 566 characters

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,460 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!