Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,481 Reviews
Dragon's MilkDragon's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
newhollandbrew.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,481
Ratings:
5,640
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
13.1%
 
 
Wants:
346
Gots:
1,763
For Trade:
44
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,481 | Ratings: 5,640
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.

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

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head despite a vigorous pour. No lace develops.

Smell: vanilla is most noticeable with some softer wood and alcohol tones.

Taste: caramel, big vanilla flavors, oak woodiness, molasses, prunes, and some milder bitter chocolates create a flavorful beer. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout with a long aftertaste.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol levels, this beer goes down smoothly and it is almost like a liquid meal in a bottle. Worth a try by anyone who can get their hands on it.

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

9%? I could definately down a growler of this. This is a pretty cool beer, kind of like an American old ale. Big caramel and chocolate (reminds me of carafa malts) flavors. I get more chocolate in the aroma with a hint of oak. There are also some mroe subtle flavor floating around like vanilla, but this isn't the most comples beer. Still, it's very drinkable and I'd get it again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.

Pours a dark opaque black with a one inch head and not much lacing.

Smells include dark roasted malt, vanilla, and some oak.

Not much bourbon flavor in this BA stout, it's more of an oak and vanilla story. Some chocolate and roasted malt flavor. I might be spoiled now by other intense versions of this style, but this seems slightly muted. Good flavors, but would prefer a stronger barrel character. Quite sweet, slightly cloying.

Medium bodied, sticky sweet mouthfeel, coats your mouth. Not much alcohol present.

A good beginner's BA stout, I think, but not one of the greats.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark brown/black in colour with a half finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Intense aroma of vanilla and oak up front with dark chocolate and some roasted malt flavours. A very intense nose.

T - Intense vanilla and oak flavours up front with a s light alcohol burn that eventually settled down. Some faint chocoalte notes and a nice sweet vanilla flavour in the finish. The taste of the ale itself is quite subdued and the flaovurs of the barrel aging form the majority of the palate of this beer.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very nice beer. 10% ABV is somewhat noticeable at first but less and less as I continued to drink this. Would definitely pick this one up again if I come across it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to stouty1 for the brew.

Pour into a chalice a nice clear dark ruby color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tan head which lasts forever, tons of lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of nice sweet/oaked malts, some dark fruits (plums, figs), slight vanilla, and caramel. The taste is very nice of sweet malts, vanilla, oak, plums, and caramel. Medium body, highly carbonated feel, well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, I'm really enjoying this one, thanks again Dan. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After 4 hours of not having electricity in my house, it has returned. And my beer is still chilled. On to the beer:

Black, as expected, with ruby red hues when shined through a light. The head fizzes away, which is dissapointing. But hey, it smells nice. Pleasnat. Mellow. There is some vanilla, cream, and a light touch of oak. Some coffee too.

It tastes sweet and milky at first taste. Milk and cream for certain. A pinch of booze heats things up. There's the oak, and it begins to take hold. It starts to impart a fruity flavor with wood. Medium bodied with light carbonation, not quite as "high gravity" as I would expect. Actually, it thickens up some as it warms. Overall, the flavors meld better as it warms.

I was unsure about this beer at first, then things started to get better and better as it warmed. A nice beer to try if you have a sweet tooth and/or are an oak lover.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours a dark brown color, similar to Coca Cola. The head is off-white. The aroma is strongly wood and bourbon and some vanilla. The flavor is similar with lots of vanilla as well as wood, bourbon, chocolate and coffee. One of the more complex tasting beers I have had in a while. Medium body and low carbonation. Awesome beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Served in a chiller drink glass. Odd...college bar. On tap?

A. Appears like a coca cola with no head and dark brown body. Is this beer?

S. A bit off. Well water and some distant malt. Im a bit scared..

T. Puts my worries at ease after the poor presentation. A nice roasted malt flavor. A bit of coffee as it warms. Hints of vanilla. Slight earthy hop bitters even it out. No noticable alcohal. Slighty nutty finish.

M. The best attribute of this one. Ultra smooth and oh so creamy.

D. A full bodied as hell, flavorful and robust ale. Not reccommended for anything other than a dessert beer/night cap. Worthy of a purchase.

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Photo of dar482
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark brown and in the glass in a black color with a huge off white brownish head.

The aroma has a beautiful rich toasty/roasty marshmallow, roasted almond, cocoa powder, a mix of a spicy and whole wheat breadiness, and nuttiness.

The flavor hits up front with richly toasted malt, cocoa, a creamy milk and melted ice cream flavor. The beer finish with vanilla, almond, and caramel sweetness. Some oak and stiff bitterness on the back. Some alcohol as well.

In general, the beer is lacking in flavor. It definitely does not remind one of a bourbon barrel aged stout.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with almost no head. No lacing either. The aromas are a heady mix of bourbon, light malt, oak, and cream. Doesn't smell rich, more like a bourbon and cream. The malty notes are subdued. Lots of flavor, but a little thin in the mouthfeel department. Could use a little more backbone. The flavors themselves are very nice, though with some chocolate up front followed by a hit of bourbon and brandy, a long warming development of alcohol, and finally some malted milk on the finish. Quite a nice sipper and doesn't fill you up as much as Bourbon County Stout, but doesn't satisy as much either. If you don't like Bourrbon flavors stay away from this one. If you do, you'll probably enjoy it as I did.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque charcoal black with auburn prints and highlights of maroon when held directly to the light. Darkened and quite lusterless, it's a very dull, shadowed appearance. I'd never observe any head, regardless of the angle on pouring, but note a thin off-white envelope which embalmed the beer and doted all parts of the glass.

The aroma is pleasing but far from decadent. There are crisp toffee wafers and a light presence of cocoa beans. Beyond that you'll have to get your nose wet to discover exactly what lies within; as hard as I sniff I fail to discover anything more. I try to imagine dark caramel, rich rum-raisin, vanilla custard and strong espresso but I fail to pick any of it out.

The taste falls a little closer to the mark, boasting notes of raw, unprocessed vanilla bean, gourmet roast coffee, rich caramel, hints of black licorice and unrefined cocoa. The oak is now wholly apparent, imparting hints of ash and dry untreated wood. There's a surprisingly generous dose of coconut. Still, it won't be enough to crack the top of my best-of list.

The oak imparts much needed dimension to the beer. It adds vanilla, an ounce of sweetened spice and just a touch of tannic quality. Those notes of chocolate reside on the palate showcasing both bitter and sweet; that combination is enticing. The alcohol percentage never shows and this achieves a very drinkable status that will only improve with a little warmth.

New Holland's decision to age this in oak barrels was most likely a smart one. Although it is a quality stout, or whatever Beer Advocate chooses to list it as, the beer no doubt benefited from a little extra complexity. It's certainly something that will suit the cellar and makes a more than worthy pick up if you're fortunate enough to find it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz reviewed in my notebook a couple weeks ago... bottle supplied from SAS.. thanks for the opportunity.. my share in my New Belgium snifer.

1" head.. no lacing... very dark brown beer.. verging on black.. Dark ruby highlites when held to a light... very clear.

Aroma is chocolate/toasted malts .. with a little caramel.. low vanilla but definitely present.. smells creamy... dark dried fruits as it warms.

Flavor is thick caramel and toffee... bourbon and vanilla.. toasty oak.. very smooth.. nothing bitter.. a little bit of cola. Medium body.. could use a little more viscosity... plummy notes along with raisin... low carbonation adds to an already milky/silky brew... surprisingly drinkable..

Sorry guys.. wish I had more.. again, taken from a paper notepad. Thanks, Steve.

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

Wasn’t expecting too much from this beer and it was a pleasant surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Pours like a good imperial stout should, jet black with a frothy brown head. Head dissipated fairly quickly, some patchy lacing remained on the glass.

Nose is chocolaty will prominent oak, maybe some subtle dark fruit, vanilla, coffee. Decently roasty. In the tasting the oak is there but not as prominent as in the nose, which I felt was a good thing; a little oak barrel is nice but I don’t always want to drink something that tastes like a wood shop. Again there was plentiful chocolate, a hint of vanilla and coffee, some raisins and figs, and a very mild touch of tartness that was a little odd. Thankfully it wasn’t particularly noticeable.

Body is medium-full, with moderate carbonation and a somewhat sticky overall mouthfeel. This is a pretty good beer, certainly not upper echelon, but not bad at all either. Lacks the fullness, heft, and complexity of the best of the style but also the pricetag of most. Worth a shot at least.

edit: more than two years and over a thousand beers later I find much of what I mentioned above still true, but I'd amend things by saying the body is firmly medium and isn't that sticky at all. Carbonation is medium but on the high side for style. Ultimately the feel is a little unsatisfying.

I'll give this beer credit for nicely counterbalancing sweet and roasty elements, but at this point I'm looking for more barrel out of my BA beers and more complexity out of this style in general.

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Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A clear but very dark brown colored ale with a wispy light brown head. This is easily as dark as a porter.

The smell is sweet and boozy with lots of oak and malt and a trace of Bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, oak and caramel are all in here, so pretty much bourbon.

The taste starts semi sweet and malty with a strong vanilla flavor with a bit of a chocolate after taste. A bit malty but the oak barrel dominates the taste of this beer and it is mostly vanilla and caramel. This could be more complex.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Easy to drink without a doubt but it lacks so zip I think. Tasty but it needs more complexity besides the vanilla and wood.

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Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a firkin at UJ's on the Manatawny last weekend.

The beer pours a dark black brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is uncomplicated, but is still very nice, consisting of noticeable bourbon, coffee, chocolate and cherry vanilla. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but in this case the whole is superior to the sum of the parts. Everything blends in together so well, and the flavor profile is enhanced by an incredibly decadent, rich, soft as silk, mouthfeel. This beer is increadily soft and creamy, and has a long finish. The alcohol in this beer is barely noticeable, though one gets a bit of a warming sensation after a while. Nevertheless, delicious as this beer is, it would be entirely too easy to drink quite a few of these at a sitting, something that would probably not be a good idea.

Very impressive.

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Photo of Derek
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Cola coloured with an off-white/tan head, very little retention or lace.

S: Alcohol (port?), jaggery & brown sugar (hint's of molases).

T: Chocolate, raisin, malty bread, nut, great bittersweet balance, alcohol is pleasant (not overly assertive).

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very good. This was one of my favourites at the fest.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a midnight black brew with little head (don't know if beer or bartender) but left some spider lacings as I drank. Some wood and sweet malts came through in the smell, plus some coffee malts. A little thick and syrupy with the body, the beer contained a good oak taste with some sweetness and a little coffee malt, among other malts. The oak kind of took over and this is a good beer, but not a standout beer. ABV hidden pretty good as there is a smoothness riding through this beer, including the backbite. I'd have it again but I'm not going out of my way to seek it.

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Photo of rudzud
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with JLindros. 2014 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice semi clear brown hue with a thin head that faded to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of light chocolate, faint dark fruit, very light bourbon. Really faint vanilla and oak.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of dark fruit. There is some chocolate candy taste, rather mild bourbon too.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, bit thin.

O - Overall this beer was rather underwhelming. Didn't get nearly enough stout notes.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger light tan head that vanishes leaving no lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Molasses and malt nose and taste is bourbon, sweet malt and molasses. High ABV is hidden. $4.80 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Denverlogan for this...Aayiiieeee!!!!
This one actually came in a dark 22 oz, silk screened bomber.
Appears a hazy dark brownish black with a small tan head that fades into a film. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of oaky lactose with cocoa, caramel, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas perhaps just knocked down a notch.
Mouthfeel is silky and creamy with mild carbonation. Perhaps one of the silkiest beers I've ever had.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours and opaque oil black with a one fingered toffee colored head, and thick lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass.

S - Dark chocolate, oak, roasted malt, some vanilla, and a little bit of booziness.

T - Alcohol effervesence is quite strong with this beer, it was the first thing I noticed. After I got past the alcohol presence, is strong dark roasted malt, traces of vanilla, bold oak flavor, and dark roasted chocolate bitterness that leaves a lingering coating in the mouth. There's a little bit of a caramel rum like flavor in there as well.

M - Medium bodied, boozy effervesence, slight prickles on the tongue, and lip smacking sticky on the lips.

O - Wish I would have aged this 2011 bottle instead of cracking it open tonight. Something like this would be amazing if it were aged in a bourbon or red wine barrel. The alcohol presence is a little too strong.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $8 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla and a bit of a bourbon flavour.

Overall - An interesting brew. Not over the top in sweetness or bourbon, but still packs a punch in ABV. Very drinkable and a nice well rounded flavour. I guess I was expecting something more robust, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Can't see this improving with age really, seems about perfect now.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: From the bottle appeared a chocolate-chestnut brown color with deep marzen highlights, while in the glass was totally opaque with a mocha tinted head that was quickly dissipating. A sturdier, frothy-whipped head would of crowned this off with near perfect results, but the fizziness and quick demise didn't leave much to appreciate.

S: The nose came forth with a deep sense of espresso beans and a dark roasted malting that was bitter with oaky cask notes of whiskey and burbon. There was a strange, albeit, an intriguing scent of fresh motor oil, perhaps a result of the burnt malting and booziness. Burnt chocolate hints round things out here with a deep roasted barley finish accompanied by a lingering booziness of whiskey and burbon.

T: The flavor right from the start illustrates its deep, brooding and intimidating nature of deep roasted burnt malting straight from the bowels of hell. A burnt charred bitterness which is highlighted by a mixed booziness of whiskey and burbon is served up with a deep sense of acrid nature. While the malting was dark, burnt and roasted, its overall delivery was one of complete smoothness. Dark fruit of ripe juicy plums, licorice and dry vanilla also add highlights to this finely tuned flavor. There is a very warming alcohol nature to this beer that would probably keep you warm in the middle of Siberia wearing nothing but a thong. Overall the roasted character is dark, brooding and bitter, yet surprising smooth and refined in nature.

M: incredibly smooth and lusciously silky with a light-medium body. Burnt barley offerings and a warming booziness smoothers the tongue upon the swallow.

D: fairly good despite the overall warm booziness, balanced by the smooth roasted character. At 9.0%abv a bomber is about all I could handle though enjoyed every last sip of it. A dark, brooding and sometimes intimidating drink that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, and pit of your stomach.

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

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a very dark brown with reddish highlights and about a 1 finger head of tannis foam. Average head retention but it does have some nice lacing.

The smell is dominated by caramel malt but I also get some roasted malt, vanilla, and wood. Pretty nice nose.

The taste has notes of caramel and roasted malt, toffee, a real oaky flavour, and a bit of dark fruit but mostly caramel and toffee and it's hitting my tastebuds nicely. Oh, now I'm noticing a bit of vanilla; it's stronger in the smell than in the taste.

The body is thinner than I expected though it is quite creamy, carbonation is on the low side, and the abv is hidden pretty well.

Because of it's smoothness, I find it quite drinkable.. a very nice American Strong Ale indeed. I'd drink it again.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,640 ratings.
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