Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
5,725 Ratings
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
Ratings:
5,725
Reviews:
1,505
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
13.1%
 
 
Wants:
357
Gots:
1,807
For Trade:
43
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,725 |  Reviews: 1,505
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with sparkling ruby trim. The tight-bubbled cap of chocolate milk brown displays a wonderful moonscape surface of pits and bubbles that resembles caramelizing sugar. Thick sheets of tacky lace further affirm the outstanding appearance. I don't think I've ever seen an American strong ale that looks so much like a stout.

The nose, while aromatic enough, isn't what I'd call powerful or commanding. Chocolate is dominant, to the near exclusion of all else. Although there isn't as much complexity as I had hoped, I do appreciate dark fruit (dates) and a wee whiff of vanilla. I'll be disappointed if there's as little bourbon on the palate as there is in the nose.

Dragon's Milk is much more complex in the mouth and is becoming more so with every sip. The flavor profile features plenty of roasted malt flavors; especially dark chocolate and molasses. As it warms, vanilla and oak from the Jack Daniels casks becomes much more evident and the quality of the flavor surges forward as a result.

The final constellation is an intriguing mix of sugared vanilla beans, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and bourbon whiskey. Vanilla, especially, fairly bursts out of each mouthful as the beer loses its slight chill. Any less than 4 months in the barrel wouldn't have been enough, and any more might have been too much. I started my bottle out at roughly 55 degrees and I can't emphasize enough how much it's improving as it approaches room temperature.

The mouthfeel seemed too light initially. Like the flavor, it comes into its own in smashing fashion in the bottom of the bottle. A notch more full than medium, it's wonderfully smooth with an understated (read: perfect) amount of carbonation. This is amazingly drinkable beer given the close to double-digit ABV.

I had two bottles of Dragon's Milk (thanks deejaydan) and decided to review the 2003 rather than the 2004 due to reports that an infection is threatening the well-being of the latter beer. No such worries with the '03, it has aged beautifully. This is one of New Holland's better offerings and is one that I'll be sure to look for on my semi-yearly trips back to Ohio.

 2,156 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle! 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a nice black color with a small off-white head. Not much retention, forming a small ring around the edge. Spotty lacing dots the sides of the glass.

S: Get a good bit of the oak coming through, lots of chocolate, some caramel, a little roasted malt, and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Nice chocolate flavor combined with a little bit of oak. There is more dark fruit coming through as it warms, some cherry and a little raisin.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a little thin for what I was hoping for. Moderate carbonation.

O: A solid oak barrel stout. Pretty easy drinking with a solid flavor profile.

 659 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, but the light passes easily along the edge of the glass. Modest head but it lasts throughout the tasting. Minimal lace.

Chalky, semi-sweet chocolate aroma.

There's a touch of cola to the initial taste. The swallow brings about a very strong alcohol kick--very much like bourbon like the barrel it comes from. Thin body with a modest carbonation.

 366 characters

Photo of drewone
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a vintage date of 2011 on the label.

LOOK: Dark brown, nearly black with ruby edges. Good lacing even if it is a bit thin.

SMELL: Oaky, vanilla, barrel juice, boozy, mild char, toasted bread, burnt raisins, fig jam

TASTE: Very smooth, wood, char, mildly fusel, vanilla, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, chicory, booze soaked raisins, charred drying finish

A really good barrel aged brew that rides the path of a stout, a big beer that you'll need to sip. Very well balanced, had fun drinking this one.

 524 characters

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

Ok, so this one I actually had been looking for the longest time for, only to just now realize that we can get this in SC. I was shocked and very happy so you know I had to immediately pick some up. This is exactly what I did. Poured a nice deep orange brown, pretty translucent, and to be honest did not look too thick. A small off white head formed on the top but quickly evaporated and left behind only a token amount of lace, almost none of what was on the sides of the glass. Some carbonation was visible. The smell was interesting, definitely could detect a touch of wood ageing in here, the aroma of brandy not withheld, some caramel sweetness and a touch of grain in the back. The taste was interesting again, almost had like a Cola taste to it, especially in the finish. Lots of oak tastes and a hint of brandy like. The carbonation was rather decent and it drank a lot lighter then I thought it would. It was a tad hot and would probably benefit from laying down a little. Overall this was pretty decent of a night time sipper, though I was able to drink it a bit faster then that. It was nothing outstanding, but still pretty nice if you are a fan of the barrel aged beers. This was definitely detectable and overall probably a pretty fair representation of a barrel aged brew. Worth a try definitely.

 1,312 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown. Shared with tenderbranson69 poured chilled in a double walled tumbler.

A - Dark toffee shade w/ translucent appearance. A light tan head forms and falls quickly. The cap is rocky and spotty lace clings

S - Vanilla presence is big in the nose w/ lots of cotton candy, toffee and caramel blend w/ a hint of nuts

M - A Med light body as a result of high abv w/ sweet nutty textures and mild alcohol/sweet presence in the finish

T - A cocoa/caramel taste w/ a gentle almond and cocoa flavor. The taste is sweet and nutty w/ a creamy note and oak barrel taste present in the flavor w/ mild astringency. A strong smooth toffee w/ a light toasted grain note in the finish. The taste is almost like Imperial Porter w/ the sweet less roasty essence. A light example of an American double stout flavor-wise. A mild alcohol/vanilla oak flavor stamps the finish w/ woody yet balanced taste. The malt is the key taste w/ nice mellow dark toasted notes

D - A great drinking wood aged beer, well worth checking out/price of admission. A beer I wish I could have tasted on tap when Brass Rail had it -C'est la vie. A great oaked beer in a bottle I would get 6 or 12 and hold half back -no question.

 1,240 characters

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

A - Dark blackberry and ruby body. Dark khaki head has ok retention and lace.

S - Boozy, bitter dark chocolate, light molasses, vanilla.

T - Oaky booze, bitter cocoa nibs, caramel, molasses, burnt milk sugars, Bourbon vanilla, white russian.

M - Creamy fully body with nice staying power. Smooth, lingering warmth.

O - Light on aroma, but full on flavor. An excellent rendition of a milk stout.

 399 characters

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

Photo of mdfb79
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint glass.

a - A very dark black, letting in absolutely no light. It has a small amount of carbonation, and almost no head whatsoever. The smallest ring of white head appears around the edges.

s - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, oak, also a little chocolate and coffee.

t - The taste that first jumps out at me is again the roasted malts, followed by the vanilla. It has a milky taste to it and also small hints of chocolate and bourbon, though nothing overpowering.

m - Moderate carbonation and a full body, it's actually kind of smooth.

d - Overall I think it's a decent strong ale, but nothing to write home about. It does have a creamy, smooth milk/vanilla flavor, but the alcohol comes through in it.

 748 characters

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a nice dark brown color with some ruby highlights and a thin tan colored head.

S: The nose is a bit off. Some roasted and sweet malts along with some fruits (perhaps cherries), vanilla, and a slight tinge of tartness.

T: This definitely has a bit of an off flavor. A noticeable tartness which isn't supposed to be there, along with some chocolate, dark fruit, oak, and sweet malts.

M: The body is medium with a low level of carbonation.

D: I'd been interested in trying this one for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't go out of my way. Perhaps this was just an off bottle, but even if that wasn't the case, this just was not that great.

 650 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of woodychandler
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of my local drinking buddies invited me over for an afternoon of tippling with him and his wife this past summer since she and I were both off work as teachers and he had a free afternoon. These are the results.

The pour resulted in a finger of deep-tan head that quickly faded to wisps. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights and great clarity. Nose was rich with bourbon-vanilla notes. Zounds! Mouthfeel was rather creamy with notes of smoke, vanilla, wood and black cherry in the mouth. It put me in mind of Calvin's dad in "Calvin & Hobbes" asking, "Say, where did you get this [beer], anyway?" Finish was redolent with vanilla and bourbon. Absolutely breathtaking. Great lacing throughout. It was an attention-getting beer to be sure, but it also wrapped things up for us pretty quickly. Proceed with caution.

 830 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Vintage 2010. So, if I were to suckle at a dragon's teat, this is what would end up in my mouth? Interesting. It pours a nearly translucent black-brown. No real head is formed, save a single layer of ecru foamy bubbles, and this doesn't hang around for very long at all. The nose comprises oak, vanilla, what seems like bourbon, chocolate, and cheesecake. The taste follows exactly, with the cheesecake nearly dropping out altogether, the oak gaining some strength, and a drying booziness invading the start of the aftertaste. The body is pretty hefty, with a light carbonation and a thick, chewy feel. I've had previous vintages of this and have been underwhelmed. It's nice to see such improvement in a relatively short amount of time. Or maybe it's been me the whole time...

 812 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a de Struise chalice.

Appearance - Black, but not quite inky. Nice khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing. Nice.

Smell - Very nice.Oaky and bourbony. Nice deep roast. I detect some sweetness but not sure if it's lingering sugar or lactose.

Taste - Not quite as nice as the smell. Oaky notes and roasted malt. Slightly bitter malts. Vanilla integrates nicely. Very sweet in the back end. Not syrupy, but sugary. Detracts slightly.

Mouthfeel - Very sweet, too sweet. A sipper, but still very pleasant to drink. Medium carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall - It would be really good if it wasn't so sweet. Just too much extra sugar. Nice barrel and roast, though.

 696 characters

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 5,725 ratings.
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