Dragon's Milk | New Holland Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
1,432 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:
1,432
Ratings:
5,413
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
25.69%
 
 
Wants:
324
Gots:
1,626
For Trade:
49
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,432 | Ratings: 5,413
Photo of shangwang
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on draft at Ron's original.

I'd had a good week of Michigan beers, and this was the one I finished with. It didn't disappoint.

Started off with smells of alcohol, vanilla, and wood - definitely can tell it was aged in oak. Very dark appearance, completely opaque with a pearl creamy head. Very complex taste- I definitely get the oak and bourbon qualities, but it doesn't hit you over the head and finishes with a pleasant sweetness. Medium mouthfeel, actually a little waterier than I expected and not very carbonated. I enjoyed this more the further into it I got and as it warmed up a little.

Overall I enjoyed Dragon's Milk- it's not the best Oak Barrel Stout I've had but it definitely is a solid offering.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a snifter. Black, with about one finger of head. No light shines through.

Smell: Sweet oaky scent of bourbon, vanilla, malts, some chocolate.

Taste: Bourbon, oak/wood, chocolate, vanilla. The barrel aged flavor is just right. Not too strong. Just enough to give you hints of bourbon and oak without being overkill.

Feel: Very full bodied, and chewy.

Overall: Love this beer! Have had it many times. Glad to finally review it!.

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Photo of Goodspeed83
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally bought a four-pack after balking at the price for a few weeks. This was my first experience with a barrel - aged stout and my experience was rather mixed, and I think that has a lot to do with my opinion towards any variety of whiskey in general. That is to say, I'm not really a fan, for taste reasons.

Quick summary: I thought this beer looked, smelled and felt very good. I thought the back-end of flavor was just too boozy for my own tastes, and that's really the only problem I had with this beer. I gave the remaining three bottles to my brother-in-law, who loves his whiskies, bourbons, and scotch. He loved this beer, so take that for it's worth.

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Photo of trep
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black as night, some light getting through on the outsides. Thin khaki head. Leaves some lacing.

Coffee, sugar, some light chocolate. Very sweet smelling.

Very roasty and smooth. Vanilla, bourbon, faint alcohol, attributed to the oak i'm sure. Mocha and coffee. I can't get over how smooth this is.

Creamy and coating, perfect carbonation and medium/full mouthfeel. Super easy drinking...like chocolate milk easy drinking.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this three times on-tap at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC. The first time two times were wonderful experiences that prompted yet another, but less pleasurable experience. My ratings are an aggregate of all three tastings.

Appearance: A good look for a stout. Held up to light, the glass is very dark brown and opaque. Shades of dark red. The head is pretty small and retains OK. It leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The first couple of times I had it, I smelled a great mix of vanilla, bitter and sweet chocolates, coffee, and oak -- as well as a little bit of booze and very little in the way of hops. The third time I smelled pretty much only chocolate and a LOT of alcohol. This presaged a disappointing taste . . .

Taste: Again, the first two times were much better than the third. On those occasions, I was treated to a rich mix of the flavors described in the aromas. It's sweet for a stout but I liked the balance. Different sips provided different tastes. Subdued hops.

The third time was unpleasant. From start to finish -- especially at the finish -- booze and syrupy chocolate provided an uneven and almost nauseating taste. My tongue was numb two-thirds of the way through and I could not even bring myself to down the last few drops.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body than a Guinness (especially the third time). Carbonation is typical for a stout.

Overall: I really hope the third serving was an aberration due to me receiving something from the bottom of the tank. I was ready to crown this one of my absolute favorites until then. I'm willing to give it another go, but caveat emptor -- you might be gambling with the quality of your beer when you get this.

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

Very dark stout with no light passing through. Has very little head on top. Has a bourbon smell along with some dark fruits. Can taste the roasted malts along with dark fruits. Light bourbon after taste.

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

Served at the Tap House in Oswego, IL. Served in a snifter, inky black with a thick cocoa head. A well-balanced roasty trio of barley, cocoa, and coffee dominate the aroma and flavor, with an oaky bitterness and slight boozy alcohol presence playing rhythm guitar behind the roast flavors. The wood is better balanced than it was in incarnations from a few years ago. A sipping brew with enough complexity to hold one's interest for hours, no mean feat for a stout that really ought to be listed as an imperial.

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

Pictured is an old label, and the abv on this bottle says 10%, so the 2010 vintage must be an upgrade.

The dark-brown brew has a deep garnet-red hue with some clarity when held to the light, and a slim tan head, populated by active carbonation that produces lacing of micro bubbles floating on the surface, with a ring at the edge that sticks well to the brandy snifter.

Bitter coffee aromas, chased by baker's chocolate and a hint of alcohol esters are apparent in the nose. A generous sip confirms the flavors intimated by the scent, with strong coffee and bitter chocolate dominant, melded with smoky, dark roasted malts followed by a slightly sweet vanilla-molasses back palate, accented by soft oak tannins and a smattering of smooth hops.

A luscious libation that can accompany a juicy prime rib at dinner, or pair equally well with some rich chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage

-Dark with red undertones. Almost no lacing.
-Woody barrel character, soft bourbon nose, maple, brown sugar.
-Vanilla, oaky bourbon, slight coffee
-Medium mouthfeel but feels smooth going down.
-I'm really glad we started getting distro in cali.....even better that we are seeing the 12oz. Don't pass up on this beauty!

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't appear as thick and creamy as I'd hoped: black color with a light tan head.

Aroma is bourbon, figs, and caramel.

Taste is awesome! Butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses, and bourbon.

Mouth feel is not as thick as I would like. But it's still not bad. Heavy side of medium with light carbonation.

I'm very glad I bought a 4 pack of this beer. Excellent and complex flavor and bourbon sticks out.

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

I don't like whiskey/bourbon, and I thought that may be a problem with this ale, but NOT SO! Perhaps I don't taste it b/c I don't like those flavors?

Cola colored, brown w/red highlight, and a fizzy cola head that looks like it won't last, but leaves a slight film.

Oak is the predominant smell, reminds me of a lot of red wines, with a similarilly vinous note. Other sweet smells are almost undistinguishable under the oak.

OH Creamy vanilla oak sweet goodness! Totally blown aaway! Oak an vinous notes dominate, especiialy as it is colder, with tones of roast malt. More likea carbonated red wine with dark old ale flavors. The sweetness of dark fruit and picks up more as it warms, complementing the vanilla wonderfully. Alcohol is NOT noticed, which could be dangerous.

So smooth, so easy drinking! Dangerous indeed, get ready for a nap! Easilly the best Old Ale I've had, a unique and tasty treat that I can't wait to get again!

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is Coca-Cola's drunk uncle!... pours a thin caramel color, like coke, has a few wispy bubbles, like coke, smells and tastes like, you guessed it, coke!.... a few cherry notes, a little chocolate, a bit of booze, but really just a bottle of the real thing, with alcohol!

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - pours a kayki creamy head that dissapates once started drinking and a black body
S - maple, bourbon
T - chocolate, malt, and maple up front with Boubon after taste
F - light coat of mouth, low carbonation, super smooth
O - this is a really smooth easy drinking brew and is not overly boozie

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

A - A very clear deep, dark brown with about 1/4 inch of tan head. The bubbles are very active - this look highly carbonated.

S - The strongest scent is a sweet bourbony liquor odor. I can also smell dark roasted malt and coffee scents.

T - I'm getting bourbon, strong roasted flavors, vanilla, and coffee.

M - Medium, fairly smooth, with a carbonation bite in the finish. I think this would be better if it was a little fuller and the carbonation was a little lower.

D - Better than I expected. The smoothness was surprising. Though you can taste the strong alcohol, it is not overbearing. Very nice.

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

Appearance: Black beer but not pitch black. Almost no head present and no lacing either. Not much to look at.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma of malt, coffee, with a hint of the oak.

Taste: Malty and creamy up front, with the flavor giving way to a sweet vanilla and oak flavor in the middle. The finish is oak and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Kind of let down here. Almost no carbonation at all. A bit more activity in the mouth would help some. The aftertaste of oak and alcohol is nice, if not a bit overpowering.

Drinkability: Good beer, but could be improved a little. Quite smooth though, and easy to drink. Worth a try.

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Photo of ottovon
2.99/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

shared with whiterascal

A: pours out a dark black, with a brown head that faded rather quickly.

S: i get a lot of vanilla. i also get some oak and roasted malt and chocolate. there is some sweetness and a bit of alcohol in the nose.

T: there is a lot of oak. i also get a metallic taste, and there is an acrid bitterness. there is roasted malt and some dark chocolate. has a weird sweetness that is mixed with alcohol that i cant really describe, but i dont like it.

M: has a medium body with low carbonation.

O: this is not a beer that i would seek out again. there are much better stouts out there. i dont think i would drink this again. it isnt quite a drain pour for me, but it is close.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Holland Dragon's Milk. The first time I had one of these, it was my first BBS and I thought it was too bourbony. I've had enough BBS's that I now enjoy them, and this is a fine example. Searching for the variants.

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

Poured beer in tulip glass: small head, little carbonation, decent lacing, and very dark brown; cannot see through.

Nose is mocha, oak, and hint of bourbon. Not much hop presence, can also make out vanilla & brown sugar.

Taste is of malt, mocha, and that sweet bourbon finish. The bitter oak lingers for quite some time and leaves the mouth dry. Very creamy mouthfeel and chewy as well.

You certainly need to be in the mood for one of these. My last experience with a similar beer lead to a day of upset stomach. Not a bad offering but I would certainly not seek it out since the style is not my cup of tea but would recommend to anyone into this style.

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

A-Dark...black...thick...motor oilish

S-Bourbon right off...alcohol...vanilla is also present but is subtle. Smells sweet as well...sugary...caramel.

T-creamy smooth and bourbony....can taste the booze to be sure...hints of chocolate, vanilla, oak...some fruit maybe. I am impressed with the level of complexity here...so much going on yet each has its place and they sing together in harmony.

M-The thing that surprises me most about the beer is that it looks like it would be very heavy...and don't get me wrong...it is heavy but not as much as I expected. Little carbonation present which is perfect.

D-it packs a punch...a heavy punch...but this is one of the most drinkable high ABV beers I have had. I can easily sip mulitple bottles and enjoy each one more than the last.

This is the beer that got me into craft beer...so it will always hold a special place in my heart...and mouth...b/c sentimental reasons aside...it is a damn fine beer.

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

Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year. Pours a beautiful, thick, dark brown, developing a tan-colored creamy-frothy head. The head settled down to 1/4 inch and persisted. The initial and subsequent nose is full of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts and anticipation. Well-formed Belgian lace. Very rich, chocolaty, caramel, and vanilla bean on the palate. Delicious malt with perfectly balanced bitter notes. Lingers long and very pleasantly. The alcohol and wood is evident, but in a round, gentle, yet full way. Warmth - yet not too potent for a summer day. Definitely moreish. If you favor large, tannic red wines with your food, this would be an excellent ale alternative. Use some in your marinade/sauce. The ale has enough body and flavor to accompany rich foods and food off the grill. Port wine comes to mind, but it doesn't taste like Port - rather this is a reflection on the complexity of the ale. I will definitely return to this ale throughout the year.

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Photo of muchos
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head which hangs on for a few sips.
Smell is of Bourbon and booze. Not too much else, maybe a little chocolate/vanilla as it warms.
Taste is Bourbon, booze, vanilla. Chocolaty flavors come out as it warms. After taste is semi-sweet chocolate.
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected for an imperial Stout. Not much carbonation in the mouth. Just enough. Slight boozy burn.
Overall not all that complex, but not bad. Pretty good actually.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle into tulip, 2013 vintage

appearance: black, 2 finger off white/tan head

smell: biscuity, bready notes, vanilla, earthy hops, getting some bourbon on the tail end, lot's of alcohol presence (fuck this smells like a jack on the rocks), even some subtle marshmallow. Smells like a damn Jack Daniels...

taste: lots of alcohol warmth off the bat, roasted malt and espresso, getting some oak flavor, not exactly bourbon per se, but definitely some oak smokiness.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation, thick and creamy

overall: A great barrel aged stout, lot's of alcohol presence, and some great oak and roasted malt flavors, this is a big beer. The price could be a little better, but it's definitely a satisfying brew. If you like barrel aged, try this if you see it, I wouldn't say go out of your way to seek it out, but you shouldn't be disappointed.

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Photo of Badger6
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Body is black, passes no light. Small tan head that recedes almost immediately to nothing. Some lacing on the glass.

S: Robust aroma: roasted malts, coffee, mild dark chocolate, vanilla, toasted oak.

T: Follows the nose. Roasty malts, toasty oak, coffee, vanilla,hint of chocolate. Boozy. Some bitterness, well balanced with the sweetness of the malts.

M: Light-medium body, with light-medium carbonation. Finishes with a lot of warmth from the booziness.

O: Very nice bourbon barrel stout. Body is light for a stout, but the flavor is phenomenal and compensates well. A well made beer, enjoyable to drink. Be advised at 10% ABV this is not session...enjoy one and move on. This is a favorite, and is sure to be enjoyed many more times.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased a single bottle ($4.95) at a local beer 6 pack shop.

The 1st smell had an intense alcohol smell. However, the 1st sip hid the alcohol very well.

This is a pretty good stout. Very dark, nice vanilla flavor. I'm not going to claim to know what Oak barrels taste like, but I'm assuming that added to the complextiy of the flavoring.

The mouthfeel was pretty good. Nice medium body.

I would buy a 6 pack of this stuff, but not at $4.95 per bottle. I would not be interested in an entire case. This is more like a desert stout, which you would have only 1, possibly 2 of after dinner. If you plan on drinking a 6 pack of these, you may be out cold at #5.

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

Had this on draft and really liked it. This is definitely a slow sipper - sweet, thick, notes of vanilla and bitter chocolate, tobacco and oak, boozy. Fantastic bitter chocolate smell.

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Dragon's Milk from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,432 ratings.
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