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Draco - Birrificio Montegioco

Not Rated.
DracoDraco

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 13.75%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Birrificio Montegioco visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-11-2006

Belgian-inspired ale brewed with fresh blueberries.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 31
Photo of Bitterbill
2.99/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Super murky rust coloured with a decent head of foam, some lacing.

The smell starts off with a malty port like aroma that goes a bitter trail as well. Sniffing for the blueberries. .I don't get any.

The taste follows suit with the smell, the only difference being that the finish returns to a more sweet malty side and there's a slight suggestion of something fruity. By golly, I think I have found the wee bit of blueberries after all.

There is no visible dating on the bottle so I have no idea how old this is. Taking a wild guess, this isn't fresh. No revisits for me.

Photo of FLima
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mahogany color with a one finger head with short retention, but leaving laces and a constant plate.
Aroma of cognac, dry fruits, caramels, vanilla and strawberries.
Very original flavor with notes of blueberries, you could even say a blueberry muffin, hints of cherries, raisins, booze, licorice, herbal and earthy hops, mild vinous, figs and butterscotch.
Dry, bitter and alcoholic aftertaste.
Medium to full body with medium carbonation. Alcohol of 11% abv is definitely everywhere, but doesn’t burn your palate.
Fruity complexity plays a major role here. But it is a hard to judge beer; it could have lower or higher scores. It definitely improved after it warmed up with alcohol more tamed and showing great complexity.

Photo of GuzzLah
2.86/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - cloudy amber with no head and minimal carbonation

S - raisin, caramel malt, butterscotch, booze and very faint blueberry

T - flavor is just like the aroma, but the blueberry doesn't add much to the flavor. The booze is a little hot, but not too bad.

M - oily texture, medium body and flat.

O - overall this was a disappointing beer for the price and there are many BSDA that put it to shame. Would not recommend.

Photo of oline73
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a reddish color with some floaties. There is a half finger of red tinted head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Malt and some fruit. I'm not sure I would have picked out blueberries if I didn't know they were there. There is a slight buttery smell here as well.

Taste: Fruity malt with a slight bitterness. This isn't overly sweet like many fruit beers out there. The buttery note carries over from the smell and detracts from the taste just a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was a weird beer. The buttery quality wasn't totally pleasing. I don't think I would have this one again.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. bottle at about fridge temp split with friends poured into a snifter.

pours out a murky brownish reddish color with a 1 finger off light tan head faded to a ring and some patchy foam. just some very small lacing. chunks visible.

initially very vinious and wine like. mostly bready and yeasty in the aroma. not huge, but whats there is there. hints of blueberry.

initial reaction was blueberry muffin. bready, a light winey blueberry with a spicey cookie like flavored yeast. unique. alcohol is a little noticable towards the finish.

pretty big body with some lingering flavors. goes down very smooth, nice smooth carbonation. just slightly tart as it warms.

overall, a fairly decent and definatly unique beer. blueberry wasnt extremely noticable, but added a nice complexity. i would never drop the huge price tag on this (a friend brought it over) but im definatly gald i tried it.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draco | 750 ml. | 11.0% ABV | 2011

Brewer: Birrificio Montegioco
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Glass: chalice

Appearance:
It's the color of red clay, no head, no lacing.

Aroma:
Mostly I just get caramel malt.

Taste:
Sweet caramel malts, white pepper, and an unusual fruitiness—this is the blueberries.

Mouthfeel:
Thin, almost watery. It has the texture of wine initially, although the prickly carbonation quickly disabuses me of that notion.

Harmony:
My biggest complaint is how blatantly the alcohol shines through. Blueberries—the distinguishing characteristic—are so drenched in a port-like liquor, it's hard to taste them. I like Birrificio Montegioco, and I've tasted some of their other excellent brews, but I can't give Draco my stamp of approval.

Would I get it again?:
No.

Bottled: ?
Served: August 7, 2011

Photo of woosterbill
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. Big thanks to Jahmur for contributing this, the final beer of an epic afternoon/evening of tasting.

A: Cloudy, deep persimmon body under an inch of creamy, frothy foam. Good retention and sticky lace. Lovely.

S: Rich blueberry sweetness, sweet caramel malt, and some lightly tart dark fruits. Pleasant.

T: Sweet, syrupy blueberry; caramel, toffee, port wine. Long, sweet finish. Tasty, if a bit overly sweet.

M: Thick, sweet, sticky; low carbonation. Intense, and effective for this beer.

O: I was impressed by how well the booze was kept in check, although I have to admit that by this point in the tasting I probably wasn't picking up on my alcohol. What I was picking up on was the background goings-on to enjoying this beer, which included listening to Goblin and discussing the finer points of Troll II. It was quite the fitting combination for drinking the Dragon.

Cheers!

Photo of Knapp85
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a hazy orange color, I was expecting something more red or purple due to the fruit that it was brewed with. The head was good and then it settles down to just a white film over the beer. The smell of the beer had a very subtle fruit aroma to it. The other aromas were of yeast and some herbal notes. The taste didn't really bring too much blueberry to the beer either. There was just a little bit of fruity flavors in the mix but the malts and hops seem to drown it out. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth feeling, not overly complex like American barley wines. Overall it was good but a little too pricey for what I got out of it.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A delicate and fruity beer that, besides being brewed with blueberries, has more of a non-descript fruit character.

Hazy and rust colored, the beer carries a dainty head that struggles to hold on. No lacing and lots of sediment in the glass.

Mostly fruity, the beer has a yeasty-briney aroma of bruised berries, apples, dates, and figs. Light winey elements rise as the beer warms.

Fruit dominant in taste as well, but with the signature cotton-candy sweetness and seamless malt quality of well melded Dubbels. Spicy with white pepper and orange zest, the beer hides its alcohols well.

Medium to the mouth, the textures are thinned from the low-lying carbonation and warming alcohols- this emphasizes the wine-like character even more.

Overall, this is a nice beer that puts on a great display of fruity esters and confectionate malts. The alcoholic punch is hardly noticable in flavor... but in effect, that's a different story.

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.45/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a somewhat murky brown with a small, short-lived tan head. Looks a bit fizzy.

S - This beer strangely smells like pork, as well as having a strange berry-ish and leafy aroma.

T - The beer is very strange and scattershot; I get some mead-y yeast (reminiscent of De Dolle's yeast), strange blueberry flavors, it is bread-y, and I am also getting some melon rind. I really think this is haphazard.

M - This beer is somewhat fizzy, on top of all the other mess.

D - Especially considering the considerable price, this is not at all drinkable. It would perhaps make a nice marinade, albeit expensive.

Photo of drpimento
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pretty decent. First Italian in quite a while that was not a gusher. Poured a nice off white head and a little lace. Color is a bit hazy medium amber. Aroma malty yeast and surprisingly nice a subtle natural blueberry. Flavor's the same. Body and carbonation fit. Finish is like flavor. Drinkable. Not great but not bad.

Photo of realmpel
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is typical of beers that I had traveling in Italy: hazy in appearance and very malty. I don't detect much blueberry, if any. At 11% I would expect this to be hot, but nope. It must be masked by the huge maltiness.

Not bad, not great, definitely not worth the almost $30 price tag.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazed, simple-looking, light brown body with a sudsy, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Dark, bready, caramel malts in the nose with no more than a modest touch of blueberries and some light background notes of savory, bitterish herbs.

Taste: Malty tastes of sweet caramel and toasted bread crusts. Of course, there's the blueberries (still comparatively mild), as well as some marinated raisins for a little addition boost of fruitiness. An herbaceousness arrives midway along with some peppery alcohol hints. Finishes sweetish and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Fairly soft mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not bad (it's not exactly worth those exorbitant Italian beer prices, but still)! It definitely goes down fairly easy considering the listed ABV percentage.

Photo of corby112
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy coppery amber color with slight golden amber hues when held to a light source and a huge frothy, pillowy tan head that has good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind. There is also a good bit of yeast chunks floating around that hurt the appearance score. This is surprising considering it's the first pour from a 750ml bottle.

Spicy hoppy aroma with some leathery malt, dark fruit, blueberry and dark chocolate. The blueberries are there but not dominant and it smells organic rather than like artificial syrup. The chocolate/caramel maltiness is more prominent than expected. Although this is considered a barleywine, it doesn't smell much like one. The alcohol aroma is masked nicely by the other scents.

Earthy spicy flavor with some nice strong alcohol warmth up front with a strong dark fruit presence. There is some nice blueberry flavor but again, it is not overly sweet or overpowering and is accompanied by some plum, raisin and fig notes. Slightly sweet but this is balanced nicely by the spice and malt character. Slightly hoppy with some sweet alcohol and more dark berries in the slightly dry finish.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, over 2 trips to the beer store I see this bottle and it looks great in the paper wrapping. It's also labeled as a barleywine on a handwritten card on the shelf. Looks aside, this one is $25 and I decided to go for it.

A - a neat looking reverse cascade effect in a golden amber brew with a nice white head. Oh, wait, that's not a reverse cascade, that's a ton of leftover blueberry floaties.

S - blueberries, esters and a abv note.

T - a tart / slightly sour aspect, blueberries and sweet malts.

M - medium full bodied, nicely carbonated, slightly tart fruity residual notes.

D - looks aside, this drinks ok. I'd pass on a next time.

Photo of brentk56
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy caramel color tinged with the color of blueberry flash; the slim head drops to a ringlet very quickly and fails to leave any lace

Smell: Herbacious aroma with clove and tobacco elements; if there is blueberry in here it is pretty hard to identify

Taste: Sweet but herbacious caramel at the outset, with an alcohol laden honey character arriving by mid-palate, along with a subtle hint of blueberries; rather bitter, in an earthy, herbacious manner after the swallow; tastes a bit like Chinotto

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost syrupy, with very low carbonation

Drinkability: I can't say I'm a big fan; interesting and worth trying but not something to which I would return

Photo of nick76
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The aroma is fruity and sweet with blue berries, candy, malt, and yeast. The appearance is orange brown with a nice head and floating particles. The flavor is like the aroma but slightly bitter. The palate is thin. Overall i like it the concept is great and it's much MUCH better than a macro blueberry beer but I am not in love with it.

Photo of GClarkage
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10/30/08- Purchased at a beer store in Portland, ME. $20.99 price tag.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, wrapped in paper. Did not note any freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Light purple colored pour..somewhat murky. but no large chunks of yeast. About a 1/2 inch head on the pour. Lacing is light and streaky.

Smell- Definite blueberry notes in the nose. Smells fresh and also lightly sugary. Not really any alcohol noted in the nose.

Taste- Semi-thick blueberry elixer. Not quite cough syrup thick, but getting to that range. All blueberry with a hint of alcohol and a hefty amount of sugar. Seems to be some other herbal notes as well, but I couldn't really pick them out.

Mouthfeel- Thick, viscous with a lower to mid-range carbonation level. Sugar laced fruit aftertaste.

Drinkability- I did like this beer, but it's quite sweet and robust to drink a whole bottle by yourself. I shared mine and was satisfied with half. Would go really good with something like a slice of berry cheesecake.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really don't like fruit beers, but this one is pretty good. It is a hazy pink/orange color with a medium sized, quickly dissipating tan head. I couldn't get much in the aroma, just some sweet fruit. The taste is blueberry, and is initially very sweet, but the alcohol takes over, and there's a nice hoppy finish. The alcohol is not intrusive. I might even try this again sometime.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An Mirtilla ale brewed with blueberries 11%abv. Belgian strong dark ale.

A: Pours a dark ruby/cranberry color with a soft tan and moderately diminishing head. There is ample carbonation.

S: fresh and fruity aroma of blueberries on the nose. There is also some spicy rum alcohol notes lingering in the background.

T: The beer starts out with a touch of honey caramel sweetness and a noticeable alcohol presence. There is some spicy cider, apples, ripe fruit (plums), licorice and port/cask notes coming through. There is a noticeable spicy rum alcohol, and caramel bite for a finish with the hops being mostly non-detectable from the alcohol content.

M: slick, and warming, with a medium body and vinous palate. There is a slight sourness with the blueberry flavor being masked by the high alcohol content.

D: Overall this is a nicely crafted Belgian style beer, especially by an Italian brewery, with a good spicy alcohol bite at 11%abv. The beer is meant to be drunk slowly and savored like a fine wine. An outstanding dark Belgian style beer with a noticeable warming alcohol presence and definitely worth a try.

Photo of Shaggy9356
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Packaging is great. Nice paper wrapped bottle, twisted at top. Once unwrapped, cool bottle and label. Strange cap with plastic cork-like inlay reading "corona maxitenuta"

Pours an nice amber brown with half inch foam head, nice lacing on side of glass. Nose is sweet, candied fruit, alcohol.

Taste is not what I was expecting. Sweet, medicinal (fruity cough syrup). Alcohol hidden pretty well by the sweetness, but comes on late. Trying to find the blueberries, maybe in the aftertaste but more grape or fig tasting than blueberry.

My lips are sticky after my first glass. This is too syrupy and not looking forward to having to polish off the bottle. For the money ($20+) I expected a little better more drinkable offering.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed ruby with a sizeable tan head. Nose is mild with some yeast there and an overall musty tone. Flavor is pungently sweet with an almost wheat beer tail end to it. Alcohol peeks out a little bit. There are blueberries in this? How many? Like...one?? Feel is with a good level of bubble. Standard for the style. Definitely drinkable. But like I said. Blueberries. Where are the bloody blueberries man? I am on a quest to find a good blueberry beer.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Draco uncaps with a surprising 'pop'. There's a plastic pseudo-cork attached to the cap, which this beer apparently needs. The bottle cap is a standard metal, but there is a mini plastic stopper somehow fixed on the under side that extends into the bottle maybe a quarter inch. I kept it for posterity, if anyone wants it, beermail me.

Appearance - a reddish amber pour. Thick, soapy head of two fingers on top. Cream colored, slow to fade, with some nice ropy lacing.

Aroma - a vague fruit sweetness. A mild yeast and Belgian funkiness. Not sure what to make of this from the smell. As it warms, blueberry becomes easily detectable, so let this one acclimate.

Taste - pleasant flavors of Belgian candi sugar, grainy sweetness, and light yeast. No blueberries yet, but I don't mind. There is a nice little tartness on the swallow that may be the fruit. Some smooth warming alcohol on the finish but mostly the abv is quite well hidden. As the beer warms, blueberry eventually works its way into the palate, well into the aftertaste. Better late than never.

Mouthfeel - smooth, carbonated almost like champagne.

Drinkability - tasty, but despite an impressively artistic label and the inclusion of blueberries, I probably wouldn't revisit this one again.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark warm brown body hosts a rich tan head about 2 fingers thick produced from a strong pour and decent carbonation. Nose is very soft with presence of malt and zesty minerals. Only a backround hint of blueberries, but nice nose none the less. As it enters th mouth you get a slight tart feel with long dark pronounced bitterness that resembles dark chocolate. Palate includes a slight syrupy sweetness. Alchol is very well hidden. An incredibley complex beer. Mouthfeel is a rich bitter darkness. A lovely drinkable brew. But where are the blueberries?

Photo of Foxman
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It pours a fair ruby amber, but it looks murky and unkempt. A very sparse spray of white head dinks to nothingness in no time, and any ensuing lacing is minimal and purely incidental.

The aroma is cidery apples with a dash of blueberry syrup in tow. A wheaty tang and estery cloves flit about, and the alcohol is a loud, breathy exhalation.

Upon sipping, A dusky wheat grain sweetness is peppered by a general spice note that fades to a hint of clove. The blueberry is more a rumor here until it warms considerably, and then only damned close to room temperature. The alcohol is hot, and it combines with the spice and green apple crispness to lend a mulled cider reference to the mix. The finish is quite dry, and abrupt in its rapid progression. It's not so much blended as mixed with high hopes, but it struggles to be much more than just okay.

Medium bodied, the carbonation and poignant dry crispiness actually entertain the palate, at least on this level.

For my money, no beer that carries within a fruit presence should need to warm so close to body temperature to give up its berry bounty. Sure, it has some redeeming qualities, chief among them the Belgian yeast component and the resultant esters, but I want more than just that out of a beer. The ABV is big, brash, hot and distracting, which bodes poorly for anything more than a glass. And at this price, I sure as hell want more value for my money. So it goes.

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Draco from Birrificio Montegioco
80 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.