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Draco - Birrificio Montegioco

Not Rated.
DracoDraco

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

45 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.64%
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:
Belgian-inspired ale brewed with fresh blueberries.

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-11-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoutsman
2/5  rDev -43.2%

Stoutsman, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.45/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

ktrillionaire, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of GuzzLah
2.84/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

GuzzLah, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of mcallister
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Rediculously expensive bottle of Italian beer (18.99). But hell everything is worth trying once.

If I were to guess what was in the glass I would say apple cider. It looks much like apple cider. Opaque, thick cloudy, dirty muddy water brown with an off white seperated head that is large bubbles and less than a half inch on a hard pour. This one is highly carbonated as well. Upon swirling a trailed comet of bubbles sing in tune with one another.

I definitely get blueberry in the nose. Not immense amounts but sufficient enough to recognize what your smelling. Dried blueberries in fact. Blackberry as well as other berry fruit and some figgy hints. Belgian yeasty qualities as well as some other dried fruits and slight malt.

Medium mouthfeel feel, yet somewhat watery. Blueberry flavors as well as other dried berry. Spicy belgian qualities with a malt backbone. Otherwise not much going on.

Will try again if they lower the price too 3.99

mcallister, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Rhf9120
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Rhf9120, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
3/5  rDev -14.8%

MikeCactusGordon, Oct 02, 2014
Photo of Dyerseve
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Dyerseve, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of BeerNemesis
3/5  rDev -14.8%
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

BeerNemesis, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

corby112, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of oline73
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

oline73, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

barleywinebrewer, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Shaggy9356
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Shaggy9356, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Knapp85, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
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

brentk56, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of drpimento
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

drpimento, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of nick76
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

nick76, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of Foxman
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Foxman, May 10, 2007
Photo of realmpel
3.45/5  rDev -2%
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.

realmpel, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of scruffwhor
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance-Pours a juicey-juice amber red with a very light tan head. Light bubbling and ends a thin ring of foam that is asymetrical.

Aroma- Hints of Jonathan Apples and cider in an alcoholic punch with a shot of blueberry syrup thrown in for effect. A litte vinous even.

Taste- Reminds a bit of spiked fruit punch with a lot of focus on apples and a little on blueberries. If the bottle didn't say it was brewed with blueberries, I wouldn't be able to tell.

Mouthfeel- Punchy on the alcohol, but good with the fruit flavors. Not too "Belgian" in flavor though.

scruffwhor, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of jaidenjb
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

jaidenjb, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Tall 750ml brown glass bottle sealed with a large crown cap. The main label is split vertically in half; the left hand side has a mottled pale green background with a very colorful picture of a dragon warming a goblet of ale with some fire-breathing antics. This side of the label lists the beer in a red scripted font as ‘Birra Artigianale Draco’. Described as a ‘Beertilla Ale Brewed with Blueberries’ and the Product of Italy, if you had not guessed by now. Listed at a whopping 11% Alc./Vol. The right hand side of the label has a white background and is dedicated to the Nanny state Government Warning and lots of other useless bollocks. All this is nicely wrapped in a highly decorated paper wrapper that looks just like the one in the BA Avatar.

Appearance: Horse chestnut brown body, light haze with a somewhat murky look, but it clears with some stagnant rest. A gentle hint of feint purple buffs the tanned head. Formed into a streamlined 3mm thick cap when at rest, blotchy smattered lacing. Conditioning is super fine and highly attenuated.

Nose: A strange affliction of pugnacious sour caramel toffee, rotting apples, damp wicker baskets, pale malts and yeah….Blueberries, but they seem to be fleeting in their contribution to the overall nasal experience.

Taste: Dark Ale with a spiced Malt base that seems to be accentuated with a grainy middle. The Bouncers let the fruits out to play once in a while but they are in the fenced off Kindergarten for most of the time until the Bell rings and it Schools Out….the finish has a signature bitter blueberry trail which barely raises a goodbye. Diluted Ribena-esque trickles into a warming but stern alcohol malt base. As the fruits die quickly the bitterness lingers and steals the show here.

Mouthfeel: Heavy feel with a honey malt texture. Smooth with a lightly rough around the edges acidic malt base which resonates with a tame fruit ending, this in turn never seems to exhibit anything more than a flash of blueberries though.

Drinkability: Quenching dark ale with a spiced nature. A hint of blueberry helps to edge the 11% alcohol and drop the heat a little. Hard to sweep the alcohol below the carpet or stick it underneath the cupboard beneath the staircase, yet the warming dark ale tones dominate, as does the lingering bitterness. Thought I would have polished this one off a long time ago though….drags a bit.

Overall: Well I have to confess to not noticing the “price” on this one until it was too late, but what the heck it’s only money right? So yeah, it is not cheap, in fact, to put it mildly, this one is fucking expensive, as they say in Milano over Cappuccino. Aside from its cost, and focused on the brew, it is a barely above average effort - throw in the cost into the holistic appraisal (lets face it you can’t ignore it) and it is one to avoid, unless you have more Benjamin’s than sense, erm like me...I'm so dumb.

TheLongBeachBum, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

harpus, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of pixieskid
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

pixieskid, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

KAF, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Oct 24, 2007
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Draco from Birrificio Montegioco
81 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.