1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Drakonic Imperial StoutDrake's Drakonic Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

412 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 43
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout - 8.75% ABV, 40 IBUS
A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake's. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley, and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Enjoy the dense brownish head, the silky maltiness, and flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate, rounded out with a slightly dry finish. here's to those who don't fear the mighty!

(Beer added by: xlperro on 08-20-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 412 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado today.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some light sweet roasted malt and a hint of hoppiness. On the palate however, this beer is just delicious. The beer is loaded with wonderful coffee, chocolate and licorise, with some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish. This is yummy stuff. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the beer has a moderately long finish. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though certainly you wouldn't want to have more then one or two of these. The alcohol tended to become more and more noticeable as I went along, though at no point did it become tiring or heavy on the palate. All that being said, this is still a pretty substantial stout and is not the sort of thing I can imagine drinking a lot of. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this stout from Drake's. Not bad a all. :-)

John_M, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Irie
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body with a heavy light brown head. Great retention and lacing on the head with fairly small fluffy bubbles.
Rich smell with heavy malts and molasses with a nut finish.
Great light feel on the pallet with a coffee/toffee flavor with a strong grain finish.
Great drink, nice and light taste with a heavy finish. Nice balance though a bit strong on the malt side, but delicious none-the-less.
Good times.

Irie, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An incredible beer. Pours 10w40 black with a small but thick tan head. Heavy aroma of coffee, baker's chocolate, and cappucino. So many flavors that are balanced perfectly. The crystal malt and chocolate are dominant, but don't overshodow the coffee, oatmeal, and the mild hops. This only got better as the beer warmed. A huge, thick mouthfeel. One of the best.

magictrokini, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured black with a creamy looking 2 fingers of mocha head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Really nice nose with a mix of roasted grain, chocolate, coffee, and a faint hint of hops.

T: Really smooth and complex. The transition from each taste to the next is seemless. Roast right up front then right into a really nice and rich chocolate blast. Finished smooth with some roasted barley.

M: Velvety mouthfeel. Really nice. I think the time on this bottle really helped it out but cannot be sure as I never had this fresh.

D: Really good. We split a bottle and I wanted more. Thanks to dmeadows for sharing this and for giving us a home gym to work off the beer!

aerozeppl, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of bigbelcher
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this and some other Drakes Barrel aged beers while going through the bottle cooler at the Freaking Frog in Las Vegas. Note-They were not on the list of available bottled beers. The beer had a nice roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate a fruity aroma. Very smooth and well aged. Some roasted malt flavor but very drinkable. Alcohol was present but not overpowering. Pretty nice overall. Only drawback is that its body is a little on the thin side.

bigbelcher, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mmmmBEEEER for sharing a bottle. The beer pours black with a wispy light beige head that disspates to almost nothing rather quickly. Spotty lace. Roasted coffee and chocolate in the nose, along with a bit of black licorice. Full, smooth body that falls a bit short on carbonation. Flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee along with a bit of plum. The finish is roasty with mild hops and coffee lingering. Pretty solid all around, although overall it falls short of the best-in-class Imperial Stouts out there.

Dogbrick, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of popery
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now, let me first say I like the beer very well. It's not the greatest Russian Imperial Stout, but it would probably have a higher score if they upped the abv a bit and went for a somewhat bigger flavor. This beer pours a big black with a nice foamy head. The nose is sweet and malty with chocolate and mild smoke notes. The flavor is coffee, chocolate, vanilla and some good balancing bitterness. The feel is just a notch below excellently smooth, but it's not quite there. It's a RIS with a low abv, which might make it physically easy to drink but it is missing some of the complexity of a bigger beer. Whether or not, this precisely fits the undefinable "drinkability" isn't going to keep up nights. At any rate, the presentation is great. The pirate theme fits well with the big hearty stout and the bottling choice.

popery, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one a couple times and both from bottle.

Poured a dark black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of chocolate, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts. Very light bitter finish with light alcohol.

The second time around I also noted some smokiness and dark fruits.

hopdog, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice and underrated Imperial Stout. Pours black with a nice thick tan head that sticks around as a cap and leaves some nice lacing. Has a good dose of hoppy bitterness in the aroma as well as a deep roastiness, some licorice, and some vinous notes at the end. Its a touch hot, but other than that very nice. Nice deep roasty notes and some nice deep bitter chocolate flavors as well as some late creaminess. Very nice flavors indeed, and although its a big beer, the heat is warming rather than harsh in the mouth. Nicely integrated while still intense. Smooth finish and relatively easy to drink, with a very nice lingering bitter chocolate finish.

Georgiabeer, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of joe1510
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

I received this RIS from errantnight in yet another great trade, thanks Derek! Drake's RIS pours pitch black without a glint of light coming through the snifter. The soft pour produced two fingers of dense beige head that stuck around throughout the session. The carbonation crept up the sides of the glass to keep the hearty head rejuvenated and replace what was left behind as sticky lace after each drink.

Big roasty malts jump from the glass as soon as this beer is poured. Dark berries make a strong showing with dark chocolate and coffee grounds bringing up the rear. As this beer warms there's a strange hot rubber and rubbing alcohol combo that becomes noticeable. The roastiness still rules the roost but these strange aromas keep on popping up where they shouldn't. There's a little coffee and cream way back there.

The flavor of this beer is nothing like the aroma. The burnt rubber and fusel alcohol are non existent in the flavor while the coffee grounds pop. Thick, rich and dense dark chocolate coat the tongue while the roastiness and coffee grounds add some life and a touch of bitterness. The dark berries come through on the finish and make for a damn good RIS. I'm glad the flavor profile is so much different then the nose suggested.

The mouthfeel is right where it should be. The body leans toward the heavier side while the carbonation is soft and mellow allowing this beer to work through slowly and coat the tongue. The alcohol leaves a touch of heat on the back of the throat.

This stout goes down pretty easy and the 500ml bottle isn't enough. Give me a few more ounces and I'll be a happy man.

Drake's RIS was on my "wants" list for a long time and I'm glad I finally got the chance to try it. I'd give this one another go around any day of the week. Thanks for hooking it up Derek!

joe1510, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of mj001jk
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black and dark with a creamy hazelnut head. The aromas of chocolate, coffee and cream waft out of the glass. Lots of chocolate/caramel and thus very dessert-like on the nose.

Initially the foam is sweet and creamy but a dark beast of flavor is ready to be released as the sip rolls towards the back of my mouth. Full on roasted character with a sweet tinge, roasted marshmallows and hazelnut dip comes to mind.

The rich and coating flavors are nicely buffered by the freshness and lack of cloying character. Hops are subtle and do their magic as such. This is very easy to drink despite the knowledge that just a couple will put me out...

mj001jk, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee bean black with highlights that are just barely visible along the bottom edge of the glass... and then only with bright backlighting. A thick slab of brown sugar colored foam deposits finely pocked sheets of lace when it finally begins to fade.

The nose is impressively roasted and isn't especially hoppy. That's okay, Drake's doesn't need to hop the hell out of all their beer (although I wouldn't mind a bit). A slight power deficit might be remedied as the beer continues to warm.

Oddly enough, Imperial Stout lacks aggressiveness on the palate as well. It's still a good RIS, but the next highest score is not being seriously considered. Maybe a few more hop cones would have been the way to go. Either that or more roasted malt. Or, better yet, both.

The flavor is more reminiscent of roasted barley in general than cocoa or coffee per se. While there's nothing wrong with that, it gives the beer a pretty straightforward flavor profile. Let's go with melted Hershey bars, coffee with cream, vanilla and molasses. Okay, so maybe it isn't so simple after all.

The mouthfeel is fine... for a 7.0% stout. The lower than usual ABV (for the style) keeps things on the light side of average, keeps unmasked alcohol from spoiling the party, and keeps drinkability high.

Every one of the Drake's Brewing Company beers that I've reviewed so far has been impressive in one way or another. DIS may not be a gobsmacker of an RIS, but it's a worthwhile version that I'd love to drink again.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of slayer3604
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very murky, tan head, and faint hints of a red hue on the outer-most parts of the glass

S- Muted nose, that such of chocolate pop tarts

T- Marshmellow, chocolate, cocoa, raisen, over ripe cherry and a nice little chunk of bitter bight

M- Creamy and gorgeous. this beer is awesome.

D- Going to pick some more up tomorrow! the bottle is bad ass too!

slayer3604, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to flexabull for including this interesting RIS in the UGLY Duckling BIF, I really like the bottle too!

Pours a dark brown/black color with no light being able to penetrate, a great sized head that fades slowly to leave some patchy lacing, good retention.

Smell has a good roasted malt aroma, slight coffee presence, some dark fruit but very subtle.

Taste is mostly roasted malt, bit of a coffee bitterness in the aftertaste, decent creaminess but surprisingly a bit thin for the style.

deltatauhobbit, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a real thin tan head. Nose is coffee and sickly sweet malts. Too sweet really. Flavor is nice and robust, yes. There is coffee, yes. But the sweetness of the whole thing is just too much of a kick in the mouth. There's also that odd almost citrus back tone. Feel is slick on liquid and the carbonation is lower but smooth. IMO this is lacking the right balance to be able to pull it off. Perhaps it needs some time to even out, but I guess I'll never know since this is the only bottle I have. Oh well.

RblWthACoz, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of orcasteve
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a bit sweet to start, robust in the middle almost like coffee, then a rush of hop and ruff alcohol at the end. a good siping beer that got better the warmer it got. this has a taste that stickes with you for awhile. i think that this one would make great french onion soup and would make a great complement to a big meal. try this one, it is worth it.

orcasteve, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: thick deep deep black; tan foamy head froths up but fads quickly back to just leave a light tan mist on top of the glass

s: light coffee; dark chocolate; light piney hops; alcohol

t: roasted coffee; light alcohol; some toasted grain; light dry nuts; some light pine hops

m: smooth and not too syrupy/cloying which can be a problem of the style

d: i think this is a great simple understated i stout with nice coffee flavors and a good hint of hops

hoegaardenhero, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool looking little 500 ml flip top bottle into a Duvel snifter, filling it almost right to the top. Thanks to Bubba83 for this in a trade.

Pours a dense black with +1 fingers of dark tan head. A good looking retention leaves back some spotty and sticky lace. The aroma is a big ole' heavy waft of chocolate, molassas, roasted malts, and some heat.

The taste is thick chocolate sweetness up front that is balanced out by roasted malt bitterness and coffee character. It's not really too complex with the sweetness being dominant and the bitter notes being there to keep things in check. The mouthfeel of this is the one real disappointment for me. It just seems a bit thin, especially in comparison to the thickness of the flavor that it carries. Maybe being under 10% helps contribute to that, even though there is still a fair bit of (sometimes stinging) alcohol presence, especially as it warms.

This was a sturdy RIS from Drake's that despite a bit less of body than I would have liked and not being over complex, still managed to be a pleasant and quite drinkable experience.

Kegatron, May 15, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Only a half inch of leather brown head comes to be fading quickly to just a skim. Body is a thick deep blackness letting no light pass through. Nose is realatively soft but does have tones of smokey malt and molases and bacon fat. Enters the mouth incredibly smooth with notes of smoked malts, and a nice zesty sweet profile flavors are rich thick and robust really a meal in itself. A slight bitter dryness much like dark chocolate rounds out the mouthfeel. Well balanced and has decent complexity. Alchol is super well hidden. Roasty chocolate tones become more noticeable as it warms. Very nicely drinkable and a solid representitive of the style.

SPLITGRIN, May 12, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Paid $4.99 for a bomber from City Beer Store in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a pint glass with 2 pours.

Has a plastic with rubber seal and metal mechanism to open the cork. Upon opening, a browinish substance was clearly evident on the bottom of the cork and on the inner rim of the bottle indicating the ingredients have started to separate. This beer is thick as molasses. A very, very dark brown, almost black beer with an almost non-existent tan head after an aggressive pour. The head consisted of some larger bubbles and dissipated quickly. Does not appear to be very carbonated. Small circles of lacing that do not last very long.

Strong aroma of oatmeal and caramel with hints of malt.

This beer definitely does not lack in the flavor department. Strong creamy malty oatmeal flavor. A hint of bitterness lasts after swallowing. A slightly complex flavor that is moderately balanced.

Full body. Thick and slightly grainy which in turn is lasting flavor. Light carbonation.

This beer is a meal in itself, packed full of flavor and a bounty of decent ingredients.

Overall, not entirely impressed. I'd would definitely try this again if a pub had this fresh on tap.

ibbjamin, May 08, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown with a nice brown head. Lots of carbonation. Nose was imediately bombarded with chocolate, dark chocolate, some espresso and roasted malts. Taste was very smooth with a very abrupt chcolate flavor and ABV up front. It mellows out halfway through and finishes quite nice. Very good. Not a Speedway Stout or Abyss but it ranks up there with the best of them!

barleywinefiend, May 05, 2008
Photo of currysage1
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got from a trade with Maudite, thanks bro, you know I love the RIS.

Appearance is that of a lovely stout, Dark blackness, 1/2 inch of light, three finger khaki head, would have been bigger if I had poured more. Head is a little on the fizzy side for a stout, otherwise would have been a 5.

Dark fruits abound in the nose mixed with smaller amounts of creamy chocolate, caramel and pecans.

Taste is baking chocolate right off the bat with pipe tobacco. Leather and currants toward the end, with bitter coffee directly at the end.

Mouthfeel has a nice coating to it, good carbonation, more than most RIS.

Drinkability is high due it first off have good balance in the flavors but mostly because it hides the alcohol, low, very well.

currysage1, May 04, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ML flip-top bottle.

Clear very dark brown colored beer with a medium sized brown colored head.

The moment I popped this open I was hit in the nose with a blast of molasses and chocolate. Chocolate syrup and black strap molasses and some candy in the ethanol fumes. Bitter cocoa powder and KahlĂșa liqueur scent no strong coffee aromas though. Little bit of vanilla and caramel smell and that is about all.

The taste starts out sweet and strong chocolate and coffee with a black coffee finish. Sweet and bitter chocolate is the main flavor here with coffee and roast being mainly an after taste. Not real complex in flavor though.

Mouthfeel is very thick.

Drinkability isn't the best here, it is quite thick and the three-note flavor doesn't last much beyond a glass and then you are ready for something else.

Zorro, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours from 16.9 oz swing top bottle a very dark brown with about an inch of tannish foam. It has some nice lacing and the foam shrinks to a fine layer after a few minutes but that little bit does last for the entire session.

The smell has notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and maybe some wood. The nose is pretty light.

The taste has roasted malt, chocolate and cocoa up front which gives it a nice semi sweet flavour. Further in, there's some hop bitterness to go along with the cocoa and is most noticeable in the finish.

It's medium bodied and the carbonation is pretty light(could use a tad more?), oh...the alcohol is starting to show itself along with a woody taste. Interesting flavours here.

Bottom line: This is a pretty interesting and tasty Imperial Stout and I'm glad I got the chance to try it but... now that I've tried it, I doubt I'll look for it again. Maybe if it was available locally, I'd give that a rethink.

Bitterbill, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of bcm119
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep woody roasted malt aroma, hints of chocolate and black fruit. Starts out smooth and roasty, with pervasive chocolate flavors on a medium body mid-palate. Hops are unobtrusive but provide proper balance. Nice nuances of sherry and vinous raisins before the lengthy finish. A touch of alcohol in the finish. Pretty nice overall-- easy drinking and the flavors are spot-on; a little thinner than some and maybe not as complex as others. Quite tasty on tap.

bcm119, Mar 09, 2008
Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.