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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

227 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 227
Hads: 466
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 45
Gots: 56 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-20-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 227 | Hads: 466
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with enormous spicy mocha head. Baker's chocolate, slightly roast aroma. Artistic spider web of lace. Smooth mouthfeel, bitter and dry more than sweet, chocolate, mild coffee, quite nice though bitter edge not for everybody. Some vanilla, ginger, anise, drop of cayenne and black pepper. To be consumed slowly and appreciated, with most a great dessert.
Thanks Augustgarage. (386 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of freshly roasted coffee beans, cocoa powder, and some dark malts. Taste is of dark chocolate covered espresso beans and dark roasted malts. Very rich and delicious tasting. This beer has a low carbonation level with a very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good RIS with some great coffee and dark chocolate smells and flavors. A very tasty beer for a very good price ($5.99 for a 22 oz. bottle). (572 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
2.78/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Black brown in color with a very short lived dark brown head. Nose is light coffee and roasted grain. Not unpleasant but nothing special. Tastes like a strong black lager or a black light IPA - not a stout, so to that extent it is not to style. Very thin body with simple roasted grain/light coffee flavor profile. Light bitter coffee finish. (347 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee color but, uh-oh, there is no head

Smell: Rich dark mocha aroma with some cereal undertones

Taste: Starts out with a black bread flavor that adds some coffee bitterness and chocolate elements, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors are primarily bittersweet chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body but flat

Drinkability: Despite the plastic wrapper around the swing top being intact, somehow this beer lost all of its carbonation; the flavors were nice but it lacked some complexity that I would expect from an Imperial Stout (574 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of SS: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of pure dark chocolate with some light bitter hops is interesting. Taste is dominated by some strong dark chocolate notes with some subtle dry coffee notes and not as much hops as I was expecting from the aroma. Body is full with some low to medium carbonation and no alcohol could be detected. (433 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1-24-2012:

Been a while since I tried this one. This has become quite good, or maybe it always was and I didn't just realize it back in 2007. I'm more inclined to think that the brewery has refined the beer, since most Drake's beers have improved drastically in the past year The nose has an equal presence of cocoa and toasted malt, and there's a slight undercurrent of cherry and charred malt. The palate offers more of the same, perhaps a touch less nutty, but pleasantly roasted and chocolatey, just slightly ashy (in a nice, cigar-like way), with a near ideal amount of bitterness coming from both the dark malts and the hops. The body is spot-on for the style and ABV.

01-31-2007:

4/3.5/3.5/4/4

Dark and opaque with a faint but lingering head. This has a fairly standard character for an imperial stout; roasted malt, dark chocolate and a bit of coffee come through strongly in the taste and smell, with some moderately present hops in the background. The alcohol is somewhat noticable, though not harsh in any way. Good body for the style - full, but not overly so, moderate carbonation and quite drinkable. While this isn't the most impressive or complex RIS I've had, it's still very enjoyable and I'd definitely try it again. (1,239 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Ben for sharing this one, review from written notes.
Bottle stored in temperature-controlled, zero light conditions. Undetermined vintage, silkscreened fliptop bottle. Served in a goblet.

Pours black with a thick tan ring of foam around the edges. Glassy obsidian surface with a spray of wispy skim across the surface, spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

Light oxidation apparent in the aroma, along with rich dark chocolate, nearly burnt toast, and chocolate syrup. Flavors are similarly rich and fudgy, chewy chocolate, light tobacco and barely noticeable oxidation. Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Dry finish, creamy and smooth texture that puts it into ambrosial territory. Overall its pretty nice considering it's likely a few years old. Thanks again Ben! (791 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (1,502 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.09/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: The pour is dark brown with some red/amber notes to it and almost no head to speak of.

S: Starts off intensely roasty with a bit of ash. There's a definite metallic aroma and some acidity. I get some sour dark fruits like cherries and raisins.

T: The tartness is more pronounced on the flavor. The acidity from the roasted malts is strong, and there's a lot of sour cherry going on. The metallic character is quite strong, and although there are all these flaws, the beer is sort of watery overall--only a mild roast/stout character.

M: The body is medium with with a very low carbonation.

D: This was just awful. I like a lot of Drake's beers, but this was not one of them. (681 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a very, very thin tan-colored head.

Smell: Lush, malty aroma of sweet-smelling chocolate with subtle notes of coffee and dark fruits.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate and coffee dominate the taste. There's an easily discernible sourness to it. The roasted character combines with the hop bitterness and a chalky ashen quality to make for an odd finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Right, then. Well, it looked and smelled just fine, but, for me, it was all downhill after that. (551 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drake's Imperial Stout delivers the typical appearance that you'd expect, although the head retention could be a little bit better.

The nose is quite nice with clear wafts of caramel and toasty malts that aren't always distinguishable in other examples amidst the heavier roasted and chocolatey notes; and it has a really pleasurable coffee-bean aroma that's somewhat soothing. Piney hops skirt to and fro; they're a non-traditional choice, but they seem to work here. Some alcohol is present, but it's kept in check; and a breath of berry-like yeasty fruitiness rounds it out nicely.

In the mouth, an initial, delicate zest gives way to creamy and smooth maltiness - awakening the tastebuds and then luxuriating the tongue.

Caramel again returns in the flavor; heavily flanked by a hulking roastiness, rich dark-toffee and chocolate, a brash bitterness, and piney hop flavor. It starts soft, sweetish, and intriguing; and then seems to veer off-course, finishing quite dry with a lingering bitterness, pine-resin-like hop flavors, an odd-acidic note (there doesn't seem to be a pH issue in the initial flavor?), and a wash of alcohol that's a tad intrusive.

It's good but there are better choices available. (1,223 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,086 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2006 release, acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 500ml swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a no head no lace due to the age.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of chocolate and coffee. There's also a mild background of dark fruit and a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet. It definitely tastes like I might have held onto this one a bit too long.

M: Smooth but not crisp and kind of watery, medium body, very little carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Flavorful and I'm sure it would have been pretty tasty fresh, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I'm hoping to someday revisit this beer as I fear I may have ruined a good beer. (874 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sharp and less heavy strong black ale.

Very dark brown with a hint of red. I keep thinking of cherries. Quite fruity, but not as raisiny as Belgian styles. Hops are ample and balance the load of flavors well. Bitter in the aftertaste but more like bitter chocolate than hops. Feels very carbonated and rich in the mouth, but not at all syrupy.

Does seem to be a different take on the mega stout style. Has more tartness and less sweetness than some really big Imperial Stouts. Really an interesting beer and well worth a try if you like big black ones. (556 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  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. (518 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over time. Not paired with food.

A: Pours a one finger head of light tan colour, good cream, good thickness, and pretty good retention for the ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black.

Sm: Chocolate, light hops, licorice, and coffee. A light to mild strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, some light licorice, toffee, coffee, and fudge. The chocolate note here is the most reminiscent note of real chocolate I've ever experienced in a beer; usually chocolate notes are merely cocoa. It's quite nicely balanced and built. I like it. Some layering is present. Complex enough. More hoppy than expected. The climax is a marvelous blend of licorice and chocolate. A caramel tone underlies the entire profile.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some dryness on the open and finish. Not too thick nor too thin, but never quite right. Not too sharp or overcarbonated. Could use far more cream and a bit more coarseness. Decently done as it is, but in need of fine tuning.

Dr/Ov: Very drinkable for the high ABV and the style. I like it a lot, but with some work it could be stellar. A nice imperial stout that is worthy of any beer fanatic's time and money. Bravo. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery.

(1,418 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 06/04/11 notes. Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this one; this was a Want of mine. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and sour dark fruits. I was surprised by the sourness, but I've been it in a few reviews, so I guess that's how it was intended.

t - Tastes heavily of dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, toasted malts, and light sour fruit again.

m - Medium bodied stout and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a decent and interesting RIS. I was surprised by the sour dark fruit in the nose and taste. While I liked it, it wasn't quite what I picture in a RIS. Would be willing to give it another shot, but unsure if I'd spend money on a bottle. (791 characters)

Photo of orangesol
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this one to our Stout Day party.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving little to no lace down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate, coffee, smoke, dark fruits, and a weird metallic aroma. The flavors are all there but they are a little muddled together.

T - Starts off with a quick dose of chocolatey sweetness quickly giving way to a mix of light smoke, coffee grounds, dark fruits, and a very faint hop bitterness. The weird metallic flavor continues from the nose, further helping to muddle the flavors. The finish is a mix of dark roast and smoke, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. A bit too thin for my liking, I think the low carbonation really hurt this one.

O - I wasn't really a fan of this one. When compared to all the other stouts we were drinking this was one of the worst. (912 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scott for this one!

A: Pours a deep black color with an extremely thick mocha colored head. Great head retention, reducing to a decent sized cap of foam for the duration. Thick, foamy lacing coats the side of the glass.

S: Nice aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a little bit of coffee.

T: The taste has more chocolate in it, a nice combination of dark and bitter. A little bit of roasted malt on the back end with a slight coffee note.

M: Slightly thicker than medium bodied with a good level of carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: A solid RIS, very drinkable. Lacks a little bit of oomph that would make it great, but very good nonetheless. (671 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a thin line of lighter brown clarity around the edges when held to the light. A webby lace of tan sticks to the glass.

The smell is roasty with a hint of nutty grain. A light grassy to herbal hop element is also present breaking things up a bit. By no means is this a bold smelling brew, sort of middle of the road and without fault.

The taste is roasty with a hint of nuttiness and bitterness of earthy roast instead of hops. There is a mild character of stale coffee and herbal hop aftertaste that lingers. Not the best tasting imperial stout but not bad either.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is pretty fair across the board and without fault. I appreciate the chance to try this brew but it holds nothing memorable about it to warrent me ever wanting to purchase or try it again. (891 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/18/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz swingtop bottle with no freshness info to be found. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Note: This beer is not retired.

Appearance- Pitch black as a good stout should be. Larger than life dirty brown head of which a full 1/4 inch remains for the duration. Takes a full 10 minutes to get the entire beer into the glass with the exception of a few sips beforehand. Decent lace sheets prevail.

Smell- Very dark and roasted malt. Burnt chocolate and burnt coffee grounds...smells somewhat bitter as well.

Taste- Not as dark as the nose, but not far from it. Deep roasted and smoked malt. Deep coaco flavor and roasted coffee beans as well. Also I get some kind of mild sour fruity note. Seems like raspberry or something. Not sure if this is an off taste, or it was meant to be like this. The flavor isn't bad and it works in this case. A small amount of hoppy bitterness makes itself know at the end.

Mouthfeel- Fairly smooth with a tight carbonation which is about moderate for an RIS. Light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Perfectly acceptable RIS. Good amount of flavor and pretty drinkable as well. Drake's usually doesn't fail. (1,225 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

About a finger of deep-tan head with great retention on a humid evening. Color was a deep dark brown. Mouthfeel was thin and (dare I say) watery. Nose was very chocolaty. Taste had a good bit of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee. Finish had a chili flavor accompanied with by a mild hoppiness. (291 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fairly light colored for an Imperial Stout, meaning it is black with a touch more brown than one might usually find. The head is a frothy, light brown color that starts out almost two-fingers in height. Aromatic notes of chocolate are quite apparent as I pour this beer, again reinforcing that this beer did not go the heavy handed route when it came time to add the dark malts to the recipe. The aroma is actually quite nice, it is very smooth, especially since it is lacking in that acrid, overly burnt character that many an American Stout (much less the Imperial Stouts) have. Instead the focus remains on a concentrated, dark, yet not overly burnt, malty note that accentuates aromas of chocolate, toasty malt and a nice nuttiness. I really can't quite help but think of some sort of candy of my dreams, made from chocolate freshly ground malt with a hint of espresso for that extra boost. While this isn't the most complex beast out there, there is just something about the aroma of this brew that I am really digging right now; the aroma is much bigger than the 8.75% alcohol would suggest.

Soft and creamy up front, this beer grows in heft and palate coating character as it passes through my mouth. The finish has a solid bitter note to it that is a combination of hop bitterness as well as a drying, roast grain derived bittering. The flavor has a solid chocolate component to it as well, but in the taste a lightly roasted coffee character becomes much more apparent. Dusty cocoa, some roasted nutty notes, a perception of vanilla, something like subtle hazelnut. I really like the weight of this beer, it is not too heavy, yet is certainly thick enough to demand a sipping experience.

While this has lots of big flavors (as is expected of an Imperial Stout), it doesn't bang you over the head with the roast malt like many of the American beasts do. Sometimes the extreme is appreciated, but at other times (right now is one of these for me), something with a bit more restraint and a bit more balance (if such a thing can really be said for an Imperial Stout) is just what one wants. A very well crafted beer, that I am certainly enjoying quite a bit. I also have to praise the 500ml bottle size, not nearly as intimidating as a 22oz bottle would be. (2,269 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen, in Orange, CA,

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a thick tan head, which leaves excellent lacing in a Weihenstaphen mug.

S: Roasted caramel malts and coffee mostly, typical RIS, but quite fragrant.

T: Good, lots of coffee, with a hint of strong espresso, some roasted malts and chocolate as well.

M: Rich and velvety, but quite dry, good amount of carbonation.

D: A good RIS, my first beer from these guys, after tasting these beers, I certainly don't hate the Drake. (519 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours nearly black. Small off white head. Just a few surface wisps.

Smell - Caramel malt, some roast, not much though. Hops and grain are pretty prevalent.

Taste - Really caramely. The grain and bitterness come through more than the dark malts. Background gives more of that roast. Not a ton though.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. High carbonation. Might be a little too thin.

Overall - Poor beer suffers having been consumed after Bourbon County Coffee. Nothing by comparison. (527 characters)

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Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.