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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
88
very good

438 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 438
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 44
Gots: 46 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml flip top that I've cellared for a year. Poured into my Delirium snifter, Drake's Imperial Stout is Black with a tight, dark tan head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is a bit hoppy actually, some sweet alcohol. Some toffee develops as it opens up, as does the roasted malt.

Taste is big and malty, lots of chocolate, with a hoppy finish that is pretty impressive for being at least a year old. Just the right amount of roast to give it character without overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is great, a luscious creaminess without being to heavy, with a dry, somewhat spicy finish, indicative of the strength as well as the hops.

Drinkability is quite good, I'm really enjoying this RIS. Rich and satisfying, but very smooth and well balanced. Everything I've had from Drakes has been exceptionally well executed.

Photo of deruiz10
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A pitch black pour with zero head, she looks like a glass full of black coffee.

S - Chocolate and coffee, some dark fruit (prunes?) and some slight caramel sweetness.

T - Very similar to the nose: chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit fading to a finish of bitter dark chocolate and alcohol.

M - No carbonation and a little on the light side. Though the body is medium weight, it could definitely be excellent if it had a little more creaminess.

D - A sipper to be sure, though it is lacking a little character to be truly superb.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-deep black color that pours two fingers of a relatively thick dark caramel colored head that has a decent retention and leaves a very light lacing

S-big roasted malt hits the nose first followed by a hint of dark chocolate and some coffee notes and a light citrus hop finish

T-big flavors with a presence of alcohol, it follows the nose pretty well, a big roasted malt up front with some dark chocolate and hints of java, the hop presence towards the finish is a little more pronounced than the nose and brings some citrus, dark fruits, raisins and prunes.

M-it is nice and smooth, almost creamy; but relatively light body for an RIS and has too much carbonation imo

D-lighter body for a stout would actually make it more drinkable, but i like a thick ris so i'm docking it.

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mlswing top..unsure of the vintage..poured into tulip slightly chilled..

a-deep deep brown almost black..nice ruby highlights when held up to light..huge fluffy khaki head that lasted throughout..no bubbles present..lots of lacing..

s-sweet malt..subtle hops..a tad coffee and caramel to round things out..

t-sweet roasty malt up front..bitter coffee notes...toffee...hops to balance things out but overpower...finishes dry like black coffee..delightful

m-oily and slick..goes down easy...slightly prickly from the carb..medium creamy mouthfeel..

d-could have a couple of these easy..the alcohol is well hidden and and flavors just keep you coming back for more..no complaints here

overall a solid very under the radar ris...big thanks to james for hooking me up with this brew in our last trade..extremely glad i got to try it..

Photo of vacax
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 500 mL swing-top bottle.

Pours a black liquid with a vast dark mocha head. Retention is high, though it eventually settles down into around one half of a centimeter of respectable foam. Smells of plum, cookie dough, toasted coconut, and chocolate. All the good stuff I like in a good RIS.

Tastes of sweet malts with copious dark fruit: plum and prune especially. This intensifies on the midpalate and reminds me of leather, flora. Finish is intense, I want to say I get some heat, but in an aged bottle of a beer under nine percent that is not an accurate statement. This beer just smacks my tongue with an intense complexity of malts. Body is full, yet fuller would work better with the medium level of carbonation present. Overall this is a very good example of a Russian Imperial Stout, there should be a lot more buzz about this beer. A choice brew that is underrated.

Photo of EliottJW
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to start off by saying I was a bit let down by this beer. Drakes has been extremely hit or miss for me. their IPA is absolutely one of my favorites, but the 1500 was a complete let down.

The pour on this beer absolutely leaves something to be desired... it's not nearly as dark as I would expect from an imperial stout and a rather vigorous pour produces practically no head. while there was a touch of lacing left by the big, soapy bubbles that formed a crown, even swirling my glass did practically nothing in the way of producing any head.

smelled fine enough. some sweet, roasty malts. a hint of chocolate and some apparent coffee. The nose was definitely the highlight of this beer.

taste was a different story. I don't want to say that it was necessarily complex, I think that would be a touch misleading... but I will say that it was kind of all over the place. It started out quite estery... dark fruits... prunes and the such. after about 4-5 seconds gave way to a hint of chocolate and then almost immediately moved into HEAVILY roasted malts. I'm wanting to type out that it was burnt coffee, but that wasn't quite the quality that I got... it was burnt something... just all together too roasty for me. eventually, the roasty quality became someone enjoyable as an aftertaste... but I don't drink a beer solely for its aftertaste.

mouth fell a bit short as well. while it was nice and creamy, it was entirely too thin. I can't say too much beyond that. I want a heavier body on anything categorized as "imperial".

while this beer wasn't "bad", it also wasn't "good". I guess I'll leave it at that.

Photo of cptierney
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a North Coast nonic from a 500ml swingtop purchased at City Beer Store.

Nice and black as all Imperial Stouts should be. I'm a little concerned about the complete lack of head that this beer pours. Looks like just foamy motor oil with the carbonation barely retaining.

Nice nose to this brew, heavy on dark malt scent- some hints of chocolate and a touch of coffee, really, really black coffee.

The mouthfeel on this beer is slightly suspect, as it begins normally but after a swallow there is a grainy texture left in the mouth. I can't knock it to much, though, as I feel a more visceral connection to the grain in my beer.

Initial sweet flavor on this brew. Very little in the way of that chocolate I was smelling. Mostly hints of sweet fruits like raisins, figs, and prunes make their way through. A dark chocolate, or over-roasted coffee bitter flourish ends the drink and doesn't necessarily marry well with the beers initial sweetness.

A pretty drinkable brew overall. A little lighter in body than other Imperial Stouts and just unique enough to keep you interested.

Photo of MPLS
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can't remember where I picked this one up, but believe it was an online purchase.

A: A nice dark ebony, but no lace, 0.5mm head that vanished like a one hit wonder. Looked very effervescent iniatially but took on a dead flat appearance soon after.

S: Sweet chocolate, alcohol, touch of licorice.

T: The dominant flavor is a sweet slightly bitter (coffeelike?) chocolate that fades to some roasted goodness. A tad underwhelming, but a pleasantly sweet stout.

M: This stout lacks the viscosity I crave, a somewhat dull beer, don't know how it lost the carbonation.

D: It's not a bad sipper, alcohol is masked well and I can handle anything in the chocolate realm.

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at BoHo in Hollywood, CA.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of smooth dark chocolate. As it warms the dark chocolate becomes more prominent.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild roasted malt flavors are joined shortly by unsweetened chocolate. As with the smell, the chocolate flavors gain steam as the beer warms. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these with no problem.

Overall this is a solid RIS but lacks the complexity to be great. Worth a shot.

Photo of ffejherb
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hamilton's, San Diego, CA on 7/8/09. Served in a goblet.

A - Dense dark brown body with deep reddish highlights and a wonderful finger's width of creamy burnt tan head that retained exceptionally well and deposited a thin sheet of lacing around the goblet.

S - Muted nose with chocolate notes, sweet malts and a mild coffee presence. Some alcohol notes emerged as the liquid warmed up. Sweet caramel and toffee notes round out the aroma.

T - Flavor is heavy on the chocolate with quite a bit of roasted malt, the latter of which really opened up as it reached room temperature. An apparent coffee presence also emerged, followed by a slight nutty character. Finish is quite bitter overall with earthy hop notes and dark chocolate.

M - Medium bodied with a very smooth, silky mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Finish is bitter and slightly astringent with some residual stickiness on the palate.

D - Fine RIS that was quite smooth and drinkable. While this was heavy on the chocolate, it also possessed a nice roasty character to complement the sweetness of the malt.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL flip-top bottle picked up at the Modesto BevMo!

Poured into a New Belgium globe (because it was the best glass I could find).

Appearance: Bottle opened with a mighty POP! and instantly filled the air with dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee aromas. Nice start! A slow pour produced a creamy, half inch, brown head. Body is thick as hell and completely opaque (black). Looks like dirty motor oil. Very nice head retention, complemented by thick layers of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, dark fruits, something sharp - sour cherries?, rich dark chocolate, and vanilla (especially on big whiffs). Fun to smell, though not as pungent as I expected after the initial POP! As time went on, coffee emerged along with hints of anise. Strong alcohol also creeps into the picture as it warms. Nicely done.

Taste: Roasted malt, charred wood, sour cherries, and prunes. Very roasty. Extremely hoppy as well - feels like a handful of piney, resinous, hops are thrown in at the end of each sip. Dark chocolate, yes... especially as it warms. Alcohol is quite apparent. Coffee and molasses are also there, but lie quietly in the background.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is too high in my opinion. I was expecting a dense, creamy treat, but this RIS is quite vicious. The carbonation even masks a lot of the flavors early on. It fades eventually, but does a number on the palate along the way. Besides that, this beer is thick, roasty, and full bodied. One of the thickest Russian imperials I've had. I dig that; I like thick. Also finishes very dry. This is a rough beer - make sure you know what you're getting into.

Drinkability: This beer is not for beginners. Make sure you know what you're doing before you step into the ring with this one. Roasty, full, bitter, and high in alcohol != drinkable. Still, this hit the spot after a long-ass week at work. I was looking for an ass kicking, and I definitely got one. Thank you Drake's. May I have another?

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500ml swing-top bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. The stout appears nearly black in color with about two fingers of lingering ecru foam. A nice pour! Nose and flavor are of rich roasted grains, alcohol, vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate, sugary caramel malts. Almost full bodied and certainly amply carbonated. Good stuff, wish I had a few more of these.

Photo of jdklks
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Thick and black with amber edges and a tan head.

S- Sweet blueberry and roasty malts.

T- Wow. Really, really, too sweet. sweet bite at the end and sweet malts up front. tart sweet, not really dark fruity sweet like i like in a good stout. overwhelming sweetness, underwhelming overall taste.

M- good thickness, but over-carbonated.

D- would only have one of these.

Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Mauerhan in Powerball. Thanks, Topher!

A-A very attractive opaque dark brown to black with a thin tan head and little lacing.

S-Deep dark chocolate and vanilla hit you right off the bat. Background notes of caramel and a hint of alcohol.

T-Nice. An unexpected roasted malt in the front, then a subdued sweetness, much less than promised by the nose. A nice roasty bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied and a little rich.

D-Yeah, I like this one a lot. Delicious with moderate ABV.

HV

Photo of tpd975
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark flat black hue with a nice mocha head. Nice spotty lace as well.

S: Aroma of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, wood, earth, dried dark fruit, and citrus hops.

T: The flavor is nice and roasty, with hints of chocolate. Loads of dark fruits in the middle, with a touch of licorice.

M: Full bodied, very rich with nice balanced carbonation.

D: Not too bad. Tasty but there are better Imperial stouts to be had.

Photo of Buebie
3.34/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 ounce brown swingtop into a pint glass.

Black in color with no light penetration. A 1'' light brown cola like head forms. Receeding slowly and leaving a thin cap of foam. Thin streaks of lace.

Aroma of gingerbread, molasses and chocolate malts. No alcahol at the knose. A good amount of sweetness here.

Mouthfeel is light bodies with just a bit of creamyness and some carbonation.
The taste is pretty good. Dark roasty chocolate grains, some sweetness and plenty of chocolate.
I'd consider this more of an american double then an ris. As an RIS it does not fit the style but as an American double it is pretty damn tasty.
Some warming into the swallow with grassy hops lingering. A cocacola like syrupy flavor, the sweetness is a little overbearing. Not a terrible beer but for an ris its got room for improvement.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark bottle into a glass.

A: Deep, opaque black with a short-lived tan head. Some rings of lacing down the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and what smells like a tangy combination of plum, fig, and raisin, with a slight tartness. At first I thought this beer was infected or in the process of becoming so.

T: Dark chocolate on the initial taste, which leads into a roasted malt backbone adorned by coffee bitterness. The finish is dark fruits -- plums, figs, and raisins all detected -- with a noticeably tart aftertaste. It's an interesting flavor, but the combination of chocolate/coffee and full-on fruit is not one I enjoy. It was kind of like a fruit roll-up covered in Nutella. Again, I suspected infection at first given the poorly blended tartness.

M: Medium-to-high body, with medium carbonation. Still surprisingly velvety. Well masked ABV.

D: Definitely a sipper / sit-and-savor. But I didn't particularly enjoy the taste, and judging from others' comments, I seem to have gotten a proper bottle. I won't pick this up again -- not my sort of RIS.

Photo of ThirdLap
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Jupiter in Berkeley. I've had this before from the bottle, but this is my first time sampling it on-tap.

Deep black as it sits in my glass, with a short-lasting dark tan head. Not much lacing as the glass empties.

The nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, and cola. Hints of dark fruit.

Taste is surprisingly complex. While not barrel-aged, there is a woodsy oakiness to it, which combined with the dark chocolate undertones and perceptible alcohol makes it remnisicient of stouts that have spent time in a bourbon barrel. I don't remember the bottle of Drake's Imperial Stout I had several months ago having this characteristic.

Body is medium-high, with the carbonation right in the middle. Mouthfeel is creamy and luscious, with a slight bitter finish. Drinkability is excellent, as it took some effort for me to sit and savor this one.

I will have to try this again from the bottle for comparison, but from what I can remember, this is a different beast from the tap. Very nice.

Photo of macktbone
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Jupiter in Berkeley along with Rasputin on Nitro and some great pizza.

Looks like a very dark beer. The head is some what limited but a beautiful milk chocolate color. Looks a bit thin.

Just after serving the coldness of the beer limits the nose, but as it warms the dark fruits and bitter chocolat starts to sneak out.

The taste of this is really suprising. Imagine a small chocolate, shaped like a treasure chest, and inside is Glen Levitt liquor scotch. This beer has a unique tast to it that suprises with each and every sip. I can't get over the whiskey flavor behind this local brew. The after taste turns to a bitter chocolate that kind of slides down your throat.

Unfortunately the mouthfeel of this beer is lacking. Very thin and could benefit from some oatmeal texture. With some more thickness this beer could be a supreme contender with others on the top ten Imperial Stout list.

It is worth a try for anyone that likes bourbon type stouts. My first time trying it and I would have it again ...I hear it's much bettr on tap that in the bottle...maybe I'll try it out.
Not something that you can down, a sipper for sure.

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL swingtop courtesy of thequeue poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, dark chocolate that settles in black in the glass underneath a huge fluffy tan head that shows very good staying power. Sheets of lacing form after each sip. This is quite a nice looking RIS.

The aroma has tons of dark roasted chocolate malts and lots of dark fruit sweetness with figs and raisins. I'm also picking up lots of licorice and a bit of espresso as well.

The flavor starts with the slight bitterness of the bakers chocolate with some dark fruit sweetness. The dark roasted malts form a solid backbone and the finish brings in a touch of hop bitterness and hints of coffee.

This mouthfeel is very smooth with lots of carbonation and just coats the mouth completely.

Well, this one really impressed me and maybe my expectation were a little too low. It's a great representation of the style and I think this bottle has just the right amount of age on it. Very nice.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this a couple of nights back. What a great beer! This is last years release, I grabbed it at Healthy Spirits in May and sat on it for a while.

A: In my Sam Smith pint glass, this beer gurgled a very impressive jet black with a thin dark brown head with decent retention

S: Wonderfully balanced on the nose, there's chocolate, coffee, cream and a little bit of oxidation that works very well with the chocolate

T/M: On the palate, the flavors from the nose are replicated with the semi-dark unsweetened chocolate leading the way. Oxidation is present and very enjoyable. Medium bodied with a soft carbonation, this beer finishes thick and enjoyable

D: This is one beer that surprised me, I think I should grab another at some point

Photo of bbothen
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. Thanks Kasim.

Pours out a deep & dark brown/almost black color with a big bubbly & creamy tan colored head.

Big coffee & chocolate aromas, roasted malts, some fruitiness, and faint hoppiness. All balanced quite nicely. Yum.

Like the nose the taste is of roasted/toasted malts, and nice coffee & chocolate flavors, and some bitter hoppiness. I likey.

Medium to full, smooth, creamy, slick, velvety. Yeah.

This is a great beer & awesome on cask. Could drink this all night. And day. Work is stupid. I quit and am going to have one of these.

Photo of mossadacity
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark brown, almost black. Persistent strong head, but little lacing. Strong licorice flavor, subtle bitter chocolate and coffee undertones. Bitter aftertaste which quickly faded away after a few sips. Very heavy beer; it's been a while since I really felt like I was drinking food :-) I absolutely loved this beer. I'm pretty new to the style, but this is the first RIS I liked let alone loved.

On cask at the Rose and Crown in Palo Alto, CA - 2-17-2009.
First pint ($6) off a fresh tap :-) Given that it runs for $7/16.9 oz bottle at the local BevMo, I was absolutely thrilled to try it draft.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.08/5  rDev -22%
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.

Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 438 ratings.