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
88
very good

395 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 395
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 41
Gots: 35 | 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: 395 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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 +7.1%
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 -16.8%
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 +4.1%
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 +1%
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 -2.3%
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 -3.6%
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 +0.3%
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
Photo of tonistruth
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- deep brown, near black, no head though in the right glass, still an impressive looking brew

S- dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, coffee

T- roasted and burnt malts, bittering dark chocolate, cocoa, with a brownie like aftertaste

M- smooth and creamy

D- delicious imperial stout, great mouthfeel, complex, one of my new faves, recommended

tonistruth, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of charlzm
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 7/7/7 - was my lucky day!

Beer pours from bottle very dark with a surprisingly abundant tan foam head.

Aroma has expected scents of chocolate, coffee and hints of leather and soy sauce.

The initial feeling in the mouth is silky smoothness with alcohol warmth present. There is a subtle sweetness that is almost overwhelmed by the bitter coffee/chocolate and soy flavors.

The alcohol warmth lingers on the palate almost as long as the moderately bitter aftertaste.

All in all, a large beer that does not disappoint: a good example of imperial Russian stout. Compares favorably with Stone and Alesmith iterations of the style.

charlzm, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of Viggo
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml swingtop bottle, shared by grub!

Pours an opaque black, huge brown head forms, good retention, drops some pretty chunky lace. Smell is lactic, a bit sour, chocolate, roast, caramel and bread, coffee, a bit acidic, oaky, pretty interesting, smells almost like a baltic porter. Taste is sweet, caramel, milk chocolate, coffee, nice roast, caramelized fruits, vanilla, sour lactic oak finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, pretty silky mouthfeel. Interesting RIS, pretty solid. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Flip top 500ml dark bottle. Poured with some power it forms a modest blow bubble type head. Head is solid khacki and leaves some ring lace.

Coffee hits me up front. This has a bourbon type barrel age feel and taste to it. Whiskey dry and snappy finish. Smoked Wood and pine dry kendling. Heavy.

Notes: To me this is borderline imperial. Kick ass offering that is light on the hops and leans heavily towards a BIG stout. Loved it. Drakes continues to impress and when I see it on the shelves its a must buy.

DogFood11, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black pour with big brown fluffy head in a snifter. Lots of staying head and lacing. Smells hoppy, roasted dark malt, and smells like it will be bitter. Alcohol comes out more as it sits, which I tend to hate in any beer. Taste is fairly muted for what I expected. Taste is dark roastiness, licorice, quite mild bitterness, alcohol, and a medium lengthed finish. Smooth, but strong. Ok beer.

JDV, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer glugs out of the bottle a nice dark caramel color with 2 fingers of mocha colored foam.

Smells of chocolate malts, toffee, butterscotch, a bit of coffee, roasted barley, caramel, cocoa and a tangy citrus hop profile. I'm also getting a faint aroma of dark fruits and alcohol.

Taste has lots of roasted barley upfront, toasted/burnt bread, bitter chocolate, chocolate malts, and a bit of a cocoa finish. Good but not complex.

The mouthfeel is mostly smooth except for a little bitterness and dryness at the end, maybe from the roasted barley. A bit of alcohol and grains in the finish as well. Wish the finish was a little more robust.

Overall, I'd say it's a good example of an imperial stout, not my favorite but a solid brew nevertheless.

seaoflament, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of grub
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

fartingdog hooked me up with this one. thanks dave!

500ml swingtop. sampled feb 1/08.

pours opaque dark brown, not quite black, with a big dense brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves tons of clumpy lace behind.

aroma is good. light roast. bakers chocolate. light coffee. bit of lactic sourness. caramel. bread and biscuit malt. bit of alcohol. milk chocolate. light fruity esters.

taste is good. medium-low bitterness level. nice caramel sweetness. bit of nice citrus sweetness too - orange and tangerine. big bready malt. earthy hops. bit of baltic-like sourness. light roast. coffee. bittersweet and dark chocolate. touch of toffee. light alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. pretty smooth medium carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. not overly roasty or astringent. nice balance. i like the interesting citrus sweetness and touch of sourness. i could gladly drink this all night.

grub, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to fartingdog for this brew

A - as expected, this stout pours a dark black with a finger and a half of chocolate milk colored head, even when held up to light, nothing penetrates

S - sharp coffee aroma notes hit first, followed by a bittersweet chocolate that balances it, and..wait... a slight banana aroma as well

T - immediately ahuge cloying sourness never hits, but gets big, then fades into a bittersweet chocolate with some coffee beans and ends with a smoky sweet stouty goodness

M&D - all in all a high quality stout, very tasty and easy to drink, one of the better RIS i have ever had, not to over the top with a great amount of flavor

sinstaineddemon, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a motor oil black with some coffee highlights.

Smells on tap much better, I cant get much of a way of smell on this one. Some chocolate, some alcohol. Had it a couple weeks ago on tap and remember it smelling great.

Tastes good, not much carbonation, burnt coffee, cocoa, sweet dark sugars taste. Great beer.

Like drake discovering the entrance to the san francisco bay, discover this beer for yourself and all humanity.

Murchmac, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of dbalsock
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: This is a great looking beer. The small head increases once I finish pouring, cascading down the sides. It's dark tan, like a light chocolate sufflee(sp). THe body is black as night, and the head never seems to leave it's top.

Smell: Drik fruity malts, like dried chocolate covered strawberries. HInt of biscuit and a little coffee too.

Taste: Follows the smell with the dark fruity malts, but more caramel and more of a hop presence. There's more butteriness too, that mixes well with the chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, silky and a little lighter bodied than I'm used to in a ris, that makes the alcohol feel a little more present.

Drinkability: If I could get this in the area regularly, I would be buying it all the time.

dbalsock, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of lpayette
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, thanks to my friend and fellow BA dbalsock for sending me this beer.

Poured into a snifter with almost no carbonation and a complete lack of head... not sure why looking at other reviews. Black, but I've seen darker. some ruby hues.

Not much in the way of smell, but the taste and mouthfeel is what I love. It's surprisingly complex and smooth. This is not your typical malt and hop bomb darker is better stout. Highly drinkable for the style, and very enjoyable.

lpayette, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of BlindPig
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- 1" mocha head on a black body.
S- Really big chocolate up front, light burnt malts, coco, light grass hops, and a hint of alcohol.
T- Nice strong chocolate and roasted flavor up front. A mocha flavor comes in for the aftertaste with the chocolate still lingering around. Some grass hops leave just a light bitterness on the tongue and the alcohol warms up back of the throat a bit. A light cream flavor also comes through. A nice malt combination on this one.
M- Full body with some silky cream feel to it. Low carbonation.
D- I think this is a really nice stout. Just nice and heavy on the chocolate and light on the burnt and roasted flavors for the aftertaste. The mouthfeel on this one really helps bring it together even more so too.

BlindPig, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of esch
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This is what I'm talking about. Super dark, turns an awesome ruby color when held to the light.

S: Roasty-toasty cereal grains, barely coffee. Hints of sweetness.

T: Dark chocolate, good bitterness from the roasted malts.

M: Disappointing. Suffers from lack of body. Doesn't linger in the mouth at all.

D: Over all, this is a solid beer. A bit steep in the ABV dept to have more than one in a sitting...

esch, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of rsyberg01
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S - 500 mL bottle courtesy of Rayjay, who is a total dude.

A - Pours black with a chocolate fluffy head, freakin' beautiful

S - chocolate, molasses, tobacco, toasted nut, caramel, slight fruityness.

T - nutty, roasty, fruity, almost tangy in some ways, caramel, a malt lovers dream.

M - smooth, viscous, yes.

D - 8.5% is a hole in the ship, you cant pick it up in the nose or taste, but dammit it will knock you down.

rsyberg01, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of mentor
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Plastic-sealed flip-top glass bottle. Pours a thin layer of brown head that quickly settles to a scant ring around the top of the liquid. Liquid was dark brown during the pout, but pitch when held to light in the glass. Smells creamy milky chocolate and some vegetal. Alcohol, cherry sour, and chocolated coffee.

Tastes thin chocolate, alcohol, vegetal, coffee, and some cherry sour. Some hop grasiness that doesn't mix well with the alcohol. Wet sweet wins out over contributing dry roasty grain and some hop grassy rough. Dark chocolate in the aftertaste, almost like cocoa powder. Md body and thin mouthfeel. Flat from lack of carbonation is unpleasant.

mentor, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of dfillius
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: Pitch black, dark colored head is large and quickly subsides though a bit it is retained well.
S: Roasted. There is an undetectable aroma standing right in the middle that I can't identify - like a dim star. Coriander! I had to look away or just next to it to identify it. A little alcohol aroma as well.
T: Well balanced coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt.
M: The carbonation waned after 10 minutes. It was still there but not active.
D: More like a regular stout. More please!

dfillius, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at City Beer Store in San Fran. Pours big and creamy looking with a firm compact head. Odor of chocolate, haxlenut, fudge and vanilla. Taste of chocolate fudge milkshakes. Maybe even more chocolate flavor than i prefer in an imperial stout. Some yeastiness and a bit of weak coffee. Mouthfeel is extremely robust and creamy. Amazingly sort and delicate, almost velvety...in this aspect, the beer is perfect. Overall, not a complex imperial stout, but well crafted, just too much chocolate for my taste. A good example of one direction the style can trend towards.

aforbes10, Dec 20, 2007
Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.